{SBB Bride of the Week} Michelle

M I C H E L L E  +  J E R O M E

{September 2nd, 2017}

 {Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

Meet our amazing bride Michelle! She is a truly gorgeous person inside and out!

Michelle chose an incredible Stella York A-line gown that features lace details and the prettiest tulle skirt!

She accessorized her dress with earrings from Susan G. Allen Couture and a veil and headpiece from Bel Aire.

She looked nothing short of stunning!

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

Swoon - am I right?

For flowers, Michelle had Flowers with Jazz and Jane Male create gorgeous bouquets full of pink and ivory with pops of green and gold.

The groom's boutonniere featured a classic rose.

 {Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

Before walking her down the aisle, Michelle's dad wanted a sneak peek of his girl.

His face says it all!

 {Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

That is one proud papa!

After seeing her dad, Michelle shared a first look with her future husband, Jerome.

The two read their vows before turning around and you can tell Jerome knows just how lucky he is as soon as he sees his bride!

The amazing Kate Murray with Katherine Murray Photography was there to capture their special moment together.

Michelle and Jerome were married outside at Aberdeen Manor in Valparaiso.

The set up at this venue is so beautiful and went perfectly with the couple's decor!

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

After the ceremony, guests headed to Aberdeen's ballroom for one gorgeous reception.

The centerpieces, the cake, the chairs!

Another cute touch? Flip flops for guests to change into when it was time to hit the dance floor!

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

Their wedding video, filmed by 27 Entertainment {also their DJ!}, is so beautifully done. You have to see it for yourself!

Ok, let's get down to the nitty gritty!

How did Michelle and Jerome meet? 

"Jerome and I met through my cousin at college.  My friend was dating my cousin at the time and we went to visit.  Jerome hung out with us the whole weekend and things progressed from there!"

How did he pop the question?

"We planned a weekend getaway in Indy to visit Jerome’s brother and a few of our friends.  We all met outside the art museum to figure out plans for the night. We continued to walk around looking at the sculptures and stopped in front of the “LOVE” sculpture where some people started to take pictures.  Jerome and I followed suit and not only were our friends taking pictures but Jerome’s brother was videoing the whole thing because Jerome continued to get on one knee and propose!"

Well that's adorable! Did she know it was coming?

"Total surprise!! Everyone was in on it and I had absolutely no idea!"

After the proposal, it was time to find her dress. How was Michelle's experience with finding "the one"?

"Amazing! Need I say more? Something Blue was the first and only place I looked for a dress.  Everyone there was fun, honest and so helpful.  All the dresses were beautiful and affordable!"

How did she know that was the gown for her?

"You just know..especially when the tears start flowing."

When it came to wedding planning, Michelle had a great time bringing her vision to life!

"I loved everything about wedding planning. Probably because I had a ton of help from my mom who made the whole process A LOT less stressful."

But she wasn't a huge fan of some tasks...

"Typing out labels for invites and having to go over to double & triple check every single name. That was probably the most time consuming part of it all."

After all that planning, the wedding had arrived.

What was her favorite moment of the day?

"Getting ready with my girls! And dancing ALL night with everybody.  Our DJ was awesome."

A great DJ is essential!

Any final advice for brides currently planning their big day?

"Don’t stress! Have fun! This is one of the best moments of your life and in the end its all worth it!  (Plus, you have a honeymoon to look forward to :) )"

Congratulations, Michelle and Jerome! Thank you for letting us share your gorgeous wedding!!

Want more? Check out the gallery below to see more of the happy couple's big day!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Liz

L I Z + E V A N

{October 28th, 2017}

 {Photos by: KP Photo}

{Photos by: KP Photo}

Isn't she just so lovely?

Meet our gorg bride, Liz!

She married her husband, Evan, last October in a beautiful fall themed wedding.

For her big day, Liz chose an unbelievably pretty Stella York gown {one of our favorites actually} that features an illusion back with multiple keyholes and pearl buttons. Obsessed.

Before the wedding, Liz got ready with all of her favorite girls. We love the shades of gray for the bridesmaids!

{Photos by: KP Photo}

For her flowers, Liz turned to none other than Sam's Club to create her arrangements!

Her bouquet is perfect and we are loving Evan's boutonniere!

 {Photos by: KP Photo}

{Photos by: KP Photo}

Liz and Evan decided to share a moment together before exchanging vows.

KP Photo was there to make sure their first look lasts a lifetime.

The ceremony was decorated for the season with fall leaves and tulle adorning the aisle.

Mums and floral arrangements tied the whole thing together!

{Photos by: KP Photo}

So pretty!

The reception was held at Glenwoodie Golf Club.

The decor was a fall lover's dream with perfectly placed pumpkins, leaves, candles and fall flowers!

{Photos by: KP Photo}

That candy bar though! Yes, please!

Let's get to know Liz and Evan a little better!

How did they meet?

"We met on a Facebook group for first year students at college before moving in and started talking over messenger, and officially met when we moved into the dorms!"

Adorable! When he decided to propose, Evan wanted to tie in how the couple met...

"Since we met at college, he made a scavenger hunt that was across the whole campus, with each clue hinting toward a memory that we shared together! I even had to go to Burger King and get one of the crowns because of my love for their chicken nuggets, and refused to propose unless I was wearing the crown."

Was it a surprise?

"I knew it was coming.  I could sense he was sneaking around a lot.  I was at dinner with a couple friends while Evan was getting the scavenger hunt ready, and I asked one of them, "Are you texting Evan because he's going to propose tonight?"  She was shocked but quickly said of course not."

Call it a woman's intuition. When it came to finding her perfect dress, Liz wasn't having the easiest time...

 "I was pretty stressed out.  I came with almost 10 people, which was a huge mistake! I wanted everyone to be included but there's got to be boundaries because you don't want to be overwhelmed.  Something Blue was my second store.  I already came in with a dress in mind that I wanted to try that I found on Pinterest, so I went to a store that carried it.  I probably only tried on 15 dresses total."

