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Laurin & Andy, Chicago Botanic Garden

Laurin and Andy met at a Cubs Game on the Fourth of July in Chicago and were engaged five years later in England, where Andy is from.  A few weeks later, they chose the Botanic Gardens for their ceremony and reception. Since Andy’s family was traveling from Great Britain, they knew they wanted a special place for the guests to enjoy this celebration.  Laurin and Andy also wanted to showcase the wonderful city they live in, so after the rehearsal took place at the Gardens, guests enjoyed a classic steak dinner at Gibson’s in Chicago.

The morning of the wedding, Laurin and her bridesmaids got their hair and make up done at Salon Buzz. After getting ready, Laurin headed up to the Botanic Gardens for the first look with Andy. Photos around the Gardens with their bridal party followed.

Laurin carried a romantic teardrop bouquet of peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, freesia and eucalyptus. This fresh garden bouquet looked beautiful with her Vera Wang gown. Andy and his father had traveled to Scotland to select the pattern for his custom kilt.

The bride, a designer, created all of her paper items and even customized signage that we placed around the Gardens.  Every element of her designs was carried through the reception and we completed this look with her floral.  Each of the long rectangle tables showcased a pair of tall summery fresh floral arrangements in shades of blush with textural accents and trailing greenery.  Surrounding the tall pieces was a collection of silver lanterns, silver compotes filled with coordinating floral and greenery and an abundance of candles.  The round tables were adorned with antique silver compotes filled with an array of soft floral and greenery for a fresh picked garden look.  Nicole at Fleur Couture added a lush garland with mixed foliage and a mixture of candles for the head table.  She also added silver lanterns around the lounge areas outside where guests could sit and relax while taking a break from dancing.  Style Matters kept the dance floor packed all night long.  Congrats to Laurin and Andy!!

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Ceremony and Reception: The Chicago Botanic Garden
Catering: Culinary Landscape
Photography: Avery House
Ceremony Music: Artistrings
Wedding Cake: Elysia Root Cakes
DJ: Style Matters
Floral and Décor: Fleur Couture
Hair and Make Up: Salon Buzz
Dress: Vera Wang
Shoes: J Crew
Andy’s Kilt: Vintage family tartan of the Ewing Family
Invitation Suite: Designed by the bride, Laurin Ewing
Getting Ready Location: The Godfrey Hotel
Officiant: Tom Maluga
Transportation: VIP Valet Services

Ashley & Aaron, The Field Museum

I was ecstatic when Ashley called me to tell me she was engaged! I planned her brother’s wedding a few years ago I knew this was going to be so much fun! Ashley and her family are family to me; my parents were with her in Italy when Aaron proposed – in Italy! Doesn’t get much better than that J And so it began….

When Ashley and Aaron walked into Stanley Field Hall at The Field Museum, we knew this was the place for them. They were beaming! We walked outside on the Northeast Terrace and Ashley told me that this was the place she wanted to marry Aaron. The Field Museum holds a special place in my heart and I was so excited to begin the planning for the next year.

Music was very important to these two and we contracted Greenlight who kept the dance floor packed the entire night. Ashley’s brother is an incredible musician and he wrote and performed a song for her during the reception. It was awesome!

Jessica at Heffernan Morgan designed this elegant affair for Ashley and Aaron. Ashley loved sunflowers so Jessica created a gorgeous Escort Card display with various heights and risers wrapped in custom navy and white fabric. The sunflowers held each guests’ escort card. The ceremony aisle featured beautiful arrangement of ivory and green hydrangea, yellow snap dragons, petite white spray roses and vibrant yellow roses. We used these arrangements near the lounge vignettes inside Stanley Field Hall for the reception; they looked incredible!   We had square and round dining tables adorned with the rich yellow, green and ivory floral combinations and added antique gold etched glass candles and votives that completed this garden party. We brought in lounge groupings on shag rugs accented with petite floral centerpieces that made Stanley Field Hall so warm and inviting. Guests were served from sleek double mirrored bars which matched the mirrored stage surround that added a touch of glamour to the dance floor area.

Ashley carried a soft and textural bouquet of pale yellow garden roses, white ranunculus, light yellow spray roses, butter garden stock and white freesia.  Aaron wore a white ranunculus with freesia for his boutonniere.

