Chicago Backyard Foodie Wedding: Lissa + Ben

chicago foodie wedding

Lissa + Ben are total foodies with a relaxed and organic sense of style. For their charming Chicago backyard wedding, they wanted a truly communal celebration that would reflect their love of food + family. They styled a setting with all of the rustic charm of a casual summer dinner party and called upon the talents of those closest to them to help make their day all the more memorable. The succulent centerpieces were grown by Ben’s mom, all of the wooden serving boards and spoons were made by the two of them + the incredible-sounding menu was handcrafted by the people they love!  Seriously sounds like the best of days! Here’s even more from Lissa about how everyone came together to make their dream wedding a reality:

Neither Ben or I love the idea of putting on a wedding, but we both loved the idea of inviting dear friends and family into the backyard I grew up in for dinner, drinks and good-for-your-soul dancing. So we took this approach, and everyone jumped aboard. My entire neighborhood freely volunteered for the grungy leg-work. The meal was prepared in my parents’ kitchen by colleagues of mine. My brother built the table that our families ate around. The whole day felt effortless and abundant.I felt like I couldn’t help but be completely present to the beauty and joy that everyone brought with them, shared and lingered upon. It was difficult to stop dancing and leave at the end of the night.

Sarah Culver, thanks so much for sending these pretty photos our way + big congrats to Lissa + Ben!

bird invitation

wedding rings

red heels

bridesmaids

succulent boutonniere

wedding party

ceremony programs

Processional: We Move Lightly – Dustin O'halloran / Fly – Ludovico Einaudi

Recessional: Untitled – Odessa Rose

First Dance: Trust in Me – Etta James

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

Right after the ceremony, as soon as Ben and I got to the end of the recessional, he lifted me off my feet and we both burst into tears. I've never experienced joy and relief so tangibly.

bride and groom

wedding party

flower crown flower girls1

bride and groom

bride and groom

menu

herb plate setting

succulent centerpieces

succulent centerpieces

foodie reception


Doesn’t everything look amazing? What a treat to have such talented friends, who can cater your wedding like pros!

foodie reception

foodie reception

foodie reception

reception

cheers

soap favors

first dance

Enlist the help of those around you. Asking for help can feel like burden-sharing. And it is - which is brilliant! Make use of the gifts and talents of the people you love. My favorite part about our wedding was that it felt like a true collaboration of our friends and family and in that way the day became participatory for everyone and much less overwhelming.

photography: Sarah Culver Photography // ceremony: Knoch Knolls Park Naperville, Illinois // reception: Bride’s parent’s home // farmhouse tables: Chicago Farmhouse Tables // dress: J.Crew // suit: Banana Republic // men’s pants + ties: J.Crew // bridesmaids’ dresses: ASOS, Anthropologie // flower crowns/wreathes: Jill Fecht (mother of bride) // florals: Tessa Richardson (friend of bride) arranged them – they were picked at Weichart Farms // menu recipes: Lissa Fecht (bride) // catering: Sandra Costa, Annie Ittersagen, John Thorpe (friends of bride) // dessert: Yolanda Peterson (friend of bride) // caramels + favors: Anna Chleboun (sister of groom) // planted succulents: Mary Chleboun (mother of the groom) // head table + gift table: Fecht Design (brother of bride) // menus, program + invitations: Lissa Fecht / Krista Chael (painting on invitations, programs) // handmade linen napkins: Robin Hersma (friend of bride) // hair + makeup: Shannon Smith // art design: Krista // shoes: Macy’s

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South African Anniversary Photos

african anniversary

Whitney + Ross live in New York City and planned an amazing belated honeymoon/first anniversary trip to South Africa. While planning their wedding, Whitney fell in love with Adene’s photography (which she had seen on a few wedding blogs and knew she lived in South Africa) and contacted her about shooting some portraits of her and Ross when they were on their trip. Adene agreed and suggested bringing on her talented sidekick, Anli of Anli Wahl Flowers & Event Styling, to style a shoot to commemorate their time in South Africa. Such a fab idea, right?! I mean look at that first image!!

A bit about the inspiration behind the shoot from Adene:

We thought it would be apt to do something with a “South African twist” to ensure that Whitney and Ross would remember our beautiful country forever! We contacted the Cheetah Outreach (a company that helps promotes the survival of the free ranging, Southern African cheetah through environmental education and delivering conservation initiatives) in Somerset West to get their star attraction, Joseph, the cheetah, on board. We had so much fun pulling this together with some very creative and talented local service providers

flower trelis

protea

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary


From Whitney (the bride): When Adene informed me that she had a wild idea to have a live cheetah incorporated into the pictures, I immediately knew that we had chosen the right photographer to capture and ensure that we would remember our travels forever. For weeks leading up to the trip and photo shoot, my husband and I were very excited to hear all about the set up (although some details were a surprise for us from Anli and Adene) and day of details unfold.

