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category: Weddings

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. 

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. ‘

Chevy Chase Country Club ceremony and reception, Wheeling IL wedding | Amanda & James

There were so many gorgeous details at this wedding, I was almost overwhelmed at times. From the dress to the invitations, nothing was left to chance. And don’t even get me started on the flowers, (Blue Daisy ) the Bride was so happy, that she cried and hugged the florist when she saw the reception room…it was flawless.

A very special thank you to Sarah Deeke with Cheers! Chicago She is one of the most amazing, organized, knowledgeable, sweet-but-makes-sure-that-stuff-gets-done, wedding planners I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, THANK YOU!

Photo by Carol

The Groom is from England, so his family surprised the couple with a vintage 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 1 from A Dynasty Classic Cars for Weddings.

Venue – Chevy Chase Country Club

Flowers – Blue Daisy

Flowers – Blue Daisy

Photo by Carol

Flowers – Blue Daisy

Flowers – Blue Daisy

Flowers – Blue Daisy
Lighting – An Enchanted Evening
Band – ‘Velocity’ through Arlen Music Productions.

From the Bride…

‘Day-of Planner – Sarah Deeke with Cheers! Chicago….LOVED her – I don’t know how we would have gotten through the day without her.

Venue – Chevy Chase Country Club – Liked it, got a lot for the price (nice chairs included, great bar package included, beautiful room with hardwood floors)

Dress – All About the Gown by Judy in Lake Geneva. Dress was by David Tutera ‘Katharine’

Hair/Makeup – Yes Ma’am – liked the makeup artist, was not happy with the hair – they did try to make it right, but I still wouldn’t recommend them.

Tux – won a giveaway with GQ Formalwear – James’ tux was free, the others got a discount. It was an expensive place but we liked them a lot.

Cake – included with Chevy Chase, DELICIOUS! there wasn’t any cake left over from the wedding! Lovin Oven Cakery

Band – ‘Velocity’ through Arlen Music Productions…LOVED THEM. Everyone had a great time and many of our friends got their card for their future weddings.

Flowers – Blue Daisy – I LOVED my flowers…so beautiful. Annie is very fair in her pricing and works with you within your budget.

Lighting – An Enchanted Evening

Paper Products (invitations, save the dates, all day-of paper) – Dby Invitations – expensive, but beautiful!

Videographer – Shangri-La Wedding Films – Loved him – beautiful videos – good price for quality.

Lighting – An Enchanted Evening – very easy to work with, liked them a lot.

Photo Booth – Concept One – good price for what you got, attendant was nice.

Favorite purchases: dress, favors (personalized mini champagne bottles), flowers and seriously all of the vendors I had onsite with me – you all were FANTASTIC! <3

Favorite memories: dancing with friends and family with the band, toasts, taking pictures together and with wedding party.

Something that didn’t make a difference: I was worried about how the kids would come down the aisle (wagon, walking, flower crown, pillows for boys) and in the end they were going to do what they wanted! 🙂 Also, I spent so much time finding frames for the signs and that was probably not worth worrying about. Additionally, shoes…you couldn’t see them, and I spent SO much time ordering and returning shoes.

Advice – Get a day-of coordinator! Videography is worth it (in addition, of course, to photography). It’s worth spending a little more to get quality vendors and people you can trust. Really enjoy the day, it does go by so quickly. And get a band if you can! ‘

Lincolnshire Marriott Resort wedding reception | St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, Chicago | Frank & Renee

Once I met a couple named Frank and Renee, who were straight out of a romance novel…I swear, had I not personally witnessed this (and I have the photos to prove it, HA!!!) I would not believe it. On their wedding day of course they had lots of fun, dancing and making sure they mingled with everyone, and did all the wedding things, but every free second they had they connected somehow. While walking around the tables greeting guests, they grabbed each other and danced for 10-20 seconds…they were always aware of the other, and looked into each others eyes with such love and happiness that Carol and I were practically in tears just watching them.

Thank you Frank and Renee for allowing me to witness and capture your wedding day, and your obvious love for each other…I will always smile whenever I think about you and your wedding 😀

Flowers – Nutmeg Flowers

Flowers – Nutmeg Flowers

Hair/Makeup – Salon M in Niles
Photo by Carol

Church – St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr

I usually don’t include photos from the bus on the blog post, but I had to make an exception here…if you’ve ever been on a wedding party bus, you know the chaos….but just look at how cute they are, connecting in some way every chance they had, I mean they are holding pinkies for Pete’s sake.

Post ceremony photos at Lincoln Park, Chicago.

