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Industrial Chic Chicago Winter Wedding

It’s the middle of summer… but we know there are tons of you out there planning your winter weddings — and wow — do we have a wonderful one to share with you today from Caitlin Lisa Photography with Event Design from Art of Imagination. At just above 0º F in the midst of a severe cold spell (is Chicago always that cold in December?) this spunky couple and their very devoted wedding party braved the cold – resulting in some seriously pretty portraits. Read on for more of this “industrial chic” Chicago wedding…

Chicago had gotten a bit of snowfall the night before, so the city was really peaceful and beautiful the day of their wedding. However, part of the reason it was so peaceful is because it was unseasonably cold (3º F) and no one was outside! That actually worked in our favor because we had Ping Tom Memorial Park on Chicago’s south side all to ourselves.

The couple knew they wanted a church ceremony, and the nearby Notre Dame de Chicago was a beautiful spot to have it. The church was built in 1892 and has a number of intricate murals, stained glass windows, and expansive ceilings. It is smaller than a lot of Chicago’s Catholic churches, making it feel a bit more intimate and romantic than most. And this was the perfect place for Wade to see Lauren for the first time. There is almost nothing sweeter than the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride coming down the aisle, and Wade was no exception! I’m pretty sure he had every seat in the house tearing up when he did.


Due to the weather, it wasn’t safe to stay outside for longer than a couple of minutes at a time, so we ended up doing most of our portraits at the Ping Tom Memorial Park location. (The trolley door actually froze open during these photos and we were unable to go anywhere until they thawed it out!) This turned out to be a wonderful spot because the industrial setting at the park really complemented their venue and vision nicely.

Lauren and Wade’s wedding took place on December 30th, so one of their main goals was to incorporate a winter ambiance to their celebration without making it feel like a holiday wedding. Finding an industrial venue was their first step toward providing their guests with a different and unique setting, and they fell in love with the Bridgeport Art Center’s Skyline Loft the second they saw it. They loved the original wood floors and exposed brick that carried throughout the space, and the massive freight elevator was a very unique way to bring the “wow” factor as soon as guests arrived.


They also decided to stick with a mostly neutral color palette, incorporating hints of winter greenery and oxblood to the florals and decor. Flowers for Dreams did an amazing job on the florals and Lauren’s bouquet was absolutely stunning! Everything about their day was beautiful from start to finish… Lauren and Wade were all about having fun, and their general kindness toward everyone around them and their love for their friends and family brought an incredibly warm and inviting environment to an otherwise really cold day!

Be sure to take a look at even more from this delightful wedding in the full gallery!

Photography: Caitlin Lisa | Cinematography: Turning Point Productions | Event Design: Art of Imagination | Florist: Flowers For Dreams | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Cake: skinny pig bakery | Invitations: Paper Tree Media | Church: Notre Dame de Chicago | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Catering: Beyond Events | Makeup Artist: Julia Simone | Band: Chicago Catz | Men's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Transportation: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company | Accomodations: Renaissance Chicago Downtown | Hair Styist: Gia Tovar | Location: Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft | Signage: PrintsByBetsy | Venue Management: Bridgeport Art Center

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Chicago’s Adler Planetarium Wedding with Modern Everything

The wedding world is changing. We are seeing so many more refined, contemporary weddings that capture both a traditional vibe and a contemporary sensibility. And this wedding did just that. Perfectly. Inspired by geometric shapes and a STUN.NING. metallic & blue color palette and set against a gorgeous Chicago skyline, it’s one of those weddings that the guests will never ever forget. Photographed beautifully by Kristin La Voie and planned meticulously by Régine Danielle Events, I think you are going to fall pretty hard for this Modern Fête. Full gallery here.

From Krisin La Voie PhotographyAshley & Ben’s Chicago Wedding was surely one for the books! They had a strong vision of incorporating Classic Chicago with Geometric shapes for a unique spin. Set at the iconic Adler Planetarium, which boasts one of the best views of the famous skyline, Ashley and Ben wed under an arch of hanging candles, orchids, and rhombus shapes. The unique geometric shapes continued into the reception which was adorned with one-of-a-kind picture-frame-like centerpieces, VanGogh inspired linens, and more custom painterly paper goods seen throughout the wedding. It was all truly inspiring and original!


Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Videography: True Shot Studios | Planner: Régine Danielle Events | Florist: Burt Rubenstein, Ronsley Special Events | Cake: Julie Michelle Cakes | Caterer: Food For Thought | DJ: Fig Weddings | Additional Makeup Artist: Bianca Sansosti Artistry | Bride's Makeup: Kimora Mulan Artistry | Ceremony & Reception: Adler Planetarium | Decor: Frost Chicago | Hairstylist : Hairstyles by Michael | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Musicians: Pacific Coast Strings | Paper Goods: IJORERE The Invitation | Photobooth: Magic Moments

An Elegant City Wedding – Beautiful, Classy + Never Boring

An elegant wedding in one of our country’s most classic cities, Chicago. At the University Club. With bridesmaids in burgundy. And lots and lots of fabulous florals. We could go on and on but you get where we’re going… this fall fete is perfect through and through, thanks to the planning and design expertise of Christine Janda Design and Events. Annie Parish captured all the moments, details and sweet kisses and this gallery right here proves that traditional bashes are never boring.

