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month: July 2011

St. Michael’s Church in Old Town, Chicago IL Wedding | Stephanie & Tim 1

This is beautiful Stephanie, she has the best lips in all of Chicago-land. Applying the make-up is Dori. Not only  dis she make this Bride look even more beautiful than she already is she saved  the day! One of the bridesmaids busted her zipper and Dori took time out of her day and sewed her into her dress. Thank you for saving the day, looking forward to working with you again in the future, hopefully this time with no sewing involved 😉


Loved this color palette, gorgeous!

Yey for colored shoes!!!

This was such a cute tradition from the Groom’s side of the family. This is the something old, borrowed and blue….and if I remember correctly it came from some nuns. Reading the poem are Tim’s sisters.

Here’s what it says…

” You must wear as legends say, upon your happy bridal day, Something old and something new, Something borrowed and something blue, So here’s old lace in picot white, And a bit of blue that’s not too bright, Our Lady’s color (borrowed too) To wear with it her medal new;  Put it all in your bridal lace, So that though life Her Son’s dear grace, May be though this His Mother’s charm, A pledge of safety-a shield from harm”

The boys in their black suits in 100 degree humidity, were really sweet despite the heat.

I loved that they gave each other high-fives instead of hugs. Tim &  Stephanie  did a fist-bump 🙂

Tim proposed at Millennium Park, right in front of the Bean. (Cloud Gate, for you non Chicago natives)


More photos coming in Part 2 🙂

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Photo of the week, Beth & Matt

Reasons why I love this photo.

1. This photo was taken in a spot that is not accessible to most of the public. 2. Awesome sky. 3. Even more awesome bridal party 4. Ned  😉



Tanya and Jason, Holy Name Cathedral/Elysian Hotel Chicago IL, Wedding

Tanya is one of the most relaxed and easygoing brides I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Her beauty is obvious, but her kindness  to people is what makes her endearing to everyone she meets.

Hair & Make up by Sonia Roselli.

Shoes by Jimmy Choo.

Dress by Badgley Mischka.

Photo by Carol of the handsome groom.

Loved her long veil!

Obsessed over her long veil is more likely.

Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago IL.

There was a lot of fog in Chicago this day, it was really cool!

No man has ever looked sexier holding a bouquet, Jason you’re adorable!!!

The groomsmen got their Calvin Klein tuxes from the Men’s Warehouse.

Yes, I will say anything stupid/off color/silly/funny/amusing just to get a laugh.

One of my many favorites.

The reception took place at The Elysian Hotel Downtown Chicago. Now allow me to tell you about the Elysian…they are not a Hotel, they are an experience. From the moment we pulled up we were treated like royalty. The valets are dressed in suits and won’t accept tips.  The entire staff from the cleaning lady to the banquet manager is pleasant and helpful. The real test comes though when the Bride and Groom are not around 😉 They don’t have to be nice to me, I’m just the help but they were anyway! When we (the DJ, the band and the photographers) ran out of food during dinner, I asked if we could please have a couple of extra sandwiches, they came back with a silver plate full of hot delicious pork chops.  The Hotel is obviously gorgeous, but what sets them apart is their staff and the service they provide, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

The ladies looking beautiful in the lobby.

Sigh….another favorite.

This was a very beautiful Ukrainian (on the Bride’s side) tradition to witness…Tanya and Jason were presented with blessed Icons  of Mary & Jesus, along with words of advice and blessing from her parents.

It was very touching for me to witness this for the first time ever.

The flowers looked amazing in this gorgeous room.

Pistil & Vine Florist.

A quick change into a more comfortable party dress (by Thread Social) , words cannot express how jealous I am of her legs.

The Grooms Cake was a well kept surprise…made by Luscious Layers Bakery in Chicago

It was a HUGE hit!!!

Their attention to detail was impressive, they used the wedding date (reversed) for the score.

Cake cutting is serious business 😉

Fist dance, another favorite…love how happy they are.

