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How This Couple’s Two Dogs Brought Them Together

Chad and Veronica were distant acquaintances at their gym for nearly 3 years, but it wasn’t until they struck up a conversation that they realized how much they had in common. Most importantly, their beloved chocolate lab dogs. And get this – those chocolate labs are the exact same age and share the exact SAME NAME. Call if fate, call it chance…we call it meet-cute perfection, and Kate Weinstein’s photos beautifully capture the love.

From Veronica, the bride-to-be… We had mutual friends so we knew of each other for 3 years. We were members of the same gym, but in that time we never had a single conversation. A simple “Hi, how are you” or a “See ya” at the gym may have been spoken a time or two but other than that, we were just in different places in our lives. After some time, we found ourselves talking to each other for the first time and realized we had an undeniable connection.

It just so happened that Chad had a chocolate lab he got in college. Well, I had the same story. I got a chocolate lab, out of the blue, in college as well. What makes this story even weirder is that we both named them Hunter. Two chocolate labs, same names, same age. It was just meant to be!

Within the next few weeks, we were out for a mutual friends birthday party. I remember he grabbed me and said “This may sound crazy but I think we are supposed to be together.” Eight months later we were engaged and the rest is history! We now live happily ever after with our chocolate labs, Hunter & Hunter, and will tie the knot this fall.”


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Photography: Kate Weinstein Photo

Modern + Chic Chicago Wedding

With the ceremony at a Presbyterian church and the reception at a modern industrial venue in the middle of Chicago, this couple perfectly mixed tradition into their chic city wedding. The trendy design elements, including an iron gate escort display and a donut dessert wall, are wedding details made in heaven in my mind! Big City Bride lead the planning of this gorgeous event and Riverbend Studio captured every last detail.


From the event planner… The beautiful bride, Elizabeth Wanders, married her hometown sweetheart, John Moore Jr. At the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue followed by a stylish celebration at the modish Morgan Manufacturing venue. The couple met in their hometown of Winnetka, Illinois where the groom made his hockey debut. Moore, now a promising pro in the National Hockey League, plays for the New Jersey Devils. The sweethearts, who were married mid-July, reside in their Chicago condo as they await the arrival of their first child, a baby girl, due on their first wedding anniversary.

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Photography : Riverbend Studio | Videography: Highway 61 Films | Event Planning : Chrissy Magliano and Susan Cordogan, Big City Bride | Floral Design: KLA Design | Wedding Dress: Sareh Nouri | Stationary: Kustom Kreations | Ceremony Venue: Fourth Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Morgan Manufacturing | Bride's Shoes : Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering : LIMELIGHT food illuminated | Makeup : Juli Valdez | Hair : Magnificent Brides | Lighting : Frost Chicago | Band : Gold Coast All Stars | Favors : Glazed And Infused | Host Hotel : Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Linen: M M Rental | Linen: Tabletoppers | Linen : BBJ La Tavola | Lounge Furniture : Bowery And Bash | Photo Booth : Brooke Courtney Photography | Print Matierals : Kustom Kreations | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: RM Champagne Salon | Rentals: Tablescapes Event Rentals | Rentals: Halls Rental

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Designing a Custom Wedding Dress with Whitney Bischoff

Hello again, brides! If you haven’t been able to tell, I’m a lady who loves to plan, but I can also be very indecisive at times. So when it came to selecting a wedding gown, the planner in me paired with my indecisiveness created a challenge. I could not wait to try on wedding dresses, but it didn’t go quite as planned. I’m so excited to share how I ended up with a custom designed wedding dress, and as always, thanks for following along this journey down the aisle.

Like so many of y’all reading, I had dreamt of this day for SO long. The only problem was that with every dress I tried on, there was just something not quite right; something I couldn’t pinpoint (cue the indecisiveness). I found a few dresses that were 99.9999% perfect, but I wanted something 100%. This is not a decision that I could make a mistake with, but it was also a decision that I did not want to wait too long to make (cue being a planner). Goodness gracious.

After hours of researching online and collecting photos that inspired me, I walked into Belle Vie Bridal Couture completely overwhelmed. I could not understand how any woman could say yes to just ONE dress! I felt as if I desired 10 dresses to encompass a little bit of everything I loved….strapless, long sleeved, ball gown, sleek, lace, beading, color…are y’all catching my drift? I loved everything!

But let’s be real, I’m a bride with a budget in mind, and I absolutely could not have 10 dresses. Thank goodness for Amanda Bonnell, owner of Belle Vie Bridal and the creative director at Audrey Grant. Amanda put my mind at ease and ensured me that with a little bit of trust, I could have it all, even with one dress – a custom designed dress.

Trust in your vendors is something I know I mentioned in last month’s post and I will continue to do so because it is of utmost importance when planning a wedding. Being the planner I am, there is no way I could have decided to design my own wedding gown without a designer who I could trust with my vision. Amanda took the time to listen to my likes and dislikes, look at ALL of the pictures I had saved, and after trying on a few dresses, she sketched for me a custom dress with all of my favorite attributes.

Being my own fit model has been such a once in a lifetime experience, and also gives me such peace of mind knowing that tweaks can easily be made. It’s been so amazing to witness Amanda working her magic throughout this process, and I absolutely cannot wait to see this dream gown come to fruition!

To all the brides who are on the journey to finding and/or designing their perfect gown, here is my advice:

DO NOT SETTLE

If something seems off when you’re trying on a wedding gown, it probably is, so be sure to follow your intuition.

ASK QUESTIONS

Designing is an art. Designers have a knowledge, expertise, and eye for details that you and I may not notice or understand.

SPEAK UP

Once you have decided to design your own gown, be sure to voice your opinion along the way. I can guarantee your designer will want you to be ecstatic about the final product and that you said yes to your one-of-a-kind, never duplicated dress.

Until next time!

xoxo, Whitney

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Follow Whitney’s Wedding Journey

Engagement Photos | Planning a Domestic Destination Wedding

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Photography: Carly Michelle Photography | Event Planning: Always Yours Events | Wedding Dress: Belle Vie Bridal

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Whitney Bischoff

Blogger Bride
Whitney Bischoff Talks Planning a (Domestic) Destination Wedding

You know Whitney Bischoff as the newest member of our SMP Blogger Bride Squad, and today this gorgeous bride-to-be is dishing a few details of her Cape Cod wedding. Based in Chicago, Whitney is planning a wedding across the country, but pulling off destination nuptials its no small task. She’s sharing two MAJOR tips – from one bride to another – to save your sanity and make the wedding planning journey one to remember.

