Blog - Eight Hands Wedding Photography

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Picking what to wear for an engagement photo session can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.  We have so many couples that reach out prior to the engagement session with questions about this topic that we wanted to create a quick guide to help.  We will dive deeper into the specifics as we go along but the biggest things we want you to take away from this is to be yourself and be comfortable.  I know that you can have both of those and look incredible if you just follow this guide.  

Very few of our couples are professional models or stylists so it can feel foreign to dress for an engagement photo shoot.  It is incredibly normal for pretty much everyone to feel stressed about the session and what to wear.  You hired a professional for a reason, let us take care of you and relax.  We will walk you through the entire session and try to make you feel as natural and comfortable as possible.  First things first, let’s get you set up with what to wear and how to wear it.

Be Yourself and Be Comfortable

I totally understand the desire to go out and buy a fancy new outfit for your engagement photo session but that may not be totally necessary.  Would you be more comfortable in a stiff new outfit or something tried and true.  You know what moves and feels the way you want it to. 

Chances are you will still want a new outfit, something you have never been photographed in, and that’s okay.  If you want to shop around and find the perfect new engagement photo session outfit take stock of your current favorites first.  What colors do you typically wear? What fabrics feel and flow the best on you?  Do you have certain brand that you feel fits you better?  Knowing the answers to these questions can help narrow down the search from the very start and reduce some of the stress.  

Match Your Outfit to The Time and Place

Before you start diving into exactly what you want to wear you will hopefully know where you are having your photos taken.  If you don’t have an exact location yet, that is okay, just have a general idea of where.  Is it going to be in the city, forest area, beach, at your house, or any other number of places.  Knowing this information will help you with the vibe of your engagement session outfit choices.  

Engagement photos happen year round so make sure that you are matching your outfit to the season that is reflected in the photos.  It may seem obvious but you won’t want to wear summer clothes in the snow and vice versa.  If you have seen any of our session galleries you know we love to tell stories.  Part of your engagement session story is a cohesive feel and storyline.  Try to plan your outfit around the season, location, vibe, and your comfort.  By all means, you can be super fancy if that is the vibe and feel you want.  Just make sure to also be comfortable in that super fancy outfit.  

Add Movement and Texture

We all have different body types and looks.  The old family portraits are typically not what couples want from their engagement photo session.  This engagement photo style guide is trying to steer you away from everything that those old department store photo sessions embodied.  Static photos with dull backgrounds in uncomfortable clothes are not what you want or what we want for you.  You want fun and real.  What makes a photo look fun and real? It is a couple that is really having fun and loving what they are doing together!  Capturing movement in your photos shows that off the best.  The movement can be you physically moving or natural movement from the environment.  Textures that flow with your body and the wind can add movement to every photo.  You can also add some comfortable and cosy feels through texture or add to that sunset glow with clothes that filter the sun.  

Colors, Colors, and More Colors

So far we have been talking about some of the details that may not necessarily come to mind first when choosing your engagement session outfit.  Now we are ready to dive into colors and what makes sense.  Just understand that these are basic rules and that there are many other rules out there.  We can’t cover all of them but this should be a great start.  Also, know it is okay to break the rules form time to time.  

Most of the time it is best to stick with more neutral earth tones and metallics.  We are looking to compliment to environment and these do a great job with pretty much any outdoor spot.  It doesn’t need to be straight earth tones and nothing else, just a more earthy version of the colors.  Softening the colors a bit helps create that naturally beautiful look you are going for.  

Our main goal here is to compliment or contrast our natural environment.  For example mustard color dress in a dark green forest would look incredibly epic.  This probably isn’t the place for a bright pink patterned dress.  Compliment and/or contrast your environment.  On top of the environment we want to make sure you follow these same rules with each other.  

Color Theory

Now that we are ready to pick our colors let’s talk a little color theory.  Again, this isn’t every rule out there but should be a great basic overview.  I want to go over complementary colors and analogous colors as a start.

Complementary colors are what we all learned in grade school.  I never thought these would come back and be useful but here we are talking about your engagement photo session.  Complementary colors look great together because they create visual harmony and compliment each other.  If you look at the color wheel these colors sit across from each other.  Remember that there are various shades in between that also compliment one another.  Use those more earthy versions.

Here is a simple color wheel with the various shades. The closer you get towards the center the more earthy these colors tend to look. Colors across from each other would be considered complimentary. You can also look up other color theories including split complimentary.