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From Christine Janda Design and Events… The iconic University Club of Chicago is located in the heart of the city’s Loop – mere steps away from landmarks such as the expansive Millenium Park, the infamous “El” train tracks and world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago. So full of rich history through its 130 year existence, the Club has so eloquently preserved a timeless and classic romance, one perfectly matched by the marriage of Janelle and Tom on September 16, 2017. From colorful and elaborate floral bouquets for the bride and her maids, a first look on a stunning balcony overlooking the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, bridal party pictures at the South Gardens at the Art Institute, to a ceremony officiated by Janelle’s childhood friend, and an intimate dinner highlighted by tall floral centerpieces, hand calligraphed place cards wrapped in velvet ribbon and vintage glassware for toasting, the magic of this wedding could only truly be captured through film cameras by Annie Parish.

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Photography: Annie Parish Photography | Videography: Robert Cawthorne Wedding Films | Event Planning: Christine Janda Design And Events | Catering: The University Club Of Chicago | Makeup Artist: Morgan Marie Beauty | Hair: Shaun Lewis | Ceremony Music: Dolce Strings | Wedding Venue: The University Club Of Chicago | Chairs: Tablescapes Event Rentals | Floral Design + Event Design: Christine Janda Design And Events | Invitation + Paper Design: LBrown Design & Paperie | Reception Music: Fig Media | Specialty Linen + Chargers: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Vintage Glassware: Nimblewell

Adorable Chicago Morning Engagement Shoot – Complete with Caffeine + Cuties

Donuts? Check. Cute pup? Check. The love of your life? Check! We have it all right here folks, in this adorable morning engagement shoot captured by Heather Cook Elliott. Chicago may be blustery and cold but these two kept each other warm and smiling from start to finish (though we’re betting the caffeine and sweet treats helped too!). Start your day with these cuties and their furry friend right this way!

From Heather Cook Elliott… Sometimes things just click… into place, into a place, in A place with A person. For Whitney and Aaron that person is each other and the place is Chicago. They work downtown (across the street from one another), live within view of the iconic skyline and it’s been that way for awhile now. When they met they both lived close to the Blue Line stop at Damen & North and they’ve worked their way south and east over time, adding a sweet (and adorably energetic) pup named Ella to their family. So on a cold but sunny Chicago day – dare I say a classic Windy City day? – we took a meander through the past right into their now, often talking about their future. It started as any good day should: with coffee and donuts at Stan’s and then on to meet Ella at home with a final stop by the river. It was romantic, sweet and full of love and laughter. It was the best kind of morning for the best kind of love story.

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Photography: Heather Cook Elliott Photography

The Personal Touches at This Wedding Are Giving Us the Chills!

The personal touches in this wedding are enough to give us the chills, they’re so darn cute and thoughtful. Let’s start with the invitation suite, which featured a penguin and an elephant designed by the bride (an illustrator!). Next up, the bride’s bouquet designed by Life in Bloom featured a fern clipping from the plant they bought together when they first started dating. And if you can handle any more cuteness, the table numbers were displayed in artichokes because the groom always requests artichokes are included in the floral arrangements he presents to his love. All of this and more was captured by Clary Pfeiffer Photography, and if you’re craving more like we are, head over to their sweet engagement session.

From Clary Pfeiffer PhotographyThe couple’s kindness and gift to make the people around them feel valued and loved made this wedding day a joy to photograph. Plus!! They have the impeccable style and vision for an authentic and dramatic celebration. Torie, an illustrator, designed the invitation which highlights a penguin (the bride) and elephant (the groom) throughout their paper goods. The couple along with their florist worked on turning The Ivy Room into a dramatic space with hanging greenery lit by tons of candles. 

From Life in BloomWhen we first met Torie and Amarit, there was no better word to describe their wedding vision than “authentic”. The two of them had a vision that was unique to their own style, and each decision that they made along the way throughout the entire design process reflected that fun and unique flair.

When Torie and Amarit first started dating, they got a plant together, and after years, it was still alive. They called it their “love fern”. The week of their wedding, Torie brought us a clipping for their plant to use in her bouquet. The floral palette for the personal flowers consisted of many of our spring favorites: anemone, dusty miller, silver-dollar eucalyptus, olive, peonies, sweet pea, and ranunculus.

The indoor ceremony consisted of a large boxwood wall as a backdrop. We added in white roses, spray roses, and hydrangea that all faded from heavy to light as it descended down the wall. At the start of the aisle, to create the feeling of a grand entrance, atop two dark wood pedestals, we placed tall concrete urns with large focal arrangements. The arrangements were super simple, containing just olive and spirea branches. But the added texture from the spirea was the perfect touch that took the arrangements from “been there, done that” to “fresh and unique!” Throughout the space, we strategically suspended iron orbs with italian ruscus and spirea that not only helped create a dramatic impact during the ceremony but also made sense once the room was flipped for the reception.

