An Outdoor Woodland Wedding at a Private Residence in Waterloo, Illinois

Laura Morton (29 and a registered dietitian) and Austin Wolf (29 and an artist) were together for almost a decade—through high school and college—befo

Laura Morton (29 and a registered dietitian) and Austin Wolf (29 and an artist) were together for almost a decade—through high school and college—before Austin proposed on a family trip to Anna Maria Island, Florida. The proposal “went a little something like this: A shaky hand shot out of nowhere and stuck a gorgeous antiqued band on the middle finger of my right hand. My left hand was holding a sleeping baby girl. It was perfect,” Laura says. The sleeping baby girl was their daughter, Ruthie. They set an October date on their wooded property—complete with a barn, a creek, walking trails and a bonsai garden—affectionately nicknamed Morton’s Grove (and now available for rent). “Having our wedding at our home seemed like a natural decision,” Laura says, explaining that a large part of their wedding budget went into building a pergola—with each bracket made by Austin to achieve the perfect rustic aesthetic—and an expansive red-brick patio and sprucing up the barn. “Every detail of the space was thoughtfully curated with our wedding day in mind,” she says. It was a point of pride to exchange vows in front of the beautiful barn, carefully renovated by Austin (with a little help from family and friends). The rustic beauty was accented with pumpkins, gourds and mums, and a large handmade banner served as their ceremony backdrop, featuring the song lyrics from Blitzen Trapper "Furr": “I took her by the arm, we settled down upon a farm and raised our children up as gently as you please.” Other memorable elements included a ride in a 1920s beer delivery truck, a “kids’ area” set up with hay bales and a tractor, a meal catered by a local restaurant and a propane-powered fire pit for guests to gather around after sunset. “Having everyone you love in one place is such a cool experience,” Laura says. “Hearing how much guests love the venue means so much when the venue is your home.” —Chrissy Sorenson

Laura wasn’t pregnant with their second child when she ordered the dress; she was seven months pregnant when she got married. She was able to wear the gown with the help of her aunt's alterations, although she did have a backup gown just in case.
Austin bought a tailored navy suit and paired it with Danner leather boots, a dramatic change from his everyday work look of Carhart pants, a white T-shirt and work boots. "He did some research and landed on St. Louis Suit Co., where he found exactly what he wanted. He looked amazing," Laura says.
"One of my bridesmaids owns a salon and is the best stylist on the planet. She did my hair, and her talented team took care of the rest of the ladies," Laura says of her wedding day hair, which was accented with fresh flowers.
Laura carried a simple seasonal bouquet tied with a cranberry-colored ribbon to match the bridesmaid dresses.
Laura wore laser-cut Jeffrey Campbell wedges on her wedding day. "A wedding is the perfect excuse to spend money on shoes you've been eyeing," she says.
Laura and Austin's daughter, Ruthie, wore a floral headpiece "for about 20 seconds," Laura says.
The bridesmaids wore dresses of their choice in a dark berry palette. "Two of my bridesmaids were expecting at the wedding—another bridesmaid was in labor on the day of!—so I wanted them to have as much flexibility as possible in finding a dress," Laura says.
"A favorite detail was captured by the photographers. Austin teared up immediately after the ceremony began and cried the whole time. It was so unexpected. After that, multiple guests told us they couldn't hold it in either," Laura says.
Globe lights spanned the entirety of the patio, creating a golden glow after the sun went down.
A pergola, fresh greenery and hanging terrariums added visual interest over the head table.
A simple rosemary sprig added an elegant, simple touch to the place settings.
The centerpieces consisted of white flowers and greenery displayed in simple vases.
Laura's mother baked the couple's wedding cake, almond flavored with buttercream and sugared cranberries. She also made the clay cake topper (a Laura and Austin look-alike bride and groom).
Guests sat outside the barn for the ceremony, then moved to the patio for the reception. The barn houses a large bar and several bar-top tables and stools and was open throughout the night for guests to have a snack or drink and mingle.
After the ceremony, Austin and Laura hopped into a borrowed 1920s beer-delivery truck and drove down their long rocky driveway. “It was pretty tricky to get started, but luckily Austin pulled it off. His groomsmen offered to push-start it if we got in a pinch,” Laura says.