Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sabrina and James tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at Oak Brook Hills Resort and then celebrated with a glimmering, silvery reception. 

Featured Vendors

Garbo Productions (photography), Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort (ceremony/reception/catering/sweets), Bruce Moore (officiant), Frank Event Design (wedding consultant), Stephen Yearick (gown designer), Dimitra's Bridal Couture (bridal boutique), Badgley Mischka (bride's shoes), Ambience Salon & Day Spa (bride's hair), Jacqueline Danielle Makeup Artistry (bride's makeup), Bella Cosa Jewelers (bride's jewelry), Jasmine Galleria (bridesmaids' dresses), Jos. A Banks (formalwear/shoes), Anthony Gowder Designs (floral), Checkerboard (invites), Phil Thompson (pianist), Jennifer Lowe Quartet by Artists, Events, & Entertainment Inc. (quartet), O'Dea Entertainment (DJ), Elegant Event Lighting (lighting/drapery), Tablescapes (linens/chairs), AFR (lounge furniture), Nadeau's Ice Sculptures (ice luges/sculpture)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kensington Florals & Events delivered a timeless, Downton Abbey-inspired shoot. All photos by Ryan Brandoff Photography
"When walking into the Merion, you are instantly taken by the elegant theme that surrounds the hotel.  From the Evanston Crystal Ballroom, their beautifully decorated foyer & corridor, their atrium and their tucked away library, each has something magnificent to offer and is a beautiful place to create wonderful memories..."
"...The space is filled with a wall of books on one side and to the other side is this beautiful fireplace with wooden shelves to the left and right. We could just picture what an intimate wedding there would be like ...candelabras, flowers, stunning dresses, jewelry and that dash of regal elegance.
We decided to bring this beautifully traditional space into the 21st century by mixing modern decor like floral runners with classic elements like candelabras..."
"...The soft colors of the linens and floral pieces balanced the bold statement furniture pieces in the room..." 
"...Each model wore a beautiful gown from Eva's International Bridal or a tailored tux from Emanuele Tuxedo. The looks were completed by timeless jewelry from Calla Couture, and Kensington provided the styling for the shoot as well as floral pieces that included hydrangeas, Ecuador roses (cool water, faith , quicksand, ocean song, creme de la creme, tibet, and earl grey), and creme tulips from Holland."

Featured Vendors

Ryan Brandoff Photography (pics), Kensington Floral & Events (planning/styling/decor), Evanston Crystal Ballroom (venue), Eva's International (dresses/veils),  Sarah Delaine Agency (hair/makeup), Emanuele Tuxedo (formalwear), Calla Couture Jewelers (accessories), Manolo Blahnik (shoes), Versace (clutch)

Want to see more styled shoots likes this one? Check out the Gems & Geodes shoot at the Haight, or head over to and check out our list of top Chicagoland wedding vendors!

Models: David Mahler, A. Jason Lloyd, Lidia Fitasova, Mercedes Small, Gabija Guzauskaite

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This beautiful couple incorporated travel, family, and breakfast into their wedding at The Monte Bello Estate. All photos by Lauren & Chris Studios.

Jacqueline and Richard, on how they knew they were perfect for each other...

"We were able to be ourselves, get through everything together, and truly appreciate each other for what we each bring to our relationship. We believe we were meant to find each other, build our family, and show that love conquers all battles."

Jacqueline, on getting ready for the wedding...

"Our Wedding Day was magical! My bridal party wore monogrammed striped nightshirts as we got ready and popped the bubbly! I gave each of my girls something special and custom. The men got ready at the venue in the “Man Cave” of The Monte Bello Estate where they enjoyed pool, pinball, and a jukebox that they had jamming until it was Go Time! Everyone looked wonderful."

Jacqueline and Richard, on why they decided to tie the knot in Chicago...

