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Kylie & David, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Kylie & David met in acting class at Lake Forest College, and while they have been together 9 years, they are a young couple with deep affection and respect for one another. When I met with them 8 months before their wedding, they were feeling overwhelmed with the decisions and options for their wedding. Kylie & David both had clear ideas on how they wanted their day to look and feel, but had no idea where to start. To begin with, we reviewed their planning timeline to understand when decisions had to be made. Yes, there were a couple of things where we were already behind schedule, but seeing a clear To-Do schedule helped calm the anxiety they were feeling.

Keeping family a focus of their day, I introduced Kylie & David to Rebecca Marie Photography & Design and it was an instant connection. Rebecca is all about family and she takes gorgeous images – from the details of Kylie’s dress, to capturing their affection, to the family portrait with Woogie (their dog), and all of the other details in between. Pure perfection! I also brought the couple to Molly and her team at Limelight Catering. Kylie & David wanted to have food stations for their reception and to showcase their background with Italian cuisine, Central American cuisine and a Chicago Steakhouse. Limelight did not disappoint! From the Garganelli with Pork Ragu to the Tapado, guests were continually at the stations filling their plates.

Kylie’s favorite color is purple and she loves butterflies. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum was the perfect location for Revel Décor to come in and bring a purple inspired English Garden to life. Through our consultations with Erin at Revel Décor, she created such masterpieces like the ceremony structure. It was a four-sided structure accented with brilliant, textural floral and accents of trailing greenery. It was presented in an asymmetrical design with a combination of hydrangea, garden roses, peonies, football mums and other large blossoms in the color palate of soft purple, peach, ivory and touches of soft blue with trailing greenery and elements of wild banyan root and curly willow.

The final touch to Kylie & David’s beautiful celebration was the music. Kylie had her heart set on a harpist for the ceremony and I knew that BeatMix Music would be able to make this happen. Kylie chose to walk down the aisle, with both of her parents, to Storybook Love. There was not a dry eye in the place! Congratulations Kylie & David! I was so honored to have been on this journey with you and I hope you are enjoying sunny CA.

A little note from Kylie & David:

Thank you so much for everything! We couldn’t have imagined a more perfect wedding day. All of our friends and family are still talking about it!

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Bakery: Sprinkles & Sweet Mandy B’s
Beauty: Friend of Bride
Floral/Decor: Revel Decor
Food & Beverage & Rentals: Limelight Catering
Rehearsal Dinner: D.O.C. Wine Bar
DJ: Chris from Spin
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Musicians: Beat Mix Music
Photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography
Getting Ready & Room Block Hotel: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Stationery & Signage: Courtney Callahan Paper
Transportation: Trolley Car & Bus Company
Venue: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Video Booth: A Posh Production
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

 

2015 In Review

We are so thankful for the couples that we were able to work with in 2015! Their journeys of love, their family dynamics, and their wedding day vision had our hearts full all year long. They had us at historic venues and clubs in Chicago, private residences in Lake Geneva, and even in Door County WI. We are so honored to have spent this year with you and celebrated with you!

THANK YOU Stephanie & Chris, Kendall & Ben, Kathryn & Jed, Stephanie & Brian, Klarrise & Jay, Sima & Jonathan, Katie & Dave, Leslie & Scott, Kylie & David, Laurin & Andy, Allison & Matt, Sara & Jon, Irene & Rich, Katy & Karl, Eleni & Steve, Claire & Billy, Stephanie & Pat, Jennifer & Wick, Katie & Connor, Analisa & Andres, Andrea & Lupe, Megan & Darrin, Hilary & Nick, Lindsey & Valbon, Stephanie & David, Liz & Lou, Mollie & David, Ashley & Jim, Elena & Rob, Samantha & Sean, Sarah & TJ, Melanie & Richard, and Becky & Jeff for bringing us into your lives! We congratulate you on being newlyweds and wish you many blessings in the years ahead!

Cheers to Love, Laughter & Happily Ever After!

Love,

Lauren, Nicole, Jennifer, Allison & Lara

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Photo credits: Amanda Hein Photography, averyhouse, Cristina G Photography, Dabble Me This, Elena Bazini Photography, Gerber & Scarpelli, Jennifer Kathryn Photography, Kent Drake Photography, Rebecca Marie Photography & Design.

Hannah & Steven, Chicago Yacht Club

We love learning about the journey of each of our couples and for Hannah and Steven, their journey began with Hannah asking Steven for a pencil when they were taking their CPA exam. Their journey also included two weddings to celebrate with both families. Their wedding in May took them to China to celebrate with Hannah’s family and I had the pleasure of working with Steven’s mom to help plan and coordinate the wedding in Chicago, three months later.

