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A Classic, Lake Michigan Wedding Anchored in Tradition

There’s something special about a traditional wedding. Each detail – like the couple’s sweet history with the location, the bride’s beautiful bouquet wrap crafted from her mother’s veil and grandmother’s gown, and the groom’s heirloom toasting goblets – overflows with love and thought. Grab a tissue because this elegant event captured by Laura Ann Miller Photography will pull on your heartstrings. See all the thoughtful details in our Vault!

From the Bride… Although Dan and I met and now reside in Missouri, there was never any doubt that we would marry in Wilmette, my beautiful hometown. Situated on Lake Michigan just north of Chicago, it’s a special place for us – even more so after Dan asked me to marry him there on my childhood beach. We hope to one day settle in Wilmette with a family of our own, so it only felt fitting to become husband and wife there, too.

Dan and I were together for seven years before we became engaged, so we had a long time to dream of our future wedding. Once our engagement was official, our vision for an elegant, romantic and traditional wedding came together quite easily, especially because I previously worked in the wedding industry and had filed away ideas for my own special day over the years. We knew we wanted a classic wedding that wouldn’t look too dated in the albums we one day show our children. Above all, it was important to us that the day feel personal and intimate; that drove all our decisions, from our venues to the decor to small details throughout the day.

We chose beautiful vintage venues with personal connections to my family. We married at my childhood church, and our reception followed at Michigan Shores Club, a historic social club in the neighborhood where I grew up. Michigan Shores is just steps away from the beach where Dan proposed, making it all the more special. The beautiful Tudor architecture of the club and the traditional-yet-intimate ambiance of both venues drove my design for our wedding day.

We chose a neutral and romantic color palette of blush, ivory and gold with black accents – a combination that both reflects our style and is a nod to our alma mater, Mizzou, where we fell in love. Our floral design was garden-inspired, with green garlands, large hydrangea blooms, and garden roses. To create an intimate ambiance and encourage conversation, we opted for long tables adorned with low floral arrangements and lots of candles to add warmth to the space. We also mixed in small, round tables with blush linens and high candelabra centerpieces for contrast.

I planned every detail of the wedding myself, and everything had a personal touch or meaning. I customized my strapless Tara Keely wedding gown to add removable, off-the-shoulder lace sleeves, which at the time was a look I wasn’t able to find in stores but one I envisioned for my wedding dress. I designed the wedding-day paper, signage, and bottle-coolers for our reception bars. My parents and I scoured antique shops for vintage vanity mirrors to use on our escort table and painted vintage frames for our displays. I sourced all the candles and tabletop decor for months. I wore Badgley Mischka shoes, and my bridesmaids wore Badgley Mischka dresses, a nod to my day job. I was also fortunate to work with wonderful vendors who brought my ideas to life, in particular our floral design by Kristin of Petals N’ Bloom and our gold thermography wedding invitation suite by Alicia of On Three Designs. I loved working with Alicia to design our invitations and incorporate personal details, like the vintage-inspired monogram and wedding map.

One of my favorite details that went unseen by most was my bouquet wrap. My mother made my bouquet wrap from pieces of my grandmother’s wedding dress and her own lace wedding veil. The finishing touch was my mother’s pin from our shared sorority – my something borrowed that day. Dan and I were also the latest in a long line of couples to toast with his family’s silver goblets; we loved continuing the tradition.

As much as we wanted a sophisticated and elegant wedding, we also wanted a fun wedding! Our DJ, Karin of Toast and Jam, played a huge role in creating a party atmosphere. Her music kept our dance floor going all night. The photo booth (complete with cardboard cut-outs of our beloved dog, Henry) was also a big hit, as were the festive sequin accents throughout. Seeing all the people I love having such an amazing time made all the hard work planning and coordinating on my own so worth it.

One of the best decisions we made was to have a long engagement, which allowed us to take our time with planning and to enjoy every step of the process. We also had plenty of time to relish being engaged and all the pre-wedding celebrations that come with it. My advice to brides is to give yourself the gift of time and enjoy the planning process.

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Photography: Laura Ann Miller Photography | Event Planning and Design: Ali Salter | Floral Design: Petals N' Bloom | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture | Invitations: On Three | Ceremony Venue: Saint Francis Xavier | Reception Venue: Michigan Shores Club | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Makeup: Dominica Swanjnoski | Hair: Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry | Calligraphy: KLG Calligraphy | DJ: Toast and Jam | Bridal Boutique: Volle's Bridal Boutique | Linens: CV Linens | Photo Booth: Big Hugs Photo Booth | Trolley: Village Trolley

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Classic Bows + Seersucker Michigan Shores Club Wedding

This wedding is full of little moments that have stolen my heart. Tucked in little corners everywhere you really start to see the love that went into planning the details of this beautiful wedding from Christina G Photography. Top of my list? The bows on the bridesmaids’ shoes!