Analogous colors are a better fit for those couples that don’t want the contrasty color pop.  Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel and are more comforting and soothing to the eyes.  Varying hues of similar colors are the best example of this.  You can wear mustard as an analogous color to red or orange next to pink.  

Here are some examples of the analogous colors. Again, you can look for the more muted, earthy tones for a natural look.

Now that we are talking colors I feel like I need to get this one out there.  Complimenting is very different than matching.  Wearing the same exact color or a very similar shade would not be a great example of complimenting each other.  If both of you wear a dark color it can be hard in those sunset photos to tell where one of you ends and the other begins.  Be sure to pick varying colors, textures, and tones while still complimenting one another.  Look great together but don’t look the same.

Patterns and Prints

Subtle and small patterns work the best if you want to add some pattern to your outfit.  The large bold patterns can take over the photo and take away from you two as the main focus.  We usually tell our couples to limit yourself to one pattern.  Trying to compliment patterns between two people can be super tricky.  I will count logos as patterns or prints.  They probably just don’t have a great place in your engagement photos.  One of the only times it looks good is if it a part of a theme of the day.  If we are going to U.S. Cellular Field then go ahead and wear that White Sox jersey.  Themes are great, free ads for clothing companies are not.  I wouldn’t even try it, just stick to one if needed.  If you have any questions just email or text us a photo and we can help out.  

Layering For the Weather

One of the trickiest parts about outdoor winter and spring engagement photo sessions is the weather.  You just never know what you are going to get.  If the weather turns cold I’m sure you don’t want to have every photo of you with a winter coat on.  Plan ahead for these sessions and have some layering options.  While we may not see you actually shivering in a photo you can definitely see the stiffness in the shoulders and face that come with it.  Wear clothes that will keep you as warm and comfortable as possible while still looking great for your photos.  Again, it doesn’t make sense to wear short sleeves when there is snow in the background.  

Extra Tip: Bring some hot chocolate in a thermos for after as well as some hand warmers.  We try to being these to every cold session for you too but it doesn’t hurt to have extra.

Accessories and Shoes

Accessories are a great way to take your outfit to the next level.  Unique hats and jackets are a great add-on for some fun photos but keep it simple and plan to just wear the themed pieces for portions of your shoot.  Sunglasses are another accessory that are great to have for certain portions but it should be everyone or no one.  It might look awkward is only one person has sunglasses on and the other doesn’t. 

A common question we get is should I or shouldn’t I wear my prescription glasses.  My view on that one is if you normally wear them then wear them.  If you normally only wear them driving or wear contacts then do that.  The only place we get into the weeds is with transition lenses.  Even if they are what you wear everyday your engagement photo session may not be the best place to wear them.  Seeing the emotion in your eyes is sometimes the entire photo.  

I feel like everyone is wearing a smart watch these days, including myself.  I know for me it leaves an incredibly sharp tan line on my wrist all year round.  Your engagement photo session may not be the best time for the beat up Apple Watch.  You probably don’t want to feature that incredible new ring on your finger with your everyday watch right next to it.  It will take away from the grandiosity.  If you want to wear a watch grab something simple and clean.  

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes.  I feel like this topic is either super important to you or you don’t care at all.  There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.  While I don’t want you to stress over any part of this process I do want you to take a little time to think about the shoes.  They matter more than some would think.  Shoes are a key part of your entire look and comfort.  They must compliment the rest of your outfit.  Pretty much the only time they don’t matter is during a sandy beach session when you take them off anyway.  Plan to walk around quite a bit fi you are doing an engagement session with us.  That takes us back to the very beginning of this article, be comfortable.  We will most likely be walking across many types of terrains including some soft ground so be mindful of the shoes you wear.  Make sure they fit the outfit and the environment.  Give them a quick cleaning before the session and make sure to remove any stickers on the bottom of the shoes.  While we don’t feature the bottom of your shoes often and big white sticker stands out on the bottom of your brown boots in photos.

Hair and Make-up

You know you better than I know you so I don’t feel like I have much to say here.  Wear your hair and makeup in a way that looks like you.  You need to feel confident and beautiful in every part of your engagement photo session look.  Simple and natural looks best on most people.  Keeping your hair down and loose will let it flow and move in the wind.  Sometimes those little movements make for the best photos.

