Sarah + Joe

Sarah and Joe’s wedding was a fairy tale.  From their magical, secret-garden feeling first look, to Sarah’s perfect Monique dress, the to-die-for blooms and contagious love and happiness that filled the day, it was truly perfection.

Sarah and Joe are the kind of people you just want to be around. Unbelievably kind, loving and thoughtful; they are truly incredible souls on their own. And together? Well together, their lights shine so bright…it’s pretty powerful.  Equally amazing are their families. They are some of the most welcoming, loving, and wonderful people I have ever met. To say it was an honor to be a part of this celebration would be an understatement. It was such an incredible year working on this beautiful celebration.

Sarah and Joe tied the knot at the quaint Kenilworth Union Church with their reception down the street at the equally charming Kenilworth Club. Pistil & Vine provided the jaw dropping blooms, and Courtney Callahan Paper created the stunning invites and darling day-of paper details. DJ Chicago spun tunes that kept the dance floor packed all night, including the most thoughtful parent dances I’ve ever seen: Sara by Fleetwood Mac for Sarah and her dad, and Happiness is a Thing Called Joe by Judy Garland for Joe and his mom.  After dinner, guests enjoyed a sweets table and nutella filled cake (!!) from Cake Chicago while they celebrated the night away.

Special thanks to Julia Franzosa who captured the love and spirit of their day just perfectly. If these images don’t do you in, I don’t know what will.

Happy Anniversary Sarah and Joe and cheers to many, many more! Thank you again for including me in your big day!


Ceremony: Kenilworth Union Church // Reception: Kenilworth Club // Planner: So Dressed Up // Photographer: Julia Franzosa Photography // Floral: Pistil & Vine // Paper: Courtney Callahan Paper // Hair + Makeup: Charles Ifergan Salon // Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Bridesmaids: J. Crew // Cake: Cake Chicago // DJ: DJ Chicago //

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Jaylyn + Tim

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since Jaylyn and Tim’s incredible wedding celebration. Working with these two and their families was a true privilege; if only I could do it again! They are unbelievably kind, loving and wonderful people, and their day was a true reflection of them as individuals, as a couple, and full of personal touches that left me swooning. The pair wed in the Grand Staircase at the Art Institute with music performed by students from New Trier High School, where Jaylyn works. The ceremony was officiated by dear friends of the couple and was one of the most thoughtful and loving I have ever been a part of.

Guests enjoyed cocktails in McKinlock Court followed by dinner and dancing in the historic Chicago Stock Exchange Room. The bride and groom’s friend recorded a version of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” for the couple’s first dance which kicked off their reception. The celebration included delicious seasonal fare from Bon Appetit, sweet treats from Candyality, gorgeous blooms by Fleur, (inspired by the Chagall windows) a rockin’ dance floor (think “Forever” by Chris Brown and “Like a Prayer” by Madonna…) from Toast and Jam, heartfelt toasts from their loved ones, and of course a whole lot of love and happiness. Special thanks to Josephine Photography for the amazing photos that capture the spirit of their day so perfectly!

Thank you Jaylyn and Tim for including me in your special day! Happy anniversary and cheers to many, many more!


Venue: The Art Institute of Chicago //  Catering: Bon Appetit // Planner: So Dressed Up // Photography: Josephine Photography // Floral: Fleur // Candy Bar: Candyality // Photobooth: Magnolia Photobooth Co. // Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Musicians: New Trier High School // Reception DJ: Toast and Jam // Hair + Makeup: Sonia Roselli

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Emmy Fashion 2014

Ya’ll know how much I love a red carpet, so without further ado, below are my two favorite palettes from the Emmy’s last night.

The bold babes in reds were my favorite. Heidi Klum in Zac Posen was just beyond. Beyond. But I also loved Minnie Driver in Marchesa, Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano and Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji. (And love her designer loyalty. She always looks like a million bucks.)

Second faves were the white hot ladies donning dresses suited for a bride. I couldn’t get enough of Julianne Hough in DSqaured (you know I can’t miss a good bow!) I also loved Kristen Wiig in Vera Wang, Padma Lakshmi in Ralph Rucci, and Hayden Panettiere in Lorena Sarbu?! I love this dress (and her adorable bump!)

So what do you think? Who were your favorite looks from last night?

