Monthly Archives: June 2010

urban wedding at the university of chicago

Pam and Aaren tied the knot in April at the Lilydale First Baptist Church and then celebrated with friends and family at the International House on the University of Chicago campus. Fitting, for a relationship that began while they were both attending school there!

I have to potentially embarrass Aaren here and mention was a stinking sweetheart he is. 99.9% of the time, I get calls and emails from the bride and then continue to have a lot of contact with the bride throughout the planning process. It seems the groom usually takes on the music, the food or the ever-important bar selection. Most of the grooms I’ve worked with have certainly been involved in the planning and invested in seeing the day come together, but for some odd reason, creating time lines and vendor lists and floor plans with a day-of coordinator usually falls to the bride. But not Aaren.


He made the initial contact with me and we emailed and chatted on the phone several times before I even met Pam. He wanted to hire me as a gift for Pam. HELLO!? Most thoughtful idea ever, right? I have to say, I was smitten. I wanted them as clients, stat.

Then I met Pam. Hi, Pam!

I found out there are both wicked smarty-pants and their day jobs (as engineers) kept them both pretty busy without a lot of time for gratuitous wedding planning. The week of the wedding I met Pam for a gelato and to swap a bunch of things from her car to mine. When I was going through them that night to make sure I had everything I realized she had me fooled the entire time. There I was thinking she was a right-brained rocket scientist, only to open a box and find the most gorgeous paper: textured and luxe, handcrafted into table numbers and menus. Then I opened another and found petite purple boxes with contrasting ribbons tied IN THE MOST PERFECT KNOTS with the MOST PERFECT ANGLED ENDS ever. Inside were the most delicious truffles I have ever eaten (I promise she said I could have one. She practically made me.) What a woman.



On their wedding day, they spent some time getting ready before their first look.


They had their first look at spent the afternoon at a few places in Hyde Park that are special to them as a couple. 



The next day I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of their family members. They were both lucky enough to have grandparents celebrate with them that day and an adorable nephew who hammed it up for the camera while he waited for his big moment carrying the rings down the aisle.


They said their I do’s and commenced party time!

Pam’s sister gave a heartwarming toast that brought everyone to tears.


Then Aaren’s best man had everyone laughing with his toast about just exactly how laid-back and chill Aaren is. 


He finished the toast talking about their relationship and how he aspires to have what they have: the kindness and respect they show each other, the fun they have, the support they give each other and the way they make each other feel. How it’s immediately apparent to anyone around them how in love they are. And I think on any given day and especially on your wedding day, those are beautiful words to hear.


I know that grand exits are popular and also make great photo opportunities. But Pam and Aaren were the last two people at their reception. They said goodbye to each one of their guests as they left the reception. While we were blowing out candles and clearing off tables, the DJ played one last song, just for them, and Pam and Aaren had the most romantic “second” dance as a couple ever. Ever. Sometimes the things you don’t plan for end up being the best parts of the day.

*All photos in this post, courtesy of the amazing Erica Rose of Erica Rose Photography

Pam + Aaren’s Vendors:
Ceremony: Lilydale First Baptist Church
Reception: The International House at the University of Chicago
Catering: Corky’s Catering
Photography: Erica Rose Photography
Florist: Vale of Enna
Cake: Windy City Cakes
DJ: Reggie Robinson
Chair Covers: Elite Chair Covers
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events

eclectic wedding at architectural artifacts

Felisa and Matt got hitched in April at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and then partied the night away at Architectural Artifacts. Felisa and Matt met at Lollapalooza (which is awesome) and working with them was such a pleasure.


They got ready to go to the church: some powder, 


a pair of cuff links


a dress to impress 


and they were off.


Matt and the boys arrived and were sequestered to a back room in the church with strict orders not to come out until they were summoned. They waited oh-so-patiently with only a pack of gum as sustenance. Felisa and the gals arrived just a tad late after having to turn around and go back to the hotel to pick up a few of the bridesmaids forgotten bouquets. But we were ready and waiting. They came in; lined up and down the aisle they went.

One of my favorite things about this wedding was two little lines on the time line that Felisa had written for this moment:

M to wait for F


F to walk to M





Once they were husband and wife, Michael Rastall stole the bridal party for a magazine-worthy photo shoot.



Matt carried things for his new wife


and they made some new friends.

Back at Architectural Artifacts, a bevy of people were making things happen so that all of the details Felisa & Matt had planned would be ready and waiting for the guests’ arrival. Ben & Joe, two of Felisa’s friends took on the task of doing all of the flowers for the day. They spent the entire day and night before the wedding creating bouquets and boutonnieres for the ceremony, escort cards made up of individual pails with single white roses for each guest and multiple pails of white roses for the table centerpieces and cocktail tables.



They were amazing and I hope they were able to sleep for the entire next day. We used antique candelabras from Architectural Artifacts along with the flowers to create dramatic and eclectic centerpieces.



I hung a moss-covered monogram from the arch to welcome guests that Matt’s dad made.

Their friend Lindsay made their wedding cake and another friend Jen made their amazing “wedding tree” guest book. It really was a labor of love on so many parts, how lucky are they to have such amazing friends and family?


Again I’ll say it: I get to work with the best couples who surround themselves with some pretty fantastic people. Felisa and Matt’s wedding was truly a celebration of their love for each other, filled with a whole lot of joy.  I can’t wait to see what life brings these two crazy kids.


And rain or shine, as long as Matt keeps waiting for Felisa and Felisa keeps walking towards Matt, their life together will be quite the party.

*all photos in this post taken by the heroic and charming Michael Rastall of Michael Rastall Photography

Felisa + Matt’s Vendors:
Ceremony: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Reception: Architectural Artifacts
Catering: Food Evolution
Photography: Michael Rastall Photography
Florist: Ben & Joe, friends of the bride
DJ: Leslie with Toast & Jam
Transportation: M & M Limo
Cake: Lindsay, friend of the bride
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events

back to blogging, blog-worthy weddings

I’ve been busy! But I’m back with lots to share. Three AE weddings in April to blog about, two weddings of dear friends in May to attend, a save-the-date design and creation to share and some upgrades to the website have been taking up most of my time recently. Soon the website will be transferred to a smarter, faster and better platform (they tell me) so get excited for many more bells and whistles to come. In the mean time, fun reading ahead. Stay tuned.