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Ashley’s dream was always to have a romantic garden wedding and the Chicago Botanic Garden provided her and Ian the perfect backdrop for their fairytale wedding come to life. The day was planned by Clementine Custom Events with florals by A Stem Above, stationery and paper goods by Magnificent Milestones and cake: Three Tarts Bakery while Kristin LaVoie Photography was on hand to capture all the magic in these dreamy photographs.

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Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I found my wedding gown at Bella Bianca in Oak Brook, Illinois. Once I put the dress on, I knew it was different than the others. Once I walked out in the dress to show my family, my mom, my grandma and my sister (MOH) all started crying. In that moment, I knew it was special. But when I saw it had pockets, I knew it was the one! As silly as that sounds, I knew it matched my personality perfectly and how I wanted to feel on my wedding day. It was elegant yet fun. Not to mention practical as I knew I would tuck my personal vows to Ian in the pocket for the ceremony. It was an A line dress, a perfect combination for me of lace bodice, sparkle, and satin with a low, open back.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Our goal was to make the whole wedding feel very personal. It started with Ian and I not wanting to see each other until I walked down the aisle. We knew it would be a feeling we would never forget. We were thrilled to have my grandmas be the flower girls and for them to be a part of our special day. We wrote our own heartfelt vows and planned several surprises for each other throughout the day. Ian surprised me with a personal letter and red roses that were delivered while my bridesmaids and I got ready.  I surprised Ian with a large framed quote which read -” If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk  through my garden forever”. I also surprised Ian with a coaster placed at his place setting that read “You are my happily ever after”. When it came time to cut the cake I looked down and realized Ian had arranged for the cake cutting knife set to be personalized and then placed at the cake table for me to find when it was time to cut the cake.

What made the wedding special and unique?

My dream was always to have a romantic and elegant garden wedding. The Chicago Botanic Garden provided the perfect backdrop for our fairytale wedding come to life. The whole day felt magical. It was everything I ever dreamed of and more.

The wedding ceremony in the Rose Garden followed by cocktail hour with the string quartet in the English Walled Garden. The reception was in the McGinley Pavilion. The weather was also glorious that day.

We wrote our own personal vows and kept them a secret. We were both so excited yet calm the whole day, knowing we couldn’t wait to marry each other.

Ian and I also did not want to see each other before the ceremony.

Both my grandmothers were my flower girls.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The most memorable part of the day was walking down the aisle with my dad and feeling his joy and pride – and then seeing Ian, my soon to be husband tearing up as I walked towards him. It was everything I ever pictured it to be and more!

Tell us how you met and became engaged. 

Ian and I met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Marquette University in 2013. We happened to walk past each other on Wisconsin Avenue, the main street on Marquette’s campus where we were both attending school. Neither of us said anything, but we shared a look and a moment that neither of us will forget. Weeks later, I look up and see the same man I saw on the street looking at me from across a cafe where I was studying. He came over and asked if he could sit down at my table, I said yes. We talked and got to know all about each other and how we grew up. For the next six months, we would meet in the same cafe at the same time without ever exchanging numbers. Once I agreed to give him my number, we arranged our first official first date, and have been together ever since.

Proposal story – After we graduated, Ian and I had a trip planned to go back up to Milwaukee and Chicago to visit my family in February 2018. We spent the first half of the trip in Milwaukee reminiscing about where we met and our old stomping grounds. The next day, we drove to Chicago to see my family. Once we arrived, Ian asked if I wanted to go take a walk. It was freezing out with snow on the ground, but I agreed! We walked to the park in the neighborhood I grew up in, and he took me to the spot where he first told me he loved me years ago. He got down on one knee in that exact spot and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Little did I know, also he hired a professional photographer to capture the moment, as well as including my parents who were hiding behind the bushes watching it all go down! I was beyond surprised and so thrilled to be able to share the moment with my parents as well, knowing how much it meant to them to feel included. The rest of the weekend, we celebrated our engagement and had the best time ever!

Photography: Kristin LaVoie Photography // Planner/Coordinator: Clementine Custom Events // Florals: A Stem Above // Stationery/Paper Goods: Magnificent Milestones // Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden // Dress Designer: Martina Liana // Boutique: Bella Bianca // Hair/Makeup: Kate Johnson Artistry // Cake: Three Tarts Bakery // Men’s Wear: Eleganza // Catering: Culinary Landscape // Linens: BBJ Linen // Rentals: Halls Rentals // String Quartet: Artistrings // DJ: Okyne Media Lab

 

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Lianna Marie Photography and I Do Details teamed up to bring the summer charm to life in this stunning wedding editorial incorporating soft coral and blush hues, textured linens, and romantic details. 
The coral and terracotta palette inspired the shoot, starting with the beautiful lush peonies and sherbet colored florals by Layers of Lovely, to the varietal bridesmaid dresses, to the Peridot Sweets floral-adorned cake and punctuated by the adorable cotton candy cart. The iconic Las Vegas Country Club set a beautiful backdrop for our wedding inspiration shoot nestled in the heart of Las Vegas and Lianna Marie Photography captured in all in these stunning film images.

