Elizabeth and Riley: Western Illinois Wedding at the Jerry Lewis Barn near Good Hope, Illinois

The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend brought gorgeous blue skies perfect for an outdoor wedding and barn reception near Macomb, Illinois.  It was my first time with a wedding at the Jerry Lewis Barn near Good Hope, IL and I was blown away by the gorgeous property and gracious owners.  It was a perfect setting for Elizabeth and Riley, who recently graduated from Western Illinois University, to say their vows and celebrate with family and friends.

The temperatures were high and thankfully the threat of storms held off for their outdoor ceremony under one of the large trees on the property.  The classic blush and navy color scheme perfectly complimented the green surroundings. The flowers we selected gave an elegant feel but weren't too formal for the setting. I'm so thankful to Stephanie Bartman Photography for these beautiful images.  

Elizabeth, called EB by family and friends, knew what she wanted her flowers to look like from our first conversation.  A self-proclaimed "flower snob", she was very clear on her likes and dislikes.  When she showed me an inspiration photo full of color, but in muted shades, I instantly knew what I wanted to create for her big day.  The peachy, pink Shimmer roses are a new favorite variety of mine and worked perfectly with the white peonies and the pink ranunculus.  Blue agapanthus and yellow solidago brought a garden feel while the hypericum berry, thistle and grevillea gave beautiful texture.

 The bridesmaids carried bouquets of Shimmer roses, white stock and hypericum berry.  The mothers corsages were pink ranunculus and textural filler on gold cuff bracelets. 

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of Shimmer roses, white stock and hypericum berry.  The mothers corsages were pink ranunculus and textural filler on gold cuff bracelets. 

The flower girls carried simple nosegays of roses and mixed foliage accented with navy ribbon. The groom wore a boutonniere of pink ranunculus, thistle and berries accented with grevillea and eucalyptus. 

Guests were welcomed to the ceremony with a pair of white antique doors each holding a fresh floral wreath.  Three lanterns were adorned with fresh flower sprays and were placed amongst the doors.

For the centerpieces, we started with mercury glass compote bowls and goblets and filled them with peonies, roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, agapanthus, spray roses, hypericum berry, thistle, and solidago.  They smelled amazing! Additional tables were filled with candle trios in glass cylinders with greenery at the base.  

What a perfect country wedding! I love when a wedding stays true to the couple and their style. Every detail was well thought out and execute to perfection. What a wonderful day to look back on and remember with fondness. 

Congratulations EB and Riley!  You had a beautiful wedding and I'm so happy to now call you friends.  I relish the opportunity to work with those who were also raised and work in the agriculture industry. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Wishing you many years of happiness as you start your lives together!  




Photography: Stephanie Bartman Photography | Make Up: Blush by Cassidy | Hair: Simply | Rings: Caitlin Hicks at M.J. Reed Jewelers | Bridal Gown: Blush Bridal Boutique | Officiant: Benjamin A. Murray | Caterer: Witch's Rib BBQ | DJ: Joe Roselieb at Cup of Joe Production | Cupcakes: Cupcake Baby | Printing: WIU Digital Production Services

Taylor and Joshua: Romantic Spring Wedding at Pear Tree Estate

I first met Taylor and her family during a tasting event at Pear Tree Estate. I designed the florals for the evening and they were attending to make catering decisions for their upcoming wedding. We hit it off from the start and after a great consultation (in a torrential downpour/flooding) we started planning Taylor's vision for their big day. Lush, romantic arrangements in shades of pink were a perfect compliment to this beautiful couple. It's hard to spend time with Taylor and Josh and not smile.  The love between them is obvious. They treat each other and those around them with such care and respect. It was a joy to work with them throughout the entire process. 

Thank you to Rebekah Albaugh for these stunning photos.  

A combination of Keira and Ohara garden roses as well as Sweet Akito, Titantic and Nina standard roses made for a lush, timeless bridal bouquet. We added white lisianthus and stock to the pink roses for the bridesmaids so they complimented Taylor's bouquet yet stood out against their beautiful blush and gold dresses from Michelle's Bridal.  

Below, the flower girls wore halos of pink spray roses, babies breath and eucalyptus. The groomsmen accented their gray suits with pink rose boutonnieres with full ribbon wrap.

Groomsmen Boutonnieres J.Blu Design Champaign Illinois

For the ceremony, the entrance of the aisle was accented with tall arrangements of white hydrangea, roses, spray roses, lisianthus, and stock. Their lovely scent filled the room. Pink petals and candles lined the entire aisle length while blush pomanders hung from the gold chiavari chairs. Round vases filled with double tulips, roses and hydrangea sat upon the alter.  The tall, round candlestick arrangements - that would later serve as centerpieces - were placed in the grand Pear Tree windows.   

