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Christina and Aaron had their wedding at her parent’s home in Union Pier, Michigan. The ceremony was held on the private beach overlooking Lake Michigan.  Not only was this an awesome combination of beach and backyard weddings, but it had unique details throughout. Personalized papel picado, luchador catering staff, and an expanding paper cake topper definitely made this wedding one both their guests and this blog will remember.


Photographer: Justin Bursoni Photography / Catering: The Tamale Spaceship / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Stephanie Smith / Flowers & Decor: Dilly Lily / Bride’s Dress: Badgley Mischka / DJ: Style Matters DJ

I feel like everyone I know that isn’t already married has been getting engaged this spring, and a lot of them are planning fall weddings. Today’s wedding is wonderful inspiration for a fall soiree, with the rich color palette, lawn games, and apple cider bar. Danielle and Shane’s personalities also shine through, whether they’re skipping through a field, sipping from some special “wine glasses”, or holding their little boy. This was definitely a day of celebrating love, pulled together with the help of family and friends.


From the Bride:

Shane and I met on what is not the fairly obsolete MySpace. We welcomed our son Gray 3 years later. Shane and I talked on/off about getting married from the beginning. FINALLY in late February of 2012 Shane took me ring shopping… We went to Wedding Day in Burnsville and I picked out 4 rings that I absolutely loved. On April 9, the same day, Shane picked it up!! It burned a hole in his pocket so bad he almost proposed in the middle of Menards…but was able to hold out until we got home later that day. He met me in the door way of our house, got down on one knee and asked me to be his hunting buddy for life, to be his best friend and his wife (not the exact wording, but it’s a little fuzzed in my brain from the good kind of shock). Of course I said YES!
 We originally were not going to set a date right away, but in the end we did: Saturday October 19, 2013. 
 First thing on the list…find a venue that would hold his enormous family! I came across the Crow River Winery out in Hutchinson MN…could hold up to 400 people–our kind of place! It was still in the process of being finished construction wise, but Shane and I took a tour and knew it was the place. We booked it that day… May 2012.
 The process really wasn’t anything truly exciting. I bought things here and there, scoured Pinterest for ideas/inspiration, and leaned quite a bit on my dear friends Stefanie and Stacy who did all my flowers, pulled ideas together for me and thought up the awesome cider/cupcake bar! They also decorated the entire reception…they were the best!
 The day went wonderfully! It was cold, but beautiful. I was so calm and collected through my hair and make up. The girls started getting their dressed on and when that big, beautiful dress came down over my head, that was the end of it…! :-)
 I will never forget our first dance to Trampled by Turtles “Alone” or when it all hit me during the Grand entrance that it all happened…finally making that step with my love that we had talked about taking for 6 years.
 I wouldn’t change a thing about that day or the people in it.  We were surrounded by loved ones and dear friends and that is how it should be!!

Photographer: Sweet Shibui Photography / -- Select Vendor Type --: Creative Beate- Makeup-Lianna, Hair-Priscilla / Flowers & Decor: Personal friends Stefanie Beilby and Stacy Erickson / Videographer: Maggie Wilkinson / Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia / Groom’s Attire: Savvi / Catering: B and P Catering / Cake Baker: Sweet B's Cakes

This traditional church wedding in Milwaukee has gorgeous vintage details and colors: Peach and cream, a refurbish mother’s dress, romantic hanging votives, and unique bridesmaid’s dresses. But hands down, the best detail of this entire wedding is the genuine perma-smile on the groom’s face. It is so evident how joyful and glad he is to be there with his equally sweet, yet more quietly excited bride.


From the Photographer:

Melinda and Patrick wed on a warm late fall day in Wisconsin. Their day was infused with personal touches, vintage, rustic and modern details and had an overall laid-back styling. Mindy’s dress was fashioned from her mother’s vintage wedding gown, reworked to fit her modern/vintage taste. The day was simply perfect! 


Though in a lot of landlocked states it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet, this wedding might change that! With the looming thunderstorm, succulents everywhere, and lighthearted feel, Tasha and Adam’s nuptials in my hometown had me almost able to smell the rain in the air at Forest Park.


