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landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

Fall colors have a nice little warm spot in my heart. Add that crisp in the air and you’ve won me over. Fall is my favorite season for a wedding (and why I married in the Fall, myself). Valerie and Aaron’s wedding is just full of Fall. And, love. And, sweet and personal details. It’s the type of wedding that warms your heart and makes you fall in love with Fall.








Simply Jessie Photography


From the Bride:
Our wedding was October 2, 2010, at the Peggy Notebaert Museum. It was truly the first real Chicago fall day of the season — complete with wind, a bit of rain, and temperatures 20 degrees below those of the day before. But luckily it didn’t get in the way of what was the most memorable day. The sun came out for pictures (we did a “first look” and family pictures before the ceremony so we could enjoy the cocktail hour and reception to their fullest!) and the floor to ceiling windows of the Nature Museum made the ceremony feel both open and intimate, despite being inside.

Aaron and I wanted to combine both the architectural elements of the city with with more natural details, and the venue was perfect for that, with the skyline in the background and lush green and fall colors all around us. Our primary color was orange for fall, which we tempered with steel grey, so our flowers combined the bright orange with the architectural angularity of the square vases. And, Aaron designed all our invitations, programs, cd covers, and gift bags.

My sister designed our gorgeous decoupage Ketubah, which is now hanging in our apartment. The Chuppah was made out of birch, incorporated both my sister’s and great-great-grandmother’s veils. On the lighter side, we’ve never thrown a party without jello shots, so we designed special stickers to go with the peach (orange!) shots we served throughout the night! We also love to go to live shows together, so we handed out mixes of “Songs We Love from Bands We’ve Seen Together” as favors.

Our first dance was such a perfect moment — just the two of us, surrounded by all the love of our friends and family. When Valerie’s mom broke out in a song she wrote to the tune of “My Favorite Things” during her toast, we could hardly contain ourselves.

Despite us living in Brooklyn, I am from Chicago and Aaron is from South Dakota. Being able to have so many of our friends and family there was incredibly important to both of us. Plus, everyone is just so nice in Chicago!

If I could offer any piece of advice to the to-be-weds, but have fun and make it yours (I know it sounds hokey). We had such a blast planning all the personal little details!


Ceremony / Reception Venue: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Catering: Food for Thought | Cupcakes: More Cupcakes | Wedding Gown: Custom made gown by Alice Padrul | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids dresses: Amsale | Groom’s Attire: Alton Lane (so cool – they do a full body scan to get your measurements and you pick your material and details) | Photography: Simply Jessie Photography | Stationery: Aaron (the Groom) | Flowers: Roscoe Blooms | Photo Booth (and resulting guest book!): Shutterbox | Makeup: Sean Stevenson | DJ: Amanda at Toast & Jam

It’s definitely no secret my heart’s in Colorado.  I was thrilled when Jessica from A Vintage Affair Rentals contacted me about a recent styled bridal shoot she put together with some great mountain vendors.  She clued me in by sharing her Pinterest inspiration board.  Sort of felt like I was in on the planning (even thought I wasn’t).  I could not wait to see what she put together.  This vintage, mountain-inspired session has so many elements of Colorado that I just love. The scenery. The mountains. The horses. Nature. Oh, man, Mother Nature.  And, did I mention details?









Laura Murray Photography


From Jessica:
For this shoot I wanted to do something very “Colorado” in the mountains. Inspiration that brides could really relate to. The new venue- Deer Creek Valley Ranch was perfect for it. It has a ton of great history (once was a stage coach stop between Denver and Fairplay), is family owned, and even has the gorgeous Mount Evans as a backdrop. We focused on keeping with natural colors to compliment the scenery. Each and everyone one the vendors worked hard for this shoot together. Laura Murray has an eye for catching all of the perfect shots and details. Hailey Middleton, not only has that timeless beauty, but every singe second she was posing. She really knows how to work the camera. The dress, Fawn by Vera loaned to us by Anna-Be Bridal Boutique, was a dream. The make-up by Natosha Cooke Make Up Artistry really enhanced Hailey’s natural features. For the hair, Brandice Boss did a wonderful job styling Hailey’s hair with a unique braided look that complimented the inspiration. And Fleur Decor rose to the challenge of creating flowers for not just Hailey, but a horse. They not only looked gorgeous, but apparently were tasty because both horses keep trying to eat them. All in all, it came together better than I imagined.  


Rentals / Styling: A Vintage Affair Rentals | Photographer: Laura Murray Photography | Venue: Deer Creek Valley Ranch | Model: Hailey Middleton, Agency: Wilhelmina Denver | Dress: Fawn by Vera Wang from Anna-Be Bridal Boutique | Make-Up: Natosha Cooke Make Up Artistry | Flowers: Fleur Decor | Hair: Brandice Boss

Yeah, it may be Fall (also known as my favorite season), but the temps have been mild enough that it is still perfectly okay to sport a peep-toe. In hot pink, nonetheless.


Amy Rae Photography

For more Tuesday Shoesday goodness, hop over to Simply & Forever, Heart Love Weddings, Life in the Super Burbs, Brancoprata, Postcards and Pretties, Magnolia Rouge, and Marry You Me!

Don’t forget to catch Part One.










