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French Inspired Garden Tea Party Wedding at Laurel Hall

It’s never lost on me how incredibly lucky I am to be able to share love stories like this one day in and day out. It’s a wonderful honor to showcase such an important day on our site, and when Autumn Keller is showering the soiree with gorgeous florals and Eric Houghtalen was behind the design helm I feel like we hit the wedding jackpot. And when Conforti Photography is behind the lens to capture it all, I know we have. See why here

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Glamorous

From Eric HoughtalenI first encountered the newly engaged couple during our first meeting in March 2014. This was the first opportunity to discuss all the details, hopes and dreams for their special day. They brought with them a huge perfectly organized binder already full of ideas and inspirational photos. Witnessing Amanda and Leslie interact was like watching a fairytale storybook romance unfurl before my eyes. The room filled with the true love they had for one another. Ideas were discussed and the shear volume of excitement took over the quietness of my office. I’ll never forget how amazingly the three of us instantly clicked. The moment the meeting ended and they left my office, I said to my manager- without doubt or hesitation, ” Whatever it takes, I AM going to do this wedding and do it right!”

I was aware the girls were comparison shopping for everything including catering and my role as event planner. I wasn’t going to allow anyone to take this opportunity away from me. So after a couple months of numerous phone calls, number crunching and proposals, I got an email and phone call confirming they had selected me as their planner. I was so honored and overjoyed by their decision I could barely contain my emotions.

Once the initial contract formalities were complete, the real fun began. Of course the process had many challenges. First, Amanda was accepted to law school and moved from Indiana to Austin, TX. Thus our face to face meetings soon became hour long phone conversations and very long email threads. Second, Due to all the specify details, Scheduling trips home become very delicate and time sensitive. The girls had to fly or drive back to Indiana for the menu tastings, linen selections, decor shopping, floral and decor consultations, design work, dress fittings etc. The planning process definitely had it’s wealth of stress and plethora of freak out moments. I am glad we were all able to keep each other sane and no one got hurt along the way.

Lastly, as with any wedding the dreaded budget kept becoming a thorn in our sides. The biggest concern was how to achieve their goal without compromising the overall vision. Through my close relationship with vendors and their bargain shopping skills the wedding started to finally seemed logistical and on budget . After hundreds of hours and over 18 months of designing/planning the wedding weekend finally arrived.

Installation and Setup at Laurel Hall took two full days. I know everyone involved was taken back and overwhelmed by the shear beauty of the transformation of the venue. Specifically, the beautiful florals provided by Autumn brought some to tears and personally gave me goosebumps. The weather forecast was a slight concern but alas, all we had was high humidity, 88 degrees and a perfectly sunny sky. The romantic ceremony was set in the garden. The cocktail hour in the solarium was filled with the sounds of joy as the talented string duo continued playing custom arranged music. Guests gathered in the grand foyer for the announcing of the bridal party. As guests applauded and cheered, Amanda and Leslie made their entrance down the elaborate grand staircase. Guests were ushered into dinner and engulfed by the feminine and regal decor. Shades of pink linens and lighting including dusty rose, ballet slipper and blush instantly gave the room a romantic elegance. The table settings included vintage china, gold flatware and napkins rolled into a rose. Guests dined on the fine cuisine from Hoaglin Catering. Dinner was followed by the cake cutting, dessert boutique, many heartfelt toasts, dancing and a late night food station. Upon conclusion, the brides were treated to one last surprise – a pink sparkler send off and a 1938 Cadillac to wisp them away into the night.

From Autumn KellerThe girls came to me initially with a distinct vision; French Rococo Tea Party. The feminine feel that they wanted included dainty, gilded flourishes, touches of lace, floral china, shades of soft pinks and gentle blushes with hints of gold. The floral arrangements that we dreamed up we wanted to have a refined garden look; gentle, graceful and lush, almost reminiscent of a Watteau painting.

From The Brides…For a month, a mutual friend of ours had been adamant that we meet because “we’d be perfect for each other.” He couldn’t have been more right. We had an irresistible connection that made us hate to be away from one another. From the moment we started dating, we were inseparable and haven’t spent a night apart in 3 years.

