Real Weddings

The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms Wedding – Dana & Andrew

Dana and Andrew met at a mutual friends house at a bonfire. Outdoor bonfires and nights with their friends are still some of their favourite activities. The proposal was at sunset on a beach in Naples, Florida where his parents have a condo. It was at a beautiful restaurant on the beach called Baleens while the sun was setting in front of the entire restaurant and his family. Dana says it was perfect and a huge surprise!

Their wedding story begins with the premier Northern Illinois venue, “The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms”, a hidden Midwest gem near the border of Illinois and Wisconsin. This venue is known as a getaway for Chicago brides who want a rustic, industrial, yet gloriously modern and memorable venue for their day and The Pavilion boasts all those qualities and more. On the property also sits an exquisite one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast known as the “Copperstone Inn”. Originally built in 1858, this extraordinary house has been renovated with seven custom-designed suites for all who stay there, but this story starts with the bride, Dana, getting ready with her lovely bridesmaids in the “Queen’s Retreat” suite.

Dana says that their “wedding had a rustic, romantic feel. We both liked the outdoors but wanted to keep the elegance of a traditional wedding. Our colours included simple neutral colours like ivory, blush pink, gold, and sage green. We wanted it to be sweet and romantic with an outdoorsy vibe. We had a religious Episcopalian ceremony, but had a laid-back party type of reception.”

Orchard Ridge Farms is known for many things, and their 130 acres of land is one of them. So now, picture this. You’re a wedding attendee driving through the hills of Northern Illinois in the middle of nowhere, and you ask yourself, “how much farther till we get there and where is the venue? I can’t even see it!” You then happen to see a sign that states, “Wedding Here!” You slow down, start to turn the car and instantly notice the gorgeous Copperstone Inn, followed by a long and cosy gravel driveway that you proceed forward on. You see a few cats roaming the grounds, you see modern, yet small rustic buildings, tractors, a lake, and then the one-of-a-kind Pavilion in front of you. You park, get out and realise you are at a magical place. A wholesome, unique, fun wedding venue that absolutely no one can forget, as it’s etched into your mind. As you proceed towards the ceremony site you see a massive orchard on top of a hill, and as you scan the hill, two towering oak trees fill your frame as you see them surrounded by hundreds of stunning white chairs. From there you notice a brilliant altar display between the two oak trees with a chandelier dangling from the birch tree altar surrounded by floral. As a guest, you are at Dana and Andrew’s magical wedding.

“I chose my wedding day look by incorporating classy, reserved, and sexy all into one. I loved my look because my dress was conservative in the front but had a plunge back with lots of vintage lace. I wanted to look like a bride, but I did not want to look over the top. The groom wanted a suit, but also wanted to look more casual so we went with a khaki/tan colour. It was dressy enough but still gave a more laid-back look.”
“The most special moment was standing in front of our friends and family sharing our vows. Although we had over 200 people watching us, it felt like it was just him and I. I have never felt a stronger sense of love for my husband, and also from our family and friends. It was absolutely beautiful from the perfect weather and decor to both making an everlasting commitment to love and cherish one another forever surrounded by the most special people in our lives.”

As the doors opened to the reception, Dana and Andrew enter the Pavilion newly married with their bridal party and are greeted by over 200 guests who are cheering in celebration. The scene is set with outrageously, mind-blowing floral and table arrangements. As the speeches, dinner, and first dances end, the party quickly gets going, and soon enough everyone is on the dance floor. Surrounded by a live band, guests have no choice but to show their best moves on the dance floor, and the Pavilion hosts another crazy, loving wedding.

“We mostly decorated with floral arrangements, candles, and lanterns. We made simple floral arrangements of babies breath for cocktail hour with more extravagant floral arrangements with candelabras, lanterns, and wooden boxes for the reception. We made our own signs including signs for the sweets table, cards/gifts, hashtag sign, seating assignments, and table numbers (which were all different NASCAR speedways).”
“We included blush pink and ivory flowers in our arrangements that consisted of roses, hydrangeas, babies breath, and a few other flowers. The floral arrangement definitely played a huge part in both our ceremony and reception and were definitely a WOW factor.”
“We personalised our day by having a cupcake tower instead of a traditional wedding cake, having a live band for entertainment, and having each table named after a NASCAR speedway instead of traditional table numbers. These are all things we enjoy so we tried to incorporate them into our special day.”

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Photographer: Erik Anderson – Photography // Venue: The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms // Floral Designer: Event Floral // Dress Store: Volle’s Bridal // Invitation Designer: Minted // Caterer: Henrici’s Catering // Bakery: Sugarjones // Cinema & Video: Shutter and Sound Films // Band: Phase 4

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