Rachel + Jared’s Sweet Mint Green Wedding

We’re kicking off this week with an adorably sweet mint green wedding from Karen Feder Photography. Rachel + Jared, along with their family and friends, created a very earthy-vintage vibe for their big day. One of the first thing that caught my eyes were Rachel’s ombre mix of mint green for her bridesmaids dresses. It’s sweet, down-to-earth, carefree, and yet all seamlessly flow with one another!

For DIY projects, Rachel and her mom actually planted her centerpieces in her grandfather’s pots. I totally love this as planting and watering flowers is an activity that they loved doing ever since Rachel was a little girl and they continued that tradition with her wedding. Rachel + Jared created a wedding mad libs for guests to do and use Jinga pieces for their guest book as nods to how they both enjoy playing games. For group projects, family got together to help make cheesecakes for the cheesecake bar (yuuuum!!) and the reception area was decorated with an array of paper flowers that Rachel and her friends and family made.
What a sweet, lovely wedding! I absolutely adore the softness of Rachel’s romantic bouquet, and I especially love the unique center pieces and the hanging of paper lanterns inside of the tent. It’s all simple, yet meaningful and beautiful. And how cute were all the kids!

Congratulations to Rachel + Jared, and many thanks to Karen Feder Photography for submitting this heartfelt DIY wedding with us!


Photographer: Karen Feder Photography//Wedding Date:08.16.2013//Dress Store:Adore Bridal and Speciality//Hair Stylist:Bj Hair Salon//DJ:Demario Williams//Makeup Artist:Jamie McFadden//Caterer:La Fiesta//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Men’s Warehouse//Reception Venue:The Rail//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Tracy + Gary’s Offbeat Vegan Wedding

“You gave me the best mixtape I have.'”  That’s just a line from one of my favorite tunes  “Mixtape” by artist Butch Walker, and it could also be the tagline for Tracy and Gary’s wedding.  A super sweet tale of modern love that began online via a music swapping community; where mixtapes led to friendship, roadtrips, and finally to a totally rad, handmade event captured by OKRFOTO.






Held at Tracy + Gary’s favorite restaurant, Revolution Brewing in Chicago, vegan treats like mini vegan hot dogs, specialty vegan donuts, and of course, great beer were delish treats for guests.  Friends and family all pitched in to create an easy going, elegant vibe filled with blush, purple and green florals arranged by Tracy’s mom, cupcake liner roses, chalkboard signs, the prettiest pinwheel alter I’ve ever seen, and an awesomely lit marquee sign!

Thank you OKRFOTO for capturing all of the eclectic little details and fun filled mix tape-like goodness that this wedding is about!  Congratulations Tracy + Gary!

Vendor Information

Date: June 14, 2013

Location: Chicago, IL

Photographer: OKRFOTO

Event Venue & Catering: Revolution Brewing

Cake Designer: Fritz Pastry

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Jessica + Travis’ Whimsically Elegant Wedding

This wedding is the kind of thing that short circuits robots with its creative genius! I think I cried for the emotional value of this wedding as much as I did for the DIY.  Full of all sorts of personal embellishments, each gorgeous photo captures the heartwarming union of a family.   You will kick yourself for not taking the time to enjoy this amazing gallery.  Jessica was a single mom that has completed her family in the very best way, by joining it with another.  Equal parts elegant and whimsical, Jessica and her mom designed nearly every aspect of this fantastic fete.  Soda Fountain Photography has captured every loving gaze, sigh inducing stare and awe inspiring detail that  beg for you to “take your seat” and love every minute of this super fun soiree.

Jessica’s mom is a jewelry designer and designed the all the jewelry from Jessica’s hand strung pearl headpiece and bracelet to Travis’ ring.  The DIY centerpieces are one of the most architecturally awesome pieces of work I’ve seen in a long time and I am dying over the “seating” cards.  I’m at such a loss for words for the adorable wire robots and figures adorning the room.  Can you hear my circuits overloading with joy?  All I can do is squeal in DIY delight!  And I have to say in the realm of photo booths, this one just looks like sooo much fun!

