Heritage Prairie Farm Wedding
March 6, 2014
CasualRusticRustic Weddings
I dare you to take one look at this glorious Heritage Prairie Farm affair and NOT fall head over heels in love.  Go on, I dare you.  Because this beautiful day captured by Two Birds Photography?  It's the kind of day that seamlessly merges rustic details with elegant stylings and allllll sorts of pretty.  See every last gorgeous moment right here, right now in the full gallery.
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From Two Birds Photography... This was one of those weddings, where after I got home from a long day on my feet, I sat down and thought: "I could shoot a hundred weddings in a row, if they were all like this one."

Simply put, Karis and Dirk had my idea of a perfect wedding. It was laid-back, beautiful, charming and truly spoke to who they were as a couple.

Heritage Prairie Farms in Elburn, IL was the perfect setting for their day. They had a beautiful garden ceremony where the hanging vases of brightly colored flowers were the perfect backdrop for their sweet vows. Their tented reception was filled with laughter and love, and their food was amazing! We loved their favors of organic honey, and their adorable name cards held with little magnetic animals. Closing the evening with marshmallows over a bonfire was, in my book, just right.

From the Bride... I picked my florist, Marla, because she was highly recommended by the venue and she really "got" the vibe of what we were looking for - more rustic and casual. She was also very easy to work with and as the owner of her own business really gave everything a very personal touch.

Toast and Jam has the best reputation of any DJ company I found in Chicago. I loved their list of songs they won't play. That's when I knew we would be music soul mates. I wanted someone who would make sure all of our guests were having fun, not just someone who would play mine and the groom's or their own personal faves. Sarah also played the ceremony music and helped us figure out the order of the evening's events and how things would flow. Everything just happened seamlessly because of her, but not because she was obnoxiously cutting in and making announcements every 10 minutes. She just knew how to run a party!

Hair and makeup were by Montage Salon and Spa in Geneva. They did my hair and makeup and my bridesmaids' hair. I chose them because they were local, highly recommended and would come out to the farm.

Instead of cake, we had pies from Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago. We are both big pie fans and Hoosier Mama was already a favorite place of mine. They were so easy to work with and we had a lot of fun tasting different pies - it was hard to choose! Both of us come from families of pie lovers, so this was just a natural choice.

My friend Adam Randall played "Naked as We Came" by Iron and Wine for the ceremony music. Adam has been one of my best friends since I was 13, and he flew up from Florida to be there, so this was a special moment for me. 

Catering and Alcohol were by the venue, Heritage Prairie Farm. This venue was so perfect for us and our families. It was beautiful and natural and relaxing. They designed a menu based on our favorite foods and our heritage. We both wanted Southern food to be part of the day. We picked the farm because we loved the outdoor setting and the fact that they did pretty much everything - catering, alcohol, planning, linens, decor, etc. This ended up being the best decision we made. Our guests loved the venue and really could relax and enjoy themselves. And the staff could not have been nicer or more helpful.

Photographer was Two Birds, of course.  I initially found Jake by reading the glowing reviews online. When I met with him in person I knew he would be a great fit. He was very easy to talk to and such a genuine person. I have been to weddings where the photographers are yelling at people or disrupting guests to get a good shot, but his approach was much more personal and observant. The wedding party and family members really liked working with him.

Day of coordinator was Laura Naab, a friend and the sister of one of my bridesmaids. She took care of things on that day that I didn't even know were going awry!

Day of stationery (programs, menus, etc.) we did ourselves using an inexpensive publishing software plus multiple trips to Paper Source and Kinkos.

Our photobooth was DIY - we had paper props, a backdrop, and a polaroid and film. People got really creative as the night went on, and we loved looking at these later!

Best moment of the day: After the ceremony was over, we loved going out to the cocktail hour and seeing all of these people we love, from different parts of our lives, meeting each other and having fun. We wanted our guests to have fun more than anything, and to realize how special they were to us. I had printed and hung special photos of many of our guests (old photos of relatives, other friends' weddings, etc.) and watching people laugh and smile as they looked at them was wonderful.

Advice to other couples: Two pieces of advice, really... 1) make it personal - I'll never regret the extra time going through old photo albums, talking about songs we love, personalizing the menu. 2) don't be afraid to ditch a project! - No one is going to remember whether your escort cards looked like something from Pinterest, but they WILL remember if you lose your sanity or become a craftzilla because you've taken on too much.