On the day of their wedding, Hannah and Steven spent a relaxing morning getting themselves ready for their ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral. We love these images of the two of them dressing and prepping and their adorable First Look. Don’t you think that Hannah’s dress is like a work of art?

Deacon Strom presided over a lovely ceremony in this beautiful cathedral and afterwards, Nick from Rebecca Marie Photography & Design captured family portraits. Guests then had a few hours to enjoy the beautiful Chicago afternoon before making their way to the Chicago Yacht Club. Guests were ushered up to the 2nd floor cocktail hour space where Alex from Exquisite Designs had brought in some whimsy with white and lavender paper lanterns.

Guests were then brought downstairs for dinner with both of Hannah & Steven’s parents being introduced into the room with the couple. In keeping with the feel of the Yacht Club, Alex’s floral designs included monochromatic elevated designs feature white phaleanopsis orchids, white calla lilies and lavender hydrangea in glass vases with mirrored/chrome candles. Everyone enjoyed the culinary delights from the Chicago Yacht Club, which was inspired by the blending of Hannah & Steven’s families. The first course was Confit of Duck Ravioli, the second course was a Spiced Thai Salad, this was followed by a Lemon Sorbet Intermezzo, then the entrée was a Braised Short Rib & Grilled Sea Bass duet, with the final course of Wedding Cake and Cookies. Even with full stomachs, guests could not stay off the dance floor because the Chicago Groove Collective was grooving all night long. The only time that guests left the dance floor was for the Navy Pier Fireworks – what a fabulous way to celebrate! Congratulations Hannah & Steven!

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Florist: Exquisite Designs
Rehearsal Dinner: Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap
Hotel Room Block: Hyatt Regency
Musicians (Cocktail Hour & Reception): Chicago Groove Collective
Photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography & Design
Stationery: Steel Petal Press
Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Company
Ceremony Venue: Holy Name Cathedral
Venue, Food & Beverage, Wedding Cake: Chicago Yacht Club
Wedding Planner: LK Events

Emily & Devin, Hotel Arista

It is such a wonderful thing to see when my past couples’ siblings get engaged and decide that they too want to work with LK Events This was the case with Emily and Devin and I could not have been happier to help plan their beautiful wedding day last summer in Naperville.

It was a gorgeous, sunny summer day when our team arrived at Hotel Arista on the morning of the wedding. Emily and her ladies were enjoying beauty time with Christy and Melanie from One Bridal Company. There were a number of oohs and aahs when Emily’s hairpiece was put in and she stepped into her dress. What a glam look for this beautiful bride!!

After Emily and Devin enjoyed a private First Look, captured by the amazing Rebecca Marie Photography & Design, they moved into their Ceremony area for additional photos with their wedding party and families. The ballroom had been transformed with beautiful draping by Elegant Event Lighting and candles and more candles from Fleur Couture. Very soon, we were ushering guests into the Ceremony area and the wedding party walked down the aisle to “Let Her Go” – including our little flower girl and ring bearer in their wagon! Rev. Tom Maluga performed a lovely ceremony for Emily and Devin and then guests were ushered into the Pre-Function area for cocktails. Guests enjoyed snapping photos in the Shutterbooth and noshing on Brie Crostini with Bacon Jam and Panko Crusted Spicy Chicken Lollipops.

While guests mingled and congratulated Emily and Devin, the Ballroom was transformed into an elegant, modern and garden inspired reception. From the grey spandex linens to the custom menus from Greenstar Paperie to the custom white vinyl dance floor and the stunning centerpieces, the room was a perfect picture of modern elegance. Emily and Devin chose to have their parents and entire wedding party introduced into the room for dinner and then they enjoyed their First Dance together. It was an unforgettable, choreographed performance to “Prime Time”.

Everyone enjoyed the meal of Flat Iron Steak or Mahi Mahi and were soon out on the dance floor to the rockin’ beats of Entourage. Congratulations again to Emily and Devin!

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Wedding Planner: LK Events
Hair & Make-Up: One Bridal Company
Bakery: The Cakery
Florist: Fleur Couture
Lighting & Draping: Elegant Event Lighting
Rehearsal Dinner: Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House
Hotel Room Block: Hotel Arista
Musicians: Entourage
Officiant: Rev. Tom Maluga
Photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography & Design
Photo Booth: Shutterbooth
Stationery: Greenstar Paperie
Venue, Food & Beverages: Hotel Arista
Videographer: XO Pictures

Sarah & Jeff, Art Institute of Chicago – Modern Wing

Some couples have many celebrations around their wedding day and that was how I came to meet Sarah & Jeff. They had decided to have a small ceremony in Napa in May, a Chicago reception in June, and a Michigan reception in July. I was lucky enough to work with them for their Chicago reception with family and friends at the Art Institute of Chicago – Modern Wing.

