It was work and Instagram that initially brought Renee and Doug together. "He was managing a band that I was booking for an event for Apple, and we really hit it off on the phone, which led to me Googling him and us finding each other on Instagram," Renee remembers. Though they didn't meet after that first event, they kept in touch, eventually going out for dinner and then deciding to date long-distance between New York and Chicago until they took the plunge and Doug joined Renee in the Windy City.
Two months later, Renee got an amazing job offer in Nashville, so the pair packed up yet again. The night before they left, Doug took Renee out for a last date. "We sat outside on the restaurant's patio, surrounded by people, and I was sure he wouldn't propose because it was so busy," Renee says. But she was wrong — just before they finished dinner, he took her hand, recounted the story of their relationship, and got down on one knee.
Renee chose a simple strapless gown by Olia Zavozina. "I know I'll still love this dress when I'm an old lady," she says. She accessorized with a hairpiece designed by Jennifer Behr, who was Doug's old roommate in New York. She wore blush satin pumps by Kate Spade beneath her gown.
Her bridesmaids wore their own white lace dresses. All three women carried bouquets of blush-and-white roses, anemones, freesia, and tulips.
The flower girl, in a pink tulle gown with an oversized flower in her hair, had to be bribed down the aisle with chocolate. "She tossed the petals so carefully, but when she saw Doug at the end of the aisle, she ran toward him!"
Renee and Doug decided to write their own vows. "It was my favorite part of the ceremony," she says. After saying "I do" beneath the sprawling branches of one of the farm's trees, Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack played "Grow Old With You" by Adam Sandler as the newlyweds walked up the aisle.
"Our first real date was for brunch, so we wanted to celebrate with everyone the same way we started," says Renee.
Guests sipped mimosas and noshed on donuts at the open-air reception. Galvanized buckets, propped up on slices of wood, were filled with clouds of baby's breath. "Blake Shelton got married at Front Porch Farms, so we assumed it was out of our price range," says Renee. "But Kathy helped us create the wedding of our dreamed at her amazing venue without totally breaking the bank."
"We skipped the wedding cake, serving mini pies instead," says Renee. The key lime and mixed berry confections were a hit among even the youngest guests!
The temperature skyrocketed the morning of the wedding so, after lunch, Renee wasn't too surprised to turn around and see guests in the pool in their wedding-day finery. But while she was dancing, her sister told her that Doug had found his way into the pool, as well. "I didn't even thing, I just jumped in!" she laughs. "It was right before our send-off, so I changed right after, and we hopped in the car."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Front Porch Farms || Bride's Wedding Dress: Olia Zavozina || Shoes: Kate Spade || Jewelry: Jenny Packham || Headpiece: Jennifer Behr || Hair & Makeup: One10 Makeup || Groom's Attire: Peter Millar || Wedding Bands: Designed with Windy City Diamonds || Florist: Catherine Wilson || Invitations & Paper Goods: Paper Source || Music: ceremony - Dr. James Satterwhite, reception - Nashville Party Authority || Catering: Mrs. J's Baking & Catering, Fox's Donut Den || Favors: Le Macaron || Transportation: Matchless Transportation Services || Photography: Elm