During cocktail hour, guests found their table assignments pinned amongst another wall of fresh boxwood. Golden wax seals displayed each guests’ table numbers prominently on their escort card. For the reception, we moved the ceremony’s boxwood wall behind the head table, which created the perfect backdrop for Torie, Amarit, and all of their closest friends. The centerpieces all consisted of gray concrete vessels overflowing with gorgeous spring blooms (peonies, spirea anemone, stock, hydrangea, and gunny eucalyptus) and surrounded by pillar candles and crystal-cut votives. Throughout Torie and Amarit’s relationship, Amarit always requested artichokes in any floral arrangements that he surprised Torie with. So naturally, every table number was placed into an artichoke, which sat on the tables.

When looking back at an event, it is always interesting to see how a vision might have evolved from initial meeting to final product. With Torie and Amarit, while some elements might have changed along the way, the high emphasis on lots of textures and a dramatic feel was key from start to finish. The spirea was the game changer when it came to adding in that extra texture that Torie kept mentioning in the initial meeting, and the floating orbs helped create that dramatic effect that was so important to Amarit. In the end, the final product was a testament to a couple fully trusting their designers, and the designers keeping the couple’s overall vision at the forefront of any design changes.

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Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Coordination: Estera Events | Floral Design: Life In Bloom | Wedding Dress: Anna Maier | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: Chicago Diamond Consultants | Makeup: Makeup By Jaycie | Hair: Rosemary Monica | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Groom's Attire: Frederick Lynn Chicago | Venue: The Ivy Room at Tree Studios | Getting Ready Location: The Langham Hotel | Groom's Shoes: Gucci | Letterpress: Designers Fine Press | Paper Goods: Torie Conn | Veil: Jenny Yoo

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Vibeing With Your Vendors Is the Key to Bringing Your Wedding Vision to Life

We cannot stress enough the importance of choosing vendors you vibe with because they are the ones who will take your vision and make it a reality. From serving champagne during the ceremony to creating a 40-person head table, The Lakewood was able to bring to life this couple’s dream wedding. Add on top of that a gorgeous bespoke gown created specially for this bride by Alyssa Kristin, and you can see during this pretty wedding captured by Hello Love Photography just how important finding the right team is to crafting your special day.

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From the bride… When Jim and I started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted it to feel like a big party with all of our favorite people. Having the wedding downtown was important to me because I love our home so much, and finding a venue to hold Jim’s large family was key. The Lakewood was the first and last venue we visited because it felt perfect. The decor was modern and focused on attention to detail, which is what I live by aesthetically! I knew that we would have to do very little to make the space feel exactly how I wanted.

We worked with amazing vendors that allowed us to be a little less traditional in our planning and remain true to who we are as individuals and as a couple. The Lakewood embraced every small detail that we requested in order to make the night fun for all. Whether it was serving champagne to guests to enjoy during the ceremony or creating a huge 40-person head table in order to sit with even more of our friends, they made it happen. Mary, from Steve’s Flower Market, did not bat an eye when I told her I wanted black flowers in the bouquets and our pianist (Kasey Ryan) learned to play “Mirrors” when I told him that it was my dream to walk down the aisle to that song!

The ultimate attention to detail came in the form of my dress, and it was my favorite part of planning. I went to multiple dress shops and couldn’t find anything that felt like me, so over the course of six months, I worked with Alyssa Kristin to custom design my gown. She is a dream to work with and gave me my perfect dress.

It was hard to envision a bridal party, not knowing 100% what my dress would look like, but I knew that I wanted each of the girls to have their own style and personality reflected. I provided them with a color palette of gray, black, blush, gold, and nude and each they found dresses that they loved. Jim wore a black suit because I loved how classic and handsome he looked in it!

In the end, we couldn’t have been happier with how it all came together! It ended up being an overcast, windy day which ultimately sent rain showers our way, but our photographer, Casey (Hello Love), managed to snap beautiful outdoor photos nonetheless. After the rain, our guests noticed an amazing double rainbow outside, so we quickly ran to the rooftop with Casey, and she captured one of our favorite photos of the day. Our wedding was filled with a lot of laughing and a lot of dancing, all with people we love. We feel so fortunate to have been surrounded by great people who helped make our day perfect.

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Photography: Hello Love Photography | Cinematography: Shutter And Sound | Event Planning: Wedding Now | Floral Design: Steve's Flower Market | Wedding Dress: Alyssa Kristin | Reception Venue: The Lakewood | Makeup: Kelly Letto | Hair: Katie Dwyer Salon 1800

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Transforming the Art Institute Into a Modern English Garden

The Art Institute of Chicago with its contemporary, sleek design proved the perfect venue for a celebration inspired by a modern English garden. Planned by Estera Events, this day is awash with topiary greens and romantic garden blooms all crafted by Exquisite Designs. Take a peek at the stunning imagery by Kyle John Photography that’s putting a fresh twist on your typical garden wedding.

Alexis & Michael’s wedding design was perfectly balanced. For every modern and stark element inherent to the gorgeous Griffin Court, there was a romantic piece brought in to soften it up. The design direction was inspired by modern english gardens. Topiary greens mixed with organic foliage and floral. The floorplan of the room intentionally resembled that of an english garden as well. A mix of rounds and long rectangles, allowing guests to walk between the tables and experience the artful centerpieces and table top designs. The largest focal of the reception was the head table, which boasted a 45 foot long statement piece. Alexis & Michael were both such a treat to work with — from the design concept phase of their wedding through the actual wedding day, we had such a wonderful time working with them and seeing this beautiful project come to fruition was such a joy!

