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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

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Traditional Royal Fox Country Club Fall Wedding

Let’s talk about this Bride’s dress. Blush, tulle, lace and beading—does it get any better than this? I think not, except for the gift to her Groom: Lord of the Rings cuff links and tie clip. From the personal touches and beautiful fall bouquets to the stunning Royal Fox Country Club setting and the Bride’s glowing makeup from Carly Pribich, this couple’s day was the perfect beginning to happily ever after. See all the pretty from Katherine Salvatori Photography in THE VAULT!

From The Bride…Our wedding day was literally a dream come true, and above and beyond anything I had envisioned or hoped for. It was so exciting to see all of the planning come together. It also made me feel so special when all of the little details and personal touches I spent a lot of time on, and to make our wedding unique were noticed and appreciated. I wanted our wedding to be very elegant, classy and timeless, but to look and feel like a fairy-tale. Fall is both of our favorite seasons because of the colors, weather, and overall cozy vibe. We owe a very huge thank you to our family, friends & vendor team! We are so overwhelmed with joy, gratitude, and love.

From the second we walked into Royal Fox Country Club, we knew it was our wedding venue. I loved how the venue had an “old world elegance” feel to it and had such a grand entrance. The building is actually modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home. We also both loved the library and rich wood throughout the venue. The ceremony was held outside (it was beautiful weather – 50’s and sunny!) Jane Spair (the wedding coordinator there) was absolutely amazing every step of the way. She went above and beyond several times to make sure everything was perfect. We owe a huge thank you to her!

I knew I wanted my wedding dress to be unique from anything else I had seen. I chose a lace and tulle champagne ballgown that had beautiful beaded crystal detailing on the waist, as well as running down the train. The dress originally came with cap sleeves, but I knew I always wanted longer sleeves! Rosa (the seamstress at Wolsfelt’s) was able to make my vision come to life. She exactly matched the lace to the lace of the bodice and was able to hand sew custom sleeves for my dress. It definitely gave the dress the fairytale look that I had hoped for & felt so much more like “me”!

For floral design I had a specific vision of what I wanted, and a great florist who worked with me to make it happen. I knew for my bouquet I wanted very big, garden-like, a lot of texture, messy but not too busy, and burgundy mixed with greenery. My bridal bouquet was also very wide and I had wanted my bridesmaid’s bouquets to be a smaller more rounded version of my own. My florist introduced me to dahlias which became the focal point of my entire floral concept. I absolutely loved how the dark burgundy dahlias popped against all of the different types of greenery, and made such an impact both in person and in photo. For both the arch and head table, we had a floral greenery garland that coordinated with the bouquets. For the guest tables, we wanted a simple scattering to play off the beautiful oil lamps from the venue, and create visual interest at the bases.

My husband is a huge Lord of The Rings fan and a few years ago he made me one! We both knew we wanted LOTR to be a part of our wedding day – especially with the beautiful library – so we had our ring shots with my husband’s leather-bound LOTR book. Little did my husband know that my gift to him was a custom made set of Lord of The Rings cuff links and tie clip!

Choosing Katherine Salvatori Photography was one of the very best investments for our wedding that we made! There is no one else I would have rather to have captured our special day. We are so thankful we have these beautiful photographs to cherish throughout the years.

What advice would I give to brides-to-be? Make your wedding feel personal. Incorporate & highlight your interests as a couple. It’s ok to care a lot about your details and want things to look a certain way! Looking back at the day & my photos, I am so happy that I was particular about “all of those little details” because they made the day feel even more special for us! It’s also important to hire the right vendors & people who can not only help bring your visions to life, but really do add to your special day! My vendor team was amazing & I am so thankful for them! Also as a Professional Makeup Artist for brides & weddings (I’m honored to be a Style Me Pretty Little Black Book Member!) I suggest giving yourself & your wedding party plenty of extra time to get ready in the morning! You’ll be able to be relax, not feel rushed, and should enjoy being pampered!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who played a part in our wedding day!

