Great things always happen at coffee shops

Great things always happen at coffee shops

Honestly, I do not think these pictures and this day could have been more magical. Except if the sun would have given off a bit more heat to warm our little Jessica’s arms and legs.
I was honored to be a part of such a A list team of wedding pro’s in this style shoot orchestrated by Amber Green Photography this spring.
Amber and I have worked together in the past and when she started with developing a new look, marketing plan which included some pretty clever style shoot ideas, she asked me to coffee.
The main question at hand: what in the world does a wedding planner do for a style shoot?
So I explained as I held her 3 month old pumpkin, Alivia, in between sips of Starbucks, I organize and recruit the players, set the scene, you shoot, I direct…
And so we began our journey of the Vintage Romance shoot.
Amber had a vision of a classic car, a dashing red haired beauty and a black dress…
From there we brainstormed how it would all come together.
And then I called a few of the folks which I too, had met in a coffee shop…
Sarah and Savanah are not only sister-in laws and BFF’s, but also owners of S&S Bridal Hair and Makeup. I discovered their biz card on a bulletin board at a coffee shop off Cherokee and after meeting for coffee in that same shop, we decided making magic in the near future was a must.
 Believe it or not, style shoots take some serious prep. Amber and I met up one afternoon to decide on timing and locate the perfect scenery as our couple prepared for their date to the country. Downtown Lebanon Illinois was the obvious choice, with it’s quaint and charming feel.
Notice all the super clever angles that Amber and Zach came up with!
These gorgeous blooms were created by the fabulous Dawn Ahner of Ahner Florist and Greenhouse
You can really see how incredibly stunning Jessica is in this shot.
The make up and hair is breathtaking.
What a gentleman right?
And after a 20 minute drive to the country…
 I think she is thrilled by what she sees…
Gorgeous jewels from Elliott Fine Jewelers. We met the Elliott family when we planned their daughter, Lauren’s wedding.
Show me Rachel McAdams in the Notebook!
The Magic of Winter Style Shoot

The Magic of Winter Style Shoot

I believe that I am one of the few who truly LOVE winter. L.O.V.E. it. I love bundling up in hats and scarves and mittens and big puffy coats, drinking hot chocolate, boots with the fur (the whole crowd was lookin at her.. just kidding I won’t start that again) and crunching through the snow.
You do know when I say winter I am referring to everything covered in crisp clean white. The soft fluffy kind that kisses your skin, not leaves your nose and ears burning with the wind. No no no, just the good kind. Where it’s 32 and the snow falls and it is complete stillness, yet you can hear it. To me, that is peace, that is possibility, and that, that it totally romantic!
I’ve dreamed of a winter wedding since I popped out of the womb wearing heels and sipping champagne as my mom would say… but let’s be honest, I have dreamed of every type of wedding. Anytime I meet/date a guy I imagine what kind of wedding we would have… There was St. Nick with the country barnyard reception, boys in jeans and vests, girls in creamy lace and cowboy boots (yes even the bridesmaids), a photo where the bridal party is shooting off guns – and this was the wedding I planned in 2005.
Then there was the city wedding from 2008 where my very dapper groom Doug would have gone Gatsby, me and the ladies in dark lined lips and birdcages, the room strewn with chandeliers in silvers and golds and boys in fedoras… a Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal choreographed dance, I was thinking the old post office.
But my most favorite wedding I’ve dreamed of but haven;t quite placed the right groom is the outdoor winter wedding. I am determined to make it happen and what better way than to have a practice round via style shoot!
The team consisted of Elegance in Bloom Florist with flower extraordinaire Angie Lopez whom I met 1.5 days prior to the shoot and fell in love and said you MUST come! Bridal head piece from Champagne and Lace Bridal10th Street Baking Company baked the most perfect winter donuts and cupcakes and 8 tiered naked red velvet cake! We had two photographers Sarah Cress Photography and A Bushel and a Peck Photography by Amy which was great as just like a wedding we got a few different angles and styles. And again the rental by Next Door Finery and styling and coordination by Signed Sealed Delivered Events.
Our adorable and very gracious model couple are Stefani and Dan Cheseldine who were married on September 1, 2012 and have not only remained friends since I coordinated their wedding but have been one of the most memorable couples to work with. Once you meet them, you know why.
I couldn’t have pulled this all together with out my most amazing mom who can take my million visions of sugar plums dancing in my head and make them a reality.
Here are some of the images that aren’t featured on the facebook previews.
Sarah Cress’s images below.
An Afternoon at the Grafton Winery

An Afternoon at the Grafton Winery

I met the owners of the Grafton Winery a few years ago and now consider them friends. Mike and Lori are easy going, down-to-earth and have a passion for the vine incomparable to most. And it’s not just the wine that they have the love for, it’s the people who come to the Grafton Winery. They have regulars, harley crews, ladies nights out, date nights, family get-togethers, book clubs, and even the folks who come to sit alone and enjoy a glass of wine over a good book, just to get away, to be still. The views are breathtaking, the service is great, the food is outstanding – even their wraps and sweet potato fries were like Thanksgiving to me, I couldn’t stop eating even when I was full, the wine is YUM! When I met with Mike and Lori about opening the venue up to wedding receptions on a more regular basis my first thought was: we have 1.5 weeks max before the gorgeous colors of fall are gone and we MUST get a couple up here and a photographer to capture this space. And that we did! Our photographer is Michelle of Green Wall Studio, cakes and desserts from 10th Street Baking Company and theBAKERios. Bride and groom models are Alicia and Justin Powers married October 26, 2013- they were fresh off their honeymoon and looking as happy as ever. Props and style design by Next Door Finery and Signed Sealed Delivered Events. Enjoy a few of our favorite snapshots of our afternoon at the Grafton Winery and definitely go check them out for yourself. We are looking forward to coordinating weddings there in 2014!