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Some people say you should marry your best friend. In the case of Marie and James, this was obviously the only choice. Not only are they clearly exceedingly happy on their wedding day (having just achieved some other unrelated great life things!), but they also managed to have a beautiful, unique wedding. Her fabulous dress juxtaposed with his dapper uniform, nontraditional bridesmaid dresses, a guitar guestbook, and a gorgeous stained glass backdrop make this one of my favorite eye-catching weddings of the season.

From the Photographer:

Marie and James met while working at a local hospital. She was a student working part-time in an administrative position, and he was a PA student making his clinical rounds. They had an instant connection, and soon after Marie found herself writing James an email that began, “Hi James. It’s your best friend Marie here….” That email led to lots of time spent together, and eventually, James knew that Marie was indeed his forever best friend. 

Life ticked by, and James earned his degree and a full-time PA position. He also became a medic in the Army National Guard. Marie continued to work hard to finish her degree in Social Work, and as she was finishing her final year of school, James proposed at one of those paint-your-own pottery places that had become a frequent date night activity. His proposal, written on the side of a pitcher, began, “Hi Marie. It’s your best friend James here….” 

Aside from being stunningly beautiful, Marie is also Superwoman in her own right. She managed to plan a beautiful hometown wedding that took place just a week after she graduated (with honors, mind you) with her Bachelor’s degree while working full-time assisting developmentally disabled adults live independently. And just a few short weeks after the wedding, she and James moved to Tulsa, where Marie was sent after joining the Teach for America teaching corps. James is pretty awesome too. He learned on their wedding day that he was had received a promotion in the National Guard. What an honor to receive on such a special day!

Helping me capture James and Marie’s wedding memories was the fabulous Melissa of M Failla Photography.

Photographer:  Christa Donald Photography//Dress Store:Elite Bridal//Reception Venue: I Hotel//Dress Designer: Martina Liana//Event Planner: Nuptiae//Ceremony Location:Wesley United Methodist Church//

A wedding of high school sweethearts is always a very special event. Not only is the story of the couple great, but having been together for so long, the friends and family surrounding the couple often know each other well too, so the party is full of familiar, close guests. This wedding has all of that, in addition to romantic soft details that feel just right for kicking off spring!


From the Coordinator:

Kelly and Andrew have such a fun story. They are high school sweethearts who have been together for over a decade! This dynamic made their whole wedding weekend a blast since their families and friends have been intertwined for so long.

After setup was complete and photos were done, it was time for cocktails! Even the occasional sprinkles couldn’t keep guests from the terrace as they enjoyed the amazing string quartet Artistrings and the spectacular setting.

After cocktails, guests made their way into the Pavilion for dinner. The reception was kicked off with bridal party announcements followed by the couple’s first dance. Both sets of parents welcomed guests with heartfelt toasts before the delicious dinner was served by Bauer’s Catering. During the salad course, Kelly and Andrew cut their cake, which was both beautiful and delicious.

After dinner, it was time for dancing. An important moment in the evening was the sibling dance, which really brought Kelly and Andrew’s families together. During dancing the photo booth by The Traveling Photo Booth was open and late night snacks were served. As the evening came to a close, the party really started. The bride and groom provided glow sticks, sunglasses, and other fun items for those left on the dance floor, and it made for a raucous celebration. Style Matters kept the party going strong until the very end. It was a joyous celebration for all involved!

Photographer: Erica Rose Photography / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Five Grain Events / Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Parish--Buffalo Grove, IL / Reception Venue: Cuneo Mansion / Catering: Bauer's Catering / Flowers & Decor: Forget Me Knodt / DJ: Style Matters / Lighting: Elegant Event Lighting / Ceremony Musicians: Artistrings / Photobooth: Traveling Photo Booth / Transportation: Windy City Limo / Beauty: Elena Fantucchio of Bobbi Brown

Emma and Michael’s wedding is classically beautiful. From Emma’s intricate updo to her custom lace gown with unique flowers and a soft bow, her bridal style is so sophisticated. The magnificent church and elegantly designed ballroom were the perfect backdrop for such a soiree. And then the gorgeous flowers and color scheme, topped off with a quintessential wedding cake, finished the party so perfectly. Also, though, it looks like they had fun as all get out!


