I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Anne and Prasad chose Chicago as the backdrop fo rtheir big day. We absolutely adore the chic modern vibe of their details and venue! No surprise that the event was so gorgeous, seeing as how it was designed by Jesse of Bliss Weddings and Events and shot by Roey Yohai Photography. We know you chic city gals are going to LOVE this one!

Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
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What made the wedding special and unique?

It sounds cliche to say this, but really the day was incredibly special because of all the family and close friends that traveled all the way to Chicago to be with us for this day. How often do you get to celebrate such an important moment in life with everyone who is near and dear to you? It was also very special for me personally (Anne) to have our reception at the Art Institute – I went there so many times as a child growing up in Chicago and have many wonderful memories of my visits, and it will always be near and dear to my heart. To be able to celebrate such an important life event there was truly wonderful.

Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago

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

The gown was a Monique Lhullier that I got at Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City. I actually saw a picture of it for the first time at a bridal salon in Chicago. I was there with my mom trying on dresses, and she just happened to be sitting in a chair that was next to a table with a placard featuring a model in the gown walking down the runway. She casually said, “What about this one?” Initially, I was completely opposed to long-sleeves. They seemed so conservative and boring! But when I tried it on, I fell in love. I can’t even describe how amazing it made me feel to wear that dress on my wedding day – it perfectly expressed my style and made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago

What were some touches added to make it personal?

To say that Prasad and I are obsessed with our yellow Lab, Sergeant, is an understatement! We were obviously devastated when we found out that he couldn’t be part of the wedding (apparently museums don’t really allow dogs), but we wanted to incorporate him into the day somehow. Our stationer helped us do this by including him in various places on our invitation suite, as well as all the escort cards. It was something small, but made us feel like he was still part of this day.

Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago

What was the most memorable part of the day?

For me, it was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Prasad at the end waiting for me. All the months of planning had culminated in that moment, and the emotions were overwhelming. I was smiling and almost crying at the same time (there is one picture that captures what this looks like perfectly – it is an interesting look, to say the least!). It’s really an incredible moment, and I will remember it forever.

For Prasad, the speeches at the wedding reception were the most memorable part of the day, especially the one his dad gave, which was very emotional and heartfelt (there were a lot of people with “something in their eyes” after that one). The party, of course, was also one of his favorites parts of the day, since he got to show off all his Michael Jackson dance moves!

Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago

Tell us how you met and became engaged!

Prasad and I met at a bar / ping pong hall in NYC, if you can believe it! I was living next door to one of his good friends from home at the time, and he invited me to one of their mutual friends’ 30th birthday parties. It was a Friday night, and I was pretty tired after a long day of work, but I decided to go anyway. Good thing I did!

Our proposal was low key and very “us.” It was the Friday night before MLK weekend in January 2013. Prasad and I are a bit nerdy, and one of our favorite things to do together is very large, intricate jigsaw puzzles. We were working on a 2000-piece puzzle of Times Square at the time that Prasad had purchased when we were in Chicago visiting my family for Christmas a few weeks before. We ordered some Mexican delivery, and got to work on finishing the puzzle as soon as I got home since we were determined to finish that night! Moments before the food arrived, we were down to the last piece. Prasad handed it to me and told me I could put it in (which he NEVER does – it’s tradition for him to put the last piece in). He casually mentioned that it looked like there was writing on the back. I turn it over and see a few words, and think “Oh, how nice! He wrote me a little note!” I still don’t quite understand what’s happening, so he tells me that it’s connected to a larger note that he wrote on the back of the puzzle. I attempt to turn over the corner of the puzzle where the note is, but of course I can’t, so Prasad has to do it for me! Meanwhile, the food arrives, so I get busy in the kitchen putting everything on plates. By the time I get back to the living room with the food, Prasad has flipped over the puzzle pieces so I can read the full note, which (without getting too personal) describes how much he loves me and how he feels I’m his missing piece. I’m still not quite registering what’s going on, but when I look up, Prasad is down on one knee with the ring! My first response is “Are you serious?!” Not my finest moment, but I am in complete shock at this point, and so happy! I eventually manage to get a huge “YES!” out of my mouth! We hug and kiss, and then celebrate by eating Mexican food and watching cheesy game shows on TV. It was the perfect night.

Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago
Wedding Blog Anne and Prasads Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago

Vendors: Photography: Roey Yohai Photography // Event Planning & Design: Jesse of Bliss Weddings and Events // Ceremony: St Michael of Old Town // Reception: The Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing // Printables: Cheree Berry Paper // Floral & Decor: HMR Designs // Lighting: Frost Lighting // Cocktail & Dinner Musicians: Bill Pollack Music // DJ & Drummer: Style Matters // Caterer: Bon Appetit // Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design // Linen: BBJ Linen // Rentals: Hall’s Rental // Makeup: Salon Duo // Hair: Robyn Tornabeni // Rehearsal Dinner & Welcome Party: Gibson’s Steakhouse // Bridal Party Accommodations: The Ritz Carlton of Chicago // Transportation: VIP Valet Services

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For those of you lucky holiday brides, we love the fact that you can use your registry as an opportunity to deck your halls in the prettiest ways possible! Crate & Barrel is our absolute favorite place to recommend for registries. Lady Grey herself registered there, and it remains one of her fave places to stock up! Not only does Crate & Barrel carry the perfect variety of entertaining, home, and kitchen items, but their customer service is spectacular! Returns and exchanges were a total breeze, and we love that because their style is so classic, we can keep adding to our collection over the years and still achieve a cohesive look to our home! Because of the variety of items they carry, with a classic, yet slightly edgy aesthetic, it always gets us excited to bedeck our home out just a wee bit more.

We know you’ve got yourself all excited about entertaining platters and cocktail glasses, and we would be too! Check out Lady Grey’s picks for her registry faves that are perfect for hosting, whether during the holidays, or year round! Be sure to find out how you can create a registry at Crate & Barrel (if you haven’t already) or even find a fun “Wedding Party” near you to attend!

Wedding Blog Register for the Holidays!

APPS:  1. Braid Covered Server 2. Taz 3 pc Cheese Tool Set 3. Silhouette Wine Glasses //  FEAST:  1. Laguiole Benoir Flatware 2. Ivory Pillar Candle 3. Liam Grey Stripe Napkin 4. Silva Oval Platter  // SWEETS: 1. Charlotte Pedestal 2. Cafe Mug // DECOR: 1. Anice Black Rug 2. Rodan Pendant Light

Erin and Pete enlisted Jordan Brittley to capture an incredibly romantic 10 year anniversary portrait session for them. Their story, the experience, and the images speak for themselves, so prep yourselves. You are going to love.

Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
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FROM THE MRS…

The first 10 years of our marriage was filled with a lot of “other” separations due to Navy schedules and deployments, sickness, several moves, and a lot of ‘other’ things that took attention away from ‘US’. So for our 10th anniversary, it was time to focus on and celebrate us. It was time to make us the priority again and eliminate the distractions.

Also, since I’m a photographer, it was almost embarrassing when I realized the only times we have had real portrait sessions done was for our wedding and again for Christmas before our 2nd anniversary the following January. It was time to start practicing what I preached.

Our fave memory of the day was during the video part in the end. We had just read the letters to each other and then danced to the first dance song from our wedding, which had been written just for us by a friend. I really believe something supernatural took place in those moments as my heart was flooded with an even deeper love for my husband as we danced.

I have always known that photographs were important from the standpoint of ‘life preservation’. This is the only time we will be living in this current moment and memories fade over time. Images solidify the memories. However I completely underestimated the power of the actual session time itself. It truly was time for Pete and I to just be us and forget about everything else. We connected in a way that we haven’t in a long time and our relationship has been on a new level ever since! It is sooo worth it to invest in yourselves!

Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10
Wedding Blog Heres to the first 10

Erin & Pete – 10 Year Anniversary from Jordan Brittley on Vimeo.

Vendors: Photography and Videography: Jordan Brittley // Makeup: Lindsey Jones-Wirht // Hair: Marie Bramlett

Nicole and Mike were inspired by the glam and romance of the 1930’s art deco style, so they decided to carry that inspiration over for their wedding day! We are over-the-top obsessed with how much personality and creativity they put into the look of their big day, and are head over heels for their chandelier inspired cake by Hey There, Cupcake! We know you are going to LOVE these images by Studio Castillero!

Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
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Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort

What made the wedding special and unique?

This wedding was inspired by the fantastical glamour of 1930’s Hollywood. Art deco and art nouveau designs permeated throughout the wedding. To start, vintage telegram save-the-dates and gilded invitations set the tone. The locale, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, provided the perfect backdrop. The Spanish-Colonial architecture is reminiscent of old Hollywood mansions and it provided a seamless event from ceremony to reception without pause. Gypsy jazz musicians, Zzymzzy Quartet, set the mood as guests arrived. The wedding party embodied elegance in mis-matching neutral toned sparkling gowns and varying grey 3-piece suits. Once the ceremony concluded, everyone was escorted to the cocktail lawn party. Croquet and libations were enjoyed as valets presented seating cards on silver platters. Unexpectedly hot air balloons floated in the sky making it truly magical.

Guests were then greeted to the reception’s ballroom with an overflowing champagne tower. The white and wrought iron-accented room incorporated many intricate and glowing details. Set upon the metallic sequined tablescapes with emerald accents were Isari Flower Studio’s sculptural, yet soft and romantic floral arrangements. The nouveau-esque flowers were placed inside terrariums and trophies, all flanked by candlelight. The final presentation was the cake. It was inspired by a deco chandelier turned upside down, which was perfectly executed by Hey There, Cupcake!

The sophistication of it all was beyond comprehension. What made it one of a kind was being surrounded by our nearest and dearest in celebration of our union.

Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort

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

Nicole’s mother visited the couple at their home in San Francisco to help shop for the gown. The two ladies scurried all over town having a ball in one store after another. Once Nicole tried on Reem Acra’s Lady Slipper dress at the Bridal Galleria, Nicole knew it was the one. The dress was made of silk charmeuse, which is the fabric often worn by many Hollywood sirens in the 1930s; however, this dress’ style was simple, modern, and could be gussied up with accessories that made it unique. Deco-style crystal accents, a cathedral-length veil, and a white fur shawl completed the look. This dress became the inspiration for the wedding’s theme.

Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort

What were some touches added to make it personal?

The little things. Specific songs were played throughout the wedding that were important to the bride and groom, their parents, and friends. Jazz also fit the wedding’s theme and was intentionally thought of in honor of Michael’s father who is a jazz aficionado. During the ceremony the jazz quartet played their rendition of a song by The Cure, one of Nicole’s favorite bands, as Nicole walked down the aisle escorted by her father, the host, and stepfather. Nicole’s blue sequined purse was something old and something blue; it is a family heirloom handmade 70 years ago by Nicole’s great-grandmother for Nicole’s grandmother. Nicole also wore a ring from her grandmother who could not attend. The something borrowed was a heart-shaped diamond necklace that belongs to Nicole’s beloved mother. Everything in the wedding, including the experience of it all, was something new. The “love bird” cake toppers, 2 crows, were picked because they reminded the couple of themselves. Lastly, Mike and Nicole worked on their wedding vows together, so they were authentic and heartfelt.

Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort

What was the most memorable part of the day?

