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Old Hollywood Glamour-Inspired Missouri Vineyard Wedding

This is my kind of Bride: a woman with a vision. Her vision? A “timeless, classic and romantic” wedding. And with gorgeous flowers and greenery decorating the space, a beautiful invitation suite designed by the Bride’s friend, and a candlelit ceremony, it’s safe to say this Bride executed her vision to perfection. See every beautiful detail captured by Carretto Studio in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Vineyard
Styles
Glamorous

From The Bride…Greg and I met at work in 2009. A seasoned sales rep with the company, he was gifted the task of being my trainer– a cross-country friendship sparked as I was in Baltimore and he was in Dallas. Years later, we both started new jobs and moved back to our hometowns of Detroit and St. Louis, and some how after all that came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to finally start dating… long distance. After two and a half years of paying a small fortune to Delta Airlines, Greg’s sales skills finally convinced me to move to St. Louis. It was on December 23rd, 2014 when Greg asked me to meet him at a park around the corner from our condo. When I walked through the gates, he was holding the world’s most adorable King Charles Cavalier puppy in his jacket. (We later named her Lucy.) He handed her to me and wished me a “Merry Christmas”. My heart stopped…seriously?? We wanted a puppy, but I wanted a RING. Greg waited a few agonizing moments of me loving on the puppy to finally ask, “Did you think I was going to propose??” When I responded with a disappointed yes, he responded “well good, because I am”. He got down on one knee and pulled out the most beautiful cushion cut diamond I could have ever imagined. The engagement was very private, just how we both imagined it. Knowing how badly I would want to savor that moment forever, he had secretly hired a photographer to capture the memories. Every time we look at them, it brings us right back to that amazing December day.

We kicked off planning a May 2015 wedding at a gorgeous Northern Michigan resort. After my parent’s retirement plans moved them out of Michigan, our wedding plans quickly followed. We loved visiting Chandler Hill Vineyards during my visits to St. Louis while we were dating, so we felt like it would be a beautiful venue for our big day. Our goals for the wedding weekend were to create an event specific to our story, make it a memorable experience for our out-of-town guests and make it as personal as possible. As I stated earlier, we are a couple that cherishes memories so naturally our most important steps would be the big details – photography, floral design, venue, videography and entertainment. We didn’t want a theme, but a feel — “timeless, classic and romantic”. My biggest fear was that we would be type casted by Pinterest because our venue was a vineyard. I must have told all my vendors a thousand times how much I despised the words rustic, vintage and burlap.

The most taxing step was finding vendors. Since I did not grow up in St. Louis, I decided to go with our gut and trust referrals from those who did. A friend from college recommended our amazingly talented photographer, Andy Carretto of Carretto Studio. A few close friends had used our florist, Barb Wehking of Bloomin’ Buckets. We had been to 12 weddings this year (we were invited to 14) and every one of them had hydrangeas used in the design. I love hydrangeas and all of the weddings we attended were gorgeous, but I wanted something different. Sue was the only florist we met with who truly understood that vision. Our invite suite was custom designed by a close family friend, Jennifer Smith, who started her own custom culture company called Madranas in Detroit. Our videographer was a random find, but a beautiful gem. Mike Dalton of Mike Dalton Films is an up-and-comer here on the St. Louis wedding scene and boy-oh-boy was he worth taking a shot. We used Karmen Rowles, a friend of my mother-in-law, for coordination, which was key for bringing the entire look together.

Although we are both Catholic, we decided to have a close friend marry us at Chandler Hill. We knew it was out of the box, but fit much better in our “personalized” feel. While planning, we always pictured the ceremony taking place outside on the deck with the sun setting into the fall colored trees, but forgot to take daylight savings time into account. Instead we were married by candlelight and it all turned out beautiful. We held the cocktail hour outside and moved everyone inside for the reception. The room was a vision of white and blush-toned roses, peonies, football mums and gladiolus for extra height, all were tied together with the most gorgeous greenery and candles. We wanted to have a grand feel to the room since the ceilings were so high with beautiful exposed wood on the beams and the large bar. We mixed the tables with pin-tucked satin linens; rose-gold sequined tablecloths and we left our thirty-foot feast table bare with exposed wood as well. The fireplace was lit and the lights were dimmed. We couldn’t have been happier. The evening went off beautifully – we couldn’t have asked for better weather for a November wedding in St. Louis. (65 and sunny during the day and a brisk 45 at night.)

Instead of sharing our personal vows in front of all of our guests, we chose to do them in front of our bridal party and parents at sunset. We shared traditional Catholic vows during our ceremony.

We ended the evening with fireworks! Chandler Hill Vineyards is in the middle of wine country and the pitch-black sky created the perfect setting for the display! Our feast table sat twenty-five people (parents, bridal party and spouses) and featured a forty-foot garland of beautiful greenery and roses.

Greg sported a custom tuxedo from Brooks Brothers. The groomsmen wore black on black, while his was midnight blue with a black grosgrain lapel to help him stand out. The tables were each named by a city that played a significant role throughout our long distance relationship.

