Today is a special day for all of us at Smashing The Glass: it’s our first time blogging the Jew-ish wedding of one of our very own Brides Club members! Jeanette had the SWEETEST things to say about the inspiration she found in the Club and on Smashing The Glass:
I absolutely adored Smashing The Glass. The personal outreach, appeal to a specific group of brides, detailed blog posts, and overall eye for uniqueness and quality made it a much more visited website and Facebook page than other wedding blog. I used Facebook Lives and articles from STG to aid in my planning process, such as in writing my speech, deciding on a veil, buying a smash glass (and knowing how to use the pieces after), designing a cake, picking songs, and many other elements I’m forgetting! I can’t think of anything missing from the blog!”
Aw… we’re blushing now… Jeanette, a speech-language pathologist, and Chris, an architect, are all about contemporary minimalist design, and they channeled their passion for all things modern into an ultra-unique wedding aesthetic.
From the geometric hanging centerpieces (!) to the striking cake with metallic geometric dividers between the layers to the stylish stationery (100% designed by the groom!), this wedding has some serious flair. Jennifer Hyde of JHyde Photography did such a fantastic job capturing all the cool touches.
We’re so thrilled that the couple credits STG with helping them do everything from picking songs to writing speeches, but one thing we can’t take credit for? Jeanette and Chris’s brilliant idea to “table hop” during dinner: instead of staying in one place for the whole meal (or, alternately, running around frantically with no time to eat), they chose four tables to sit at, one for each course. That way, they were able to spend time with more of their guests, in a relaxed way. Such a smart setup!
Now over to Jeanette, who looked stunning in her tulle-tastic blush pink Maggie Sottero gown (and matching rose gold hair!)…
How We Met
Jeanette, the bride: We met in college at Southern Illinois University, at a party one of my now-bridesmaids convinced me to go to!
A Modern Venue
My husband, Chris, and I got married at Le Meridien Chicago, a modern hotel in the Chicago suburb of Oakbrook. We visited 11 (!) venues before choosing this one. Our most important criteria in finding a venue were that it be modern and intimate. Our home together is full of modern furniture and décor, and we knew we wanted our wedding to be contemporary, minimalistic, and cool.
We also knew we would keep it to around 100 guests because we both have small families, so we didn’t want a space that was overwhelming in size. Le Meridien was perfect because it was sleek and on the small side (ballroom fit up to 150), and having our wedding at a hotel was the ideal all-in-one package for us and our guests. Plus, the location was convenient, the food was delicious, and the prices were within our budget.
Planning with Smashing The Glass
Our color scheme was maroon and mixed metals (gold, silver, and copper) – maroon because that was our college color (where we met), and mixed metals because 1) metallics fit the theme, 2) our home is full of metallic décor, and 3) my engagement ring is a mix of white gold and rose gold! We did not use a wedding planner – it was all our own hard work!
I absolutely adored Smashing The Glass. The personal outreach, appeal to a specific group of brides, detailed blog posts, and overall eye for uniqueness and quality made it a much more visited website and Facebook page than other wedding blogs. I used Facebook Lives and articles from STG to aid in my planning process, such as in writing my speech, deciding on a veil, buying a smash glass (and knowing how to use the pieces after), designing a cake, picking songs, and many other elements I’m forgetting! I can’t think of anything missing from the blog!
Stationery Designed by the Groom
My now-husband designed and handmade each and every one of our wedding paper goods, including save the dates, invitation suite, thank you cards, menus, programs, and drink signs. He is an architect, so he has cunning design skills as well as access to professional design software. I showed him Pinterest photos for each paper element, and he combined ideas and applied a personal twist to make something better than I could have ever imagined.
The invitations were the most impressive – he hand painted a watercolor swatch of maroon, then scanned it into his design software. He then varied the tone of the swatch to include different shades of deep red on each segment of the invitation. He printed the color segments and text on matte photo paper, then meticulously cut out pieces of the card and replaced them with pieces of clear acetate. Finally, he applied double sided strips of tape and brushed gold, silver, and copper leaf between the segments of watercolor. He truly poured his blood, sweat, and tears into those invitations and we were blown away by the results.
Rose Gold Hair
My and my party’s hair was done at Mario Tricoci, an upscale chain of salons in the Chicago area, and our makeup was done at MAC. I decided not to go with the traditional bridal beauty artists that travel to you because our hotel was located on the same property as a shopping mall, so we had the luxury of hair salons and makeup studios just steps away.