From Whitney… Hello again! I hope everyone had a very Happy New Year and is getting back into the swing of things following the holidays. As I mentioned in my introductory post, Ricky and I got engaged the middle of July and almost immediately the questions started flooding in…”When are you getting married? Are you getting married in Chicago? Are you getting married in Kentucky?” Brides, I know y’all understand the feeling, am I right?! In today’s post, I’m hoping I can share some tips with couples who are hosting a destination wedding which have served us well since we made the decision to have a domestic destination wedding!

Ricky’s family has ties to Cape Cod, and so it was suggested we consider the Cape as a potential wedding location. Something in my heart told me I would not be disappointed and this is the place I should marry the love of my life. When Ricky and I traveled to Cape Cod in September 2016, I knew immediately this was the perfect location. We toured the area, looked at venues and by the end of the weekend, we had decided the Cape is where we would say “I do.”

With a date and a venue, we both took a huge sigh of relief, looked at one another, and thought “What in the world do we do now?!” If we were going to get married on the Cape, how in the world would I plan this wedding from so far away without having minor panic attacks on the regular? I would have to choose my vendors from afar and trust I’m making the right decisions through phone calls and pictures. For all the destination brides reading, I know you understand this feeling well! To say we were overwhelmed was an understatement. I started collecting wedding planning books and began my online research.

I soon realized there were two very important things I had to do in order for us to successfully plan a destination wedding from Chicago: I had to find local Northeast professional wedding vendors I could trust and connect with, as well as hire a wedding planner.

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Tip #1: Connect With Local Vendors 

The power of social media in this day in age is quite mesmerizing to me. I love connecting with people and following their stories, seeing their travels, fashion, families growing, the list goes on, but never did I think that social media would be where I found my very first vendor- I kid you not! I mentioned I started doing a lot of research – this included reading and browsing SMP, but also looking for inspiration through Instagram. While browsing one evening, I saw an insanely gorgeous picture that appeared to be on the Cape. I started following this photographer immediately so I could keep track of photos I hopefully could capture for my day. Not too long after, I started corresponding with Carly from Carly Michelle Photography.

Not only was I obsessed with her pictures, but I was equally obsessed with how kind she was. This is a girl that if I lived out east, we would 100% be friends. And that’s when it all started to click. Not only do I want vendors who are talented, I want professionals who are passionate, kind-hearted, hard-working and who I enjoy being around. Soon enough, Ricky and I signed on the dotted line. We officially had a location and a photographer- there was no stopping us now.

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Tip #2: Hire a Wedding Planner, ASAP

A week or so later, Carly emailed she had just shot a wedding on the Cape with an incredibly talented wedding planner. Originally I was not going to hire a wedding planner. But I trusted Carly (trusting your vendors is KEY, I cannot reinforce that enough) so I decided to jump on a conference call just to get a feel for what this sweet gal, Keri Ketterer, owner of Always Yours Events, was all about. An hour later, I didn’t want to get off the phone. All of the anxiety and overwhelming feelings I mentioned previously were gone. She understood me and my vision, what I was looking for in a design and how personal I wanted my wedding day to feel.

For all of you planning a destination wedding, a wedding planner is mandatory! Trust me. Your fiancés can thank me later when they realize although it might add a bit to the budget, your sanity is worth every penny. Having someone who can represent you in person at vendor meetings when you cannot be present can relieve so much stress, and just having a professional and experienced planner by your side to guide you through the process is invaluable! From there, let the magic happen.

Until next month!

xo, Whitney

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P.S. Whitney + Ricky’s City Engagement Photos!

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Photography: Carly Michelle Photography | Wedding Planner: Always Yours Events | Makeup: Gabrielle Raguso | Bride: Whitney Bischoff | Sunkissed Skin: Glo Airbrush Tan | Wedding Gown Salon: Belle Vie Bridal

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Whitney Bischoff

Blogger Bride
Urban Glam Winter Wedding

I got married right in the thick of a Midwest winter and while some called in crazy, I called it perfect. I’m so happy this couple, Annie and Ryan, felt the same and opted for a December wedding in Chicago planned and designed by La Belle Fleur Events. Think candlelit romance with all white florals and greenery galore. Artistrie Co. photographed, and you can watch it unfold this way in the gallery.

From Ashley La Fleur of La Belle Fleur Events… Annie and Ryan are two people that when you meet them, you instantly want to be a part of their lives. The two met in New York City and shared their first date in Central Park. Two years later, Ryan proposed on the top of a mountain in Bar Harbor, Maine 

From the stories they shared about their journey, we knew we wanted to incorporate all of that into the wedding. Annie and Ryan truly wanted the wedding to feel like an intimate dinner with their closest friends and family. One element that kept coming up over and over was how water has been a part of their lives. Ryan is originally from Florida and served in the Coast Guard. He later popped the question to Annie on the shores of Frenchman Bay. Annie also grew up collecting skipping stones to put in her backyard. From those stories, the idea of the escort card display came to life.

Vale of Enna created an incredibly beautiful and organic bouquet for Annie. After hearing about their first date, Vale of Enna even tucked in a few Gerber daisies into her bouquet as those were the first flowers that Ryan ever brought Annie. Since every relationship Annie had with her bridesmaids was different, we opted to keep the overall feel and look the same in the bouquets but highlight a different flower. We loved the added sentiment of her gifting her bridesmaids each an individual bouquet with added meaning.

One of the best parts of their wedding was how it was a family affair. One of their closest friends sang during Annie’s walk down the aisle. Annie’s cousin also played the trombone during one song, and then her grandpa surprised her by finishing up her first dance song. Her mother, a talented painter, also hand painted all the cocktail hour art. They were pieces based on places or dreams Annie and Ryan have for their marriage.

All in all, it was a beautiful day in December. Every piece of their story was perfectly highlighted on their wedding day, and every friend and family member was on the dance floor until the very end of the night.


