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The Newberry Library wedding reception Chicago | The Waldorf Astoria | Washington Square Park ceremony | Andy and Fatima-


I did not want this wedding to end. It was so much fun that I stayed another  hour just hanging out after my time was up.  I photographed Andy’s sister’s wedding so I knew they were a fun bunch. It was at that wedding that Andy showed me his amazing talent 😉 Fatima is one of the most beautiful Brides I have ever photographed…the camera loves her…I love her.

The ladies got ready at my favorite Hotel,  The Waldorf Astoria Dress by A’Lamour 

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 Shoes by  Jimmy Choo 

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Make-Up: Fabulous Faces by Diana 

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Hair by  Livia Caporale .  I love Brides with their hair down, so pretty.

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Beata creates the most stunning and unique bridal bouquets I have ever seen. Probably my favorite this  year! Florist:  Dahlia Blooms 

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Bridesmaids Dresses:  JCrew

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There might have been a few tears during the first look, I’m not telling though 😉

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Plenty of time for fun photos!

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Come on! These two know how to work the camera!

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Waiting for the ceremony to start.

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Venue: Newberry Library

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Florist:  Dahlia Blooms 

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Wedding Cake:  The Baking Institute 

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DJ/Lighting/Photo Booth:  MDM Entertainment

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I’m betting this will be the only time I will ever photograph a Groom jumping over his Bride, and it was completely spontaneous!! She did not know what he was going to do, OMG I almost died!

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The Newberry Library  wedding reception, Chicago    The Waldorf Astoria,  Washington Square Park ceremony (21)

From the Bride…

‘Andy proposed to me in the pouring rain, on a beautiful beach overlooking the ocean in Playa Del Carmen. One night, he suggested a stroll on the beach and it began to rain heavily.With my head down, hands shielding my eyes from the rain, I tried to find Andy who I was sure ran for cover. I was wrong. I found him down on bended knee, in the pouring rain, holding a beautiful ring. He asked me to be his forever. It was beautiful and perfect. We knew we wanted to celebrate our wedding in the city we were both born in and love: Chicago.   The wedding was absolutely perfect and amazing.  It was more beautiful than either of us ever imagined it could be.  With the help of our planner and amazing vendors, we hosted a glamorous affair in the heart of the city with our closest friends and family. 

 Planner:  With Love Patti Herioux      312-401-0747

Patti was amazing.  Andy’s sisters and mother gifted her services to us.  She helped reduce the entire wedding planning stress by managing and organizing all the details from start to finish.On the wedding day, I didn’t spend a second worrying about vendors or how every little detail is going to come together at this time or that. Patti ensured that I was able to relax, celebrate every moment, and enjoy the day!

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Dress:  A’Lamour    Barrington, IL (847) 381-5858

I LOVED my dress!  I felt so glamorous in it.  I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night!  I thought I would end up going with a simple satin gown, but when I tried on my dress…I knew it was the one.  The Venetian lace and Swarovski crystals made me swoon!

 Shoes:  Jimmy Choo & Badgley Mischka  Chicago, IL  (312) 255-1170

I felt fabulous in my dazzling peep toe pumps from Jimmy Choo.  The glittery champagne fabric went perfectly with my gown.  My best friend, a fashionista by heart, helped pick them out for me.

 Veil:  Etsy   terihuang           etsy.com/shop/terihuang

I knew from day one that I wanted a cathedral length veil.  There is something so romantic and stunning about a bride wearing a long veil over her face.  Since there were so many intricate details on my gown, I decided to go with a simple cathedral length veil with a long blusher to cover my face.  The moment when Andy lifted the blusher over my face to kiss me after we read our vows was magical.  It was one of my favorite memories of the day.

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Tuxedos:  Men’s Wearhouse   Chicago, IL   (773) 327-5510

The groom and groomsmen wore Vera Wang tuxedos in charcoal.  When I first saw Andy in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him! Andy rocked his Vera Wang tuxedo all day and looked handsome as ever! The boys all looked so sophisticated and elegant in their tuxedos!

Bridesmaids Dresses:  JCrew   Chicago, IL  (312) 751-2739

Two words came to mind when I saw my girls wearing their bridesmaid dress: Simply Stunning.  Picking out the dresses was one of the most difficult aspects of the wedding planning process.  I fell in love with this strapless dress from JCrew.   The long, floaty and lightweight silk chiffon was dreamy and the Grecian-inspired draped bodice flattered them all!

Invitations:  Etsy    By Invitation Only     etsy.com/shop/lvandy27

I received so many compliments on our wedding invitations.  I swooned over them when I saw them for the first time.  They were perfect: from the gorgeous metallic sheen of the paper to the romantic calligraphy on the envelopes.  I wanted my invitations to match the inspiration of the wedding: romance and glam.

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Hair:  Livia Caporale    773-386-2699

Livia was amazing.  Everyone’s hair stayed perfect throughout the entire night.  She arrived on time and finished all the girls before the trolley arrived to pick us up at the hotel.

Make-UpFabulous Faces by Diana    Diana Azrika   837-361-8699

Diana was wonderful. She took the time to ask each girl what look they preferred and made us all look so amazing and beautiful.  She is truly a master of her craft!

Venue: Newberry Library        Adam and Karen    312-943-9090

Andy and I both love Chicago.  We wanted a unique venue that would represent our style and love of our city.  We visited numerous venues and fell in love with The Newberry the minute we walked in and saw the gorgeous marble staircase and beautiful architecture.Andy & I first met at Le Passage just blocks away from The Newberry, so it felt right that we get married here (not to mention, I am a teacher after all)! Our ceremony was in Washington Square Park, directly across from the Newberry Library. The park provided a beautiful backdrop and the overhanging tree branches over the aisle added a romantic, enchanting ambiance to the ceremony.

