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Serena & Lily Inspired Tent Wedding In Chicago

Stylish, romantic, and oh-so-beautiful, Brady and Paige’s wedding is filled with effortless elegance.  The Creative Planners brought the bride’s Serena and Lily inspired vision to life in a palette of French blue and white.  Floral design by Avant Gardenia is endlessly romantic, just take one look at the greenery-laden lanterns suspended over the dance floor! Every beautiful detail was artfully captured in the imagery by Olivia Leigh Photographie, see the full day unfold in the full gallery.




From Olivia Leigh Photographie… I wanted to submit a beautiful tent wedding in the north shore of Chicago. This couple was so gorgeous and kind, and they held the most beautiful wedding, with a ceremony at the same church her parents had been married in decades prior, followed by a tent reception at the family club. When my second photographer walked in, she said it looked just like Serena & Lily, and we later found out that was one of the bride’s style inspirations! She totally nailed it and it looked so gorgeous with beautiful shades of French blue and white. Additionally, she looked incredibly chic in a relaxed spaghetti strap dress and her hair down. 



From the bride… After a united decision to change our wedding date from 2020 to 2021, the ideas started to grow and evolve. The main inspiration for our wedding was a “Last Summer Bash” since our wedding was the Saturday before Fall 2021 began. It was important to us to include our families in the wedding along with childhood and lifelong friends. There were so many small details about the day we incorporated intentionally. To name a couple, the church Brady and Paige were wed, Deerfield First Presbyterian, was also where Paige’s parents were married almost 34 years ago. Paige’s bouquet was created to look like her mother’s as well. The invitations were watercolor and included in the design was the location where Brady proposed to Paige back in 2019.



We wanted our reception space to be chic, classic, airy, and timeless. We created our “calling card” board and each keychain by hand, together, in our kitchen. It took months to complete but it was so worth it to see it come together. We also wanted to represent our beloved pup, Ivy, by hanging different types of ivy greens from the lanterns and incorporating them in the arrangements on the table.  The entire day was what we had always dreamed of. We experienced a small piece of heaven that day, surrounded by our most cherished family and friends.



Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Floral Design: Avant Gardenia | Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo | Cake: Bent Fork Bakery | Invitations: Painted by Pippa | Reception Venue: The Knollwood Club | Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Rings: New York Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection (in Amethyst); Purchased From | Makeup: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair: Bianca Sansosti Artistry | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Tent: Blue Peak Tents | Bar & Band Front: Northern Decor | Lighting & Draping: MDM Entertainment | Linens: Nuage Designs | Music: Ron Bedal Orchestra | Planning: Stephanie Cook - The Creative Planners

A Multiculturual Wedding Merging Two Families Over Multiple Celebrations!

If you ask us, the best kinds of weddings are the ones that uniquely reflect a couple’s love, and this multicultural celebration did just that.  Filled with three days of fun and four different bridal styles, you can see that love truly is in the details. Utsav planners alongside Sincerely Ginger Weddings worked with our couple to bring their beautiful vision to life, and Kelly Lenard filled every inch of it with wildly romantic blooms.  You can feel the love shining through the artful images by bonphotage, visit the full gallery to fall in love with every moment.




From bonphotageDetails, details, details! Elle and Kevin’s multi-day, multi-cultural wedding was luxurious beyond words! Lush florals from Kelly Lenard lined the aisle of the stunning Chicago Athletic Association leading up to an organically styled arch in beautiful greens and neutrals.



The groom made his grand entrance during the baraat by closing down Michigan Avenue and entering on a white horse. He was dressed in traditional garb and it was a majestic sight to behold!



Beautiful paper goods were created by Ciarra Claire Fine Art including a handwritten seating guide. The beautiful bride wore four different gowns over the course of three days, reflecting her groom’s Sikh heritage and her own western style.



Photography: bonphotage | Event Planning: utsav planners | Floral Design: Kelly Lenard | Invitations: Ciarra Claire Fine Art | Ceremony Venue: Chicago Athletic Association | Reception Venue: Chicago Athletic Association | shoes: Gucci | Planning: Sincerely Ginger Weddings

This Couple Had A Wedding Of Epic Proportions In A Former Post Office!

Once bustling with mail carriers and patrons, The Old Post Office has been transformed into an event space of epic proportions. The Simply Elegant Group worked with our bride and groom to create a day most couples only dream of, filled with romantic blooms and pampas grass designed by Kehoe Designs. The entire day was elegantly captured in the beautiful imagery by Mandelette Photography, you can see it all in the full gallery.




From the bride… We met in New York in 2015 while working at the same hospital, Nikko was an orthopedic surgery resident and I was an operating room nurse. We had several mutual friends and got to know each other during social events outside the hospital. Nikko eventually worked up the nerve to ask me out and we started dating. The rest is history.



Flash forward a couple of years, we had moved to California for my fellowship. We were looking to do a celebratory end-of-the-year vacation. I suggested we do the road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. We took a sunrise hot air balloon flight in Napa and he proposed mid-flight.



After having to postpone things because of the pandemic, we were finally able to celebrate our big day on 8/7/21. It was an incredible day surrounded by friends and family celebrating our love.



Photography: Mandelette Photography | Event Planning: The Simply Elegant Group | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Ceremony Venue: Our Lady Of Sorrows | Reception Venue: The Old Post Office | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: The Paramount Group | Hair: Alex Brown | Band: The Patrick Lentz Band | Beauty: Magda Rod Makeup

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A Romantic European-Inspired Wedding at the Armour House in Chicago

If you’re dreaming of an elegant, romantic wedding with a modern touch, we’ve found the ultimate inspiration for you. This fairy tale day at the Armour House has certainly set the wedding bar high. Flowers By KH tied the details together with lush florals to die for. As for the bride’s absolutely stunning Lee Petra Grebenau dress? We can’t stop staring! All the darling details are documented in the gallery, thanks to the talented bonphotage. You don’t want to miss them! 

How We Met

From the Bride… Danny and I meeting was against all odds – Back in March 2016 I drove down to a country music festival in California with some friends. Meanwhile, Danny and his friends had flown in from Chicago, their hometown, to attend the very same festival. In a crowd of over 10,000 people, our friends collided and struck up conversation. The moment Danny and I locked eyes we were inseparable. We danced the night away and and at the end of the evening as we parted ways we promised each other that somehow, some way, we would see each other again.

