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Black Tie Botanic Garden Wedding

Ever since Vera Wang unveiled her all-pink bridal collection this Fall I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see how real brides would rock it. And when Three Nails Photography sent us this Chicago Botanic Gardens wedding featuring one chic bride doing just that, audible squeals and gasps weren’t far behind. Clementine Custom Events planned the whole shebang, and it’s all waiting for you here!


From the Bride… My bridesmaids, sisters and mom and I all got ready at my house and enjoyed a fun and relaxing afternoon together for hair and makeup. For most of them, that afternoon was the first time they saw my dress. The priceless expressions (some tears!) on their faces when they saw the blush colored gown and details of the petal train confirmed that I had made the right decision for our English garden wedding.

From the minute I laid eyes on the Vera Wang dress, I knew it had to be mine. There was something so romantic and unique about the color that I had to go for the untraditional color scheme. The dress undoubtedly set the stage in terms of all of our styling, floral and décor choices for the wedding. We wanted the evening to be a formal occasion, but one that properly represented the two of us and our families. The combinations of the black tie dress code, old English garden, crystal chandeliers, exposed farm tables and lucite chairs all helped bring our vision of ‘Old Hollywood glamour meets rustic charm’ to life.

There were so many incredible moments for us at the wedding, but one that stands out most for me was our first kiss. That ‘you can kiss the bride’ moment is always special and symbolic, but usually only lasts a short while. Truly, my groom could not let go. His emotions were so raw and sweet. He planted not one, not two or three, but four big kisses on me to the point where the applause from the crowd turned into giggles and an uproar of cheers. We had just come off two and a half years of long distance as my groom finished business school in Chicago while I was working and living in NY so this was truly a tender and triumphant moment for the two of us. I could literally feel his love and pride through the strength of his big embrace. We did it!

The other incredible moment for me was my father-daughter dance. My dad and I danced to one of our family favorites, a classic Neapolitan song, ‘O Sole Mio’—in English, My Sunshine. We had dance lessons every day for a week leading up to the wedding to perfect every dip and spin of our choreographed routine to surprise our guests with a little bit of Italian drama and a whole lot of sweet and sincere fun between a father and daughter. The entire experience and time spent with my father was incredibly special and something that I will cherish forever.

Some advice for brides: know that all the time and effort of planning is going to be all worth it. The day of your wedding is unlike any other — everyone you love and who loves you are all in the same place at the same time, celebrating you, your marriage, and the coming together of your two families. It’s really a beautiful moment. Enjoy it!

Photography: Three Nails Photography | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Floral Design: Botanics | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Shoes: Ralph Lauren | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Culinary Landscape | Planner: Clementine Custom Events | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Bridesmaids' Dress Boutique: Bella Bridesmaid | Flower Girl Dress: Ralph Lauren | Tuxedos: Ralph Lauren | Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden

Amsale is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Clementine Custom Events and Chicago Botanic Garden are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Clementine Custom Events

Chicago Botanic Garden


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Chicago’s Waldorf Astoria Wedding

Chicago is one of those towns where tradition reigns Queen. Where classic ballroom weddings are counted as beloved, where brides and groom embrace their cultures and their spunk with equal opportunity. And this wedding – held at one of Chicago’s most gorgeous hotels – is nothing if not classic at it’s very best. With photographs from Kristin La Voiethere is even more right here!


From Kristin La VoieThis is the MOST STUNNING wedding of the year! Hye-Sun & Rafael, who’s engagement session was featured on SMP, held the perfect wedding at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. The hotel is not only picturesque and exquisite, but I love it even more for it’s Parisian style outside (it really feels as if you are walking in a little piece of Paris!) What made it even MORE romantic was their first look where Hye-Sun rolled into the courtyard in a horse drawn carriage to greet Rafael at the front door (in the MOST beautiful Vera Wang down, to boot!). It was truly breathtaking! We then had the couple ride into a nearby park where all the leaves were still the perfect Fall colors for their romantic carriage ride. Hye-Sun’s Harry Winston ring was sparkling in the sun!
The ceremony took place in one of the several ballrooms of the Waldorf ; candles and gorgeous florals with beautiful chandeliers overhead created the perfect ambiance to continue the romantic theme. Afterwards, couples entered the reception ballroom for cocktail hour and dinner following. The decor was more than gorgeous, it was just perfection!!! Everything was executed perfectly, down to the lounge corners set up for guests to sit and mingle. Other amazing moments included a violin trio playing for the couple and their guests, a Paebaek ceremony where the couple transformed into their traditional Korean clothes, and a choreographed first dance between the bride and groom. Planning and Coordination from Megan at North Shore Weddings & Events and florals by Ashland Addison Florist helped create the perfect, romantic affair.

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | dress: Vera Wang | Floral Design: Ashland-Addison Florist | Ceremony Venue: waldorf astoria chicago | reception venue: waldorf astoria chicago | shoes: Jimmy Choo | ring: Harry Winston | make up: Tiffany Hurr | band: Larry Eckerling | Planning: North Shore Weddings & Events | linens: BBJ Linen | suit: Armani

BBJ is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Sunrise Engagement Session at Montrose Harbor Beach

With summer just around the corner, my thoughts have turned to BBQ’s, flip flops and days spent at the beach.  My favorite time to chill waterside?  Sunset.  Which puts this beautiful Chicago engagement session right up my alley.  It’s one VERY adorable duo meets the perfect time of day meets one breathtaking image after another from the talented Ashley Bosnick Photography.  See them all right here.

From Ashley Bosnick Photography… This sunrise Chicago engagement session was SO much fun. Courtney and Tim were seriously troopers and totally trusted me when I said we should do a 6am sunrise beach session. Morning light is so soft & gorgeous; it ended up being a bit chilly that morning, so we grabbed a quilt from the car to incorporate, which was perfect! We kept the session simple and clean with some small details to keep the keep focus on the these two lovebirds.

Courtney & Tim have one of the cutest love stories I have ever heard. Tim & Courtney went to middle school together and have known each other for years. Tim always said that he was smitten with Courtney, but that not matter how hard he tried, she was never really interested. Bummer, right? It wasn’t until Courtney moved away for college and shortly after her return, her and Tim ran into one another and totally hit it off. The rest is history…

Photography: Ashley Bosnick Photography | Flowers: Whole Foods Market | Location: Montrose Beach, Chicago IL