Any bride who rocks a top knot, a Vera Wang and the sparkiest Choos you ever did see is basically a fashion hero, in my book. But even more than her killer sense of style, is the gorgeous white wedding that followed. It’s black tie formality at its very best and our friends at Paper Antler captured each moment. Have a peek here!
From the Bride… I had always dreamed of a small intimate wedding with our closest friends and family. Well, my Dad comes from a family of nine kids and Blake’s Mom is one of seven. So a big wedding it was! But, we were determined to make it an intimate wedding nonetheless. Regardless of size, venue, décor, or price tag, the most important thing to us was the feeling in the room on our wedding night.
As we started to plan, there were several must haves. First, was Paper Antler, our amazingly talented photographers. The day after we got engaged I reserved them for the entire month of August! We also knew we wanted our ceremony in an intimate outdoor setting, a reception with tall ceilings and at least one crystal chandelier, and a big dance floor! As fate would have it, the Hinsdale Golf Club, in the town where I grew up, met all our requirements. After picking a venue in my hometown, a hometown theme quickly developed. The bridal luncheon and rehearsal dinner were in Hinsdale. The flowers, invitations, and wedding cake were all designed by local vendors. And on the day of the wedding, my bridesmaids, five of which were friends who grew up with me in Hinsdale, and my sister (MOH) of course, and I spent the morning getting ready in my childhood home.
In designing our wedding, we strived for understated elegance. We opted against using a wedding planner. But my Mom and sister were our wedding planner equivalents. My Mom helped us plan every step of the way and made sure every last detail was perfect. As a bride that hated almost all things “wedding,” planning the perfect wedding was difficult. I had never been a fan of big wedding centerpieces, bright colors, ball gowns, or even bridesmaid dresses. But, there were certain quirky wedding touches that were a must. I found two tacky porcelain doves that I instantly knew had to sit on top of our wedding cake. I wanted each table to feel like a beautiful dinner party, with a tasteful centerpiece. My husband and I both have always loved a simple white flower arrangement. And I knew from day one that callas were a must.
We both wanted our wedding to feel like a special day, so tuxes and formal dresses were essential. Blake opted for a traditional black Hugo Boss tux. Picking the perfect dresses for myself and my bridesmaids was a daunting task. I had my mind set on an understated lace wedding dress with sleeves. On my second day of dress shopping I fell in love with a strapless, laceless Vera that was definitely not understated. The dress set the tone for the whole wedding. And I knew I wanted each of my nine bridesmaids to feel as good as I felt in my dress on the day of. I found two stunning beaded blouson gowns that went perfectly with a beautiful vintage clutch that Blake and I found while antique shopping in Chicago. It took months, but we were able to design the rest of the dresses around the two inspiration dresses. Each bridesmaid ended up in the perfect dress that fit her unique style and personality. My mom found the perfect Mother of the Bride dress to fit into the color scheme, and my Dad wore my Grandpa’s cufflinks from grade school! Everyone looked stunning.
Our ceremony was very important to us. We really wanted the ceremony to be about us and our love for each other. Our officiant was a close friend of Blake’s who was able to give us exactly that. He knew us and our story and was able to tell that to our family and friends. Until we started wedding planning, I always cringed when I heard people were writing their own vows. But when it came down to it, we both really wanted the words we said to mean something to us. So the two of us stayed up until 2:00am one night and wrote our vows together, incorporating words from traditional vows with promises that were special to us. Blake promised to make my laugh every day and I promised to never lose my sense of humor.
As a child, I made my Dad watch The Wizard of Oz on a weekly basis. So naturally, my Dad and I walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Blake and I left the ceremony to “All You Need is Love” while our loved ones threw rose petals in the air. My crafty Dad had made an amazing “Toss Bar” out of old wine crates for our guests to make baggies full of petals on their way into the ceremony. The ceremony was more than we could have imagined. The garden was filled with all our family and friends as the sun shown perfectly through the hedges that surrounded us. I do not think there was a dry eye in the crowd. We felt truly blessed to have such a perfect day.
Photography: Paper Antler | Videographer: George Street | Floral Design: The English Garden | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Wedding Cake: Toni Patisserie | Invitations: Vera Wang | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bloomingdales | Make Up: Morgan Marie Beauty | Hair: Curl Up And Dye | Band: Dan Hayes Orchestra | Grooms Attire: Hugo Boss | Ceremony And Reception: Hinsdale Golf Club | Day Of Coordinator: Carolyn LaBahn | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Veil: Vera Wang