Weeks passed and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Suddenly, out of the blue, I get a call from Danny and he coolly asks, “Are you free for dinner tomorrow night?”

Out of all of the places in the world, the company that he was now interviewing for was just a drive away from my home in Los Angeles and they had asked him to fly in for a final interview. I met him for dinner the next night, we closed the restaurant down, he got the job, and the rest was history. Two years of long distance dating later I made the move out to the Midwest where we now live with our 2 year olds Fur baby, Bentley.

 

Wedding Vision

The vision I had for our wedding was French Chateau meets Napa Valley – Elegant, Romantic, with a modern touch. The pallet was timeliness white florals, fresh greenery and hints of neutrals and champagne.  To achieve our vision we wanted an authentic, European venue and Armour House couldn’t have been more perfect. With such a historical venue it was importantly to me to accent the architecture and beauty of the gardens, to become apart of the landscape, rather than detract.

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Photography: bonphotage | Floral Design: Flowers By KH | Wedding Dress: Lee Petra Grebenau | Cake: Deerfield's Bakery | Invitations: Sugared Fig Paperie | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Beauty: Rare Bird Beauties | Linen: BBJ Linen | Location: Armour House

This Photographer’s Wedding Is Pretty As A Picture

Say cheese! This photographer’s wedding is sure to have you smiling. When it came to capturing the details of her Big Day, Rachel turned to none other than her own team of photographers at Mandelette Photography. With a list of vendors that felt more like family to the bride and groom, you can feel the love and happiness from the elegant ceremony to the cocktail-style reception. Blooms by Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor are just the right touch of romance mixed with fun, and The Simply Elegant Group made sure every well thought out detail had Rachel and Cole smiling. Visit the full gallery to feel the love.




From the bride… Cole and I got married on the luckiest day of the year. 7-18-21: these are all lucky numbers both in Vegas and Jewish tradition. The one thing missing from our wedding was my father, who passed away from brain cancer this March. He was shining down from heaven on our cocktail-style event, and I carried his handkerchief down the aisle on my bouquet.



One of the final parts of our day, before our sparkler exit, we played the video I had filmed dancing with my father in my autumn wedding dress, back in October of 2020, before he passed. You can see in the room that there was not a dry eye around. It was heartbreaking not to have him there, but I know he walks with me every step. Down the aisle, into married life, and every day.



Photography: Mandelette Photography | Cinematography: Mandelette Photography | Event Planning: The Simply Elegant Group | Floral Design: Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor | Wedding Dress: Diana's Bridal - Skokie, IL | Cake: ECBG Cake Studio | Ceremony Venue: Colvin House | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Baltic Born | Catering: Chic Chef Catering | DJ: Chas Vrba | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Transportation: Classic Wedding Car | Venue: Colvin House | Beauty: Fearless & Bella

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The Epitome of Traditional Elegance at the Armour House in Chicago

Today’s wedding day is for the classic brides at heart. This brunette beauty and her handsome groom tied the knot in an idyllic outdoor ceremony at the Armour House in Chicago, planned by Mindy Gurwin. From the romantic garden setting to the cascading floral-adorned staircase at their candlelit reception – every detail of their day exudes timeless style. Don’t miss out on the full gallery of inspiration, all taken by bonphotage!

From the bride…We met on my first day at work and have been attached at the hip ever since! After working together for 1 week, Trevor slid into my Instagram DMs and asked me on our first date – as he puts it “shooters shoot.” A year later, we got engaged in Bali and couldn’t wait to start planning our dream wedding.

A few months before our wedding date, covid hit and we had to make the difficult decision to postpone our wedding to the following year. In the end, our day was perfect and worth the wait! 

Trevor and I always agreed that we wanted an outside ceremony at a timeless and classic venue. We saw a few venues and immediately fell in love with Armour House and knew we had to get married there. We also wanted the flow of our wedding day to be seamless for our guests to have everything at one location – ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. 

For florals and decor, I love a minimalist aesthetic with tons of romance. We chose light blush peonies and eucalyptus as our florals and couldn’t have been happier with how it all came together.

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Photography: bonphotage | videography: bonphotage | Event Planning: mindy gurwin | Floral Design: thistle and plume | dress: Sarah Seven | cupcakes: Molly's Cupcakes | Ceremony Venue: Armour House | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Brideside | makeup: Makeup By Jaycie | tuxedo: Enzo Custom | music: Okyne Media Lab | veil: Percy Handmade

Beautiful Spring Colors Put Romance In Full Bloom

Step inside a romantic soiree that’s sure to steal your heart. The Simply Elegant Group planned a day; for couple Fran and Steph, brimming with special touches and overflowing with love. Blooms in blush, peach, and pink tones designed by Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor make us believe that love truly is in the details. You can feel the joy and happiness of the day in the exquisite imagery by Mandelette Photography. Don’t miss every last detail in the full gallery.



From Mandelette PhotographyFran and Steph met while they were working in treasury, and their relationship really took off! The pair decided to get new jobs, and have been dating for many years. Then this year, Steph popped the question to Fran on a trip near Breckenridge, Colorado where Fran said, “yes of course!”



The pair are so sweet together; both incredibly kind a bit on the shy side. You would never be able to tell from the photos that they aren’t professional models!



The stunning cake was baked by no other than Jen from Sugar on Top Bakeshop. What an amazing soiree it was!



Photography: Mandelette Photography | Event Planning: The Simply Elegant Group | Floral Design: Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor | Wedding Dress: Grace And Ivory | Cake: Sugar On Top Bake Shop | Invitations: The Chicago Calligrapher | Ceremony Venue: Room 1520 | Beauty: Blush Braids Beauty Bar | Beauty: Alyssa Diana Makeup | Rentals: Blush and Borrowed | Rentals: Vintage Place Settings | Rentals: F S Linens

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Elegant And Intimate Lytle House Elopement

This picture-perfect elopement is sure to steal your heart. Held at The Lytle House in Chicago, Jennifer and Andrew said “I Do” in front of an intimate guest list of five. They turned to Pop the Knot to create a day filled with enchanting and heartfelt touches. Floral moments by Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor bring the special day to life, and the imagery by Mandelette Photography has us feeling as if we are there celebrating! Take a closer look at all the fun in the full gallery.



