View All Weddings in The Midwest
SMP Midwest Welcomes Our Advertisers + A Discount!

How do you spend the perfect Sunday?  Getting to know the fabulous + oh-so-talented team of eco-friendly wedding vendors at the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance.  Because when it comes to hosting an amazing event that is also socially conscious, this is a group of vendors that will most definitely deliver. Learn so much more about their mission… and their crazy cool wedding show, Committed, below.

From Chicago Green Wedding Alliance… The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is a group of eco-friendly wedding vendors that is committed to making less environmentally impactful events. We connect vendors with the conscious consumer for mindful weddings and social events. Our vendors create gorgeous events that transcend people’s expectations of “green” weddings.

Check out the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  

The GWA is hosting a wedding show on February 22nd at Greenhouse Loft!  Any couple that books with the code “SMP” will get $5 off!  The discount on tickets can be redeemed on the Eventbrite ticketing page.


You'll love these vendors in Michigan

Hey Gorgeous Events
View Portfolio
Serradella Vintage
View Portfolio
3rd Street Films
View Portfolio
Serradella Vintage
View Portfolio
Nicole Haley Photography
View Portfolio
Gourmet Invitations
View Portfolio
Brideside + A Discount!

I’ll admit it.  As much as I love being a bridesmaid (and, oh, do I love it), trekking to bridal shop after bridal shop to try on gowns is, well, seriously tiring.  Which is why I am all sorts of obsessed with Brideside, the online retailer that brings the bridal shop to YOU by letting you browse bridesmaid dresses online and then try them on in the comfort of your very own home. Say it with me, loves: awesome.

With Brideside, you can choose from a plethora of style choices and colors, all with the help of an amazing stylist who works with you every step of the way to guarantee a fabulous (+ chic) bridal party. Just chat with the stylist about your dream wedding and vision, then let them take over and guide your besties through an array of different designers on Brideside’s online store.  They’ll even provide instructional videos on measuring and selecting the best dress types for your body!  And when every last dress is chosen, they’ll ship the samples to your home, so you can have that girl’s day with mimosas and cozy yoga pants.  Soooo comfortable and soooo fun.

Ready to get started?  Visit the Brideside website ASAP or, if you live in Chicago, make an appointment with a stylist here. And don’t forget this exclusive discount for SMP readers: When you buy your bridesmaid dress in February, the first $20 is on Brideside!  Use discount code “SMP20″ at checkout. (Terms & Conditions: Cannot be combined with any past or future promotions. Readers must purchase bridesmaid dress at full price on or before 2/28/15. Offer does not apply to the following designers: Joanna August, Donna Morgan, Jenny Yoo.)


DIY Pallet Escort Card Display

I absolutely adore all the sweet ways people display their escort cards, and thanks to Spark And WildflowerBloom Calligraphy and Dionel Photography we have yet another display to swoon over. It’s a totally doable DIY, and is a surefire way to impress your guests. 

From Spark And WildflowerThis escort card display was originally inspired by the beautiful blue and white patterned drawer knobs I ended up using as escort tag hangers. I knew I wanted to create something centered around a classic, elegant style with just a touch of weathered and rustic charm, thus the pallet escort card display was born.

I chose a worn pallet that I painted grey, followed by a layer of dry brushed white paint to create a distressed look. My gorgeous, mismatched knobs served perfectly as hangers for the escort tags that were so beautifully penned by Linda of Bloom Calligraphy. When considering signage, I wanted something that would communicate it’s message while contributing to the variety of textures and the soft color palette that this display exudes. I selected romantic serif letters that I tied on using the loveliest powder blue velvet ribbon, to simply spell the words, “find your seat.”

This display’s soft airiness, antique, worn appearance and feminine touches make it perfect for wedding decor, and can easily be customized to fit a variety of styles and color palettes. My friend Dionel, the talent behind Dionel Photography, did an impeccable job of portraying the style and feel I was hoping to achieve through her stunning photos.


wood pallet
power drill
drawer knobs
ribbon for tying on your letters
escort tags, hole punched
ribbon for your tags



Find your pallets. You’ll more than likely need multiple pallets to accommodate all of your escort tags (my pallet is 3 feet by 3.5 feet and contains 30 knobs, with about 10 inches of space between each) so consider your number of tags and the spacing you want before shopping. I went with a used pallet to achieve a worn, distressed look for my display, but you can purchase brand new pallets from any hardware store for a cleaner look. You can often acquire used pallets from flower shops, farmer’s markets, and other small businesses that are willing to give away their old ones, however some businesses hire pallet removal companies, so it’s important to ask permission before taking any pallets you see.


Sand. It won’t need a ton, but sand your pallet just enough to remove the larger wood splinters.


Paint. I chose a warm charcoal grey for the base layer, followed by white paint which I lightly dry brushed on to create a worn, antique look, allowing my dark grey to show through.