Part of our storytelling process involves getting in nice and close on those important details.  What is detail is more important in an engagement session than the engagement ring?  It may not be a bad time to head out for a manicure to make sure every detail looks great.  This goes for both of you ring wearers and non ring wearers.  We love hand holding photos and when both people have incredibly manicured hands it really makes a difference.  

Quick Guide

Be yourself and comfortable

Dress for the location and the season

Complimentary or analogous colors

Avoid multiple patterns

Natural textures and earthy colors look great

Engagement Session Style Guide

Hotel Baker Wedding

Wedding Venue

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Hotel Baker Wedding

The Hotel Baker wedding venue and hotel was originally built in 1928. It is now on the national registry of historic places. This riverfront hotel is woman owned and known for its exquisite architecture, decadent 1920’s feels, swanky soirees, and old Gatsby style gatherings. It offers several options for reception rooms and ceremony sites depending on the size and style of your wedding. The historic splendor matched with the scenic Fox River and spectacular cuisine can make your fantasy wedding dreams come true.

Located in St. Charles, Illinois this Chicago western suburbs wedding venue is a great choice for everyone. It is located so close to amazing restaurants and bars while conveniently located near the highways. Also, who doesn’t love the fox river area and everything it has to offer.

Outdoor ceremonies at Hotel Baker wedding venue can be held in the Rose Garden or on the Waterfront Patio while receptions are traditionally held in the Rainbow Room or Waterfront Ballroom.

Hotel Baker Wedding Rose Garden + Waterfront Patio

The Rose Garden at Hotel Baker sits right along the fox river in a private area behind the hotel. The garden was designed after a traditional English rose garden and is equal parts beauty and bloom. The colorful rose petals and green hedges offer an incredible backdrop for all of your wedding portraits and bridal party photos. If you are looking for a great first look location, this is your spot.

The Waterfront Patio overlooks the Fox River and is an amazing cocktail hour area for a warm weather Chicago suburbs wedding.

Hotel Baker Rainbow Room

The Rainbow room at The Hotel Baker Wedding venue is the main attraction. The unique oval shape and old world elegance come together to give you the romantic charm you need for your western suburbs wedding. Also, the lighted dance floor can change colors to match your aesthetic. You are in awe as soon as you walk through the doors because of the circular balcony and richly detailed mahogany columns. It is a picture perfect setting for your Chicago wedding.

The two tiered Rainbow Room at Hotel Baker wedding venue is so unique. I have not been to another wedding venue in the Chicagoland area with multi-colored lights shining through the dance floor.

Waterfront Ballroom

The Waterfront Ballroom at hotel baker is a great small wedding reception location. However, it is also a great cocktail hour spot for larger weddings. Large windows overlook the Fox River. The rich history of Hotel Baker oozes through the elegant chandeliers and European marble flooring. If the space ends up feeling too crowded guests can overflow right out to the Waterfront Patio to relax.

Hotel Baker Wedding Pricing

The elegance and exceptional personal service at Hotel Baker is unmatched by anyone in the area. The professional wedding specialist will help you every step of the way. The pricing sheet that Hotel Baker lists on The Knot is from 2016. The list includes pricing of $98-$119 per person depending on the meal choice. Before you make a decision on that price alone know that their prices may have changed since they last updated that website. Also, they include so many items in their wedding package.

Hotel Baker wedding packages include:

  • 4 hour open bar
  • champagne toast
  • wine service
  • starter meal
  • sorbet
  • entree
  • custom wedding cake
  • one late night snack
  • coffee bar
  • coat check
  • king room

Also, they do offer discounts during off-peak times and a 10-15 room block with their wedding packages.

If you are looking for a sophisticated feel for your Chicago western suburbs wedding this is your place. The on-of-a-kind dance floor, ornate millwork, impressive ceilings, and panoramic river views make it ideal. Finally, if that wasn’t enough, they go above and beyond with their exceptional service to make sure you have the perfect wedding day.

If you are ready to book your wedding at Hotel Baker wedding venue head on over to their website and fill out their contact form. Otherwise you can call them at the numbers listed below.

Hotel Baker – 100 W. Main Street, St. Charles, IL 60174

Call them at (630) 584-2100 or (800) 284-0110

If you would like to check out some other great wedding venues head on over to our favorite wedding venues blog.

