Jessica & Andrew's dance party barn wedding #Real Weddings: Midwest US#barn#christian#illinois#mismatched-bridesmaids#paper flowers#rustic wedding#short dress September 23 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by: Rachel Sumner Photography Photos by Rachel Sumner Photography The Offbeat Bride: Jessica, Events Host for an independant book store Her offbeat partner: Andrew, Freelance Camera Operator Date and location of wedding: The Barn, Willowbrook, IL — May 18, 2013 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We're both outdoorsy, so an outdoor ceremony was very important. We are practicing Christians but didn't want a church wedding. One of Andy's mentors was ordained and he performed the wedding for us. We were also on a strict budget. I'm crafty, so I was able to make almost all the decorations myself along with Andy's carpentry skills to make it all happen! Tell us about the ceremony: One of my favorite moments from the ceremony was when I was walking down the aisle, basically dragging my father because I couldn't wait to finally marry Andy. Apprently Andy was just as excited, because as soon as I got up there he kissed me! I pointed my finger at him and told him he couldn't do that yet. We didn't want to do a unity candle or plant a tree or any of those things, but we wanted something to show the knot of the two of us with God. We found a cross (that now hangs in our bedroom) and tied three small ropes around the middle. It served as our personalized unity symbol. Our biggest challenge: It was the budget. We didn't have a ton of money but we had a ton of ideas. We also had a little trouble bridging a gap between traditional and non-traditional in respect to our families. In the end I think we were able to strike a balance. My favorite moment: Right before Frank, our pastor, pronounced us, Andy and I stepped a little further into the audience. Frank instructed everyone to stand up and lay hands on the people around them and form a giant circle around us. Frank then prayed over us and the day. I remember opening my eyes during this and instantly being brought to tears because the love was so tangible at that moment. My funniest moment: One of the funniest moments was during the reception. The barn that held the reception only had one giant barn door and was basically the only source of air flow. We got the cops called on us (twice) because it was such a loud and crazy party. The owner, having no problems with this at all, just told us we had to close the big door so we would stop getting calls. This made the barn incredibly hot, but didn't stop anyone from dancing! The groomsmen were dancing so hard, they started to take off their clothes. At one point all eight groomsmen were shirtless, still with bow tie and suspenders on mind you, on stage dancing to "Y.M.C.A." What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I was reminded of how many people care about Andrew and I. We have people spread out all over this country that bought plane tickets, drove, or somehow got to us on that day. Thinking about that is simply wonderful. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Dress: David's Bridal Venue: The Barn at Arabian Knights DJ: Show on the Road Entertainment Cupcakes: Jon's Bakery Photography: Rachel Sumner Photography Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS NYs Milestone Images has discounts for everyone from the US to the UK! NEXT Make your guests save the HECK out of your date with these Minted save the date designs (+ enter to win a $250 giveaway!) Show/Hide comments [ 8 ] your dress is the bee's knees! so perfect!! honorable mention to shirtless suspender wearing groomsmen! 8 agree Reply Gah! My hometown, for real?! Woot! I used to ride there (dressage)! Absolutely lovely wedding, AKF's Barn is a blast. Not sure what I love more: dat cake topper or those mason jar arrangements. Absolutely gorgeous, all of it! 2 agree Reply Hellooooo, groomsmen! 9 agree Reply You two are way too cute! This whole wedding feels very fun and intimate at the same time. I love your unity symbol, and I really love the picture taken during the laying-on-of-hands. That's an idea I may have to steal. Happiness to you both! 4 agree Reply LOVE the look on your groom's face as he's watching you come down the aisle. The pastor's hand on his shoulder makes it look like he's holding him back from running to you. 😉 5 agree Reply The laying on of hands–LOVE!!! 4 agree Reply I really must have the directions for making those fabulous paper flowers, in your bouquet and in your bridesmades bouquet, pretty pleeeeez. Love love love them. SO want to do this, my son makes oragami flowers, and I bet I could get him to learn this style, that would be super neat! 2 agree Reply Yes! They are both super easy…the bouquet and the centerpiece/ceremony/bridesmaids flowers. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the info on how to make them. I actually think the bouquets were origami! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Participate in this conversation via email No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. 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