Chicago Wedding blogs

10 Great Chicago Wedding Blogs 2012

Creative Spotlight, Inspiration, Wedding Fashion, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

With thousands of wedding blogs around the world there is literally limitless inspiration and information for wedding planning.  For the Chicago area, we are fortunate to have so many creative and knowledgeable wedding professionals who also have fantastic blogs.  We find the advice and tips found on event professionals blogs to be more realistic, filled with a lot more original ideas, and frankly, far more diverse than what we see on the nationally-known wedding blogs. 

10 of our favorite Chicago wedding blogs and posts in 2012           (listed randomly)

1. Wedding Creativo Blog (okay yes, we are biased, ha ha) - of course as photographers, we feature lots of pretty pictures, but also practical tips and insights based on our real weddings from two decades of experience. One of our most popular posts: Make Your Own New Wedding Traditions

2. Entertaining Company Blog - this is a great catering and event design company, and owner Wendy Pashman is an amazing writer to boot. This blog shares a wide variety of ideas and inspiration for weddings and parties of all sorts. Recommended reading: How to Cocktail Like a Marchesa

3. Alice Padrul Journal - Couture wedding dress designer Alice Padrul shows her stunningly beautiful gowns in action featuring videos and photos of real brides on their wedding day, and occasionally she gives us a peek behind the curtain into her dress making workshop in Chicago.  Recommended reading: The Making of a Gown

4. Sarah Drake Design Blog - Sarah Drake is a professional creative designer on several fronts, and has expanded her creative work beyond weddings and paperies, but she is a greatly admired wedding invitation designer in Chicago.  We enjoy reading about what inspires her work, and also regular features of her behind the scenes working on the delicate details of her designs. Recommended reading: September = Wedding Production

5. Fleur Chicago Blog - Kellie Marie, owner of Fleur, is hands down one of the most talented florists in Chicago, and her blog regularly inspires with photos of her beautiful work, boutique floral shop, and her personal notes and insights.  Recommended reading: Don't Sweat It

6. Sine Qua Non Special Events Blog - event planner Beth Bernstein leads the team at SQN with lots of practical planning advice, and her blog also shows her talents as a taste maker with posts that are always on top of the latest trends.  Recommended reading: Beauty and the Brooch (Bouquet)

7. Stitely Entertainment Blog - Jeff Stitely and crew are tops among wedding musicians in Chicago, and their blog often has some surprising and clever sources of inspiration for wedding music.  Recommended reading: Perpetuum Mobile - Music Inspired by Food Poisoning

8. Anita Weds Blog - Anita Vaughan is a kind and thoughtful person, which is why she is a much loved wedding officiant in Chicago.  As a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant she shares a lot of diverse weddings on her blog, and we always enjoy reading how she works with couples to help them add personal touches and special meaning into their ceremonies.  Recommended reading:  Adding a Little Spice to a Ceremony

9. Everything But The Dress - This blog belongs to the ladies of The Left Bank, where brides find dazzling wedding jewelry in Chicago.  It is always fun to see their latest arrivals and trunk shows, and we also enjoy seeing their real brides' bling, as well general wedding style tips and trends.  Recommended reading: Magnificent Cuffs Inspired by the 2012 Oscar Awards

10. The Haberdash Blog - For fashion and lifestyle tips for the guys, this blog by the Chicago men's clothing boutique Haberdash is an excellent resource.  This is not specifically for grooms, but these curators of fashion for well-dressed men can also inspire great ideas for grooms looking to express their own style beyond the standard black tux. Recommended reading: Classic Essentials The Overcoat

Button Theme Wedding at Abbington Banquets

Wedding Pictures, WeddingsWedding Creativo Photography

Cat and Matt's wedding is a fantastic example of traditional day that used slight touches of vintage elements and unique details.

The bride collected lots of buttons to incorporate on her bouquet, programs, and reception gift boxes.  It was a creative touch, and absolutely gave their wedding a unique button theme without going overboard with buttons. They were used on a few key DIY projects that the bride and her friends were able to manage, and was executed perfectly as a memorable theme.

Cat's classic diamonds and pearls jewelry, and authentic heirloom pieces also created a vintage feel. A flower pin handed down from her grandmother was used in the bouquet, as well as borrowed family handkerchief. The bride wore a lovely pastel peachy cream and floral detailed Maggie Sottero gown, with bridesmaids wearing short black dresses punched with candy apple red shoes and vibrant red, pink and peach bouquets. 

