Destination Weddings

Destination Wedding in Cooperstown, New York

Destination Weddings, Wedding Pictures, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

Kate and Brian's destination wedding in Cooperstown, New York was filled with lots of laughs and happy tears.  One of the most memorable moments was when bride Kate, who is normally cracking jokes and keeping everyone around her in stitches, became overwhelmed with tears as she walked down the aisle.  So much, that she found herself surprised that she could not stop crying. But, eventually she and everyone else broke out in a big laugh at the ceremony, and then the laughs carried on all throughout this fun wedding day.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

If you've heard of Cooperstown, you may be thinking this was a baseball theme wedding.  Well, it turns out there is more to Cooperstown than the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Guests traveling to this destination wedding enjoyed the weekend in cozy bed and breakfast cottages, such as the Landmark Inn where the bride and bridesmaids started in the morning, or the historic Otesaga Resort Hotel, where the groom and groomsmen gathered before heading to the wedding. The church ceremony and barn reception were both located on the grounds of The Farmers' Museum.

The wedding fashions and details were primarily classic with elegant touches of country charm. Kate found her lovely Pronovias gown at Dimitra's Bridal in Chicago.  The bridesmaids wore blue knee-length Ann Taylor dresses.  The gentlemen wore their own black tuxedos with black bow ties.  The vibrant blue color was carried over to the bride and bridesmaids' shoes, as well as blue, violet and yellow flowers. 

The ceremony was performed by Rev. Jon Noble, makeup and hair by Renee Dugan, and event services provided by Flowers by Suzanne, Marjorie Landers cake, and Big Fish Combo band.  The wedding dinner catering, as well as the welcome dinner the night before was by Templeton Hall.

Destination Midwest: Yes Michigan Weddings!

Destination Weddings, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

The great state of Michigan has a lot to offer for destination weddings, especially for the "outdoorsy" types.  The eastern shores of Lake Michigan are chock full of sleepy bed and breakfast towns that are great for relaxing, fun and romantic weekends for wedding couples and their guests. 

There are dozens of wine vineyards stretching up the coast of western Michigan, with a large concentration in the north around the Traverse City area.  Nature and water recreation areas are found not only along Lake Michigan, but also other smaller clusters of lakes throughout the state.  Farms and farmer's markets are also in great abundance throughout the state, and many farms and barns offer couples unique spaces to host their wedding ceremonies and receptions. From our standpoint as folks who live in Chicago, our favorite thing about Michigan state is that it is on Eastern time.  This means the summer light lasts longer at the end of the time zone, with twilight even going past 10:00 pm the further north you are, especially around the solstice.  Also, Lake Michigan is quite a sight to behold as the sun goes down on the opposite side of what we are used to seeing in Chicago.  Overall, we love the rustic and warm Midwestern feel and the eclectic Americana flavor found throughout the state.  We think Michigan is a fantastic place for couples to consider for destination weddings.

Here are some recent favorites when we've been fortunate to join Chicago area couples for their destination weddings in Michigan.

Kate + Chad's wedding: Leland, Michigan

Click here to see more from Chad and Kate's wedding.

Becky and Fuad's wedding:  St. Joseph Michigan

Click here to see more from Becky and Fuad's wedding.

Chris and Melinda: Three Oaks, Michigan

Double Destination Wedding: Chicago and Hawaii

Destination Weddings, Wedding Pictures, Wedding Planning, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

As we look at some destination weddings this week, it is worth mentioning that several of our couples have had two weddings, one away and one back home.  Some just have a second reception back home if many family and friends were unable to attend a destination wedding.  In the case of Gabrielle and Chad, they live in Hawaii near the groom's family, but the bride's family lives here in Chicago.  It didn't work out for them to have everyone in the same place, so they decided to have two small weddings in both locations, Chicago and Hawaii. 

The cool thing about having two weddings, is that you can have two different styles for each one, as Gabe and Chad did.  For the Chicago wedding with the bride's Italian family, it was a 1950's theme, with the ceremony at the small chapel at Northwestern University, where the bride's mother also was married decades before.  The reception was an intimate family dinner a Chicago neighborhood Italian restaurant.

