We do not see long sleeved wedding gowns on brides all that often, but each time we do the bride looks ultra fabulous. As does our next bride, Jillian. Her and her love Daniel tied the knot down at Heritage Prairie Farm. A fabulous rustic Illinois wedding venue. As you will soon see, their down to earth wedding was overflowing with fall florals and upcycled decor – like hanging light bulb vases and seasonal food and flowers. These are just a few of the fabulous details from this Illinois fall wedding.
From the Bride and Groom:
One visit to Heritage Prairie Farm, and we were in love. No other venue could compare to the natural beauty and charm of this incredible working farm. And no other venue could truly promise us a day as unique as the two of us.
Just as the food served was seasonal and local – most of it sourced right on the farm – it was important to us that our flowers be local too. The mother of the bride, a talented floral artist herself, created several arrangements using flowers from her own garden to adorn the ceremony table and gift tables. Forget Me Knodt embraced our vision as well, creating bouquets, tablescapes and an arch using flowers grown as close to Chicago as possible. All the vases, right down to the light bulb tree bud vases we requested, were salvaged, and at the end of the night, we encouraged our guests to take arrangements home with them.
We had a vision of rustic chic and elegance for our day – and everyone at the farm worked with us to bring this vision to life. From carefully planning a seasonal, farm-to-table menu with the resident chef, to designing a bar menu complete with our favorite cocktails and beers, to offering lawn games during the cocktail hour – including a foosball table – to building a bonfire with s’mores and organizing a wish lantern send off at the end of the night.
We had so many neat little details and unexpected elements that kept our guests entertained and delighted. When we considered the tone for our day, and what we wanted our guests to take away, we kept coming back to the words “fun”, “whimsical”, “intimate”, and “love”. Everyone we’ve talked to since the wedding has waxed ecstatic over it, many telling us it’s the best wedding they’ve ever been to! As for the bride and groom, we can truly say, it was a perfect day – better than we even imagined – and we enjoyed every single moment
What the bride would have done differently:
As far as what to do differently…really nothing! We loved everything about our wedding – from the planning to the execution. The only thing we both agree on is this – someone needs to come up with a creative alternative to the traditional meet-and-greet-the-guests options. We decided to have a receiving line between the cocktail reception and dinner.
Visiting tables during dinner was not an option because we worked really hard on our menu and wanted to make sure we got to eat! But even with our intimate guest list (100 people, including the wedding party and ourselves), it took nearly 45 minutes for people to process down the line and into the tent for dinner! There has to be a better way.
My only other word of advice I am espousing to all who will listen is this – take time with your spouse to step back and observe several times throughout the day/night. Even if you can only manage 30 seconds here and there. It’s truly amazing to see all those who love and care about you gathered under one roof to celebrate your love. Soak it in! A colleague suggested that to me, and I am so glad we took his advice because it allowed us to be present and in the moment throughout the entire wedding.
Photographer: Anni Cee Photographie
Venue & Caterer: Heritage Prairie Farm
Hair: Kim Piech
Dress Designer: Vintage from I Do Designer Bridal Consignment
Flowers: Forget Me Knodt
Groom's Attire: J.Crew & Banana Republic
Officiant: Sheri Reda of Flow Ceremonies
Makeup: Jenny Reinhard | Cake: Kathy Skutecki | Shoe Designer: Lane Boots