I (Amanda) knew within the first week of meeting Leslie that she was who I wanted to spend forever with. The first time Leslie ever said out loud that she was going to marry me was at the grocery store about a month after we met: when we discovered that we both like to put hot dogs in our Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Leslie proposed in February of 2012 and we set our wedding date for the summer of 2014. We both wanted everything to be perfect, so we wanted LOTS of time to plan.

We’re both very girly and over-the-top, and we wanted our wedding to be the essence of femininity. Most brides have to be mindful of how girly their wedding gets; almost no one gets to have a wedding that is all pink, lace, and flowers! We really wanted people to come to our wedding and say “This is so them!”

Photography: Conforti Photography | Videography: Daniel Dodd | Floral Design: Autumn Keller | Wedding Dress: Demetrios | Wedding Dress: Poise Patch | Cake: Heavenly Sweets | Reception Venue: Laurel Hall | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bride's Shoes: Betsy Johnson | Rings: Distinctive Diamonds | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Etsy | Catering: Hoaglin | Hair And Makeup: Krystal Moore | DJ: EventOne DJ | Mens Attire: Express | China: Violet Vintage | Confections: Circle City Sweets | Cookies: Vanilla Bean Bakery | Earrings: Etsy | Event Designer : Eric Houghtalen | Headpiece: Demetrios | Linens: Linen Hero | Men's Ascots: Elegant Ascots | Photography - Assistance: Jackie Santana | Rentals: A Classic Party Rental | Strings: Hershberger Studio

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SMP Midwest Welcomes Our Advertisers + A Discount + A Giveaway!

Today we’re thanking our lucky stars for WASIO photography, the sole reason your Saturday is about to take a giant step up from normal to extraordinary.  I’m talking an entire portfolio of jaw-droppingly gorgeous images from one of the most talented photography teams you will ever meet.  How’s that for the perfect weekend?  Dive into all of the pretty (+ a discount and giveaway) below!

From WASIO photography… Living in Chicago, we get to appreciate the beautiful architecture and incorporate it in our photographs. The roots of our inspiration are landscapes and being in the moment. True love is one of our greatest motivators that inspires us to capture special moments that literally happen in seconds. By having such a strong passion for love and beauty, we thrive to deliver timeless photographs that will be passed down through generations. Our goal is to always awe our clients with the famous WASIO signature style photographs.

Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram

Discount! Book WASIO photography in August or September and we will add 10 additional images to our handcrafted wedding albums! ($300 value)

Giveaway!  One lucky SMP reader will win a sunset or sunrise 1-hour engagement session* with WASIO photography! (Value $499)  Simply leave a comment below telling us why Chicago is your city of choice for your engagement session!  The winner, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, September 12, 2014.  

For terms and conditions, click here.  

*Session must take place in downtown Chicago on a mutually agreed day. The engagement session includes session time plus one WASIO signature edit 8×10 print. Online gallery will include all color corrected images from the session. Client will have the option to purchase additional prints with WASIO signature edit or all high-resolution electronic images.

Classic-Meets-Modern Indiana Wedding

With a traditional church ceremony followed by a warehouse-set reception, it’s hard to pin this wedding in just one style category. We’re calling it classic-meets-modern a la Michael Angelos Events, and the gallery from Averyhouse is what bespoke made weddings are all about. Dive in right here!

From averyhouse… Kristi and Mike had wanted to balance out the traditional feel of their Notre Dame ceremony with the contemporary reception venue they had chosen. Kristi chose her dress for the heirloom style and her husband to be chose a formal black tux.

After the ceremony, Kristi + Mike’s bridal party were led into the Notre Dame arena for photos where Kristi was once a cheerleader! They also took a moment to reenact a photo that her parents had taken on their wedding day over 30 years prior with the Basilica of the Sacred Heart Church gold dome in the backdrop. A custom logo adorned with the bride and groom’s last name of Iaquinta greeted guests upon arriving at their reception venue. Kristi had wanted to incorporate nude, champagne, and ivory colors into her modern + elegant reception.

Photography: Averyhouse | Cinematography: Blu Couture | Event Design: Michael Angelos Events | Event Planning: Michael Angelos Events | Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cake: Uptown Kitchen | Reception Venue: The Brick | Catering: Events With Style | Band: Matt Lewis And The Union | Church: Basilica Of The Sacred Heart | Photobooth: Smilebooth | Stationery And DIY Displays: Kristi Murphy

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