© Wedding Creativo Photography



For the Hawaii wedding, it was a vibrantly colorful and more casual affair on the beach near the bride and groom's home in Honolulu.  The groom's family, native Hawaiian Kona coffee farmers, helped with the decorations and details.

And the day after, it was an afternoon of surf and sun for the newlyweds.

Destination Midwest: Milwaukee Zoo Wedding

Destination Weddings, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Pictures, Wedding Planning, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

When you hear about destination weddings, typically the Caribbean or far away exotic place might come to mind.  However, the Midwest is chock full of exotic locations that could be considered for destination weddings a little closer to home.  For exotic AND offbeat, you can't go wrong with the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin.  Jason and Nicole had a fun and festive summer wedding at this family-friendly venue.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

Wedding Photo of the Week: Destination Midwest

Destination Weddings, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

Congratulations to Kate and Chad who are celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary today!

These Indiana and Virginia natives are creative folks and world travelers.  In fact, they were living in South Korea when they first contacted us and planned their entire wedding from the other side of the world.  So what destination did they choose for their wedding?  Leland, Michigan of course. ;-)  It was a great destination wedding, which we featured Wedding Creativo Blog a while ago, and it is also a featured gallery on our main portfolio site

All this week we'll be talking about destination weddings near and far, so stay tuned!

Wedding Album and Display Coordinates: June 2011

Destination Weddings, Inspiration, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Pictures, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

Wedding Creativo makes custom designed albums and photo displays as part of our full line of studio services for wedding couples and family lifestyle portraits.  This work includes guiding couples through our wide selection of album covers and specialty frames, canvases and print types to help them carefully choose the best ways to display and preserve their photographs. 

Today we begin a new series of features about decor and color inspirations for coordinating albums and display goods, without loosing sight of complimenting the wedding or portrait imagery being displayed.

This month, we feature an album we recently made for a destination wedding that took place in Africa.  The wedding colors were primarily bright yellows and greens with red and orange highlights.  While the vibrant colors were wonderful for their wedding day, the couple wanted something a little more subdued for their home environment, which is primarily rustic and wood decor with natural tones of browns, beige, and cream with hints of lime and yellow.

For a view of went into their album design, we are excited present our first inspiration feature of this kind for album and decor coordinates.

© Wedding Creativo

Wedding Photo of the Week: Curious Kids and Vineyard Fun

Destination Weddings, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

This week we look back to Chris and Melinda's 2007 wedding for our Wedding Photo of the Week.  Their wedding was at Willow Harbor Vinyards in Three Oaks, Michigan.  It was a beautiful location with acres of open green space, horse barn, vineyards and private lakeside spot for the ceremony.  Southwest Michigan has many barns and vineyards available for weddings, but this was one of our favorites.  They had lovely and curious flower girls for their bridal party, and also lots of young nieces and nephews in attendance.  We love when kids are ate weddings because for us they are fun and always cute as can be!  However, we understand some couples and parents, might be apprehensive about including kids.  We think the barn, farm or vineyard wedding is the perfect solution.  At Willow Harbor the kids all had a lot of fun running around and playing all day.  We think regional locations like this are always great for weddings that have lots of children.  Outdoor games and fun activities can be set up just for them, so they can go have fun (optimally with older teens or college adults supervising), and then adults can have fun too not hearing their kids complain about being "bored" at the wedding all day.

© Wedding Creativo Photography 

Destination Inspiration: Ligurian Coast of Italy

Destination Weddings, InspirationWedding Creativo Photography

Giorgio was born in Genoa, the main city in the northwest Italian region of Liguria.  It is the costal area making up the Italian Riviera, stretching along the Mediterranean Ligurian Sea from the northwest French border down to Tuscany. Giorgio grew up surrounded by fruit trees, pesto pasta, 500 year-old narrow streets and rustic small villages that are legendary throughout Liguria.  Portofino and The Cinque Terre (the five villages of Monteroso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) are probably the best known areas of this region, as they have become popular vacation destinations. 

So, Giorgio was super excited to learn that his beloved Liguria was declaired to have Italy's cleanest beaches, according to The Blue Flag Programme, an environmental recognition by the non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education.  The organization works towards promoting sustainable development of beaches and marinas.

