{SBB Bride of the Week} Amanda

We are seriously so lucky to have the best brides walk through our door.

We loved working with this week's featured bride! She's just as beautiful inside as she is outside and looked so amazing in her gorgeous gown!

Meet Amanda...

{photo by: Michelle Cox Photography}

{photo by: Michelle Cox Photography}

I mean, SO pretty right?! Amanda rocked her Allure gown she purchased from SBB. It's gorgeous lace and sparkling details were just perfect for her wedding at the Red Barn Experience! She completed her look with a pair of bridal Converse.

{Photos by: Michelle Cox Photography}

Her daughter was clearly also a big fan of her gown!

Amanda's bouquet was a seriously stunning creation by Sugarfield Flowers {who did all of her GORGEOUS arrangements}!

{Photos by: Michelle Cox Photography}

{Photos by: Michelle Cox Photography}

Those flowers are so swoon-worthy!

Before the ceremony, Amanda wanted to have a private moment with her future hubby, Adriel. Michelle Cox Photography caught the couple's first look.

Adriel's reaction is everything!

Finally, it was time for the ceremony. The couple had such an amazing set up between the wood accents and the flowers. Amanda says her favorite part of the whole day was when Adriel read vows to her son. We maybe {ok, definitely} cried when we saw those pictures! Talk about a special moment. As Amanda said, "there wasn't a dry eye in the house"!

{Photos by: Michelle Cox Photography}

The reception in the barn was a beautiful blend of rustic glam. Floral centerpieces were seen on every table and guests got to enjoy fun touches like a photo guestbook and popcorn bar!

{Photos by: Michelle Cox Photography}

So pretty!! Now that we have seen their big day, let's find out more about how this couple got together!

So how did Amanda and Adriel meet?

"When they say mom knows best.... it’s true. She introduced us!"

After dating for awhile, the two were blessed with a baby on the way! Adriel decided it was the perfect time to pop the question.

"We had invited family over for our baby’s gender reveal. After cutting the cake he wanted to let everyone know what her name would be. It was a total surprise. I remember him talking about how family is super important to us and that we are excited she gets to be loved by everyone and then I saw him turn on one knee and I totally blacked out for a few seconds!!"

Finally it was time to plan her big day! What was Amanda's favorite part of the planning process?

"My favorite part was just being able to put everything I imagined into full effect!!"

As for her least favorite?

"RSVPs are always the worst! After the deadline you will still get them in."

Amanda has great advice for girls who are currently planning their big day:

"Starting early never hurts, you get a few months of relaxation. Try your best not to stress (easier said than done) but sit back and enjoy your day, you have been planning this since forever! You will blink and it will be done. Remember to make time for the dance floor I had so many great memories there with everyone!"

Congratulations to the newlyweds and thank you so much for letting us share your wedding day!! For more gorgeous pictures from Michelle Cox Photography, check out the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Breanna

A gorgeous gown, beautiful couple, fun bridal party and two super cute pups make for one memorable wedding!

We are so happy to bring you this week's featured bride!

Meet the lovely Breanna...

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

Breanna looked AMAZING in her Essense of Australia gown that she paired with some sparkling Bel Aire accessories {bought from Something Blue, of course}!  Check out that low, beaded back!

Ugh, so good!

Breanna had a couple special guests at her wedding - her adorable dogs Charlie and Winston!

We love when a couple includes their fur babies in their big day! Those bandannas are so cute!

Breanna's beautiful bouquet was made by Kathy"s Florist in Hammond and went perfectly with her color scheme!

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

Gorg!

Breanna married her new hubby Colin on a gorgeous September day. Her mother {wearing Montage by Mon Cheri} walked her down the aisle. Their photographer, Chelsea Nix Photography, was on hand to capture their special day.

Something we noticed while looking at all of Breanna and Colin's pics was how much fun they seemed to be having with their bridal party! Another cool detail? The Chicago Trolley they rented to get to the reception! So fun!

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

{Photo by: Chelsea Nix Photography}

The couple held their reception at Wicker Park in Highland. We loved the details like their key seating chart and doggy bags for guest's pets! A super touching moment came when Breanna and her mom had a first dance together. We maybe cried when we saw those pictures - you can really feel the emotion.

So beautiful.

Now that we've seen the wedding, let's get to know the newlyweds a little bit better!

The happy couple met in high school.

"We met through mutual friends (who were all in our wedding!) I always had a big crush on him and thought he was super cute but our paths never really crossed until I started college. That's when our mutual friends thought about getting us together (thanks Chris & Danielle!) We all hung out together one night and the rest is history!"

4 years of dating later, it was time for Colin to pop the question.

"He proposed July of 2015. He was planning on proposing the weekend before when we went to Chicago to see one of our favorite comedians. I had bought him the tickets to see the comedian back in April for his birthday. However, the night of the show, there was also a midnight-bike ride downtown that his Grandpa had signed him up for - which meant after the comedy show I had to drop him off to bike 20+ miles at midnight with his grandpa! He didn't want to propose to me that night because it felt rushed since he had to leave, which meant he sat through the whole show and biked all those miles with the ring in his pocket! He ended up proposing a week later in my driveway as we were getting ready to head to dinner at the Lighthouse in Cedar Lake."

Did Breanna have any idea it was coming?

"I figured it would be coming soon because we had been talking about it, and had slowly started talking about looking for a house together. I had no idea it would be that day since it was such a normal date night for us!"

While planning the wedding, Breanna loved the whole process.

"I'm a planner and love planning things so I enjoyed it all! A lot of the stuff for our reception was DIY and we incorporated a lot of small details about us (and our dogs!), so I think seeing how everything slowly starts to come together and when you start picturing how it will look the day of (because that's all you think about!). Also - dress shopping was SO much fun! You basically just get to play dress up with all these beautiful dresses! Cake testing wasn't too bad either... :)"

But let's be real, there can be some stressful parts to planning as well.

"With planning a wedding, it gets very hard to please every single person. I know at least for me, any plans I had, I always tried to keep our bridal party, family, friends, guests, etc. in mind and try to think of ways it would please every single person, but it becomes very stressful if you think like that."

Fast forward to the big day. What was Breanna's fav moment?

"Can I say the whole day? Because everything about the day was perfect to us. Just from getting ready with the girls before, the beautiful ceremony, and the reception - everything was perfect! I think the most favorite moment was just us having fun with all our friends and family and dancing the night away. I don't think we stepped off the dance floor all night!"

Any final advice for girls who are currently planning their big day?

"Definitely do not stress. Remember the important thing - its about being able to marry your best friend. Just remember to keep that in mind during planning. It's not about what kind of paper your invitations are printed on, or who sits where at the reception. It's a day to celebrate the love you have with another person!  Also - definitely plan ahead of time and stay organized! I'm a very organized person (I love spreadsheets!) so by like 2 weeks til the wedding, I was almost bored and anxious because we had gotten everything done ahead of time!

Do what feels best for you and your fiance! The day is all about YOU guys and your love for each other. Everything always falls into place anyways, so don't sweat the small stuff! I know everyone says it, but the day goes by SO FAST. Stop at certain points throughout the day just to take everything in, because it goes by in the blink of an eye!"

Thank you so much to Breanna and Colin for letting us share their special day! Wishing you both nothing but love and happiness in your future together! Check out more of their pictures by Chelsea Nix Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Catherine

We love seeing what gown a bride chooses for her big day. Sometimes they pick exactly what we think they would wear and sometimes they surprise the heck out of us {and themselves}!

This week's featured bride chose a dress that was made for her. Perfection in every way.

We are pleased to introduce you to Catherine...

{Photo by: LaRoche Photography}

{Photo by: LaRoche Photography}

Isn't she gorgeous?! Catherine, who is the sweetest person, chose an Allure Couture dress for her big day.

{Photo by: LaRoche Photography}

{Photo by: LaRoche Photography}

{Photo by: LaRoche Photography}

{Photo by: LaRoche Photography}

Like we said, PERFECTION! Her gown was dripping in Swarovski crystals from top to bottom. Stunning!

