A Backyard Beauty in Geneva by Harrison Studio
Posted by Kate. Filed under Real Weddings

Reading Rebecca and Jordan’s how we met story has been the absolute highlight of my day.   You know, the couple really tells it best, so you can read their full recount below (it’s soooo romantic)  but the brief version is that they met in their early college days and spent years as friends.  After college, Rebecca took a job in Germany, while Jordan was working in Milwaukee.  They casually corresponded from afar, and would meet up over the Christmas holiday each year when Rebecca returned from Europe.  One Christmas season, Jordan asked Rebecca on a real date… and later in the week told her that he had inquired about a position near to where she was living in Germany.  Yup, he risked it all to be with her (swoon)!  But that’s all I’ll say… head on down to the bottom for more sweet romance… and in the meantime revel in their beautiful backyard wedding in Geneva, Illinois, photographed by the Michigan-based duo, Ben and Laura of Harrison Studio.  

Rebecca is an artist, so she dreamed up the circular invitations and a summery palette of tangerine, coral, mango, and a few other shades of orange.  The detail and décor elements were a creative collaboration between the bride, her mom who is a florist, and a few of Rebecca’s artist friends.  I can’t get enough of all the incredible color!

The week leading up to the wedding set record temperatures in Illinois.  But magically, just before the early evening ceremony began, there was a perfect twenty-degree drop in temperature.   Rebecca and Jordan married poolside at the historic Oscar Swan, which provided the backyard wedding feel that they envisioned.  

A tented reception with lots of special touches followed…  The escort cards were tied to a collection of vintage keys,  Rebecca commissioned a colleague to design wire sculptures for the centerpieces, and instead of cake, they served delicious Gelato, which brought a bit of Europe to their midwest wedding.   Be sure to read their epic story just below… it’ll make you giddy.

Many congratulations to the newlyweds and a special thanks to  Harrison Studio for sharing the album with us!

Photos by Harrison Studio

Bridal Gown by Allure

Groom’s Attire by J. Crew; Shoes by Cole Haan

Venue & Catering by Oscar Swan

Bride’s Makeup by Bridget Lescher at Odalisque Beauty Apothecary

Florals & Planning by the Bride’s Mother


From Jordan: Rebecca and I met during my freshman year of college (her senior year of high school).  I was friends with her older brother who I’d met at college. Rebecca came to visit our school and our first memory together is flying a kite from the open trunk of a moving car… probably not too safe, but it was a small Indiana town and the car was barely moving.  She came to college that next school year and we spent a lot of time together but ended up drifting apart during my last two years of school, as we had very different friend circles. After we both graduated, Rebecca moved to Germany and I moved back to Milwaukee for work.  Having worked in Milwaukee for a few years, I emailed Rebecca inquiring about getting connected with a graphic designer as I was looking to have some t-shirts made. She was very thrown off by my email as we hadn’t really spoken for a few years and  took FOREVER getting back to me.


Then, over the next couple of years, we began to email back and forth with no intent of it developing into a relationship. However, both of our sisters ended up going to the same school, Taylor University and were in the same dorm. They became fast friends without any prompting from Rebecca or I. It didn’t take long until we decided to set up a “family date” over Christmas because Rebecca was going to be home for a few weeks from Germany during the holiday season. This became somewhat of a ritual anytime Rebecca was home. There were a few years of “family dates,” emailing, letters, and a “red notebook” (I decided it would be cool to keep all of our correspondence in one place, so I bought a red Moleskine journal and began to mail that overseas instead of letters/emails). Finally, one Christmas season I told Rebecca that as much as I loved our sibling dates, I’d really love to take just her out. I drove down to St. Charles, Illinois on a Thurday night between Christmas and New Year’s and ended up staying with her and her family for three nights.


Just before Rebecca was to leave to go back to Germany, I told her that I had inquired about a job in Switzerland with PUMA- just south of the border where she was living in Germany. I asked if that scared her and she said, “actually, it doesn’t.”  That was the very beginning of January, 2011. In February, I went to visit Rebecca in Germany and while I was there I also interviewed with PUMA. Before leaving to go back to the U.S., I was offered the job in Switzerland.  I packed up my home near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, moved to Switzerland, and proposed that Fall.  Just over one year after moving to Europe, we were married.


From Rebecca: In hindsight, it is probably good that things between Jordan and I didn’t work out at first. He loves sharing the infamous story of when “I tried to kiss him,” but the truth is we are quite different personalities and needed time and life experiences to become a bit more rounded out. It is still funny to think that after nearly ten years, we dipped back into the college well, but in truth he was a consistent question mark in my love life that seemed to reappear over the years despite other relationships. Even as recent as three years ago I was not really ready to be with someone who outwardly seemed so “normal” (Midwest, good family values, etc.). We had reconnected but I didn’t see how he could become a part of my reality (an established life in Europe).  In the end, he was a true romantic giving up everything to take a risk and follow me. This really sparked our relationship to move from some old friend into something more.


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