Charming Illinois State Park Wedding

This adorable couple couldn’t wait to the knot at this rustic ceremony in Beaver Dam State Park and a reception at the local fairgrounds. It’s a small town celebration with a big heart, thanks to personal details like the home-brewed beer favors and a horseshoe bar (a popular local nosh)! The ever so talented Christine Foehrkolb made it all look picture perfect in the full gallery right here.





State Park

From the beautiful Bride… Aaron and I met by him literally knocking on my front door. I was having a house-warming/graduation party and my cousin and her boyfriend brought their friend, Aaron, along for the party. We’ve been together ever since that night. Fast forward three and a half years, and Aaron proposed in late November. We immediately thought that we would have an October wedding; however, once January rolled around and we started planning, it just didn’t feel right to wait until October. Instead, we thought, ‘the sooner the better’! We started planning for a May wedding; when the Illinois weather would be beautiful and the colors amazing. I am a very detailed-oriented person and the task of planning a wedding in such a short timeframe started to weigh on me. Thankfully, I co-own a flower shop, Main Street Florist, with my best friend who stepped up and took a big chunk of the planning off my shoulders. I knew that I could describe the color-scheme and feel of the wedding I envisioned and she would bring it perfectly to fruition. Of course she did not disappoint! We had a small ceremony at the State Park near our home with our closest family and friends in attendance. During the ceremony, we performed a wine box ritual in which Aaron and I had both written love letters to each other and put them in a wine box along with a bottle of wine. The idea is that during a fight when we feel like our marriage needs help, we can sit down and share the wine while reading the love letters we wrote to each other. I smile every time I see the wine box atop our kitchen cabinets as it reminds me of our perfect-for-us ceremony. After the ceremony, Aaron and I snuck away to take a moment to soak in everything. During this time alone, we exchanged vows that we had written to one another. This is one of my favorite memories of the day. Since we live in a small town, the choices for a reception venue were very limited. We chose the biggest option available: a machine shed at our county’s fairgrounds. With the help of family, friends, and the flower shop employees, we were able to completely transform the shed into a picturesque reception hall. For Aaron and I, it was important that our reception was personal and ‘us’. We didn’t want it to simply be a reception that could fit any couple. Because of this, we added as many personal touches as we could: Aaron, who had found a passion for brewing beer, brewed enough beer for each of our guests to take a bottle home as a favor. Jordan, my cousin who had recently graduated as a pastry chef, made our delicious wedding cake. Instead of having a guestbook, we had a globe for all of our guests to sign since we love to travel. And one of the biggest hits of the evening was our food: a horseshoe bar. While planning the reception, I had told one of my bridesmaids, who is a chef, of the idea since I love a good horseshoe and she immediately took over and coordinated it all. Our wedding day was made possible by all the love and assistance of those closest to us. Our hearts were full with love and thanks: what an amazingly beautiful thing that is.

Photography: Christine Foehrkolb | Floral Design: Main Street Florist | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Invitations: Sara LoBue | Ceremony Venue: Beaver Dam State Park | Reception Venue: Macoupin County Fairground | Hair And Makeup: Coco Bongo | Photography Assistance: Chelsey Barrett

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