BRIDE: Absolutely everything! Just to experience the day in its entirety was incredible. From small details like waking up in the morning, to big events, like getting married, stick in my memory so vividly. Also witnessing the details of my vision and style coming to fruition was so amazing. (Enormous thanks to the extraordinary collaboration with Francine Ribeau Events who really made this wedding come to life.) What I am also really proud of is how Studio Castillero Photography nailed my challenging request to capture portraits that look as if the Old Dutch Masters painted them. They’re just so cool.

GROOM: The ceremony. It was one of the few moments in my life where everyone around us disappeared and I became aware that I was experiencing a major life milestone. That was very special.

Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort
Wedding Blog Nicole and Mikes Art Deco Wedding at Rancho Valencia Resort

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We used to work together in 2008. In our first meeting Nicole had a cold and greeted Mike on his first day at his new job by sneezing on his keyboard. Assuming Mike was a threat to her job’s position, Nicole growled while sanitizing said keyboard. Thereafter she walked away while coughing up a storm. Mike was smitten.

Nicole would have known something was up if Mike made plans for a romantic evening. Lucky for Mike, Nicole made dinner plans at the Pelican Inn at Muir Beach just to have a romantic Saturday date.

The couple arrived an hour early and decided to go on a stroll to the beach. They found their way to a bench set on a cliff overlooking the water. Unbeknownst to Nicole, Mike was nervous but acted cool. He made his first attempt at the proposal by saying how much he loved her. Nicole did not seem to pick up what was about to happen and asked, “What’s with the mushiness?” Undiscouraged, Mike thought to change the setting. He suggested they hike further for a better vantage point of the setting sun. Finding the right spot Mike stopped, turned to face Nicole and said, “I’ve loved you since I first laid eyes on you.” Again, Nicole said densely, “Really? When I sneezed on your desk?” Despite the distraction Mike kept on. He got down on his knee and asked Nicole to be his wife. Finally Nicole realized the momentousness at what Mike was hinting all evening. Without hesitation Nicole said, “YES!” Eventually they made their way back to the Pelican Inn to enjoy their first dinner as a newly engaged couple. It was perfect! Mike loves hiking, Nicole loves British pubs, and they love each other.

Rancho Valencia • Nicole & Mike • Rancho Santa Fe, CA from XOXO Wedding Studio on Vimeo.

Vendors: Photography: Studio Castillero // Videographer: Xoxo Wedding Studio // Planning and Design: Francine Ribeau Events // Venue: Rancho Valencia // Florist: Isari Flower Studio // Cake: Hey There, Cupcake! // Linens: La Tavola // Table Top Rentals: Archive Rentals // Coupes/Chargers/Chairs: Classic Party Rentals // Hair and Makeup: Team Nicole // Officiant: Patricia Coleman // Bride’s Dress: Lady Slipper By Reem Arca // Bride’s Veil: Bridal Galleria // Bride’s Shoes: Hey Lady // Bride’s Earrings: Ben-Alum // Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss

“It all started with this amazing antique crown–an ancient and mysterious gilded bridal crown,” which obsessed designer, designer Nessa Buonomo of La Mariée aux Pieds Nus, for months. “I wanted to stage a natural, captivating and effortlessly-beautiful bride around this crown,” she says. “I dreamed about a not-so-white bridal gown, something earthy hued, with a soft green touch that would remind us of nature.” The dresses from Atelier Anonyme seemed to be a perfect, simple and delicate for that mission. Nessa, and photographer Greg Finck chose green meadow in the Normandy countryside as the backdrop, and luckily the special light of a French cloudy day were enough to complete the setting for our beautiful “Nature Queen” bride.

Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
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Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown
Wedding Blog Nature Queen and Her Antique French Bridal Crown

Nature Queen from Weddream Productions on Vimeo.

Vendors: Photography: Greg Finck Photography // Videography: Weddream Productions // Design and florals: Nessa Buonomo La Mariée aux Pieds Nus // Gown: Atelier Anonyme // Hair and Makeup: MyBeautyCorner // Antique Crown: French Antique Wedding // Model: Aurore