They’re a live band, they’re DJ’s, they play instruments, they spin, they will rock your party….they are Emmaculate Fusion !

The view from the balcony overlooking the fog covered City.

From Tanya…brides to be you’ll find a lot of great info below.

For hair & Make up I chose Sonia Rosselli studio.  Claudia did my hair & Rebecca did my makeup.  They were both BEYOND amazing!!! I cannot say enough good things.

My bridesmaids had their makeup done by Rebecca & loved it & they had their hair done by Andrew Tartara of Fringe Salon.  He’s amazing & a good friend.

The first gown was by Badgley Mischka from Kleinfeld’s & the second gown was made by Thread Social.

I chose Pistil & Vine for my florist.  Meg is the owner & florist & she is beyond amazing as well.  She is THE sweetest kindest person to exist & she is Phenomenal at what she does.   She’ll totally work with any budget & is SO talented I can’t even express.  I would recommend anyone going to her for any function where you need flowers.  She’s that good!

Our band was Emmaculate Fusion run by Oscar & Sheridia & they provided the DJ as well.  If the dancing wasn’t a sign of how much we loved them… we felt as though we were at a concert.  They played exactly the music we wanted & were so much fun!

Our photographer was Hilda of Angel Eyes Photography & this was by far my FAVORITE vendor of ours! She’s SO talented I can’t even describe.  When you see her art it literally takes your breath away.  I was referred to her by a co-worker & as soon as I saw her work I knew we had to have her & then my husband & I met her & absolutely fell in love.  She’s just so cool & down to earth & knows her stuff.  Hilda was such a pro & I felt so comfortable having her there on my wedding day.  She actually had some sort of calming effect on me & I’m so grateful that we were lucky enough to be able to work with her.

Our venue was the Elysian.  I’m not sure where to begin with this place.  The hotel is gorgeous.  The interior design is modeled after Coco Chanel & Christian Dior & it resembles a French chateau.  The service was impeccable.  The food was insane!! They will literally bend over backwards to accommodate.  I, again, cannot say enough great things about this place.  So pleased & happy we chose it. It was totally us.

I have a few favorite wedding purchases – definitely the Choos & the short gown as well as the Groom’s cake which was from Luscious Layers Bakery in Chicago.  The Groom is a huge Ohio State fan so I had a mock up of the stadium made into a cake.  Ashley, who is the owner & designer, worked with me on designing the cake & did an amazing job!! It could not have been a more perfect surprise for the groom & it tasted delicious too!

We didn’t do the typical receiving line, which I liked because it gave us a chance to actually eat, drink, & dance!  We didn’t hand out favors to our guests & instead donated on everyone’s behalf to a no-kill animal shelter.  That was another one of our favorite ideas.  We didn’t do the traditional bouquet toss or garter toss.  We wanted it to seem like a big elegant party without having all of the traditional aspects that most weddings incorporate, although we did have some Ukrainian traditions to go along with my Ukrainian heritage.  Both my husband & I had a special moment with my parents where they presented blessed Icons  of Mary & Jesus to each of us & gave us words of advice as well as their blessing.  It was a very touching moment for all of us.

I think one of my favorite memories was seeing the look on my husband’s face when he saw his cake.  He had no idea! I actually kept it a secret for 8 months! Another favorite moment was walking down that long aisle with my Dad & seeing my handsome husband-to-be.  It was so surreal & I was surprisingly not nervous.  The best memories of the night were dancing with my husband & all of our friends & people we love.  It was truly a magical night that I wish I could relive over & over again.

The best advice I would give any future bride would be to just stay calm & don’t sweat anything.  Everyone there is there to help you & make your day run as easy & smoothly as possible.  All of our vendors, & friends, & family made the day so special for us that nothing went wrong.  Even if it did I was oblivious to it because everyone kept it under control.  I was so nervous the whole week leading up to the big day & when the day came I was unusually calm & didn’t panic like I thought I would.  You have to remember that it’s your day & whatever is meant to happen is meant to be.  I’m so sad it’s all over because it was that special & that amazing.  It exceeded every dream, every expectation, & every wish we could have imagined & I feel this is in large part due to the vendors we worked with. NONE of it would have been possible without all of them.

