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Classic Blush Pink Hotel Wedding

Anytime a wedding begins with a pair of sparkly Badgley Mischkas, I know we’re in for something GOOD.  Just take this ballroom affair from Lauren Wakefield, for example. It’s oozing with elegance from beginning to end – not to mention beautiful blooms by McKinley Park Events – and you pin to your heart’s content right over here.


From the Bride… Steve and I were so excited to celebrate with our family and friends, we really wanted to create a warm, welcoming and fun weekend for the people we love the most. We also wanted a timeless look and feel, which is why we chose a historic hotel – The Pere Marquette – as our setting. It had everything we were looking for, tons of charm and also convenience for our guests.

Friday evening, after everyone got into town, Steve’s parents hosted a beautiful rehearsal party at the Peoria Zoo. Guests were greeted with live steel drum music, cocktails and appetizers on the Giraffe Overlook Deck, before we went into the Zambezi Lodge for dinner, toasts, and a slideshow created by our siblings. It was a wonderful start to a wonderful weekend.

Saturday the girls gathered in the Presidential Suite, at the hotel, for hair, make-up, brunch and mimosas; and the guys gathered in another suite for brunch, bloody marys, and Tecmo Bowl. Steve and I decided to meet before the ceremony for our “first look” and photos. A little nontraditional, but we didn’t want to miss a minute of the party!

Saturday’s events at The Pere Marquette were hosted by my parents… The ceremony began at 5pm in the Cotillion Ballroom – a beautiful ballroom with a hand painted mural and intricate woodwork. Our wedding coordinator decorated the space with gold chivari chairs, white flowers and baby’s breath. A string quartet played as the guests and our parents were seated and as our bridal party came down the aisle. After the ceremony, guests were escorted out and were greeted by butlered trays of our featured drink – a “Flirtini”. Singer/songwriter musician, David McDonald, played as the guests mingled around the Cheminee Ballroom and were served appetizers, a sushi bar and cocktails, of course.

From cocktail hour, guests were then escorted into the Marquette Ballroom for dinner. Throughout dinner, guests listened to live piano music and emceeing provided by our band, The Mix, as my father, my two sisters, and Steve’s three brothers, as well as one of his best friends, gave toasts. Our wedding cake was a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The room was decorated with gold and ivory damask table linens, gold chargers, roses/hydrangeas/baby’s breath and succulents.

After dinner and the speeches concluded, guests were them ushered into the final ballroom (a return, next door, to the Cotillion Ballroom, which was converted into a lounge/dance space during cocktails). The room had soft uplighting, a white dance floor, and white sofas and lounge furniture around the perimeter of the floor. Our amazing band kept the entire room on their feet, even causing the crowd to chant “one more song!” at the end of the night. It was an amazing and memorable weekend for Steve and I, as well as for our families.

We absolutely cannot thank Beth Maxwell and the McKinley Park Events team, Lauren Wakefield, The Mix Band, David McDonald, The River City String Quartet, Nikki Pulfur at Pomp & Polish, Loft Bridal, Jason Groh at Lexoria, Cracked Pepper Catering, Steely Pan, Phil Hoskins, The Peoria Zoo, and of course, Chris Welch and his team at The Hotel Pere Marquette Marriott enough!

We left for our honeymoon two days later for a ten night stay in the Greek Islands, and we still couldn’t stop talking about the wedding eleven days later! It was an amazing way to begin our lives together – we’re so lucky!

Ceremony Music: The River City String Quartet | Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo | Bridal Veil: Erin Lindsay Designs | Cocktail Hour Music: David McDonald: Academy of Fretted Instruments | Dinner And Reception Music: The Mix | Hair & Make-Up: Loft Bridal | Photography: Lauren Wakefield: Lauren Wakefield Photography | Rehearsal Dinner Caterer: Cracked Pepper Catering | Rehearsal Dinner Event Branding: Sara E. Designs | Rehearsal Dinner Music: Steely Pan | Save The Dates/Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Phil Hoskins | The Rehearsal Dinner: The Peoria Zoo | The Wedding Ceremony And Reception: The Hotel Pere Marquette | Videography: Jason Groh: Lexoria Wedding Films | Wedding Coordination/Floral & Décor Design: Beth Maxwell: McKinley Park Events | Wedding Stationary/Event Branding: Nikki Pulfur: Pomp & Polish

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Country Club of Peoria Wedding from Jeffrey and Julia Woods

Any bride who uses her beautiful Vera Wang dress as inspiration for her wedding day is a-okay in my book! In fact, this entire wedding by Jeffrey and Julia Woods ~ Photographers deserves much more than just an easy “A”.  McKinley Park Events has solidified that my favorite color is navy blue and how about the mouth watering cake by Wedding Cake Connection!? {Bra-vo!} Follow your heart to the full gallery for more!

