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category: Weddings




Hotel Lincoln Chicago | Salvatore’s wedding and reception venue | Riane & Jimmy

There were so many cute kids at this wedding I could hardly keep track, but the one who stole the show, was a four legged kid named Bernie. Sroll down to see how cute he looked all dressed up for his parents wedding. You can check out his adventures on IG 😀

All the getting ready photos were at the Hotel Lincoln in Chicago…their customer service is excellent, and they are pet friendly!!

Dress: Amsale
 Flowers: Dilly Lily
Dress: Amsale
 Flowers: Dilly Lily
 Flowers: Dilly Lily
Cake:Alliance Bakery
 Flowers: Dilly Lily

From the Bride…

“Venue: Salvatore’s, they were amazing and very easy to work with!

 DJ: Forever Young DJ, also extremely easy to work with. The packages they offered were very reasonable, they provided more speakers for the dinning area and brought an entire backup set of equipment at no additional charge. The photo booth was awesome and they even provided a little photo book for us at the end of the night!

 Makeup: Deanna Rae artistry, she is amazing! Takes her time with her makeup application and is just amazing! 

Dress: Amsale, again, amazing!! They overnighted my dress just for me to try on!  Amazing company and I wish I would have started with them. The original dress was from Nordstroms and although they tried to make the best of the situation I would never recommend anyone over a size 0 to find there dress there.

 Flowers: Dilly Lily, they were very professional and made sure everything was how I wanted and really understood my price point. I would recommend them again.

Cake:Alliance Bakery, I was happy with them, no complaints! 

Suit: Nicholas Joseph, freaking amazing!! I would recommend this to anyone looking! It was worth the money! The rest of the men had suits from men’s warehouse.

  •   Favorite wedding related purchase would probably be my second dress. It was also the most stressful thing but in the end I feel like everything worked out prefect! 
  • My favorite memory was going to my uncles for photos, it was just a moment of happiness,  and overall joy I think for everyone and I was happy I was able to share it with so many people so close to me 
  • Funny moment, Marty screaming during the entire ceremony because we didn’t realize the kids were starving..whoops!
  • DONT STRESS!  Because at the end of the night, no one is going to know if you spent the extra 1500 on table linen or not! it’s something we try to make so prefect by all the little details but once the day comes, I honestly couldn’t even remember any of those details I was obsessing over because they were the furthest thing I cared about!
  • Enjoy the day and just be present! 




Glenview Park District wedding, Lakeview room, Shoshana & Don

I am the luckiest person to have a job that allows me to witness the love, joy, tears (happy tears) and emotions of a wedding…especially when it’s a couple like Shoshana & Don. Sometimes I wonder if I was not a first hand witness to all these beautiful moments and emotions, would I even believe it if someone told me about it? Thankfully I don’t have to convince anyone…have the photos to prove it 😉

A huge thank you to Sam Gray, from Catered by Design for the referral and the most delicious and visually pleasing food!!

All the photos and getting ready were at the Glenview Park District wedding, Lakeview room.

Gail & Bruce Cohen / Bonnie Flower Shop
Hair Stylist / Marsha Ulrich
MakeUp by Nikki Pick / Faces By Nikki
Gail & Bruce Cohen / Bonnie Flower Shop
Rabbi Taron Tachman (Officiant)
Rabbi Taron Tachman (Officiant) / Cantorial Soloist Ilana Axel from Beth Tikvah Congregation
Sweet Ali’s – Gluten Free Bakery in Glenview
Sweet Ali’s – Gluten Free Bakery in Glenview
Photo by Derrick
Photo by Derrick

Planner : Diamond Presentations / Ilene K. Diamond

Glenview Park District wedding, Lakeview room

Caterer : Sam Gray, Catered by Design

DJ/Band Yazz Jazz / Amy Yassinger





St. Petronille Catholic Church ceremony, Glen Ellyn IL | Hyatt Regency Lisle wedding reception | Jackie Aaron

Jackie & Aaron looked like they just stepped out of a classic Hollywood movie! From the dress to the decor everything was stylish and beautiful!!

Flowers Heather Ebl AID

Photo by Carol

Church St. Petronille Catholic Church

Photo by Carol

Reception Hyatt Regency

One of the things that newly married grooms do, is they fiddle with their wedding rings subconsciously. Carol (my assistant) and I think this is charming, and always try to get a photo 💕 I’m pretty happy with this since I managed to get the bride in the photo as well 👰🏻

Flowers Heather Ebl AID

DJ Ready Set Dance!

From the Bride…

Reception Hyatt Regency Could not have done it without their onsite wedding planner Maureen O’Connor.  She was fantastic and we received 40 passed specialty drinks, seat covers, and draping for no additional cost.  She even got a new vendor for the table cloths because she didn’t think they were up to pare.

