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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

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Irish Wedding Reception at the Charming Patrick Haley Mansion

There are three things that made me fall in love with weddings… the photography, the flowers and the venues. Those were my top three priorities when planning my own wedding a few years back—especially the latter! Your church might already be etched in stone for the ceremony, but finding a reception venue that sings to you and your collective wedding style is so, so important. And for this fete, the beautiful Patrick Haley Mansion was it. Full of charm, it was the perfect setting for the celebration after McKenna and Matt exchanged romantic Irish I do’s at St. Joseph Chapel — all captured by Elizabeth Nord. Images like this one are sure to warm your heart a little extra today.

From Elizabeth Nord Photography… As I walked into McKenna’s parent’s home that morning, McKenna was getting her hair done and I greeted her with a big hug! She already had an array of stunning details waiting for me to choose from … Badgley Mischka heels, pink Coco Chanel perfume, a ring box, and so much more! Swoon!

Matt and McKenna are amazing in every way and are some of the sweetest people to be around. McKenna’s smile and laugh is so contagious and I just love watching the way Matt looks at her. Being able to capture the beginning of their marriage was truly an honor. They were married on April 28th at the St Joseph Chapel at the University of St Francis and ended the celebration at the stunning Patrick C Haley Mansion in Joliet, IL.

Her bridesmaids were getting ready downstairs in beautiful matching floral robes and sipping champagne out of the cutest gold glittered champagne glasses. Also accompanying them were two adorable dogs so, naturally, I was in heaven. I loved the blush bridesmaid dresses that the ladies wore and the rose and hydrangea floral bouquets they carried.

Waiting for us to arrive to the chapel were Matt and his handsome groomsmen in their black tuxes.

The chapel was decorated beautifully with white ribbon and greenery, and there was a pianist playing music. During the ceremony, McKenna’s grandfather sang a special song for the newly married couple and it was so precious to watch! Every second of this wedding was filled with love and joy.

SO many more lovely shots ~ from getting ready to celebrating the night away at the Patrick C Haley Mansion ~ on Elizabeth Nord Photography’s post right here!  And… while you’re there, take a peek at McKenna and Matt’s engagement session at Adler Planetarium. That girl’s smile will melt anyone’s heart! Lucky for Matt, she’s his ;)

Photography: Elizabeth Nord Photography | Wedding Dress: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique | Ceremony Venue: St Joseph Chapel | Reception Venue: Patrick Haley Mansion | Hair: Angie Seiler | DJ: Admit One DJs

If You Loved Father of the Bride, You’ll Be All In With This Backyard Affair

Father of the Bride is hands down my most favorite movie and it has everything to do with that perfect at-home wedding. This celebration has that exact feel. It’s stunning, cozy and home-cooked with beautiful imagery by Clary Pfeiffer, coordination by J Detailed Events, florals by HMR Designs and invitation suite by EJD Design.  So, if you love backyard celebrations with layers of Fall details and a tented reception a la Father of the Bride, look no further than this magical day.

Steven and I met in college at Miami University. We had the same friends, but didn’t truly meet until a spring break trip in Gulf Shores, Alabama. During a rainy day we were part of a group working on a puzzle and the rest is history. We dated long distance for a year after graduating before I made the move to Columbus.

 I have always dreamed of getting married at my house and I took inspiration for all of the details from the house and property itself. I wanted everything to be as organic and natural as possible. My goal was for our guests to feel like they were having this wonderfully formal, yet understated, affair under the stars.

I chose my dress in the same naturally-elegant mind frame. It was designed to have pearls all over the bodice and down the body, but I removed them in order to keep the style as timeless as possible.

Steven’s favorite part of the day was watching me come down the aisle, mingling with all of our guests at cocktail hour, listening to the toasts that were given and dancing. Mine was definitely the party. I wanted to dance the night away and since we had the best band in the world, I did exactly that.

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Photographer : Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Videographer: Charlie Hilbrant Films | Coordinator : JDetailed Events | Flowers: Burt Rubenstein, Ronsley Special Events | Bride's Shoes: Mui Mui | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Reformation | Hair and Makeup: Belle-Row Hair and Makeup by Elena Denning | Band: DJ): ​TC Squared (part of the Becca Kaufman Orchestra) | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Tent: Stellar Productions | Bride's Gown: Vera Wang | Stationery Suite + Calligraphy: EJD Design

Shimmering Candlelit Prairie Wedding At Pear Tree Estate

If you’re a romantic at heart (and who isn’t, really…), if you love candlelight as far as the eye can see, and you’re a sucker for father-of-the-bride speeches that will bring you to #happytears from the get-go… this one’s for you! Imagine a wedding venue set in the middle of a prairie, aglow with the flames of hundreds of candles and lanterns. That, my friends, is Pear Tree Estate. As you’ll see in the emotionally charged highlight film from PenWeddings, guests were beyond thrilled as the night sky blazed with a spectacular fireworks display perfectly timed to coincide with the end of the ceremony! The romantic images from Sweet Darling Weddings are sure to pique your curiosity about this “candlelit prairie wedding” … and we’re 100% sure you’ll walk away almost feeling the love that surrounded Annie and Troy’s wedding day!

