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Hawthorn Woods Country Club wedding ceremony and reception | Taylor & Brian


I could not wait to blog this wedding!! Photographers hope for one good sunset photo, but on this incredible day, I felt like I hit the sunset jackpot!! I could not choose just a couple, so I’m sharing most of my favorites.

All the fun and photos took place at  Hawthorn Woods Country Club.

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Dress: MoriLee Kimberley Wedding Dress style 8211
Dress: MoriLee Kimberley Wedding Dress style 8211
Photo by Carol
Officiant: Reverend by Request
Photo by Carol
Cake: Lovin’ Oven
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From the Bride…

Venue: Hawthorn Woods Country Club.

They were absolutely amazing from the minute I contacted them. I remember I did a web inquiry at like 8:30 PM, and Lisa (the event coordinator) had reached out to me with all the information I requested and her contact information to set up a tour by 11:30 PM the same night! Lisa was amazing and helped make our day go off without any complications. She took care of everything and always answered my questions (even when I sounded like a crazy person haha). And when I say everything, I mean literally everything. Lisa handled setting up all my decorations and centerpieces for me, coordinated getting our cake to the venue on time, made sure my other vendors had comfortable places to sit and decompress away from the main reception area, and cleaned everything up for us as well! She even went out of her way to get a keg of beer for us from a local brewery so we had a little personal touch to our bar tap.  We had the space until midnight, and by 12:15, everything we brought with was packed up and ready for us to load up and take back home so we didn’t have to worry about coming back the next day.

Since we picked a date right before a pre-scheduled event the club was having for members, we were able to get the tent for our ceremony for a fraction of the cost. We liked being able to have an indoor and outdoor space even though it was ridiculously hot, so thankfully our ceremony was short. But once the sun went down and it cooled off, people were able to go sit out on the patio and relax around the bonfires if they wanted.

The food was absolutely amazing! Portion sizes were HUGE and the food was just delicious. Someone actually just re-mentioned it to me this week that it was some of the best food they’ve ever had.

Dress: MoriLee Kimberley Wedding Dress style 8211 (https://www.morilee.com/product/bridal-wedding-dresses/morilee/kimberley/) from Kathryn’s Bridal in McHenry.

Kathryn’s Bridal was a nice boutique to work with. They had a lot of plus-sized options which was great for me. In hindsight, I honestly think I would have gone with a different dress… Or added straps or something to it. I loved the dress so much when I tried on the sample, but then once it was actually altered to fit my body, I honestly didn’t love it anymore. I am well-endowed in the chest region (haha), so I trusted the alterations department when they said the boning they put in my dress would hold all night. If the boning did what it was supposed to do, I would have loved my dress! But since it couldn’t hold up the girls all night long, I think I ended up being pretty disappointed in it.

Suits: Gray Dillon from Jim’s Formal Wear We decided to go with Jim’s Formal Wear since they have locations all over and were told the best man and bridesman could go to any location to be sized and order their suit to have it shipped to the location of their choice. Since Brian’s best man lives in Sugar Grove, we agreed that would be perfect that way the best man didn’t have to come all the way up by us to get fitted and stuff. They let our best man get measured in a Jim’s close to his house, but they sent his suit to McHenry anyway since McHenry had a seamstress in-house for any alterations. While that part was nice, we wish they would have told us that before we decided to get suits from them. It’s already a lot to ask someone to stand up in a wedding, so add on having to inconvenience them by having them drive over an hour one way for a suit/fitting and you feel like a jerk. Overall, Brian was really happy with their suits though. He loved how they fit and how they looked on everyone.

Bridesmaid/Junior Bridesmaid Dresses: JJsHouse (https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-Princess-V-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Bridesmaid-Dress-With-Ruffle-007105575-g105575) and (https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-Princess-Scoop-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Bridesmaid-Dress-With-Ruffle-007105573-g105573)

My matron of honor actually suggested this website since she had good experiences with them in the past. My matron of honor, Brian’s groomsmaid, and my junior bridesmaid were all three very different body types. I told them all they could pick whatever style they wanted, I just asked that it be floor length and purple. The quality of the material was a lot better than I expected it to be and they shipped super quickly compared to what I feared. I loved the dresses they ended up picking for themselves.

Flowers: Prairie Basket Florist Candy Quinn has been doing flowers for my family for years! She did the flowers for my mom’s wedding back in 2006, and my grandma used to have Candy make up all the floral arrangements for Good Shepherd hospital when my grandma still volunteered there in addition to any personal flowers my grandma needs. Candy did an amazing job with everything. I didn’t have a ton of guidance for her besides “crayon purple” and no roses/greenery. I knew I wanted my bouquet to be all calla lilies in white and shades of purple, but she had the freedom to do what she wanted for the bridesmaids and parent/granparent flowers. She was even able to accommodate silk flowers for my mother-in-law which was a huge help for me! I would recommend Candy to anyone looking for a florist.