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Photography: Artistrie Co. | Wedding Planning: La Belle Fleur Events | Floral Design: Vale Of Enna | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Stationery: Emily Rose Ink | Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Catering: Paramount Events | Makeup: Joanna B Artistry | Hair: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Calligraphy: Emily Rose Ink | Band: Maggie Speaks | Suit: Ted Baker | Transportation: Classic Wedding Car | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Custom Pillows: Etsy | Fur Stoles: Restoration Hardware | Lighting and Decor: Event Creative | Veil: Alyssa Kristin | Wedding Design: La Belle Fleur Events

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When the Perfect Snowfall Caps Off Your Wedding Day

In my humble opinion, there’s no more romantic season to marry than in winter. And if this snowfall photograph from Emily and Kyle’s big day doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. Set at the Chicago History Museum, the amazing LK Events brought the magic of the season to life through every detail and Tim Tab Studios didn’t miss a moment behind the camera. More pretty waiting in The Vault!

From the Bride… Kyle and I met in Chicago – despite both being from St. Louis, we knew we wanted to share the city in which we met with our family and friends for our wedding. Kyle proposed on my birthday in December of 2015. At the time, we were dating long distance, and he flew in to celebrate my birthday, or so I thought. My parents were also in town visiting, allegedly for the same reason…but little did I know it was all orchestrated for the perfect proposal in front of the Chicago Water Tower on Michigan Avenue!

We knew we didn’t want too lengthy of an engagement, so a winter wedding in December 2016 was perfect timing. When planning our wedding, our top priorities were making sure the day felt true to us, as well as making the weekend an amazing time in the Windy City for our family and friends. We brought in Nicole Zenner from LK Events because I absolutely adored a prior wedding she had planned at our venue, the Chicago History Museum, and I also loved her personality and style! She then led us to a spectacular team of vendors, who all worked closely together to execute the wedding we had envisioned.

On the day itself, I felt so excited to celebrate our love and marriage, but also to have all of our family and friends in the city Kyle and I love so much. My favorite moment was our ceremony. Our officiant kept it true to us by incorporating both traditional and non-traditional elements, including reading excerpts from our favorite musical. We also added personal touches throughout the weekend, such as Garrett’s popcorn and St. Louis-style gooey butter cookies in our welcome bags to tie in the two cities we call home. After dancing the night away with our band, Time Chicago, guests left with a monogrammed matchbook with the date and location of our wedding as a final personalized memento.

One thing I wasn’t expecting that was so lovely was the snow that started falling just before our ceremony! Not only did it make for an especially cozy evening, but also it turned the reception into an even more festive setting for our awesome photographers, Tim and Bethany! Our florist, Allison of Stems, also had to work with the snowy conditions. She created a greenery bouquet for me the day-of since it was too cold to take my floral bouquet outside. Even though it wasn’t planned, the photos with the greenery bouquet are some of my favorites! Looking back, I’m so glad that we had the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all in one place, as we could not have asked for a more seamless chain of (snowy) events!

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Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Wedding Planning: LK Events | Floral Design: Stems, inc. | Wedding Dress: Aire Barcelona | Cake: Elysia Root | Invitations: Ellis Hill | Reception Venue: Chicago History Museum | Catering: Food For Thought | Makeup Artist: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Transportation: Trolley Car & Bus Co. | Hotel: Public Hotel | Bride and Bridesmaid's Wraps: Mark & Graham | Bride's Fur: Family Heirloom | Bride's Gown Sourced from: Mira Couture | Bridesmaid's Attire Sourced from: Bella Bridesmaid | Bridesmaid's Camis: Aritzia | Bridesmaid's Skirts: Bella Bridesmaid | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Groom and Groomsmen's Attire: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Hair Styling: Blowout Junkie | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Live Band: Time Chicago, in affiliation with BeatMix Music | Matchbox Favors: For Your Party | Watercolor Illustration of Bride's Dress and Chicago Skyline: Jenna Muscarella

Why a One-Year Anniversary Session is Always a Good Idea

There’s no doubt that I’m a full supporter of documenting life’s milestones—especially those based around love. I wouldn’t be worthy of the wedding blogger title without that notion. And for me? That includes the 1-year anniversary. Enter this Chicago sesh from Elizabeth Nord, who captured her very own sister’s anni. Complete with city scenes and love in the street, you can find it all in The Vault.

From Elizabeth Nord… After months of planning to visit the city, Lauren and Adam decided to celebrate their first year wedding anniversary with a photo session in the heart of downtown with me, her older sister. We chose two iconic photo spots for their session: the Lasalle bridge and in front of the Chicago Board of Trade building. They dated for 2 years prior to getting married and were married on our parent’s 30-acre property in West Tennessee. It’s been a joy to watch these two as they dated and as their marriage continues to grow. They are the perfect match and I’m so happy my sister has found her forever love.

From Lauren… In the year that we’ve been married, we’ve already learned so much about growing a marriage together. The best piece of advice that I could share with other newlywed couples is to make time for one another. It’s important to continue to date your spouse as you did before you were married. If you’re able to do it, I would suggest a date night a week. If not, a special date night each month is lovely! Continue to show each other how much the other means to you by little gestures throughout the day. Husbands, text your wife to tell her how much you love her or surprise her with flowers randomly. Wives, offer to give him a back rub or tell him how proud you are of him. Those kinds of gestures make such a difference!

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Photography: Elizabeth Nord Photography | Black Dress: Lord & Taylor

Gorgeous Views + A Beaming Bride Fight Off Wedding Day Rain

It’s pretty hard to beat a view as amazing as this one… but well, this beaming Bride did just that. With her gorgeous Jenny Yoo dress and her never-ending smile (despite rain!) she stole the show and Tim Tab Studios and Old North Film Co. captured it all – see every moment in our Vault right this way!

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From Tim Tab StudiosAlex and Brandon’s wedding day dawned with sun and sweeping, light rains. It was the day of the Air and Water Show in Chicago, and the city was bustling and warm. Alex spent a leisurely morning prepping at her hotel on the Magnificent Mile with her bridesmaids and mom. The energy in the room was so joyful and excited, a true reflection of Alex’s persona.

She dressed in Jenny Yoo, posed for a quick group shot with her ladies, and then it was time to see Brandon and begin their wedding day. The moment that Brandon stepped in for their private First Look was positively bursting with love. Brandon barely held it together when he saw his bride, and those first minutes alone together were the perfect start to the best day of their lives.

