“Nestled back among acres and acres of wilderness, lies one of the coziest, woodland retreats. Starved Rock State Park is beyond rich in history, and the canyons and bluffs are quite unexpected in the flat lands of Illinois. The Starved Rock Grand Hall where Ariel and Rick vowed their lives to one another was the perfect backdrop for their rustic-elegant wedding day style. Candle light flickered, lace and burlap galore, and an entire day of loving toasts and celebration is what we had the pleasure of documenting. Their love for one another is beautiful and it was an honor to be among their friends and family.” xo, Annie Steele Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
If I had to absolutely pick one, it would be seeing my groom for the first time at our first look. I was secretly anxious all morning getting everything and myself ready, the second I saw a glimpse of his shoulder I was calmed.
What did you DIY for your wedding?
Just about everything I could! I was a bride on a budget, so anything I thought I could do myself I did. I started with my invitations, then the centerpieces for the tables, and it kept building from there. I also took care of the rest of the decor for the ceremony and the reception. The morning of; my bridesmaids, my parents and I got up early and decorated ourselves.
Something old, new, borrowed and blue?
Something old, my pearl necklace that I received as a gift from my parents on my 16th birthday. My Groom gave me my something new when I was getting my hair and make-up done, which were my earrings. My twin sister’s favorite perfume was my something my borrowed which is Marc Jacobs Daisy. My something blue were my shoes and garter.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
I am sure you’ve heard this before, but simply just enjoy it. Remember that this is a celebration of a commitment of eternity to your partner and that nothing else in the world matters. Don’t worry about the things that don’t go your way; what will be, will be. Most of all have fun! BECAUSE YOU’RE MARRIED!!!!!
Photographer: Annie Steele Photography // Venue, catering and cake: Starved Rock Lodge // Florist: Mary's Special Touch // Officiant: Rev. Duane Kaufman // DJ: Daniel Faczek // Brides dress: Davids Bridal // Shoes: Badley Mischka // Earrings: Kate Spade // Hair & Makeup: BM Hair & Make-up Design // Bridesmaids attire: Bill Levkoff // Men's attire: Men's Warehouse // Ring book: The Paper Walrus // Custom cufflinks: TheWeekendStore // Reception Chair Sign: Michaels // Favors: Totally Wedding Koozies // Invitations, decor, table numbers, and more: DIY-ed by the Bride