Before the wedding, Catherine had a first look with a couple very special guests - her dogs, Rilee and Macy! Adorable!

catherinedogs2.jpg
{Photos by: LaRoche Photography}

{Photos by: LaRoche Photography}

Catherine and her new hubby Brandon were married in a beautiful ceremony at St. Michael the Archangel in Schererville. LaRoche Photography was on hand to take pictures during the couple's big day and did a fabulous job!

Catherine's gorgeous bouquet by Kristina Lynn Floral featured pops of purple and greenery. Beautiful!

{Photos by: LaRoche Photography}

{Photos by: LaRoche Photography}

After the ceremony, everyone headed to Centennial Park in Munster for the reception. They had beautiful details including lanterns, flowers and candles. They also had a memorial table to honor loved ones who have passed away and a super cute take on a guestbook! Another cool idea - instead of a favor at every place setting, the couple made a donation to a charity!

So gorgeous! Now let's get to know these two a little better!

Catherine and Brandon met in high school {Andrean} Chemistry class when he was a sophomore and she was a junior. After dating for almost a decade, Brandon decided it was time to take the next step.

"He took me on a bike ride to a nearby neighborhood where he proposed on the pier that they have on the lake.  It was very special because he would always take me there for picnics and bike rides throughout the last 9 years!  Also, he did it on my parents 40th Anniversary and his Grandparents anniversary when all of my siblings were home, which was thoughtful. It was definitely a surprise!"

When it was time to start planning her wedding, Catherine definitely had fun with the decor. Her favorite part?

"Putting together my own centerpieces and decorations!  I like crafty things and I'm glad I put my own ideas in to the decorations.  It was fun to put my touch on everything and see it all come together in the end."

Did she dislike anything about the planning process?

"I really enjoyed most of it since I gave myself a timeline and was organized.  We decided to do most of the work ourselves so it was a little tedious printing all of our invitations, including the envelopes, and the place cards.  But luckily, we had a lot of help from family too."

Help makes all the difference when it comes to planning!

Finally the big day arrived. The couple's favorite part of the wedding?

"Being able to enjoy everyone's company.  It was great to see a lot of people that we normally don't get to see regularly."

Catherine has some great advice for future brides - it's all about staying organized! 

"I was able to start early since we got engaged in May and didn't get married until August of the following year.  I got A LOT of things done early on so that I wouldn't have to worry about it later.  Make a timeline!  Whether its monthly, weekly, or daily leading up to the wedding.  I started a monthly timeline in January (I got married in August) to organize everything I needed to get done up until that month.  Then, in July, I started a weekly timeline.  Finally, in August, I wrote out a daily timeline.  It helped me remember everything I needed to finish.  Also, if possible, send out your invitations early! I sent mine at the very end of May and requested them back by June 30th.  This gave me a month and a half up until the wedding once the deadline came along.  This will help you track down people that haven't responded and start early on the seating chart, place cards, etc."

My kinda gal. Thank you SO much to Catherine and Brandon for sharing your day with us! We are beyond happy for you two! Check out their gallery below for more of their beautiful wedding pictures!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Jessica

We're obsessed with everything about this week's featured bride and wedding!

From the rustic setting to the {obviously} gorgeous gown to the beautiful photography, this one looks fresh out of a wedding mag!

Meet the lovely Jessica...

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

How gorgeous is she?! Jessica was married on a beautiful day in Michigan and looked AMAZING in her Stella York gown that she made all her own by adding custom sleeves. She paired the look with some stunning Susan G Allen Couture earrings and well, the pictures speak for themselves.

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

Like I said, amazing, am I right?! Her pictures were done by White Harvest Photography and they are some of the most beautiful photos we have seen!

Before the ceremony, Jessica enjoyed time with her girls getting ready for the big day. The talented Krissy Vanderwoude provided make up while Jay Marie Salon did her hair! The results were stunning...she looked flawless!

Flower arrangements and bouquets were crafted by Park Place Design and are beyond gorgeous. The greenery mixed with the white = serious goals.

Jessica and Shawn wanted to incorporate their fur babies, Riley and Waylon, into their big day. Those dogs are so stinking cute and almost stole the show! We love that they had their own first look and even got to be part of the ceremony!

Jessica and Shawn were married at Millcreek Wilde Barn in Watervliet, Michigan. The venue and scenery were absolutely beautiful! Even better was being able to have their ceremony and reception in one spot! You have to see the pics for yourself to see how truly gorgeous this place is!

You can tell how much these 2 care for each other through their pictures. They were definitely meant for one another!

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

{Photo by: White Harvest Photography}

Their reception was just gorgeous and had the perfect rustic barn feel. We love the use of mason jars, cans and whiskey bottles as the centerpieces! Check out all the beautiful details captured by White Harvest Photography!

Guests were treated to an array of cupcake flavors along with the couple's cutting cake, all made by The Baker's Rhapsody! Y'all know how much we love a dessert table and these look so delish we would definitely be sampling every flavor! We love the set up too!

We've seen the wedding, now let's get to know these 2 a little better!

When the couple met, it was Shawn who decided to make the first move.

"I worked as a waitress at Texas Roadhouse. Shawn knew a friend of mine who worked there and came in to visit one night. He left his number on the credit card slip at the end of the night. This is actually a funny story because I never reached out to any guy who did this before and Shawn is definitely not the type to leave his number for a waitress. I texted him a few days later and we've been together ever since!"

After dating for seven years, it was time to pop the question!

"I knew it was coming. I made it very clear that I wanted it to be quiet and personal and not flashy and public. I came home from work one night and Shawn was waiting outside with our dogs. Our female was dressed in a white pearl necklace and our male was dressed in a tuxedo shirt. It was really sweet. Our cats also had bow ties on when I went inside."

I'll say it again: I LOVE this couple's love for their animals and how they incorporate them into special moments!

When it was time to start the planning, Jessica was big on the DIY projects. As for finding time for the tedious tasks...not so much.

"My favorite part of wedding planning was the details. I handmade a majority of my decorations, so the crafting and preparing was so much fun! Everything turned out exactly how I pictured it in my head.

My least favorite part of wedding planning was finding time to meet with all my vendors. I worked full time as a Veterinary Surgical Technician up until the week before the wedding. So between that and it being out of town, it was really hard to make things work and very stressful trying to work between my schedule and vendors' schedules."

Fast forward to the big day!

"My favorite moment of the wedding was sitting down for dinner. I know that sounds weird, but sitting next to my new husband and my best friends and looking out into the room surrounded by everybody that I love was just so special."

Jessica has some great advice for brides-to-be! It's a piece of advice we always give our brides before their big day.

"My biggest takeaway from the wedding process, was to NOT sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of things, the small things are just that... SO small. If something isn't working out, it's not meant to be and there are other options!

The advice that I received the most was to just try and sit back and take everything in throughout the whole day because it goes by so fast. THIS IS SO TRUE. I cannot emphasize enough how FAST everything goes by. Try to remember the important moments and really just be in the moment as they are happening. These are times you will never get back, so the memories are very special. Don't get caught up in the stress or the drama (if there is any). This is YOUR day and you can be selfish."

Thank you SO MUCH to Jessica and Shawn for sharing their gorgeous wedding day with us! We had so much fun looking through your pictures and hearing all about your big day! We wish you guys a happy and healthy future together! To see more of the couple's amazing wedding pics, check out the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Britni

What do you get when you add a gorg dress, beautiful photography, sweet reception details and a stunning bride?

One amazing wedding!

Meet the lovely Britni...

{Photo by: Timothy Whaley Photography}

{Photo by: Timothy Whaley Photography}

Britni is such a sweetheart and we loved working with her!! She looked absolutely amazing in her Allure Bridals gown, Berger veil, and accessories by Bel Aire Bridals - all purchased from SBB of course!

Her gorgeous bouquet was made of brooches to fit the vintage feel of her lace gown. Britni says she loves having it as a keepsake and hopes to pass it down one day.

0002.jpg

Britni and her hubby Chris were married at Aberdeen Manor in Valpo. To make things even more special, Britni's dad not only gave her away, but also married the couple.

After the ceremony, guests had an easy commute - across the parking lot- to the reception hall. This venue is just beautiful and Britni did a fabulous job decorating it for her big day!

