Sharing a few details that made our wedding feel extra magical and beyond anything I could have possibly dreamed of! Because I found other people’s wedding blog posts helpful in the planning process, I wanted to do this recap in the hopes that it helps you piece together the day of your dreams with the one you love!
On a Crisp October Day
We couldn’t have asked for better weather on the actual day of the wedding. It rained the two days leading up to the wedding and so we weren’t really sure how the weather in late October in Chicago would pan out. After all, we have had snow in the past!
My prayers were answered with the most perfect fall day — it was a sunny, a little bit crisp, and the light was that perfect golden fall light that illuminated all the changing colors and just made everything feel extra special. To be honest I think I’m still coming off the high of the wedding nearly 4 months after, and part of me definitely misses the planning process and excitement leading up to the big day.
My overall advice? Enjoy every single minute because it does go by so fast. Soak it up and remember it’s about focusing on those moments with the one you love standing by your side.
p.s. all photos in this blog post were taken by the amazing, We Are The Bowsers!
From our first conversation on the phone Elise made me feel calm and that I was in good hands during the planning process. The fall is a busy time for me work wise with pumpkin season, so I knew I wanted the help from a planner to make sure I didn’t drop the ball on any details or coordination that you just don’t think of as the bride. Elise went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly on the day and styled the venue exquisitely with her team.
Not only is she incredibly knowledgable and creative, but she has many recommendations and relationships with local vendors that can help bring your vision to life. It’s really obvious that she truly cares about making everything go smoothly and feel special and that really showed on the day. I felt so much more at ease and able to enjoy the day knowing she was there.
I’m already thinking of future themed parties I can hire her for!
We had the ceremony at a local church and the reception at Galleria Marchetti in West Town. I fell in love with their pergola room because it of how much natural light comes in through all the windows and the ceiling (which is retractable and can be left open in warm weather). I also loved the green ivy wall, glass fire pits that gave the room so much character.
The cocktail hour was in a separate attached room and I liked that they do the food on site and have everything like the chairs and plates, etc there, so it’s not a separate rental. In addition to the greenery that was done by our florist, we added lights from the ceiling that made the room feel cozy.
Does it surprise you that the cake was pumpkin flavored?!
Toni Patisserie brought my vision of a pumpkin wedding cake to life with this pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting that had a simple gold foil design. The greenery was added by the florist. I’m still not over how pretty it was!
I said yes to the “Flame” gown by Eva Lendel that I purchased at LBR Bridal here in Chicago. Initially this gown was the “wildecard” dress that the stylist brought out that she just wanted me to try for fun. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and after going back a few times to try it on again, I knew it was the one for me!
I had a couple of changes made to the dress which make it look different that what you would see on their website. First I had the back extended because the original way the dress was didn’t have much of a train at all. It’s also lined on the bottom.
I also had the neckline closed up about 3 inches as the original was down to my belly button and that wasn’t the look I was going for! I was a little worried about that as I didn’t want it to look too closed up but it ended up looking just right on me.
I think it’s important to mention that I went to 12 dress stores in Chicago before finding “the one”! Although I thought I knew what I wanted, I kept an open mind and just had fun with the process. I say definitely don’t stress if you’re not finding the dress right away — that just means you’re getting closer to the right one. This might go without saying too but typically dresses look so different in person then they do on Pinterest — don’t get discouraged by that!
I absolutely loved the earrings I rented from Verstolo — they were “The Juliet” and wore a simple sparky silver tennis bracelet that was adjustable and looked more expensive then it is! I love that I can wear it again anytime.
As far as shoes go I kept going back and forth looking at more expensive options but ultimately decided on a pair I found from a quick Etsy search. I’m glad I decided that to me it wasn’t worth it to splurge on a really nice pair I will only wear once.
The Hair & Makeup
I worked with the wonderful Morgan Marie Beauty, and Rhona Kane Hair. I enjoyed working with these ladies so much and couldn’t recommend them more if you’re looking for wedding hair and makeup in Chicago! They were both incredibly nice to chat with and really know how to bring exactly what you want to life. I wanted to look like the bride version of myself which I think they both nailed perfectly.