I kept my hair pretty simple because the big wow factor was in the color – I dyed it rose gold for the wedding. My hair is naturally very dark, so this took several trips over a few months to my home salon (Salon Couture in Elgin, Illinois)! I wanted the color to complement my dress and the wedding theme, and I was so pleased with the results.
A Maggie Sottero Dress
My dress was from The Crystal Bride in Geneva, Illinois. My mom and I (and usually some combination of my bridesmaids) visited 13 bridal salons before picking this dress. I truly had such fun going to all these appointments and trying on dresses, even though 13 stores might sound crazy! I really loved how my vision evolved as I continued my search – the dress I picked was quite different than what had I originally planned. The one I picked was fate – it was a discontinued Maggie Sottero style that the store had because a previous bride had canceled her order after it was already placed.
After my bridal consultant at The Crystal Bride got a sense of what I was envisioning, she brought out this beauty that just happened to be in my size – and I knew it was the one! I adored the light blush pink, the open back, the subtle straps, the intricate beading, the curve-hugging top, and the explosive bottom of tulle rosettes.
A Veil that Says “I Do”
My veil was custom-made by Dame Couture in Addison, Illinois. I went back and forth about whether I wanted a veil and decided I would get one, but it had to be simple yet unique. It was simple in its single layer and elbow-length but unique in its feature of “I DO” written in Swarovski crystals at the bottom! I added two small hair clips from Nordstrom to accent my hair and veil. My jewelry was from Kendra Scott, my favorite jewelry designer.
Badgley Mischka Shoes
My shoes were stiletto-heeled booties by Badgley Mischka, purchased at Bloomingdale’s. I had already purchased shoes when my mom came across these beauties in the sale section of the Bloomingdale’s website. She ordered them immediately and I returned my other shoes. They were so unique yet still bridal and matched my dress perfectly.
The handsome groom
Chris and his party rented tuxedos from Black Tie Formalwear, a local formalwear company with locations throughout Chicagoland. He wore a dark gray tux, his groomsmen wore lighter gray, and the ring bearer wore the lightest gray. Likewise, the ties ranged in shades of red. We worked on perfecting Chris’s haircut and beard trim in the months leading up to the wedding. I got him the coolest industrial-style cuff links from Tateossian at Bloomingdale’s to add a modern touch. I think he looked ravishing!
Bridesmaids in Red
I had four bridesmaids, and their dresses were difficult to settle on! We visited a bridesmaid’s dress shop but I didn’t like any of the typical bridesmaid styles, so we decided they would all look for individual dresses in deep red colors. After many Internet searches, shopping trips, and discussions, two got their dresses from Bloomingdale’s, one from Nordstrom, and one from an online store called Prom Girl. Also, as part of my bachelorette party in Austin, Texas, they designed their own necklaces at Kendra Scott’s Color Bar, which added a personal touch and special memory to their bridesmaid attire.
A Minimalist Chuppah
A Modern Jewish Ceremony
Chris is Christian and I’m Jewish, and he has always supported my commitment to Judaism – I sometimes joke that he does more “Jewish things” than some of my Jewish friends! Our ceremony was Jewish and led by our local synagogue’s rabbi, Rabbi Margaret Frisch-Klein from Congregation Kneseth Israel in Elgin, Illinois.
We read Anita Diamant’s The Jewish Wedding Now leading up to the wedding and allowed that to guide our ceremony format. My favorite part was having members of our family and friends come up and read English translations of the Sheva Brachot that the rabbi chanted in Hebrew.
A modern ketubah
My First, My Last, My Everything
It’s so funny, I don’t even remember the music playing at our ceremony – I spent so much time picking the perfect ceremony music and didn’t even pay attention to it because I was so focused on my groom when I walked down the aisle!
Our wedding party/groom processional was set to Feeling Good by Michael Buble, bride’s processional was I Get to Love You by Ruelle, and the recessional was My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White – although I totally forgot that the recessional should be Siman Tov u’ Mazel Tov, which our guests sang immediately after we smashed the glass and totally drowned out the musicians playing a different song!
Our first dance consisted of two songs: Perfect and Shape of You, both by Ed Sheeran. We took dance lessons at LUX Dance Studio in St. Charles, Illinois, which was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. We learned a lovely choreographed dance and had so much fun learning it and performing it for our guests.