How did she know her dress was "the one"?

"I first knew by finding it on Pinterest, and then tried it on and fell in love.  Luckily it fit my body type perfectly.  I didn't cry or get emotional because I was stressed out, but I still knew it was the one."

Speaking of Pinterest, it proved to be pretty handy when it came to planning the big day!

"My favorite part of planning was going through Pinterest and finding theme ideas.  Getting a visual of the day was so ideal." 

What about her least favorite part?

"My biggest stressor was worrying about how everyone else was going to enjoy the day.  Of course the guests' experience should be great, but also remembering that it was MY day helped guide my decisions." 

Once the big day finally arrived, Liz loved spending time with her girls before the wedding.

"I honestly loved getting ready... It was so relaxed and I got to be with my closest friends, sisters, and mom!  The other favorite part was the dancing because I had an amazing DJ and such fun guests!"

Finally, Liz has some great words of wisdom for future brides..

"Don't stress to much about the little things.  Getting the big things out of the way early is great and then the little things fall together perfectly at the end.  Just enjoy every minute of it because it goes by SO quickly.  

Use a wedding planning website and use an Excel doc for who to invite, addresses, what gifts they gave, etc.  Saves a lot of stress because everything is in just a couple of places.  ALSO get a video of the ceremony!  I had amazing violinists and my sister-in-law and mother-in-law sang, but have no memory of it!"

Congratulations, Liz and Evan!! We are so happy for you guys and grateful we got to share your beautiful wedding! Want more? Check out the blog for more pics from their big day!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Lexi

L E X I  +  B R I A N

{April 7th, 2018}

 {Photos by: Laree Photo}

{Photos by: Laree Photo}

I mean how cute is Lexi?! We just loved helping her find her dream gown for her Spring wedding!

After trying on a bunch of dresses, Lexi chose a gorgeous, moscato colored Stella York gown.

She made it all her own by adding sparkling straps from Susan G. Allen Couture and topped it off with a beautiful veil from Bel Aire!

{Photos by: Laree Photo}

We love their robes and the cute little mimosa bar set up. Such a cute idea!

For her flowers, Lexi turned to Kathy's Florist to create her bright bouquets. Just look how gorgeous they are!

 {Photos by: Laree Photo}

{Photos by: Laree Photo}

And the boutonniere! So pretty!

Before walking down the aisle, Lexi wanted to share a special moment with her dad.

You already know how much we love these first looks!

{Photos by: Laree Photo}

Gets me every time!

Lexi and her husband Brian were married at Assumption Catholic Church in Chicago.

The ceremony was just perfect, with big, beautiful floral arrangements framing the altar.

{Photos by: Laree Photo}

After the I do's, guests headed to Carnivale for an absolutely stunning reception!

We LOVE when brides hold their receptions at spaces like this!

Between the lights, flowers and TACOS {we love us some tacos}, it was a party to remember!

{Photos by: Laree Photo}

SUCH a cool venue!!

We've seen their wedding, let's get to know the couple!

How did they meet?

"Four and a half years ago, Brian and I met at work. I was interviewed by Brian, and I instantly knew there was just something about him. We were friends for a year or so. Then we went to a concert with a group of mutual friends, and that’s where our love story began."

How did Brian pop the question?

"We were on our way to Nashville for a trip to celebrate our two year anniversary. We decided to stop in Indianapolis for a night on the way, and Brian suggested we go to a famous steakhouse for dinner that night. After dinner, our waitress brought out a tray of fortune cookies. After pointing out how weird it was that a steakhouse serves fortune cookies after dinner, I opened my cookie and read my “Will you marry me Lexi?” fortune. Brian was on one knee with the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen. It was so special because every time we order Chinese takeout, I make a big deal of opening our fortunes and reading them to each other. It was so sweet and thoughtful that Brian incorporated that into the proposal."

Well that's adorable! Was she surprised?

"It was a complete surprise! Before our trip, I had multiple friends ask if I thought Brian would propose on the trip. My response was always “Not a chance!” I should have been suspicious when I saw him getting more dressed up than me for dinner! Also, he barely ate any of his dinner. Little did I know, he was just so nervous for the big moment!"

When the time came to start planning her wedding, what was Lexi's fav part?

"Dress shopping and picking out and making the all of the decorations! Dress shopping was so fun and special because I had my mom, future mother-in-law, and my two maids of honor (my sisters) with me. My sisters and I grew up looking at wedding magazines and cutting out pictures of our favorite wedding dresses, so dress shopping was surreal and so exciting for us! Also, I love to craft, so I really enjoyed finding things that I could DIY for decorations."

What about the worst part?

"My least favorite part was deciding on the guest list and doing the seating chart. The guest list was difficult because it’s so hard to decide where to draw the line on who to invite and who not to invite. Brian and I are both people pleasers, so we had a hard time narrowing it down. The seating chart was like a giant human puzzle! It took a lot of consideration and time to figure it out!"

Let's move on to the main event. What was Lexi's favorite moment of her wedding day?

"Oh gosh, there’s no way I can choose just one! But the ones definitely at the top of the list are walking down the aisle, Brian and I’s first dance, and dancing with everyone at the reception! Walking down the aisle with my dad and him handing me off to Brian was really special for me. And I loved Brian and I’s first dance because it was a moment where everything around us just faded out and we could focus on each other. Also, seeing everyone on the dance floor all night was so much fun! I danced the night away and truly had the time of my life partying with all of my favorite people!"

Now that the wedding is over, what was Lexi's biggest takeaway from the whole process?

"No matter how crazy things get, everything really does work out in the end. I was SO worried about so many things and how they would turn out or what could go wrong. But looking back on it, there was nothing to stress about. Our wedding day was perfect, and regardless of any little things that didn’t go as planned, I honestly would not have changed one thing about the day. Everything comes together just as it is supposed to."

