Kathy Jares, 33, married Rob Jares, 32, at Firehouse Chicago. They had their low-key reception at the same venue with 100 guests. She says:

I've never been the type of girl to always dream of her perfect wedding. I wanted something simple and not too wedding-like, with some vintage elements. 

Getting married in an old firehouse felt different and non-traditional. The fact that it had both indoor and outdoor spaces for guests to hang out was awesome.

For our flowers I bought buckets of seasonal flowers from the flower farm and created bunches for all the tables at the reception. My bouquet was created with seasonal flowers from the same market in cream and light pink with a touch of greenery.

I also decorated the tables with candle holders I'd found at thrift stores. We didn't need much decoration as the venue itself was so charming.

My favourite part of the day was my first peek at the venue and taking pictures before the ceremony with our best man and maid of honor.  It gave us a chance to have a few hours of hanging out and relaxing with our best friends and made the ceremony less nerve-racking.

We even had time to stop at a bar and have a beer before the ceremony, which made things even more relaxing and stress-free. I also loved all the dancing we did. We danced to every song all night and had the best time.

The best compliment a friend gave me was that our wedding felt like a "wedding themed party" which told me that it was more "party" then "wedding" which made me happy.

My top tip: If you can prioritise and only place importance on a few things and let go of the other stuff, it will help make the process less stressful - there are bound to be things that go wrong so just figure out the few things you really want to go right and focus on those.

Photography by White Rabbit Studios