We had clean, modern florals, with calla lilies as the highlight. My bouquet was simply a bunch of deep red calla lilies accented by a few greens.
The centerpieces were an idea I had early on, and I was thrilled when it came together – hanging geometric figures accented by flowers and greenery hovering over each table. The florist also placed a few greens, our table numbers, and menus in the center of the tables to fill the space. We had small floral arrangements to decorate throughout the venue as well. This was all put together by the incredible Jordan Clare of Eden Floral Design in St. Charles, Illinois.
Our Fabulous Photographer
We are obsessed with Jennifer Hyde of JHyde Photography in Algonquin, Illinois! She’s married to one of Chris’ coworkers, and she does their company’s corporate photography, so we knew of her. We met with her and two other photographers but knew she was the one because of how friendly and inviting she was, not to mention her impressive portfolio and raving reviews. She and her assistant photographer were the sidekicks we didn’t even know we needed on the wedding day. And, again, we are obsessed with how the photos turned out (hope STG loves them too 😉). We decided not to have a videographer though.
A Geometric Cake!
Our cake was from Toni Patisserie in Hinsdale, Illinois. The design was basically a compilation of a few different Pinterest ideas. The highlight was the geometric structures dividing the three layers – our florist found that set for us, and it fit with our theme seamlessly. The flavor was chocolate genoise cake with raspberry and chocolate ganache filling and vanilla buttercream – heavenly! Our overall catering was provided by the venue.
We had a combined live band and DJ/emcee – an acoustic duo played during our ceremony, the full four-piece band played acoustics during the cocktail hour, and the band played during the reception, with the DJ playing in between sets as well as acting as emcee throughout the night. This was all provided by The Messengers, a Chicago-based band.
We booked them by chance – one night early in our wedding planning stages, Chris and I were out at a pub and The Messengers were playing. I jokingly said to him, “This band is great, I wonder if they do weddings?” and he said, “Let’s ask!” We did, and they do, so we met with them in a separate, more formal meeting and booked them!
We doubled our escort cards as party favors! Our escort “cards” were marble tiles with the guest’s name written in calligraphy by Sophie Ramirez of Common Silver in Wheaton, Illinois. Sophie added felt dots to the back of each tile, so they could double as coasters for guests to take home!
Something unusual we did is “table hop” during dinner instead of having a sweetheart table or sitting with our wedding party. We chose four tables to sit at and hung Mr. and Mrs. signs on each. We sat at a different table for each dinner course so we could mingle with guests!
Also, our place cards at each table setting were a personal note I scribbled on a napkin for each guest to be personally welcomed to the party! Chris and I did a joint welcome speech and blessings before the meal.
A Honeymoon in Italy
Our honeymoon was magical: we started in Rome, spent a few days there, took a luxurious cruise from Rome to Venice that included stops around the Mediterranean, and finished with a few days in Venice. Chris proposed to me at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, so we decided then that we had to make Venice part of our honeymoon! I had also never been on a cruise and was dying to go on one, so we built the vacation from those two ideas.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Don’t rush through decisions! It’s so easy to get caught up in the million steps of wedding planning and want to get things done just to check them off the list. But when it comes to making decisions, like choosing vendors, picking your dress, determining the menu, etc., giving it quality time for discussion and consideration is so important.
I considered so many options throughout the process – 11 venues, 75+ dresses, 4 florists (and that’s just the ones I met with!), etc. – and it was worth every minute. There are so many sources of information that it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so narrow your search down – I used primarily bridal showcases, personal recommendations, and wedding websites to search for vendors and ideas.
Jeanette & Chris’ little white book
Photography – JHyde Photography
Venue – Le Meridien Chicago
Bride’s dress – Maggie Sottero purchased at The Crystal Bride
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka purchased at Bloomingdale’s
Bride’s accessories – Dame Couture, Nordstrom and Kendra Scott
Groom’s attire – Black Tie Formalwear and Tateossian
Bridesmaids – Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Prom Girl
Hair + Makeup – Salon Couture, Mario Tricoci and MAC
Flowers – Eden Floral Design
Cake – Toni Patisserie
Band – The Messengers
Marble tiles – Common Silver
Ketubah – HAPPYprojectSHOP
Rabbi – Margaret Frisch-Klein
Dance lessons – LUX Dance Studio
Proposal – at The Venetian Hotel