Cake: Lovin’ Oven Everyone around us always raves about Lovin’ Oven’s baked goods, so I was thrilled when the country club told us they were going to start a new partnership with them! Our wedding cake ended up being included in our final bill to the country club which was nice. We had one layer of yellow cake, one layer of marble cake, and one layer of pound cake each with a strawberry frosting middle, chocolate frosting middle, and vanilla frosting middle. I thought it was delicious and was sad I only got a few bites haha. The best part is that Lovin’ Oven will recreate our top tier for our anniversary for free!

DJ: Spinnin’ Discs We had Bill from Spinnin’ Discs as our DJ and absolutely loved him! During the process leading up to the wedding, Spinnin’ Discs has an online portal we could use to add songs we absolutely wanted to hear or songs we hated and didn’t want to hear at all. We were also able to add in our timeline so that Bill could help us stay on time for everything and see what songs would be playing when. After all the formal dances were out of the way, we thought he did a very good job of playing music older people would dance to at the beginning of the night and transitioning to younger music at the end. Honestly, I don’t think there was a single time the dance floor was empty that I remember!

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Officiant: Reverend by Request Reverend David made our ceremony exactly what we wanted it to be. I personally am not a hugely religious person, so the officiant was definitely up to Brian. Reverend David listened to both of us and got a feel for our personalities and styles and made the perfect ceremony script. He sent us over options of things for him to say throughout, so we were able to pick things we liked and removed things we didn’t. We also didn’t want people to get bored while they were sitting, so Reverend David made sure to keep everything quick and concise so that our ceremony didn’t last longer than 15-20 minutes. He was very easy to work with and incredibly polite.

Videographer: Our Wedding Movie Originally I didn’t want a videographer since I honestly couldn’t justify spending the money on one, but Brian ended up convincing me we at least needed someone to catch the ceremony and first dance. So I did some research and found Our Wedding Movie. Their bronze package was incredibly affordable compared to other videographers, so we decided to give them a chance. I am honestly very glad Brian convinced me we needed a videographer because one of my sets of grandparents ended up not being able to make the wedding last minute, so now we have something we can take over to their house to show them.

Makeup: Melanie’s Makeup Artistry So glad that I found Melanie! I never ever wear makeup, like literally ever. When I went for my trial, she listened to my concerns and asked what my dress looked like and the venue and created the perfect look for me. Melanie is so personable and down-to-earth, so it was nice to have that to calm the crazy of getting ready for the big day in the morning. The best part for me was that she did not require a minimum amount of people she was going to do makeup for. I had a very, very small bridal party. Even with my mom and sister deciding to get their makeup done too, I did not have the minimum amount of people most other makeup artists require. My makeup held all day, even through the sweating that I did, so I was thoroughly impressed. If I ever have another event I need makeup for, I will definitely use Melanie again.

Hair Stylist: Christine Friederich from Spring Grove. Christine has known me since I was in second or third grade and used to cut my hair and did my first ever color. When I heard she was doing hair again, I was thrilled because she is the updo queen! My hair is a pain in the butt when it comes to holding a curl, but Christine had the magic goods to make my hair hold all day, even in the heat and humidity.

The cake topper was my favorite purchase!I got my cake topper from Mudcards on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/mudcards?ref=shop_sugg). Keren was so easy to work with and took all my questions and changes in stride. I loved that we were able to get a customized topper that included our cats. My cat Snowy passed away before our wedding, so Keren was able to make a halo and add angel wings on to Snowy’s little sculpture. We were also worried about our other cat Pants possibly not making it to the wedding, so she sent along a spare set of wings and halo just in case (thank goodness we didn’t need to add those in – Pants is still going strong!). I have our cake topper on display in our entertainment unit along with a bunch of other stuff from the wedding.

Favorite Memory: Oh this is tough… It might be the same as the funny moment for me. Pony by Ginuwine came on, and my cousin Catherine pulled up a chair and joked that Brian needed to give me a lap dance, and he of course accepted the challenge.  It was hilarious and mortifying all at once.

For the most part I was a pretty low-key, stress-free bride. We did a bunch of the planning during the off-season for our jobs, so we had most of the hard stuff out of the way. I remember worrying about where to sit everyone and then receiving unwanted suggestions from other.  But honestly, everyone is a grown adult and can suck it up for an hour to eat their food. After that, everyone moves around to where they want to be anyway. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone. If you start listening to everyone and their suggestions, you will end up losing what it is you and your significant other really want for a wedding. It is your special day, not everyone else’s. So do what you want so it’s your perfect day.