From the Photographer:

Tasha and Adam’s wedding had a very laid-back, organic feel.  The style of the day was a little vintage garden, a little country and a little industrial.  Being a very laid-back girl at heart, Tasha’s look was very natural, with simple hair and makeup.  She had two pairs of shoes:  one sparkly pair for the ceremony, and her cowboy boots for some pictures.  The ceremony, at the Jewel Box, in St. Louis’ famous Forest Park, was beautiful.  A small thunderstorm rolled through during the ceremony, and it was actually really lovely to listen to the low rumble of the thunder.  Luckily the rain stopped just in time to leave for pictures in Forest Park!   The lush greens, whites, and purples of the flowers and trees, after the rain, perfectly matched Tasha and Adam’s wedding theme.  The reception, at Sqwire’s, was a very laid-back party.  Tasha and Adam’s friends gave them bean-bag goals, that featured their home states, which guest could play outside. It felt like a fun family get together; no pretenses – just love.


Photographer: Kelly Pratt Photography / Getting Ready Venue: Moonrise Hotel / Ceremony Venue: Jewel Box, Forest Park / Caterer/Reception Venue: The Annex at SqWires / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Friend - Reena Karan / Flowers and Cake Topper: Poppies Design Studio / Bride’s Dress: Elizabeth Filmore, Fleur de Lis Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Hairpiece / Jeweler: Lindwedel Jewelers / Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie / Hairstylist: Philip Johnson Salon / Makeup Artist: Sister; Korey Starkey / Invitations & Stationery: The Firecracker Press, Matty / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids / Groom/Groomsmen's Attire: Stallone's Formal Wear / Cake Baker: The Cakery / DJ: Tom Rogers

A wedding of high school sweethearts is always a very special event. Not only is the story of the couple great, but having been together for so long, the friends and family surrounding the couple often know each other well too, so the party is full of familiar, close guests. This wedding has all of that, in addition to romantic soft details that feel just right for kicking off spring!

 


From the Coordinator:

Kelly and Andrew have such a fun story. They are high school sweethearts who have been together for over a decade! This dynamic made their whole wedding weekend a blast since their families and friends have been intertwined for so long.

After setup was complete and photos were done, it was time for cocktails! Even the occasional sprinkles couldn’t keep guests from the terrace as they enjoyed the amazing string quartet Artistrings and the spectacular setting.

After cocktails, guests made their way into the Pavilion for dinner. The reception was kicked off with bridal party announcements followed by the couple’s first dance. Both sets of parents welcomed guests with heartfelt toasts before the delicious dinner was served by Bauer’s Catering. During the salad course, Kelly and Andrew cut their cake, which was both beautiful and delicious.

After dinner, it was time for dancing. An important moment in the evening was the sibling dance, which really brought Kelly and Andrew’s families together. During dancing the photo booth by The Traveling Photo Booth was open and late night snacks were served. As the evening came to a close, the party really started. The bride and groom provided glow sticks, sunglasses, and other fun items for those left on the dance floor, and it made for a raucous celebration. Style Matters kept the party going strong until the very end. It was a joyous celebration for all involved!


Photographer: Erica Rose Photography / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Five Grain Events / Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Parish--Buffalo Grove, IL / Reception Venue: Cuneo Mansion / Catering: Bauer's Catering / Flowers & Decor: Forget Me Knodt / DJ: Style Matters / Lighting: Elegant Event Lighting / Ceremony Musicians: Artistrings / Photobooth: Traveling Photo Booth / Transportation: Windy City Limo / Beauty: Elena Fantucchio of Bobbi Brown

Though we’ve been seeing quite a few gold glittery inspiration boards from St. Patrick’s Day a few days ago, this wedding rewinds back to a different sparkly soiree. Coryn and Jake chose to wed each other on New Year’s Eve with an awesome black and white and gold glitter color scheme. Aside from the fun of a holiday wedding, they had so many other unique elements like the fire department nods everywhere (from the truck itself and the groom’s cake, all the way down to the little hat on the cake topper), fun socks and fur coats, detailed wedding programs, and even a wedding app!

 


From the Bride: 

Both Jake and I don’t like New Years Eve, at all. The hype and pressure to have the best night ever is always a set-up for disappointment. We have always stayed home and complained about how overrated it all is. Naturally then, we decided we should get married that day. From day one we looked at it as throwing a big party for all our favorite people. We really embraced the glitz of new years with gold and glitter everywhere! I even was determined to have a gold sequin dress to fit the evening.  

One of my very favorite things we bought was our aisle runner which was from My Modern Home on Etsy. We did very minimal decor on the ceremony side seeing as our ceremony was barely 10 minutes, so the pop of pattern on the runner was the perfect touch. 
 
The best decision we made was having one of our friends marry us. We wanted it to be personal and wanted someone who knew and loved us individually and as a couple. Joe did an unbelievable job. He opened with personal tidbits about each of us and had the whole room laughing. He then mirrored our emotions during the vows and I thought all three of us were going to need a minute to compose ourselves. He was the detail we received the most compliments on from the entire evening.  
 
The whole day turned out even better than we imagined. We passed out cheesy New Years favors and were surrounded by our most cherished family and friends when midnight rang. Needless to say New Year’s Eve is now definitely our favorite holiday. 

Photographer: Christine McGuigan Photography / Second Shooter: Jennie Davis Photography / Reception Venue: Livestock Exchange Building / Bride’s Dress: Sarah Seven / Cake Baker: The Cake Gallery / Flowers & Decor: Wedding Creations by Marcia / DJ: James Cloyd with Complete Music / Videographer: Digital Solutions / Hairstylist: Lyndsey Golden at the Hills Salon / Makeup Artist: Simone at Reve Salon

This wedding is so precious I can’t stand it. To start there are the ladies getting ready in red flannel buttondowns while the groom is shaving. Then there’s the unconventional attire of both the bride and groom. Next we get the bride arriving on a boat to meet a teary eyed groom during the ceremony. Then we move on to koozies and decorated cups, toasts and homemade pie, s’mores and fireworks. The whole day seems so full of personality, fun, and true meaning for the bride and groom that I can’t help but love it.

 


From the Photographer:

There’s nothing quite like Wisconsin in the Fall so when my bride and groom told me that they were moving their wedding from Chicago to central Wisconsin I totally understood! Having grown up in the area, Erin got ready at a local lakefront cottage while her groom to be got ready at the Cambridge Country Club. After a few helping hands from her mom and girlfriends to get into her dress Erin was off to meet her Dad on the pier where he would escort her via boat to her ceremony site. Surrounded by Fall foliage and close childhood friends, Erin tried to keep Brad’s cheeks dry by wiping away tears of happiness during their vows. How quickly we sometimes forget just how emotional these events can be! Immediately following the ceremony guests were greeted with custom coozys that the couple had created for guests as a keepsake. Their casual backyard shindig actually felt quite intimate and soon everyone was led into a white airy tent that would house them for the next few hours under the stars. This made way for some exuberant toasts and homemade pies after dinner. Just when things started to get a bit more rowdy, fireworks (courtesy of Erin’s dad) sprung from the sky and with that Erin and Bradley’s wedding day was official!


Photographer: Steve Koo Photography / DJ: Pam's Fun Factor / Flowers & Decor: Ashland Addison / Bride’s Dress: Candela / Ceremony/Reception Venue: Private Residence at Lake Ripley in Wisconsin

Emma and Michael’s wedding is classically beautiful. From Emma’s intricate updo to her custom lace gown with unique flowers and a soft bow, her bridal style is so sophisticated. The magnificent church and elegantly designed ballroom were the perfect backdrop for such a soiree. And then the gorgeous flowers and color scheme, topped off with a quintessential wedding cake, finished the party so perfectly. Also, though, it looks like they had fun as all get out!

 


From the Photographer:

Emma and Michael got married on April 27th, 2013 on a gorgeous April day in Chicago. Despite them moving to St. Louis, they wanted to return to the city they fell in love to become Mr. and Mrs. Dore. Guests flew in from all over the globe for the event. The bride wore a gorgeous custom designed down from Victoria Sdoukos Couture Bridal. They were married at one of Chicago’s oldest and most gorgeous churches.
We spent some time taking photos and enjoying the day in a nearby West Loop park and the iconic Chicago Board of Trades before heading to the reception. KT and her team at Hotel Allegro left no detail out in creating an amazing space for the reception.
All in all it was the perfect day!


Photographer:  Becky Brown Photography//Cake Designer: Alliance Bakery//Ceremony Location: Holy Family Church//Floral Designer: Stemline Creative//Floral Designer: Stemline, Creative//DJ: Style Matters DJs//Makeup Artist: Tamara Makeup+Hair Artistry//Dress Designer:Victoria Sdoukos Couture Bridal//Ceremony Location: Hotel Allegro//

This wedding is the epitome of hand-made. The bride and groom literally built the venue (their farm!) to their specifications, and the bride is a wedding planner and florist, so everything was completely to her specifications. She gave a much more detailed and special account of the day then I could do justice to, so I’ll let the images and the bride speak for themselves!


