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Modern Illinois Backyard Wedding

As high school sweethearts AND college sweethearts, these two lovebirds, they’ve got a love that runs deep. So when it came to choosing their wedding venue, an at-home affair with their nearest and dearest made perfect sense. With the help of An Affair To Remember, they pulled of the Kate Spade-esque elegant style they had in mind and it’s pretty darn cute if I might say so myself. Head to the full gallery from Louie Abellera for more!

From An Affair To RememberMariah and Austin were high school and college sweethearts. Their love for each other was undeniable. So grounded and down to earth, they knew all along that they didn’t want to have their wedding reception at a traditional venue, but instead in the backyard of Mariah’s childhood home. Mariah’s vision from the start was simple; she wanted an elegant, backyard wedding. Her style was a bit more challenging; she wanted it to feel like Kate Spade without going overboard or feeling like a circus. I think we achieved exactly what she wanted!

Many, many detail went into the planning of this wedding. First, we hired MDM Entertainment, not only for DJ and lighting services, but to bring in a company to transform the outdoor pool into a dance floor. Then, we meet with Elegant Presentations to bring the “Kate Spade” vision to life. We hired Blue Peak Tents to bring in a large outdoor tent (because no one should take the risk of having an outdoor wedding in Illinois without a tent!). Lastly, we worked with Fleur Couture to dress the tables up and down with beautiful floral. The entire day was captured beautifully with the help of Louie Abellera Photography.

I’ve never seen a bride and groom smile as much as they did on their wedding day. Mariah and Austin were on cloud nine, over the moon with happiness. From their extravagant balloon release at the ceremony, to their 1st dance over the pool, to their send off at the end of the night with giant sparklers, I think they accomplished everything they wished for in their wedding day. We couldn’t have been more honored to have been a part of this beautiful day.

Photography: Louie Abellera | Event Planning: An Affair To Remember | Florist: Fleur Couture | Ceremony: College Church | Reception: Bride's House | Catering: True Cuisine | Tent: Blue Peak Tents | Lighting / Staging / Music: MDM Entertainment | Linens/tables/chairs: Elegant Presentations

Bright, Summery Wedding in Wheaton

This couple has the whole “matrimonial bliss” thing down! A joyful shade of yellow and some DIY touches helped set the mood for the day, but in a weekend jam packed with tons of friends, family and July 4th barbecues, fun was a guarantee. Add a beautiful wedding and that there is a weekend you’ll never forget. Thankfully T & S Hughes Photography was there to capture the heart-warming event.

From The Bride…Mark proposed on our two year anniversary. We spent the entire day basking in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin sunshine, and Mark put the cherry on top when he surprised me with a beautiful ring on the dock of our friend’s lake house. We immediately hopped in the car to drive home and discussed wedding details the whole way home. I had visions of sunshine and smiles and all things JOY. Mark and I share a deep love of people, so we decided immediately that not only did we want this day to honor God and our love for each other, but we wanted to make it a priority to honor the many meaningful friends and family that make our lives so delightful.

We spent what felt like ten (VERY LONG) months planning and brainstorming and more planning, all the while teaching, coaching and making bi-weekly trips to Chicago for Mark’s job at church. But after those many long months, the weekend of July 7th finally arrived.

We jam packed the weekend with barbecues, softball games, pool parties, time with family, a fourth of July parade, fireworks, bachelor and bachelorette parties and all the usual rehearsal festivities that exist at a wedding. Needless to say, we got the most out of every ounce of time out of our weekend.

The morning of our wedding, Mark and I met for a quiet walk in a park near our house. We sat and prayed for a little while and then said our giddy, anticipatory goodbyes. Next time we saw each other, I’d be walking down the aisle! I spent the morning at home with my three sisters and my mom, enjoying time together as a family and getting our hair and make-up done. Mark spent his morning running around Target like a mad-man, looking for a belt and socks!

