SUBMIT WEDDING
Five Ways To Avoid Having A Major Wedding Planning Meltdown

Congrats on your engagement! This is an incredible time and you should be enjoying ever second of it! With wedding planning comes some stress, it’s seriously inevitable. Trust me when I say, these five tips are a must to avoid getting way too overwhelmed with the planning process — you will thank yourself later! Enjoy the wedding planning process, loves!

First, Map It All Out

Before you dive in head first, take a step back and map out everything that needs to get done. I found using a check-list binder was super helpful to keep me organized and remind me of all the things I needed to consider. Here is an awesome one by Kate Spade I would recommend! Next, whip out a calendar and start mapping out what decisions need to be made by what date. This will help you spread out your deadlines and make sure you don’t have to rush anything! A calendar will be your new bestie for the next year!

Delegate When You Can…

If you’re anything like me, it’s really difficult to hand things off because we’re control freaks! I felt like I needed to be involved in executing on every little detail of the wedding, but I quickly learned that’s pretty unrealistic and incredibly stressful. If you have the budget, hire a wedding coordinator that you feel comfortable with and hand some stuff off – completely! Also, let your maid of honor or bridesmaids help with things. They will be more than happy to help you and on the big day you will excited to see some little surprises that you didn’t call the shots on.

Plan A Weekend Trip!

About three months out from your wedding, you will be feeling the pressure. Most of your weekends will be consumed with wedding planning and if you are an over-achiever and have everything already in place, your thoughts will still be consumed with the wedding. It’s extremely important to take some time off! Plan a weekend getaway with your future hubby. I suggest a staycation — don’t go far, but rather stay local and go relax away from home. Make a deal to not discuss the wedding and instead enjoy the moment!

Get In A Workout Routine Stat!

You know what they say, fitness kicks stress in the butt. It’s true. One of the biggest favors you can do yourself while planning your wedding is to get in a workout routine. You will not only have a time every week to release and fight stress, but you will be toning it up to look amazing on your big day. Yoga is always an awesome workout and stress reducer but feel free to try something new and exciting like a barre or circuit training class!

Remember, a good glass of wine and a romantic comedy can fix anything!

Lastly, have fun with the process. It’s very easy to get caught up in obsessing about details and driving yourself crazy. I will fully admit I have been on the verge of tears a few times during the process because I’ve felt overwhelmed! It’s 100% fine to spend Saturday nights in, sipping a glass of wine, browsing Pinterest, with a romantic comedy on the television — here are our suggestions!

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Timeless Chicago Wedding Days After Cubs Win the World Series

As if a wedding day isn’t enough to celebrate on it’s own, this duo had a little extra to cheers for on their Big Day. Hello, Chicago, World Series winners! The city that brought these two gorgeous love birds together—so what better place to say their I do’s? A Bride as radiant as ever (thanks to Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists!) and her Groom in waiting, Clary Pfeiffer documented every step of the way with these stunning images. Don’t miss the full gallery in The Vault!

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Seasons
Winter
Settings
Event Venue
Styles
Classic

From the Bride… Pat and I were set up by mutual friends in Chicago in the fall of 2013. We met at a concert at the Riviera theater that led to drinks, dinner and eventually a long-distance relationship that would end with the both of us together and engaged living in Minneapolis. We both have a special place in our hearts for Chicago as it is the city I grew up in and it is the place that brought us together. So when deciding on where we would be married we knew it would need to be in the city. We also knew Fall would be the perfect backdrop for our special day.

I love florals, clean lines and simplicity so the focus of our wedding was based around these themes. I had a clear vision of blush pinks, greens, plum privet berries and white roses. With accents of navy and gold, it felt perfect for the season and timeless. I was so lucky to work with an amazing florist who took this vision and turned it into reality. There was no way to predict the gorgeous 60 degree weather or the Cubs winning the World Series only days before the wedding. Luck was certainly in our favor. The excitement and energy in the days leading up to our wedding was contagious and it left us with such fantastic memories.

Although fairly nontraditional for a Catholic Wedding, our first look on the rooftop overlooking the city and Lake Michigan was easily our favorite moment of the day as well as the visit to Wrigley Field for a photo. Additionally, my grandmother’s cake topper adorned our wedding cake and the top tier of the cake resembled the lace in my wedding dress. These were details that we are sure to never forget. Having all of our friends and family surrounding us on the dance floor at the end of the night definitely was the best possible way to end the best day of our lives.

