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WASIO photography + A Special Offer + A Giveaway!

Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you I am rarely at a loss for words; I like to talk… a lot.  But every once in awhile, I come across something sooo incredibly breathtaking and beautiful, words escape me. And that something is the brilliant work of WASIO photography, a talented team of photographers that know a thing or two about capturing your wedding day in images you’ll treasure for always. Made up of two husband and wife teams (Sasha & Yaneck + Magda & Marcin), WASIO photography is known for building personal relationships with each and every one of their clients; meeting them several times pre-wedding, bonding with them at their amazing engagement shoots and even inviting family members to the viewing sessions post-wedding.  Which means that on your big day, you’ll have friends documenting all of those special moments, making their perspective that much more unique. And WASIO photography isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get the jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind image, whether it’s on the day of your nuptials, at night with their custom lighting or at one of their breathtaking sunrise engagement sessions. 

Visit WASIO photography today to talk to the team of photogs that will take your wedding photography to the next level. And don’t forget, if you book WASIO photography by June, 2015, you’ll receive a 16×24 beautifully matted fine art print printed on hand-made German 100% cotton museum paper ($450 value)!the-giveawayWhat: WASIO photography is giving away a sunset or sunrise 1-hour engagement session!* (Value $499)

How: To enter, go here!


Rustic South Dakota State Park Wedding

Give me gorgeous jewel tones and some autumn “I do’s” and I’ll show you one very happy wedding blogger. This South Dakota celebration’s color palette caught my eye immediately; add in all of the DIY rustic detailing and I fell head over heels. Jeff Sampson’s photos have me swooning over this stunning scene and you can skip on over this way to see what we’ve all been missing!


From The Bride… Ken and I met through mutual friends at a board game bar in Chicago. At first I was skeptical of his love for the game “Ticket to Ride” and he was bemused that I couldn’t remember the order of the planets costing us a trivia question. However, we decided to go on a second date and the rest was history! Fast forward three years, despite living in Chicago, we decided to get married in my home state of South Dakota, at Custer State Park located in the beautiful Black Hills National Forest. It is a place that my family spent many summer vacations and a great tourist destination for all of our family and friends traveling near and far! Ken’s family from New England arranged multiple tours to check out the various sites of the Black Hills and many of our guests took time to enjoy the beauty and history of the area. We wanted our wedding to reflect our love and friendship, hoping the weekend would serve as a fun memory for all of our friends and family who have supported us throughout the years.

I love rustic décor with a touch of glamour and wanted to stay true to the beauty of Custer State Park. Generous friends and family members gave us deer antlers, pheasant feathers and old barn wood to incorporate into the décor. As I was studying for my Nurse Practitioner boards my mom stepped in and completed the projects I had intended to work on! She spray painted antlers gold, hand painted and glittered our beautiful monogram to hang above the fireplace, assembled custom labels onto water bottles, created a wedding activity book for our youngest guests and completed countless other DIY projects that contributed to the thoughtful décor our wedding had. Many friends and family members pitched in to help us with wedding projects and the talent and generosity of our loved ones blew us away! My dad built the entrance sign and smores troughs out of old barn wood which were used at our rehearsal dinner and wedding after party, my friend Andrea Stalheim created all of our beautiful paper products and hand painted our cornhole boards, Ken’s mother sewed bean bags for the cornhole games with our initials on them, my sister and cousin hand stenciled wood signs and Ken’s aunt painted our entrance and chair signs. Ken and I gathered wedding photos of our parents and grandparents to display and remind us of how many incredible relationships inspire us. Custer State Park is known for the large buffalo herd that can be seen roaming the park and sometimes blocking traffic! Nearly 1,300 buffalo roam the 71,000-acre state park in addition to other wildlife like antelope, mountain goats, deer, and elk. We incorporated buffalo and deer antlers into many of our paper designs and decided to attach buffalo cookie cutters to our escort cards so they wouldn’t blow away!