Giorgio loves to tell couples about Italy, especially about Liguria, when they visit us at the studio.  It is a great area to consider for your destination wedding or honeymoon.  Maybe one day you'll run into Giorgio when he is on a visit back home to see his family.  Or, if you take him there to photograph your destination wedding, he will make you some of his amazing pesto pasta and show you the best sights in Liguria!

Some of our favorite places in Liguria:

Vernazza, one of the Cinque Terre villages

Riomaggiore, another Cinque Terre village

Portovenere, near the region of Tuscany, actually has the southern starting point for the Cinque Terre hiking trail, but many people are not aware of that fact.  Shhhhh! It is still kind of a secret place.

Chad and Kate's Wedding at Field of Flowers Farm

Destination Weddings, Wedding Pictures, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

--> See more pictures from this Michigan barn wedding in the Featured Weddings on our photography website.

When Chad and Kate first contacted us they were living in South Korea.  We could hardly imagine how in the world this Indiana guy and Virginia gal ever found us, much less that we would be fortunate enough to join them for their destination wedding at a flower farm in northern Michigan.  

They are both amazingly talented and creative people, Kate in visual arts and Chad with music, and they brought so much of who they are into their wedding plans.   Field of Flowers Farm in Lake Leelanau was chosen as the venue not only for its beauty and unique appeal, but also because it was located next to the town of Leland where Kate's family spent many summer vacations.  It is indeed a beautiful part of the state with several small lakes dotted along the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.  The whole county seems to be dedicated to the recreational enjoyments of vintage Americana:  drinking lemonade on the porch, boating late into summer's twilight nights, and playing old-fashioned backyard games of croquet and bean bags...all while being surrounded by cherry farms and wine vineyards.

Since they were planning their wedding literally from the other side of the world, the bride and groom were lucky to have such great family and friends to help out.  Chad designed their wedding blog, and along with the help of Kate's mother, made the invitations.  Bridesmaid Casey did a fantastic job with hair and makeup.  The groom's talented friends, David, Megan, Partrick and Emily performed the ceremony music, and Chad and his friends also performed a barbershop quartet birthday serenade during the reception.

The fashions were summer vintage styles befitting the relaxed outdoor farm wedding ambiance.  The bride wore an adorable vintage short dress that she spotted at Bygones Vintage Store and had reconstructed by Charla Bjostad at Pleiadz Bridal Design in Richmond, Virginia.  For the bridal party, it was a J Crew affair, with the ladies in light gray knee-length dresses and the guys in cool seersucker suits and blue Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers.  Oh, and our favorite accessory was the bride's heart-shaped sunglasses.

For professional planning help, they called on Kris Rundblad and team at Merry Makers, with the delicious dinner by Grandview Catering, handmade vintage-style cakes by Robin Smith's One of a Kind Edible Art, and barn decor and flowers by the venue owner Christina Pfeufer.  Clay Macauley officiated the ceremony and Sound Productions DJ rocked the dance floor. 

It was a wonderful wedding and we would highly encourage Chicago area couples to consider regional destination weddings at the farms, wine vineyards and cozy lakeshore small towns around our Midwest region.

Peru Wedding revisited

Destination Weddings, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

Chicago couple Jennifer and James are amazing people with adventurous souls.  We were incredibly fortunate to join them for their destination wedding in Peru, and are excited about the double volume wedding albums we recently made with them to commemorate their spectacular celebration.

Here are highlights from Jennifer and James Peru wedding weekend:

Featued Wedding: Peru - Images © Giorgio Ventola

Becky and Fuad's Lakeside Wedding

Destination Weddings, Wedding Pictures, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

Becky and Fuad have many shared interests including music, travel and yoga (we featured their yoga engagement session a while ago), so it is no wonder they found marital bliss together.

They combined American and Indian traditions for their eclectic wedding weekend along the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.  The evening before the wedding the families gathered for a dinner that incorporated some Indian traditions, such as delicate henna paining of the hands and feet.

