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Hi! I'm Hilda, the owner, photographer, secretary, book keeper, photo editor and album designer of Angel Eyes Photography. I'm non-stop but I'm doing what I love. I especially enjoy weddings, hanging with cool couples, being in the company of chubby babies, and going on photographic adventures. Welcome to my blog. If you like what you see please leave a comment!



Chicago engagement photos | Buckingham Fountain | couples portrait photography | Whitney & Ben



Ben proposed to Whitney at Buckingham Fountain,  it was the perfect place to take their engagement photos. Aren’t they just gorgeous? Looking forward to their fall wedding at Brookfield Zoo!

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More photos on Facebook.





Actor headshots photography | Chicago acting head-shots | portraits | Alex



Everyone needs a great headshot, not just actors! You need one for linked in, a dating site, your website, social media etc. You want to make sure you look your best :)  Contact me today to set up your appointment. Three digital files are $150. Photos are done at my office during the week, hours are by appointment only. 7132 N. Harlem Chicago E-mail is the best way to reach me hilda [at] angeleyesphotography [dot] com Thank you!!

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The Armour House, Lake Forest Academy | Lake Forest wedding planning | Chicago photographer | Kate & Eric



This was my first time working at the  The Armour House and I was truly blown away. It’s  breathtakingly beautiful, inside and out.  Everything took place there which made for a more laid back wedding day.

The bouquets and boutonnieres were made by Fleur .

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Jim Hjelm Blush collection.

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Groomsmen grey suits

The bridesmaid dresses were from Target.

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Kate had her hair down for the first look and the pre-ceremony photos,  she then went to a classy up-do and a veil for the ceremony.

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 Priority DJ

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One day I hope to be a cool Grandma like this…dancing with a beer in each hand! Loved her!!

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The Armour House, at Lake Forest Academy, wedding photos, Chicago wedding photographer (13)

 Video booth, the LAUGHING BOX

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The first time in my career I’ve witnessed a Pastor jump in the photo-booth with the Bride and Groom :D

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 Oberweis will bring ice cream to your wedding! What a great alternative to cake.

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 From the Bride…

‘The Armour House was elegant and over prepared. They did everything to make our day seamless and so very memorable. Dean was just spectacular.

Our DJ Jim Butkus (Priority DJ)came highly recommended and was worthy every penny!
We skipped the cake and went for an ice cream truck. We love Oberweis because of how much it reminds me of my grandpa (and because it’s just so good!) We even got his favorite flavor Butter pecan on the menu.  We got to keep all the left overs……
We got the bridesmaid dresses from Target for a steal and the groomsmen and groom went to Formally Modern Tuxedo
in Lincoln park.
My dress was from the Jim Hjelm Blush collection. I tried it on and loved it but I didn’t want to spend that much money. My mom found it on an used wedding dress site unaltered and never worn for half the price!
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The flower vases were hand blown by Eric’s cousin in Oregon at The Glass Forge. They were beautiful and it was such a kind gift that we could hand out something so beautiful to all those that helped make the day so special.  Eric’s mom and sister arranged all the flowers on the morning of! What amazing women!!
Our video booth, the LAUGHING BOX, which turned the videos into flipbooks was the most fantastic thing ever. I couldn’t get enough of it. Dexter and his husband were so on top of their game!
 
The bouquets and boutonnieres were made by Fleur in Logan square.
My aunt Janet helped with the invites.
My maid of honor, Beth, did a ton of crafting with me for all the small wonderful odds and ends.
Fr. Terry from Holy Family in Palatine made our day. He made us laugh, stunned us when he broke out into song and best of all he made us married.
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Our favorite purchase was our vendors all blew our minds!

Favorite memories were a toss up… We loved our first dance, the ceremony was all that we could have ever wanted and more and the speeches were so surprising and hilarious.

I wish we wold have Extended the time. We would not have minded if it lasted ALL NIGHT!

Advice for couples…Enjoy the day. Enjoy your partner, family, friends and all the little moments. It’s truly a special occasion  that will stay with you forever.’

