{SBB Bride of the Week} Rachel

R A C H E L  +  J O S H

{June 2nd, 2018}

 {Photos by: With Love Productions}

{Photos by: With Love Productions}

Meet our beautiful bride, Rachel!

She chose a gorgeous fitted Stella York gown for her June wedding.

With it's beaded lace and scalloped edges, this dress was absolutely perfect on Rachel!

{Photos by: With Love Productions}

For her flowers, Rachel worked with Flowers by Steen to create a gorgeous bouquet filled with peaches, pinks and pops of rose gold and greenery.

The results were absolutely stunning!

In addition to her bouquet, Rachel also carried a picture charm in memory of her mother. Her aunt gifted her the charm the day before the wedding.

 {Photos by: With Love Productions}

{Photos by: With Love Productions}

 {Photos by: With Love Productions}

{Photos by: With Love Productions}

Before the ceremony, Rachel and her husband Josh wanted to share a first look together.

Rachel's bridesmaids snuck a sneak peek through the windows as With Love Productions captured the special moment.

Rachel and Josh were married at DiNolfo's Banquets of Homer Glen.

Accents of pink and flowers decorated the space.

This burgundy and pink color scheme is so gorgeous!

{Photos by: With Love Productions}

After the ceremony, guests headed to the ballroom for a night full of dinner, drinks and dancing!

The cake kept with the pink theme with a sparkle layer added for some glamour.

We love their wedding favors - packets of flower seeds! So cute!

{Photos by: With Love Productions}

We've seen their beautiful wedding day, let's get to know the newlyweds a little better!

How did they meet? 

"We met through my Maid of Honor. She worked at a grocery store called Berkots with Josh and set us up. We went on a double date and we hit it off right away, never spending a day apart since then which was 5 years ago."

Tell us about the proposal..

"Josh proposed to me where we had our first date which was at a bowling alley in Kankakee called Brookmont Bowling. He proposed on Valentine’s Day in 2016."

Was it a surprise or did Rachel know it was coming?

"I would say the proposal location and day was a surprise to me but we had talked about getting married one day. I knew he was thinking about proposing soon as he dropped subtle hints but I had no idea when it would exactly be."

When it was time to start looking for her dress, Rachel had hard time finding the right gown her...

"My dress buying experience was definitely a long one. I would say I tried on at least 50 dresses before I found the perfect one. I went to about five locations before I found my perfect dress at Something Blue! Many friends had suggested Something Blue Bridal to me and I thought I would give it a try! So glad I made the choice to drive over an hour to find my dress."

When did she finally feel like she found her dream dress?

"I tried on about 12 dresses before I found my dress. It was the 2nd to last dress I tried on and was definitely not the style I was looking for as I originally had the ball gown style dress in mind all along. When I tried on this style I knew it was the perfect dress for me."

We couldn't agree more! After finding the dress it was time to buckle down and plan the wedding. What was Rachel's fave part of the planning process?

"Always having something to plan in my spare time. I really enjoyed surfing the internet and always looking for the next wedding item on my list. Wedding planning was very exciting for me as I love decorating and seeing the final project come together."

Some parts of planning were harder than others...

"My least favorite part would be finding the perfect wedding favor. It took me so long to find a cute wedding favor that was not outrageous in price. I had 2.5 years to plan my wedding and it took me almost 2 years to find the perfect wedding favor."

But we LOVE the favor she chose!

When the wedding day arrived, Rachel's favorite moment was her special time with her hubby....

"My favorite moment from my wedding was doing our first look and reading our vows to each other. I am so glad we got it all captured on video! I also enjoyed spending the most amazing day of my life with all my closest family members and friends."

With the big day over, what is Rachel's biggest takeaway from wedding planning?

"Do things slowly and give yourself enough time. I was engaged for 2.5 years and still feel like I could have had more time to plan. Work on one step at a time and then move onto the next task to get done or the next thing to buy on your list."

