Obsessed doesn’t even BEGIN to describe how I feel about this next wedding, photographed to perfection by Jeffrey and Julia Woods…two of our most loved Little Black Book photographers. This wedding is like the mecca of gorgeousness, with ideas and inspirations that you’ve seen around the web applied in such a cool, totally unique way. From the hanging paper poms that have literally created one massive, ridiculously awesome chandelier to the quirky, but stunning florals. My only regret with this wedding was that it wasn’t mine! Huge props to Jeffrey and Julia Woods for capturing this wedding with such soul. Love, love, LOVE. Click here to see even more.
Ben and I were married on July 3, 2010 in Bloomington, Indiana. We live in (and LOVE) Chicago, but Bloomington was the only place I could imagine myself getting married, and luckily, after visiting the local church where both my grandparents and my parents were married, Ben agreed. While the decision of where to exchange our vows was an easy one, I pretty much made every other part of the wedding planning process as delightfully complicated as possible. I’ve been a magazine editor covering all things lifestyle-related (fashion, food, home design) for years, and soon after getting engaged, I realized a wedding actually incorporates all those things, so I literally made the wedding a second job. I even launched a daily email blast and website with a couple of friends called Bride-Buzz, to share all my wedding finds with other brides.
Luckily, my real job had introduced me to a ton of creative people in Chicago, a few of whom helped me turn my vision of modern-whimsy into a reality (and I say “my vision” because as wonderfully indulgent as Ben was when it came to listening to me prattle on about invitations, flowers, decor, etc, he pretty much only cared about the guest list, the music and the bar…very typical groom). My friend, Jessica Murnane of Suitor, custom-made our letterpress invitations; Elise Bergman, another friend, made the bridesmaid dresses in a range of pinks, corals and tangerines and made our Liberty of London fabric groomsmen ties and pocket squares, along with garlands for the reception. Milliner Debra Shirley, who I met while buying my Monique Lhuillier dress at Chicago’s Ultimate Bride, created my reception hairpiece and veil. And Anne Benjamin of Mok Duk custom designed our programs, which were quite adorable, if I do say so myself.
Paper was a huge source of inspiration for the wedding (the summer 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings was my jumping-off point), and I went overboard on the theme, buying hundreds and hundreds of paper lanterns, fans and garlands in white, pink, yellow, orange and red. Our reception was in Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall (an old, cathedral-ceilinged dance hall where my mom actually had her senior prom), and a wonderful guy named Mike Schwandt hung them all and also created some beautiful lighting. Mike worked hand-in-hand with my day-of wedding coordinator/florist, Cathy Teeters, and the Union’s catering director and go-to gal, Bari Kuhlman. Those three were like on-the-ground wedding ninjas. They seriously pulled off what I thought might be impossible. They—along with Ben and my mom, who was tireless when it came to all things wedding—kept me sane… at least as sane as a bride who’s purchased 1,000 paper accessories can be!
While planning the wedding was really a passion and a joy, when it came to the actual day, all those details faded away and we were able to focus on the important things: our families (I got to dance with my 92-year-old grandpa; such a blessing), our friends and each other. As much as I focused on every detail of the reception, the ceremony was actually my favorite part of the day. Our officiant, Rev. Jenifer Steulpe Gibbs of the First United Methodist Church, did an wonderful job, and Jeff and Julia Woods, our super-talented photographers—who I actually first found on SMP!—captured everything so beautifully. It was a day that we will both always be grateful for. Being surrounded by so much love and support was really overwhelming and amazing.
(In fact, we were so full of love that about a month after the wedding, we found out we’re expecting a honeymoon baby!)
And lucky for all of us, the fun’s not over. We also have the completely gorgeous film that Andy over at Portal Films (who we love) designed, to top it all off…
Photographers: Jeff and Julia Woods Black Label (with Andy Jackson of Portal Films) / Dress: Monique Lhuillier’s Agnes gown / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hairpiece: Debra Shirley, Ultimate Bride Chicago / Earrings: Jennifer Meyer / Beauty: Lisa Trunda / Groom’s suit: Hugo Boss / Groom’s shoes: To Boot New York / Bridesmaid dresses +groomsmen ties and pocket squares: Elise Bergman / Invitations: Jessica Murnane, Suitor / Programs: Anne Benjamin, Mok Duk / Lighting: Mike Schwandt / Caterer + Cake: Indiana Memorial Union, Bari Kuhlman/ Day-of wedding coordinator + Florist: Cathy Teeters / Custom Cake Topper: Concarta / Band: Endless Summer Band (ESB) / Linens: BBJ (white hemstitch overlay) and Mosaic (burlap underlay) / Photo booth: Indy Photo Booths / Paper products: Bulkpartysupplies.com/ Ceremony: First United Methodist Church / Reception: Alumni Hall, Indiana Memorial Union
Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.