Photography: Kyle John Photography | Videographer: Leap Weddings | Wedding Planner: Estera Events | Florist: Exquisite Designs, Inc. | Wedding Cake: Paramount Events | Church: St. Michaels in Old Town | Church: St. Michael in Old Town | Reception Venue: The Art Institute of Chicago | Reception Venue: The Art Institute of Chicago | Catering: The Art Institute of Chicago | Makeup: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair: Blohaute Bridal | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Wedding Favors: Summer House Santa Monica | Transportation: VIP Valet | Wedding Paper & Invitations: Printerette Press | Wedding Stylist: Estera Events

A Balloon Installation + Glittery Aqua Kicks – What’s Not to Love?

How do we love this Bride? Let us count the ways. We love that she wore a romantic, 3-D floral masterpiece of a dress by the incredible Mira Zwillinger. We love that she chose glittery aqua kicks for her adorable flower girls. We love her vision for a balloon escort card display, brought to life by Balloons by Tommy. We love the industrial garden vibe of her wedding, orchestrated by LK Events. But most of all, we love the love between her and her Groom, apparent in every single moment captured by Tim Tab Studios.

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From the Bride… Clay and I met and fell in love in Chicago, so it felt right to be married in the city that brought us together. Nicole Zenner of LK Events made the planning process collaborative, fun, and seamless, as did the entire team that took our romantic, whimsical garden vision and made it a reality.

Leading up to the wedding, it was hard to believe that the year-and- a-half of planning and build-up would soon come to an end. Neither of us could sleep the night before our wedding day. Clay awoke before the sun, took a walk along the lake and received words of advice from a man resting on a lakeshore bench: “Marriage is a blessing.” Meanwhile, I woke up to sunrise city views and “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” thanks to my sister and MOH, Elizabeth. Needless to say, our wedding day started off perfectly and only got better.

The entire day was a dream. The weather was beautiful. We were surrounded by the people who mean the most to us, and we had the best crew, Tim and Bethany Tabailloux of TimTab Studios and the team from One Fine Day Productions, capturing every moment.

Some of our favorite memories from our big day: getting ready with our best friends and family, exchanging cards and gifts (a watch for Clay and a book of Atticus poems bookmarked with a light-blue ribbon tied to a diamond and aquamarine ring for me); putting on my wedding dress, seeing my dad for the first time, our first look at Milton Olive Park, having our puppy join us for photos on the lakefront, walking down the aisle with my dad, having my uncle as our wedding officiant, the wedding speeches, our mid-reception excursion up to the rooftop with our photographers for a late night photoshoot in the rain, Clay’s epic rendition of “Regulate”, singing “Man in the Mirror” with my sister and brother, and having a nightcap at the Four Seasons hotel bar in my wedding dress with my new husband.

Looking back through our photos, we are overcome by joy and gratitude for our parents, family, friends, and everyone at LK Events, TimTab Studios, One Fine Day Productions, Revel Décor, Entertaining Company, Morgan Manufacturing, Elysia Root Cakes, the Chicago Players, Tommy Balloons, Mira Zwillinger, Vanessa Valliant Beauty, Pin Me Up, Balani, Black Tux, and the Four Seasons hotel who conspired to make September 2, 2017 the best day of our lives.

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Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Event Planning: LK Events | Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger | Cake: Elysia Root | Reception Venue: Morgan Manufacturing | Catering: Entertaining Company | Makeup: Valliant Beauty | Hair: Pin Me Up Chicago | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Groom's Suit: Balani | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Transportation: Signature Transportation Group | Hotel: The Four Seasons Chicago | Balloon Sculpture: Balloons By Tommy | Bridal Boutique: Ultimate Bride Boutique | Decor: Revel Decor | Invitation Suite: Allie Hasson

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We’re Declaring Private Vow Exchanges the Next Big Thing

As weddings have increasingly grown into elaborate – and sometimes overwhelming – events, an increasing desire to make space for intimate moments between the couple is only natural. So these two decided to privately exchange the vows they wrote themselves one month prior to their wedding day at The University of Chicago. Dressed in a romantic Anna Campbell gown and carrying a bouquet of fall foliage from Flourish + Bloom Events, this beautiful Bride-to-be shared promises from the heart with her beloved in a sacred moment captured by Kristin La Voie Photography. We love this idea so much – get inspired for a private, pre-wedding vow exchange of your own by all the heartwarming images in the Vault!

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From Kristin La Voie PhotographyOne month before their wedding day, love birds Katie and Tommy had a pre-wedding day shoot to wind down and celebrate during what is typically a stressful time in the days leading up to the big day. Not only is it important to take a moment to breathe and enjoy each other during this exciting time, but it is also important to relax and find quietness and intimacy while you can.

This beautiful Chicago session takes place in a peaceful, ivy-covered garden in the middle of the busy city (symbolic of this rare moment of peace during a whirlwind of wedding preparations). On this day, Katie and Tommy share their vows to each other, their appreciation of one another, their commitment for their lives together.

