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month: September 2015




Chicago Military Wedding |Chateau Bu-Sche, Alsip IL | Eliza & Jeff

Every couple knows how stressful wedding planning can be, now imagine planning your Chicago wedding from Alaska!! Yep, you read that right! Despite the distance, everything was flawless. It was military wedding so there are handsome men in uniform….this was me>> 😀 …and the Bride loves red, I love red, and there was red everywhere, so this was me again>> 😀 😀

Flowers: Flower De l’amour

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Makeup: Dori Mae Makeup:

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Dress: Sweetheart collection by Justin Alexander

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Gorgeous!!!

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Lake Katherine in Palos Heights, IL

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Limo: Exquisite Limousine Chicago:

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Venue: Chateau Bu-Sche

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Ryan Carrington, a friend of the couple did a great job officiating.

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Cake: Oak Mill Bakery

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Amazing first dance by the couple, blew everyone away!!

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From the Bride…‘Venue: Chateau Bu-Sche: We chose to get married here because of the wonderful Atrium space that we could use for the ceremony and for dancing. I’ve always wanted to get married outside, so I got to do that while all of our guests sat in the air conditioned interior! We also liked having the adjacent space for dancing, so that guests who wanted a bit more of a relaxed evening could sit in the reception space and not have to shout over the music. The staff was professional and organized. I had lots of complements about how well the whole event flowed from ceremony to reception to dancing (with us taking the time out to take pictures in between!). The food was good, especially the appetizers, which gave the guests something to snack on while we took family photos. They also allowed us to bring our own Alaska beer to the reception, which mean a lot to Jeff and I. Our venue coordinator, Renata, was great, and made sure some of our out of the ordinary requests went smoothly (like handing out anniversary cakes after the dance).

Dress: Sweetheart collection by Justin Alexander from Anderson’s Bride in Anchorage Alaska: My mom flew out to Alaska so that we could shop for the dress together, we only had one day to make a decision, so the pressure was on. I tried on this dress, I knew it was perfect. It fit me perfectly. I loved the fact that the lace was asymmetrical and subtle, and the ballroom shape made me feel regal. I had my seamstress sew a bit of red to the underskirt so that you could see it as I danced, and with my red shoes, the effect was just what I had pictured.

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Shoes: Having danced ballroom in my past I knew professional dancing shoes were the most comfortable high heels in the world! I bought two pairs of Jig Foo red satin ballroom dance shoes online, used one to practice our first dance, and the second pair at the wedding, so that they would still look nice for the pictures! 

Bridal party dresses: My bridesmaids could choose any dress they wanted in the color “horizon” from David’s Bridal (though two of them got their dresses from other venues). I just sent them a swatch and said go with what’s comfortable as long as the color works! 

Tuxes: Jeff decided pretty late in the whole wedding planning process that he wanted to purchase a Dress Mess uniform for the wedding! I teased him a lot about how his outfit cost more than mine, and he decided not to show me the uniform since I wouldn’t show him my dress! He looked so handsome, and unlike me, he’ll actually get to wear it to future military events!

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The groomsmen had on Ralph Lauren Three button Suits from Tuxedo Rental. The guys looked quite handsome and it was convenient for them to get fitted in their respective hometowns and pick up the suits near our venue in Chicago!

Makeup: Dori Mae Makeup: She was so wonderful working with me on getting the look I wanted while making sure the makeup would show on the pictures, especially since my idea of makeup is lip gloss. She was also great with the wedding party and our moms. I think everyone felt comfortable and looked great. She was also great at responding to questions about skin care pre-wedding, and working with my very limited time in Chicago to do a trial session, even though she was eight months pregnant.

Hair : Rachel Lux: Hair was so important for me at the wedding because I had been growing it out for almost four years to make sure I could get the complicated braided updo I loved, and Rachel made it look exactly as I wanted! She also followed up with me several times pre-wedding to make sure I had everything I needed, and to get an idea of what the other girls wanted for their hair. She was on time, professional, organized, calm and exactly the kind of relaxed person you want with you the morning of your wedding. And she even got me a bottle of the hair spray she uses to take with us for the rest of the day!