The menu planning was such a blast for all of us! Ashley and Aaron wanted to incorporate their love for Italy and Italian foods and Blue Plate worked with us to customize a perfect menu for them. We started the seated dinner off with an Antipasti Course; a Burrata Salad with sliced red and yellow tomatoes and next was the Pasta Course; Truffled Pecorino Gnocchi with a Parmesan Cream and White Truffle Oil and for the Secondi; guests’ choice of Cracked Pepper Crusted Beef or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. Guests enjoyed a Gourmet Cappuccino Station and a Dolci Station with Italian and American petite sweets for dessert. We served Mini Sliders, Mac and Cheese Cups, Mini Grilled Cheese and Chocolate and Vanilla Milk Shakes for Late Night and guests were treated to a Candy Station with Ashley and Aaron’s favorite candy and Mini Gelato Cones as they departed.

Ashley and Aaron had the most perfect day and it was an honor for me to be a part of it. Matt and Vanessa with Avery House captured every precious moment from these two. We loved every minute of working together and I am so happy for them!!

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Planner: LK Events
Photographer: Avery House
Videographer: I Do Films
Honeymoon Suite: The Palmer House
Ceremony and Reception Location: The Field Museum
Dress: Vera Wang
Bridesmaid Dresses: Joanna August Newberry Long, Tangled Up in Blue
Groom and Groomsmen Tux: J Crew
Flower Girl: J Crew
Ring Masters: J Crew
Bride’s Shoes: Bridal Tom’s
Ceremony and Reception Entertainment: Greenlight
Catering: Blue Plate
Cake: Cake Chicago
Invitation and Day Of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Officiant: Bride’s Cousin
Floral and Décor: Heffernan Morgan
Lighting: Frost Chicago
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Brian Sutherby, Muse Beauty
Photo Booth: Smile Booth
Rehearsal Dinner: Quartino’s
Thursday Night Welcome Party: Parents of the Bride’s Home
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Sunday Brunch: The University Club

Sarah & Andy, Metropolis Ballroom

When I first met Sarah & Andy over a Skype call, I knew that we were going to be a great match in planning their wedding. They had a very clear vision for what they wanted on their wedding day and just needed someone local to help them with all of the details. We had many laughs over the year that we worked together and they continue to be a beautiful couple on the inside and outside. I am thrilled to share their story and the beautiful images from their wedding day.

Sarah & Andy’s wedding day began with the ladies getting ready at DoubleTree – Arlington Heights by Emily Collins and the incomparable Sonia Roselli. There was a relaxed, yet excited vibe between Sarah, her mom and her bridesmaids. Of course, all of these ladies were stunning without the help of hair and make-up, but Sarah truly looked like a model on her wedding day. The amazingly talented Olivia Leigh was capturing all of the little details and joining in on the merriment in the room. Meanwhile, Andy and his groomsmen were down the hall finishing their look for the day – gray suits and ties with boutonnieres from Fleur Couture.  Olivia coordinated Sarah & Andy’s First Look around the hotel and we were then off to Alice Millar Chapel for the ceremony.

The Northwestern University campus is idyllic and was the perfect backdrop for this gorgeous couple. The photos of Sarah, Andy and their wedding party capture a beautiful combination of old world and modern design. Guests arrived at the chapel bearing gifts and well wishes and the ceremony was a touching reflection of Sarah & Andy’s love. After the I Do’s, guests made their way to the Metropolis Ballroom for much merriment. The Campbell and Vail Rooms were the scene for the cocktail hour that included passed hors d’oeuvres like Blackened Scallops and Pastrami Smoked Salmon on Endive.

After introductions from Chris at Spin, family members were also introduced, which gave a nod to the couple’s Korean tradition. Sarah & Andy cut their gorgeous cake and then dinner of Pepper Seared Filet & Chicken Breast Medallion or Italian Grilled Sea Bass was served. Guests then took to the dance floor with a few dance-offs occurring between family members throughout the night. Sarah & Andy also entertained their guests with the smilebooth  and late night s’mores – both were things that guests returned to more than once! Congratulations to the sweetest of couples, Sarah & Andy!

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Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Veil: Shin Bu Bridal
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Proper Suit
Groom Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Bakery: Gladstone Bakery
Beauty: Sonia Roselli Makeup Studio
Ceremony Venue: Alice Millar Chapel
Florist: Fleur Couture
Reception Venue: Metropolis Ballroom
Hotel: DoubleTree – Arlington Heights
Ceremony Musicians: Laura Kim’s String Quartet
DJ: Spin
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie
Photo Booth: smilebooth
Rehearsal Dinner: Maggiano’s at Old Orchard
Stationery – Invitations: Inclosed Studio
Stationery – Day of: Crafty Pie Press
Transportation: Odyssey Transportation

Jen & Joe, Napa Valley

Planning Joe and Jen’s Wedding was one of the many highlights of last year, especially because the groom happens to be my little brother. We had an absolute blast planning their Napa Valley nuptials!