You can also contact us to see some of our full galleries from Hotel Baker

Hotel Baker Weddings

Wedding Venue

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The Westin Chicago Northwest is a pretty amazing hotel wedding venue located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. This Northwest Chicago wedding venue is known for its all-inclusive wedding packages, unique aesthetic, and modern spacious suites. The Westin Northwest has 19 event rooms to choose from but 4 main ones that are used for weddings. This Itasca wedding venue also has 2 ceremony sites for couples to choose from. They have been around the wedding venue industry for over 35 years and have multiple awards from The Knot and Wedding Wire. Whether you want to exchange vows in the garden or indoors this place is definitely worth checking out.

We placed a ton of our favorite photos at the end of this blog. Go check them out!

If you want to check out some other venues head on over to our local favorites blog.

The Westin Chicago Northwest

Westin Chicago Northwest Itasca

The 14 story Westin Chicago Northwest is located 12 miles from O’Hare International airport and right next door to the very busy Schaumburg Illinois. It is a part of the Marriott Hotel family and has over 400 rooms as well as 29 luxury suites. The luxury interiors, picturesque grounds, and modern, atrium style design make it feel like a luxury resort when you walk through the front doors. It is known to be a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and an incredible destination for a NW Chicago wedding.

The Westin Grand Ballroom

The Grand Ballroom at The Westin Chicago Northwest is the largest ballroom they offer. At 9600 square feet it can host up to 550 wedding guests for dinner and dancing. The grand ballroom offers huge, vaulted ceilings. The adjacent, breezy atrium offer guests another space to stretch their legs.

Westin Northwest Lakeside Pavilion

The Lakeside Pavilion wedding space is the most popular reception location at The Westin Itasca. At 6,720 square feet it can accommodate up to 320 guests year round in its climate controlled, tented space. It is right outside the hotel atrium facing the lakes and incredible willow trees. The spacious tent also has an incredible outdoor ceremony space and cocktail hour space right outside its doors. An airy outdoor wedding ceremony is the perfect addition to a reception in the Lakeside Pavilion.

The Westin Lakeside Pavilion
Westin Itasca Lakeside Pavilion
Westin Itasca Wedding Details
Westin Itasca Wedding

Lakeshore Ballroom and Abricot Ballroom

The Lakeshore Ballroom is a little smaller at 3870 square feet. For a banquet the website says it can handle about 270 guests. Of course it still features spectacular views of the verdant grounds as well as vintage chandeliers and chic accents. The Abricot Ballroom is a similar size at 5300 square feet and can handle around 280 guests for a banquet style event.

Westin Chicago Northwest Wedding Pricing

The Westin Chicago Northwest is located in the $10,000-$12,000 starting range according to their WeddingWire site. They boast about their all-inclusive packaging, incredible culinary team, and their Marriott certified wedding planners. Included in their starting fee is a bridal suite, chairs, china, clean-up, event planning, flatware, glassware, linens, parking, set-up, tables, cake cutting, and servers. They also have options for open bars, premium liquor, signature drinks, and customized wedding cakes. The chefs at the Westin Chicago Northwest will customize dinner to your taste.

Westin Northwest Atrium

Wedding at The Westin Northwest

Whether you are looking for an indoor wedding venue or outdoor wedding venue in the Schaumburg area The Westin Northwest can be your place. Their certified planners are experts at handling weddings for a diverse range of traditions. The outdoor ceremony sites are incredible spaces that overlook swans, willow trees, bridges, lakes, and grand fountains. The indoor wedding reception and cocktail hour areas are grand with plenty of space. The cocktail hour and pre wedding drinks at 400 Park Bistro in the atrium is elevated by marble floors, high ceilings, and tons of natural light for prefect wedding photos.

Westin Chicago Northwest Wedding Photos

This very accessible wedding venue in Itasca has 4.8 stars on The Knot and comes highly recommended. Check out some incredible wedding photos from the Chicago Westin Northwest Itasca below.

The Westin Chicago Northwest

400 Park Boulevard, Itasca, IL 60143

Call them at (630) 773-4000, You will be in great hands with Aileen and Monica!

Get more information at https://www.marriott.com/meetings-events/rfp/event-profile.mi?erfpSignInOverlay=true

Westin Chicago Northwest Wedding

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding

Wedding Venue

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Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding

The Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding venue in Wheeling, Illinois was originally built in 1927 with Tudor style construction. The country club wedding venue is located just 45 minutes from Chicago and close to O’Hare International airport. Additionally, the facility is run by the Wheeling Park District and offers and incredible number of amenities to fit every bride and groom. The Chevy Chase Country Club can accommodate up to 500 guests in the Grand Ballroom and 280 in the Devonshire Room. Also, it is highly reviewed by a ton of Chicago Brides and Grooms and in our experience has been a great venue to work with as a vendor. The stylish event space is intimate yet grand and provides the classic country club ambiance.

