Are Wedding Albums Really Worth the Investment?

I love wedding albums. It's how we finally chose to preserve our photos after thinking we lost them all! But not everyone shares my love. One of the most common objections people have to investing in a wedding album is kind of obvious: cost.

Albums are expensive! Have you ever wondered why? In learning about what we wanted to provide for our clients, I learned some awesome things about why a professional wedding album is really worth it. Here are some of the key factors that make a quality album worth every penny.

Wedding Albums: Cover quality

Beautiful textiles like luxe leathers and linens in heirloom finishes and colors are meant to get better with age. They’re meant to be touched and handled. And they’re meant to be devastatingly handsome on a coffee table or a built in bookshelf.

We look for albums that source their cover textiles from around the world, where each textile quality has the strongest reputation. Linens from France, leathers from Italy, silks from Japan. The cover textiles are usually sourced with long-lasting quality in mind and I personally love that!

Wedding Albums: Construction quality

We look for a flush mount album design. Flush mount albums have hard covers with thick, layflat pages. They consist of photographic prints that are dry-mounted on substrate to give you those unbending pages that we love so much. The covers, as I mentioned above are often made of leather or other fine materials and the photos lay completely flat and extend across the whole page.

Wedding Albums: Printing quality

There is suuuuuuch a big difference between printing styles and what they're best at. And this is where we could cheap out and choose a less expensive printing method-it's where a lot of the cost of production lays. But here's why we don't:

We are pretty specific about choosing albums using photographic printing. You're probably familiar with press printing (even though you may not know the term)-the type of printing that involves spraying ink onto a paper in various ways-tiny dots or spray are the two most common. This easily accessible and enjoyable printing option leaves us with two concerns for albums:

  1. it's a more immediate printing solution, so it's prone to yellowing, fading, and curling over time. In other words, this printing method isn't intended to last a long time. It has other strengths, but longevity isn't one of them.
  2. because it's only a translation of color, it doesn't have the same amazing spectrum of color available with our printing method. 

Why Photographic Printing?

Photographic paper prints are light sensitive—In the printing process, the paper is exposed to light inside the printer to produce the image. After that, chemicals are used to eliminate the light-sensitivity and set the image, which is now “in” the paper. This printing process means that, though it increases the cost, you have printing specifically made to last over time. No yellowing, curling, or fading. And due to the nature of the printing method, the color spectrum is true and rich, allowing for a variety of paper options not available for press printing.

Customer service

You’re investing into an heirloom! Because of your investment, we’re looking for a company that guarantees their work and will be there for you when you need them. This has been one of the biggest stress relievers for our clients-knowing that their albums have a guarantee. 

What's in it for you?

Our gorgeous albums will be a part of our black friday sale on Friday, November 24! Sign up below to get access to an exclusive print sale only available via email

Kelly and Cody| Milwaukee Art Museum Wedding Photography

As featured on

 
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Inspired by one of their favorite memories – sipping wine under the starry night sky in Napa Valley – Kelly and Cody decided to recreate the experience for guests at their Milwaukee wedding. They transformed the Milwaukee Art Museum into California Wine Country, with help from planning experts, Événement, and floral design by Impressions. The result is a modern, rustic blend we can't get enough of, and it's all featured this morning on Style Me Pretty! 

Designing a modern and organic wedding at Milwaukee Art Museum

Kelly and Cody shared some amazing memories during a visit to Napa Valley and wanted to recreate that for their guests. They chose a show-stopper of a venue in the famous Milwaukee Art Museum that gave the sense of staring up at the starry night sky sipping wine – their favorite experience together. They chose a venue that gave them that feeling of looking up at the stars at night, strung cafe lights to create some romance, and put a great glass of wine in everyone's hands. Add in top notch catering for that quintessential Napa culinary experience, and they had created something truly distinct for their favorite people.

Kelly and Cody wanted their florist, Esther Fleming, to have free reign to soften their modernist space. They shared how they loved the way the vines grew in Napa Valley and showed her some samples. She took things from there, building them a long pergola for their head table and wrapping it in greenery and vines. Kelly and Cody recreated one of their favorite experiences together for their guests, and the result is pretty incredible!

