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heidi+mike// the big fake wedding, chicago, illinois

a few months ago, the big fake wedding reached out to me to be one of their vendors at this years chicago event. i, of course, thought it was spam...they found me on instagram...and with my itty bitty following, it didn't understand how the went about contacting little ol' me. long story short- it's real. and SO MUCH FUN. i love weddings so freakin much- even for complete strangers. even if they're fake. and even if i'm working the whole time.

heidi and mike, an already married couple, were nominated by a few different friends to renew their vows with the big fake wedding. and i can understand why! they're so sweet and goofy. and so in love and deserving of an anniversary celebration. below is just a peek into their beautiful day.

this collaboration was a labor of love. i've tagged all the involved vendors below! our event was also featured on Ruffled blog and The Big Fake Wedding blog -check out their highlights too! 

Wedding Vendors Photography: Verdant Photographer, Amber Renee Design, and Tiffany Aufmann Photography Floral and Event Design – Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 1, 2, 3: Lil Epic Design Floral and Event Design – Bouquets and Boutonnieres, Tables 4, 5, 6: Elena’s Garden Floral Design and Event Planning Floral and Event Design – Tables 7, 8, 9: Elements Preserved Rentals and Venue Venue: Builders BLDG Event Venue Wedding Dress: Winnie Couture Jewelry: Grace + Heart Hair: Grace Studio Makeup: Manifest Makeup Bridesmaid Dresses: Brideside Beauty: Lipsense with Leslee Ashley and Alishia Men’s Attire: Blank Label Men’s Accessories: Hueys Catering: Prime and Provisions Wedding Cake and Jar Desserts: The Sugar Path Alcohol: SOCIAL Sparkling Wine Ceremony Music: Audrey Austin Music Band: BlueWater Kings Band Event Lighting: AV Chicago, Inc. Vintage Rentals: Elements Preserved Rentals and Venue Linens: BBJ Linen Wedding Vow Art: The Standard Canvas Photo App: Share Your Photos Dance Lessons: Windy City Wedding Dance Party Goods: Paris312 Favors: Flash Magnets Wedding Invitations: OrangeBeautiful Videography: Old North Film Company Transportation: Limotainment Travel: That Travel Lady Hotel: W Hotel Switzerland Travel: Derungs Quinter Immobilien Thank you to The Big Fake Wedding for sponsoring this post, and thank you for supporting our sponsors!

Wedding Vendors

Photography: Verdant PhotographerAmber Renee Design, and Tiffany Aufmann Photography
Floral and Event Design – Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 1, 2, 3: Lil Epic Design
Floral and Event Design – Bouquets and Boutonnieres, Tables 4, 5, 6: Elena’s Garden Floral Design and Event Planning
Floral and Event Design – Tables 7, 8, 9: Elements Preserved Rentals and Venue
Venue: Builders BLDG Event Venue
Wedding Dress: Winnie Couture
Jewelry: Grace + Heart
Hair: Grace Studio
Makeup: Manifest Makeup
Bridesmaid Dresses: Brideside
Beauty: Lipsense with Leslee Ashley and Alishia
Men’s Attire: Blank Label
Men’s Accessories: Hueys
Catering: Prime and Provisions
Wedding Cake and Jar Desserts: The Sugar Path
Alcohol: SOCIAL Sparkling Wine
Ceremony Music: Audrey Austin Music
Band: BlueWater Kings Band
Event Lighting: AV Chicago, Inc.
Vintage Rentals: Elements Preserved Rentals and Venue
Linens: BBJ Linen
Wedding Vow Art: The Standard Canvas
Photo App: Share Your Photos
Dance Lessons: Windy City Wedding Dance
Party Goods: Paris312
Favors: Flash Magnets
Wedding Invitations: OrangeBeautiful
Videography: Old North Film Company
Transportation: Limotainment
Travel: That Travel Lady
Hotel: W Hotel
Switzerland Travel: Derungs Quinter Immobilien

Thank you to The Big Fake Wedding for sponsoring this post, and thank you for supporting our sponsors!

peggy+bryan// grayslake, illinois

oh. my. gosh. peggy and bryan's wedding day was the definition of a family affair!

as this was a second marriage for both of them, they had their children stand up as their bridal party. peggy's godson officiated the ceremony and her brother-in-law built the chuppah they were married under. her daughter and neighbor hand lettered the aisle runner with the lyrics to 'bless the broken road' by rascal flats. all three of their daughters gave moving speeches about the love between peggy and bryan. 

the personal touches sprinkled throughout their day were so thoughtful. this event was as much a celebration of them as a couple as it was a coming together of two families.

and of course, there was the dancing! SO much dancing. a McG family wedding is nothing if not a PARTY! 

XO

william+alex+john// chicago, illinois

i do not shoot maternity sessions enough! i just love a glowy mama and a growing family. 

maybe i'm biased because this is my own sister's fam- but they are the fricken cutest! they're so fun, so effortless in front of the lens, and love donuts as much as i do (dare i say MORE?!) this is our third time using Stan's Donuts Chicago as our photo location (2 maternity sessions and a 1 year session)- and i suspect it won't be our last. 

