Sarah and Steve had a very clear vision of what they wanted their wedding in Galena, Illinois to look and feel like — they just knew they needed a little extra help pulling the details together as the day got closer. Lucky for them, the groom’s sister-in-law just so happened to own a wedding planning company! You know your boss trusts you when she asks if you’d like to coordinate her brother-in-law’s wedding (where her husband will be a best man, her adorable daughters will be flower girls, and she herself will be in attendance…NBD). When I took a look at the venue – Oak Hill Farm – I knew it was going to be an incredible event.
Steve’s family grew up spending time in Galena, where his grandmother has a home. They knew their way around town and scoped out some neighboring houses in the Eagle Ridge Resort area to act as their “base camps” for getting ready. The ladies had a laid-back start to the day with hair and makeup, mimosas, and music. Pamela from Hair I Dos made sure everyone looked stunning and felt great. Brittany Bekas Photography and Robert Cawthorne Films were there to capture the memorable moments, and made sure to seek out every careful detail that Sarah had prepared. (Can you believe the bride MADE her own invitations?!) Meanwhile, next door, the guys were casually hanging out with breakfast food and coffee, cracking jokes while they got ready for Sarah and Steve’s big day.
We sent the guys off to the church first so Sarah could safely exit the house without being seen by her fiancé. Russ Stratton Buses helped the city folk navigate the small streets of Galena expertly, making sure everyone was on time for the ceremony at St. Mary’s. The procession couldn’t have been sweeter! Adorable flower girls and ring bearers lead the way for Sarah and her dad to make their memorable journey down the aisle, where Steve was happily waiting to take Sarah’s hands. During communion, Sarah’s now sister-in-law — our very own Joan Cinquegrani — sang the Ave Maria!
After the service, the wedding party made its way to downtown Galena for some photos and guests had some time to explore the quaint town before heading off to the reception.
The setting of Oak Hill Farm and weather could not have been more perfect for this wedding. Sarah’s careful attention to detail ensured that not a moment for personalization and perfection had been missed. From the adorable place cards that were strung across an old milk truck to the Moscow Mule mugs fit with colorful straws and personalized cocktail napkins it was a pinterest-lover’s dream. The Rafters Catering provided delicious bites while Sarah and Steve’s wedding guests marveled at the gorgeous scenery.
The wedding party spent the first half of cocktail hour taking full advantage of the farm for wedding party photos.
When it came time for the revelers to head over to the reception tent, they were delighted to see chickens and roosters scurrying across the lawn and some stopped to say hello to Oak Hill Farm‘s sweet and friendly pup! The clear blue skies, lush green grass, and golden cornfields made for an incredible backdrop to enjoy while the sun was still shining. The tables were adorned with lovely rustic chic floral from the talented Samantha at River Valley Floral, along with a thoughtful hand-made note from Sarah and Steve with a donation made in guests’ honor to a cause near to the couple’s heart. But all attention quickly turned to the Model A coming down the dirt road, delivering Sarah and Steve to their reception in style!
Hilarious and heartfelt toasts from the Father of the Bride, Father of the Groom, Best Men, and Matron of Honor helped set the joyful tone for dinner.
After entreés were finished – the bride and groom warmed up the dance floor with their first dance, followed by the dances with their respective parents.
Final Say was full of energy and soon got everyone dancing under the tent — from the toddlers to the grandparents!
A delectable sweets table full of cupcakes and cake eased the sweet-tooth cravings for those working up a sweat on the dance floor.
Regretfully, the night had to come to an end — Russ Stratton buses were back to take revelers on to the afterparty in downtown Galena, or back to their rooms at Eagle Ridge Resort. The fine folks at A to B Cab Company were also on hand back in town to navigate the quiet country roads and bring out-of-towners safely back to their lodgings.
Robert Cawthorne created this short which really sums up the incredible day!
Sarah and Steve, it was so much fun to be a part of your wedding — thank you for trusting us to bring all your carefully considered details to life! We wish you many, many years of love and happiness.