If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that a good wedding doesn’t just stop and end with the design details. Ohhh no, there’s so much more that goes into said celebration that you’ve really got to stop and appreciate all the pretty that’s produced. Take this perfect fall inspired soiree as proof. From the stunning LOVA WEDDINGS gown, to the mini bourbons in honor of the Groom’s late father, to the cozy pashmina scarfs to keep guests warm, Q Avenue Photo captured it all to share in The Vault!
From The Bride…After the thrill of our engagement, the planning and execution of our 200 guest fall wedding was truly a family affair. From my mother and I designing and planning every detail of this day together, to my father singing our first dance song and hand-making 12 rustic farm tables for the reception, each and every element was carefully thought out and created with love and purpose!
My husband Kyle and I grew up in the same Chicago suburb and after moving downtown, we originally thought our wedding would take place in the city. I had plans for a rustic and glam soiree in a shabby-chic Chicago warehouse, but then we stumbled upon Oak Hill Farm: a little slice of heaven on earth. Tucked in the rolling hills of the Midwest (in Galena, IL about three hours west of downtown Chicago), it was the most beautiful, peaceful piece of land we had ever seen! The privately owned horse farm doubles as a wedding venue and home to the family who lives there, and we knew immediately that this is where we were meant to get married. As a major horse lover and former equestrian, the thought of us tying the knot in their vintage 19th century chapel that sits atop the back hill, with four blonde clydesdale horses galloping in the background, was almost too good to be true! With our hearts set on a Fall wedding, we booked October 10th, 2015 and the planning began.
As a business owner of busywrist with a passion for all things visual and unique, I knew from the start that aspects of our wedding would be non-traditional. I wanted our wedding to reflect our style; tasteful yet minimal with a bit of an edge. I love simplicity and a neutral color palette, and therefore quickly decided to have my six bridesmaids wear white full-length dresses with me (something that definitely raised a lot of eyebrows at first) and also decided against traditional flowers at the wedding (cue more eyebrow raises), with the exception of my gorgeous bouquet. I also personally created our menus, programs, invitation suite and save-the-dates, and tried to reflect the simple, rustic, yet modernistic vibe we were trying to evoke.
My mother and I were determined to design and execute this wedding ourselves, something we both thoroughly enjoyed, and at times admittedly detested! I had dreams of filling the tent at Oak Hill with shades of white, hints of gold, and rustic hues; lush greenery table runners against dark provincial farm tables, oversized vases filled with impossibly tall branches, lace layered on linens to create texture at the round tables, and brass candlesticks lining the tables holding a romantic, open tapered flame. My father is a mason contractor and all around talented handy-man, thanks to him our vision was able to come to life. He built 12 huge, ten-person farm tables by hand, which we interspersed throughout the tent in combination with 10 round tables to seat our 200 guests. Additionally, he hand carved slabs of limestone with slits to accommodate our guest’s place cards (an idea my mother and I had after racking our brains to come up with something we hadn’t seen before), as well as chunks of stone for the tables that I then painted numbers on. At each table we decided to gift our guests with items to “keep them warm” on that cool Fall evening. We hung white pashmina scarves on the backs of all the ladies chairs, and for the men, miniature bottles of Knob Creek Bourbon were placed at the head of their plates. The Knob Creek was a touching tribute (perhaps my favorite detail of the wedding) to my husband’s late father – it was his drink of choice and we felt it the perfect way to honor him that day.
As for the fashion! The road to my dream-gown was long and windy, but well worth the journey. If I could somehow wear that dress every day for the rest of my life, I would. I wanted a non-traditional, long sleeve gown. I’m not a “girly girl” and was looking for something sleek and minimalistic, yet elegant and bold. Easy, right? I had an idea of what I was looking for, but knew it had to be custom made to fit me properly and after many failed attempts at finding the right designer to work with, I finally happened upon my couture fairy godmother, Lovisa Tedestedt of LOVA Weddings. Lovisa helped design me the most perfect dress, and it fit me like a glove. We decided to overlay a thin, dreamy tulle skirt over the dress for the ceremony look, which I then took off for the reception. The amazing veil I wore was made by Theia. As soon as I laid eyes on it I knew the hundreds of cascading silk petals would be the perfect added touch to my simple, chic, backless gown. My ceremony shoes were a pair of Sam Edelman kitten heels and I later traded those in for my go-to white Adidas Originals sneakers for the reception! As for the groom, my fiance and I both loved the idea of him and his groomsmen wearing blue (the only real color at our wedding!), and he had a beautiful suit custom made at Alton Lane.
Aside from trying to perfect all the details, all Kyle and I cared about was everyone having fun. We wanted the wedding to be unlike anything our guests had ever been to, and thanks to Oak Hill Farm and our families, we were able to do just that. Their unique property allowed us to create an adventure for our guests, with so much to see and do (beautiful horses, an old schoolhouse where the cocktail hour was held, a replica “country store” where they could look around and help themselves to a candy bar, and so much more). We both come from very large families, and we were truly ecstatic to see them all in one place. Everyone made a weekend out of it, and we loved having so many people join us for a mini-vacation out in the Midwestern countryside. My father is also an incredibly talented musician, and the awesome band we hired was cool enough to not only let him sing our first dance song, but they also let my dad and his band do a set of songs later on in the reception. The night was just perfect. We ate a “fancy barbeque” themed meal, drank, danced, sang, laughed, and danced some more!
Photography: Q Avenue Photo | Cinematography: Eric Floberg | Floral Design: Flora Chicago | Floral Design: Hy-Vee | Wedding Dress: LOVA WEDDINGS | Bride's Shoes: Sam Edelman | Rings: Diana Widman Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Revolve Clothing | Makeup: Krystyn Johnson | Hair: Samara Toby | Band: Hey Jimmy | Groom's Attire: Alton Lane | Venue: Oak Hill Weddings | Bridesmaids Gifts: Busywrist Bracelets | Catering + Desserts: Rafters Restaurant and Catering | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Invitations, Menus + Programs: Megan McMillin | Linen Rentals: Inside Decor | Veil: Theia