Any final advice for brides-to-be who are currently planning their big day? 

"The best piece of advice I could give to future brides would be to enjoy the moments for what they are, even if something goes wrong. In the end everything will be alright and your wedding will be the best day of your life."

Thank you so much, Rachel and Josh, for letting us share you gorgeous wedding day!! Check out more of their beautiful pics in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Amanda

A M A N D A  +  S T E V E

{June 1st, 2018}

 {Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

{Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

Oh, hey there supermodel!

Guys, can you even handle how gorgeous Amanda is?? Because she is pretty dang stunning!

Amanda chose one of our favorite Stella York gowns ever for her June wedding. The illusion top, the romantic, moscato colored tulle skirt...sigh. We love!

Know what else we love? Amanda's adorable daughter, Olivia, who stole the show as a flower girl and could not be more precious if she tried!

Even her dad, the groom Steve, had to get a sneak peek of his little girl once she was done with hair and makeup...

{Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

I mean for real how attractive is this family??

For her flowers, Amanda decided to go with Forget Me Not out of Demotte.

They created such a gorgeous bridal bouquet {y'all already know how much we love our  greenery}.

 {Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

{Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

Amanda and her husband Steve were married at Sandy Pines.

If you're looking for the perfect place to hold an outdoor ceremony and reception, look no further!

This venue is gorgeous!

{Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

After the ceremony, guests were treated to dinner and dancing, delicious cake and even a s'mores bar.

How fun is that?!

{Photos by: Loryn Eaton Photography}

We just love this couple! How did they meet?

"Through mutual friends at a party, We flirted with each other for a long time before we actually started dating. We were together for 6 years before we were married! He's my best friend."

Tell us about the big proposal!

 A proposal to remember

A proposal to remember

"Steve has always played music, so he told me one day that he wanted to have an acoustic house show in our sun room with all of our family and friends.

When the day came we had around 30 of our close family and friends there. Our Friends from a band called Families played the last set. We were all standing around listening and I noticed they started to play a song that Steve wrote for me. All of our friends and family started lighting candles they were holding (this part was from one of our favorite shows "the office"). Steve got down on one knee with my song playing quietly in the background, and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! I was completely oblivious the whole night. I still feel so lucky to this day that someone planned something so beautiful for me."

That might be the sweetest thing EVER!

Once the ring was on her finger, Amanda was ready to start looking for her gown. I asked her to fill us in on her experience...

"My dress buying experience was amazing! I was very nervous coming in because I tend to be a pretty awkward person. The bridal stylist I had was so kind and personable. Anything I needed she was there to help with."

How did she choose "the one"??

"I actually saw my dress online first on Something Blue's Wedding Gown Wednesday. I was scrolling through my phone and I saw it on Facebook. I remember my stomach dropping and thinking oh my gosh I LOVE THAT. It was everything I wanted. It had lace and tulle and was sexy but not too revealing. I looked like I could "float" down the aisle.

I tried on a couple other dresses in store that I thought looked very pretty but this one made myself and my bridesmaid/family members cry. It was perfect."

When it came time to plan, what was Amanda's favorite part?

"My favorite part of the planning process was definitely picking out all of the details for the wedding and having my whole vision for my day come together."

What about her least favorite part?

"All the endless things to do, as soon as I checked something off my list there was always something to do next. I am a full time working mom so this got overwhelming especially towards the end when the wedding was so close."

What was her favorite moment of the wedding?

"Seeing my husband after our ceremony, we hadn't seen each other since the night before. We just took such a huge leap forward in our lives and I couldn't wait to spend the rest of the night with him."

Now that the cake has been cut and the marriage license signed, what is Amanda's biggest takeaway from the planning process?

"Invest in your vendors.

My make up, hair and photographer were SO important to me and everything I imagined came together perfectly because of them. Choose wisely!"

Any final advice for brides currently planning their big day?

"Remember to enjoy your partner through every small thing possible. The time and planning goes so quickly and so many people get caught up in all the small stuff. Try to remember why you are here in the first place!"