Image Credits: The Knot and The New York Times

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Melissa + Brendan

It was such a joy working with Brendan and Melissa and their amazing families as they planned their Chicago wedding while living in New York. The gorgeous pair got married at the breath taking St. James Chapel and had their reception at the chic and modern theWit Hotel. Guests enjoyed cocktails on the hotel’s rooftop bar followed by a romantic gold-clad dinner in the hotel’s ballroom among amazing views of the city.

A girl after my own heart, Melissa loves details and the day was jam packed with them.  One of my favorites was a hand-fasting tradition performed by the bride and groom at their ceremony to honor the groom’s Irish heritage. Four colored ribbons were chosen that represent important qualities to the couple: Love (red), Devotion (white), Values (silver) and Unity (gold) which were placed on the adjoining hands by the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom as the priest said a blessing and tied the ribbons together. This symbolic lashing together of the couple’s hands is the origin of the familiar expression “tying the knot.”

The couple also gave a big nod to their engagement showing both a decorative lock and key which symbolized the lock the bride and groom secured to the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Italy when they got engaged as well as a Florence print that showed the exact number of miles from The Wit Hotel to Florence, Italy.

The bride and groom also re-wrote the lyrics to the song of their first dance “Timeless” (originally by the Airborne Toxic Event) and the band leader, Domingo Castillo of Spoken Four, re-recorded the vocals for their special day, making for a truly one of a kind performance.

Other cutie details included custom gold foil cocktail napkins, signature drinks, gorgeous custom mirrored table numbers by Hello Darling, family photos and more..guests were in for a real treat! They danced the night away until moving the after party back to the hotel’s rooftop for a celebration that continued into the wee hours of the night!

Thank you Brendan, Melissa and your sweet families for including me in your special day! It was such a honor.


Ceremony: St. James Chapel // Reception + Catering : The Wit // Planning: So Dressed Up // Floral + Decor: Hello Darling // Photography + Videography: Studio Limitless // Ceremony Musicians: Parkwest Strings // Reception Band: Spoken Four // Hair + Makeup Yvette Millan and Janet Millan // Transportation: Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Company + Mitchell’s Motorcoach

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Gold Leaf Easter Eggs

I was so in love with how my gold leaf ornaments turned out over the holidays, I decided to apply the same technique to some eggs for a little Easter glam. You can get a refresher on the instructions here– simply swap out ornaments for eggs and voila! Take it a step further and dye your eggs your favorite color before applying the gold leaf for a bold and fun look.

I can’t get enough gold these days. How are you decorating your Easter eggs this year?

Gold Leaf Easter Eggs
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Pretty Press

I have had SO much going on the last few months and I am so excited to finally have some of my recent press up on the site. Be sure to head over and enjoy some advice, trend watching, and table top gorgeousness on Racked Chicago, Weddings by Design, RedEye Chicago and the first ever issue of Modern Luxury Brides North Shore!

Thanks to these amazing publications for including us in your amazing lineup! It’s such an honor.


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Bryan + Sarah

It’s hard to believe how many months have passed since Bryan and Sarah’s wedding day and I am so excited to share a few pics from their big day. Working with the two of them was an absolute pleasure. They planned their Chicago wedding while living out East and when I finally had the opportunity to meet them in person, I just fell in love with their love. They are two of the most kind-hearted and loving people I have ever met, and their families are equally as wonderful.

This cutie pair got married at the Museum of Contemporary Art with a stunning ceremony in the museum’s Sculpture Garden and reception following with cocktails on the terrace and dinner and dancing in the museum. It was a magical night full of so much heart and love and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of it! Thank you Bryan and Sarah! xo

Ceremony + Reception Venue: MCA // Planning: So Dressed Up // Photographer: Neil Gates Photography // Catering: Wolfgang Puck // Sweets: Sweet Mandy B’s // Florist: The Enchanted Florist // Ceremony Musicians: Symphony Sounds // DJ: Okyne Media Lab //

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Graham + Fran

It’s hard to put into words how full of love and life Graham and Fran are. They are two of the most adorable and most thoughtful people I have ever met. Their energy is contagious; the kind you just can’t wait to be around again. Their souls are so inspired, so creative; and overflowing with joy. They are pretty incredible.

After toying around with a few ideas, the two landed on an intimate home ceremony followed by a “Ralph Lauren hosts a boho-chic” inspired dinner party at RM Champagne Salon and I was so touched they asked me to be a part of their big day. Working with these two was an absolute joy. We had an abundance of amazing ideas and laughter, and I couldn’t be more proud of how everything turned out.