We had big wedding parties: ten people each! I also had seven close friends get ready with the bridal party. I chose yellow dresses for my girls; the color is a tricky one to find, but it was worth the search! I loved the bright colors against the navy suits worn by the guys. Mark, not usually a fashionista, found awesome wedges for the girls to wear. It brought in the striped ribbon on their bouquets perfectly! The guys wore ties I found on Amazon! We loved the unique pattern and felt like it gave the men a more casual feel. We spent the morning doing each other’s hair and make-up, jamming to music and enjoying our favorite drinks from Starbucks! 

Our reception was filled with beautiful, crafty touches, courtesy of my creative Mama! We wanted a look that I could not find anywhere on the web. I love the color yellow, but didn’t necessarily want a rustic feel. I wanted clean, crisp, bright, joyful yellow. I loved the look of yellow, white and navy, so we went with that color theme. I wrestled (almost daily) with finding the right shades of yellow, but eventually I found what I was looking for. My mom helped design the centerpieces: beautiful lanterns, decorated with flowers. We had a large wedding, so we didn’t need the centerpieces to overpower the already full room. We chose yellow napkins to make the color pop and let the beauty of the venue do most of the talking! My mom made sweet vases of flowers from our farmer’s market the day before and we spread those around the rest of the venue. Our florists did an amazing job of capturing the yellow color, while making it tasteful and not obnoxious. Our cake was topped by my grandma and grandpa’s cake topper. We made table numbers from stationery and had our calligrapher write beautiful numbers in white. Each guest received a delicious homemade cookie made by my mom’s close friend. Our giant head table (22 people long) was donned with candle holders of various heights. The room looked amazing.

We enjoyed a joyous reception, complete with three beautiful toasts from my dad, sister and Mark’s brother, delicious food, wild dancing and an amazing send off of paper lanterns (which may or may not have almost lit a tree on fire!). It was a perfect day. We were able to look back on other’s memories through our wedding hashtag on instagram! This was one of my favorite things to look through. It was fun to experience that day through someone else’s eyes.

The hard work was completely worth it! I loved every minute of our special day and could not have asked for a more beautiful, festive and special day!

Photography: T&S Hughes Photography | Flowers: Tree House Weddings | Wedding Gown: Wedding Belles | Invitations: Tree House Weddings | Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Danada House | Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dress By Nicole | Catering: My Chef | Desserts: Tree House Weddings

Marine Corps Danada House Wedding

A Stem Above really nailed classic minimalism with this wedding. Keeping the floral count low but the impact high is not easy, but holy cow, you’re about to see it done so, so right. Misty Winter captured this beautiful military wedding and it’s the kind that will leave you wishing for more. And when that happens, click here.

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From the beautiful bride…  As a fun, spirited couple, our journey as a couple becoming husband and wife involved new adventures from desert hikes in Arizona, to snowboarding down the Rockies, to cycling centuries around Ohio, to permanent cross country moves. So, it was our inspiration to include the outdoors in our wedding plans with a classic, romantic feel. It was essential to us that our personalities were reflected throughout the day in all the little details: vintage style Chantilly lace of my wedding gown, ceremonial Marine Corps Arch of Swords, cocktail napkins with fun anecdote, beer & wine tastings during cocktail hour, East Coast Swing dance lessons, outdoor dancing with twinkle lights. We wanted to create a unique, warm, inviting and fun day for our guests.

For the ceremony, we wanted to be surrounded by beautiful gardens and the outdoors as our dear families and closest friends witnessed the exchange of our vows. We chose the Danada House because it provided the perfect back drop for an outdoor wedding with the ability to create a personal home feel. For cocktail hour, the veranda was flooded with custom wine barrels displaying our wine, cheese, and beer stations featuring our favorite selections. Guests could meander between food stations including bites inspired by our roots in Chicago and new home in California. The bites included mini pizza pops, mini chicago style hot dogs, mini fish tacos, and mini empanadas. Guests were also treated to the chance to take a group East Coast Swing Dance Lesson to prepare for keeping the dance floor hot throughout the night.