Alex and Brandon went into their wedding day knowing they wanted to feature the crown jewel of Chicago in their photos – the waterfront skyline – and their venue choice could not have been more perfect. The Adler Planetarium gave their guests the best vantage point in the whole city for both the ceremony and reception.

The Ketubah ceremony was an emotional time for everyone, as it was more intimate than the larger ceremony to follow. When the Rabbi asked the bride and groom to read their marriage contract aloud and in unison, there was hardly a dry eye in the room. According to Jewish tradition, it was at that point that Alex and Brandon were truly married.

What followed next threw a curve in their plans: rain swept across the ceremony space just as Fleur, Inc had finished the last decor details. But Alex and Brandon never wavered on their plans for an outdoor ceremony. Guests began to arrive and were ushered inside to wait out the rain. When it was finally clear, a perfectly cohesive vendor team (Food for Thought catering, Fleur, Inc floral designers, and Wrap it Up party planners) made quick work of drying off the guest’s chairs while the pianist played “Here Comes the Sun”. A few enthusiastic guests even jumped in to help too! It was an endearing team effort, and it was all for Alex. Minutes later the procession started and she walked down the aisle with her parents as the sun really did come out and lit up the whole glistening planetarium.

Initially it had felt like a challenge to create an interfaith ceremony that honored both Jewish and Catholic traditions that were so important to Alex and Brandon, but the delivery by the priest and the rabbi was so seamless, fitting, and even humorous that no one even thought twice about how hard it must have been to meld the two traditions together. Once Brandon stomped on the glass, the party got started!

Guests were ushered into the reception with a champagne place-card just as the sun was setting behind the Chicago high rises, and to their delight they saw that tacos were on the menu! The Gold Coast Allstars, arguably one of Chicago’s very best wedding bands, had the dance floor completely packed the entire night. It was an incredible day, and even the rain made Alex’s memories of her ceremony even more perfect.

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Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Videography: Old North Film Company | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo | Wedding Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Engagement Ring: Well Adorned | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Food For Thought | Hair + Makeup: Ashley Condron Rachel Reiman | Band: Gold Coast All Stars | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: Adler Planetarium | Bridal Boutique (Bridesmaids' Dresses): Brideside | Invitation Suite: Matthew Kelsey | Ketubah: Once Upon a Paper | Partial Event Planning: Wrap It Up Parties, Inc.

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The Best Advice a Bride Has Ever Given

It may sound simple but when I read this bride’s advice to her fellow bride’s to be, I knew that it was the most simply put, poignant piece of advice there is…”There will be flaws and hiccups that will not go accordingly to the detailed itinerary you spent hours making. Laugh about it and live in the moment. Your wedding day is about the new life you are creating with your soul mate and everything else doesn’t matter.” Thanks to the gorgeous photographs by Shaun Menary, you can literally that she took her own advice entirely to heart. More here!

From the bride…After we were engaged wedding planning was my second full time job. We were together for 8 years and this was finally a time I was able to put our own style and wishes into one day. I could have easily hired a wedding planner to do everything for us but instead I wanted this to be a personal journey of our own.

For the overall design choices I envisioned a soft romantic outdoor vineyard theme. We were able to enjoy the natural beauty of the vineyard as our backdrop for the ceremony. Our wedding colors were blush, gold, white, burgundy, and green.

On our special day we wanted a more intimate wedding with close friends and family. I have always dreamed of a romantic vineyard wedding and so we brought Nappa Valley to Illinois. After researching different vendors for everything that had wedding in the name ( invitations, decorations, venues, etc) I realized I wanted to try and DIY on some things. We were grateful to have amazing family and friends in our life that jumped on board when we told them the plan.

The overall wedding planning process was exiting, but also overwhelming at times with the amount of different options available. We sat down and made a decision on what was important to us and completed the budget from that list.  I wanted my dress to be a statement and Allure did not disappoint. The bridesmaids dresses matched my blush dress with burgundy and gold. The groomsmen wore black and white bowtie tuxedos.

My favorite part of the day was our ceremony. My father walked me down the aisle to A Thousand Years and seeing my groom at the end waiting for me under our backdrop was breathtaking. We had an intimate ceremony exchanging our own vows in front of our close friends and family. The reception carried on to the Italian restaurant next door.

One of our focuses for the wedding was good food and exceptional wine which is why we decided on Acquaviva Winery. They make their own delicious wine and have excellent Italian food. Family is everything to us so a memory table for those not here with us was a must. Our signature drinks were dedicated to past family dogs, and our cigar bar for our current furry son Chewbacca. The table centerpieces were gold plated bowls with overflowing flowers and greens. Candles were placed throughout the entire restaurant to add lighting and a romantic feel. Our wedding day felt like I was in a fairytale. Every detail I imagined came together and the vows we exchanged with one another are something I will hold close to my heart forever.

Advice for future brides- enjoy every single moment of the day whether good or bad. There will be flaws and hiccups that will not go accordingly to the detailed itinerary you spent hours making. Laugh about it and live in the moment. Your wedding day is about the new life you are creating with your soul mate and everything else doesn’t matter.

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Photography: Shaun Menary Photography | Videographer: Imagination Designers | Floral design: Hyvee Floral | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: The Sugar Path | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Wedding bands: Diamond Doctor | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique | Catering: Acquaviva Winery | Makeup artist: Flawless By Tiffany | Hair stylist: Tami Martin | Suit: Michael Kors | Transportation: Way To Go Limousine | Wedding Venue: Acquaviva Winery | DJ and lighting: Magsino Mobile Entertainment | Paper goods: Wedding Paper Divas | Prep location: Pheasant Run Resort | Shoe retailer: Arte Latica | Wedding dress retailer: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique

The Prettiest Dress We’ve Ever Seen

This dress is a big deal. Because I swear I’ve looked at thousands of gowns in the ten years that I’ve been writing this blog and this gown just definitely makes the list for one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Definitely top five. And the bride just happen to choose the most gorgeous bridesmaids dresses EVER (Jenny Yoo, obvi) to compliment her chic, timeless with a twist style. With florals by Kehoe Designs, coordination by Reva Nathan, photography by Emilia Jane and cinema by Vibrant Film, this wedding is everything. Everything. And I didn’t even get to the ice cream bar. Click here to see the whole she-bang.

