Tag Archives: 2011

rustic barn wedding at byron colby barn

Ali & Matt got married in June at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake.  Take a look at them getting all dolled up.

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Ali’s dress and hairpiece were amazing.  She was so effortlessly beautiful.chicago wedding planner

A glowing mom and a dapper dad (love the hat, right?) escort Ali to her waiting groom.chicago wedding planner

Poor groomsman on crutches in a suit in the June heat.  What a trooper he was and still smiling the entire way down the aisle.chicago wedding planner


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This picture is amazing.  So happy to be married were these two!chicago wedding planner

After, the crew headed into the party.

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 Meanwhile, the dudes took some glamour shots of their own.chicago wedding plannerchicago wedding planner

The barn was ready for revelry.chicago wedding planner

Wine bottle table numbers and mis-matched vessels made for a cozy and eclectic atmosphere.chicago wedding planner

Then Matt decided it was time for everyone to get down…chicago wedding plannerchicago wedding plannerchicago wedding planner

…and then their friends decided it was time to put them up, high up in the air.chicago wedding planner Matt and Ali were just so lovely to work with and they made my day week when they called me (on their way to Hawaii no less) to tell me what a great day it was and say thanks one more time before they jetted off.  Such class acts and it was my pleasure to be a part of it all.

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Ali + Matt’s Vendors

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Byron Colby Barn
Planning + Styling: Anticipation Events
Photography: Victoria Sprung Photography
Florals: Nancy Rolison
DJ: Toast + Jam
Catering: Dave’s Specialty Food
Bleeding Heart Bakery
Custom Hairpiece: Love, LuLu Mae


modern rock and roll wedding at the hard rock hotel

Katie & Jeff were married at the Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan Avenue on 9.10.11.  A fantastic date to get married and even more special because while they celebrated their wedding weekend, Katie’s parents celebrated their wedding anniversary too!  It was so sweet!  I am particularly tied to this crew as I had the pleasure of helping Katie’s sister Elizabeth with her wedding to Mike last year.  It was so fun to see the whole family again! 

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Katie and Jeff shared their first look before the ceremony and then had their bridal party join them for a photo shoot around the city courtesy of Mr. Michael Rastall himself.

cool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideascool wedding ideasBack at the Hard Rock we were ready to begin. Katie’s dad escorted her down the aisle to her beaming groom.

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One of the major style elements Katie wanted to do was transform the Hard Rock’s conference room into a beautiful space to get married.  We nearly set the room on fire with massive amounts of candles.  We created aisle decor using records, ribbon and paper flowers and Janessa of Forget Me Knodt made sure we had some towering floral pieces in the room.  The biggest piece I made was the floral backdrop.  It included paper, satin and grosgrain ribbon along with dozens of strands of flowers made from tissue paper, deconstructed faux flowers and yes, coffee filters.  Who’d have thought? (this girl!!)

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Some vintage sheet music punched into heart shapes played into the vintage rock & roll theme we had going on and guests were invited to shower the newlyweds with love on their way back down the aisle…

cool wedding ideas …and showered they were! (Side note: I found these miniature cups at the craft store and they were perfect for holding a handful of confetti. They are meant for individual portions of mixed nuts and therefore called “nut cups.” Katie and I found that pretty hilarious and it was pretty tough to type it or say it aloud to each other without giggling uncontrollably.)

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I hit the jackpot one afternoon at my neighborhood thrift store and feverishly send texts to Katie about finding a giant box of old 45’s that we HAD TO HAVE.  She agreed (I like her SO much) and even though we weren’t sure at the time how we were going to use them. To go with their vintage rock and roll theme, I built a structure out of PVC to hang the place cards from (I mixed my own concrete for the first time, which was as awesome as it sounds.) Each couple received a hand-painted record with their name and table number on it, we used light pink, ivory, silver and gold and strung them from black ribbon via clothespins.  This really turned out exactly how I envisioned in in my dreams (yes, I dream about bring crafty) which almost never happens.cool wedding ideas

We hired Chicagoland Photobooth to entertain their guests and boy, did they ever — complete with props Katie gathered up and a guest book so they could enjoy each ridiculous photo after the fact!cool wedding ideas

We used some of the remaining records to create Mr. & Mrs. signs for the back of Katie & Jeff’s chairs, the cake table and the card box.  Katie found this amazing cake topper on Etsy and we had many a conversation on whether she wanted to spend the money on it.  Totally worth it, it’s so stinking cool.
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Yum.  Amazing cake by Swedish Bakery for the cake topper to reign over.

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One last photo shoot with Michael Rastall capped off an incredible evening for Mr. & Mrs. Jones.  What a fantastic party for a fantastic couple.

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Katie & Jeff’s Vendors

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Planning & Styling: Anticipation Events
Photography: Michael Rastall Photography
Florals: Forget Me Knodt
DJ: Alexander with Cage & Aquarium Productions
Cake: Swedish Bakery
Ceremony Musicians: Panache Entertainment
Photobooth: Chicagoland Photo Booth
Cake Topper: Tilly Biedron
Groom’s Custom Fingerprint Wedding Band: Fabuluster
Invitations: Invited Ink
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Bride’s Shoes: Vera Wang Lavender
Bride’s Jewelry: Nadri
Bride’s Dress: Tara Keely (Fall 2010) from Wedding Belles 

outdoor barn wedding at byron colby barn

Stephanie and Brian were married in August at Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake.  Both Brian and Stephanie are super creative and artistic and put a ton of effort into making their day unique to them. Which is mt MOST FAVORITE thing.  Brian’s hat and bowtie were so dapper and Stephanie rocked an amazing dress and killer shoes:

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Stephanie’s dad has passed away but Stephanie kept him close by all day long on her bouquet.day of coordination

Stephanie and Brian were super troopers trucking through the fields surrounding the barn with Jeremy Lawson to get these shots.  Stephanie even brought some little insect friends back with her trapped in the layers of her wedding dress!  And yes, that was just after they shook hands with Mr. Ed.day of coordinationday of coordination

Then it was time to get married!  