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Cake: Oak Mill Bakery: They make the best tasting cakes and pastries in Chicago. In addition to our wedding cake they also made two small cakes for our guests who were sharing our wedding anniversary. My family has been buying from them for years, and I never even considered going somewhere else for a cake!

Ryan Carrington: Our great friend who stepped in when the chaplain canceled. He not only put together our ceremony in the last few weeks, he also personalized our spice ceremony!

Photographer: Angel Eyes Photography. Can enough praise be sung of Hilda? Probably not, but I’m going to try. We knew of Hilda from a friends engagement and wedding photos and booked her for both of our sessions. We already knew the pictures were going to be great and that she’s very professional. But in addition, she listened to me during the wedding planning when I was freaking out about things, even when those things were not photography related, helped me plan the posed pictures so that our large families could be accommodated during that limited time, and generally was there when I needed her. Peter skillfully captured all of my husband’s moods and expressions when the guys were getting ready, and kept me company when everyone else had lined up to walk down the aisle! We already have pictures of our engagement session hanging up and I can’t wait to add the wedding pictures next to them!

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Limo: Exquisite Limousine Chicago: We decided to splurge on a (tasteful) party bus instead of the regular limo since we wanted to bring friends outside of the wedding party with us, and it was totally worth it. The service was very professional, and they provided us with champagne, beer, and those coca cola cans they say things like “better half” and “sweetheart”. Best of all, we had tons of room and weren’t packed like sardines. I think the moment we stepped onto that bus is the moment I started to relax on my wedding day!

Flowers: Flower De l’amour: I LOVED MY WEDDING BOUQUET!!! As a landscape architect, flowers were always going to be a huge part of my wedding. I had certain snippets picked out, like my bouquet and the arch decoration, and some elements in mind, and Edyta somehow manage to put it all into a cohesive whole. I loved the fact that the reception and the ceremony space looked completely different, and that she incorporated food and spices into the center elements.

Pianist: Frank Bielski, booked on GigMasters.com: Frank was wonderful! We choose him because of his experience playing Chopin, which spoke to my Polish heritage. He learned several songs for us, including Safe and Sound by Capital Cities, which can’t be easy on the piano. He came to our rehearsal so we could work on the timing of the songs, including a piece he played while we did our spice ceremony. He was professional, on time, and just a very friendly person to work with. I highly recommend both him and GigMasters.

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Band: Autograf Band: A live band was considered a must for our wedding by my parents, so we booked Autograf Band. They played both Polish and English songs, and put on recorded music when they were taking a break. I loved hearing all the songs from my childhood, as well as new hits, and they were great at judging the mood of the crowd!

Favorite wedding related purchase…
The red carpet aisle. I felt so ridiculous talking about the red carpet before the wedding because it seemed like such an unnecessary, extravagant, Hollywood thing, but seeing how amazing it looked on the photos, how it tied together the red elements in the ceremony space, and knowing that it was also done at my parents wedding, definitely makes it one of my favorites looking back!
I’m also quite pleased with the fact that Jeff and I decided to take dancing lessons before the wedding. I love to dance, and it was great to have our first dance wow everyone!
Though technically not purchased by me, my wonderful mother in law lend me her mother’s necklace to wear at the wedding, and bought me custom earrings made to match! I absolutely loved wearing the set!

Favorite wedding memory…
Getting to spend so time with just my Dad before the ceremony and walk down the aisle seeing Jeff’s smile.
Hearing my brother welcoming Jeff to the family and Jeff replying “Holy Crap! I have another brother now!”
At the reception, Hilda and Peter snuck us outside for a photo session of just me and Jeff. It was so good to get away for a second and be (almost) alone!

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Additional thoughts…
One of my best friends offered to be our day of coordinator as her gift, and honestly I do not know how this wedding would have happened without her! She found someone the day before the wedding to complete our sword arch when one of our guys couldn’t make it, and she managed to pull the whole event together beautifully! Plus, when something wasn’t quite right or someone had a question, all I had to do was say “go talk to Erin” and it was off of my mind and getting done! If you can’t afford a professional wedding planner, I highly recommend at least having a point of contact for the wedding day! It made the whole day run so much more smoothly!

