landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

Classic and beautiful. Sometimes that’s all a good wedding needs to be. Rebecca and Jonathan’s Midwest wedding is exactly what makes Midwest weddings so magical – the love, the simple and pretty details, and the support of a loving family. That’s what I love about the Midwest and the people who live there. Humbled, simple and full of life.

Dreaming Tree Photography

From the Bride:
Our story starts many moons ago when we first met in Kindergarten. We hung out and drank chocolate milk together in between craft and nap times….but in all seriousness, we’ve known each other for a long time and have been great friends along the way. We grew up together, going to the same grade school, junior high and high school and hanging out in the same circle of friends (who were all involved in our wedding and we still love and spend time with to this day!). We even went to a high school dance together, but we were always just friends trying to figure life out.

Eventually we graduated and moved on to college. I went one direction and he went another, moving states away and only seeing each other every so often if he came back for the holidays. After being away from his family for a few years, he decided to move back to get his Master’s degree and be closer to home. The stars must have aligned because we randomly ran into each other out and about one night after not seeing each other in a year or two. We started catching up and realized how much we had missed talking to each other and how much time had passed since the last time we spoke. After a few weeks of playing catch up on each other’s lives, he asked me out on an official date. I think we were both a little worried about the chance of it ruining our friendship if it didn’t work out, but we were willing to take that risk. And as they say it, the rest is history! We’ve been together ever since and we truly are best friends.

After two years of dating, he asked me to marry him (and for a girl who swore she’d never get married, this was a BIG deal). I of course said yes and began planning the biggest event of my life to this date. We both come from VERY large families and being from a small town, you know just about everyone so we knew our wedding would not be a small engagement. Since I wasn’t the girl who had been thinking about her wedding day since she was 5, I was in fact the exact opposite; our main goal of the wedding was to throw a celebration that showcased our love for each other and our personalities. If I had to describe the style, it would be simple elegance with a whole lot of fun mixed in.

While the details were important, we wanted to keep the main reason for this wedding at the forefront: we are embarking on a commitment to join our lives and families together because of our friendship and deep love for one another. That’s what weddings are supposed to be about. Yes, programs, invites and flowers are important but what matter’s most is that you are surrounded by people who you love and care to share something to special with – and that’s exactly what we did!

The wedding went off without a hitch and we definitely had a fantastic time with our friends and families – my feet have never been so sore from so much dancing! It was fabulous!

And, if I could give any advice to a bride-to-be it would be to not sweat the small stuff and to just enjoy the day because it truly does go by so fast. Most people don’t remember the details, but they do remember if you had a smile on your face. Things might go wrong, but just remember why you’re planning this day in the first place.

Reception Venue: St. Libory Hall | Ceremony Venue: St. Anthony’s Parish | Photography: Dreaming Tree Photography | Florist: Ahner’s Florist | Cake: Erin Daley | Invitations: The Aerialist Press | Band: Downtime Band | Wedding Gown: Bride’s by Demetrios | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein | Hair Stylist: Sanctuary Salon and Spa

It’s been a while since the last Tuesday Shoesday. And, when you spot a pair (or a couple of pairs) that are perfect, you know you have to feature them. Not only does the bride have a fun pair, but each of her bridesmaids did, too. All the more reason to share.

Jaclyn Marie Photography

CF Photography

I just love outdoor weddings. I love their personality, their romance and their enchanting beauty. Amber & Bryan’s outdoor Wisconsin wedding is no exception.  From the ceremony programs to the guest book map, the vintage china to the twine wrapped menus, each unique detail complimented the other effortlessly. Their venue provided a breathtaking fall backdrop, while the elements of DIY only enhanced the personalized, fun feel of this wedding.