In my nine years in the industry, I have seen private vow exchanges become increasingly popular. With stricter church rules that forbid personal vows, couples who prefer privacy, and couples who want additional time to share their love for each other outside of the ceremony time constraints, a separate vow exchange is the perfect way to capture that beautiful moment. What better way than to create a separate shoot devoted to this sacred commitment?! A shoot completely dedicated to the promises you make to each other, without the worry of everyone around listening in. A moment to truly cherish, and now documented for eternity.

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Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Floral Design: Flourish and Bloom Events | Wedding Dress: Anna Campbell | Makeup: Joanna B Artistry | Hair: Megan Hollinger | Location: University Of Chicago

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Precious Moments Caught on Film at This Chicago Wedding

Two sweet little flower girls helped this Bride don her beautiful gown from Lovely Bride and fasten her vibrant Jimmy Choo shoes, while the Groom’s two handsome boys helped their dad into his dapper tux from Trunk Club. Elizabeth Nord was there to photograph these precious moments and more, so scroll on for all the feels.

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From Elizabeth Nord Photography Maggie radiated pure elegance and style in her dress from Mignonette Bridal and purple Jimmy Choo shoes. The pink tutu dresses that she chose for her flower girls were so cute, and I loved watching the boys help Tony get dressed! The ceremony at The Geraghty (with decor by Kehoe Designs) was filled with ghost chairs and tons of candlelit lanterns that lined the aisle creating an incredibly cozy and romantic environment. As Maggie walked down the aisle, you could see the tears beginning to pool into Tony’s eyes, and I’m particularly fond of the photo where one of Tony’s sons is looking up at him so adoringly. I nearly lost it when Maggie’s dad gave her away. His embrace was so tight, and his face just said it all. I’m a huge daddy’s girl, so this definitely tugged at my heart!

If you thought the ceremony set up was incredible, you’re going to fall over when you see the reception! I can’t even describe the beauty. I fell in love with the gray wood tables! Their reception was so special. You couldn’t help but notice Tony and Maggie’s selfless nature as they recognized those who have served and continue to serve in the military. They also made a point to celebrate and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to their grandfather! A fun surprise for the guests was that Maggie’s dad sang their first dance song!

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Photography: Elizabeth Nord Photography | Event Planning: Chi Chic Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Calihan Catering | Makeup: Salon Blonde | Hair: Salon Blonde | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Groom's Attire: Trunk Club | Officiant: Fr Jef Johnson | Transportation: M&M Limousines Services | Wedding Venue: The Geraghty | Alterations: Mignonette Bridal | Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bridal Shop | Decor: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Ring: Dana Rebecca

What Better Place for an E-Shoot Than Your Neighborhood?

If you’re in the midst of planning your own e-session right now, take a cue from these lovebirds and keep it simple. Your home town likely has some hidden gems and meaningful, photo-worthy spots that’ll make the photos all the more special. Hello Love Photography captured this sweet couple at home and around their neighborhood, an engagement session that is warm, inviting, and so full of love.

From Hello Love PhotographySarah, Tyler, and I had a wonderful afternoon exploring their neighborhood around Logan Square and Humboldt Park, including a stop by an amazing wooden sculpture by the artist Jerzy Kanar, aptly titled “engagement.”

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Photography: Hello Love Photography

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Modern Design Meets Midwest Cuties

Detail after delightful detail stands out from this modern Midwest wedding. The candles and greenery gracing the aisle, the draped ceremony backdrop. The dreary Chicago day turning a corner and the sun peeking out. The smiles on these two cuties that never faded. And 312 Film captured them all – and their style of filming (with cinematic bouts of slow motion) has me swooning. LOLA Event Productions orchestrated the planning of this posh party and the finished results are just fantastic. Enjoy – and take notes, because these details aren’t to be missed.

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From 312 FilmA modern Chicago wedding at Morgan Manufacturing!

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Photography: averyhouse | Cinematography: 312 Film | Event Planning: LOLA Event Productions | Floral Design: Exquisite Designs, Inc. | Reception Venue: Morgan Manufacturing | Reception Catering: LIMELIGHT food illuminated | Makeup: Carly Pribich, Makeup Artist | Lighting: Frost Chicago | Wedding Band: Entourage Band

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This Couple Swiped Right and Lived Happily Ever After

This couple is the proof that sometimes swiping right leads to a walk down the aisle. From Tinder to “I Do”, this modern affair crafted by Kathy B. Codilis Design and Stemline Creative is giving hope to dating app users everywhere. It’s a celebration that pairs chic with a historic piece of Chicago architecture and through Clary Pfeiffer’s images, that combo is undeniably gorgeous.

