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Why a One-Year Anniversary Session is Always a Good Idea

There’s no doubt that I’m a full supporter of documenting life’s milestones—especially those based around love. I wouldn’t be worthy of the wedding blogger title without that notion. And for me? That includes the 1-year anniversary. Enter this Chicago sesh from Elizabeth Nord, who captured her very own sister’s anni. Complete with city scenes and love in the street, you can find it all in The Vault.

From Elizabeth Nord… After months of planning to visit the city, Lauren and Adam decided to celebrate their first year wedding anniversary with a photo session in the heart of downtown with me, her older sister. We chose two iconic photo spots for their session: the Lasalle bridge and in front of the Chicago Board of Trade building. They dated for 2 years prior to getting married and were married on our parent’s 30-acre property in West Tennessee. It’s been a joy to watch these two as they dated and as their marriage continues to grow. They are the perfect match and I’m so happy my sister has found her forever love.

From Lauren… In the year that we’ve been married, we’ve already learned so much about growing a marriage together. The best piece of advice that I could share with other newlywed couples is to make time for one another. It’s important to continue to date your spouse as you did before you were married. If you’re able to do it, I would suggest a date night a week. If not, a special date night each month is lovely! Continue to show each other how much the other means to you by little gestures throughout the day. Husbands, text your wife to tell her how much you love her or surprise her with flowers randomly. Wives, offer to give him a back rub or tell him how proud you are of him. Those kinds of gestures make such a difference!

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Photography: Elizabeth Nord Photography | Black Dress: Lord & Taylor

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Gorgeous Views + A Beaming Bride Fight Off Wedding Day Rain

It’s pretty hard to beat a view as amazing as this one… but well, this beaming Bride did just that. With her gorgeous Jenny Yoo dress and her never-ending smile (despite rain!) she stole the show and Tim Tab Studios and Old North Film Co. captured it all – see every moment in our Vault right this way!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Romantic

From Tim Tab StudiosAlex and Brandon’s wedding day dawned with sun and sweeping, light rains. It was the day of the Air and Water Show in Chicago, and the city was bustling and warm. Alex spent a leisurely morning prepping at her hotel on the Magnificent Mile with her bridesmaids and mom. The energy in the room was so joyful and excited, a true reflection of Alex’s persona.

She dressed in Jenny Yoo, posed for a quick group shot with her ladies, and then it was time to see Brandon and begin their wedding day. The moment that Brandon stepped in for their private First Look was positively bursting with love. Brandon barely held it together when he saw his bride, and those first minutes alone together were the perfect start to the best day of their lives.

Alex and Brandon went into their wedding day knowing they wanted to feature the crown jewel of Chicago in their photos – the waterfront skyline – and their venue choice could not have been more perfect. The Adler Planetarium gave their guests the best vantage point in the whole city for both the ceremony and reception.

The Ketubah ceremony was an emotional time for everyone, as it was more intimate than the larger ceremony to follow. When the Rabbi asked the bride and groom to read their marriage contract aloud and in unison, there was hardly a dry eye in the room. According to Jewish tradition, it was at that point that Alex and Brandon were truly married.

What followed next threw a curve in their plans: rain swept across the ceremony space just as Fleur, Inc had finished the last decor details. But Alex and Brandon never wavered on their plans for an outdoor ceremony. Guests began to arrive and were ushered inside to wait out the rain. When it was finally clear, a perfectly cohesive vendor team (Food for Thought catering, Fleur, Inc floral designers, and Wrap it Up party planners) made quick work of drying off the guest’s chairs while the pianist played “Here Comes the Sun”. A few enthusiastic guests even jumped in to help too! It was an endearing team effort, and it was all for Alex. Minutes later the procession started and she walked down the aisle with her parents as the sun really did come out and lit up the whole glistening planetarium.

Initially it had felt like a challenge to create an interfaith ceremony that honored both Jewish and Catholic traditions that were so important to Alex and Brandon, but the delivery by the priest and the rabbi was so seamless, fitting, and even humorous that no one even thought twice about how hard it must have been to meld the two traditions together. Once Brandon stomped on the glass, the party got started!

Guests were ushered into the reception with a champagne place-card just as the sun was setting behind the Chicago high rises, and to their delight they saw that tacos were on the menu! The Gold Coast Allstars, arguably one of Chicago’s very best wedding bands, had the dance floor completely packed the entire night. It was an incredible day, and even the rain made Alex’s memories of her ceremony even more perfect.

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Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Videography: Old North Film Company | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo | Wedding Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Engagement Ring: Well Adorned | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Food For Thought | Hair + Makeup: Ashley Condron & Rachel Reiman | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: Adler Planetarium | Bridal Boutique (Bridesmaids' Dresses): Brideside | Invitation Suite: Matthew Kelsey | Ketubah: Once Upon A Paper | Partial Event Planning: Wrap It Up Parties, Inc.

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The Prettiest Dress We’ve Ever Seen

This dress is a big deal. Because I swear I’ve looked at thousands of gowns in the ten years that I’ve been writing this blog and this gown just definitely makes the list for one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Definitely top five. And the bride just happen to choose the most gorgeous bridesmaids dresses EVER (Jenny Yoo, obvi) to compliment her chic, timeless with a twist style. With florals by Kehoe Designs, coordination by Reva Nathan, photography by Emilia Jane and cinema by Vibrant Film, this wedding is everything. Everything. And I didn’t even get to the ice cream bar. Click here to see the whole she-bang.

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Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
HotelOutdoor
Styles
Al Fresco

From the Bride…Scott and I met in Chicago and were, at first, just friends. Three years after meeting, when the timing was right, our friendship became something more and we started dating. When we decided to get married two years later we didn’t know where we wanted the celebration to be held, but knew we wanted something unique. After exploring many ideas which included a family farm in Texas, Italy, Napa and even on board a vintage train, we opted for Chicago, the city where we lived and loved so much. Scott and I were so excited to host our friends and family in The Windy City which truly shines in the summer. We kicked off the weekend with all guests on a private Architectural Boat Tour, one of our favorite activities for out of town guests.

For our wedding ceremony, The Peninsula Hotel’s rooftop terrace was the most perfect setting which felt like garden of white florals and green succulents (thanks to Kehoe Designs) that was dropped in the middle of the city surrounded by skyscrapers. Though the attire was black-tie, the evening was relaxed and casual, but still elegant. Our good friend served as officiant and my grandparents read the Jewish traditions which we incorporated into our intimate ceremony.

After the ceremony, the terrace quickly transformed into cocktail hour where guests dined on dim sum, a homage to our first official date in Chinatown, before entering the ballroom for dinner and dancing. We wanted the evening to feel fun and personal. The fun was provided by Ken Arlen Orchestra which had guests on their feet all night with the last ones leaving at 4 AM. We personalized the night with custom candles in lieu of place cards, my favorite hometown ice cream Custard Cup, a Texas themed grooms cake from Bite Sized Baker, and late night Chicago style deep dish pizza and whiskey bar – the groom’s favorite. The night was captured perfectly by Emilia Jane Photography and John Hoel Videography. Guests left with a fortune cookie to finish off their dim sum which read, “A hangover is in your immediate future.

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Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Cinematography: Vibrant Film | Coordination: Reva Nathan | Event Planning: Reva Nathan | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Dress: Alon Livne | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair: Renee Feldman | Lighting: Frost Chicago | Band: Ken Arlen Band Front Of House | Venue: Jennifer Clarke At The Peninsula Chicago | Custard: Jarling's Custard Cup | Decor: Kehoe Designs | Dresser: Gwendolyn Watson | Groom's Cake: Bite Sized Bakery | Late Night Pizza: Lou Malnati's | Linen Rentals: BBJ

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here