On the day of the photo shoot, when Joseph the cheetah arrived to our set up, we were filled with pure adrenaline. We were so excited to spend intimate time with such a beautiful animal… that was, until we saw his mouth open wide to growl (or perhaps it was a very large yawn). We quickly got over any nerves we had when we met Dawn, his handler, and the volunteers who helped out on the day of the shoot to ensure our safety and Joseph’s comfort at all times. It was an unbelievable experience for all of us involved to see such a magnificent creature up close and personal and to celebrate the best year of our lives in such a beautiful South African setting near Cape Town. We’ll forever carry the gorgeous country of South Africa with us in our hearts and we’re thrilled to be sharing these incredible images with our friends and family now that we’re back in the States.

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african bride

protea bouquet


I love that all the flowers they used are indigenous to South Africa.

protea bouquet1

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

african anniversary

laser cut sign


And they were lucky enough to also have Whitelines Wedding capture their experience on video!

A pretty amazing trip captured by some truly talented artists in South Africa! Congrats to Whitney + Ross on their first anniversary and this has us dreaming of a similar trip! :)

photography: Adene Photography // planning, design + florals: Anli Wahl Flowers & Event Styling // venue: Cheetah Outreach Cape Town, South Africa // videography: Whitelines Wedding // dress: Alana van Heerden Fashion & Bridal Design // hair + makeup: Iza Cloete // graphic designer/signs: Red Fox Designs // feathers hair accessory: Phoenix Feathers

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Cozy Fall Wedding Inspiration

fall wedding inspiration

We’re loving the movement of creative photography + design workshops, sweeping the states and beyond in recent years. Attending a workshop is the perfect way to sharpen your artistic abilities + learn from fellow creatives you admire. Today we’re excited to share a peek from Styled.’s fall workshop, hosted by Amanda O’Shannessy, owner of Amanda O’Shannessy Creative + One True Love Vintage Rentals. Inspired by gingham, richly hued seasonal foliage and the deep orange color of persimmons and rose hips, the shoot was all about celebrating the romance + coziness of fall. We’re loving so much about this session, especially that amazing bouquet + that perfect little textured number from Lovely Bride. Such a great dress for a fall celebration + would look so cute with a pretty coverup, too!

Let’s get right to the good stuff, aka Melanie Duerkopp’s gorgeous photos from the workshop! Fall brides-to-be, we’re pretty sure you’ll find yourselves pinning a thing or two from this one!

fall plaid invitation

green bow bridal shoes

fall ceremony set up

fall ceremony set up

fall wedding inspiration

fall wedding inspiration

fall groom suit


The Styled. bouquet formula: burgundy + white dahlias, rose hip, agonis foliage, rust amaranths, maple leaf + red winterberry.

fall red bouquet

fall boutonniere

fall inspired tablescape

fall centerpiece

menu

fall inspired tablescape


Just how beautiful is this table setup? It exudes such a cozy + peaceful feel.

fall inspired tablescape

glass goblets

fall inspired tablescape

spiced cider

spiced cider

jam favors

fall bread

fruit escort cards


From the Styled. crew, Once the shoot is styled to perfection, the photography participants jump in and photograph styled vignettes like dessert displays, tabletop details, and model portraits. Photographers walk away with gorgeous editorial shots for their portfolio and a better understanding of how to get the best detail shots possible, even if a stylist is not present. Styling participants, on the other hand, leave with the tools to better execute their own styled shoots + events.

fruit escort cards

fall florals

fall wedding inspiration

fall wedding inspiration

fall wedding inspiration

fall wedding inspiration


So there you have it! A fun glimpse into a very pretty workshop, plus great inspiration for all of you planning a wedding for this fall! This year Styled. is headed to the east coast. Want a workshop to be hosted in your city? Send an email to hello(at)styledworkshop(dot)com to let Amanda + her team know!

Thanks so much to everyone below for sharing their talents with us today!

photography: Melanie Duerkopp // workshop: Styled. The Workshop // creative direction, styling + florals: Amanda O’Shannessy Creative // venue: Olympia’s Valley Estate Petaluma, California // wardrobe styling: Head Over Heels With Melanie // hair + make-up: Skyla Arts // vintage rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals // vintage tabletop rentals: Frances Lane Event Studio // paper goods: Mae Mae Paperie // models: JE Model Management // groom’s attire: J.Crew // dresses: Lovely Bride // Jewelry: Sweet + Spark

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