From the Photographer:

Emma and Michael got married on April 27th, 2013 on a gorgeous April day in Chicago. Despite them moving to St. Louis, they wanted to return to the city they fell in love to become Mr. and Mrs. Dore. Guests flew in from all over the globe for the event. The bride wore a gorgeous custom designed down from Victoria Sdoukos Couture Bridal. They were married at one of Chicago’s oldest and most gorgeous churches.
We spent some time taking photos and enjoying the day in a nearby West Loop park and the iconic Chicago Board of Trades before heading to the reception. KT and her team at Hotel Allegro left no detail out in creating an amazing space for the reception.
All in all it was the perfect day!

Photographer:  Becky Brown Photography//Cake Designer: Alliance Bakery//Ceremony Location: Holy Family Church//Floral Designer: Stemline Creative//Floral Designer: Stemline, Creative//DJ: Style Matters DJs//Makeup Artist: Tamara Makeup+Hair Artistry//Dress Designer:Victoria Sdoukos Couture Bridal//Ceremony Location: Hotel Allegro//

Paige and Daniel had the perfect fall wedding day in Southern Illinois in late October. In the eyes of the bride, she had blinked and grown up from a little girl to a bride, there to experience her fairytale wedding day with her father, her family and most importantly, her groom by her side. Cheers to Paige and Daniel, and in the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the gorgeous details from their wedding day!
































About the Big Day:
Paige and Daniel were married on October 19, 2013 at Orchardview Winery in Alma, Illinois. Their vintage chic wedding day was filled with creative personal touches perfectly suited for the bride and groom. Paige was a DIY bride who had the help of all of her bridesmaids, family and friends to make her dreams a reality when it came to the overall wedding décor. She had the help of these important people to assemble centerpieces and other decorations for the venue, and her dad and grandpa helped to build a lot of key pieces as well, including the freestanding doorway that lead the guests, and the bride, into the ceremony location and down the aisle to her prince charming. Paige’s favorite detail of the entire day was the arbor built out of old barn wood that stood behind the preacher during the wedding ceremony. Three strips of material hung from the arbor, and Paige and Daniel, along with their families, braided the strips together during the ceremony to represent their unity. Pins from Paige and Daniel’s college fraternity and sorority were carefully pinned to Paige’s bouquet.

During the reception, their wedding guests enjoyed a BBQ dinner followed by a night of fun and dancing. Paige and Daniel’s wedding day was a true representation of their relationship and their futures that they were soon to grow and build together. The two of them left for their honeymoon in Jamaica shortly after their wedding day, then came home and packed to head to their new home in England, where Daniel is stationed. The new Mr. and Mrs. have started their new journey together filled with love and adventure.

Ceremony Venue: Orchardview Winery / Reception Venue: Orchardview Winery / Photographer: SHD Photography / Catering: Wheelan's BBQ Shack / Cake Baker: Covered in Chocolate / Rentals: Kelly's for the Occasion / DJ: Dwonka and Funke

Here at LLB, we believe in great love stories. Great weddings, of course-but we’re also all about the love stories and what happens leading up to and after the wedding. Jenna and John are still kindling their love 3 years post wedding, and got cozy for their anniversary session in Chicago.

