Real Wedding | April + Blake

From the moment they were engaged this Wisconsin couple worked together to plan the barn wedding of their rustic-elegant themed dreams.  Taking full advantage of every episode of Say Yes To The Dress and bookmarking their favorite bridal blogs, April and Blake DIY’ed their special day to perfection.  The groom built the chuppah they were married under and together April and Blake made all of their programs, invitations, and centerpieces…that’s not just resourceful, that’s downright romantic!  Other delightful details not to miss: country-chic outfits for the wedding party complete with suspenders for the gents and cowboy boots for the gals; a lush peony and daisy bouquet; and bridal photography taken by none other: the groom!

April + Blake | August 19, 2011 | Orchard Ridge Farms Pavilion, Rockton Illinois

Ceremony and Reception Description
The day after Blake proposed to me, I immediately hit the bridal blogs for ideas for what would be the most amazing day of my life. I knew we didn’t have the largest wedding budget but I also knew that Blake’s handiness and my love for DIY projects would be a HUGE asset to us. Blake and I love the outdoors and after gawking over countless photos of barn weddings, we decided on a theme of rustic elegance. This theme really fit our personalities perfectly. We’re both a bit rough around the edges (with hobbies like hiking, biking and rock climbing) but we still enjoy the finer things in life. We live in Wisconsin and thought it would be simple to find a barn somewhere to suit our needs…HA! After nights of searching for barn venues in Wisconsin, I ran across a fairly new venue called the Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms in Rockton, IL. Once I saw a picture of the Pavilion I just couldn’t see Blake and I getting married anywhere else. From the majestic chandeliers hanging from barn rafters, to the rolling hills of young apple trees, we knew this place was perfect for us. From then on, Blake and I spent a lot of time putting together all of our wedding details. We did almost everything by hand. Blake built the chuppah that we were married under and together we made all of our programs, invitations, and centerpieces. Though it was a lot of work, we wouldn’t have done it any other way. We got to spend time together working on fun projects, and on the day of the wedding, when we got to see it all put together, we got the satisfaction of knowing we had done it all ourselves! It was really special.

Both our reception and ceremony were held at the lovely Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms. I didn’t sleep at all the night before the wedding due to nerves and excitement, but when I looked out the window that morning I knew we had been blessed with the PERFECT weather. The ceremony was held outdoors under two stately oak trees, and the reception was held in the Pavilion. The day went by without a hitch and Blake and I were able to share the most magical day with each other and our loved ones.

April’s Wedding Dress Search
Choosing my dress was pretty easy actually. Blake and I had watched episode upon episode of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ together. It was fun (and helpful) to talk about different elements of the dresses that we liked or didn’t like. It became apparent to me that Blake was a fan of princess ball gowns. He loved all the poof and fussiness. I, on the other hand preferred simplistic but elegant lace dresses. Though I knew it was ultimately my choice, I wanted Blake to love the dress too.  When I saw Lazaro 3955 on an episode of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, I knew it was the perfect combination of both of our styles. The entire bodice was covered with the most beautiful alencon lace, and the skirt was made of layers of tulle. It had the pop of the ballroom gowns that Blake loved so much with the beautiful lace details that I adored.

How April Felt in Her Wedding Dress
In my dress I felt brilliant, ethereal and whimsical.

Why April Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
Though I considered other dresses, I never could get the image of this dress out of my mind. It was the most beautiful dress that I had ever seen. I feel so lucky to have been able to wear the dress of my dreams, and I would love to be able to make that dream happen for someone else!

April’s Wedding Dress | Lazaro 3955
Wedding Photography | Mandy Blair Photography
Bridal Photography | Burlap and Lace Photography: burlapandlacephoto@gmail.com
Bridal session photos were taken after the wedding by Blake – today’s featured groom!