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Orrington Hotel Evanston IL |North Shore wedding planning | fun fall wedding | Rebecca and Tyler

I loved Rebecca and Tyler from the first meeting, we clicked instantly. They have big fun personalities that matched mine, so we had a blast every time we saw each other, and the wedding definitely lived up to my expectations. The fun, love and the laughter was non stop!!  Everything took place at the  Hilton Orrington Hotel, located in Evanston Illinois on Chicago’s North Shore.

Dress by Enzoani.

Hair and makeup- Bridal Beauty Chicago

Loved these girls, so fun!

Helloooo gorgeous!!!!

Tyler and the boys get ready.

The two Dads 🙂

I love this photo of Tyler that Carol took.

Time for the first look!  I love first looks, and highly recommend them. It gives us time to do all the fun photos ahead of time so after the ceremony the happy couple can get their party on.

I thought it was so special that Rebecca asked her Dad to walk to to her Groom-to-be 🙂


Clearly I have no shame when it comes to cracking jokes 😉


There’s a story behind this, read about it at the end of the blog post.

Awesome bridal party, even though the ushers made me work to keep them in line 😉

Another favorite!!!

Ceremony time.

The ceremony was performed by the Rebecca’s brother.

Who’s happy to be married?

Pollen is an eco-conscious floral design studio specializing in locally sourced and sustainably grown flowers, located in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.

Cake- Take the Cake ETC

Their adopted puppy Leon had a special place at the head table.

First dance.

DJ- DJ Chicago

Not too many DJ’s would give up the mike for an impromptu  karaoke singalong, but Chad as a very cool and easygoing DJ who obviously knew how to keep a Bride happy and the party going.

Clearly the two Moms got along.

I have NO idea what’s going on, but it was too funny not to post 😉

It’s the incredible floating bride!

Lots of helpful notes from Rebecca & Tyler below.

“DJ- DJ Chicago

As a company, DJ Chicago was wonderful to work with.  Mark, the owner was very responsive and honest (my mom grossly overpaid him by mistake and he called to notify us the minute he received the check).  During our initial meeting Mark asked us all about our music taste and how we envisioned our wedding music.  He then paired us up with a DJ from his company named Chad.  Chad was the perfect match for us— we had similar taste in music and he knew exactly how to translate the genres that we enjoyed into music that would be fun for everyone (young and old) to dance to at our wedding.  We are forever grateful that Chad’s fiancee let him work the weekend before their wedding so that he could DJ ours.
Flowers- Pollen
Lynn at Pollen was such a dream.  I know nothing about flowers and when I admitted that to her in our first email exchange so she encouraged me to bring pictures of flowers that I thought were pretty to our first meeting and we could go from there.  Being the floral genius that she is, Lynn identified a “theme” with all of the photos that I brought to our meeting–she could tell that I liked flowers with a lot of texture.  We talked for over an hour about the look of the wedding— we wanted the flowers to be naturalistic to tone down the formality of the venue and she captured that perfectly.  Our centerpieces were very unique (don’t know if many other people can say that they had carnivorous plants at their wedding) and beautiful.  She made our vision (that she helped to shape) come alive and did so while staying within our budget– and maybe even a bit under.
Hair and makeup- Bridal Beauty Chicago
I LOVE THESE GIRLS (Krystin and Samara)!! I’m not the kind of chick who wears a lot of makeup or even fusses with my hair (heck, i haven’t gotten a haircut in over a year!) but I knew that for my wedding I wanted to be a GLAM BRIDE!   I had no idea where to start with hair and makeup so I asked my photographer extraordinaire for a recommendation and she suggested that I look through her blog to find a look that I liked and to contact that vendor.  I stumbled upon (Angel Eyes couple)Kami and Matt’s photos and was in awe of how beautiful the bride looked without looking overdone.  As it turned out BBC had also done a friends wedding so I knew that I would be in good hands.  I thought they did a fab job on the day of—and not just on me…. I can’t tell you how many people were raving about my “bombshell mom”.   Not only are they true artists but they are also so fun to work with– great gals who know how to have a good time.  I seriously want to add them both to a guest list for my next house party 🙂
Cake- Take the Cake ETC
I can’t tell you how wonderful Mary was.  Tyler was unable to join me at the cake tasting (poor guy!) so my mom and I went and immediately fell in love with the cakes… and Mary too.  She explained to us the whole “cake process” for lack of a better term and we started stuffing our faces with the most wonderful cakes and fillings.  We narrowed it down to a chocolate cake with salted carmel filling.  TO DIE FOR!  Not only was the cake delicious but it was stunning— exactly what I envisioned.  I wanted to incorporate our gold theme in the cake but thought it would add a huge extra expense.  Mary was so clever and instead of expensive (and icky tasting in my opinion) fondant, she used a gold ribbon– genius.  She was so thorough and had her assistant call me to double check on the exact shade of gold the week of the wedding.