Creating a personal experience for your guests

Whatever you do, tell your story in your wedding design! Not in a literal way, using words, signs, or photos plastered around, but in an experiential way by creating an atmosphere, beloved memory, or favorite experience together to share again with your guests. 

Many thanks to the following talents:

Event planning and design: Evenenment Planning | Florist: Impressions by Esther Fleming | Venues: Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum | Bride's Gown: Nouvelle Amsale | Wedding invitations: Paper Envy | Catering: Calatrava MAM

Relaxed Farm at Dover Wedding | Julia and Will

Julia has always reminded me of one of my dearest friends. She looks like her, smiles like her, and laughs easily like her. She emanates goodness and love so strongly that being in her presence continually feels like you're getting a hug. Obviously I love her. 

And so does Will. She's the perfect compliment to Will's personality, a directional, task-oriented man who knows how to get things done. He is a classic leading man, easily taking charge of tasks, working industriously, and accomplishing much in life. Together, Will leads them forward and Julia keeps them warm and loving along the way. They're the most beautiful couple and we were thrilled to be a part of their Farm at Dover wedding day!

They wanted their day to be effortless and unscripted. They wanted to live through their day with intention and heartfelt connection and I love how that came through! They chose the perfect florist for the job. Jamie of Sweven Floral created installations and arrangements filled with texture, the perfect peachy late summer palette, and lots of natural movement. It was the ideal way to showcase Julia's vision for their day!

Many thanks to the following talents for bringing Will and Julia's vision to life:

Venue: The Farm at Dover | Florals: Sweven Floral styling and photography: Booth Photographics

The 6 Floral Design Elements Editors Love

If you want to see your wedding featured, floral design is a key player. Blogs adore showcasing innovative floral design, but what are they really looking for? Here are the top elements that will catch an editor’s attention.

1. Use composition and structure to grab their attention

Floral design is all about shape and movement. Gone are the days of compact, rounded shapes and simple vases of flowers. Blogs and magazines want fresh ideas and are looking for florals composed in interesting shapes.

The Japanese practice of Ikebana is making a huge impression on floral design right now with shapes that showcase natural movement, growth, and organic shapes. And, conveniently enough, bouquets that are created in this style are much more photogenic and much lighter than a standard bouquet!

My favorite florists showcasing composition are the talented ladies of Studio Mondine. While I think they nail all of these floral design elements, they always catch my attention with their ikebana inspired compositions.

What to skip: designs that are compact and rounded (even if the florist adds in a few sprigs of greenery)

2. Create an interesting floral color palette

Original color palettes in floral design are a clincher in getting a feature. Though they’re classics, consider skipping the ivories and blushes in favor of something with caramel and gold tones, peachy pinks, and deeper hues, such as chocolates and deep wine tones. Alternatively, pair ivories and whites with interesting cool tones, like pale blue for a refreshing and interesting take on a pastel palette. Caramel, chocolate, wine-I mean...could it really be a bad thing?

Tip for palettes: If you’re keeping your palette classic, pair it with at least one of the other important elements like composition or texture. Otherwise, skip the ivory and blush for something more fresh and innovative.

My favorite designer for original and interesting color palette is Sinclair and Moore. Even when Steve opts for a classic ivory palette, he pairs it seamlessly with iconic shapes or interesting textures to create something publications line up to show.

3. Incorporate layers of texture into the floral design

Along with palette is texture. Texture is another massive floral trend right now-adding in dried leaves and pods, soft grasses, painterly smokebush, or leathery magnolia create a head-turning effect. If you’re opting for a simple color palette, consider adding textural interest in this way.

What to skip: I do love olive leaves and eucalyptus-I probably always will, but they’re done a lot. Try broadening your horizons and having some fun.

My favorite floral designer for textural components (and really, all of these) is Kelly Lenard. With a fine art background, she creates florals that have so much dimension that you can feel them, even in a photograph. Her work is distinctive, creative, and deeply thoughtful.

4. Make a floral statement

While simple vases of florals make sense, blogs and magazines die over floral designs that make a statement. Think of hanging installations, a statement centerpiece for a welcome table, a floral arch and aisle arrangements like you’ve never seen before, and centerpieces that create movement and conversation.

Individual elements don’t really clinch an editor’s attention. They love seeing comprehensive design throughout an entire day.