© Wedding Creativo Photography

The ceremony took place at Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton, Illinois. Our favorite moments included the young flower girl handing out daisies to guests sitting on the end of the aisle, and the baby ring bearer towed in a red wagon by his big brother.  So cute!

Any time we are near Cantigny Gardens in Wheaton, it is one of our favorite locations for wedding portraits.  It is of course a lush garden park in warmer months, but is also beautiful during cooler times of year.  On this visit we were lucky enough to spot a robust turkey roaming the grounds!

For this larger reception, Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn provided guests with a classic elegant setting, and as always at this venue, the service and cuisine were lovely.  The venue also provided event services including the cake, sweet table, decor and flowers. The button theme was delicately showcased with in reception details with the escort cards and guest gift boxes placed on the tables.

A wonderful moment at the reception was the toast given by the best man.  He still had this piece of paper given to him by the groom years ago when they were kids.  It was an "I.O.U." for a favor owed to him by the groom.  Note to any best men out there....if you have some kind of sentimental relic from your past with the groom, borrow this idea.  There was not a dry eye in the house.

Toast and Jam DJ Natalie opened the dancing portion of the evening with Cat and Matt's first dance to "Stand By Me," father and daughter song "You Are My Sunshine," and mother and son song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Album Design Coordinates: Python and Silver

Creative Spotlight, Inspiration, Wedding IdeasWedding Creativo Photography

So, perhaps you would like your wedding album cover to match the kick-butt snakeskin and rhinestones heels you wore on your wedding day?  Not a problem for Wedding Creativo.  For these design coordinates, we are featuring snakeskin, python and silver.  And not a moment too soon, as this season's fashions seem to be flowing with snake-inspired styles.  For this coordinated pair of custom designed albums, our main inspiration was bride Steffanie's shoes and jewelry.  The large flush mount album cover is leather treated to look like silvery snake skin and the cute clutch book is shiny silver leather.

Awesomeness Giveaway: Bridesmaid Invitation Cards

Creative Spotlight, Inspiration, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

We recently spotted these cute "Will you be my Bridesmaid?" cards and they got us thinking.  The first thing we thought was that these cards are adorable. They are from a creative husband and wife, Anna and Nathan, along with their team of talented folks who make hand-pained illustrations and whimsical designs for stationery at Rifle Paper Co.  The peachy-pink ranunculus flowers illustrated on these cards should be a sure-fire way to get any friend or relative excited about being included in your bridal party.

Then, we though about the process each couple goes though when choosing their bridal party, and that sometimes the decision may be complicated.

We would love to hear what you think about when selecting your bridal party members. We are also excited about giving away a pack (8-count) of these beautiful cards, courtesy of Rifle Paper Co., to two lucky (and random) winners. 

To enter in our Awesomeness Giveaway drawing for this week, please fill out this form by midnight, Thursday August 4th.  We'll announce the winners on Friday.


Wedding Photo of the Week: Art Nouveau Bridal Portrait

Inspiration, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

This bridal portrait always reminds me (Sarah) of one of my favorite artists, Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939).  His paintings and artwork used in early advertising during the Art Nouveau period are iconic. 

Bride Nichole also loves Art Nouveau, and it was apparent with her home decor and wedding style.  This portrait on her staircase is a classic favorite.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

Wedding Photo of the Week: Here's to Alcohol

Wedding Pictures, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

Today's featured photo is from a wedding after-party at the bride and groom's neighborhood bar.  It makes us think of the great wisdom of Homer Simpson: "here's to alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."

© Wedding Creativo Photography

So how do you stock a great wedding bar?  Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you get started:

1. What style of wedding you are planning?  The libations should be appropriate for the event.  A black tie affair deserves campaign toasts.  A casual summer beach party will thrive with your favorite beer brews.  You get the idea.

2. Who is attending your wedding?  You know your family and friends best, and while you won't be able to please the tates of everyone, a general focus on having options that will appeal to the majority of age groups and general tone that you want to set at your reception can be carried with your alcohol selections.

3. Who is driving home? Keep in mind that there will be guests that will be designated drivers, or simply don't consume alcohol, so be sure to have plenty non-alcoholic options too.  Soft drinks, flavored sparkling waters, cranberry and other fruit juices are standard beverages to have on hand.