Any advice for brides-to-be currently planning their wedding?

"My advice would be to work on things little by little. What helped me so much was making a to-do list with due dates for each task I needed to get done. It was so nice to have everything organized and I knew what I needed to do and when to do it rather than having a million things running around in my head all the time. I made a to-do list for Brian too, and it was so helpful because I didn’t have to feel like the nagging wife-to-be!"

Congratulations, Lexi and Brian!! Wishing you lots of love and happiness! Check out more of their gorgeous wedding pics in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Olivia

O L I V I A + J O H N

{May 12th, 2018}

 {Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Hello beautiful! Doesn't Olivia look SO gorgeous in her fitted Stella York gown??

We are so in love with the shimmering lace as well as the beaded waist. Seriously, if we could insert an emoji right now it would be allll the heart eyes!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

So pretty, right?? Love the first look with her bridesmaids!

Per tradition, Olivia and her new hubby John exchanged gifts before the wedding. We usually don't show that part but her reaction is priceless!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

How cute is she?? You can tell she was NOT expecting a new Louis as a present!

For flowers, Olivia turned to Schultz Floral to create her arrangements. Roses and eucalyptus? Yes, please!

 {Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Before their walk down the aisle, Olivia and her dad shared a special moment together.

Y'all know how much we love these kinds of pics! 

Shane Cleminson Photography was there to capture their first look.

Oh my gosh, Olivia's dad twirling her around...can you even? Cause I can't! Such a special memory for them!

Olivia and John were married at Sand Creek Country Club.

Their ceremony was simple and beautiful, with dainty bouquets dotting the aisle. Something we thought was kind of adorable? The ring bearer's minor meltdown.

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

After the vows, guests headed to the ballroom where they were treated to beautiful decor and a super yummy cake, courtesy of Val's Custom Cakes!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

SO pretty!! I talked with Olivia to get all the inside deets on the couple and their planning process....

How did the newlyweds meet?

"We met the summer before my last year in undergrad and John's last year of law school. We hit it off as soon as we met but since our last year in school was very busy we didn't talk or hang out much. We didn't officially start dating until about a year and a half later. I was at a Notre Dame football game with a few of my friends and John texted me asking what I was up to and if I wanted to go to a Notre Dame football game with him. I told him I was already there and that we should meet up at some point during the game. I must have been on my phone for too long because it died before the game even started! I honestly thought John would think I am blowing him off and don't want to see him but that wasn't true at all! The game was freezing and snowing so during halftime my friend and I went to the concession stand to get some hot chocolate. Two minutes into standing in line someone taps me on the shoulder, and I turn around and see John standing there!! You guys, out of 80,000 people at this game what are the odds of actually seeing each other there!? I explained my phone had died, and that we should hang out after the game. A few hours later we met up that night and we have been inseparable ever since!"

That's fate stepping in right there! When it was time to pop the question, John waited until they were somewhere special...

"John and I went to Costa Rica last April for a vacation. He told me the front desk needed us to go and sign something before dinner and it wouldn’t take long. Once we get to the desk, I told them we need to sign something and John laughed and explained we are checking in for our romantic dinner on the beach. I was surprised because I had no idea he set all this up! Next thing I know we are sitting down at a romantic and private dinner setting and John gets down on one knee and popped the question! To make the proposal even better, we had 3 dogs sitting right in front of our table watching the whole thing! I loved it!"

Dogs make everything better {duh}! Was it a surprise or did she know it was coming? 

"So I’ll start by saying, I was ready to get engaged about two years before we actually did, so although I had an idea it was coming at some point, I was surprised when he did it in Costa Rica! I had no idea! I would not have wanted to travel with that ring in my bag! But it was perfect and I’m glad he did it there so we could celebrate just the two of us for the whole week!"

When it was time to start planning the big day, what was Olivia's favorite part?

"I would have to say getting my wedding dress. I felt like a princess getting to try on the most beautiful wedding gowns! Once I found “the one” it was such a special moment for me and the support system who came with me."

It's not all fun and games though...

"My least favorite part was stressing about all of the things that could go wrong during the wedding. I wish I wouldn't have stressed out about anything because the whole day was perfect and literally nothing went wrong! Everything works out the way its supposed to!"

Fast forward to the wedding. What was Olivia's favorite moment of the day?

"Hands down my favorite part of the wedding was seeing John's face when I was coming down the aisle. He was so emotional and it really felt like we were the only two in the whole room. The entire ceremony was perfect!"

What was her biggest takeaway from the whole planning process?

"I started planning the wedding with about 13 months until the actual day. I think that helped me so much because I knocked out a lot of vendors really early on and I didn't have to stress so much closer to the wedding day. I highly suggest starting early if you have the time to do so, it will help save you a lot of stress later!"

Finally, I asked Olivia about her best piece of advice for future brides....

"The day of the wedding, I highly suggest you take some time to yourself to go and look at everything. Once the entire ceremony/reception areas are done, just go and stare at all the decorations! Take mental pictures in your head because once the night begins you are going in so many different directions that its hard to just stop and look around. Then before you know it the night is over! I also suggest you write down specific pictures you want taken. We did not do that and I wish we would have! But most of all, just have fun on your wedding day! It's the best day of your life!"

Congratulations Olivia and John!! We are so excited for you guys and wish you nothing but happiness! Check out more of their fab pictures by Shane Cleminson Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Jill

J I L L + T A Y L O R

{March 24, 2018}

 {Photos by: AC Made Photography}

{Photos by: AC Made Photography}

Seriously, Jill?? You are stunning!! She killed it on her wedding day in an Essense of Australia ballgown and we are obsessed!