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Photographer: Lianna Marie Photography // Stylist / Planner: I Do Details // Floral Designer: Layers of Lovely // Venue: Las Vegas Country Club // Film Lab: Photovision // Dress Designer: Anais Anette // Cake Designer: Peridot Sweets // Hair & Make-up Artist: Paperbag Beauty // Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Ring: T Bird Jewels // Ring Box: The Mrs Box // Trays: Dogwood Rentals // Perfume: Chanel // Rentals: RSVP Party Rentals

Larger-than-life floral arrangements, a vibrant color palette, a show-stopping gown and the breathtaking backdrop of Barcelona—today’s editorial is the perfect way to kick off Valentine’s week. The team behind this sophisticated Spanish elopement inspiration includes floral designers RodriStudio & Maisonfrancis with invitations by Pearlyn and Paper, a Dora Sasu gown and gorgeous film photography captured by Lena Karelova Photography.

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From the team:  this editorial, we decided to showcase an elopement in the picturesque city of Barcelona, featuring inspiring architecture, vibrant colors, and a look into Spanish culture. Barcelona, as an autonomous city from the rest of Spain, exhibits the multidimensional sides of an incredibly diverse location with fascinating history and landmarks, as well as, a fervent society extremely proud of its heritage but also very progressive and multicultural.

With so many incredible inspirational shoots already in the region with a focus on old-world architecture and classic elegance, we wanted to bring something fresh and unique without compromising timelessness. We sought to bring the vibrancy of the city by choosing a rooftop as a setting, a much more modern and unexpected choice for the contemporary couple that provides incredible city views. We made sure to choose a couple that had immigrated to the city, as this is very representative of its culture today: multicultural, and inviting, especially to destination couples!

While still taking into account the undeniable history nestled within the city’s architecture, we chose to have the couple exchange vows in front of the Palau de Justicia, or the Supreme Court of Catalonia, located in the heart of the city’s old quarter by the Arc de Triumf.

Designed with the fashionable couple in mind, the bride wore a custom lace gown by Dora Sasu that blended timeless with sexy elegance, while the groom showed a more contemporary style with a navy-blue suit. The rentals and décor translated into a casual yet polished and vibrant reception, a clean and elegant table scape, which helped bring to life the location’s lively culture.

This elopement has a contemporary feel that manages to remain timeless and embedded with delicate fine art moments, like the hand painted invitation, featuring an ode to the florals, as well as the architecture with a hand drawn image of one of the city’s most historical landmarks, namely the Barcelona Cathedral.

Speaking of florals, designers Sandrine of Maison Francis and Angel of Rodri Studio, chose to showcase their talents as separate yet cohesive pieces, by merging the more lavish and luxurious style of the centerpiece with the timeless chic of the bridal bouquet, while making sure to focus on color as one of the most important aspects of the shoot. Inspired by the incredibly rich tones found throughout the city and the region as a whole, and with muted colors so often misconstrued as the only representation of what fine art exudes, we thought it was important to showcase this to couples who might want to infuse color into their big day, and how they can do so while remaining undeniably tasteful and sophisticated.

What is also great about Barcelona as a perfect elopement location is that not only you get to say “I do” in this vibrant city, but it also doubles as a honeymoon spot for couples to explore the city in depth and serve as a connecting point to continue the adventure in other European cities nearby.

Let’s face it, modern-day elopement in Barcelona, sounds like perfection!

Photography:  Lena Karelova Photography // Floral Design: RodriStudio & Maisonfrancis // Invitations: Pearlyn and Paper // Dress: Dora Sasu // MUAH: HairLookStyle // Linen: Nüage Designs // Model: Sofya

 

Matt and Audrey’s set out to “celebrate our love story – share the heart of it and celebrate why we chose each other.” Their intimate wedding at Morrells Boutique Estate is a lovely garden party with personalized details including the bride’s custom dress—made by her mother! Check out the details in these lovely images by Dust and Dreams Photography.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

We initially wanted our wedding to be an engagement party that turned out to be a surprise wedding for our guests. We wanted the wedding to be relaxed, informal and easy going. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stick with this initial idea. Our wedding was special and unique because we remained true to our intention. We didn’t want a big wedding with over the top elements, gifts or making it hard for our guests to get to us. We wanted to celebrate our love story – share the heart of it and celebrate why we chose each other. The day turned out to be better than we had hoped! It was small, intimate and so full of love.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I struggled to find a gown that was perfect for me. The ONE that made me feel like I was becoming my husband’s wife. After months of searching for a light, romantic dress my mom offered to make me a dress. And it was perfect. I wore a dress that was made for me by a lady that knew me the best.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

My husband and I planned the wedding together – right from the beginning. He was so present and so patient – it really contributed to my appreciation for him. From the beginning of our love story, we have been calling one another “Big Bird, Little Bird” and as a wedding stationer it was so wonderful to be able to illustrate this element into our visual (wedding stationery) love story. I was able to put my love of painting into my love of planning our wedding. The wedding stationery held the visual elements of our venue, our favourite colours, memories from our engagement and the icons that represented our nicknames for one another.