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding

The Bridal Suite

Every bride needs the perfect space for her and all of the bridesmaids to get ready. The Chevy Chase Country Club definitely had their brides in mind when they designed the dedicated bridal suite. It is a private and secluded space on the second floor of the wedding venue. There is a private bathroom, ample seating, and several mirrors for all of your getting ready needs. Also, a short walk down the stairs puts you right into the event space so you don’t have to walk too far.

The Abbey

The Abbey is just inside the private entrance into the Grand Ballroom area. A large, vintage, horseshoe bar dominates the space and gives plenty of space for every guest to feel comfortable throughout cocktail hour and the reception time. Also, the vaulted ceilings and large windows also provide great window light for bridal portraits if the outside weather doesn’t want to cooperate.

Outdoor Terrace

The outdoor terrace is a great option for an outdoor ceremony in the warmer Chicago months. But, it is also a great option for quick bridal and bridal party portraits even when it is cold outside. Doors right off of the Grand Ballroom allow easy access for warm-ups. The outdoor stone terrace is expansive and so beautiful in every photo.

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding – The Grand Ballroom

Chevy Chase Country Club weddings are incredible because of the breathtaking Grand Ballroom. The elegant indoor space can accommodate up to 500 guests comfortably. Expansive windows seem like they are everywhere in this portion of the building providing the perfect ambiance for your wedding day. The darker wood of the Grand Ballroom in this Wheeling Illinois wedding venue feels intimate with its serene atmosphere. The 5,000square foot dance floor is at the center of the grand Ballroom. It gives you plenty of space to fill with every guest from your wedding. However, make sure you find an incredible DJ that can make sure this space is full the entire night!

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding Cost

The Chevy Chase Country Club wedding price will depend on a lot of factors and what you choose to include. Hearing from previous brides I know they include a lot in their packages making the cost totally worth it. For examples, just read through their reviews on any of their platforms and you will see that reiterated over and over again. The Chevy Chase Country Club lists on The Knot as affordable and having a starting price listed on Wedding Wire of $900 for a wedding ceremony only on site. However, they also show on there that they are usually priced between $10,000-$12,000 for a 100 guest wedding reception. That seems to be in line for most wedding venues in the Chicago area.

They also have a great staff of event planners, do wedding cake design, and cake cutting. Also, the Chevy Chase wedding venue in Wheeling offers integrated are, sound, and lighting for their space in the Grand Ballroom. Plenty of on-site parking and nearby hotels will ensure your guests are as comfortable as possible.

Chevy Chase Country Club

1000 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, IL 60090

Call them at 847-465-2311

Email at aojeda@wheelingparkdistrict.com

Head on over to our venues page to see more venues that we love

We would love to chat with you about your plans for your wedding day!

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding Venue

The Brix Carpentersville

Wedding Venue

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The Brix Carpentersville, also know as The Brix on The Fox, is becoming a very popular spot for western Chicago suburb weddings. The Brix in CVille opened in September 2018 after a full interior and exterior renovation. The building was originally constructed in the 1880’s for a dairy company. No matter what time of year it is The Brix on The Fox is a great place to host your wedding. The flexibility and easy booking make it a great choice for every couple. Also, it is located right across the street from the beautiful Fox river for incredible bridal party photos.

The Brix Carpentersville

The Brix on The Fox Wedding Venue

The Brix has two completely separate venues for you to choose from. The Two Sixty and The Industria. They are both located in the same building but come with different entrances, bathrooms, bridal suites, and catering kitchens. The Brix Carpentersville first grabs your attention with tons of windows and an incredibly renovated brick exterior. Also, the original building brings on the industrial feel with the renovations giving it a modern touch.