 

After dinner, guests were served the couple's favorite dessert - warm cookies with vanilla ice cream! Even their wedding cake was made to look like cookies. We absolutely adore this idea!

{Photo by: Timothy Whaley Photography}

{Photo by: Timothy Whaley Photography}

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. How did these lovebirds meet?

"We met in a Video Production Class at Lake Central High School. First day of school we sat right next to each other as seventeen year olds. We were informed immediately on that first day, August 2007, that we would be going "on air" together to give the daily high school announcements. Students were paired up ahead of time by class leaders. Our student class leaders thought it would be "funny" to the student body for everyone to see our last names together "Vienna Weiner" across the bottom of the TV screen as we gave the daily school news. Our names gave everyone a good laugh. After many "on air" moments and laughs about being "Hot Dogs," we started becoming best friends for a year before officially dating in 2008. Nine years later we are still best friends as we just said "I do." Silly last names brought the two of us together. We have had many journeys together from high school graduations, to a college graduation together at Purdue University in West Lafayette. We have watched each other grow from age 17 to 27 in total. We are so excited for many more journeys together ahead as husband and wife."

After years together, it was time for the big proposal. Britni's hubby, Chris, wrote this part himself which we LOVE! Prepare yourself - it is the sweetest story!

"When I finally decided I would propose to Britni, I knew I would be making meticulous and detailed preparations.  Britni has spent years watching The Bachelor and Bachelorette, so her standard for proposal speeches is pretty high. Years ago, I had her sister ask her what she expected out of a proposal.  She articulated several desires.  First, her family be involved.  Second, it be a surprise.  Third, that there be a photographer to capture the moment.

With this in mind, I asked others for advice.  A friend of mine told me that I should propose at a location we could always return to.  Preferably somewhere outdoor and permanent.  Restaurants close and buildings get torn down, so a public location was desirable.  With this in mind, I thought of locations that Britni and I had experienced together in the past.  This reminded me of the first time we spent the day together in Chicago.  We were at the museum campus.  I decided to ride my bike out to the museum campus one day in March to scout locations.  There is a ledge behind the Shedd aquarium with a perfect view of the skyline.  It is also far enough away from common paths of foot traffic that I believed we could have a moment of privacy.  

Once I determined a location I decided to determine a date.  In reality, the date was determined for me.  I contacted Britni's sister and asked her to help me arrange an 'engagement party' the same day as the proposal.  There was only one weekend that summer that her entire family would be in town at the same time.  It was Memorial Day weekend.  Not the ideal weekend to avoid tourists and foot traffic at the Shedd, but at least we were likely to have good weather.

So, I had a location and a date.  Next, I went to work arranging details.  I hired a photographer to hide in a crowd of tourists while I proposed.  I also purchased a bouquet of flowers that I hid in my trunk.  With the necessary materials prepared, I had to fabricate a lie to get Britni to the Shedd aquarium the morning of the proposal.  That ended up being very easy.  I told her I had 'a work thing' and she took that on faith.  

The morning of the proposal I realized how many opportunities there were for things to go wrong.  All of our friends and family knew I was proposing that day.  Literally, everyone knew but her.  Her aunt had already almost spoiled the surprise the weekend prior.  Furthermore, all she had to do was look in my trunk to see a bouquet of flowers.  Or, notice a giant ring box bulging out of my pocket.  At any point, she could have googled the 'work event' I had lied about, but luckily she didn't.  

Things generally went to plan.  I drove Britni out to the Shedd aquarium and dropped her off at the door.  She was confused why I would drop her off before parking, but I insisted that it was to 'keep her hair out of the humidity.'  Whatever.  She needed to be separated from me before I actually proposed so I could place the photographer and retrieve the bouquet of flowers.  I told her to wait for me before entering.  She didn't exactly follow my directions, but she delayed long enough for me to get everything in place.  I parked the car, placed the photographer, grabbed the flowers, and went to the proposal spot.  Then, I called her and told her to meet me at the ledge behind the aquarium.  She expressed some initial confusion but quickly obliged.  At this point, she still was under the impression this was all a work event.  

{Photo by: Prudence Photography}

{Photo by: Prudence Photography}

The moment she saw me holding a bouquet of flowers is the moment she knew.  There was no 'work thing.'  I wasn't parking the car.  I didn't care about her hair and the humidity.  She knew something was up.  Then, she started talking. A lot. If you've ever watched the Bachelor, the gentleman proposing generally has ninety seconds or more of uninterrupted silence to express a 'speech' of sorts.  A soliloquy of romance.  A monologue of passion.  I never got that.  Britni immediately began crying, looking around, and shouting 'Is this really happening?' through my entire first attempt.  At that point, we both agreed to a repeat.  We both took a deep breath, and I recited the speech I had rehearsed.  I took a knee, asked the question, she said yes.  After ten years of dating, that was the predicted response.  

Thankfully, I had booked the photographer for an hour.  We spend the next part of our morning taking pictures.  Then we got a quick bite to eat and I told her we had plans for the afternoon.  Remember, I had worked with her sister to plan a surprise engagement party.  I told Britni that we were simply having dinner with her parents and sister.  Unbeknownst to her, her aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends were actually gathering at her house this entire time in anticipation of her arrival.  When we left the museum campus I had discovered a flaw in my scrupulous plans.  Beyonce was performing at Soldier Field.  Getting out of downtown in a car proved to be a tribulation, and we spent over an hour sitting in traffic before we could even leave downtown.  This meant we were already 40 minutes late for the engagement party before we had even gotten off the highway.  Britni had no idea, but I was sweating the entire time.  This was due to nervousness more than temperature. 

We arrived to the engagement party an hour late.  Britni entered her garage code and was greeted by over fifty family and friends clapping and cheering.  It was the second surprise of the day, and my plan was complete."

Well sweep me off my dang feet! How awesome and perfect is that?!

Moving on to the wedding planning. What were Britni's favorite parts of the process?

"There are so many. I truly enjoy planning and being creative for that is my personality! My Pinterest boards finally were put to use! I made a very detailed wedding binder that helped make the process run smoothly too and keep track of all the vendor contracts and more. But at the end of the day, that binder was not opened and details were not worried the day of the wedding. It was time to celebrate and watch everything unfold and relax! 

My Wedding Coordinator, Megan Wiesjahn, was provided to us by our venue. She was amazing with all the meetings, emails, and advice. This helped make the process go so smoothly and she truly understood our vision. Planning is so important for it makes a wedding an experience for the guests. I did not have to worry about any of the "small" stuff or hiccups for Megan took care of it and I was able to enjoy the moment without having someone come up to me with a "problem." 

Despite my personal love for planning, I loved asking my two best friends to be my Maids of Honors. My sister and friend were truly surprised for I did a little "proposal" asking them to be part of such an important day with me. 

I think this current trend of asking your girls to be part of your wedding day is so special for it creates such a special bond and makes them feel appreciated too. The girls reactions were priceless and that is by far a favorite moment. I loved the idea of making your Maid(s) of Honor(s)/Bridesmaids (I did not have Bridesmaids) feel so important for these beautiful people were going to be such a huge part of the planning process. These women helped plan my Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party, and gave endless assistance with helping me with details leading up to the wedding, to helping me pick the dress I walked toward my husband in, and so much more. My favorite part was working with my two best friends so closely every step of the way. We created even stronger bonds and the three of us made a great team!"

It is seriously so helpful to have your best girls by your side as your plan! Once the big day had arrived, there were a few moments that will always be favorites in Britni's mind.

"My favorite moment was having much of our family be a part of our wedding day. My father who knows both my husband and I so well married us and became an officiant online. He has great public speaking skills and my husband and I knew right away that we wanted him to marry us.  At first, my father thought we were joking when we asked him but went with it. My father did not only walk me down the aisle, but also married me away. Many guests did not know that he was our officiant, we kept it a secret and did not put it in the programs. My husband and I stood at the bottom of the stage and watched my father walk up and that's when the audience started to figure it out. Everyone gasped, clapped, and laughed because my father has such a contagious energetic personality to begin with. It was a sweet surprise for our 150 guests. Our ceremony truly set the tone for the rest of the wedding, everyone had such a fun heartwarming experience at the ceremony that it brought everyone together at the cocktail hour. 