Food was outstanding, no one waited for a drink and dinner service was really fast.  Their meal package was the most bang for your buck-the premier was 5 passed apps, 5 hours of top shelf bar, a starter PLUS soup or salad, 3 entrée options plus a vegetarian option–that was large portions, wedding cake, AND a late night bar with 2 food options.  They recently remodeled their lobby and banquet rooms so finishes and lighting are up to date and stylish. Lobby bar was right off the banquet so guests could get a drink before or after the wedding

Dress Veiled by Cha CHa  I would never recommend anyone else besides Antionetta, (the owner). She closes the shop down for your appointment and you are the only ones in the boutique-very intimate.  She’s designed dresses for 20 years so she knows exactly how it’ll fit once tailored.  She carries unbelievable accessories that offer the finishing touch. She carries different vendors from Europe so you’re dress will never look like anyone else’s and her veils are handmade. My appointment ran over by 2 hours and she never made me feel rushed or hurried me out of there.  She makes you feel beautiful.

Jewelry Rach B Jewlery Contacted Rachel Price just a month before my wedding for custom earrings. I sent her a few images and she came up with 4 prototypes within a few hours. She nailed the design of vintage modern perfectly, and had elements like rose gold and real vintage jewels to use. I contacted her on 8/1 and by 8/3 she had made the earrings, (all while getting ready to go on vacation), and sent them in the mail.  She’s wonderful!

Hair Fusion Salon An intimate salon that’d I’ve been going to for years. I had Angie McCarthy, (owner) do my hair and she knew scheduling of highlights and cuts that were necessary for the big day.  She reserved the whole salon for the bridal party and it felt very casual and fun-not stuffy like a commercial salon. Everyone loved their hair and no one was rushed.  It was my dream to get ready there before my wedding, and our make-up artist met us there and was able to set up a station no problem.  

Make-Up Emily Van Tassel Make-up Artist She’s truly an artist.  She did a trial run and it was the BEST I’ve ever seen my make-up.  She had all the ideas-I didn’t need to come with any of my own-she knew what to do and thought of things I never would have thought of. Even  though I loved my trial I wasn’t sure I wanted that style for my wedding.  She could read my mind on what to change and did it. She’s very professional and could fit many girls in  the timeline we had.

Tux  Eleganza Tux and Bridal They were very easy to work with the grooms. Some had to send their measurements in and they were fine with that. Father of the groom’s measurements were lost but they tailor made it for him in a time crunch. They had great colors and were great colors and were able to give Aaron a champagne colored vest. They also offer shoes.

Flowers Heather Ebl AID Ingenious ideas-she was able to use large vases that the hotel offered so we didn’t have to rent our own. She has an eye for color and picked a scheme based off your jewelry, dress color, and bridesmaid dresses. She stays within budget and you receive much more than a store because she works for herself-out of her house. Her ideas were so much more unique  than other weddings I’ve seen before.  She has a plethora of materials, (sprayed eucalyptus, baby’s breath, organza ribbon), to use in flowers. They were the most gorgeous flowers I’ve ever seen!

Invitations A-Reliable Printing Cheryl was always available when we came in and emailed us back right away when we were checking proofs and making changes to our invites. She took a more expensive example from Etsy and replicated it for 1/3 of the cost. The invites were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. She was able to get everything printed within a week before the wedding and even made a custom poster board for our guest table

Cake Oak Mill Bakery Basia was very patient and organized.  She was great with us and has a designers eye when picking the cake. She knew which cake flavors make the best combos and she was able to make a beautiful cake within our hotel meal plan budget.  She took different parts of 3 different cakes to add them together to make the look we wanted. Surprising flavors were available, (such as lemon and poppy seed cakes), within the standard cake package

Pianist Ron Harris Music Group Ron  could sing any song I gave him to test out for the piano tune. He knows EVERY song there is and had great ideas for which ones could be played during a cocktail hour and which ones were better suited for during the reception/dinner.

DJ Ready Set Dance! I worked with the president Tim Kozak.  Such a nice guy and they have 3 different DJ packages that include color changing lights and TV’s that played videos of photos of Aaron and I growing up. Tim met me onsite at the venue to make the perfect uplight color for me. Mike, his partner, was the DJ and had A LOT of energy and was a great presenter when the wedding party was entering the banquet room

Church St. Petronille Catholic Church Father Milota.  He was a last minute change because the priest we originally had could not make it back for our wedding.  Fr. Milota was the new pastor and we were his 1st wedding.  He’s so kind and was a great surprise that he’d be officiating.

My seamstress Mary Burlingame Alterations-she also provides the mink stole I wore! She’s truly an artist and completely re-constructed my dress to make it fit. It would not have looked as good without her.

My favorite wedding related purchase: It’s a tie between my belt and the earrings I wore with my dress.  The earrings were the perfect complement-and made just for me, and the belt MADE the dress.

My Favorite Wedding Memory: Seeing Aaron so emotional when he hugged my dad as he gave me away-and when I saw him standing at the aisle waiting for me

Funny Moments: When we kissed for too long at the altar and the priest told us to stop! 





Hawthorn Woods Country Club wedding ceremony and reception | Taylor & Brian

I could not wait to blog this wedding!! Photographers hope for one good sunset photo, but on this incredible day, I felt like I hit the sunset jackpot!! I could not choose just a couple, so I’m sharing most of my favorites.

