Cedar Rapids Couple Wed in Beautiful Fall Wedding in Neighboring Illinois

Cedar Rapids Couple Wed in Beautiful Fall Wedding in Neighboring Illinois

Shelby Sutherland and Jeff Lambert

September 24th, 2016


Shelby and Jeff had a beautiful fall wedding in Apple River, Illinois. Appleby Photography captured this rustic country wedding and are sharing its highlights for inspiration for you.

Beautiful bride, wedding bouquet and wedding couple portrait.Where/How did you first meet?
We met at a going away party for a mutual friend in Cedar Rapids. At the time, I (Shelby) was relatively new to Eastern Iowa and Jeff was living in Monticello. Jeff made a last minute decision to attend the party, and we are both glad he did!


Bride walking up behind her groom for their wedding day first look.
How/When did you know they were the one?

Though we hit it off the night we met, we did not immediately exchange numbers. Jeff asked his friends for my number and tracked me down on social media. About one month later, we agreed to meet for drinks and football on a Sunday afternoon. Then we met for dinner on Monday, and Tuesday, and…you get the idea. Jeff commuted to Cedar Rapids after work about four times per week for nearly two years. I think it’s safe to say, we both had a feeling we had met “the one” after that first Sunday football date.


Couple's first look on their wedding day and couple's wedding portrait.
Beautiful floral detail on Bride's wedding bouquet.
Wedding couple's portrait in black and white.
Tell us about the proposal! 

We had an incredibly busy summer in 2015 with weddings, parties, concerts, and various trips.  We had virtually no off-weekends to just relax.  In October, we finally found a weekend with no events planned and decided to book a mini-vacation for ourselves.  We decided last minute on a trip to Door County to enjoy the fall festivities.  Despite my friends ongoing inklings all summer that he was going to propose (because no, we had not talked about timing or rings or anything!), I didn’t expect it on this trip since it was so last minute.  We arrived in Door County on Friday night and immediately scoped out a local pub in order to watch the Iowa game the next morning.  Anxious to enjoy the sites, we awoke early Saturday and decided to do some sight-seeing before game time.  We spent a few hours driving around the area visiting various parks and overlooks.  We had time for one more stop, and according to Jeff, he knew this was the spot as soon as we pulled up.  I was off gawking at the edge of a bluff, while unbeknownst to me, Jeff was conspiring with a complete stranger.  While I was distracted, he approached a fellow tourist and explained he was about to propose to his girlfriend.  He handed the man his phone, and asked him to record the whole thing!  Jeff then called me over to let this gentlemen ‘take our picture,’ and as I was coming back, Jeff dropped to one knee!  I immediately fell into delighted panic and didn’t even hear/comprehend most of what Jeff was saying.  Somewhere in between the tears and gasps for breath, I said yes!  By that time we had attracted a small crowd of onlookers, and they fell into applause when I said the words.  Many of them shared pictures they had taken to capture the moment, and luckily I was able to re-watch the video in order to hear all the wonderful things he said.  Needless to say, the entire weekend was like a fairy tale, and is one we will always remember!

Bride and Groom kiss on bridge.Bride and Groom kiss in front of red door.
What is the theme and color palette for your special day? 

Our wedding theme was kind of rustic barn / country, very fun and easy.  We decided on a stormy color palette of cool gray, blues, and purples.

Wedding details of invitations and church structure.
Groomsmen with Groom.Bridesmaids with Bride.
What was your most memorable wedding moment or favorite part of your wedding? 

After the fact, we both agreed we were surprised at how overwhelmingly emotional, and therefore memorable, our church ceremony was.  Our day was somewhat non-traditional in that we did a first look and took lots of pictures before the ceremony, which was held inside a small, one-room country church.  Since we had already spent time together with our family and closest friends that day, I thought the church ceremony would fly by with the day.  It did not!  The nerves and excitement leading up to my entrance and stroll down the aisle were incredible.  I will never forget the feeling.


Wedding ceremony at beautiful old white chapel. Wedding ceremony at old country chapel. Couple leaves the church after the wedding ceremony.
What advice would you have for other couple’s getting married? 

Easier said than done, and completely cliche, but my advice is: do not sweat the small stuff.  If you love wedding planning,and have been picturing this day your whole life, then go for it!  However, if you are like me, and you don’t want to get caught up, then don’t.  Focus on what’s most important.  We set priorities at the onset: 1) be married at the end of the day! and 2) throw a great party!  We focused on those two things and tried not to stress about all the other stuff: colors, flowers, attire, food, linens, table settings, etc., etc.  Grooms, if this sounds like your gal, PLEASE help when asked!  If she is bringing you three options to gain your opinion, then that means she has spent hours narrowing down the hundreds of options for that particular item.  If she’s asking for your opinion, then please provide one even if you don’t care!


Beautiful wedding reception detail with chavari chairs in a tent.Wedding reception head table floral and square 2 tier wedding cake. Wedding couple walking into their recpetion.
Best man's speech and cheers in black and white.Wedding couple dancing at their reception.Wedding couple infront of beautiful country sunset on their wedding day.
Vendor Credits:
Rehearsal Dinner Venue
Gobbie’s Pub, Galena, IL
Ceremony Venue 
Oak Hill Weddings, Apple River, IL

Oak Hill’s Officiant:  Sandra Wolfram

Reception Venue 

Oak Hill Weddings, Apple River, IL

Bride’s Gown
Bridal Boutique, Des Moines, IA – Brand: Allure Bridals
Earrings and bracelets from Dillard’s

Hair piece from Etsy

Hair & Makeup 

Keleher’s Jewelry, Monticello, IA

HyVee Floral, Dubuque, IA
Décor & Rentals
Oak Hill Weddings, Apple River, IL
Invitations & Stationery 
Invitations: Vista Print
Programs: Ink & Paper Design & Print, Stockton, IL
HyVee Catering, Dubuque, IA
HyVee Bakery, Dubuque, IA
Riniker Rythms (DJ), Platteville, WI
Hotel Accommodations 
Accommodations were all in Galena, IL:
Irish Cottage Boutique (bride and groom)
Stoney Creek Inn (wedding block)
Best Western Inn (wedding block)

Appleby Photography, Becky and Chris, Cedar Rapids, IA & Madison, WI

About Stacie Ricklefs

I LOVE a good love story! My husband and I met our freshman year of college when he drew my name out of a hat to write a bio about me in English class. Almost 10 years of marriage later he is still my best friend and partner in raising our 3 handsome little men. Love stories are what drew me into becoming a photographer and owner of Stacie Ricklefs Photo + Design. I still tear up at weddings during the beautiful intimate moments... but always after I get the killer shots of them.