The Two Sixty & The Industria – The Brix Carpentersville

The Two Sixty wedding venue space at The Brix is the largest of the two spaces, and can host up to 320 guests in the 9,000 square feet it offers. However, The Industria is slightly smaller at 7,000 square feet and can comfortably fit 200 guests. The Industria is more industrial chic while rustic elegance sums up The Two Sixty. Both spaces have plenty of free parking, a wedding suite, and the flexibility of wide open spaces for anything you are dreaming up. Every couple has the ability to bring their own caterer and bar. Although, the bartending space is grand and large enough to handle all of your guests. Finally, the bridal suites offer plenty of room for all of your needs.

The Brix on The Fox – Ceremony Space

The open floor plans and curtain systems make it fast and easy for the venue to change over from the ceremony, to cocktail hour, and then into the reception. The high ceilings and natural brick walls make incredibly beautiful backgrounds. Also, you can bring in any of your own decorations to make the space personal to you and your fiancé. As a photographer the other big point to make is that there are plenty of windows to let in all of the natural light needed to make every photo look incredible.

Wedding Reception at The Brix Carpentersville

Transitioning from the ceremony and cocktail hour to the reception is a breeze. The staff at The Brix on The Fox uses a curtain system to transition the space. The all in one rental prices include everything you need to get the reception area ready for your wedding. Giant farm tables and stylish Tolix chairs. help keep that industrial modern vibe going through dinner. They offer all of the planning assistance for their wide open spaces to make sure you are completely satisfied with every step of the way.

The Brix Carpentersville Pricing

This is the part almost everyone is always looking for. I get it, it is a beautiful place and now you need to know if it is in budget. Pricing can always change but all of the information in here is accurate as of the writing of this post. The Brix Carpentersville is known for their whole in one pricing. Also, they are straight forward with all of their packages and pretty all inclusive.

The rentals include:

  • 13 hour rental
  • Farm Tables
  • Tolix chairs
  • Curtain system
  • Private wedding suite
  • Downlights
  • DJ lights
  • Planning assistance
  • Coat room
  • String lights
  • Finally, an Ice Machine

Also, you can request their Photo Booth, rehearsal time, and help with finding other vendors. You can select a caterer from their list or go with anyone you would like. This gives you the ability to shop around and find the best vendors for your day.

Pricing is different for each space.

The Two Sixty Pricing

Bookings for now until 3/15/23 for The Two Sixty are $9,900 for Fridays, $11,900 for Saturdays, and $8,900 for Sundays. After 3/15/23 the pricing goes up to $10,400 on Fridays, $13,400 on Saturdays, and $8,900 on Sundays.

The Industria Pricing

Bookings for now until 3/15/23 for The Industria are $7,900 for Fridays, $8,900 for Saturdays, and $6,600 for Sundays. After 3/15/23 the pricing is $7,900 for Fridays, $9,900 for Saturdays, and $6,900 for Sundays.

Once you are ready to book they just require a 50% deposit to hold your date and then the remaining balance due 90 days prior to your wedding. You can also tack on a rehearsal time if the date is available for and extra $250.

In conclusion, the Brix Carpentersville is a great place to have your Fox Valley wedding. The Fox river location offers incredible photo locations and easy access to all the transportation and hotel needs you will have for the day.

Finally, head on over to The Brix Carpentersville website to schedule your in person tour by making an appointment.

The Brix on The Fox is located at 260 South Washington St. Carpentersville, Il 60110

You can call them at (847) 844-8010 or email them at info@brixonfox.com

Reach out to us if you would like to see a full gallery from The Brix Carpentersville.

The Brix Carpentersville

Danada House Atrium

Wedding Venue

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The Danada House wedding venue is located in Wheaton, Illinois and was built in 1939 by Danial and Ada Rice. Hence the name, Danada House. They built this massive home to help host the many parties they threw for the area’s high end clientele. It was passed through a few famous hands before being sold to the Dupage County Forest Preserve in 1980. The 780 acres and all of its buildings help make up the natural beauty and elegance this wedding venue has to offer.

The entire property that makes up The Danada House wedding venue includes indoor and outdoor options for every bride and groom in the western suburbs of Chicago. We will talk briefly about the outdoor options but this post will focus mainly on what is available during the cold, winter months.

Danada House Atrium

Danada House Wedding Venue Details

The Danada House wedding venue can accommodate up to 250 guests for your big day. The natural beauty of the forest preserve property as well as the modern elegance of the indoor spaces make this an ideal space for you and your guests. They can handle everything from weddings and corporate events to all our private parties. The Dupage County Forest Preserve property has seven ceremony locations. Six of these ceremony locations are outdoors while one is indoors. The property offers a bridal suite for all of your getting ready needs. The space features a relaxed atmosphere with vintage furniture. The parking lot on property can handle up to 150 cars giving you plenty of room for all of your guests. There are also plenty of nearby hotels that will offer shuttle service back and forth.