5. Give ample time for photographing your florals

The proof of your stunning floral concepts is in the photos. Make sure your photographer has ample time to photograph the design elements without being rushed. This allows us the creativity to move pieces to ideal lighting condition and photogenic settings when needed, which will be the pivotal key to an editor wanting to show off your day.

6. Avoid these 3 floral mistakes

One of the biggest pitfalls I see with floral designs is this: a bride shows them some inspiration and, though it’s not what they typically do, they promise they can deliver. They have an understanding of what the bride wants, but have never actually created anything like it. =

The problem is that they don’t deliver-they go back to their traditional shapes and compacted designs, just adding more flowers to make the bouquet bigger, but also making the bouquet really heavy to hold.

Additionally, because they don’t really understand how to achieve the voluminous bouquets, they add in “big flowers” to take up space, even if they’re dated. This is basically a death sentence to publications.

  1. Hire a florist whose body of work shows an innovative mindset and and understanding of current design ideas. Don’t hire someone who simply says they get it and can deliver but doesn't represent your vision with their body of work.

  2. Ask questions about how where they find inspiration and how they stay educated and current. When was the last time they attended a floral design workshop? Even if a shop has been in business for 30 years, if they’re constantly educating themselves and pushing to create fresh work, you’re likely in for a treat. And bonus points if you’re hiring someone who teaches floral workshops-look for workshops photographed by fine art photographers and picked up by blogs afterward. Then you know that, if florals are high on your priorities, you’re getting the most skilled of artisans.

  3. Avoid dated flowers: Flowers go in and out of style. And the out of style flowers are often less expensive and easy “fillers.” But you’ll lose your chance of publication if an editor spots lilies, carnations, standard roses (like the ones you can grab at your local grocery store) and even traditional hydrangea.

Thank you to these talents for providing the gorgeous content for this post: 

Floral design: Kelly Lenard | Styling: Lacy Geary | Venue: Foxfire Mountain House | Workshop host: Jake Anderson | Film Scans: Photovision | Film Photography: Booth Photographics

Want to get your wedding featured on your favorite blog? Here are seven details you can’t overlook

You’re hosting the biggest, prettiest party you’ve ever planned. You’re spending money and getting compliments already. Why NOT try to get your wedding featured on your favorite blog? If you’re already putting in the work, it’s a nice added benefit!

The biggest mistake brides make who want to get featured

Too often, brides go through the wedding planning process trying to keep focused on the important aspects of their day, dismissing the reality that they’d genuinely enjoy seeing their day inspiring other brides on their favorite blog. All of a sudden, they determine AFTER all the decisions are made that they can’t ignore that feeling and they really do want to shoot for the stars and submit their wedding for publication. The problem is, they’re already too late. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a wedding and finding out the bride would love to see her day published in her favorite blog.

If there’s a chance you’re interested in publication, be honest about that early in the process and know this: It’s okay to want that! I give you permission! You’re not a diva, you’re planning a beautiful, intentional, and personal day and think it could inspire others. Let’s work together to give it our best effort!

7 details you can't overlook if you want to get your wedding published

Want to know what blogs and magazines really look for in wedding submissions? Here are the details you can’t overlook if you’d like to get your wedding featured.

1. Choose the right players for your creative team.

(As seen in The Knot Chicago Magazine, pp 70-74 with planning by Shannon Gail Weddings, Florals by Stems Chicago, Venue, Artifact Events)

It’s important that the creative team you hire (photographer, planner, stylist, floral designer, venue) are familiar with wedding publication-they should know how to style for it, shoot for it, and still be focused on giving you the dream day you’ve hoped for. Look for people who’ve been published recently and regularly.

2. Choose a wedding dress that enhances your overall design.

(Left: Lian Carlo as seen in The Knot Chicago Magazine; Right: Nouvelle Amsale, coming soon to Style Me Pretty)

Dresses can make or break a wedding submission. it has to align with your overall design and has to be fashion forward. Check out the trends at New York Bridal Fashion Week (bell sleeves are comin’ in hot this year as is minimal and modern elements) and look on blogs and in magazine for the brands who pay for advertising with them. Chances are, they’ll want to give those brands publicity and will increase your chances of getting picked up.

