Erin C. wedding photos


Guys... this wedding. I am so happy I finally got my hands on these photos because Erin was such a stunning bride. We changed the hairstyle a few times along the way (the day of the wedding in fact was a completely different look than our previous trial runs!), and I think it turned out absolutely perfect! What do you guys think? Erin is the epitome of a classic bride in all the right ways. Take a peek at her beautiful bridal party for a few more shots of hair from the day, and follow the link below to see this wedding recently published on Style Me Pretty!! Oh, and be sure to leave lots of love for her photographers at T & C Photographie; I'm obsessed with their work! If you're still looking for a wedding photographer peep these guys. Seriously.

The adorable flower girl wanted a similar 'do to one of the bridesmaids; so cute!!

Thanks so much for having me take part in your special day, Erin! You were such a lovely person to get to know, and the loveliest of brides! All the best to you, Matt, and Chili!

Published!: Style Me Pretty


My gorgeous bride Erin's wedding was recently published on Style Me Pretty! Eep!! So exciting! Check out all the beautiful photos by T & C Photographie and all the lovely details from her big day!

Guest Posts with Kate: wedding planning on a budget -- finding a venue


Wedding Planning (on a budget): Finding a Venue

Robbie and I really wanted to get married in the city. We both grew up in the suburbs but we love the vibe of the city and the unique venues it has to offer. It seemed like, for the most part, the only venues I was finding in the suburbs were banquet halls and golf clubs. Don't get me wrong, those both can be beautiful options but neither felt like "us." I did a ton of research and emailed more venues than I care to count. If I said 75 venues (including restaurants and high end bars with event spaces), I don't think that'd be too far off.  It's easy to get discouraged early on when you're told time and time again that a venue starts at $15k+ just for the space.  I quickly realized that if we wanted to stay within budget we'd need to think outside of the box.

Early on we knew that we wanted two separate spaces for our ceremony and our reception.  I'm not much of a church-goer so that didn't make sense for the ceremony. What I really wanted to find was a space that was simple. I wanted something that was beautiful on it's own. A space that I wouldn't have to dress up with too many decorations. I ended up (somehow) coming up with the idea to look for a photography studio. Luckily, in Chicago there is no lack of photographers to rent beautiful photography studios from.  I found about five or six top contenders and I began emailing.  All of the photographers replied and none of them had used their studios for a wedding ceremony before. What a shame! I'm not kidding--these were some of the best raw spaces I've seen in the city and you are able to rent them for as little as $500 for an entire day.  The best part was that they were all excited about my proposition. After checking out a couple, we have picked the perfect studio (high ceilings, brick and cement walls, wood floors--SWOON). We have access to the space for five hours and it's only costing us $400.
Matthew Rachman Gallery
For our reception venue, I knew that there were art galleries in the city that rent their space out for weddings and other events-- so I started wedding through all of the nearby galleries in order to find a space that felt right. I ended up stumbling upon this unique (and totally "us") midcentury modern art and furniture gallery, Matthew Rachman Gallery.  He has since raised his prices but we were able to score his space for $975 for the entire day. Even at his current rates, his space is seriously affordable and can easily accommodate up to 120 people. 

My main piece of advice when it comes to looking for a venue is when you find a potential venue, whether it be a banquet hall or an off-the-beaten-path studio, is ask for what you want! Be polite but forward about what you envision for you day. It might take a little more creativity if you use a space that isn't regularly used for a wedding but I honestly believe it's totally doable and worth it!

Also, just a little plug for my venues-- both Matthew (Matthew Rachman Gallery) and Jeff (Throop Studio) have been total dreams to work with. I highly recommended contacting them if you're interested in renting out their spaces for your wedding or any other event.

Tell me in the comments: What is one piece of advice you'd give your fellow soon-to-be brides when it comes to searching for their venue?

guest blogger

Boudoir sessions with Cassandra Eldridge Photography


Guys- Cassandra is a perfect light capturing wizard behind the camera. Her pictures are always so incredibly gorgeous, and portray her clients in the most beautiful way. I had the pleasure of working with her on two boudoir mega-all-day sessions and it was such a fun time! And I was lucky enough to meet some of the loveliest women and doll them up for the day. I love doing boudoir hair and makeup because it's just that soft, pretty look; amplifying how beautiful they already are. I think we called it the "oh I just rolled out of bed and looked this gorgeous *insert batting of eyelashes and flipping of the hair here*" look. Check out these hair and makeup close ups from the sessions and let me know what you think!! And then be sure to book your own session with Cassandra asap! : )

Megaaaa babes.