All the fun and photos took place at  Hawthorn Woods Country Club.

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Dress: MoriLee Kimberley Wedding Dress style 8211
Dress: MoriLee Kimberley Wedding Dress style 8211
Photo by Carol
Officiant: Reverend by Request
Photo by Carol
Cake: Lovin’ Oven
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From the Bride…

Venue: Hawthorn Woods Country Club.

They were absolutely amazing from the minute I contacted them. I remember I did a web inquiry at like 8:30 PM, and Lisa (the event coordinator) had reached out to me with all the information I requested and her contact information to set up a tour by 11:30 PM the same night! Lisa was amazing and helped make our day go off without any complications. She took care of everything and always answered my questions (even when I sounded like a crazy person haha). And when I say everything, I mean literally everything. Lisa handled setting up all my decorations and centerpieces for me, coordinated getting our cake to the venue on time, made sure my other vendors had comfortable places to sit and decompress away from the main reception area, and cleaned everything up for us as well! She even went out of her way to get a keg of beer for us from a local brewery so we had a little personal touch to our bar tap.  We had the space until midnight, and by 12:15, everything we brought with was packed up and ready for us to load up and take back home so we didn’t have to worry about coming back the next day.

Since we picked a date right before a pre-scheduled event the club was having for members, we were able to get the tent for our ceremony for a fraction of the cost. We liked being able to have an indoor and outdoor space even though it was ridiculously hot, so thankfully our ceremony was short. But once the sun went down and it cooled off, people were able to go sit out on the patio and relax around the bonfires if they wanted.

The food was absolutely amazing! Portion sizes were HUGE and the food was just delicious. Someone actually just re-mentioned it to me this week that it was some of the best food they’ve ever had.

Dress: MoriLee Kimberley Wedding Dress style 8211 (https://www.morilee.com/product/bridal-wedding-dresses/morilee/kimberley/) from Kathryn’s Bridal in McHenry.

Kathryn’s Bridal was a nice boutique to work with. They had a lot of plus-sized options which was great for me. In hindsight, I honestly think I would have gone with a different dress… Or added straps or something to it. I loved the dress so much when I tried on the sample, but then once it was actually altered to fit my body, I honestly didn’t love it anymore. I am well-endowed in the chest region (haha), so I trusted the alterations department when they said the boning they put in my dress would hold all night. If the boning did what it was supposed to do, I would have loved my dress! But since it couldn’t hold up the girls all night long, I think I ended up being pretty disappointed in it.

Suits: Gray Dillon from Jim’s Formal Wear We decided to go with Jim’s Formal Wear since they have locations all over and were told the best man and bridesman could go to any location to be sized and order their suit to have it shipped to the location of their choice. Since Brian’s best man lives in Sugar Grove, we agreed that would be perfect that way the best man didn’t have to come all the way up by us to get fitted and stuff. They let our best man get measured in a Jim’s close to his house, but they sent his suit to McHenry anyway since McHenry had a seamstress in-house for any alterations. While that part was nice, we wish they would have told us that before we decided to get suits from them. It’s already a lot to ask someone to stand up in a wedding, so add on having to inconvenience them by having them drive over an hour one way for a suit/fitting and you feel like a jerk. Overall, Brian was really happy with their suits though. He loved how they fit and how they looked on everyone.

Bridesmaid/Junior Bridesmaid Dresses: JJsHouse (https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-Princess-V-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Bridesmaid-Dress-With-Ruffle-007105575-g105575) and (https://www.jjshouse.com/A-Line-Princess-Scoop-Neck-Floor-Length-Chiffon-Bridesmaid-Dress-With-Ruffle-007105573-g105573)

My matron of honor actually suggested this website since she had good experiences with them in the past. My matron of honor, Brian’s groomsmaid, and my junior bridesmaid were all three very different body types. I told them all they could pick whatever style they wanted, I just asked that it be floor length and purple. The quality of the material was a lot better than I expected it to be and they shipped super quickly compared to what I feared. I loved the dresses they ended up picking for themselves.

Flowers: Prairie Basket Florist Candy Quinn has been doing flowers for my family for years! She did the flowers for my mom’s wedding back in 2006, and my grandma used to have Candy make up all the floral arrangements for Good Shepherd hospital when my grandma still volunteered there in addition to any personal flowers my grandma needs. Candy did an amazing job with everything. I didn’t have a ton of guidance for her besides “crayon purple” and no roses/greenery. I knew I wanted my bouquet to be all calla lilies in white and shades of purple, but she had the freedom to do what she wanted for the bridesmaids and parent/granparent flowers. She was even able to accommodate silk flowers for my mother-in-law which was a huge help for me! I would recommend Candy to anyone looking for a florist.

Cake: Lovin’ Oven Everyone around us always raves about Lovin’ Oven’s baked goods, so I was thrilled when the country club told us they were going to start a new partnership with them! Our wedding cake ended up being included in our final bill to the country club which was nice. We had one layer of yellow cake, one layer of marble cake, and one layer of pound cake each with a strawberry frosting middle, chocolate frosting middle, and vanilla frosting middle. I thought it was delicious and was sad I only got a few bites haha. The best part is that Lovin’ Oven will recreate our top tier for our anniversary for free!