Anda Marie Photography

From the Bride
Bryan loves to fish and Amber loves the movie ‘Big Fish’. The story was shot in a way that shows your memory or recollection of events being so much more beautiful or exaggerated than they actually looked at the time. For instance, when he sees his future wife for the first time, in his retelling of how it happened, time stopped. They were in a circus tent with strung lights and when he meets eyes with her popcorn stops in midair and it is just her walking towards him. Oddly enough that is how we decided to incorporate cotton…it looks cartoon like and playful and reminded me so much of that movie. Also in the movie, the father is a notorious truth stretcher which couldn’t be closer to our dads…in a small way it was paying respects to where we came from. As far as decor I focused on the term ‘hippy chic’. I love vintage but am not an overly fancy girl so we wanted to mix rustic with nostalgic old things like china and vintage candle holders. It was a big DIY undertaking but I was so at peace with how everything turned out, and I had such an enormous amount of fun that I never experienced those wedding ending blues that I hear about. We made our own invitations, place cards, bought all of the tablecloths and china, made the table numbers, bought the centerpiece flowers the day before and assembled them over wine…it took a lot of work but we were thrilled with the result. The idea was to keep the colors simple and not follow any theme so that we had more room to ‘exaggerate’ details. The dinner being served family style was a must because I come from an Italian family and there is no greater joy than good food being passed around with loved ones. We follow the standard that sharing a meal is the best way to show love so we put our personal touches on the menu which included gnocchi and wild game sausage. Dessert was cannoli with a homemade shot of Baileys. The goal was that we didn’t want people leaving our wedding saying it was the most beautiful one they ever attended because quite frankly only the bride and groom really fully ‘get it’ that day. We did however want people leaving saying that was the best party and dance floor I have ever seen. We certainly feel like it was mission accomplished and when we reflect on that day as a couple, it will be remembered as dreamlike and as if time stopped.

Ceremony/Reception Venue: Dillman’s Bay Resort   |  Caterer: The Rusty Platter  |  Band: Bent Grass  |  Rentals: Sam’s Rental  |  Flowers: DePere Floral  |  Invitations: Created by the bride’s brother-in-law  |  Vintage Dishes: Provided by bride’s mother-in-law  |  Wedding Gown: Pronovias  |  Bridesmaid Dresses: Cynergy Arts  |  Photographer: Anda Marie Photography

Although you could never pay me enough money to trash my dress, I sure do love when there is a bride out there willing to go for it. Ally is a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, so she decided to have a little fun Mad Hatter style by “painting the roses red!”

Studio Laguna Photography

From the Photographer:
Ally wanted to trash her dress, her huge, gorgeous lovely dress. She wanted to take scissors to it and embrace her rock’n roll side of her personality. Both she and her husband, David, like Alice in Wonderland, so we decided to tell that story with Ally as Alice and David at the Mad Hatter. We found a private residence that is an antiques graveyard for all manners of items, from an old plane, to a row of train cars, to random dishware. We asked A Milestone Paper Company to create a couple of accessories for us, bought some white roses, and braved the 100+ degree heat for our shoot. By the end, Ally was grateful to cut through the layers and layers of dress to make it short and sassy…and check out those SHOES! 

Not only does Megan and Brandon’s wedding have a fabulous story, but the prairie backdrop that Kansas has to offer is just beautiful. When a couple makes every effort to make a wedding personal and memorable, you know the outcome will be nothing but awesome. I love how no matter what could have happened on their big day, Megan didn’t care so long as she got to marry her best friend.

Red Barn Wedding Photography

From the Bride:
Our wedding in one word: joy. Those surrounding me kept commenting on how calm I was during the preparations. In fact, neither my husband nor I had any nerves at all. We both knew that at the end of the day, not matter what went wrong, I would walk down than aisle and we would be married. That is something I would encourage engaged couples to remember. The wedding day is a very special day. Of course who doesn’t want the perfect wedding? But during all the business of the day, only two things truly matters; the love the two of you share and the life you are starting together. In fact, five months before my wedding I had blogged my wedding “nightmares.”

On my wedding day, that is all I felt. My dream had come true, minus all the mishaps.

We had been dating for three years and engaged for one. I have two older sisters and we all three got engaged within three months of each other and married within a year of each other. I was the last.

The week before the wedding, someone asked my dad if he felt any different or if it were more difficult since I am the baby, and I would be the last daughter he would walk down the aisle. He told them that he didn’t think it would be any more difficult. But as he walked into the room to see his baby girl, all dressed in white, he whispered, “it is different” as tears streamed down his face. I will never forget that moment when I saw myself through my daddy’s eyes. His baby girl, truly grown into a woman. I saw that transformation in his eyes.