Another personalized touch was my father-in law playing guitar as part of our live music during sections of the ceremony. It was so special having my father-in law play the music I walked down the aisle toward his son. We then had my brother-in law and his girlfriend play live music during cocktail hour. In addition to having family all around us and part of the day, to get me to the chapel my aunt (Godmother) drove me in her mini van. Yes, that van has driven me all around as a kid and what not a better way to pull up to the chapel as it felt full circle. 

{Photo by: Timothy Whaley Photography}

{Photo by: Timothy Whaley Photography}

My final favorite moment that truly lasted the entire wedding day was having an article that my deceased grandmother owned with me as my something blue. My grandmother may not have physically been at my wedding, but was close to mine. When she passed in 2011, I grabbed a particular dress she wore for my cousin's wedding in hopes she would be my something blue when that time came. The dress she even wore was blue. The seamstress cut fabric from where her heart laid and sewed where my heart sits in my wedding gown. This was by far a favorite moment."

Finally, Britni has a few pieces of great advice for future brides!

"First, I wish someone told me makeup artists book so fast! Finding a makeup artist should be top on your list. It was on my bottom for you think of all the other vendors first. I learned that some artists are booked 1 year to a 1 1/2 years, specifically in NWI. What is nice is that the makeup artists have much respect for each other and will recommend you to other artists. Just something to keep in mind though if you had an artist in mind. 

My second advice, if you and your future husband have a vision, like having a smaller wedding, or having no bridesmaids or groomsmen but only Maids of Honor(s), go with what feels right with you and not what you think others expect - it is YOUR day! Stick with the vision you both share and carry it out as best as you can. Many people are excited for the both of you and have wonderful ideas too, keep their ideas in mind but make the final call with your significant other. 

My third piece of advice, go to Bridal Expos/Bridal Shows! This is where I won my photography package (always look into vendors even if you win them to ensure they have a high standing in the wedding industry). Bridal Expos/Bridal Shows provide unique ideas and even provide you with vendors that are willing to travel to you! Many of my vendors came from a Naperville Bridal Expo. Keep an open mind and have fun with these shows!"

Thank you SO much to Britni and Chris for sharing your special day and advice with us and our brides! We wish you nothing but the best in your future together!! Check out more of their beautiful wedding pics in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Lindsey

We just love a summer wedding. Warm air, sunny skies, a beautiful setting. Not to mention a gorgeous bride!

We're so happy to introduce you to Lindsey!

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

Lindsey looked amazing in her Sincerity Bridals gown, Edward Berger veil and Susan G. Allen accessories!

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

So beautiful! Her gorgeous flowers were made by Kristina Lynn Floral and were just stunning! We are loving the color combo! We love Lindsey's mix of accessories and attention to detail. Even her man had some awesome custom cuff links for their big day!

lindseywedding28.jpg
{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

How cool are those?? Lindsey and Sean held their ceremony and reception at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake.

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

Their reception was decorated beautifully with lanterns, wood accents and flowers. They also had a memorial table set up to honor loved ones who had passed.

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

Designer Desserts provided a delish cake and cupcakes for after dinner. The couple even had a s'mores bar set up for their guests. YUM!

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

We love a creative sweets bar! We've seen their gorgeous decor, but now let's get to know the newlyweds a little better...

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

{Photo by: Melanie Gwen Photography}

"Sean and I met through friends in college 7 years ago. We were close friends for a long time and after a while we started dating. I knew from the very start that if I was ever going to spend the rest of my life with someone, it was going to be him."

After dating for awhile, it was time for Sean to pop the question!

"Our engagement was heartfelt and sweet. Sean had a proposal all planned out for our vacation we were taking the following month but the night he came over to show my mom the ring he decided he couldn't wait any longer. He proposed to me that night. Before he proposed he told me every reason why being with me makes perfect sense and that he couldn't imagine experiencing life with anyone else but me. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! I was so excited and happy I couldn't think of anything else to say except for yes, yes, and yes!"

We asked Lindsey what her favorite and least favorite part of the whole planning process was.

"My favorite part of planning my wedding was literally everything! I loved every bit of it! I might just even become a wedding planner now after college because of it. If I did have to pick a favorite it would be seeing how excited we both were for the wedding and making all the crafts to make our big day beautiful.

My least favorite part of the wedding was the bridesmaid drama. After I had to replace a couple bridesmaids the new bridesmaids that I officially had were absolutely wonderful and I’m still happy how everything worked out."

Uh oh! Bridesmaid drama is never fun! Finally the big day arrived. Lindsey says the best part was the time she got to spend with everyone. 

"My favorite moment of our wedding was the reception because that was when we got to relax the most and actually see each other."

Any advice for brides-to-be starting the planning process ?

"Start as early as possible! I started early and the only thing I had to worry about the last 2 weeks was getting everything I had made to the venue and making a check list of what I needed the day before and day of the wedding. The most important part is to not stress too much! This is your big day so enjoy every minute of the hard work that goes into it. In the end, no matter what happens you still get to marry your best friend.

My best advice for brides would be to only do what you and your future husband want to do. If you guys want to splurge then splurge and if you guys want a zombie wedding then plan a zombie wedding. Just always remember this is your big day, so plan the wedding that YOU want."

Great advice! And hey, a zombie wedding might be awesome for Halloween, no? Check out more pics {taken by the talented Melanie Gwen Photography} from Lindsey and Sean's big day in the gallery below! Thanks so much to the happy couple for letting us feature their beautiful wedding!

 

{SBB Bride of the Week} Ashley

This gorgeous girl was such a pleasure to work with and we are so honored to feature her wedding this week!

Meet Ashley...

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

Ashley wore a stunning drop waist ballgown by Allure Bridals on her special day and could not have looked more beautiful!

She married the love of her life Brian in a lovely August ceremony at Aberdeen Manor.

Her photographer, Katherine Murray Photography, did such a beautiful job capturing the couple's special day! Her florist, DIxon's Florist also did a fab job with her absolutely gorgeous bouquet!

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

We have an obsession with eucalyptus at SBB and are living for the touches of it throughout the arrangement! Such a pretty accent to the classic white roses.

After the ceremony, guests walked from the chapel to the reception hall where a truly magical scene awaited them. The details, from the globe guestbook to the crystal centerpieces to the SUSPENDED CAKE {umm yeah, maybe our fav detail} were simply perfect!

Ashley and Brian's proposal story is one for the books! It all started on a dream vacation across the pond...

"In May of 2016, Brian and I went on a 2 week vacation to Donegal, Ireland where he's from. It's the most magical place I've ever been to. My one request was that he take me to a castle while we were there. One of the days we went to Glenveagh National Park, which houses Glenveagh Castle. We were walking through the rose gardens and Brian asked me to go to the gazebo with him to check out the view, which was spectacular. We're up on a hill with the best view of the castle and I turn around and there Brian is on one knee. The rest is history."

STOP it! So romantic!! Was Ashley expecting him to pop the question?

"It was a complete surprise, I had no idea it was coming! He had asked my parents for permission to marry me and they kept it a secret all along."

Fast forward to wedding planning. What was Ashley's favorite and least favorite part of the process?

"My favorite part of the planning process was that we as a couple planned all of the details together. Our favorite thing to do was definitely the cake tasting. It was amazing! Our least favorite part was tracking down last minute RSVPers!"

Finally it was time for the big day!  Ashley has a very specific moment from the day that she will always remember!

"My favorite moment of our wedding day was taking a minute with Brian outside right after the ceremony. Just being able to have that private moment by ourselves to take it all in for a few minutes was awesome!"

Any advice for future brides?

"My biggest takeaway from all of this was to not stress over the small details. If something doesn't come out as planned, none of your guests will even notice. Enjoy every moment, you'll blink and your entire day is over."

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photos by: Katherine Murray Photography}

Thank you so much Brian and Ashley for letting us feature your gorgeous wedding day! We wish you guys nothing but the best and can't wait to see where this new chapter takes you! Check out more beautiful pictures from their big day {taken by Katherine Murray Photography} in the gallery below!

 

 

{SBB Bride of the Week} Taylor

We're suckers for beautiful details and our featured bride this week did not disappoint with her seriously gorgeous wedding!