Tux – J.O.S. Bank

Sew Bridal – Veil and alterations

Venue – Marriott in Lincolnshire

Flowers – Nutmeg Flowers

Cake – Lovin Oven. Picture perfect and delicious!

Flowers – Nutmeg Flowers

From the couple…

‘Church – St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr. This church holds a special place in the bride’s heart. The priest is a really good family friend and he even baptized the bride. 

Hair/Makeup –
Salon M in Niles. Absolutely love them! It’s a family business and the staff is fun. Plus they did an amazing job! 

Sew Bridal – alterations. Kelly is great at what she does and has such a cool personality. She even created my veil from scratch. 

Tux –
J.O.S. Bank. Unfortunately our first location when choosing the tuxes was awful! Thankfully we went to another and the experience was so much better!! Some of the issues we ran into were incorrect information in the systems that we had to re-correct several times, there was confusion with the type of tux.

Flowers –
Nutmeg Flowers. We absolutely loved
Meghan! She was great and super easy to work with. 

Flowers – Nutmeg Flowers

Dress – House of Brides. Took every ounce of the bride not to go there (due to the horror stories), and while unsuccessfully finding a dress decided to go try one. Instantly fell in love with a dress the moment I saw it on me in the mirrors. And I even recall thinking in the dressing room that I was going to hate it since it had flowers on it! It was simple yet beautiful at the same time. Sadly, the experience wasn’t as great. Customer service was awful. Half the time trying to get a hold of someone was nearly impossible. I provided a fake wedding date (a month before) to make sure I’d get the dress on time and it came a week before this date. So happy I had a fake date in the system! Also, since I tried the dress during the winter, my pale skin looked better with the blush color sample I tried on. Freaked out when I was all tan from the summer the day I was able to pick it up. Thankfully my nerves were  for no reason as it still looked gorgeous the day of. More of a lesson…

Petit Four Films. They exceeded our expectations. 

Venue – Marriott in Lincolnshire. Gorgeous venue. Booze was flowing. Food was good. Dance floor big. Setup of the room was awesome. Customer service could’ve been better. 

Favors (cookies) – Trudy’s treats. Mama Ladd is one of my friend’s mom and she nailed what we wanted. And the cookies are delicious!! Plus she’s cool.

Favorite wedding related purchase… Renee: the cake topper which includes a Boxer dog silhouette as to incorporate our fur baby Winston. 
Frank: the scotch (highland park 18) for the groomsmen. 
Together: Angel Eyes (pending status lol). Honestly though, Hilda was awesome and came well prepared for everything that day. Even with scissors! She was able to coral all of us to get the best shots. Quite a task with the bridal party we had! Saved the day that day!

Favorite wedding memory…Seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day. 

Funny moments…Alina, our flower girl, stealing the show during the ceremony. 

Advice for couples… Enjoy the engagement. The process is stressful and at times you wish you just went abroad. ‘

Promontory Point – Lake Michigan wedding photos | Palmer House Hilton Chicago, | Ridhwana & Jason

The best part of my job is finding couples who connect with me, not just my work…this allows me to be myself and create more relaxed and fun photos. Of course it helps when the couple gives you plenty of time to create those photos. Jason and Ridwana, were an absolute dream to work with…they took the planning seriously, but the day of the wedding they just had fun, and so did I! WOW, this day was an absolute blast!!

The getting ready photos and the first look, took place at the Palmer House Hilton…since the couple chose not to have a wedding party, the Groom just drove us all over to the ceremony 😀