Favorite memory-
Oh goodness…too many to name so I’ll put them into categories…
Before the ceremony:
Getting ready before the ceremony was SO MUCH FUN!  I felt like I was in my college dorm room getting ready for a formal all over again.  We had music blaring, we were dancing, singing and most of all LAUGHING.  My bridesmaids were all women who have been so incredibly important to me during different stages of my life– it was amazing to have all of us together and to see them form friendships with one another.
The Ceremony:
There was a point where I seemed to forget that there was anybody else in the room except for me and Tyler….  I completely lost it, was a mess of (happy) tears and handed a snotty kleenex to Tyler, saying “sorry.. it’s kinda gross”.  I all of a sudden heard a bunch of laughter and realized “oh shoot… people are here and they heard that!”  I was embarrassed to say the least but I was happy in realizing that for just a few moments, in my mind, it had just been me and my soon to be husband saying our vows.
The Reception:
Tyler and I made up our minds that I was going to be on the dance floor the WHOLE NIGHT– and we stuck to that.  It was so wonderful to be able to party with all of our friends and family for hours and hours!  Seeing everybody else having fun made it even more fun for us.
What would I have done differently:
I would have slept more the night before and I would have eaten more food at the wedding.  I was sooo exhausted from lack of sleep and starvation that it took me a few days to recover on our honeymoon.  Everyone keeps saying that the food at our wedding was really good (especially the late night tater tots and hot dogs!) so I’m bummed that I missed it.
Advice for brides:
Remember that the wedding is a celebration of your marriage and that the big deal is the marriage…not all of the details of the wedding.

Favorite purchase: 😀 😀 😀
For us, by far and away, it was Angel Eyes Photography.  Photos were incredibly important to us and we started looking for a photographer pretty much instantly after we were engaged— once we had a date and a venue, we were on the hunt.  A friend of a friend used Hilda for her wedding and I used to look at her engagement pics and wedding pics on facebook and just drool. The photos were out of this world gorgeous.  Naturally, Hilda was our first call.  After our first meeting we did the whole “we’ll think about it and give you a call” thing and when Tyler and I both left the office we looked at one another and smiled because we knew Hilda was the one for us.  I don’t even think we made it home before I sent her an email asking for a contract.
I know people have said this before and you don’t really realize it until your wedding day but Hilda is so much more than a (amazingly talented!!!) photographer.  She helped to keep us on our time schedule, showed my mom how to button my dress, she helped bustle my dress, she ordered the bridal party wine… the list goes on and on.
Hilda worked tirelessly the day and night of our wedding, making sure that she didn’t miss a single moment— whether it was shots of us getting ready, shots of the important moments like our first dance or just shots of us mingling with guests.. she got it.  Although it was a long day, our wedding went by in a flash and I’m so excited to relive it again and again through the photos.
A shout out to Angel Eyes would not be complete with out some kudos to Carol, Hilda’s incredible assistant.  The VERY BRAVE Carol hung out with the boys while they got ready, went into a crowded Burger King to find the owner of a tandem bike so we could pose with it… all the while taking wonderful photos.  We love you too, Carol.
Angel Eyes… you are truly amazing.
Thank you Hilda— superb photographer, wedding diva and great friend of the Grants.

And now for Tyler’s favorite moments:
My single most favorite moment of the day is the second that I saw my beautiful bride. We had gone back and forth on whether we wanted to see each other before the ceremony or not. There is something to be said for tradition but Rebecca and I tend to stray away from the norms. Hilda had suggested a private “first look” meeting for us. She set up the whole scenario where I had my back tuned and Rebecca walked down a long hallway and then tapped me on the shoulder. That first second of seeing my bride will forever be with me. I loved it because it was intimate, my first look was face to face as opposed to watching her walk down a long aisle. In all honesty, I don’t think I could have survived the anticipation of that walk.
Another favorite moment was right when we were announced as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time and we turned around to see the smiles of all our guests. I didn’t turn around or look at the guests the whole ceremony, I was so enamored with my wife, I forgot everyone else was there. It wasn’t until it was all over and we turned around that I realized there were over a hundred other people in the room and it was so wonderful to see how truly happy they all were for us.
I can’t really pick out a single moment from the reception because they were all so special. I loved when every couple of minutes, in between the talking to guests, the toasts, the dancing and laughing Rebecca and I would look at each other and just smile. Each smile was just a wow, you are my wife, this is our wedding and I couldn’t ever be any happier than right this second.”

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