Guest post with Kate: wedding planning on a budget -- the guest list


photo credit
Here we go with the tough stuff. Figuring out your guest list can be tricky. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but you can't afford to invite every single acquaintance, long lost relative, or parent's friend.

I had imagined eloping for quite a while before becoming engaged. Once I actually was engaged, though, I realized that when it came down to it, I would be sad not to have our loved ones with us on one of the biggest days of our lives.  So, we sat down and made a list of people that we absolutely knew we wanted at our wedding -- people that are in our lives NOW and make appearances regularly. I have a large extended family and I knew right off the bat that there was no way that I could invite everyone.  As unhappy as it made my parents, there was no getting around the fact that if I invited every family member, we'd be well over 100 people just for my familyIt wasn't easy but we came up with a list of 55 people. Adding the option of dates brought us to a grand total of 75 people in attendance, including us. It's amazing how quickly your guest list can grow, so it's really important that you are sure to only invite the people that you would really miss not being at your wedding.

In my opinion, the biggest factor in determining your budget is the number of people on your guest list. Be open and honest about who is invited to your wedding.  If someone approaches you in excitement and assumes that they are invited and you know that they aren't, kindly let them know. That will help you avoid an even more awkward conversation later (uninviting is not fun) or having to invite extra people because you weren't honest in the first place. 

Tell me in the comments: What was your biggest hurdle when it came to creating your guest list? Any tips or tricks?

Guest blogger

Guest post with Kate: wedding planning on a budget -- where to start


I'm just gonna say it-- summer wedding planning is competitive and expensive. It's probably pretty obvious why, but just in case it's not: it's because most people (especially in a city that experiences all four seasons with a vengeance) want a day with predictable and comfortable weather. Usually, the months of June through September give you the best shot at it in Chicago. Those are the months that wedding vendors are less likely to offer deals and more likely to raise their prices. Supply and demand, ya know?

Almost immediately after Robbie's proposal, my mom asked me if we picked a date. We hadn't (it was, after all, only the morning after) but the first date that we chose was March 26, 2016. That would give us 17 months to save and plan, and it would fall during a time of the year when weather should be tolerable. Seemed like a safe bet. Ultimately, we decided to change our date. A couple of factors went into this decision:

A. Initially, I was opposed to getting married in the winter. My reasoning for this was based solely on the fact that Robbie notoriously hates the cold
B. The factor that really pushed us to change the date was that seventeen months is a long time to think about and plan for one day. It seemed like we were putting our lives on hold until our wedding day. We wouldn't be able to go on any trips until our honeymoon and it didn't seem smart to finally start school back up in the midst of planning, while working 50+ hours a week. I know three months doesn't seem like a lot but it's the difference between getting married in 2015 and 2016. Once Robbie (shockingly) told me that a winter wedding was totally fine with him, we officially told everyone to save the date: December 5, 2015.

The good thing about getting married between November and March is that you're more likely find that vendors are willing to cut you a deal (which is very important for us since we'd like to do this as inexpensively as possible). In Chicago, these months are undisputedly dicey. The weather is all over the place. Are you a gambler? Turns out, I am. I'll take the questionable weather for a better deal.

Other things to take into consideration: holidays like Valentine's Day, Christmas, and New Years Eve can seriously spoil your winter wedding budget. Valentine's Day is a popular wedding day ($) and with Christmas and New Years Eve, you need to be prepared for the competition of not necessarily other weddings, but holiday parties.

If you have your heart set on a late-spring or summer wedding, have no fear! Consider having your wedding Sunday through Thursday or start your wedding earlier in the day--brunch reception, anyone?

There really are endless ways to cut costs any time of the year.

Tell me in the comments: what factors contributed to picking your date?

-- Guest blogger

Jordan S. wedding photos


I mean, how gorgeous was my bride Jordan? So perfect! I love the waves we did on her gorgeous red hair; topped off with that beautiful hair piece we placed in the back. Emilia Jane Photo is the talent behind these amazing photos, and I was so excited to finally work a wedding with her! If you don't know her work you should definitely check out her website/blog. She's incredible! Take a peek at a few more photos from Jordan's big day and be sure to comment to let me know what you think!! 

Visit Emilia's blog for way more gorgeous photos unrelated to hair! Haha

See that beautiful updo in the last set of photos on our pretty brunette? Our associate stylist Mary is responsible for that one! Wanna see more of her work? Stay tuned for a post on Mary with a bunch more photos! 