Flowers – Flowers for Dreams

Hair & Makeup – Jeannie Denault with Bridal Brigade

Hair & Makeup – Jeannie Denault with Bridal Brigade
Photo by Carol

Photo by Carol

Venue – Promontory Point

Officiant – Rev. Dave Angle 

Flowers – Flowers for Dreams
Photo by Carol

From the couple…

  • ‘Venue – Promontory Point – The park district was very easy to work with. The fact that they have a list of preferred caterers actually made things easier for us since there are so many great options out there and knowing even where to start can be a little intimidating. We really loved that we could have our ceremony outdoors with the lake in the background. It also didn’t hurt that the weather was absolutely perfect that day.
  • Flowers – Natalie Pappas with Flowers for Dreams – We went into our appointment without our colors even really figured out and Natalie was able to guide us without making us feel at all like she was pushing her style on us.
  • Planner – Camille Victoria Weddings LLC – We were on the fence about hiring a day-of coordinator but were really glad we did. It was great not to have to check the time at all and know that Camille was keeping us on track. It also gave us piece of mind that if something did go very wrong (which thankfully it didn’t), Camille would be there to take care of things and we could enjoy our big day.
  • Caterer – Premier Catering & Events – Erika is a truly wonderful person and was a blast to work with. We knew right away that we would be in very good hands with her. She was very accommodating and had tons of great ideas to share. PCE was a very big reason why our wedding day went as smoothly as they did.
  • Hair & Makeup – Jeannie Denault with Bridal Brigade – Jeannie really listened to me and made me feel very comfortable despite my not being a big makeup wearer. It was important to me to still feel like me, and Jeannie certainly accomplished that.
  • Cake – Bittersweet Pastry Shop  
  • Rickshaws – Rickshaw Rick’

Makray Memorial Golf Club outdoor wedding ceremony | Chicago photographer | Lori & Bret

The moment this couple told me that they had a Beauty & The Beast theme for their wedding, I’ve been looking forward to it, and I was so excited to see the final result. (Scroll down to see the reception photos). I love it when couples do fun things to represent them and their personalities. And to make this wedding even more unique, they decided to have a Crème brûlée instead of cake. SO GOOD!!!!

From the first look to the reception everything took place at Makray Memorial Golf Club.

Florist:  Twisted Stem 

Dress:  Amelishan Bridal  (Hubertus, WI)  
Photo by Carol

The glass alternative to a unity candle or sand ceremony, Unity in Glass.

Who says you have to get a cake for your wedding? This couple went with
Crème brûlée !! Soooo delicious!!

Bakery for Crème brûlée :  Ambrosia Euro American Patisserie

 SoundWave DJs  (Milwaukee) 

From the Bride…

‘Venue:  Makray Memorial Golf Club  (Barrington):  This was a great venue!  We received lots of compliments on the food (We went with the steak and salmon choices) and the ladies that you work with are very detailed oriented.  They make sure everything is how you imagine it would be on your wedding day and are very accommodating if you want something specific.  

Florist:  Twisted Stem  (Crystal Lake): My bouquet was heavy, but  beyond gorgeous.   They did a great job on all the flowers; highly recommended!

Limo: W-Limo – (Arlington Heights) – After researching many different limo places, we went with W-Limo.  They were on time, professional and vehicles were clean. 

Bakery for Crème brûlée :  Ambrosia Euro American Patisserie (Barrington) – We had this crazy idea to have Crème brûlée at our wedding instead of cake.  One of our traditions when we go out to eat is to have this for dessert with a glass of port.  We struck out a few times finding someone that would be able to make the dessert for our wedding but once we met Debby at Ambrosia, she was on board immediately.  She is one of the nicest people to work with and makes the world’s best Crème brûlée !   The ‘cake’ turned out Absolutely Amazing!    

Hair: Fleur De Lis Salon (Barrington) – They came out to us at the hotel we were getting ready at.  They were on time and did a great job on everyone’s hair.  

Makeup: Bomber Betty (Barrington) – Jessica makes her own make up and does a great job.  She also comes to you on the day of the wedding and is a lot of fun to work with. 

Advice for future couples:  Do a first look! This helped us out a lot on our wedding day.  It took so much pressure off of both of us, and made the rest of the day go smoothly.  Also, plan your honeymoon at least a week after your wedding.  You will be exhausted right afterwards, so wait a week or 2 or 3+, before heading on vacation.  You will have a chance to organize the aftermath of everything wedding related and enjoy more of your time on your honeymoon.  

A lot went into the making of our Crème brûlée masterpiece.  Ambrosia made the Crème brûlée the chef at Makray topped them off with whipped cream and fruit before serving, and Twisted Stem put the vines around the cupcake stand and provided roses for decoration.  It all turned out better than I could have imagined! 

Something I would change:  I think the only thing I might change would be the timing of the reception.  The reason I hardly got to eat was because I was paying so much attention to the speeches which went right into the dances. Once the reception starts, I would do the first dance right away and get the speeches done after that.  Then, in theory, there would be more time to enjoy the dinner that you pay so much for 🙂  

Favorite wedding related purchase was probably our unity glass.   We bought colored glass to mix together during our ceremony (like sand) from a place called “Unity In Glass”.  Afterwards we sent the combined glass back to the company that blows it into a glass sculpture and it turned out amazing.  

Favorite wedding memory: This was probably with my sister.  She was nervous about her speech so she took me a side and said her speech just to me in the bridal suite beforehand.  She got the tears going then and it didn’t stop the tears from falling during her actual speech.  It was special moment between us that I won’t forget.