Since international travel has been delayed for many couples this past year, Chelsea Kiely with The Gilded Aisle Weddings wanted to bring a little bit of Europe, more specifically France, into this fabulous shoot at The Armour House at Lake Forest Academy. The inspiration drives from The Palace of Versailles focusing in on its glorious details and romantic theme. The color palette includes a great deal of gold, similar to that of Versailles, as well as pinks and burgundy to portray that feel of romance.
Wedding Venue : The Armour House at Lake Forest Academy
I grew up just a few miles from The Armour House. Since becoming a wedding planner I’ve always dreamed of what I could create in this breathtaking venue. What I love most about the Armour House is all these stunning locations throughout the venue which make for the most picturesque wedding photos! From the stunning landscaped grounds with reflecting pond to the elaborate staircase greets which greets guests. Noted throughout the venue is the intricate carved wood moldings. We carried through those carvings in our intricate escort board.
Wedding Photography and Cinema Team
After creating the initial vision, the wonderfully talented photographers Lisa Blume of Lisa Blume Photography and Lynette Boyle of Lynette Boyle Photography joined me in collaborating on the shoot and help capture all the elegant features. Moreover, Lara from Old North Film Company filmed the shoot so beautifully and created stunning video content consisting of every bit of detail.
When you think of The Palace of Versailles you think of elegance and sophistication with great attention to detail, which not only is represented in this shoot but in my style as a wedding planner as well. Through the details of the marbling and landscape of the venue, I wanted to feel as though we were transported to another era while adding a refined and graceful yet contemporary feel to the wedding.
The stunning florals, constructed by the amazing team at Ashland Addison Florist, give a nod to the famous Versailles Gardens and make use of vast greenery as well as incorporating many bold colored flowers such as purple phalaenopsis orchids, burgundy amaranthus, dark blue delphinium, and pink garden rose. After my first meeting with Veronica De Leon of Ashland Addison Florist, I knew immediately that we were about to create something truly special and what their team created was beyond what I could have imagined.
Our wedding table began with gorgeous rentals provided by Erica Siafa of Ellie & Rose Chicago. The stunning gold table was the perfect size to include all the glorious items we envisioned to be placed on the tabletop. To ramp up the tablescape, we coved the plain white tabletop with a temporary vinyl that emulated white marble with gold veining. The finishing touch were Ellie & Rose’s gold chairs with luxurious back detailing and white cushion covers.
The table place settings were crafted by the fabulous team over at Kenzy Gifts, located in Lake Forest, IL. Before coming to Yasmin Mekki, the Owner of Kenzy Gifts, I knew I wanted to utilize Arte Italica’s Vetro plates. To me, it screams Versailles.
We used Arte Italica’s Bella Bianca beaded white dinner plate to break up the gold in the charger and salad/dessert plate as well as tie in the white marble detailing of the vinyl table cover provided by Inkredible Dance Floors. We softened the dinnerware by adding the Arte Italica Sofia glasses with dainty white lace engraving on the glass. To tie in some of our burgundy and rose colors seen in the florals, we added Kim Seybert’s Dip Dye Napkins in berry & plum as well as Kenzy Original Verona Tea/Drinking Glasses. Ashland Addison Florist topped off the table with gold votive candles and candlestick holders with a light pink candlestick.
Wedding Dress and Accessories
Julie Mersine Romeli, the owner and head designer of Mira Couture, could not have selected a more appropriate wedding dress. For the shoot, our bride wore a gorgeous lace gown by Rosa Clara. Rich in detail, the Ponte dress is sleek and sophisticated with a fabulous train, perfect for the magnificent staircase! The Ponte dress flourishes in unique features such as bell sleeves and a deep V-neck. Mira also provided two veils, one long and one short, both with beautiful lace detailing to compliment the dress.
What is a bride without her accessories? We collaborated with Barbara Parker Fine Jewelry to add a few exquisite jewelry pieces to our shoot. Our bride wore two breathtaking rings; the first, a one-of-a-kind platinum engagement ring set with an emerald cut diamond fabled with trapezoid diamonds. The second, a platinum three stone engagement ring containing a center cushion emerald flanked by two step cut diamonds. Both rings were worn with an emerald cut diamond band. The bride also wore a 18kt white and yellow gold diamond love knot bangles and diamond leaf with pear drop earrings. To say the jewelry was stunning is an understatement!
Wedding Day Beauty
To glam up our bride, we worked with Shannon O’Brien, the owner of Shannon O’Brien Makeup Artist. Shannon gave our bride a natural glow with a subtle smokey eye. Our bride appeared flawless while still looking natural and fresh.
Nancy, owner of Fearless and Bella Artistry, created a soft and romantic look on our bride with effortless waves. This flawless hairstyle worked perfectly for looks both with and without a veil.
The stationary was beautifully handcrafted by Sakshi Karambelkar, owner of Inquisited, who used calligraphy and letterpress to bring our Versailles inspired invitation suite to life. Sakshi also included many personal touches to the invitation suite including a striking venue illustration of the Armour House. She also included a wonderful monogram design which we had engraved on the glass macaron box as well as handwritten on the macarons provided by Tous Les Jours Chicago.
And finally, the cake. When I first reached out to Jo-Anne Buege, owner of Cake Chicago, she knew right away exactly what I was looking for. She focused mainly on ornate and damask features which fit in perfectly with our theme and the venue. Her choice to keep the cake white with gold designs, made the details of the cake more prominent and graceful.
In the end, I could not have asked for a better team to bring this shoot to life. What every vendor brought to the table created the remarkable photos you see before you. And we hope this shoot will inspire ideas for future brides and grooms.
List of Vendors:
Cake : Cake Chicago
Photography : Lisa Blume Photography
Photography : Lynette Boyle Photography
Cinema : Old North Film Company
Florals : Ashland Addison Florist
Attire : Mira Couture
Hair : Fearless and Bella
Makeup : Shannon O’Brien Weddings
Jewelry : Barbara Parker Fine Jewelry
Shoes : Jimmy Choo
Rentals : Ellie & Rose Chicago
Tablescape : Kenzy Gifts
Tabletop Vinyl : Inkredible Dance Floors
Stationary : Inquisited
Model : Paige Model and Talent Agency
Dress Designer : Rosa Clara
Chelsea Kiely is Certified Wedding Planner and Senior Planner at The Gilded Aisle Weddings, an award-winning luxury wedding planning firm with offices in Chicago, New York, California and Italy. She can be reached at email@example.com