No doubt that this wedding is beautiful, but even more so? It’s filled with meaning. Take the white feather tucked into Annie’s bouquet. Fair warning, you’ll want to grab a few tissues before reading through the sentiment behind it below, but suffice to say that Jacqui Cole Photography has captured it all and we’ve got it waiting for you in The Vault!
From Jacqui Cole Photography… Annie and Dave wed at the stunning Lake Forest Armour House. Their ceremony was amongst the greenery of the gardens and their reception in the historic ballroom. Hints of soft lilac and greenery were the focal colors which complemented the lush backdrop of the gardens perfectly. Annie wore a sleek Elizabeth Fillmore gown while carrying a simple, elegant arrangement of white roses. Tears of joy continued to flow throughout the day. When the rain started falling halfway through their garden ceremony Annie and Dave joined hands and announced for their guests to join them inside. A little rain couldn’t dampen their spirits!
From the Bride..Dave and I dated for about three years before we got engaged. We are obsessed with our German Shepherd, Brandy, so naturally Brandy was involved in the proposal. Dave asked me to go on a lake path walk one Saturday afternoon. Midway through our walk, I tried to get Brandy to pose for a selfie with us with the lake in the background, and Dave snuck around behind me and got down on one knee!
The first vendor I booked, even before I knew the venue, was our photographer, Jacqui Cole. She photographed my friend’s wedding, and I knew that I wanted Jacqui to photograph our wedding, too – not only is she incredibly talented, but she is also such a warm, sweet, and fun person to be around (which is pretty important since she is one of the few people around for some of your most special and intimate moments, like the First Look!). I asked Jacqui for a list of her favorite venues in and around Chicago, and Armour House was one of them. Dave and I visited it and immediately knew that we wanted to get married there!
One of my favorite parts of wedding planning was finding my wedding dress, and it was such a special moment to share with my mom, Maid of Honor, cousin, and aunt. The dress was by Elizabeth Fillmore, from Belle Vie. It was made of French lace, with a low back and ruched detailing…both simple and intricate at the same time. The dress matched the European, vintage, romantic feel of Armour House and its gardens. The dress was also super comfortable and easy to maneuver in (it felt like wearing a nightgown), and I loved the lack of fussiness about it.
I tried to stay with the theme of ease/simple elegance that drew me to my wedding dress. Armour House has so much natural beauty between its stunning gardens and the amazing architecture and details of the interior of the house, so we kept our flowers, by Lake Forest Flowers, and table linens, by BBJ Linens, understated to complement, not compete with, the venue. We also prioritized music for both the ceremony and reception, handpicking all of the selections of both Wellington Strings Quartet and Kate Porter of Toast & Jam DJs.
One of my favorite moments was when Jacqui, my photographer, found a large white feather in the grass during our First Look pictures on the grounds of our venue. She lost her dad a few years ago, and she knew that I had also lost my dad. She told me that her mom has always told her that whenever she sees a white feather, it means her dad is near to her. Jacqui shared this as she handed me the white feather, and I couldn’t believe it! It was one of the most magical moments of my life. Just moments before the ceremony, Eileen from Lake Forest Flowers helped me add the feather to my bouquet, and it was so meaningful to carry the feather with me as I walked down the aisle. Another favorite moment was when Dave and I walked down the grand staircase at Armour House for our introduction at the reception. It was an amazing feeling to look out and see all the smiling, loving faces of all of our favorite people! It was a feeling I’ll never forget.
My biggest tip to future brides is to have someone besides you be in charge of keeping track of time when you and the bridesmaids are getting ready before the ceremony. It did not occur to me to delegate this task, but I wish I had! You’ll be happy to have one less thing on your plate, trusting that someone else can make sure you leave wherever you’re getting ready at the right time. Another little tidbit to pass on – it really will be okay if it rains on your wedding day! It started raining just a few minutes into my outdoor ceremony, and we had to move our 150 guests inside to a new location. It actually made the ceremony feel more exciting and interactive, and I got to walk up and down the aisle twice!
Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Cinematography: Lexoria Wedding Films | Floral Design: Lake Forest Flowers | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore | Cake: Deerfield's Bakery | Reception Venue: Armour House | Hair + Makeup: Debra Petrielli Freelance Hairstylist | DJ: Toast and Jam | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos A Banks | Bridesmaids' Dress: Nordstrom | Dress Store: Belle Vie Bridal | Getting Ready Hotel: Deerpath Inn | Invitaions: Yellow Bird