DJ: Spinnin’ Discs We had Bill from Spinnin’ Discs as our DJ and absolutely loved him! During the process leading up to the wedding, Spinnin’ Discs has an online portal we could use to add songs we absolutely wanted to hear or songs we hated and didn’t want to hear at all. We were also able to add in our timeline so that Bill could help us stay on time for everything and see what songs would be playing when. After all the formal dances were out of the way, we thought he did a very good job of playing music older people would dance to at the beginning of the night and transitioning to younger music at the end. Honestly, I don’t think there was a single time the dance floor was empty that I remember!

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Officiant: Reverend by Request Reverend David made our ceremony exactly what we wanted it to be. I personally am not a hugely religious person, so the officiant was definitely up to Brian. Reverend David listened to both of us and got a feel for our personalities and styles and made the perfect ceremony script. He sent us over options of things for him to say throughout, so we were able to pick things we liked and removed things we didn’t. We also didn’t want people to get bored while they were sitting, so Reverend David made sure to keep everything quick and concise so that our ceremony didn’t last longer than 15-20 minutes. He was very easy to work with and incredibly polite.

Videographer: Our Wedding Movie Originally I didn’t want a videographer since I honestly couldn’t justify spending the money on one, but Brian ended up convincing me we at least needed someone to catch the ceremony and first dance. So I did some research and found Our Wedding Movie. Their bronze package was incredibly affordable compared to other videographers, so we decided to give them a chance. I am honestly very glad Brian convinced me we needed a videographer because one of my sets of grandparents ended up not being able to make the wedding last minute, so now we have something we can take over to their house to show them.

Makeup: Melanie’s Makeup Artistry So glad that I found Melanie! I never ever wear makeup, like literally ever. When I went for my trial, she listened to my concerns and asked what my dress looked like and the venue and created the perfect look for me. Melanie is so personable and down-to-earth, so it was nice to have that to calm the crazy of getting ready for the big day in the morning. The best part for me was that she did not require a minimum amount of people she was going to do makeup for. I had a very, very small bridal party. Even with my mom and sister deciding to get their makeup done too, I did not have the minimum amount of people most other makeup artists require. My makeup held all day, even through the sweating that I did, so I was thoroughly impressed. If I ever have another event I need makeup for, I will definitely use Melanie again.

Hair Stylist: Christine Friederich from Spring Grove. Christine has known me since I was in second or third grade and used to cut my hair and did my first ever color. When I heard she was doing hair again, I was thrilled because she is the updo queen! My hair is a pain in the butt when it comes to holding a curl, but Christine had the magic goods to make my hair hold all day, even in the heat and humidity.

The cake topper was my favorite purchase!I got my cake topper from Mudcards on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/mudcards?ref=shop_sugg). Keren was so easy to work with and took all my questions and changes in stride. I loved that we were able to get a customized topper that included our cats. My cat Snowy passed away before our wedding, so Keren was able to make a halo and add angel wings on to Snowy’s little sculpture. We were also worried about our other cat Pants possibly not making it to the wedding, so she sent along a spare set of wings and halo just in case (thank goodness we didn’t need to add those in – Pants is still going strong!). I have our cake topper on display in our entertainment unit along with a bunch of other stuff from the wedding.

Favorite Memory: Oh this is tough… It might be the same as the funny moment for me. Pony by Ginuwine came on, and my cousin Catherine pulled up a chair and joked that Brian needed to give me a lap dance, and he of course accepted the challenge.  It was hilarious and mortifying all at once.

For the most part I was a pretty low-key, stress-free bride. We did a bunch of the planning during the off-season for our jobs, so we had most of the hard stuff out of the way. I remember worrying about where to sit everyone and then receiving unwanted suggestions from other.  But honestly, everyone is a grown adult and can suck it up for an hour to eat their food. After that, everyone moves around to where they want to be anyway. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone. If you start listening to everyone and their suggestions, you will end up losing what it is you and your significant other really want for a wedding. It is your special day, not everyone else’s. So do what you want so it’s your perfect day.





St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge | The Grove in Glenview Redfield Estate wedding photos | Brigette & Cole

When this sweet couple planned their beautiful outdoor spring wedding, I’ll bet the last thing on their mind was snow….a lot of snow! That’s Chicago weather for you…you get 55 degrees in January and 5 inches of snow in the spring time. But since I only work with the most awesome couples ever, they just rolled with it. Even when it was coming down super heavy, the Bride said yes to more outdoor photos…girl you’re a rock-star, and I love you both!!

OH! I almost forgot to mention, that one of the table names was Westley and Buttercup, witch is from one of my all time favorite movies the Princess Bride!!

Also, the Bride had the most amazing custom wedding gown designed by her friend Francesca! So gorgeous!

Gift the Groom made for the Bride <3
Awesome boxes by the Groom!
Photo by Carol
Best reaction ever!!!!
Officiant/Ceremony: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church

By the time we got to the Redfield Estate at the Grove it was already coming down pretty hard!