We are so happy to introduce you to Taylor!

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

Taylor rocked her Essense of Australia gown, completed with a Mikaella veil. She later added a super cool bolero shoulder piece by Bel Aire Bridals to add some sparkle to her reception look!

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

The results were just stunning! That is one beautiful bride!

Taylor and her new hubby Josh were married in a beautiful ceremony at Faith Church. She wanted a first look with her favorite men {aside from Josh, of course} before walking down the aisle and the sweet moment was captured by Kelsey Brown with By the Free Photography.

Taylor's dad was on double duty - he walked her down the aisle AND married the couple! Seriously, how special is that?!

{{photo by: By the Free Photography}

{{photo by: By the Free Photography}

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

The ceremony was filled with love, laughter and some of the cutest ring bearers and flower girls ever! There were even a couple little musicians to play something special.

{photos by: By the Free Photography}

The amazing bouquets and floral arrangements were done by Intertwine and were so dreamy!

AS0B8972.jpg
{photo by: By the Free Photography}

{photo by: By the Free Photography}

That color scheme is seriously everything. SO in love!

The reception took place at the Lighthouse Restaurant and was so pretty! We love the attention to detail in the tablescapes and the tassel banners strung throughout the ceiling!

Taylor and Josh first met in college, where she played volleyball and he played basketball.

"I had hurt my knee so I went to the training room to sit in the ice bath and he was in it icing his ankle. I made fun of him for keeping the water too warm and shoveled some ice in it."

When it was time to pop the big question, Josh incorporated one of Taylor's biggest passions.

"I love horses so he took me horseback riding one morning. We got off by this lake and he proposed!"

Was she expecting it?

"Yes and no. He never does big things like this for me so I knew it was for something special but wasn't positive."

Let the planning begin! We asked Taylor what her favorite and not so favorite parts of the process were...

"My favorite part was probably finding my dress! It's the one thing that wasn't that stressful. All that mattered was what I liked and how I felt in it. It was just me and my mom. It was the easiest decision and SBB was the best to work with! The seating chart was my least favorite part! It was hard to figure out where to put everyone!"

Once the big day arrived, Taylor had a moment that stands out from the rest.

"My dad marrying us. It was so special and made it so much more personal for us. It is such a great memory for us. He did the best job!"

Any advice for brides-to-be?

"Definitely start early. Each day/week chip away at something. It's amazing how many little things show up at the end of the planning process no matter how much you prepped. And don't stress about the little things. If I look back at every wedding I've been to I couldn't tell you what color the napkins were or the flowers at the table. Guests are there to enjoy your day together. They just want to have fun! Pick the top 3 things that are most important to you and then make the rest work. I spent the most on those 3 things and the rest you budget or find alternatives for. Pinterest is nice but not realistic! Also during your reception, take your new spouse and just go away from everything for at least 15 minutes and take it all in. Just you two. It was probably my favorite 15 minutes of the whole day!"

Thank you so much to Taylor and Josh for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us! We are so excited for you and wish you a happy and healthy future! Check out more of their insanely beautiful pics by By the Free Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Jacky

We enjoyed working with this week's featured bride so much!

Her August wedding was just gorgeous and we are beyond thrilled to share it with you!

Meet Jacky...

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

Jacky stunned in a gorgeous crepe Pronovias gown, made complete with a cathedral length Edward Berger veil.

Her pictures were taken by Katherine Murray Photography, who does such a wonderful job every single time! We had the hardest time picking and choosing photos for this post because they were all so killer!

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

See what I mean? Gorg!

Her florist Lake Effect Florals also did an incredible job on the arrangements for the ceremony and reception, as well as the bouquets and boutonnieres. We love a succulent accent and they delivered the loveliest flowers for Jacky's big day!

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

Nate and Jacky were married at First United Methodist Church in Valparaiso in a beautiful ceremony. She definitely stunned as she walked down the aisle. The ring bearer and flower girl were also SO adorable!

{Photos by Katherine Murray Photography}

We just love how happy they look!

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

Such a gorgeous couple!

Once they were officially man and wife, the couple and their guests headed to the Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake to kick off their reception.

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

The attention to detail throughout the reception really paid off. All of Jacky and Nate's decor was beautiful and the color scheme was seriously perfect for summer. They had some unique ideas such as a photo book to sign instead of a traditional guestbook and a beautiful table set up just to remember loved ones are no longer with us. Katherine Murray Photography captured all of these details in more stunning photos.

The cake was provided by KupKates out of Valpo and was simply beautiful! A perfect centerpiece to the reception.

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

{Photo by Katherine Murray Photography}

You can tell how much fun they have as a couple just by looking at their reception pictures. As the saying goes, the couple that plays together, stays together!

{Photos by Katherine Murray Photography}

We just love them!

So how did the happy couple meet?

"We initially met at a party while attending high school. A handful of years later, we hunt out again with mutual friends. From there we would see each other every once in awhile because we had the same circle of friends but we never dated back then. Years later, he found me on facebook and asked me on a date!"

Facebook has brought so many couples together! The power of social media! After dating for some time, it was finally time to make the next step.

"We were driving to dinner one night and when he went to park the car he told me he'd rather park at Central Park in downtown Valpo and just walk to the restaurant. I remember thinking it was a bit off but didn't really read into it. We walked through the park while holding hands and he came to a stop. I turned around to see why he stopped and he was on one knee!

It was a complete surprise! We hadn't looked at rings and we only talked about marriage a few times. I had no clue! Even though he said he was so nervous he was sweating, I couldn't tell! I was so impressed that he did it all on his own. He didn't even tell his family he was going to propose so they were all surprised too! It was great!"

We wish we could've seen the look on everyone's face! After Jacky got her rock, it was time to plan her wedding. I asked her what her favorite and least favorite parts of the process were.

"As much as I loved the food and cake tastings, my favorite part was finalizing the details of the reception. From picking out table linens to the reception decor, it was so much fun!

My least favorite part would have to be the seating chart for the reception. You want to sit people where they'll be the most comfortable and have the most fun but it's inevitable that it won't work out that way for everyone. Though the good thing is, dinner is only an hour!"

Once the big day finally arrived and everything was in place, what was Jacky's favorite moment?

"I'd say my favorite moment was the ceremony. Hearing the words, saying your vows, the excitement you see in each other and knowing that you're surrounded by all of the love of your family and friends!"

It's so important to take in those moments, because those memories will last a lifetime! Every bride has a takeaway from the whole planning process and Jacky's was something we are always telling our girls!

"The biggest thing I learned is that everything will not go exactly how you want it to and that's ok! Overall, the only think that matters is that you're celebrating your new life together with the people who love you most!"

Her best piece of advice for brides-to-be?

"From the beginning, decide what's most important to you then go from there. And don't waste time paying too much attention to the details. No one will notice and it will all come together beautifully anyway!"

We so appreciate Jacky and Nate for allowing us to feature their beautiful wedding day and wish them the best as they start this new journey together! Check out more of their amazing pictures from Katherine Murray Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Natalie

We're always so happy for our brides when they get married, but {selfishly} feel a little sad for ourselves that we don't get to see them around the boutique anymore!

This gorgeous lady was so wonderful and gracious every time she stepped foot in the store.

Meet Natalie...

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

Natalie looked so gorgeous in her Sincerity Bridals gown, made all her own by adding a sparkling Bel Aire Bridals belt and bracelet, Edward Berger veil and Susan G. Allen Couture Bridal earrings!

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos}

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos}

That belt is such a stunner! One of our favs for sure.

Before walking down the aisle, Natalie wanted to share a first look with the main man in her life - dad. Y'all know how much we love these pics! Her photographer from Forever Faithful Photos was on hand to capture this special moment.

Natalie and her husband Joey were married in July in a beautiful ceremony at St. Mary Catholic Church in Crown Point!

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos}

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos}

 

The bride's bouquet and floral arrangements were all provided by The Bonnie View and were perfect summer colors!

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos}

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos}

Loving the pops of blue in there!

After the ceremony, Natalie, Joey and their guests headed over to Wicker Park in Highland for their pictures and reception.