Guests were greeted with cocktails and piano tunes when they arrived for the ceremony. After mingling, guests enjoyed a cozy ceremony in the couple’s courtyard. Strands of cheery yellow pennants were hung throughout the courtyard and their home {and throughout the reception space, too.}  Crafted and hand dyed by local designer, Elise Bergman, they were an important element of the day. {She even made mini versions as favors for all of the guests!}

Post ceremony, a fleet of 20 rickshaws with giant white balloons arrived to take guests to dinner. The caravan was too fun! The Angel d’Cuba Trio blasted spirited tunes as guests arrived to RM Champagne Salon’s chic and romantic courtyard. The tables were adorned with ferns in Graham and Fran’s family collection of vintage silver containers and trophies, accented by candelabras, mis-matched vintage flatware and chairs, and of course pennants by Elise Bergman.

The evening was magical and the entertainment did not stop after cocktail hour. A series of musicians was paired with each course of dinner {think: an accordion player for the 1st course, a female signer and pianist for the 2nd and 3rd course, a quirky band for the 4th course. Live singing for their cake cutting too!} It was such a fun and unique experience for guests. Toasts from guests were encouraged and happened throughout the dinner and music performances, including an impromptu song performed by one of their guests! After dinner, guests moved inside where they enjoyed dessert and danced the night away with DJ Saam Hagshenas.

Venue, Cake+ Linens:  RM Champagne Salon// Planning + Styling:  Katie Jackson-Meara, So Dressed Up // Floral + Decor: Dilly Lily + Elise Bergman // Photographer + Film: Casey Vange + Billy Rood //  Grooms’ Attire: John Varvatos + TopShop // Rentals: Hall’s // Invitations: Jessica Murnane, // Music: Arranged by Danny Chaimson: Cole Dengenova (piano), Angel d’Cuba Trio, Joe Deluca (accordion), Jen Zias Duo, The Little Family Band and DJ Saam Hagshenas // Mics + Sound for guests: Sound Investment

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Darlings!

The whirlwind of the holiday season has got me a bit {er– a lot} delayed on blogging. I’ve taken the last couple of weeks to really enjoy spending time with my family and friends, hosting our first Christmas!, (and NYE!), catching up on some sleep and some little projects… I have also been spending a lot of time reflecting on this past year and have been eagerly setting goals and looking forward to what’s ahead.

2013 was an incredible year. It was the best year we’ve had here at So Dressed Up. It was full of not only beautiful weddings and events, but beautiful people. The group of clients I had this past year were the kind that left me feeling so incredibly grateful and inspired at the end of each day, it almost seemed surreal. It has been truly amazing. Thank you to each of you for including me in your biggest celebrations and occasions.

I have a lot of great things in store for this coming year and 2014 is already off to a terrific start. I received the news yesterday that we have won the Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Awards.

Wedding Wire 2014 Award

From Wedding Wire:

“We are excited to announce that your business has won the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards for 2014, as determined by reviews from your past clients. The Couples’ Choice Awards recognize your business as amongst the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide.”

I can’t thank our clients and supporters enough for all of the love and kind words, for the amazing opportunities and for letting me do what I love. You are the best!

More soon!


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Gold Leaf Ornaments

It’s no secret I love gold. From jewelry to home decor and everything in between, I love it for an accent of glam. There is endless inspiration online of furniture re-dos, gold spray paint makeovers and gold leaf projects…After my pretty pearl wreath, I decided to try out a little gold leaf love and made these cutie ornaments for me and my hubbie. I’m making some extras to adorn to some of my pretty packages in lieu of a gift tag, too.

Super chic and super easy! All you need is a gold leaf adhesive (I chose a pen for easy initial application), gold leaf, a soft brush, and ornaments. I bought black and white ornaments and an extra pack that had gold hardware instead of silver and swapped out the tops to complete the look.

Step One: Write the initial of your choice on your ornament using your adhesive. {Tip: it’s easier to see on the darker surfaces, so I’d recommend starting with a darker or colored ornament over white or clear to see it dry more easily if you are worried.}

Step Two: Let the gold leaf dry {usually about ten minutes} until it has a tacky texture.

Step Three: Gently apply the gold leaf to your adhesive.

Step Four: Use your soft brush to gently wipe away the excess gold leaf

Voila! Gold leaf initial ornaments! Perfect on your tree or pressies..So, what do you think? I think I may go make some more! xo


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