bride-groom
January 24, 2018

“Every couple dreams of having a fairytale wedding! From wearing a beautiful gown, flower adorned tables and declarations of love for each other through vows. The wedding day being an outward symbol of the love they have for each other on the inside is a beautiful time where dreams really do come true. The bride, Emily, found her Prince Charming in Jonathan. Together, they planned a stunning Disney themed wedding at Independence Grove, in Libertyville Illinois. With lush florals, romantic quotes from various Disney films and each table adorning beautiful golden details like Cinderella’s shoe, or Aladdin’s lamp, they brought their guests into the magic of it all. Guests danced the night away amidst candlelight. Emily being a former professional dancer herself truly was Belle if her own ball. Every detail of their special day was magical. Fairytales really do come true!” –Melissa Marie Photography

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

Bride: Everything was my favorite! In all seriousness, it is really hard to choose a favorite memory because the entire day was perfect and magical and so much fun! If I had to come up with a few though, I would say one would definitely be the first look. Because the wedding was DIY, the first look was the first time I really felt like a bride. Seeing Jonathan and being able to be with him in that moment any stress or worry about “the extras” of the day was gone and I just felt so happy and loved and excited to be marrying the love of my life. I think another really special memory was the father-daughter dance. I used to dance professionally and so I choreographed a surprise dance that my dad and I started which then turned into a flash mob. All my old dancer friends ran onto the dance floor followed by my bridesmaids and we used that dance to kick off the dance party for the night. It was so special not only to share that moment with my Dad {who loved learning the choreography even from afar in California}, but also to dance with all of my friends again. Also, it made me feel so blessed to have such amazing friends that would be willing to take the time to learn choreography, over video no less, to help make my wedding special. It was such a fun surprise for Jonathan and all the guests. Then of course the ceremony was another of my favorite moments. Jonathan and I wrote the ceremony ourselves, combining traditions from my Jewish culture and his Christian background. Two dear family friends married us so everything was very personal. It was meaningful, heartfelt, and with fun/lighthearted moments, which perfectly captured Jon and my relationship.

Groom: Our ceremony was my favorite part of our wedding. First off, the storm that had not so elegantly crashed our first look decided to disperse for just enough time to allow us to have the outdoor ceremony we were hoping for. Seeing my best friend walking down the aisle with that beaming smile, I was overcome with emotion and happiness. Yes, there were tears flowing! She was perfect in every way and I felt so fortunate and blessed to marry such a stunning person. I loved everything about our ceremony, from the two amazing friends that married us, to the intimate nature of our guest seating, to the vows we wrote for each other and how our subtle mishaps in our speeches were so perfectly us that it brought smiles and huge laughs to each other. It just felt so perfect and genuine.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

Basically everything! My husband works in higher education and I am an ER nurse, so we knew when we started planning the wedding that we would have to do a lot of it ourselves in order to stay within a budget we could reasonably afford. Having always been a crafty person, I was ready to tackle the DIY necessary to create my dream wedding and that is exactly what we did. Every detail was meticulously thought out and executed to make our day magical. From creating our own centerpieces, invitations + programs and even all the elaborate floral arrangements, our wedding was a true labor of love, not only by my husband and I, but also from our bridal party, family and other friends who made my vision a reality. An immense amount of love went into our wedding and we are so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in our lives that helped make our dream wedding a reality. I am a huge fan of Disney, so the wedding was Disney-fairytale themed. My maid of honor is a graphic designer so she designed our invitations and programs. My husband and I printed, gold-foiled, cut glued and assembled all of the invitations, each closed with a single red rose paying tribute to Beauty and the Beast. I wore a garter made by my mother, adorned with silver hearts engraved with our wedding date and “Tale as Old as Time”. We made all of the floral arrangements ourselves including the bouquets, boutonnieres, chair decorations, chuppah decorations and all of the centerpieces for the cocktail hour and reception. My husband and I wrote the entire ceremony ourselves, combining traditions and values from his Christian heritage and my Jewish heritage. We were married by two dear friends under a chuppah built and decorated ourselves, making the ceremony extra special and personal. All of the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception décor was also DIY. The Alice in Wonderland “Mad Cocktail Hour” featured teapot and teacup DIY floral centerpieces and specialty cocktails of our creation. Guests found their tables listed in giant storybooks and signed a guest book hand-painted by my mom with the words “You will always be my greatest adventure”. They then put cards in our mailbox card box before entering the reception hall. In the reception hall, each table was themed after a different Disney movie/fairytale, with one of three different DIY floral centerpieces that then featured a love quote from that movie as well as a trinket representing that movie. A Winnie the Pooh themed candy table and a table featuring photos of all of our married friends and family, aptly named “Our Favorite Fairytales” also adorned the room. Our cake, hand made by Jonathan’s family and decorated with flowers by my maid of honor and bridesmaid, was topped with the words “Happily Ever After”. Finally, the dance party was kicked off by the father-daughter dance I choreographed, which turned into a flash mob featuring my best girl friends and bridesmaids. I loved being a DIY bride. All of the work and personal touches made the day that much more meaningful.

Did you have a something old, new borrowed, blue?

Something Old: Three of my four grandparents passed away when I was younger and my paternal grandmother was unable to make the trip out from California. Having always been close to my grandparents, I wanted them to be a part of this special day. On my bouquet, I tied a brooch from my paternal grandmother, my maternal grandmother’s wedding ring and a locket for both my paternal and maternal grandfathers. Something New: My dress was my something new. I fell in love with my dress the second I put it on. I have never felt so beautiful and wish it was socially acceptable to wear it all the time! Something Borrowed: I knew my Jewish family members would want to wear Kippahs for the ceremony, but they can be quite expensive. My maid of honor had some left from her wedding, and her husband happened to also be one of our officiants. Traditionally, the something borrowed symbolizes happiness as it is borrowed from someone in a happy marriage, so having our dear friends’ wedding kippahs be our something borrowed was so special. Something Blue: My mom made a Cinderella blue garter for me to wear that was adorned with engraved silver hearts. Not only was it blue and in the Disney spirit, but it was handmade with so much love and will definitely be something I cherish for years to come.

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

For the DIY bride, you will be very busy leading up to the wedding, but the day of, let yourself just be the bride. If something doesn’t get done, or isn’t exactly how you envisioned, it’s ok. After the day is over, you won’t remember if one centerpiece was slightly unfinished or your arrangements weren’t perfect, but you will remember the fun you had and all the joy you felt that day. Enjoy your wedding day and soak in every moment because it goes by way too fast. Most importantly, remember what the day is really about: Celebrating the love between you and your fiancé. Wedding planning can get overwhelming and stressful and everyone has an opinion about how things should be done. At the end of the day, it is about you two and no matter what it will be perfect because it is a celebration of your love. -Emily, the Bride

Event Credits

Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography // Venue: Independence Grove // Florist: Kennicott Brothers // Catering + Desserts: Catering by Michaels // Invitations: Cards + Pockets // DJ: 27 Entertainment // Transportation: First Student // Engagement Ring: Christopher Duquet // Bride's Attire: Wedding Belles // Getting Ready Robes: Holly's Pink Barn // Bride's Jewelry: Macy's // Make-up: Alyssa Lynn Makeup // Groom's Attire: Nicholas Joseph // Groom + Groomsmen's Ties: Bows-n-Ties // Photobooth: Shutter


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