Ashley and Jon kiss as sun sets

Ashley & Jon at The Barn at Back Acres Farm

July 12, 2021

A Glamping Engagement

Jon and Ashley, both from Elburn, Illinois, met through friends at a local bar. The two got engaged during a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Ashley recalls: “We drove down and once we arrived in our ‘glamping’ tent, Jon poured us some champagne—’to celebrate’ he said. When I asked what we were celebrating he pulled out the ring and said, ‘We are getting engaged!’”

Planning a Pandemic Wedding

The couple planned a September 2020 wedding, naturally running into some unforeseen pandemic pitfalls. “We had to have several stressful conversations about whether or not we were doing the right thing by having our wedding. While it was a challenge, we are so glad we stuck it out. We mostly had to have many conversations with our vendors and a lot of conversations about mask-wearing and social distancing at the venue. We were fortunate to have it all work out in the end.” Romance

Ashley and Jon went with a rustic, romantic theme for their barn wedding. The festivities started with a first look. “I am so glad we planned a first look,” Ashley reflects. “It was such a nice moment between Jon and me—sort of the calm before the storm! It took away so many nerves for both of us and allowed us to enjoy the ceremony that much more.”

Fabulous Photos

The first look and all other photos were captured by the wonderful Jyllianne at Complete Weddings + Events. “She was the best! So fun to work with and helpful, as we are pretty awkward in front of the camera.” The bride and groom so loved their experience with Jyllianne, they’re having her shoot some family photos for them this summer, too.

Dance Floor DJ

Ashley’s favorite part of the reception was the dancing. “We wanted to make sure our reception was nothing but fun, and I think we accomplished that! Our reception was unique because it was pretty relaxed. We did food, speeches, and dancing. Nothing more!” Their DJ also came from Complete Weddings + Events. “Josh was so easy to work with and the music was perfection,” Ashley says. “He even helped me get my plate of food and drinks from our food stations. Between Josh and Jyllianne, they made our day seamless and we are so thankful for them!”

Food Stations & Homemade Treats

Gooseberries in Burlington catered food stations for dinner. “It was very similar to having food trucks at the wedding. Everything was absolutely delicious!” For drinks, Drink Inc. ensured the guests had, as Ashley puts it, “every drink option they could think up.” Dessert was all homemade by Ashley’s aunt, grandma, and mom and featured cookies, apricot bars, brownies, and more. “We also wanted a cake to cut, so we used a local bakery for cake-cutting.”

The Bride’s Advice

For those in the midst of wedding planning, Ashley shares the best bit of advice she received: “Once you’ve decided on something—for example, your venue or bridesmaid dresses—STOP LOOKING. You will drive yourself crazy sifting through all the options you have. Trust your gut. Once a decision is made, check it off the list and move on.”

Make-up Artist SLT Makeup Artistry
Hair Stylist Courtney Taylor, Elburn, IL
Invitations Taylor Slager Designs
Rehearsal Dinner We had it at our Airbnb – The Downtowner Lake Geneva; ordered from Rigatony’s in Delevan
Ceremony & Reception The Barn at Back Acres Farm
Catering Gooseberries, Burlington, WI
Bartending Drink Inc
Cake Family / Grahams 318 Geneva, IL
Flowers Gooseberries
Music/Entertainment Complete Weddings & Events
Officiant Family Friend
Photographer Jyllianne from Complete Weddings
Formalwear Von Maur
Linens Gooseberries
Rings Bride: Brilliant Earth, Groom: Ben Claus – Rise Designs for ring; bolo tie: Nick Cooney Tendai designs