We had the pleasure of shooting Lauren and Keaton’s wedding ceremony and reception back in May and today we’re so pleased to be sharing their wedding photos with you! The sun came out just in time for Lauren and Keaton and gave them their perfect outdoor ceremony! Discover how these two created their dream rustic wedding at White Oak Farm!
If you’re currently searching for a wedding venue with rustic charm, that’s not too far from the city, we cannot recommend White Oak Farm enough. When we arrived for the wedding of Lauren and Keaton, we were blown away by the beauty of the place. It’s a tranquil, rural oasis that feels a million miles away from the business of the city. It made the ideal setting for a couple who love the great outdoors and had dreamed of trying the knot out in the open air
I was best friends with Keaton’s sister back in 1st grade, and all the way through to 4th grade, when she sadly moved away, and unfortunately lost contact. However, years later, we discovered that we were both attending University of Illinois! From then on, we were once again inseparable!
I vividly remember the first dayI met Keaton. i went over to their house after an eye doctor appointment, and there he was. From that moment, Keaton, his sister, and I would all hang out. Together, we would have bonfires, go bowling, and spend most of our time together. Eventually, it got to the point where Keaton and I knew we had feelings that went beyond being friends and started spending a little more time alone. We would go hiking and fishing, basically anything outdoors! Keaton asked me to be his girlfriend on March 6, 2017, and now, here we are 5 years later, married!
Keaton popped the question at Brown County State Park on the trail around Ogle Lake. This place is special to these two because it’s where they went on our first vacation as a couple, back in 2017. This trail was the first trail they hiked together. It was kind of a full circle moment, and now holds a special place in their heart.
So, it’s a little crazy, but I was watching TikToks one night before bed, and I came across the most beautiful Martina Liana gown. I searched for it online, and found that Something Blue carried it at their store, so I made an appointment with them. When I got there for my appointment, it was the first dress I tried on, and from the moment I slipped it on, I knew it was the dress I needed to get married in. I’d never felt more beautiful in my whole life, and I actually got goosebumps while looking at myself in the mirror. I did try on a few more dresses, but my mind just kept coming back to that dress. So, of course, I put it back on and said yes to the dress!
As a couple, we were most anxious about the weather. We’d always envisioned having an outdoor ceremony, and that’s why we chose the White Oak Farm wedding venue. Their outside space is stunning. I was checking the weather all week, and it kept changing, so my anxiety was through the roof. It did end up raining on our wedding day, but by some miracle, it stopped raining at 3:30pm and the sun came out just in time! We were able to have the outdoor ceremony we’d always wanted, and it was beautiful!
The only other thing I was nervous about, personally, was everyone staring at me as I walked down the aisle. I know that sounds so silly, but the second I got to the top of the aisle, the only person I saw was Keaton. Everybody else just faded away.
We always loved the idea of a rustic wedding, and that’s how we styled our wedding day at the White Oak Farm venue. I loved having the Sola Wood flowers as our centerpieces. They were so pretty, and they really aligned with our overall theme. Pinterest was definitely my best friend throughout the entire wedding planning process!
For the overall feel of the day, we just wanted all our guests to enjoy their time celebrating our marriage. Every one of them means so much to us, and we couldn’t have had austic wedding at the White Oak Farm without them!
Our experience taking photos with Lauren and her team was amazing. Her team had endless energy and creativity, which was so contagious! We made the most of our day, and I would not trade that experience for anything. Lauren was the most incredible hype woman too! She made everything fun, and everyone was so comfortable and in their element when being photographed by her. Lauren even helped me bustle my dress, which was so sweet. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.
Don’t be afraid to take risks. We took our first look shots in the rain, and my dress was soaking wet by the end of it, but it was completely worth it! Embrace every last second of your big day and just have fun. You will cherish your photos forever.
One major tip would be to find photography inspiration you love during the planning process, and use it to get a better idea of the direction you want your wedding photos to go in. Also, bring your ring box, if you have one, on the big day. Along with your wedding invitation suites, perfume, jewelry, veil, and anything special you’d like included in your flat lay photos. I brought a special hanky from my great-grandmother that was included in our flat lay photos, and it was beautiful.
Entertainment: HYPE productions from Lansing, IL. Our experience with HYPE was outstanding. Our DJ and MC were phenomenal. They kept the party going and everybody had a blast.
Cake: Desserts by Juliette from Kouts, IN. We enjoyed working with Susan. She made the planning process and picking out cake/cupcake flavors super easy. Not to mention, the cake and cupcakes were delicious!
Bridal store: Something Blue in Schereville, IN. Shannon is absolutely wonderful. She helped me find my dress and accessories – a real sweetheart. There was a little mishap with my earrings, her and the owner, Sandy, were so kind and apologetic. I could go on and on about how amazing my experience was there!
Florist: La Petite Fleuriste in Crown Point, IN. Lori was incredible to work with. She made a vision board with pictures I’d sent her from my Pinterest, and created a color scheme based on those photos. She also knew I was using Sola Wood flowers for my centerpieces, and she incorporated those into our bouquets, which was stunning.
Hair: Kara Becker. We go way, way back as childhood friends. I adore her, and she is so good at what she does. My hair was precisely how I’d pictured it would be for my wedding.
Makeup: Julie Munn from Manhattan, IL. Julie is the best. She was so attentive to every detail. She made me feel simply stunning. Not only that, but she was a great communicator throughout the entire planning process. I just love her.
Venue & Coordinator: White Oak Farm Wedding Venue. Rebecca, the owner, was fantastic. She was responsive to all our emails, and was so helpful throughout. As was Gabby, our day of coordinator. She just made everything go so smoothly, was incredibly helpful with setting up our reception space. As well as being attentive to our needs while we were in the bridal suite getting ready. Plus, the venue itself is just breathtaking!
It would be an honor to become a part of your wedding team, and create that timeless keepsake of your big day that you’ll love forever. Myself and my team of Chicago wedding photographers at videographers at Lauren Ashley Studios will go above and beyond to capture the atmosphere of your special occasion, and share it with passion and authenticity. We welcome you to browse our portfolio of wedding photography, videography and if you would like information about our investments please click here. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Chicago, or beyond, and you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.