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Organic Botanical Inspired Downtown Chicago Wedding

This dream Monique Lhuillier gown is the wedding dress equivalent of business in the front and party in the back. And truth be told? I’m wholeheartedly obsessed. It’s the kind of dress that sets the scenes for only the prettiest of days, and the designers at Foraged Floral didn’t disappoint. Go ahead and bookmark this baby, because Olivia Leigh photographed a gallery you’ll want to revisit time and time again.


From Foraged FloralChristina and Howard had a vision of an intimate and naturally styled wedding in downtown Chicago. They were inspired by the unique decor that The Kitchen (a completely new restaurant and venue – we were one of their first weddings!) offered with its industrial charm, but also wanted the environment to be cozy, and intimate, for their guests to enjoy and relax. They decided on not having a bridal party at all, so their friends and family could all relax and not stress about anything. We worked together for many months planning and perfecting the vision they had, which included many seasonal inspired florals to compliment the botanical prints they loved, as well as some beautiful handcrafted pieces.

Their ceremony took place at Bond Chapel, on the University of Chicago’s campus, where Christina attended. The chapel has beautiful stained glass windows, amazing wooden details and a cozy atmosphere. We brought in a classically trained pianist to serenade guests with music that you wouldn’t find at your normal wedding (more classical piano pieces from operas and theatrical events, no Canon in D here!), which really set the tone for a sophisticated and unique ceremony. After the ceremony, guests were transported to The Kitchen, just along the river in downtown Chicago, for a delicious and unique family style dinner among long, wooden communal tables and lounge areas.

As their florist and event designer, I really loved designing their arrangements and bouquets, but some of my favorite details were the smallest ones – the vintage botanical print book that Velvet Raptor made into a guestbook, the fact that they hand wrote each couple a letter on handmade paper, which designated where they would sit at the family style tables with calligraphy by BUSHYL, and even the signature drinks they crafted together. I have to admit, watching each guest open the envelope with their seating assignment listed on it, only to find a handwritten note from the couple was the sweetest thing, and something I know they will cherish for a long time.

The florals used for Christina and Howard were something special and I spent many weeks planning out exactly what flowers I wanted to used to fit their theme and warm palette. We incorporated a large amount of seasonal flowers like local dahlias, garden roses, fall foliage, scabiosa, and we were lucky enough to get peonies too! :) SO rare in October, but we were so happy!

Olivia Leigh, who is nothing short of amazing, captured the day with film and digital images, which I love! Olivia truly knows how to make everything pop and was so impressed with the images she passed along to us after their wedding.

Nothing was missed, as they wanted their guests to feel at home, comfortable and loved. Christina and Howard are some of the nicest, most gracious and wonderful people out there, and they deserved nothing but the best for their October celebration in Chicago! Congrats to Christina and Howard!!

Vault CTA

Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Bond Chapel | Reception Venue: The Kitchen | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Catering: The Kitchen | Hair + Makeup: Nika Vaughn Bridal Artists | DJ: Style Matters DJs | Groom's Attire: Givenchy | Bride + Groom Transportation: Windy City Limousine | Bride's Jewelry: Custom made | Calligraphy + Water Color Painting: BUSHYL | Floral Design, Event Design + Styling: Foraged Floral | Guest Transportation: Masters Transportation | Guestbook: Velvet Raptor | Linen Rentals: Windy City Linens | Lounge Furniture: Shadow Box Dreams Vintage Rentals

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{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
Love is in the Air with Wedding Paper Divas + A Sitewide Sale!

Every day is a love-filled day here at SMP, but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, we go BIG. I’m talking heart-shaped cookies, red-hued everything and a whole lot of stunning inspiration from the geniuses at Wedding Paper Divas, our go-to for Cupid-inspired pretty.  Think fab Save the Dates, beautiful invites and custom envelopes that are all about delivering the romance… literally.

Celebrating YOU is what your wedding day is all about, and with Wedding Paper Divas there’s a never-ending lineup of crazy gorgeous paper goods that will let each of your guests know that this is TRUE LOVE. From stunning letterpress lovelies to fabulous foil-pressed pretties to invites that seriously shimmer, Wedding Paper Divas has an invitation suite perfect for showcasing YOUR unique story.  Not to mention that you can totally customize each look with fonts and colors, which means you don’t have to worry about being at all cookie-cutter.  We love that.

Ready to celebrate all things Cupid with crazy gorgeous invites from Wedding Paper Divas? We most definitely understand.  Head to their website NOW to start perusing the pretty and to take advantage of their sitewide Valentine’s Day sale – 20% off (no minimum) + an extra 10% Premium Invitations!  The sale runs from February 10th – February 16th, so don’t delay… love is totally in the air.


Monochromatic Valentine’s Day Inspiration + Pretty In Pink Cocktail

Blooms, calligraphy and cocktails. Give me these three things combined in one pretty spread and I’m a happy lady. Especially when Type A Society dreams it all up pretty monochromatic in pink, just in time for Valentine’s DayAbby Jiu is delivering it all in The Vault with her happy-hued imagery and Heirloom Catering DC is breaking down the libation for us below!