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

Their reception was beautiful, from the lit up centerpieces to the super yummy looking cupcakes made by family friend Nancy Maier!

nataliewedding35.jpg
nataliewedding34.jpg
{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

A super cute idea is having your own social media hashtag so guests can share pics that you can look back on whenever you search the tag!

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

Natalie and Joey first met in high school.

"He was a year older than me so after he graduated we lost touch. It was not until I went away to college that we started to talk again, on facebook of course. We remained just friends for a little while but after he made a few trips down to see me and I returned home to see him, I knew this guy was much more than just a friend."

After dating for 5 years, the happy couple took their first trip together.

"We went to Punta Cana and it was absolutely beautiful. On our last night there, we went for a walk and ended up at a little gazebo that overlooked the ocean. I was looking out at the ocean and as I turned around there he was down on one knee. I can't recall the exact words he said but it was so special because it was just he and I in that moment together. I will never forget it."

That is so special! Especially on such a beautiful vacation! Was Natalie expecting the moment?

"We had talked about taking the next step and looked at rings, but Joey was good at throwing me off his trail."

What was Natalie's favorite part and least favorite part of planning the wedding?

"I would have to say my favorite was looking for my dress. It was such a fun and emotional time. I loved that all the important ladies in my life were able to be with me as I tried on dresses. It was great to see their reactions and share that moment with them. I loved the feeling when I knew "THIS IS IT". All I could think about was walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams and seeing his reaction. Also Something Blue seriously made it so personal and were super helpful at making sure I got exactly what I wanted. Just perfect!

My least favorite part was making our seat chart for the reception. It was so stressful trying to make sure certain people sat with certain people and sitting the individual guests at tables where they knew someone. It all worked out but at that moment, UGH, not fun!"

Finally, it was the day of the wedding. I asked Natalie what her favorite moment was from her big day.

"The whole day was amazing! It was everything I could imagine and more! But my absolute favorite moment was our first dance. It was the first moment we were able to really talk and take in that we were finally husband and wife!"

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

{Photo by: Forever Faithful Photos} 

So now that Natalie is a married woman, does she have any advice for future brides?

"It will all work out and don't wear the small stuff. Meaning don't get hung up on the little details like centerpieces because they will turn out just fine. I learned quickly they are the last things people remember about the BIG day! Also it's never too early to book venues or your vendors. It will make the process much less stressful if you can get your big things done. I personally had those portions of my wedding complete a year or more in advance and it took so much off our plate and allowed us to focus on other details."

Thank you so much to Natalie and Joey for letting us feature their special day on the blog! We LOVED working with you and wish you guys nothing but luck and happiness as you begin this new chapter! Check out more pictures from their big day in the gallery below!

 

 

{SBB Bride of the Week} Dana

We are swooning over everything about this week's featured bride and wedding!

We are so happy to introduce you to our gorgeous bride Dana...

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

Ummm is this real life?! Every time Dana came in for a fitting on her stunning Stella York gown we would be beside ourselves because she just ROCKED that dress! Once she added her Edward Berger veil and Badgley Mischka shoes, the whole look was complete!

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

SO beautiful from head to heel!

Dana and her husband Sam were married at St. Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso. Before she walked down the aisle, the couple shared a first look captured by their talented photographer Monica Z. Photography.

The look on Sam's face when he sees his bride!! You can tell how much he truly loves her.

The ceremony went off without a hitch and before they knew it, Sam and Dana were man and wife.

danawedding12.jpg
danawedding13.jpg
{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

After the ceremony, the couple and their guests headed to The Market Gatherings & Events {also located in Valpo} for a seriously stunning reception! Intertwine {Chesterton} created some of the most beautiful floral arrangements and tablescapes we have seen!

danawedding21.jpg
{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

So romantic and just LOOK at Dana's bouquet!

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

Magazine worthy!!! Delish sweets and the gorgeous cake were all provided by Wildflour Bakery.

danawedding28.jpg
{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

That cake is almost too beautiful to eat! Almost.

After dancing the night away, the newlyweds were off to start their new life together. A sparkler send off was the perfect way to say goodbye!

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photo by: Monica Z. Photography}

We asked Dana how she met her future husband..

"Sam and I met at a mutual friend's Christmas party in 2006 and became friends instantly! I think we would both say there was a chemistry, although we did not date until 2 years after meeting. We wouldn't have it any other way. Friendship built to trust, trust to life, like to love!"

That is the way to do it! So after spending 8 YEARS together, it was time to pop the question!

"On our 8th anniversary, Sam had something special planned but kept me out of the details. Only after I got off of work did Sam give me the address to meet him at. This so happened to be our favorite hotel in downtown Chicago. I checked in and took the elevator up to our suite. I opened the door to candlelight and rose petals guiding my way to Sam standing in his nicest suit. He bent down on his knee and asked me to be his wife. Afterwards, we enjoyed a celebratory dinner and champagne at one of our favorite restaurants in the city. It was everything I could have hoped for and more!"

SWOON. Did she know it was coming?

"I would say I had an inclination after we had spent the holidays looking at rings together. After many gel manicures and wondering when and where he would pop the question, our anniversary in January seemed like the perfect date since he was trying to keep our plans such a surprise."

Let's get down to planning the wedding. What were Dana's favorite and least favorite parts of the whole process?

"My favorite was trying on so many gorgeous gowns and finally finding THE ONE at Something Blue Bridal. It was exciting to have my mom and some of my bridesmaids there to experience it with me. Everyone at SBB made the process stress-free, fun and exciting! I really enjoyed everyone I worked with and the ability to have my alterations done in house. It truly allowed me to feel like a bride to be.

Planning a wedding and having a full time job is a challenge! There is a lot of detail and consideration you have to take into account for everything. There's a sense of urgency to get your invitations out by the three month mark. That was the least favorite part, sending out 300+ invitations, all hand written in calligraphy, stamped and ready to go. When my fiance brought them to the post office, we found out we needed additional postage. It was not the end of the world but a hassle for sure!"

Dana has some great advice for other brides-to-be who find themselves stressing out:

"The day of your wedding goes by FAST! I was prepared for that but my biggest takeaway would be that all of your planning efforts will come into place. Let your vendors do their jobs and relax and have fun! You and your husband should just focus upon being present in your wedding day and to take in the love and support you have from friends and family!

I am so glad I started planning early. Those bridal timelines are a big help! Securing a date with your church, venue and vendors is important because they can book up quickly! Even years in advance! Another thing, don't be afraid to ask for help if you're feeling overwhelmed. Delegate to family and friends if need be. Have your fiance offer his input on the details - if there is something he really wants, go with it. The day is about the BOTH of you!"

Thank you SO much to Dana and Sam for letting us feature their beautiful wedding day! We are so happy to have worked with you and wish you nothing but luck in your future together! To see more pictures from their special day, check out the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Alesha

We are so beyond excited to introduce you to our featured bride this week!

She is one of the sweetest people to walk through our door and was such a joy to work with!

Meet Alesha...

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Alesha and her husband Zach were married this June in a gorgeous wedding at St. Mary Church in Griffith. Alesha wore a stunning Allure Bridals gown and made it her own by adding Stella York straps to the top! She also wore a beautiful veil by Bel Aire Bridals!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Cowgirl boots finished off the look and how CUTE are these?!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Her beautiful, rose-filled bouquet and arrangements were made by Lemster's Floral out of Valpo. SO pretty! We are suckers for a classic bouquet {and that layered train}!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

After their I do's, Alesha and Zach headed to their reception at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds Artisan Barn. It was the perfect rustic setting!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Beautiful centerpieces made with burlap, wine bottles, flowers and wood accents added to the theme. So beautiful AND budget friendly! We love the table numbers!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

You can never go wrong with a little burlap and lace! The newlyweds made sure to honor their family's weddings with a touching tribute table. This is an idea that never goes out of style, and it's fun to see how dresses have changed over the years!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Designer Desserts and Suzie's Cafe and Catering {both out of Valpo} provided the food, cake and baked goods and guys...there was a cookie bar! We are loving the new trend of breaking away from traditional cakes and incorporating other yummy goodies for guests to enjoy!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

I mean I would eat all of it.

The dance floor was lit by string lights in a beautiful tent outside, the perfect spot for the couple to share this special moment..

