Rustic Illinois Wedding | Ciara & Cody


Rustic Illinois wedding in rural Ashkum, Illinois

Summer Rustic Illinois Wedding

Ashkum, Illinois

Ciara and Cody’s rustic Illinois wedding may not have been quite the wedding day they expected, but it ended up being the most beautiful celebration of two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.

Ciara grew up very close to my hometown in a small rural farming community, and Cody grew up in a town in the next county over. They met at a nearby college where a mutual friend convinced them that they were made for each other. I loved all of the sentimental touches that they included in their wedding day that gave honor to their heritage, especially Ciara’s jewelry. When I asked Ciara to share the story of her engagement ring, and the ring she wears on her right hand, this is what she shared.

The center, oval stone belonged to my Grandma Lindgren. It used to sit alone as a vintage, solitaire diamond in a cathedral setting. It was likely thrifted by my grandfather, who was a salvage dog. He was always at garage sales, gun shows, in pawn shops all over Kankakee County.  Cody knew I wanted this diamond in a flatter setting, but wanted to maintain the vintage nature and heritage of the ring.

Cody built my ring from scratch with the help of my Grandma Lindgren’s half sister, Kathleen Lyons. Kathleen is the head jeweler, and owner her of Zembar Jewelers in New Lenox, IL. With Cody’s help, she and him designed my ring on AutoCAD, and my wedding band as well. I already have a ring I wear on my right hand from my grandpa, so now I have a token of each of my grandparents I wear every day!
So when I say we go to see, “the family jeweler,” I don’t just mean Cody and I’s party, of two.  This first family heirloom is deeply rooted in our lineage and carries something very special with it into our future together.

Another sentimental touch, shown in photographs below, is the handkerchief that Ciara’s mother gave her to borrow for the wedding day. Wrapped around the handle of the bouquet was a handkerchief that her mother also wrapped around her bouquet on her wedding day, handed down from a grandmother several generations back. It was definitely a sweet moment as Ciara received this from her mom on her wedding day as she slipped on her dress.

Ciara and Cody had planned to be married at her parents’ home in the country, but the weather forecast was showing rain for much of the wedding day. The day before the wedding, the call was made to move the ceremony inside the quaint community building just down the street from the couple’s home. Ciara and I talked a few times about the plan for photos, and I assured her that we would roll with the punches and be flexible the day of the wedding. What ended up happening was nothing short of a miracle.

Five minutes before the first look, the clouds broke up, the sun shone through and the rain stopped for several hours as we completed all of the photos at a nearby farm. We couldn’t believe the perfect timing, and I was just so excited for them. While we had an indoor backup plan, I knew that Ciara was really wanting photos outside at this white barn. Not only that, we had clear skies after the ceremony for a few more photos.

The celebration continued with a delicious dinner and dancing, and when I headed out to my car to leave for the night, I looked up to see a rainbow! Of course, I had to run back inside to grab the newlyweds for a quick photo in the street with the rainbow to remember the blessing of the clear skies we had that day.

Ciara and Cody, I wish you all the best in your marriage. It was an honor to be a part of your day.

Vendor Team:

Venue: Ashkum Coliseum

Florist: Amy Pooley

Cake: Lazy Acres Baker

DJ: Brad Hurt

Catering: The Longbranch

MUA: Balinda’s Beautique

Hair: Tracy Yarborough

Dress Boutique: Lindsey Lane Bridal

Photography: Karen Shoufler

To see more weddings like this Rustic Illinois wedding, click here.

If you are engaged and looking for a timeless, classic and joyful wedding photographer in the Chicagoland area or around the world, contact me here or email me at

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