From the bride… We met during my first semester and Andrew’s last semester as graduate students at Indiana University-Bloomington through the dating app, Coffee Meets Bagel. Somehow, we were each other’s first matches on the first day we both downloaded the app, and now we will be each other’s last matches!



After the engagement night came the realities of COVID, families overseas, and our current living situations hit. Eager to start our lives together as soon as possible, we spent many nights discussing future plans. When my sister found out she had to leave the country at the end of March, it kind of hit at the same time: “Hey, why don’t we just get married? We’ll just elope!”



The small reception afterward with five of our most special friends and siblings was relaxing, fun, and comfortable. The intimacy of the wedding made it possible for us to really talk to our guests, enjoy our own wedding with each other, and truly celebrate with our loved ones.




Photography: Mandelette Photography | Videographer: Weddings With Motion | Floral Design: Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor | Dress: Grace And Ivory | Ceremony Venue: The Lytle House | Officiant: Toni Maddi | Accomodations: Viceroy Chicago | Beauty: Diem Angie | Planning: Pop the Knot

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This Chicago Rooftop Wedding Takes Love To New Heights

Romantic city views, a blush color palette, and chic black and white accents make this Chicago wedding a must-see. Jazmin and Alejandro teamed up with the incredibly talented Storybook Weddings Chicago to take their special day to new heights, including Mexican traditions to incorporate the couple’s culture. Fragrant Design filled the day with some of the most romantic blooms you’ll ever see. The love and happiness of the day pop in the imagery by Audra Wrisley Photography. Don’t miss every last detail in the full gallery.



From Audra Wrisley Photography… Jazmin and Alejandro fell in love when they met randomly in Jazmin’s family grocery store, nestled in their lively Chicago neighborhood. While working together and planning a wedding may come with some challenges, this sweet couple takes everything in stride and couldn’t let COVID postpone their plans to tie the knot!



They worked closely with Chicago planner Lisa with Storybook Weddings to keep their guests comfortable and safe and celebrated an amazing day toasting to their love and new life together. Adjusting their design scheme to include smaller tables and capitalize on their open-air cocktail hour, the evening was fun and festive and included a few surprises as well!



Featuring a blush pink palette with chic black and white accents, the dance floor was a focal point and centered the evening’s traditional Mexican style dancing. Each guest received a custom champagne bottle at their place setting, and toasted to the couple’s happiness!



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Photography: Audra Wrisley Photography | Videography: bonphotage | Event Planning: Storybook Weddings and Events | Floral Design: Fragrant Design | Cake: Cake Chicago | Stationery: Sugared Fig Paperie | Ceremony Venue: Holy Family Church | Reception Venue: Loft Lucia | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bianca | Catering: Blue Plate | Lighting: Elegant Event Lighting | Entertainment: Buena Beats | Beauty: KMD Hair Design | Beauty: Teresa Marie Makeup | Rentals: BBJ La Tavola

A Whimsical Alice in Wonderland Inspired Fête at a Private Lake Forest Estate

We’re getting major Alice in Wonderland vibes from this whimsical wedding at the bride’s family estate, and we can confidently say that we fell down the rabbit hole loving each and every one of these gorgeous images captured by Brittany Bekas. Today’s stunning bride wanted the lush grounds of her private estate venue to speak for themselves to achieve a more whimsy feel. With the help of Estera Events and Life In Bloom, the special day incorporated fanciful tones of blue, green, and white to in order to bring the bride’s image to life. Get ready to pin your heart away while you scroll through the full gallery of picturesque images!

From Brittany Bekas… This gorgeous private estate wedding in Lake Forest was inspired by the bride’s wedding venue/ parents’ family home, Fairlawn. She wanted the grounds of Fairlawn, imagined by the great landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted, to speak for themselves. For her, this meant making everything look lush and feel slightly whimsical, like Alice in Wonderland. She used the phrase “old growth” with vendors for her garden party meets 1800s estate wedding vision. 

From the gorgeous hanging floral cake to the mismatched chinoiserie to the abundance of topiaries to the modern blue tent, this garden party wedding was simply stunning. The bride wore a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown which was transformed from a timeless long-sleeve lace gown into a fun, relaxed short-sleeve gown following the ceremony. The blue color palette was inspired by the bride’s love of the effortless eclectic-ness of assorted classical chinoiserie and was the color direction for the mismatched bridesmaid dresses. 

The bride wanted to tie in the feeling of the lush gardens throughout the property inside the blue reception tent and decided to use topiaries to achieve this aesthetic. Topiaries became a bit of a motif throughout the wedding details – topiaries on the wedding invitations, at the front entrance to their home, by the pool for cocktail hour, at the entrance to the dinner tent, and mixed in on the reception tables among white flowers. 

No detail was overlooked for this stunning garden party wedding and the team that Courtney + Clarke assembled created a timeless, breathtaking estate wedding.

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Written by Lauren Megerdichian and Carly Zumar

Photography: Brittany Bekas Photography | Cinematography: Elysium Productions | Event Planning: Estera Events | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Cake | Invitations: whodrew | Ceremony Venue: Bride's Family Home - Fairlawn | Reception Venue: Bride's Family Home - Fairlawn | Catering: Truffleberry Catering | Calligraphy: Bien Fait Calligraphy | Lighting: Elegant Event Lighting | DJ: Bryen Hall | Groom's Attire: Tom James | Tent: Blue Peak Tents | Beauty: To Have and To Glow | Beauty: Le Blowout Bar | Beauty: Magda Rod Makeup | Ceremony + Cocktail Floral: M on the Square | Dinner Rentals: Nuage Designs | Dinner Rentals: Festive Frog | Linen Rental: BBJ La Tavola | Musicians: Elan Artists | Reception Floral Design: Life In Bloom | Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Rentals - Lounge Furniture: Chicago Vintage Weddings | Wedding Crest: Happy Menocal | Wedding Dresser: The Wedding Dresser

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An Intimate Backyard, Chicago Wedding Incorporating Special Family Heirlooms!

When COVID throws you curves, sometimes you just bend with them like this bride and groom who changed their downtown Chicago wedding to an intimate wedding at the bride’s childhood home. The couple got to incorporate special family heirlooms throughout the day, like the mother of the bride and godmother’s wedding china and silver and reurposing both of their parents wedding cake topper! Classic blooms by Willow Florists adorned the ceremony arch as the couple said I Do and Emilia Jane Photography captured all of the magic!…and now the happy couple get to do it all over again this year with a bigger celebration!

