Real Wedding: Lauren & Nick II (Palmer House)

More shots from Lauren and Nick's glamorous Chicago wedding. The couple choose to do a "New York Style" seating, a new trend in which dancing is encouraged between courses. The cake was absolutely gorgeous - it was created by the Palmer House Hilton. Floral table arrangements were low as not to take away from the beautiful Empire Room. Vellum menu cards were placed at each place setting and instead of the traditional guest book, Lauren and Nick cut out fall colored leaves and asked guests to leave them a kind note.

Photography: George Street
Reception Site & Cake: Palmer House Hilton

Real Wedding: Lauren & Nick I

Lauren and Nick tied the knot in Chicago last November. They were married at Assumption Catholic Church, followed by a beautiful reception at the Palmer House Hilton . The couple was hoping for an elegant, romantic affair...and one look at the photos, it's clear that they accomplished just that! The groom and groomsmen wore traditional tuxedos with black vests and bow ties. The bride wore her grandmother's fur stole (from the early 1960's) to keep her warm on the chilly November night. More photos from this wedding to come later today!

Photography & Videography - George Street
Reception Site - Palmer House Hilton
Wedding Gown - Weddings 826
Bridal Jewelry - Weddings 826
Tuxedos - Men's Warehouse

Funny Cake Toppers

I've seen these before, and although I'd guess most brides DO NOT want to place one atop their wedding cake, they are pretty funny! I didn't think they really existed (only online) until I was at Michael's craft store this weekend and they had the "bride pulling groom" edition for sale. Happy Monday!

Real Wedding week!

I'm very excited to share two beautiful "real weddings" with you this week! The first, an elegant affair that took place in Chicago this winter. The second, a recent outdoor wedding in sunny Arizona. Check back throughout the week for photographs, details and inspiration from both of these weddings.

Shrugs I LOVE

Sigh. I love boleros, especially these wedding beauties below (from Etsy), but I won't be wearing one for my wedding. My dress isn't strapless, my wedding is in June... and I just know a shrug wouldn't look right with the overall style I'm going for. Needless to say, I've been drooling over this gorgeous silk shoulder wrap by Modern Romance for months. 

If you're a bride looking for a unique and beautiful wedding bolero, I'd definitely check out these Etsy stores. Most of the featured designers will do custom orders as well. If you wore or are going to wear a bolero or wrap on your wedding day, I'd love to hear about it or see pics! 

My Wedding Shoes!

Mark that off of the list of things to do! I bought my wedding shoes!!! Silver, strappy, grecian sandals by Pelle Moda. They are fully encrusted in tiny, sparkly rhinestones - plus they are SUPER comfortable. I love tall, sexy heels as much as the next girl, but I know myself (and my feet!) and I need flat, comfy shoes for a full day of celebrating. And, even more importantly, I don't want to look taller than the future hubby in all of our pictures!

Here's the "tall" version of my shoe from Pelle Moda. These are very pretty and VERY tall! I'm already about 5'9", so there's no need to be 6'2" on my wedding day! Go here for more details.

Save The Date Coasters!

These 2 sided coasters are a unique and functional way to send your Save The Dates in style. A square shaped envelope is the perfect final touch. Design inquiries? Please email Cheers!

(Click image to enlarge)

Finger Bling!

Engagement Rings!!! They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors...and price tags! I'm a big fan of the unique settings...and yellow gold! The following rings come from various sources, including JCPenney and Macy's. I've found that these stores have unique settings and reasonable prices. They may not be your first choice, but getting a beautiful, budget-friendly setting and having the "rock" put in later TOTALLY works! 

Vintage Marriage License

I bought this darling little "Marriage Certificate" on Etsy a few weeks ago. It came from Cindi's BrassPaperclip store. I bought it to use as a source of inspiration for my wedding as well as a cool item to frame after the big day! I've always thought that vintage pieces seem to be way cooler than their current day counterparts. The "Vintage Marriage License" is no exception - today's are boring, modern and, well, not very romantic. They used to have character and style like the one below. Some license's even came in full color with illustrations. Check here for more vintage wedding inspiration.

My Business Cards

I wanted to share some photos of my "Keg Design" business cards. I had them printed a few months ago, using 1-color letterpress on heavy weight Crane's paper. I'm very happy with how they turned out! 

Photo Retouching & Restoration

As a full-time graphic designer, I do quite a bit of retouching and photo restoration work. I actually enjoy it - it's relaxing for me. Because all digital cameras are not created equal, many photographs don't come out looking right (even today). Below is a good example of a "church" shot taken at a wedding. The photo was taken on a partly overcast and cloudy day. The original digital photo was dark and dreary. I brought it back to life by correcting the overall color, brightening up the photo, removing the dark clouds and removing small imperfections. The "after" is much brighter, colorful and happy!

The same goes for photo restoration. There were so many amazing photos taken from the early 1900's that capture long lost loved ones, events and places. Older photos are usually in black/white or sepia and very grainy. Many things can also happen to them while they were up in the attic over the years. I can remove/restore scratches, tears, fading and watermarks. In the example below, I restored the contrast of the photo, removed unnecessary background objects and cleaned up the image as a whole. It's now ready for a place on the mantel!

I'm going to create an Etsy posting for Photo Retouching/Restoration very soon. My fee is $40.00 per photo. Please send inquiries to my email listed above.

Go Team!

(Click image to enlarge)
Logo exploration for an Atlanta, GA Lacrosse team. Go Lax Dawgs!

Irish Save The Dates

Irish Wedding: Menu Cards

This is a record for me - 3 postings in one day (and my 4th is on its way!). This beautiful weather we're having in Chicago has put me in a good mood and I guess I've always loved St. Patty's Day! Here are some Irish inspired wedding menus I worked on for Bev and Patrick. The gourmet Irish menu sounds so good:

"Ireland" by Maggie Sottero

In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to do a posting on this beautiful dress called "Ireland" by Maggie Sottero. It was actually one of the finalists in my own wedding dress hunt, but I decided to go with another one in the end. I love it's simplicity and "greek goddess" feeling. 

On another note, my wedding dress just came in last week. I went to try it on this past weekend and I love it... but it's too big! The sample size 6 was so small, that I guess we overcompensated when ordering a larger size. I'm not totally thrilled with the place I bought it from, so I'm considering getting the alterations done elsewhere. 

Does anyone in the Chicago area have or know a good seamstress or wedding gown alterations specialist? 

Has anyone else had a similar experience with their wedding dress coming in too large - was the end result okay? I'm a bit stressed so any help you could offer would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks for reading!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Irish Wedding Favors

I'm definitely Irish... first name Kelly, middle name Erin. I think an Irish themed wedding would be tons of fun! Here are some fun ideas for Irish wedding favors: