After meeting at work, Megan and James hit it off when he sprained his ankle and they bonded over the injury since Megan did personal training. They started their relationship with a first date at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer which would turn into their wedding venue a few years later!

Megan and James wanted a lighthearted, natural wedding that encompassed their love for each other and their families. They also knew they wanted Megan’s daughter to be a big part of the day as they came together to create a new family. See how the day unfolded with these beautiful photos from Ed & Aileen Photography.

These two were the cutest, we love how Megan winked at James as she walked down the aisle to marry him! They included Megan’s daughter by having her participate in a handfasting ceremony, wrapping the cords around each of their hands symbolizing their commitment to each other. This girl took her maid of honor duties very seriously as she made sure her mom’s dress always looked perfect.

We are in love with the way all of the floral and hand-designed paper details complimented both each other and the personal touches that Megan and James added. Take a look at their custom family cake topper!

And then we danced the night away!

Vendor Team:

Wedding Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Carlene Smith
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer
Photographer: Ed & Aileen Photography
Officiant: Anita Weds
Ceremony Musician: Fretless Music
Florist: Vale of Enna
Videographer: Whitney Cinema
Lighting: Sound Investment
DJ: Toast & Jam
Photo Booth: Fotio
Caterer: Tigerlily Events
Bakery: Cacao Sweets & Treats
Hair and Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists
Invitations: Evr Paper

Wishing all moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day! As you celebrate mom this weekend, you may be thinking about ways you can make her feel special on your wedding day. Yes the day is about you and your partner – so don’t worry you’ll still be in the spotlight – but moms deserve a little credit and appreciation too. They’ve gotten you this far in life, right?

Involve her in getting ready.

Moms deserve some pampering so include her for hair and makeup services to make sure she’s feeling confident and at her best on your wedding day.

Share a special, private moment alone with mom and thank her for her support. You never know what last-minute words of wisdom she can offer you.

Have mom help you get dressed and put on your shoes & accessories. Make sure she’s dressed beforehand so she’s ready for the photos that will happen during this moment!

Pick out a special gift for her.

Find a memento that she can remember your wedding with like a piece of jewelry, embroidered handkerchief, or a personalized letter and photo album.

Feature her memory.

If your mom is passed, think of ways that you can honor her at your wedding. Include her favorite flowers in your bouquet, carry a photo of her with you, leave an empty chair for her at ceremony, read a letter from her during dinner, or pick out a song she loved for a specialty mother dance where you invite all guests to dance with their mother or someone special in their lives.

Give her a role during your wedding ceremony.

Choose to walk down the aisle with your mom or both of your parents so you can share in that moment together.

Have her involved in a tradition like lighting a unity candle, participating in a hand-fasting ceremony, or a blessing you and your partner in your new life.

Make her your dance partner.

Choose your mom’s favorite song for a specialty dance with her. Or, cut footloose and hit the dance floor while belting out some 80’s pop songs together.

Thanks to all the moms out there!

Photos courtesy of Ed & Aileen Photography, 430Studios, George Street Photo & Video, Allison Williams Photography, Laurel + Prairie, Cage + Aquarium and Ingrid Bonne Photography.

Earth Day on April 22nd reminds us to be a little more eco-conscious of the world we live in. However, being sustainable and considering our planet’s resources should be something that is thought of year round! One small step is looking at how you can be more sustainable for your wedding. And no, you don’t have to wear a burlap sack and expect all your guests to go barefoot.

Photo by Cattura Weddings

There are a lot of ways we can plan weddings with an eco-friendly approach. A great way to start is to work with vendors who are like minded in their green initiatives so they can guide you in the right direction. As members of the Green Wedding Alliance, Naturally Yours Events has a network of amazing vendors who all have a green perspective on weddings.

Let’s look at some ways you can have a more sustainable wedding!

Paper Goods: It’s okay to have paper for your wedding, just be responsible about it!

Photo by Allison Williams Photography, Invitations by Botanical Paperworks

Online save the dates or an online RSVP for your invitation will cut down on the amount of paper you use and it will save you some money too! Other ways your paper can do double duty is with your ceremony programs. Choose to have a sign with the ceremony details instead of printing anything or just have enough programs for every other person since most guests come as a couple or a family.