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More photos on Facebook.




Lacuna Artist Loft Studios | unique wedding venue, Chicago IL | Amy & Tony



For all you naysayers who are still not convinced about first looks, I present to you, proof that they are a fabulous idea. This couples rooftop ceremony had to be moved indoors because of heavy rain. Since they did a first look, we had plenty of time to do photos while the sun was shining.  Keep scrolling to see the fun photos.  But first let’s talk about this dress! I’ve never seen a Bride in a blush pink dress, it was truly breathtaking.  Martina Liana Style 510 in Blush

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Not only is she beautiful, but so much fun!

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How fun is it to choose your own bridesmaids dress? And you really can wear them again! All photos below taken at Lacuna Artist Loft, also where the ceremony and the wedding took place.

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Fun Chicago wedding photos

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Can you hear me now? ;)

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Reverend Anne Styx did a great job with the ceremony.

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This fun (and popular) beer bar was made by the bride’s Dad.

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Mini Limoncello bottles for  guest favors, yes please!

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From the Bride…

‘VENUE: Lacuna Artist Loft- Anthony and I were on the hunt for a venue which spoke to our Chicago roots.  We wanted something with the downtown skyline experience that would fit our budget.  We were paying for the wedding ourselves so we knew we needed a place that would be able to work with our byob and byo(food) dreams.  Lacuna definitely delivered.  On our very first visit, we knew immediately that we would be able to check off our long list of wants here at Lacuna…loft-style space, rooftop with skyline, parking lot, etc.  Our families are very creative so we were able to really make the space ours. (http://lacuna2150.com/)

CATERING: Catered Productions- Aside from you and Carol, the catered productions staff were clutch in handling the chaos of a mid-wedding roof-top rain out.  They went above and beyond simply a food vendor when their wonderful staff managed to grab the 115 chairs and individually wipe them off and re-set them three floors down in.  As if their superhero spring into action powers weren’t enough, their food sure was!  Their chicken marsala was to-die for…family members are still singing their praises.  (http://www.cateredproductions.com/)
DJ: Style Matters:  Spencer killed it on the dance floor.  He managed to get everyone, young and old up and dancing into the wee hours of the night.  He was able to find some of our obscure requests for entrance/processional music.  We loved working with him and would choose them again for any event in the (http://www.stylemattersdjs.com)
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REVEREND: Reverend Anne Styx.  We first met Reverend Anne when she married my twin sister a year prior.  Our family fell in love with her and we knew we had to ask her to marry us as well.  Working with her was a dream.  I was able to customize our ceremony and could email her on a whim about an idea I had (like having a special shout out to our dog, Moose) and she would have 50 suggestions for what we could do in a matter of minutes.  She is sweet and know how to give everyone direction. (http://www.revforwhatev.com/)
Flowers: Since we were on a tight budget, we ordered all of our flowers online.  My sisters, mom and friends put together our bouquets and did the centerpieces.  It was a lot of hands on work but everything was hand crafted and breathtaking.
Dress:  I wore a Martina Liana Style 510 in Blush.  My mom actually picked it out off the rack and I knew it was the right one when I cried taking it off.  Well, those tears could have also been attributed to the fact that it was out of my original price budget…I actually bought my second favorite dress that day.  After I got home I told Anthony all about the pink dress (since I didn’t get it) and evidently my gushing was so sincere he insisted I go back and buy it instead.  Even though I told my soon-to-be husband all about what the dress looked like, I wouldn’t change a thing.  My guy still cried like a baby when he saw me for the first time.
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Jewelry:  I wore my grandmother’s high school ring on my neck.  It was a tribute to those who couldn’t be there with us and the special bond that I have with my departed grandparents.  The birdcage was the a hand-me-down from my older sister Kiersten and the headband I put on during our reception was from rent-the-runway’s bridal collection.
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s.  Since we decided to shoot for the moon on my dress we needed to cut corners here and there.  We decided to have a small cake to cut from our favorite place and then have some sheet Costco cakes pre-cut to serve.  Trust me when I say, although our small cake was delicious (red velvet dreams are made of that cake) the Costco cake did just fine and my pregnant twin sister and I thoroughly enjoyed some of the leftovers at midnight after the party was over.
My favorite wedding related purchase: The Beer Bar.  Although we may not exactly have purchased this, my handy carpenter father built us a custom serve yourself beer bar.  Anthony and I both agree this was the best feature at our wedding.  Guests were able to head on up to the tapper and enjoy the alcoholic root beer, cider, and IPA beer at their leisure.  Thanks Dad! (Essenpreis Builders, Inc.)
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Favorite wedding memory:  Although mother-nature may have thrown one heck of a party on our rooftop wedding and we had to move everything to the reception space, I think having our family and friends all crowd in around us is the memory I will cherish the most.  It was intimate and there really wasn’t a better way to say I do than under the lighting fixture that my brother-in-law and dad crafted with everyone we love encircling us.
Like I said previously, our families were integral on pulling off our wedding.  They collected the hundreds of glasses, bowls, jars from thrift stores and garage sales which we all spray painted to look like mercury glass for our centerpieces. (special shout out to my mom who spent afternoons combing the garage sales of Lake County looking for a deal).  They spray painted the sparkly Moose figurines (a tribute to our dog), hand crafted 100′s of paper flowers for a beautiful paper flower wall behind what became our alter.  I can’t thank our families enough, we will cherish those memories forever.
Advice for brides-to-be: Remember what’s important to you on your big day.  You can’t sweat the small stuff.  Or, in my case, the tornado warnings.  Having had our dream rooftop ceremony rained out, it really became a testament of the love that everyone has for us.  They scrambled to organize plans B, C, D and E all while I got to spend some much needed alone time with my soon-to-be husband.  So brides, wipe away those worries (or tears…) and embrace those who love you.
Also, would like to mention that another favorite part of my wedding was renting a school bus (did I mention we were on a budget?) so that all of my family and friends could move from the hotel to the venue.  A genius decided to grab a ton of McDonalds for the hungry bridesmaids and I will always remember stuffing our beautifully made up faces with french fries on a school bus.  It was truly the best day ever.’
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Photography by me of course (Angel Eyes Photography), have so many favorites but I’m really loving the night time shots!




