The ceremony took place at the Oak Park Conservatory which is about 5 minutes from my house.
When we were trying to decide where to get married, there were really only two places that we even considered. One was the Unity Temple in Oak Park and the other was the Oak Park Conservatory. Both are in our community (keeping things local really appealed to my inner-hippie) and both quite lovely for completely different reasons.
The Unity Temple is a smallish Unitarian church designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Because we are an inter-faith couple we really appreciated the symbolism of the Unitarian church (embracing and celebrating diversity) and even though I'm not exactly and architect aficionado, I could totally see myself bragging to all my friends that I'd gotten married in a historical church designed by FLW. But, when I walked into the Oak Park Conservatory, I knew that was the place.
If you know me at all, you'll know that nothing terrifies me more than the thought of people sitting on pews staring at me wearing a big white dress. The Oak Park Conservatory was the perfect size and atmosphere for people to be standing with us instead of staring at us which is what we both wanted. It was the perfect canvas for our perfect day.
If you love gardens and you are getting married I'd recommend checking out your local conservatory. It's like having an outdoor garden wedding without the risk of the weather ruining everything. We were surrounded by beautiful sweet-scented flowers. My favorites were the giant snapdragons that you see in the pictures. The deep red ones were amazing against the lighter pastel colored ones. The other nice thing was that our our guests were able to roam through the other garden rooms before and after the ceremony which kept them occupied with no effort on our parts.
I also loved that the flowers in the conservatory served as instant free decorations for our ceremony and obviously made a beautiful backdrop for our pictures. Spending a million dollars on flowers to decorate a church that would then be discarded just seemed so wasteful to me. This way we were able to use what was already at the conservatory and our very reasonable rental fee went to support the conservatory which made me feel good, too.
In case you're wondering, the wedding was lovely. We had 10 guests and besides the part where I started crying hysterically while trying to say my vows (like ugly-face crying where I had to say "can you please give me a moment") which started a chain reaction of crying which included grandfathers and photographers, everything was just perfect. Our dinner reception was right down the street from the Oak Park Conservatory at Philander's Restaurant in the Carleton Hotel. They were great to work with and I'd recommend you check them out for dinner, or your private party.
Did you get married in a conservatory or an outdoor garden? How was it? I'd love to hear about it. And you know me, I love the funny ones so please let me know if there were any storms or bee stings!
garden photos courtesy of Shannon