"We had originally planned to get married out of the country, but after long discussions we realized that we wanted to celebrate with our family and friends, who have loved and supported our relationship over the years..."
 "It took quite a few venue visits to choose our final venue as The Monte Bello Estate, but we were so happy with our selection. The Monte Bello gave us great flexibility on our “Breakfast for Dinner” menu and other that customizations that showcased who we are as a couple. We were married under the estate's clock, which was unique because we captured the exact time we said 'I Do'!"

Jacqueline, on how they thanked their family and friends...

"Each of the bridesmaids got quartz earrings as well as a bracelet! My mom got a custom ring, and my maid of honor got a pink quartz necklace. We gave Richard’s daughter pearls surrounded by two wrapping diamonds to represent her dad and I, who will always support her..."
"We gave Richard's mother earrings, and I got her a custom necklace that thanked her for the raising the man of my dreams. The flower girls each got ornaments and a beautiful necklace in the shape of a flower! Richard gave his groomsmen striped socks in a variety of colors along with custom cufflinks that referenced his love of rotary cars and beer mugs. His best man also got a custom bracelet!"

Jacqueline, on her favorite memory from her wedding day...

"My favorite memory was seeing Richard for the first time.  It felt like it was happening in slow motion.  I couldn't stop smiling- I was scared that if I did, I'd cry from all the emotions I was feeling.  Seeing pure joy overcome Richard’s body and face was everything I could have ever wanted to see from a man that doesn't normally show his emotions.  I hope he looks at me that way for many years to come."

Jacqueline and Richard on their color palette...

"The colors of the day were blush and gray, so we wanted to ensure the men had a hint of pink with their boutonnieres, and that the bouquets were booming with pops of blush and hints of green."

Richard, on his favorite memory from the wedding...

"When I saw my beautiful daughter walk down the aisle, I was overcome with the emotions of the past year. She might not have been a part of this day if a custody battle didn't end with her living with us.  The fight was worth fighting for..." 
"...When I saw Jacqueline walk out, I was overcome with happiness.  She was smiling from ear to ear, and it took all of my power not to grab and kiss her as she stood next to me.  I was so happy we waited to see each other. This was by far a memory that will remain in my heart for the rest of my life."

Jacqueline and Richard, on their reception...

"The theme of our wedding was travel and adventure. Our tables were destinations rather than numbers, and we incorporated many of the places we've traveled to together. Guests had to find where they would be 'traveling' to on a custom made tri-fold stand, which led them to a map of the reception room. We used 'you are here' indicators to show guests to their seats, and in lieu of place cards, we gave them airplane favors with a tag that said 'Let the Adventure Begin'..."
"...During the cocktail hour and reception, guests were treated to “Breakfast for Dinner” themed dishes and enjoyed two slideshows. It was such a special night with loads of laughs, joyful tears, an inflatable photo booth, heartwarming speeches, and overwhelming love!"

Featured Vendors

Lauren & Chris Studios (photography/videography), The Monte Bello Estate (ceremony/reception/catering), Reverend Jeff Ginsburg (officiant), Bethany Moore Events (wedding consultant), BERTA (bride's gown), Lovella Bridal (bridal boutique) Sandra's Designs (veil), Christian Louboutin (bride's shoes), Lerin Johnson of Beauty by Alana Makeup Artistry (makeup), Sammy McWilliams (bride's makeup), Daisy Toledo (bridesmaids' makeup), The Classic Gem Fine Jewelry Company (bride and groom's jewelry), Bella Bianca (bridesmaids' dresses), House of Brides (bridesmaids' dresses), Rosita Perez (flower girls' dresses), Michael Kors (groom's formalwear), Emanuele Tuxedo (groomsmen's formalwear/groom's shoes), Claire Morano of Summit Street Blooms (floral), Fitzgerald's Fine Stationery (invites), A Touch of Class DJ Service (entertainment), MK Event Photo (photobooth), Exquisite Limousine (transportation)

Can't get enough Real Weddings? Check out Justin+Christa's gorgeous wedding at Grand Traverse or Cara+Sean's celebration at The Peninsula. Head over to and browse our gallery of Windy City nuptials!