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month: October 2018

The Redfield Estate at the Grove, Glenview IL wedding planning | outdoor unique wedding venue | Maja & Travis

Words cannot express how happy this wedding made me.  The Redfield Estate at the Grove is one of my all time favorite venues…it really is one of a kind. It’s absolutely perfect if you love nature and are planning on having a more intimate wedding…like this gorgeous couple did. Maja & Travis are the kind of couple photographers dream about. Yes, they are model gorgeous, but they are also, so sweet, so kind, so loving…honestly the entire day felt like a beautiful dream.

A special thank you to wedding planner Sonya from Dream Events by Sonya

Dress: Omaima Couture, by Enzoani 

Bridal hair and make up by Sophia Bella BridalNatalie (hairstylist) and Ann (makeup artist)

Floral: Trablume Floral Design Studio

Photo by Carol

Photo by Carol

Venue: Redfield Estate


Floral: Trablume Floral Design Studio

Photo by Carol

Although there’s always a plan B, how amazing is this outdoor reception space?

Floral: Trablume Floral Design Studio

Floral: Trablume Floral Design Studio

Catering: Catered By Design

DJ: Spinnin Discs

When for just a moment, it feels like you’re the only two people ❤❤

..From the couple…

‘Venue: Redfield Estate, this was the first venue we toured and we both instantly fell in love with the beautiful nature that surrounded us. We were initially hesitant in choosing this venue since it’s not the typical wedding venue people think of. We knew we wanted to have an intimate wedding and we both love the outdoors, this one of a kind venue only seemed right for us. It was so convenient to have the ceremony and reception in the same place. We couldn’t picture anything different.
DJ: Spinnin Discs, Clint blew us away. He organized a great timeline and made the whole night run smoothly without any bumps in the road. We had so many guests tell us how great the music was. The bride couldn’t stop dancing 😉
Floral: Trablume Floral Design Studio, Melissa was wonderful to work with. She was quick to pick up on the type of style we were thinking of and had great recommendations on reusing the ceremony arrangements for the reception decor. The floral turned out better than expected.
Videography: Buller Media, Steve made planning very stress free and Francis did a great job on the day of. He captures so many moments we didn’t even remember.
Catering: Catered By Design, Delicious! Bride is a vegetarian and finding a caterer that offered more than one veggie option was a big plus. The staff was very professional and friendly. We received great comments from our guests.
Dress: Omaima Couture, This Enzoani dress was the first dress I tried on! Unbelievably comfortable and just exactly what I pictured with our venue choice.
Favorite wedding related purchase…Honeymoon tickets to Bali! 
Favorite wedding memory….Eccentric dancing by one and all on the dance floor.
Funny moments…Speeches and bride falling off her chair 
I wish we would have worried less! We heard it from many while planning but were just too stubborn to listen, don’t sweat the small stuff!
Additional thoughts… Be present in the moment so you both can take everything in. The entire wedding day flies by so quickly. 
Planning advice….We recommend to plan little by little so as not to overwhelm yourselves. And while planning focus on the bigger picture, it’s easy to get distracted with little details that just aren’t important.

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church ceremony | Cantigny Park wedding photos | Cantigny Golf Woodside Pavilion reception | Norah and Nguyen

At the end of this wedding Carol (my second shooter, all around amazing person, and assistant) pulled me aside and asked me “Where did you find this couple? Because we need to find more like them.”  This little exchange describes perfectly how much we loved working with Norah and Nguyen. Through humidity and tight time lines, they never stopped being loving towards each other. I could see and feel their love and respect for family and friends, and I wished I was part of their family….and for one beautiful day it felt like I was  😉

Invitations/place settings: Designs by Angelika

Bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages: Flower Moxie

To say that I was OBSESSED with Norah’s dress would be the understatement of the year!

BHLDN pink wedding dress

Church: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Lemont

Photo by Carol

Cantigny Park

The reception was at the brand new Cantigny Golf Woodside Pavilion 

Photo by Carol

Photo by Carol

Table Flowers:  Town and Country Gardens

Cupcakes: Vanilla Sugar Bakery, Winfield.

