Laura & Dan were married at Architectural Artifacts in November of 2009. If you’ve never been to Architectural Artifacts, you should definitely go over and get lost for a little while. Literally. I’ve been there three or four times now and every time I go I find a nook and then a cranny I have never seen before. Also, mannequins. Love the mannequins.
Dan & Laura put so many personal details into the day. A family friend and florist, Kim and her team did a magnificent job transforming the space (and were a pleasure to work with, to boot!)
Their sweetheart table looked amazing and please also take note of the fountain behind it. Kim put tons of flowers and candles all over it. It was a fantastic focal point and looked insanely gorgeous. AA brides take note.
The aisle was lined with a few dozen of these vases filled with flowers. It looked gorgeous when they were all lit up!
Speaking of the aisle, Laura bought a plain white aisle runner and painted their monogram on it. I swear I get the craftiest brides. And I love it.
For their guest book, Laura & Dan printed out a 2010 calendar and asked all of their guests to sign on their birthday or anniversary. I love this idea for an end of year wedding–totally useful, special and also a great way to make sure you know the special days of all of the important people in your life!
Their cake was lovely and in the background you can see their video playing. I’m going to go ahead and make a bold statement: best wedding video I’ve ever seen. Think I’m lying? Check it out here.
Looks like Dan sent Laura a sweet note to read before the ceremony. Good work Dan, look at that smile!
Sweet picture caught during the ceremony:
Lighting the unity candle:
Saying “I do!” (Check out the trellis that Kim decked out. It looked a-mah-zing.
Dan & Laura posing in front of AA by their wreaths. Oh happy day, indeed!
I mentioned the nooks and crannies that I find each time I go to Architectural Artifacts. There are three giant floors, each a feast for the eyes and (I’m guessing) a photographer’s paradise. So many props to use, so little time.
And lastly, when Laura sent me these pictures she included a little note saying she picked out a few good detail shots of things I did and a few of her personal favorites. I browsed through them quickly and literally burst out laughing when I opened this one. Of course you want all the great moments and special details captured, but don’t you also want something like this to immortalize your fantastic day? I think you do.
*All photos in this post, courtesy of the uuber-talented: Misty Winter
Laura + Dan’s Vendors:
Ceremony & Reception: Architectural Artifacts
Catering: Blue Plate Catering
Photography: Misty Winter
Photo Booth: Chicagoland Photo Booth
Videography: Blink of an Eye Productions
Video: Simply Unique Video
DJ: Backthird Events
Transportation: Empire Limo
Media Delivery & Rental: Trailing Edge Media
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
This sweet, sweet baby shower took place in Omaha, Nebraska at a private residence in November of 2009. The parents-to-be were waiting until their little one arrived to find out if it was a girl or a boy so the color palette was orange, yellow and green so it would be fantastically gender neutral. They decided to use animals for the nursery so I jumped on board with that for the invitations!
I got craft paper cards and envelopes and a big pack of animal-themed scrapbook paper along with a giraffe stamp and some ribbon to create these. I just used some green, orange and yellow paper that was part of the paper pack to stamp and emboss the giraffe on, rounded the corners and used colorful brads to attach them to the front of the invite so it would have some motion. When it was all done, I tied a variety of yellow, green and orange striped and polka-dotted ribbons to close it at the side.
I used the animal-printed papers for the envelope liners, behind the return address labels and address labels and as a strip of fabulous behind the informational part inside. I printed all of this out and glued away. The pack of paper had paper adorned with sheep, ducks, buffalo, penguins, alligators and lions…so stinkin’ cute and everyone’s invite had at least two different prints on it somewhere.
I also created a little mini-envelope for the inside that had information on a “Letters to the Little One” book that was going to be put together for Amy as a surprise. I used scraps of the green, orange and yellow paper and little buttons I had already.
I really loved making these and I think everyone liked receiving them in the mail. Isn’t snail mail such a wonderful thing?
I used more of the paper pack to make this sign for the front door to reference the invitation so people would know that they had found the right place! (Don’t worry I put it up looking nicer and evened out the letters before guests showed up. I was so worried I would forget to get a picture of everything!)