Great advice!! Thank you so much to Amanda and Steve {and Olivia!} for letting us share your special day! Check out more of their gorgeous pictures by Loryn Eaton Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Kelsey

K E L S E Y  +  E R I K

{June 17th, 2018}

 {Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Meet the beautiful Kelsey!

When Kelsey came to us searching for the perfect dress, we took to her right away. She is SO sweet!

After trying on different styles, Kelsey chose a stunning, rose gold WToo by Watters gown for her Sunday afternoon wedding.

Y'all, this dress!

It has some of the most interesting lace we have ever seen in a wedding gown. It's truly unique and we absolutely LOVE it!

Kelsey made it all her own by adding a gorgeous rose gold belt and champagne and rose gold veil, both by Bel Aire Bridal Accessories!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

For her beautiful flowers, Kelsey turned to Ocie Florals out of Naperville to create the perfect bouquet!

 {Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Before her walk down the aisle, Kelsey wanted to share a moment with her main man: dad.

His reaction to seeing his daughter in her wedding dress is everything!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Kelsey married her husband in a charming garden at Morton Arboretum.

With 16 guests in attendance, the whole thing was truly a family affair.

Both parents walked Kelsey down the aisle while her brother sang and played the guitar.

Her brother also officiated the wedding!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

After the ceremony, guests took a tram ride around the Arboretum before heading to a brunch reception.

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

See? Even if your guest list is smaller it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice having a beautiful reception!

Let's get to know the newlyweds! How did they meet?

"Our story is unique. Erik was actually my cross country coach in college, and over the years we realized we were bonding over more than just running. We decided to think seriously about the relationship after I graduated and our love grew from there. It's an odd way to meet your husband, but it's our story and I wouldn't change a thing!"

How did Erik pop the question?

"I'm a planner. So, when Erik first mentioned "our wedding," I got so excited that he was even considering marriage that I started thinking about how I might want our day to look. I had only been to the Morton Arboretum once before to run a 10K and I wasn't really paying attention to the scenery. So when I found out they had a small garden "perfect for small wedding ceremonies," my interest was sparked. I casually mentioned that we should go look at the garden sometime since neither of us had really toured the Arboretum before. We went to the Arboretum on a Sunday afternoon to wander around. After quite a bit of walking, we finally found the garden. But there was a wedding taking place inside so we couldn't go in. His Plan A was foiled. We decided to turn down the "Plants of Europe" trail. We came up on a bench and Erik said he was going to sit down for a minute. Anybody that knows Erik knows that the man does not sit down. He's constantly moving. So I became a little skeptical at this point. When I sat down next time him, he put his arm around me and said "I figured since we were here looking at a spot to get married, you should probably have this." And he pulled a ring box out of his pocket. I immediately started to laugh/cry. It wasn't the most romantic proposal in the world, but it was perfect for us! We sat on the bench and called and Facetimed our families for quite a while! The weird thing is that nobody else ever came down the trail! It was like our own private celebration, which was awesome!"

Was she surprised?

"I knew a proposal was coming soon, but I didn't think it would happen that day. I was with my mom, aunts and cousins the day before at a wine tasting though and they all were saying he was going to do it then!"

After the proposal comes our fave part of planning - dress shopping!

"Dress shopping was so fun! I went to a sample store first, just to get an idea of what silhouette I wanted. My best friend and cousin had both bought their dresses at Something Blue within the last year, so I knew that had to be my second stop. I brought my mom and Aunt Sue and we had such a fun time clipping dresses to try. I had in my mind that I wanted an A-Line dress or something flowy. I did not want something tight fitting. However, Celine (our consultant) knew best. She pulled a gorgeous lace fit and flare with a rose gold under layer. It was the first dress I tried on and I was ready to stop shopping! It fit me beautifully, the color was perfect, and once it was accented with a rose gold belt and beaded veil, I was sold! I still tried on the A-Line dresses just for the heck of it, but I knew they didn't stand a chance."