Thanks for having me take part in your big day, Jordan! You were so incredibly lovely and I wish you all the best!! xox

Indie Wed 2015


Any brides out there looking for some of the best wedding vendors in the Chicagoland area? Come to Indie Wed on Jan. 31st and meet them in person! Walking around you'll get to meet over 80 of Chicago's best and most creative while trying delicious treats + drinks. Bonus? There are even photo booths around the event to pop in to! Haha - super fun and lots of great people; don't miss out!

Comment below + like us on Facebook and instagram for a chance to win 2 tickets to the show!!

Follow the link to see videos from previous Indie Wed events!

Darling Magazine


A little bit ago I did a shoot with Maritza (Beauty for Bloggers) and Cassandra Eldridge Photography for a fun fall braids how-to for Darling Magazine. I was asked to cover makeup for the day for our gorgeous models while Maritza worked her magic. What do you guys think? I am in love with Humboldt House and definitely plan on going back to scoop up some of that jewelry (pictured). And let's talk about those awesome braids! Maritza is craaazy talented. And shout out to Cassandra for snapping these gorgeous photos from the day! Who, by the way, I am lucky enough to be working with this month and next month on her boudoir shoot special she offered to clients. This lady takes some beauuutiful photos so if you were lucky enough to grab one of those spots you won't be disappointed! Anyway, let me know what you think of the Darling shoot and if you try any of these super fun braids!!

Intro to guests posts with Kate: wedding planning on a budget


Working in the wedding industry I hear about wedding planning constantly, so I'm lucky enough to get the inside scoop on the dos and don'ts of wedding planning. My sister Kate and one of my best friends Ashley are both engaged, so I'm finally able to share some of that widely sought after information. And now being Kate's maid of honor I get to really witness the wedding planning unfold first hand. So, I figured along with sharing my accumulation of knowledge maybe Kate could share some of her experiences in planning a budget-friendly wedding along with tips and tricks for you brides-to-be out there! (Because who isn't trying to save a little casheesh on their wedding?) Here's a little intro blurb from Kate - stay tuned for more!!

Wedding Planning (on a Budget)

For the past few years, I have been along for the ride while Debbie has been growing her business. Being newly engaged myself, Deb asked me if I'd be interested in blogging about my experience planning my own wedding, which I happily accepted. For the most part, my posts will talk about how to plan your wedding on a budget but I think that there will be pertinent information for all brides. I mean, who doesn't love a good deal?

When we first started planning, I wasn't sold on the idea of doing anything other than hopping in a taxi and making our way to city hall. I didn't think that it was possible to have the kind of wedding that I wanted without spending a huge chunk of our salaries to get it. I think that everyone should create a day that makes them happy and spend whatever makes them comfortable. For me, I was worried that I'd never get over the fact that each hour of the day was literally costing hundreds of dollars. I want to spend my wedding day smiling so much my face hurts and celebrating with our nearest and dearest --not having the cost of it all looming over my head.

As our planning has picked up, I am realizing more and more that it is possible to plan a gorgeous and unique wedding within almost any just need to get creative and think outside of the box. I'm excited to share our journey planning in this wonderful city with all of you! My first post will talk about picking a date and how that can affect your budget. Until then, I leave you with some important information about our big day.

Fiance's name: Robbie
Engaged: October 25, 2014
Wedding Date: December 5, 2015
Wedding Location: Chicago
Wedding and Honeymoon Budget: 10K

I'm back and I'm back


Well, I figure it's time to return to blogging. Taking forever and a day off is probably enough. I'll start by sharing some photos I got back from a gorgeous, gorgeous wedding and one of my favorite brides to date. Eileen was so sweet and so much fun to be around; and her friends and family were equally as wonderful! We did a trial a few months earlier and landed on a fun, textured updo for the big day. But as the big day approached Eileen came up with the idea of using clip-in extensions instead and doing a completely different look for her wedding. Now, for most of us we're like cool, extensions -great, big deal. But Eileen has never had hair longer than her shoulders and it was not only a completely different look from our first trial, but for Eileen in general. This is, of course, risky so Eileen booked a second trial about a week before the wedding and we gave the extensions a go. They worked out beautifully and here is the big reveal from her actual wedding day:

What do you guys think? I think she totally rocked it and just looked so gorgeous! And can we talk about that makeup? Um, so much yes. Joanna of Joanna B Artistry glammed up our bride in the best way possible. Take a peek at a few more photos from Eileen's big day!

I love fishtail braids on the blondes! So fun!!

Thanks so much for booking with me, Eileen! You were a dream to work with on top of being so much fun! Wishing you all the very best in the future!!