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From the Bride…Scott and I met in Chicago and were, at first, just friends. Three years after meeting, when the timing was right, our friendship became something more and we started dating. When we decided to get married two years later we didn’t know where we wanted the celebration to be held, but knew we wanted something unique. After exploring many ideas which included a family farm in Texas, Italy, Napa and even on board a vintage train, we opted for Chicago, the city where we lived and loved so much. Scott and I were so excited to host our friends and family in The Windy City which truly shines in the summer. We kicked off the weekend with all guests on a private Architectural Boat Tour, one of our favorite activities for out of town guests.

For our wedding ceremony, The Peninsula Hotel’s rooftop terrace was the most perfect setting which felt like garden of white florals and green succulents (thanks to Kehoe Designs) that was dropped in the middle of the city surrounded by skyscrapers. Though the attire was black-tie, the evening was relaxed and casual, but still elegant. Our good friend served as officiant and my grandparents read the Jewish traditions which we incorporated into our intimate ceremony.

After the ceremony, the terrace quickly transformed into cocktail hour where guests dined on dim sum, a homage to our first official date in Chinatown, before entering the ballroom for dinner and dancing. We wanted the evening to feel fun and personal. The fun was provided by Ken Arlen Orchestra which had guests on their feet all night with the last ones leaving at 4 AM. We personalized the night with custom candles in lieu of place cards, my favorite hometown ice cream Custard Cup, a Texas themed grooms cake from Bite Sized Baker, and late night Chicago style deep dish pizza and whiskey bar – the groom’s favorite. The night was captured perfectly by Emilia Jane Photography and John Hoel Videography. Guests left with a fortune cookie to finish off their dim sum which read, “A hangover is in your immediate future.

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Cinematography: Vibrant Film | Coordination: Reva Nathan | Event Planning: Reva Nathan | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Dress: Alon Livne | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair: Renee Feldman | Lighting: Frost Chicago | Band: Arlen Music | Venue: Jennifer Clarke At The Peninsula Chicago | Custard: Jarling's Custard Cup | Decor: Kehoe Designs | Dresser: Gwendolyn Watson | Groom's Cake: Bite Sized Bakery | Late Night Pizza: Lou Malnati's | Linen Rentals: BBJ La Tavola

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Classic Chicago Wedding – With Amazing Views!

There’s a whole bunch of beautiful cities out there but something about Chicago always captures my eye. Take in the views in 312 Film’s work right here and I have a feeling you’ll agree. But no scene can steal the thunder from these two cuties that met at college. Their classic wedding hits every right note and we feel lucky to be along for the ride! Enjoy!

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From 312 FilmThey met in college at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana in 2011 at an intramural flag football game. She was there in support of one of her friends and fortune landed Jon on the same team. It just so happened that they were introduced and they instantly fell for each other. From there, the rest is history. Wedding planning was so much fun and they enjoyed every moment. They are so excited to begin the next chapter of their lives as husband and wife.

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Photography: Christopher|F Photography | Cinematography: 312 Film | Floral Design: Ashland-Addison Florist | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Alliance Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Holy Name Cathedral | Reception Venue: The Signature Room at the 95th | Bride's Shoes: Shoes Of Prey | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jasmine Collection | Makeup: Kelly La Banco | Hair: Stephanie Hejza | Band: Maggie Speaks | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Officiant: Holy Name Cathedral | Accomodations: Raffaello Hotel

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Persian Fusion Chicago Wedding

Nicole and Peter’s wedding day is the perfect example of how to effortlessly combine tradition and elegance on your big day. Complete with Tim Tab Studios behind the lens capturing every bit of Art of Imagination decor, we’ve got it all waiting in The Vault!

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From the Bride…Our first encounter was in the hallway of our law school. I stood a little too close to Pete, called my dad, and spoke Arabic loud enough so that he’d hopefully notice. I wasn’t entirely sure if he was Arab, but I thought I would take a shot to get his attention. He heard me – but didn’t quite catch on. He spoke Farsi, not Arabic. Although my tactic to lure him in that day didn’t work, Pete eventually introduced himself and taught me the difference between Arabs and Persians. Fast-forward nearly eight years later – through graduations, cross country moves, years of long distance and different jobs – we got married in Chicago.

Our relationship and background is unique – both of Pete’s parents are from Iran, and my dad is from Lebanon and mom is from a small town in Michigan. We both love and appreciate our cultures, but also have our own way of life in the city. Being authentic to who we are independently, together and with our families was a priority for us.

With a wedding party of 10 each, the girls were up at 7 AM to get the day started. The guys were lucky and Pete started the day with a fresh work out (in true Pete form for those who know him). We had our first look at the hotel, which was by far one of the most intimate and memorable moments of the day. Then we cruised around Chicago until it was time to head to Bridgeport.

Our ceremony was split into two segments: first part Persian, second part American. We really wanted the ceremony to reflect who we were as a couple and wrote the program from scratch. The sofreh aghd – a traditional Persian spread with a number of items, each symbolizing good wishes and blessings – was the centerpiece of our Persian ceremony. With our longtime friends as officiants, we recited traditional Persian vows and our own, and had Lebanese and Persian poems read.

During the cocktail hour and prior to the ceremony, we served Lebanese beer (Almaza – my favorite!), liquor (Arak), and wine, all while playing 50s American music. Our caterer did an amazing job adding a Middle Eastern twist to the entrees and hors d’oeuvres that everyone could enjoy. Thankfully everyone loved the food, another priority of ours with all the different palates in the room! Later on we served an array of Middle Eastern desserts and handed out McDonald’s (with servers in McDonald’s gear) as our late night food. It made for a few fun pictures.

As for the most important part of the night – the dance floor – we had a Persian DJ who was well-versed in all of the different types of music we wanted to play. We were able to mix traditional dances (including the Lebanese dabke and Persian baba karam) with our favorite modern music. The drummer that played the durbake (Middle Eastern drum) was a huge hit and added even more energy to the dance floor.

Looking back the best part of our wedding is not only how happy we were throughout the day and weekend in general, but also seeing how happy our family was. We’ll cherish the pictures of our family members breaking it down on the dance floor for a lifetime.

Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Floral Design: The Bread & Butterfly | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Ma Petite Maison Cake Design | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Catering: LIMELIGHT food illuminated | Makeup: Joanna B Artistry | Makeup: Anjelica Bannos | Hair: Megan Hollinger | Hotel: Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile | Venue: Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft | Bridesmaid's Getting Ready Outfits: Free People | Day-of Wedding Coordination: The Simply Elegant Group | Decor: Art of Imagination

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Urban Garden Wedding With Greenery Covered Chandeliers

Want to make a statement with greenery? Take cues from Kelly and Tim who adorned crystal chandeliers with greens galore. The result was an urban garden oasis with beautiful details like invites from Bella Figura and photography by Averyhouse. Lots more this way!

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From Averyhouse We had been trying our hardest to be patient about waiting for Kelly + Tim’s big day to roll around, but try as we could we were over the moon excited for the elegant, garden themed wedding they were planning! We met up with this gorgeous duo for their Chicago Riverfront engagement session and had a blast hearing about all of their fun plans for their August wedding.

With the beautiful summer sun overhead, her bridesmaids in beautiful mink colored dresses, and his groomsmen in cute blue suits with polka dot ties, these two tied the knot in front of their nearest and dearest. Plus, we can’t think of a better way to dance the night away than under a canopy of greenery and crystal chandeliers.

Photography: Averyhouse | Event Design: HMR Designs | Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals | Invitations: Bella Figura | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: The Ivy Room at Tree Studios | Makeup: Sonia Roselli | Hair: Prive Salon And Style Bar | Lighting: Frost Chicago | Band: Arlen Music Productions Indigo Band | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Groomsmen's Attire: Joseph Abboud | Transportation: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company | Venue: The Ivy Room at Tree Studios | Menus: Minted

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A Vintage Meets Classic Chicago Wedding, Sweet Pup Included

Lindsay and Eddie really, really know how to host a wedding. They took inspiration from their Paris engagement, a perfect European-esque locale right outside of Chicago (hello, Armour House) and enlisted a dream team of vendors to make their fairy tale vision happen. The results? A romantic affair with vintage-inspired details styled by Estera Events and a sweet pup stealing a whole lot of picture perfect moments. See it all captured by Jody Savage in THE VAULT.

From Jody Savage Photography… Every once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale. Such was truly the case for Lindsay and Eddie on July 30th, 2016 as they exchanged their vows and began their journey of everlasting love at the stunning Armour House. It was the most perfect backdrop for a one of a kind romantic, timeless wedding for the most deserving couple.

From the Bride… After Eddie and I were engaged in Paris last spring, we were on a journey to find a venue fitting of our love story. Let’s just say finding a European mansion in the heart of the midwest is no small task. And then we found Armour House. We knew it was the one before we even had our visit, and to find such a place just 30 miles away from our home in downtown Chicago was serendipitous. With rooms made of Italian marble, breathtaking gardens, and the longest aisle in Chicago – this venue is what dreams are made of.

With the help of dear friends, incredible family, superhero bridesmaids, and day-of support from the acclaimed team at Estera Events, we had our magical, fairy tale wedding on a perfect mid-summer day. Romantic, ethereal, intimate, timeless, yet authentically us is what we strived to accomplish in every detail; from the candlelit dinner to the “Party Animal” escort cards.

After losing my Mom four years ago, I dreaded, as much as I looked forward to, planning one of the biggest days in my life. I can say without a shadow of a doubt my angel Mama helped in surrounding us with a dream team of vendors who helped fill not only the physical void, but also the matters of the heart. These are wedding vendors that have not only become friends, but family, and I cannot sing their praises enough. From our treasure of a photographer Jody Savage, to the incredibly talented Vale of Enna floral team, to our wonderful Pastor Mike Lonchar, thank you for all you did to create a one-of-a kind authentic experience for each and every guest.

With the sun shining, and tears of joy flowing alongside tequila cocktails, champagne, and more, I only wish we could re-live every intimate, magical moment. One of the best decisions was hiring the rockstar team from Amor in Motion to capture every bit of our fairy tale which will be on sweet repeat until this time next year.

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Photography: Jody Savage Photography | Event Planning: Estera Events | Floral Design: Vale Of Enna | Wedding Dress: Alon Livne | Cake: Deerfield's Bakery | Hair + Makeup: Arch Apothecary | Venue: Armour House | Bridal Boutique: Bella Bianca

This White + Gold Hued Affair is All Sorts of Glamorous

There’s nothing quite like a summer wedding in Chicago. Especially if said wedding is captured by Tim Tab Studios and features a plethora of stunning white + gold-hued details and a team of talented vendors making it all happen (here’s looking at you Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists). Add in a seriously adorable duo (we heart you, Caitlin and Joe) and a “White Wedding” orchestra entrance and THE VAULT most definitely deserves your full attention. See you there, my friends.

From the Bride… Since we live in Los Angeles, we always thought we would get married near the beach. However, after checking out all of the venues along the coast of Southern California, we kept coming back to Chicago, which is where I am originally from. There is no better place than Chicago in the summer!

Since our guests were coming in from all over the United States, some to Chicago for the first time, we really wanted to choose venues unique to Chicago. Saint James Chapel is in the heart of the Gold Coast and has so much history. The Langham hotel is in an iconic Mies Van der Rohe building on the river, The Art Institute of Chicago is such a Chicago landmark, and we couldn’t wait to share the experience of the Modern Wing with our guests. During our cocktail hour overlooking Millennium Park on a perfect summer night, we looked at each other and both agreed that we could not have picked a better city — or venues — for our wedding.

A few of the parts of our day that were my favorite: my twin brother was my “man of honor” — I couldn’t imagine anyone else standing beside me and fulfilling that role. My walk down the aisle with my dad — we were both crying! During the cocktail hour, we stopped in front of one of my favorite paintings, Sky Above Clouds by Georgia O’Keefe. The amazing Becca Kaufman orchestra played “White Wedding” for our entrance into the reception. White is my maiden name and our decor theme was all white, so it was fitting.

Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Event Planning: Liven It Up Events | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Cake: Three Tarts Bakery | Ceremony Venue: St. James Quigley Chapel | Reception Venue: The Art Institute of Chicago | Rings: XIV Karats | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Hair + Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Band: Becca Kauffman Orchestra | Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren Black Label | Decor: Kehoe Designs

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The Couple’s Pups Took Part in the Engagement Session

We’re seeing more and more couples include their fur babies in the engagement shoot, and it’s a trend I can totally get behind. Megan and Chad planned exactly that for their session in Chicago and Emilia Jane photographed all the fun. More this way!

