Today’s wedding features a couple that really just wanted to be surrounded by their love and the love for all their family and friends. Man, what could be better than that! They had shades of gold, blush, burgundy, red and emerald…I just loved it, especially all the bridesmaids gowns which included designs by Jenny Yoo, Amsale, Dessy, BHLDN from the fabulous Bella Bridesmaids Chicago.
They also really wanted to incorporate the vibe of their venue, city and time of year. They got married in Chicago and included his and her picks for what to eat, where to go and what to do. And one of my best parts of their day was the bride walking down the aisle to a cover of one of my all time favorite songs, “Don’t Stop Believing” with her parents.
And as an added bonus, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Ashley while I was in Chicago for an event and it truly changed me. I created Pretty Pear Bride as an inspiration for plus size brides but many don’t realize that the brides that follow me are really an inspiration for me. I love that what I do has such a huge impact on others. Thanks so much for reminding me of that Ashley!!!!
Ashley + Taylor
Tell us about your wedding: “We were really inspired by our venue, the city, and the time of year when planning our special day. Cafe Brauer has an amazing Prairie Style vibe — lots of exposed brick and wood and patina-d ironwork with sweeping staircases and a great hexagonal ballroom. We wanted the whole wedding to have a very glamorous vintage feel, but still be a soft and romantic celebration of our love. We wanted the night to really feel like a party; we are silly, so we wanted beautiful details, like the ladies’ amazing tulle dresses and the gold accents. We opted for lush florals that pulled the greenery from the space to tie the palette together. The palette blended many shades from gold to blush to burgundy, including red and emerald, balancing light and dark for the not quite Winter not quite Spring season. Both Taylor and I have tons of friends; I had 14 bridesmaids and 3 bridesmen and he had 10 groomsmen and 1 groomslady. We loved being surrounded by so much love– and we were fortunate to have it to keep us warm when our mid-March wedding day ended up being barely 25 degrees. I ordered emergency pashminas to keep the maids warm for the outdoor photos we had planned. Our parents were a huge part of planning the day and making our wedding dreams come true and we loved getting to spend the week before the big day hanging out with them! It was so great blending our families because they already felt like one big family and it really cultivated the warm and welcoming mood we hoped for. I spent all day Friday drinking coffee in the hotel lobby greeting guests as they arrived!! Guests were greeted with welcome bags that had Chicago favorites to nibble on, as well as his and hers picks for what to eat, what to drink, what to do, and where to go if they were feeling like an adventure. We had our rehearsal dinner on Thursday at an Italian restaurant down the street from our apartment so that we could host a pizza party welcome reception for our out of town guests and wedding party on Friday night. On the wedding day, Chicago was full of festivity for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, so I sent Taylor and the groomsmen a care package of Irish beers and Chi-rish Whiskey. He sent champagne for the bridesmaids. My bridal party got ready in a huge conference suite so there was room to spread out — there was music and snacks and glitter all day. My bridesmaids even arranged a pull cake — where each maid pulls a ribbon and gets a charm that makes a prediction for the future. Taylor also had a ring set for me with my great grandmother’s diamond earrings and his mom’s original engagement ring band — my something new! We took photos at Hotel Lincoln and throughout Lincoln Park, including a stop at the carousel at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Our ceremony was officiated by a dear friend; I walked down the aisle with both parents to a cover of Don’t Stop Believin’ . Cocktails were followed by a seated dinner and four different types of cake from Sweet Mandy B ‘s for dessert. Taylor and I took dance lessons at Duet Dance Studio prior to the wedding — it was the most fun we had during wedding planning! We performed a foxtrot-swing combo, thanks to the infinite patience of our instructor, Brennan. Toast and Jam DJs brought the party and the dance floor was crazy all night. My bridesman, Brian, caught the bouquet. Guests who didn’t feel like dancing could take a breather in the lounge area we set up with rentals from Chicago Vintage Weddings, who also provided Day of Coordination services. There was also a photo area set up and a social printer — Tic Tac Tag; they printed prints of every photo hashtagged during the wedding with a special border created just for the wedding! The day was a dream come true!” Wedding Colors: Blush/Burgundy/Gold/Emerald How did the two of you meet? Taylor overheard me describing cupcakes I had made to someone; he interrupted and the first words he said to me were, “Marry me?” I said ok and we’ve been together ever since. Describe your engagement: I thought I was surprising Taylor for his birthday, but he hoodwinked me and proposed after birthday dinner while both of our moms were in town at the Hotel where we shot our engagement photos and stayed for the wedding. Personal or handmade details: I hand lettered signs, made menus and programs, and made a hand lettered escort board. Taylor loves dinosaurs so we snuck tiny ones in where we could. My bridesmaid Kelly also painted a wildflower mural for a photo spot like the one in Parks and Recreation, which is Taylor’s and my favorite TV show! Describe your flowers: Romantic and soft pinks and ivories and burgundies with red and greenery Memories and Stories about the Day: “My officiant surprised me by quoting my own writing in our ceremony, which was very cool. Having friends willing to huddle together and smile outside in 25 degree weather is incredibly humbling — that kind of love is not the kind of love you find everyday. ” Your first dance song: Mango Tree by the Zak Brown Band and Sara Bareilles Your advice for other plus size brides: Find a store that caters to your curves and has samples sizes you can wear! I found so much inspiration from Pretty Pear Bride (and getting to meet Shafonne at Indie Wed Chicago was a highlight of my planning) so I think it’s important to look to resources that have brides that are beautiful like you! It is easy to get stressed and down about he pressure to be a skinny bride but your day is so much better if you are 100% authentically yourself, curves and all. Your love story is beautiful and so are you!! Three adjectives that describe the day: Glamorous, Vintage, Romantic What has surprised you most during the first few months of marriage? How cozy and happy and excited we have been to be newlyweds!
Vendor Love – Photography: J Brown Photography | Venue: Cafe Brauer | Bridal Attire: Stella York from Haute & Co. | Wedding Stationery: Kate Spade New York for Paperless Post | Wedding Favors: Donation to LI2Day in honor of Taylor’s mom, a breast cancer survivor | Hair Stylist: Maeva Fernandes | Makeup Artist: Megan Andrews | Rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings | Caterer: Tigerlily Events | Transportation: Emperor Limousine | Jewelry Earrings — Ben Amun; Cocktail Ring — Custom Piece; Engagement Ring — Marquirette’s of Auburn; Wedding Bands — Jared of Lake Grove | Bakery: Sweet Mandy B’s | Bridesmaid Attire: Jenny Yoo/Amsale/Dessy/BHLDN from Bella Bridesmaids Chicago |