The modern addition of the Danada House was warmed by arrange a combination of wooden farm tables within a sea of Federal Blue Shantung linen with arrangements and décor by A Stem Above. Each table included a custom rod iron lanterns, mercury glass candles, and textural floral in a sophisticated palette of monochromatic green to match the bridesmaid’s floral. The wall-to-wall windows of the space in combination with the rustic floral and farm tables created a perfect ambiance for guests. The entire Entertaining Company staff was a pleasure to work with, offering each and every guest personal attention. The meal concluded with a phenomenal three-tiered, double chocolate cake prepared by Bent Fork Bakery that we ceremoniously by sword.

Our celebration continued outside on the patio deck with dancing under Italian twinkling lights. Our first dance was serenaded by the smooth voice of Amanda Wolff from the Flat Cats and guests continued to dance the night away with lively music putting their dance lessons to use.

Upon meeting with our photographer, Misty Winter from Misty Winter Photography, we knew she was a perfect match. Her fun, fresh, and photo journalistic style perfectly captured our day. Equally as important, we genuinely enjoyed the company of Misty. It was as if a dear, close friend was documenting our day instead of a professional stranger. Our wedding planner, Joede Berman created a seamless parade of moments throughout the day that allowed us to enjoy our wedding. It really was THAT easy thanks to all our amazing vendors. We are so thankful for the creativity, professionalism, and quality which created a truly memorable day for us, our families, and friends.

Photography: Misty Winter | VIDEOGRAPHER: Jaime Rozen | Event Design: A Stem Above | Planner: Joede Berman | Cake: The Bent Fork Bakery | Catering: Entertaining Company | Make Up: Makeup By Beth | Hair: Glamour Salon | Converted Horse Farm: Danada House | Music: The Flat Cats

Cantigny Park Wedding

When a stunning park setting and an adorable bride and groom come together for a couple of “I do’s,” it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.  The kind of affair, in fact, that you only see in fairytales… or those uber-romantic movies.  So to say that we were just a tad bit excited to dive into every last gorgeous detail of this stunning day captured by Kina Wicks is, well… one serious understatement.  And the gallery of drop-dead gorgeous images?  Beyond breathtaking.  Join me there for so much more.

From Kina Wicks Photography… Kelly and John had a day that was flawless. They got ready on different floors of John’s parents’ home, and the excitement was palpable. You can see the excitement in the cool photo of the bridal party on different floors of the house! It was taken before the bride and groom had seen each other yet and was such a fun idea they had. Kelly & John have such a nice mixture of being best friends and truly obviously still crushing on one another! I loved the little ways that they show love and respect to one another. When they exchanged love notes to each other during their first look, they were generous enough to share the words with me ahead of time… my favorite quote was one of John’s… “A lifetime together lies shortly ahead.” I know he means it. Their day reflected their beautiful, quiet, mature relationship at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. The setting along with the people who surrounded them gave them a wedding they will always cherish.

Photographer: Kina Wicks | Florals: Pamela Weber, Sweet Pea | Cake: Cocoa Bean Fine Desserts | DJ: Ryan Meeks of Non-Stop Entertainment | Bride's Dress: Jasmine Collection | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cantigny Gardens | Custom Printing: Style on a Budget | Planning: Stacey Hayes | Video: Ryan Meeks of Non-Stop Entertainment

Cantigny Park Wedding from Cristina G Photography + Shannon Gail Events

When I first laid eyes on this gorgeous wedding from Shannon of Shannon Gail Weddings & Events, I simply couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. Let’s just say I was chomping at the bit. Because not only is this wedding filled with so many details you could spend your day pinning every one, but it’s also filled with my favorite detail of all – love. Add some the gorgeous images by Cristina G Photography, and ladies and gents, there goes my afternoon. See it all here.

