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Lincoln Park Summertime Engagement

We can’t help but swoon over an e-sesh that features so many thoughtful details. The stunning couple, the sweeping scenery, an adorable pup, and don’t forget about that ring! Thanks to Britta Hundertmark’s captures, this couple now has a gorgeous set of photos to add to their ever-growing list of memories together. Take peek for yourself.

From the Bride… Michael and I met in 2009 in Cancun, Mexico while we were both on spring break. While there, mutual friends introduced us. That led to us staying up all night talking and watching the sunrise. When we returned to school, Michael asked me to attend his spring formal. We had a blast, continued to have fun dates and eventually started dating! He even stuck by my side through my crazy year as Miss Nebraska USA! In 2012, after graduating from the University of Nebraska, we both moved to Chicago, where we lived for the past 2 years. Since then, we are now back in Nebraska so Michael can attend dental school!

Proposal: Traveling is one of the many things we love to do together, so when we planned a trip to Mackinac Island, MI over Memorial Day weekend, we were both ecstatic to explore a new place together. Mackinac is unique because there are no cars on the island, so you get around by bike or horse and buggies while there! (We celebrated our 5-year anniversary in April, so of course the entire time I was thinking that this beautiful place would be the perfect place to get engaged. It was so magical!)

After checking into the the historic and beautiful Grand Hotel, we biked the entire perimeter of the island. Later that evening we had a 5-course dinner planned at our hotel. Being the avid picture taker that I am, we took some photos on the porch with the breathtaking views before dinner. (Fun fact, the Grand Hotel has the record for the world’s longest porch!) There were professional photographers on the porch, so Michael went to ask them to take our photo. As they were snapping a few, Michael said, “Lets take a goofy photo.” I didn’t think anything of it, because, like I said, we had taken a ton of photos, so I thought he just wanted to change it up. At that moment he proceeded to get down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I barely remember it, but all I know is that I was overjoyed with happiness! When we finally took in our surroundings, we noticed that everyone inside was smiling and clapping for us! We then had our amazing dinner, celebrating with champagne, just the two of us. After dinner, we couldn’t contain our excitement anymore, so we enjoyed coffee in the foyer while we told our family and friends the exciting news. We had two days left on Mackinac (one being my birthday), and they were both so wonderful to spend together as a newly engaged couple.

Engagement Session: Every location we chose to capture our engagement photos was a special place to us. First, since we are both homebodies at times and seem to spend a lot of time in our apartment (especially during the cold winter months) either hanging out watching movies or hosting parties, we wanted to capture a few photos in our home with our pup. Next, since we love going on walks, we wanted to capture some photos at North Pond. We always say it’s our little secret, because it’s never overcrowded with people and it’s tucked away from the street and is surrounded by trees! It’s so quaint and romantic and we love going on walks around the pond. Lastly, we wanted to capture some photos by the water. Being on Lake Michigan makes Chicago such a special city, and since we lived in the Lakeview neighborhood, we spent a lot of time by the water either biking along the lakeshore path, running or going to the beach in the summer. We often went to the beachfront in the evenings to unwind from the hustle and bustle of city living. When it came to photography, we were immediately drawn to the magical and airy feel that Britta’s photography has. Her work is timeless and just simply beautiful. Once we met her energetic/fun personality, we were sold! She truly made our engagement session so special. When it came to our outfits, we knew we wanted them to be timeless with a subtle touch of elegance. We chose classic colors and luxe fabrics/textures with lace, chiffon and pearls. Now, since we have moved from Chicago, we look back on these photos with even more happiness, reminded of all of our favorite memories in our favorite city!

Wedding Plans: Although Michael and I both love the city, we have a special place in our hearts for the country since we grew up there. We’ve decided a countryside wedding was how we wanted to celebrate our special day. There’s something so beautiful and relaxing about being surrounded by the outdoors and only hearing the humming of birds and the breeze in the trees. We’re having our ceremony and reception at a beautiful estate in Nebraska, where our nearest and dearest will celebrate under a white tent. We want all aspects of our wedding to be elegant, timeless and bespoke with shades of white and ivory, gold and all white flowers with greenery galore. August 8, 2015 can’t come soon enough!