From the Photographer:

Jenna & John have been married for just under 3 years, but still interact as if they were just engaged yesterday.Their chemistry and authenticity is stunning. When opportunity arose and they decided to move to California from the sweet midwest, they wanted to be sure they had photos in the place where they started their lives together: Chicago! Humboldt Park is a hidden gem on the North side of the city, with it’s trails, lagoons, and tons of landscape, so it was perfect for this couple who loved nature, but also their fabulous city. I had a vision for their sweet, simple, and romantic winter session. I wanted it to be warm and traditional, but with a unique twist. Jenna & John dressed warm & cozy without being overtly “Christmas-y.” Their natural style and chemistry is exactly what I envisioned for this session. I planned every detail to create a comfy living room scene in the middle of the forest, so John even helped me haul this vintage chair to the middle of these trees- what a champ! These two were naturals in front of the camera, and made some beautiful images on that chilly afternoon.

Photographer: Meg Takes Photos

While most of the country hasn’t experienced snow yet, I’m digging this little taste of wintery goodness in today’s real wedding. The couple really embraced the cold and snow, still traipsing around the Windy City for photos. And while the weather was freezing, the ceremony and family incorporated in the day was absolutely filled with warmth, including a ring warming ceremony, a family heirloom dress refashioned and reworn, and a tree cut down and brought from elsewhere to bring a bit of another “home” to Chicago.

From the Photographer:

Lindsay and Chris had a February Wedding…in Chicago. They did not let the cold weather or snow hold them back from going around the city for photos. Lindsay, in her grandmother’s gown, strapped on her Sorel boots and we photographed them downtown and in Lincoln Park. Although it was chilly, a fresh snowfall a couple of days before made the city look picturesque. All the bridesmaids and groomsmen also joined in the fun wearing their coats and boots, or just rocking the heels, for pictures. This couple had a beautiful ceremony on the third floor of The Ravenswood Event Center, and also had dinner and dancing on the third floor. This was a great way to showcase the space and the tree that Lindsay’s parents chopped and brought from Michigan on a truck. 

From the Bride and Groom:

How we met:
We literally met while walking down the street. We had both been at a summer concert at the Lincoln Park Zoo with separate groups of friends. After the concert, my friend and I headed up to Clark street to grab a few drinks. As my friend and I were walking, this very cute guy started chatting with us. We talked briefly and then went our separate ways. About an hour later, my friend and I were leaving the bar and we heard someone calling to us from down the street. We turned around to find that it was the same handsome stranger. 🙂 He came up and asked if we wanted to join him and his friends for a drink. He had the best smile, and over some late night pizza he asked if he could call me. I replied, “you better!.” He called the next day and the rest is history. 

How we got engaged:
We have a history of having picnics on the beach in Chicago in the summer, so when Chris planned a picnic for us one night in late June., I didn’t think anything of it. The forecast was for thunderstorms and I suggested several times that maybe we go to dinner instead. It now makes sense why insisted that we go for a picnic – and why he ate so fast!! After we finished eating, he got down on one knee and proposed! It was very simple, very sweet, and very much us. He cracked open the champagne he brought and watched the lightening over the lake in the distance. 

What details were most important for you for your wedding?
The actual wedding was the most important part for us. Chris’ sister, Katie, married us. The three of us wrote our own ceremony and our own vows. The ceremony was very personal. We had a small wedding, by Chicago standards, with 100 guests that were all friends and family we have know for at least 15 years! We really wanted everyone to feel welcome to have fun! (No stiff wedding traditions or over dramatic decor!)

One of favorite things that we did: we passed around our rings around during the ceremony for everyone to bless or give us their well wishes. When we did the exchange of rings towards the end of the ceremony, it was very powerful knowing it had been touched by everyone in the room. It’s so meaningful to wear my ring knowing that I’m carrying love not only from my husband, but also from our friends and family.

How did you incorporate family history into your wedding? Dress, cake topper, other details?

I wore my grandmothers wedding gown from 1941. It was originally long sleeved and with a high neckline, so we worked with Alice Padrul to re-designed the dress using all of the original fabric and buttons. Alice added some beautiful lace and detail work to update the dress while still preserving the vintage feel of the dress.

We also used the same cake topper that my grandparents used in 1941. It has been used in all of our family weddings, including my mom’s and my brother’s!