Go one step further with your invitations and choose a vendor that prints on seed paper so your guests can plant your invitation after the wedding is over! Additionally, pick soy-based inks and invitations without metallic, plastic finishes that are harder to recycle. Then, keep your invitations to a minimum and share information for other details on your website instead of having individual paper inserts (like info on hotels, transportation, and welcome parties).

The Bar: Go Local and Reduce Plastic!

Photo by Ed & Aileen Photography

Chicago has so many great local options for craft beer plus sustainable wines & liquors. Plus you’ll pay more homage to your city that will be fun for guests!

Skip the individual plastic water bottles during ceremony and instead offer guests a water station with fun flavored waters with glassware or compostable cups!

Recycle, recycle, recycle. Don’t let those aluminum cans and glass bottles end up in the trash by checking to see if your venue and/or bar staff recycles.

Beauty: Natural is beautiful!

Going natural doesn’t mean you have a bare face. You can still doll yourself up and choose a vendor that uses cruelty-free, vegan, or natural products and tools.

Photo by Anna Zajac, Makeup by Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists

Catering: ‘Tis the season to eat eco-friendly!

Photo by This is Feeling, Catering by Big Delicious Planet

When it comes to food always try and eat based on what is in season and what is local. For your wedding menu, choose lots of veggie options or a full vegetarian meal as the amount of water and energy used is significantly higher for meat options.

Work with a caterer that composts and recycles, like those that are a part of the Green Wedding Alliance. Additionally you can hire a composting service like Collective Resource to work on responsibly disposing of your food waste.

Rentals like plates and glassware are going to be more sustainable than using disposable plastics or paper goods. But if you need to use disposables for your dessert or appetizers, consider using biodegradable or compostable products like bamboo plates and utensils.

Favors: Less is more!

Let your favors serve double duty as an escort card, offer a favor that is a consumable tasty treat, use as little packaging as you can, or skip the favors all together and consider donating the funds you would have used to an eco-friendly charity!

Photo by This is Feeling

Florals: Eco-friendly never looked so good!

Let’s get this out of the way first – flower foam is a no go. It’s toxic, made of mostly plastic, and there’s way better alternatives that florists can use.

As with food, choosing local and in season flowers will always be more sustainable and cost effective. Then make arrangements to donate your wedding flowers or choose centerpieces like potted plants that can be easily given away as favors to a lucky couple at each table. It’s also a great idea to make sure you’re working with a florist that composts all organic waste at the end of the night.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography, Florals by Flowers by Stem

Hopefully, these few ideas will help you take a step in the direction of having a more sustainable wedding. Looking for more tips? We’d love to work with you on your green wedding vision! Let’s connect but first let’s all go appreciate being outside on this beautiful Earth day!

Chicago couple, David and Irene, took Naturally Yours Events on an Icelandic adventure planning a very personalized wedding in breathtaking Reykjavik.

They wanted something intimate and natural focused on celebrating with loved ones surrounding them. Without even meeting all their vendors or seeing their venue space beforehand, we executed a gorgeous night with a jazz band, an eight course meal, traditional Nordic wedding cake, and seasonal blooms and greens to accentuate the table. Oh, and guests enjoyed some of the best craft beer Iceland has to offer. Skál!

Photos by Caroline Ghetes Photography

A romantic, soft color palette complimented our bride Irene so beautifully! She sparkled in the Iceland sunlight.

Let’s go for a stroll in Iceland…

Food and atmosphere were the top two priorities for Irene and David as they planned their wedding. So, the restaurant, Iðnó, served as the perfect backdrop for Irene and David’s intimate reception centered on friends, family, and good times.

Serious cake goals over here! This is a piece of artwork and I can eat it?? The kransakaka is a Scandinavian delicacy, yum!

Both being musicians themselves, Irene and David decided to have a jazz band who kept all their guests entertained during dinner and dancing all night long!

A beautiful last shot to a wonderful evening! Til hamingju með það (Congratulations) to Irene and David who just celebrated their one year anniversary this month. May you always find those quiet moments to share a dance and a kiss or two.

Wedding Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Carlene Smith
Ceremony Venue: Hallgrimskirkja
Photographer: Caroline Ghetes Photography
Videographer: Zomei Video Productions
Florist: Auður blómabúð – blómaverkstæði
Reception Venue: Iðnó
Live Band: Reykjavik Swing Syndicate
Hair & Makeup: Duc Ho
Bridal Attire: Inbal Dror – Dimitra’s Bridal
Invitations and Paper Goods: Steracle Press, LLC