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From the Bride… Ted and I are high school sweethearts, and it was important to us to get married in our hometown. We both envisioned a traditional, luxurious wedding with a focus on family, friends and lots of dancing! Choosing our reception location, The Country Club of Peoria, was an easy choice given that Ted had proposed there. After a year and a half of planning, June 16, 2012 finally arrived and, despite the high heat and humidity, was everything we’d hoped for and more. Both my dress and our invitations provided inspiration for the entire wedding. “Diana” by Vera Wang was my dream dress from the start, and I wanted to carry the gown’s dreaminess and romance through the rest of the wedding. The invitations, made by Arabella Papers and designed by the ladies at The Bronze Frog in Peoria, were glamorous, elegant and introduced our navy blue color scheme.

While we kept our ceremony décor simple, letting the church’s beauty speak for itself, we wanted the reception to really “wow” our guests. With the help of my mom and our oh-so-talented wedding planner, Beth Maxwell, we did just that! The tables in the ballroom were draped in navy blue linens and topped by an ivory cloth trimmed with silver cord. On the corners of each table hung navy ruffles, inspired by the soft ruffles of my dress. We used different chair embellishments at each table, giving the room a textured look. The cake, too, was inspired by the dress. A variety of flowers in shades of cream and blush were used to create lush floral arrangements. My mom, aunt, godmother, grandfather and I made a few of our floral arrangements, while Beth and her team created the rest of the gorgeous centerpieces. The candelabras with dangling crystals – inspired by the crystal-adorned sash I wore for the reception – gave the room just a hint of sparkle and glamour, and the silver mercury glass votives added a soft glow of candlelight. One of my favorite elements of the wedding was the flower arrangement running the length of the head table and draping down its sides. Spot lighting at each table made the centerpieces really stand out, and our escort cards, table numbers and menus incorporated more navy blue into the table setup. For the bar and the outdoor cocktail area overlooking the scenic Illinois River, we wanted a sleeker look. We used silver paillette-covered tablecloths and added glass candlesticks. Blue uplighting gave the bar a modern feel, while white carnival lights strung outside dressed up the patio. Our DJ kept the dance floor packed all night long, and our guests loved the midnight snack of sliders and root beer floats.

We had such a wonderful time celebrating with our friends and family and dancing the night away. Jeffrey and Julia Woods captured each moment and detail of the day to perfection. We can’t thank our vendors, family and friends enough for making our wedding so spectacular!

Wedding Photography + Cinematography: Jeffrey and Julia Woods ~ Photographers / Ceremony: Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Peoria City, Illinois / Reception: Country Club of Peoria in Peoria Heights, Illinois / Wedding Planning: Beth Maxwell of McKinley Park Events / Floral Design: McKinley Park Events / Wedding Cake: Barb Evans of Wedding Cake Connection / Wedding Stationery + Paper Products: Arabella Papers via The Bronze Frog / DJ + Lighting Design: Extreme DJs & Lighting / Wedding Dress + Veil: Vera Wang “Diana” / Bride’s Sash: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Banana Republic / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Hair: Bernadette Stephens of Self Centered Salon (309-673-9900) + Danielle Hayes of Bellezza Hair Design / Makeup: B.Loved Stylists

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Edwards Wedding at Kickapoo Creek Winery by Olivia Leigh Photographie

There’s really nothing like returning to your hometown to marry the love of your life. And that’s exactly what these adorable high school sweethearts did. They found a pretty little vineyard and surrounded themselves with family and friends, and lucky for us, Olivia Leigh Photographie was there to capture all the lovely little details. Click here to see even more.

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From Olivia Leigh PhotographieAbby and Michael are high school sweethearts who live in Chicago but returned to their home of Peoria, Illinois, for their wedding celebration. Abby and Michael’s wedding had a sweet vintage touch to the details and a true friends-and-family feel to the celebration, with many people pitching in to make their day as delightful as possible — lots of emotion during toasts. They were married at a church in Peoria and held their reception at Kickapoo Creek Winery — that’s right, a winery in Illinois! Abby wore a beautiful gown with a birdcage veil and super-chic Vivienne Westwood jelly flats, and the maids wore convertible, wine-colored dresses from Etsy and carried huge baby’s breath bouquets. After the ceremony we stopped at Michael’s dad’s ice cream parlor for a sweet scoop, Grand View Drive (which Teddy Roosevelt called “the most beautiful drive in America”) and then hopped off along the side of the road to take pictures in the cornfields — what ended up being my favorite photos and a perfect set of images to showcase the beauty of Illinois outside of the expected Chicago environs.

Wedding Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie / Ceremony: St. Bernard’s Church in Peoria, Illinois / Reception: Kickapoo Creek Winery in Edwards, Illinois / Event Planning + Floral Design: Carol Wake (A Friend of the Bride & Groom) / Wedding Invitations: Etsy / Wedding Dress: Unknown Designer via Weddings 826 / Bride’s Shoes: Vivienne Westwood / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Etsy

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