Chicago photographer | Sexy photos |Artistic portraits | Dori



I know almost every woman wants beautiful photos of themselves. Some want sexy. I can do either or both and I promise you will feel very comfortable. Mini sessions (one outfit) are available at my office, please contact me for more details. Hilda [at] angeleyesphotography [dot] com. Isn’t Dori stunning?

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Schedule your session today and let’s have some fun :)





The Signature room at the 95th, John Hancock Tower | Chicago downtown skyline wedding photos | Sarah & Jeff



Pay attention bargain hunters because I’m about to spill the secret of how to have a high class wedding on a budget. Fist you choose a non week end day, like a Wednesday. Then instead of a dinner reception you have a lunch. Invite only immediate family and very close friends. Sarah and Jeff’s wedding guest count was 35. They had one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing. The Bride’s dress was from JC Penney!! And she looked absolutely amazing!!

Started the day bright and early at 8:30 AM so we can do all the fun photos ahead of time. At the first look Jeff gave his Bride one single beautiful flower. Sara didn’t even care about having a bouquet! But she did care about having amazing photos, so I had plenty of time with the happy couple :)

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And the fact that they laughed at my corny jokes just made me love them even more.

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It was so fun photographing them with the  John Hancock Tower in the background since that’s where their wedding was.

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Yes, random strangers will stop you on your wedding day. Everyone loves a Bride and Groom.

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Ceremony and reception was at  The Signature room at the 95th, in the John Hancock Tower.

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Can someone please explain to me HOW, WHY spiders live on the side of glass buildings 95 floors up?

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The view is everything!