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Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Cinematography: Hendzel Productions | Wedding Coordination: Estera Events | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Cake: Oak Mill Bakery | Ceremony Venue: St. Alphonus Church | Reception Venue: Kenmare Catering | Catering: Kenmare Catering | Hair and Makeup : Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Transportation: Chicago Trolley Co. | Paper Goods: Magnificent Milestones

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A Charming Italian Villa Meets a Rainbow of Pastel

Any time that Brancoprata is involved in a wedding, it’s a given that all out beauty is sure to follow. And this celebration of a fellow wedding mastermind so lives up to all that hype. It’s a mix of old world beauty, modern touches and the softest, prettiest pastel hues set against the backdrop of an Italian Villa. Pore through the vault filled with two gorgeous ceremonies and one of the prettiest tablescapes to ever grace SMP all right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Castle

From the Bride… Working in the wedding industry and being exposed to different styles of venue, décor etc meant we had already discussed in advance the type of place we wanted the wedding to be and roughly how it would look. I love photographing the details when I attend weddings so really wanted to focus on creating those in our own. We wanted a relaxed outdoor wedding and so going home to Italy (from the UK) was a must.

Every Sunday when in Italy, my family and I all go to an agriturismo (a farm where they cook you fantastic food) for lunch and we wanted to recreate this at the wedding. These lunches have a very villagey feel often to them and so I wanted the dinner to be relaxed featuring long tables with boards of amazing food in the middle. Our vision for the day was to include our interest of art, music and our respective cultures (Scottish, Italian and Indian). It was also an opportunity for both sides to get to know us better as a couple. We have been together for years and know each others families very well but there are lots of interests, memories, life events you share as a couple that often people don’t see. I love Ancient, Etruscan and Renaissance art and so I knew I wanted to incorporate elements of these into the design and feel of our wedding.

We also love a large variety of music genres: R&B, rat pack, classical, bossa nova, Indian instrumentals, West African music and Madagascan reggae, and knew we wanted the day to reflect and work with these. We sectioned each part of the day with a different style of music. Classical, West African and Madagascan Reggae during the different stages of our wedding ceremony followed by Bossa Nova for cocktail hour, Indian for the Hindu ceremony, Italian and Rat pack over dinner and R&B for the dancing.

I looked to my home and wardrobe when choosing the color palette for our wedding before playing around with textures, material and color samples on a physical mood board to narrow down. We chose a mixture of pale pink, ecru and off white for our main colors with pops of champagne and silver. I did have a few concerns because the colors were also the colors that make up the brand colors in my business and I thought that might seem a little strange (A little “I can’t leave work at work”), as well as being colors you’d typically associate with weddings and I considered that I may want something a little different. However in the end they are color combinations I find most beautiful and they are also rarely seen in Indian weddings so I liked that we could create a visually unique version of the Hindu ceremony.

I went totally overboard with the DIY details. I had the strange idea that it would be super romantic to handcraft a wedding for the love of my life. I am known to get a little carried away and whilst working on one thing I’d get an idea to do another. I really love making things but in the lead up to our wedding both parents got quite sick and so I found I hadn’t budgeted enough time for DIY and unexpected life events which added a little more stress than I had anticipated.

I created all the stationary from invites, programs, signage and table stationary as well as made my garter and made hand dyed silk ribbons for the bouquets as well as napkins and tablecloths (Sofia kindly helped me with the latter last minute). I also painted plastic garden urns with a concrete based paint mix (for easier transport) for the tables. We made the garlands for the Indian wedding ceremony and my mum made the muslin curtains for the wooded ceremony.

The most fun project was designing my Indian wedding outfit. I knew I wanted something a little different and less heavily decorated than the usual. I couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere so I decided to create it myself. I travelled the length of the UK to source the right fabrics and it was amazing to see it come to life! The detail we got the most comments on were the personalized letters we wrote for each of our guests in lieu of having actual favors. This also doubled as their name card at their allocated seat. We chose to describe a favorite memory with them or/and give thanks to them in a specific way and I think that touched quite a lot of the guests. Your wedding is the one opportunity where you will both have all your loved ones in one place and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to not only share with them how we felt about each other but how we felt about each of them too. 

Seeing my husband to be, teary eyed at the end of the aisle was a beautiful moment. As well as reading our personalized vows to each other. Giuseppe from Blessings from Italy helped us create the most unique and personal ceremony and I didn’t realize quite how emotional it would be. There were a lot of tears. We did quite a lot of homework for the ceremony and it felt really special that every word truly reflected us as individuals and as a couple.

My favorite crafted detail had to be the stationary and our wedding timeline board. I took a calligraphy class and practiced for weeks before handwriting all the stationary myself. The stationary took around 3-4 weeks so quite an arduous and stressful job but once finished I was quite happy with them given I am a total calligraphy amateur! With our wedding timeline I painstakingly painted a serif-roman style font onto a sheet of thick glass and it was displayed amongst the foliage and crumbling arches of the Convent.