Venue: The Grove

So happy I finally got a wedding photo with the famous turtle!!

Venue: The Grove
Photo by Carol
Caterer: Cork
Caterer: Cork
Cake: Oak Mill Bakery | Photo by Carol
Caterer: Cork

From the couple….

Venue: The Grove – Everything about the Grove was amazing. Working with Carol was a dream, and the snow made the entire night feel like a fairy tale.

Dress: Franzesca MayerFranzi’s a college friend and fraternity sister. I knew years ago that I wanted her to make my dress if she was willing, and she was as excited as I was. It’s absolutely more perfect than I could ever have imagined.

Tux: GQ FormalwearCole: I originally wanted to buy a suit rather than rent, but ended up winning the Fab Five prize at GQ which got me a free rental with a free suit to keep after, and discounts for all the guys’ and dad’s tux rentals. I ultimately couldn’t have been happier with the tuxes we got. They were tailored to fit everyone properly, which was a huge plus, and having the suit to keep afterward was a huge plus. It’s the perfect place to get a tux or suit rental!

Brigette: And he looked so hot!

Cake: Oak Mill BakeryEverything about the cake: price, flavor, experience…was perfect. We started out knowing we wanted to have lemon and raspberry, and the flavor at Oak Mill was delicious. It still tasted delicious days later!

Caterer: Cork The food was incredible. Sam was so great to work with, and we felt comfortable with her knowledge and experience. What a great thing, too, because when the weather went “Chicago” first thing in the morning, Sam didn’t even text us. When we got to the Grove, she had arranged everything inside, and it was perfect.

DJ: Two Pro DJs (Mike)Mike was our first and basically only choice. He ran with our rather eclectic music tastes and kept everything moving just right. He was even able to roll with the sudden plan change and tweak our “entrance” to make it work. I got to dance my feet off all night 

Officiant/Ceremony: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge – Brigette: This is my home church. It was always where I wanted to be married, and it was better than I could ever have imagined.

Transportation: W-Limo What a great experience! We got to the Grove a little bit earlier than planned, but the driver was absolutely willing to hang out in the parking lot while we took some pictures, so that we could hop in and warm up. She even offered to drive us across the lot!

DIY Projects:

Flowers – Brigette: I crocheted for over a year making the flowers for my bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets. I couldn’t find a pattern that fit what I imagined, so I Frankenstein’d a few different patterns together. It took a lot of math and a lot of mental mapping out, along with almost constant crocheting, but they looked so wonderful. A week or two before, Cole’s mom asked about godmothers, and I ended up putting together some last minute corsages and boutonnieres. I attached an anniversary gift from Cole, a wood cutting of the stars on the night we started dating. I will probably not crochet again for….a while.

Gift Boxes – Cole: We had a fun mix of gifts that we got everyone in our party, so I knew I wanted to present them in a fun and memorable way. We are huge Harry Potter fans, so we knew we wanted to incorporate Hogwarts Houses into the wedding. We got the ladies earrings, and the guys cufflinks. I also designed custom ties for the guys using Knotty Tie. I first started looking at wood boxes that I could finish in a fun way, but couldn’t find anything that had dimensions that worked. That’s when I decided to make the boxes myself. I got some carving chisels and some wood to mess around with and just starting trying things out. After a lot of trial and error, I managed to fake finger joints in a way that made the boxes and fenagled the lids and dividers that were necessary for the guys boxes to have the ties and cufflinks. I got a wood burner to burn designs and initials to personalize each box. I used basswood, which is a very light color, so I then decided to stain the boxes to make them look a bit fancier. I also made earring boxes for our moms and tie boxes for our dads.

  1. Stemless flutes for asking party: We invited all of our in-town wedding party over for a Mardi Gras dinner and engraved stemless flutes as an asking gift. It was low-key enough for us, but it still made it feel special.
  2. Ring Box – Cole: In the process of making the gift boxes, I decided to add another box to be our ring box. We were originally going to get a book box, but we couldn’t decide on the right book and kept putting it off. I fully had the crafting bug, so I just decided to add another box, especially since I was starting to get better at it! I chose some different designs and our initials to fully personalize it and made sure there were slots for all of our rings.
  3. Groom Gift for Bride – Cole: This project was actually the impetus behind my getting the wood burner in the first place! I knew that I wanted to make something for Brigette, and something to display seemed perfect. We sang in choir together in college, and both had a fondness for Eric Whitacre’s music. We knew he wrote a setting of “This Marriage” by Rumi, which is a poem we both love and strive to keep as a model for our relationship. We chose to incorporate the setting into our ceremony, but I wanted to make it something even more specific to us. I got a live edge wood panel and burned the poem text onto it, with our date and initials and the same rose design I included on the ring box.

Favorite wedding purchase: Brigette – Antique books for our centerpieces. It took a few antique mall shopping trips, but discovering all the books was such a fun adventure. Cole – Brigette’s engagement ring. That’s what got this whole ball rolling, after all.