From the Bride:

For us, everything is about being original and true to self so buying our farm 10 months before we got married was quite exciting and at times a race to the finish.  We had to do a complete face lift to the property.  New barn, new fencing, rebuild the bridge, gut the existing farmhouse, pour concrete in the barns, landscape, sow seed and lay sod…everything!  On top of that is was when the winter temperatures were at some of the lowest they’ve been and the summer was 6 weeks of temperatures between 100-110*f and humid as all get out!   Thank goodness for great friends willing to work for food!! :)
 
With all that said and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it ‘ours’ it also came with a cool addition…we could build this to be exactly what we wanted in a venue!!!  I grew up on a cattle & row crop farm in a small town in Missouri and Andys family owned a farm is a small town about 30 mins from me.  The farm we bought was smack dab in the middle of his family, my family and my grandparents farm.  So having a real country wedding was a must for us!  We don’t like the dazzle, divas and glitz of traditional weddings.   We wanted a party…with a wedding on the side.  We wanted all of our guest to come and be comfortable so of course we set the ‘dress code’ of jeans and casual dresses.   We love our family and friends…not what they wear.   
 
With me being a florist and wedding planner I couldn’t wait to get to work.   I knew exactly what would be fitting for our taste and what our guests would appreciate as well.  I handled the ‘girl’ stuff and Andy was the muscle on the farm.   I planned the wedding and did the flowers and he built the venue for the wedding.   It was a big group effort with lots of help from family and friends.  Without them…it would have been tough. ;) 
 
We started from the ground up.  What do we like…  Both owning countless pairs of cowboy boots we both insisted on wearing boots.  Which is also what we chose as gifts for our wedding party.   We took them cowboy boot shopping so they could each pick out a style to suit their personality.   With Andy’s Italian roots all the guys shoulders are as broad as a barn and hard as heck to find suit jackets to fit so we chose to have the jackets and shirts custom made to fit the guys and also for the fathers so they would be comfortable.   The girls simple yellow cotton dresses were made by a local gal.  I wanted something simple and with pockets and what wouldn’t require any special undergarments that would be uncomfortable for the girls.  
 
For Andy, he wore jeans, cowboy boots, crisp white shirts and suit jacket and tie accompanied by longhorn cufflinks to compliment our farm ‘mascot’ of a longhorn.  I wore an Enzoani dress with a vintage inspired belt, cowboy boots and vintage 1940′s jewerly & hairpins.
 
Now that the attire is out of the way….the fun stuff to me…DETAILS! ;) 
 
Growing up on farms we were blessed to have access to a lot of truly unique and rustic pieces.  And it means so much more that it’s straight from our family farms.   We made yard signs directing guests using barnwood from both our families barns.  Quilts made by my grandma.  Mason jars my mom has canned in since 1970.  All the hay for the ceremony seating and hayrides was bailed on our farm, our card and gift table was the front door from the original farmhouse and the cake table was made of an old barn door, pastry plates made from antique plates and goblets and the cake base was cut from an extra piece of log we used in creating the log entrance to the farm and multiple antique pieces for accents at the reception mostly found in my grandpas workshop and sheds.  These are pieces I chose to accent with flowers.  I used a mixture of greens and wildflowers to create a simple, country look.  We both like the easy, flowing look of wildflowers so the wedding party bouquets were left open and airy and tied with twine with the guys wearing simple yellow billy ball boutineers. Corsages had a twine bow and table  centerpieces were in anything from mason jars to old lunch pails to vintage flour and sugar containers.     
 
As guests arrived to the ceremony they were guided to a ‘parking field’ where a fall decorated haywagon would pick them up to transport them to the ceremony where they were asked to take a seat on a haybale and read the ‘newspaper’ which was what we used instead of programs.  It included a story about us, our wedding party, pet section featuring our two American Bulldogs, I Spy game, crossword puzzle and more.  As the 4pm ceremony time arrived the haywagons drove to the farmhouse and barn to pick up the bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Once they were dropped off my father and I were escorted by haywagon to the ceremony where we had a single guitar player in the field playing for the wedding.  We had chose to write our own vows which mine mentioned my deep love for Andy and also made mention of his beard.  And Andy professed the love he has for me and also my flaw being my obnixious zebra print bedroom slippers.  As a couple we keep things light and not overly serious and as I mentioned…true to us. Everyone has heard the ‘regular’ wedding vows so making them ours was important to us.  The ceremony was a quick 20 mins.  Then yard games, hayrides and vintage candy awaited guests as they waited for us to finish up pictures and get the reception started!!  Our ‘party bus’ was a ‘party tractor and wagon’ we cruised around the farm getting pictures with the beautiful fall leaves and reveling in the moment. 
 
