Chad and Jill were introduced by their hair dresser. Chad was chatting with her one day about how difficult it was to date in the city (they both live in Chicago), and asked if she might know anyone. She mentioned Jill, and invited both to a social event. They bumped into each other, and hit it off. Their first official date was on Valentine’s Day, and it became obvious from early on that they were great together. Jill and Chad wanted their day to be unpretentious, creative, and fun for their guests. Jill read wedding blogs for inspiration, and they did TONS of DIY projects to help save money, and create an event that was uniquely theirs.
Who, What, Where ~~ Ceremony and Reception: The Outing Club, Davenport, Iowa. Photographer: Melissa Lin Ellis. Flowers: Grown in the bride’s parents garden, arranged by a family friend. Cake: Sister-in-law of the bride.
Jill found her beautiful dress at a second hand store for just $50.00. All the flowers for the wedding were grown in her parents back yard and tended by her father. They enjoyed researching what types of flowers to use, and checking up with her dad on their progress. All her bouquets and arrangements were put together by a talented family friend.
When Jill was growing up she would always get excited to drive by The Outing Club, and catch a glimpse of the parties, and beautiful weddings they host outside on the Great Lawn. It was always in the back of her mind as a place she’d like to get married. When it came time to plan the big day, the club fit perfectly with their vintage, country, chic theme, and had enough character that it didn’t require much decoration. Jill did sew the adorable flower garland that hung overhead during the couples ceremony, using bakers twine and felt made out of recycled bottles, based on a tutorial she found on Once Wed.
None of the scripted ceremonies Jill and Chad read really hit the mark, and felt like them, so they took bits and pieces of different text they felt captured their beliefs about love, marriage, and commitment. For the ceremony send off they hand tagged bottles of bubbles to add their own unique touch.
They took tons of fun photos all over the Outing Club’s beautiful property, including some in their bowling alley!
Jill fell in love with Amy Butler’s, Belle French Wallpaper patterned fabric and they used it for the table runners, as well as the programs that also doubled as fans for the outdoor ceremony. The color palette for the event was bright, fresh, and fun, just what Jill and Chad had envisioned.
Vintage milk glass bud vases and mason jars collected by Chad’s mother held the flowers that Jill’s father put so much TLC into growing. As escort cards/favors Jill and Chad along with Jill’s family spent a weeknd making over 125 jars of blueberry jam. One of Jill’s sisters brought the blueberries from Michigan and with Chad’s guidance they spent hours creating the jam together. This wedding was a family affair from start to finish, and making the jam is one of their favorite memories with the family.
Their beautiful cake was made by Jill’s sister-in-law Emily. She had been baking for years as a hobby, but Jill and Chad’s was her first wedding cake. It was beautiful and delicious, even Chad, whose not a dessert lover had two pieces! The cake knife was used at Jill’s parents wedding, and was a way to make her mom’s memory a part of their day.
Chad spent a lot of time editing a couple of 2+ hour videos that were created out of silly and fun imagery the couple found on the internet. The videos incorporated everything from jazzercise clips to breakdancing to roller skating, and were projected simultaneously onto two screens behind the dance floor. They wanted something that would make people laugh at the same time that it inspired them to cut a rug.
Jill’s favorite part of the day:
During the wonderful toasts as the sun was setting through the windows and I looked around at all the wonderful people in our lives that helped make our day possible. We couldn’t have done it without them! It was also bittersweet since my grandmother passed away earlier that week so it was so comforting to be surrounded by so much love and support.
Chad’s favorite part of the day:
It was remarkable to be surrounded by just about every person who matters in my life, with my new bride and I at the center of it all. Days like that remind you of what is truly important in life.
A huge thank you to Chad and Jill for sharing all the amazing DIY details of their day. They really worked hard, along with their families to create an amazing event that was full of love and inspiration. Also thanks to Melissa Lin Ellis for her, as always, lovely images.