Any bride who uses her beautiful Vera Wang dress as inspiration for her wedding day is a-okay in my book! In fact, this entire wedding by Jeffrey and Julia Woods ~ Photographers deserves much more than just an easy “A”.  McKinley Park Events has solidified that my favorite color is navy blue and how about the mouth watering cake by Wedding Cake Connection!? {Bra-vo!} Follow your heart to the full gallery for more!

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From the Bride… Ted and I are high school sweethearts, and it was important to us to get married in our hometown. We both envisioned a traditional, luxurious wedding with a focus on family, friends and lots of dancing! Choosing our reception location, The Country Club of Peoria, was an easy choice given that Ted had proposed there. After a year and a half of planning, June 16, 2012 finally arrived and, despite the high heat and humidity, was everything we’d hoped for and more. Both my dress and our invitations provided inspiration for the entire wedding. “Diana” by Vera Wang was my dream dress from the start, and I wanted to carry the gown’s dreaminess and romance through the rest of the wedding. The invitations, made by Arabella Papers and designed by the ladies at The Bronze Frog in Peoria, were glamorous, elegant and introduced our navy blue color scheme.

While we kept our ceremony décor simple, letting the church’s beauty speak for itself, we wanted the reception to really “wow” our guests. With the help of my mom and our oh-so-talented wedding planner, Beth Maxwell, we did just that! The tables in the ballroom were draped in navy blue linens and topped by an ivory cloth trimmed with silver cord. On the corners of each table hung navy ruffles, inspired by the soft ruffles of my dress. We used different chair embellishments at each table, giving the room a textured look. The cake, too, was inspired by the dress. A variety of flowers in shades of cream and blush were used to create lush floral arrangements. My mom, aunt, godmother, grandfather and I made a few of our floral arrangements, while Beth and her team created the rest of the gorgeous centerpieces. The candelabras with dangling crystals – inspired by the crystal-adorned sash I wore for the reception – gave the room just a hint of sparkle and glamour, and the silver mercury glass votives added a soft glow of candlelight. One of my favorite elements of the wedding was the flower arrangement running the length of the head table and draping down its sides. Spot lighting at each table made the centerpieces really stand out, and our escort cards, table numbers and menus incorporated more navy blue into the table setup. For the bar and the outdoor cocktail area overlooking the scenic Illinois River, we wanted a sleeker look. We used silver paillette-covered tablecloths and added glass candlesticks. Blue uplighting gave the bar a modern feel, while white carnival lights strung outside dressed up the patio. Our DJ kept the dance floor packed all night long, and our guests loved the midnight snack of sliders and root beer floats.

We had such a wonderful time celebrating with our friends and family and dancing the night away. Jeffrey and Julia Woods captured each moment and detail of the day to perfection. We can’t thank our vendors, family and friends enough for making our wedding so spectacular!

Wedding Photography + Cinematography: Jeffrey and Julia Woods ~ Photographers / Ceremony: Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Peoria City, Illinois / Reception: Country Club of Peoria in Peoria Heights, Illinois / Wedding Planning: Beth Maxwell of McKinley Park Events / Floral Design: McKinley Park Events / Wedding Cake: Barb Evans of Wedding Cake Connection / Wedding Stationery + Paper Products: Arabella Papers via The Bronze Frog / DJ + Lighting Design: Extreme DJs & Lighting / Wedding Dress + Veil: Vera Wang “Diana” / Bride’s Sash: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Banana Republic / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Hair: Bernadette Stephens of Self Centered Salon (309-673-9900) + Danielle Hayes of Bellezza Hair Design / Makeup: B.Loved Stylists

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