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#HashtagThis. Because this is the kind of couple that has a wicked sense of humor, throws a Pinterest-worthy party, AND that has the kinds of friends and family that will share selfies for a millennial wedding video to remember for a lifetime. (Watch it, it’s amazing.)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk wedding details!

Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings

The rustic romance of Alisa and Joey’s wedding at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, Illinois charmed the socks off their guests. As a Chicago bred photographer who has shot my share of urban city weddings, I really enjoyed going off the beaten path! This unique event venue is housed inside a renovated factory that today serves as a landscaping company and garden gift shop! Naturally, the space comes complete with blooming beauties and exposed brick walls – just the perfect backdrop for a rustic wedding!

Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings

In addition to doing a first look in an intimate spot of the outdoor courtyard, the couple also took portraits together before the ceremony amidst artfully strewn broken down doors and rusted wrought iron trellises. Joey was in tears when he saw his bride for the first time – and how could he not be blown away? Alisa was stunning in a floaty chiffon number with just the slightest hint of pale pink beading on the sleeves by Hayley Paige.

Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings

Lovely details at the reception included birch-and-burlap accents, mason jars-turned votive holders, no-fuss table blooms, and twinkling lights. To complement the rustic venue space, Alisa opted to infuse her palette with soft colors primarily using pale pink and ivory flowers in pairings that felt romantic and slightly overgrown. Assorted greenery in simple single-bud vases tied in the venue’s beautiful foliage.

Scroll through to get an insider’s glimpse of this seriously stylish, intimate wedding that feels as comfortable as if it were in someone’s home – a home straight out of House Beautiful, of course! Enjoy!

xo, Melissa

Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings
Sycamore Blumen Garden Weddings

Like what you see?

Alisa and Joey’s Wedding Guide ::

Venue, Blumen Gardens //  Bride’s Attire, Hayley Paige gown, Betsey Johnson shoes  //  Bride’s Hair, Ginger Damato //  Bride’s Makeup, Wendy City Faces //  Groom’s Attire, Formally Modern Tuxedo  //  Bridesmaids’ Dresses, J. Crew //  Event Designer, Tassie Tagarelli of Instincts Design Studio  // Florist, Tassie Tagarelli of Instincts Design Studio  //  Cake, The Baking Institute  //  Caterer, Nat’s on Maple  //  Music, Music by Design  //  Videographer, White Wedding Cinema  //  Officiant, Service Ministries

p.s. in case you missed clicking the above link to the couple’s surprise wedding video for their guests, press play below!

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chicago palmer house wedding

Last month I had the pleasure of photographing Sobia and Hamad’s gorgeous wedding reception at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. This stunning couple held their ceremony in Michigan, where Sobia and Hamad are each completing medical residency. They came back to Chi-town to share the occasion with the groom’s side of the family – and they couldn’t have picked a better venue than the Palmer House! I used to live a couple miles from this landmark hotel in the Loop, so I always feel right at home shooting at this location.

Sobia and Hamad were a delight to work with. Interestingly enough, a few years ago I shot the wedding of Hamad’s brother, whom I have since became good friends with. Anyone with eyes could easily see that Hamad is crazy in love with his bride. At one point during the shoot, Hamad reached down to help buckle her shoe strap – needless to say this romantic gesture had her girlfriends gushing!

Sobia and Hamad turned the traditional formality of the 150 year-old venue into a fresh-feeling, vibrant English rose garden, with hues of blush rose and lush greens accenting the signature Palmer House golden interiors. The innocuous innocence of the garden design allowed the radiant bride (and her bedazzling gown) to shine! Portraits under the famous frescoed ceilings of the Palmer House were a highlight of this shoot, as was the Chicago skyline and the Chicago Opera House. Scroll through for more from this fabulous hometown wedding!

xo, Melissa

chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
Sobia and Hamad-692chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding
chicago palmer house wedding

Like what you see?

Sobia and Hamad’s Wedding Guide ::

Venue, Palmer House Hilton (Chicago wedding reception only)  //  Bride’s Shoes, Christian Louboutin  //  Bride’s Makeup, Sana Yousaf  //  Groom’s Attire, Suit Supply //  Florist, Northern Greenhouses  //  Cake, Take the Cake  //  Caterer, Shahi Nahari

 

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weddings at the art institute

The Art Institute of Chicago is where “happily-ever-after” begins in grand downtown style, and it was the scene of Valerie and Oscar’s chic city wedding last month. From the elevated outdoor terrace offering magical views of the skyline to the prize winning architect-designed Modern Wing, this venue is a photographer’s dream come true – and a sleek blank canvas for any bona fide masterpiece event.

This sweet couple met in college. While Valerie grew up in a small suburb of Chicago, she and new husband Oscar happily reside together in the city they love so much. It’s easy to understand why they wanted their big day to exude downtown-chic style. From portraits at the legendary Palmer House to the bustling city streets (and hello, let’s talk about that next-level cake decked out with an edible skyline!), Valerie designed her wedding like a seasoned artist with a vision.

Pops of bright fuschia dotted her bridesmaids’ attire and accented dinner tables. The minimalist design approach allowed the sparkling glass-curtained room to shine – and the happy newlywed couple radiated in the rich colors that lit up the night. I hope you enjoy a peek into this awesome Chi-town wedding!

xo, Melissa

p.s. Check out Val’s super cute, very plump furball hanging out! A day as special as this wouldn’t be complete without your four-legged friend. He showed up just for portraits and didn’t leave Val’s side once. Best man?

chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
Valerie and Oscar-102chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
chicago palmer house wedding getting ready
Art Institute of Chicago South Garden wedding

wedding party taking selfie
Art Institute of Chicago South Garden wedding
Art Institute of Chicago South Garden wedding
Art Institute of Chicago South Garden wedding
Art Institute of Chicago South Garden wedding
weddings at the art institute
weddings at the art institute
weddings at the art institute
weddings at the art institute
weddings at the art institute
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding
Chicago Modern Wing Terzo Piano Wedding

Like what you see?

Valerie and Oscar’s Wedding Guide ::

Venue, Modern Wing at Art Institute of Chicago (ceremony and reception)  //  Bride’s Attire, Kathy Ireland gown, Benjamin Adams shoes  //  Bride’s Hair, Maxine Salon  //  Bride’s Makeup, Bride Eyes  //  Groom’s Attire, The Black Tux  //  Bridesmaids’ Dresses, Allure  //  Florist, Zuzu’s Petals  //  Cake, Take the Cake  //  Caterer, Bon Appetit  //  Music, Custom DJs  //  Videographer, Parklife Videography  //  Officiant, Dan Kopelow

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