From the couple… The story or how we met is almost a punchline… We met on Tinder (before it got creepy). However we quickly realized we did have a connection as she was the beautiful babysitter of his next-door neighbors that he didn’t have the courage to ask out, in the traditional sense. We quickly realized our connection and were engaged 18 months later! Our styles are somewhat conflicting, she likes classic and he likes contemporary. The Chicago Athletic Association provided an opportunity to have both. The building was originally opened in 1890 but was painstakingly restored in 2015, adding modern amenities to a very historic piece of Chicago architecture. Wanting to create a formal atmosphere while still keeping things simple, we invited guests black-tie optional and went with classic themes, white flowers, gold accents, and tried to highlight the beauty of the location as much as possible. Our favorite moments were certainly having all the nieces and nephews gathered for photos before the ceremony and witnessing several meltdowns, including a classic photo of one of our flower girls completely shutting down before walking down the aisle! So many memories from that day, from fantastic September weather conditions to some incredibly creative/funny toasts to having our 90-year-old grandparents lighting up the dance floor! We couldn’t have been happier with that day and we hope it is symbolic of our lives ahead of us!

Photographer: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Event Planning: Amanda Masson | Floral Design: Stemline Creative | Invitations: Elizabeth Grace | Shoes: Rene Caovilla | Jewelry: Bridget Christian Designs - custom earrings | Wedding Venue: Chicago Athletic Association | Bride's Dress: Romona Keveza | Clutch : Judith Leiber

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The All-Inclusive Venue You HAVE to Meet

If you’re worried that choosing an all-inclusive venue will send you down the path to a cookie cutter wedding: don’t be. Trust us – you can have that glam celebration you’ve always wanted with all of the convenience an all-in-one location has to offer. Need proof? Check out The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center – they can handle it all.

Choosing an all-inclusive venue doesn’t have to mean giving up higher-end options like high-quality invitations, gorgeous linens and stunning table settings. With Hallmark Weddings at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, you’ll be working with a team of talented wedding pros that know how to handle everything, right down to setting up room blocks for all of your loved ones. We’re super impressed with their unique wedding packages – which start with a luxe venue of your choosing and touch on everything from customized menus to makeup + salon time to invites from the Halls Department Store.

Wedding planning shouldn’t be stressful. So if you find yourself struggling with finding the right florist or musician, need help with choosing the perfect pre-wedding event outfits or just want to make sure your guests are completely taken care of, contact The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center to talk all things Hallmark Weddings. You’ll even earn perks on every guest room booked.

This Duo Dated Nearly a Decade Before Getting Engaged

Speaking from personal experience, having a long “dating” relationship before getting engaged is an absolutely wonderful thing. That growing together process makes the day you say I do that much more meaningful, as these two lovebirds can attest. Hello Love Photography joined them to document all the feels. See some of our favorite captures below and check out the full gallery when you’re done!

From the Bride… Stanley and I had been dating for nine years before we got engaged last summer. Many of our friends and family have been waiting for this day for a long time. And since most of our family and friends live on all ends of the US (and even abroad) we were excited at the chance to have an occasion to bring everyone together! I was inspired by the beautiful arches and garden of the Winnetka Community House for the wedding. The lush greenery provides a gorgeous backdrop that doesn’t need anything more to make it beautiful. I gravitated towards floral and watercolor motifs to bring it all together and aimed for simple, romantic and elegant.

Photography: Hello Love Photography | Floral Design: Morning Glory, Glenview | Reception Venue: Winnetka Community House | Makeup: Janice Cha | DJ: Mike Staff Productions | Hairstylist: Claire Lee

Calling All Tassel Lovers! You Must See This Rooftop Wedding Inspo

Tassels have been popping up everywhere – from handbags to shoes – and if you’re like me, you’re probably completely obsessed with this trend. So when this modern Chicago inspiration session captured by Natalie Probst Photography came across my desk, I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! The Bride’s loose up do by Gia Tovar showcased her DIY black tassel earrings, which added just the right amount of oomph to the romantic, off-the-shoulder Samantha Sleeper gown. Get scrolling to check out all the tassels, which also make an appearance on the back of the reception chairs – the coolest detail maybe ever!

From Natalie Probst PhotographyWho says tassels are just a fashion accessory? Tassels are popping up everywhere, from earrings to hem lines, and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down soon. We’re excited to share some chic, modern wedding inspiration with you that includes this year’s hottest accessory.

The Ambassador Chicago is a favorite destination for couples who appreciate and know good design. From the rooftop views of the Ava terrace to its modern, crisp white suites, The Ambassador Chicago is the perfect place for a rooftop wedding, rehearsal dinner, or getting ready location. Envision your guests dining with the Chicago skyline as the backdrop, watching the colors change on the buildings as the sun goes down. And at night, imagine the twinkle of the city lights bringing a romantic glow to your evening. A first dance 17 floors up? Epic.

This Rory gown by Samantha Sleeper is the perfect example of relaxed elegance, with its off the shoulder draping and front button detailing. Paired with long black tassel earrings (a 60 second DIY project!) this look is perfect for the bold Bride with personal style to spare. As for him, we think a Groom can never go wrong in a white dinner jacket and black bow tie. A look that will never go out of style!

Elysia Root is a genius when it comes to desserts, and this 5-tier white wedding cake with geode rock detailing brought a modern twist to the traditional wedding cake. Magnificent Milestones provided the classic, monochromatic paper goods, and May Floral never disappoints, providing the gorgeous floral centerpiece and bridal bouquet. Last but not least, Gia Tovar and Joanna B Artistry brought our vision of a chic, relaxed Bride to life through hair and makeup. Thank you to this amazing vendor team!

