Chicago Wedding by Birch Design Studio + Pen/Carlson
August 23, 2011

Apparently mixing modern stylings with rustic elegance equals an event that is downright ba-na-nas. I am not surprised a bit that Birch Design Studio is the talent behind this beyond gorgeous affair. There is so much to to ga ga over I don't know where to begin. The window frame ceremony backdrop will have me swooning until the sun comes up again. The couple's eye for design and ability to bring both of their cultures in seamlessly is remarkable. Oh and the shoes. Let's not forget about the choos. Heavenly. If you haven't already entered the e-mazing Loeffler Randall shoe giveaway on SMP New York Weddings today, I have a feeling you'll be bee-lining it on over there after gawking over this shoe swoon fest. And don't forget pretties - there is even more in the full gallery of images!













Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride...James and I were married on June 18, 2011.  It was important to us to have a wedding that not only reflected our love for each other, but also honored our families, our different cultural backgrounds, and our personal style.  James grew up in Scotland and my family is from Thailand, and for the longest time we could not decide what type of venue would best highlight that diverse history. We entertained the idea of a destination wedding in Scotland, but decided that it would exclude too many of our family and friends.  We then searched for farms, barns, and vineyards that would offer a rustic, intimate, and comfortable setting for the wedding we had in mind. Eventually, we decided the best thing to do was to bring touches of Thailand and the Scottish countryside to Chicago, the city where we met and the place that we know and love as our home. The result was a day that brought all those worlds together and paid tribute to our bond over a love of food, friends, family, and travel.

Since James works in the restaurant industry and I own a clothing boutique, we've both organized a lot of events over the years and have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented photographers, designers, caterers, and event planners around the city. Having such an amazing pool of creative people to choose from made selecting wedding vendors a total breeze.  Before opening my store, Roslyn, I worked as a merchant for J. Crew and in order to give a nod to my history in fashion, I had my bridesmaids wear dresses from both places. Three of the girls wore dresses by J. Crew and three wore custom designs by Elise Bergman, a designer I carry at my store, all in different silhouettes and tones of grey silks.  Pen / Carlson and The NEW View documented our joyous occasion through photographs and film while Catherine at Birch Design Studio and Jessica at Botanicals worked tirelessly to help realize my vision for décor and florals. Outside our venue, guests were welcomed by a bagpiper playing traditional Scottish songs.  Inside, rustic and country-inspired details were set alongside the refined, industrial backdrop of Gallery 1028. Reclaimed wood decor was accented with organic flowers, delicate fabrics, votive candles, and paper goods in varying shades of crème, tea green, and pale grey.  Old farm windows sourced from Wisconsin just for us hung in staggered layers and served as the backdrop for the ceremony, which included poetry readings and a traditional Scottish handfasting ritual.

During the cocktail hour, guest sipped on Bellhaven and Singha, beers from Scotland and Thailand, and enjoyed cocktails out of mason jars with grey and green barber straws. They were invited to take pictures in the traveling photobooth and use the two vintage typewriters to leave us messages, which we later plan to bind into a leather guestbook.   After dinner, a Thai dancer performed a traditional dance in celebration of our new marriage.  We danced with each other and our family and friends long into the night and the evening was topped off with a delicious and chatter-inducing Nutella-filled cake.  Guests were sent off with film strips from the photobooth and canvas tote bag favors that were custom designed and hand screen-printed with graphics of some of our favorite major Chicago landmarks.  Included in these landmarks are two of our personal Chicago favorites: my boutique, Roslyn, and the floral design created on our invitation suite to represent Gallery 1028.  While I loved seeing my vision of the wedding and its details brought to life, what was more important was spending time with our friends and family from around the world.  Bpen kuhn tee chahn ja mai mee wahn luhm!  (Thai for "It was a night I'll never forget!")

Wedding Photography: Pen / Carlson / Wedding Cinematography: the NEW view / Floral Design: Botanicals / Event Design + Planning: Birch Design Studio / Band: The Party Faithful / Wedding Cake: Take the Cake / Ceremony + Reception Location: Gallery 1028 / Catering: Calihan Catering / Photobooth: Magnolia Photo Booth / Invitations: Linseed Projects / Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew + Elise Bergman via Roslyn / Accessories: Michelle Rahn + Trabert & Hoeffer
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