3. Develop a cohesive event design.

(As seen on Ruffled Blog with planning by Italia Celebrations at Villa la Vedetta)

You can have the prettiest florals at your tables, but all is lost if there isn’t some kind of design statement or point of view you’re making that carries throughout your whole day. Blogs don’t care as much about the one pretty centerpiece, or that cutie pie sweetheart table, or your wowzah dress. You can have all the pretty individual elements in the world, but they need to tell a story and share a point of view. The best way to accomplish this is by hiring a skilled and experienced planner/stylist. It makes all the difference! Need recommendations? Sign up here for our vendor recommendation freebie.

4. Prioritize floral design.

(as seen in Wisconsin Bride Magazine; designed by Flower & Bee)

Floral design is one of the most influential aspects of wedding features! People just die for posts that showcase beautiful floral inspiration and design, so blogs are constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas, design trends, and color palettes in the world of floral design. If there’s something you go crazy over, let it be florals.

(planning and design by Cherry Blossom Events, florals by Daffodil Parker)

5. Choose a publication-worthy venue.

(Villa Terrace and Milwaukee Art Museum; coming soon to Style Me Pretty)

Closely behind florals is a statement-making venue. While golf clubs and ballrooms were made for hosting large gatherings, publications are often looking for something a bit more personal and pretty. A winery, private estate, piece of modern architecture or venue with historic charm (think european historic, like chateaus, and villas, not kitchy 50 year old American-historic) will be winners. On top of that, plan an outdoor event. Publications almost exclusively prefer to show off natural light, so plan a day outdoors, and if you need a rain plan, schedule a clear topped tent to keep that light coming in.

6. Consider lighting when constructing your timeline.

To attract a publisher, it's not only important to consider what is being photographed, but how those things are photographed. Good lighting elevates the quality of your images and makes everything looks its best.

If you're planning an beautiful outdoor ceremony, consider where the light will fall at your ceremony time. Bright, overhead midday lighting will detract from even the most beautiful of designs, so we recommend having your ceremony just a few hours before sunset. 

If you're having an outdoor reception, consider the best time for the space to be photographed when building it into your timeline. The closer to sunset the better! While every moment of your day can't be shot in that warm, glowy light right as the sun sets, prioritizing the best light for the most impactful moments of your event design can go a long way toward getting published

7. Communicate your goals with your creative team well in advance.

Shooting for publication is an intense game and requires planning and extra work. We need to know this early so we can make sure we're shooting both for you and for the publication you like. If you like Style Me Pretty and would like to aim for a feature there, tell your team early in the planning process and ask the question “what do you need for this?” For photography, it will impact how we schedule for your day.

We’ll want to plan our styling, coordinate with the florist, make a list of details to photograph and ensure we have quality time to photograph everything well. Telling us after we only had 30 minutes to photograph details is the equivalent of a death sentence to your dream of publication.

Communicate what you’d like EARLY and OFTEN and listen to your team when they give suggestions or tell you how to get it.

 

5 tips for a healthy relationship when life is busy | Annika and Mike | A UW Memorial Union Engagement session

We first met Annika and Mike last year at Elise and Travis's wedding. We were setting up a family portrait and someone made a joke about the groom's sister and her long-standing boyfriend being next. She blushed and he shook his head and smiled. I chatted with them and learned that Annika and Mike had been dating for five years, Annika was in Med school, and though they were incredibly busy, they had a sweetness to their relationship that anyone would want. 

Annika is currently traveling to a rotation in Utah, Mike is in Wisconsin, and still, amid stress and time constraints, they are kind and thoughtful to each other. No they aren't perfect people! They have to work to make their relationship sweet during busy seasons of life. Here are Annika's top five tips for making your relationship thrive when life is busy:

Five tips for a healthy relationship when life is busy

Relationship tip #1: The people you love matter the most in life

With a busy schedule, it is easy to get wrapped up in the many commitments and it can completely consume you. However, I soon realized that success is not possible without a support system and I don’t have to choose one or the other. In fact, fully committing myself to both has lead to me feeling grounded and truly happy.

Relationship tip #2: Trust is essential

In medical school, your life is very hectic and chaotic, making any long term plans nearly impossible. This leads to anxiety on both ends, fearing the “unknown.” However, as Mike has always reminded me “no matter what, we will be together in the end and that’s all that matters.” If you truly trust one another, it eliminates the anxiety of the “unknown” and allows you to live in the present and appreciate what you have.

