Work has been super crazy for Jon here in Dublin.  When I originally planned my trip to visit him, we had a week-long trip to Italy in the works.  We were going to hit Venice and Florence, and then rent a car to drive around Umbria and Tuscany and drink as much wine along the way as possible (although not at the same time).

Unfortunately work put the kibosh on that trip all together but luckily without spending too much additionally, we were able to re-book our tickets to Berlin, where we spent an extended weekend.

I’m so excited to share my Berlin Travel Photos with you today!! And honestly, Berlin is SO awesome! There is art, culture, food, and a bar scene that can’t be beat.  Maybe the next place I’ll land overseas for more than a weekend?!

We enjoyed our time on a Berlin Food Tour, hosted by Bastian.  We saw an amazing exhibit of Mario Testino and some of the work he did for Vogue and other various magazines.  And most notably, we visited the Topography of Terror Museum documenting the rise and fall of Hitler and the plight of the European Jews.  We also visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  Walking through the Memorial was a somber experience, but I’m glad we paid our respects and learned about this part of history.

We walked the Berlin wall and experienced some fabulous street art around the city.

We also visited the Reichstag, or German Parliament that housed the famous dome made of glass.

My camera battery died within 5 minutes of our trip beginning so this was an iPhone weekend.  Apple to the rescue!! Seriously;)

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Now that I am back in Chicago and it’s FREAKING cold outside, I’ll have no excuse for not showing you pictures from my previous trips so be on the look out for more “wanderlust” photos soon!

Have you been to Berlin?  What was your favorite touristy thing to do?! Leave it in the comments…

  • Linda Rau - Fabulous!!!February 26, 2015 – 4:25 pmReplyCancel

Classic Winter Bridesmaid Look

Today I’m sharing my own mood board created with Polyvore to showcase a Classic Winter Bridesmaid Look.  I think it can be tough to put together a look that is somewhat warm, but also stylish still.

A couple of tips for making sure your attendants are warm:

  • Have them wear closed toe shoes (at the very least).  Maybe even a cute pair of boots for outside snowy photos.
  • Give them some sort of shawl, cape, or stole.
  • You can stay warmer with a cute pair of tights.
  • Gloves could also be a cute accessory to add to the mix.

I love the following combination of cream, blush pink, and cobalt for a pop of color.

Eliza J clothing
€65 – nordstrom.com

Pumps
€245 – bhldn.com

Givenchy bracelet
€60 – nordstrom.com

Givenchy earrings
€40 – nordstrom.com

lily avenue Kiki
€200 – katespade.com

For some weird reason (probably because I’m overseas in Dublin visiting Jon), all the prices generated in Euros.  But don’t worry, I found all these items on American sites and items are available in the States:)

Things have been pretty busy since I boarded a flight back to Detroit for Christmas! For today’s post I thought I would share what I’ve been up to lately…

  • We spent time with both of our families before, during, and after Christmas in Grand Rapids and Detroit.  It was nice to be able to catch up with everyone and spend some time relaxing.
  • I was lucky enough to visit Chicago where Julia hosted me.  We spent New Year’s Eve with a big group of friends at Soho House Chicago and it was crazy! The night’s theme was “Drag-Queen Burlesque” and it was SO MUCH FUN.  Girl was dancing on the catwalk!  Also, I’m hoping to join this club for a professional space to network with other creatives, work, and host client meetings…
  • I shot my first wedding of 2015 at City Winery.  This was special not only because Bridget & Brian are freaking awesome, but also because it was my first winter wedding taking photographs at night with off camera lighting…And I have to say, I killed it!
  • I went back to Detroit and geared up for Indie Wed & moving back into my condo (I was super excited about both of these things!)
  • After working like CRAZY to get ready for Indie Wed, this was the final result with help from Janelle at Re:Find Joy. I think Indie Wed was a great experience and the ONLY way to do a bridal show.  I’ve already had 2 consults from it and I met some really nice people.  One of my super sweet couples, Lindsay and Brett, came and surprised me with a visit during the show.  I feel SO lucky to have such supportive clients!

Indie Wed Chicago Wedding Show-1

  • And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I moved back into my Condo the very next day after Indie Wed on February 1st.  It was particularly funny because there just happened to be a blizzard that day and the next.  I think we got 17 inches of snow in the city.  I got stuck on the street driving…Good thing my Mom was there to help me get the car moving again.  She’s a rock star at that whole reverse, drive, reverse, rocking back and forth thing to get unstuck.  I would have been so screwed!  Well now I can say that I’ve moved in Chicago during a heat wave (2006), and during a blizzard.  Good times.  I would have gone nuts without my Mom there to help me with everything!
  • The next day I met the movers at the storage unit to get some boxes out… And hit a column while parking the car.  For being a pretty decent driver (I can parallel park like an ace), I can be a real jackass.
  • The good news is that we got everything unpacked & cleaned, and it felt SO good to be home!
  • My friends Julia and Cosmo are getting married outside of Cabo in March (SO EXCITED!), so one of her Bridesmaids, Sarah Drake, & I decided to host a wedding shower for her at DL Loft.  It was gorgeous and laid back… she really loved it!  We continued drinking Champagne all day.  The next day was not so fun…Hang over city.
  • I had a special photo session with past wedding clients… It was so nice to catch up with them and see the family again!
  • And because I like to fly across the Atlantic as much as possible (and I hadn’t seen Jon since December 29th), I am back in Dublin to pack up what’s left and return home on the 25th of February… Things here have been really busy and I’ll be happy for him to have a break.  I think he should take a month off.  He has definitely banked the vacation time and DESERVES it too!
  • We’ll be going this weekend for a little break to Berlin.  I’m really excited to check out this city as there is tons of culture, art, food, and a good bar scene.