{Photos by: AC Made Photography}

Forget Me Not Floral created Jill and her bridesmaid's beautiful bouquets. The unique flowers and dusty blues she chose are giving us life!

Mr Mrs Johnson-Untitled Export-0064.jpg
Mr Mrs Johnson-Untitled Export-0149.jpg

{Photos by: AC Made Photography}

Jill and Taylor got married at Briar Ridge Country Club on a spring afternoon with possibly the cutest flower girl and ring bearer we've ever seen!

{Photos by: AC Made Photography}

The day ended with a beautiful reception full of emotional speeches, a fabulous cake, and of course, dancing!

{Photos by: AC Made Photography}

Let's learn more about these lovebirds! How did Jill and Taylor meet?

"Taylor and I met when I was visiting his church one Sunday about six years ago."

How did Taylor pop the question?

"Taylor, myself, his brother and his brother's girlfriend all planned a trip to go to Sacramento, California to visit Taylor's relatives and go sight seeing. His uncle is a videographer for a large church out there as well. While we were visiting San Francisco for the day, his uncle mentioned us volunteering to do a video for a message about relationships. I was very much against doing the video, however I tried to keep my feelings mostly to myself hoping that they would forget about it later in the week. The next few days we went and visited his brother in Lemoore, California. When we came back we had one final day in Sacramento before heading back to Indiana. That morning we woke up and were told to get ready because we were going to do this video quickly before celebrating our last night all together. I was so upset and even called my mom telling her how upset I was and how I did not want to do this video. She encouraged me to just get it over with. For those closest to me, they know how nervous I get in situations like this one. Well, we finally made it to the sight of the video shoot which was ironically the spot that I had fallen in love with when we had visited a year prior. We got hooked up to the microphones, cameras rolling and started the video. At the very end we answered the question, "how did you know they were the one?" After Taylor finished answering he got down on one knee and proposed! Best. Moment. Ever."

Such a perfect moment! Was she surprised??

"It was a complete surprise!"

What was Jill's favorite part of her wedding planning?

"My favorite part of the planning process was picking out my dress. I felt like an absolute princess. The atmosphere of Something Blue, Colleen who assisted me, and having my closest family there supporting me really made me feel amazing."

We loved working with you Jill!! How about her least favorite part?

"My least favorite part of the planning process was probably making the programs for the ceremony. I'm not crafty AT ALL. Making them alongside my mom was great, but I hate crafts so much."

What was her favorite moment of the day?

"I don't think I can actually pick my most favorite part of the wedding, but one of my top favorites was when the best man and maid of honor gave their speeches. My twin gave the most beautiful, thoughtful, loving speech. Taylor's brother made us all laugh and then cry, which was perfect. In that moment it just brought me back to growing up. They reminded us of where we came from and all the moments that led to us saying "I do." Those words and that moment will be something I'll never forget."

So special! Jill's biggest takeaway from the planning process?

"My biggest takeaway from the whole process is to be involved enough to make decisions, but not too much that it gives you complete anxiety. I really had my mom take over which was great and it worked out for us, but looking back I regret putting so many decisions on her and leaving her with all the pressure to make things amazing. It worked out and my day was perfect, but I regret putting all that anxiety on her."

What was Jill's best advice for brides-to-be currently planning their big day?

"Best advice I can give from the whole process is don't lose sight of what's important. I think I held true to this for the most part, but it's so easy to slip into making it all about the actual wedding rather than about God bringing two people together to vow to love one another forever."

Congratulations Jill and Taylor!!! We hope you have a beautiful future together and are so glad you shared your day with us!

Check out more of their stunning photos below!

{Photos by: AC Made Photography}

{SBB Bride of the Week} Joanna

J O A N N A + P A U L

{February 24, 2018}

 {Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

Yes girl!!! Our stunning bride, Joanna rocked a long sleeve Allure Couture gown and paired it with a beautiful Bel Aire Bridal veil!

{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

Joanna's gorgeous bouquet was done by Monarch Florist, you know we love all that greenery!! And instead of bouquets for her bridesmaids, they carried floral clutches that she found on Amazon. Free shipping? Yes please!


{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

Hey Chicago, what do ya say? Joanna and Paul are getting married today! (...we had to)

The couple showed their love for the Cubs with some awesome details in their wedding. Joanna's shoes and garter paid homage to the the team and an insane Cubs themed cake that was actually made by one of her bridesmaid's sisters!

{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

Joanna and Paul tied the knot at Olympia Fields Country Club on a winter afternoon. Maggie Russo Photograpy was there to capture all the sweet moments!

{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

The couple's adorable son, Max, insisted he wasn't the ring bearer, but "ring security". Seriously?? Does it get any cuter than that?

The party continued at Teibel's Family Restaurant. Searching for a reception location isn't too hard when there's already one in the family!

{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

So how did Joanna and Paul meet??

"Paul and I actually met at Teibel’s restaurant! I applied to be a hostess, sat and interviewed with Paul, and he pretty much hired me right away! Within a few months a group of us would go out after work and our relationship basically grew from there."

Paul eventually popped the question on a perfect day...

"Paul proposed me to me in Saugatuck, Michigan. We were on a sail boat in the middle of the lake and he asked if I wanted to sit in the front of the boat for a better view. I was looking around at the lake and when I turned around back towards Paul, he was on one knee holding the ring. The day turned out to be really special because my sister had her baby the exact same day!"

What a day!! Was Joanna surprised?

"It was a complete surprise! Even though we had been together for 8 years at that point and had talked about marriage, it didn't occur to me when it would ever happen. We go on trips together often, so this wasn't out of the ordinary for us, I just thought it was another small getaway."

Props to Paul for pulling that off! When we asked Joanna what her fav part of planning was we were so excited to hear that it was dress shopping!!

"My favorite part of the planning process was, hands down, picking out my wedding dress! I had a very specific look I was going for and my mother-in-law and best friend got to be a part of it. Even my two sons got to come with me at one point for a dress fitting."