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Photography: Natalie Probst Photography | Floral Design: May Floral | Wedding Dress: Samantha Sleeper | Cake: Elysia Root | Reception Venue: Ambassador Hotel | Makeup: Joanna B Artistry | Hair: Gia Tovar | Groom's Jacket: Men's Wearhouse | Paper Goods: Magnificent Milestones

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A Classic Tented Reception Under the Stars

With a traditional and refined celebration in mind, Jessica and Billy set out to plan a day inspired by the royal wedding. They chose a polo club outside Chicago as the setting and opted for a romantic tented reception beneath the stars. The result was a wedding that’s totally Will + Kate approved and you can see it all with photos by Natalie Probst.

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Jessica and Billy drew inspiration from the royal wedding but wanted their wedding to feel anything but traditional. Their Arranmore Polo Club wedding did not disappoint one bit. They wanted to give their guests an all-around incredible experience appealing to all their senses – from décor to food to music. Fleur brought life to the tented reception with black tapered candles, lush magnolia trees, and accents of honed metallics. It was an intimate and oh-so-chic affair.

Shannon O’Brien and AJ Palace are the dream team when it comes to hair and makeup – Jessica and her ladies looked flawless. Jessica wowed in her stunning Carolina Herrera dress and carried a Princess Kate-inspired simple bouquet wrapped in leather, our favorite detail incorporated all throughout the day. Sarah Drake Designs provided the most beautiful paper goods: leather accented invitation suite and custom wax seal menus at each place setting. A seating chart hand lettered on leather and set in the lush ivy of a polo pitch farmhouse led guests to their seats.

And let’s not forget about the food from Boutique Bites! Coming from an Italian family, Jess knew an abundance of delicious food was a must. Preset charcuterie boards at every table and a super fun late night snack – cotton candy served on silver platters left guests ending the night on a good note. We could go on, but you get it, this wedding was absolute perfection.

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Photography: Natalie Probst Photography | Videography: Mirar Productions | Wedding Planning: Estera Events | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera | Cake: Vanille Patisserie | Stationery: Sarah Drake Design | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter and Paul Church | Reception Venue: Arranmore Farm Polo Club | Catering: Boutique Bites | Makeup : Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair : Your Stylist AJ | Music: Chicago Players

Your Key To the Perfect Bridal Shower or Bachelorette Party Weekend

Sure, wedding planning is time-consuming, but don’t let all of those other all-too-important events fall to the wayside. Your bridal shower, bachelorette party and honeymoon are meant to be awesome, and that means throwing on your best heels and finding a space that will totally accommodate you and the ones you love. Get inspired (and find the perfect locale) below.

Finding the ultimate spot to host all of those “other” events may seem a little daunting, but The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center makes it sooo easy with oversized rooms that are totally luxurious AND undergoing a fab renovation that will be completed in 2018. Yep, your fave hotel in Crown Center will be even better, with plenty of space for hosting that bridal shower or bachelorette party. We’re obsessed with their convenient locale for any last-minute shopping and their easy access to airport travel. Not to mention their Bridal Suites are perfect for morning-of festivities, so you can relax with your besties before you walk down the aisle. (Champagne optional.)

When it comes to making it simple for you and your guests, The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center most definitely delivers. Host your entire wedding weekend at the hotel, or set aside room blocks for your off-site celebration. Trust us, you’ll love the beautiful rooms (we mentioned they were renovated, right?) and easy access to dining, shopping and nightlife. Oh, and don’t forget your honeymoon and check out the romantic suites with stunning views.

Contact The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center today to guarantee that every last part of your celebration is in place.

9 Wedding Locations You Havent Heard About Yet

We know that finding the perfect wedding venue isn’t always easy, especially if you’re looking for something that totally speaks to you and yours. So today we’re running through a list of nine (yes, NINE) fab venues we absolutely love, so you can find that dream locale. Scroll for some hidden gems you haven’t even heard of.

THE ST. REGIS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Why we love it: Just steps from the White House, The St. Regis Washington, D.C. is the perfect mix of luxe accommodations and upscale wedding offerings – all with a dash of historical charm. You can opt for a cocktail hour in the Italianate revival lobby, or celebrate your “I do’s” in the Astor Ballroom with its hand-stenciled ceiling (an original 1926 decorative feature) and Palladian windows overlooking The Astor Terrace. This place is beautiful, you guys – and it’s no wonder it continues to be named the “Best Hotel for Small Weddings” by Washington Magazine. It’s just that good.

What you can’t miss: The Astor Terrace. Perfect for ceremonies OR receptions, this gem of an outdoor space features a dreamy fountain. Need we say more?

W SCOTTSDALE

Why we love it: Located smack-dab in the middle of Scottsdale’s Entertainment District, W Scottsdale is every modern lovin’ bride’s dream. Think totally chic contemporary spaces (both indoor and outdoor) perfect for celebrating your Big Day, plus amazing accommodations that will make your entire wedding weekend.

What you can’t miss: Their fab W Insider service. It’s concierge plus some with everything you’ll ever need just a push of a button away. Whatever you want, whenever you want it.