From Veronica of Type A SocietyI have recently been inspired a lot by monochromatic photos that people put together creating with one single color in different shades. I had been seeing a lot of monochromatic pink and I thought it would be such a fun idea to bring that into a Valentine’s Day “dinner for two” theme. Pink is not my go-to color, but I love some of the more muted blush tones and peachy-pinks and wanted to bring those into a soft romantic tablescape. That paired with a beautiful hand-written love note, soft loose florals, and a blood-orange garnished pink cocktail- what more could you ask for this Valentine’s Day? It was my cheeky take on taking what could be an overdone cheesy holiday theme and twisting it to make it more simplistic and refined.

I asked Heirloom DC to make a bespoke cocktail recipe inspired by my theme- and this is what she came up with. I’m absolutely going to make one for me and my husband as a Valentine’s Day treat! Although I might not tell him what it’s called!

Pretty In Pink Cocktail
prep time
3 Minute/s
cook time
total time
3 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 2 oz Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka
  • 2/3 oz fresh lemon sour
  • 1 wedge of blood orange squeeze
  • 3 dashes of Bitters or replace with fresh herb sprig like Rosemary or Tarragon
  • 3/4 oz Brut Sparkling Rosé
  • Slice of blood orange
  1. Shake the first four ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
  2. Top with rosé.
  3. Garnish with floating blood orange slice.

Photography: Abby Jiu | Catering & Cocktail: Heirloom Catering DC | Ceramic Plates: Sculpture In Design | Floral: La Fleur Du Jour | Paper Products: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Planning & Styling: Type A Society

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Dream City Proposal at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Is this perhaps the cutest proposal ever? I think that’s pretty safe to say. Because when Boston blogger, Corporate Glitter thought she was signing up to model for a photo shoot organized by Annmarie Swift Photography, she got the surprise of her life turning around to find her boyfriend, Matthew on bended knee. Kuddos Matthew – you’ve officially set the bar for boyfriends everywhere.

From the Bride-to-be…Matthew and I began looking at rings together about six months ago. I wanted the proposal to be a surprise, but preferred to be a part of picking out the ring. We looked a few times before finally deciding on what shape and style I liked: an oval diamond in an oval halo setting. 

Fast forward to the end of December. I received an email from Annmarie Swift, a Boston area wedding photographer that we have been lucky enough to shoot with a few other times. The email stated that she was in need of another winter session for her magazine and asked if Matt and I would be interested in doing the shoot with her. I asked Matt right away if we could do it, and he told me he had to check his work schedule but thought it would be okay. I emailed Annmarie right back letting her know that we would LOVE to be models again.

Annmarie and I went back and forth a few times, discussing hair, makeup and of course, the perfect dress! This session was supposed to be a “formal anniversary” shoot, so we decided on a beautiful blush pink tulle gown with sequins embroidery. She even asked if we would bring our dog, Sam, and we discussed how cute a floral wreath for him would be.

January 23 came and I decided to go get my nails done that morning with a girlfriend of mine. We joked that maybe Matt would propose at the shoot. After doing my hair and makeup, Matthew and I made our way into the city and arrived at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston just before 3:00 PM. The conversation on the ride there consisted mostly of how our dog Sam was going to react to being in the city, and how cold it was going to be in a backless dress. Matt never let on that he was nervous or anxious.

Once all of the people cleared the front steps of the MFA we shed our jackets and began shooting. When I say it was cold, I mean it was COLD. I didn’t mind though because I knew this was going to be another wonderful shoot with an amazing photographer, and Matt and I would have the photos to cherish forever.

After about 10 minutes of posing just the two of us and with Sam, Annmarie told Matt to step aside as she wanted to take a few full-length photos of my dress. She was on the steps and I was standing below her. She instructed me to keep looking at the column behind her and to not move. A second or two later she told me to turn around and throw my arms around Matt.

My heart dropped as I turned around to see the love of my life, down on one knee, with the most beautiful ring in his hands. As I stepped closer to him he said the sweetest words and asked me to marry him. I was completely surprised and overwhelmed with happiness that I actually had to ask Matt later that night if I said yes! (I did J) And now we have the most amazing photos of the best moment of our lives.

Little did I know, the whole shoot was Matt’s idea! He had emailed Annmarie, coordinated the day and even met up with her at the MFA a few days prior to go over the plan of action. But the surprises didn’t stop there. At home there were more roses, chocolates, champagne chilling on ice and a very special handmade piece – a wooden sign that read “Katie & Matt 01/23/2016” that Matt had carved himself.

We had made dinner reservations earlier that week to celebrate Matt’s birthday, so we got changed and headed to the restaurant. When we arrived, we were led to the back where both of our families were sitting at a large round table to surprise us (well, me) – another one of Matt’s ideas! We had a delicious meal and got to show our families the proppsal photos that Annmarie had already edited and sent back to us.

I cannot even begin to explain the amount of happiness I felt that day, and continue to feel each day after, know how much time, thought and effort my wonderful fiancé put into making the proposal such a magical moment. It was the greatest day of my life and I cannot wait to marry my best friend!

Photography: Annmarie Swift Photography | Floral Design: Sweet Annie Floral Design | Venue: Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston | Bride's Dress: ASOS | Puppy's Floral Wreath: Cristen & Co. Events