Romantic, Intimate Wedding with Bree + Bryce

Along with the recently updated brand and website, I also revamped my blog. I have started over from scratch with this blog, so I am enjoying going back into the archives to blog some of my favorite weddings.


I knew right away that this wedding with Bree and Bryce would be at the top of my list to revisit.


Bree and Bryce are high school sweethearts and the sweetest couple. They had two days filled with friends, nature, stories, tears of joy, and dancing. Day one was an intimate ceremony at Humiston Woods in Pontiac, IL, followed by a beautiful dinner at Acres Inn, owned by their great friend, Jake Haag, also in Pontiac, Il.


Dinner was accompanied by many stories and toasts that brought laughter and tears. The drinks and food are absolutely top-notch, and the atmosphere creates a trendy vibe in this little rural town.


The next day we met in Bloomington, Il at The castle for the portraits around the old music venue, and they are HOT. Bree and I were right in line with each other, both envisioning moody, sultry shots. She nailed it, they nailed it and the pictures I love so much.


The rest of the night was full of more friends telling great stories and even more friends and family packing this venue to dance and celebrate the night away with the newly married couple.


Bree and Bryce, I still love watching your journey of adventure, travel, and your new pup. Thank You for having me be a part of your beautiful wedding.


Did you have inspiration for your wedding?

The name of the game was to squeeze in as many discretely Disney hints that we could get without making it crazy dramatic. I was a Disney Cast Member about 5 years ago, and Bryce and I got engaged at Walt Disney World in September 2017. That being said, we both love Disney and were excited to include small Disney details where it felt appropriate.


What were the colors of your wedding?

Dusty Blue, Navy Blue, Gold, Maroon


What were the most important parts to you in planning your wedding? Location? Photography? Flowers?

The most essential part to Bryce and I was to keep the wedding super personal. We wanted to include our friends and family in as many of the essential roles as possible. We're very blessed to have such caring and talented friends in our lives, and we wanted to showcase their talents and incorporate them into the happiest day of our lives. That being said, our childhood friends and family members were our makeup artists, hairstylists, officiants, readers, bartenders, servers, chefs, bakers, musicians, hosts, prayer leaders, speech givers, and so much more. We are so thankful to them.


Did you have any special details that were unique to your wedding?

We chose to have our wedding festivities take place over two days. A lot of people think this is crazy, and maybe it is! We got married on a Friday and had a very small ceremony. On that day, our guests consisted of our wedding party and our immediate families. We did this for many reasons, but primarily because we wanted to exchange vows in a very private and intimate setting. With that, we chose to have my sister and Bryce's brother co-officiate the ceremony as a way to symbolize our families joining in a very special way. Each of them was able to give their own special message to us during the ceremony, which made for a very special and emotional experience. On Saturday, we had a large reception with all of our family members and friends, and it was an awesome way for us to see everyone and really let loose and have a good time.


What was your wedding attire? Include vendors, if possible.

I wore a beautiful, lightweight gown by Moonlight, which was purchased at Lindsey Lane's in Rantoul, Illinois, and altered by Sue Davis of Personal Touch Sewing in Lexington, Illinois. I paired it with a pair of embroidered rose Tom's and a bracelet that read "Adventure is out there" by Lillian & Co. I wore a genuine aquamarine necklace that was purchased from an Etsy store called AnnalisJewelry, and I chose aquamarine because it is the March birthstone, which is the month that Bryce and I started dating. Although our new favorite day is July 13, it seemed like a good way to commemorate our ORIGINAL favorite day :)


What was your favorite wedding detail of the day? Dress? Shoes? Decor?

My favorite detail of the day was getting to have our siblings as our officiants. We were able to write our own script, they each incorporated their special personal messages, and my sister was super pumped that she got to say, "You may now kiss the bride." So needless to say, the whole thing was super unique and special for us.


What was your favorite moment of the day? Groom's favorite moment?

BRIDE: I loved our "first look." A lot of people tried to talk me out of it, but I'm so glad that we chose to go this route. It was a busy day for sure, and our first look gave us a moment where we could take in each other's presence without distraction. Bryce and I had been dating for 10 years at the time, but our first look gave me butterflies. I loved being able to share that moment with my husband and fall in love all over again.

GROOM: All the moments that didn't go as planned and our bridal party and families pulled together to make it a success. (Special shoutout to our photographer for lending us her Yeti in a time of need)


What advice would you give to brides who are still planning their

wedding?

Sometimes DIY isn't worth the stress. Sometimes Pinterest is unrealistic. Sometimes you have to think outside the box because $6 per piece of cake isn't in the budget. Don't feel bad; don't feel defeated; don't feel lesser! Talk to your fiance and hone in on what makes you tick. This is a day dedicated to celebrating YOUR love. Together, incorporate unique, little details that mean something to the two of you, and keep the rest simple.


Would you have done anything differently when planning your wedding?

Honestly, I kept letting Pinterest get the best of me. I found myself revisiting Pinterest regularly during my engagement for inspiration, and I would change my mind back and forth on some ridiculous, minuscule details. I also found myself getting super intimidated by all of the beautiful wedding photos on Pinterest and worried that mine would never be that beautiful. In the end, my day was everything I wanted it to be and more. SO, if I could go back, I'd tell myself to STAY OFF PINTEREST :)


Are you planning on taking a Honeymoon? If so, where?

We took our honeymoon immediately following the wedding from July 16 - July 23. We ventured to San Diego, stayed at a bomb Airbnb in Escondido, visited Disneyland for a day, hung out at the San Diego Zoo, went surfing, drank all the beer, and ate alllll the food :) It was beautiful!


Getting ready Location: Our homes

Ceremony Location: Humiston Woods

Reception Location: AcresInn & The Castle Theatre

Off site portrait Location: Home

Flowers: Nature's Designs

Rings: James Allen & Etsy

Dress: Lindsey Lane's of Rantoul, IL

Tux/Suit: Men's Warehouse

Catering: AcresInn & Epiphany Farms

Cake: Pfac's Bakery (Donuts)

Jewelry: Lillian & Co.

Hair: Divine Styles

Makeup: Asia Fannin

Officiant: Mitch Davis & Aubrey Gill




brandyswartz

Brandy Swartz is a Midwest and Destination wedding and travel photographer currently based out of Iowa. She has 17 years and over 300 weddings of experience. She has been published and featured in numerous wedding and photography blogs. 

contact

brandy@brandyswartz.com

815.878.5482

based out of Burlington, Iowa 

available for travel all over the world