From Emilia JaneI love that more and more of my couples are opting to do multi-part engagement sessions! Megan and Chad are a perfect recent example of this. We woke up early to do a sunrise, riverwalk shoot with their adorable pups on Wednesday and then shot their formal save-the-date’s during golden hour on Thursday.

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Suit: Suitsupply | Hair and Make-up: Sonia Roselli | Heels: Christian Louboutin | Peplum Top: Shopbop | Sandals: Jack Rogers | Sequin Dress: Nordstrom

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The Reasoning Behind This Bride’s White Feather Will Make You Cry

No doubt that this wedding is beautiful, but even more so? It’s filled with meaning. Take the white feather tucked into Annie’s bouquet. Fair warning, you’ll want to grab a few tissues before reading through the sentiment behind it below, but suffice to say that Jacqui Cole Photography has captured it all and we’ve got it waiting for you in The Vault!

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From Jacqui Cole PhotographyAnnie and Dave wed at the stunning Lake Forest Armour House. Their ceremony was amongst the greenery of the gardens and their reception in the historic ballroom. Hints of soft lilac and greenery were the focal colors which complemented the lush backdrop of the gardens perfectly. Annie wore a sleek Elizabeth Fillmore gown while carrying a simple, elegant arrangement of white roses. Tears of joy continued to flow throughout the day. When the rain started falling halfway through their garden ceremony Annie and Dave joined hands and announced for their guests to join them inside. A little rain couldn’t dampen their spirits!

From the Bride..Dave and I dated for about three years before we got engaged. We are obsessed with our German Shepherd, Brandy, so naturally Brandy was involved in the proposal. Dave asked me to go on a lake path walk one Saturday afternoon. Midway through our walk, I tried to get Brandy to pose for a selfie with us with the lake in the background, and Dave snuck around behind me and got down on one knee!

The first vendor I booked, even before I knew the venue, was our photographer, Jacqui Cole. She photographed my friend’s wedding, and I knew that I wanted Jacqui to photograph our wedding, too – not only is she incredibly talented, but she is also such a warm, sweet, and fun person to be around (which is pretty important since she is one of the few people around for some of your most special and intimate moments, like the First Look!). I asked Jacqui for a list of her favorite venues in and around Chicago, and Armour House was one of them. Dave and I visited it and immediately knew that we wanted to get married there!

One of my favorite parts of wedding planning was finding my wedding dress, and it was such a special moment to share with my mom, Maid of Honor, cousin, and aunt. The dress was by Elizabeth Fillmore, from Belle Vie. It was made of French lace, with a low back and ruched detailing…both simple and intricate at the same time. The dress matched the European, vintage, romantic feel of Armour House and its gardens. The dress was also super comfortable and easy to maneuver in (it felt like wearing a nightgown), and I loved the lack of fussiness about it.

I tried to stay with the theme of ease/simple elegance that drew me to my wedding dress. Armour House has so much natural beauty between its stunning gardens and the amazing architecture and details of the interior of the house, so we kept our flowers, by Lake Forest Flowers, and table linens, by BBJ Linens, understated to complement, not compete with, the venue. We also prioritized music for both the ceremony and reception, handpicking all of the selections of both Wellington Strings Quartet and Kate Porter of Toast & Jam DJs.

One of my favorite moments was when Jacqui, my photographer, found a large white feather in the grass during our First Look pictures on the grounds of our venue. She lost her dad a few years ago, and she knew that I had also lost my dad. She told me that her mom has always told her that whenever she sees a white feather, it means her dad is near to her. Jacqui shared this as she handed me the white feather, and I couldn’t believe it! It was one of the most magical moments of my life. Just moments before the ceremony, Eileen from Lake Forest Flowers helped me add the feather to my bouquet, and it was so meaningful to carry the feather with me as I walked down the aisle. Another favorite moment was when Dave and I walked down the grand staircase at Armour House for our introduction at the reception. It was an amazing feeling to look out and see all the smiling, loving faces of all of our favorite people! It was a feeling I’ll never forget.

My biggest tip to future brides is to have someone besides you be in charge of keeping track of time when you and the bridesmaids are getting ready before the ceremony. It did not occur to me to delegate this task, but I wish I had! You’ll be happy to have one less thing on your plate, trusting that someone else can make sure you leave wherever you’re getting ready at the right time. Another little tidbit to pass on – it really will be okay if it rains on your wedding day! It started raining just a few minutes into my outdoor ceremony, and we had to move our 150 guests inside to a new location. It actually made the ceremony feel more exciting and interactive, and I got to walk up and down the aisle twice!


Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Cinematography: Lexoria Wedding Films | Floral Design: Lake Forest Flowers | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore | Cake: Deerfield's Bakery | Reception Venue: Armour House | Hair + Makeup: Debra Petrielli Freelance Hairstylist | DJ: Toast and Jam | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Bridesmaids' Dress: Nordstrom | Dress Store: Belle Vie Bridal | Getting Ready Hotel: Deerpath Inn | Invitaions: Yellow Bird

Charming Vintage-Inspired Wedding In Chicago

When you meet “the one” while on a business trip, pretty amazing things happen. Just take Leslie and Euan who found one another when they were least expecting it, and later planned the wedding of their dreams. Incredible vendors like LOLA Event Productions, Brian Dorsey Studios, Toast and Jam, Nika Vaugha, and Robinson Press brought the day to life and it’s all waiting right here.

Leslie and Euan met in a way they were least expecting – through work! Leslie traveled to Canada for a business trip and unexpectedly met her husband-to-be.

After a quick introductory coffee, they both knew they wanted to see each other again. Their managers knew it too – calling them out when they were both blushing after being asked what they were doing that night. After a whirlwind few days together, they embarked on a long-distance relationship that was built to last.

When it came time to propose, Euan sweated through a day of mishaps before finally popping the question. The couple had traveled to Charleston for a weekend getaway, and Euan had it all planned out. Little did he know Leslie would spill an entire iced coffee all over her nicest shirt, almost discover the ring in his shorts pocket, and then announce how cute it was that her coworker got engaged at the very spot he planned to do it. Being an improviser, he brought her to a bench overlooking the water and pulled the ring out of his pocket at the perfect moment. “I was so surprised! I was almost confused because it happened so fast!” Leslie says. And of course she said yes.

