10 Tips for Planning An Eco-Friendly Wedding

A while back I had the pleasure of featuring Naturally Yours Events, who specializes in coordinating and styling Eco-Friendly Weddings and Events. Their blog is full of tips for making your day extra amazing, while also loving the Earth! Ever since I was able to connect with Carlene and interview her, I’ve been more conscious of the Earth and how wedding waste can be so impactful.

There are a couple of things I do as a photographer that cut down on waste. Namely, my clients view their image “proofs” in an online gallery instead of sorting through printed images while deciding which favorites will make the final cut in the album. Also, rather than clients receiving a USB drive with images, they are able to download them straight from their gallery. Additionally, all correspondence occurs online through a private client portal. This includes filling out questionnaires, emails, paying your bills, and signing your contract, just to name a few. Lastly, I’ve just added an eco-friendly coffee table book to the arsenal of albums that I offer. It’s printed on recycled paper and has a natural fiber cover.

There are many other way to have an eco-friendly wedding so I was super stoked when I came across the article “10 Tips for Planning An Eco-Friendly Wedding.” My favorite of the 10 tips?! Serve locally sourced food!  Since my European living experience and travels, I’ve come to love and appreciate locally sourced food in a way I never thought possible. Hello I love eating good food!!

Head over to Style Me Pretty for 9 more awesome tips on how to have an eco-friendly wedding!! Alternatively, if you’re planning a wedding and looking for a wedding photographer, drop me a line:)

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At the end of September, I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Lieseke in her home country of Belgium. She and I met in Dublin while she worked on assignment for 9 months for Pfizer in the human resources department.

While I was in Belgium we visited Brussels and Bruges and I had the opportunity to take a bunch of photos… Unfortunately I waited so long to blog this trip that some of the specifics of what we did are a little cloudy for me!

I’m so excited to share my Belgium Travel Photos with you and apologize it’s taken so long;)

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Suffice it to say we had full bellies and hearts as she introduced me to REAL Belgian chocolate, beer, art, and culture! We explored downtown Brussels where Lieseke went to University, stopped in a chocolate shop for some treats, had lunch and admired some famous Belgian architecture (near where Lady Gaga had a concert the night before!) We then continued on to the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Art Museum.

After we spent time in Brussels, we went on to the town Lieseke lives in called Mechelen and had a nice dinner at Il Cardinale (The Cardinal) where burgers were the specialty.

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Belgium is super progressive…Love!

Belgium Travel Photos

The next day, we made the trip to Bruges and did a bunch of walking. Here I admired the river and bridges, Belgium’s version of Venice.  Then we made our way to De Halve Maan Brewery (The Half Moon) for a tour and a drinky treat!

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I definitely recommend Tom’s Diner… Dang the food was delicious!

Belgium Travel Photos

We visited a cathedral where they claim to have an actual vial of Jesus’ blood… Not too sure about that, but interesting none the less. The image above is city hall where people filed in and out and marriages were performed all day.

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It was so nice to spend time with Lieseke in Belgium because she made it feel like home! She also is a kick ass translator- although mostly everyone there is very proficient in English. She herself speaks English, Flemish, French, and a little German..

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The view from the top of the brewery was fabulous…Even if the weather wasn’t.

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I’m so excited for this summer when Lieseke will visit the States!

I think Belgium would be an excellent place to live. Superior healthcare  and infrastructure are just two of the many positives I experienced. It’s clean, people are respectful and hard working, they’re health conscious, and also friendly. Plus it’s pretty darn safe compared to other large cities in the US. Future overseas assignment?! Definitely not for awhile, but the thought has crossed my mind.

Planning a trip and have a travel question? Drop me a line!  My wanderlust is never satisfied and I’d love to live vicariously through you:)

  • Sarah Weber - Sounds like you had an amazing time. Beautiful pictures! I love the bicycle one.April 22, 2015 – 3:43 pmReplyCancel

5 Chicago Wedding Venues with a Water View

Although there are many Chicago Wedding Venues to choose from, there aren’t that many with a water view of Lake Michigan.

Today I thought I would share my favorite 5 Chicago Wedding Venues with a Water View… One of which I’m SUPER excited to be shooting at this summer:)

Choosing a venue for your big day can become overwhelming! The best thing to do is choose your general location and then make a short list of “must haves” in relation to venue choice, and a list of “would be nice to haves” and then go from there.

If a water view is a must have on your list of wedding venue criteria, you’ll definitely want to give this list a closer look when doing your research.

1. Loyola University Lakeshore Campus- The Lobby at Crown Center: Not only does this venue boast breathtaking views, there is also a large patio you can take advantage of for cocktail hour and/or your ceremony.

2. Southshore Cultural Center: This hidden Hyde Park gem is the perfect oasis for an urban wedding with gorgeous lake views.

3. The Adler Planetarium: Possibly one of the best spots in all of Chicago for Skyline and lake view images, the Adler Planetarium is the perfect location to celebrate with your loved ones. From the beautiful glass atrium in the cafe to the superb patio space for cocktail hour, you won’t be disappointed! You can see images from an Adler Planetarium Wedding that I shot here.

4. Chicago Yacht Club: With two locations to choose from between Monroe and Belmont Harbors, CYC can host events of various sizes in several spaces…All with a gorgeous view! Win Win in my book:)

5. Spiaggia: Possibly one of my favorite spots not only because the panoramic views are fabulous, but also because the food at Spiaggia is exceptional. This is the perfect spot for foodie couples who place high value on the quality of their wedding day meal! I am so excited to be shooting Lindsay and Brett’s Wedding on July 18th, here! It’s going to be gorgeous… Plus they are also just awesome!

