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Rustic Wisconsin Door County Barn Wedding

This Bride & Groom are killing me with their cuteness. First off, and totally unrelated but a must-mention is that their pup (who celebrated from afar) is named David Bowie! I can’t handle. And he sure did miss a great party, because this barn wedding? It’s as sweet as they come. With Carly McCray Photography in attendance to document it all, you can find every bit over here in the full gallery.


From Carly McCray Photography..Sarah & Nick reside in Chicago with their adorable dog David Bowie, but chose to marry in their sentimental vacation desination for years–Door County, Wisconsin, also known as a little slice of Cape Cod snuggled next to Lake Michigan!

Sarah and Nick first met in August of 1988. The meeting took place just to the left of the building blocks and right in front of the finger-painting easel in Mrs. Moorehead’s preschool class at St. Marys School. Despite their shared affinity for popsicles and nap time, the two didn’t become close friends until they were reunited ten years later during their freshman year at Lake Forest High School.

However, fate wouldn’t bring them together as a couple until 2012, when Nick ran into a mutual friend, discovered Sarah was single, and began pursuing her in earnest. After missed calls and embarrassing Facebook messages, Sarah and Nick finally went on their first date on February 26. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Working with the ever-awesome Door County Event Planners to keep their wedding day charming and elegant yet rustic, Sarah and Nick selected a new Door County venue for their reception, About Thyme Farm. Live chickens included, About Thyme Farm set the tone for a perfect DC getaway for their guests! Door County cherry pie in lieu of cake, chicken-wire escort card holders, chalkboard & wooden signs throughout the farm, abundant florals, farm tables accented with wooden signs and sprigs of rosemary…the setting was the perfect environment for guests to get lost in and enjoy the celebration!

Bride's Dress: Jenny Yoo | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bride's Veil: BHLDN | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Caterer: Alexander's | Ceremony: Stella Maris | Cocktail Hour Music: Eric Lewis & Rory Hoffman | Door County Cherry Pies: Koepsel's | Floral Design: Flora | Hair & Makeup: Kari Pudlo | Linen Rental: BBJ | Photography: Carly McCray Photography | Reception: About Thyme Farm | Reception Band: Diamond | Tables/Chairs/Hay Bale Rentals: Celebrations | Wedding Planners: Door County Event Planners

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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.)


Tips for Making a Romantic Winter Bouquet

I’m a firm believer that pretty blooms are just the thing to brighten up a day anytime of year, especially during the cold winter months when most everything is bare and blah. Enter the perfect romantic winter bouquet, captured by Kate Weinstein and crafted by our darling friend Tiffany from A Splendid Occasion, who is generously giving us the sweet recipe. From Chocolate Cosmos to Amaranthus Hot Biscuits to Caramel Antike, these winter petals sound good enough to eat!


Italian Ruscus
Peach and Orange Ranunculus
Garden Roses (Yves Piaget, Caramel Antike, Romantic Antike)
Parrot Tulips
Fall foliage (Maple Branch)
Chocolate Cosmos
Amaranthus Hot Biscuits

instructionsstep-1Incorporate Tons of Texture. I love incorporating different types of textures in my bridal bouquets all throughout the year, and winter is no exception. This time of year there are so many unique elements that can be incorporated, so why not get a little adventurous! One of my favorite elements to use right now are foraged branches or any fall or winter foliage around your home. These are extremely unexpected, but add that unique and wild touch. Texture also provides dimension to the arrangement. If foliage isn’t your thing, try berries or succulents.

step-2Be Bold with Color. In the winter we all start to bring out our neutral sweaters and subtle accessories, but what about the color? Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we need to tuck away all of our fun and festive colored items. The same goes for floral! Just because you are having a winter wedding, doesn’t mean you need to banish vibrant colors from your wedding palette. Be bold and brave. A pop of color never hurt anyone! I love going all out with a color palette. My inspiration for this winter bouquet were the colors of sunset and A Splendid Occasion’s new brand and website!

step-3We all love giant, fluffy peonies and dinner plate cafe au lait dahlias, but unfortunately they are not available all year long. Garden roses are my favorite to use in the winter. The soft pink romantic antike garden roses that we used in this bouquet bloomed so beautifully and ended up being the show stoppers. Large, fluffy and perfectly bloomed! A lot of brides write off roses instantly, but these voluminous garden roses can really make all the difference. Instead of using a large amount of smaller, more expensive flowers, do your research (or ask your florist!) and find the best fuller varieties for your bouquet. The bigger blooms make more of a statement too!

step-4Have fun with it! Overall, having fun with your winter bouquet is key. Winter bouquets don’t all have to look like the holidays or be completely white. Get creative and find the flowers, colors, or natural elements that mean the most to you and incorporate them. Spray paint is always a great idea too if you are looking for a specific color. I really enjoy spray painting my greens gold in the winter for a little extra sparkle. Don’t be afraid to get a little wild with it, just keep playing around with it until it is perfect!

