“Natural Elegance” is what Julia & Josh wanted, and honestly, that is the best way to describe their gorgeous wedding day at the Morton Arboretum.
Not only was it natural in the sense that they were surrounded by nature, but that the event completely and naturally represented the love that Julia and Josh have for one another. The elegance came in as they were true to themselves and their family traditions, as well as hosting one heck of a good time!
Their day began surrounded by family and friends at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Downers Grove. The ladies started early getting all dolled up, with help of the hair and make up stylist at One Salon and Bridal Co. They looked adorable getting ready together in their matching monogramed robes!
Meanwhile, Josh and his groomsmen spent the morning together lounging around their suite, and getting ready to head to the Morton Arboretum for the first look and wedding party photo shoot. Shane Welch Photography and his associate, Sam, were there to capture all the fun (and silly) moments for both Julia and Josh!
With the help of her mother and bridesmaids, Julia laced into her gorgeous gown! She paused a moment for a stunning portrait in her lovely lace veil that has been a family heirloom for generations.
Julia and Josh decided to share their first look before the ceremony surrounded by the beautiful and woodsy scenery of the Morton Arboretum. Josh left the hotel early with Shane and Sam to find the perfect location for the first look. Within the walls of the arboretum’s hedge maze, he stood sweetly (smiling from ear to ear) in anticipation of seeing his beautiful bride for the first time. Making her way through the twists and the turns, Julia found her way to Josh.
They had a beautiful moment together, then made their way to the others for the wedding party and family photo shoot. Shane Welch Photography did a wonderful job capturing the beauty of the surroundings as well as the joy and energy of their family and friends!
It was time for everyone to head to the ceremony at the iconic Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park. Many personal elements were included in Julia and Josh’s ceremony. Julia grew up attending Grace Episcopal, making it a very intimate location. Bag pipes lead the way for the wedding processional to a touching ceremony that was co-officated by two Reverends: Julia’s Godfather and Josh’s best friend. It was all very special!
Their gorgeous florals were created by the talented team at Moss Modern Flowers in Forest Park. Back at the Arboretum the Five Grain Events team was hard at work prepping for guests’ arrival. Working with a group of all-star vendors, we were able to create an absolutely stunning space! The sunset, glass wall, and beautiful view of the arboretum definitely added to the atmosphere!
After the ceremony everyone loaded into busses provided by Windy City Limo and O’Hare -Midway Limo to make their way to the reception at the Visitor Center of the Morton Arboretum. Guests were wowed as they were greeted by the jazzy tunes of the David Rothstein Quartet. Passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks made their way through the room as everyone chatted and watched a fun photo slide show of the couple. Their “guest book” was a family tree art piece, created by asking guests to include their thumb prints as the leaves.
The dinning room was decorated in navy with pops of orange. Moss Modern Flowers designed fresh and dazzling table centerpieces while Josh’s mother made the wooden bases for the table cards, which created a stunning table!
As guests made their way into The Gingko Room, they were welcomed by a very cool groom’s cake, created by the artistic team at Alliance Bakery. Julia wanted to pay homage to Josh’s agricultural background and worked with the bakery to design a giant tractor cake with an edible model of Josh reading a calculous book. It was a really fun & unique design and definitely brought a wow factor to the dining room!
Another cake with “wow factor” was Julia and Josh’s wedding cake which was beautifully designed by The Cakery. I just love the different shapes for each tier and the intricate piping of the icing!
The David Rothstein Band turned up the tunes as they welcomed guests into the room. Band leader, David Rothstein, then introduced the wedding party and the newly married couple, Julia and Josh Wood! Josh and Julia made their way to the dance floor to cut their cake and get the party started by having their first dances.
During the Mother/Son dance, Josh and his mother encouraged guests to join them on the dance floor, which filled up quickly! Everyone had a great time with the band before sitting down to a delicious dinner.
Julia and Josh had decided to have dancing between courses and it was a lot of fun. It kept the energy levels high through out dinner and well into the evening! Josh’s Brother/Best Man planned a flash mob dance that totally surprised the groom! The band was jamming and it was so obvious that everyone was having a great time. There was so much love and joy in the room, it was truly an awesome sight!
On top of it all Shane Welch Photography captured this absolutely stunning final shot of the evening, which gave Julia and Josh a moment to soak it all in; they were married and it was a wonderful day!
Julia and Josh, I was so honored to play a roll in your big day! Your beautiful celebration completely represented the love, joy and fun that you two have together! I wish you lots of blessings and tons of joy in the future!