Favorite wedding memory: Brigette – Finally standing together at the top of the aisle. It’s been 9 years in the making, and I’m still surprised sometimes that it’s all done. Cole – Seeing Brigette walk down the aisle.

Funny moments: The whole day was amazing. There aren’t a lot of specific funny moments that we can remember, but we were just surrounded by love and fun all day.

Something to be different: Brigette – I wish I had been a bit more present during the ceremony. I got a little bit in my head and worried a bit about the music and if people were bored. I would have enjoyed it more if I had shut that worry voice down. Cole – I wish I had taken more “mental pictures.” I was almost too blown away by everything to really fully internalize it

Unnecessary stress: Having the video stream wig out right before the ceremony caused a ton of worry. We should have realized that almost everyone has a phone with video capabilities and that we could figure out a way to make it work.

Advice: Work as a team. You’re marrying the person you’re marrying for a reason (or a number of them). Trust those reasons and do things together. We worked as a team on almost everything, and it really helped lighten the load and keep us both sane.

Additional thoughts: To Hilda and Carol: We can’t thank you enough for how you made our day feel. You are a huge part of what made it so magical, especially with the weather being crazy. Everything we’ve seen so far has already blown us away, and we can’t wait to see all of the magic that you captured.”





St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Evanston | The Grove Redfield Estate winter wedding reception photos | Lisa & Stephen

The Redfield Estate in Glenview is one of the most unique venues near Chicago. I absolutely love working there, the staff is so great, and the beautiful grounds surrounding the estate always give me so many wonderful photo ops. This was my fist winter wedding I’ve photographed there, and it was absolutely breathtaking. Jessica Petty Smith from Anemone Chicago did the incredible flower arrangements.

Makeup: Dawnmarie Grano of i beauty to go makeup artist & boutique
Dress: by Sincerity (style 3877) purchased from The Altar Bridal – Barrington
Hair: Jaci Herrera of Herrera-DeBoer Salon

Church: St. Mark’s Episcopal in Evanston, The Reverend Debra Bullock, Rector

Flowers: Anemone Chicago
Dress: by Sincerity (style 3877) purchased from The Altar Bridal – Barrington

Reception was at the magical winter wonderland a.k.a. The Redfield Estate in Glenview.

I mean come on! is this not the most perfect winter wedding?

Flowers: Anemone Chicago
Flowers: Anemone Chicago
Flowers: Anemone Chicago

When the caterer is Catered by Design, you know the food is going to be excellent. I also really appreciate, that they go out of their way to make sure that the vendors get a nice hot meal too!!

Flowers: Anemone Chicago
DJ: Kristin Marks of Toast & Jam DJs
DJ: Kristin Marks of Toast & Jam DJs

From the Bride…

‘​Purchasing my dress was so special because a) I just knew it was the one – there was no question in my mind, and b) my previously deceased father purchased it for me, so it was extra special. So much more than just a wedding dress.

My favorite moment was the ceremony! More specifically, walking down the aisle with my mom, towards my future husband-to-be, to commit ourselves to each other in front of God, our friends and family.

Funny moments… ​At the reception Hilda kept prompting me to take such-and-such photo with my husband. I had to keep stopping to think about who she meant – just having him referred to as my husband made me laugh and smile every time! Her assistant probably thought I was crazy from all my laughter at reference to “my husband”.

Hair & makeup took longer than planned, so in hindsight I wish we would have started those earlier in the day so that we could have had more time having fun and taking pictures before the event!

Selecting all the right vendors was by far the best thing we did as each vendor played such a huge part in pulling off the wedding of our dreams. There isn’t one vendor I wish we would have selected differently. Hilda with Angel Eyes Photography kept us organized and on point and produced so many beautiful memories that we’ll have a lifetime to reflect on. I’m so pleased with her work, and truly with all the vendors we chose!

​I was so worried about finding the right shoes, and in the end I don’t think anybody saw them. I even ended up with ceremony shoes, dancing shoes, boots for outdoor weather, etc. And seriously – nobody even knew about all the shoe changes I had. I was also worried about the music and giving the DJ enough to work with in that regard. But in the end, it didn’t matter. We had an amazing DJ and she made the event and the music flow together – I really wish I hadn’t spent so many hours trying to come up with the perfect selection of songs. That was her job and she did fantastic with it!





Michigan Shores Club Christmas winter wedding | St. Josephs Catholic Church | Colleen & Joe

This wedding was so stunning, I can’t even begin to describe it. Colleen wanted a beautiful winter wedding with dreamy snow and a Christmas theme, instead she got a beautiful winter wedding with 50 degrees and sunshine. This is Chicago…the weather does what it wants 😉

I was so happy that the couple chose to do a first look, we would have had none of the gorgeous outdoor photos without it!


Invitations – White Rabbit invitations.
Dress- Wvidon by Carla & Kenneth
Hair- Pam from Charles Joseph Salon.
Makeup- Melanie Larson
Seating Table board- Celine from White Rabbit invitations.
Wedding reception- Michigan Shores Club

DJ- Mike Gerth Entertainment

From the couple…

Venue- Michigan Shores Club– Gorgeous Venue that had the perfect theme for our Christmas winter wedding, even without the snow. The rustic look of the ballroom was exactly what we wanted. The also made the cake which was exactly as we wanted.  The first thing my husband and I could agree on for the wedding was Funfetti!!!!!! And it did not disappoint. 