Relationship tip #3: value the time you have together

Often, I will be gone for a month or longer on rotations and we will not get to see each other for an extended period of time. This can be extremely difficult, but we learned to deal with this by truly valuing the time we have together. As cliché as it sounds the distance actually does make you appreciate each other more. When we see each other, we don’t fret about the small things or take anything too seriously because we know our time is limited.

Relationship tip #4: Talk daily

Set aside time to talk every day, even if you are not together physically. Again, separation is hard and sometimes you feel that you are “living two separate lives.” That is why we have found it so important to commit to talking EVERY day, even if it’s just for five minutes. Consistently chatting on a daily basis allows us to feel connected on each other’s lives. Even on nights that I get home from the hospital at midnight, I still call Mike before I fall asleep and remind him that I love him.

Relationship tip #5: Compromise!

A healthy relationship is about happiness on BOTH ends. This means fully supporting both people’s goals. We are both motivated people and have some crazy long-term dreams. However, that is what we love most about each other. Never forget that a relationship is a team and you’re both in it together, forever.

Casey and Nate | A Pope Farm Engagement

Casey and Nate met while in Dental school and are the best pair together. Casey's quiet and gentle smiles paired with Nate's outgoing nature really make the most inviting couple. They introduced us to the beautiful Pope Farms (where have I been?) where Casey spent her childhood walking with her family. Now, as they build their life together over in Milwaukee, coming home to Pope Farms was just the nostalgia Casey needed to feel at home and relaxed during their session. Everyone feels a bit jittery when their session starts, but as Casey told stories of her times at Pope Farms, that melted away instantly. It was so much fun to have her show us around one of the most beautiful locations in our area!

Casey and Nate, we cannot wait for your wedding next year! Thanks for showing us Pope Farms-I'm ready to go back asap!

Learning to Like New York City | Our Trip to Brooklyn

We recently spent a few days in New York City for some work and play. While we typically love getting to know a city, New York has rubbed us the wrong way multiple times and I was dreading the trip a bit.

Learning to like New York

But this trip helped us see that what we don't like is Manhattan, not the whole city. It's full of iconic romance and possibility, yes. I'm very attracted to the feeling of endless possibilities there. But quickly we get the feeling that others have been drawn there for those possibilities and, after realizing that pursuing those possibilities meant deep sacrifice, they began to loathe themselves and defer that loathing onto strangers and passersby. There's so much resentment and latent frustration everywhere in Manhattan.

We consider ourselves fairly travel savvy and try to observe and adapt to culture quickly. In addition, I grew up near Philadelphia and remember the cold, brisk nature of strangers, unlike the warmth found in the midwest. I shouldn't be surprised, but I usually am in Manhattan.

Here's what we learned though! Manhattan isn't the whole city! We stayed in Brooklyn and fell in love with that borough. From the charming and iconic brownstones on quiet, shady streets, to the bustle of a younger, more relaxed demographic, Brooklyn just "got us" way more. We had a ton of favorite places in Brooklyn, so if you're planning a visit, you've got to check them out!

Favorite Coffee in Brooklyn

Each morning, we strolled through town to get to "our coffee shop," Absolute Coffee. Their lattes were perfectly smooth and strong and I was often tempted to walk back throughout the day for a second...and third.

We have a saying in our house about my perspective when I really like something and it goes like this: "If one is good, five is better...right?" Not true, of course, but I'm definitely an indulgent person and, when I find something I like, DO NOT change plans. I have MY coffee shop and I'll legit ask you if it would be normal to get more than one latte. For reference, your duty to me is to say "no, Stephanie. One's fine." Okay? Get that down and I may be able to travel with you.

We also enjoyed Brooklyn Roasting Company-and right on the water, it's a fun location to grab an iced coffee and take a walk in DUMBO. I had the Maple Shay, iced and it was amazing!

Favorite Eats in Brooklyn

We also stopped in at Mile End Delicatessen for some Montreal style (gasp!) bagel sandwiches. They were delicious, of course! The meat was smoked in house, everything on the sandwich served in the steaming hot, hearty deli-style I remember growing up. And the bagels were interesting-thinner, chewier, and a touch sweeter than New York style bagels. I'd highly recommend stopping there if you're in Brooklyn.

