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month: October 2012

Adler Planetarium Chicago wedding photos, [Chicago lakefront skyline] Photo of the week, Cory & Matt-

One of my many favorites from Cory and Matt’s amazing day. Taken at the beautiful Chicago lakefront by the Adler Planetarium,

St. Charles Country Club wedding [Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Naperville, IL ] Jess and Adam –

I loved photographing Jess & Adam, they are so madly in love and were just glowing the entire day. Jess just happened to say the one sentence that made me a little lightheaded from happiness when I heard it. In  her reply to me asking, how would you feel about [“Insert some crazy photo idea I had here”] she said “Hilda, there is nothing I won’t do” and then I died from joy…not really since I’m typing this, but you get how awesome that moment was for me.  So I ran out and bought an ‘I LOVE J & A’ t-shit I wear now while I edit 😉

Dress by Allure Bridals purchased from Catherine Simms Bridal in Aurora, IL

Jewelry: Givenchy

Makeup: Heather Frederickson

Flowers: Avant Gardenia

I do love a Bride with her hair down. Hair: Bronzino’s in Geneva

Her smile just lights up a room.

Yes, she laid in an empty bathtub in her dress before the ceremony.

Her sister was so helpful the entire day she was there every minute, thanks for all  you did Alli.

Bridesmaid dresses: J. Crew

We got to the Church, when Jess decided she wanted some Starbucks. So we hopped into Carol’s car and off we went. I seriously thought the Church lady was going to have a stroke, but we promised her we’d be back well before the ceremony, and we were…I will never forget the look on her face though, it was pretty funny.

Church:  Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Naperville.

Some fun with the Bridal party.

Looking very handsome Adam 😉 Tux: Vera Wang from Men’s Warehouse

Not pictured  but worth a mention is the Transportation : Spare Wheels St. Charles. They are friendly and professional, very highly recommended.

Venue: St. Charles Country Club

The table names were named after the wedding party, friends and family. A wonderful idea by the Groom!

A few more photos on the property before the party started.

Gorgeous couple!


DJ: Music by Chance in Rockford IL

From the Bride…

‘My favorite wedding purchase was my dress. It was a very special and unforgettable day with my Mom and my sister. We visited many different types of shops and tried on all different types of dresses before finding the one. We had lunch together in the middle of all the shopping and had an at length discussion about not thinking it was really possible to have a strong emotional reaction to a dress no matter how important a wedding dress really is. We were completely taken by surprised when I tried on my dress and all three of us were in tears.

My favorite wedding memory was standing at the back of the church before walking down the aisle. I felt so complete and at peace to be next to my father and looking at Adam who was now going to be the most important man in my life and my husband. At the moment all the hard work payed off because I knew what was most important to me was getting the opportunity to marry my best friend and the person I knew was the perfect man for me. A close 2nd was our last minute Starbucks run. Getting into Carol’s car and posing with the Starbucks employees was pretty comical.
There isn’t a whole lot that I would have done differently. I felt so calm the day of the wedding because I had such amazing vendors who were supportive and professional.’

Yes, I saved the best (well at least my favorite) for last…thank you for trusting me…you guys were rock-stars. I am in LOVE with this photo.

More on Facebook 🙂 I also love comments!


North Shore/Chicago Illinois wedding planning, [Wilmette wedding photography] Lindsay photo of the week-

Yeah, I know she looks like a model…but she really is a Bride. Not only is Lindsay drop dead gorgeous, she is kind, sweet and very easygoing. Make up by the talented Dori Mae.

PS. This would make a great magazine cover, no?

Chicago Illinois Downtown Wedding at the Shedd Aquarium, Amy and Anthony-

It was such a pleasure shooting Amy and Anthony’s wedding. The families were great, the Bridal party fun, and the lovebirds happy, willing, adorable and in love. What else could I ask for? Oh yeah, a first look, plenty of photo time and one of the most amazing venues in the City…check, check and check!

Dress: Vanessa’s Modern Bride in Arlington Heights, IL

Shoes : Benjamin Adams – Catherine.

I LOVE first looks 🙂

I loved these guys, hysterical and great at following directions.

We stopped at the most awesome Bar/Restaurant that the B&G scouted ahead of time. We had time for photos and a little break for drinks.

Love this one!


At the John G. Shedd Aquarium, ceremony time.

Anita Vaughan was the officiant…she’s so great at her job, I always recommend her.

DJ: Your Night Productions.