4. Do you want to keep to essentials or have a wide range of options for guests?  Sticking to beer, wine and soft drinks can reduce costs, but for some couples that may be too limited for their preferences.  You could add one signature drink to add personality and a little more variety, or go with a basic full bar to have more selections, but still keep choices within reason for a wedding reception. 

5. Is the bar an area where you want to splurge or keep costs down?  Either way we think hiring a professional bar tender is a good idea if you don't already have one provided by your catering company, and is really the best way to plan and stick to the wedding bar budget no matter how you decide to stock it.


A.) pros will make consistently great drinks, and quickly, because it is second-nature to them.

B.) if you really want to save money, a professional will be able to advise on the right amounts to stock up on for the number of guests you are having, so you can avoid buying too much or too little of any supplies.  You don't want to run out of anything significant in the middle of your reception. 

C.) during the reception a pro will know how to handle portion control to correctly pace your supplies throughout the evening, and can also be careful with over-serving any guests.

We think hiring a professional bartender is one of those areas that really pays for itself, and goes a long way in making beverage service all that more enjoyable for you and your guests.

Bright Idea: Wedding Anniversary Cards

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

We love this bright idea for wedding receptions: have your guests write messages on cards for you to open on each anniversary.  What a great way to look back on your wedding day and look forward to your anniversary each year!

Basically, you just need a bunch of lovely blank note cards and envelopes.  Numbering the envelopes for each anniversary year would be a reasonably manageable DIY project.  It could even be delegated to someone with nice penmanship or who has patience to sit down for a couple of hours to neatly place pretty stickers like these pink glitter numbers found on the online craft supply store A Cherry on Top:

Chicago Engagement Portraits: The Great Race

Engagements, Lifestyle Portraits, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

Kate's enthusiastic laugh and Brian's southern gentleman charm is what we will always remember most about this fun-loving couple.  Kate runs the big city marathons...she's done Boston and Chicago multiple times.  Brian is an equally enthusiastic athlete and his work involves extensive traveling, so he has also enjoyed running in cities around the world.  We recently enjoyed photographing their destination wedding in Cooperstown, and we posted a sneak peak from their wedding day last week. 

However, we never got around to posting their wonderful engagement session, so we want to feature that today, along with the Save The Date card we made featuring several favorites from their lifestyle engagement session.   Kate and Brian's humorous personalities and shared interest in running is captured in this collection.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

Modern Mothers Wedding Fashions Summer 2011

Inspiration, Wedding Fashion, Wedding IdeasWedding Creativo Photography

While everyone's eye is on the bride on her wedding day, we know moms should not be overlooked when it comes to wedding fashions.  After all, stylish brides and grooms often learn from the best  -- their moms!

We like these modern wedding styles for fashionista moms this summer:

Tadashi Shoji flutter sleeve iridescent gown
Redux Charles Chang-Lima Rosette-Sleeve Organza
Tadashi Shoji Tulle Overlay
Nicole Miller, Techno Metal
Badgley Mischka Platinum Label
J Crew, Evie
J Crew, Duchesse
Halston Heritage Shirred-Shoulder

Wedding Photo of the Week: Staying Cool at Summer Weddings

Wedding Ideas, Wedding Pictures, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

It's summertime in the city, which means fun in the sun for the most part, but on a wedding day soaring temperatures can be miserable for folks in formals.  For our featured photo this week we look back to Candice and Robert's wedding when the bridal party was lucky to run into an ice-cream vendor along the lakeshore.  He offered some sweet relief to the near 100 degree heat and high humidity.  Everyone in the bridal party got a cool treat.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

As we head into summer wedding months, here are our top 5 tips for staying cool at hot summer weddings:

1. Stay hydrated:  the top way for everyone to stay cool is to drink water.  Especially for outdoor weddings it is important to have plenty of cold water for guests throughout the entire time.  You could get creative by using old-fashioned picnic coolers placed around various areas with water bottles on ice.  Be sure to have a recycling bin for those empty bottles!

2. Wear cool fabrics:  consider light fabrics made of natural fibers for your formal wear.  Looser fitting clothing will help.  We love seersucker suits and dresses...we'll be saying more about that later this week!

3. Humans sweat:  there is no way around this, unless you are my partner Giorgio.  He is the only human I know that never sweats.  For everyone else, guys can carry a handkerchief in their back pocket and gals can keep blotting tissue papers in their purses.  Lower maintenance lighter makeup is best for the hottest days.  It is also a good idea to bring a few travel size deodorant sticks for women and men in an all-purpose "wedding day survival" bag.  Trying to fight what naturally happens during summer will always be a losing battle, so it is best to just plan for the inevitable.

