Sweet home Chicago is looking extra sweet today with this wedding by Amanda Hein Photography. Every detail of the day from the bride’s gorgeous necklace (added to my lust list) and stylish cigar station was eloquently delivered. I’m in awe that the couple planned such a sophisticated soirée in only four shorts months, wow! Click here to blow over to the windy city for more pictures.

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From the Bride… Ryan and I wanted a wedding that was streamlined to focus on what was important to us — one wouldn’t grow into an event larger than it needed to be – so we gave ourselves four short months to plan the wedding! We chose not to use a wedding planner, making it a busy four months for us, but we worked with some wonderful vendors who made it fun and easy. We wanted the night to feel like an intimate dinner party, and the Elysian Hotel (now Waldorf Astoria) was the perfect setting for our party of 70 guests. The hotel is a smaller venue with sophisticated design, outstanding service and fantastic food. And we live across the street, so it has personal meaning to us. Our 5 p.m. ceremony was in a small ballroom, and then guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the foyer prior to a dinner reception in the large ballroom. The hotel’s gorgeous décor meant that we could use simple florals, and we chose concentrated pinks. Danielle at Fleur de lis Florist captured our style so well after just one meeting. As a petite bride, I wanted a simpler wedding gown that wouldn’t overpower me. I knew Nicole Miller designs could work well, but I knew I’d found the dress when I tried on a statement necklace that gave the look much more personality. And I loved how fabulous my bridesmaids looked – all wearing rich, jewel-toned dresses of their own choosing. We love going out dancing and wanted a big dance party at the reception. DJ Chicago worked so well with us, and it was everything we’d hoped it would be. We chose many reception details to help us feel connected to each of our guests. When guests were seated at their dinner table, they found a note card addressed to them. Ryan and I spent a lot of time in the week leading up to the wedding writing personal notes to each guest, thanking them for supporting us and why we appreciated them being part of the wedding. We used a magnum of one of our favorite Duckhorn wines as a guest book, and we asked guests to write a short note to us and put it in a sealed envelope. We now open one of these notes each time we open a bottle of wine at home. This has been a really fun way to remember our wedding and how blessed we were to share it with great family and friends.

Wedding Photography: Amanda Hein Photography / Wedding Venue: The Waldorf Astoria Chicago (Formerly The Elysian Hotel) in Chicago, Illinois / Floral Design: Fleur de lis Florist / Officiant: Rev. Bruce Otto of Spirited Weddings / Wedding Programs + Place Cards: Wiregrass Weddings / Reception Stationery: Crane & Co. / DJ: DJ Chicago / Magnum Wine Bottle: Duckhorn Vineyards “The Discussion” / Matchboxes: For Your Party / Wedding Dress + Necklace: Nicole Miller / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Hair: Michelle Forst of GEORGE — The Salon / Groom’s Attire: Canali Exclusive / Groom’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo

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