What was her least favorite part of planning?

"My least favorite part was the seating chart and RSVP's. So many people changed their RSVP after it was sent back, or didn't send one back at all. It happens though, and I've even done that myself, but when you're hte one doing hte planning it's a lot of work! I have made a point to RSVP right away now to any and everything!! Haha."

We couldn't agree more, always RSVP people!!! How about her favorite moment of the wedding?

"Oh my goodness, it's hard to pick just one moment. Can I say a few?! Lol. Paul's reaction to seeing me was priceless, best groom face ever. But, we also had some amazing speeches given, our vows were personally written and extremely special. Our son Max's face watching his mommy and daddy finally get married, or probably the most sincere was after the wedding...my son Mirko, Paul's now stepson, wrote us the most tearjerker of a post on Instagram expressing his happiness."

Too. Freaking. Cute. What was Joanna's biggest takeaway from the whole process?

"My biggest takeaway would have to be, to not stress out about little things. Take in the whole moment without worrying about anyone else that day (except your partner, of course!) Because, as cliché as it sounds, the day does truly go by so fast. Wasting time worrying about mishaps or details the day of is not worth it. I wish I could go back and slow the day down because I feel like I missed so much. Thank goodness for photos to bring it all back though!"

Any advice for future brides when it comes to the craziness of planning?

"My best advice is do not be afraid to ask for help! I know people always say this, but I feel like brides (myself included) don't want to burden anyone, but we can all use help sometimes. So many people played vital roles during my planning process and I would have never gotten everything done without them. If you start feeling overwhelmed, breathe, and then ask yourself what is necessary to do yourself and what you can ask for help with, I promise asking someone for help is not burdening them."

Congratulations Joanna and Paul!!! We wish you nothing but the best and can't thank you enough for sharing your big day with us!

Check out more of their gorgeous photos below!!

{Photos by: Maggie Russo Photography}

{SBB Bride of the Week} Stephanie

S T E P H A N I E + R O B B I E

{April 14th, 2018}

 {Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

{Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

Swoon!! We are so loving Stephanie's bridal look!

That Justin Alexander ballgown is everything! Especially paired with chunky jewelry and a bold makeup look!

{Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

SO pretty!!

For her bouquet {and the groom's boutonniere}, Stephanie went with gorgeous, natural toned arrangements that also featured a pop of purple!

 {Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

{Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

Stephanie married her husband Robbie on a cloudy April afternoon.

Both the ceremony and reception were held at Von Jakob Vineyard in Alto Pass, Illinois.

{Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

The reception was filled with twinkling lights and greenery!

We love when couples put their own stamp on things and that was definitely the case with this wedding!

Guests were treated to cookies and cupcakes over a traditional wedding cake. Instead of a guestbook, the couple had a guitar for people to sign!

{Photos by: Savanna Kathleen Photography}

We love all of their personal touches!

Let's rewind to 2009, when these two lovebirds met at Southern Illinois University Carbondale....

"Robbie was in a band while getting his masters and I was working at a bar while doing my undergrad. It was a punk rock band but I always had to work when they played at my bar so I had to enjoy while working. They played about once a month and I had the biggest crush on him. Finally after months I had the night off while they played and was front stage with some friends and he noticed. We talked while out the following weekend and the rest is history."

When did he pop the question?

"It was while we were coming home for Christmas 2016 to my parent’s house near Chicago since we live in southern Illinois. He proposed on the steps of my childhood home."

That is so cute! Was Stephanie surprised?

"I had NO clue! My whole family knew and was so ready and excited! I had no idea it was coming I was just happy to be home for Christmas and then it happened as we walked in. I never thought he’d be able to surprise me but he did, ring & all."

Let's talk about dress shopping!

"Where we live in southern Illinois options are limited so I knew I had to come home to look! Indiana is close to my home town in Illinois so I got my mom, sister and two of my best friends and bridesmaids. I went to two shops, SBB was the 2nd, but was just outstanding and way more personal & fun! I had an idea of what I wanted but I had each girl pick ones all completely different so I could be sure. We bet on who would have picked the winner so it was a super fun experience!  They are all criers like me so it was emotions all over the board that day but we had an amazing time! I needed to pick one that day since I was in town only a short time but that pressure really didn’t get to me because the staff and my family & friends were so easy going about it!"

How did she know her dress was "the one"??

"I’ve known forever I was going to want a ball gown and am obsessed with tulle so even though I tried all the different ones the girls pulled I wasn’t swayed from ball gowns, especially ones with the horsehair hemline. A lovely staff member from SBB pulled this one we somehow glazed over and it was the first one I tried on there! I knew instantly…. It was absolutely huge and miles of tulle! The top was tight & flattering with flowing tulle after! I never cared about a train and this one's train was phenomenal.  I knew as soon as I walked out and my mom, sister and two bridesmaids cried! I love huge, chunky necklaces so the staff pulled the biggest one in store and as soon as I tried it on, I balled. It was my dress!! I didn’t want to take it off but when I finally did it achieved the one other very vital goal: it had so much tulle it stood on its own….it was perfect!"

When it came time to plan the wedding, Stephanie favorite part was definitely the diy!

"I love crafts and I had recently gotten a Cricut so I cranked out all the signage, pictures and custom bridesmaids things I could! Designing my centerpieces, planning the room setup and lighting, painting. I loved it all!"

Was there anything she didn't enjoy about the planning process?

"Cutting off the guest list was the absolute trickiest part. You don’t want to offend anyone, forget someone, etc. We had 235 but it was very difficult to stop there. But when the day came I feel we maybe should’ve done less because visiting with 235 people was nearly impossible, that was a tough feeling too.