4. Block the sun:  wearing sunscreen is a must, especially if you'll be outdoors for long periods of time.  A bad sunburn is not something anyone should experience on a wedding day.  Parasol umbrellas can be a stylish way for the bridal party to keep cool and also fun for pictures.  And, if we learned anything from William and Kate's royal wedding, hats can also be a fashionable way to keep the sun at bay.

5. Think of winter and go slow:  if it is going to be extremely hot, over 90 degrees, we will generally recommend couples take it easy and avoid being out in the sun too long during portrait time.  Extreme heat is just as bad as a thunderstorm when it comes to portraits.  As much as the bridal party will try to be good sports, no one likes having their portrait taken when they are hot, sweaty and exhausted in the heat.  For our couples with summer weddings we'll suggest cool - literally - indoor alternatives if the heat is going to be dangerously high during portrait time.  When we are outside in higher temperatures, we try to keep it as painless as possible, and remind folks to keep thinking about frosty the snowman and how much we all love Chicago winters, and that in just a few months the ice and snow will return.

Happy summer!

Wedding Photo of the Week: Bride in Ride

Inspiration, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

We want to congratulate one of our couples, Wendy and Neil, on the birth of their baby girl last week!  We were so surprised to find out that they named her Sophia because Giorgio always thought Wendy had a striking resemblance to the famous Italian actress Sophia Loren. Giorgio was fortunate to make a portrait of her years ago (I'll ask him to scan the print and post it here some day).  Anyway, he would often refer to Wendy as our "Sophia bride."  Maybe you'll agree.  This week's featured photo is one of Giorgio's all time favorites, which is of Wendy in the car on the way to the ceremony.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

Look Out Peacocks! Hummingbirds Are Moving In On Wedding Fashions

Inspiration, Wedding Fashion, Wedding IdeasWedding Creativo Photography

Congratulations to actress Sara Rue on her marriage.  Details are emerging on People and other sources about her hummingbird and butterfly theme wedding, including her floral Amsale "Dahlia" gown and Swarovski crystal butterfly detailed Aruna Seth heels.


Photos: Dan Lecca/,

Rue's bridesmaids also carried on the hummingbird theme with hairpins and broaches.  We imagine they might have looked something like these hummingbird jewelry styles:

Rachel Roy, Jay Strongwater, Full Tilt, Swarovski


For the last few years peacock themes have been quite popular for weddings, and we loved how our couples have incorporated this beautiful bird into their details:

However, we've noticed 2011 fashion designers are adding a variety of bird plumage to dresses and accessories.  Here are a few favorites we've noticed in recent collections:

Designer: Marika Brose, MAX ostrich feather dress (left), and JAMES rooster feather dress



So, as far as we can tell, "bird" is the word for wedding fashions right now!


Wedding Photo of the Week: Alternating Height Centerpieces

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

Today we are highlighting a detail from Chris and Kelly's wedding who were married one year ago this weekend. We were inspired by their vibrant yellow, violet and lime colors and liked how they incorporated one of our favorite ideas at wedding receptions - - alternating height centerpieces.  Not only do they make a stunning statement, but when done well, will not obstruct your guests vision across the table or across the room.  The creative folks at Flora Chicago did a fantastic job alternating placement of the centerpieces throughout the dining hall.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

Lucky Wedding Horseshoes

Inspiration, Wedding IdeasWedding Creativo Photography

The Preakness horse race yesterday had me thinking about the lucky horseshoe. It has universally been considered a good luck charm for centuries, but the British have been wise enough to incorporate them in their wedding traditions.  Then, we realized that it was one year ago today that Catherine and Nick were married in Chicago, and the groom's English mother gave the bride a horseshoe as a gift to carry with her bouquet down the aisle. Congratulations to the happy couple on their first anniversary!  We were lucky to have been included in their celebration at Grand Piazza with the ceremony on the rooftop of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

© Wedding Creativo Photography

We've received several inquires about where to find beautiful ornamental wedding horseshoes since we originally featured this wedding.  Here are a couple that we recently spotted, as well as some other fashionable ways to include a little luck into your wedding day.

