Helloooo, friends! This is highly overdue (since we’ve been married for like, 7 weeks now), but while we were on our honeymoon in Spain we got our wedding photos back, which means it is time for a big fat wedding recap post!
I will tell you from the outset that we both think our wedding day was absolutely perfect. That’s not really why I’m sharing these photos and details about the day with you, though – I truly believe that we had some of the best vendors in the business, and they deserve to have their information shared with anyone looking to get married in the Central Illinois area.
And you know that some of you are just here because you’re nosy. Don’t worry, we all do it.
I’ll be sharing links to the websites of all of the vendors at the end of the post for easy reference. So just sit back and scroll on!
All photos taken by Jared & Julie Photography.
Our ceremony and reception were both held at Proven Ground Farm in North Pekin, IL. The weather the day of the wedding ended up being absolutely perfect – just shy of 80 degrees, sunny, very little wind – but because you never know what the weather could be like in early April in Illinois, we opted for an indoor ceremony inside the barn. After the ceremony was over, all of the guests went over to the renovated grain bin for cocktail hour while the staff flipped the room for the reception. The grounds were positively beautiful and guests who were so inclined were able to walk around throughout the evening.
My dress was made of light gold satin with an ivory lace overlay, complete with hand beading and a corset back. I might be biased, but I think it was just perfect. I’m actually a
little lot miffed that I don’t get to wear it again!
For my hair, we took advantage of my curls for a low, romantic updo. Instead of a veil, I opted for a pearl headpiece that I purchased off of Etsy. The jewelry I chose to wear were all family pieces – opal and pearl earrings that were my grandmother’s, and a double-strand pearl necklace and a silver filagree and sapphire bracelet that belonged to my great-grandmother. Wearing those pieces, which my mother has worn throughout the years as well, was very special to me.
My groom looked incredibly handsome with a fresh beard trim and haircut from the best barber in town, wearing a sharp-as-heck gray suit, accented by brown shoes and a champagne-colored tie. I know that everyone always makes a big fuss over what the bride is wearing, but I wanted Alex to stand out as well – and he sure as heck did.
He would like you to take note of his walnut wingtips. #priorities
Alex refers to the above as his “touch of gray” photo. I secretly call it his “silver fox” photo. Oops! Guess that’s not so secret anymore.
For colors, I chose a lovely spring palette of light turquoise and blush pinks accented by darker teal and deep pinks. Our florist put together the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen with plenty of peonies and ranunculus, including a stunning arrangement across the arbor under which we were married.
One of the most special and personal parts of the day was having my childhood best friend perform the ceremony. There is something very touching about having someone who has known you for literally half your life join you in marriage with the love of your life.
Other special parts of the ceremony included having family friends sing “The Prayer” and surprising our mothers by presenting them each with a rose – something that my parents did during their wedding and which, predictably, made Momma Swope cry.
When it came to food, we knew we had a lot to live up to – after all, all of our friends and loved ones know that our lives basically revolve around our next meal. For Alex, the most important aspect of the wedding planning was finding good barbecue for dinner, and did we ever find it. Dinner was pulled pork, brisket, slaw, beans (green and baked) and potato salad. Simple, no-fuss, good food. Instead of a wedding cake, we opted for a variety of cupcakes and Momma Swope made a Pecan Raisin Pie for the two of us to cut. I am still receiving compliments on the food and the cupcakes over a month later and am wishing I had one of the Banana Pudding cupcakes as I sit here writing this.
One last special part of the day – during our reception, just before our first dance, I surprised Alex by singing Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am” to him, accompanied by one of our friends on the guitar. Really nosy readers can see that video here, but don’t expect much – I was pretty nervous. Ha!
At the end of the day, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding. It was beautiful yet rustic and personal in the best way. Just like us, right? 😉