Photographer: Studio Starling / Hairstylist: Morgan Blaul / Makeup Artist: Jennifer O'Leary - Make-up by Jen / Bride’s Dress: Alice Padrul / Groom’s Attire: Men's Warehouse / Flowers & Decor: Anna Held Floral / Reception Venue: Ravenswood Event Center / Cake Baker: Molly's Cupcakes / Invitations & Stationery: Wystar Design / DJ: Natalie from Toast and Jam / Transportation: Windy City Limo

I love the story of this couple. Their’s is a story of a love that took a little fidgeting and time to finally get it together. It didn’t just fall into their laps. They had to decide they cialis online pharmacy really wanted it. And once they did, they were all in-and you can see the genuine joy they share in being husband and wife in the photos below. And then there is the bride’s unique and STUNNING dress, the enchanting location, and sweet details like personalized chopsticks and cufflinks; All the components coming together to create the perfect day for Carolyn and Mike.

From the Bride:

Some individuals are just meant to be a part of your life.  This is something that both Carolyn and Mike felt to be true the firstsecond, third time they met.  Carolyn and Mike were introduced by friends, more friends, and coworkers while students at the University of Illinois.  However, it wasn’t until they reunited in New York City, that they started to realize fate’s hunch.  After spending a summer traveling the east coast together, Carolyn went back to Illinois to start pharmacy school while Mike stayed in New York to work.   Throughout the next four years, Carolyn and Mike kept in touch.  Occasionally the idea of dating each other was discussed but was dismissed over “practicality” reasons and the fear of ruining a great friendship.  Mike moved to California and shortly thereafter, started dating another girl.  Upon learning the news, Carolyn surprised herself with how devastated she felt about her best friend dating someone else.  Although the relationship with the other girl was short lived, it was already too late.  Carolyn had made another commitment.  She had signed a contract to spend the year after graduation living and working in Wisconsin.  The time apart made Carolyn realize her true feelings for Mike and actually take the leap of faith to start dating him seriously.  Upon completing her residency in Wisconsin, Carolyn embarked on the 2,000 mile journey to California with Mike by her side.  Over a decade since their first acquaintance, Mike proposed to Carolyn along the beach in La Jolla.  A year later, they finally said “I do” in the state where it all began, Illinois.

Kelly and Rhett were married at a unique, fun, and beautiful venue in Chicago – Revolution Brewing. Now who wouldn’t want to get married at a brewery? The intimate setting was the perfect place for not only their ceremony, but the wedding reception as well. This wonderful couple also decided on a first look, and it is one of the best, most genuine, and joyous first looks that I’ve seen. You can truly tell how much this couple loves each other, and their friends and family who were present at their big day.
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From The Photographer:

We started the day at Kelly and Rhett’s condo, with friends and family hanging out and getting ready. Murray the cat was especially helpful.:)Pollen provided absolutely stunning bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party. I loved Kelly’s Sister’s suit, boutonniere, and awesome shoe/sock combination!

We headed to what I think is a very under-used and awesome portrait location: Humboldt Park. Kelly and Rhett’s First Look was so fun to watch and to shoot. Next we roamed around the park a little, and took some Wedding party photos.

I was so excited to shoot at Revolution Brewing in Logan Square! I absolutely loved the space: warm, intimate, and beautiful. And don’t even get me started on the food! But I digress…;)Kelly and Rhett’s Ceremony was absolutely incredible. Their vows were some of the most well written, touching vows I’ve ever heard. There was laughter, tears, more laughter, and a lot of emotion. It was perfect.


Photographer: Victoria Sprung Photography / Flowers & Decor: Pollen / Reception Venue: Revolution Brewing / DJ: Toast and Jam

This wedding is just plain pretty. But one thing I love is the story behind the ceremony location: This is the church where Rose and Casey Wenc, Michael’s Grandparents, currently belong. In addition to Michael’s family being actively involved in the church, this is also where Diane and Mike Wenc, Michael’s Parents, were married on May 24th 1981. I love that there is legacy and family behind the space where Emily and Michael united themselves. And as if the lovely images weren’t enough, we also have their video to feature by Captured in Frames!

