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.


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.


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.


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.


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.









Featured on: Borrowed & Blue

Big News! Engagement Season Promotion

It’s that time of year! As we celebrate our launch, prep for the holidays, and look forward to a wonderful engagement season (did you know that more couples get engaged in December than any other month?!), we’ve decided to spread the cheer we’re feeling after this insane, amazing, trying 2016.


To celebrate, we are thrilled to offer a limited time promotion. Book your wedding with Once Upon a Wedding before the end of the year (December 31, 2016) and receive $150 off your Full Service Planning Package or $50 off your Day-Of Coordination Package. Just mention the code LAUNCH2016 when you Contact Us to receive this special deal.

Welcome to Once Upon a Wedding

Hello, brides and grooms of Chicago, vendors, and internet people! We’re super excited to meet you all and to tell you a little about ourselves. Welcome to our blog!

As you know, Once Upon a Wedding is Chicago’s favorite new wedding planners. You can read about Kelley and Ashley’s backgrounds on our Meet Us page and the services we offer in the Packages section, so we won’t bore you with repeating those details. Instead, let’s talk about who Once Upon a Wedding is, and who we strive to be.

once_upon_a_wedding_chicago_cardChampions of the Nontraditional

First and foremost, Once Upon a Wedding is focused on providing unique celebrations for all of our brides and grooms. We believe that each wedding should reflect the one-of-a-kind love being celebrated. Every moment and detail of a wedding should be carefully considered in order to reflect the personalities of the couple. This often means that many wedding traditions will need some tweaking or even elimination in order to embody the right energy for the day. We’re all about finding the right way to connect our couples to every element of their once-in-a-lifetime wedding.


While we’re all about adapting wedding traditions to suit our couples, we love even more when a bride and groom are looking for a completely nontraditional day. We’re offbeat and quirky, and our strongest passions lie with those couples who are too, and are looking to reflect that in their weddings. Some of our favorite nontraditional weddings include:

  • Themed Weddings:

    Ah, themed weddings. They can be as subtle or in-your-face as the bride and groom want, but centering the big day around one of the couple’s passions is such fun, and a great way to reflect their personalities and draw their family and friends into their favorite thing(s) for a day. (Side note: the first couples to allow us to plan Harry Potter or Disney themed weddings will earn our eternal love and devotion.)

  • Green Weddings:

    So many couples want to make every effort to consider the impact their big day will have on the environment. There are countless ways to “green-ify” our bride and groom’s wedding celebrations, and we can all feel good about keeping this at the forefront of our planning efforts.

  • Secular Weddings:

    For couples without strong religious ties, it might not make sense to center their wedding ceremony around religious traditions and vows. In these cases, a fully-personalized ceremony can be so impactful.

  • Casual Weddings:

    Let’s face it: not all of us are the black-tie type. Weddings with a casual, laid-back, and personal atmosphere can be even better at showcasing the couple without all the pomp and circumstance. From beach ceremonies to hors d’oeuvres or barbeque receptions, sometimes a couple wants to celebrate their day with nothing more or less than a fun party – and nobody loves a good party more than we do.

Equality Advocates

We’re passionate about the core belief that love is love. In everything we do as a business and as human beings, we endlessly strive to be 100% inclusive. We believe in equality above all – whether our couples are same sex, opposite sex, interracial, religious, nonreligious, traditional, or completely off-the-wall unconventional, all people are entitled to love whomever they choose and deserve a day as perfectly unique as they are.


Eco-Friendly Business Owners

We love our planet. Even when not a core focus of a particular wedding or event, Once Upon a Wedding strives to implement as many green practices in our day-to-day operations as we can. From utilizing recyclable or sustainable products whenever possible to supporting local vendors with green initiatives to choosing electronic methods of communication over printed materials, we take care to put conscious thought into how all of our actions will affect the environment.


Now that you’ve learned a bit more about us, we’d love to hear more about you! Please leave a comment below or Say Hello to us on our contact page.