Dekalb Wedding Photography :: Kaylee + Alex



Kaylee and Alex are such an amazing couple! We had a blast photographing their wedding,  the love was just beaming off of them as each minute went by. A perfect, sunny – summer day! The above is one of my favorite images from the day, it was after we did the wedding party “fun” photos around town and headed towards the nature preserve for the ceremony.We had a few extra minutes, and I asked if I could privately swoop the two of them away, down the road to where I saw this beautiful tree and the most amazing mid afternoon sunlight. We had some time for more romantic moments, and some relaxing quiet time right – letting Kaylee and Alex enjoy some intimate time together. It was perfect. Moments later, Kaylee was walking down the aisle in a beautiful field to marry the man of her dreams. Here is their story and details from their ah-mazing day!



WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT IMAGE?? This was a ridiculously hard decision. We
had about thirty contending. However, we chose this as our favorite because not only does
it capture us in the ending moments of our ceremony, but it also shows the beautiful nature
that we wanted to surround ourselves in that day, as well as the trellis that Alex and his
grandpa decorated and designed. Also, we’ll just say that the angle and position of the
picture is perfect. It’s just a beautiful photo.

WHERE WAS IT? We had the civil ceremony at Afton Forest Preserve & prairie reserve,
which is a small and and out-of-the-way forest preserve outside of DeKalb. We would
always bike here together for picnics during college or to go on the weekends to do prairie
restoration work. The after-party was at The House Café right on the main street in
DeKalb—it’s a very eclectic and fun coffee shop and live music venue….we were always
here studying, eating incredible food, or catching some spectacular shows.

THEME OR STYLE: No real theme, but perhaps DIY—we just wanted everything to be a
reflection of who we are

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GROOMSMEN DETAILS: We had a lot of fun with the guys’ outfits. At first we thought
Alex would wear a suit jacket, but then realized that the weekend would be very hot, and
secondly, it was a pretty laid back wedding, anyway! So, we decided on a vest for Alex
to have him stand out from his groomsmen. The boutineers were handmade by Alex’s
grandma, using simply buttons and feathers, which was incredibly convenient since they
could be made well ahead of time to assure they were what we wanted and to save time in
the days leading up to the wedding.

018BRIDE’S SHOES: Having the wedding outdoors and in a prairie reserve, I knew that I wanted
to walk barefoot—I’ve never been much of a shoe person….but I am a big jewelry fan and avid
henna painter. So, I took the money instead and contacted an artist who made custom jewelry on
Etsy (Michelle, http://www.etsy.com/people/beadifulexpressions?ref=ls_profile), specializing in
barefoot sandals. I gave her an idea of what I was looking for, and she handmade the perfect pair
of anklets. I topped it off with decorating my feet with henna as well!

THE FLOWERS: Alex’s grandma also made our bouquets for the ceremony. Seeded
eucalyptus was one of the most important items to include in the bouquet for me, and
since we were worried about it being in season or being of good quality, we found some
preserved eucalyptus online, which was fantastic and well-priced to assure we got what
we were looking for. As requested, she wrapped the bouquet in burlap, which was used in
various parts of the day (as bows on chairs, centerpieces, etc).

019A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Our rings were dropped!! In the middle of the wide green
grassy fields! Alex’s uncle swooped in and found the ring within one minute, to the surprise
of everyone.

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WEDDING FAVORS: We used personalized notecards imbedded with wildflower seeds to
keep in line with our idea of having the ceremony at Afton forest and prairie reserve.

THE CAKE: Our close friend, Jori Campagna of All-Veg Delights in DeKalb, baked a vegan carrot
cake for the wedding, as well as a couple hundred vegan chocolate, vanilla, and carrot cake
cupcakes. It was important to us to have all items at dinner and dessert be vegan, and our
vegan baker friend was more than willing to help us out with this! Alex and Kaylee also
prepared a spread of a vegan dessert buffet, seeing as Kaylee is a vegan baker down in
Austin, Texas! It wouldn’t be a true party of ours if we didn’t provide an over-abundance
of homemade treats!

INVITATIONS & STATIONERY: We both went out to a craft store, purchased tons of
warm colored card stock, stamps, buttons, hemp, and textured paper, and we created
our own hand-made invitations! It was a lot of work—specifically when we decided to
stamp our names on the front—but the payoff was well worth it. It meant a lot more to us
to create each invite, but we admit we might’ve gotten in over our heads. The inside we
designed ourselves as well, and it was printed on white textured paper that we taped on the

CATERING: Dinner was one of the most important planning aspects that we had, seeing as
we are huge foodies. We sought out two of our favorite restaurants in DeKalb to provide
some veg-friendly dinnerfare. Mediterraneo and Thai Pavillion in DeKalb normally don’t
cater, but it was a simple matter of going in, talking with the owners, and coming up with
a plan. They did a wonderful job, and the dinner of cucumber salad, egg rolls, sundried
tomato dip, hummus, baba ganouj, pad thai, pad kee mow, curry friend rice, falafel,
cilantro garlic potatoes, and lemon sumac salad (among other things) were by far one of
the least familiar parts of the celebration for most people—yet also one of the most talked
about and enjoyed! We still haven’t stopped hearing rave reviews about our food! Serving
everything buffet style was key here because we knew not everyone would be open to a
single plate of falafel and pad thai, so we figured it would be best to let people whatever
seemed appealing to them. To help, we laid menus on each table with descriptions of each
item on the buffet. Later at night at The House Café for the after-party, we had bottles of
wine and a locally brewed beer available on tap for everyone to enjoy. We were lucky that
the coffeeshop and music venue that we had our after-party at is already decorated on a
day-to-day basis with curtains and artwork from locals, so we didn’t even need to worry
about setting up for this part of the night.

THE ENTERTAINMENT: We had one of our good friends be the Emcee for the night,
and then one of our groomsmen (who happens to be a fantastic musician—Chris Dertz
of Bedroom Sons) played a live show for us (with a couple other musically inclined
groomsmen helping him out on drums and base). Dertz also surprised us with a song he
composed for us, which was hands down incredible and perfectly representative of us.

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THE HONEYMOON: We had recently spent a month in Europe together after Kaylee finished
a 6-month backpacking trip across Europe, so we decided that was more than certain a sufficient
replacement for a honeymoon! We’re planning to go camping in Utah and Colorado next
summer for our one-year anniversary.



The entire process was amazing and so much fun—but I think the main reason why is
because we both decided that many things would go wrong or be forgotten, and we knew
it would happen no matter what. It really created a much more laid-back atmosphere
with no one stressing. Loads of things didn’t go as planned—Alex misplaced the bag of
suspenders for everyone minutes before we had our first look and everyone was getting
ready, Kaylee’s jewelry and undergarmets were all left at a hotel 25 minutes away, the
baby’s breath for the centerpieces at dinner got lost, wedding favors for special helpers and
vendors were forgotten in someone’s car, Kaylee’s packed stay-over bag for the hotel was
forgotten—but when you are of a mindset to just let things happen and to kick back and
enjoy every moment, laughing at what didn’t go as planned, everything seems more than
perfect. I wouldn’t want the day to have gone any other way! That being said, if you do
as much of the wedding yourself as we did, we would recommend putting forth the money
to have a wedding planner the day-of. It would’ve helped to have someone in charge of
ensuring everything made it from one place to another, and that people knew what they
were doing. Our families and friends helped out a lot, but having someone as the go-to who
is not emotionally involved or related to us would’ve taken a lot of pressure off.

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    Laura Meyer PHotography

    Serving Oak Brook