Annie and her sister Lauren opened their catering business, L.A. Gourmet Catering, twelve years ago. Along with the help of their close-knit family, they created Pear Tree Estate  and four years ago began sharing their event planning expertise with couples interested in this rustic, prairie setting with a modern vibe.

From PenWeddingsWe were thrilled when Annie and Troy asked us to film their wedding. She and her entire family are well known for their love and support of each other, so it came as no surprise to us that the entire wedding weekend centered around their guests’ happiness. Capturing the emotions and the excitement of each experience throughout the day was a true honor… and incredibly fun! It is our pleasure to share their highlight wedding film with you. (Don’t miss the ceremony fireworks!!)

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Annie, the bride, says of her wedding… It felt as if we were floating in a fog of romance, but our theme was clear – love.  It was one of those days that couldn’t have been better, it was a dream. For the first time in my career, I was on the other side of the aisle. My sister and I worked for months to make sure that the wedding was molded around the very fibers of my soon-to-be husband’s, and my, lives. If something didn’t make sense, we took a step back and re-evaluated, making sure that every decision had meaning.

We (naturally) chose Pear Tree Estate, the property where we work and spend the majority of our time. Troy and I wanted our guests to experience the whole Estate from the sunset on the West side to the star filled sky on the East. 

In lieu of a traditional processional, our best friends lit golden candelabras that flanked the aisle, lighting the path that we would walk for the first time together as husband and wife.

Our nieces and nephews, one toddler short of a dozen, showered the walkway with lanterns , candles and stems of sweet peas and ranunculus. Our flowers, designed by Flowers by Kristine, added to the romantic ambience we were hoping to achieve.

After our I Do’s (AND our celebratory fireworks!), our guests were greeted with blood orange prosecco cocktails. Flickering candles and hanging lanterns led them to the clear-tent reception space… set in darkness on the prairie.

Beckoned by decadent caramel dipped pears, guests were greeted with personalized hand-written notes and the first taste of our family style feast that was served.

We love good music, great food and amazing people; our night embraced all three, the greatest, being our guests.

During Annie and Troy’s wedding ceremony, the officiant quotes Albert Schweitzer saying, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us…. Be that light for one another. And when you can’t be the light, be the mirror to reflect the others light so that together, you can overcome any darkness.” 

Love it!

Photography: Sweet Darling Weddings | Cinematography: PenWeddings | Floral Design: Flowers by Kristine | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore | Cake: Cream And Flutter | Catering: LA Gourmet | Hair + Makeup: Hair By Lola | Band: Gussied | Venue : Pear Tree Estate | Furniture Rental: Spruce Wedding Rentals | Leaf Calligraphy: Letters From Lindsey | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Paper: Shasta Bell Calligraphy | Signage : Dashwood Shop | Tent + Rentals: Palace Events

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Elegant Garden Wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden

I think this wedding is the very reason that the outdoor, California vibe became so popular amongst the most stylish of couples. Because there is just something so incredible LUXE about dining outdoors amidst a garden and twinkly lights and passed bottles of wine, right!? Well, this duo took that very sentiment into the Chicago Botanic Garden and the result – with photographs by Kristin La Voie and Event Design by Clementine Custom Events – was an evening that blended beauty with warmth and a style so chic that it’s hard to find the right words.

From Kristin La Voie PhotographyClose your eyes and picture the perfect couple with the perfect wedding day. Open them, and you’ll see that fantasy come to life in this post! Taylor & Elan are the spitting image of perfection, and their day was a match made in heaven.

A gorgeous summer day for a garden wedding was mother nature’s wedding gift to the duo. Everything was so stunning, like the bride’s Ines di Santo gown paired with a low ponytail, the hand torn edges on the stationery, and the open air tent reception! This Chicago Botanic Garden wedding is jaw dropping!

From Planner Jaci, Clementine Custom Events… A beautiful bright outdoor wedding featuring large Tuscan inspired urns greeted guests upon arrival, while pretty whites and soft neutral colors guided guests throughout the romantic garden spaces.

An incredible modern, lush and candle lit tablescape brought their family and friends together as they dined in the stunning pavilion at the incredible Chicago Botanic Garden. Finding ways of enhancing the existing beauty of the venue but styling it to perfection was our goal…. and one that I am so thrilled came out better than we could have ever imagined.

Thank you so very much to Taylor and Elan for sharing their beautiful day with us here at Style Me Pretty!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Cinematography: 312 Film | Event Planning: Clementine Custom Events | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo | Makeup: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair: Ashley Young Styling | Suit: Enzo Custom | Ceremony & Reception: Chicago Botanic Garden | Linens: BBJ La Tavola

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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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

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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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 La Tavola | 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.

Country Club

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.



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 La Tavola | 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.



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.



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.

Event Venue

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.



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


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.


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.



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


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!


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.



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.

Event Venue

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!



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.”



Photography: Hello Love Photography


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!



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

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

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.