Barn Wood Table: Relics Vintage Rentals | Hair & Makeup: Dana Welch Hair & Makeup | Photography: Kate Weinstein Photo | Planning & Florals: A Splendid Occasion | Ribbons: Frou Frou Chic | Venue: Farm

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Elegant Bohemian Photo Shoot at Dover Farm

Today, I’m chasing away the winter chill with this sunny, bohemian shoot from Kate Weinstein Photo. With layers upon layers of rich burgundy hues, a soft flowing ethereal veil, and a dreamy Lily Pots flower crown, every detail is farm fresh and wildly elegant. Click here for so much more.

From Kate Weinstein Photo…. For this shoot, we wanted to create something with a boho, casual vibe that was at the same time elegant and classy.The Farm at Dover is a new venue located between Chicago and Milwaukee. The owners have renovated the rustic property with upscale furnishings and decor. We wanted to keep our design simple so as not to compete with the natural beauty of the property.

Lily Pots created the flower arrangements and flower crown in a garden style to complement the natural fall colors at the farm. Layers of Loveliness designed the paper suite in elegant calligraphy to add a handwritten touch. Lizzibeth provided the jewelry to complement the dress provided by Christy’s Bon Bon Belle. Our groom wore brown work boots and jeans but dressed up his look with a tailored blazer and skinny tie, and our bride and groom took turns photographing each other with vintage cameras. Simma’s bakery designed the cake and ornamented it with flowers from Lily Pots. Lakes Area Rentals provided the long wooden tables, french country chairs, and lanterns. On the table, small hay bales ornamented the plates with name cards handwritten by Layers of Loveliness. Candles on the table were held rustic antler candle holders.

Cake: Simma's Bakery | Dress: Christy's Bon Bon Belle | Farm: Farm At Dover | Film Lab: Photovision | Flowers: Lily Pots | Hair & Makeup: Dana Welch | Jewelry: Lizzibeth | Models: The Rock Agency | Paper Suite & Calligraphy: Layers Of Loveliness | Photography: Kate Weinstein Photo | Table & Chairs: Lakes Area Rental

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NFL Player & Amazing Race Contestant Tie the Knot

Black tie with a glittery twist, this glammed-up fête from Kristina Lorraine lands in touchdown territory. You may recognize the tuxedo clad groom, Green Bay Packer’s player Brett Goode and groomsman Aaron Rogers, but all eyes were on his Amazing Race bride, Monica Cayce. Planned in less than a month (you read right!) every detail from the cocktail cruise to the lush Frontier Flowers of Fontana, make the gallery a truly perfect place to be.


From the beautiful Bride… I knew I had a huge task at hand when my fiance (Brett Goode, long snapper for the Green Bay Packers), and I decided to get married on his by-week, less than a month away from our engagement.

We chose the idyllic destination of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, about 2.5 hours away from Green Bay. I knew I would need quite a bit of help to pull this off, but I was up for the challenge. I enlisted the help of florist, and wedding genius, Renee Cerny of Frontier Flowers of Fontana. Using a mix of blush, sage green, metallics, soft neutrals, and modern and rustic elements, she tied in our Arkansas roots. There were also unique touches like chic antlers mixed in with hanging amaranths and lush flowers. It was also very important for me to incorporate a lot of rose gold elements to pay homage to my engagement ring.

We kept the wedding small and intimate, with only close friends and family being in attendance. Our ceremony was perched lake side in a gorgeous Sperry tent at Abbey Spring Yacht Club in Fontana. It was then transformed into the reception space, while the guests enjoyed a sunset cruise on a gorgeous, classic, steam yacht, from the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. We wanted our guests to have a fun getaway, and share in our love for one another and our friends and family.

Cake: Sweet Discoveries | Ceremony Venue: Abbey Springs Yacht Club | Cocktail Cruise: Lake Geneva Cruise Line | Entertainment: Big Al Wetzel Band | Floral Design: Frontier Flowers - Fontana | Groomsmen's Attire: Mens Warehouse - Vera Wang | Hair: Clear Waters Salon & Day Spa | Makeup: Jessica DeGrasse - Mac Makeup, San Francisco | Photography: Kristina Lorraine Photography | Reception Venue: Abbey Springs Yacht Club | Rentals: Lakes Area Rental | Rentals: A La Crate Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Tablescapes | Styling: Frontier Flowers - Fontana | Wedding Dress: Gigi Of Mequon - Monique Lhuillier

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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