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Eagle Ridge Resort Wedding

When a couple is this adorable, you know you are in for a pretty amazing wedding.  Why?  Because adorable duos like this just have a way of throwing a pretty party.  Parties that include gorgeous DIY details, vibrant pops of blue and pink and enough love-filled moments to fill an entire gallery with pure, unadulterated happy.  See it all captured by Robyn Rachel Photography right here.

From the Bride… It all started when Kevin and I returned to Tabor Hill Winery, the location of one our first dates. This trip to the winery turned out to be one we will never forget for it is where he proposed. From that day on our wheels were turning and the planning process began. Location was first and boy was that a wild goose hunt! We wanted to do something a little different, an experience for our guests and a special place for us to visit for years to come. After several road trips and a little frustration, we found Galena, IL. It had the country charm and small town feel we were looking for, not to mention it was a place we both visited together. Eagle Ridge’s Ballroom had the scenery we were in search of, as well as the simple elegance, that could also accommodate our guest. But we were not done there; we needed to find a ceremony location. Both being bought up Catholic, it was important to us to become husband and wife in the Catholic Church. To add an extra touch we invited a priest from back home to say our mass. Other items of importance were finding a photographer and videographer to capture our big day! Luck led us to Robyn and Jason, who thanks to our promptness in scheduling were both available. We had 100% confidence that we would be “wowed” with their depictions of our memory. A day of video was on our wish list, since we knew the day would pass us by. We wanted to be able to watch the day unfold together with each other and with our guests.

Kevin will be the first to tell you that me and decisions are foes, so wedding details were not always rainbows and butterflies. But having our vision we were determined to include the little touches that would important to us. We wanted to make it meaningful to us as well as loved ones. It was important to include everyone in one way or another and choosing a bridal party of 20 plus a ring bearer and flower girl was one way to start. From there we thought about people whom would only be there in spirit. I carried these relatives close, carrying a locket of my late grandma and grandpa, so they could “be there too.” Having come from wonderful relationship role models, we wanted to show off the family love by displaying the weddings of our parents, Kevin’s sister and brother-in law, and our grandparents. When it came to favors, we wanted to honor the handfuls of people who have fought the battle with cancer by donating to the American Cancer Society. We also wanted to capture the innocence of love by a few special 8 and 9-year love doctors! Being a 3rd grade teacher, I wanted to incorporate my little buddies into our day. They helped by defining what love it with quotes that became our table numbers. And the DIY went on from there; maybe it is the teacher in me, from dollies punch place settings to initial signage to hang in our new home for remembrance of the most special days of our lives. We had everyone on board cutting ribbons, spray-painting frames, printing and folding programs and menus all to make the day “us.” It turned out to be more than we could ever imagine definitely the classy summer feeling surrounded by love and scenery we were hoping for!

Photography: Robyn Rachel Photography | Videography: Lexoria Wedding Films | Florist: Garden Party Galena | Wedding Dress: The Dress By Nicole | Invitations: Paper Source | Ceremony: St Marys Galena | Reception Venue: Eagle Ridge Resort | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: JCrew | Tuxes: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Transportation: Tri State Travel

Badgley Mischka and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Country Barn Wedding in Galena Illinois from Lauren Wakefield Photography

I’m generally a very productive person. I thrive on to-do lists and projects, but when I come across a wedding like this one captured by Lauren Wakefield, all bets are off. I drop everything I am doing to sit and stare at the pretty, fully blaming it on the fact that doing so is indeed my job. Because this is a wedding filled with the perfect amount of pretty and the perfect amount of heart, and you can see precisely what I am talking about right here in the full gallery of images.


From the Bride… It really is a funny thing planning a wedding. As girls we always think and dream about how that day will be, what dress we will wear and what our future husband-to-be will look like. It is just something innate in us. When I met Jeremiah, my now husband, things just were different. We didn’t see each from across the room and know, we met while working in Chicago at a logistics firm and grew a close friendship talking over emails about our dreams of our futures, travel and our families. After 6 months we finally took the plunge and went on our first date and the rest is history. Being with him felt familiar and safe and warm and like a piece of me that was always missing was found. He was caring and compassionate and didn’t have a selfish bone in his body; he was so different from anyone I had ever met. When we started planning our wedding we knew we wanted it to replicate how we felt when we were together-carefree, warm and inviting.