See more of the Best Man in action here 🙂

This was one of my favorite moments,  during the chaos on the dance floor they took a minute to just be with each other….after all that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

From the Bride…

‘Venue: Shedd Aquarium. Loved, loved, loved Danielle. She was wonderful to work with and made everything run as smoothly as possible. All food/drinks/dessert was through the Shedd.

Bouquets and Boutonnieres: Silk Thumb in Highland Park, IL – Julie (the owner) was outstanding to work with and she put them together for us in a week! The great thing about the flowers is that everyone thought they were real, but we get to keep them forever. She is putting the flowers into arrangements for us and our family so we will have a keepsake for years to come!

Flowers/center pieces/furniture: M & M The Special Events Company. We had the ceremony flowers, centerpieces, and lounge furniture from this company. They were great to work with and had great prices.

DJ: Your Night Productions. Matt Lodding was our DJ and is one of the owners of the company. He was great to work with and helped keep things moving as smoothly as he could for our unique wedding.

Anthony’s suit was bought at Nordstroms and the groomsmen bought their suits from Men’s Warehouse. It was a little risky having them buy and alter their suits, but it turned out amazing and the guys really liked that they now have a great suit!

My shoes! – I loved my shoes – possibly more than my dress haha. They were Benjamin Adams – Catherine. I was actually able to wear them the whole night! I was actually able to wear them the whole night!

I know this may seem odd, but I actually really enjoyed getting Anthony’s Suit and rehearsal dinner outfit. We went to Nordstrom’s downtown and worked with a personal shopper, Larry Smiley. He was great and made the whole process fun. I enjoyed seeing Anthony get excited about our wedding. We always made a day of it when he had a fitting and his dad got his suit from there as well. It was a great experience and it wasn’t about me!

Favorite wedding memory: At the Hubbard Inn before the Ceremony. There was a point when I looked around and all of our close friends were laughing, drinking, and enjoying each others company and the attention wasn’t on us. It was a moment that felt like the calm before the storm. My brother got me a drink and I was able to just sit and watch for a moment. It was wonderful and a great memory from the day.

Looking back  I wish that we had the maid of honor and best mans speeches inside. The people in the back couldn’t hear it. They were both great sports about it, but I didn’t realize how loud everyone was going to be when we planned the speeches before dinner. I’m glad that we moved the dads/mom speeches inside. I also wish that I was able to talk to more people. There were some people that I was only able to just say hi to. I know that it happen at every wedding, but I really hoped for ours to be different. It just got larger than I hoped I guess.  It truly was an amazing day and unlike anything I would have ever imagined for myself. I feel so blessed that I was able to have our wedding at such a unique location and our family was fine with us not going the traditional route. It was a great weekend that was following by an amazing honeymoon and life together.’

I love comments, please leave them below…or say Hi on Facebook.

Thank you notes, they make my day :)-

Just wanted to share this lovely note I got in the mail today form Nicole & Ricky.

And of course I had to share one of my favorite Bridal party photos from the day, a storm didn’t stop us from having fun  😉

More on Facebook.

Jen and Dom, Chicago Botanic Gardens Wedding–Glencoe Illinois –

Jennifer and Dom got ready at the Marriott Suites O’Hare in Rosemont, where they also did their first look.  Dress and Veil by VIP Occasions in Elmhurst.

Jennifer’s make up was done by the talented Dori Mae, who I always recommend because she always makes the brides beautiful and never runs late 🙂

Hair by Amie Miller of Golden Girl Chicago.

Picture perfect and beautiful!

The ceremony and the reception both took place at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe IL.

The happy couple braved the heat and humidity (90+ degrees!!!) for some beautiful pre ceremony photos.

LOVE the next two.

I also love small bridal parties 🙂

Ceremony time.

Rev. Alan Owens performed the ceremony.

A few post ceremony portraits.

Loved their “Tea” theme!

The Botanic Gardens has the best food! A big thank you to Kristina and Abby for making this day perfect.

Cake by Oak Mill Bakery.

Erica from Toast and Jam was the rockin’ DJ.

From Jennifer and Dom…

‘Photographer: The Talented and Incredible Hilda Burke. By far the best investment we made was in Hilda. Not only is Hilda incredibly talented and creative, but she is also practical and a great source of information. She advised us on several occasions and was patient in answering all of our questions.  We are both camera shy, but felt relaxed and even excited in Hilda’s capable hands. What sets her apart from other wedding photographers is her eye for capturing the artistic image. We were also delighted to work with her kind and funny assistant Carol.