From the Bride…After five years of dating, Marc proposed in April of 2019 while we were on vacation in Malibu, CA. Over the next 11 months, we planned our dream of a downtown Chicago wedding set for July 18th, 2020. Our plans most definitely changed but our wedding date did not. The alternative was an intimate wedding at my childhood home. In only six weeks we planned what would be without a doubt the most memorable day of our lives. It was a day filled with an unimaginable amount of happiness as we exchanged our vows in front of 30 family members. In a time when the world seems upside down it truly made us realize what’s important in life and gave us the most unexpected yet meaningful wedding of all time. How lucky are we to be able to celebrate our wedding day twice, with two different weddings. We can’t wait to do it all over again in 2021 but until then there is one thing I know for sure- there is no place like home.

It turns out there is beauty in changing your plans. We loved the extra detail that we were able to incorporate. For our table setting we used my Mother and Godmother’s wedding china and silver, our dear friend calligraphed the seating arrangements, and one of our family friends officiated our ceremony. Both of our parents were married in the year 1975 and looking through their wedding albums we noticed they both had the same cake topper on their wedding cakes. We were able to repurpose theirs and make it ours too.

We used music throughout the day to remember our loved ones who couldn’t be with us. Marc’s late father Randy was the biggest Beatles fan, so a string duo played “In My Life” as I walked down the aisle and our ceremony was concluded with “All You Need Is Love”. We shared our first dance to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole, which was also Marc’s grandparent’s song.

As a bridal consultant for Vera Wang Chicago, I decided on a simple, yet classic crepe slip gown from the Vera Wang Fall 2020 Collection. I wanted to add something unexpected and decided on an Ivory blazer with satin lapels. It was customized for me with the black embroidered words “I DO”- a signature theme found throughout the collection. Adding this over my shoulder made for some of my favorite photos and looked so high fashion especially in our black and white photos.

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Florist: Willow Florists | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Tux: Knot Standard

This Gorg Micro Wedding at Elawa Farms Is the Epitome of High Fashion

Trust us, the minute you lay eyes on today’s full gallery captured by Jessica Bedore Photography, you’ll quickly realize why we caught ourselves doing a double-take after finding out this was an actual real wedding. I mean… that dress, those blooms, the stunning couple – can you really blame us?! Storybook Weddings and Events and Bird and Bumble – you’ve truly outdone yourselves with this beauty. Don’t mind us, we can’t help but stare…

From Storybook Weddings and Events… This stunning mini wedding was the epitome of high fashion, over the top florals, and a love for the details. The juxtopostion between the organic gardens at Elawa Farms and the lavish ground arrangement for the ceremony and couture gowns from Dimitras Bridal Couture made this day truly unforgettable. 

Our beautiful bride began the day in a Valentini Spose with a stunning corset bodice and sweetheart top. It was breathtaking as she and her groom had their first look. The ceremony was inspired by the gardens surrounding them, and they wanted it to feel loose and organic and almost like it was growing out of the ground to embrace around them as they said their “I Do’s.” 

The florals were bold with color and full of textural blooms. It was a sea of Gladiolus, Amaranthus, Lisianthus, Scabiosa, Snapdragons, Elaeagnus Foliage, Quicksand Rose, Combo Rose, Burnet, Mums, Spray Roses, and Rose Hips. The small celebration continue with champagne and an extravagant table design featuring textural linens from La Tavola and BBJ. The table was filled floral cups and candles and married with the beautiful cut crystal glassware and organic coupe dinnerware. The placesettings includes handmade paper menus that were indiviualized as well as small baguettes from a local french bakery, Maison Marcel. The intimate affair was elegant and stunning. 

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Photography: Jessica Bedore Photography | Cinematography: Bea Rose | Floral Design: Rebecca Hawkins | Wedding Dress: Valentini Sposi | Wedding Dress: Ysa Makino | Wedding Dress: The Atelier by Jimmy Choo | Cake: Toni Patisserie | Invitations: Sugared Fig Paperie | Reception Venue: Elawa Farm | Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Catering: Maison Marcel | Groom's Attire: Knot Standard | Accessories: Maria Elena Hairpieces | Beauty: Joanna B Artistry | Beauty: KMD Hair Design | Bridal Boutique: Dimitra's Bridal Couture | Linen: BBJ La Tavola | Planning: Storybook Weddings and Events | Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Rentals: Halls Rental | Stylist: Styled By Ariana

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Heavy Rain on the Wedding Day Solved by Next Day Sunrise Shoot!

When Amy Mulder Photography realized the 100% chance of rain forecast would prevent the gorgeous couple from getting the creamy film wedding photos they were so excited for – she came up with a genius plan! She proposed they stay the night and take photos at sunrise the next morning in their wedding day attire (talk about a dream wedding photographer), and the results were better than they ever could have imagined. Head on over to the full gallery to see every mesmerizing portrait, with steamy rolling hills as their romantic, storybook-worthy setting.

From Amy Mulder PhotographyFrom the first contact with Amanda over email, I knew I would love her. When we skyped with them we were so excited to have them become an AMP couple! They cared so much about their photos, that was one thing that was always very clear, and we loved hearing it!! Film photography was something that was important to them, as they loved the aesthetic of it. (Which I completely agree with!!) :)

They were so excited to not just have a wedding, but to have a marriage. Their day was about celebrating with those they loved. When we arrived at their venue it was raining, and had 100% chance of rain for the rest of the day! Their venue was so beautiful and with the colorful trees, it would have been so amazing for outside portraits. Knowing how much their portraits meant to them, and how much Amanda loved the film images, we knew we needed to make them happen. We shared an idea with Ryan when we first arrived. After our scheduled portrait time with them, we proposed our idea of staying the night and doing a sunrise shoot the following morning when the sun was going to be out. The relief that was seen on her face was worth it. 

There was not a cloud in the sky that next morning. There was, however, steam rising up from the ground and steam rolling off the trees. And it was magical! Even though the conditions were not ideal, it did not keep them from enjoying each other and savoring every moment. Their friends and family were amazing at making their entire day together a party! The excitement and joy for Ryan and Amanda radiated from every single person there. It was easy to see the genuineness of every one we encountered. It was an incredible day to be a part of.