On the wedding day the bride had her parents help with hair and makeup. The bridesmaids dresses were vibrant orange and with accented with bouquets of purple and green by Bloomies.  Matching jewelry worn by the bride and bridesmaids was made by the bride!  In their beige summer suits, the groomsmen escorted family members while friends played a guitar and kalimba duet for a world music flavored processional.  The pavilion-covered beach ceremony provided views of the bride's favorite St. Joseph lighthouse and a majestic metal sculpture.

Coordinator Jessica Smith organized a lovely reception held at Veranda at the Witcomb.  An amazing summer sunset gave the semi-outdoor venue a golden glow and the perfect ambiance for dinner by CK Catering.  Becky is an amazing singer and Fuad a wonderful musician, and they treated their guests to a beautiful performance of classic ballads.  Fuad also took over the turntables a couple times from friend DJ Warp, keeping everyone on the dance floor with a mix of international grooves and old-school funk and soul (I remember being really happy when one of my favorites "Flashlight" came over the speakers!).   Later in the evening other talented friends from the Chicago performance group, Pyrotechniq, performed a fire dance.   All in all it was a celebration that reflected many of the bride and groom's shared passions.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

Inspired Finds:

Kalimba                                    Henna Painting Kit                  Jewel T-Strap Sandal


Helen and Daniel's Wedding in Sorrento, Italy

Destination Weddings, Wedding Pictures, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

Helen and Daniel chose the beautiful coastal town of Sorrento for their destination wedding in Italy.  For two thousand years visitors have come to the small southern Italian town famous for it’s wonderful lemons and fantastic views over the Bay of Naples.

The rehearsal dinner was held at Casale Antonietta, a bed and breakfast farm on the outskirts of town.  The farm has relaxing activities including horseback riding as well as wonderful lemon and olive groves to be explored.

The ceremony was held at the historical Cloisters of San Francesco, which is an outdoor courtyard-like structure that is part of a medieval monastery that dates back to the 8th century.

The reception was hosted at the Relais Blu Belvedere, the hotel features amazing views over looking Capri in the Bay of Naples.

In between the ceremony and reception Giorgio took the bride and groom for pictures at the famous Pompeii Ruins. In the year 79 AD the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted leaving the city covered in ash essentially freezing the town until it’s rediscovery in 1599.   All of the women working at the site gushed over the lovely bride Helen in ways only Italian mamms and nonnas do.  It was quite amusing for the bride and groom.  Giorgio is convinced that he is possibly the first photographer to take wedding portraits at this hitoric site since it seemed higly unusual to all the workers there...and was quite a farce...but it is a great story you can ask Giorgio to tell you all about when you come to meet him to talk about your destination wedding.  He really is a miracle worker when it comes to making special moments like that happen! 

You can see this wedding featured on his destination wedding site Giorgio Ventola International.

© Giorgio Ventola Inc.


Farms, Barns and Winery Weddings

Destination Weddings, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

We've been asked a few times lately about rural places for weddings such as barns, farms and vineyards. They can be lovely alternatives to traditional venues and you might even consider making near-destination weddings down-state or to neighbor states for a fun getaway weekend for your guests. They also generally make for a relaxed day, especially when ceremony and reception are both held at the venue and guests need not travel to any additional locations in these usually unfamiliar countryside areas.

Here are suggestions in the region closest to Chicago area:

Lynfred Winery (Roselle, IL)

Whyte Horse Winery (Monticello, IN)

County Line Orchard (Hobart, IN)

Hoosier Grove Barn (Streamwood, IL)

Vehe Barn (Deer Park, IL)

Danada House - horse stables (Wheaton, IL)

Millcreek and Blue Dress Barns (Southwest Michigan)

There are a lot more vineyards that have weddings in areas throughout the region in southern IL & IN and northern MI, so if you are open to having a near-destination wedding these would be good to look into as well.

Chateau Pomije (Guilford, IN)

Chateau de Pique (Seymour, IN)

Spirit Knob Winery (Ursa, IL)

Ravissant Winery (Belleville, IL)

Gill's Pier Vineyard & Winery (Leelanau Peninsula, MI)

Black Star Winery and Farms (Suttons Bay/Leelanau, MI)

Michigan's lakeshore and Traverse City area is loaded with wineries - certainly make for a great weekend getaways for newlyweds too!

© Giorgio Ventola / Wedding Creativo Photography