Ceremony & Reception Location: Chicago Botanic Gardens When Dom and I first visited CBG in October of 2009, we were instantly captivated by the imaginative landscaping and tranquility of the garden.  The view of the lake from the McGinley Pavilion was a perfect backdrop for our June wedding ceremony and reception. Kristina and Abby were helpful throughout the planning process and on the day of the wedding. The food was delicious—by far the best wedding food we have tasted.

Bakery: Oak Mill Bakery. Our wedding cake was delicious- devil’s food cake with raspberry mousse and lemon cake with lemon curd filling. The butter-cream frosting did not melt in the 90 degree heat and tasted e excellent.

Officiant: Rev. Alan Owens of  http://idoweddings.tv/. We highly recommend Rev. Alan to brides and grooms out there. Rev. Alan was professional and prompt in his communication with us. He was also easy to talk with and very funny.

Toast and Jam lived up to their reputation as the best wedding DJs in Chicago. Our DJ Erica blended music styles perfectly to keep the dance floor rocking all night. We highly recommend them!

Florist: Anthony Gowder. Greta was a pleasure to work with. The maid of honor’s flowers and the arrangements placed on the gift/favor table looked lovely and lasted forever. However, every other arrangement that was delivered was lackluster and not worth the investment.

Videographer: Tom Hartmann of Blink of an Eye Productions.  Tom was a pleasure to talk and work with. He captured memorable details of the day while fading into the background. It was clear from my conversations with him that he is dedicated to helping couples share their story of the wedding, not just filming random shots.

Transportation: Aries Charter (for guests); Viatas (for limousine) Our driver from Viatas limousine service was prompt and friendly, even when helping me in and out of the car with my train and veil.

Hotel: Marriott Suites O’Hare in Rosemont. We reserved rooms for our family and friends at the Marriot Suites O’Hare in Rosemont. Lisa was patient in helping me to arrange the rooms and post-wedding brunch. The staff congratulated us with a surprise plate of chocolate covered strawberries on our wedding night!

Dresses: VIP Occasions in Elmhurst. My maid of honor’s dress, my wedding gown, and my veil were ordered from VIP Occasions in Elmhurst. The maid of honor’s dress was by Jim Hjelm. My wedding gown was a custom design for the store. The gown was ivory satin with embroidery and beading in the shape of vines and chrysanthemums—perfect for a garden wedding! The seamstress Adela was patient while helping me to decide on a bustle style for the dress. My jewelry was purchased from Nordstroms and Macys.  My hair comb and shoes were purchased on sale from Zappos.com.

Makeup: Doris Rohr of  http://www.dorimaemakeup.com/ I actually found Dori through Hilda’s blog. (You were right Hilda—she’s awesome!) Dori was such a pleasure to work with. She works quickly, yet focuses on every detail. She is also one of the kindest people I have met: when I got sunburned a few days before the wedding, she calmed me down and helped me find a solution for my skin (airbrush makeup and a custom airbrush tan). Ultimately, the makeup she applied looked beautiful (and lasted) throughout the heat.

Hair: Amie Miller of Golden Girl Chicago. I found Amie through Dori. Amie was so calm on the morning of the wedding. My hair looked beautiful, but most importantly, felt like my natural hair, and stayed in place despite the humidity. The emergency spray tan I needed before the wedding was done at Golden Girl Chicago. I recommend Golden Girl to all Chicago brides needing a spray tan. The staff was able to squeeze me in on short notice and made my skin look natural, not fake orange.

My favorite wedding purchase (besides the awesome photos from Hilda!) would be my jewelry. The earrings (Macys) and bracelet (Nordstrom) had a vine pattern that complimented my dress and milgrain edges that matched my wedding band. I look forward to wearing the bracelet to future events. I am also glad I hired Dori for my makeup.

Jennifer: One of my favorite memories from the wedding was seeing Dom for our first look. He looked so handsome and calm. I will never forget the beaming smile on his face. I also enjoyed watching my sister, new brother in law, and friends dance together while Dom and I danced. Dom: There was a point near the end of the reception, when I realized that everyone was honestly enjoying themselves. I felt good that I had contributed to their happiness. At the very end of the reception, Jennifer and I gazed at the moon above the lake. It’s not everyday that you pull all your friends and family, especially from another the country, together in one room for your wedding.

In hindsight, I wish I had visited more florists, especially at smaller shops. I also wish I had worn my veil for more photographs; it  looked so lovely. I also wish that I had taken more time for myself to relax and de-stress before the wedding. To future brides, try to tune out any negative “chatter” you hear from yourself or others. Try not to get overwhelmed with all the tiny details—just focus on the important parts that everyone will appreciate. Relax and live in the moment of the day.’

More photos on Facebook. 🙂