Once Upon a Wedding News

Across the Universe: A Galaxy-Themed Styled Photoshoot

Once upon a time, two girls with stars in their eyes decided to put together an amazing photoshoot with all of their friends. They were inspired by one of their very favorite themes, and their friends brought all the pretty things to contribute. And thus, the Across the Universe photoshoot was born!

Okay, we don’t really know why, but we’ve always had kind of a thing for the stars and galaxy. Maybe it’s the grandness of the universe or the beauty that can be found in the darkest of places or the fact that Ashley didn’t see the stars for like 5 years while living in NYC or the fact that Kelley can’t see a galaxy-printed item without buying it, but we’re pretty much smitten. So when it came time to pick a theme for our Summer styled shoot, we let the galaxy be our guide!

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Hosted at the spectacular Chez Event Space in downtown Chicago (a space we’d been DYING to get our hands on since first seeing those high ceilings and that epic staircase), we pictured a universe of dramatic colors, twinkling gold accents, and elegant, modern details to tie it all together. Our vendor dream team exceeded our wildest expectations! Aga Wedding & Event Décor provided the perfect design elements that lit up the space with all kinds of sparkle, along with her truly lovely florals. Speaking of lighting, our friend Ian from I Love Lamp Lighting transformed the shoot with his atmospheric uplighting and an utterly spectacular chandelier that looked like actual falling stars (seriously, guys, we were speechless). Elysia Root lent her genuine artistry to the shoot by creating a cake that was out-of-this-world beautiful – the pastel painting and gold touches were sheer perfection. Highlighting the theme with the perfect details were the awesome calligraphy provided by Calligraphy by CT and the darling groom accessories and fab invitation suite from Etsy.

Emilie and Jack, dear friends of the photographer and the day’s models, brought their real-life husband and wife chemistry to the day – we swooned hardcore every time these guys even looked at each other. Emilie was resplendent in her Leanne Marshall dress provided by Lovely Bride, and Gia Tovar’s hairstyling and Ashley of Manifest Makeup LLC’s makeup were works of art. Jack was dapper AF in his tux from Black Tie Formalwear.

Last but most definitely not least, we wouldn’t have these incredible pictures of the day without the phenomenal talents of Beth Leung Photography. She’s a total rock star!

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Check out some of our favorite photos from the Across the Universe shoot below, and let us know what your favorite part is in the comments!

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Venue: Chez
Photographer: Beth Leung Photography
Planners: Once Upon a Wedding
Lighting: I Love Lamp Lighting
Flowers & Rentals: Aga Wedding & Event Décor
Gown: Lovely Bride
Menswear: Black Tie Formalwear
Hair: Gia Tovar
Makeup: Manifest Makeup LLC
Calligraphy & Stationery: Calligraphy by CT
Cake: Elysia Root Cakes
Models: Jack & Emilie

Latte of Love: The story behind our romantic coffee-themed loft styled shoot

Okay, boys and girls, let’s gather around, because it’s time for a story. Picture a handsome man as he enters his favorite local coffee shop; we’ll call him Steven. He places his usual order and moves to the side to wait. The barista calls out his order, and as he moves to grab the cup, so does another hand. He looks up into the gorgeous eyes of our other hero; we’ll call him Michael. The two gents laugh at having the same order, and make a date (to have coffee of course), not knowing that there, in that quaint coffee shop, they were meeting the love of their life.

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Okay, cheesy time is over. But this kind of super adorable meet cute served as the backstory inspiration for our most recent styled shoot! After meeting with the fab girls over at k+b photography, we knew we wanted to find a way to work with them asap, so the idea of a styled shoot was born. You guys know we couldn’t resist planning a themed wedding, and if you follow us on Instagram, you also know there’s one thing we love almost as much as weddings: coffee! So the theme was kind of a no-brainer.

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We’ve been longtime fans of the gorgeous space at Greenhouse Loft, so we knew it was the perfect place for our theme to come together – and we were right! The huge windows, light wood, white beams, and even their awesome bar space were absolutely perfect for our coffee shop-inspired design. We envisioned a soft but masculine color palette in shades of brown and cream, with plenty of metallic accents, and our friends at Ashland Addison and Vintage Place Settings more than delivered. You guys, our centerpieces even featured a rose called Coffee Break! With the gorgeous flowers combined with the stunning vintage coffee pots and cups, we were in coffee-themed heaven.

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Our super talented pal Kasey at Fir & Feather provided the stationery and calligraphy that brought just the right amount of detail and flair – we loved the sweet foil invitations she created! We were beyond lucky to find Simply Wood Rings, who CUSTOM MADE rings for our shoot. How amazing is that! Even better, the rings featured wood made from wine barrels and actual coffee. We can’t even.

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Rounding out our little photoshoot gang were our dapper models, Sam Provenzano and Ian Sargent Phillips, who wore the heck out of the suits provided by Formally Modern. We couldn’t have had two better, or more fun, guys to play our grooms for the day.

As excited as we were while planning this shoot, we never in our wildest dreams imagined it would turn out as beautifully as it did. We really had a dream team of vendors, and they all worked so hard to bring our vision to life. We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we do! Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Featured on: Borrowed & Blue

Happy Thanksgiving from the Turkeys at Once Upon a Wedding!

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching (how is  it already almost December?!), the Once Upon a Wedding girls have been thinking about all of the things we’re thankful for this season. Here are a few that have been on our minds:

1. Relationships

One of our very favorite things about working in the wedding industry is the awesome people we get to meet on the regular. Whether with the amazingly talented vendors or our gorgeous, wonderful couples, we cherish all of the friendships we make in this fabulous line of work.

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2. Harry Potter

That’s it. Just Harry Potter. Everything Harry Potter.

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3. Equality

We’re grateful to work in an industry that celebrates love in all forms. No matter who you love, we enjoy helping give couples from all walks of life their uniquely perfect day.

4. Disney

If you haven’t noticed already, we love all things Disney. Disney movies, Disney World, Disney Buzzfeed quizzes. They’ve been part of our lives and our friendship for as long as we can remember. And where do you think our love of fairytales and belief in true love came from?

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5. Our Families

We have the best families in the world! Our husbands and loved ones have been so incredibly supportive of us through this venture and we couldn’t do it without each and every one of them.

6. Working with our besties

Work isn’t work when you go to work everyday with your best friend (and the frequent wine breaks don’t hurt either).

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Last but not least, we’re thankful for YOU, our reader. To show our thanks, book one of our Full Service Planning packages for your wedding on Small Business Saturday (November 26), and receive your choice of planning services for your Engagement Party, Bridal or Couple’s Shower, or Bachelorette Party for FREE! This can be used in conjunction with our Engagement Season promotion ($150 off your Full Service Planning package). Contact us and mention this post to book your wedding with us!

What are you thankful for this season? Tell us in the comments!