As a last minute thing, I whipped up some name tags because I had just gotten a xyron machine that I wanted to try out and used some giraffe printed paper from the same pack to back them. Easy peasy.
Flowers are expensive right? So I made some paper flowers, used mason jars and ribbon to create candle holders, put dried peas in the bottom, found a few cheap frames at the thrift store which I painted and framed some of the scrapbook paper in (seriously, i used this one pack of paper for almost every single project.)
I used oranges in blue salad bowls for the centerpieces. the table runner was yellow wrapping paper.
The other table had the same components but instead of the oranges in bowls I whipped up a quick diaper cake. I actually wasn’t going to do this because sometimes I think they can be a little cheesy, but I was gifted a half a box of diapers and I didn’t want to just hand it over like that. Each layer got a ribbon in a different color/pattern and I topped it off with an awesome floppy lion I found. He just looked so dang cute lounging on the top.
A friend of Amy’s (mom-to-be) carved this stroller out of a watermelon and I made skewers for fruit kabobs that had little animal flags on top. This actually turned out to be the biggest pain of any of my projects. I originally wanted circles, but didn’t have a circle punch, so that failed quickly. Then I realized that it was really hard to get them to match up exactly (my type-A personality shining through). So I redid them a third time, flipping the image in InDesign so that I cut two out together, folded them over the skewer and they looked perfect! Third time is the charm, (or maybe it was three strikes and skewer flags would be out.)
Using more of the paper I made paper cones to hold “goldfish” and “puppy chow.” Get it? I know, SO clever. To make them stand I cut a piece of styrofooam to be a little smaller than the shape of the pan. Then I stuck lollipop sticks in the foam to hold the cones up (leave a hole [or snip the end] of the paper cone so that it just barely slides down the lollipop stick) and cover the styrofoam and bottom of the cone with dried peas. Cutting the foam smaller than the pan is essential if you are using a see-through pan like I did so that you can get peas around all of the sides as well. Fill with your favorite treat and the crowd will go wild. Promise.
More scrapbook paper easily turned into little tents that let guests know what they were about to devour! This is a super easy thing to do and it alleviates the host from having to answer a bunch of questions about what it is, if it’s vegetarian, etc. Since we had mango juice, orange juice and peach juice, it would have been otherwise impossible without a bunch of questions. And it’s cute. Which is really the point. Practicality be damned.
Chocolate cupcakes, coconut cupcakes and pumpkin cupcakes were turned into rattles with lollipop sticks, ribbon bows and gumdrops. And lemon bars were included as they are one of Amy’s favorites. The coconut and pumpkin cupcakes got RAVE reviews. Go bake them. Now.
I wanted to make sure there wasn’t 1,000 glasses to wash at the end of the party. You know how you set your glass down and then you walk away and when you get thirsty again you cannot for the life of you figure out what you did with it? Well champagne deserves champagne flutes and everyone was getting one chance. I made these tags for each glass so guests would be able to keep tabs on it. If you have an RSVP list beforehand it’s easy to do, otherwise I would forget it–if you miss someone and they don’t get an adorable bird tag they might cry. I would.
little birdies for bubbly!
We had lots of drinks to choose from. Champagne was the only alcoholic choice, because it was 10:00 am, and it was Sunday and the guest of honor was with child and therefore not drinking. But pairing it with carafes of juice: orange, mango and peach make it a perfect Sunday morning drink. Amy does LOVE lemonades and fruit juices of all kinds so we had sparkling lemonade, citrus water (it looks so pretty!) and blueberry limeade as well. Behold:
I found a recipe for Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade, pretty much ignored it and made Blueberry Limeade instead. It was delicious. It’s also kind of a pain in the behind to make, but I promise it’s worth it! Here’s the gist, feel free to edit to your tastes.
Blueberry Limeade – serves 6 (or me)
• 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (i like it tart, add more for sweet)
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime peel
• 1 cup fresh lime juice (MUST be fresh, please.)
• 1 liter (or whatever will fit in the rest of the pitcher) chilled water
• Ice cubes
• 1 bag frozen blueberries, no sugar added please, just the fruit!(or your favorite berry)
• Lime slices & fresh blueberries to garnish
Combine blueberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries thaw. Increase heat and boil 3 minutes. Strain blueberry mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Mix lime peel into blueberry syrup in bowl. Chill until cold.(Do this ahead of time, it’ll keep for a few days at least.)
