I can’t say enough amazing things about Leila Brewster (she just so happened to capture my big day three long years ago), but one of the absolute best things about Leila? Is that I could say about a million and one amazing things about her fabulous ways, but I would never be able to do her talent justice. She not only has an eye for beauty, she has an eye for moments. The moments tucked away deep within your wedding. The moments you cherish. So when I saw this moment-filled beauty of a wedding, I knew her talents and this family would be a perfect fit. It’s a whimsical match made in wedding heaven, and you can see every gorgeous moment right here.

From the Bride… I envisioned our wedding to be a large dinner party where our closest friends and relatives gathered in a beautiful setting to come celebrate Cory and me getting married. We wanted a very intimate atmosphere so we could have time to visit with all the guests–we only had 47 people. Everything turned out way better than I could have pictured it. It was whimsical, gorgeous, and simply romantic. Cory and I have very bubbly and colorful personalities so incorporating bright and playful color into the wedding was essential.

It was important to me to make the wedding “ours” and I feel like we littered the ceremony and reception with things that truly made it us. For the ceremony, the music was played by my biological father and included acoustic versions of songs (“Rainbow Connection”, theme song from Lost, a theme from “Finding Nemo”) from movies and TV shows since we both work in film and love movies. Our wedding cake was quite unique as it was also a way to honor my mom in a fun way. My mother passed away 1.5 years before we got married but she was always pushing for us to tie the knot. One of her favorite games was “Plants VS. Zombies” and she got all of us hooked on that silly game. We decided it would be a great idea to have a crazy wedding cake and had the cake modeled after the game. The girls also have bright pink hair. When my mother originally passed away from breast cancer, the oldest wanted to shave her head to honor her grandma. We came to a compromise– she could get pink highlights. At first, we were going to not have it re-dyed before the wedding, but we decided it’s a part of who she is and her way of honoring my mother.

Since our wedding was outside, in a courtyard with cafe lights, the rustic theme fit very well for the location. When the sun finally went down, our location became enchanting. It literally took my breath away how magical everything looked. When you first start planning a wedding and have all these little ideas, it’s sometimes hard to imagine what it will look like in the end–especially when you’re planning a wedding from 1700 miles away! Looking back at the stunning pictures, it’s sometimes hard to believe mason jars, old wooden signs, and some bright colors made an amazing setting and decor for our day. It simply just fit us so well.

Besides marrying Cory, I was also marrying his two little girls. It was very important to us to incorporate the girls into the ceremony. I had vows especially for the girls and they each got a necklace (that a good friend who’s a jeweler made) with their names written on it with my pinkie print engraved on it. Another amazing moment happened before the wedding. My cousin (one of my bridesmaids) surprised me with two things. First she had some of the hem from my mother’s wedding dress removed from the bottom and sewn into a heart inside my dress on the left side. I had NO idea this had happened until I read a card she had given me. She had gotten the fabric from my dad in California, took it to the bridal shop in Chicago, and had them sew the lace into a heart. It meant so much that my mother was so close to me on my day. She also had a special garter made in my wedding colors with my mom’s dress sewn on to that too. Each thing on the garter represented something in my new life with Cory and the girls. It was so touching to have these details included and ones I hadn’t even thought about having. They made sure I opened all of this before my makeup was started because I was balling when I read that card!

Wedding Photography: Leila Brewster | Wedding Venue: Franciscan Gardens | Floral Design: Pixies Petals | Cake:  Charm City Cakes West | Desserts:  24 Carrots + Sweet & Saucy Shop + Deluscious Cookies | Catering: 24 Carrots | Stationery: Bride | Wedding Dress: Essence of Australia | Hair Accessories: Lucia Bella | Bride’s Hair + Makeup: Hair Comes the Bride | Band: High Resolution Productions

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