So I rallied the troops: Stephanie’s brother escorted her down the aisle, they exchanged rings,  shared a smootch.

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Brian just could not help himself: a fist pump on the way out of the ceremony.

I mean, when you are marrying this girl, who wouldn’t be?day of coordination

Fabulous details from the party follow.  By now you know this is my absolute favorite part, right? Right.day of coordinationday of coordination

Stephanie collected doilies that we fashioned into table runners and blue mason jars that Nancy filled with gorgeous wildflowers.

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Stephanie and her family made these magical magic wands for their guests to shake and wave as Stephanie and Brian walked back down the aisle as a married couple.  Then they shook them when the bridal party was announced, and when they shook their booties on the dance floor and I’m hopeful they shook them back at the hotel and at brunch the next morning as well!day of coordinationday of coordination

A lot of laughing, singing, drinking and dancing capped off an incredible day celebrating two incredible people.  S & B: It was so much fun to be a part of your day and may you always be able to laugh off the bugs that fly up your dress!

Stephanie & Brian’s Vendors
Venue: Byron Colby Barn
Photography: Jeremy Lawson Photography
Planning: Anticipation Events
Florals: Nancy Rolison Designs
DJ: Stax-O-Wax
Catering: Catered Productions


destination vintage vineyard wedding in michigan

Melissa and Pete were married in June at a vineyard in Michigan.  They live in Chicago and wanted to have a mini-destination for their friends and family that were coming from all over the country.  Melissa is a graphic designer and spent so much time on the paper and graphic elements of the day which were amazing.  Melissa got ready in the bridal cottage with her mom and two bridesmaids and got a lift to the top of the aisle in a rolls royce.

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Even though the night before it was raining, they were married in front of their family and friends with not a drop of rain in sight.  After the “i do’s” the took a stroll through the vineyard and grape vines with Sarah & Kevin.

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In the spirit of the winery, Melissa and Pete made place cards from wine corks, table numbers and adorable mini-wine bottle favors for their guests to take home at the end of the night.  From the lace motif Melissa created for the invites and paper goods to the lace wrapped votives, rustic bird house card box and antique framed signage, everything perfectly fit into their vintage vineyard theme.

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Congrats Melissa and Pete on a beautiful day and many fantastic years to come!

Photography courtesy of the lovely and talented Sarah Anna Photography

DIY sugar and spiced themed destination bridal shower

Last weekend I headed out on the road again to put together a bridal shower for one of my dear friends, Melissa.  We hosted it at Amy’s house and ran with a sugar and spice theme.  Melissa’s wedding colors are red and pink so we used those along with some teal to create a lot of sweetness.  I made the invites and it’s sort of where the theme began. I drew three kitchen canisters labeled sugar, spice and nice so when you opened the envelope, this is what you saw:

A red envelope lined with pink and white striped vintage wallpaper (which I bought at a thrift store at least a year ago and just KNEW it would come in handy some day. I was right. Also, Melissa hates thrift stores and I love them so HA my friend.)

I printed the details in “empty” canisters on a separate sheet of paper and cut it down to size.  I sewed a blank sheet to the canisters and stuck the info in the pocket…and viola!  All the necessary info. is tucked inside the canisters for safe keeping.

I even rigged up my sewing machine using a popsicle stick so I would get straight lines, genius!  My OCD would not have handled that well otherwise. I was pretty proud that I got all the lines to line up perfectly — small victories my friends.

At the shower we served sweet and spicy foods and I made signage with our little logo on it with teal card stock and more wallpaper. 

DIY bridal showerIt was a brunch shower and I just could not resist the cereal bar pun.  I cut them into heart shapes and dipped them in white chocolate with pink sprinkles.  Why the heck not, I say.  I used light pink, dark pink and red ribbon to make a super simple table runner down the middle of the table…

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Inspiration comes from my clients all the time!  I had recently done a wedding where we hung up paper lanterns in the tent and it inspired me to create a red and teal and pink filly lantern for this shower.  Cheap paper lanterns, tissue paper, a circle punch and my trusty glue gun was all it took! 

Every shower needs a fabulous cocktail so for brunch drinks I made a “Bride to be-llini” which was a pomegranate bellini garnished with fresh blueberries and watermelon cubes and a “Mis-mosa” (her nickname is Missy and you wouldn’t have been able to resist that either.)DIY bridal showerI haven’t done a candy bar in a long time and realize they are sometimes overdone, but when you have a sweet and spicy theme, it just works.  I gocco’ed these little bags for guests to fill up on their way out.DIY bridal showerThe bride got some candy to go for herself and the Mr.!DIY bridal showerAmy made an awesome game of the “spice” variety and Melissa even got a few gifts to boot!DIY bridal shower

Three weeks until the big day and all they have to do is move into a new house in the meantime!