Instead of going for New York Style pizza, we went classic Neopolitan. I have no regrets. After our jaunt through the botanical gardens, we found Keste Pizzeria in Williamsburg where the chef was from Naples and well known in the pizza world. We had some things we had fallen in love with while in Pompeii and Sorrento last fall, including the arancino, a fried ball of risotto usually packed with yesterday's leftover meats and herbs. One of my favorite snacks from Sorrento and such a fun thing to taste again!

Another favorite for us was the DeKalb Market Hall, a more approachable take on the famous Chelsea Market. I loved my Porchetta sandwich from Bread and Spread, and on another visit, I grabbed an amazing hazelnut and almond croissant from a french bakery. If nothing else, I loved strolling and seeing the fun options.

Favorite Sites and shops in Brooklyn

We stopped into the adorable garden store, GRDN after our breakfast at Mile End and, again, Stephen had to talk me out of buying every single terra cotta planter they had. I'm having a bit of a moment with aged terra cotta right now.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden is worth it-I think we walked 4.2 miles to get to the botanic garden, but it was so worth it. Because of Stephen, I have learned to adore gardens, and this one made for a lovely escape from the bustle of the city. It was actually super romantic-we got caught in the rain while strolling through the Japanese gardens and ducked into the Koi Pond pagoda for shelter until the rain slowed. We sat together on a bench and quietly listened to the rain fall on the blue-green koi pond and felt such a sense of romance and peacefulness. It was one of my favorite moments of our trip. Bonus points, I finally go to see the Brooklyn Boathouse! I was an ardent fan of the movie 27 Dresses about 10 years ago and have always wanted to see this particular spot.

We loved walking the shops and restaurants on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg and, my one moment of fangirling was wen I dragged Stephen to Momofuku Milk Bar. I love Master Chef and think Christina Tosi is a legend, so naturally I couldn't wait to show him the desserts. I have to say-I was underwhelmed. It was merely a drop off site and looked a lot like a convenience store display of cookies. We ended up leaving empty handed and a little disenchanted. Christina Tosi, you're still a legend though!

So our general consensus: You can have Manhattan. We have no desire to spend more time in that borough. But I'd definitely go back to Brooklyn. I have other places I'd go first (um, back to France, please??) but I know we'd have a great time, if we were back in Brooklyn and that makes me happy!

A Sneak Peak at Our New Home Design Plan!

Stephen and I moved into our townhome two years ago with the plan to stay here until we “outgrew” it. I remember one night, we slow danced in the kitchen (maybe stephen was just hugging me? I think we were dancing though. #perspective) and stephen said to me “I like this place and I want to be here for 5-10 years. I sighed onto his shoulder and said “wow, that sounds amazing! I’m on board!"

Why we decided to move...again

So what happened to change that? The simplest answer is that we saw the market heating up explosively in our area and started to ask the question “If someone handed us a check for a down payment, would we walk away from it?” We decided that we didn’t want to walk away from that opportunity. Selling our townhome at a strategic time could completely provide the down payment we’d been saving toward for a single family home.

Through a cool set of circumstances, we landed a home that seemed unattainable to us! It’s spacious and perfect for hosting, is in a lovely neighborhood we’d liked for a while, and has space for each of us to have an office! We quickly knew the feel we wanted to evoke in the space and got to work designing it! Here's some inspiration and our process:

Our home design process: Brainstorming

We believe process is king in all things, so as we embarked on designing our home we spent a lot of time in the brainstorming phase of our process. We pinned (see our boards here: design sense, living room, kitchen, and bedroom) discussed, pointed, and collected. We wrote down words, feelings, and lifestyle goals. 

And, then we let it all sit. This part is important!

If you want to have a genuine point of view in your design, business perspective, and life, know when to let things breathe. 

Our home design process: Insight

Pretty quickly, we saw a trend and knew that we wanted our home to remind us of the relaxed and artful french lifestyle we fell in love with on our trip to France last year. We wanted the downstairs to remind us of our time in Paris, with a minimal, collected, gallery feel. Simple and clean lines, textural elements, and artful vignettes reigned in our brainstorming.

