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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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The Ultimate Chicago Skyline Wedding

Midwesterners, I’d like you to meet the most perfect skyline wedding. Enter, Caitlin and Jason’s special day. Effortless captured by Kristin La Voie Photography, it’s a celebration brimming with the smooth tunes of The Stitely Orchestra and delightful decor a la the Art of Imagination. Fall in love with every detail via The Vault!

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From Kristin La Voie PhotographyCaitlin and Jason had me all smiles from morning to night with their stunning Chicago wedding! The morning started with a tearful first look with Caitlin and her Daddy, followed by sentimental gifts she gave both her parents. I admit I was shooting it all through blurry, watery eyes. We had the perfect weather for photos at Olive Park, inside their stunning church, and ended at Bridgeport Art Center’s Sculpture Garden. I love shooting in this space, and with this couple and their sweet family and friends, it was even better than ever!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Coordination: Blush and Luxe | Floral Design: Steve's Flower Market | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Invitations: Minted | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Beyond Events | Band: Stitely Entertainment | Ties: The Tie Bar | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Venue: Bridgeport Arts Center | Decor: Art of Imagination | Linen Rentals: Beyond Events

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The Perfect Cityscape Café Wedding

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, this Midwest wedding sneaks up behind me to surprise. Because when you take a cafe wedding set in the heart of Chicago, you know you’re in for something major. Add in the massively talented Jacqui Cole Photography and Toast and Jam and you’ve got it all on lock. See it all in The Vault!

From Jacqui Cole PhotographyMatt and Teresa wed at the iconic Cafe Brauer in the heart of Lincoln Park, Chicago. Teresa wanted understated, elegant details with bold pops of color. The bright touches of purple were perfectly offset with the dusty shale bridesmaid dresses. Teresa looked stunning in her form fitting Vera Wang gown. We enjoyed roaming around the city for portraits and ended the evening dancing the night away inside the stunning Cafe Brauer.

From the Bride… Matt and I met in 2011 and fell in love over a mutual love of summer in Chicago. The early days included days and nights in Wrigelyville, Lincoln Park, and the South Loop neighborhoods.

I was never the girl who grew up dreaming of her wedding day. I didn’t have colors in mind, a dress, a location, or a groom. When I met Matt the “big day” became more of a reality. While we dated we would talk about a “hypothetical party” we would have someday with all of our friends and family. We would share what we wanted that day to look like and who was most important to us.

The dream wedding became a reality when Matt proposed in October 2014. We were on our way to Dubuque, IA (my hometown) for a weekend retreat from the city. We stopped in Galena, IL at a scenic overlook, which is halfway between our hometowns and Matt shocked me when he got down on one knee. And we went on our way to celebrate the weekend with awaiting friends and family in Dubuque.

Our wedding day was so personal. It meant so much to us to have such talented friends and family who helped with the design of the programs, menus, and table numbers and helped our vision come to life. The vendors also listened so closely to our requests and delivered exactly what we wanted. Tiger Lily Catering helped us create the menu with our favorite foods and Candle Ready Cakes helped us create the perfect cake and desserts (we should’ve ordered more because our guests LOVED them).

We were very intentional about every detail throughout the day. Our apartment is referred to by our friends and family as Pollack’s Pub and we wanted our guests to feel right at home. We hoped our guests would enjoy the city and provided transportation to our ceremony at St. Clement’s Catholic Church, and encouraged guests to make their way to Cafe Brauer by stopping at bars/restaurants in the area or checking out the Lincoln Park Zoo- the weather was perfect that day and our guests definitely took advantage.

My favorite part of our day was our first dance. The song was one that was very special to us and our relationship and not many people recognized it. That moment frozen in time was as if we were the only two in the room. The photos don’t even do it justice. It was such a special moment that was so perfectly captured.

Future Brides: Don’t be shy! You will have so many options (and opinions) that come your way- be sure to speak up if you’re unsure or don’t like something. I never would’ve found my wedding dress if I didn’t speak up and tell the stylist I didn’t want the heavy ornate dress. My color scheme was very specific and the florist changed almost everything about the arrangements two weeks before the wedding and they ended up just as perfect as I had hoped. How was I supposed to find anything that matched dusty shale dresses? I browsed so many magazines and websites and social media of other weddings and I slowly pieced mine together- with the help of my groom and many others. There will be so many highs and lows throughout the planning process, but the planning is so worth it to be entirely present for the dream day.

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Coordination: Levy Restaurants | Floral Design: Kloeckner Preferred Flowers | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Candle Ready Cakes | Invitations: Minted | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Makeup: Brian Doebereiner | Hair: Epoch Salon | DJ: Toast and Jam | Venue: Cafe Brauer | Calligraphy Table Numbers: Sarah Kane | Signage: Sarah Kane

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Why These Two Brides Invited Wedding Crashers to Their Wedding

If you don’t like being the center of attention, weddings can be a little tough. But these brides just came up with the perfect solution. After an intimate ceremony surrounded by immediate family and a few close friends, they invited 200 guests for dinner and an additional 50 “Wedding Crashers” to dance the night away with Toast & Jam. See every beautiful detail from Dabble Me This in The Vault!

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From Dabble Me This Mike Ditka’s granddaughter Lauren tied the knot to the love of her life Mary Kate at an intimate ceremony and reception at Salvage One. Surrounded by their closest friends and family these two could not have asked for a better day to share their love together. Capturing Lauren and Mary at some of their favorite spots off Green Street in the West Loop you could tell LOVE ALWAYS WINS! These two were all smiles and there was so much excitement in making a commitment to each other. From the art deco dresses to the florals by Pistil + Vine to Salvage One’s vintage Chicago charm everything was simply divine. I simply love these two to pieces and know nothing but the best is in store for them!

From the Brides Lauren + Mary… Mary and I met in college (Illinois State University) her sophomore year and my freshman year (2007). We were friends for a while and started dating shortly after getting back from winter break. It’s been a lovely ride ever since. For our six-year anniversary we went skiing in Crested Butte, Colorado. Mary’s plan was to propose at this ski-in ice bar on the mountain (you have to take a blue run to get to the bar), but we soon learned that I wasn’t the biggest fan of anything steeper than a green run so the plan changed. Mary ended up proposing at the bottom of the mountain around a private fire over some drinks. I told her to STFU when she first asked; I thought she was joking for a solid minute. After the initial shock wore off I said yes and immediately started to cry. It’s what I do when I’m excited.