From the beautiful bride… Chris and I have known each other since first grade and grew up down the street from one another. It was not until eigth grade when Chris asked me out over instant messenger for the first time but our love for each other matured as we grew older. As a couple that grew up together, shared the same teachers and overcame similar challenges, we wanted our wedding to reflect the history we have had together and the people in our lives that are most important to us, our close friends and family. After Chris proposed in May of 2012, it was a no brainer for us to have our wedding ceremony at our grade school church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview and the reception at Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette where we used to bowl, swim and hang out together as children.

Chris and I wanted our wedding to be traditional with a fun twist. We wanted to treat our guests to a night they would never forget. We took a lot of time making sure that every aspect of the wedding had an unpredictable addition from the seersucker bow ties and monogrammed cummerbunds for the groomsmen to the bows on the back of the bridesmaids’ shoes to the choreographed first dance and bow ties on the escort cards! Our wedding was everything we had hoped it would be. We could not have asked for a better day/night!

Photography: Cristina G Photography | Videographer: Well Spun Wedding Films | Florist: Bunches Chicago | Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Church: Our Lady of Perpetual Help | Reception Venue: Michigan Shores Club | Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Makeup: Kate Mueller | Hair: Sharon Daniel Salon | Band: Orchestra 33 | Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse | Bow Ties/ Cummerbunds:: Just Madras | Dress Store: Ultimate Bride Boutique | Linens: BBJ Linen

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Wilmette Engagement by Kristin La Voie Photography

Giddy is the only word that can possibly describe how I felt when I opened up these images from Kristin La Voie Photography. As I went through each picture, I noticed an uncontrollable goofy grin that seemed to form on my face, and it’s a grin that will be sticking around for awhile – because I won’t be able to pull myself from this gallery anytime soon.

From Kristin La Voie PhotographyThere are no words other than PERFECTION to describe this sun-drenched, super adorable, swoon-worthy engagement session of Madeline and Nick. Gillson beach, in the North Shore Chicago neighborhood of Wilmette was the ideal location for these two love birds. Self-proclaimed nerds, Madeline & Nick opted for a scrabble picnic at the beach just as the sun set. I don’t think the two of them ever stopped laughing or smiling, so PERFECTION is really just the best word to describe this amazing session with the most spectacular couple!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | dress: H&M | shoes: ModCloth | Skirt: ModCloth

Nautical Themed Engagement from Heartily Wed + WojoImage Photography

There is no other way to say it – this engagement session from WojoImage Photography is downright adorable. From the sweet stationery by Chykalophia Design (hello save the date kite!) right down to all the nautical touches – each and every moment planned by HeartilyWed couldn’t be cuter. See it all here.


What better way to spend your sunny summer day then at the beach with your loved one. We wanted to incorporate just that into our inspirational nautical themed engagement session. Details such as: balloons, coca cola and a custom made kite made this session fun and unique. The kite was custom designed especially for this session and it even matched the nautical custom designed invitation suite. We hope that with this session we can inspire couples to get creative and have fun during their engagement sessions. [dotted] Photography: WojoImage Photography | Stationery: Chykalophia Design | Stylist: Ari Krzyzek | Hair + Makeup, Accessories: Evelyn Smesh | Organized by: HeartilyWed | Models: Evelyn Smesh & Will O’Connor | Location: Gillson Park, Wilmette, Illinois

Westmoreland Country Club Wedding by Laura Witherow Photography

I LOVE a black and white color palette (it just might be my favorite of all time) and when you throw in some splashes of vibrant pink, well, I doubly LOVE it.  Which explains why I am so completely smitten with this traditional Wilmette soiree by Laura Witherow Photography.  It’s a black, white and pink wonderland, complete with a gorgeous Anne Barge gown, crystal candelabras and some seriously stylish Badgley Mischka heels.  Plus, cake pops!  Yes, this entire affair is just brimming with the pretty, pretty moments, so join me in the gallery for every last one!

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From Laura Witherow Photography Ryann and Mike’s Romantic June wedding was held at the Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette illinois on June 18, 2011. Their day was filled with classy touches and romantic details. Their tent reception was a beautiful mix of candle light and classic centerpieces. The brides dress had a alencon lace bodice with ribbon detail and a full asymmetrical layered tulle skirt with horsehair trim and Alencon lace appliques.

Wedding Photography: Laura Witherow Photography / Brides Dress: Anne Barge / Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses: Melissa Sweet / DJ: Spencer Looken of Style Matters DJs / Wedding Cake: Niles of Oak Mill Bakery / Wedding Ceremony Location: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church / Wedding Reception Location: Westmoreland Country Club / Photo Booth: The Fun Ones / Flowers: Fill It With Flowers / Late Night Pizza: Italian Village Restaurants / Linens: BBJ Linens / Videographer: Modern Image Studios / Favors: Bomboniere from La Bomboniera, Chicago

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