From ShannonDesigning and planning Kris and Dan’s Wedding was incredibly enjoyable due to their many hobbies, vibrant personalities, and love for each other. During our first meeting, Kris told us that she had picked Cantigny Park as the site of their wedding because of its stunning gardens and beautiful perspective of nature. She wanted to find a way to mix in her love of gardening with Dan’s outdoorsy personality and her Asian culture, while not allowing it to look too rustic or homemade. I was inspired to add a bit of a vintage undertone after seeing Kris’s ring and gown so our end result was an intricate palette of sherbet-like hues of varying depths with bits of shimmering gold and textures you may not think of combining such as chevron and lace. It was the look that you get when you hand cut a few stems of hydrangea from your home garden and place it under your stunning dining room chandelier for a look that is effortless and refined all at the same time. With a little handyman labor from the Groom (he literally made their wedding canopy) we were able to combine handmade wooden elements with glamorous centerpieces (ala the most fabulous floral designer in Chicago) that, when placed in a room with 360 degree views of the breathtakingly beautiful grounds was the perfect juxtaposition of urban and rural and the perfect melding of Kris and Dan.

Photography: Cristina G Photography | Cinematography: Fig Weddings | Wedding Planner: Shannon Gail Weddings and Events | Floral Design: Stemline Creative | Invitations: Just Invite Me | Stationery: Anna Kate Design | Ceremony Venue: Cantigny Gardens | Reception Venue: Cantigny Gardens | Hair and Makeup: Mia Sorella | DJ: Fig Weddings | Ceremony Music: The Classic Harpist | Chiavari Chairs: Elegant Presentations

Vintage Wedding in Wheaton, Illinois from Chrystl Roberge Photography

Meeting the love of your life in eighth grade is one of those oh-so-amazing stories you couldn’t even make up if you tried; the sort of story where it’s clear Cupid had a plan for you and yours all along.  And when you follow up that fateful meeting in science class (and 13 years of courtship!) with a drop-dead gorgeous vintage meets rustic wedding at the breathtaking Danada House, it’s the perfect chapter to one crazy fabulous fairytale.  One that includes the beautiful stylings and florals of The Perfect Pick and one love-filled moment after another captured by Chrystl Roberge Photography.  See them all right here.

From the Bride… Our love story began in the eighth grade. Dan’s neighborhood had been moved to my middle school and he sat behind me in science class. He has always been a little bit rebellious and a daredevil; we girls can’t help but fall for the bad boy! After exchanging shy smiles, we soon embarked on a romance that wove in and out of our lives for the next thirteen years!

Dan is the most selfless and loving person I have ever met. Together, we share a passion of always helping and caring for others. When planning our special day, it was essential for our wedding to capture the special memories we have created together throughout the years and include the people who have supported and fostered our relationship. It was important to both of us that our wedding was unique and memorable. We knew we wanted to find a venue where we could hold both the ceremony and reception. Dan and I really liked the idea of getting married outdoors with the sun beginning to set at the end of the ceremony. When Dan’s brother Adam, the best man, raved about a wedding he had attended at the Dananda House, we had to check it out! We loved the tidy gardens, vast landscape, and the atrium with three walls of ceiling to floor windows that overlooked the forest preserve. We immediately knew that this was the ideal place for us to officially tie the knot!

Part of the theme that we selected had that strong rustic feel, with elements of birch and trees in the invitations, floral arrangements and wedding décor. My friends tease me that my home looks like a picture out of the Pottery Barn catalog, so I was immediately drawn to the rustic and vintage details of mercury glass and lanterns. The lanterns were used to line the aisle and reused on guests’ tables during the reception. Mercury glass candles, globes, vases and votives offered delicate decoration to the cocktail, guest, feasting, dessert, and place card tables. Romantic details came in the rich fabrics of my dress, bouquet ribbon, flower selection, calligraphy, and candle lighting. Skeleton keys adorned place cards to capture a classic vintage feel for guests.

One of my favorite details of our wedding was the feasting table. Both Dan and I wanted our attendants to feel comfortable and happy at our wedding. We knew from experience that it is no fun to be separated from your date during dinner. As soon as we heard about the feasting or harvest table idea, we knew that was what we wanted. Our table was so elegant! Blush satin table cloths lined our table, ruffle chair covers noted the bride and groom’s special seats, and blush, ivory and apricot flowers were accented by soft mercury glass votives. Dan and I had the perfect view of all of our guests and the band!

