Pops of Pink Brightened Up This Rustic Spring Wedding in Illinois

Real Weddings

Lindsay Meagher plotted for weeks how she'd snag Daniel Yate's attention. But despite her attempts to woo him in a colleague's office and again at a party, she says: "He didn't ask for my number, so I figured he wasn't interested." As it turns out, she was completely wrong. Daniel soon asked her out for sushi and the rest was history. But when Daniel got down on one knee, the proposal was hardly a surprise. To make sure his bride-to-be loved her ring, Daniel asked her to try it on before he officially asked. And knowing the perfect engagement ring was waiting for her made holding out for the proposal all the more difficult, especially because Daniel insisted on asking her parents' permission in person. Finally, on a weeknight after work, he asked Lindsay to marry him at their home. "I cried, he cried," Lindsay describes. "It was so perfect, because it was so us."

For their May 9, 2015 wedding in Apple River, Illinois, Lindsay and Daniel envisioned a romantic evening with a pop of preppy design. Oak Hill Farm lent a romantic setting for the couple's outdoor wedding reception, while details in navy, white and fuchsia hues added an upscale, prep-school vibe to the affair. And photographer Caili Helsper Photography captured every detail in perfect, soft light.

Just shy of 200 guests received floral wedding invitations, which were accented with navy and white stripes and tied with pink twine. Tthere was a time I was quite nervous we'd be at or above the 200 guest limit for our venue," Lindsay reveals. "But thankfully it worked out and we had 176 guests, which pretty much packed the church!"

Lindsay tried on seven dresses before she slipped on a subtly sparkly La Sposa gown with head-to-toe lace overlay. "If you saw it on the model, it looks nothing how it did on me and it wouldn't have been a dress I would have looked at twice," she says. But luckily Lindsay tried it on anyway. "I cried and got chills when I put it on," she says. "I just knew."

Beneath her mermaid-shaped gown, Lindsay wore navy and white striped slat shoes. "I loved how I was able to tie in the navy and white theme into my accessories," she says. But, perhaps more importantly, she chose the fun and functional footwear to keep her comfortable throughout the day. "I wore flats because I'm quite clumsy, and I wanted to try to minimize my opportunities for mishaps or falls."

Lindsay carried a full bouquet of coral, pink and white peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, sweet peas and bleeding hearts. "I cried when I saw it," the bride admits. She chose to honor her new husband's father, who passed away years ago, by carrying his photo in a charm tied to the bouquet.

Since their wedding date fell right on the cusp of summer, Lindsay thought long, yet light and flowing, gowns would be perfect for her five bridesmaids. She and her maid of honor fell for Jenny Yoo's collection of navy dresses with varying necklines. "I loved how each girl looked the same, yet were able to wear the dress in a way that flattered them the most," says Lindsay. Plus, the women shopped for each dress on eBay, so they all got their styles for a steal.

Daniel and his groomsmen donned dark grey tuxedos with navy-and-white neckties. "I wanted them to look uniform," says Lindsay. "I felt it looked really classic and clean." The couple gave each guy a different floral boutonniere in the same shade of pink.

Lindsay arrived at the ceremony in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage, and then walked the aisle with her father to "Future Days" by Pearl Jam. "The first time I heard it, I cried and I just knew it was the perfect song," Lindsay says. The bride even worked a rock song into her vows, ending her pledge to Daniel with a line from Dave Matthew's song, "Best of What's Around." "I truly feel it is us," she says. The line? "See you and me have it better than most can dream, have it better than the best, so we can push on through whatever tears at us, whatever holds us down. And if nothing can be done, we'll make the best of what's around."

Colorful Spring Wedding in Illinois, Lantern Reception Decor Colorful Spring Wedding in Illinois, Plant Escort Cards

Photo: Caili Helsper

White lanterns lined a path to the couple's tented reception, while escort cards were attached to tiny plants that doubled as favors. Of the venue, Lindsay says: "Dan and I are pretty outdoorsy and very laid back, so I loved that it was relaxed and rustic, but without an overly country feel. And I think because of that, our guests were really able to have fun because they felt comfortable."

Banquet tables were topped with white linens and navy and white runners crafted by the groom's mother. The couple decorated the space with a mix of votive candles, lanterns, and floral centerpieces that mimicked the bride's bright pink, coral, and white bouquet. Daniel also spray painted white frames that held the couple's table numbers.

The couple served "wedding cake" champagne for their toasts, then noshed with guests on a summer menu that included chicken fajitas, roast beef, Mexican rice, cheesy potatoes, pasta salad, and green salad.

Though their cake was, as Lindsay describes, "small and simple," its display — a old cart decorated with a sign that read "Love is Sweet" — certainly was not. In addition to their carrot cake and chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, the couple also served cookies homemade by the bride the night before their wedding. "I made hundreds of chocolate chip cookies with a recipe my mother-in-law gave me," says Lindsay, who presented them on the dessert cart as a surprise for her new family. "She totally loved it, and everyone said they were delicious, so it was worth it."

The couple is waiting to take their honeymoon, with plans to see South Africa and Mauritius. After reflecting on their big day, Lindsay has this advice for brides-to-be: "Book vendors early," she says. "I feel like I was able to get the best vendors because I literally started looking the day after we got engaged. And by having those all nailed down right away, it saved me a lot of stress later."

Venue: Oak Hill Farm || Bride's Wedding Dress: La Sposa || Jewelry: Rent the Runway || Shoes: J. Crew || Hair & Makeup: Top Knot Studio || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Florist: Becca Blue Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Marry Me! Designs || Music: Okyne MediaLab || Catering: HyVee || Cake: Sweetheart Bakery || Favors: Odyssey Custom Designs || Transportation: Russ Stratton Limos || Accommodations: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa || Videographer: NightOwls Media || Photography: Caili Helsper Photography

Want to see more Spring weddings? Then check out another couple's seasonal bash in the video below!

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