I absolutely ADORE a winter wedding, so it pretty much goes without saying that I have fallen head over heels for this stunning Chicago affair by Heather Parker Photography.  Yes, with a room all aglow in candlelight and Christmas tree lights, this is one seriously gorgeous fête.  Plus, when I first laid my eyes on that cake by The Peninsula Chicago, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Have you ever seen a more fabulous creation?!?  Swoon.  It’s a good thing that I have an entire day left to take in all of this lovely… a very good thing.  Join me in the gallery for more!

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From the Bride… When Dave proposed, I was excited. And then I had to plan a wedding and that excitement turned to anxiety and frustration. Living in a city like Chicago and having the Internet at my fingertips, I realized that the enormous variety of vendors and options to choose from was a blessing and a curse. It was so overwhelming at first to try and choose the right vendors to help us create a memorable event without breaking the bank. Talking to other brides to be on various website message boards became a godsend as it helped me realize I wasn’t alone. Even better was that the other brides helped me with vendor selections, DIY ideas and offered suggestions when I was stumped for ideas.

I spent a lot of time researching before we made decisions, but once we started hiring vendors and making selections, the planning turned from stressful to fun. Dave and I wanted to make sure we planned a wedding that was beautiful and fun. Both of our families live outside of Illinois so we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. We chose The Peninsula Chicago because of its stellar reputation of service. We timed the wedding date perfectly as the hotel was decorated the night before for Christmas. Our photographer, Heather Parker, knew exactly how to create the most memorable pictures using our decorations with those of the hotel. I wanted to keep the flowers for the tables simple as I felt the room was beautiful enough with the lighting and the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Chicago.

Perhaps the easiest decision about the wedding was the color theme. My favorite color always has been purple and I thought chocolate brown would compliment that with the room. I didn’t want to be completely traditional as a bride who wears all white. I wanted to wear purple too! Not only did I wear purple shoes, but I also found gorgeous purple earrings and had purple flowers in my bouquet. Perhaps the most special part of my outfit was the row of heart shaped buttons that Zuzu’s Petals added to the handle of my bouquet. They were buttons from my great, great grandmother’s wedding dress that my mom had on her veil for her wedding day!

It was cold but sunny on our wedding day but we didn’t care. We were blessed to have so many friends and family make it from out of town. It was fun seeing their reaction to all of the details we planned for them. We had lots of DIY projects throughout the room, Dave created the place card poster thanks to a bride’s blog from the internet. He also took all of the pictures around Chicago that became the centerpieces for our table numbers. We painted our aisle runner. Making our wedding invitations and menu cards added to the color theme. My mother helped by hand beading my veil, making my bracelet as well as bracelets for all of the girls in the wedding party and making her famous chocolate covered toffee to be added to the candy buffet that everyone enjoyed! Along with the candy buffet, we had a photobooth that was a constant hit all night as we saw many of our guests acting silly and enjoying themselves.

The day went by fast but I haven’t forgotten a minute of it. The food was amazing. The cake was gorgeous. The toasts were funny and touching. My brother surprised me by getting up and reading a letter written by my grandmother and aunt who couldn’t make it that night. Tears were shed and laughs were shared we felt love from everyone in the room on a night that exceeded all of our expectations.

Wedding Photography: Heather Parker Photography / Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Musicians: Harpist Kari Gardner / Men’s Attire: Black Tie Formalwear / Wedding Gown: Kathryn Bridal / DJ: Dancetrax Mobile DJ Entertainment / Floral Design: Natalie Willett of Zuzu’s Petals / Photobooth: Magnolia Photobooth Company / Location, Caterer + Cake: The Peninsula Chicago / Escort Cards Sign: The Groom

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