We are so excited to share Alicia and Tony’s wedding, a very special couple who redefined the meaning of a stylish and ultra luxe country garden wedding. Their 400 plus person affair was set against the backdrop of the family’s gorgeous private estate in Barrington Hills, IL. At the helm of this high style wedding was Jesse Deckard, Senior Wedding and Event Design Consultant of Bliss Weddings & Events who approached Kehoe Designs’ Phil Cooper to produce one of our all time favorite outdoor weddings. From the majestic ceremony scene, spacious navy and white striped reception tent, to the many small signature elements throughout, read on how this dynamic team collaborated to take the bride’s vision of a natural yet polished wedding far beyond her wildest dreams.
Ceremony | Under the Weeping Willow
“The property, where the family’s horse farm is located, was beautiful to begin with,” says Event Producer, Phil Cooper. Throughout the sprawling estate, a number of majestic trees shade the lush green lawns. “When we came upon the grand weeping willow, we knew it would be a perfect spot for the ceremony,” adds Jesse Deckard, who proposed enhancing its natural beauty with an abundance of striking purple wisteria. To bring his vision to life, Kehoe Designs fastened over 4,500 stems of faux purple wisteria to the 40-foot-tall willow tree. Complementing the all natural ceremony site, the aisle was lined with a long row of planter boxes overflowing with brightly colored floral, evocative of a meadow bursting with wildflowers. To add a tailored elegance to the natural wood and moss planter boxes, Jesse suggested an overlay of equestrian cross rail fencing, a design element repeated from the wedding invitation. Kehoe Designs used the pattern to beautifully execute the signature planter boxes seen below.
Photo credits: 1. Kehoe Designs 2-4: Liz Banfield Photography via The Knot
Cocktails | ‘Rough Luxe’ Elegance
“The idea was to add layers of chic, modish design elements as the night progressed,” explains Jesse. For the cocktail hour, a large sailcloth tent played off nautical elements to be revealed later in the evening. Beneath it, Kehoe Designs’ ‘rough luxe’ furniture collection and massive clover-shaped bar brought understated elegance to the outdoor affair. “The cocktail hour was a tease of what was to come,” adds Phil. Rustic wood elements now combined with finer touches; a wood palette bar treated with a rich ostrich top, for example. Carrying through the design from the ceremony planter boxes, Kehoe Designs created pedestals in similar fashion, studding them with stately silver trumpet vases. To add a playful twist, the Bliss team suggested an interactive concept where as guests left cocktails, they passed through a floral arbor and “picked” a delicately folded, paper rose place card. Here, Kehoe’s floral designers covered our vintage wood balustrades with lush green foliage and twisted vines to simulate the whimsical rose garden pathway.
Photo credits: 1-3 Kehoe Designs, 4: Liz Banfield Photography via The Knot 5: Kehoe Designs
Reception | Perfectly Posh
Our bride had one ardent wedding wish; a beautiful tent with navy and white striped ceiling. The navy and white immediately created an upscale feel which Jesse accentuated with layers of chic patterns along with Kehoe Designs’ luxe white furnishings and stylized floral centerpieces. “As guests walked through our gorgeous curved fabric entrances, they experienced an entirely new level of elegance,” Phil says enthusiastically. Not only did our bride get her navy and white striped ceiling, the tent was outfitted with custom upholstered wall panels and crown molding to give it the allure of a beautiful residential space.
Of utmost concern to our client was guest comfort so tables were spaciously laid out with three alternating table designs. A combination of our sleek, high gloss white rectangular tables with square and round tables covered in stylish, tailored linens brought dimension and intrigue while also adding intimacy to the large space. Jesse’s vision was that each of the table collections have elements subtly echoing the evening’s themes. “For the rectangular table’s centerpiece, a collection of beautiful accessories, including our handsome white porcelain horse statues, added to the design’s signature feel. Every table also hosted bespoke boxes, whether boxwood planter or floral container, to tie in the various patterns at play,” describes Phil.
Photo credits: 1-3 Kehoe Designs
For the band surround and dance floor, the design team chose circular patterns. “Jesse loved our crystal chandeliers and from there we decided to create a custom, cylinder shaped shade from a gorgeous pattern made specifically for this event,” continues Phil. Kehoe Designs craftsmen hung the fifteen clustered chandeliers over a semi circle dance floor covered in glossy white vinyl. Here, the cross rail fence pattern returned to provide a familiar detail along the dance floor’s edge.
Photo credits: 1-3 Kehoe Designs
“For the stage backdrop, we both loved the idea of bright, vibrant green walls,” says Phil. To achieve the look, the team turned to Floral Exhibits, a division of Kehoe Designs, for their immense selection of beautiful greenery and topiaries. To the left and right of the couple’s large monogram, large living walls of gorgeous white azaleas flanked by sculptural boxwood walls provided a more formal and manicured garden wedding feel. Not to be forgotten, the stage area also displayed Kehoe Designs’ hound statues in honor of the couple’s beloved black lab, Charlie.
For the tall centerpiece design, Jesse dreamed up dramatic 12-foot-tall “mini” weeping willow trees; one of the most impressive (and challenging) design elements of the night. “Our lead designers, John Beran and David Gould, dedicated a considerable amount of time developing the concept to achieve these beautiful, masterful trees,” reveals Phil. An entirely different challenge was how to have the heavy tree stand securely on the table. Thanks to our incredibly resourceful Director of Production, Danny Pupo, a special construction completely invisible to the eye was devised to support the live structure.
After Dinner Lounge | Relaxed Regal Comfort
Following dinner, guests were surprised with a fireworks display over the patio. Here, three cabanas with a stylish greek key pattern and navy striped drapes offered luxurious lounge areas. “Absolutely every detail was personalized. Even the pattern on the cabanas was custom, drawing from the property’s entrance gates,” explains Jesse. Seating groups combined a variety of Kehoe Designs’ more refined furniture collections including our plush blue velvet sofas, high-backed white sofa and round, tufted banquet. Styled with perfect finesse, gold and chrome accessories intermingled with glowing candlelight while custom pillows continued the patterns and monogram prevalent throughout the night.
Photo credits: 1-4 Kehoe Designs
We hope you’ve enjoyed our special feature on a wedding that truly tugs at our design heart strings. When executing an affair of this caliber, we rely on the talent and expertise of an entire crew of talented craftsmen. In addition to thanking our wonderful client and our design and planning partner, Jesse Deckard of Bliss Weddings & Events, we extend our gratitude to the many Kehoe Designs craftsmen who make all the magic possible.Would love to see more?! Pick up this month’s The Knot Magazine for a full spread of this beautiful wedding!