Photography: Amy Mulder Photography | Floral Design: Flourish with CID | Wedding Dress: David's Bridal | Invitations: Minted | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Jewelry: In Style Boutique | Makeup: Ayeisha King | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Ceremony + Reception: Illini Country Club

A Glamorous Wedding At The University Club Of Chicago Gilded In Gold

We’ll never think of an indoor ceremony the same way again! These sophisticated newlyweds exchanged vows at The University Club Of Chicago with sweeping views of Michigan Avenue, the city skyline and Millennium Park. The Marquette Avenue Events team created an unforgettable experience filled with glamour that swept guests off their feet. From the gilded details to the beautiful florals by Exquisite Designs, Elizabeth Nord Photography was there to capture every sweet moment! Head to the full gallery for all the details!



From the bride… The reception was at the University Club of Chicago. We went to see this location with my parents and Nick’s mom. We all immediately fell in love with Cathedral Hall, how could you not? It looks like Hogwarts from Harry Potter! Once we saw this room there were no other options, this had to be it!



It was incredible saying our vows to each other while overlooking Lake Michigan on a beautiful sunny day. Nothing can compare to the love we felt being surrounded by all of our favorite people in one room.



Every speech at the reception had a special meaning behind it, from tears to laughter and lots of love. Our families and closest friends being there to celebrate our love with us made the day pure magic.



Videography: Toast Wedding Films | Event Planning: Marquette Avenue Events | Floral Design: Exquisite Designs, Inc. | Wedding Dress: Ultimate Bride Boutique | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: The University Club Of Chicago | Invitations: Cartoleria Designs | Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Makeup: LG Make Up Design | Hair: RMCM Salon - Rosemary Monica and Cristina Morales | Band: Maggie Speaks | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: The University Club Of Chicago | Brides veil/headpiece: Peter Langner | Escort Cards: Cartoleria Designs | Furniture Rental: BBJ La Tavola | Linen: BBJ La Tavola | Tan: LG Make Up Design | Venue/Catering: The University Club Of Chicago

Look Up! You Won’t Believe The Ceiling At This Couple’s Ceremony

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you’d fallen into a fairytale? That’s exactly what happened to this couple on their wedding day. A clear tent was transformed into the makings of their wildest dreams. With greenery, candlelight, and origami cranes bringing the ceiling of their ceremony to life! The magic was orchestrated by Clementine Custom Events, who went above and beyond to create a day the bride and groom would never forget. Each special moment was sweetly snapped by Emilia Jane Photography. Visit the full gallery for a closer look at all the jaw-dropping images.



From the bride… We met in college at Miami University of Ohio and started dating our senior year. After graduating college we both decided to move to Chicago and make it our home. The Chicago Illuminating Company could not have been a better space for our wedding. The venue had both the outside space and indoor space that we were looking for.



It is good luck in the Japanese culture to have 1,001 origami paper cranes on your wedding day. The paper cranes, each folded with love, were displayed throughout the ceremony and reception varying in shades of cream and gold. Every guest also received a crane at their place setting.



Our wedding planner Julissa, at Clementine Custom Events, was the most wonderful person to work with and made sure that every detail was perfect. We wish we could do it all again!



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Photographer: Emilia Jane Photography | Event Planning: Clementine Custom Events | Catering: BOKA Catering Group | Hair and Makeup: Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Venue: Chicago Illuminating Company | Decor: Revel Decor | Food Truck: La Adelita | Getting Ready Hotel: The Langham Hotel | Gluten Free Cake: Defloured | Invitations and Paper: Magnificent Milestones | Paper Cranes: Hand Made by the Bride's Aunt | Photobooth: Fotio | Videographers: Leap Weddings

A Chicago Wedding With Family Ties and Thoughtful Details Around Every Corner

When a couple focuses on the meaning behind every detail of their wedding day, you know it’s going to be good! From The Saddle & Cycle Club as the venue (and where the bride’s parents were married) to the engagement ring being the grooms, grandmothers, to even saying their ‘I Do’s’ in the church where the bride grew up singing in, not a detail was missed! The ever so wonderful, Elizabeth Nord Photography captured every heartfelt moment and Olive Fine Weddings & Events planned all of the bride and groom’s wishes! With classic decor and florals by Edward’s Florist, these nuptials were absolute perfection! Take a look and get lost in the details :)

From Elizabeth Nord PhotographyCaroline + Charles are quite possibly the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. They love their family and friends with their whole hearts, and it’s so evident by how they live their lives and how they planned their wedding day. They made sure that things were handicap accessible, that the food was something everyone could enjoy, and so much more. The wedding ring that Charles gave to Caroline when he proposed was his grandmother’s. The reception venue (Saddle & Cycle Club) was also where Caroline’s parents were married! SO sweet. It was truly wonderful to be a part of Caroline and Charles’ wedding planning from the very beginning. They were always so loving, thoughtful, and trusted me wholeheartedly.

They had a beautiful summer wedding reception at the Saddle & Cycle Club in Chicago and an indoor ceremony at a church in Winnetka. The church was particularly special to the couple because the bride grew up in this church. She and her mother sang in its choir for many years. The choir even joined the wedding celebration and sang at the ceremony which was very emotional and beautiful to witness. It meant a lot to Caroline that they were there! The bridesmaids wore light blue dresses while the men wore navy tuxes, and they all looked amazing. The Saddle & Cycle Club featured a lot of green space and twinkle lights for the reception. It was adorned with lots of white and green floral as well. The dinner and speeches were held inside while the cocktail hour and dancing were held outside. During the reception, the groom and his groomsmen surprised Caroline on stage by singing “Sweet Caroline” alongside the band. Velocity kept the dance floor hopping all night long! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McLendon!

From the Bride…Growing up I always knew that I wanted to get married at our church. I was an active member of the church choir and music was a big part of my childhood so it was important for that to be a big part of our wedding. We had a string quartet, trumpet, and full choir during the ceremony and our choir director commissioned a hymn for us, which was really special. I walked down the aisle to the Prince of Denmark March, which was a nod to my Danish heritage.

The reception was held at the same place my parents had their wedding reception in 1985. I grew up spending so much time at the Saddle & Cycle Club with my family and grandparents. It was really wonderful to make another memory to last a lifetime with the people we love most at a location that has been essential to the memories we cherish in my family. I have always been drawn to white and green flowers so that was an easy decision for me. I knew that green and white would subtly enhance the sleek and timeless elegance I hoped to convey in our wedding. We both value the timeless and the classic, so we wanted these senses to resonate throughout the day.