Dress- Wvidon by Carla & Kenneth, 1st dress I tried on. Carla was fabulous to work with and my dress fit perfectly. 


Hair- Pam from Charles Joseph Salon.  Friend of the family, has done my updos for every event since 8th grade dinner dance. She is the best!! My hair and bridesmaids hair was perfect. 


Invitations, Seating Table board- Celine from White Rabbit invitations. She custom designed the snowflake on our innovation and board which was also used for our Gobo design. Such a talented woman.

Flowers- Romance in Blooms, Kathleen is seriously sooo talented. I wanted very simple wintery (is that a word?) white looking flowers with touches of gold, green, and blue.  She did an excellent job. All the flowers were beautiful from the center pieces down to the grooms flowers. She also helped make cost effective decisions and let me know what was in season and what would be more expensive to help with budget.

Photo by Carol


Makeup- Melanie Larson – making the bridesmaids, my mom and myself beautiful as she always does. 


DJ-
Mike Gerth Entertainment. Mike played all the songs we wanted and was able to keep the dance floor full. Also made our gobo design, a snowflake, the only snow we saw that day! 


Church- St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Fr. Mayall was the priest from my grammar school, has known my family for many many years. It was a beautiful church to get married in. 

1. My favorite wedding related purchase was buying the flower collars for my fur babies. They could not be involved in the wedding but I still was able to get some great photos with them getting ready. 
I also enjoyed designing Joeys wedding ring, as it was a custom design that he asked for so I was able to play around with that. 


2.  From the groom: would not have changed anything about the day, cannot image a more perfect wedding. Most enjoyable for him was the cocktail hour. Take advantage of the mingling during that time. After sitting down for dinner it is harder to talk with everyone especially once the dancing starts. 


3. I would not have done anything differently either, everything was exactly as I imaged. I cried walking into that ballroom to see all the beautiful things that we had created. It might be difficult but If you can I suggest planning your wedding yourself, it is a challenge but so fulfilling at the end to see what you accomplished! Such a great feeling. 

Photo by Carol


4. A funny moment I remember is my cousin and his wife starting a fake jump rope and everyone jumping in and out, also my sister trying to dirty dancing lift one of my other bridesmaids. 
We also remember a moment when Joey and I were cutting the cake and it was getting stuck on the ribbon and he said something like come on Coll and I made this face and said through my teeth, stop yelling at me!! It was a typical interaction for us and  soooo funny. Cake tasted delicious once we finally got it cut!! 


5. I stressed out a lot about being late for things which honestly you are the bride and groom, they have to wait for you. In the end it was nothing to worry about, we had great people by our sides helping and a kick ass photographs to keep us prompt. 

6. Advice we would give is Slow down and enjoy the small moments. We could not believe how fast the whole day went, it was over in the blink of an eye. It was a magical 50 degree day that we were blessed to have had, as much as I wanted snow it was perfect and exactly what we could have hoped for. 
I also recommend a first look, it took a lot of the pressure off and with a January wedding we had time to take pictures before the ceremony before it got dark so had some great outdoor photos to remember. ‘





St. Paul of the Cross ceremony, Park Ridge | Mission Hills Country Club wedding reception, Northbrook

This happy couple had a vision of how they wanted their wedding to be, as I’m sure most couples do, but they were very pro active about it. When I first talked to the Bride, she was very clear that photography was a priority and she backed up her vision with action. She wanted an ‘unplugged’ wedding…which simply means that you ask the guests to put away their cameras and cell phones (especially during the ceremony) and be fully present in the moment, and let the professional photographers handle the photos. She put this request on the wedding website, in their invitation, and this is a quote from the Bride…
“I basically told guests that we saved our hard earned money to have a professional capture our special day and had a simple chat with those who might be less receptive to our request…” 😉

Ceremony: St. Paul of the Cross

I love the photo below for many reasons…the most obvious is the beautiful moment of the Groom seeing his Bride…the not so obvious is that all the guests are in the moment as well, and no one is hiding behind their phone, or camera. It’s a battle most photographers will never win, but when the couple takes a pro-active approach, we have this.

Reception : Mission Hills Country Club





Royalty West Banquets wedding photos | Unique Castle venue | Chicago photographer | Theresa & Rick

If I could hand pick my couples, they would all be as chill and laid back as Theresa and Rick were. Bad weather rolled in that morning, so we had to improvise our plans, but no one ever stopped smiling. Of course it didn’t hurt one bit that the wedding was in a Castle. Yep, Royalty West Banquets
is a unique venue, that’s built to look like a Castle inside and out. Needless to say since I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, this made me very, very happy!!