Leslie and Euan both work in events, so they dove into planning without batting an eye. Overall, they knew they wanted it to feel intimate, personal and welcoming. This led them to choose the Ravenswood Event Center for their celebration – the space provided the perfect amount of intimacy and flair. They decorated the venue in a classic style with details brought in from the places that mean the most to them: Scotland, Toronto, New York, London and Chicago. They used vintage postcards as their table numbers, and hand wrote each guest a note thanking them for coming to their big day.

Their advice for couples planning a wedding? Choose the things that really matter to you and get them right, then don’t sweat the rest. It will all come together! Also, remember to slow down and enjoy your day as much as possible – it’s not often you have everyone you love in one place so take advantage of it!

Photography: Brian Dorsey Studios | Event Planning: LOLA Event Productions | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad | Cake: Bittersweet | Stationery: Robinson Press | Ceremony Venue: St. Chrysostom's Church | Reception Venue: Ravenswood Event Center | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | DJ: Toast and Jam | Band: Screw City Swingers | Groom's Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke | Transportation: Chicago Trolley Co. | Groom's Tie: Liberty of London | Hair/Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Place Cards: TiffZippy (Etsy) | Table Numbers: Anderson Design Group

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A Classic Gilded Tented City Wedding

Sequins, cityscapes and one stunner of a gown? Now THAT’S how you pull off a Midwestern wedding, and thanks to the talented Britta Hundertmark we’ve got it all to share. From the sweet outdoor ceremony to the stunning portraits, it’s all waiting for you in The Vault!

From the Bride…Coincidentally, March 26, 2011 (we got hitched March 26, 2016!), I interviewed for my current company and met Mike during the interview process. While Mike immediately told his company to hire “that cute girl”, I immediately went home and started Googling him. After Mike’s position changed within the company and a few months of casually seeing each other around, we made things “official”.

Friday, June 12, 2015 was a night of “firsts” for us, including memories of where we first met, our first date and our first kiss. The night started when Mike took me to our typical Friday night dinner, but one thing was different; that’s for sure! He took me to where we went on our first date, McCormick and Schmicks; we even sat at the same table as our first date.

The next stop was where we initially met! Together, we took the elevator up to the rooftop 40 floors above beautiful Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. When we got to the top, Mike had my favorite song playing so he proceeded to slow dance with me (yes, slow dance!). As he gabbed on and on about how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, I was in complete shock and still to this day don’t remember anything Mike said. He got down on one knee and popped the question! Mike still doesn’t think I even said Yes.

Mike had one more surprise in mind, as he wanted to take me to have a few drinks at the location of our first kiss, the infamously drunken Houndstooth Saloon. I had no idea that many of my friends and family were awaiting our presence in the back room of Houndstooth until I walked in to see them all there! Mike had cleverly put the whole thing together so that even my parents could make the trip up to surprise me!

From Britta HundertmarkMegan and Mike are as adorable as they sound, from Megan’s testimony above. The morning of the wedding Megan was as calm as could be, until that moment (I think most brides have this), when the dress and veil goes on, and suddenly it is so very real. As she prepared to go down to the hotel lobby to greet Mike for their first look, the nerves had set in – but the moment the two of them locked eyes the only emotion that could be seen was pure joy.

We hopped on a bus with their bridal party (a large one, with 11 on each side!), we headed towards the Wrigley building for some city photos. Little did we know, leading up to the day, that we would be blessed with a GORGEOUS afternoon with the most lovely light (this city does cooperate, weather wise, sometimes!).

After the Wrigley building we headed over to the ever popular Kinzie Street Bridge – I loved that we were able to mix the classic architecture, with something a little grungier – and I just loved the look of those sequin bridesmaid gowns with that rustic underpass background!

Then off to Galleria Marchetti, where Megan and Mike were married in the gorgeous garden area that backs up to the tent where the reception was to be held.

Megan mixed the light pastel florals with some wonderful pieces from Etsy – and a sweets table that would make anyone’s mouth water!!!

Photography: Britta Hundertmark | Floral Design: The Flower Firm | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Alliance Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Vera Wang | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Makeup: Alyssa Lalagos & Emily Wolf | Hair: Chrissy Pistorio & Jacqueline Main | Band: Maggie Speaks | Groom's Attire: Black Tie Formalwear | Venue: Galleria Marchetti | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

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Talk About First Look Goals…

It’s official – the cutest “first look” award goes to this bride and groom. They planned the ultimate rooftop reveal captured by Emilia Jane followed by an “I do” at the Chicago History Museum designed with classic elegance from start to finish. Peruse to your heat’s content with more inside The Vault.

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From The Bride…Ryan and I got engaged in December 2013. Once we decided the wedding was going to be in Chicago, we began the complicated process of selecting a venue. The Chicago History Museum was the first and last venue we visited. We both fell instantly in love with the classic architectural details and timeless feel. I knew instantly that nothing could compete with the first time I walked into the museum’s Chicago Room. Light was pouring in through the large windows, framing views of Lincoln Park and the lake in the distance. The Chicago Room opens up to a large outdoor plaza that we knew would be amazing to incorporate into our wedding day. That was all it took to convince us that this was our venue.

From the start we knew we wanted our wedding to have an elegant feel. We ended up selecting an ivory color palette with hints of blush. Floral was one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process. Peonies are my absolute favorite flower – so much that our wedding date was selected solely based on when peonies are in season. Jenna at Avant Gardenia did an amazing job creating everything that I had envisioned. One of my favorite details of the day was the floral detail on our framed seating chart that we had displayed outdoors during cocktail hour. These details are what really made the day memorable and special for us.

Ryan and I can both honestly say that this was the best day of our lives. We spent the entire day surrounded by our closest family and friends. You could literally feel the love in the room. Emilia Jane did an amazing job capturing all the memorable details and emotions in all of her photographs. We were so lucky to have her truly capture the essence of our wedding day.

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Event Planning: Effortless Events | Floral Design: Avant Gardenia | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Jewell Events | Makeup: Shannon O'Brien MUA | Hair: Your Stylist AJ | DJ: Okyne Media Lab | Venue: Chicago History Museum | Getting Ready Venue: Public Hotel | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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