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The Couple’s Pups Took Part in the Engagement Session

We’re seeing more and more couples include their fur babies in the engagement shoot, and it’s a trend I can totally get behind. Megan and Chad planned exactly that for their session in Chicago and Emilia Jane photographed all the fun. More this way!

From Emilia JaneI love that more and more of my couples are opting to do multi-part engagement sessions! Megan and Chad are a perfect recent example of this. We woke up early to do a sunrise, riverwalk shoot with their adorable pups on Wednesday and then shot their formal save-the-date’s during golden hour on Thursday.

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Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Suit: Suit Supply | Hair and Make-up: Sonia Roselli | Heels: Christian Louboutin | Peplum Top: Shopbop | Sandals: Jack Rogers | Sequin Dress: Nordstrom

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The Reasoning Behind This Bride’s White Feather Will Make You Cry

No doubt that this wedding is beautiful, but even more so? It’s filled with meaning. Take the white feather tucked into Annie’s bouquet. Fair warning, you’ll want to grab a few tissues before reading through the sentiment behind it below, but suffice to say that Jacqui Cole Photography has captured it all and we’ve got it waiting for you in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Event Venue
Styles
Romantic

From Jacqui Cole PhotographyAnnie and Dave wed at the stunning Lake Forest Armour House. Their ceremony was amongst the greenery of the gardens and their reception in the historic ballroom. Hints of soft lilac and greenery were the focal colors which complemented the lush backdrop of the gardens perfectly. Annie wore a sleek Elizabeth Fillmore gown while carrying a simple, elegant arrangement of white roses. Tears of joy continued to flow throughout the day. When the rain started falling halfway through their garden ceremony Annie and Dave joined hands and announced for their guests to join them inside. A little rain couldn’t dampen their spirits!

From the Bride..Dave and I dated for about three years before we got engaged. We are obsessed with our German Shepherd, Brandy, so naturally Brandy was involved in the proposal. Dave asked me to go on a lake path walk one Saturday afternoon. Midway through our walk, I tried to get Brandy to pose for a selfie with us with the lake in the background, and Dave snuck around behind me and got down on one knee!

The first vendor I booked, even before I knew the venue, was our photographer, Jacqui Cole. She photographed my friend’s wedding, and I knew that I wanted Jacqui to photograph our wedding, too – not only is she incredibly talented, but she is also such a warm, sweet, and fun person to be around (which is pretty important since she is one of the few people around for some of your most special and intimate moments, like the First Look!). I asked Jacqui for a list of her favorite venues in and around Chicago, and Armour House was one of them. Dave and I visited it and immediately knew that we wanted to get married there!

One of my favorite parts of wedding planning was finding my wedding dress, and it was such a special moment to share with my mom, Maid of Honor, cousin, and aunt. The dress was by Elizabeth Fillmore, from Belle Vie. It was made of French lace, with a low back and ruched detailing…both simple and intricate at the same time. The dress matched the European, vintage, romantic feel of Armour House and its gardens. The dress was also super comfortable and easy to maneuver in (it felt like wearing a nightgown), and I loved the lack of fussiness about it.

I tried to stay with the theme of ease/simple elegance that drew me to my wedding dress. Armour House has so much natural beauty between its stunning gardens and the amazing architecture and details of the interior of the house, so we kept our flowers, by Lake Forest Flowers, and table linens, by BBJ Linens, understated to complement, not compete with, the venue. We also prioritized music for both the ceremony and reception, handpicking all of the selections of both Wellington Strings Quartet and Kate Porter of Toast & Jam DJs.

One of my favorite moments was when Jacqui, my photographer, found a large white feather in the grass during our First Look pictures on the grounds of our venue. She lost her dad a few years ago, and she knew that I had also lost my dad. She told me that her mom has always told her that whenever she sees a white feather, it means her dad is near to her. Jacqui shared this as she handed me the white feather, and I couldn’t believe it! It was one of the most magical moments of my life. Just moments before the ceremony, Eileen from Lake Forest Flowers helped me add the feather to my bouquet, and it was so meaningful to carry the feather with me as I walked down the aisle. Another favorite moment was when Dave and I walked down the grand staircase at Armour House for our introduction at the reception. It was an amazing feeling to look out and see all the smiling, loving faces of all of our favorite people! It was a feeling I’ll never forget.