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From Jeff & Sarah…

‘Our venue was the Signature room at the 95th in the John Hancock Tower, Chicago. Everything the Signature Room did for us was perfect. They were super helpful and always tried to make it as easy and close to our wishes as possible! They took care of our centerpieces, gave us excellent food choices and being able to have a desert bar instead of a wedding cake was just awesome!

My dress was from JCPenney. My mother in law found it and once I tried it on two weeks before the wedding day, we knew that that was the dress! It was totally me!

Shoes and jewelry were from Macy´s. I wanted to have a big statement piece necklace and keep the rest of my jewelry simple.

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Jeff´s suit we got at Men´s Wearhouse. We wanted to get a suit  he could also wear after the wedding.

Our favorite purchase were the rings. We went to Jared to pick out the diamond and the setting for my engagement ring. I wasn’t allowed to see the put together ring until he would eventually propose! (It looks gorgeous!) The next day after he purchased the engagement ring we went there again and found the perfect wedding band.

Favorite memories:

Sarah: “Waking up in the morning and realizing that I was about to get married to the Lord´s perfect match for me! Also that my family came all the way from Germany to be with us on this day!”

Jeff: “Aside from seeing my beautiful bride for the first time in her wedding dress, it was a blessing to see my family reunited after so many years of being spread out around the country!”

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Booking Hilda (Angel Eyes Photography) as a wedding photographer was the best decision ever! She wasn’t only our photographer but also our friend, stylist, coordinator, etc.! Throughout the entire process she was super helpful, all the tips and the advice she gave us before the big day were great! THANK YOU, HILDA!

Enjoy every minute of your wedding; the time will fly by! Also, wear comfortable shoes!!!! ;)’

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 I love comments below or on Facebook. Thank you :)

 





Special needs model | fashion photography | Chicago portait photographer | Cortney



Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Cortney and her Mom Michele. Despite her Cerebral Palsy, Cortney dreams of becoming a model. You can help her by sharing this blog post.  Below are some of my favorite photos from her modeling shoot. Keep reading   to find out more about her story.

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Her beautiful smile is just contagious.

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‘Cortney is a 19 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy. Her CP has limited her physically and mentally. She has been in therapy most of her life and has had several surgeries.  Even with her struggles, she has always been a happy, easy natured girl.  It seemed that every time her parents had her in front of the camera that she would beam!  Cortney loved the pictures and welcomed any opportunity to be in front of he camera! When people ask her what she wants to be when she “grows up” she will tell them, “I want to be a model.” Cortney’s mom tried for several years to get her into modeling.  The bigger agencies turned her down, but Cortney was fortunate enough to be part of a campaign called, “Changing the Face of Beauty.”  This opened up a few doors for Cortney.  She was on Chicago’s WGN news with Karen Myer, was featured in Chicago Special Parent, and was in a wheelchair ad.  She also modeled for a few Etsy jobs.  Then Cortney’s life returned to normal and no other opportunities seemed to come her way…..until This past May when Cerebral Palsy Family Network shared a collage of photos of Cortney letting people know that Cortney’s dream was to be a model.  The images went viral! She had over 1.5 million shares.  This led to many opportunities! Cortney was featured in a commercial for “Differently Awesome” clothing, modeled for Etsy shops and boutiques, modeled shoes for Sseko, and is getting the chance to walk the runway in Branso,MO in August for Runway Loud.  This is a huge fundraiser for the March of Dimes.  She is touching the lives of many and changing people’s perceptions of people with disabilities.  She wants to be a model.  With this dream she defies her disability, and teaches people that ALL dreams are achievable! ‘

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Feel free to comment below or on Facebook.





Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel | Thank you from a happy couple



Thank you so much for your sweet card Christine and Matt, it was truly our pleasure to capture your beautiful day!

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“Dear Hilda,

We want to send you a warm and hearty THANK YOU for all that you did to make out wedding day so special. You & Carol truly went above and beyond to make sure that we were well fed, hydrated, dry, happy, sane etc on our wedding day. Furthermore thank you for expertly navigating with the bus driver to make sure we got all of the photos around the City! Please share our heartfelt thanks with Carol- it was amazing to witness the seamless team work-truly amazing!

