Amanda & Anders | Illinois Wedding at Byron Colby Barn

M Lindsey Photography

Amanda and Anders’ wedding was a unique blend of rustic, preppy, and modern. Their inspiration? “We knew we wanted a day that reflected both of our personalities and style, so nothing too girly or frilly. I’m a graphic designer and Anders is Swedish, so we have similar taste. We like clean design and the Ace Hotels were a big style influence. We also wanted to stay pretty classic and timeless, so we tried to keep certain things (like what we wore) pretty classic.”

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A family friend did all of the flowers for the day.

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Amanda and Anders’ wedding was all about friends and family: “We involved a lot of family and friends in the day. A group helped set up the barn the morning of. A bunch of Anders’ family and friends came into town from Sweden. Our wedding party was all siblings – we were fortunate that they were all able to be there. And our nephews were our ring bearers but carried flags from the two countries instead of rings, mostly because they were both really young. And my aunt was our officiant.”

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How’s this for an addition to the dessert table: “A friend who was living in West Virginia shipped us some real moonshine that we bottle up in little jars and labeled by flavor and served on the sweets table.”

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DIY elements included the striped table runners and table numbers, plus invitations, typewriter menus, programs, and signs.

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Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We both love the outdoors and wanted to get out of the city for a more comfortable, low key wedding. The barn had a long list of caterers to choose from or lets you bring in one that is not on the list. We love cooking and good food and restaurants, so our caterer was flexible and really worked on the menu with us. The barn also allows you to bring in your own alcohol, so we were able to work with Binny’s to get exactly what we wanted. We had a great bar! And the setting was just beautiful from the wood tables to the restored flooring to the bar in the silo. It was an easy place to decorate.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Having all of our family in one room was amazing and something that probably won’t happen ever again. Weddings are a special time in that they make it possible to be able to bring everyone together like that.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  My dad and I have a song that we always danced to while I was growing up: “The Way You Look Tonight,” Sinatra version. It had us laughing at first and then my dad bawling at the end. And we have a group of friends that started the tradition years ago of lifting the bride Dirty Dancing-style during that one “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” song from the movie. A lot of guests didn’t see that coming. So fun.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t get too excited too early on in your planning. You’ll likely change your mind on things, so before making any decisions, take your time to think about what you want the day to look and feel like and it will all come together more cohesively. And plan the wedding with your groom! We had so much fun doing that and it was nice to be equally in charge of getting things done.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Looking at other weddings can make you think you need to do/buy/include every little detail, which can really start to add up. We didn’t go overboard, and we don’t regret it at all. Being able to order alcohol directly from Binny’s was a big money saver, too. And our DJ was an iPod DJ who plays playlists that you provide and was really affordable.

Vendor Credits

Photographer: M Lindsay Photography / Venue: Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake, Illinois / Day-of Coordinator: Ashley Solovy / Dress: Mori Lee / Shoes: Ivanka Trump / Suit: Calvin Klein / Tie, Pocket Square: Amanda Christensen / Shoes: To Boot New York / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ralph Lauren / Floral Designer: Cindy Platt / Music: Just Press Play Productions / Caterer: Heller Catering / Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery


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