{SBB Bride of the Week} Stephanie

S T E P H A N I E + D A N

{May 5th, 2018}

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Introducing our oh so beautiful bride, Stephanie!

Stephanie chose a super gorgeous Essense of Australia gown for her May wedding!

With it’s illusion bodice and gorgeous bead work, she looked absolutely stunning on her big day!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

For her flowers, Stephanie worked with Lake Effect Florals Design Studio, who never disappoints!

Her bouquets and arrangements were perfect for her spring wedding!

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Stephanie and her new hubby Dan had their big day at the Allure in La Porte.

They were married in the venue’s beautiful ceremony room, which was decorated with lots of flowers for the occasion.

During the ceremony, Stephanie and Dan planted a flower and watered it to symbolize their love.

We think this idea is so cute!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

The wonderful thing about the Allure is that everything is in one building!

The reception space is already gorgeous, but throw in the newlywed’s beautiful decor and it was a knock out!

Stephanie and Dan made sure their guests satisfied their sweet tooth with wedding cake, a donut wall plus cupcakes!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Ok, we’ve seen the wedding. Let’s get to know the couple!

       How did they meet?

“We both work for the City of Valparaiso but in different departments.  We can’t narrow down to when we exactly met, but our paths crossed through work, fundraising, and volunteer events.”

      How did Dan propose? 

“Both of us enjoy going to Chicago and had planned a fun-filled weekend up there around our crazy work schedules.  Since it was December (2016), we wanted to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, see the decorated windows at Macy’s, enjoy some nice meals downtown, go to a show at one of the comedy clubs, and see the tree in Millennium Park.  We got a heavy snow that day and it was absolutely freezing, but we bundled up extra warm and set out on our way.  The snowfall just added to everything feeling more magical for the season!  I definitely wasn’t expecting the proposal, even though I was hoping for it for months.  He proposed in front of the huge Christmas Tree at Millennium Park.  Thankfully there was a group of people switching off taking pictures, and he asked that I hold the spot for our turn; while I was a mere 10 feet away, he was secretly telling them his plan, with me completely oblivious.  The pictures were perfect; shocked face, the yes moment, and all!  Thanks friendly strangers!”

       Was it a surprise??

“The moment itself was a surprise, but we had talked marriage and looked at rings a while back.  We actually went looking at rings for a second time; it ends up that he already had one custom made because he knew my style and took my career into consideration.  So sneaky making me think it was much further out!” 

   Smart man!

What was Stephanie’s favorite part of planning her wedding?

“My favorite part was seeing everything coming together in the whole look and feel of the day; especially the day of the wedding.  So much planning goes into it, and there are options-galore (especially with Pinterest and many other online and magazine ideas).  It’s nice when you finally find a look that you BOTH like, find a vendor or other way to make it happen, and then see it come to fruition!” 

      What about her least favorite part?

“Planning is overwhelming sometimes.  Options are a great thing, but it can also get confusing.  Plus a lot of people feel the need to chime in their opinions as to how they THINK your day should go or what you should do. Ultimately, do what’s right for you as a couple and what will make you happy; after all, it should be about the couple’s expression and not reflect anyone else’s.”

Fast forward to the wedding day! What was Stephanie’s favorite moment?

“It was a phenomenal day, so it’s hard to choose one favorite.  I really enjoyed the ceremony.  We wrote our own vows and said them in front of God, our friends, and family.  The room was full, but it felt very intimate because we really just focused on each other.  The reception was a blast too, with a lot of funny moments, but one of the neatest was running through a tunnel of glow wands that we gave to each guest as one of the wedding favors.”

Now that it’s all said and done, what’s her biggest takeaway from the whole planning process? 

“Start planning and reserving every vendor that you’ve had your eye on ASAP!  Engagement periods seem to last much longer than they used to in order to accommodate saving up and paying for the big day.  Therefore, some of the vendors/locations were booked 2 years out already; and the great ones get scooped up quickly!  Disregard some of the generic timelines that you find online or in magazines; it’s simply a guide to help you organize, but if you know what you want, go ahead and book it with a deposit so they know you’re serious about getting on their calendar.”

     Any final advice for our brides??

“First, you can plan all you want, but there seems to always be a hiccup the day of.  Don’t let it ruin your day or get under your skin too much.  Many of the meticulous details wouldn’t even be known by your guests, just you.  The ultimate goal is to get married to your favorite person.  As long as that happens, don’t freak out about the minor stuff.  Second, you always hear people tell you that the day goes by so fast and to enjoy every minute…great, how do you do that other than to tell yourself?  Dan’s best man Corey had some great advice that was passed on to him on his wedding day; take a moment just the 2 of you to try and watch the reception from afar for a couple minutes (balcony, far door, etc).  Watch your families and friends laughing, dancing like wild people on the dance floor, having conversation with others at a table, kids chasing each other; soak in those memories when you’re not in the midst of the chaos, and smile…you made it!”

Congratulations, Stephanie and Dan!! We are so happy for you guys and can’t thank you enough for letting us share your special day!

Check out more pictures from their beautiful wedding in the gallery below!