{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.

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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.

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{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!