landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

When I first saw this wedding, I couldn’t believe that it took place right here in the Midwest. The beautiful outdoor setting, the pops of green both in the decor and within the surrounding natural backdrop, the classic elements of black and white to the polka dots – everything looks as if it was taken straight from a magazine. Most people only hope to have a reception as beautiful as this, and lucky for this bride and groom, this was their second celebration as they had gotten married a month earlier in Honolulu, Hawaii (swoon). However, what I love most is that the couple incorporated photos form their wedding in Hawaii into the decor for their at-home reception.

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 Jennifer Jackson Photography

From the Bride:
Growing up I never dreamed about what my wedding day would look like but rather who the man at the end of the aisle was. I wanted someone dashing, like my father, loyal, intelligent, and someone who would always be the greater part of me. It took me many years and relationships before, by chance, I met my future husband. We happened to pass each other in the hallway one day at work. It was love at first sight and we were engaged on Christmas Eve morning 2011.
I didn’t want to get married in a church or make it a big affair. I just wanted the day to be about Andrew and I so we chose a destination wedding on Magic Island on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii at sunset on our 6th anniversary.
Andrew and I knew that many people wouldn’t be able to make the wedding ceremony in Hawaii so we planned a reception a month later at his parent’s home in Geneva, IL. My wonderful mother-in-law and dear friend Kay were the masterminds behind the Bright-Rarey Wedding Reception. Our wedding theme was white/black or opposites attract. We had lots of white paper lanterns hanging from the tent and beautiful, graphic accents of black and white. Kay put together all of the flower displays and table settings and Brenda created the menu and she baked all the cookies for the dessert table. Together Andrew and I created the table thank yous and the little boxes with our favors: a donation to the Smile Train. Kay used my favorite flowers, lilies and orchids, throughout the yard.
I remember walking into the backyard and seeing everything come together and tears formed in my eyes. It was such a beautiful sight. I loved how all the table displays had photos of our wedding ceremony from Hawaii. It was truly everything I had wanted, elegance and romance. The weather was perfect and the food was fantastic. It couldn’t have been a better day for us, and our family and friends’ love and support completed the day for us.


Caterer: Moveable Feast | Floral Designer: Kennicott Brothers | Linens & Coverings: BBJ Linens & Elegant Presentations | Equipment Rentals: Blue Peaks Tents


  1. I love the black and white polka dot details!!

  2. Kay Ertmanis
    9:08 pm on April 2nd, 2013

    Beautiful blog. The pictures show a wonderful perspective. One correction; the floral designer was; Kay Ertmanis. Kennicot was the wholesale floral supplier