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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!

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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

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 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.


Hairstylist: Alexis Cantu with Natural Elements Lincoln Park / Cinemetography: Tom @ XO Pictures / Bride’s Dress: Allure / Bride’s Shoes: Benjamin Adams / Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom / Horse and Carriage: Antique Coach + Carriage / DJ: Robert Nicpon / Flowers & Decor: Kloeckner Preferred Flowers / Catering: Food for Thought / Photographer: Justine Bursoni Photography / Custom Printed Chopsticks: Laserimageworks.com / Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer's Great Hall at Lincoln Park Zoo / Cake Baker: Luscious Layers Bakery

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

Though the weather can’t seem to make up its mind about what season it is, this wedding definitely puts me in a spring-y mood! The slate blue bridesmaids dresses, the lush pastel florals, and the delicate DIY lace details in the votives and escort cards are making me swoon. Then the party really gets going with a mariachi band, mini cupcakes, and colorful cocktails! Happy almost 1 year anniversary, Nathalie and Saul!


From the Bride:

We met at a friend’s gathering for a Manny Pacquiao fight. Our mutual friend mentioned to Saul that they had already talked to me about him and it was up to Saul to make his move. So he sat by me and the only thing that I saw where these “ugly” converse shoes (not chucks, but skater shoes) he was wearing. All he was talking about was his trip to Paris that was coming up in a week. Long story short, I said there was no way you should be taking those shoes to Paris, and the entire crowd at the gathering was laughing. To say the least, it broke the ice and Saul finally introduced himself to me. Food, drinks, dancing followed and Saul asked me on a date via Facebook! I accepted anyway, and the rest was history!!! Hence the Converse Chucks at the wedding reception.
Saul picked a fantastic place to get ready- Simone’s in Pilsen. It was an excellent touch of color to the guy’s afternoon, and a good start to the Mariachi festivities. Our ceremony was at my early childhood church St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Chicago, IL. My sister and I were baptized there. My sister also got married there so we have a lot of wonderful memories. Meson Sabika in Naperville IL for our reception was selected for the well known Spanish Tapas and intimate setting at their Pavilion. For our music, we had a DJ and the traditional music Mariachi group. The lively feel came into play once our guests and groom joined our Mariachi band in singing along.
I love soft pink so I wanted to keep it simple and clean with an accent of light grey. We accented the tables with pink appliquéd lace votives which I made, in addition to coordinating the table numbers with the color scheme. I incorporated the lace theme with lace stamped escort cards.  Saul vigorously worked hard to cut the wine cork escort card holders. I purchased some handmade felt flowers on Esty for our ring bearers to carry. The theme was Happily Ever After Starts Here! We thought it would be a nice touch to give our guests a look at the past by sharing  our parents’ wedding pictures and our baby pictures. Saul and I have both been to Paris and loved it so we found a box that had a Parisian theme which we made into our wedding card box.


Photographer: Studio Finch / Flowers & Decor: Stemline Creative / Reception Venue: Meson Sabika / Bride’s Dress: Martina Liana

This wedding is just full of precious details. From the looks exchanged by the bride and groom to the little ones of the bridal party, from the gorgeous bouquets to all the handmade reception details, this wedding is just infused with sweetness. I have a personal fondness for their cake toppers as a huge baseball fan, and their last photo of the night looks straight up like it was taken from the end of a fairy tale book. It all came together to form a beautiful, memorable day for Bret and Lindsay.

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From the Photographer:

Lindsay & Bret are a very special couple. I know we say that a lot, but what I can I say? We get to work with some AMAZING people! I’d say we really got to know Bret and Lindsay more during their engagement session with the adorable Savanah, which is why we love engagement sessions! After that we talked more and just became friends. Bret even helped Joel fix our t-shirt dryer for our shop! So needless to say we were super excited about their wedding – plus the reception was taking place outside under a tent at one of our favorite venues, The Weingarten.