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

A gorgeous sunset painted the sky and made a stunning backdrop for pictures, These two lovebirds are just so cute!

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{Photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Let's learn a little more about the happy couple from the bride herself!

"Zach and I met at a summer party where we realized we had a lot of mutual friends. We started talking after this and spending time together with those friends later on that summer. He then asked if he could take me on a date, and our first date was on my parents’ 32nd wedding anniversary."

Sounds pretty meant to be. Soon they fell in love and Zach decided to ask Alesha a pretty big question...

"Zach took me to a cabin in Michigan where we went on a beautiful horse drawn carriage ride in the wintertime. After we went back to our cabin, he told me that he had a present to give me and wanted me to close my eyes and turn around. When he told me to turn back around, he was on one knee with the ring. He said a few really touching words and had us both in tears already. He then asked me to marry him, and of course, I said yes! I had a feeling it was coming, but I didn’t know where or when. Before we left for Michigan, several of my friends said that our weekend trip sounded like a perfect place to get engaged, but I just thought it sounded like another awesome trip together like Zach always planned. Another great surprise in addition to the proposal was that he had asked my mom for her blessing before he proposed. My dad had passed away a few months before the proposal, so it meant a lot to me that he still honored this tradition with my mom."

Clearly he is a total keeper! I asked Alesha what her favorite {and not so favorite} parts of the wedding planning were...

"My favorite part was choosing my wedding dress. It was about finding THE dress that I would marry my husband in, but it was more so about having my loved ones around me for such a big moment. Shannon at Something Blue Bridal was so sweet, and she made my mom, grandma, and mother-in-law all really enjoy our wedding dress shopping trips. When I put my dress on, I absolutely loved how it made me feel and look, and I knew I was done looking. My mom and grandma absolutely loved it, and it was so special to hear the things they had to say about me in my wedding dress. They have always been my best friends and biggest inspiration for all that I am, so it was the best feeling in the world having them there. This was especially true because we never know what the future holds. My grandma unexpectedly passed away six months before my wedding. It was very hard not having her there for the rest of the planning process and especially the wedding day. However, I am so grateful that I have the only picture of me in my wedding dress with my grandma by my side thanks to that day and taking that picture.

My least favorite part was definitely the stress of all that there is to do for a wedding. I am in graduate school to obtain my Doctorate of Nursing practice and working as a pediatric nurse, so it was difficult to balance work, school, life, and wedding. I felt very busy and overwhelmed, and most of my limited free time went to wedding planning. I didn’t realize there was THAT much to do to plan a wedding! Wow! I used The Knot wedding planner timeline and took things step by step, and that was a huge help. It felt great to check things off my list and feel like I was making progress. I also kept a binder will ALL the detail of my wedding, vendors, contact info, receipts, things we decided on, etc., which really helped me to stay organized and on top of tasks."

Fast forward to the big day! Alesha had a few stand out moments that brought a tear to our eye.

"I had photo charms around my bouquet of our loved ones who were watching from heaven and a charm on my boot with a photo of my dad and I and the phrase, “Walk with me today and always” so that my dad could still walk me down the aisle. Another favorite moment was having my mom and father-in-law-to-be walk me down the aisle. I chose my mom as my best friend, biggest supporter, and woman who shaped me into who I am today and who I most admire. I chose my father-in-law as someone who has helped fill a void in my life, who has loved me as his own daughter ever since I met my husband, and who is someone I know my dad is so happy that I have in my life despite being sad he can’t be here himself. Finally, my last favorite moment was seeing my husband-to-be see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle and see the tears start to well up in his eyes. I know that one is pretty cliché, but I couldn’t help it. It’s truly unforgettable."

So special to have such an amazing bond with your in laws! Finally, Alesha has some advice for future brides:

"Make your day personalized and unique to you. The best piece of advice that I can give brides-to-be who are currently planning their big day is to enjoy the engagement, planning process, and wedding day! We had a year and a half engagement, and it still went by quickly let alone the wedding day, which went even faster! I know it can be so stressful. However, it really is a fun time, and I loved all the time my husband and I spent with my family, his family, our bridal party, friends, and each other as we celebrated our future, worked on things together, picked out what we wanted for the wedding, and then watched it all unfold when the big day arrived. Somehow it all comes together even when you aren’t sure it will. Besides, no one but you will notice little things that don’t quite go as planned the day of. In fact, sometimes the changes that occur end up being better than the original plans. I originally planned to just light a candle for my dad while the father-daughter song played, but at the last minute, I changed my mind and had the DJ invite all the fathers and daughters out on the dance floor during the song instead. I liked this much better than my original plan. Regardless of what happens, your guests will still have a blast, you still get to marry your best friend, and as long as you have the right mindset, you can’t let anything spoil your day!"

Wise words!! Congratulations Alesha and Zach and thank you SO much for letting us feature your special day! We will miss having you and your fam in the store! Check out more pictures from their gorgeous wedding {by TNL Platinum Photography} in the gallery below!

 

 

{SBB Bride of the Week} Jessica

This week's featured bride is one of our very own consultants!

Meet the oh so beautiful Jessica!

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

We love this lovely lady so so much! She looked so amazing in her Allure Bridals gown that was perfect for the setting and tied the whole look together with a beautiful rose gold belt by Mariell and raw edge veil by Bel Aire Bridals!

We had the honor of attending this gorgeous wedding at Blissful Barn in Three Oaks, Michigan. Seriously, if you ever have the opportunity to check this venue out - DO IT!

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

I mean it's so beautiful!

Jess and her husband Evan paid extra attention to every detail of their gorgeous wedding. Even down to the groom's wedding band, which features a ring of wood to pay homage to his passion and career - carpentry!

jesswedding.jpg
{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

So cool! Evan even built the arbor the happy couple was married under! Talk about adding your own personal touch!

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

Gorgeous!

When it came to stationary, Jess wanted something that was beautiful but also budget friendly. She bought a template off Etsy and did all the printing on her own and the results were seriously stunning!

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

Before the ceremony, Jessica shared a first look with her father. She also gave him the sweetest gift! Jaime Davis Photography was there to capture the special moment.

We live for pictures of these father-daughter moments!

Next up it was time for Evan to see his bride.

Look how excited she is when she sees him!! That's our Jess, always so happy and excited about life!

Finally it was time for the ceremony, which was held on the porch of the barn! A little rain and wind didn't get in the way while the couple said their "I do's".

{Photos by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photos by: Jaime Davis Photography}

That is one happy bride!!

The reception that followed was truly magical, with gorgeous lighting, decorations and flowers by Small Town Weddings {Three Oaks, Michigan} and one DELICIOUS cake by Suzie's Bakery {Valparaiso}. Can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate!

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

It was delish!! After dinner we danced the night away and had the best time! As guests left they were treated to "Breakfast on the Babcocks", boxed up cinnamon rolls for everyone to enjoy the morning after! Let me tell you, it was the cutest idea and so yummy!

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

{Photo by: Jaime Davis Photography}

So how did the happy couple meet?

" Evan is a union carpenter that was hired by a local hospital to renovate the floor I worked on. For a couple months, I had the pleasure of admiring him working in a hard-hat and tool belt! We would pass each other in the hallway, elevator and cafeteria. Needless to say, I was interested. Finally, he asked me for coffee. I actually remember that moment very well; he came walking down the hallway on an early summer morning, totally catching me off guard, explaining to me that he noticed me and wanted to get to know me. The rest of that summer was full of date nights, drive-ins and mini golf!"

Fast forward a year and Jessica got the shock of her life!

"On September 10, 2016, Evan and I were at his parents lake house enjoying a rainy morning. We were watching movies with no rush to do anything productive. Once we got through a couple movies, Evan suggested that we go out to a nice dinner on the lake. Once dinner was finished we headed back to the house and the moment we turned the corner I immediately noticed the whole backyard of the lake house was decorated with flowers, candles and a beautiful white arbor!!  My heart completely stopped! Evan lead me up a long staircase to the arbor where he told me a bunch of beautiful things, that I honestly cannot remember! All I know is that he got down on one knee and asked me to be his, forever!"

jessproposal2.jpeg

So sweet!! Jess loved planning her wedding, but one moment really stood out...