The suits were designed by me and custom made for us by Surmesur and each of the groomsmen got to choose their linings. The color of the suits with the Amsale bridesmaids dresses turned out better than I could have ever imagined, and against the greenery at the Saddle, our incredible photographer, all of the colors popped and just went so perfectly together.

My husband grew up in New York City and I grew up outside of Chicago and met while we were at Trinity College. We dated for over four years (3 of which were distance) before we got engaged and then I moved out of the country for two years for school. So we had over two years to plan the wedding, which was wonderful but also allowed me to switch my mind many times about certain details! It was challenging at times to plan the wedding from overseas but I had so much fun with all of the planning that I just made it work. It was truly incredible to see my vision come to life and am so grateful for all of our vendors who helped make it all happen. I also wanted to contribute something creative to our wedding (even though I am not artsy at all). I designed the menus myself and did my own wax seals. It was super time consuming but really rewarding to see it all come together in the end.

My dress: timeless, classic, elevated with a fashion-forward structural spin. I’ve always loved interesting structural, architectural design in clothes so this dress really spoke to me. It was the last dress I tried on and I easily tried on over 80 dresses. It was so hard to find one that I loved but also felt really special in. Extending the train and the structural details on the dress really made the dress feel special to me. I loved that I wasn’t too old fashioned or plain looking, but I also knew that I would be able to look back in 50 years and still love the style of it.

Photography: Elizabeth Nord Photography | Floral Design: Edward's Florist | Wedding Dress: Bella Bianca | Cake: Three Tarts Bakery | Invitations: Yellow Bird | Ceremony Venue: Christ Church Winnetka | Reception Venue: Saddle & Cycle Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Makeup Artist: Yolanda Moran | Band: Velocity | Groom's Attire: Surmesur | Transportation: Pontarelli | Envelope calligraphy + Signature cocktail sign: The Chicago Calligrapher | Planning: Olive Fine Weddings & Events

A House Of Hipsters (and Design Lovers)

Don’t play it safe, have fun, and mix the old with the new. These design mantras definitely ring true when it comes to decorating for Kyla Herbes. If you haven’t dug deep into her blog, House of Hipsters, or her Instagram, you’re in for a treat! If we had to describe Kyla’s home in one word – it would be fun! The mix of color, pattern, vintage, and new, create that effortlessly cool vibe that makes you feel like you’re in presence of real style. And not only can you see for yourself below, but Kyla has just opened up her first brick and mortar! The House Of Hipsters Vintage & Antiques Shop, just outside of Chicago, is full of amazing vintage finds to add that cool factor to your own home.  Take a tour through Kyla’s home and get her design tips!


I love art and have a strange obsession with nudes. You’ll find them scattered throughout the house. 

FOYER

When I decided to wallpaper my foyer closet, people thought I was insane. I installed Divine Savages “Crane Fonda” and couldn’t be happier with the results. You can’t see it here, but it matches the pink front door. And yes, this closet is always empty. The messy one is the closet by the mudroom. It’s definitely not as pretty. The house is in constant flux much to The Boy’s dismay. However, my children don’t seem to mind the changes. You’ll notice the lamp tends to change out here quite often!


FAMILY ROOM

Readers of the blog think I’m crazy for owning white sofas. But if you purchase them upholstered in performance fabric, you really can’t go wrong. Any spills or stains come right out…even with a 6 and 9 year old. This sofa is by Jonathan Louis and is called Hudson. It might be the comfiest sofa in the house. This is where you’ll find the kids sprawled out and giggling.

Every space is a work in progress. Since painting my grandmother’s hutch in the dining room, I’ve been tempted to paint some of the brick white on the fireplace. It would just brighten up the room. Not all of it, but the top portion at least.

Also, every plant in my home is faux. Anything real silently screams when I near it.

The built-ins drove me crazy for almost 2 years. I think I styled them until my fingers bled. They just looked cluttered every single time. Finally I landed on this minimal look. White sculptural pieces with a few neutrals mixed in.

The MCM wood loungers may look vintage, but they aren’t. They’re handcrafted by South Of Urban our of Altlanta.

DINING ROOM

When I make design changes to the dining room, my Instagram followers tend to have a minor freak out. Recently I swapped out an old wooden table and I thought I broke the design for a couple days. After a bunch of pushing around furniture an a panic attack, this is probably my favorite iteration of the space. The entire process including freak out was documented on Stories.




Picasso print is from The Savoy Flea (It was the first thing I brought into the house on closing day. I hung it here and might be the only thing that hasn’t moved since.)

The hutch belonged to my great grandmother — a piece that I debated on painting for years. So glad I did! The original wood finish was kept on the inside. I love the black and brown mix. 

FRONT ROOM

This is what we call the front room. The Boy and I hang out here pretty much every night before the kids go to sleep. There’s no TV…just family talk and laughter allowed. This is also where you can find my drinking my morning coffee and checking Instagram.

The front room was one of the first rooms I decorated in the house. Although it’s a favorite hang out space, I’m secretly dying to give it a makeover. For the most part, it’s remained the same for 3 years. I think it’s time for a switcheroo. When I get this itch for change, I like to shop my house first and push around some furniture.If my home were to ever burn down, besides grabbing my children, this would be the one piece I’d risk my life for and if I had time, this vintage sheep footstool.

One of my favorite games to play is, “is it new or vintage?” The house always wins.

This painting was a complete score from a local estate sale. I had no idea who the artist was until I shared it on my Instagram Stories. A follower who was an art major gave me the surprise of a lifetime. It’s an original Gino Hollander and I bought not one, but two of his paintings from the same sale.

I often get asked, “Who are the three dudes in the portraits?” Well, they are three (now legendary) graffiti artists shot by New York photographer Lani Lee. When I purchased them, I didn’t have a blog or an Instagram. Fast forward a few years when my living room was regrammed by Pottery Barn, the three artists were shocked to say the least…especially when there’s less than 5 of these prints out there.