This is the kind of wedding that makes me hate my job.  It forces me to choose only a few pictures to highlight from stunning emotion filled photos and mind blowing DIY.  It leaves me dumbfounded for words to express the beauty and sentiment of such a special occasion.  It coerces me to re-imagine future anniversary shoots and party themes…Wait, that’s why my husband hates my job.  Who am I kidding!  There’s nothing I could possibly hate about being surrounded by creative and gorgeous designers and artists day after day.  There isn’t a single thing anyone could possibly dislike after seeing what Soda Fountain Photography has caught in Jessica and Travis’ whimsy and elegant wedding.  I really don’t know who to thank more Jessica and Travis for such a remarkable event or Soda Fountain Photography for catching every breathtaking detail of this emotion filled moment of what is today one of my favorite weddings yet.  How about a congratulations and GIANT thank you to you all for sharing this special day with us!

Vendor Information:

Photography: Soda Fountain Photography

Venue: Armour House, Lake Forest

Shoes: Cole Haan Air Bacara Red Ballet flats

Jewelry: Debra Zar

Flowers & Details: Gand Florist and Debra Zar

Ceremony Musicians:Highland Park Pops

Dessert: Deerfields Bakery

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Victory + Keith’s Rustic Winery Wedding

It’s a nice day for a wine wedding!  Victory and Keith celebrated with their friends and family at an Illinois winery, with lots of color and rustic details.  After their outdoor ceremony, guests dined around DIY centerpieces made from driftwood, river rocks, wildflowers, and candles.  The various desserts were served on rustic slabs of wood.  At the end of the evening, guests let loose in the photo booth.  Wine and photo booths are always a fun mix.


Congrats to Victory and Keith!



Photographer: Jess Dewes Photography

Reception Venue: Hidden Lake Winery, Aviston, Illinois

Caterer: Hidden Lake Winery

Event Designer: LD Design

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sherry + Ryan’s Elegant Halloween Wedding

Okay, this may be a little late, but we can’t let a little bit of blog maintenance deprive you all of the awesomeness that is this Halloween wedding! I’m a huge fan of this holiday and I love when couples celebrate their wedding day in ways that are important to them. Sherry and Ryan did just that.  They wanted an elegant goth wedding with little hints of Halloween, and the bride added lots of handmade, unique touches to make their day even more special. From the bride:

“For my bridesmaids: I helped them all choose dresses that would fit their body type in any type of black and white polka dot design they wanted. We got them from a variety of stores, and one bridesmaid even altered her dress to add polka dots. I wanted everyone to have a fun and affordable experience, which stemmed from being in plenty of weddings myself and knowing how expensive those bridesmaid dresses can be. Plus I hate ‘matchy matchy’ bridesmaids. Then I helped accessorize them with orange for a Halloween feel, each fitting their own personalities. For example, my now sister-in-law wanted a little shrug for her shoulders and she loves candy corn, so I scoured the Internet for candy corn shoes! This way everyone felt comfortable.”


“Almost all the decorations outside of the centerpieces and the bouquet were made by me. I started shopping a year ahead of time and started collecting elements that I knew I could rework into my vision. We ran around getting Styrofoam pumpkins, ribbon, and various items and stored them until we were ready. I also haunted every vintage, resale and salvage shop looking for BIG vintage frames. The hallway leading to the reception hall is usually used for local artists work. One them we wanted for our wedding was to have a a celebration with our closest friends and family. So I chose to create black and white photo collages of our bridesmaids and groomsmen weddings, family pictures, friend’s wedding pictures, etc., that we hung in the frames in the hallway. This turned the hallway literally into a walk down memory lane.

“I also arranged for friends and family to get together for pumpkin carving parties closer to the wedding, to carve all the fake pumpkins and real pumpkins (nearly 100 total)! It was a fun time for both families to get together and for everyone just to have a silly fun time. These were found EVERYWHERE – outside as arrows directing guests to the theatre, as a ‘thank you’ as people left, and as lighting throughout the reception space.”

“We utilized a lot of vendors from Etsy, and I worked with them for 6 months prior having special items created from my vision. For instance, a custom dyed crinolines for my wedding dress, which was ivory on top with black ruffles underneath, Halloween initial charms for each bridesmaid, video game cuff links for the groomsmen, and a fascinator created by an artist in England, who even teased that she was going to sell more of my design and name it ‘Gypsy.'”

“Although I did have Virtuous Events create the actual bouquet, I had collected ribbons for each bridesmaid that complimented their outfits and had her use those to wrap the flowers, and I also included felt flowers. For the groomsmen, I hand sewed felt circles with Halloween button centers for her to work into the boutonnière. Lastly for my bouquet I had found a iridescent spider for her to add as a finishing touch.”