Brandon and I chose not to do a reveal before the wedding. This was the specific request of my husband. My sister’s mentioned that their reveals were a very special time, but Brandon was insistent that he wanted to wait. It was worth the wait for us. The moment the doors opened, the music tapered off. The single melody line of a violin rang through the church as I stepped out towards my life as a married woman, towards the man beaming at the end of the aisle. I have always been self-conscious in front of large crows. I thought I would be nervous, but as soon as our eyes locked, I was completely focused on our love. That was one of my favorite moments of the day. During the ceremony, our eyes seldom left each other’s.

Our gifts that we exchanged before the ceremony were also memorable. I surprised him by sending my sister over to where he was getting ready. She pulled him aside and handed him a photo album entitled, “For His Eyes Only.” Our wedding photographers had done a boudoir shoot with me before the wedding. That was probably the best gift I could have given him. The look on Brandon’s face was priceless.

His gift to me made me cry. Our first Christmas together I had given him a Celtic cross necklace with the Claddagh symbol in the middle. His family is predominately Irish and the Irish Claddagh is a symbol for love, loyalty and friendship. This became the basis for our relationship and it is centered in the cross, our shared faith. He looked around until he found a beautiful white gold necklace to match his. He wanted to start out marriage off with those same symbols. It was a beautiful analogy.

We had many special moments during the time I was getting ready with my bridesmaids. Laughter and joy filled the room as we tossed makeup and hairspray around to each other. After my mom slipped the dress on my body and placed the veil on my head, I turned to face my special friends. My sisters, my mom, my mother-in-law and my friends were completely silent as tears and smiles touched everyone’s faces. Pure joy filled the room. They all gathered around me and I knew this marriage was blessed by my friends and family.

We may not have had the most expensive or lavish wedding, but every detail was put together through love. Don’t lose yourself in the wedding details. Don’t lose sight of the end goal. Don’t lose sight of your relationship. It can be easy to fret over what color dresses should be worn, what food should be served or what flowers should grace the tables. But in the end, focus on the man at the end of the aisle. Everything else fades quickly away, I promise.

My husband and I were both raised in Kansas. We love our Midwest roots and we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. We got married in Eudora, Kan. and our reception was in Baldwin City, Kan.

My mother-in-law decorated the dressing rooms doors with bride and groom Barbies. It was a special and fun touch. The truck we drove away in is my husband’s classic 1966 Chevy pickup. He got it as a teenager and restored it himself.

My colors were crimson, yellow, black and white. We got married on June 18, 2011. We made the photo wall where guests could take pictures as a “photo booth.” Antique pictures frames were hung around vintage lace patterns.

Our first dance song was “Like Red on a Rose” by Alan Jackson. I gave each of my bridesmaids a locket that I individually picked from Etsy. Inside each locket were quotes and messages about how much each person means to me.

Ceremony Venue: Eudora Baptist Church | Reception Venue: Stony Point Hall | Photographer: Red Barn Wedding Photography | Florist: Cranberry Market Floral (Bridal bouquet / Boutonniere) | Catering: Leroy’s BBQ | DJ: Complete Music | Wedding Gown: Casablanca Bridal from Mia’s Bridal | Groomsmen Attire: Mia’s Bridal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Individually chosen by bridesmaids | Cake: Cakes by Brandi

Laura Ann Miller Photography

Carrie and Andrew’s wedding was filled with so much fun. So much. And, it’s incredibly obvious in each and every photo. The dancing, the laughter, those smiles. Beautiful and magical.

Oh, and her Jenny Packham dress? Stunning.

Kara Pearson Photography

From the Photographer:
Carrie and Andrew were married at theWit hotel in downtown Chicago. Carrie wore a glamorous wedding dress by Jenny Packham and had a few fantastic accessories for added bling. They decided to do a first look on the rooftop of theWit, which worked out great considering the perfect spring weather. We then followed that up by portraits along the river. Their ceremony was inside the hotel, and was officiated by the groom’s dad. The part moved upstairs to the rooftop bar at the Wit while the ceremony space was flipped for the reception. They started the reception off with a bang with their first dance then a champagne toast that definitely set the stage for a dance party. DJ Phantom from WGCI (radio station) got the party bumping as soon as everyone had finished eating.