I could not have made a better decision than hiring Stephanie at the Perfect Pick to do my flowers. She handpicked every single bloom herself and put together the most amazingly beautiful arrangements I have ever seen. The slightest detail was not overlooked. Dan’s boutonnière was wrapped in birch bark to match not only the reception décor, but to accent the strips of birch elegantly woven in my bouquet. Stephanie incorporated ruffles and romantic textures in all of her work to capture the carefree and personable attitudes that Dan and I share.

Stephanie soon introduced us to the adorable Emily Cavanagh who would help personalize so many important details for our wedding. Emily has such a flair for gorgeous handwriting and we put her talent to work! Emily hand wrote each address on beautiful teal envelopes. Using a fabric swatch, she searched for the perfect teal envelope to match the bridesmaid dresses. Emily also designed the wedding invitation. On the back of the invite, it looks like birch bark with a K&D lettering that appeared to be carved into the bark. This small detail made the invitation so personal and went with the rustic theme. A hand-drawn, watercolor map of the key locations was included to help guests navigate between the hotel and Danada House. Each invitation was carefully tied together with a crinkled silk ribbon and paper heart, which incorporated the same style as the save the date and wedding details.

There were countless personalized details that reflected details about us as a couple. The many uses of books and book pages reflected our mutual love of reading. Our ceremony programs were book marks with one of our engagement pictures for our guests to reuse after the wedding. Our favors were delectable caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory (with no peanuts because Dan is allergic). I am a teacher, so the books and apples went perfectly with my profession! Each bar had our favorite/specialty drinks with large coffee table books with menu items written in calligraphy. Every detail fit together perfectly.

Collecting wedding details soon became a family and friends project! Both of our moms had no problem purchasing gorgeous mercury glass pieces from Pottery Barn that they knew could be incorporated into their home décor when the wedding was over. My sister-in-law Natalie and I searched through old antique shops downtown Ottowa, Illinois for vintage books for table decorations. She would surprise me with new finds whenever I saw her until we had quite the collection! As soon as a family friend decided to cut down his birch tree, my dad was the first person he called! We collected an entire truckload and used it for numerous details throughout our ceremony and reception (you can see birch bark candles, picture frames, flower cones, logs, etc.). My aunt gave us countless numbers of skeleton keys that she had collected. It was amazing to see how generous and motivated people were to lend a helping hand to the aesthetics of our big day!


Photography: Chrystl Roberge Photography | Floral + Event Design: Stephanie Robinson of The Perfect Pick | Wedding Venue: The Danada House, Wheaton, Illinois | Invitations: Emily Cavanagh | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Wedding Dress: Wolsfelt’s Victorian Bridal, Aurora, Illinois | Bridesmaid + Flower Girl Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid, Chicago | Linens: BBJ Linen | Favors: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory | Place Card Keys: The Porkchop Show | Makeup: Dominica Szwajnos of Outer Beauty Airbrush Makeup | Hair: Brandy Olsen of Eddie Caruso’s Salon

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Cantigny Park Engagement Shoot from Autumn and Melinda Photography

Okay… so I am totally geeking out right now, but these two sweeties?  They happen to have the same names as two of my all-time favorite literary characters (Rachel + Dexter), so, yeah.  I am pretty happy. Also making me happy?  Their beyond beautiful engagement session captured by Autumn and Melinda Photography, which is one serious, serious love-fest filled with tulips, sunny skies and image after image of one of the cutest duos you will ever lay your eyes upon.  (Did I mention they were stunning?!?)  See every last glorious moment in the full gallery.

From Autumn and Melinda PhotographyIt was a beautiful Spring afternoon in the suburbs of Chicago. Our couple had chosen the Cantigny grounds to take advantage of the beauty. It couldn’t have been a more perfect place at the perfect time. The tulips were in full bloom, the trees were bursting with flowers and buds, the grass was a luscious green and everything was dancing in the breeze. The scene was perfectly set for Rachel and Dexter.

Dexter has known that Rachel was for him since the moment he saw her from afar in college and his feelings are apparent in every image.  They moved through the gardens effortlessly together as if they were the only two people around. We started in the flower gardens moved through to the pond and tall grass, stopped at the formal gardens and museum and ended at the growing gardens just as the stars were starting to appear. For our couple, who is planning a laid-back outdoor wedding, it was a perfect precursor to the wedding. We are so excited to return in October for the wedding to see the stunning changing of the seasons.


Photography: Autumn and Melinda Photography | Location: Cantigny Park and Gardens, Wheaton, Illinois

Wheaton Engagement Session from Jill Tiongco Photography

For those of you who love cozying up and sharing a cup of joe with your beloved, get your pretty little eyes ready for this engagement session from Jill Tiongco Photography. It’s filled with oodles of love and all the splendor of Fall and when these two sweethearts have a special place in their history at Starbucks, we get to see some of the most darling of photographs complete with that iconic coffee cup. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss your coffee break this morning, so you can spend it all in the gallery right here.

From the Bride-to-Be… Mark and I chose to do our engagement pictures in downtown Wheaton, Illinois. Wheaton is where I bought my first condo and where Mark and I will call home once we are married. Wheaton is also where we spend a lot of time trying out new restaurants, exploring the downtown area and going for walks. We got engaged May 25, 2012, at Lake Lawn Lodge in Wisconsin, a place where I vacation with my family every year. We wanted our pictures in the fall because we both love all there is to love about the season — the colorful leaves, cool crisp weather and football. :) We also chose to take some pictures at Starbucks, which holds a special place in our hearts. We met at work, and part of our daily routine throughout the work week would be to swing by Starbucks together to get our favorite drinks (a skinny vanilla for me and a three Splenda vanilla latte for Mark). Mark and I will be married on May 3, 2013. We cannot wait!

Photography: Jill Tiongco Photography / Location: Wheaton, Illinois / LOVE Sign: Lazy Caterpillar / White Winter Jacket: Express / Hair: Jillian of Jillian’s Salon in Elmhurst (630-453-3083)

Wheaton Wedding by gina & tony | photographers

Rise and shine Illinois because we have pretty as can be fête that will be sure to give you an extra jolt this morning if your coffee isn’t doing the trick! Not only is it perfectly pretty (and oh it is pretty), but it also goes to show budget-friendly doesn’t mean beauty-lacking. The Bride shares some of her great tips in her description, but make sure to allow some time to gawk over all the pretty images by gina & tony|photographers in the full gallery too!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…Mike and I knew immediately that it was important that our wedding not break the bank, and truly be a product of our own efforts.  The first, and most important decision we made was to have our wedding on a Sunday and to keep the guest list small, which gave us the opportunity to afford a beautiful venue, an amazing band and still have some funds left over for our dream honeymoon. We also worked hard on designing every aspect of the day ourselves. The majority of work came in DIYing our paper goods.  They were truly a labor of love in designing without any experience, and sometimes in printer repair after too many failed test-runs.

The overall look of the day began with my wedding dress. I chose the dress that made my mom cry, even though it was nothing like anything else had I tried on, and let it inspire a soft, modern, floral theme that was beautiful at the golf club.  Throughout the next year, I collected and crafted items while scouring the web for constantly changing inspiration.  My favorite projects were creating faux mercury glass vases from thrift store containers and spray paint, and our cupcake-in-a-jar favors.  In the end, when all the details seemed completely overwhelming, I handed everything over to our florist and coordinator and they pulled everything together flawlessly.

We hired vendors who love weddings, who made us feel like a priority, and who we knew we’d love spending the day with.  They were the key to how calm and nerve-free Mike and I felt all day long.  We feel so fortunate to have been able to work with them all, and even more so for the wonderful moments they orchestrated during the day and beautiful memories they captured for us forever.

Our wedding day turned out to be the hottest day of the summer, and our family and wedding party were amazing and tough, even with an outdoor ceremony and photo session.  In the end, my favorite moment of the day was leaving the reception, laughing with my new husband as he said “that was so awesome, that was so awesome!” over and over again all the way to the hotel.  We are so thrilled that the day was truly a reflection of ourselves, and what we love.

