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Elisa Morton & Braeden Schaefer

August 9, 2014 | Kenilworth Union Church | Elisa’s childhood home in Northfield

Elisa and Braeden tied the knot with an over-the-top summery bash in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home.

Elisa Morton and Braeden Schaefer’s wedding day was unapologetically sweet, summery and superpersonalized. Infused with bits and pieces of their easygoing personalities, everything—from ceremony to honeymoon—just made sense for this fun-loving couple.

It all started in 2008, when they met at work. “His confidence and personality really caught my attention,” Elisa says, so she pursued getting to know him better, despite the fact that they had both recently left serious relationships. “After three months of [my] persistency, he finally decided in January of 2009 he was going to give this a try,” she adds.

After Elisa accepted Braeden’s proposal four years later, the couple began the planning process. They decided to hold the reception in the backyard of Elisa’s childhood home in Northfield, following an intimate ceremony that combined Christian and Jewish traditions at Kenilworth Union Church. “As much of a challenge as it is to plan a wedding in a venue that you have to truly create and build, having it in such a familiar atmosphere truly made for a very special and sentimental day,” Elisa says.

She called on Megan Estrada of North Shore Weddings & Events to help create a picture-perfect alfresco soiree incorporating shades of navy, pink and green. Estrada ran with the saying of the night, “Happily ever after starts now,” inscribing it on signage displayed in vintage frames and even embroidering it onto servers’ aprons. 

Entertaining Company created a refreshing summer dinner menu (think watermelon-and-feta salad and grilled Chilean sea bass), and gelato cones ended the meal on a sweet note. Final Say, a live band from Chicago, kept up the lively vibe for “a party that lasted until 4 in the morning,” Elisa adds.

WHAT WE'VE LEARNED
“Remember to use the outdoors—the surrounding trees and plants—and pay attention to how the sky changes throughout the night, and have your lights adjust accordingly,” says Elisa on having an outdoor wedding.

THE LIST
Ceremony Kenilworth Union Church
Reception Elisa’s childhood home in Northfield
Wedding Planner Megan Estrada, North Shore Weddings & Events
Flowers Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor
Bride’s Gown Matthew Christopher, Volle’s Bridal & Boutique
Groom’s Tux Jos. A. Bank
Invitations Minted
Catering Entertaining Company
Desserts Bent Fork Bakery, Sweet Mandy B’s and Entertaining Company
Tent, Flooring and Lighting Blue Peak Tents
Tables and Chairs Elegant Presentations
Linens BBJ
Entertainment Final Say
Hair Dalia Garza, Salon U
Makeup Traci Fine