My biggest tip to future brides is to have someone besides you be in charge of keeping track of time when you and the bridesmaids are getting ready before the ceremony. It did not occur to me to delegate this task, but I wish I had! You’ll be happy to have one less thing on your plate, trusting that someone else can make sure you leave wherever you’re getting ready at the right time. Another little tidbit to pass on – it really will be okay if it rains on your wedding day! It started raining just a few minutes into my outdoor ceremony, and we had to move our 150 guests inside to a new location. It actually made the ceremony feel more exciting and interactive, and I got to walk up and down the aisle twice!

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Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Cinematography: Lexoria Wedding Films | Floral Design: Lake Forest Flowers | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore | Cake: Deerfield's Bakery | Reception Venue: Armour House | Hair + Makeup: Debra Petrielli Freelance Hairstylist | DJ: Toast and Jam | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos A Banks | Bridesmaids' Dress: Nordstrom | Dress Store: Belle Vie Bridal | Getting Ready Hotel: Deerpath Inn | Invitaions: Yellow Bird

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Charming Vintage-Inspired Wedding In Chicago

When you meet “the one” while on a business trip, pretty amazing things happen. Just take Leslie and Euan who found one another when they were least expecting it, and later planned the wedding of their dreams. Incredible vendors like LOLA Event Productions, Brian Dorsey Studios, Toast and Jam, Nika Vaugha, and Robinson Press brought the day to life and it’s all waiting right here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Classic

Leslie and Euan met in a way they were least expecting – through work! Leslie traveled to Canada for a business trip and unexpectedly met her husband-to-be.

After a quick introductory coffee, they both knew they wanted to see each other again. Their managers knew it too – calling them out when they were both blushing after being asked what they were doing that night. After a whirlwind few days together, they embarked on a long-distance relationship that was built to last.

When it came time to propose, Euan sweated through a day of mishaps before finally popping the question. The couple had traveled to Charleston for a weekend getaway, and Euan had it all planned out. Little did he know Leslie would spill an entire iced coffee all over her nicest shirt, almost discover the ring in his shorts pocket, and then announce how cute it was that her coworker got engaged at the very spot he planned to do it. Being an improviser, he brought her to a bench overlooking the water and pulled the ring out of his pocket at the perfect moment. “I was so surprised! I was almost confused because it happened so fast!” Leslie says. And of course she said yes.

Leslie and Euan both work in events, so they dove into planning without batting an eye. Overall, they knew they wanted it to feel intimate, personal and welcoming. This led them to choose the Ravenswood Event Center for their celebration – the space provided the perfect amount of intimacy and flair. They decorated the venue in a classic style with details brought in from the places that mean the most to them: Scotland, Toronto, New York, London and Chicago. They used vintage postcards as their table numbers, and hand wrote each guest a note thanking them for coming to their big day.

Their advice for couples planning a wedding? Choose the things that really matter to you and get them right, then don’t sweat the rest. It will all come together! Also, remember to slow down and enjoy your day as much as possible – it’s not often you have everyone you love in one place so take advantage of it!

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Photography: Brian Dorsey Studios | Event Planning: LOLA Event Productions | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad | Cake: Bittersweet | Stationery: Robinson Press | Ceremony Venue: St. Chrysostom's Church | Reception Venue: Ravenswood Event Center | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | DJ: Toast and Jam | Band: Screw City Swingers | Groom's Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke | Transportation: Chicago Trolley Co. | Groom's Tie: Liberty of London | Hair/Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Place Cards: TiffZippy (Etsy) | Table Numbers: Anderson Design Group

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