Photography: Britta Hundertmark | Shoes: Michael Kors | Jewelry: J Crew | Blush Dress: Alice + Olivia | Film Developer: Goodman Film Lab | Navy Sweater: All Saints | White Dress: For Love And Lemons

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Chic Chicago Wedding at the Greenhouse Loft

I love, love, love Olivia Leigh Photographie. Why you ask? She never fails to send us weddings that make our heart beat a little faster, and this chic Chicago wedding beautifully planned by Estera Events at the Green House Loft is the most stunning example. Her images left this couple with a gallery of images they will cherish forever, and you can cherish them too right here

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ChurchLoft

From Estera EventsWhen I first met Lauren over a cup of coffee, we immediately connected. She was so warm and friendly, and mostly, excited to marry Jeff. After talking about her vision for the day, she casually mentioned she would be wearing a gold wedding dress and I think I actually squealed! The entire day was a dream. Lauren, her sweet sister Nicole and her beautiful mom all got ready at The Waldorf Astoria. Lauren and Jeff did their first look under the holiday tree in the courtyard of the hotel and were married at St. Hedwigs. Snow started to fall just as the ceremony ended, and guests exited the church with sparklers in hand while Lauren & Jeff ran to their getaway car. The reception was at Greenhouse Loft – an amazingly beautiful event venue in Chicago with enormous picture windows. With over 250 candles, a majority dipped in gold, the entire room glowed. The cake was flecked in gold leaf and a light snow fell outside the picture windows the entire evening. It was such an amazingly magical day and we were more than thrilled to be part of it!

Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Event Design: Estera Events | Florist: Asrai Garden | Cake: Bittersweet | Reception: Green House Loft | Catering: Pure Kitchen Catering | Hair + Make Up: Bridal Beauty Chicago

Bohemian Chic Chicago Wedding

When you get right down to it, this is the kind of wildly beautiful yet deeply personal wedding we preach here on SMP. From the gorgeous blush and gold stylings by Kelly Lenard to the Bride’s late mother’s photograph sewn into her BHLDN dress, it’s everything an “I do” should be and we’re got a front row seat. Lauren Balingit captured the moments, and you can get started in the gallery right here.

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Summer
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From The Bride…On June 7th 2014 I married my Prince Charming, Mike, in the suburbs of Chicago, and my fairytale wedding came true. It was a sunny day, filled with our best friends and family celebrating the commitment we made to each other. I was lucky enough to hire Lauren Balingit, a film photographer, to capture all of the day’s beautiful moments, and her fiancé, Alex Balingit formerly of 27 Entertainment.

The décor was a combination of gold, blush and pale blue, along with pieces of my favorite childhood memories. The nostalgic smells of lavender from family trips to France, several Disney elements, blue birds, and my favorite flower, lily of the valley. I remember picking the lilies in my Grandmother’s garden in Indiana with my Mom. Both my Mom and Grandma, sadly, could not be present on our special day. My Mom was close to my heart though as my Aunt Cyndy sewed a picture of her in my dress. Also, for our recessional we asked our friends and family to sprinkle us with the blue bird confetti (that my aunts and cousins individually hand-punched!) to honor my Mom’s beautiful spirit. Blue birds also adorned our wedding cake, tying a bow of ribbon with their beaks, similarly to how Cinderella’s dress was sewn together.

I felt like a true princess wearing the wedding gown I chose from BHLDN Chicago, designed by the incredible Catherine Deane. My lovely veil was vintage-inspired as well from the bridal boutique Meringue, also in Chicago. I wore the timeless Sakura halo created by Cécile Boccara from France, which further incorporated the delicate pearls that embellished my dress. I carried a vintage Whiting & Davis gold mesh bag, and my earrings were by Nadri that my Mike had given me for our one-year anniversary. The morning of our wedding day, he surprised me with a gold monogram necklace incorporating my new initials, LOM. It was an honor to wear it as part of my wedding ensemble.

The incredibly talented wedding stylist, Kelly Lenard from Intertwine, is whom I give all the credit for our wedding décor. She communicated with me for months to bring all of my scattered ideas to tasteful fruition and beauty. I asked Kelly to incorporate as much gold into the day as possible. She misted metallic gold paint onto baby’s breath, eucalyptus leaves and seeds, to enhance our whimsical theme. She even surprised me the day of the wedding with the most stunning bright pink peonies that complimented my bridesmaid’s dresses perfectly! Also, as a tribute to the amazing Irish family I was marrying into, Bells of Ireland adorned the pews of the church aisle. My husband Mike and I used the cork collection filled with the memories we had shared and written on, to use for place card holders at our reception.

Two days after our wedding I was beyond excited to get dressed up again, but this time having the magnificent city of Chicago for a backdrop. Kelly Lenard created a stunning secondary bouquet for me, incorporating more vibrant colors and large garden roses, and a gorgeous floral crown. Lauren Balingit photographed us as we frolicked around our favorite city and strolled along the crystal blue water. After the shoot, Mike and I visited our favorite Irish Pub in the city, The Celtic Crossing for a pint of the black stuff. It was the perfect way to end our wedding weekend!

Photography: Lauren Balingit | Floral Design: Kelly Lenard | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Suits: Men's Wearhouse | Cake : Toni Patisserie | Church: Ascension Catholic Church | Country Club: Butterfield Country Club | Hair : Robert Jeffery | Makeup: Alyssa Lalagos | Video : 27 Entertainment

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.