Familiar Venue

April 2021 View more

After their 2019 engagement, Lindsey Campbell and Eric Russell, both 27, agreed on the perfect plan to suit their laid-back, fun-loving personalities: a destination wedding in Cancun in January 2021. “We are both very low-key … so ‘fun beach party’ was our motto for quite some time,” says Campbell, who grew up in Sterling, Illinois. “And then the pandemic happened.”

With travel off the table, they switched to a different destination: The Russell family’s backyard in St. Charles. Though not south of the border, it was still a trip from Campbell and Russell’s current home in Indianapolis, where she works as a social worker and he as a cardiovascular perfusionist, both at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.

To keep the headcount low, their photographer Rachael Osborn was the only vendor present during the 33-person celebration. They enlisted a friend to officiate, played music from a Spotify playlist on Campbell’s phone, and set up a margarita and sangria station to complement a Mexican buffet catered by On the Border in Naperville. The DIY approach did result in some snafus that were easily laughed off, such as Lizzo’s “Juice” inexplicably playing instead of the expected instrumental melody when Campbell walked down the aisle.

“Overall, I think downsizing and making it a little backyard wedding was the most intimate thing we could have done,” Russell says. “If we could do it again, 10 times over, that’s how we’d do it.” And though actual sand and surf weren’t involved, both the bride and groom and a handful of guests ended the evening with a fully clothed plunge into the backyard pool.


Venue The groom’s parents’ home, St. Charles
Bride’s attire Ida Torres by Pollardi gown from Marie Gabriel Couture, Indianapolis
Bride’s hair and makeup Focas Salon, St. Charles
Bridesmaid’s dresses birdygrey.com
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire theblacktux.com
Invitations minted.com
Catering On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Naperville
Dessert Cocoa Bean, Geneva
Florist Eden Floral Studio, St. Charles
Rings Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis
Photographer Rachael Osborn Photography, Chicago