Liz and Alex’s CSA Barn-Dance Board-Game Wedding

It’s funny we all (myself totally included) have become a teensy bit obsessed with barn weddings, because barns are pretty and rustic, not because we have any real attachments to barns. Well, not Liz and Alex. Liz and Alex got married in a barn on the farmland of the CSA that they belong to (I knnnnooooowwwww), so to say that their wedding was grounded, was rooted in their values, well, it would be a little bit punny and a whole lot true. With that, I’ll let Liz take it away:
Where your wedding was held: Our wedding and reception was held at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake, Illinois. Grayslake is a far north suburb of Chicago. The Byron Colby Barn was built in the late 1800s as a dairy barn. In the mid 1990s the Barn was taken down beam by beam and was rebuilt in a conservation community known as Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois. Before we decided on the Barn we started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and our CSA actually has farmland in Prairie Crossing. We fell in love with the Barn because it had character, it was indoors (crucial during the winter!) and we were able to hold the ceremony and the reception at the same place, which is surprisingly (for me) not common.What made your wedding creative? Alex and I did not want to break tradition too much in our wedding but we also knew that certain traditional aspects of weddings were just not us. We had a nonreligious ceremony that a friend of ours officiated. The ceremony was incredibly important to us, especially because we did not have guidelines that we had to follow. In the end our ceremony took on a traditional feel with processional in, two readings, exchanging of vows and rings and lighting of a unity candle – but we added personal touches throughout.Both of my parents escorted me in, one of our readings was “It’s You I Like” by Mr. Rogers, our vows were carefully selected, although not self-written and we extended our unity candle to our friends and family. We also kept the music in the ceremony upbeat because I did not want to sob, since I cry at everything, while walking down the aisle. Instead, I sobbed to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.We wanted our reception to be laid back and relaxing. We had a buffet line of awesome food from a great, local catering company. The cupcakes and cake were to die for; in fact people still talk about the food to this day! After dinner, we had the traditional first dance and parent dances but then we turned the iPod over to our friends. On the RSVP cards people suggested songs for the reception, which we guaranteed would make it onto the iPod and along with a lot of classics. We weren’t fussy about what songs got played when so everyone took a turn deejaying when songs they wanted to hear weren’t getting played. Alex and I also provided a handful of board games for people to play because sometimes when you’re at a wedding, you don’t want to dance but you don’t want to leave and you feel bad for just sitting around. We had games in the balcony of the barn and dancing on the main level.What made your wedding thrifty? Our wedding was thrifty because we weren’t unreasonable in our expectations and we knew what was important to us. Almost everything was DIYed and we had local wedding fairies that were not dependent on the wedding industry for their livelihood. Alex drew the robots (yes, robots) for our Save the Dates and designed our wedding invitations, the seating cards (also with robots), the programs, the tags for the root beer and the Thank Yous (again, robots here too!). We goccoed almost everything and what we didn’t gocco, we printed on our printer. We picked our own music, ate delicious food, selected our own beer and wine, drove to the wedding in my Dad’s truck and got a ride back in the hotel shuttle. We made use of our skills and resources and kept everything as sane and simple as possible.What made your wedding sane? My husband. We planned our wedding in 8 months and with less than 4 months to go I was working 50 to 60+ hours per week and I was “lucky” to be able to get the day before our wedding off. My husband made almost all of the vendor calls and we shared in the responsibility of DIYing items things. He also served as the voice of reason and helped keep our wedding practical. On the day of the wedding he was an awesome director, telling everyone what needed to happen and where things needed to go. Our wedding really felt like a team effort since it was our wedding and not my wedding. Congratulations to you both. May you remember the joy of spinning in each others arms on your wedding day for the rest of your long and happy lives together.

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