Another funny bummer that was not my favorite but a great story! I didn’t bustle my dress, it had them but I was so in love I didn’t do it. Anyway Copper Head Road came on about 30mins before it was all over. I turned, my dress didn’t I slipped and I dislocated my right knee, luckily there was a doctor there! I was in pain but I made it and just found out I don’t need surgery just some time & physical therapy. I still LOVE my dress, it was my fault not the dress’ haha!"

Ouch! A good lesson - bustle that dress! Injuries aside, what was Stephanie's favorite moment from her big day?

"How do you pick?!?! Everything!! Where I waited was all glass windows so I could see all the guests getting seated. Just knowing all our friends and family were there for us and being able to see them and their emotions as they came in was so sweet. Then seeing Robbie walk out was so exciting and the butterflies hit. I was so calm all day & then it hit me. I was so excited and so nervous all of a sudden! It was the most quick moving, crazy and exciting moment."

What's her best advice for future brides?

"I’d say start early and pace yourself! I had a year and 4 months and it was perfect because I could pace myself and all my crafting projects. I could do a little each week so it never became too overwhelming and stressful. This way I could enjoy the ride! The fiancé helped with things where he could and not being under a time constraint made that easier on both of us! I feel that this made the day even better because everyone (vendors etc) had time to all be organized and on the same page!

Enjoy the ride! Remember why you are doing this…. To be married to your best friend! Not to have the best cake or out do anyone or that the forecast isn’t perfect; to be married. Yes planning and details are vital but don’t get caught up in minute things. Don’t lose sight of the real meaning; the goal. You have a lifetime ahead of you!"

Congrats, Robbie and Stephanie!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us! Be sure to check out more of their pictures in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Cathy

C A T H Y + D O N N E L L

{December 2nd, 2017}

 {Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

{Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

Cathy you are gorgeous! For her big day, Cathy chose a stunning ball gown from Allure and a veil from Bel Aire Bridals. She could not have looked more beautiful!

{Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

SO gorgeous! We love the details in that gown from the lace to the attached tulle belt!

For flowers, Cathy turned to Flowers with Jazz and Jane Male, who did a phenomenal job on her bouquets!

 {Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

{Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

Before walking down the aisle, Cathy wanted her dad to see her in her gown for the first time. His reaction says it all! Purple Peony Photography was there to capture their first look.

Those first looks with dad get us every. single. time!

Cathy and her husband Donnell were married on December 2nd, 2017. Their beautiful ceremony was held at our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. A couple of our favorite moments include their sweet 15-month-old daughter walking down the aisle and a photo of the pair excitedly checking out their new rings!

{Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

After they said "I Do", everyone headed to The Patrician in Schererville for the reception! Nods to the theme, Alice in Wonderland, were all over the party. Cathy did a great job incorporating them in the decor while still giving everything a very classy look.

{Photos by: Purple Peony Photography}

Let's get to know Cathy and Donnell! The lovebirds met at their job, which also happens to be one of our favorite places ever...

"Donnell and I met 7 years ago when we were both working at Target. At the time, I worked up front at guest service while he worked as the Target Mobile manager in electronics. I saw him a few days after he started and had to ask a few people who he was because he was so cute! That was a big deal because I *never* make a first move! He walked out of Target one night and gave me his business card with his cell number added on it and told me to "call him sometime." We started dating shortly after that. I made him a scrap book and included the business card on the first page two years later, so we still have it! "

When it was time to pop the question, Donnell definitely caught Cathy by surprise!

"In June 2016, Donnell told me that he had to go to dinner with his boss and coworkers in Naperville. I was 6.5 months pregnant at the time, but I made sure to look my best because I had never met any of the people he worked with! It was a good thing, because he walked me over to a park with a fountain in the middle to "wait for his friends." Instead, we happened to see one of his childhood friends who stopped us and asked if he could sing a song he had been working on. Donnell tried to play it off that we had somewhere to be, but I told him we would listen. (I still had no idea what was going on.) As he was halfway through the song and I listened to the lyrics, I realized what was happening. He turned to me and proposed when the song was over, in front of a bunch of people in this park. Some strangers were even nice enough to capture it on video. It was perfect because I always told him that I wanted to be completely caught off guard; I absolutely was!"

When it came to wedding planning, Cathy had a theme in mind..

"My favorite part of the planning process was tying in my love of Alice in Wonderland in different ways. I made my seating chart out of decks of playing cards and our guest book was an actual copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Our table numbers and popcorn bar also incorporated it. That was just a fun extra tidbit in which I was able to show my personality and make the reception unique. Some people even said my wedding dress was Alice-like!"

Was there any part of planning Cathy didn't really enjoy?

"My least favorite part of planning the wedding was trying to get everyone's RSVPs and keeping them all organized. Also, making the seating chart. Our wedding was about 240 people or so, which was a pretty decent size. Luckily, I had started planning well in advance for other aspects. You really can't make the seating chart until a few weeks before so that was the most stressful part!"

After all that planning, the wedding had arrived! I asked Cathy if she had a favorite moment from the day.

"It is so hard to pick just one! I would have to say that seeing Donnell's face when I walked down the aisle is something I will never forget. (He had said he definitely wouldn't cry, but spoiler alert, he did!)  Close seconds though were seeing our 15 month old walk down the aisle as the flower girl, and the first look I did with my dad. Those are just such special moments and I'm so happy we can have them forever."

Any advice for brides currently planning their own big day?

"Remember that it is YOUR wedding and what matters is YOUR happiness. Don't be surprised or upset if people can't/don't show up. That was really hard for me, but in the end, it isn't worth the stress!

Start planning as early as possible. I found it helpful to do little things each month. My friend got a binder and put a ton of wedding planning things inside for me when we were about a year out. The first page of that binder was a wedding checklist that was organized by month. Looking at that made it a lot easier to see what I still had to do. Major vendors like halls and photographers book up very far in advance, so having a checklist that's in order of importance like that was great!"

