An Intimate Fall Beach Wedding in Chicago

Amidst the rhythmic crashing of the waves and the setting September sun, a beautiful Chicagoland couple exchanged vows. They celebrated the intimate, elegant ceremony at Rosewood Beach in Highland Park. The couple wanted simple, subtly rustic vibes and a seashore-inspired look for their early fall beach wedding. Here’s how we pulled it all together for them.

The Venue and the Scene

Nestled into a wooded park and with no cell service available, Rosewood Beach feels like a remote reprieve from city and suburb life. The new glass-encased interpretive center overlooks a natural swimming cove flanked by rocks, as well as a wood boardwalk along the sand.

Because of the chilly early-fall breeze and setting sun, the couple wanted only the ceremony to take place out on the sand, with the celebratory dinner inside the renovated beach house. With less than 50 wedding guests, the venue was just big enough for a cozy, intimate dinner of family and friends.

Color and Texture to Set the Mood

For couples looking for a rustic, farmhouse-adjacent atmosphere for their celebration, we typically like to use long wooden farm tables. If family-style farm tables don’t fit a couples’ chosen space or budget, linens can help bring that same look. We opted for textured jute burlap linens, layered along a set of basic folding tables. One single line of tables helps create that intimate feel. Plus, weathered wood folding chairs enhance the natural-looking jute. For more wood accents, we lined the dinner table with weathered, dark wood boxes on which we’d set up our centerpiece. Then, for each place setting, we chose beachy blue-green napkins in a shade called “sea mist” to complement the color of Lake Michigan’s visible horizon.

Favorite Florals for the Tables

White and off-white buds are classic colors for a wedding. Some of our favorite flowers to incorporate into a show-stopping centerpiece are petal-heavy white mums. When placed in clear glass cylinders filled with water, the petals open, creating an exaggerated bloom. To supplement the floating stems, we incorporated one of the bride’s favorite flowers—baby’s breath. The delicate plant represents everlasting love and pureness, making it the perfect addition to a wedding celebration. Instead of placing the branches in vases like the mums, we tucked the baby’s breath into holes and crevices on our wood boxes for a natural, woodsy look. We rounded out our florals with indigo anemones in clear glass cylinders.

Breezy Decor and Familial Touches for the Final Look

To finish decorating, we added floating candles to water-filled cylinders that matched those we used for the mums. To highlight the lakeside scenery, we scattered seashells throughout the tablescape. Even though the reception was inside, guests could still enjoy nature right there on the table. On the cocktail tables we scattered on the boardwalk outside, we had simple decor—a small glass votive holder filled with sand, small seashells and one small tealight (flameless, in anticipation of wind!).

An Evening to Remember!

With the waves of Lake Michigan and the September breeze, we couldn’t have asked for a more scenic, romantic Chicago beach wedding for the fall. An evening to remember for all!