Ken and I spent a few late nights hand stamping and embossing over 200 place cards! I didn’t meet our vendors in person until the week of our wedding, so most of the communication took place via email or Skype and yet Jenny’s Floral and Table 4 Décor beautifully executed and enhanced our vision for the space. I wanted the space to match the beauty of the nature that surrounded us. Jenny Behlings’ floral arrangements surpassed all expectation, they were incredibly unique and she blended the pheasant feathers and antlers seamlessly into the design. Jenny Jewett of Table 4 Décor created such a magical space, we loved the curly willow chandeliers with gorgeous lights and fabric draping from the rafters! The reception looked even more beautiful than we could’ve imagined and both vendors were fantastic to work with.

I have so many wonderful memories from the day, but I will never forget the look on Ken’s face as I walked down the aisle. We chose not to see each other before the ceremony and it was the best decision we could’ve made. It was such an intense moment that I couldn’t help but both laugh and cry as I walked down the aisle! I’ve never experienced such joy! 

Jeff Sampson Photography beautifully captured moments throughout the day and we will cherish our photos for years to come. I didn’t have a wedding planner and Jeff and Val Sampson were not only wonderful to work with, but extremely helpful in planning the timeline of the day and I am so grateful for their guidance through this process! We gave great thought to our music and scripture readings that we chose which made the ceremony incredibly meaningful to us. Ken and I were engaged at Phantom of the Opera in NYC, so the bridesmaids processed into piano accompaniment of Music of the Night. Our priest and dear family friend travelled across the state to marry us, which added such warmth and personality to our ceremony. The reception was a blast, with some of the most heartfelt and funny wedding toasts that I have ever heard. 2 Sister’s Bakery made a beautiful cake and delicious cupcakes that were gone so quickly that Ken and I didn’t even get one! Besides the warm glow coming from the Pavilion, the night sky was dark and cloudy making for a magical setting for such a fun night! We had so much fun with our guests and the dance floor was packed the entire night thanks to JD Productions! We didn’t want the night to end, so we had an after party complete with a DIY smores bar that we enjoyed with many of our guests including a few elk who wandered into the field beside the cabin! I would say my dad put it best in his speech when quoting from my favorite musical Les Miserables, “to love another person is to see the face of God.” To be able to commit our lives and hearts to each other in front of so many people we love was a great blessing and our hearts overflow with gratitude for such an incredible celebration of love!

Photography: Jeff Sampson Photography | Floral Design: Jenny's Floral | Bride's Shoes: J. Crew | Bridesmaid Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe | Hair & Makeup: SiBelle Salon | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Venue: Custer State Park Resort | Bridal Gown: Jim Hjelm | Bride's Jewelry: BHLDN | Cake + Desserts: 2 Sisters Bakery | DJ/Entertainment: JD Productions | Decor: Table 4 Decor

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Kristin La Voie Photography + A Discount + A Giveaway!

http://kristinlavoie.comAround these parts, Kristin La Voie Photography is totally legend.  An award winning photographer recently named one of the Best Wedding Photographers of 2015, she is a serious expert at capturing each and every gorgeous moment of your day as it unfolds naturally.  In other words?  Stunning images for you, and a whole lot of swooning for those of us here at SMP.  We call that a win-win, lovelies.

A specialist in film photography, and one of the leading film photogs in the Chicago area, we’ve been obsessed with Kristin’s work since the very moment we laid our eyes on her breathtaking captures.  Think beautiful light-filled images that document your day in the prettiest of ways.  With Kristin La Voie Photography, you’ll have those special moments you didn’t even realize were being captured (she’s that good, people) to remember for always.  And, bonus.  Kristin La Voie Photography recently launched KLP BEAUTY, a brand new site totally devoted to capturing all of you stunning brides pre-wedding in a beautiful + oh-so-romantic light.  It’s boudoir reinvented, and it’s totally awesome.

Contact Kristin La Voie Photography today to get started on your amazing journey.  And don’t forget that Kristin is offering SMP readers $300 off any 2015 wedding package through March 31st!


Kristin La Voie Photography is giving away a Boudoir Mini Session to one lucky SMP reader, which will include session time (30 minutes) and digital images!*  To enter, leave a comment below telling us your most beautiful feature!  The winner, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, March 27, 2015.  For terms and conditions, click here.  Good luck, lovelies! xo

*Boudoir session must be held at a location within 20 miles of 60174.  Value $450. 

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


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.)