 

laura+steve // chicago, illinois

i had been looking forward to this wedding for SO freakin long.

laura+steve eloped in croatia a few weeks before their wedding celebration at zed451 in chicago because they're just so much cooler than the rest of us! (i mayyyy have tried to convince laura that they needed to bring me with them...) 

this day was incredible because it wasn't just about laura+steve. it was a celebration of their love- but also a celebration of their support system and everyone who's been by their side through the years. the love was palatable and all i could hope is that their images would do their beautiful day justice. i wish nothing but blue skies for these these two babes! 

 

deanna + derek // naperville, il

aren't these two, like, SMOKIN' hot!? and also, sweet as pie. it's enough to make you hate them. except you can't...because they're the freakin BEST. that baby, those faces, and all the smooches! i'm just obsessed. 

they wed on the most perfect spring afternoon, in the high sun, surrounded by their loved ones and so so many lovely flowers. i hope their life together will be as bright and beautiful as their wedding day XO

katie // lemont, illinois

i've been photographing this lady for as long as i can remember. from following her and my sisters around with a plastic point and shoot in grade school to wasting rolls and rolls of black and white film on this raven haired babe in high school. i used her as a sort of "muse" for my photo projects in college, then had the pleasure photographing her wedding 2 years ago. 

she's completely flawless, as displayed in this first photo...which i shot just to test my light. yes. she IS annoyingly beautiful. plus she's got the heart to match. she's going to be a wonderful, loving, fun mother! 

 

kelly+tom // chicago, illinois

this sweet mama bear is my very first friend. i've known her for 30 years. THIRTY. and when tom asked me if i wanted to photograph their maternity slash SURPRISE PROPOSAL, i couldn't have agreed faster. i love them! i love baby bumps! i love sparkly new jewelry! and i looooove being sneaky! 

the weather was perfect, she looked incredible, he somehow stayed completely cool, and the proposal went flawlessly.  i am so honored to have been able to capture their big moment through a tear streaked lens.

camila+megan+wilson // morton arboretum, illinois

holy cuteness! this family gives me all the heart eyes! 

upon first meeting, little babe jumped into my arms and we were instant best friends. we ran around the morton arboretum on the perfectly crisp november afternoon, yet they radiated warmth and sweetness and so much love! 

caitlin+jason // north carolina

when i booked a quick trip to visit my best girl in durham, nc, i knew i had to connect with newly engaged babes, caitlin and jason. 

quick back story: caitlin and i have had an "in passing" friendship, being high school classmates, as well as very (very) short termed coworkers at a chicago bar. thank goodness for social media for keeping me fully up to date on the goings on in everyone's life that i've ever met. ever. 

anyway! she claimed they were "so awkward"...and i laughed and laughed at how ridiculous she was because...LOOK at them. freakin' smoking! 

 

The Girl Project Fundraiser

"The Girl Project aims to unleash the vast economic and social power of girls through education. Girls wake up wanting to learn, and we’re here to help with the rest. Your support of The Girl Project helps educate girls around the world and here in the United States, in and out of classrooms. Our programs support the little and big things girls need to finish their education. Things like tuition and safe passage to school, but also mentorship, confidence-building programs to prevent dropouts, and training for the professional world."

Last month I hosted a fundraiser benefitting #TheGirlProject and it was I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E in every sense of the word. It was intimate and wonderful and I spent the day after recovering from a party hangover. Which means I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck...super sad because my event came and went so fast...so happy because it was hecka fun...and bored already because I just LOVE throwing parties!

ok. Confession: I nearly cancelled this event a handful of times. I had planned it on a holiday weekend. I was in the process of buying a house and moving. Tickets weren't selling as quickly as I would have liked. It wasn't getting as much traction on social media as I expected. My DJ cancelled (TWICE!) Things weren't going my way and honestly, it was hard. And stressful. And emotionally exhausting. Then, while during one of several panic induced group texts with my sisters, one line changed my attitude. "Tiffany, you can't make people care." Just like that, I was calm. She's right! All I could do is inform and educate others about this amazing organization and raise as many donations as possible! 

SO after I got OVER myself, my tribe of amazing #girlboss friends STEPPED UP and made this fundraiser just perfect! I cry just thinking about the generosity of these babes. 

Candyality provided the sweetest candy table.

Food Network's, Chef Elizabeth created all the snackies.

Temperance Brewery supplied the beverages.

Vichcraft, Monstersongs, and KIND donated amazing treats to stuff the swag bags for our party guests!

Joleen designed all my invites and signage! 

And Rogue Philanthropy let us host our event in their rad space in Humboldt Park. 

Thank YOU: everyone who donated, attended the party, volunteered, and sent good vibes! Because of YOU we managed to donate 123 books to Open Books and raise $1,700 for The Girl Project!!

The evening was captured by the bestbestBEST, Mysi Grubbe of Soda Fountain Photography! Without further a do, a photo recap!