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

All of it! But I definitely loved getting ready with my girls. We did our own hair and make up, we took our time, we took breaks to walk through the gardens…it felt like a fancy sleepover. I didn’t want to lose the authenticity of their personalities. They did their hair and make up the way they wanted to – and this made me so happy because the essence of our wedding was to celebrate the organic, natural way things happen.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Once upon a time, Matt was given a wrong number at work when he needed technical assistance – by chance it was mine. Eventually we got talking, we became friends, he bought some of my art and then we met in real life. And when I met him it was like I had known him for years. Our whole lives we have been crossing paths. We grew up a few homes from one another when we were children, we have mutual friends – but only met for the first time, by chance when we were in our mid twenties. Don’t underestimate the timing of your lives. When you are ready – you will find the love of your life.

After a few months of dating, we knew we had found “our human”. He planned a surprise weekend getaway for me at Kloofzicht in South Africa. We had never chatted about how I/he dreamt of getting engaged. But I knew I wanted to be near nature and hopefully in a hot air balloon – in the sky above the world. On the day of the engagement, we woke at 5am – to go on a hot air balloon! And it was beautiful, just like I had always dreamt of – well almost. We were unable to go in the hot air balloon as the sky was too cloudy and the nearby airport considered it a risk to fly near the planes in the fog. When we got back to our hotel, we decided to take a long walk to shake off our disappointment. We came to a bridge, surrounded by tall grass. I was taking photos of the tall, golden leaves and when I turned, Matt was on his knee with an open box showing the most beautiful ring. I still got to feel like I was in the sky above the world. And then all the tall grass around us became filled with big and little birds. It’s as if the universe was sending us confirmation of our union.

Photographers: Dust and Dreams Photography // Venue, Catering, Decor & Florals: Morrells Boutique Estate // Wedding Stationery: Stohne Illustration // Bridesmaids Dresses: Infinity Dress // Bridal Gown: made by the Mother of the Bride

 

If you’re looking for an engagement ring, you’ve just made one of the most important decisions of your life — and you’re about to make another. The kind of engagement ring you present to your partner should reflect their personality and the type of life you want to begin together!

Whether you’re surprising your partner or bringing them along with you, there are a few things you should know about how to choose the perfect engagement ring.

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Choosing an Engagement Ring

Don’t make the mistake of beginning your engagement ring search with little-to-no knowledge. Knowing what you want and where to start can help you make an informed decision that will make your engagement ring special. Here’s everything you should consider before you start your engagement ring search.

Stick to Your Ring Budget

First things first, make room in your budget for your engagement ring purchase — and stick to it. It may seem unimportant now, but if things go right with the engagement, you’ll be facing wedding expenses which can really put a dent in your savings.

If you’re trying to make things work with a smaller budget, talk with a knowledgeable jeweler. They’ll know exactly how to help you get the most bang for your buck. For example, the experts at Great Heights — a lab-grown diamond company holding the industry to a higher standard, offers stunning lab-created diamonds that can be up to 40% less than the price of a mined stone. Plus, you’re receiving the peace of mind that your diamond was ethically sourced.

Consider the Materials of the Ring

You have choices that range from the metals in the band to the type of stone featured in the ring. While these customization options can be overwhelming, they certainly have a big impact. That said, do you know all of your options?

Did you know that there are some kinds of precious metals that are naturally hypoallergenic? Platinum and gold, for example.

What about stone choices? Do you want a lab-grown diamond for environmental reasons and budgeting purposes? Or would you prefer a unique stone such as onyx or aquamarine?

These are some of the questions you’ll have to ask yourself during your search. The sooner you nail down your preferred materials, the sooner you’ll be able to move forward with your purchase.

Choose the Right Stone Shape

The shape of the stone you select will influence every other aspect of the ring. It’s also an easy way to filter out the plethora of customizing options, so you can avoid being overwhelmed by details!

Don’t be afraid to discuss these options with your partner. Ask them if they would prefer a classic, timeless round-shaped gem or something a bit more daring like a princess or marquise cut.

Once you understand their preferences, you can look at rings that suit them. You’ll find that things will flow a lot more easily from there.

Research Engagement Ring Vendors

Be sure to stick with accredited jewelers. If you’re not buying from a large national chain, make sure that the store you’re working with is affiliated by the Jewelers of America, the International Gemological Institute, or similar high-ranking official governing bodies. This is important to ensure the quality of the ring you’re able to purchase as well as the security of your ring-buying experience.

Key Takeaways

When you’re choosing an engagement ring, there are several things that you’ll need to consider including shape, setting, style and more! Keeping your partner in mind as you navigate these decisions will help.

You’ll want to give yourself at least six weeks to allow the ring to be properly made or updated to your specifications and delivered safely to your home.

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