The vision was laid back, we wanted it to feel like a giant party and leave a lot of the stuffiness and corniness about weddings out of our day. As far as a feel, it definitely had a fall feel to it, we got married on October 24th. As for the colors, we told our bridesmaids to wear any form of gold and sprinkled that into the invitations and elsewhere. Lots of golds, and blues and white pumpkins. Mary’s mom is sort of obsessed with white pumpkins and wouldn’t hear about a fall wedding without them. We had 20 guests for the ceremony, 200 guests for the dinner and an additional 50 official “Wedding Crashers” joined us after dinner. We actually sent out official “crasher” invites and it was the best idea we had. They helped pack the dance floor, drink up the booze and celebrate into the early morning hours.

For the venue we told our planner, Lindsay Green the feel we were looking for and Salvage One was the first venue she took us to (talk about killer wedding planner instinct). After that nothing else compared, we just kept going back to Salvage One. It was gorgeous, and unique and everything about it was a conversation piece. Exactly what we wanted. The ceremony was short, sweet, small and private. Mary isn’t great with being the center of attention so the ceremony was definitely her biggest concern. We ended up only inviting immediate family and a couple of very close friends. In total I think it clocked in under 5 minutes: Our parents walked us down the aisle while Mary’s brothers played Van Morrison’s ‘Sweet Thing’, a close friend married us, our dog (it’s a lesbian thing) was the flower girl and even in front of a small group of our closest confidants Mary messed up the vows. Everything about it was lovely and down to earth.

So many special things: In lieu of speeches we had Mary’s great uncle give an old English toast. The crowd got super into it and I swear we made that venue shake. It was one of the highlights of the night. Also, instead of a traditional first dance we invited all of the guests to get up and share in our first dance together (Otis Redding’s rendition of Sam Cook’s ‘Wonderful World’). It was a great way to get everyone on the dance floor, and because our DJ, Toast & Jam, was legit the best and made it impossible for anyone to leave the dance floor after that. We mentioned the wedding crashers earlier; they brought new energy to the party as they started showing up. It allowed us to invite friends that we love and care about that we couldn’t invite for dinner because of seating capacity. It was an incredible feeling to have everyone that we love in one room to celebrate.

Photography: Dabble Me This | Event Planning: Lindsay Green | Floral Design: Pistil & Vine | Wedding Dress: J.Crew | Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara | Catering: Jewell Events | Hair + Makeup: Salon Blue | Lighting: Frost Chicago | DJ: Toast and Jam | Hotel: Virgin Hotels | Venue: Salvage One | Pies: Hoosier Mama Pies

Fashion Blogger “Somewhere Lately” Shares Her Engagement Session!

When Meggan, one half of the blogger duo behind Somewhere Lately, offered a look inside her Chicago engagement session we couldn’t say yes fast enough. Especially because she brought on Jacqui Cole to capture her signature light-filled prettiness that makes our hearts sing. Congrats lovers, your urban engagement session is EVERYTHING.

From Jacqui Cole PhotographyWhen a fashion blogger has her engagement session you KNOW it’s going to be beautiful! This is Meggan from the blog Somewhere LatelyMeggan got engaged at the end of last year in Dallas and is planning a destination Cabo wedding!

From Meggan… Kyle and I are getting married in Cabo next June. We decided on Cabo because we wanted a fun location that we could celebrate with our closest friends and family. We are very much “go with the flow” people, who enjoy basking in the sun with a cold drink (or two) in our hands. We are having our rehearsal dinner at the gorgeous Flora Farms and wedding on the beach at Cabo Azul. The style of the wedding is bohemian, whimsical, chic, but there will be a touch of Mexico, think lot’s of tequila and a mariachi band ;) I haven’t got too far into the decor yet but I want to create an intimate feel. My color palette is very neutral (bridesmaids will be wearing white), with hints of light pink and gold. It seems like forever away but I know it will be here before we know it!

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography

We’ve Discovered the Wedding Dress Of Your Dreams

You made it to Friday, in the dog days of summer no less, so I declare a necessary celebration. And so I present to you a wedding full of rustic, glam details – starting with this Berta Bridal dress. The intricate lace – from the stunning v-neck to those elegant long sleeves – have me rethinking all my wedding dress dreams. Tamara Gruner captured the whole look and more – including this bouquet from Fionna Floral that I predict will be all over Pinterest within hours. See it all starting now!

From the Bride… We were living in California when we got engaged, but knew we wanted to get married in our hometown of Chicago with all of our family and friends. We both grew up in the Chicagoland area, and went to college and lived in the city, so we knew we wanted to have our ceremony in the city. Holy Name Cathedral has always been a special church for me growing up, with its beautiful architecture and long history in Chicago.

We wanted an intimate and romantic space for the reception, and we found the perfect room at Concorde Banquets. The big windows overlooking the grounds, the soft lighting, and delicious food made the entire evening magical.

I have always had a picture in my mind of what my gown would look like – anything but ordinary. My style is very simple but detail oriented. The silhouette of the dress is very elegant, but the lace adds a layer of romance I knew would blow Daniel away. The dress struck the right balance between modesty and sexy. While I didn’t initially look for a long-sleeved dress, my mother’s wedding dress was also long-sleeved – so when I tried it on, and it fit like a glove – I knew it was meant to be.

It was very important to both Daniel and I to bring our California life into the wedding. The colors we chose – dusty blues, muted jade greens, ivory and slate gray with a touch of blush – were inspired by the colors of the Pacific ocean. The soft gold in the chairs, votives and decor brought the warmth of the California sun. My former boss and good friends from Fionna Floral in Santa Cruz flew the flowers and herself from California and provided the lush, intimate, romantic setting that evoked the sunsets off of the Pacific Coast Highway that we cherish.

Our theme phrase was “Love in a Mist”, reminiscent of our days at the beach in California. The flowers in the long, cascade bridal bouquet were white and blue veronica, dusty blue hydrangea, tillandsia, garden roses in ivory tones, tulips, green hanging amaranthus, dusty miller, eucalyptus, passion vine, air plants, and some olive leaves and berries. The boutonnieres were white roses, lilac, olive/bay leaves and berries.

We wanted our guests to have a piece of our wedding that lasted longer than the night, so we bought baby succulents from California with little white pails for them to take home as a reminder that love continues to grow with the proper care.

Photography: Tamara Gruner Photography | Floral Design: Fionna Floral | Wedding Dress: Berta | Cake: Central Continental Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Holy Name Cathedral | Reception Venue: Concorde Banquets | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Rings: Cartier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Concorde Banquets | DJ: DJ Leon | Groom's Attire: Prada | Bride's Handbag: Prada | Earrings: Helmut Lang from FarFetch | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Groom's Ring: Benchmark

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A Seasonal Rustic Chic Wedding You’ve Got to See to Believe

If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that a good wedding doesn’t just stop and end with the design details. Ohhh no, there’s so much more that goes into said celebration that you’ve really got to stop and appreciate all the pretty that’s produced. Take this perfect fall inspired soiree as proof. From the stunning LOVA WEDDINGS gown, to the mini bourbons in honor of the Groom’s late father, to the cozy pashmina scarfs to keep guests warm, Brad and Jen captured it all to share in The Vault!

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From The Bride…After the thrill of our engagement, the planning and execution of our 200 guest fall wedding was truly a family affair. From my mother and I designing and planning every detail of this day together, to my father singing our first dance song and hand-making 12 rustic farm tables for the reception, each and every element was carefully thought out and created with love and purpose!

My husband Kyle and I grew up in the same Chicago suburb and after moving downtown, we originally thought our wedding would take place in the city. I had plans for a rustic and glam soiree in a shabby-chic Chicago warehouse, but then we stumbled upon Oak Hill Farm: a little slice of heaven on earth. Tucked in the rolling hills of the Midwest (in Galena, IL about three hours west of downtown Chicago), it was the most beautiful, peaceful piece of land we had ever seen! The privately owned horse farm doubles as a wedding venue and home to the family who lives there, and we knew immediately that this is where we were meant to get married. As a major horse lover and former equestrian, the thought of us tying the knot in their vintage 19th century chapel that sits atop the back hill, with four blonde clydesdale horses galloping in the background, was almost too good to be true! With our hearts set on a Fall wedding, we booked October 10th, 2015 and the planning began.

As a business owner of busywrist with a passion for all things visual and unique, I knew from the start that aspects of our wedding would be non-traditional. I wanted our wedding to reflect our style; tasteful yet minimal with a bit of an edge. I love simplicity and a neutral color palette, and therefore quickly decided to have my six bridesmaids wear white full-length dresses with me (something that definitely raised a lot of eyebrows at first) and also decided against traditional flowers at the wedding (cue more eyebrow raises), with the exception of my gorgeous bouquet. I also personally created our menus, programs, invitation suite and save-the-dates, and tried to reflect the simple, rustic, yet modernistic vibe we were trying to evoke.

My mother and I were determined to design and execute this wedding ourselves, something we both thoroughly enjoyed, and at times admittedly detested! I had dreams of filling the tent at Oak Hill with shades of white, hints of gold, and rustic hues; lush greenery table runners against dark provincial farm tables, oversized vases filled with impossibly tall branches, lace layered on linens to create texture at the round tables, and brass candlesticks lining the tables holding a romantic, open tapered flame. My father is a mason contractor and all around talented handy-man, thanks to him our vision was able to come to life. He built 12 huge, ten-person farm tables by hand, which we interspersed throughout the tent in combination with 10 round tables to seat our 200 guests. Additionally, he hand carved slabs of limestone with slits to accommodate our guest’s place cards (an idea my mother and I had after racking our brains to come up with something we hadn’t seen before), as well as chunks of stone for the tables that I then painted numbers on. At each table we decided to gift our guests with items to “keep them warm” on that cool Fall evening. We hung white pashmina scarves on the backs of all the ladies chairs, and for the men, miniature bottles of Knob Creek Bourbon were placed at the head of their plates. The Knob Creek was a touching tribute (perhaps my favorite detail of the wedding) to my husband’s late father – it was his drink of choice and we felt it the perfect way to honor him that day.

As for the fashion! The road to my dream-gown was long and windy, but well worth the journey. If I could somehow wear that dress every day for the rest of my life, I would. I wanted a non-traditional, long sleeve gown. I’m not a “girly girl” and was looking for something sleek and minimalistic, yet elegant and bold. Easy, right? I had an idea of what I was looking for, but knew it had to be custom made to fit me properly and after many failed attempts at finding the right designer to work with, I finally happened upon my couture fairy godmother, Lovisa Tedestedt of LOVA Weddings. Lovisa helped design me the most perfect dress, and it fit me like a glove. We decided to overlay a thin, dreamy tulle skirt over the dress for the ceremony look, which I then took off for the reception. The amazing veil I wore was made by Theia. As soon as I laid eyes on it I knew the hundreds of cascading silk petals would be the perfect added touch to my simple, chic, backless gown. My ceremony shoes were a pair of Sam Edelman kitten heels and I later traded those in for my go-to white Adidas Originals sneakers for the reception! As for the groom, my fiance and I both loved the idea of him and his groomsmen wearing blue (the only real color at our wedding!), and he had a beautiful suit custom made at Alton Lane.

Aside from trying to perfect all the details, all Kyle and I cared about was everyone having fun. We wanted the wedding to be unlike anything our guests had ever been to, and thanks to Oak Hill Farm and our families, we were able to do just that. Their unique property allowed us to create an adventure for our guests, with so much to see and do (beautiful horses, an old schoolhouse where the cocktail hour was held, a replica “country store” where they could look around and help themselves to a candy bar, and so much more). We both come from very large families, and we were truly ecstatic to see them all in one place. Everyone made a weekend out of it, and we loved having so many people join us for a mini-vacation out in the Midwestern countryside. My father is also an incredibly talented musician, and the awesome band we hired was cool enough to not only let him sing our first dance song, but they also let my dad and his band do a set of songs later on in the reception. The night was just perfect. We ate a “fancy barbeque” themed meal, drank, danced, sang, laughed, and danced some more!

Photography: Brad and Jen | Cinematography: Eric Floberg | Floral Design: Hy-Vee | Floral Design: Flora Chicago | Wedding Dress: Lova Weddings | Bride's Shoes: Sam Edelman | Rings: Diana Widman Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Revolve Clothing | Makeup: Krystyn Johnson | Hair: Samara Toby | Band: Hey Jimmy | Groom's Attire: Alton Lane | Venue: Oak Hill Farm | Bridesmaids Gifts: Busy Wrists Bracelets | Catering + Desserts: Rafters Restaurant and Catering | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Invitations, Menus + Programs: Megan McMillin | Linen Rentals: Inside Decor | Veil: Theia

Whimsical Summer Wedding Complete with Several Cute Cakes!

Two things stand out in this Vault gallery from Averyhouse: this Bride legit never stopped smiling, and her wedding cakes? Epic. We’re talking not only funfetti but a selection of super sweet treats that leave us jaw-dropped – and hungry. Lucky for us, our cravings can be satisfied with all these pics from this Chicago Botanic Garden shindig – this, my friends, is summer celebration success.

From Averyhouse… With fresh summery details imbued with a whimsical and bohemian flair, we bring you Kate and Derek’s Chicago Botanic Garden wedding. Half of this adorable duo is part of Chicago’s amazing wedding industry and we couldn’t have imagined anything less from this chic couple on their big day. Kate played off of blush, natural greens, and ivory for her color scheme which was perfect for an already stunning outdoor venue. Add in the perfect amount of sunshine, whispy white dresses for her bridesmaids, and a groom reduced to tears during their first look and you’ve got yourself the perfect Chicago wedding. This sweet day will always hold a special place in our hearts!

Photography: averyhouse | Event Planning: Elevage Events | Floral Design: Christine Janda Design And Events | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Cake: Blue Plate | Invitations: LBrown Design & Paperie | Catering: Chicago Botanic Garden | Hair: Amie Miller | Lighting: Frost Chicago | DJ: Matt Roan | Transportation: Signature Transportation Group | Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden | Menus: LBrown Design & Paperie | Photo Booth: Brooke Courtney Photography | String Trio: Belle Music

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The Ultimate Wedding Gift for an Equestrian: A Horse!

We’ll be the first admit that this equestrian bride got the ultimate gift from her groom. Want to know what it was? A a beautiful horse named Rayne Dance. From that point on Deidre Lynn Photography captured it all to share. From the first dance, to their first kiss as newlyweds, we’ve got their new beginning waiting for you in The Vault!

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From The Bride…Kyle and I met in 7th grade and since that day, everyone always said we’d end up together. After 14 years of friendship and 4 years of dating, he popped the question among friends and family and I quickly got to wedding planning!

As an avid horseback rider since age 7, I knew that equestrian touches and décor would be incorporated into our wedding celebration. During reception venue tours, my fiancé and I stumbled upon a nearby and intimate country club – the Saint Charles Country Club. We immediately fell in love. The private club is nestled in between the cities of Saint Charles and Wayne – historically known for it’s prominent equestrian ties and the fox hunt. Saint Charles is also home to our beloved Fox River – the river Kyle spent his childhood water skiing on and the river we continue to boat on most of our summer weekends.

The proximity of the country club to the iconic Hotel Baker and beautiful Baker United Methodist Church made for an easy decision when choosing our church and hotel accommodations. Both are situated in historic downtown Saint Charles along the Fox River and made for some beautiful backdrops.

Kyle and I wanted everything to appear very classic so we chose a gold, white and gray palette with the men in black and the girls in white. Floral was important to us and we had arrangements draped over just about everything – chandeliers, our animals, a classic car, etc. Much of our décor was vintage and gold, all tying back to our equestrian theme.

Kyle wedding gift to me was extra special and my ultimate dream – a beautiful horse named Rayne Dance. He was trailered into the country club to make for some enchanting (and very happy!) photos.

Our most special June day turned out to be 88 degrees and sunny. Cocktail hour was enjoyed on the veranda overlooking the picturesque golf course while light flooded the ballroom for dinner and dancing. It was truly such a magical day surrounded by our nearest friends and family who traveled near and far to celebrate with us!

Photography: Deidre Lynn Photography | Cinematography: Daniel D Video | Floral Design: Debi's Designs | Wedding Dress: Enzoani | Cake: The Sugar Path | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Baker Memorial United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: St. Charles Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Jewelry: Marchesa | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Makeup Artist : Joey Claeyssen Makeup Artistry | Calligraphy: Hello Happy Print Co | Hotel: Hotel Baker | Decor: Denise's Adornments | Linen Rentals: Ultrapom

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This Glamorous Wedding Started With A Proposal Story That Will Make Your Heart Melt

When a romance begins with the words, “There’s no way a girl as pretty as you isn’t going to dance tonight,” you just know the proposal story is going to up the ante for all couples forever. With every detail crafted to perfection by Lola Event Production and captured by Emilia Jane Photography, see why this glamorous wedding completely took our breath away here in The Vault.

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From The Couple…How we met in the fall of 2012 (through Zach’s voice):

It all started at a wedding…In November of 2012, Zach was a groomsman in Scott and Nora King’s wedding. As fate would have it, Laura Lazzara was also in attendance. During the reception, Zach spotted Alan Lazzara Sr. (Laura’s father) who pointed Zach out to Philip Lazzara (Laura’s older brother) who Zach played little league baseball with many years ago. As Zach and Philip regaled each other with legendary stories on the field, Zach was introduced to Philip’s beautiful little sister Laura. Needless to say, Laura took Zach’s breath away. As Zach and Philip’s conversation drew to an end and they parted for other company, Zach couldn’t shake the image of that divine creature: Laura Lazzara.

The reception turned from dinner to dancing and Zach searched for Laura. To his dismay, he was unable to find her anywhere on the dance floor. It wasn’t until Zach looked back to her table, where he first met her, that he once again spied she who would one day be his bride.

Making his way through the jubilant, gyrating crowd, Zach walked up to Laura, who sat alone at the table. With a nervous yet hopeful breath, he said the words that sealed the deal: “theres no way a girl as pretty as you isn’t going to dance tonight.” And with that, and a gentlemanly offer of his hand, the rest was history…

Our engagement story…Anyone that knows Laura knows that she is one of the most thoughtful people in the whole world. So it was with no easy going that Zach planned a proposal worthy of such a woman. Zach invited Laura up to his family’s lake house in Delavan, WI under the guise of it being just a one-night getaway to spend time with each other and Zach’s parents. Unbeknownst to Laura, Zach managed to orchestrate the participation of Laura’s best friends, including Lauren all the way from Boston, her cousin and Maid of Honor Allison from California, as well as her parents Alan Sr. and Mary and her brother Philip and his wonderful girlfriend Jessie. From Zach’s side, also in attendance, were his parents Jack and Mary, brothers and Best Men Sean and Jason as well as Jason’s fiancée Samantha. Finally, Zach’s loving Godparents Bob and JoAnn Cycon joined the celebration.

Upon arrival at the lake house, with the lights turned off and the guests huddled in the backyard in wait, Zach brought Laura up to their room to drop off the bags. With a quick kiss and a request to stay put, Zach left Laura waiting curiously while he walked downstairs. To Laura’s surprise, it was her brother Philip that knocked on the bedroom door. Philip escorted Laura downstairs and out to the lakeside yard. There, lined up along the path, set amongst candles, were all the important people in Laura’s life. As she passed each person, she was handed a flower, and upon reaching the end of the path, Laura’s parents were there to tie a bow around the bouquet. It was on the lakeside deck, below the romantic lighting, that Zach dropped to one knee and asked Laura to be his bride.

I was inspired by a beautiful Amalfi Coast wedding I came across while putting together a mood board. I wanted something out of the ordinary, I wanted to bring a piece of the outdoors into a ballroom— a plethora of greenery, such as lemon leaves, olive branches, eucalyptus and succulents. I envisioned an elegant black tie evening paired with champagne, pops of metallic details like gold details and symmetrical rows of feast tables and soft lighting.

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Cinematography: Mirar Productions | Event Planning: LOLA Event Productions | Wedding Dress: Naeem Khan | Invitations: Magnificent Milestones | Ceremony Venue: St. Michael in Old Town | Reception Venue: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Sonia Roselli | Hair: Karma Salon | Band: Skyline | Groomsmen Attire: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Floral Design + Decor: HMR Designs | Linen Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Rentals: Tablescapes Event Rentals

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Rustic Meets Glam Wedding Inspiration for the Win

The talent behind this whole shoot is undeniable and this dress, with these beautiful back details, I dream of adding to my own closet. But don’t stop there because as you continue through these pics by Kristin La Voie; from the beauty created by Fragrant Design to the whole scene by Beso Weddings & Events, it’s all rustic meets elegance perfection. See it all in our Vault right here!

From Kristin La Voie PhotographyThe Inspiration…
Beso Weddings & Events is known for combining modern and vintage elements to create an elegant aesthetic and personalized wedding experience. Our vineyard wedding design is inspired by an adventurous couple that loves wine, the art of winemaking and has vineyard wedding dreams.

The Vision and Wedding Experience…
The bride is breathtaking as she walks down the aisle holding a ‘swept up from the garden’ bouquet full of endless natural elements. Included are peonies, freesia, lisianthus, sweet pea, bouvardia, astilbe, and veronica florals with accents of fresh lavender, umbrella ferns, olive and seeded eucalyptus with green amaranthus.

The aisle is framed by modern mirrored stands reflecting the natural surroundings with candle treatments lighting the path. Her dress is embellished in crystals and vintage details; together with a cathedral style veil makes her the epitome of timeless elegance and beauty. Perfect for a young sophisticated bride that wants to shine on her big day. Sunny blue skies and a light breeze embrace the couple as they exchange vows of love and devotion under chandeliers covered in sheer draping and garlands including salal, coculous, seeded eucalyptus, calcinia, thistle, sword fern, olive, hanging Boston fern, and grapevine.

After their nuptials, the newly married couple greets their guests at the vineyard estate as they step into the lounge to enjoy wine tasting and gourmet meats and cheeses to be followed by a delectable wedding feast. Guests are invited back to the vineyard where they arrive to an elegant mirror chart and are seated at an exquisitely arranged table covered in modern rustic elegance. Down the center of the table is a garland intertwined with antique hydrangea and fruit such as cherries, artichoke, grapes and organic elements of lavender, white astilbe, sword ferns and grapevine. Taper and votive candles across the table evoke an inviting and romantic ambience. An eclectic mix of vintage place settings, delicately calligraphed menus and driftwood place cards come together beautifully. Guests enjoy filet mignon and Chilean sea bass with perfectly paired wine varietals.

Next, guests are invited to a custom cake bar and enjoy one or more slices of the creatively designed rustic cakes – lemon with fresh raspberry, chocolate with Nutella mousse and champagne cake with tangerine mousse. Guests continue to enjoy the vineyard surroundings and delightful wine.

While guests are blissfully enjoying dessert, the newly married couple loses themselves for a quiet moment alone amongst the lush rows of grapevines and reflect on their special day with excited anticipation of their future life together.

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Event Design + Styling: Beso Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Fragrant Design | Wedding Dress: Anna Campbell | Cakes: Urban Icing | Stationery: Rebeca Lynn Calligraphy | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup Artist: Sonia Roselli | Hair Stylist: Sonia Roselli | Hair + Makeup: Sonia Roselli | Calligraphy: Rebeca Lynn Calligraphy | Groom's Attire: Nicholas Joseph | Venue: Acquaviva Winery | Bridal Boutique: Alice In Ivory | Female Model: Angelika Rol | Hair Accessories: The Left Bank Bridal Finery | Linen Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Lounge Furniture + Custom Bar: Northern Decor | Male Model: Tim Lambert | Ribbon: Silk and Willow | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Ring Design: Trumpet & Horn | Tableware: Chicago Vintage Weddings

Engagement Sesh at Shake Shack? Total #RelationshipGoals

Is it too much to call these two our heroes? Maybe. But any couple that includes a stop at Shake Shack in their engagement session is worthy of all the heart eye emojis in the world. Tommy and Amber planned an entire evening in Chicago with Shannon Duggan along to capture their city adventures, including sweeping skylines, romantic strolls, and delicious burgers – of course.

From Shannon Duggan PhotographyAmber and Tommy moved to Chicago immediately following college graduation. Wanting to make the life that most young couples dream of. They chose this gorgeous city after living in Chicago one summer during college, sharing a shoe box sized apartment, and falling even more in love with the city, and of course, each other.

The night of Tommy’s proposal Amber was completely clueless. These two are major foodies, so naturally Amber made a dinner reservation during Chicago’s restaurant week.

“We got all cute and took the train downtown and had the best jerk chicken of our lives. And after he suggested that we go for a walk on the river walk and look at all the ice and snow on the river (I love walking after a big meal) and as we walked he stopped me and said “I didn’t bring you here just for a walk and I didn’t bring them here for that either” and when I looked over I saw my family and his a few of our close friends (in person and on FaceTime!) and began crying uncontrollably as he said the most amazing things and asked me to be his wife.”

I wanted to capture the adventure these two have shared in this incredible city, and I truly feel this engagement session does exactly that. We ran around the city all evening, from Three Arts Cafe in the gorgeous Restoration Hardware, to Shake Shack, and of course the incredible North Avenue Beach. Chicago is truly a city I can’t get enough of, and I loved photographing the love and adventure these two have shared in it.

Photography: Shannon Duggan Photography | Location: Shake Shack | Location: Restoration Hardware

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P.S. Unique Locations for Your Engagement Session

Engagement Session Ideas
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Engagement Session Ideas
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These Mismatched Maids are the Prettiest You’ll Ever See

Think mismatched maids are on their way out? Think again, loves, because this is a trend that is here.to.stay. And when paired with a stunning Chicago affair that marries classic + industrial stylings? Ohhhh-so-chic.  From the breathtaking decor from Anna Held Floral Studio to the fab paper goods from Minted, see it all captured by Kate Weinstein right here in THE VAULT.

From the Bride… When we started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted a venue that was equally edgy and cozy. We loved the aesthetic and simplicity of high ceilings and exposed brick, paired with greenery and neutral flowers. We immediately fell in love with Ravenswood Event Center, it had the perfect look & feel.

It was very important that the wedding felt distinctly “us,” and this really came through in the details. We brought in Andrew’s love of music, our appreciation for fantastic food, and a warm inviting environment. We also got creative in capturing the little moments by setting up a couple vintage Polaroid cameras. Guests took pictures of themselves and each other, and signed the film. These pictures are some of our most special memories from the wedding.

We kept the color palette neutral and romantic with cream linens, off-white + blush flowers, mercury glass, and lots of votives to bring in warm natural light. Andrew’s groomsmen wore classic tuxedos, and the bridesmaids wore an eclectic mix of neutral dresses.

We were so happy with the end result! The wedding truly felt like the best expression of our relationship.

Photography: Kate Weinstein Photo | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cake: West Town Bakery | Ceremony Venue: St. Giles Parish | Reception Venue: Ravenswood Event Center | Bride's Shoes: Schutz | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Hair and Makeup: Belle-Row Hair and Makeup by Elena Denning | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Dress Boutique: Gown Gallery | Floral Design + Decor: Anna Held Florist | Invitation Suite, Menus, Programs: Minted | Table Numbers: Etsy

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They Walked Down the Aisle to Kanye – It Doesn’t Get Cooler Than This

There’s no doubt in my mind these two were the cool kids in school. And they carried that vibe all the way into their wedding day infusing it with their personality and lots and lots of chic style. From the super fabulous DIY details to the colorful bridesmaids (thanks to Weddington Way), every single beautiful bit rocks it out of the park. Betsi Ewing snapped away and our Vault sparkles for it!

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From the Bride… When we started off planning our wedding, we talked about the ‘best weddings’ we had ever attended, and we couldn’t remember details like the cake, floral arrangements, or stationery. The best weddings were a great group of people dancing and celebrating together!

So we scrapped the idea of spending a ton on designer gowns and bouquets, and enlisted the amazing DJ Major Taylor, found a venue in the west loop with a BYOB policy for all of our craft beer and champagne needs, and threw a party. I made most of the decorations out of recycled bottles and paints, a lot of twine and hot glue. We bought flowers from TJ’s and had a bouquet-making party in my backyard the day before the wedding.

We used wedding favors to incorporate bikes and our dog Rudie (her face was on the m&m’s), kept the ceremony short, sweet, and meaningful, and walked down the aisle to Kanye. Basically, a very ‘Ally and Rob’ wedding. We had a blast and still have guests telling us it was the best dance party they have ever been to!

More modern inspiration this way!

Photography: BETSI EWING STUDIO | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Bride’s Shoes: Designer Shoe Warehouse| Jewelry: Grandmother’s ring for “borrowed + blue” | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Weddington Way | Catering: Food for Thought | Makeup: Tricia Clarke | Hair: Christina Crosthwaite at Fringe Salon | DJ: Major Taylor | Groom’s Attire:BLVDier | Venue: Room 1520 | Ceremony Diamond Backdrop: DIY by bride, friends + family | Floral Design + Decor: DIY by Bride, friends + family | Photography – Assistance: Britography

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The Perfect Chicago Engagement Session Set at Millennium Park

How adorbs is this couple?! They’re seriously the SWEETEST! Thanks to Kristin La Voie Photography we’ve got their urban engagement set in Downtown Chicago, and each and every image is waiting for you in The Vault!

From Kristin La Voie PhotographyOh, Kelly & Troy….these two are an absolute dream to photograph! Not only are they seriously gorgeous and photogenic, but they are so easy just to be around. Happiness radiates from them. We got incredibly lucky with a beautiful, sunny day in the city between the dreadfully cold and rainy days we have been having. Millennium Park was glowing with light around every nook and cranny and I couldn’t get enough of these two in front of the camera! I am on pins and needles waiting for their September glam backyard wedding to come!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Venue: Millenium Park

NASCAR Team Owner Ties the Knot in a Glamorous City Wedding

This, loves, is what total glamour looks like.  Think a dashing groom (NASCAR team owner, Anthony Marlowe), his stunning bride and an epic Chicago setting all coming together to create one of the most mesmerizing days you will ever see. (Seriously.) Press play for every beautiful moment captured brilliantly by Amor In Motion.  It’s a must-see.

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From Amor In Motion… Anthony Marlowe, NASCAR team owner also recognized among the “Youngest CEOs Under 30” as featured on Inc. Magazine’s List of “Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies” marries the DASHING fit-to-be a princess, Julia Dirks.

An urban city wedding with timeless glamour and luxury. White, off the shoulder Calvin Klein bridesmaid dresses, all-white peonies and roses, men decked out in the finest of Vera Wang tuxedos in the immaculate historical architectural beauty of Chicago, the Field Museum, is what it took to pull off this timeless, classic, romantic wedding.

Photography: Nakai Photography | Cinematography: Amor In Motion | Event Planning: Kensington Floral And Events | Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Dress: Dimitra's Bridal Couture | Cake: Vanille Patisserie | Stationery: Ashley's Custom Stationary | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Calvin Klein | Catering: Food For Thought | Makeup: Makeup By Kimberly Patterson | Hair: Shelby Doehrmann | Lighting: Frost Chicago | DJ: Joe Maz | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Venue: The Field Museum | Ice Sculpture: Alexander's Artic Ice | Master of Ceremonies: Ben Quam | Reception Music: The Cover Girls

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A Jewel Tone Wedding Palette? See How It’s Done!

I could go on and on about the design of this day. The rich, jewel-tone color palette. The beautiful Chicago setting. The Rosa Clara dress with an Old Hollywood vibe. But what really, really gets me? The love story behind it all. I’m talking childhood friends who were reacquainted as adults and married in the city near and dear to their hearts. Art of Imagination provided the ceremony backdrop at The Langham, Chicago, the bride planned every detail, and Clary Pfeiffer shot the unforgettable gallery. Pssst: the film below from Amor in Motion is everything.

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From The Bride… Sometimes I still cannot believe how absolutely perfect our wedding day was. From the vibrant jewel tone flowers to being surrounded by so many friends and family, our day felt like a fairytale. Our day came together even better than I could have imagined thanks to the talented vendors that we worked with. As we reminisce (often) about the many wonderful moments it is so hard to pick favorites.

One of my favorite moments was seeing my dad for the first time. There were some challenges with my dress prior to our wedding day so finally getting to put it on and feel like a bride was such a special moment. My dad was one of the first people that I saw and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He walked in, looked at me and with a huge grin on his face said “magnificent.” I’ll never forget that moment.

My mother-in-law always makes a point to recognize when moments happen that aren’t planned. One of my other favorites on our day was one of those unplanned moments. When we walked out to the Chicago Riverwalk to start taking pictures there were a 4 men playing some street music. All of a sudden they started playing songs like “At Last” for us which prompted Kevin and I to brush up on our dancing skills before our official first dance later that night. Kevin and I are both born and raised Chicago and live only a quarter mile from where we got married so it was such a sweet moment to dance on the streets of where our love story began, just the two of us, before the chaos of the day really began.

When we started having conversations about our wedding ceremony Kevin felt strongly about writing our own vows. I’m a crier at almost anything so I didn’t trust myself to be able to speak or receive Kevin’s promises without being a huge puddle but I agreed to write our own because I thought maybe the adrenaline of that day would allow me to keep it together. I cannot believe that at one point I didn’t want to write our own vows. We agreed on the word count and then never talked about them until we shared them with each other. I’m still shocked at how perfect our promises fit together. Getting to stand before Kevin and our community, I got to promise my heart, my support and my life to him. And I got to receive similar but different promises from Kevin. Hands down, the best.

Kevin and I have actually known each other our entire lives. When our moms were twenty somethings they lived in Chicago and ended up working together which started a life long friendship between our two families. When we were kids our families would go on vacations to Disney World and the Rocky Mountains together. Kevin just felt like another older brother.

But the story gets weirder. Three years ago, right around this time, my brother was three months from getting married to my mom’s other best friend’s daughter. Yes, it sounds made up but it’s real. I’ve known my husband and my sister in law my entire life thanks to my mom. I had just gotten out of a serious relationship and didn’t have a date to the wedding. One afternoon I was sitting in the Fort Meyers airport with Kevin’s mom waiting to fly back to Chicago together and she mentioned I should take Kevin to the wedding. She noted that he’d already be there, he’s good friends with my brother, he’d be a great date, he’d dance with me and tell me I looked pretty but there would be no expectation at all. That sounded perfect. I picked up the phone two weeks later and invited him as my date.

As we danced the night away together at my brother’s wedding, it was the first time that we ever spent time together as adults and we realized there might be something else there besides just being close family friends. I like to joke with Kevin that it was the beginning of the end. But it really was the beginning of the best “beginning” – us together. The rest of that summer we spent lots of time together trying to figure out what we were and eventually realized that we didn’t want to do life with out each other. A year and a half later, Kevin proposed on a Tuesday night over a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and frozen pizza in my little one bedroom apartment and made our close family friends officially family.

Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Cinematography: Amor In Motion | Videography : Amor In Motion | Coordination: Estera Events | Floral Design: Fleur Inc | Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara | Bride's Shoes: Ted Baker | Hair + Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists | Band: Skyline | Venue: Langham | Ceremony Backdrop: Art of Imagination | Cocktail Hour Music: Chicago Children's Choir Alumni | Wedding Dresser: The Wedding Dresser

A Boho Horse Farm Wedding With Loads of Style

When “home” is a private estate outside of Chicago, it’s a no-brainer to have an at-home wedding. The family horse farm was the perfect venue for this fun duo to create their dream day — complete with an all-night dance party thanks to Toast & Jam and endless fun with Smilebooth. And thanks to Averyhouse‘s gorgeous photography, we have lots pretty for you to explore in The Vault!

From AveryhouseIf the thought of a tented backyard wedding complete with a horse stable, wild flower arrangements, and the perfect Summer breeze makes you gush with excitement then Lauren + Nick’s wedding is right up your alley. We got to know Lauren + Nick during their Oak Park Engagement Session when these two made the big move from Chicago to their new home together. Nothing gets us more excited for a wedding then when we know our client’s unique style is such a great fit with ours. Nick had mentioned to us that the wedding would be on his family’s private estate and we really had no idea what to expect. From Lauren’s perfectly whispy gown for her outdoor affair to their pastel color palette we couldn’t help but share these beautiful details with all of you. With some sunshine above, but rain on the forecast these two had a simple + sweet ceremony followed by custom cocktails (and local beers) on the lawn. Not to mention some mouth watering hors d’ oeuvres for guests to pick on before being led to a white tent adorned with locally farmed flowers planted just for their wedding. With Toast & Jam keeping the dance floor packed and Smilebooth to document all of the late night shenanigans we’ll be dreaming about this unique tented wedding for years to come.

Photography: averyhouse | Event Planning: Five Grain Events | Floral Design: Field & Florist | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Cake: Alliance Bakery | Catering: FIG Catering | Makeup Artist: Zee Artistry | Hair Stylist: Zee Artistry | DJ: Toast and Jam | Officiant: Seasonal Ceremonies | Venue: At Home | Photo Booth: Brooke Courtney Photography | Tent Rentals: Blue Peak Tents

Sleek + Sophisticated Winter Chicago Wedding

According to this gorgeous Bride, she and her new hubs “wouldn’t change a thing about our Chicago wedding in late November 2015.” And honestly? Neither would we, because every detail — from the lovely white bouquets to the gray and gold color palette — makes us feel as happy as this guy. So, do yourself a favor and head to The Vault for all kinds of pretty, thanks to Winsome and Wright!

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From The Bride…To be fully honest, we wouldn’t change a thing about our Chicago wedding in late November 2015. From having all of our family and friends in one place at one time to every single vendor making this “Type A” bride as calm and happy as could be, the day truly was the best ever. The big decisions for the wedding came easily – the venue, the caterer, the DJ, the florist, the photographer – because we fell in love with each one as soon as we met them!

Our favorite part of the day was all of the personal touches we were able to put on our wedding day: Our friend, Wyatt, and Ryan’s cousin, Joni, played guitar and sang at our ceremony. Not a guest in the room had a dry eye at the end of their version of Better Together! Anna’s coworker and friend, Angela, read a personalized piece at our ceremony that epitomized us. Faith from Winsome + Wright, as you can see, took our breath away with how flawlessly she captured our big day. Ryan’s uncle, Gary, performed our ceremony and made it so personal for us by integrating our family into our vows to each other. Anna’s bridesmaid, Kendall, made all 20 of the individual, absolutely delicious, table cakes. She’s a champ. Ryan’s groomsman, Jason, and a family friend, Jerry Rumler, home-brewed, personalized craft beer for our cocktail hour and reception that were huge hits! Tiffany from Foraged Floral is a dear friend that flew across the country to provide florals for our big day that couldn’t have been more beautiful.

We hand-wrote personalized place-setting notes for each of the 140 guests to emphasize how important each guest was to us! We wanted each guest to know how truly thankful we were to have them there with us to celebrate our forever commitment to each other. We not only hope that our guests had a great time that day, but that they’ll also remember us and our love for each other for a very long time. We know we will never forget them and our perfect wedding day!

Photography: Winsome And Wright | Floral Design: Foraged Floral | Wedding Dress: J.Crew | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: J.Crew | Hair + Makeup: Brides By Kelly | Calligraphy: Layers Of Loveliness | Groom's Attire: De Louice Custom Tailors | Venue: Room 1520

An Industrial-Chic Wedding Like You’ve Never Seen!

I never gave a second thought to March Madness – this is, until it came to the pages of SMP. We brought you March Madness, real wedding style and we’re continuing the countdown to your bracket winner. But first, let’s stop and spend some time with this chic little number that took home the “modern” crown. It’s a urban wedding designed by Foraged Floral with an industrial-chic twist, and thanks to Olivia Leigh Photographie the party can continue in The Vault.

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Click below to see all the reception details!

Industrial Chic Restaurant Reception
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Industrial Chic Restaurant Reception
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From Foraged FloralChristina and Howard had a vision of an intimate and naturally styled wedding in downtown Chicago. They were inspired by the unique decor that The Kitchen (a completely new restaurant and venue – we were one of their first weddings!) offered with its industrial charm, but also wanted the environment to be cozy, and intimate, for their guests to enjoy and relax. They decided on not having a bridal party at all, so their friends and family could all relax and not stress about anything. We worked together for many months planning and perfecting the vision they had, which included many seasonal inspired florals to compliment the botanical prints they loved, as well as some beautiful handcrafted pieces.

Their ceremony took place at Bond Chapel, on the University of Chicago’s campus, where Christina attended. The chapel has beautiful stained glass windows, amazing wooden details and a cozy atmosphere. We brought in a classically trained pianist to serenade guests with music that you wouldn’t find at your normal wedding (more classical piano pieces from operas and theatrical events, no Canon in D here!), which really set the tone for a sophisticated and unique ceremony. After the ceremony, guests were transported to The Kitchen, just along the river in downtown Chicago, for a delicious and unique family style dinner among long, wooden communal tables and lounge areas.

As their florist and event designer, I really loved designing their arrangements and bouquets, but some of my favorite details were the smallest ones – the vintage botanical print book that Velvet Raptor made into a guestbook, the fact that they hand wrote each couple a letter on handmade paper, which designated where they would sit at the family style tables with calligraphy by BUSHYL, and even the signature drinks they crafted together. I have to admit, watching each guest open the envelope with their seating assignment listed on it, only to find a handwritten note from the couple was the sweetest thing, and something I know they will cherish for a long time.

The florals used for Christina and Howard were something special and I spent many weeks planning out exactly what flowers I wanted to used to fit their theme and warm palette. We incorporated a large amount of seasonal flowers like local dahlias, garden roses, fall foliage, scabiosa, and we were lucky enough to get peonies too! :) SO rare in October, but we were so happy!

Olivia Leigh, who is nothing short of amazing, captured the day with film and digital images, which I love! Olivia truly knows how to make everything pop and was so impressed with the images she passed along to us after their wedding.

Nothing was missed, as they wanted their guests to feel at home, comfortable and loved. Christina and Howard are some of the nicest, most gracious and wonderful people out there, and they deserved nothing but the best for their October celebration in Chicago! Congrats to Christina and Howard!

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Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Bond Chapel | Reception Venue: The Kitchen | Bride’s Shoes:Valentino | Catering: The Kitchen | Hair + Makeup: Nika Vaughn Bridal Artists | DJ: Style Matters DJs | Groom’s Attire: Givenchy | Bride + Groom Transportation: Windy City Limousine | Bride’s Jewelry: Custom made | Calligraphy + Water Color Painting: BUSHYL | Floral Design, Event Design + Styling:Foraged Floral | Guest Transportation: Masters Transportation | Guestbook: Velvet Raptor | Linen Rentals: Windy City Linens | Lounge Furniture: Shadow Box Dreams Vintage Rentals

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