LE MÉRIDIEN DELFINA SANTA MONICA

Why we love it: Situated just three blocks from the ocean with great access and breathtaking views, plus offering up some awesome amenities for guests (hey there, Bicycle Programme), Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica seamlessly combines a glam spot to say “I do” with all of that laid-back Southern Cali charm we love so much. We’re obsessed with their Pool Terrace receptions, not to mention their chef-inspired catering menus and views of the Pacific Ocean.

What you can’t miss: Their venues. From the Delfina Ballroom to the Terrazza GardenLe Méridien Delfina Santa Monica has you covered when it comes to celebrating in style.

HOTEL COLONNADE CORAL GABLES, A TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO HOTEL 

Why we love it: Ideal for those travel lovers who want to say “I do” in complete luxury, the Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables has elegant weddings (and accommodations) down to an absolute science. From their 23,000 square feet of event space to their gorgeous venue options (hello, marble-tiled rotunda) to their talented staff that knows everything there is to know about throwing the perfect wedding, you’ll most definitely be making a statement.

What you can’t miss: Their Make a Green Choice Program. Guests receive a $5 food credit or 500 SPG points just for making the choice to conserve natural resources in their room. We love that.

THE WESTIN CHICAGO NORTHWEST

Why we love it: It’s hard not to fall in love with a setting as pretty as Hamilton Lake and when you add in a climate-controlled tent and fully-renovated guest rooms, you have yourselves one of the prettiest wedding locales in all of Chicago. Plus, the Westin Chicago Northwest also offers up a plethora of indoor + outdoor venue options, customizable menus AND your very own wedding specialist.

What you can’t miss: Their 24-hour room service. (Enough said.)

SHERATON SAN DIEGO HOTEL & MARINA

Why we love it: You honestly can’t go wrong with a San Diego wedding, and the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is the epitome of a perfect SoCal soiree with a gorgeous seaside location and deluxe amenities. Now add in a stunning garden ceremony spot (with marina views) and indoor venue options that are just as cool and you have the perfect place to say “I do.”

What you can’t miss: The Culinary team. They’ve been named “Best Caterer” by San Diego Magazine for 15 years running. Yum.

THE EQUINOX, A LUXURY COLLECTION GOLF RESORT & SPA, VERMONT

Why we love it: You know we can never get enough of Vermont weddings and if you’re looking for the perfect destination spot: this is it. From their three unique venues (Pond Pavilion, Colonnade Ballroom and Meadow House) to the amazing views of the Equinox Mountain and the Taconic Mountain Ridge, The Equinox Resort has everything you’ll ever need for that dream wedding… AND can accommodate anywhere from 80 to 250 guests.

What you can’t miss: The activities. This four-season resort offers up a world of fun-filled adventures, from golfing to skiing to fishing to snowshoeing – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

THE ST. ANTHONY, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, SAN ANTONIO

Why we love it: Four words: Open-air rooftop ballroom. Yep, you can literally dance the night away under the stars. Plus, the St. Anthony has been hosting weddings for over a century, so you know you’re in good hands with their talented staff of event professionals. From their gorgeous rooms to their convenient downtown locale, you won’t be missing a thing.

What you can’t miss: The details. From crystal chandeliers to a winding staircase to theatrical lighting and a 19th Century French tapestry, get ready for some non-stop oohing and ahhing.

THE WESTIN GALLERIA & OAKS HOUSTON

Why we love it: If you’re having a celebration with a lot of out-of-town guests, you can’t pick a locale better than the Westin Galleria & Oaks Houston. Its Uptown location paired with its amazing guest amenities and reception space for up to 1,000 makes it the ideal location for those looking to explore the Galleria neighborhood of Houston. Think shopping, dining and spa-ing the days away. It’s perfect.

What you can’t miss: The Monarch Ballroom. With floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the city, this 24th floor gem is a reception dreamland.

Visit SPG Weddings to find out even more about these hidden gems AND all of the amazing perks of having an SPG Wedding. You can thank us later, friends.

Charming Summertime Wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Allow me to introduce this sweet couple, Mandy and Joe. They planned a wildly romantic wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden complete with neutral tones, organic greenery and a tented reception that’s straight out of our garden party dreams. Olivia Leigh came alongside to capture the magic and there’s a whole gallery just waiting to be opened.

Mandy and Joe are the most amazing, sweet, intelligent couple. They held a gorgeous wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden, near where they grew up. Mandy looked stunning in a gorgeous gown that caught the light in a gorgeous fashion at the garden.

Their ceremony was held on the Rose Terrace, surrounded on all sides by friends and family. Their vows were emotional and beautifully-written, and the ceremony was capped off with a rendition of “Oh Happy Day” by the musicians as well as some surprise guests in the audience.

The romantic garden theme of their wedding was accented with blush bridesmaids gowns and greens and whites with accents of pink and orange in flowers by Fleur and gorgeous farm tables that looked over the pond at the gardens. It was a magical day that had a wonderful heart and a sense of family.

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Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Event Coordination: Estera Events | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Deerfield's Bakery | Invitations: William Arthur Fine Stationery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Elise Brill | Hair: Magnificent Brides | Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden | Dress Boutique: Ultimate Bride Boutique | Music: Skyline | Photobooth: Olivia Leigh Photographie

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