As one of the readings, Greg’s brother read the Irish Lord’s Prayer in remembrance of his late mother and grandparent’s proud Irish heritage, which ended up being the opening voiceover for our video.

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Photography: Carretto Studio | Cinematography: Mike Dalton Films | Floral Design: Bloomin Buckets | Wedding Dress: Clarice's Bridal | Cake: Celebrating Life Cakes | Stationery: Madrana's | Catering: Chandler Hill Vineyards | Makeup: Flawless STL | Hair: Valerie Brown | DJ: DJ Who | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Chandler Hill Vineyards

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Classic + Elegant Blush Fall Wedding

A pretty color palette, a gorgeous lace wedding gown, a beautiful garden portrait session, and a lovely couple—this has all the makings of a classic wedding. Add to that the sweet tribute to the couple’s deceased grandfathers (little lockets filled with their photos attached to the grandmothers’ bouquets) and photography by the incredible Lisa Dolan, and you a classic and perfect day. See it all in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Classic

From Lisa Dolan Photography… Lauren and Chris had a dream wedding. The prettiest church, the perfect crisp fall weather – it was incredible and oh-so-classic. Every detail seemed to fit perfectly, from the pale pink bridesmaids dresses to the white rose and hydrangea bouquets. I loved everything about this wedding! My favorite detail was the little lockets they filled with photographs of their grandfathers that had passed away. The grandmothers carried these lockets on their bouquets on the wedding day – such a sweet way to honor their loved ones. It was such a fun day filled with family and friends – congrats to Lauren and Chris!

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Discover more elegant inspiration here!

Photography: Lisa Dolan Photography | Floral Design: Soulard Florist | Cake: McArthur’s Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Our Lady Of The Pillar | Reception Venue: Crowne Plaza

Organic Botanical Inspired Downtown Chicago Wedding

This dream Monique Lhuillier gown is the wedding dress equivalent of business in the front and party in the back. And truth be told? I’m wholeheartedly obsessed. It’s the kind of dress that sets the scenes for only the prettiest of days, and the designers at Foraged Floral didn’t disappoint. Go ahead and bookmark this baby, because Olivia Leigh photographed a gallery you’ll want to revisit time and time again.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Classic

From Foraged FloralChristina and Howard had a vision of an intimate and naturally styled wedding in downtown Chicago. They were inspired by the unique decor that The Kitchen (a completely new restaurant and venue – we were one of their first weddings!) offered with its industrial charm, but also wanted the environment to be cozy, and intimate, for their guests to enjoy and relax. They decided on not having a bridal party at all, so their friends and family could all relax and not stress about anything. We worked together for many months planning and perfecting the vision they had, which included many seasonal inspired florals to compliment the botanical prints they loved, as well as some beautiful handcrafted pieces.

Their ceremony took place at Bond Chapel, on the University of Chicago’s campus, where Christina attended. The chapel has beautiful stained glass windows, amazing wooden details and a cozy atmosphere. We brought in a classically trained pianist to serenade guests with music that you wouldn’t find at your normal wedding (more classical piano pieces from operas and theatrical events, no Canon in D here!), which really set the tone for a sophisticated and unique ceremony. After the ceremony, guests were transported to The Kitchen, just along the river in downtown Chicago, for a delicious and unique family style dinner among long, wooden communal tables and lounge areas.

As their florist and event designer, I really loved designing their arrangements and bouquets, but some of my favorite details were the smallest ones – the vintage botanical print book that Velvet Raptor made into a guestbook, the fact that they hand wrote each couple a letter on handmade paper, which designated where they would sit at the family style tables with calligraphy by BUSHYL, and even the signature drinks they crafted together. I have to admit, watching each guest open the envelope with their seating assignment listed on it, only to find a handwritten note from the couple was the sweetest thing, and something I know they will cherish for a long time.

The florals used for Christina and Howard were something special and I spent many weeks planning out exactly what flowers I wanted to used to fit their theme and warm palette. We incorporated a large amount of seasonal flowers like local dahlias, garden roses, fall foliage, scabiosa, and we were lucky enough to get peonies too! :) SO rare in October, but we were so happy!

Olivia Leigh, who is nothing short of amazing, captured the day with film and digital images, which I love! Olivia truly knows how to make everything pop and was so impressed with the images she passed along to us after their wedding.

Nothing was missed, as they wanted their guests to feel at home, comfortable and loved. Christina and Howard are some of the nicest, most gracious and wonderful people out there, and they deserved nothing but the best for their October celebration in Chicago! Congrats to Christina and Howard!!

