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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.)

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Ethereal City Wedding Inspiration

This shoot m’dears is the beauty that happens when ethereal meets industrial and when delicate charm meets a rustic, raw space with endless possibilities. It’s a city kind of love dreamt up by A Charming Fete and seen through the lens of Lauren Gabrielle, featuring the prettiest additions from Borrow Rentals and Something White. For all you city dreamers, there’s a whole gallery for perusing right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Art Venue
Styles
Elegance

From A Charming FêteWe were inspired by the soft, muted blue-gray and neutral tones of the cityscape on a hazy day. We wanted to create a hard-meets-soft design (but easy and neutral) and showcase an ethereal, delicate, soft style within a raw, hard space. The shoot location provided the perfect feel with rough concrete floors and huge black, towering industrial windows, situated in the heart of our city. Achieving such delicate beauty in this rough space was pure perfection.

We incorporated lots of soft textures and rich velvet tones for a hint of drama (as seen in ribbon, fabric draping, vintage furniture and our groom’s bow-tie). Miles and miles of ivory veil kept our bride covered in the softest muted light. Her gown flowed weightlessly to the ground in sheer gentle pleats. We draped a super thin, nearly transparent fabric over the natural wood farm table to create a soft blurry palette for our tablescape and mirror the concept of the bride’s veil. Beautiful stationery was a necessity, hand-calligraphed in a subtle gray matte ink, complete with a natural torn edge. Florals were a huge focal point executed in muted tones with subtle hints of pale blue. Eclectic stem combinations in the most neutral tones made a huge impact (ranunculus, blushing bride, garden roses, olive branch, nigella, thistle, scabiosa, anemone, eucalyptus, airplants and more).

The floating centerpiece (a wood platform) was affixed to the ceiling pipes with pale gray parachute cord which nearly disappeared into the natural light. Mixed foliage and blooms dripped over the tabletop which required minimal accent other than a few small vintage gold compotes, olive branches and simple taper candles. The place setting felt so elegant within the space, complete with vintage china, crystal stemware and pale blue antique goblets for a hint of color. Luxe gold flatware was the perfect complement to the rumpled, hand-dyed, gray linen napkin. The cake captured the moody blue-gray hues of the city to perfection. The candlelit ceremony space and upcycled wood bench pews felt so intimate and easy. A muted vintage rug defined the aisle and our bride and groom relaxed on a blue-green velvet vintage settee.

Photography: Lauren Gabrielle Photography | Event Design: A Charming Fete | Floral Design: Molly Taylor Designs | Cake: Hummingbird Bake Shop | Rings: MK Designs Jewelry | Hair And Makeup: Rania's Hair Salon And Spa | Groom's Suit: Banana Republic | Bridal Boutique: Something White | Bridal Gown: Watters | Ceremony/Reception: RED Space | Chairs/Chargers: Event Source | Groom's Stylist: The Gentleman Bentley | Invitations/Menu/Seating Cards: The Butler's Pantry | Napkins: Not Perfect Linen | Velvet Bowtie: Boutaugh | Vintage Rentals: Borrow Rentals

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
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

Elegant Brewery Wedding

Take the world’s most beautiful chapel (Rockmill Brewery, I heart you) and add in an adorable duo + a fabulous team of vendors that know a thing or two about amazing weddings and the results are this.  A drop-dead gorgeous day filled with stunning details planned to perfection by Something Blue Weddings And Events and captured in pretty, pretty pictures by Lily Glass.  See them all here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Brewery

From Lily Glass… Erin and Wade are two of the kindest souls I’ve ever met. Their wedding day was full of laughter and their smiles never went away. Lawn games and sparkling lemonade welcomed their guests to the picturesque Rockmill Brewery and its intimate chapel which served as the backdrop for their vows. Their wedding day took place on the 40th anniversary of the chapel’s first ceremony with Erin’s uncle officiating.

The couple also followed good ol’ Southern tradition and buried a bottle of bourbon upside down at the ceremony site to keep the rain away… and while they couldn’t have asked for lovelier weather, I’m confident that even a torrential downpour couldn’t steal the joy these two were feeling.

Quenetta and her team from Something Blue made sure that no detail was overlooked and Erin’s beautiful vision for the day was beautifully realized.

Photography: Lily Glass | Videography: Prodigy Cineman | Event Planning: Something Blue Weddings And Events | Floral Design: Flowers On Orchard Lane | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Enticing Icings | Ceremony Venue: Rockmill Brewery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Two Caterers | Musician: Liam Jones

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
Intimate Winter Barn Wedding

Let me guess: you’re bundled up on the couch, holiday music playing, with multiple cookies and a large cup of coffee within arms reach. What better time and place to settle in with this rustic winter wonderland that is this wedding, captured by Braun Photography and Studio Z Films. These photos have me toasting to good cheer and I don’t plan on leaving this spot anytime soon.