Ceremony / Reception Venue: theWit Hotel | Wedding Gown: Jenny Packham from the Ultimate Bride | Jewelry: Left Bank | Shoes: Left Bank | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Florist: Scarlet Petal | Makeup Artist: Sarah Betancourt | Hair Stylist: Karla Guccione | Bakery: Take the Cake | Reception Entertainment: DJ Phantom | Wedding Coordinator: Donna Battaglia | Photography: Kara Pearson Photography

I could honestly listen to a couple’s story for hours. There is something about seeing them interact and the sparkle in their eye when talking about how much they love each other. After watching The Vow this weekend, it resonated with me over the fact that every couple’s story can be so enchanting. So full of life. Amy and Jason’s story is just that. The love behind their wedding and their marriage is why you see me posting on this blog and sharing beautiful photos. Because, love is worth being heard.

Kristin La Voie Photography

From the Bride:
We were married on 3/24/12 in Elmhurst, Illinois at the Hammershmidt Chapel. We selected the Elmhurst College Chapel because that is where Amy went to College. She had many fond memories of speakers, events and services at the Chapel. We also loved the serene nature of the campus filled with trees.

We met when I was running a few errands at Gurnee Mills and Jason, a recent transport to the Great Lakes Navy Base was out shopping as well. I passed by the Sunglass Hut and Jason approached me asking what I thought of the sunglasses he had selected. This was his way to start a conversation and before we knew it we both began talking and grabbed some coffee at the Starbucks nearby.

While we were dating, we had many great memories including a Halloween party held at my house where I dressed up as a sailor to surprise Jason. With Jason’s packed schedule with duty every other weekend and my insane 7 day work week at the time we both found we had to make every minute count. We planned many outings to explore Chicago more including Fox Lake bar crawls, downtown museum visits and concerts. Before we knew it we became the best of friends and knew within the first few months that we had found the most amazing love imaginable.

When Jason was set to move to his next duty station in Norfolk, Virginia, the largest Navy Base in the world, we both talked about how much we loved each other and took a lot of time thinking about our future. Jason knew he wanted to propose to me and Amy knew she was ready to make a commitment to move to be with Jason. After one evening out for dinner we decided to relax and take a nap. Shortly after Jason began to profess his love and got on one knee and proposed. It was the romantic day. His words were perfect.

Our advice for others planning a wedding is nothing wrong with having a longer engagement. We had to make a tough choice with this. Since Jason was going on a deployment and since I just had secured a good job, I stayed here in Illinois. We set our date and decided we’d do long distance so that we could get things in order. In today’s day in age many couples need to pay for their own weddings. We were fortunate to have our parents help us with some smaller items but had to develop a savings plan. We ultimately felt so proud that we were able to take the time to plan things out and save.

Also, it’s great to take advice from friends and family. Sometimes when choosing a theme, colors or a vendor they are able to give you insight. Remember not to worry too much about coordinating your theme because when it comes down to it everything comes together. The same goes for stress. Remember to relax and delegate a bit. One of the bridesmaids reminded us to delegate and that was great advice. Lots of people want to help you but often aren’t wanting to get in the way. It’s okay to ask!

Ceremony Venue: Hammerschmidt Chapel, Elmhurst College Campus | Reception Venue: Bristol Court | Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Wedding Gown: Allure Bridals | Bridesmaids Dresses: House of Brides | Groomsman Attire: Black Tie Formalwear | Shoes: David’s Bridal | Bride’s Engagement / Wedding Rings: Jared | Other Jewelry: A’Lamour Bridal Boutique | Groom’s Wedding Band: Donna Jewelry | Hair: Paulina Badalof | Makeup: Tomi Schatz | Cake: Bristol Court | DJ: DJ Frankie Fiore (Francesco L Fiorentino) | Linens / Decor : Bristol Court | Florist: Aberdeen’s | Wedding Planner: Honey Bee Weddings

Becky Brown Photography

From the Photographer:
I knew the bride-to-be from college and I was thrilled to be shooting their engagement photos and upcoming wedding on March 31st, 2012. She is always so fun and full of energy. I met the couple at Lucas Oil Stadium where the Colts play. Although they had a horrible season, Sarah and David are true fans:) We did some shots around the stadium and then the clouds and sprinkles started to roll as we changed outfits and headed to the Canal for some city shots. These two were troopers with the rain. We continued to shoot during the sprinkles, hiding under overhangs etc. By the end of the shoot it was coming down pretty hard and I wanted to attempt some final rain shots – I asked them if they would be okay with that and without hesitation they said yes! The shots with the umbrella at end are what resulted – some of my favorite and most unique engagement photos to date!