These Milo Baughman parson chairs were purchased from The Savoy Flea. The day she found them, she texted me a photo, and I knew they had to be mine. The Boy hated them and said absolutely not After 6 months, they miraculously hadn’t sold. I somehow convinced The Boy to cave and now this is his favorite chair…not to look at but to sit in. They are incredibly comfortable. If you look closely, you’ll spy a photo of Nicholas Cage. When I returned from speaking at the Design Influencer’s Conference, my husband pranked me by doing a little redecorating. Nicholas Cage was hidden in every room. Just this one remains, and it makes me giggle every time I look at it.

OFFICE

If I’m working in my office or on a conference call, I’ll probably be sitting here.


This white washed cabinet, in Sherwin Williams Snowbound, was an estate sale find and holds all my absolute favorite treasures.

BATHROOMS

My son declared this bathroom Potty Paradise when we gave it a makeover. This powder room is on the main floor and might be the tiniest room in the house with the biggest personality. The idea was to create such a stunning jewelry box guests would forget they had to pee. It’s worked. 


After Potty Paradise, I became obsessed with wallpaper. This powder room was gutted right after the first bathroom. The paper is from Anthropologie, the subway and penny tile are from Clé Tile. The wooden ladder was a flea market find. Unbeknownst to me, that Brizo by Jason Woo black matte faucet is touch and motion sensored. I didn’t figure this magic out until I took a tour of their headquarters. The look of shock and awe was hilarious. Now I love to wash my hands in this bathroom.

GUEST ROOM

Meet the guest bedroom. The vintage leather headboard is an old gym mat I shipped here from Prague. I think the mailman thought he was delivering a dead body the day that arrived. The Boy asked me what on earth was in the plastic bag. My response was, “Don’t ask, just help me get it upstairs.”

And although I’d love to lower it a bit and paint or wallpaper the wall, I need to give the pain of engineering it up there a rest before I ask The Boy to touch it again.

MASTER BEDROOM

The master bedroom is a work in progress. A room I loved in my old house, but nothing fit quite right in the new house. What will I do in here? Only time will tell.

What do you do with an odd sitting room outside your master bedroom? It’s become a nice quiet hiding spot from the kids. Yes, when I need a little break and you can’t find me or The Boy, look here.

House of Hipsters Vintage & Antiques Shop

Don’t forget to check out Kyla’s shop if you’re in the Chicago area!

Interior Design: House of Hipsters

Modern & Whimsical City Wedding at JW Marriott Chicago

If you were to ask me what kinds of celebrations I love the most—which ones have earned a special place in my wedding-loving heart, I would surely say, “the ones that are bursting with blooms!“. This one from Emilia Jane, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers LTD and LK Events delivers that craving like no other. With JW Marriott Chicago as the reception backdrop, you can find yourself swimming in garden roses, ranunculus and peonies galore. Join us right this way for more.

Bridget and Lou first set eyes on one another in 2010 when they both started jobs at the same Kentucky-based company, a maker of fine American Whiskey (read: Bourbon!). Both would later admit to surreptitiously looking the other up in the corporate directory upon first sighting. Despite a clear initial attraction, the relationship started off as just friends. But after three years of cautious flirtation, or as Lou refers to it, his “evaluation period,” Bridget finally completed her due diligence and stated her intentions to acquire Lou as a boyfriend, effective October 2013. Hence began a whirlwind romance (okay, another three plus years) filled with the perfect blend of adventures, ski trips, Kentucky Derbies, dance floors, and way-too-serious conversations. Things culminated in 2017 on a family trip to Hawaii, where Lou asked for Bridget’s hand in marriage as the sun set over the Pacific.

The Wedding… Bridget is one of ten kids and the fourth sister in four years to be getting married; in other words, her family had established their go-to blueprint for executing memorable weddings. Booking the “family band,” The Headliners based in Florida, was the first order of business and the wheels were officially set in motion. Bridget’s sister Meg had just married Jim that past Memorial Day weekend at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.. Hoping to capture that same city-wedding sentiment and fun energy, we decided on Memorial Day Weekend 2018 in Chicago, checking all the boxes for entertainment, ease of travel, and just an overall really great city.

Stealing yet another detail from her sister’s wedding, we entrusted Holly Heider Chapple (the floral designer from Meg’s D.C. wedding) with full creative direction and floral design services. Thanks to her incredible vision and eye for detail, the ballroom was transformed into a masterpiece of flowers, color and even trees, a floral fantasy land! Bridget loves vibrant colors and elements of drama and Holly and her fabulous team truly elevated the design beyond anything we could have imagined.

When looking into different Chicago-based photographers, Bridget was drawn to Emilia Jane’s photography style. Emilia ended up being such a perfect fit, both in personality and aesthetic. Seeing her in action, doing her amazing photo thing while also efficiently navigating a large bridal party was truly impressive.

The wedding weekend festivities kicked off with the rehearsal dinner at the cozy and intimate Tortoise Club restaurant and followed the next night with a “Welcome Party” at the Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago, complete with tours of the Modern Wing. The wedding ceremony took place at the truly special Old St. Patrick’s Church in the West Loop, with the reception following at the JW Marriott in the Financial District. The JW Marriott events team and our LK Events team were such pleasure to work with and masterfully ensured all the wedding weekend details went off without a hitch.

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Floral & Event Design: Holly Heider Chapple Flowers LTD | Ceremony Venue: Old St. Patrick's Church | Reception Venue: JW Marriott Chicago | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Halston Heritage | Catering: JW Marriott Chicago | Hair & Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Band: The Headliners Band | Transportation: Windy City Limousine | Formalwear: Principe Del Eleganza | Gown Designer: Rita Vinieris | Lighting & Drape: Frost Chicago | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Planning & Coordination: LK Events | Rentals: Northern Decor | Rentals: Tablescapes Event Rentals | Stationery Design: Julie Diamond

Outdoor Summer Wedding at The Edgewood Valley Country Club in Chicago

There is nothing that brings families together, more than a wedding and this one surely takes the cake! With the ceremony arch built by the bride’s father and a special song performed by the bride’s sister, this wedding, photographed by Elizabeth Nord Photography was truly a family affair. Having a completely outdoor wedding from start to finish, which doesn’t happen quite often in Chicago, The English Garden Flower Shop crafted romantic centerpieces and stunning floral details, which fit effortlessly with the beautiful backgrounds of The Edgewood Valley Country Club. With Kristina Taheri Special Events there to beautify the day, we think you will love these details as much as we do!

