Jennifer + Craig : A Summer Backyard Wedding

When you want your closest family and friends all together in one place and don’t want to leave home, put up a tent in your backyard and get married!

How awesome is THAT idea?!

Jennifer & Craig organized, with the amazing help of their planner Wendy Lederman, an unforgettable and intimate backyard event that will forever be one of my favorite weddings to date.  We spent the entire day walking all around their gorgeous Arlington Heights home, decorated perfectly for their wedding.  With the amazing smell of food grilling in the front yard by Dorflier’s Meats, everyone got to hang out under the tent with cocktails as Craig & Jennifer made their rounds mingling with everyone who came.

It was the perfect Summer gathering.

When we walked through the house watching everyone put the finishing touches on the details, the back doors opened to this gorgeous white tent set up for dinner.

This is their backyard!!!! So cool!

The colorful flowers were arranged by Bill’s Grove Florist.

LOVED these lavender hanging details on the trees.

Inside, they had the table place cards and circular wood chips where guests could sign a message and place them in their wedding picture frame keepsake.

Guests also had a blast taking personalized Polaroid pictures for Craig & Jennifer to keep as memories of who came to celebrate.

But before everything started, we headed upstairs to capture a little ‘getting ready‘ time with Jennifer and their adorable dog Wally.

<3 <3 <3

Loved her dress from David’s Bridal! I kept saying it was very Grecian-styled.

First looks of the tent all set up out back. 🙂

Wally never left Jennifer’s side while she got ready.

How cute is this picture?!

Downstairs to Craig and his boys we go…

His sons helped him get ready for the big day.


Loved the bright and colorful shirt he chose for their Summer celebration.

Dad being Dad. 😉

All ready to see his bride to be for the first time…

Such a sweet first look.  How cool that it happened on the path of the side of their home?! They’ll always have that memory there now. <3SO HAPPY!!!



When you get to use your home as a wedding photo backdrop.

It was EXTREMELY hot outside, but no one seemed to care. 🙂


A few portraits in the very spot they would say ‘I DO‘ later on.


Jennifer, you just glowed ALL day! 😉

Wally stealing the family portrait show!

I can’t with this adorable little guy! So sweet!

Everyone grabbed their camera’s and cocktails and surrounded the yard as we were about to officially start the ceremony.

LOVED that they walked out together.  So sweet!

Craig’s sons stood up as his groomsmen. <3

Everyone was so excited to watch.

The final blessing!

Mr. & Mrs.!!!

Immediately followed by happy tears and champagne toasts! 🙂

Congrats you two!!!

The first moments of being married walking around your house together = <3 <3 <3

So many friends came to celebrate!

As the sun started to set for the evening, the colors on their backyard details got more vibrant and beautiful.

Time to eat that amazing food we had been smelling all afternoon!

Let me tell you personally, it was FANTASTIC!!!

Backyard weddings come with backyard dog walking breaks. 🙂

Such a pretty evening.

Before we left them to finish celebrating their night, they did an official first dance and invited guests to join in.

A little about Jennifer & Craig & their wedding *

Q.  When did you meet?  Where?

A. November 2012 someone at work set us up on a date. The rest is history.

Q.  When did you get engaged? Where?

A. November 2016 at Jellyfish, a sushi restaurant in downtown Chicago, the place of our first date.

Q.  How did the proposal happen?

A. Craig got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. He was very nervous!

Q. What’s one thing about your spouse that made you realize you wanted to marry them?

A.  The one thing Craig knew was Jennifer is is such a caring and loving person also the way my kids love Jennifer and vice versa.
Jennifer also says it is Craig’s love for his kids and caring for her and everyone in his life.

Q.  What was the most important aspect for you two when planning your wedding?

A. We wanted the wedding to be a reflection of who we are. We did not realize how much went into having a wedding in your back yard. You must be organized and really patient!!

Q. How did you choose your wedding venue(s)?
A. We wanted a smaller intimate wedding for our family and close friends. So we chose to put a tent up in our back yard.

Q.  What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?

A.  Having everyone we loved in one place!! Finally celebrating after all the planning.

Q.  What were the first dance songs?

First dance – Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney

Q. Where did you (or plan to) go for your honeymoon?

A. Hawaii – Maui and Kauai

Q.  Can you give any advice for future couples planning a wedding?

A. We hired Wendy Lederman to help us plan. Wendy took the lead and took a lot of pressure of us planning the wedding and the day of the wedding. Be very patient and organized. Great photo’s was really important to us. Find a photographer who you are comfortable with and capture what you want. Hire Elizabeth Greve! (THANK YOU GUYS! 😉)

Q. How did you hear about ME – your photographer? ?

A. Was looking on line after seeing her work we set up a meeting with her and were really comfortable with her!

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Thank you for sharing! And thank you for letting me be a part of your unique day! It was truly my honor to be there.  I wish you all the joy in the world for years to come and many, MANY years of blessings!  Lastly, lots of LOVE and LOTS of laughter!


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Thank you Maria for capturing me with the bride & groom! Love these!

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