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View more Miller + Miller’s photos and details from Mark and Vanessa’s wedding published in CS Brides Magazine 2012 Summer issue, page 176. Or read online M+V’s “Cycle of Romance” love story at: http://www.modernluxury.com/brides-chicago/story/cycle-of-romance

This was our second visit and wedding at The Blackstone Hotel this Summer, and we absolutely could not wait to shoot there again. Although the two event dates were set only a few months apart, we often find because every couple plans their ceremony + reception uniquely adding in their individualized style, even if the two events are in the same ballroom and season, the results are always such different photographs. Tons of personalized style was the case for Mark + Vanessa’s day. M+V put together one of the best days with a set of amazing Chicago vendors. With plenty of online research, adding in a number of DIY items, along with ideas from Tara Moser of LOLA Event Productions, the day seamlessly unveiled Vanessa’s dream wedding day. The groom is English, and the bride a southern girl. The couple incorporated ties to those upbringings, paired with a classic Chicago ambiance and good old fashion Southern wedding charm.

There were so many additional things we loved about M+V’s day. The smaller intimate gathering of guests ( with many attendees traveling from a number of miles away including family & Mark’s parents who reside in England and Vanessa’s family residing in the the Southern states. ) We also loved all the paper items including the weekend’s guests welcome box, watercolor maps, invitations and printed information which was provided to guests outlining the downtown area and the perks of the Michigan Avenue hotel. When deciding on a venue, M+V decided upon the Blackstone which they say offered: amazing food prepared by the amazing Chef Eric from Mercat a la Planxa, and the perfect, hands down favorite of both the Groom + Bride for venue ambiance both being fans of history and architecture. Vanessa made a stunning bride, radiantly glowing ( a special thanks to the beauty talents of Erin + Kristen ) and all complete in her beautiful Lazaro couture gown. Later during dinner, Vanessa tied back her curled tendrils and accessorized her dress adding a sheer black bow accent. Both the ceremony and reception incorporated anything from the ordinary activities including the Jewish wedding celebratory hora dance with the couple on chairs over the dance floor guests, the hilarious entrances on surprised motorized carts, a competition pingpong table, and games for the children guests. The behind the scenes and pre-day efforts Vanessa brought along were personally constructed or designed by herself ( which we enjoyed photographing so well that we added in more than we usually post of detail photos within this blog post. ) She created the CHICAGO save-the-dates, ceremony hard bound “love story” book programs, the welcome gable boxes and welcome information, the escort cards, dinner place cards, menus, kid’s activity packs, and initials photo props – everything was just exquisite. And the esthetic of the “southern charm” decorated reception room WOW it was breathtaking. Decor included flickering candles, candelabras, an amazing array of fresh flowers, peonies, and perfectly shaped peaches on each place setting. Vanessa’s selected florist Cornelia McNamara did an impeccable job with the flowers. The room was inviting + warm, and matching nearly identical to Vanessa + Mark’s also warm + inviting personalities.

It was wonderful getting to know your kind and fun friends and families Mark + Vanessa! Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful day. We enjoyed being with you for nearly the entire day, documenting the celebration taking place inside the classically elegant ballroom, seeing the two of you in wedded bliss, and all dressed up, looking so glamorous. As you can see, in this blog post… we had SOOO many top favorite photos from your day… and many more photos will be ready for your viewing also soon. Enjoy + Congrats.

Illinois Chicago Wedding Photographers


Vanessa + Mark’s Bridal Details:
Wedding Theme: Classic Elegance Colors: Grey, Peach + Antique White
Planner: Tara Moser from LOLA Event Productions
Bride’s Prep-Room: The Presidential Suite Smoke Filled Room
Bridal Dress Designer: Lazaro
Dress Shop: Volle’s Bridal & Boutique
Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Nordstrom
Hair: Erin Graham, 312.560.7890, skinpact {at} gmail.com
Makeup: Artistry by Kristen Repta of www.rachelreiman.com or Artists by Timothy Priano / Stewart Talent Agency, www.kristenrepta.com
Bridesmaids Dress: Jenny Yoo
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant: Reverend Jim Rehnberg
String Quartet: Parkwest Strings
Flowers: Cornelia McNamara Flowers
Invitations: Betsy White Stationery Boutique
Map + Guest Signing Scroll: Hand Lettered Calligraphy + Watercolor Illustration by Elizabeth Danae Elizabeth Danae on Etsy
DIY and various paper products by Vanessa the bride
Caterer: Mercat a la Planxa inside the Blackstone
Cake: Take the Cake
DJs: Kate Bilinski and Rachel Hinsdale of Toast & Jam
The Couple’s First Dance Song: L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole


Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Blackstone Chicago Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Blackstone venue’s ballroom overlooks Michigan Avenue, Grant Park and the Lake. A unique mix of both historic and a modern space, the crystal ballroom is painted with ornate details, colors of grey and white, elegant vintage chandelier lighting, and a carpeted floor featuring a massive, colorful and bold chrysanthemum flower design. Other distinctive and unique rooms are the Art Hall, Barber Shop, English Board room and the Presidential Suite also called the Smoke Filled Room. But none are as uniquely designed and breathtaking as the hotel’s lobby with it’s colorful flooring pattern, marble, columns, ceiling, fabrics and the furniture ( including the gold couch ) just amazing to photograph within. The hotel is absolutely stunning and on a list of our favorite indoor places to shoot at within the City of Chicago. Quite legendary, the Blackstone has been the choice hotel for over 100 years as a venue for a numerous notable historical events of Chicago’s finest celebrities, sports starts, royalty and Presidents including Hollywood’s greatest such as Katherine Hepburn and other famous celebs coming into the City.