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Bridal Suite:  The Waldorf Astoria     773-386-2699

The Waldorf Astoria was amazing.  I felt like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast in Tiffany’s.  The bridal suite was richly appointed in shades of platinum with a Carrera marble bathroom & soaking tub, a fireplace and balcony with breathtaking views of the city and lakefront.  It exudes luxury, opulence and extravagance.

Catering:  D’Absolute Catering       Chris Constantine        773-282-6106

Chris and his staff were amazing and the food was incredible!  He was so patient with all of our questions and went above and beyond to make sure that everything ran smoothly the day of the wedding.

Celebrant:  Judge James Shapiro       312-782-4615

Judge Shapiro was prompt, easy to get a hold of and completely professional with us on our wedding day. He is down to earth and got to know us to see what type of wedding we really wanted. He was on time, made us feel comfortable and was extremely supportive. 

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Florist:  Dahlia Blooms      BeataOrwat    773-777-1977

Beata did an amazing job for our wedding flowers.  Our flowers were beyond what I imagined and even more beautiful, colorful and elegant.   When we met with Beata, she listened and really helped us articulate what we were looking for and gave the creative direction that we really needed.  She even took the time to meet with us at our venue to consider what the room will look like and make suggestions with the overall effect in mind.   When I saw my flowers for the first time, I was speechless.  Actually….I cried and almost ruined my eye makeup!  They were gorgeous, lush and romantic. 

Wedding Cake:  The Baking Institute       Heather and Igor        847-272-5900

Igor and Heather helped match our cake to my dress.  They even created these gorgeous blush and peach sugar peonies that adorned the cake.  The cake tasted just as incredible as it looked.  Layers of vanilla and chocolate cake filled with fresh strawberries and bananas in french custard.  Delish!

Photographer:  Angel Eyes Photography      Hilda Burke       847-583-8611

Amazing. Unbelievable. Breathtaking. Wow. Our wedding was an amazing whirlwind of a dream, having Hilda capture it in images allows us to relive our beautiful day whenever we want. I get so teary-eyed looking at our pictures, Hilda was able to capture the beauty of every detail.  Both Hilda and Carol were amazing and their creativity outstanding.  They are very professional, fun to work with and all around cool people.

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 Videography:  Vanilla Video      Frank    866-948-4336

Booking Vanilla Video was so easy!  Everything is done through their website and they were very affordable too! We received the link to view all the video clips within a week.  I would HIGHLY recommend Vanilla Video if you just want the raw footage and plan on creating your own wedding video.  It worked out perfectly for us since Andy is a video editor and really wanted to create our video montage on his own.  Nicolas was our videographer and I am so surprised at how much footage he captured, half the time we weren’t even aware of his presence! He is just that good I guess! 

DJ/Lighting/Photo Booth:  MDM Entertainment    Mike Dodson    773-253-4986

Mike from MDM was awesome!  I was a bit worried about how he would include Bosnian music into the wedding, but he did an amazing job! He was able to successfully incorporate Bosnian music into the playlist. The dance floor was packed the entire time.  The venue coordinator, Adam, told us at the end of the night that he’s never seen a dance floor at a wedding so packed all night long.  The photo booth was a complete hit as well!  The uplighting was so beautiful and worth every penny! 

Transportation:  Trolley Car and Bus Co.     Erin McNulty     630-350-RIDE

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-The trolley was so much fun!  It arrived on time and took our entire wedding party to multiple locations throughout downtown for photo shoots.  We were able to drink on the trolley and play our own playlist of music as well.

-My favorite wedding related purchase was my bridal suite at the Waldorf Astoria.  The hotel is beyond beautiful and spacious enough to accommodate my 8 bridesmaids and me.  The Waldorf exudes the ambiance of opulence: super classy, high end, and straight-up marvelous. The price is through the roof, but totally worth it.  Our suite overlooked Le Passage on Rush Street, where Andy and I first met. 
 I took a quiet moment in the morning before all the hustle and bustle began to sit on the balcony and reflect on all that we had experienced since our paths crossed.  It was perfect. An extra bonus?  The Air and Water show was going on that weekend so we got a nice view of all the action! Andy’s favorite wedding related purchase was the engraved flasks he purchased for his groomsmen.  The brushed pewter and circular monogram were a unique touch that he designed.

-My favorite wedding memory was the ‘first look’.  Andy was waiting for me at the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria and we both cried upon seeing each other for the first time.  I am so glad that we decided on a “first look” rather than wait for the ceremony to see each other.  That quiet moment was made extra special because it was intimate and private.

-I wish I had tried the appetizers and treats from the sweets table.  Everyone raved about how amazing they were, I really regret not experiencing something I spent so much time deciding on! 

-Advice–Keep your humor! If something goes wrong, find the humor in it and laugh! During the ceremony, my vows were misplaced and the Judge did an amazing job at keeping that temporary moment of panic under control through humor.  Remember, kinks are what make it memorable. Your guests, family and yourself will never forget your wedding, and it will become a fond memory for all of you.  Also, take a moment to see the reception room before the guests arrive.  Seeing how beautiful everything came together was a special memory I will never forget.   All that time I spent agonizing over the colors, the linens, centerpieces, etc. was worth it.  It looked more beautiful than I had ever envisioned and I thank the stars for all the amazing and talented vendors we worked with that made our dream wedding come true!

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