Congratulations, Cathy and Donnell!! We are so incredibly happy for you guys!! Check out more pics from their wedding day in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Kali

K A L I  +  R Y A N

{December 16th, 2017}

 {Photos by: NRS Photography}

{Photos by: NRS Photography}

Ok, how cute is she?! Our gorgeous bride Kali married her husband Ryan in a seriously pretty December wedding and we're loving these pics!

Kali wore a stunning Essense of Australia gown that looked so beautiful for her big day!

{Photos by: NRS Photography}

Kali wanted something woodsy and wintry for her bouquet.

Beautifloral brought her vision to life with an arrangement of red roses, cotton and pine cones!

 {Photos by: NRS Photography}

{Photos by: NRS Photography}

Kali and Ryan said "I Do" in a beautiful ceremony at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Lanterns and flowers adorned the aisles and guests were given ribbons to wave as the newlyweds exited the church as man and wife.

{Photos by: NRS Photography}

The reception was held at Quality Inn in Bradley, Illinois.

There are so many cute details in this reception!

We love the bride and groom's custom Blackhawks jerseys {notice he wears number 12 and she is wearing 16 - their wedding date was 12/16....how cute}!

{Photos by: NRS Photography}

You can tell so much thought went into all of the decor!

We asked Kali questions about her relationship and the whole planning process!

So how did Kali and Ryan meet, anyway?

"We met at work! He worked in the same strip mall as me! He was friends with a coworker who introduced us!"

How did he pop the question?

"We went out for dinner at Brickstone Brewery and he proposed there!"

Was it a surprise??

"I had absolutely no idea!"

What was your favorite part of planning?

"Everything! I just enjoyed every minute of it! I have been dreaming about this day since I was a little girl so it was so much fun making my dreams a reality!"

What about your least favorite part??

"I honestly don’t know. Everything was so nice! Maybe just getting our large wedding party all on the same page and timeline."

The day had arrived and it was time to get married. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

"Seeing Ryan at the front of the aisle! I couldn’t wait to see him!"

So cute! A lot of brides-to-be read the blog for inspiration and tips. What is your biggest takeaway from the whole process?

"Just enjoy it! Don’t stress it! I will all work out! Don’t get worked up about it! It’s all going to work out! Don’t wait last minute! I feel like that was my biggest advantage! I didn’t rush anything. I started early!"

Congratulations, Kali and Ryan!!! We wish you guys a wonderful future together and are so happy we got to share your special day!! Check out more of their wedding pics in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Lauren

L A U R E N + T A N N E R

{October 21, 2017}

 {Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

{Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

Isn't she lovely?? We loved helping Lauren find her dream dress - a Stella York ballgown that featured a gorgeous illusion top, lace details and a sparkling belt. She looked SO amazing!

For a special, personal touch, Lauren had her grandmother's handkerchief sewn inside her gown as her "Something Blue".

{Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

Just so so pretty!

For her flowers, Lauren turned to Pay-Less Supermarket's Floral Department to take care of arrangements. They did such a great job on these bouquets!

 {Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

{Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

Lauren and her husband Tanner were married in a beautiful ceremony at Ross Camp in West Lafayette.

Ferns lined the aisle of this gorgeous October wedding.

{Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

The reception was filled with lots of floral elements, gold decor and one fabulous cake made by the Mother of the Bride! She did such a fabulous job!

{Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

How did the happy couple meet?

"We first met in Junior High band class. He played the trumpet, I played the saxophone. We graduated together in 2006, only 130 people in our class, but we didn't start dating until a few years later. In the spring of 2010, we 'reconnected' at a friends house party. After exchanging phone numbers, we started T-9 texting each other- and the rest is history."

When and how did Tanner pop the question?

"I always told Tanner that I wanted a roof before a ring. So after 7 years together and our first home purchased, he proposed to me in our home on Christmas morning."

SO cute! Was it a surprise?

"I had my suspicions, especially because he wanted to make sure his brother & sister would be there when we opened gifts from each other."

When it came down to planning, what was Lauren's favorite part of the process?

"I'm an event coordinator in my day job, and I've helped countless others with planning their wedding. So the planning process wasn't overwhelming, personally.  My favorite part was the freedom to do what I wanted. Like having our bridal party sit at round tables at dinner, so they could be with loved ones. I think my husband's favorite part was registering for items at Bed, Bath, & Beyond- he was like a kid with his laser gun."

What about her least favorite part?

"The guest list & dress code. We decided to do an 'adults only' wedding, simply because we would not have been able to invite 1/2 the people we wanted, if everyone brought their kids. We asked that guests be 13 years or older, which upset a few of our friends. We also had a 'suggested attire', and encouraged our guests to dress up, suit & ties for the guys, cocktail or floor length dresses for the gals. Some people claimed not to have nice clothes, or exactly what we suggested, so they felt they couldn't come. Looking back, I don't think I'd change either aspect of the wedding. We had a great time all night and everyone looked fantastic. I had to remind myself that it was our wedding wishes, and that it's not too much to ask our friends and family to respect them."

What was Lauren's favorite moment from her wedding day?

 {Photos by: hay.LO Photography}

{Photos by: hay.LO Photography}


"Oh my goodness, that's tough. Beyond the obvious "You May Now Kiss the Bride," moment, it would have been my dress reveal with my dad. He was with the guys all day, and we didn't do a 'first look'; wanted to keep that part traditional. So right before the ceremony we had my dad come downstairs to meet me. His reaction in the pictures are priceless, all of the bridesmaids cried too. I gave him and my mom a couple of special handkerchiefs and then we had the ceremony."

Lauren's biggest takeaway of the whole planning process was to personalize as much as you can.