From Elizabeth NordBrittany and Joe had such a beautiful wedding day! I was over the moon excited about (of course) photographing these two cuties, but also about photographing an outdoor ceremony and reception (which is rare in Chicago). It was so dreamy! They started their day by getting ready at the Hilton Chicago and then went across the street to Grant Park for their first look.

Brittany scoped out these spots a few weeks before the wedding and I couldn’t have picked a better spot myself. I love that she has such an eye for detail and beauty! The bridesmaids wore elegant mismatched blush dresses that were an assortment from Azazie, Lulu’s, and Nordstrom, while the guys sported handsome black tuxes from The Black Tux. Soon after some portraits at Grant Park, we drove to Edgewood Valley Country Club for the rest of the evening.

The ceremony was truly one of a kind and one that was inspired by family. The arch that they were married in front of was built by the bride’s father and was driven to Illinois from his home in Minnesota, the bride’s uncle officiated, and her little sister sang a special song (“I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”) for them during the ceremony…not to mention it was back lit by the most amazing sunset.

I’m so glad we had some time after the ceremony for a few more portraits in this stunning golden light. The reception was underneath a huge white tent decorated with string lights, elegant white, blush and green flowers, candles and light gray tablecloths. Rendevous kept the dance floor hopping all night long and I ended my time with the bride and groom with sparklers on the golf course. I couldn’t have imagined a better day all around. Congrats Mr and Mrs Bozich!!

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Photography: Elizabeth Nord Photography | Videographer: Toast Wedding Films | Event Planning: Kristina Taheri Special Events | Floral Design: The English Garden | Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design | Makeup: Bianca Sansosti Artistry | Hair: Bianca Sansosti Artistry | Band: Rendezvous | Tux: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: Edgewood Valley Country Club | Chairs: Covered Affairs | Linens: BBJ La Tavola

Wedding Planner Gets Married in Urban Garden Oasis at Chicago Illuminating Company

It’s time to break out the bubbly babes! Sure, it’s only Monday, but we’re raising our glass to one of our very own Little Black Book Members—Lauren of LOLA Event Productions—who happens to be our beautiful Bride today. Not only do we get to experience her celebration at Chicago Illuminating Company through the lens of Katie Kett, she’s sharing some of her tips on how to make your own Big Day a success.

From Lauren with LOLA Event ProductionsWhat’s more exciting than when someone gets engaged? When a wedding planner herself gets engaged! I can’t even count the number of times people joked with the question, “so are you hiring a wedding planner?” From the moment I said “yes” to my now husband, Scott, to the morning of our wedding, there was so much excitement and love swirling around our big day.

Planning my own wedding was fairly easy. I knew what we needed and what we didn’t need. I knew we really just wanted a beautiful summer evening to celebrate with family and friends. The one difficult part was knowing how many options were available to us and choosing my vendors. Being a wedding planner in the Chicago market, I regularly work with the city’s best of the best. Having to choose who I wanted for my wedding was incredibly difficult as I didn’t want to let people down who I’ve become friends with in the industry. I wish I could have hired multiple photographers, florists, caterers, etc., but I really loved the “friendors” who were a part of our team and wish we could do it all over again together!

Our wedding ceremony and reception were held in a beautiful space in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood called Chicago Illuminating Company. A summer wedding date meant we definitely wanted an outdoor aspect to take advantage of the warm weather. Chicago Illuminating Company was the perfect fit with it’s gorgeous indoor space (think light, bright, and airy) and an outdoor courtyard that rivals beautiful Italian courtyards with brick pavers, vine covered walls, and café lights strung overhead. I could instantly picture filling the space with all of our closest family and friends for an al fresco dinner under the twinkling lights.

I decided to keep our color palette crisp and summery with white floral, lots of greenery, and neutral linens. I absolutely love planning colorful weddings for clients, but in the end, neutral matched my personality best. Peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and lisianthus were in abundance and beautifully accented the airy courtyard. My favorite element of the décor was our ceremony arch. It was so lush and made me feel so special standing in front of it for our ceremony. It also served as a beautiful backdrop for our sweetheart table and framed us perfectly for photos. I also loved our escort cards. As guests walked inside after the ceremony, they were greeted with glasses of bubbly with their name and table number. There were so many comments on how nice it was to get a drink right away! Speaking of décor, I have to give a special shout out to Scott for allowing me to plan my dream day. He was definitely involved in food and alcohol selections, but let me take the reigns on everything else knowing he had a wedding planner as a fiancée.

As the day went on, I became more comfortable being the center of attention (hard for someone like me who is always behind the scenes!) and I just tried to soak in every single moment from the toasts to the dance floor. I still can’t believe our wedding day has come and gone. We would get married every weekend if we could! We had the time of our lives and are so lucky we have a beautiful photos and a film to re-live it. Now to continue on with all of my clients’ weddings!

Wedding Planning Advice from a Wedding Planner Bride

Go with your gut when it comes to food selections, design decisions, etc. It’s easy to second guess yourself when you’re inspired by so many other weddings leading up to your own. I found that usually my first idea is the one I went back to when it came time to truly make a final decision. No one will know all of those other ideas were even options!

Enjoy the spotlight! Its one of the few times in life where it’s okay for everything to be about you (and your significant other).

It’s nice to make sure your guests are having a fun time, but it’s more important to make sure you’re having the best time ever! If you’re having fun everyone else will, too!

Get a fun photo booth! It’s a great way to get photos with or of your guests without needing to find your photographer all night.

Photographer: Katie Kett Photography | Videographer: Highway 61 Films | Wedding Planner: LOLA Event Productions | Florist: Exquisite Designs, Inc. | Gown: Anne Barge | Cakes: Flourish Cake Design | Reception Venue: Chicago Illuminating Company | Shoes: Vince Camuto | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Catering: LIMELIGHT food illuminated | Hair and Makeup: Gabe Post | DJ: Dustin Harris | Hotel: Ambassador Hotel | Accessories: Simply Luxe | Alterations: The Dress Doctor | Bridal Salon: Vera Wang From Vera Wang | Bridesmaid PJ's: Target | Cannoli: Conte Di Savoia | Donuts: Stan's Donuts | Lighting & Draping: Frost Chicago | Linen: BBJ La Tavola | Mensware: The Black Tux | Paper Goods: Steracle Press | Photobooth: Snapbooth Chicago | Robe: Plum Pretty Sugar | String Trio: Fretless Strings

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