Archives for October 2009

Married: John & Vida – June 27, 2009 {Pt 3}

The Reception

John and Vida’s reception was abound with details and surprises that I can’t wait to share with you! Vida was a very detail-oriented and hands-on bride, which just thrilled me to bits!

Succulent Escort card display
One of my very favorite elements of the entire wedding was this escort card table (it took forever to set up!) Check out the succulent TREE that Vida found, it’s just AMAZING!

green mum escort card display
Those little black and white vessels are mini rock vases that Vida purchased from Thailand which that we filled with green kermit mums.

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One of my favorite ways of adding visual interest to a reception room is mixing round tables with long “feasting” tables, as they are called. It worked perfectly in this space!

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Their cityscape monogram on the wall. Initially this was to be projected on the dance floor, but after conferring with the lighting technician, we made the last minute decision to put it on the wall for more dramatic effect. People were taking pictures in front of it all night!

shell moss cymbidium centerpiece
Let me tell you a little secret: There was NO florist involved in any of the centerpieces! Vida pre-assembled these very Zen centerpiece trays beforehand (notice the shells!), and then on the wedding day we laid them out, along with the fresh orchid blooms, driftwood branches, more shells, monstera leaves, trailing rocks.

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I love the choice of modern stemware!

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I love the simplicity of this shot.

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They had an abundant food spread, including:

1. Sushi station with maki rolls and nigiri, made on-site by a sushi chef!
2. Thai food station provided by Vida’s parents, who own The Thai Grill in Edgwater (it’s delish!)
3. Continental station with carved beef tenderloin and miso glazed salmon
4. Thai dessert station
5. Ice cream sundae bar!

You better believe their guests were happy (and impressed!)!!

Sushi buffet
Sushi was definitely THE most popular station, the line was long the entire time! I was thrilled to snag a few pieces, hehe :)

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Vida’s gorgeous yellow diamond rings

Thai dessert station
The Thai dessert table – those little things that look like mini peppers and fruits are actually mung bean desserts!

Thai dessert

Thai Fruit Carvings
The beautiful tradition of Thai fruit carving… so intricate!

pug cake with sea shell
No ordinary white, 3-tiered cake for J & V! Say hello to Monkey the pug, and yes, he is holding a shell in his mouth. This is the dog they eventually plan to get, and his/her name will be Monkey!

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*ouch*

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There were a number of wonderful toasts

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They didn’t want a traditional slideshow, so they found a company in Singapore that made an animated version of their love story, and interwove photos into the mix. It was definitely a unique twist!

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Instead of a first dance, they had a first song! John used to sing, so when he busted out his guitar, it seemed fitting… although the guests were surprised when Vida chimed in with a duet! What did they sing? A love balled wasn’t their style, so John re-wrote the lyrics to “So I married my dream girl” (aka the free credit report jingle!). LUV it.

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Dance floor was packed, of course

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Success!

John and Vida, we were so thrilled to help make your wedding day a fabulous and memorable celebration! Thanks for letting us be a part of it!

Photographer: SecondPrint Productions
Venue: EnVent
Ceremony Musicians: Opus Focus
DJ: DJ Jay
Florist (Personal Flowers only): Vale of Enna
Lighting/Draping: Chicago Lighting Design
Linens: Chaircovers by Sylwia
Continental Catering: Catering by Michaels
Sushi Station: Thalia Spice
Thai Station: The Thai Grill
Pug cake: Tipsycake
Fruit carvings: Bree’s Basket
Vida’s Makeup: Beautiful Yu
Equipment Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Staffing: Service is Us

Married: John & Vida – June 27, 2009 {Pt 2}

The Ceremonies

So where were we? It was 3pm, John and Vida had just finished their photo session and arrived at the venue, Envent, to get ready for their Chinese Tea Ceremony. Vida is Thai/Chinese, so she paid homage to her Thai heritage by wearing a beautiful, traditional Thai silk dress. Tea was poured and they served it to their parents and relatives as a sign of respect. In return, they received blessings from their elders along with red envelopes filled with money and gold jewelry. For many Chinese who uphold traditional beliefs, this is when the actual marriage takes place, and you are not technically married until you partake in this particular tea ceremony.

Thai dress

Chinese Tea ceremony 2

Chinese Tea Ceremony
{Note that the bride serves tea to the male elder and the groom serves to the female elder}

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Then it was time for Vida to change back into her white wedding gown and get ready for the Western-style ceremony.

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Their beautiful ceremony programs, notice their monogram subtly embossed in the bottom left hand corner.

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Vida asked both of her parents to escort her down the aisle, one of my very favorite ways of honoring both parents who raised her.

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Now I’d like to highlight a part of their ceremony that was truly unique. Vida and John opted not to have a traditional bridal party (too many friends, couldn’t decide who to include?!). So we brainstormed on how we could incorporate the special people in their lives. We played around with a few ideas, but ultimately came up with a Candle Lighting Ceremony. This is not your typical Unity Candle lighting!

First, both of their mothers came up and lit two taper candles (using a pre-lit votive) and then lit the large center candle which was in the shape of a lotus blossom.

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Lighting the lotus blossom…

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Then the mothers handed the tapers to two of John and Vida’s friends who then lit the next pillar candles.

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And then they handed the tapers off to the next pair of friends…

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Who then did the same…

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And the end result was a gorgeous candle-lit tablescape representing their family and friends. Meaningful and perfect!

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John and Vida wrote their own vows, which I always highly recommend! Their vows were both touching and brought many of the ladies to tears (myself included!)

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There was no ring bearer, so they asked two of their closes friends to hold the rings in a special vessel (see, didn’t I say that Vida loves shells?)

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I love this shot… a stolen kiss as the officiant signs the marriage license.

To be continued…

All images by SecondPrint Productions.

Married: John & Vida – June 27, 2009 {Part 1}

I have been so antsy to feature the wedding of my dear friends, John and Vida, I’m so excited to finally have my little hands on their pictures!! I have known John for over a decade now… we met in the cornfields of Champaign (aka the University of Illinois) and have managed to remain friends throughout the years. I always thought that perhaps John would be a “bachelor for life”, but after he introduced our circle of friends to Vida, I knew that that title was on its way out…

Vida has a thing for sea shells. So he popped the question July 4th weekend of 2008 by tucking a gorgeous canary yellow diamond ring into a sea shell, proposing, and then whisking her off to a weekend beach getaway… so Vida could collect more shells :)

Their wedding was one of the most intense weddings I have produced to date, with a whopping 22 different vendors! FYI, a wedding typically averages about a dozen vendors. But it was certainly the most rewarding in terms of the final outcome… happy couple, happy guests, and fabulous wedding!

All images by one of my favorite photographers, Albert of Second Print Productions. Not much need for captions in this series below… the pictures speak for themselves!

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green cymbidium hydrangea succulent bouquet
I am a wee bit obsessed with Vida’s bouquet, by Grace of Vale of Enna. Hydrangea, cymbidium orchids, succulents, lotus pods and fiddlehead ferns. And the perfect shape and size. Le sigh…

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Vida looks stunning, and so happy!

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While John looks pensive…

wu-0122Their first look at Vida’s parents’ home

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That’s my wedding veil that Vida borrowed, and it looks very precarious in this shot… but I love it!

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Vida wanted some whimsical balloon shots…

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wu-0259Where in the world are they? Their venue, Envent, was in a warehouse district with some large silos… urban chic!

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To be continued…