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I love the simplicity of this wedding.  So lovely, so chic, and so simple.  Also, super budget-friendly!  It’s one of those weddings that show you all the “stuff” isn’t necessary.  The “stuff” is just the decor on an already gorgeous cake called LOVE.  And I’m swooning over the gorgeous photos by The Duchess and the Rabbit.

the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
The first thing my mom said when she found out we were engaged was “I’ll make your wedding dress, just send me a picture of what you want.” The final result was a beautiful buttery soft, one-of-a kind dress that was exactly what I had envisioned. My mom had even embroidered a hidden quote in light blue on the inside of the bodice: “a wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies.”
simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
I know it’s cliche but honestly, there were so many great moments during the wedding that I don’t think I could pick a favorite. I probably laughed the hardest when my husband (on a whim) decided to do the bouquet toss and one of our male friends did a dive from across the room to catch it. I got the most choked up when Justin’s best childhood friend read “The Tent” by Rumi. The moment that I most regret not documenting was when two of our friends played ukelele and sang a sweet rendition of the Magnetics Fields “The Book of Love.” 
simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
I made as many things as I reasonably could find time for, including the save the dates and invitations, reception decor (flag garland, large framed initials, centerpieces) and the flowers for the ceremony. I thought the flag garland for the reception would be a quick and easy project but it actually ended up taking forever! Cutting all those triangles and ironing 50 feet of ribbon is way less fun than it sounds. Anything that I didn’t make, like the tablecloths, beverage dispensers, etc., I ordered online and resold or donated afterwards.
simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
How did you make your wedding YOU?
Our goal was to keep things simple, informal and budget friendly. It was important to us to emphasize the things that matter most to us: gathering around good food with good friends, and fun tunes. Early on in the planning my fiance said something that really stuck with me, he said that he wanted to avoid the “Us vs Them” feeling that he often experiences at weddings. So we really tried to incorporate our friends and family and make them feel that they were part of and included in the celebrations as much as possible. We were so grateful & honored to have so many friends step up and volunteer to demonstrate their various talents. One of my good friends made the oh-so-delicious cake, Justin’s best friend officiated and wrote the ceremony, two amazing friends played violin during the ceremony, and then during the reception our wedding party read poems, told stories and sang songs. In the end our wedding was a fun and relaxed affair which, in general, is how we roll.

I so love this wedding, both because of everything the bride said about it, and because it is just so perfectly simple and lovely.  It feels like love – like everyone the couple loved participated in some way in the wedding.  Congrats Beki & Justin!

{Vendors} Wedding Dresses: Bride’s Mother / Photographer: The Duchess and the Rabbit / Caterer:  Smoque BBQ and Whole Foods / Flowers: Bulk from Sam’s Club and Whole Foods, arranged by the bride / Save the Dates & Invitations: DIY / Venue: Lakeview Center, Gillson Park in Wilmette / Reception music: iPod / Ceremony Music, Officiant, Cake, Bouquets, Flowers & Decor, Emcee, Speakers, Advice, Good Times: Our amazing friends!

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