Advice for couples…
I heard this over and over again before my wedding, and I’m passing it along because it’s both true and difficult to accomplish. RELAX on your wedding day. Know things will go wrong (the best man didn’t make it to our wedding, so trust me, things will go wrong), and accept it ahead of time. I did most of the planning myself, and even though we had great people helping us out all day, I kept being afraid I forgot to tell someone some detail and something wasn’t going to happen. I did, things didn’t happen, and looking back, it just didn’t matter! So enjoy as much of the day as you can!’

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Meson Sabika wedding | Napeville wedding planning | Amanda & Dave, photo of the week

Love working at Meson Sabika , not only is the food amazing, the venue stunning, the grounds are perfect for photos. Here’s a favorite from Amanda & Dave’s gorgeous wedding.

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Butterfield Country Club, Oak Brook wedding ceremony & reception | Carolina Herrera dress | Hayden & Jake

 I love dogs. I love people who love dogs 🙂  I really love a wedding where the couple show their love for their dog !! There was a dog  at where the Bride got ready, there were two dogs where the Groom got ready….there were dog cookies as wedding treats and a surprise dog in the cake, yes, you read that right 😉  Keep scrolling to see it, so cute.

From the minute I saw this dress I was obsessed! So pretty and unique I loved everything about it! Dress: Ultimate Bride in Chicago, Carolina Herrera

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Shoes: Kate Spade

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Hair and Makeup: Nika Vaughan, Bridal Artists Hair: Angelica

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Henry, the sweetest dog I’ve ever met.

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Meanwhile at the boys house…

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First look, ceremony, photos and reception all took place at the Butterfield Country Club.

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Tux: by Brooks Brothers

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Venue: Butterfield Country Club

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Flowers: Jane’s Blue Iris Ltd

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Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design

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This was one of the most stunning cakes I’ve ever seen, the pattern on the cake was made to match the details on the bride’s dress. Their puppy Marley peeking out was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen…it was a surprise for the groom 🙂

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Flowers: Jane’s Blue Iris Ltd.

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Band: High Society Orchestra

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From the Bride…

‘Venue: Butterfield Country Club, Nancy Buttacavoli is the Clubhouse Manager. Nancy is very professional, organized and accommodating.  The club is gorgeous and the food was delish, perfect venue for us.

Dress: Ultimate Bride in Chicago, Carolina Herrera dress and Ultimate custom made the veil.

Flowers: Jane’s Blue Iris Ltd. | Tux: Guys wore grey suits and pink ties from Brooks Brothers

Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design, LLC. Vanessa Hayes is amazing. Jake wanted a traditional cake and I wanted a more modern cake. She was able to blend our two very different visions and designed our perfect 4-tier cake. It was art, and tasted delicious too! One of my favorite things was how she secretly incorporated my dress design on the bottom more modern tier and had our dog Marley peeking out of the back of the cake as a special surprise for Jake.

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Cookies: Bittersweet Bakery in Chicago, our wedding favors were cookies that look like our dog Marley.  On his collar, was a diamond ring, because Marley had a sign on his collar, “will you marry me?”  when Jake proposed to me.

Shoes: Kate Spade “Happy” shoe, I got them on 6pm.com for a little more than $100, originally over $400.

Hair and Makeup: Nika Vaughan, Bridal Artists Hair: Angelica

Band: High Society Orchestra > violin, keyboard and vocalist for ceremony > jazz trio for dinner > 10 piece band for dancing > first dance was “I will follow you into the dark“ by Death Cab for Cutie.

My favorite wedding purchase was my dress. It was so hard keeping it a secret from Jake for 9 months.

Every moment was so special to me.We wish we had taken a longer honeymoon. 😉

Advice? Plan your marriage, not just the wedding – or – it’s about the marriage, not just the wedding.  Another one that everyone says, but is so true, is that you need to enjoy every single moment, because the day goes so fast.’

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Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago wedding | photo of the week | Jana & Matt

The food, the drinks, the service, the atmosphere…there are many reasons to have your wedding at the Trump  Hotel Chicago….but I’m guessing one of the top reasons is the VIEW!!!!

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