"I truly enjoyed every part of the planning process! From chasing the venue to hand picking our vendors; there was something really special and exciting  about being able to have my hands in all the details! But nothing felt complete until I put on the gown I would be wearing on the big day! I tried on a few beautiful gowns that made me feel so special and pretty but then I tried on one particular dress that made me have those goose bumps and my hair stand up! It was the one! That’s when everything started to feel so real! BEST FEELING EVER!! The girls at SBB were so patient, kind, and really listened to me about what I was envisioning to wear on my big day. I will say the hardest part in the whole planning process is the wait!! We had a 9 month long engagement that seemed like it lasted years!! I couldn’t wait to be his wife, to say “I do” and to celebrate with all our family and friends. The planning and preparation at points seemed like it was flying by and then there were months that dragged on! A lot of my friends and family encouraged me to soak it all in and appreciate this planning season because it’s a once in a life time opportunity. I am so thankful for the advice because I could have easily wished that time away just to get to the wedding day but instead, I enjoyed making each decision!"

Jessica's favorite moment of her big day was something that wasn't originally planned...

"We were crunched on time in between the ceremony and reception for pictures so we decided to do a first look before the wedding. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but on the day of the wedding I was SO thankful for that moment with Evan. The morning was crazy and exciting but the moment that I turned around the corner and saw him, all the pressure and anxiety was gone. It was such a surreal moment that I am so thankful we decided to do! The rest of that morning leading up to the ceremony felt so natural. Just me and my man hanging out with a photographer taking pictures of us!! I know it sounds so cliche but that first look allowed us to be reminded that its not about all the details or planning; its about him and I making an everlasting covenant with each other."

Finally, we asked Jess to give our brides a piece of advice:

"In addition to enjoying your fun engagement, I would also encourage all brides to be ok with change. There were so many times that I had to chose a different vendor or a different color and that's ok! It seems like such a big issue at the moment because you have this image of what you want in your head but in the big picture it doesn’t matter. YOUR DAY IS GONNA BE PERFECT no matter who your DJ is or what color your bridesmaid dresses are. I promise :) Don’t worry about the little things you cannot control- focus on what you can and take everyday with a new perspective!"

Thank you so much to Jessica and Evan for not only allowing us to be part of their special day, but for letting us share it with all of you!! We wish you the best of luck in your future together!! Check out the gallery below for more pictures from their big day!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Kayla

Our featured bride this week is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! Meet the lovely Kayla...

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

Kayla rocked her Stella York gown, which paired beautifully with her veil by Bel Aire Bridal!

Kayla and her new husband Alex were married in a beautiful June ceremony at Calvary Community Church. Before the ceremony, the couple decided to share a first look which was photographed by the amazing team at The Siegers Photo + Video!

FirstLook-007.jpg
FirstLook-011.jpg
{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

Then it was Dad's turn...not going to lie, this one immediately brought tears to my eyes!

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

The emotion on his face is seriously the sweetest thing ever! I can't even take it.

At the church, Kayla had the altar decorated by filling it with gorgeous summer flowers.

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

Finally, it was time to walk down the aisle..

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

That is one happy groom!

After the couple said "I Do", they moved on to Banquets at St. George where they decorated with even more flowers and {our fav} succulents!

receptiondetails-008.jpg
{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

We have to give a shout out to Kayla's florist Cindy {Docter's Interior Plantscaping} who did such a fab job on everything! Check out her seriously gorgeous bouquet!

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

I mean COME ON! So pretty!

The newlyweds treated their guests to cake, pastries and cheesecakes {YUM} by Pat's Perfect Pastries. How delish do these look?!

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

I'll take one of each please! Kayla and Alex also treated their guests to some pretty sweet dance moves. We love a couple who knows how to have fun, and they GOT DOWN!

dancing-024.jpg
dancing-216.jpg
{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

{Photo by: The Siegers Photo + Video}

How fun does that wedding look??

We just had to know...how did this couple meet? Instead of just writing her answer, Kayla shared the SWEETEST video by The Siegers Photo + Video all about their love story!

TEARS.

Lets talk wedding planning!

"My favorite parts of the planning process were dress shopping with my mom and sisters and planning the ceremony. I felt like a bride when I tried on the dresses, and my face lit up when I chose the correct one. Planning the ceremony was another favorite part of the process. To Alex and I, that was the most important part of the whole day. We wanted to incorporate meaningful things throughout the ceremony. We had our family pick out their favorite hymns that were sung during the prelude, my dad lifted my veil over my head, we had a memory candle for our family members that are no longer with us, and were able to greet our mom's and dad's after lighting the unity candle."

What about her least favorite part?

"Worrying about what the weather was going to be. It was suppose to storm all day, and I was worried that we weren't going to get the outside pictures I wanted. However, the weather was just the opposite. It was sunny and hot!"

What was the couples' favorite moment of their big day?

"Alex would say that his favorite moment of the wedding was saying 'I do." I would say the  whole ceremony was my favorite part. We were in front of the people who cared and loved us the most, committing ourselves to God and each other for the rest of our lives."

Finally, I asked Kayla to give some advice to brides-to-be who may be stressing the small stuff...

"It's important to remember that at the end of your big day, you get to marry your best friend - and that's the most important thing! Try to go with the flow. Things change a lot from the beginning of your planning process all the way to the day you say "I do". As much as you want it a specific way, try to keep an open mind!"

 

Thank you SO MUCH to Kayla and Alex for allowing us to share their special day with everyone, you guys make such a beautiful couple and we wish you nothing but happiness and love in your future together!! To see more pictures from their wedding, check out the gallery below!

 

{SBB Bride of the Week} Ashley

We are so excited to introduce you to our featured bride this week, Ashley!

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

Ashley and her new hubby JC were married on a gorgeous June day at St. Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso. The beautiful ceremony was followed by a fun reception at Duneland Falls Banquet Center! Ashley and her bridesmaids had STUNNING flowers made for them by Angelique from Weddings by Angelique, who conveniently works at the banquet center! Seriously, check these out...

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

I mean so pretty, right?!

Ashley looked amazing in her Stella York gown and Bel Aire Bridal veil, compliments of Something Blue!

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

That train is everything! You can feel how crazy the newlyweds are about each other through this picture! The reception was a sparkling affair, with glittery table covers and shining decor.

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

{photo by: TNL Platinum Photography}

The couple met on a blind date at Stacks in Valpo {they had lots of mutual friends} and quickly knew they were meant to be. I'll let Ashley tell you about the day JC proposed:

"It was 5 days before my 30th birthday and we were at my parents house after going out to dinner! They got me a cake and when they told me to blow out my candles he got down on one knee and proposed. I knew that it was coming soon but I didn't know he would do it in front of my whole family!"

Talk about a great birthday present! Ashley says her favorite part of the planning process was getting to look at dresses and checking out different venues.

"It was fun to get to see how many different ways a wedding could turn out and to get to use my vision to design exactly what I wanted! I had a lot of fun with my mom because she helped me throughout the entire process. My least favorite part of planning was trying to get so many different vendors for one day. It was frustrating to try to get everyone I wanted all on the same day. I also didn't like when people tried to take over the wedding and gave too much input because it caused a lot of stress close to the wedding! I never realized how many people try to offer their opinions!"

Finally the big day was here. Ashley says her favorite moment of the wedding was walking down the aisle.

"We didn't do a first look and I'm happy because it was so special to see JC the first time and realize that he was about to be my husband after all the months and stress of planning!"

Finally, Ashley has some great advice for future brides:

"You can't make everyone happy! It's your wedding and your husband's! Do what you want and not what a bunch of other family members want you to do. It should be about the bride and groom! My best advice is to have fun during the reception. You worked on this day for months! Make sure you get to enjoy it! I would also tell future brides to have someone you can really count on to help you when you need it and someone that you feel like has your best interests in mind.  For me it was my mom! Also don't be disappointed if your fiancé doesn't seem to help. They don't care about what color the dresses are and what kind of flowers you carry! JC loves music so I made him in charge of the playlists."

Awesome advice from a great bride!! Thank you SO much to Ashley and JC for letting us share their wedding day! Check out the gallery below for more pictures from their big day!

{photos by: TNL Platinum Photography}