Once at the reception we were treated to two of by far the BEST toasts around by my sister Sarah and Andy’s brother Sal.   They had everyone rolling in laughter and tears rolling down their faces.  Guests were seated by homemade seating cards clothespinned to twine on an old picket fence section.  They had a treat of trailmix in a mason jar to snack on.  We purchased brown bags and white wax bags to create ‘pockets’ for silverware and put salt and pepper in the white bags and had a stamp made to label them to keep it all neatly together we fastened it with a brad.   In lieu of a traditional guestbook we had mad-lib style guest cards slipped in each bag that everyone filled out…and they were hilarious to read the next few days after the wedding! After a long day what else do you eat on the farm but BBQ!!  All 400 of our closest family and friends chowed down on BBQ pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, pork steaks and all the fixins!  After dinner it was on to dessert!  Lots of mini pastries, chocolate and white cake draped in chocolate buttercream, chocolate piped scrolling and brown M&M trim topped with a custom cake topper of Andy, myself and our dogs.  Then…the dancing began.  We had a county band playing all of our favorites and taking requests.   Everyone was a big dancing family enjoying the party..just what we wanted. ;) 
 
The night came to a close around 2am.  Tired, exhausted, and totally and completely happy we sat in our bar in the recliners eating cake watching the band pack up but all that was heard was crickets and bullfrogs in the distance and all we saw were the bright stars in the sky on a cool fall night.  This night was perfect.  This night was ours.  This was the start to our happily ever after.

 


Photographer: Hawes Photography / Reception Venue: Andy and Emily's Farm / Catering: Mercenary BBQ / Flowers & Decor: Emily Frisella (the bride!) / Cake Baker: Maggie's Lunchbox / Band: Rough Ryders / Hairstylist: Club Diva Salon / Bride’s Dress: Enzoani / Bride’s Shoes: Chuck's boots

Today’s real wedding is actually an elopement, and it is the embodiment of the phrase, “When you know, you know.” They weren’t even engaged for two full weeks before getting married, which means their day was entirely focused just on their love and vows. Though their day didn’t include the typical wedding accouterments, Rhianon and Alex had everything they needed: each other. If their elation weren’t obvious enough just by their faces, their barefoot dancing and lounging in the grass perfectly captures the spirit of their relationship.


From the Photographer:

Alex & Rhianon’s ceremony was as romantic, loving, and emotional as they come.
 
They were engaged 13 days before their wedding and, since they both travel frequently for work and happened to be home (Park City, Utah) and neither could wait to say their I Dos, they quickly planned an elopement. 
 
The couple found local officiant Stephanie Bryant Barton online and said they knew immediately that she would be the perfect complement to their twosome.  Once they shared with her their vision for a quiet, rustic, mountain ceremony, Stephanie recommended a nearby hand-built arbor almost 10,000ft above sea level as the ideal locale for them to exchange vows. 
 
The weather on the Day was spectacular.  Though it was only September, Park City had received a dusting of snow days earlier, so the mountains were white-capped.  The fall foliage had emerged, so the brush and trees were golden-hued. After a cozy breakfast together, Rhianon spent the morning getting dolled up while Alex bustled around town, picking up the flowers, rings, and cake. 
 
At 3pm, atop Park City at Guardsman Pass, Park City photographer Carla Boecklin and her husband/assistant, Victor Rybovich, served as witnesses to the heartfelt ceremony.  Alex and Rhianon recited their handwritten vows to one another, each alternately crying and laughing as the other delivered affectionate memories and promises.  In the end, Stephanie, Carla, and Victor had tears in their eyes when Alex took Rhianon in his arms for the first time as his wife. 
 
Following the cake-cutting, the group traveled to Park City’s famed McPolin Barn to capture more images.  The sun hovered perfectly along the mountain peaks as Alex, Rhianon, Carla, and Victor playfully explored the property photographically.  The day – and the tone of the images — can be easily summarized by Rhianon’s words: “We are so happy!”

Photographer: Carla Boecklin / Photographer's Assistant: Victor Rybovich / Officiant: Stephanie Bryant Barton / Cake Baker: Smith's / Flowers & Decor: Silver Cricket Floral / Bride’s Jewelry: Nordstrom / Rings: Zales / Makeup Artist: Courtney Audino at Splendor / Hairstylist: Stephanie Star at Silver Mountain / Bride’s Dress: Gateway Bridal & Prom / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein