Sarah and Eric were married on a beautiful summer day in front of the hedge maze at The Homestead 1854 in Plano, IL. Their theme for the day was “Wild in Love” and the colors were pink, blue, dark red, and gold.
Venue – The Homestead 1854
Photography – Elite Photo
Design and Floral – RJA Design
Caterer – Ginger & Soul Catering
Papers: Designed by bride
This was my first time photographing an event at this gem in the western suburbs of Chicago. The mansion has the feel of an 1800s Tuscan villa and combine that with the beautifully manicured grounds and exemplary staff and service, this place is truly an inviting and memorable wedding venue.
The very first time I ever met Sarah, the immediate thing I noticed about her was her natural beauty and style. She’s one of those people I call “glowy”. As I’ve gotten to know her and her family more, I’ve learned they all are beautiful souls. Eric wasn’t able to come to our first meeting, but I got to meet him as well as his two amazing kids at their engagement session we did on their hobby farm. One of the many memorable details about this wedding was Sarah, Eric, and the kids grew all their own vegetables for their wedding reception in their garden where we actually took some photos during their e-session. See it here.
On the wedding day, Sarah got ready in the bridal suite which featured old, big windows, striped wood floors, and a full length mirror. During this time, her florist RJA Design and their staff put together their ceremony and reception decor which featured a “Forest Floor” feel to the long reception tables and many vintage pieces set up in and around the grounds.
Some favorite details for the day included the homemade pickled cucumber and beans Eric and Sarah made for their guests as well as the invitations and menu cards designed by Sarah herself. The couple actually used the theme of “Wild in Love” and complemented that with the feathers, forest floor feel to the tables, and most of all their refreshing and lively personalities. The couple took some time during their reception to take a joyride on their tandem bike they decorated with streamers to match the day.
In the evening, guest were treated to eats provided by the talented Ginger & Soul Catering in the Homestead pavilion. Guests were seated at mismatched farm chairs and the couple chose a mauve love seat. The dance floor under the stars featured a checkered black and red design. What a fun place to get your groove on.
I asked Sarah to describe one or two details that were special to her at their wedding. Here’s what she said “Definitely, planning the wedding menu around our garden. We were lucky enough to find chef Kate of Ginger + Soul Catering who was willing to work with us on a creative menu and to adjust food cost pricing accordingly. Brussels sprouts, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, tomatillos, and even all the herbs.
It was a slightly added pressure but we loved the responsibility and the connection we had to the menu. We also kept it a secret, so our guests didn’t find out until they read the menu cards at their place settings. It was super special for everyone involved.”
When I asked her what advice she could share with other wedding couples in the planning process, she said “DO NOT stress or waste money on little things like guest favors or adding lots of wedding signage because your guests will probably forget them. Save that money to use to splurge on a great photographer and caterer. Also, find a dress with pockets 😉 Invaluable space for my backup lipstick and *tissues! *I KNEW I would be a total hot mess walking down the aisle and during the ceremony. Instead of stressing over what you know you are going to tear up about, just let it go, grab a tissue, and feel it.”
Sarah told me the most important and nerve-wracking part of her wedding day was the 4 sentences she dedicated to Eric’s kids during the ceremony. She wanted to tell not only the kids but the whole family her intentions when marrying the children’s Dad – “That I would commit my whole self to being their Stepmom“. Eric hand wrote it on a piece of paper for her because she was worried her nerves might get the best of her. She said “I carried those (words) in my wedding dress pockets, too! And now they’re in a memory book.”
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