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It was amazing that throughout such a crazy and busy day, you an Carol were able to stay so positive, upbeat and humorous. I think that is the only thing that kept us smiling & upbeat-even though the sprinkles of North Ave. Beach! The ‘sneak peek’ photos on Facebook are amazing and we can’t wait to see the rest! (no rush!) Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you serve as a reference-Whatever! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Christine & Matt”

Chicago-photographer-review

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Can’t wait to share the rest of the photos with you :)





The Metropolitan Club at Willis/Sears Tower Chicago downtown wedding – Catherine & Pat



I loved every minute of this beautiful wedding. I worked with two of my absolute favorite vendors  Dori Mae Makeup and MDM Entertainment. One of my favorite Angel Eyes Photography ‘fans’ just happened to be the Bride’s cousin (hi Marie!)  Carol and I lost our minds when we created the most amazing night time Bridal portraits ever! And of course the happy couple who made my job  so fun and easy :)

 Dress: Preownedweddingdresses.com

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Hair: Todd Fischer, TAF HAIR

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All the pretty Bridal treasures.

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 Shoes: Kate Spade Glam

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Well of course you play “patty-cake” with your sister while getting  dressed, who doesn’t?

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 Belt: Etsy – AppliqueRhinestones

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I always recommend Dori, she is just the best…clearly you can see why I love working with her.  Make up: Dori Mae Makeup 

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Love this moment during the first look.

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 Flowers: Addison Ashland Florist

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North Avenue Beach, Chicago.

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I’ll bet this photo bomber didn’t know she was going to make my blog…cracks me up that the maid-of-honor was trying to shoo her off with the bouquet!

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North-ave-beach,-Chicago

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Venue: The Metropolitan Club at Sears Tower

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 Cake - Bittersweet Bakery

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 DJ – Nick from MDM Entertainment, always highly recommend Nick…he will make you dance!

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For your viewing pleasure some stunning bridal portraits, I freaking LOVE these so much!! BTW these are NOT done in Photoshop, and they are not a double exposure.

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I do love me a Bride who will laugh at my jokes, you are so gorgeous Catherine!!

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From the Bride…

“Venue: The Metropolitan Club at Sears Tower

We wanted to get married at a Chicago staple and everyone knows the Sears Tower (aka Willis Tower). The views were AMAZING. More importantly, everything was done in one place; ceremony, cocktail hour and ceremony, which made it easy for our out of town guests. Ashley at the Metropolitan Club was phenomenal. We had a very long engagement, but we’ve had our date and venue picked out from the beginning. She was on top of email and questions I had for 2 years! Also, the staff was impecable the day of. We had so many people on staff that I didn’t have to worry about a thing.

 Dress: Preownedweddingdresses.com

I know I’m going to get some weird looks about this one, but my wedding dress was not my number one priority. I challenged myself to find an affordable dress, after all, it was only one day. I googled pre-owned wedding dresses and I stumbled upon preownedweddingdresses.com. Brides all of the country resell their dresses and I lucked out that the one I loved was being sold in Chicago. I reached out to the seller asking her if I can just try it on in person and she was kind enough to let me try in on. It was fate that we were the same exact size and I didn’t have to pay for any alterations. I was able to get my dress and veil all for $400.

 Belt: Etsy – AppliqueRhinestones

I don’t understand why wedding sashes cost so much. I bought an appliqué on Etsy for $20 an sewed it on a $5 sash…success!

 Shoes: Kate Spade Glam

I’ve had my eye on these shoes since they came out. My biggest splurge during our whole wedding…worth it!

 Make up: Dori Mae Makeup

I can not express how happy I looked the day of my wedding. Dori couldn’t have done a more phenomenal job on my makeup. She really has an eye for beauty. She did my sister, mom, and mother in law’s makeup, and the results were incredible. My mom, who rarely ever wears makeup, looked like my sister after Dori was finished!