What have you been up to lately??!!

You may remember Bridget and Brian from their Montrose Harbor Engagement Session.  After we did this shoot, I was so excited for their wedding day to get here.  Not only did Bridget & Brian decide to have their wedding reception at City Winery (one of my favorite spots), they also had an awesome band that turned their celebration into a fun rock concert dance party.

These two were super excited and giddy to get the day underway!  B & B made sure to include their families in all the details and I could just feel the love and adoration emanating from their guests.  Bridget & Brian sure knew how to make their loved ones feel special… from ringing Irish Wedding Bells at the ceremony, making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project in honor of Uncle Jim, to having guests sign a wine barrel top to be used as art in their home, their was no detail overlooked.

As I documented the day, I couldn’t help but feel like family… The wedding party was so sweet, and sitting as a guest at dinner was a total treat.

B & B, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you both as you begin your life together.  I wish you much love and luck in the future and feel so honored you chose me to document your special day!

I’m so excited to share Bridget & Brian’s Chicago City Winery Wedding Photos with you.  Not only did City Winery serve delicious food, they coordinated a fabulous party!

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I loved Bridget’s Maggie Sottero cap-sleeve wedding gown.

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City Winery Chicago WeddingIn honor of their Irish heritage, the officiant and guests rang Irish Wedding Bells.

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We decided to head downtown for some classic “Chicago” nighttime photos in front of the Chicago Board of Trade.

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Bridget & Brian’s wedding party was so fun to hang out with on the trolley! They made sure we were comfortable and having a good time:)

City Winery Chicago Wedding

We finished up the couple’s shoot on the State Street Bridge in front of the Chicago Theatre.

City Winery Chicago Wedding

At the reception, guests signed this wine barrel top so they could hang it in their home as art and reminisce about the day.

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The details were to die for! Gorgeous flowers, place cards, cake, and uplighting.

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I love how Bridget & Brian decided to have “B & B” marquee lights as decor in the room… Super fun!

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Bridget & her Dad danced to the Rolling Stones…They made it a family affair!

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Their wedding band Recycle the Day nailed it!!  They were tons of fun and kept the dance floor hopping all night.

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Chicago City Winery Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony- Ascension Catholic Church, Oak Park, IL

Officiant- Father Larry McNally

Reception Venue & Catering- Emily Fitzgerald @ Chicago City Winery

Florals- A Stem Above, Erin Foster

Dress Boutique- Shelley’s Bridal Couture, Maggie Sottero

Shoes- Ivanka Trump

Hair- Nikki from Siren Salon

Make Up- Tara Frazier, Tara B Artistry

Bakery- Roeser’s Bakery

Entertainment-Recycle the Day Band

Invitation Designer- Erica O’Neil, ericamoneil123@gmail.com

Are you planning a Chicago Wedding and looking for a wedding photographer?  Drop me a line and let’s see if we’re a good match for each other.

With Chicago being such a large city, finding the entertainment for your celebration can be a daunting task… There are just so many Chicago wedding entertainers out there, it’s hard to decide which one is right for you.

That’s why I’m so excited to share the massive talent that is Arlen Music today!  I had the distinct pleasure of working with the Ken Arlen Orchestra when two of my favs, Liz & Eric, tied the knot at Cafe Brauer!

Aside from being amazingly talented musically, this group really knows how to bring down the house by facilitating an unforgettable celebration!  Check out the video below and then read up on these stars.

Caitlin Simone was kind enough to be interviewed today, and answered all these questions:)

Tell me about Arlen Music Productions- what do you specialize in?  Arlen Music Productions is a Chicago-based entertainment company that specializes in providing live customized music for special events. Arlen Music has established a nationwide presence with its premier band, the Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra, with events ranging from New Year’s Eve at the Bellagio in Las Vegas to the Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington DC.

How did the group get started?  Ken Arlen has been in the industry for over 25 years! He established the Ken Arlen Orchestra in the ‘90s and eventually it grew into Arlen Music Productions.

What is Arlen Music’s favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?  The fact that we get to share in one of the happiest days of people’s lives (if not THE happiest)! Everyone is always in a great mood and ready to dance the night away.

How would you describe Arlen Music’s business style?  Our overriding principles are collaboration and customization. We obviously bring a lot of expertise to the table regarding best practices for successful events, but we understand that no event is the same, so we always strive to tailor our services to each client’s individual needs. We will make recommendations based on our client’s musical preferences, venue, budget, and overall vision for the evening.

We establish long term relationships with many of our clients to serve their entertainment needs from their wedding day and beyond. We have a beautiful office in Evanston where we are able to meet each client in person to discuss all aspects of their event.

How far in advance should clients book services?  Our dance bands tend to book up 12-18 months in advance, but we also serve clients who require smaller ensembles on weeknights for corporate events, private parties, etc. Those can be booked 3-6 months in advance.

Where does the group’s inspiration come from?  Music is a unifying force between people, and we are inspired by all different types of music. We are constantly making sure our repertoire is up to date, and also try to find the diamonds in the rough that not every band plays. We pride ourselves on sounding authentic – and often even better than what you hear on the radio!

What does Arlen Music enjoy doing when they’re not performing?  Supporting the arts in any way, shape, or form!

What is one piece of advice all couples would benefit from knowing?  Trusting your vendors is important. We will make sure to ask you all the right questions regarding what you envision for the evening, and then leave it up to us and enjoy yourselves!

How can clients connect with Arlen Music Productions?

Website: www.arlenmusic.com

Email: info@arlenmusic.com

Phone: (847)869-8826

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arlenmusic

Twitter: @arlenmusic1

 

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