The Bridesmaid Dresses
One thing I knew very early on in the wedding planning process was that I wanted mismatched bridesmaid dresses in different fall colors! I couldn’t have been happier with the way they all looked next to each other and felt like the velvet was perfect for late October! How gorgeous is my the bridal party?!
I wanted to mention Rob had his suit custom made at BLVDier here in Chicago. They were awesome to work with and took a lot of pride in the design process as well as the quality of the garment. The owners are a husband and wife team who are super knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to crafting something that fits your needs and your style.
As I began planning the wedding at the end of 2020, I quickly realized a lot of things were booking up from people postponing their wedding to 2021. Finding a photographer wasn’t high on my to-do list at the beginning, but after reaching out to a few people who were already fully booked, I quickly got on it and was lucky enough to come across We Are The Bowsers. (I would definitely recommend looking into photographers/video very soon after getting engaged!)
Lauren and Jared are a married photography and videography team whose style I was immediately drawn too because it wasn’t the typical “light and airy” style that I knew wasn’t what I wanted. There’s something about how their style conveys love, light and warmth that was really evident to me by looking at their work.
I felt SO lucky that they were available on our date and from day one they were amazing to work with! As I look at the photos and video now, I know that no one could have captured all of the moments the way they did — just looking at all the photos brings me so much joy.
They brought to life the super small candid moments and fall vibes in all of the photos that we (me especially!) will cherish for the rest of our lives. To me they didn’t just capture a photo, they captured a feeling and if I could hire them again I would in a heartbeat!
We took photos around the west loop in between the church and reception which is special to us since we live in the neighborhood!
I worked with Jess from Stemming from Love for all of the florals including all the reception ceiling greenery and details around the space. I trusted her 100% to bring to life my vision and couldn’t have been happier with how beautiful all of the florals looked everywhere!
I can’t thank her enough for going above and beyond to infuse everything with colors of the season.
The Fall Details
The little fall details that I envisioned for the day really meant so much to me and came together better than I could have even imagined. I was going for “chic pumpkin vibes” and I think it turned out even better than I could have imagined! Leading up to the wedding I collected white and creamy light orange colored heirloom pumpkins to use around the venue. Elise went above and beyond to bring the vision to life!
One thing I will say is that Etsy has so many amazing templates for place cards, menus, and signs. You’re bound to find a style that you like and print anything you needed signage wise. I did work with a calligrapher, however realized at the eleventh hour that I preferred a more modern look for the font vs. traditional and scrambled to update things using an Etsy template. In hindsight I wish I realized this earlier as it would have saved money.
I loved the neon sign vibe and got both signs we had at the wedding from Neon Stock here in Chicago. They were super fast and great to work with. My friends at HM Clause were nice enough to send over all of the mini pumpkins I used for the place cards. My sister and I spray painted them gold, and I used a template I found on Etsy to make the name cards and the menus. I loved that our guests could take these home with them too.
A calligrapher wrote our names on the mirror that was placed on the floor with the pumpkins, and greenery all around it. That was definitely one of my favorite touches!
The soundtrack of the night was created by the super talented Nicholas Hardy from Elysium Experience. I actually got Nicholas’s card at a friends wedding about a year before we got engaged because I loved his style so much from what I saw that night!
Him and his team really took the time to learn the vibe and demographic of the wedding to ensure that the music would match our style and get people excited about dancing the night away. Nicholas really creates an experience for the night vs. just playing music which I believe is part of what made the night so special. Not to mention he plays the saxophone and more!
Songs carry so many feelings and memories for me and now every time I hear a song that was played from that day I’m immediately transported back to those special moments thanks to Nicholas and his team.
He had the dance floor full the entire night and nearly 4 months later people are still telling us how much they loved the DJ!
Did I miss anything?! If you have a question I didn’t answer, feel free to comment here or email me — I’m happy to help!
P.s. here is my fall wedding Pinterest board if you want to take a peak for more inspiration and you can also check out my picks for little white dresses perfect for any bridal bridal shower or rehearsal dinner.