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Alternatively, if you’re looking for a Chicago Wedding Photographer, drop me a line and let’s do this!

10 Mistakes Couples Make After Their Wedding Day

As I was scouring the internet for new wedding planning advice, I came across an article on Huffington Post about 10 Mistakes Couples Make After Their Wedding Day.

One key mistake couples make is putting off making a wedding album. This really struck a cord with me (obviously) because after the last flower dries and your dress is dropped off to be cleaned, all that remains from your wedding day are the images captured by your photographer.

Because I feel so strongly about my couples receiving a tangible memento from their wedding day, I offer a custom book with each of my photography collections. I do this because it takes the stress out of designing and creating your own album, and also because most couples who don’t invest in a professional photo album put off creating their own. In fact, many couples NEVER create one (which is totally crazy to me)!! Every ABP client will come away with a gorgeous custom bound book and it will be delivered to you free of stress! To learn more about the albums I offer and the design process, click here.

Additionally, the HP article contains 9 other mistakes newlyweds make and how to avoid them!  Head over and have a read!

Are you planning a wedding and looking for timeless and classic wedding photos? Drop me a line and let’s get talking:)

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Today’s Vendor Spotlight features Alliance Bakery in Chicago!  Alliance specializes in the BEST fine European Desserts in Chicago.  And you know me, I love a reason to talk about Europe;)I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer at the winter Indie Wed Chicago Event. Since my Mom helped me during the event, I was able to venture out during the show and mingle with other wedding vendors.

I had previously seen the beautiful work that Alliance Bakery does when my past clients, Liz & Eric, had a gorgeous croquembouche made to commemorate her time spent studying in Paris. So when I saw the Alliance Bakery booth, I was super excited to meet the masterminds behind their beautiful creations! When I walked up to Alliance’s Booth and saw some more of their beautiful designs, I was super impressed. But even more impressive was how friendly Jennifer was! We clicked instantly and soon realized that Liz & Eric were mutual wedding clients.

I was SO excited when Jennifer agreed to do a “Favorite Vendors” feature for my blog! Her attention to, and eye for detail will be crucial in creating the perfect wedding day dessert for you and your partner!
Alliance Bakery Chicago

Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in? Alliance Bakery is located in Wicker Park and has a new sister location called Alliance Patisserie in River North on State street. We feature fine European pastries and desserts, custom-designed cakes to suit any occasion, and a full espresso bar. We are known for our customized cakes – including wedding, groom’s cake, showers, birthdays, 3D and all kinds of celebration cakes!

Alliance Bakery Chicago

How did you get started? I have a background in fine art, my last position found myself working at Whole Foods managing the bakery department. My love for small business, pastries and making people happy, led me to seek out a position at Alliance. I’m the Wedding Coordinator and I handle almost everything wedding from tastings to helping customers design their dream cake design.

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? Honestly, the people! I have great colleagues and it’s so rewarding to be able to provide a service to someone on the biggest day of their lives! I love the creative planning process, and occasionally when I get a hug from a client I know it’s worth all the hard work!

Alliance Bakery Chicago

How would you describe your business’ style? Alliance Bakery definitely caters to those looking for a unique cake for their wedding. We work with a few high-end and boutique hotels to provide their cakes, but most of our customers live in the neighborhood and have been coming here for years. We also can provide a wide variety of other sweets, such as macarons, croquembouche, favors and sweets tables for those who want something a little different.

How far in advance should clients book your services? Our tastings book fast, so my typically recommendation to get the process started for weddings is 3-6 months in advance. For retail orders at least a week is needed to provide a custom cake.

Alliance Bakery Chicago

Where does your inspiration come from? I am constantly browsing the internet for new cake design ideas. Obviously Pinterest has been a great place to collect ideas! When we design custom cakes, the ideas are a collaborative effort with the customers and the decorating team combining ideas. Besides cakes, I have such a sweet tooth, you will probably find me in another bakery sampling their goodies as well!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I love all that Chicago has to offer especially in the summer. I love getting drinks and dinner out with friends, and also seeing live music and street festivals. I also love cooking and now that it is getting warmer out, I can’t wait to get my garden started to grow fresh herbs again this year! Lastly, I am currently volunteering for a bicycle advocacy group that has community bike rides weekly so I will be busy with that all summer.

Alliance Bakery Chicago

What is some advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing? I think budget is probably the most discussed topic when it comes to weddings. Set a realistic budget for all your wedding items and then splurge on the few big-ticket items you can’t do without! I may be biased, but to me the food (including sweets) is what I remember best at weddings I’ve attended! Unfortunately the cake comes later in the planning process, so people have typically already overspent. My other piece of advice is to hire a planner for at least the day-of so that you can enjoy your wedding as a guest and they can organize the details for you!

Is there anything else you’d like to share? If you are still on the hunt for vendors, ask for recommendations from other vendors! We love to refer our clients to our favorite people!

Alliance Bakery Chicago

How can clients connect with you?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alliance-Bakery/194190773839?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alliance_bakery @alliance_bakery

Instagram: alliancebakery

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alliancebakery/

Website: www.alliancebakery.com

Email Newsletter Sign Up EmbedIf you’re looking for a wedding photographer and think we’d be a good fit, drop me a line and lets chat!