From the Bride:

Michael and I met as students at Northern Illinois University, through mutual friends. Michael belonged to a fraternity and I belonged to a sorority. We met only a few months before Michael graduated; I still had another year ahead of me.When it came time for him to graduate, we decided to continue seeing each other even though I’d be living in La Grange Park and him in Bartlett.

So Michael landed a job at CDW downtown (was commuting from Bartlett) and I was commuting to Columbia. We continued dating ‘long distance’ only seeing each other on the weekends and occasional week nights in the city after work.

After doing that for about 2 years, we decided to move in together in Lincoln Park. We just loved the city life and decided to make it our home. We lived in a condo we were renting for a year and then decided to buy a condo in Wicker Park together. After living there for about a year we got engaged.

We got engaged on August 4th 2011, and married exactly a year later on August 4th, 2012. We had gone out to a dinner and comedy show downtown on a Thursday night. This is very common for us, we love trying new places and exploring Chicago. Once we got home, Michael left to get ready for bed, but I noticed it was taking a little long…when I went to go look for him, I found him on our back patio with tea light candles lit to spell “Will You Marry Me.” Of course I said yes and along with many happy tears, we called our family and friends.

The funny part about this story is that in our excitement and after I said yes, we just left the candles lit outside while we went in to call our family. About an hour later we realized we left the candles… most of them had blown out but some had actually burned holes through our new Crate & Barrel outdoor rug ($$$) and new wood patio!!! To this day, every time we see the burn marks, we think of the wonderful night we got engaged.

Photographer: Miller + Miller Photography / Ceremony Venue: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center / Groom’s Attire: Macy's / Bride’s Dress: Luna Novias / Bridal Salon: The Dress by Nicole / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Hair/ Makeup: The Circle Salon / Flowers & Decor: Belmonte's Florist / Band: Greenlight Band-Rendezvous Music / Cinemetographer: Captured in Frames

The story behind today’s wedding is what did it for me. It portrays not only how dating evolves into marriage, but how marriage is sustained: by pursuit. Marriage is about constantly choosing one another and making one another a priority when schedules are difficult, or being busy feels like it overpowers the need for time together. That joy and love that come from constantly choosing each other is so evident here on Kristin and Adam’s wedding day, complete with their adorable dog to boot.

From Libby Kacich Photography:

 Adam and Kristin are such a fun-loving couple. Laid back, cool, and up for anything… their wedding day was a true reflection of them. After some major Midwest storms, the clouds parted and they could not have had a more beautiful day for their Rock Falls, Illinois wedding. The Post House Ballroom, an old post office turned event space, was classic, elegant, and host to a rockin’ party! Their dog, Bruno, was the perfect ring bearer.

From the bride & groom:

“Kristin and Adam met online in May 2010.  Adam pursued Kristin and she kept turning him down for dates, schedules didn’t match, and everyone was busy.  Kristin finally agreed to meet Adam for a breakfast date at Starbucks and he promised to take her out the next night to impress her with his Karaoke skills.  As it turns out, he is a much better showman than a singer!  
“We had a great wedding day!  Everything went perfectly and was beautiful.  It was a calm and stress free day.  The best part was having all our families and friends together to help us celebrate the big day…people came from all over the country and we were so honored to have them there to celebrate with us.  Even our dog Bruno was part of the wedding.  We loved it all!”

Photographer: Libby Kachich Photography / Bride’s Dress: David's Bridal / Bride’s Jewelry: Dillard's / Groom’s Attire: Seno Formal Wear / Flowers & Decor: Behrens Flower Shed / Ceremony Venue: Rock Falls United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: The Post House Ballroom / Catering: Creative Cuisine / Linens: Kreative Rentals / Cake Baker: Midnight Cake Shop