Jill M.: Keep It Simple

Jill M.: Keep It Simple

Mother of: Max
Venue: Equestria West at Bavaria Downs in Chaska, Minn.
Vibe: Elegant outdoors
Dress: Akris Punto from Nordstrom

Mother of the groom Jill took her shopping cues from the bride and groom, who had one word to describe what they wanted for their outdoor summer wedding: “simple.”

“I was thinking more formal, but this was not what the couple wanted on their wedding day. They kept telling me it would be more of a ‘simple wedding vibe,’” Jill recalls. The wedding took place in July 2023 at a new indoor/outdoor venue on lush, wooded grounds just west of Minneapolis. Don’t call it a barn—Equestria West describes itself as “contemporary equestrian style” with an expansive courtyard, grassy fields, and light-filled indoor space with whitewashed wood floors and rounded chandeliers.

mother and father walk groom down aisle

Liberated from any requirements that her dress be floor length or a specific color, Jill went shopping for a dress she actually loved—and is sure to wear again. She found it while on vacation in Naples, Florida: an Arkis Punto sleeveless  A-line that hit just above the ankle, with all-over cut out details—a signature of this designer brand. Jill typically wears color, but this khaki dress spoke to her.

“I like things a little different, and this dress had that look even with its surprising beige color and unique cutouts,” Jill says. “It felt great on—airy for summer, in a forgiving A-line silhouette, and pockets!”

bride and groom with family

The bride, Raina, not only loved the dress—”she told me it looked like me, too,” Jill says. Her son Max agreed.

She bought the dress at Nordstrom and took advantage of the store’s in-house tailor to make the adjustments necessary for her petite frame. She then matched the dress with two pair of Sam Edleman shoes: gold with pearl heel for the ceremony and a neutral ballet flat for the reception. “Both were comfortable,” she says, “but I was happy to change later in the evening to a flat!”

mother and groom dance

The whole day came together “beautifully,” Jill says, and just as Max and Raina planned it. “I love how genuinely happy the couple seemed.” And as any mom would, Jill loved that Max asked his brother Jack be both best man and wedding officiant. “Raina and Jack became close friends after she started dating Max, and they both knew it would be perfect to have Jack marry them. They asked him to make them laugh on their special day, which he sure did.”

mother of the groom and sons

| Photography by Megan Jo Photography

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