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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//

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.

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

In general, a wedding is a ceremony uniting two people together, and this in itself is a beautiful thing. This also creates new family relationships, in-laws, etc. But I love a wedding that unites nuclear families to create a new immediate family, and when there is such obvious joy about this new created family from all parties. This wedding is just that. The joy is pouring out of the bride and groom, their children, and their guests, and the reception is truly a huge celebration of this, complete with gorgeous flickering candlelight, stunning orchids, and dazzling black and white accents with pops of purple. Add in the crowd that won’t stop dancing and activities for the kiddos and we’ve got a spectacular party for an even more spectacular new family.

From the Photographer:

We had a beautiful sunny day for Susan and Shane’s wedding at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. The natural and bright lighting in Susan’s suite was perfect for her, her sister, and her mother to get ready in. With everyone in great spirits it was also a perfect space to toast with some champagne to the momentous occasion and gorgeous weather. Getting to know Susan and Shane’s family was a blast, but being there to see their 4 children witness their parent’s vows definitely tugged at the heart strings a little. Shane and Susan then danced the night away in a beautifully candle lit room surrounded by best friends, loving family, and cake fueled kids.

Photographer: Steve Koo Photographer / Flowers & Decor: Bukiety / Reception Venue: Waldorf Astoria Chicago / Bride’s Dress: Badgley Mischka / Band: Prophecy Productions / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo

This wedding we’re sharing today strikes a really delicate balance between elegant and quirky. The black and red color palette, the bride’s dress and shoes, the beautiful ceremony and reception decor are all traditionally gorgeous. But then the transportation, the wedding “cake” and topper, the flower girl and ring bearer, and other DIY details really bring out Brianne and Jeffrey’s personal touches and life together. And I am seriously loving their escort cards votives – practical and innovative!

From the Photographer:

Brianne was a timeless vision in her Lazaro for Tara Keely dress, and she wore her grandmother’s vintage jewelry. Jeffery was fetching in his Hugo Boss suit with custom bow tie by Shrine on Oak. The guys wore their own black suits, and the ladies did the same in their own black cocktail dresses. The Bride’s bouquet as well boutonnieres and corsages were created by Sprout Home, and featured deep red roses, rosemary, and organic mosses which accented the black and white attire classically. Red was the visual pop of the day, and it played beautifully against the black furnishings and stark white interior of Prairie Production where the ceremony and reception was held.

Brianne and Jeffrey’s dogs Raspberry Beret and Mike Jones were the flower girl and ring bearer; Mike Jones donned a bone shaped pillow found on Etsy, and Raspberry wore a lovely corsage by Sprout Home. Many DIY touches were laced into the day. Brianne, an Interior Designer, and inspired by her creative background, created cones made from her favorite black wall paper and filled them with white rose petals that hung from the chair backs along the aisle. After Raspberry Beret was escorted down the aisle, guests were prompted to help throw the petals to the floor as Raspberry passed by. In lieu of a traditional cake, the bride and groom opted for a tower of Oreo cookies, and they dipped them in milk while the Cookie Monster’s song played. The “cake” was topped with watch over voodoo dolls purchased by the bride in Palm Springs.

Vintage touches added to the decor by way of a Vietnam relic bell rung during the ceremony to honor those no longer present, candle holders and vases that were collected by Brianne, vintage door knobs held the birch table numbers. Birch bark was gathered by a bridesmaid from her yard and used for the menus and table numbers. Votives acted as escort cards, and glowed throughout the evening which added to the already dramatic lighting of the room.

Photographer: Jennography / Catering: Pure Kitchen Catering / Flowers & Decor: Sprout Home Chicago / Reception Venue: Prairie Production / Videographer: Studio Q Production / DJ: J. Rose / Transportation: Official Cubs Trolley / Cake Baker: Floriole Bakery

All weddings have very personal elements. After all, a wedding is a celebration of two individuals joining their lives together, so it’s about as personal as you can get. But what I love best is when those moments, not just the details, but the moments are captured in the photos. This is definitely the case with Jessica and Justin’s nuptials, as I’m sure you’ll see!