For the reception, the dining tables were beautifully styled in blush tablecloths, gold chargers and white napkins by the Pear Tree Estate staff.  The tall arrangements from the ceremony were placed on half of the tables while the other half held round vases the same as those on the alter. The gorgeous cake from Cakes by Lori was topped with the same delicate garden roses that graced the bridal bouquet. The eucalyptus garland running down the length of the head table was accented with pink stock and the bridesmaid bouquets.

Congratulations Taylor and Josh on your marriage! Your beautiful wedding day was just the start of what I am sure will be a long and blessed union.  I love seeing two awesome people come together surrounded by their family and friends. It was clear in the brief time I spent around your wedding party, family and guests that you are both greatly loved and cherished by many. 

Thank you for trusting me with your vision and welcoming me onto your venue team.  It was a dream! 

Love, Julie

Wedding Vendors: Venue - Pear Tree Estate | Photographer - Rebekah Albaugh | Catering - l.a. Gourmet | Videographer - Ransom Wedding Films | Bridal Gown - David's Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses and Suits - Michelle's Bridal and Tuxedo | Cake - Cakes by Lori 

Three Places to Focus Your Floral Budget

Ah, wedding planning.  It is an exciting, fun and wonderful experience.  It can also be overwhelming, stressful and mind-boggling at times! For many couples, this is the first time working with event details, vendor contracts and prioritizing a long list of wants vs. needs.  When it comes to wedding flowers, this is probably the first time you have ever placed a large floral order.  With literally endless options and Pinterest inspiration, flowers can become a daunting task.  It shouldn’t be! This is another reason why finding a wedding florist you click with and can trust is so important.  Lean on them for their professional opinion and allow them to use their creativity to get the most from your floral budget. 

For me, there are three places to focus those flower dollars. Let’s talk them over…

Your Bridal Bouquet:  When it comes to flowers, this should be the showstopper!  The bridal bouquet will be in the majority of your professional pictures; first look, couple portraits, full party pictures, walking down the aisle, leaving the ceremony, detail shots…the list goes on and on.  Most likely, those flowers will be in the bride’s hand or near for a good portion of the time your photographer is shooting. Don’t skimp here, folks.

Centerpieces:  These are the flowers your guest will see up close and personal.  As they converse across the table during dinner, mingle around the room, take pictures with friends, and make their way to the dance floor, the centerpieces bring color, style, and beauty to your reception space.  If we are being budget conscious, I encourage my couples to focus dollars towards their table decorations more than aisle décor, big bridesmaid bouquets or elaborate head table arrangements.

A Statement Piece: This is where you can make your floral budget memorable. Years from now, you won't remember what the pew decorations, corsages or cocktail tables looked like, but putting money towards an installment or large arrangements will definitely be worth the investment. Consider two large arrangements or an arbor to be the backdrop for your ceremony.  They will serve double duty for formal portraits and give your guests something beautiful to look at while waiting for the wedding to start. Be sure to check with your florist to see if they could then be moved to your reception site. What about a greenery or floral chandelier over your dance floor?  Talk about making a statement when your guests walk into the reception and you can party the night away under its beauty.  Photo backdrops are also a great idea! Think of all the pictures you have at special events up against a plain,boring wall.  Wouldn’t it be cool to do a styled corner with some fun flowers to give folks a pretty place to take pictures when they are all dressed up?  Every time they look back at the photo they will remember how much fun they had at your wedding! Focus on a statement piece that is outside of the norm!

Happy planning, friends! I’d love to sit down with you to brainstorm some amazing, creative ideas for your wedding flowers. Let’s talk soon! Click here to complete my contact form and we will get a date set. 

All photographs in this blog are from a styled shoot with the amazing vendors listed below. I highly recommend any of them for your wedding and event needs! More pictures and details can be found on Cake and Lace. 
Venue: Pear Tree Estate Photographer: Sweet Darling Photography Florist: J.Blu Design Invitation and Hand-lettering: Dash/wood Wedding Dress: Edith Elan Flower Girl Dress: BHLDN Bridal Shop: Elite Bridal Hair: Something You Salon and Spa Make Up: Brittany Koroyanis Makeup Artistry Rentals: Spruce Rentals and Halls Rentals Catrering: LA Gourmet Catering Jewelry: Champaign Jewelers Cake: Sugar by Sarah Linens: La Tavola Linens

How a Crazy Idea Became a Reality

There is something so special about being invited into a couple’s life as they are planning their wedding day.  I love helping them select flowers and arrangements that evoke the look and feel they want as they are surrounded by their family and closest friends.  I love knowing that as my brides walk down the aisle they are holding a bouquet that I designed.  And, that for years to come, those flowers will be in pictures that hang on their walls and in albums they show to their children and grandchildren.  I look forward to every wedding with great anticipation and love that floral design is now my job.  Who knew that all these years later that crazy plan in college would actually become a reality!

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