Jeremiah and I were those nerds that started planning our wedding about three months after we got engaged. We just knew it was going to happen and I have always been an organized and chaotic nut. He was amazingly hands-on throughout the entire process from creating spreadsheets for our vendors to helping me pick out each and every decor item and dessert. It was such a blessing to have someone who was the perfect teammate!

The first and best choice we made was choosing Lauren Wakefield to be our photographer. When we met it was over a glass of sangria at a little pub in Chicago where we talked for hours like old friends. She shot our fantastic engagement photos first and made both of us feel way less awkward than we anticipated so by the time she shot our wedding it was a breeze! She has a talent that is rare to be seen, knowing how to capture the softest moments and make them feel real again when you see them in a photo. She is a true treasure and just a beautiful person inside out. I can tell you now she will be the one documenting every other important part of my life! (Sorry for your luck Lauren)

We knew we wanted a rustic outdoor setting and we loved the idea of having our guests be able to interact with the venue. We found Oak Hill after hours and hours of googling and as soon as we walked onto the property we knew it was where we would get married. The owner, Becky, was absolutely amazing and took the time to sit down with us, take a tour and detail out the best ways to handle everything. Her family had originally spent summers on the land and after several years of collecting antiques (including an amazing 1960s church that was actually moved by flatbed to their land in honor of her father) they have turned it into a one-of-a-kind wedding venue. She was an absolute Godsend throughout the process, we had to have exchanged over 200 emails in the course of a year and she made it all so much easier on us.

She gave us several referrals to local catering services, florists and bakeries which we chose with ease. Our baker, Mary did a phenomenal job on our beautiful dessert table from her homemade pies to the decadent carrot cake. They were all gone by the time I made my way over there so she must have done something right! Our florist, Jean and I also became fast friends exchanging tons of emails and calls so she could perfect our centerpieces and bouquets. She outdid herself. Not only were they breathtaking but just exactly what I was looking for.

We also found an incredibly talented band in Chicago-One, Unity Candle. They were easy to work with, so friendly and even helped us out with our ceremony music by letting one of their singers sing my favorite song ‘I Have and Always Will’ by Dave Barnes as I walked down the aisle. They got everyone on the dance floor during the reception and even let Jeremiah and the band he used to play with a few years back get on stage with their instruments! It was the best moment of the entire wedding seeing my husband sing on stage at his own wedding and we had several people tell us in the coming weeks that it was the best wedding band they had yet to see.

I was also blessed with an amazing family to say the least. My mother, sister, aunt and cousin all had big hands in creating the elegant country wedding we both so dearly wanted. They helped me spend hours upon hours creating honey jar favors, signs for the dessert table, programs and several other paper crafts. A lot of time was spent at JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels and collecting different cake plates from all over. My aunt made the sweet little gingham bow ties for the groomsmen, the flower girl baskets and several other wonderful items that were scattered all over the venue. My bridal party who are my heart and soul also did their part from helping me shop for dresses to writing out the several chalk boards I found at local flea markets to fluffing up dozens of pom-poms to hang from the ceiling of the tent.

The process of course could be stressful at times but one thing I can’t repeat enough to brides is to let each step of the way be fun, don’t get too down on yourself for forgetting something at home or getting a slightly different colored item than you thought. Also make it your own! We chose a venue that let us choose every vendor and do everything ourselves. Our wedding day went by in a blur just like everyone says it does, we even forgot to cut the cake! But it was completely magical. You don’t realize how much people truly love you and support you until they trek three and a half hours to come for your special day! Remember the most important thing is that you are marrying this person who is going to be your everything and that you will always get through every stressful part that comes up because you are in it together.

Photography: Lauren Wakefield | Floral Design: Garden Party Florist | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Bakery: Sweetheart Bakery of Galena | Catering: Cindy's Catering | Band: We, Unity Candle | Hair + Makeup: Blend Beauty Studio | Wedding Venue: Oak Hill Weddings