Flowers – Bouq Box

Dress- Rebecca Ingram Dress Shop- Atelier Igar bridal

Hair/makeup- Rare Bird Beauties

Hair/makeup- Rare Bird Beauties

Hair/makeup- Rare Bird Beauties

Flowers – Bouq Box
Photo by Carol


Photos, first look, ceremony & reception took place at Royalty West Banquets

First look…

Officiant – Rev. Phil Landers, of “I Do” Weddings, Ltd.

Cake – Oak Mill Bakery

Flowers – Bouq Box

DJ –  Kelvon Fluellen of That’s My DJ Entertainment

From the Bride…


‘Dress- Rebecca Ingram Dress Shop- Atelier Igar Bridal Maggie at Atelier Igar bridal was so sweet it was such a pleasure getting my dress altered.

Hair/makeup- Rare Bird Beauties Hair by Shannon Makeup by Amelia
The girls from Rare bird beauties were fun and fit right in with me and the bridesmaids.


Cake – Oak Mill Bakery
The cake not only looked amazing it tasted amazing! We said forget waiting a year to eat the top layer and ate it all within a few days and I still think about it!

Tux- Men’s Wearhouse |Bridesmaids dresses- David’s Bridal
The bridesmaids dresses from David’s bridal were exactly what I imagined when I knew I wanted gold, and the guys looked so sharp in their tuxes from men’s warehouse.

Caterer- Royalty West Banquets
Christina at Royalty West was on top of everything not just before but the day of. She also made the room look absolutely perfect, it was more beautiful than we could have even imagined.

Flowers – Bouq Box
Bouq box did a beautiful job with all the flowers.

DJ –  Kelvon Fluellen of That’s My DJ Entertainment Dj Kelvon was awesome, he timed everything perfectly and played all of our must plays.

Officiant – Rev. Phil Landers, of “I Do” Weddings, Ltd.
 He was such a pleasure to work with. He was so organized and worked with us for as long as we needed to get our story just right. He truly made our ceremony unforgettable, we still get complements about it to this day. 

My favorite purchase was my dress. It was just me and my mom and I found the dress on the first day we started looking. When I came out of the dressing room and saw it in the big mirror then looked at my mom and she started tearing up, I knew it was the dress.


Favorite memory….Hearing our love story and our secret love for each other during the ceremony. It was such a touching and meaning part of the day for both of us.


Funny moments….Literally dancing out of my underwear during the first open dance! Hilda was very helpful getting me to the restroom to readjust!



Advice… Like most couples say, try to enjoy it all. The whole process was fun for us! You only get one day so don’t let the small stuff get to you. All week the forecast for my wedding was sunny and in the 60s, day of it snowed, not a single tear was shed or beat missed we smiled all day long!


I did stress about getting a midnight snack, but the second we knew it wouldn’t work out we said oh well and the next day said oh ya that didn’t happen, guess we didn’t need it.

And of course we got the most amazing photographers ever! Literally you ladies made the day run as smooth as it did, it would not have been the same without you! 

It honestly could not have gone better. It was the perfect day!’


I was photographing the wedding party, and I didn’t notice until I was editing the photos, that the flower girl decided to give me some variety for every shot  😀
I made this collage to show off her posing skills…totally made my day!!




Newberry Library Chicago wedding ceremony and reception | Unique reception venue | Ariel & Daren

If you’re looking for a unique venue in Chicago, the Newberry Library just might be the perfect option. There is plenty of space filled with gorgeous light, and a park right across the street. This is where Ariel and Daren had their wedding ceremony, photos and reception.

A huge thank you to Todd Fischer for not only making out Bride look absolutely stunning, but also for connecting me to this amazing couple!!


Hair by : TAF Hair Todd Fischer

Florist- Blumgarten, Michelle Vazquez

Dress/ Store: Mira Couture, dress by Martina Liana

Dress/ Store: Mira Couture, dress by Martina Liana

Hair by : TAF Hair Todd Fischer

Officiant: Leo Melamed

Catering: Occasions Chicago, Gerard McGuiggan

Florist- Blumgarten, Michelle Vazquez

Florist- Blumgarten, Michelle Vazquez


Cake: Alliance Bakery

Florist- Blumgarten, Michelle Vazquez

Planner- Kerrie Gallagher, CityGirl Weddings

Makeup: Makeup by Stacy Renee

Dress/ Store: Mira Couture, dress by Martina Liana

Catering: Occasions Chicago, Gerard McGuiggan

Groom custom suit: Indochino

Hair by : TAF Hair Todd Fischer

From the Bride….

‘Favorite purchase…My gown! I love it and am definitely going to wear it again! Who says it can only be worn once?!

Favorite wedding memory…Having all of our loved ones, family and friends, under the same roof together.

Funny moments…My sister lent me her veil. Right before walking down the aisle, she stepped on it and ripped it. LOL

If I had a super power, I would slow down time, so I could have soaked in everything in and committed it to memory.

Advice for couples…Have fun with it. It’s a shit ton of work but should be fun!! Everything will always work out- try not to stress. Hire a day of coordinator. Well worth the money. No one in your wedding party nor your guests should be worried and working on day of logistics. The focus should be on enjoying and celebrating your love and union. ‘