I had huge apprehensions about my gown. I knew a lot of the styles I liked wouldn’t be best suited to my petite but curvy body type. I decided to step away from Pinterest and try some on so I would really know what felt right. I had planned on just browsing and getting an idea so that when I went with my mum and bridesmaids, I’d not be swayed heavily by their opinions. Hence, off I went to visit the Coco & Kate Atelier. Sophie and I have worked together quite a few times and every time I have visited her atelier I have fallen in love with at least a handful of her grown up dresses. I walked in and spotted my dress. It was the first I tried on and was different to what I had anticipated I would want (I imagined soft tulle with three quarter length sleeves) but I have always loved the heavily beaded gowns from designers like Elie Saab, so what better time to wear such a lavish dress. Sophie encouraged me to try on more and her honest opinion of each was incredibly appreciated. I really liked the fact that I had went alone. It made the decision seem so easy.

There were no preconceived ideas about what I should wear. Luckily, once I had softly decided and sent a photo to my mum, she loved it too. My seamstress worked wonders in recreating the v-neck at the front to bring it a little lower and to shape it in at the waist and under my bottom to give a little more height to my petite height.

The flowers I chose were quite simple. I love foliage like eucalyptus, olive leaves and ruscus so I wanted to create a look that was foliage heavy. I decided to go for white, creams and pale pinks to keep in with the rest of the décor. I loved our ‘concrete’ urns so wanted these to be the focal point of the tables. I had actually under ordered the amount of flowers we needed but yet Sofia created the softest and freshest looking tablescape and really saved the day!

For our wedding cake, we chose to have a pandoro table in multiple sizes along with my favorite Italian pastries, bigne. Pandoro is traditionally a cake you would eat at Christmas but I love the taste and we just wanted to have food that we enjoyed eating rather than worrying if it was typically wedding or not. I also wanted our guests to experience all the parts of Italy that I have grown up with and love.

Don’t be fooled by thinking that DIY is a more budget friendly option. It really isn’t. Unlike the professionals there is a lot of trial and error and there were times when the stress and time it took was quite a lot of pressure. If you are like me and absolutely adore making things, then I strongly recommend working out how much time you have and planning jobs that take only half that time because life does get in the way, unexpected things crop up and the stress of not having enough time to do things can overshadow the fact you are marrying the love of your life! (The satisfaction of making all the details is lovely though). If you are having a destination wedding too without doubt I would recommend hiring a wedding planner throughout your wedding planning journey. The week running up to our wedding we had quite a few issues and it really created so much stress. You definitely can plan a wedding yourself but sometimes it is worth every penny to outsource!

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Photography: Brancoprata | Videography: Marco Caputo Films | Event and Floral Design: Brancoprata | Shoes: LK Bennett | Jewelry: Poetry Jewelry On Etsy | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Hair and Make Up: The Hair And Makeup Atelier | Celebrant: Blessings from Italy | Bride's dress: Coco & Kate (Jenny Yoo Collection) | Catering and Furniture Hire: Love Banqueting | Ceremony and Reception venue: Convento Dell' Annunciata | Day of Coordination: Revelry Events | Flower Girl Dress: Zara | Groom's shoes: Churches | Groomsmen's Bow Tie: Gucci | Maid of Honor Dress: Monsoon | Maid of Honor Dress: H&M | Music: Italian Wedding Music | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Scent: Eau des Merveilles by Hermes | Sent: Chanel | Tux Jacket: Dobell | Veil: Custom Made By Helen Martin | Watch: DW

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This is How You Make a Statement on Your Wedding Day

It’s no secret we spend an inordinate amount of time drooling over beautiful gowns here at SMP. It’s what we do. So to say that the newest Malone Collection from Sottero and Midgley has been filling our work days is so obviously an understatement. It’s stunning silhouettes, gorgeous fabrics and just the right amount of edgy glamour. Head to the Look Book to soak in all of the pretty details, then scroll for a sneak peek below.

Our happy place? Anywhere the Malone Collection by Sottero and Midgley is going to be. Because when it comes to gowns made specifically for the confident bride who really wants to make a statement, these beauties are perfect. From the oh-so-dramatic back of the Addison (we heart cap sleeves) to the exquisite beading + crystals of the Bristol (it’s ballerina meets street-style, you guys) to the vintage-inspired Hadley (hello, fit and flare), these are gowns that are basically dripping with amazing details. You know… so your guests won’t stop talking about how fab you look the entire evening… and beyond.

Whether you dream gown of a gown that is the perfect mix of show-stopping trains and striking lace appliqués or want to impress your love with a sophisticated + sassy number, the Malone Collection by Sottero and Midgley has a beautiful masterpiece that is so, so right for you.  They even offer chic + totally stylish separates, like lingerie-inspired crop tops and illusion-lace bodysuits. It’s the one-of-a-kind Oakley (three words: illusion halter back), the zigzag motif of the Parisia, the romantic boho (with an edge) Evan and the beaded shoulders of the Rhett all coming together to create a collection that will make your hearts so, so happy. Trust us. Be sure to check out the Sottero and Midgley Look Book, then head to their website for even more awesomeness. Your dream gown is waiting for you there.