Real wedding: Melinda + Dan part 1

I posted images from Melinda and Dan‘s wedding a couple of days ago, and Melinda actually contacted me with some more photos and explanations of her wedding, which I’m very excited to share with you. There’s a lot of info so I’ll spread it out over 2 days. Enjoy!



We met through a mutual friend for the first time at the beginning of our freshmen year at DePaul University in Chicago; however, we did not bump into each other again until the end of the year. We began dating soon after our 2nd meeting and we’ve been together ever since (9+ years!).


Dan told me we were going out to dinner to meet his brother’s new girlfriend and he took me to DePaul University’s quad where he said we were meeting them. Before I knew it, I was sitting on the very same bench where we’d first met and he dropped to one knee and proposed (there was no dinner with the brother)!


In my spare time for the past 6 years I’ve been an Associate Wedding Coordinator for Parties Etcetera, so finally planning my own big day was a long time coming! When my Parties Etcetera boss, Lisa, got married we made a promise to each other…I would coordinate her wedding and, when the time came, she would coordinate mine! We took 16 months to ensure every detail was taken care of and I was able to utilize my industry contacts when selecting our vendors.

Because I’ve worked on so many different weddings and seen so many amazing ideas, I really knew exactly what my vision for my own wedding was and who to go to implement that vision. I knew going in that the night itself would go all too fast, so I really tried to be “in the moment” as much as possible and just enjoy my guests and new husband. I knew my wedding coordinator was tending to all the details, so I really made an effort to just relax and take everything in!


Our ceremony, cocktails, and reception all took place at Prairie Production which is this amazing hidden gem in Chicago. It’s a photographer’s studio with a fabulous loft vibe, clean lines, and modern feel. It’s a completely blank canvas so you’re really able to customize the space. You don’t have to settle for anything that’s already there because everything from the chairs to the linens to the place settings has to be selected and brought in.

Dan and I have lived in Chicago for over nine years, so the city really represents who we are as a couple. It was important for us to host our wedding in the city where we live and fell in love.



Our theme was very crisp, clean, and modern. The lines of the space were very architectural and contemporary and we wanted a look that was both urban and chic. Our color palette was primarily white with accents of green…a very fresh look and one that reflected both of us.

It was important to us that the wedding be elegant, but not too stuffy or formal. We wanted the overall mood for our guests to be very relaxed and enjoyable. We really worked hard to create an atmosphere for our guests that would allow them to socialize with one another and just enjoy the food, music, and space. We specifically chose rectangular dinner tables, instead of round, so our guests could more easily talk with one another during dinner.


Our escort cards were placed inside miniature envelopes of the same color as our wedding invitations. The names were written with calligraphy by the same person who did our invitations. We used a block font with very clean lines. We chose to use traditional table numbers which I created based on a design I saw from another bride on one of The Knot’s featured weddings!

Our escort cards were displayed on a square table detailed with green floral enhancements. Some blossoms were featured alone, while others were housed in simple bud vases. Some vases were fully submerged with flowers and foliage and topped with white floating disk votive candles. A few cube votives provided a beautiful glow. My favorite was the massed button mum spheres.


Designer: Vwidon

My gown was a strapless, trumpet style with a portion of the bottom cut away to expose soft layers of tulle. Vwidon is a design house devoted to contemporary couture wedding gowns. The fitting process was exceptional because the dress designer was also the one doing my alterations! She took my measurements and then made the gown to fit my body. There were no size charts…everything was completely custom. You were even able to modify the designs if you chose to. I elected to remove one of the stiff layers of crinoline that was under the gown so it wouldn’t be as full.

I wore Blue Tux Shoes which have an adorable blue sole that easily counts as your “something blue”!

The only piece of jewelry I wore were the most amazing pair of green tear drop earrings from Nordstrom. I was originally looking for a tear drop shaped earring, but with crystals or diamonds. My mom and I literally stumbled upon these green earrings and instantly knew they were the perfect find! They were just the right “pop” of color to accent my bouquet.

My veil was also from Vwidon so the tulle perfectly matched the fabric from my gown. It had one simple cascading floor length layer.


All my hair was pulled back into a low chignon just above the nape of my neck. I wanted something classic and timeless that would also photograph well. The front of my hair had the perfect amount of height so my face didn’t look too severe. I had countless hair and make-up trials before I found my artist. I loved that she was able to do both my hair and make-up so I didn’t have to juggle two separate vendors.

My single layer veil was attached to a comb that we placed at the top of the chignon. On top of that, we placed a vintage style hair comb. After the ceremony, I removed the veil but left the hair comb in place.


Designers: J.Crew & Jessica McClintock

I had 3 bridal party attendants…1 Maid of Honor, 1 Matron of Honor, and 1 Junior Bridesmaid. My Maid and Matron of Honors are my two best girlfriends and I’ve been babysitting my Junior Bridesmaid for almost nine years and she has become a very dear friend.

