Rachel and Stephen’s backyard wedding in St. Charles Illinois was everything they wanted out of a wedding day. A day filled with friends, laughter, and laid-back fun. I was blessed to be able to Lauren from Lar Photography as my second shooter on this wedding day, so we were able to start the day with both Stephen and Rachel and put together a super simple timeline that didn’t need them getting ready at the crack of dawn. Stephen and Rachel spent their wedding day surrounded by friends and family and had the BEST time dancing the night away at their backyard wedding.
Stephen and Rachel had just recently closed on their home a couple of months prior to their wedding day, so Rachel and her bridesmaids got ready there, while Stephen and his groomsmen got ready at his parent’s home in a neighboring town. Everything about this wedding day was close to home. From the vendors to the venue, Rachel and Stephen’s loved ones were all super important parts to their wedding day. Both wedding parties got ready collaboratively before we headed over to Leroy Oaks Forest Preserve for Stephen and Rachels’ first look.
First Look and Wedding Party Photos
Knowing that Stephen and Rachel wanted to have a moment to themselves before heading over to their backyard wedding, we stopped at a local forest preserve so that they could spend some time alone together and with their wedding party. When we arrived it was POURING rain, without a difinitive end time. Rachel and Stephen couldn’t wait to see each other though so we grabbed some umbrellas and met out in the rain so that they could see each other FINALLY.
These two immediately melted seeing each other for the first time, (as did I). Tears were flying everywhere, along with a TON of raindrops so after taking a moment together out in the rain we all made a break for our cars and Stephen and Rachel got to have one to themselves! Shoutout to these clear rain umbrellas because they were seriously a lifesaver.
Ceremony and Backyard Wedding Reception
We headed over to their family friends’ home for their backyard wedding ceremony and reception and let me say, this home legit looked like a wedding venue. It was beautiful, it was impeccable, and it had the perfect amount of space for them and their guests to celebrate with their loved ones. Back to the whole collaboration thing, this backyard wedding had tons of help from family and friends throughout the day. Every single inch of this wedding was filled to the brim with love and Rachel and Stephen deserved every ounce of it.
After their wedding ceremony, their family and friends gathered around for toasts and speeches, then as soon as the dance floor open it erupted with celebration. I LOVED celebrating Rachel and Stephen and I am so happy to have been a part of their wedding day. If you’re looking for more wedding inspiration head to my blog to check out some of my most recent weddings!