A DIY Wedding at Royal Oak Farm Orchard in Harvard, Illinois
It took only 45 days for newlyweds Taylor Nyman (20 and a student) and Paul Brandwein (24 and a high school teacher) to go from complete strangers to engaged to be wed after Taylor's sister introduced the pair in 2014. "My sister and Paul worked as camp counselors together and one night she introduced us at a group event," Taylor says. "A few days later, we went on our first date. Forty five days after we met, Paul met my dad for coffee and asked if he could marry me." Two weeks after he received permission, Paul popped the question. "We went for a walk in the woods and I noticed that envelopes were nailed to each tree and marked with significant dates," Taylor says. "He then read me a letter and when we turned a corner on the trail, candles lined the walk and a tree was in the center wrapped in lights. A letter was nailed to it along with a ring box." The couple settled on their venue after an impromptu drive during a snowstorm in Harvard. "We fell in love with Royal Oak Orchard immediately," Taylor says. "There was a big pavilion, an old carousel and rows upon rows of apple trees. We decided right then and there that this was the place where we would get married." For their outdoor June ceremony, Taylor and Paul relied on the help of family and friends to help decorate. "We chose teal and coral with yellow accents sine I wanted a woodsy feel to the decor," the bride explains. "We borrowed a ton of decorations, too, including burlap, tulle and wood." The bride's favorite flower made an appearance as well, with dozens of daisies strewn in to both the bouquets and gauzy, white wedding arch. After a short, outdoor ceremony, the newlyweds and 230 guests enjoyed a short cocktail hour before settling in for dinner. "At the end of the reception, we had all of our guests grab sparklers and form a line that lead to our car," Taylor says. "It was so much fun and it made for such a great photo!"