Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Guest Post: Chicago's First Lady gives us of glimpse of what it's like to say "I Do" on a Chicago cruise. 

Choosing a venue is one of the most important decisions that couples make while planning their wedding. Traditional venues such as reception halls, restaurants and banquet rooms provide suitable accommodations; however, private cruise ships and yachts have quickly become a top trendy wedding venue for stylish Chicago couples.

Why a Cruise Wedding?

Instead of hosting your special day in a conventional reception hall, imagine cruising through one of America’s greatest skylines on a luxurious, private yacht with your closest friends and family. Celebrating on a yacht offers a captivating elegance within an intimate atmosphere. The open-air upper decks provide expanded indoor and outdoor space for both the ceremony and reception. Chicago’s First Lady Cruises offers couples a variety of options to customize a unique and personalized world-class wedding experience.

"I Do" with a View

Boasting one of the world’s greatest skylines, the “Windy City” provides a scenic backdrop for a couple’s milestone moment. Wedding cruises marries elegance, luxury and style; creating an intimate setting and unforgettable experience. Couples have the freedom to completely customize their own personal world-class wedding experience. 

One-of-a-Kind Photo Ops

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises’ seasoned captains expertly position vessels to capture the city’s most stunning vantage points; offering picturesque photo opportunities throughout a private wedding experience. CFL’s evening wedding cruise options include a post-sunset fireworks display along Chicago’s magnificent skyline, creating photographable wedding moments no conventional venue can match.

All-in-One Wedding Location

Planning and coordinating a wedding can be a daunting endeavor for any busy couple. For those wishing to bypass the hassle of transporting the entire wedding party and guests across Chicago from venue to venue, a wedding cruise offers an easy, stress-relieving single location without sacrificing quality or luxury. Chicago’s First Lady’s versatile cruise vessels provide a memorable setting for each important aspect of a couple’s wedding day.

Photography Credits: Nakai Photography, Jana Blue Photography, Denver Smith Photography, Greenkey Photography, Becky Brown Photography, Angela Renee Photography

Want more inspiration from wedding pros like Chicago's First Lady? Head over to and check out our list of top Chicagoland wedding vendors!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Guest Post: Hannah Bunbury of the Warwick Allerton Chicago dishes on the best ways to incorporate this timeless flower into your Big Day.

The rose has been a symbol of love since the days of Ancient Greece, and the tradition of giving roses to a significant other began in Victorian times. This classic flower has been a major staple in wedding ceremonies and receptions for decades, but it's it has recently seen a surge in popularity thanks to its versatility and easy availability.  

Hannah Bunbury, catering sales manager at the Warwick Allerton Chicago, has worked with many couples who have incorporated roses into their Chicago wedding. Here are her five reasons why roses are the right flower for every couple on the road to "I do".

1. A Fit for Every Budget
It’s a common misconception that roses are only for couples with big wedding budgets at their disposal. In reality, roses are available in a variety of price points depending on size and breed. Tea and spray roses make a powerful impact as accents to centerpieces. For a more romantic (but pricier) addition, Juliet garden roses are the ultimate in large, fairy tale-like blooms.

2. In-Season Convenience
It’s more cost-effective to choose wedding flowers that are in season during your wedding; fortunately, roses are always in season! There are certain varieties that bloom once or twice a year - like the English or Damask roses - but many are repeat and continuous bloomers. Any local florist will be able to tell you which species are available in your location.

3. Beyond Red and White
While red and white rose are quite striking, don’t assume your choice is limited to these colors. There are over a hundred different types of roses and even more hybrid species — from the yellow and red ‘Hocus Pocus’ rose to the two-toned red and cream Nostalgie rose. These versatile blooms can stand alone or blend nicely with just about any other flower.

4. Inspire Creative Decor
Because each rose bud is beautiful all on its own, the wedding ceremony and reception decor opportunities are endless. Think beyond the bridal bouquets and get creative by topping your cake with a brightly colored rose bunch. Or simply float blooms in a shallow vase for an ethereal effect.

5. Part of Your Ceremony
Couples can also create their own rose ceremony during the actual wedding. In addition to exchanging rings, the bride and groom gift each other a long stem rose to signify the giving and receiving of love. Couples can also present their mothers with long stem roses as a symbol of their love and appreciation. 

Want more tips from wedding pros like Hannah? Head over to and check out our list of top Chicagoland wedding vendors!

Monday, August 29, 2016

What happens when two brew enthusiasts fall in love? They throw a fresh, funky and absolutely fabulous wedding at Revolution Brewing in Logan Square.

When planning their brewery bash, Corey and Cindy decided to infuse their wedding with a variety of fun-filled twists that allowed their personalities- as well as their wedding party's- to shine through.

The couple had always planned to have their wedding at a brewery but never imagined they'd be lucky enough to host their celebration at their absolute favorite spot- Revolution Brewing.

 Cindy's best friend's mom got ordained so she could marry the couple, making the ceremony incredibly personal and moving.

 Cindy let her bridesmaids wear whatever dresses they wanted, and Jasmine Galleria made a unique matching bouquet for each of them.

The couple passed on traditional wedding food, opting instead to have a pig roast accompanied by bacon fat popcorn and of course, delicious beer.

