Unbelievably Whimsical Chicago Garden Backyard Wedding

December 28, 2023 | justine

Nestled within a lush oak forest surrounded by blooming wildflowers, Peyton and Todd knew that the ideal wedding venue was right in their backyard—literally! Choosing the bride’s family property in Chicago, the couple orchestrated a whimsical garden wedding packed with personality and a whole lot of flowers.  It was an unforgettable celebration that surpassed all expectations, turning their dream wedding into a beautiful reality.

The natural beauty of their front yard set the stage for a breathtaking ceremony. The porch became a romantic altar, wrapped in wildflowers and greenery, creating an intimate space for the pair to exchange vows. When it came to the reception, a clear tent offered a spectacular view of the surrounding forest. The tables were adorned with an elegant touch of gold accents, a mix of towering and low arrangements of garden blooms, and candles. To enhance the dreamy ambiance, the couple added string lights above the outdoor setting, adding a touch of magic to the celebration.

Overflowing with fairytale charm, this garden soiree is a love story in full bloom. Trust us when we say you won’t want to miss a single moment captured by Melody Joy. Keep scrolling to discover the enchanting details that make this celebration truly magical.

The Couple:

Peyton + Todd

The Wedding:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Choosing the Perfect Dress Long Before the Ring

I had two dresses for the wedding. The ceremony dress was bought in 2019, two years before we got engaged and three years before the wedding. I had always known I wanted to get married at my parent’s house, and it was the first and only dress I had seen that felt like it fit the environment perfectly. It was a two-piece set by Grace Loves Lace made from silk. I hate being in anything tight or uncomfortable, so this super comfy dress was an automatic plus for me. The veil for the dress felt very traditional, and I thought I was honoring my Nana and our Italian heritage. I wore a vintage pearl and wood choker, and my good friend, Molly of Barbara Parker Fine Jewelry, not only designed my engagement and wedding ring but designed all of the other jewelry I wore for the wedding, including the diamond and pearl earrings and the pearl bracelet set. I changed into a Rasario mini dress and Jimmy Choo pumps for the reception. I also switched chokers for the after-party, also made by Barbara Parker Fine Jewelry.

How Their Whimsical Chicago Garden Backyard Wedding Came To Be

My dream had always been to get married at my parent’s home in the forest. I hadn’t ever really imagined my wedding any other way. The natural surroundings of the area honestly inspired me. It was important to me that everything felt natural and like it had always been there. All the flowers chosen for the wedding were natural wildflowers that would bloom in mid-September. The tent was entirely clear, and the forest trees outside it were illuminated so that it genuinely felt like you were eating and dancing in an oak forest. It boils down to the natural beauty of the area that inspired me!

Heartfelt Vows and Stepping Outside Their Comfort Zones 

One of my favorite wedding day memories was the ceremony. I had not wanted to make public vows. I’m very private, and I was very nervous about the thought of saying my vows in front of everyone. Todd, on the other hand, loved the idea of doing vows. We did it, and I am so happy I went out of my comfort zone and did it. It made for one of my favorite memories of the day—with the dogs wandering around for the entire ceremony.

Hogwarts-Inspired Dining Hall Vibe and Mixology Magic

The table settings were a fun detail. We wanted three long tables as if you were in the dining hall at Hogwarts, and everything on the tables was different. We had mismatched candelabras, vases, and flowers on all the tables, and it came together perfectly. Another detail was that it was essential for us to have a great bar program. We wanted guests to feel as if they were at a restaurant and that the bar just happened to be in the middle of the street. The bar program was absolutely perfect. The bartenders were shaking Martinis and stirring old fashions on site, and it was a detail that we were super happy with. 

Personalizing Their Wedding Menu with Their Favorite Indian Food

Todd and I love Indian food. I had spent time in India studying Indian food, so it had always been a favorite of mine. When it came to picking the menu, Jane at Entertaining Company went above and beyond, even coming over to our house to try some of our recipes so that we could perfect the dishes served. Our planner had the incredible idea of making the menus round and having them on the chargers.

Mom’s Homemade Coconut Wedding Cake For Their Garden Backyard Wedding

The most special wedding detail was that my mom made our wedding cake. Both Todd and I love my mom’s coconut cake. She made it every year for my birthday and turned it into a tiered, absolutely gorgeous wedding cake. It was the best wedding cake I’ve ever tasted, and it was such a unique and unforgettable detail of our special day.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Melody Joy
Event Planning – LOLA Event Productions
Floral Design – Stems
Catering – Entertaining Company
Late Night Food – JP Graziano
Bar Rental – Northern Décor
Officiant – Evan MofficJef Johnson
DJ – Beat Mix Music
Invitation Design – Steracle Press
Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist – Bianca Sansosti Artistry
Wedding Dress – Grace Loves Lace
Reception Dress – Rasario
Bridesmaids’ Apparel – Missoni
Groom’s Apparel – Armani
Tent –  Blue Peak Tents
Rentals – Tablescapes
Transportation – Signature Transportation Group
Lighting + Drapery – Frost Chicago
Linen – BBJ La Tavola


Congratulations to Peyton and Todd for their incredibly enchanting Chicago garden backyard wedding. A massive appreciation to Melody Joy for beautifully capturing and sharing this romantic and inspiration-filled event that’s proof unconventional, outdoor venue spaces pay off. 

An al fresco celebration like this provides endless possibilities for floral arrangements and decor for the ceremony and reception. Whether you opt for a backyard setting or a garden venue, explore our guide to hosting an outdoor wedding to help plan the celebration of your dreams.

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