From the Bride… My husband and I fell in love in the winter. Our first date was sledding, we said I love you in a snowstorm, and all our favorite memories of that time involve snow. So, when we decided to tie the knot, we wanted to say “I do” on our fifth anniversary and kiss under an evergreen chuppah to remind us of the snow-covered evergreens we shared our first kisses under.

We are DIYers at heart. So, while we loved the idea of bringing in experts to take beautiful photos and video, and to prepare delicious food, we knew that the decor was going to be a project for the whole family. My parents made the evergreen chuppah, my mother-in-law made my necklace, and I created all the decor with help from family.

We also knew that our ceremony had to be personal to us. Neither of us is religious, but we wanted our ceremony to have the same deeply meaningful resonance as religious ceremonies. So, we recited vows we wrote as well as traditional vows, we had our families stand and pledge to welcome each other as a son and daughter, we had our friend play viola while Ryan’s father lead a bitter-sweet wine ceremony, and we had Ryan’s sister and my sister-in-law read special poems. Everyone said it was the most beautiful ceremony they’d every seen, and I ugly cried through most of it.

Because our ceremony was so deeply personal, we chose to keep our wedding small, with just 50 guests. It turned out to be the smartest move we could have made. We got to spend time with each and every person, and the whole night had the intimate feel of spending holidays with the family.

In the end, so many things just fell together perfectly, like the fact that it ended up being negative 5 degrees, but my bridesmaid Sarah had borrowed a bunch of vintage furs from her mother, so we ended up wearing those. Also, my veil didn’t work out at the last minute, but my wonderful florets made me a wreath that I loved. It was truly a day of kismet.

My husband was a musician and is a huge music nerd, so music was very important to us. He spent months curating the perfect playlists for cocktail hour, dinnertime, and dancing. Our special songs included: “The Book of Love” by The Magnetic Fields, “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” by The Kinks, “Love Letter” by The Wannadies, “Find Love” by Clem Snide, and “Love You Madly” by Cake.

Photography: Braun Photography | Videography: Studio Z | Floral Design: Inspired Floral | Gown: Catherine Deane, BHLDN ("Lita Gown") | Ceremony Venue: Centennial Barn | Reception Venue: Centennial Barn | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: EatWell | Favors: Green World Project | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Boutonnieres: DIY | Braidsmaid's Necklaces: Bauble Bar | Bride's Jewelry: Designs By Bride, Made By Mother Of Groom | Day-of Coordinator: Jen Weber | Decor: DIY | Fur Coats: Vintage, Borrowed From Bridesmaid's Mother | Invitations And Stationery: Five Dot Designs

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
Glamorous DIY Wedding at the Dayton, Ohio Art Institute

With the perfect amount of charm and glam, this DIY wedding crafted up by the stunning Bride below is one for the books. Why you ask? Well, because not only did she dream up all the swoon-worthy details sitting in this gallery captured by Jenny Haas Photograph, but those amazing take-your-breath-away florals? She whipped those up too. I know, it’s too much – but there is even more waiting for you here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Museum
Styles
Elegant

From Jenny Haas PhotographyMy name is Jenny Haas and I am a Dayton Ohio wedding photographer. I recently shot a beautiful wedding at the Dayton Art Museum with a lot of glitz and glamour so I wanted to share! Heather and Loftur met in college in the states, but since Loftur is from Iceland they lived there for a while. A lot of the guest were from there and it was fun to see two different cultures and traditions come together in one place, and to celebrate one couple :)

Some of my favorite details of the day were the florals, Heather designed them herself [crazy and ambitious!] she did an amazing job! I loved the pops of color and they accented the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. I also thought it was unique that some of the girls wore black gowns and some of them work mismatched pastel gowns. Heather’s gown was simple and elegant.

The tables at the reception were covered with gold table clothes and decorated with blacks and golds. Heather and Loftur made CDS for favors with their favorite songs, and Heather arranged all of the flowers. The Art Institute was the perfect backdrop for all of the details!

Photography: Jenny Haas Photography | Floral Design: Evergreen Flower Co. | Wedding Dress: Duchess Ivy And Aster | Cake: Dorothy Lane Market | Bride's Shoes: Seychelles | Hair: Sweetly Pinned | Tuxes: Vera Wang Black | Venue: Dayton Art Institute | DJ And Lights: Party Pleasers | Linens, Plates, Silverware: Prime Time Party Rentals