Wedding Photography: gina & tony|photographers / Wedding Gown: Enzoani / Bridesmaid Gowns: J.Crew / Hair + Make-up: Kimberly Piech / Floral Design: Kristen Janes of Kio Kreations / First Look + Portrait Location: Cantigny Gardens / Ceremony + Reception Location: Arrowhead Golf Club / Officiant: Barry Kolanowski / Ceremony Musicians: Windy City Chamber Musicians / Day-Of Coordinator: Samantha Hamilton of Get Hitched Weddings / Invitation + Save the Date: Citrus Press Co. / All Other Stationery: DIY / Wedding Cake: Oakmill Bakery / Band: Underwater People / Wedding Videography: Hendzel Productions / Placecards, Programs, Guestbook, Menus, Favors (Cupcake-in-a-Jar) + Faux Mercury Glass Vases: DIY

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Wheaton Wedding by Elizabeth Greve Photography

Garden weddings always have a way of sneaking their way to the top of my favorites list…. There’s just something so magical about the combination of some uber-lovely nuptials and mother nature’s beauty that simply warms my heart.  So, it pretty much goes without saying that I am absolutely loving this charming Wheaton affair by Elizabeth Greve Photography with its gorgeous setting (but, of course), laid back meets elegant vibe, sophisticated black and white color palette and darling DIY details.  This is just the pretty we needed this Friday morning and the perfect start to a sure to be fabulous weekend.  Click here for even more!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From Elizabeth Greve Photography I’m so excited to share this awesome outdoor ceremony with you!  I was honored to photograph the wedding of a friend I have known for years which made the day even more special for me.  The best way to describe Katie & Matt is to tell you that along with being a wonderful couple together on the outside, they are also beautiful people on the inside as well.  They make everyone around them smile and laugh and their detailed wedding that included DIY projects and a dog as a flower girl reveals just that.  Below, you’ll read comments from Katie, the bride, on how the inspiration for this creative wedding came about.

As for the details, the bridesmaids were asked to wear black cocktail-length dresses (each of them have their own sense of style, and the bride and groom wanted to celebrate that)! The groomsmen wore classic, Calvin Klein tuxes… with the exception of the bride’s brother, who was in his Army dress blues (he was able to come to the wedding, on his mid-tour leave from Iraq). The outdoor ceremony included a secret garden-like path that the wedding party walked through. The bride’s brother serenaded her down the aisle, to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  The couple’s Pug, Ramona, acted as the flower girl. The groom’s mother made paddle fan programs, to relieve guests from the hot August sun. The bride, her mother, and mother-in-law made chalkboard framed signs that were displayed throughout the ceremony and reception.  They each displayed some of the bride and groom’s favorite lyrics like, “How Sweet it Is to Be Loved by You,” “I’m lucky I’m in Love with My Best Friend,” and “For you I’d wait til kingdom come.” The placecards were inspired by a Style Me Pretty inspiration board.  With old luggage tags, laundry pins, and vintage typewriter type, they were an easy way to bring the vintage flair to each table. The Candy Table included old-fashioned candy, jars, scoops, and a handmade banner. Guests were encouraged to take candy home, in small cellophane bags.  The bride wore a gown from Nordstrom Bridal.  After the ceremony, she quickly changed into her dance-friendly sparkly Toms. Flowers (in mason jars, with wire for hanging on shepherds hooks) from there ceremony were re-purposed for the reception.

Wedding Photography: Elizabeth Greve Photography / Florist: Petal Play Design / Weekend-of Planner: La Belle Fleur Events / Wedding Ceremony Location: Cantigny Park / Wedding Reception Location: Cantigny Golf / DJ: A Posh Production / Hair: Salon Vis a Vis / Make-up: Linda Camacho / Nails: The Nail Shop / Wedding Invitations: Etsy / Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein / Wedding Dress: Nordstrom / Bride’s Shoes: TOMS