I’m excited to share a little wedding up date at the almost 100 day mark (111 days to be exact!). Throughout the wedding planning process, I’ve found it super helpful to read others people’s wedding blog posts with details about vendors, where they shopped for dresses, and insights on some of the little details so I wanted to share some of my own as a resource for my fellow brides-to-be.
You didn’t expect me to go into too much detail here, did you?! No spoilers on THE dress, however I’m happy to share where I shopped for those of you who might also be looking for places to shop for your wedding dress in Chicago.
Looking at this list I went to quite a few places! To be honest I never really felt discouraged as time went on and I went to more places because I felt like each dress I tried on that wasn’t the one was bringing me closer to figuring out exactly what I did like. It’s funny how you go in thinking you love one style and in my case I ended up choosing something I probably wouldn’t have picked for myself if I just saw it on the hanger. It surprised me in the best way ever. 🙂 I originally thought I wanted a crepe dress, but that’s not what I ended up with!
Here’s a list of where I went dress shopping and a few thoughts:
- Aisle Chic — this was the first place I went to look at dresses and they were SO nice and made it such a great first experience!
- Grace Loves Lace — most all dresses here are a romantic lightweight jersey fabric and for me I just really needed more structure. Super cool concept that the dresses are machine washable, but they definitely felt more casual to me.
- Alice & Ivory
- Mira Culture — loved a dress from here, but ultimately it was missing the wow factor for me
- LBR Bridal — this is where I found the one! Shoutout to Maria for pulling a wildcard gown that just felt so right!
- Sarah Seven — I went here multiple times after falling in love with a couple of their styles, however was really disappointed in the experience at the store, and ultimately the styles I thought I loved were missing something for me when I put them on.
- Lovely Bride
- Jenny Yoo
- Weddings 826
- Ultimate Bride
If you’re looking for a little white dress perfect for the rehearsal dinner or bridal shower check out this post on a few of my favorite white dress and jumpsuit looks.
While I’m not sharing where the wedding is just yet, I will say when we initially set out to look we knew which area we wanted to be in and roughly what we could and could not afford. These two things really narrowed it down off the bat. We saw 4 venues including the one we decided to go with and that gave us a good sense of what we did and did not like. I also knew I wanted it in October, so obviously the venue needed to have availability in that month.
In a serendipitous way the venue that we really liked only had one October date left, the 30th. October 30th also happens to be our dating anniversary, so although it’s late in the month and who knows what the weather could be like here in Chicago, it was truly meant to be. Now it will be our forever anniversary and this year will mark 8 years together. Fingers crossed there is no snow!
Our venue has a lot of character, natural light and greenery, and I absolutely can’t wait to see it when the leaves change in the fall. Stay tuned!
We’re really excited to have Nicholas from The Elysium Experience DJ and emcee the night! Funny story is that he DJ’ed our friend’s wedding and I asked for his card while dancing on the dance floor because I loved his style so much. I just had a feeling I might need it one day!
Nicholas really took the time to chat with us about the type of experience we want for our guests and how we could collaborate to infuse music, and lights into all of the special moments throughout the night. We could really tell that he has a passion that extends from simply being a “dj” to creating an unforgettable soundtrack and experience for an unforgettable day.
Invitations & Save The Dates
For these, along with our wedding website, I chose to go Minted. I love that you can personalize almost every detail of whichever style you like down to the font type and the fact that they have so many options. I haven’t totally decided on the invite yet, but right now I’m fusing two of their styles together which I feel like is really making it feel like our own!
Photography & Video
eeek, the pictures! Probably one of the most important details to me just knowing they are something we will cherish forever. I’m thrilled to be working with Lauren and Jared of We Are the Bowsers for photo + video and absolutely love their golden, romantic, and magical style.
They came HIGHLY recommended to me and everyday I’m seriously so thankful they had our date available! I can’t wait to see how they capture our fall love story in October. 🙂
Pro tip: have this detail be one of your firsts to figure out. We got engaged in August and I think I thought I had a lot of time to find vendors, etc., so I kind of took my time on the photography front, however with many people changing their date due to the pandemic and rescheduling vendors were booking up FAST. I’m sure this is still the case to some extent for 2022, so take your time but I would say start looking fairly soon after getting engaged.
The Details & The Flowers
I had been following Elise on Instagram for a while, and she was one of the very first people I set up a call with when we got engaged. We didn’t have a venue yet at that point and she was SO helpful giving me tips and suggestions and making me feel like we weren’t behind and that we’d totally find one that was us. That totally wasn’t the topic of the conversation, but right off the bat she went above and beyond to offer her knowledge. You can tell from her work that Elise and her team take great pride in the little details, and in my opinion it’s those little touches that truly convey the love story.
I knew I wanted her guidance, expertise and impeccable creative style to help bring my fall wedding dreams to life on the day of and I’m super excited to be working with her and Jess from Stemming from Love for the flowers.
I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect shoes to wear with my dress on the day of. So far I’ve purchased and returned these retro bow tie shoes (I love them, I just felt like they weren’t me) and these classic and super comfy looking white shoes from Sarah Flint (They just felt a little plain for me when I tried they on with my dress).
It’s hard to find a low to medium-sized healed shoe that also have a little wow factor and some sparkle too. If you have any suggestions on were to shop, I’d love to know!
I hope you found this helpful if you’re also planning a wedding — congrats and good luck!
I know these next couple months will go quick so I’m trying to soak it up, enjoy the planning process, stay organized and most of all not stressed! I’m all ears if you have any specific tips for how to do that! And you can read more about our engagement story here.