Measure + Drill. Once you know how many knobs you can fit on each panel (and have reserved a couple of panels for your letters) measure and mark a point for each knob to achieve even spacing and straight lines. Drill your holes and erase all pencil marks.


Attach your drawer knobs. Select the knobs you want for your display (all of mine were found at Hobby Lobby!) and decide how you want to arrange them. I found it useful to lay mine on the floor and map out what order I’d like them in before attaching them. This way, you can play around with the arrangement until you have it just right – I also took a picture of my ‘map’ as a reference.


Tie on your letters. The letters I selected were 4 inches tall (from Hobby Lobby) and required two panels of my pallet to fit the words, “find your seat,” comfortably. Using ribbon (I adore my powder blue ribbon, also found at Hobby Lobby) cut strands approximately 10 inches long. Tie one end to the top of your letter, wrap around the panel until it ends in the back, and tie the ribbon to itself. This will cause some letters to be crooked – an aesthetic element you may or may not prefer – so if you want all of your letters to be straight, simply loop the ribbon around the panel only once, tying the second end to the bottom of the letter.


Escort Tags. Once you have your hole punched escort tags, select a ribbon to go with them (this cream ribbon was found at, yes, Hobby Lobby) and cut into strands. String and tie to create hanging tags, which puts the finishing touch on your pallet escort card display. Voila!

Photography: Dionel Photography | Calligraphy: Bloom Calligraphy | DIY: Spark And Wildflower

Winter Wedding Inspiration in Leland, Michigan

Winter Brides, rejoice! Eliza Jean PhotographyThe Day’s Design and Sincerely, Ginger Weddings are serving up a heaping dose of seasonal pretty below, and trust me, you’ll want to take notes. With the prettiest paper from Gatlin Paper Co., stylish rentals from Gatherings Vintage Rentals and a drool-worthy cake from Traverse City Wedding Cakes - this gallery is winter wedding perfection. 

From Sincerely Ginger WeddingsMy friend Shelby and I, both wedding planners, wanted to join forces and show the power of collaboration in the industry. We are big believers that a strong vendor team will pull together a magical wedding day. Working alongside Shelby, the girls from Eliza Jean photography, and other local vendors to show off our amazing spot on the mitten was so much fun.  Leelanau Peninsula is Michigan’s small slice of heaven. From picturesque wineries to miles of gorgeous lakeshore, the charming & historic town of Leland is an ideal spot for destination weddings. When Shelby (a fellow wedding planner and friend) and I started to work on this editorial shoot together, we knew we wanted to showcase the unique area of Fishtown. We were lucky to have one of my real couples model for us for the day! Aren’t they adorable? Margaret wore the “Ruth” gown from BHLDN with the Pearly Primrose Sash. We imagined a small destination wedding starting with the couple getting ready together. I love the idea of the bride securing her groom’s boutonnière, and he taking extra care zipping her dress. How romantic! First we ventured into downtown Fishtown, which, according to the Fishtown Preservation Society, is a collection of weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, overhanging docks, fish tugs and charter boats along the Leland River in Leland, Michigan. We used vintage minnow buckets, wooden oars, and candles to set the mood for a private ceremony. Our color palette for the day was inspired by a winter sunset here in Michigan, gentle lilac that moved into a more bold blue with classic ivory accents. We loved the unexpected blooms in winter that hinted at spring that will surely, eventually come. White peonies, purple stock, and rich thistle were some floral elements that we paired. We also foraged cedar and evergreen the day before to bring in a hint of winter greenery. Our table was set simply with wooden produce boxes filled with bud vases for an open cluster of flowers. The couple toasted with a local bottle of bubbly, our favorite L. Mawby, Blanc de Blancs, produced right here on Leelanau Peninsula. The amazing stationery suite was dreamed up by our friend Nicole at Thistle and Bur. She hand designed and letter-pressed the whole suite inspired by the natural vibe here in Michigan (her home state!). I especially love the menu with items inspired by the little fishing village. Local raclette cheese, whitefish pate, pretzel bun sandwiches from the Cheese Shanty? Count us in! The last detail that sealed the deal was the cake! We installed a vintage toboggan from the ceiling and adorned it with a garland made from local, foraged greens and candles. Michigan is such an incredible and unique place for destination weddings, even in the winter!

Photography: Eliza Jean Photography | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Traverse City Wedding Cakes | Invitations: Gatlin Paper Co. | Reception Venue: Leland Lodge | Bride's Veil: The Day's Design | Bubbly: L. Mawby | Creating Direction, Styling & Floral Design: The Day's Design | Creative Direction, Styling & Floral Design: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings | Model: Margaret | Vintage Rentals: Gatherings Vintage Rentals

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Weddings & Events at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)

Take just one step inside the doors at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) and one thing will be certain… this is the place you’ll host your wedding.  Because The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) isn’t just any wedding venue, it’s the perfect combo of breathtaking beauty (hello, Grand Ballroom) and top-notch service… all wrapped up in one dream-worthy locale.