Jen grew up in the Bay Area and always knew she wanted a Wine Country Wedding. After visiting Napa Valley and Sonoma to look for venues, we decided on The Vintage Estate in downtown Yountville. The Vintage Estate was incredible – large enough to hold 250 + guests, ceremony, reception and dinner could be held outside and we could continue the dancing and reception late into the evening in their barrel room.

We had the most incredible team of vendors. Vrai Photography and I Do Films flew out to Yountville for the weekend to capture every moment, starting with the Rehearsal Dinner at Merryvale. Déjà vu Band from Chicago also came out to celebrate with the couple and kept the dance floor packed until the early hours of the next morning. Sharla Flock Designs created the most beautiful table arrangements consisting of hydrangeas, roses, dahlias and foliage to capture a natural, organic feel for this outdoor wedding. We brought in wooden farm tables, wooden wine barrels for cocktail rounds, tons of candles and lanterns along with hanging café lights to create an intimate feel during this outdoor reception. We placed the escort cards into wooden boxes filled with fresh grapes and vines and displayed them on a wooden farm table. Magnificent Milestones created the beautiful save the dates, invitations and all of the day of items for Jen and Joe. It was incredible!

We had the best wedding weekend starting a Bridesmaid Luncheon at Chandon, Groomsmen Luncheon at Quintessa and the Rehearsal Dinner at Merryvale – which was held in the stunning Cask Room. We adorned one long table with candelabras and an abundance of floral and it was such a beautiful setting. The bridesmaids and groomsmen got ready in separate suites at The Vintage Estate and Joe and Jen had their “first look” at Quintessa – a special place for both families. We took pictures around the estate and made our way back to The Vintage Estate where the ceremony was held outside and guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvre in the lawn while dinner was being set up. Guests enjoyed dinner made from the freshest ingredients from the valley and paired with the couples’ favorite Napa Valley wines. We served dessert and late night snacks in the Barrel Room as guests danced the night away. It was the perfect setting and an unforgettable wedding weekend! Congrats Jen and Joe!

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Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Vintage Estate, Yountville, CA
Getting Ready Location: The Vintage Inn
Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew
Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Floral and Décor: Sharla Flock Designs
Lighting: The Lux Productions
Invites and Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Cupcakes and Dessert Station: Sift Cupcake
Catering: The Vintage Estate
Photography: Vrai Photography
Videography: I Do Films
Linens: La Tavola and Classic Party Rentals
Farm Tables and Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Ceremony and Reception Entertainment: Déjà vu
Hair and Make Up: Sherrie Long
Rehearsal Dinner: Merryvale
Bridal Luncheon: Chandon
Groomsmen Luncheon: Quintessa
Day of Coordinators: Stacy McCain Event Planning

Lindsay & Beau, Cuneo Mansion and Gardens

Lindsay and Beau’s picturesque wedding is one of the many reasons why I love fall weddings in Chicago.  Just looking at these stunning photos from Olivia Leigh Photography brings back memories of the gorgeous wedding day we had for Lindsay and Beau.

Lindsay and Beau fell in love with the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens and knew it was perfect for their ceremony and reception.  They were married on a perfect fall Sunday in October and friends and family from all over the country came in to celebrate with them.

Lindsay had many personal details for her wedding day.  She gave out custom pashminas for the guests in case they were chilly during the outdoor ceremony, we served flavored lemonade and sparkling water for pre ceremony beverages and Lindsay made personalized programs and favors for her guests to enjoy.  Lindsay and Beau have a shared love for wine and we included a Wine Ceremony into their nuptials.  Lindsay and Beau wrote a note to one another and sealed it into a box with their favorite wine that they would then open and read on their 10 Year Wedding Anniversary.

Fleur Couture designed the ceremony and reception floral.  We used soft shades of ivory and white hydrangea, roses, dahlias and herbs for a natural garden feel. Toast and Jam kept the dance floor packed throughout the evening and Olivia Leigh Photography was there to capture every moment!

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Venue: Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photography
Planner: LK Events
Caterer: Bauer’s Catering
Floral and Décor: Fleur Couture
DJ: Toast and Jam
Getting Ready Location: Double Tree, Vernon Hills and Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
Honeymoon Suite: Swiss Hotel, Chicago
Dress Designer: Elizabeth Fillmore
Jewelry; Vintage
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: n/a (each girl wore a different dress/designer)
Tux Designer: J. Crew
Hair: Lauren Thompson
Make Up: Katie Sojka