We wanted other parts of our home to remind us of our stay in the french countryside-simple, historic, and welcoming. Kind of a city house/country house type of feel. Everything makes sense together and tells the same story, but doesn’t look the same.

We chose a few anchor images for each room and created some simple moodboards

Living room Inspiration

We want our living room to feel elegant, minimal, and collected. We fell in love with the idea of clean lines, historic touches, and beautiful art for this space. We still want it to feel warm and inviting, so we'll share how we create that welcoming feel in a largely white gallery inspired space in future posts-any ideas?

And yes, we're totally doing gray trim throughout. Stephen claims the heart wants what the heart wants. And his heart wants white walls and gray trim. I love that guy :) 

via Joanna Laven

Dining Room Inspiration

We will have a square dining area between our kitchen and living room. For the LONGEST time, I wanted a specific long modern farmhouse table. I'd been saving up for it and was almost ready to pull the trigger when I realized that it would look ridiculous in a square dining area. I really wanted a classic design staple with a european feel. I fell in love with this image and then Stephen and I began researching the styles a bit more and it all fell into place! 

A Saarinen style tulip table was a great nod to a design classic and kept with the minimal aesthetic. These gorgeous cane-back Thonet chairs were largely produced in Europe and are pretty difficult to find stateside as the trend didn't really filter to us at the time of production. I love the nod to both texture and European design for both pieces. We currently have the Thonet chairs (OMG SO EXCITED!) and will get the Tulip table soon. So excited for this room! 

via Fantastic Frank

Kitchen Inspiration

we wanted our kitchen to remind us of the happy french kitchens we saw while staying in France last year. Even in the city, kitchens were full of character and french charm.

We wanted the palette to remind us of the french buildings with their classic slate and plaster exteriors, mansered roofs, and the finishes to take on the pretty patina of all of the buildings we loved in the French countryside. More on that soon...!

via pinterest

Bedroom Inspiration

Some of our most relaxing memories on our trip through France and Italy last year were waking up in a French farmhouse in the Loire Valley, hearing the roosters, and finding fresh eggs and croissant at our door. It was the most pastoral and welcoming place and we wanted to feel that sense of deep relaxation and contentment in our master bedroom design.

We decided to go with a bit more character and charm in this space, focusing on historic furniture and art pieces, balanced by a moody gray-green paint and simple, textural linen bedding. I am so excited to see this room come together!

via pinterest

Where are we now?

So where are we in the process now? We wait :) We are packing up our lovely townhome and getting ready to move soon. We cannot wait to begin implementing the designs we have in mind and sometimes the suspense of waiting feels agonizing! In the meantime, tell me, what do you think of our design inspiration? Can we swing the white palette or is it too risky?

Sarah and Charlie | A Vibrant Farm at Dover Wedding

Sarah and Charlie were that couple that ended each email with the standing invitation "next time you're in Chicago let us know! We'd love to get together!" They were caring and thoughtful and so deeply loved by their families. 

Naturally, they wanted a day that felt joyful and relaxed, giving them plenty of time to connect with the people that meant the most to them. They did two key things to help them achieve that feeling and they knocked it out of the park!

Choose the right venue

First, they chose the right venue. They chose the Farm at Dover for several reasons, but namely, so they could create a relaxed and elegant escape for their guests. They chose a place where everything happened at one place so they didn't have to stress about moving between places and could maximize their time with their friends and family.

Hire the right vendors

The second thing they did was recognize that you have to plan very well in order to relax on your wedding day. So they hired vendors who got their vision. City Girl weddings was a dream to work with and worked hard to protect Charlie and Sarah's priorities when logistics began weighing in on their day. As I worked with Alyssa on their wedding photography timeline, we found ways to keep their day organic and moving during the photography times. We chose to focus on candid moments over posed portraits, photographing them walking, talking and laughing with their favorite people and I love the results. 

Sarah and Charlie, thanks for inviting us to be a part of your day! I felt completely immersed in your wedding experience and loved photographing the joy and sweet moments. And guys...I'm still not over the UW band surprise during cocktail hour! Truth be told, I cried a little bit because I was so happy that it all worked out!

Enjoy a sneak peak of some of our favorite photos-more are coming your way soon!

Thanks to City Girl Events, the Farm at Dover, and Flowers for Dreams for a flawless day!