Jeremy Lawson Photography



Ceremony / Reception Venue: Salvage One | Caterer: C Catering Boutique | Cake: Rolf’s Patisserie | Photographer: Jeremy Lawson Photography | Videographer: James Meyers | DJ: Toast & Jam | Flowers: A Florae | Decor: So Great To See You! (The bride and groom’s current start-up) | Photobooth: 312Photobooth | Dress: WTOO | Bridesmaid Dresses: Mindi Thompson | Hair: Twisted Scissors | Bowtie: Animal Print

There has always been something about the way Jeremy captures love that I have swooned over since the second I stumbled upon his work. He always manages to book the coolest of couples, with the quirkiest (and funnest) of styles. Not to mention, he always finds the the most awesome locations in Chicago. Catching up on his blog posts is a huge treat for me.

Patrick and Molly’s wedding has all the elements of retro, vintage, fun and love. Starting with their venue, Salvage One. To all of their reception details. And, the fact that they both sang at the reception. This wedding has so many great photos form Jeremy, with so many awesome details I had to break it into two posts. Check back this afternoon for part two and a look into their reception.








Jeremy Lawson Photography


From the Groom:
As a product of Match.com, our connection has been strong from the very start and we still continue to discover things we have in common. Over the 9 months of planning our wedding we really loved working together to create our perfect day. We were both 100% involved each step of the way and collaborated on all of our designs. As lovers of all things vintage, our decor was based around items that had a definable aged character. Our selected color scheme became yellow, blue, white and gray. A potentially popular scheme, but we felt a humid July evening would welcome the colors.

We are also in love with good music, good food and good beer, so there was plenty to be had. It was important to us that each detail was perfect so that our guests would be as comfortable as possible. Seeing everyone wave our “hoo-ray” flags as we walked back down the aisle was a wonderful feeling. We got to toast to our love with growlers of beer from Revolution Brewery, a favorite local brewery just down the street from where we live. Guests who collected all 4 of our buttons and had them proudly displayed made us feel really loved throughout the night. We have so much to be thankful for and we wanted to share that with everyone. The best part of our night was thanking all of our family and friends for joining us that evening by serenading them with a few tunes. Overall, everything went smoothly, and we were left with amazing memories to enjoy for many years to come!


Ceremony / Reception Venue: Salvage One | Caterer: C Catering Boutique | Cake: Rolf’s Patisserie | Photographer: Jeremy Lawson Photography | Videographer: James Meyers | DJ: Toast & Jam | Flowers: A Florae | Decor: So Great To See You! (The bride and groom’s current start-up) | Photobooth: 312Photobooth | Dress: WTOO | Bridesmaid Dresses: Mindi Thompson | Hair: Twisted Scissors | Bowtie: Animal Print

Happy first day of Fall!




Benfield Photography









David Orndof Photography

Emily & Drew from Johnny Clark on Vimeo.


From the Bride:
Drew and I had a wonderful wedding weekend in Lake Geneva! We went up with our families early to the resort to enjoy shopping and spa treatments (golf for the boys)! Our ceremony was held out on the golf course in front of a lake. Our cocktail hour and reception was held inside the Grand Geneva Resort. We had wonderful weather that day (you never know with Wisconsin summers)! Our dinner was super tasty and we followed the night away with a photobooth and a night of dancing!

Our ballroom decorations were simply breathtaking! We were blown away by the lighting, candles and decor! We worked with Tailored Engagements to make my vision of a simple modern/elegant wedding come alive! Everything was planned in great detail and Drew and I enjoyed every minute of planning together. We met in college in our freshmen year and have been growing our relationship ever since. We are best friends and enjoy traveling and watching movies! Following our wonderful wedding day we went on our honeymoon cruising through the Mediterranean sea. We stopped in Spain, France and Italy. It was such an amazing cruise! We look forward to going on more together!


Photographer: David Orndof Photography | Videographer: Johnny Clark | Ceremony / Reception Venue: Grand Geneva Resort | Florist: Jaimer’s Floral | Event Coordination / Styling: Tailored Engagements | Cake: Grand Geneva Resort | Jewelry: Swarovski | Dress: kathy ireland Weddings by 2be | Suits: JoS. A Banks

I’m breaking my own rules today.  Since this Friday is the first official day of Fall, I couldn’t pass on featuring this session. It takes place in the heart of summer, on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago.  And, with two days left to spare, I wanted to share the adorableness that is this session, with a bonus video to boot, thanks to Bethany of Maypole Studios.

From Bethany:
Jessica and Ross were inspired by many wedding blogs to personalize their session, to the max! We went to the beach (Oak Street beach in Chicago), set up a picnic area, played in the sand and ate sushi! And, 3 line 9 Productions tagged along to capture a sweet engagement video.



Maypole Studios

jessica + ross | first day of my life from 3 line 9 productions on Vimeo.

When Lori of I Do Films first shared this video, I got quite excited.  This wedding has so many wonderful elements (including environmentally friendly ones), but the most important obviously being the love between Eli and David.  But, after watching it a second, and then a third time, I just loved the life at this wedding. It leaves you with a smile on your face and full heart.

I don’t know where to start with this film. Just the spirit, conversation and joy at the beginning are enough to fill your heart. But, the end? Oh my stars (thank you Emily for this phrase). The end is magical beyond words. Sometimes it rains on your wedding day (mine included). And, while most have a plan B, sometimes plan B isn’t worth it. Sometimes plan A was how it was supposed to happen and how it will happen.