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Just like the clever lyrics in that Beach Boys’ song, which so perfectly captures the spirit of this trip, our vacation in Hawaii was one of a lifetime for several reasons:

  1. We decided not to bring Little G with us (and everyone survived)!
  2. It was our last big getaway before Lil Wee Gee arrives!!
  3. We celebrated our 4th year wedding anniversary!!!
  4. And well, it’s Hawaii!!!!

All very good, well-deserved reasons, if I don’t say so myself. The Giant and I had 10 fabulous days soaking up sun and surf, splitting the time in Maui and Honolulu. If you haven’t been to Hawaii, GO! People who know me well know that I don’t usually do “beach vacays” in the truest sense (read: lay on the sand, swim in the pool) – they’re far too slow-paced for me. But, this trip ended up being the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration (albeit at an easier pace than I usually prefer). But hey, that’s bound to happen when you’re 7 months preggo, you know.

Highlights included: driving the Road to Hana with pit stops at the stunning Seven Sacred Pools (my fave spot!!), dipping our toes in the Black Sand Beach, finding the super hard-to-find Makena Cove (we finally found this spot via YouTube), dolphin-spotting, watching the Maui sun set like no other, touring the Byodo-In Temple in Oahu, indulging in the local specialties like Taro Pie at McDonald’s and Spam Musubi… and our special photo shoot with the uber-talented Anna Kim Photography!

Absolute best part, hands down? Coming home to Little G.

And obviously, every spot in Hawaii is a photographer’s dream. Keep scrolling down to join me on a little photo tour! Happy Monday to you, too, and until next time…

xo, Melissa

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weddings at the chicago cultural center

Where, oh where, do I begin with this magnificent downtown Chicago wedding? I think I will start with the style – because it’s eclectic in an artful-meets-Great Gatsby-meets-global style so perfectly in tune with this cosmopolitan couple that it permeates everything they touch. The bride, bold enough to rock a serial updo in the style of a certain British songstress, in contrast with a demure Ines Di Santo gown–and he in a classic Brioni tux and bowtie–well let’s just say this wedding will forever be a fashion favorite.

chicago waldorf astoria weddings
Ines Di Santo wedding dress chicago
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings

I can honestly say I’ve never met a couple quite like Tracey and Ron. Against the classic backdrops of the Waldorf Astoria, the Chicago Cultural Center, and a serene Michigan Avenue garden, their vivacious personalities shine so, so bright. They are full of vim and aplomb. Emotional and true romantics, in the very best sense.

Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf Astoria weddings
Waldorf-Astoria-wedding-first-look
Waldorf-Astoria-wedding-first-look
art-institute-modern-wing-weddings
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
modern wing art institute wedding
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center
weddings at the chicago cultural center

And that’s just the tip of all the fabulousness that happened at Tracey and Ron’s soiree at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute.

There might have been live butterflies. Display peacocks that looked frighteningly real. A mariachi band. Oh, and celebrity chef Tony Mantuano, on hand to carve up a whole leg of jamon Serrano and to sign cookbooks. Yes, that happened.

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

The internationally jetset couple met overseas while both on business. They had their first date in Spain. Tracey and Ron reside in New York but had to tie the knot at the Modern Wing in Chicago. Why? Because the artist Chagall gifted the America Windows to the Art Institute, and Tracey has admired this artist since Ron proposed to her in the Paris Opera House–under a Chagall ceiling.

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

Some of my all-time favorites are wrapped up in this wedding reception that was held at Terzo Piano in the Art Institute. That includes Kehoe Designs and their signature way of crafting the most unique and interactive wedding experiences – sleek lounge style areas bedecked in jewel-toned accents, mixed in with a progressive open dinner seating concept that encourages mingling among guests.

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

There was no shortage of artful details at this wedding. And did you see this lavish cake?? (Designed by Tracey, obviously.)

wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago
wedding at the modern wing art institute of chicago

Tracey and Ron, you are both so full of heart and soul. May the future ahead be as bright and burgeoning as those magical fireworks by the bridge!

xo, Melissa

 

Tracey and Ron’s Wedding Guide ::

Venue, Modern Wing of the Art Institute Chicago (ceremony), Terzo Piano (reception)  //  Bride’s Attire, Ines Di Santo gown, Stuart Weitzman shoes  //  Bride’s Hair, Jefferson Wilson  //  Groom’s Attire, Brioni  //  Flowers, Kehoe Designs  //  Event Designer, Kehoe Designs  //  Wedding Consultant, Lauren Knuepfer  //  Food,  Bon Appetit Management Company  //  Cake, Cake Chicago  //  Music, Symphony Sounds and “Weaponry” Style Matters 

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Last week, a little wedding website (you may have heard of it) called Style Me Pretty picked up the shoot I did for Brian and Jenny at the Knickerbocker Hotel in September.

 

To be featured on one of the most widely read wedding websites around – actually, considered a mainstay in the wedding industry – well, gosh, I can’t be more thrilled or proud!! Style Me Pretty is an exceptionally well-curated content machine presenting only the most chic and style-centric wedding related features and information.

It is an honor to join the ranks of talented SMP wedding vendors! If you haven’t already, head over now – tons of pinspiration goodness there!

Read the full post on Style Me Pretty here.

xo, Melissa

 

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