From The Groom…The only word I can think of to describe our wedding is Perfect. Everything went exactly the way we envisioned, and in many cases exceeded our expectations. I still can’t imagine a better day! It started with all the guys meeting at the hotel to get ready; it was nice to hang out and relax before pictures. I think they were all a little jealous of the awesome LOTR cuff links and tie clip Carly got me! I was happily surprised when I saw those, but that’s nothing compared to how I felt when I saw her for the first look. I was literally at a loss for words when I turned around, she was absolutely breathtaking! And from there it just got better. From the pictures at Cantigny to the wonderful ceremony to the dinner and dancing, everything just made our night more special and memorable. Our DJ was incredible; the dance floor was rocking all night and stayed packed until the very end of the night (people didn’t want to stop!). I can’t believe how many compliments we got about the venue as well. Our guests were in awe at the beauty of Royal Fox, and so many people told us the food was the best they’ve ever had at a wedding (and we agree!). We continue to hear from friends and family about how great the ceremony was, how much fun everyone had at the reception, and how outstanding the pictures are. And we can’t wait to see the video too, we know it will be beyond our expectations too! People say that your wedding day goes by fast, that you need to make a little time for yourselves during the crazy, hectic day. Truth be told, we didn’t want the day to end. We were able to spend the entire day together, surrounded and supported by our loved ones, and I would not have changed a thing. It was perfect.

From Katherine Salvatori PhotographyCarly and Jon’s wedding day was magical from start to finish! From the moment I met Carly, we just clicked and I looked forward to her wedding for over a year! Carly’s attention to detail was superb, and from the Lord of the Rings cuff links to the lace detail on her dress, everything fit together perfectly and was so unique. I am in love with the deep green bridesmaid dresses, and the gorgeous bouquets and florals tied everything together. One of my favorite details was the adorable street sign their venue made with their names on it. Carly and Jon totally adore each other, which made my job as a photographer incredibly easy. Their day was perfect from start to finish, and we are so happy we were a part of it!

Vault CTA

Photography: Katherine Salvatori Photography | Cinematography: Old North Film Company | Floral Design: Silver Leaf Design | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Jewelry: Michael Hill | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alexia Designs | Makeup: Carly Pribich, Makeup Artist | Hair: Bridget Ward | DJ: Dance Flow Control | Groom's Attire: Wolsfelt's Bridal | Groomsmen Attire: Wolsfelt's Bridal | Officiant: Pastor Rich Rubietta | Venue: Royal Fox Country Club | Bridal Boutique: Wolsfelt's Bridal | Bridal Boutique - Bridesmaids' Dresses: Wolsfelt's Bridal | Bride's Airbrush Tan: Karli Federighi | Bridesmaid's Hair: Sara Parisi | Bridesmaid's Makeup: Jessica McKane | First Look & Portrait Location: Cantigny Gardens | Invitations & Table Numbers: Minted | Tie Clip & Cuff Links: The Green Daisy | Veil: Richard Designs

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Classic + Elegant Country Club Wedding

There’s something so classic and timeless about a country club wedding—the sprawling landscape and elegant ballrooms make a gorgeous backdrop for any occasion. Case in point: this lovely St. Charles affair. With a sage green, gold and cream color scheme, all-white floral arrangements and a elated couple, this day, captured by Jacqui Cole Photography, is the definition of lovely. See it all in The Vault.



From Jacqui Cole PhotographyGrace and John chose to host their wedding reception at the beautiful St. Charles Country Club. Grace looked beautiful in her Sottero gown and cathedral length veil. The bridesmaid dresses were the perfect shade of sage (celadon) and the neutral florals were a wonderful romantic touch. The reception colors were classic and elegant incorporating ivory and golds. Grace and John couldn’t stop smiling all day!

From the Bride…My husband, John, and I met in college during our sophomore years. We quickly learned that we grew up in the same suburb of Chicago. We were astonished that we had never crossed paths in the past, but we were thrilled to learn that we had numerous mutual friends. This was something that we were so blessed with and something that created an incredibly fun wedding party! We dated for around 4 years before John made me the happiest girl and asked if I would be his wife. We decided to have a longer engagement so I could finish law school and so we could have time to plan our wedding together.

The most important part of our wedding day was the ceremony at the church that I grew up in. St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Wheaton has been a part of my life since I was baptized and John joined our faith and parish about seven months before our wedding. We celebrated our marriage with a full Mass, surrounded by family and friends. From St. Michael’s, we were excited to choose a reception hall that was located on beautiful grounds. St. Charles Country Club has a long driveway entrance and is tucked away, which gives it a private feel. The country club boasts an classily decorated clubhouse with a large balcony overlooking the pristine tree lined fairways.

We wanted our wedding to have a traditional and elegant feel. This is why we chose all soft colors throughout the day. The girls’ dresses were a light green and all of the flowers in both the church and reception were white. We decided to add accents of gold within certain decorations to add a little contrast. It was important to us that everything looked and felt relaxed.

We had one goal for our reception: To make sure that our guests had a blast. We wanted our guests to walk away saying that everything from the food to the music to the company was amazing. Therefore, we decided to book a band, which was one of our best decisions that we made! The dance floor was packed from the moment they started playing until the last song of the night. My husband and I barely left the dance floor all night long.

We were so blessed with all of the vendors that we chose. We were in great hands from the beginning and because of that John and I were able to relax and fully enjoy our special day. Every vendor that we chose was incredibly professional and we were so thankful for that. Jacqui Cole, our photographer, was one of our favorite vendors. Thanks to her experience, excitement and professionalism, we have pictures that will last us a lifetime. Her photographs truly captured how we envisioned our wedding day. She went far above and beyond our expectations.

Aside from marrying the love of my life, my favorite part of the night was something my husband and I did during our reception. Multiple people suggested to us that during the reception, it is important to take a moment together to really look take everything in. Following that advice, during one song when the dance floor was packed, my husband grabbed my hand and escorted me off of the dance floor into the corner of the room. He put his arm around me and we both took a deep breath and stared out into the mass of people dancing, singing and laughing. It looked as though everyone was enjoying themselves to the fullest and we could not have been happier at that moment. We were thrilled to know that all of our guests were there because they loved and supported us. It was an out of body experiences to see that the people that meant more to us than we could possibly describe were having a blast at our wedding.

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Floral Design: Debi's Designs | Wedding Dress: Sottero And Midgley | Cake: The Sugar Path | Ceremony Venue: St. Michael Catholic Church | Reception Venue: St. Charles Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Band: Arlen Music | Bridal Boutique: Bella Bianca | Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
1920’s Inspired Country Club Wedding

This Gatsby inspired wedding was true vintage glam, from the feathered florals by Town and Country Gardens, to that sparkling and oh-so fabulous hairpiece worn by the beautiful bride. Set at Royal Fox Country Club, the pretty affair had pin-worthy style, and you can check out all the day’s details in a gallery by Kristin La Voie Photography.

From Kristin La Voie PhotographyIf there’s one thing you need to know about these two people, it’s this: they are seriously sweet and seriously fun. Just being around them puts me at ease since they are so laid back, chill, and fun to hang out with! Let’s not forget to mention Lauren is absolutely STUNNING. Oh, and Cooper… check out his hair!!! I mean, don’t you just want to touch it?! These two Californians had the perfect day for a gorgeous summer wedding at the Royal Fox Country Club. I could not contain my excitement photographing them, either. Serious magic was happening before my eyes. And the details? Oh, were they perfection. Gatsby inspired details included feathers in the flowers and centerpieces, old family photos and trinkets, a giant moon for the guests to sit on in their photo booth, and Lauren’s majorly stunning ensemble (with a hair piece I can only now dream about). The entire day was simply breathtaking, and the only downside is that I cannot hang out with them more often!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Floral Design: Town And Country Gardens | Invitations: The Paper Source | Ceremony Venue: Royal Fox Country Club | Shoes: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Makeup: Style Onsite | Hair: Style Onsite | DJ: Music By Design | Dress Boutique: House of Brides

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Vintage Travel Themed Wedding

Vintage chic is one of my favorite ways to marry.  But throw in a fabulous locale like Royal Fox, a few antique typewriters and a bride and groom who are as cute as they are crafty and it skyrockets to the top of my awesome list faster than you can say “I do.”  Oh, and did I mention the gorgeous pics from Hannah Persson?  Because they’re amazing, too.  Click here for so much more.

From the Groom… I’m guessing it’s not often these things are written by the groom, but as a journalist with a huge interest in photography, my wife Meghan and I thought it best I write our account of our day! So what’s to say about our wedding day and the way in which our photographer, Hannah Persson, captured it?

To set the scene, you need to know a couple of things. Meghan meticulously planned most of our Chicago wedding from Tacoma, Washington, alongside completing a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Like most of the events in our eight-year relationship, it proved a challenge, but one immersed in ideas based on our love and experiences together and I have to take this opportunity to congratulate her on an amazing job.

Having enjoyed a long-distance relationship between Dublin, Ireland and Chicago for more than five years, travel was always going to feature prominently in our ideas for the day. After much ado, about a whole lot of things, we finally decided on a ‘vintage travel’ theme, one which Meghan, with a little help from me, set about putting in place in the months and weeks ahead of the big day.

Meghan’s realization of her vision was nothing short of spectacular, in a subtle and rustic way, as she named all the tables after many of the more poignant towns and cities we’d visited together. The tables were accentuated with old, weather-beaten planks of wood recovered from a fence I tore down at our old house in Tacoma, old bottles were collected from locations all over the country, and candles and flowers completed the carefully presented arrangements. Some of the wood was also salvaged from a Seattle based non-profit farm where we both volunteered. Old cameras and an old typewriter completed the vintage feel and added a little bit of the groom to the occasion, while being driven to and from the church in her dad’s vibrant yellow 1974 VW Thing was one of the highlights of the day, for both of us, her family and my dad who helped get it running again.

When planning the wedding, we knew there were a couple of areas we wanted to get absolutely right, and the pictures was one of them. We researched long and hard and met several Chicago-area photographers before finally deciding on Hannah. Before meeting her, we already loved her style and the exceptional results she had produced at previous weddings from viewing her impressive website. However, within minutes of being in her company, Meghan and I both knew Hannah was the perfect fit, especially given the amazing energy and enthusiasm she brings to her undoubted talent.

Pictures taken at stunning locations like on the train tracks in downtown Wheaton, Fabien Gardens and in and around the venue itself, meant we have a wonderful gallery of images to cherish and keep, and share with family and friends for years to come. We didn’t make it easy for her, failing to brief her with our ‘must-have’ shots and ‘what not to shoot’ pics like she had requested, but left to her own creative devices Hannah produced some remarkable shots and her excitement throughout the day shone through in the amazing final prints we received, just a few weeks after the event.

From Hannah Persson… So many little pieces added to this beautiful wedding. Shane, the groom, is from Ireland, where Meghan, the bride, actually first met him! They fell in love, and Shane moved back here to the States. When guests travel far from other countries, it always seems like the celebration is that much more beautiful. The groom’s dad actually worked on the awesome yellow VW for about a week straight before the wedding just so that Shane and Meghan would be able to make their getaway in it. It had extra special significance because the car belonged to the bride’s father, who passed away several years ago. One of Meghan’s friend designed the gorgeous invitations. The guest’s table cards showed off the couples’ love for travel, as did the table numbers, as each had a different post card from a different travel destination for the couple. The couple used to live in Washington state, so the wood underneath the flowers on the tables was from Washington. The bride scoured thrift stores to find all the beautiful and unique vases to hold the flowers – super creative! The groom loves photography, so there were lots of old cameras decorating the reception space. The beautiful old Victorian elegance paired perfectly with the eclectic set up of the reception space. The couple loves music, so they had a banjo and violin player during cocktail hour, then the amazing Lisa Rene Band, followed by a special song played by a guest on the accordian. Of course, the late night snack was fish and chips- also super cute! The photoshoot took place at Fabyan Gardens in St. Charles, which is beyond gorgeous with the arches and gates. So much prettiness and love packed into one day.

Photography: Hannah Persson Photo | Event Planning: Royal Fox Country Club | Flowers: Phillip's Flowers | Cakes: Royal Fox Country Club | Cakes: Royal Fox Country Club | Stationery: Todd Studios | Ceremony Venue: St. Michael Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Royal Fox Country Club | Makeup: Makeup By Beth | Band: Lisa Rene Band | Photoshoot: Fabyan Gardens | Second Photographer: Julie Valkanet

St. Charles Engagement Session from Jenelle Kappe

I like to think that I learn a little something new every day here at SMP – and today’s life lesson?  Fall in Illinois is downright breathtaking.  So breathtaking, in fact, that it makes THE perfect spot for some e-session picture taking, much like these drop-dead gorgeous snapshots captured by Jenelle Kappe.  With rich Autumn hues, an uber-stylish duo and a whole lot of happy, it’s what I call a literal wonderland of pretty.  See it all in the full gallery.


From Jenelle Kappe… It was a perfect Summer-like Fall morning in St. Charles, Illinois. Amanda and Jordan were amazing to work with!  They are absolutely head over heels for each other, the perfect match. They are to be married at the St. Charles Country Club this June. St. Charles is an adorable quaint town and being only about an hours drive from downtown and where Amanda’s mom lives, it was the perfect place for their engagement session.


Wedding Photography: Jenelle Kappe | Location: Park in St. Charles, Illinois