Sarah and Jeff had a weekend celebration in Chicago with a rehearsal dinner at Carnivale on a Friday night. Guests were treated to appetizers like Shrimp Ceviche and Veal Empanada and entrees like Arrachera and Paella. Shutterbooth was also on hand to capture the festivity of the evening!

The next day found Sarah and Jeff having a relaxing day together and Sarah having Pin Me Up Chicago treat her to hair and make-up appointments at her home. We met the beaming couple that afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago – Modern Wing and Rebecca from Rebecca Marie Photography & Design whisked them away for photos together and with their families.

That evening, we gathered the couple and their guests back up in Bluhm Terrace for Cocktail Hour. Guests were greeted with passed appetizers of Cantonese Spring Rolls and Coriander Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloins under a canopy of red Chinese Lanterns and a beautiful Chicago evening. As they made their way into Terzo Piano, guests picked up their escort cards which featured Chinese Red, the Double Happiness symbol and beautiful calligraphy from Stacey Shapiro. Incorporating elements of Chinese culture into their wedding day was important to Sarah and Jeff, as they met in Shanghai when both of them were working there.

Alexandra from Exquisite Designs provided a clean and modern décor that featured mixed collections of white tulips, white hydrangeas, white roses, white lilies and white spray roses in clear glass square vases lined with black ti leaves. For some contrast in the room, the round dinner tables featured a tall arrangement of open cut white calla lilies in a clear glass tall cylinder vase. With a couple of speeches to kick off the night, guests enjoyed an amazing dinner from Bon Appetit with monogrammed Petit Fours for dessert and DJ Rob spinning the 1’s and 2’s. Congratulations to a spectacular couple, Sarah & Jeff!

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Beauty: Pin Me Up Chicago
DJ: Spin-Chicago
Florist: Exquisite Designs
Food & Beverage: Bon Appetit
Rehearsal Dinner: Carnivale
Rehearsal Dinner Photo Booth: Shutterbooth
Hotel Room Block: Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel, The Palmer House Hilton
Linen: BBJ Linen
Photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography & Design
Calligraphy: Stacey Shapiro Calligraphy
Reception Venue: Art Institute of Chicago – Modern Wing
Wedding Planner: LK Events

Dena & Travis, The Rookery

This wedding brings back so many happy and cherished memories of our planning discussions, meetings and the amazing day I had with Dena & Travis at The Rookery.  I met Dena and her mother, Anne, about six months prior to their wedding as they did a tour of the venue and I knew that we were going to have a fabulous experience together. I loved their soft spoken mannerisms, love for food, and their vision for an elegant and unique Chicago wedding.

From the start of the day, I knew it was going to be a marvelous wedding day because my cab driver was singing along to a love song as he transported me to the W Chicago City Center. When I walked into the bridal suite, Dena and her bridesmaids were finishing their hair and make-up appointments with Zee Gustafson and there was much excitement in the air. Rebecca of Rebecca Marie Photography and Design captured so many little details before Dena and Travis had their First Look.

Travis went ahead to Olive Park, while Dena, the Wedding Party, and parents all boarded the mini-bus to the park. Dena and Travis had a very special moment together – doesn’t she look like a model/angel – and I loved when they practiced dancing and their dip together.  After more wedding party and family photos, we all headed to The Rookery to relax a little before the ceremony began.

Guests arrived through the gorgeous entrance into the ivory draped room facing the grand staircase. Not a dry eye was to be found after the heart-felt ceremony concluded and guests were very ready to celebrate with Dena & Travis. They made their way upstairs to the mezzanine to congratulate Dena & Travis and partake in cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Meanwhile, the amazing teams at Jewell Events Catering and Scarlet Petal transformed the main floor for dinner.

After a wonderful meal of Pear & Gourmet Greens Salad and either Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken Breast or Grilled Bistro Beef Filet, everyone enjoyed some cupcakes from Bittersweet and a lively dance floor, courtesy of DJ Chicago.  As the evening concluded, guests were able to take home a little piece of Chicago with the adorably elegant Garrett’s Popcorn bags. What an elegant celebration for two very dear people – congratulations Dena & Travis!!  PS – I miss our chats, Anne!

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Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Formally Modern Tuxedo
Bakery: Bittersweet
Beauty: Epoch Studio Salon
Beverages: Binny’s Beverage Depot
Draping: Art of Imagination
Favors: Garrett’s Popcorn
Florist: Scarlet Petal
Food: Jewell Events Catering
Hotel for Guests: JW Marriott Chicago and W Chicago City Center
Musicians: DJ Chicago
Officiant: Rev. Tom Maluga
Photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography & Design
Rehearsal Dinner: Osteria Via Stato
Stationery: The Studio (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Company
Venue: The Rookery
Videographer: R.E.M. Video & Photography
Wedding Planner: LK Events

Engagement Sessions with Rebecca Maria

Guest Blogger: Rebecca from Rebecca Marie Photography

Engagement sessions are a really fun way to not only spend some quality time with the one you love, but also take your photographer for a “test drive” before the big day. I’ve found over the years, that the couples I’m able to hang out with on an engagement session are leaps and bounds more comfortable when it comes time for the wedding day. They know that I’ve learned what to do to capture that real smile (not the one your fiancé makes for every picture Mom asks to take) and that I totally have their back. However, as much fun as engagement sessions are, the time leading up to having your picture taken can be stressful and overwhelming. Do these thoughts sound familiar? “What should I wear?” “Does my favorite dress photograph well?” “How in the heck am I supposed to know all of this? I’ve never gotten married before!”

Deep breathes and no worries. Here are 5 simple tips to help rock out any photo session…

  1. First and foremost, be comfortable in what you’re wearing. Your portraits are about you and your unique style. Don’t force yourself into something you would never wear. Granted this is a special occasion, so we won’t wear our comfy yoga pants if you agree to not wear your old sneakers. 🙂 You do want to look smokin’! If you feel amazing you’ll look amazing in photographs. Yep, you know what that means… I’ve just given you an excuse to go shopping!
  2. Don’t be afraid of color. You want to stand out as the subject of your images and strong colors can help you do just that. When planning outfits together think about coordinating, NOT matching perfectly. You want to compliment each other without looking like twins. Stay in the same color family like reds & browns, greens & blues, or purples & greys. Take a look at how photos in ads and catalogs are styled to present the models as a cohesive image in the way they dress – they can give you ideas for complementary colors and clothing styles for the engagement shoot.
  3. Accessorize! Accessories can bring out even more of your personality and a great statement necklace or fabulous earrings can add the perfect finishing touch to any look. Props can also be theperfect finishing touch. A large brimmed hat to sneak a kiss behind, your fiancé’s guitar he or she plays for you after a long day, or the new furry addition to the family – if it helps tell your unique story then bring it along!
  4. Finishing off your perfect look also requires the perfect pair of shoes. Go ahead, splurge. I officially give you permission to shop for those sexy pair of black heels you’ve been wanting.
  5. Avoid large logos and really wide stripes (vertical or horizontal). We want the focus to be on you! Solid colors and simple patterns always photograph well but that doesn’t mean fun patterns are totally off limits. If you found the perfect printed ensemble keep your fiancé in a solid shirt that compliments one color of the pattern.

Bonus tips I tell all of my awesome RMPD couples…

Leave your cell phones in the car and don’t schedule anything immediately after your session. This is all about blocking out some intentional time just for the two of you to focus on each other.

Get ready for some serious cuddle time! It’s my job as a photographer to make sure you look amazing, you just relax and have fun!

Have more questions? Feel free to ask away by shooting us an email at photography@rebeccamarieart (dot) com If you have a question, odds are plenty of others have the same question. Why not consider asking on our Facebook page so everyone benefits?

Rebecca is the owner and lead photographer at Rebecca Marie Photography & Design, a Chicago based wedding and portrait studio. Her goal every time the shutter clicks is to create an image that not only showcases your personality to loved ones but also reminds you of a feeling in that split second.

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Guest Blogger: Rebecca from Rebecca Marie Photography

DeAwna’s Fundraiser, Floating World Gallery

I had the absolute pleasure of co-hosting a fundraiser a few weeks ago, for a dear friend of ours, DeAwna McGinley. DeAwna is an extremely talented wedding and event photographer in Chicago and was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Kelly, owner of Clementine Custom Events and Emily, Event Manager and Wedding Coordinator at Bon Appetit Catering at the Art Institute of Chicago and I helped to coordinate the incredible event with the help of so many dear friends and fellow vendors:

 

DeAwna was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma last year and underwent a bilateral mastectomy inDecember. Due to her invasive surgeries and extensive chemo treatments following the procedure, DeAwna had to deal with the significant loss of income, as she is unable to shoot weddings for 2013. DeAwna was looking forward to an incredible wedding season ahead and this was a major set back for her. We wanted to do something special for her, as service providers in this industry, we make our living by booking services for our clients.

Together, with the incredible team of vendors above (and my brothers and husband for bartending), we hosted a beautiful soiree at the Floating World Gallery in DeAwna’s honor. We had over 100 guests come to celebrate DeAwna’s strength and determination. Rebecca Marie capture beautiful moments of the fundraiser and we are so thankful to have these memories. Words cannot begin to describe the incrediblesupport and donations we received from so many clients, vendors, friends and family and we had such a successful event for DeAwna. We raised more than we could have dreamed of, and for that we are truly grateful. We love you DeAwna!

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