Above photo of me and the couple taken by a wedding guest.

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Photo of the week, Katie and Bryan

This photo defines romance for me.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo…reminds me of a movie poster.  I think the name of the movie would be “Love, defined” starring Katie & Bryan…currently playing.

Dawn and Peter, Chicago lakefront engagement session

Dawn and Pete are proud adoptive doggie  parents, say hello to their puppy Ferb.  He’s so cute and he loves to go chase the bunnies at the nearby park, so we started off the session with a little walk to look for bunnies…but first we had to make a quick stop when I saw this beautiful natural shadow frame.

At the bunny park, Ferb is really anxious to get in.

Took full advantage of the gorgeous light.


FAVORITE!!! I love everything about this photo, the color, the different textures the cuteness of Peter and Dawn, and how the puppy is looking at them.

At their condo Ferb models for a treat. Look at his little tail wagging 🙂

Yes, he’s the perfect little model.

“D” is for Dawn.

Gotta love a couple who will sit on the ground when I ask them to, without missing a beat.

These next two are my favorites as well, the sky was perfection.


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Photo of the week, Stephanie

So I decided to pick some photos to feature once a week on my blog. It could be anything that strikes my fancy at the moment. I’ve been thinking about this photo since the moment I pressed the shutter. Stephanie’s lips are perfection, I mean look at her…I’m ready to run out for some lipstick every time I look at this photo.

3 Brothers, Park Ridge Illinois Children’s photography

Meet Max, he’s almost two and completely adorable! Even though I came over to photograph all 3 boys together I couldn’t help myself…I mean look at those curls, those eyes!!

Dylan is the older brother, holding baby Colin who’s just a week old.

This is the reaction you get when the baby fills his diaper quite loudly, it was sooo funny!!! 😉

More cuteness.

Sweet baby Colin.

He’s very cute for a newborn 🙂

Comments appreciated!



Casey and Eric, Chicago Illinois downtown engagement session

Casey’s only request for their engagement photos is that includes the Chicago skyline, got that covered no problem with a few bonus shots and locations as well 😉

As most of my regular blog readers know I love the color red, reflections and clouds…I’m happy to say I got all those covered on this post 🙂

Eric (aka Chicago’s DJ Jem)  was quite the relaxed model, he’s a pro in front of the camera and behind the DJ booth.


Why yes, they are cute and photogenic, thanks for noticing!


And the reflection shot  in their lobby.

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Michigan Shores Club, Wilmette IL Wedding | Erin and Tom

When I got to Erin’s house, her dress was already hanging in a picturesque spot in her old bedroom.

Dress by Vera Wang from Belle Vie Bridal Couture in Chicago.

Erin’s sister helped her get ready.

I live for moments like this.

The beautiful Bride.

Meanwhile at the Groom’s parent’s house, Tom got ready with a little help from his Mom.

He was all smiles when he saw his Bride walk down the isle 🙂


The reception was at the beautiful  Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette, IL

The intros were fun!

The next two are my favorites 🙂 (snuck out after dinner for a few minutes)


From Erin…

Florist–Morning Glory in Wilmette, IL (we just loved our flowers….I think the bridesmaids bouquets complimented their dresses wonderfully and just loved the table arrangements….especially the head table!)
DJ–Fig Media (our specific DJ was Megan Taylor, she was amazing!)
Wedding Day Coordinator–Carrie Kaye
Church-Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Glenview, IL)
Reception–Michigan Shores Club (Wilmette, IL)

I would say Tom and I both really enjoyed spending time with our bridesmaids/groomsmen and family members while getting ready. Additionally, we really enjoyed pictures at the Bahai Temple, and of course, the reception. The cocktail hour was lovely and I thought the reception area was beautiful. The dance floor was completely full the entire time and everyone danced the night away for 4 hours!

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Website 🙂