Photo by Carol

DJ: Just Press Play Productions

From the couple… 

  • “Church: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Lemont. Norah has sung with the choir here for several years, and even though we don’t live in the area, it’s a wonderfully kind parish that has a lot of happy memories for Norah in particular, so it was wonderful to get married here.
  • Venue: Cantigny Golf Woodside Pavilion, Wheaton. We were really hoping to find a venue with a lot of green space and we fell in love with the gardens at Cantigy Park. When we booked, the Woodside Pavilion hadn’t been built yet, but we decided to take the chance and could not be happier that we did. Our catering manager Lindsay was so easy to work with, helped us customize a great menu, and the site could not have been any more beautiful.
  • Dress: BHLDN. I can’t say enough about what an easy and positive shopping experience I had at BHLDN. I’m not a big shopper and was not really looking forward to dress shopping, but the whole process was really easy, in part because I could see what they had to offer online ahead of time and make a list of what I wanted to try when I made my appointment. I think I ended up with the most magical and romantic dress in the world and never felt uncomfortable or pressured during my appointment. I also ended up getting two of my bridesmaids their lace tops there!
  • Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Suits: The Groomsman Suit. The guys all liked this because they could just order online or go in for a fitting at the Chicago location and walked away with suits that looked great, fit well, and that they could use again. They also got their ties and shoes here – hard to beat a one-stop shop. They had great customer service and were very helpful throughout the whole process.
  • Bridesmaids Skirts: Theodora James, Etsy.  Great shop to work with – I got skirts in the color I needed for a fraction of the price I would have paid elsewhere.  I got swatches from several Etsy shops, but this shop was the best quality and had the colors I was after. Portia made beautiful skirts for all three of my gals and was so incredibly kind.


  • Bridal alterations: Silver Moon. I had to get my dress hemmed and taken in a little in in a couple spots and was so glad I brought it here – affordable, professional, great quality work, and super easy. Would recommend.
  • Table Flowers:  Town and Country Gardens. Jamie at Town and Country Gardens was great to work with – best prices out of the florists I met with and our table flowers were great. They took care of delivery and set up which gave us one less thing to worry about!
  • Bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages: Flower Moxie!Other than our (obviously) amazing photographer, this was Norah’s favorite. Flower Moxie is sort of DIY/purchase combo – they help you figure out what flowers will work best, how much you will need, and give you all sorts of instructions, timelines, and hilarious advice and boxed wine recommendations, and then you put it together.  All of that help and service takes care of the stuff that I found scary about DIY – I had no idea how many stems of roses or bunches of eucalyptus I’d need, but they do all that work for you! I cut down on spending by about half and it felt really special to have made our own personal flowers. I can not recommend them enough – if you are even thinking you might want to do some part of your florals on your own I would highly recommend checking them out.
  • DJ: Just Press Play Productions. We provided the music, and they provided sound equipment and an awesome MC! Could not have been easier. This was a super cool and cost-effective way to get what we wanted and needed – we loved our MC Nick!
  • Cupcakes: Vanilla Sugar Bakery, Winfield. Their cupcakes were SO GOOD. So good. And their team was super kind and easy to work with on top of it!
  • Invitations/place settings: Designs by Angelika. Angelika made us some beautiful personalized invitations (with our dog on the back!) that we are keeping forever. She is an incredibly talented Chicago-based designer, and she actually also helped us figure out how to do about half of our invitations as e-vites (on Greenvelope). She worked out all of the technical stuff so our guests who got e-vites received the same custom design. She also incorporated elements from the invitations into our place settings, and they were absolutely beautiful.

Favorite wedding related purchase…

Bride: It’s a toss up between the dress (because – so magical) and the Flower Moxie flowers. I had such a great time sorting all of the roses, stock, and other beautiful flowers; there was something sort of relaxing about doing that work leading up to the wedding. It made my room smell like a garden for a good week and gave me somewhere to put my energy!

Groom: The venue. I was blown away the first time I saw it; it really was better than I ever could have imagined.

Favorite wedding memory…

Bride: Signing the registrar at the church. When we did this, my choir was signing an old Irish song that I love, and were were actually in it, getting married up in front of all the people we love most.

Groom: Our first dance. I will remember that forever and recognized that I would as were were dancing.

Funny moments…

Both: We had a Vietnamese Tea Ceremony the evening before our church wedding and the groom’s sisters surprised us both with a hilarious parody of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” about the groom. They had everyone laughing!

Additional thoughts…

We both went into our wedding weekend with that attitude that something will likely not go perfectly, part of the plan will have to be adjusted, and that as long as we end up married at the end of the day, it is a complete success. That probably plays into why we felt like the day was perfect – there were definitely a couple of hiccups, but they all felt very minor in the grand scheme of things. Since we could roll with it and had a great time, everyone around us did too.

  Advice for couples planning their wedding…

Be true to what you want out of your day and try not to get caught up in the expectations of the industry/society/well-meaning people around you. We knew, for example, that we wanted to have an upbeat, happy, fun daytime wedding. We are not late night people, love the outdoors, and wanted to reflect that in our day, but we almost got caught up in feeling like we had to do the whole evening dance reception that most other people do. In the end, we had the happiest, dancing-est daytime wedding either of us has ever been to, and we’re glad we stuck to our guns on that and lots of other little things along the way. Between being yourselves and remembering that it’s not about all the show, but about each other and celebrating the amazing decision to walk through life as partners and a team for the rest of forever, you’ll have a perfect day.”