Stir blueberry syrup, lime juice, and water in large pitcher to blend. Pour over glasses with ice cubes and add garnish with fresh blueberries and lemon wheels. Devour. Thank me later.
When guests left they all received a bag of vanilla animal cookies to take with them! I bought a giant container of animal cookies at Costco and put them individual zip-top bags (if you do this you can make them weeks ahead of time and they’ll still be fresh). The white bags were from Party City and I used the giraffe stamp that I used on the invitations to stamp each bag. I painted each one with thinned out paint so it wouldn’t totally cover the stamp (watercolor would be great but I didn’t have any at the time) and then, because I am completely insane and was annoyed that the paint faded the stamp ink, I traced each stamp with colored pencil to make it stand out more. I cut green tag shapes from leftover paper in the invitation paper pack, stamped and embossed each one with a “thanks” stamp and then strung it on a ribbon that I tied in bows on top of each bag. Boo-ya.
If nothing else I hope you have learned just how far one pack of scrapbook paper for $19.99 can go! Congrats Amy & Brian, what a lucky little monkey your baby will be!
Venue: Private Residence
Invitations: AE style
Favors: AE style
Decor & Styling: AE style
UPDATE: Julia Diane arrived on January 1st, 2010. Welcome to the world, baby girl!
*All photos in the post except for Ms. Julia’s photo (taken my Mom) were taken by me. They are terrible, I realize this. This is an excellent example of why you should hire a professional. Please. Hire a professional
Laura and Dan got married in October at Salvage One in Chicago. If you have never been there before, you should check it out. They describe themselves best, so I’m not going to mess it up: “We save architectural elements from the wrecking ball. We work to preserve and pass on our history. We have been helping our customers breathe new life into salvaged materials for nearly 30 years. We aim to take salvage further by working with you to add creativity and style to your space. Our store is over 60,000 square feet full of materials and design ideas on four floors. We have a full work shop to do custom work, and a yard full of garden and landscaping ideas.” But it’s also a wicked-cool place to have your wedding, but you better have a little bad-ass in you.
Like I said, pretty awesome, right?
Laura and Dan met through Laura’s sister via Beloit College in Wisconsin (random side note: this was random because I lived in Beloit when I was a wee little one. I went to Happy Face Preschool. Most people have never heard of Beloit- which is my point.)
The ceremony was inside because it was pretty cold out, but the backdrop for it is amazing.
Laura and Dan planned a fun surprise that even their families didn’t know about! They hired a bluegrass band to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. It was so fun and everyone loved it!
Another thing that is really cool about Salvage One is that dinner is served on the second floor and the tables and chairs used are all items that are for sale at the store. It means that each table is different, some seat four and some seat 12 people, and each table has a unique set of chairs at it. It makes seating a little more complicated because if they sell one of the tables the day before your wedding, you have to re-work the seating, but you get all the chairs and tables with the rental fee and they don’t need linens as they are beautiful on their own. Check out their tables:
They had bright pink, purple and gold fabric that Laura’s sister brought back from Japan and her mom made into table runners. She also stocked up at the after Christmas sale at Pier One and got all of the stuff for her centerpieces and a bunch of Christmas ornaments that we used in the centerpieces and as favors for their guests.
This place also has some a-MAH-zing photo ops. A few of my favorites:
I love how unique their wedding was. Amazing French food, a tango for their first dance, a completely unique setting, Christmas decorations that were totally re-purposed for a wedding and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake surprise for the groom. Go Team Zeewagen!
*I like to give credit where credit is due: all pictures courtesy of Lizz via Orange 2 Photography
Laura + Dan’s Vendors
Ceremony & Reception: Salvage One
Reception decor: Laura, with help from Pier One
Catering: Cook au Vin
Videography: Loudbyte Cinematography
Cake: Sweet P Sweets
Groom’s Cake: Dairy Queen
DJ: Style Matters
Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Basically Bluegrass
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Julia and Dave got married at the Byron Colby Barn in Greyslake in September. It rained so hard the night of the rehearsal that it took me three hours to drive from the city to the rehearsal at Dave’s parents house in Crystal Lake. It was not looking good for their outdoor ceremony at the barn.
