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 Floral…Christina 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!!
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 Vaughan Bridal Artists | DJ: Style Matters DJs | Groom's Attire: Givenchy | Bride + Groom Transportation: Windy City Limousine | Bride's Jewelry: A Bud & Beyond | 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