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Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Bond Chapel | Reception Venue: The Kitchen | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Catering: The Kitchen | Hair + Makeup: Nika Vaughn Bridal Artists | DJ: Style Matters DJs | Groom's Attire: Givenchy | Bride + Groom Transportation: Windy City Limousine | Bride's Jewelry: Custom made | Calligraphy + Water Color Painting: BUSHYL | Floral Design, Event Design + Styling: Foraged Floral | Guest Transportation: Masters Transportation | Guestbook: Velvet Raptor | Linen Rentals: Windy City Linens | Lounge Furniture: Shadow Box Dreams Vintage Rentals

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Rustic Glam Wisconsin Summer Wedding

This may be a barn wedding but this is one glam dress (of course it’s Vera!). It’s one pleasant and pretty surprise among many within this Wisconsin wedding, captured by The McCartneys Photography. Their pics and the sunshine at this summer celebration are giving me hope as winter surrounds on all sides; join me in the Vault and let’s get over these hump day blues together.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Rustic

From The McCartneys Photography… Erin and John were married on Door County’s bayside during a ceremony held at Sunset Beach Park. They were blessed with abundant sunshine and the support of all of their loved ones, along with beautiful music from local musicians Ben and Lily Larsen. After promising each other forever, Erin and John dashed down the street in Door County’s iconic trolley. John worked at the Fish Creek Marina growing up, and it was the perfect location to give him and his gorgeous new wife a moment to themselves while we photographed them in a classic Door County setting. Erin’s Vera Wang gown was an absolute show-stopper, and her bridesmaids looked lovely in Adrianna Papell dresses. We could have photographed them along the sparkling water all day long!

At About Thyme Farm, guests enjoyed cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres on the lawn with more musical treats by Lily and Ben Larsen! While Erin and John made their way from hugs to laughs and smile-filled conversations, their amazing wedding planner, Chandra from Door County Event Planners, put the finishing touches on a timeless, beautiful barn celebration awaiting them just footsteps away. Erin and John put their stamp on their celebration with handmade planter boxes and a marquee “W” representing the new Mr & Mrs Woerfel. Heartfelt toasts, joyfully tear-filled eyes and sweet little moments between Erin and John as well as delicious food from Alexander’s led right into one of the most perfect Door County sunsets we have ever captured. In true Door County fashion, Erin and John treated their guests to locally made pies from Koepsel’s Farm Market and, from then on, their dance floor went from 0 to 100 in record time when the Bluewater Kings Band struck their first chords!

From the Bride… John and I just wanted people to have fun! One big party! We are both people that don’t like to be the center of attention and we didn’t want it to be all about us because so many people made the long trip! We wanted people to enjoy being with family and friends with the caveat being us getting married!

We always new Door County is where we would get married. We also new Sunset Beach was going to play a special role in some way or another. John’s dad grew up right down the street from Sunset Beach and John had so many memories playing there by the water. It just had so much meaning to John and his family! I honestly couldn’t think of any other place that would have been just as perfect! We actually didn’t want to have a “barn” wedding. I just thought it had been done one to many times. Because we only had eight months to plan a wedding we had to decide on a venue fast! Chandra showed us About Thyme and we just fell in love with it! I just wanted it to be elegant and simple and I think we accomplished that! The way the lighting hit the barn around the time of our cocktail hour and reception was just breathtaking and exactly what I had envisioned!

I knew I wanted dark greens and ivory with touches of gold. I didn’t want anything that was overbearing in color. We also knew we wanted a marquee “W” and John did a fantastic job building that piece, it will be showcased in our basement (our next project)!! Looking back, I really put John to work building things! We saved a lot of money by building our planter boxes, seating frames and welcome sign (painted a mirror with chalkboard painting for a total of $10!!) If we had more time I would have personalized more but between selling our house, working, and building our new home time was hard to come by!

Riding the trolley to the beach for our ceremony and exchanging our vows were my favorite parts and what I remember most. To see the emotion in John’s eyes was just overwhelming! The day was such a blur! We talk about it all the time that we would like to go back in time and be there as a guest to see from that perspective. We absolutely loved having live music for our ceremony and cocktail hour!

I would 100% recommend a wedding planner!! Although at the beginning it’s hard to see past the cost it’s at the very end and next day of your wedding where we looked back and said we were so thankful for Chandra at Door County Event Planners! She handled everything with such ease! Floral – Helene got our vision spot on! The flowers were exactly what I wanted it! Alexander’s hit it out of the park with the food! We still have people compliment us ALL the time on how great our wedding was and how fabulous our pictures are! We absolutely love our pictures and have special places in our new home to showcase them!!

Advice for future brides and grooms… ENJOY EVERY MOMENT! Even the planning part, it goes by way to fast! And the after wedding blues do exist after being on such a high from the planning to the day of! Also, do not sweat the small stuff! No one will even notice if something is out of place or forgotten!

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Peruse more Midwest weddings here!

Photography: The McCartneys Photography | Event Planning: Door County Event Planners | Floral Design: Flora Flowershop | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Sunset Beach | Reception Venue: About Thyme Farm | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Alexander's | Hair: B Rose Salon | Band: Bluewater Kings Band | Groom's Attire: Joseph A. Bank | Transportation: Door County Trolley | Bride's Ring: Steve Quick Jeweler | Groom's Ring: Zales | Pies: Koepsel's Farm Market

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