Pictured Vendors: WASIO Photography (photos), Revolution Brewery (venue), Jasmine Galleria (floral), Brittney Ferris (wedding programs), Alexis & Abrianna Huttner (hair/makeup), Jenny Packham (bride's dress), Blossom (bride's dress belt), Taylor Richter (cake), Dolce Vita (bride's shoes), Kate Spade (bracelet/earrings), Two Guys Bow Ties (groom's bow tie/lape/handkerchief), Aldo (groom's shoes) Men's Wearhouse (suits), Johnston & Johnston (groomsmen's ties), Anthropologie (bridesmaid's dresses), Lustig Jewelers (rings)

Can't get enough Real Chicago Weddings? Head over to and browse through our collection of Windy City nuptials or check us out on Pinterest!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rucha and Nihar's celebration was a gorgeous mixture of tradition and elegance that took guests on a whimsical journey throughout downtown Chicago. 

When Rucha and Nihar became friends their freshman year at Northwestern University, it didn’t take her long to realize that he was someone special. “I knew he was going to be my best friend,” she said. “I’d never had such a selfless friend before. It  was this unconditional love that made me eventually realize that he was the one.” However, realizing that they were meant to be together didn’t mean the couple was in a rush to get to their Happily Ever After. Rucha and Nihar grew together for almost ten years, sticking together through college, grad school, and the start of their professional lives before Nihar finally popped the question.
“He proposed with a scavenger hunt across Northwestern’s campus,” Rucha said. “Each clue was given to me by one of our close friends who’d come to surprise me for my birthday.” When the excitement of the proposal finally gave way to wedding preparations, Rucha and Nihar had no doubts about having their wedding in Chicago. “Home for us has always been the Windy City,” the couple told us.

Rucha and Nihar tied the knot in a beautiful and traditional Hindu ceremony that took place at the Drake’s elegant Gold Coast Room. One of Rucha’s favorite memories? “Seeing Nihar and my family up on the mandap. I started crying out of sheer excitement!”  
Another one of her favorite moments from the big day was secretly watching the baraat (a festive part of Hindu weddings where the groom’s family dances in the street) shut down Walton Street as people celebrated the new couple. Afterwards, everyone got in on the fun and danced the night away at the Field Musuem, celebrating under the watchful gaze of Sue the T-Rex.
The couple notes that without their parents, their wedding might not have been so perfect. “I have to say, we’re two of the luckiest children on this planet,” Rucha said. “Our parents worked tirelessly to make sure that everything was perfect.This wasn’t just a wedding- it was a way to share our relationship and our family values with all of our guests. Everyone felt the love throughout the entire weekend of festivities.”

Pictured Vendors: Fred Asaad (photography), Drish Couture Events (wedding planner), The Drake (ceremony venue), Shaadi Creations (ceremony decor), India House Chicago (ceremony catering), The Field Museum (reception venue), Kehoe Designs (reception decor), Food For Thought (reception catering), Asopalav (attire), Meghana Prasad (hair&makeup), Aria Films (videography)

Can't get enough Real Weddings? Head over to and browse through our collection of Windy City nuptials!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Photographer Jill Tiongco not only took gorgeous pictures of the couple's celebration but also got the scoop on their sweet engagement story. 

“The couple had planned a trip to San Francisco with Lauren’s college friends the first weekend of March in 2015. It was technically Lauren’s first time in San Francisco, so they spent Friday doing all kinds of touristy things before meeting up with the group for dinner. Joe was insistent on going up to Twin Peaks before dinner to “watch the sunset" but Lauren was skeptical about getting across town during rush hour traffic. However, Joe uncharacteristically put his foot down and Lauren rushed to get ready, complaining that she didn’t have enough time to put on her jewelry… 

When the couple arrived at Twin Peaks, Joe gave Lauren a scrapbook full of cards they had exchanged over the course of their relationship, complete with explanations of what they meant to him and why he loved them. The last card in the book was new and read “Grow old along with me… the best is yet to be.” Joe got down on one knee and proposed right then and there. Lauren, not usually a fan of surprises, was shocked and thrilled. The couple spent the rest of the night and weekend celebrating with Lauren’s college friends, making the weekend even more special and memorable."

Pictured Vendors: Jill Tiongco Photography (photography), Newberry Library (venue), You Name It Events (wedding coordinator), WTOO (bride's dress), Jarlo (bridesmaid dresses), Ike Behar (tuxedos), Becky Rosza (place cards, table numbers), Stacie Yarosz (hair), Antonette White (makeup), Vale of Enna (floral), and Event Brilliance (lighting).

Can't get enough Real Weddings? Head over to and browse through our collection of Windy City nuptials!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Inspired by gifts from the earth, Gemstones & Geodes delivers a decadent, color-rich shoot that's dripping in rubies, amethysts, sapphires, emeralds and beautifully textured geodes.

When it comes to color schemes, many brides feel pressure to stick to the classic "two hues and a neutral" rule. However, the traditional route isn't the only way to go. This Gemstones & Geodes photoshoot breaks conventional rules, boldly exploring complex color combinations and delivering tablescapes that are more imaginative and inspiring than their dual-chromatic counterparts. The result is decor that's all at once enticingly soothing and tastefully vivacious. 

Vendors: You Name It Events (planning/design), The Haight (venue), Photography by Lauryn (photos), Josh Smith and Taylor Anians (models), Menguin Tuxedos (menswear),  Veiled in Elegance (gowns/bridal accessories), Elysia Root Cakes (cake), Sylvia Stremming Designs (paper goods), Style by Bravura (hair/makeup), Town and Country Gardens (floral), Atmosphere Events Group (lighting), Megboys Studio (boutineers), Elegant Presentations (linens), Dainty Delights Bakery (cupcakes), Azar Jewelers (male jewelry)

Want more styled shoot inspiration? Head over to and browse through our collection of Windy City nuptials or check us out on Pinterest!