 "If you can, write your own vows.  The biggest thing that I enjoyed most about the process was slowly working on my vows. It was a very special part of our ceremony. I had been working on what I was going to say during the whole planning process. During random moments, I would be reminded as to why I love Tanner so much, and I would jot it down in my phone's notes. That was a huge help the night before, when I was obsessing about making sure the cheese & cracker portion of the appetizers would be right. Who cares!?  Those little details you are worried about, don't matter to anyone but you- so don't stress."

Any final words of advice?

"Delegate. After helping others with their weddings, and showers, it was nice to have a big list of helpers for my wedding to delegate small things to. You'll get this phrase a lot, "Let me know if I can help with anything," so seriously, take them up on it. The day would not have gone smoothly if I didn't have one person in charge of ice for drinks, one person for lighting the candles, one person helping guests find their assigned seats at dinner, etc. The less stuff you try to take on, the better.  Remember, eloping is always an option :) but in all seriousness, have fun with it. Surround yourself with loving people who want to be a part of the process."

Congratulations, Lauren and Tanner!! We are so excited for you guys and can't thank you enough for sharing your special day with us!

Check out more of their wedding pics in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Meghan

Who's ready for another beautiful Bride of the Week??

Introducing Meghan...

 {Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

Meghan looked so pretty in her Allure Bridals ballgown that she made all her own by adding straps!

She continued to make her gown one-of-a-kind but adding a sparkling Bel Aire belt.

The results were nothing short of gorgeous...

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

Isn't she so cute?!

Meghan carried a bouquet of red roses with hints of baby's breath.

Her flowers were done by Strack and Van Til Valparaiso and looked picture perfect!

 {Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

Meghan married her husband, Tommy, on a December afternoon at St. Paul Catholic Church.

She stunned her guests as she walked down the aisle.

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

After the ceremony, guests headed to Trinity Hall where they were treated to a yummy cake, cookies and sparkling decor!

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

Black and gold is such a classic color combo!

Let's get to know Meghan and Tommy! How did they meet?

"I was actually friends with Tommy's little brother in high school and his little brother invited me over to their home. I met Tommy at his home, but it was a very brief introduction. I never thought in a million years that I would ever speak to Tommy again until we had the same lunch break in college. Even in my early years of college, I never thought I would be married to Tommy. "

Funny how life works! How did he pop the question?

"Tommy and I took a vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. From what Tommy told me, he carried the ring around every day waiting for the right moment. By the end of the weekend, he actually had a bruise on his thigh where the ring kept hitting him. Now, looking back on photos, I can see the ring bulging out of his pocket! We decided to take a hike through the mountain up to Rainbow Falls on September 4, 2016. The hike was a few miles up and down and we second guessed ourselves a few times if we were going to make it. Tommy was so determined to make it to the waterfall because he knew exactly how he wanted the proposal to go. Did I mention he made me wake up at the crack of dawn to go so that there would not be a ton of people....? We were both so tired and sweaty but we finally made it. As we were relaxing, Tommy kept fidgeting with his pockets while speaking to me in chopped sentences. All I heard was, "I love you" and "I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Then he popped the question and of course I said YES! That moment was worth the pain and sweat! Tommy had a whole speech prepared, but he forgot it all due to being so nervous. BUT I would NOT change a thing. He did great and I love him so much."

How sweet is that?! Was it a surprise?

"Yes!  At first, I had a feeling he was going to propose because before we left, his mom hugged him goodbye. When we arrived to the hotel, he asked me if I had anything valuable in my luggage while he barricaded the doors with chairs. As the weekend went on, I didn't even think about a proposal because we were having so much fun and he waited to the very last day we were there to pop the question. Honestly, I was totally surprised."

When it came down to planning the actual wedding, Meghan loved some tasks more than others...

"My favorite part of planning was working with my mom and mother-in-law to plan the perfect wedding. Not very many people can say that they love both of their moms so much! I am so lucky that I got to spend so much quality time with both of them. This was a chance to have them both to myself for a few months while we planned the wedding!

My least favorite part was having to make so many different appointments for different things. It was very difficult to include my husband on all these different appointments because our work schedules did not align at all. At these appointments I would have to make decisions and I did not want to make them without my husband."


Finally the wedding had arrived! What was the best part of the day?

"My favorite moment of the wedding was when I finally made it down the aisle and my dad handed me to Tommy. I was so nervous and all I could say to everyone is that I wanted to be able to see Tommy for comfort. Looking at my husband when I finally got to him gave me that comfort and my nerves went away."

Any parting advice for brides-to-be?

"When they say to not stress the small things, really, do not stress the small things. I got upset when I was told I could borrow something for my centerpieces and then the offer fell through the night before my wedding. No one even noticed and the wedding was perfect regardless. No one paid attention to anything but my husband and me.

My best piece of advice is not about planning but the wedding itself. Honestly, just be yourself and do not be afraid of what others are going to think of you or your wedding. I am sometimes a shy person and dancing is something I never did. I told myself that my fear was not going to keep me from dancing and enjoying my night. I got out on the dance floor and even dragged my husband out there. I did not want to regret missing out on dancing with my husband and friends. Once I got out there, I was fine! I had a blast! This is your night, so do not let fear hold you back from anything!"

Congratulations, Meghan and Tommy!! Thank you so much for letting us share your big day!

Check out more of their wedding pictures in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Jordan

We're in LOVE with everything about this wedding!

The dress, the flowers, the bride!

We are pleased to introduce you to Jordan...

 {photos by: North x North}

{photos by: North x North}

I mean how gorgeous, right??

Jordan was married in December and wore a stunning, high-neck Allure Bridals gown, Bel Aire belt and Susan G. Allen veil {all purchased from SBB - obvs}!

She added her own special "Something Blue" by having a piece of her prom dress sewn into her gown. Jordan and her hubby Steve went to prom together!

She looked so beautiful as she got ready for her big day with her favorite girls, who were also looking pretty darn great if we do say so ourselves! {Edit: we may be biased. A couple of Jordan's bridesmaids were also Something Blue Brides!}