Towards the beginning of 2017, I moved from Des Moines, Iowa - the only place I have lived my whole life - to Northeast Illinois for a new adventure. I was picking up my whole life and moving my business to another state, almost 400 miles away from everything I knew.
Almost immediately after moving here, I started reaching out to venues, wedding coordinators, and other wedding vendors hoping to collaborate and get to know my new market. After a couple of weeks, I found Carrie of Orchid Weddings & Events. We met at a Panera with her youngest son and clicked immediately! We both wanted to work on a styled shoot that was unique and something that hadn't been done in our market before. We started with the idea of involving cacti, and it evolved from there into this fabulous Southwestern Elegant styled shoot. We decided to call it: Love Grows Here.
Carrie told me about Bluestem Farm & Events, and while the barn is still undergoing construction for a 2018 opening (be sure to check out their facebook page for all of their fun construction updates!), we knew the rustic, white barn with open fields would be perfect for our vision. Kelly and her husband, who own the barn, graciously accepted us and helped us pull off this amazing shoot. And from there, all of our vendors fell into place to create this magical vision we had been planning in our heads for weeks.
With subtle tones brought in through the dress, hair, makeup, and other decor items along with bright pops of color in the tux and throughout the seriously amazing bouquet, we were so excited to see our Southwestern Elegance vision to life!
It's pretty easy to see in the photos, but the couple loved each other so much and spent most of the day dancing, laughing and just loving each other. He sang her songs while they swayed behind their cake, and she whispered jokes in his ear to make him feel at ease. We ended the night with a "first dance" with an acoustic pair to sing the night away. I Can't Help Falling In Love was the song of choice, and I don't know if there was a dry eye in the crowd of vendors! Thank you to our amazing models, Katie & Everett!
And a huge THANK YOU to every single vendor who donated their time and creative efforts to make this project so easy to pull off. Carrie and I both agree that what we have captured in these images is far more than what we had ever imagined in our heads at the beginning of our planning and we are so excited to finally show off these images!
I hope you'll also take the time to watch a short video of our time at this shoot, which was shot and edited by the insanely talented Carisma Films - you will find the video at the end of this post, along with some fun behind the scenes shots of all of the incredible vendors listed below :)
Katharyne Dunn Photography
Orchid Weddings & Events
Once Upon A Pedestal
Skeffington's Formal Wear
Terlie Design Co.
Blossom & Branches Designs
Pins & Lashes
Sonia Roselli Makeup Studio
Little Gems USA
The Mrs. Box
Amy Zwikel Studio
Brandon & Rachel Dawley