 Hair: Todd Fischer, TAF HAIR

For those who don’t know, I have a beast of a hair. Todd was able to tame my hair and make it look gorgeous. I haven’t gotten my hair done since my senior year of high school, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t look like I was going to prom. My hair was absolutely perfect and it stayed curled the entire night!

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 Flowers: Addison Ashland Florist

I know nothing about flowers but luckily, they know what they’re doing. My bouquet was beautifully made with roses and peonies and the rest of our wedding party had elegant lilies that smelled wonderful. We wanted simple centerpieces since we didn’t want it to take away from the view and it turned out very classic. Best of all, Addison Ashland was incredibly affordable.

 DJ – Nick from MDM Entertainment

I can’t say enough about MDM. From the very beginning, Patti was so easy to work with. She paired us up with Nick and it couldn’t have been more of a match in heaven. Pat and I have extremely different taste in music, but he was able to make it work. During dinner, we made a last minute change to our schedule and Nick took the initiative to inform the necessary people. We didn’t even have to get up from our seats. The most important thing to us that night was our wedding was a huge party, and Nick far exceeded our expectations.

 Cake – Bittersweet Bakery

Fortunately, the Metropolitan Club works exclusively with Bittersweet Bakery, and it’s no surprise why. We didn’t know what to expect when walking in for our tasting, but Nancy was phenomenal on exactly what we needed to do. She made the whole process so easy and fun, which is what wedding planning should be about. We had a flavor in mind that they didn’t offer, so Nancy went in the back and they whipped up something special for us. Pat walked away saying he was so impressed with how Nancy was so personable.

 Bridesmaid Dresses – Pearl by Georgina Chapman

I know I wanted long dresses, but I don’t love the cost of long bridesmaid dresses. Your girlfriends spend a fortune being in the wedding party and I wanted to make sure the dresses were affordable. We picked out a black dress with beautiful lace detail that had tulle at the bottom. You couldn’t even tell they were prom dresses from JC Penney!

 Tuxes - Men’s Wearhouse

Our wedding party is all over the place, so it was convenient for all of us that we all had one close by. We we’re able to pick out what we liked and easily coordinate it with all the groomsmen.

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 Favorite Wedding Purchase – Hilda (Angel Eyes Photography)….no brainer

I contacted Hilda 2 years prior to my wedding. I’m pretty sure my email said “I’m getting marred in 2 years and I need you there.” Hilda and Carol are really the dream team of wedding photography. They have such a creative eye. You don’t know how it will turn out, but you know it’s going to be amazing. It takes a talent to do what they do, but it takes even more to deal with brides and their wedding parties, which is truly a gift.

 Favorite Wedding Memory

When Pat and I did our first look, it was a really special moment for me. He got teary eyed and a little choked up. He said ‘You’re beautiful everyday, but this is a whole another level’. It was nice to have that alone time before the craziness of the wedding started.

 Advice to Brides:

 Everyone who got married before me told me how fast the day goes by. I really made the effort to enjoy every single moment of the day, which seemed to slow the day down. There is no sense in rushing through the day to get to the next place or event, which is how your wedding day can slip from you. Everyone will wait for you and this is the only day where you don’t have to apologize for anything.

 Cut costs where it makes sense. Together you have to decide what is really important to you both. For us, it was our photographer and DJ. Don’t skimp on things that are really important, because you get what you pay for. We’ve both been to weddings where they have to re-do their photos because they were so unhappy with the results and weddings where no one is dancing. You both put in the time and effort to plan this big day and you want to look back and not regret a thing.

 When doing photos, I highly recommend having a guy friend tag along in the limo. They can help with running back and forth, carrying the girls’ bouquet, unloading Hilda and Carol’s camera equipment, and grab anything you need.”

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The Armour House, at Lake Forest Academy | Kate & Eric-photo of the week



 

This amazing venue is perfect for couples who are looking for a unique place to have a wedding. It’s a mansion so breathtaking that I can’t even believe it exists in the Chicago area. This is the main staircase at the Armour house.

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Check back soon to see the full blog post. More photos on Facebook.

 





















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