We fell in love at 16, did long-distance throughout college, and have been living together ever since I graduated. Our relationship has been filled with cross-country travels/road trips/family vacations that doubled as visits to see each other for even just 24 hours/late night phone calls when we hadn’t seen each other in months. Jay loves me calmly and deeply and keeps me grounded. And in his words from our marriage vows, he loves me for my “confidence, creativity, and joy for life.” We chose Mohican Treehouse Resort as our venue because we wanted to turn our wedding week into a family reunion so close family + friends stayed throughout the resort in cabins and treehouses. Hiking, bonfires, parties and uninterrupted quality time (cell service was spotty 🙂 it was the best week of our lives. This day was 10 years in the making and we wanted it to be personal + intimate which guided all of our decision making.

custom sandwich board welcome sign crafted by my uncle and hand painted by my sister

Getting Ready

A calm + relaxed morning spent writing vows on the deck of our treehouse, then getting ready in cabins with all our family and friends. Our invitation suite was created + designed by my sister, addressed in her calligraphy.

Custom invitation suite

My talented friends and sisters did hair & makeup for me and my bridesmaids and it was so much fun helping each other get into our glam. My wedding day glam was inspired by Hailey Bieber and we went for a very dewey and natural look, with a classic low bun. I have never felt so beautiful but I also really loved that I still looked and felt like myself. My wedding morning attire was a Lulu’s silk teddy romper my bridesmaids gifted me, a thrifted silk robe, and feather slippers.

My sisters and mom helped me put on jewelry, dress, and shoes (gold rings gifted by Jay + Jay’s nana, gold bracelet gifted by Jay’s mom, and asymmetrical bespoke engagement ring using heirloom diamonds from Jay’s family that we designed) and my wtoo watters floral dress from Lovely Bride was perfect for me and for the day. I adored the giant crochet florals. I couldn’t find the exact shoes I was envisioning, so I created my own! I bought a simple white pair online, took off the ankle straps and replaced them with silk ribbon.


Private Vows

We chose a first look because we literally couldn’t wait to see each other & and read our private vows to one another (in the adorable custom vow books I designed). It was our favorite part of the day.

first look

we chose to read private vows to each other because we didn’t feel comfortable having to speak during ceremony, and we wanted this moment to be as intimate as possible with only our photographer & videographer there to document. Private vows ended up being one of our favorite things we did on our wedding day and if you are on the fence about it or know you won’t share personal vows during ceremony, I say do it 1,000 percent.


Me, the Bride

I knew I wanted whimsical, summer, garden-party inspired florals and had a Chicago small business in mind. Our florist, Youth&Yarrow, helped me get started with my biz back in 2018 (let me tag along to weddings and take pics of the florals for my portfolio) and she grows her own flowers and only used florals that were in season etc. for my bouquet and arrangements. She took my garden party inspired mood board to influence the crisp and bright colors, the asymmetrical floral pillars for ceremony, and the small vase + tea candle display on tables. I found affordable bud vases & tea candles on amazon to cut costs!


Friends & Family

Following the summery theme, I asked bridesmaids to get adventurous with their dresses and choose any tea or floor length floral gown they loved and they absolutely crushed it. White heels, Baby’s Breath, & dappled forest sunlight = all my wedding day visions coming true. And we wanted a laid-back feel for our groomsmen so we had them all choose an affordable white button-down and linen pants with mix and match floral ties that Jay picked out and gifted to each of his boys. Friends and family were also encouraged to dress their “summer best” and florals were the ultimate theme of the day.



Our officiant, Ali, is Jay’s sister and we loved that she knew both of us so well along with witnessing our relationship over the years. My siblings all shared stories during ceremony, my uncle made a poem using the letters in both of our names, and Jay’s grandma Ida read “The Gift” by Pam Brown (not a dry eye) and to close the ceremony Ali read a letter that I wrote Jay when I was 17 and he was leaving for college. It ends with “I’ll love you forever, in the end we’ll be together.” Our best friends + siblings (and my niece as flower girl) walked down the aisle to Beyond by Leon Bridges. And I surprised Jay with a cover of Home by Edith Wiskers for my walk down aisle (the original is a song that is special to us) and for recessional, For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder blasted and we were showered in petals.


“Jay, there are so many things that I would like to say to you but I don’t know how, so I guess I’ll just say it in the way I know best; a letter. Let me start by saying what you must do for me while you are away: 

  1. Know, each and everyday, how much I am missing you.

  2. Always remember that you are taking part in a wonderful adventure.

  3. Know that no matter what happens, I will always be here, loving you a little more each day. You are the very best thing in my life, and I’ll wait forever if that means you will be all mine in the end.

  4. Never forget about me. 

At first I was very scared for you to leave, but I’ve realized how much I trust you and how much we care for each other, and I know it will just make us stronger. I know the way that I feel about you is different, and will never change, no matter how far away we are. I love you, and I’ll always love you. In the end we will be together. 

I’ll wait forever.

Love, Sarah Jane.” 


The Gift by Pam Brown

“In you are flowers and firelight,

stars and songbirds,

the scent of summer,

the stillness just before dawn.

I love you today,

dressed in glory.

I will love you always-

dancing, singing, reading, making, planning, arguing.

I will love you cantankerous, and tired,

courageous and in terror,

joyful, fearful and triumphant.

I will love you through all weathers and all change.

For all you are is precious to me.

And every day I live with you

and share your love

is a gift to me.”


We wanted to hire vendors we know whenever possible & are lucky enough to be friends with/related to some extremely talented people. Our photographer, Brittney Raine, is a family friend (who also shot both my sister’s weddings) and I adore her work and her overall photography philosophy. She played music during our portraits in the woods, she encouraged us to pause and enjoy quiet moments together, & to do whatever we genuinely wanted at every turn. A lot of those moments turned into our favorite parts of the day. She also shot film throughout the day to add that imperfect, candid, grainy romantic goodness to our overall gallery.



Inside the Mohican Lodge we had long, family style seating for a merry and inclusive dinner, with a short and very sweet toast by my dad (I’ve seen him cry exactly 3 times, once at each of our weddings). For our first dance, we had our talented friend sing an acoustic version of Yellow by Coldplay (more crying) and it was a moment we will truly treasure for the rest of our lives. After formal dances I had my sister cut my dress to tea-length so I could really get down and everyone gathered for an impromptu performance of It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion (performed by moi with Jay as backup dancer). So much joy and laughter.


My advice for the perfect day: There’s no such thing. Choose the things that are important and meaningful to your unique relationship. And if you can, hire vendors you love and trust. Best day EVER.

To see more BTS content go to the highlights on my instagram! xx

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