Karl and Sara’s Starved Rock Lodge wedding took place on September 16th during hurricane season. Ironically Sara works in the disaster field so when the massive Hurricane Irma shut down the flower imports in Miami, her wedding flowers that we had so carefully sourced and ordered weeks in advance couldn’t all be delivered. We were left scrambling to find substitute wedding flowers that were already in stock at wholesalers locally and in California. If any bride would understand this situation, it was Sara!! Bless her heart, she was working over-time right up to her wedding day helping the recent hurricane victims!!
Deciding on a color palette and theme was extremely difficult for Sara, but in the end she and Karl went with their gut instincts and decided to incorporate things they enjoyed such as agates, geodes, wood and geometric containers. They chose colors that went well with these elements and that also felt vibrant and organic. The garden roses were among the wedding flowers that didn’t arrive so we found miniature garden spray roses out of California to substitute in the wedding bouquets. As soon as we heard the hurricane could possibly affect Miami, we went to the local wholesaler and bought what they had in stock to replace the flowers that wouldn’t be able to be delivered.
Karl completely surprised Sara when he proposed at the Field Museum. They were walking around when he asked if she would like to look at the Grainger Hall of Gems. As they viewed the gems and talked about which ones they thought were pretty, Karl directed Sara to a small case on the wall that contained a beautiful ring and note. It was such a beautiful and surprising moment, she actually asked Karl if it was real!!
Sara especially loved the process of wedding planning and started a text chain she shared with her bridesmaids (who were all family) so she could share her ideas and they could send her inspiration. Karl was smart about sharing the things that were important to him and they worked together to find ways to incorporate the designs and ideas they loved into their wedding. Sara shared her inspiration photos with us and brought us the colorful agates to incorporate into the boutonnieres.
The major hurricanes that hit in the last two months before their wedding made it difficult for her to be fully engaged as she was working 6 days per week (12 hour days) from the disasters. She felt like her head was spinning but Karl took care of some very important last minute wedding planning and close friends helped them create and craft things they had dreamed of doing in the last few weeks. They found themselves crafting at odd hours of the evening and the very rare day off!! Sara’s wedding planning advice to engaged couples is to – DO YOU!! Don’t adjust your wedding to fit everyone else – make it truly personal to you!
They found that what they enjoyed most was that they had planned a “wedding weekend” as guests traveled from across the world to Chicago, then had a 2-hour drive to Starved Rock Lodge. They were fortunate to host all of their guests on Friday for a welcome party giving them the opportunity to spend some relaxing time with everyone. Her favorite memory from the wedding was a few quiet moments after the ceremony with photographer Seth Morris Photography who pulled them aside for a few photos together while the guests headed on to the cocktail hour. It was an awesome moment of reality for them where they realized their marriage was “official!”
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