Horseshoe pattern Italian silk tie, and Good Luck garters, and vintage blue horseshoes pin:


Gift bag of luck charms and horseshoe wine rack:


Various lucky horseshoe jewelry and getting ready tank top:





Fathers Day is June 19

Inspiration, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

Father's day is coming up soon! June 19, 2011 to be exact. For a sweet gift idea, might we suggest framing a loving moment from your wedding day?

For our current active galleries, you can order directly online from your wedding gallery.  If your wedding was a while ago and the gallery has expired, just contact us for help.

Please note our deadlines for Father's Day orders:

Framed prints - June 3

Loose prints - June 8

We're thinking your dad probably has enough ties. ;-)

Hold The Wedding Kiss! 10 Seconds in Heaven

Wedding Ideas, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

If you learned anything playing 7 minutes in heaven at any teenage parties, we think you should apply that experience on your wedding day....except this time you don't have to go in a closet. 

The "wedding kiss" is one of the most iconic moments of any wedding day, and sometimes that moment goes all too fast.  We love to see couples take a few seconds to gaze deeply into each others eyes while their marriage is officially being pronounced.  Then, when they hear those words "you may kiss the bride," it is always wonderful when that kiss is anything more than a nanosecond peck.  Optimally, you'll be so filled with joy and love for your new spouse that you'll naturally have a long passionate kiss.  However, if you are going to be conscious about the kiss, it is a good idea to remember to hold it for at least a few seconds.

From our perspective as photographers, we can also have a more solid opportunity to capture this all important moment if you give us a nice long kiss to photograph.  I think our recent couple Cat and Matt may have set a record.  When I checked the time coded on the image files, apparently their kiss lasted a whopping 12 seconds! We were able capture 16 sweet shots of the moment. That's love, I tell ya!

© Wedding Creativo Photography

...1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi....or count the fireworks going off in your head

Best of all, this is likely something the two of you would enjoy practicing before the wedding day.  Also, there is no reason why married couples still can't play the kissing game! Grab your sweetheart and go in the closet for seven minutes of heaven today!

Getting Ready Robes for Brides

Inspiration, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

Here is an idea for brides to consider for when you are getting ready on your wedding day.  Essentially, you will need to wear something during preparations that you can easily slip off and not disturb your awesome hair and make-up in the process.  Some brides wear comfy button-down pajama shirts or cute "bride" tank tops, which are always fun.  However, we really love when brides wear beautiful robes made of silk or other fancy fabric.  They are a luxurious and romantic treat and add another element of style and beauty that you can have to set the tone for your wedding day. Not to mention, they look great in pictures.

We spotted some lovely robes on and other shops:


Ankle-length silk kimono style robe by Plum Pretty Sugar

photo: plumprettysugar

Koto kimono style robe by Underwrapz

photo: Underwrapz

Vintage light blue and yellow silk brocade robe from Inheritance Vintage

photo: InheritanceVintage


Fun With Dogs and Pets in Weddings and Portraits

Engagements, Wedding Ideas, Wedding PlanningWedding Creativo Photography

Dogs and cats (or other pets) are often great fun at weddings, and can really up the "awwwww!" factor! Just be sure to take into consideration care and safety for your pet and others involved. There should be someone designated to be responsible to watch/care for them the entire time (don't forget to have a bowl of water and food out), and bring your dog home after a short while if possible.  For wedding day and engagement portraits, it only really works well if your pet has at least mastered some basic vocal commands. If all they do is jump around and don't know how to obey yet, that is difficult for everyone and nearly impossible to get really good portraits to have on display. If you're dog is totally out of control, it is best to do your session outside or at your home, and not bring them into a studio and risk injury to your pet or damage to big studio lights and equipment. So, if you want a few with your enthusiastic (but uncontrollable) puppy that is great, but make sure an extra person is around to take Fido for a walk so you can focus on doing great portraits.



Wedding Photo of the Week: Cantigny Willow

Wedding Ideas, Wedding PicturesWedding Creativo Photography

Last year we tried to feature a "photo of the day" and that was kind of overly ambitious to keep up.  So, this year we're going to try a new feature.  Introducing - - - Wedding Photo of the Week!  It could be from one of our recent weddings, or from anytime in the last two decades, but it wil always be one shot that makes our creative hearts smile.

This week's photo is from Cat and Matt's wedding from a couple weeks ago.  We love them under this majestic weeping willow tree at Cantigny Gardens.

© Wedding Creativo Photography / Giorgio Ventola