Their day was truly magical, and the photos look like like something out of a fairy tale (at least I think they do) ;) Lindsay’s dress was incredible, and one thing that I loved was that she wore TOMS shoes! (Although I love high fashion; I love TOMS and what they do.) Plus all the details she and Bret put together for the reception were spectacular. Talk about taking DIY to the next level! The day was filled with such beautiful emotion and heartfelt moments. One of the most memorable was during the toast by Bret’s brother, the best man. I would wager to say there was not a dry eye in the room. If you want to hear a beautiful story, check out the YouTube video. We’ve had such a fun time getting to know Bret, Lindsay and Savanah and we are so glad Bret was ok with hiring us even if we weren’t totally Mac! ;)


Photographer: Conner Photography / Reception Venue: The Weingarten

When I first saw this wedding, I couldn’t believe that it took place right here in the Midwest. The beautiful outdoor setting, the pops of green both in the decor and within the surrounding natural backdrop, the classic elements of black and white to the polka dots – everything looks as if it was taken straight from a magazine. Most people only hope to have a reception as beautiful as this, and lucky for this bride and groom, this was their second celebration as they had gotten married a month earlier in Honolulu, Hawaii (swoon). However, what I love most is that the couple incorporated photos form their wedding in Hawaii into the decor for their at-home reception.

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 Jennifer Jackson Photography


From the Bride:
Growing up I never dreamed about what my wedding day would look like but rather who the man at the end of the aisle was. I wanted someone dashing, like my father, loyal, intelligent, and someone who would always be the greater part of me. It took me many years and relationships before, by chance, I met my future husband. We happened to pass each other in the hallway one day at work. It was love at first sight and we were engaged on Christmas Eve morning 2011.
I didn’t want to get married in a church or make it a big affair. I just wanted the day to be about Andrew and I so we chose a destination wedding on Magic Island on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii at sunset on our 6th anniversary.
Andrew and I knew that many people wouldn’t be able to make the wedding ceremony in Hawaii so we planned a reception a month later at his parent’s home in Geneva, IL. My wonderful mother-in-law and dear friend Kay were the masterminds behind the Bright-Rarey Wedding Reception. Our wedding theme was white/black or opposites attract. We had lots of white paper lanterns hanging from the tent and beautiful, graphic accents of black and white. Kay put together all of the flower displays and table settings and Brenda created the menu and she baked all the cookies for the dessert table. Together Andrew and I created the table thank yous and the little boxes with our favors: a donation to the Smile Train. Kay used my favorite flowers, lilies and orchids, throughout the yard.
I remember walking into the backyard and seeing everything come together and tears formed in my eyes. It was such a beautiful sight. I loved how all the table displays had photos of our wedding ceremony from Hawaii. It was truly everything I had wanted, elegance and romance. The weather was perfect and the food was fantastic. It couldn’t have been a better day for us, and our family and friends’ love and support completed the day for us.

Vendors:

Caterer: Moveable Feast | Floral Designer: Kennicott Brothers | Linens & Coverings: BBJ Linens & Elegant Presentations | Equipment Rentals: Blue Peaks Tents

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From the Bride-to-be:
We were set up by Scott’s coworker, I was helping design her kitchen when she kept mentioning how I just had to meet this wonderful guy she worked with. After a lot of resistance on my part and a great amount of persistence on hers, I let her give him my cell phone. I never thought I would hear from or let alone meet this guy. After dodging his calls and ignoring him for a few weeks we finally decided to meet for a drink after work. That one drink lasted four hours and afterwards we both knew we had found something so special and rare. 10 months later we were engaged and planning our spring wedding. We chose the Morton Arboretum for our engagement session because of its beauty and the connection it has to Scott’s family. His late grandparents have trees dedicated in their honor there. I was so glad we were able to catch the last few minutes of light on our way home from the Arboretum. We shot right outside our door in Logan Square, Chicago and were even able to get a few great ones of Simon our Chihuahua.


What I really love about this wedding is how cohesive it is. The colors are carried through throughout the whole thing. The tandem bicycle is used in photos, the cake topper, the guest book, and other paper products. The pinwheels/rosettes are showcased on the cake backdrop, the cake itself, and the card box. Not to mention how much fun the Zach and Sarah and their wedding party look like they’re having (check out those BMX moves)!



From the Photographer:

Sarah & Zach were married during the Midwest’ heatwave in June. Sarah worked very hard on all of the DIY details; painted wine bottles, flowered centerpieces, paper flowers behind the cake wall, programs, etc. The main inspiration behind their wedding was a tandem bicycle they used for their engagement session. Zach used to race BMX bikes & fixed up this old tandem bicycle for their e-session. Their favorite photo was of them kissing underneath a huge oak tree with the tandem bike next to them. They used that image as their canvas “guest book” where each guest left their thumb print as a leaf on the tree of the canvas guestbook. The cake topper was a wire tandem bike with a bride and groom riding it! The tandem bicycle was brought along to use with the bride & groom and the wedding party photos after the ceremony!


Photographer: Moondance Photography / Reception Venue: Mineral Springs