I allowed my bridal party to choose their own dresses and told them the only criteria were for it to be black and cocktail length. Both my Maid and Matron of Honors selected 2 different styled silk chiffon dresses from J.Crew and my Junior Bridesmaid selected a black Jessica McClintock dress with white details.


Designer: Calvin Klein

Dan had 1 Best Man and 2 Groomsmen. His Best Man is a childhood friend and his Groomsmen were his older and younger brothers. All the tuxedos were black with white shirts, black vests, and black ties. The only exception was Dan, who wore a white tie to match my gown.

Tomorrow we’ll have info on the ceremony and reception.

[images by Kingen Smith Productions]

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Its a Beautiful Day wedding

Thanks to Valery for sending this along to me! During the 5th International Alvar Aalto Seminar last summer, Dai Fujiwara, a designer for Issey Miyake, challenged all the keynote speakers to join together to create a wedding for Finnish couple Ulla-Maaria Mutanen and Jyri Engestrom. Participants included [get this!] Issey Miyake, the Bouroullec brothers, Hella Jongerius, Louise Campbell, Ilkka Suppanen and Camper. Best of all, the couple got to have their event at the offices of Alvar Aalto himself! The whole thing is pretty amazing, as seen by the images. You can find more information at the weddings website, Its a Beautiful Day.

Starting from top:
Dress by Issey Miyake, shoes by Camper
The lovely couple all decked out
Candelabras by Louise Campbell
Wedding chairs by the Bouroullec brothers – the couples names will be written on the back.
Ring by Ilkka Suppanen – made of gold thread, its meant to symbolize that you can get “married” every day if you like.
Button corsages by Hella Jongerius

[images from Wallpaper]

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Real wedding: Myra + Matt

A few days ago I posted about Myra Callan’s fabulous bridal headpieces, and after checking out her wedding photos, knew I had to have her post something about it! It just proves how great DIY can truly be…here’s Myra with the details….

My hubby, Matt Callan, and I tied the knot in Gervais, OR at Willamette Mission State Park on September 8, 2007. We held our ceremony under an enormous Black Walnut tree in the middle of the afternoon on a perfectly sunny and warm day with around 180+ guests. The wooden arbor was created by Matt! He even hung the ribbons!

All the bouquets and flower arrangements were created by the bridal party the day before the event. We were trying to save on costs and bought the more expensive flowers at a florist and more basic flowers through Safeway in bulk. My mom use to do wedding and church flower arrangements, so I most definitely utilized her expertise.

Almost everything was handmade by me, but some items were created with the help of family. For name card holders/decorations/favors, I planted around 200 corkscrew willow clippings in mini terra cota pots and finished them with live moss. Matt and I wanted something that would look cute and that guests could take home, plant, and cherish for years (and corkscrew willow trees are so whimsical to look at and so easy to grow!). I created all the name cards by hand which were these little flags that guests would “plant” into the name card pots. They were displayed in a large wooden box that my dad built and planted with moss. All the centerpieces, I planted myself using purchased pots and plants from Home Depot and Lowes. It actually cut down on costs for traditional all flower centerpieces and we let guests take them home to enjoy for months, maybe years to come. The tables also had several glass vases on each which I purchased at IKEA. The table names I made by hand using bird prints and used Crate and Barrel name card holders to display them. Many of them blew away during the evening with the breeze! The mini box favors were assembled with family help and were composed of jordan almonds in our wedding colors, tissue paper, and a little tag with our anniversary date and “thank you” note. The napkin and utensil sets were straight out of Martha Stewart Weddings. I loved the look and ordered a ton of tissue paper wholesale online, found the perfect napkins at IKEA, got utensils from our caterer and with a ton of help from family, made all of the literally up until the day before.

The giant green lanterns I purchased in bulk through a couple online sources, one of which was Ebay and were strung by family. The lights also had dangling ribbons, which I literally purchased by the roll through Ebay sellers (so much cheaper!). The cake topper birds were created by Ann Wood Handmade and the wedding cake was created by Myriad Cakes.

All the programs and invitations were also made by the bride using purchased fonts, clipart, paper from PaperZone, and a really great HP deskjet printer. After not being able to find the perfect head piece to wear and while wanting to DIY on everything, I created my own hair accessory (sans the veil) and all the bridesmaid hair pieces. My wedding gown was custom designed by myself and Elizabeth Dye ( – she of course did all the sewing and most of the work!

[images by Paul Rich Studio]

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Real wedding: Melinda + Dan

Ahhh, a couple after my own heart…..their wedding was green, white, and minimal all over! It looked amazing! I especially love her bouquet…adding in those architectural accents of lotus pods is genius….

[images from The Knot]

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