Let me pause this recap for a moment to just say that Julia is likely one of the craftiest brides I have ever met.
This is Julia.
These two made SO MANY things for their wedding, even I (who considers myself pretty crafty) was in shock. Yes she made the escort cards, relabeled the water bottles, made the luminaries, made votive holders to be hung from ribbon around the barn, covered books for the centerpieces, thrifted silver pieces for the centerpieces, made the table numbers and made the favors and packaging. BUT, my friends, (this is a big ol’ BUT) she also: made the glorious flower wall backdrop for the ceremony, made the invitations, programs and menus, made all of the boutonnieres, sewed table runners for all of the tables, sewed chair covers for all. of. the. chairs. (there were 100), arranged all of the flowers for the centerpieces and bouquets. I am exhausted just typing all of that and I know there were other things that I can’t find the finger strength to type. She puts crafters like me to shame. SHAME. End pause.
This wedding was such a team effort. The morning of the wedding so many of their family members were at the site with me setting up: Dave and his Dad put up the AMAZING flower wall that Julia made. Aunts tied chair cover ribbons. Grandpa laid runners out and arranged centerpieces. Julia’s brothers lit candles. The list goes on. Needless to say, I think (hope!) Julia felt good about leaving all of her hard work in many capable hands.
They had an adorable first look and took some photos with Kim from Bowtie Photography:
Guests were greeted with the much lauded “Dave loves Julia” and “Julia loves Dave” water bottles,
and lemon and lime slices.
Julia’s brothers had the honor of walking Julia down the aisle…
…where they said their “I dos” in front of the fabulous flowers.
Inside the barn for dinner, guests found their table by finding the book that matched the one on their escort card. (Dave and Julia met in the library, you see.)
The tables looked amazing (go Grandpa, go!.) Take note of those table runners and chair covers while you remember that she.made.them. Again with the emphasis.
After the wedding I tried to convince Julia she needs to start a side business doing flower arrangements (before I get engaged please?):
Every plate had a cookie favor waiting for each guest to take home. (None of them made it out of the barn though, they were all gobbled up by the end of the night.)
They danced their first dance,
and then much fun was had:
At the end of the party, guests were led to their cars by these paper bag & lace luminaries.
Le sigh. I don’t think I have to say anything more.
Except! if you love Julia and want to see more of their wedding check out her wedding blog The Eventual Wedding and her current blog Ordinary Saturdays.
*all pictures in this post courtesy of the lovely Kim at bowtie photography
Julia + Dave’s Vendors:
Ceremony & Reception: Byron Colby Barn
Reception decor: Julia
Catering: Marvela’s Catering Services
Photography & Photo Booth: Kim at Bowtie Photography
Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery
DJ: Kristin with Toast & Jam
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
ashley and bryan got married in august in peoria. i had never been to peoria until i drove down for their big day but i was charmed with how quaint the city centre was. it was also really easy to walk park and forth between their ceremony site, sacred heart church and the holiday inn city centre where they held their reception. also, parking was just a dream. but i digress. the good stuff, that’s what you came for right? let’s begin then, shall we?
right. okay so i have noticed that when i am looking through thousands of pictures from my bride’s i am always saving the requisite shoe shots. i just can’t get enough of them. chris
got a great shot of theirs:
and one last fist-bump for the boys before it’s go time.
some love for this ridiculously beautiful church and ridiculously lovely bride:
moving on down the street to the holiday inn it was certainly time for a celebration!
ashley and bryan share an intense love for the chicago cubs. they included subtle but adorable nods to their second true love on the garter and cake:
and to wrap it all up, my favorite picture of the night:
thanks ashley + bryan for letting me be a part of your awesome day!
*all pictures in this post taken by chris rajkumar
Ashley + Bryan’s Vendors:
ceremony: sacred heart church
reception decor: i do events
reception: holiday inn city centre
photographer: chris rajkumar
florist: marci bell
cake: trefzger’s bakery
music: extreme DJ
photo booth: illini photo booth
day-of coordination: anticipation events