Today, my dear friend, Jill has offered her own wedding for a wedding snapshot. Having been a bridesmaid, I can say first hand, this wedding was SPECTACULAR. Debi Lilly, of A Perfect Event in Chicago, along with Jill and her mother put together an affair that would make any little girl dreaming of her fairy tale wedding, jump with joy.

Jills_wedding

Our wedding was in downtown Chicago at the Saint James Cathedral and our reception was held at the Drake Hotel. One of my favorite pictures is after the ceremony…my new husband and I stood outside the church at the top of the steps and kissed as our guests rang wedding bells in celebration. This picture was in an ad campaign for my wedding coordinator and was featured in Modern Bride Magazine!

Colors Palette: The colors I chose were chocolate brown, green and white. The earth tones were simple, beautiful and sophisticated.

Wedding Style: I wore a gown from Kenneth Poole’s first collection. Our wedding was “Old Chicago,” our reception hall was Victorian, formal and grand, and I wanted a grand dress to match! It was a white ball gown with crystal and silver beading at the top. My favorite feature of the dress were the straps (see pics)…they were flattering to my figure and they added interest to the wedding pictures that were taken from the waist up. I wore a European veil that went down to my knees in the front and was cathedral length in the back. I especially liked my veil because it was very sheer and didn’t look heavy or overwhelming in any way.

Invitations: My invitations were bought from Crane and enhanced by my wedding coordinator. They were very simple, black calligraphy engraved on heavy ecru card stock. My coordinator was able to put a pocket in the back which held our RSVP card, reception card and map. It was a clever way of keeping all the paper together. Our place cards were hand calligraphied and placed in an envelope with a gold lining. We sealed the envelope with my husband’s family crest. The process of sealing the envelopes with wax and stamping them with the crest took hours, but was well worth it!

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen: I had 5 bridesmaids all roughly the same age, height and size so choosing a gown was relatively easy. We chose a chocolate brown strapless gown from Vera Wang. The girls looked stunning! We had them altered to be snug fitting with a subtle mermaid silhouette. As an added touch, the gowns had a short train that was then bussled for the reception. The groomsmen wore classic black tuxes with custom ties that we had made to coordinate perfectly with the bridesmaid’s dresses.

Flowers: Our flowers were absolutely gorgeous. The Groomsmen wore a tiny cymbidium orchid (green in color with a little purple / brown on the inside). The bridesmaids carried a mixed bouquet with green, white and brown accents which were intended to look like they were pulled from an English garden. I carried a bouquet of white roses. I wanted the flowers to be elegant and classic…with an element of drama!

Little Touches:

-We hung chinese slippers on the back of the ladies chairs’, with a little handwritten note encouraging guest’s to dance the night away. They were a huge hit as the women were able to take off their uncomfortable heels and get out on the dance floor.

-Transportation and information regarding the weekend events was readily available for our guests. We hired Trolley’s to take guests to and from the church and to the reception. When our guests arrived at the hotel, there was an itinerary for the weekend at hand. Everyone knew where to go and when with no confusion. I felt like everyone was able to relax and have a good time, because there was absolutely no questions left unanswered for them.

-We had a sweetheart table for the bride and groom. It was nice to sit at a table with only my husband and myself. This allowed us to get up and greet our guests during dinner without leaving 2 empty seats at a larger table. We also wanted our bridal party to be able to sit together as a group, alongside their dates.

-My favorite highlight was the champagne parade. It is tradition at the Drake Hotel that the wedding party be served their champagne at one time for the toast. There was a parade of roughly 30 men with white gloves each carrying a bottle of champagne. They snaked around the room, circled the wedding party tables and poured our champagne all at once. There was lively / festive music playing in the background- it was a lot of fun.

Jill’s wedding was wonderful…as a guest, as a bridesmaid and as a designer, I can tell you that every detail was accounted for. Thanks so much to Jill for sharing her special day!

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