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Katie and Michael | Real Weddings

Katie shares the story of her and Michael’s elegantly rustic big day. And pulling at our heartstrings even more: they met while at work! Where? Right here at Nordstrom!

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Our Location:  Ceremony at Ottawa Wedding Chapel. Reception at Larson Farm, IL.

My husband and I always knew we wanted to have our wedding reception on his family farm, about 90 minutes from Chicago, where we live. It’s where we fell in love! It’s an operating farm, but no one lives in the farmhouse since the neighbors rent the property to crop the land. I describe it as our getaway lake house—minus the lake! We wanted to share our special place with guests to celebrate our marriage. The reception was tented on the farm property, and our dream wedding came to life. We put our blood, sweat and tears into making it perfect!

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Our Theme: We had a vintage-farm theme, with an elegant touch and a palette of gold and neutral tones. My mom, my mother-in-law and I collected over 200 mix-and-match antique-china dinner and cake plates for our guests to dine on. We had local catered BBQ, famed throughout the area, and people are still talking about the food! I think I’m still dreaming of the mac and cheese. 🙂 The cake was from a local bakery and was pumpkin! And we used my parent’s cake topper and knife from their wedding. The handwritten place cards were tied to little white pumpkins, which I personally picked from a local farm and scrubbed by hand. We made “Larson Wedding” signs to post around the area to help guests find their way. My husband even sawed down the centerpiece logs himself, which our floral arrangements sat on.

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Favorite Moments:
· Walking down the aisle to meet my future husband, and marrying my best friend.
· Dancing all night with family and friends (I didn’t leave the dance floor).
· Surprising my dad after our father-daughter dance by transitioning to our favorite Rolling Stones song!
· Wearing my mom’s wedding veil.

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The Dress: I selected the BLISS Monique Lhuillier strapless lace trumpet gown in blush. I would never have guessed that my dress would be blush! Staci, my wedding stylist at Nordstrom Oakbrook Center, was amazing. She truly became my friend along the journey, and was there for every step of the way. She even dressed my mom and my mother-in-law. I added a crystal belt that was sewn into the dress for some sparkle, and Staci selected a Badgley Mischka shoe, with an antique embellishment to match. My alteration manager, Joanna, was able to remove the blusher and steam the veil so it looked brand-new for me to wear! They even sewed a blue ribbon into my dress, since I didn’t know what to do for something blue! Staci also dressed my six bridesmaids in Jenny Yoo. We selected a neutral pecan color in the convertible dress. I wanted my flowers to pop and have the girls wear a neutral fall color.

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Advice for Other Brides-to-Be:
· Take a deep breath and enjoy every second. It truly goes by SO fast, like every other bride tells you.
· You can’t control the weather, so just let it go! It rained in the morning on our wedding day, and there were 30-40 mph winds! Let’s just say our wedding coordinators now carry zip ties with them. I didn’t let the rain bother me, though—it’s good luck!

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Last Thoughts:
· My engagement ring was a family diamond from Michael’s father, who passed about 6 years ago. I never got to meet him but feel really honored that I get to wear the ring that has so much meaning. The setting and band are by Bony Levy, who I personally got to meet at a trunk show at work.
· I utilized Nordstrom.com for a lot of wedding props! From “Mr. & Mrs.” burlap signs to our L-monogrammed aisle runner, there is so much online for brides.

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Where’s the Honeymoon?
Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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Photos by Kayla Brooke Photography

Did you find your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.