Located just steps from the amazingness that is North Michigan Avenue and nestled amongst some of the world’s coolest landmarks (think the Museum of Contemporary Art and the John Hancock Building), The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) is not only a seriously stunning place to say I do, it boasts a team of Wedding Experts that will handle every last aspect of your big day, from providing those much needed vendor recommendations to customizing yummy menus to organizing the guest accommodations.  And speaking of guests, they’re going to love sampling the crazy culinary skills of Executive Chef Martin Knaubert, the floor-to-ceiling skyline views of Chicago and the 400,000 crystal chandelier located in the ballroom.  It’s basically a wedding paradise.

So what are you waiting for, lovelies?  Head on over to The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) (and their blog!) to start planning your dream wedding… you’ll even receive a guest room stay the night prior to the wedding day and complimentary lunches for the men’s and women’s changing rooms on the day of the wedding!

Photography: Kent Drake Photography | Photography: Gerber + Scarpelli | Photography: Katie Kett Photography | Photography: KingenSmith | Photography: Amanda Hein Photography

Springtime Greencrest Manor Wedding

Pink peonies make my heart happy, especially when they’re paired up with a sweet Greencrest Manor love story beautifully captured by Harrison Studio and Coastline Studios. With layered hues of pink, Laura Hooper Calligraphy, sweet creations by Sweet Heather Anne, and wildly romantic Hey Gorgeous Events blooms, this gallery is officially too good to miss.

From The Bride… My grandmother started visiting northern Michigan almost 40 years ago. Since then, the entire Schutz clan has grown up vacationing on Point Betsie Beach. With every passing summer, my long love affair with the area has only intensified. So, when Doug and I started dating it was important to me that he shared the same appreciation.

When Doug proposed, six summers and many memories later, a Michigan destination wedding wasn’t difficult to agree on. The logistics, however, threw us for a loop. We wanted a wedding that we could share with all of the people we love, but being six hours up the coast, Point Betsie didn’t offer that option. After doing a little searching, we found the perfect compromise in Greencrest Manor.

Greencrest Manor is a beautiful bed and breakfast originally constructed as a private home overlooking St. Mary’s Lake in the early 1900′s. Designed in the French-Normandy style, Greencrest is surrounded by extensive formal gardens and provided a beautiful backdrop for our ceremony. Guests were invited to enjoy the spectacular first floor during the cocktail hour, and the reception was held under a tent on the lawn. Doug and I enlisted Rhi with Hey Gorgeous Events to help us shape a wedding day that was personal, warm, and reflective of us as a couple. Being a third generation equestrian, I wanted to infuse a classic countryside feel to our day, while Doug, an avid golfer, wanted plenty of preppy details. And, of course, we tried to incorporate as many personal details as possible.

Boutonnieres of Lilly of the Valley grown in the garden of a close family friend honored my grandma. Petoskies collected by my entire family over the years at Point Betsie were used in the centerpieces. Dried rose petals from Doug’s proposal were tossed by our flower girl. A handmade sign by my MOH directed guests where to turn, and we cut our cake with the same cake server used by Doug’s grandparents on their wedding day. My favorite details of the wedding, however, were the ones that honored my mama, who passed away from inflammatory breast cancer a month after Doug and I were engaged. Guests were given yellow tulips upon arriving to honor her. A necklace I’d given her was tied around my bouquet, and I wore her favorite ring as my something blue. Planning the wedding without her was truly a nightmare for me, but she was there with us that day. She must have been pulling some strings, in fact, because the weather changed from hail to sunshine just in time for our ceremony!

The details of our wedding were wonderful but, those closest to us made our wedding weekend truly meaningful. I had a giggly, fun-filled morning with my closest friends. Our pastor helped us create a traditional, yet intimate ceremony. One of my talented classmates from medical school provided the music during our ceremony and cocktail hour, and then another family friend took over as emcee and DJ for the reception. In the end it was a weekend filled with friends, family, and love, just as we had pictured.

Photography: Harrison Studio | Videography: Coastline Studios | Stationery: Sarah Drake Design | Bride's Shoes: J. Crew | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: The Farmhouse Deli | Makeup: Morgan Myers, MoMichelle Makeup Artistry | Hair: Lola Hair Artistry | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Bride's Gown: Ulla Maija | Cake And Macarons: Sweet Heather Anne | Earrings: Kate Spade | Linens: La Tavola | MOH Belt: BHLDN | Planning, Design And Florals: Hey Gorgeous Events | Tent And Rentals: Special Events Rental | Veil: La Jeune Mariee | Venue: Greencrest Manor | Wood Sign: Made By MOH

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