“One very special DIY was my black cape. I always leaned towards being a little goth in high school and freshman year I begged my mom to make me a black cape for my theater banquet … and winter formal … and for prom … and for graduation … and then college graduation … you probably get the picture. I never got it. I learned that my mom had started it, had a sewing nightmare, and never finished it. Well, for our wedding she completed it, and it was the most elegant, beautiful touch ever. And now a keepsake.”


I, for one, am very glad Sherry’s mom got around to making that cape, because it’s the perfect STUNNING edition to this gothic wedding.  Check out the gallery below and I challenge you to choose just one favorite image.  This wedding is Halloween done right, folks!



Photographer: Two Birds Photography

Event Planner: Virtuous Events

Venue: Towle Theater

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

David + Andrea

The vintage feel of today’s wedding has me wanting to tuck into a cup of tea on the Pacific coast and meander through the image gallery. With September less than 24 hours away, I’m so ready for fall that I can hardly contain myself, and today’s wedding is just what I needed. David and Andrea went all out with their DIY projects – creating the favors, burlap flags, and branch centerpieces. It’s a great extension of their sweet Anne of Green Gables inspired proposal story, a video story of which can be found here. David and Andrea took a trip to Canada and the groom surprised his love with stops at the author’s home, as well as locations from the book and movie. All in all, a wonderful and soothing transition to the weekend.




Location: Addison, IL

Photography: Joshua Albanese Photography

Venue: Empress Banquets

Florals: Flowers by KH

Cake: Baking Institute

Lighting: MDM Lighting

Dress: Eva’s Bridal

Sam + Jake

Sam and Jake had a flash mob to “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” from Footloose, and they had a Lost-themed wedding.


I believe I can go home now. 🙂


Their wedding is just fantastic. It’s so them (they bonded over Lost the first time they met), and it’s a great interpretation of the themes of the show without being too over-the-top or cheesy, which I love. They used the Dharma stations from the show as table themes and it took off from there. All the decor was created by the couple who sourced items from thrift and craft stores.




Location: Grayslake, IL

Photography: Studio Starling

Venue: Byron Colby Barn


Katie + Jason

Y’all, Katie and Jason had a PARTY on their wedding day. Scrolling through the gallery is awesome – I love weddings where the fun is in full effect. I am also super excited about their fresh take on the literary-themed wedding. Using books in wedding decor is one of the most versatile ways to dress up your tables and spaces. It infuses your personal tastes, and introduces new aspects of you to your guests. Katie and Jason took it a few steps further by using books from their own collection, and turned them into favors by encouraging the guests to take them home.




Location: Homeville, IL

Photography: JPP Studios 

Venue: Ravisloe Country Club

Florals: Becca Blue Picked

Hannah + Ken

Ken and Hannah were married in an elegant and fresh outdoor ceremony with lots of yellow and personal details. It’s especially wonderful when a groom is just as involved with the details as the bride. Ken’s touches extended to naming the tables after players of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team (he’s a long-time fan), and designing the labels for the favors, which were bundles of Garret popcorn. Hannah sourced all the silver frames for the wedding from local stores, with the only rule being that no frame could cost over $5.




Location: Bartlett, IL

Photography: Heather Parker Photography

Venue: Bartlett Hills Golf Club

Caterer: Bartlett Hills Golf Club

Cake: Jarosch Bakery

Floral Designer: Flowers by Christine

Dress: Enzoani from Bella Bridal & Formal Wear

Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse


Bridget + Matthew


Matthew and Bridget were married in a summertime ceremony full of bright orange, pink and purple and infused with quirky details, like all the groomsmen in flip-flops and the sunglasses used for guest favors (one of the couple’s hobbies is collecting sunglasses). The bride and her mother DIY’d elements including the place cards, paper flowers, and streamers. The families were also included in the ceremony, when Matthew’s sister read a poem about the couple’s relationship, and Bridget’s father sang a Tom Petty song.




Location: Chicago, IL

Photographer: Oriana Koren of OKRFOTO

Venue: Loyola University Chicago

Caterer: Loyola University Chicago

Floral Designer: Anthos Flowers

Dress: Allure Bridals

Cake: Lettuce Entertain You

DJ: Toast and Jam

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