Jessica & Andrew's dance party barn wedding

By on Sep. 23rd 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!

DIYDecorations & Venue

DIYDecorations & Venue

DIYDecorations & Venue

Ceremony

Ceremony

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.

Ceremony

Ceremony

Ceremony

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.

Ceremony

Ceremony

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.

Ceremony

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.

Reception

Reception

Reception

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!

Reception

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."

Reception

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.

Jess & Andy

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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