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

"I wanted something really unique and I loved the idea of wearing some kind of color. The unique lace and the rose gold under layer is what completely sold me! Also, I was extremely self-conscious about my hips and butt going into dress shopping. I think that's why I wanted an A-Line dress, so I could hide it. But as soon as I realized that the fit and flare style actually made me look good, there was no turning back! I never, in a million years, would have chosen that dress on the hanger! So, I am eternally grateful to Celine for realizing what would actually suit me."

When it was time to start planning her big day, Kelsey was up to the task.

"I loved the entire process! I've told numerous people that I think I entered the wrong profession. I should have been an event planner! I was excited about every little detail. I made my own centerpieces and decorations and my vendors were so fun to work with. I also think it helped that my wedding only had 20 invited guests...I feel like if I had a larger guest list things may not have gone so smoothly."

Come on, there has to be SOMETHING she didn't enjoy about it...

"There was one part that stressed me out and that was the itinerary for the wedding day. As I mentioned before, I'm a planner. We had a brunch wedding so everything was starting very early in the day. Making sure we stuck to a strict time schedule made me a little anxious. But I totally shouldn't have been nervous at all! Everything went so smoothly!"

What was Kelsey's favorite moment from her wedding?

 Tram ride through the Arboretum {Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Tram ride through the Arboretum {Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

"I had a few! I loved the first look with my Dad. I just felt like that was so special for both of us. I also loved seeing Erik tear up as I walked down the aisle. I caught a few glimpses of him from the window of the bridal room before the ceremony, but seeing him under the arbor with my brother was emotional and amazing! My third favorite moment was definitely our tram tour! Instead of a normal cocktail hour, we piled everyone onto a tram (with cocktails, of course) and took a tour of the Arboretum. It was so interesting and beautiful! I highly recommend completely embracing everything your venue has to offer. The driver even stopped for a photo op!"

 

Now that it's all said and done, what is Kelsey's biggest takeaway from the whole wedding process?

"Start planning early, especially if anything about your wedding is DIY. Also, organization is key! I had spreadsheets, budgets, and binders. If you aren't the organized type, find someone who is to help you. All the various bits of information can get jumbled if they aren't kept track of."

I asked Kelsey what her best piece of advice would be for future brides...

"I would encourage couples to plan the wedding they want! Erik and I knew we wanted a very personal, intimate wedding. We had very little, if any, push back from our family when it came to planning the guest list, itinerary, etc... I feel that not all couples are as lucky. But, what people need to remember is that a wedding is a day to celebrate the bride and the groom. And if the bride and the groom want to eat waffles in a garden with their immediate family and two best friends, then so be it!"

We loved working with you Kelsey and wish you and Erik nothing but happiness in your future together! Check out more of their beautiful wedding pictures by Melanie Principe Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Maggie

M A G G I E  +  D A V E

{June 2nd, 2018}

 {Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Hello, Gorgeous!

Meet our beautiful bride, Maggie!

She chose an amazing sable colored Essense of Australia gown for her day and we couldn't think of a better dress for her!

With it's side cutouts and illusion back, it is absolutely perfect!

After she put the dress on, Maggie's dad got a sneak peek of his girl.

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

For her flowers, Maggie chose to go eco-friendly and ordered through EcoFlower!

This way her bouquet {made from recycled wood and paper} will last a lifetime.

 {Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Maggie and her new husband Dave couldn't get married without having their fur babies involved!

Meet Chewbacca and Tonta!

Tonta is new to the family, they rescued him last spring!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

How stinking cute are those collars?!

Before the ceremony, Maggie and Dave wanted to share a first look together.

Shane Cleminson Photography was there to make sure they can always look back on the special moment!

The newlyweds were married at the Aquatorium in Gary.

This venue, you guys! SO pretty!

Their ceremony was held in the courtyard and was simply lovely.