From the Photographer:

Justin and Jessica have a beautiful balance of romance and goofiness. I think this is a perfect combination. They were SO fun to work with, and where up for anything. They trusted me when I led them under some el tracks, going along with my vision of bringing out the water stains on the wall for a background texture:)

We started out the day with both the Bride and Groom’s preparations at the Crowne Plaza in West Town. The hotel has a really pretty corridor where we had their ‘First Look’. We hopped in the limo, and it was off to some nearby locations to take some fun, creative portraits. On the way back to Loft on the Lake, we picked up Palmer, the Couple’s ADORABLE Pomeranian dog.

It was time for the Ceremony, and guests were treated to a warm, romantic atmosphere at Loft on the Lake. Jessica did a lot of the decor herself, and she knocked it out of the park. Their Ceremony was officiated by a friend, and was full of funny stories, heartfelt vows, and all smiles. I just gotta put this out there: I love doggie ringbearers! Though I don’t know if you could find a better behaved little guy than Palmer. He was pretty much sleeping in one of the Groomsmen’s arms, just being his adorable little self.

Cocktail hour went underway, and I was able to capture some candid moments of their guests, as well as documenting all the gorgeous details and decor in the reception room. In between courses, we heard amazing speeches…including an extremely memorable one from the Bride’s Sister. As a surprise, she had written a song about Jessica and Justin to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”. I think you can see by the photos how much of a hit it was!

Photographer: Victoria Sprung Photography / Catering: Catering by Phil Stefani / Reception Venue: Loft on Lake / DJ: Style Matters DJ / Lighting: Art of Imagination / Cake Baker: Tipsy Cakes

Note: Apologies if you saw this post earlier this morning! For some reason it published as a draft and not the finished product.

I love a good city wedding, and obviously Shanna and Brian did too, as they integrated the Chicago skyline and important buildings into several aspects of their wedding. They also held their reception in a place that would allow their guests to experience the city all around them. The playfulness of the bride and groom is evident in the touch of feathers in the bride’s bouquet, the pre-ceremony text from the groom, and the fun popcorn favors.

From the Event Planner:

The groom hails from New York and the bride’s family is from the East coast as well, so they knew from the beginning that they wanted the wedding to introduce their guests to the Windy City. Working with a strict budget, we turned to Hotel 71’s beautiful skyline view for inspiration. The lights of the Chicago skyline would be the inspiration for everything from the invitations to the yellow and blue color scheme for the fabulous flowers created by Kasha at Flowers by KH. To keep the cost down we focused on unique details instead of expensive details. The cocktail tables were littered with framed pictures of various Chicago buildings and pictures from the couple’s engagement session. The menus with the setting skyline coordinated with the invitations. The table names were various Chicago Landmarks. When guests picked up their escort cards, they found trivia questions for their specific Chicago landmark on the back. Even the wedding cake was a tribute to famous Chicago architecture!

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Dooley Planned Events / Flowers & Decor: Flowers by KH / Reception Venue: Hotel 71 / DJ: Music Masters Entertainment / Specialty Foods: Garrett Popcorn Shop / Cake Baker: Tipsy Cakes / Photographer: Ashley Biess Photography

I will never ever tire of city weddings. My love of the city comes in a close second behind my love of the mountains. It’s hard to beat city lines, skyscrapers and the urban and modern feel. Add a wedding to it, and bam, you have a modern soiree.

If you look beyond the joys of a city wedding, you’ll also find a lot of love in Lauren and Stu’s big day. Personal elements. A traditional Jewish ceremony (of which included them signing the Ketubah during). An emotional (and love-filled) first look. A stunning Chicago skyline view from the 67th floor of the Metropolitan Club. I hope you enjoy the city details in their wedding as much as I did!

Photographer: Thompson Wedding Photographers / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Five Grain Events / Reception Venue: Metropolitan Club at Willis Tower / Makeup Artist: edit Faces / Transportation: Windy City Limo / Flowers & Decor: The Wishing Well / Band: Orchestra 33 / Cake Baker: Sarah's Pastries / Portrait Station: ShutterBooth