A White and Blue Garden Wedding at Armour House in Lake Forest, Illinois

The day Lydia Lie (33 and in human resources) and Matthew Haedicke (27 and a senior financial analyst) got engaged was also the day they moved into th

The day Lydia Lie (33 and in human resources) and Matthew Haedicke (27 and a senior financial analyst) got engaged was also the day they moved into the house they bought together—“to commemorate a new beginning,” Lydia says. They planned their wedding in eight months, starting with the venue. “We visited a lot of venues in Chicago,” Lydia says. It was Armour House at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, in the end, that “took our breath away” with its beautiful garden, fountain, pagoda, grand staircase, marble fireplace and rooms filled with turn-of-the-century character and charm. They opted for a simple outdoor ceremony for their 120 guests, with a few nontraditional aspects: The ring bearer was Matt’s sister (who carried their late father’s ring down the aisle), Matt wore a small photo of his dad in a pendant under his boutonniere, and Lydia’s mom walked her down the aisle. In honor of Lydia’s Chinese heritage, they had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony—to pay respect to and receive blessings from their elders—and used a red string on their invitations, symbolizing the “red string of fate,” where two people are destined to become soul mates. While their overall color scheme was shades of grays and blues, evident in the wedding party and floral arrangements, they chose burgundy, gold and fuchsia to highlight the cultural traditions for the tea ceremony. The party moved indoors to the 1908 villa, where the staircase was lined with candles. Guests enjoyed a meal of grilled beef fillet with bordelaise sauce, prosciutto-and-sage-wrapped halibut, chicken stuffed with spinach or a portobello mushroom cap with grilled vegetables. Dessert options were a chocolate and raspberry red velvet cake with cream cheese, and guests also enjoyed Michigan fudge (Matt's father's favorite) as wedding favors and the high-energy music of Standing Room Only Orchestra. —Chrissy Sorenson

The simple and elegant stationery, designed by the bride's sister, was printed on textured paper and stamped with a custom “double happiness” symbol, a reflection of Lydia's Chinese heritage. The invitations were tied together with red thread. “In Chinese culture, we believe that when two people are destined to be together, there is an unbreakable, invisible red thread. Two people connected by the red thread are destined to be together, regardless of time, place or circumstance.”
“You know how they always say you just know when you found the right dress? That was exactly what happened to me,” Lydia says of her Elisavet by Ines Di Santo gown. “I tried on many dresses before. They all felt a little off, but when I tried on this particular dress, I knew before the dress was fully zipped that it was the dress I would get married in.”
Matt's navy suit was custom-made at Formally Modern—and, in memory of his father, who had recently passed away—had “Son of Jack” embroidered into the lining of his jacket. Another way he honored his dad was by wearing a small photo of him in a pendant under his boutonniere. “That way, his father would be close to his heart during the wedding,” Lydia says.
Lydia's bouquet consisted of white garden roses, white ranunculus, white lisianthus and white anemones accented with silver brunia berries, light blue delphinium and silvery dusty miller leaves. Stems were wrapped in blue silk ribbon. The bridesmaids carried petite bouquets of white lisianthus, white anemones, white majolica and blue viburnum berries accented with dusty miller.
Matt accessorized his custom navy suit with a knitted polka-dot tie from the Tie Bar, his  father's watch, a crisp white pocket square, and a pair of baby blue socks.
Lydia was undecided about the veil until her mom told her, “You have one chance in your life to wear a veil.” In the end, she bought a traditional veil for the ceremony and a birdcage veil to wear to the reception. “I’m glad I listened to my mom,” she says. “I loved the veil.”
The palette was reflected in the blue bridesmaid dresses. “We picked the palette because we recently had a memorable trip to Puerto Rico and were so enamored of the blue cobblestones in Old San Juan,” Lydia says. Matt wore a navy suit, and the groomsmen wore gray.
With two bridesmaids living outside the country, coordinating dress efforts was a little difficult. Lydia bought and shipped her sisters' five dresses in different styles, materials, colors and sizes. They chose a convertible style, Annabelle, by Jenny Yoo. Once she had locked in a dress designer, Lydia picked the three “loveliest shades of blue” and asked her bridesmaids to choose from those shades, then purchased matching belts for all three to unify the look.
The couple exchanged vows during an afternoon ceremony in front of a beautiful pagoda and fountain. According to Lydia, “We didn’t have to decorate a lot because it was already a beautiful garden on its own with flowers blooming everywhere.”
“The Chinese Tea Ceremony is our tradition to pay respect and receive blessings from the elders in our family,” Lydia says. “We serve tea to our elders as a sign of respect, and our elders drink the tea as a sign of acceptance. After the tea ceremony, we give out red packets of money to younger relatives as a blessing from us.”
The Armour House estate in Lake Forest, Illinois, complete with a marble floor inlaid with brass, was constructed between from 1904 to '08 and designed by architect Arthur Heun.
Candles lined the magnificent stairway, starting with small candles at the top then gradually growing larger in size. Greenery decorated the railings, and small arrangements of white hydrangeas and seeded eucalyptus added to the ambiance.
Guests found their seating arrangement in a pretty circular display around a floral centerpiece.
One of centerpieces was a blue and white floral arrangement, including delphinium in varying shades, white miniature spray roses, white lisianthus, blue viburnum berries, silver brunia berries, white anemones and white roses accented with dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus foliages, with five silver mercury-glass votive candles placed around the vase.
Every guest sat down to a pretty blue and white place setting, complete with a menu listing the courses.
"We gave out fudge as favors," Lydia says. "We ordered the fudge from a particular store in Traverse City, Michigan—Murdick’s Fudge—because it was the favorite of Matt’s father, who was from Michigan."
Matt and Lydia chose “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne as their first-dance song. “We picked the song because it's classic, sweet and upbeat and made us happy when we heard it and danced to it.”