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

After saying "I Do", Maggie, Dave and their guests moved on to the reception area.

The decor was a bookworm's dream! Stacks of books made up the centerpieces and their guestbook is too cute!

Harry Potter fans will recognize some fun tributes to the book series within the decorations!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Isn't that so fun? We are all about tailoring your wedding decor to your personal taste!

I wanted the inside scoop on the big day so I interviewed Maggie all about her wedding experience!

How did you guys meet?

"Dave and I met at the gym he was working at. We would see each other around but we didn’t actually start talking until I began taking one of his classes.  It was then we started gradually talking and a group of us started getting together. I didn’t want to rush into anything and end up having to find a new gym to work out at! Things eventually fell into place."

How did Dave propose?

"It was a spur of the moment. It was during the work week and I was getting ready for bed, I had the baggiest sweatpants and sweater on. All I remember was walking out of the room for a second and coming back in and Dave was down on one knee."

Did she know it was coming?

"I knew that is was supposed to be coming, but not exactly when. My birthday and Valentine’s Day were coming up so I hoped it was going to be sooner rather than later."

Once the ring was on it was time to find her gown! I asked Maggie to tell me about her dress buying experience.

"My friend went with me a couple days before my scheduled appointment to look through the dresses. I remember feeling overwhelmed with seeing all the dresses on the hangers. I wrote down 2 dresses I really wanted to try on. The day of my appointment, one of the ladies behind the desk recommended a dress for me to try on. As it was brought out, I realized it was one I had written down. It quickly became my favorite from the ones I had already seen. I had an appointment at one other boutique after. I tried on 3-4 more dresses but nothing compared that this dress. I went back right after to order!"

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

"This was the first dress that I felt really confident in and couldn’t stop looking at myself in the mirror!"

We can see why! She looks SO good in that dress!

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

"My favorite part would probably be trying on wedding dresses.  Up until that point everything still seemed unreal. Trying on and picking out my dress was the first time I thought to myself  “I am actually getting married”. I also really enjoyed doing a walk-through of the venue with our wedding planner and caterer. It was the first time we really got to visualize and plan specifics, this helped ease my nerves."

What about her least favorite part?

"The least favorite part was for sure getting the last minute RSVPs and making a seating chart. There were so many other things on my mind at that time that this was the last thing I wanted to spend time on."

Once the big day had arrived, what was her favorite moment of the wedding?

"It’s hard to choose just one moment. Getting ready and spending time with my mom, mother-in-law, and bridesmaids was great. We planned time to stop at 18th Street Brewery to have time with our bridal party before things got crazy.  I also loved our cocktail hour. Not only did we get to mingle in the courtyards and see everyone for the first time, but we got to enjoy amazing appetizers from Shoreline Brewery. We had been looking forward to our appetizers since we finalized our menu."

Now that everything is all said and done, what is Maggie's biggest takeaway from the whole planning process?

"Enjoy every moment of the process, the good and the bad.  Everyone told us it goes by quickly but I didn’t believe them. I still sit back and wonder how 15 months of planning went by so quickly in one day."

Any final words of advice for current brides-to-be?

"Definitely start booking major vendors right away. The one thing I am most happy with is getting a day of wedding planner.  Getting married at the Aquatorium required us finding all our own vendors. Vowed To You made our wedding day stress free. From setting up a timeline for us, setting up our centerpieces, and keeping everyone in check throughout the evening.  I highly recommend having someone in charge for the day, the last thing I wanted to do was have to worry about all the small details."

Congrats, Maggie and Dave!! Your wedding was beautiful and we are so happy we got to share it! Check out the gallery below for more pictures from their big day!

{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.

floral3.jpg
 {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!

firstlookdad.jpg
 {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!

floral2.jpg
 {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!

floral.jpg
floral2.jpg
 {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!

floral2.jpg
 {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!

JoannaPaulWedding_0601.jpg
JoannaPaulWedding_0027.jpg

{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!

floral.JPG
 {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!