Weddings here can be booked up to twenty four months in advance and you should probably start early. They have a ton of great reviews form WeddingWire and The Knot so you know it is popular.

Danada Cocktail Hour

The spaces inside Danada House wedding venue are incredible and flexible. There are so many rooms for guests to break off into groups and enjoy quiet time socializing. The charming elegance and rich history of the entire mansion transports guests into another world. Many people feel like it is straight out of a movie set. With an easily accessible bar area and plenty of seating and high tops, cocktail hour is always a hit here.

Danada House Wedding Reception

The reception space at Danada House is stunning. The Dupage County Forest Preserve owns the property and run by the Friends of Danada. The nature, history, and modern elegance all come together in the All-weather atrium. The space features stunning views and floor to ceiling windows on three sides.

You can choose a caterer form their approved list of caterers to make the day as smooth as possible. As of the writing of this post, the list includes Angeli’s, Ashyana Banquets, Belgio’s, Chef By Request, Zeld Catering, Marie’s Catering, My Chef, Tasty Catering, True Cuisine, and Uncle Bub’s. This list could change with the venue so make sure you check with them first.

Danada House Wedding Pricing

The cost to have a wedding at Danada House can change depending on the day of the week. Each wedding rental comes with 5 hours of event time, typically from 6pm-11pm. Friday and Sunday nights start at $3,800 while Saturdays start around $5,000. You can extend your rental time for additional fees as well as add a coat check attendant.

Non-Winter Items

The Danada House includes seven ceremony locations. The indoor location is in the Atrium while the rest are outside. The outdoor ceremony locations include Magnolia Garden, Oak Garden, Rose Garden, Saddleup, as well as Front and Center.

The property is incredible during the winter time. Even when the foliage is dormant. However, go check it out during the summer when everything is green and in bloom. It truly is an incredible venue.

The Danada House Wedding Venue

3S501 Naperville Road, Wheaton, IL 60189

Call them at (630) 668-5392

If you are ready to go check it out, head on over to their website and set up a time to tour.

If you’d like to check out some of our other favorites, go check out our venue’s page.

Danada House Wedding Venue – Winter Style

The Highland Loft Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue

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There are so many decisions that have to be made when planning your wedding. I remember touring so many venues when Rue and I got married way back in 2013. It is no easy task to overcome. Some of you may have your dream venue planned out already and some of you may be searching all over for your ideal spot. The Highland Loft in Elgin, Il could just be that for you. It is a perfect place to have your wedding day from beginning to end. I’ll break down the many reasons this is true in the coming paragraphs.

The Highland Loft Wedding Venue

Elgin and Fox Valley Area

Elgin is one of the largest cities in Illinois. This river town has a large population and a great downtown to host any large event. Several hotels, restaurants, and bars are all around the area to provide entertainment for your guests in the downtime. The Highland Loft Event Venue is also an easy drive to Schaumburg, Geneva, Naperville, and Aurora or a quick walk to the Metro station.

If you are looking for other Fox Valley or Chicago wedding venue ideas head on over to our blog page to see more.

The Highland Loft Event Venue Elgin

Highland Loft Elgin is located right in the heart of downtown Elgin. They provide event space for all sorts of events including weddings, corporate events, private parties, and other special events. The Highland Loft wedding venue is a place I recommend everyone to check out if you are planning a Fox Valley Wedding. One of my favorite things about The Highland Loft is that it is a one stop shop for your day from start to finish. The space is 19,500 square feet and offers so many incredible amenities. Go see their amazing groom’s suite, bridal suite, ceremony space, reception space, bar, and dance area before you look at any other venue.

The best part about The Highland Loft is how incredibly flexible it is. They have several different spaces within the space that they can transform into cocktail hour areas, ceremony space, and reception spaces. The sophisticated and trendy vibes can be everything you need for a small intimate wedding or an elaborate event. The almost 20,000 square feet can handle up to 600 guests, has free WiFi, ample parking, and high quality acoustics. The inside is versatile, unique and topped off with a malleable ambiance and super convenient location.

Some of my favorite highlights include the separate dance floor, customizable layout, fully equipped catering kitchen, on-site coordinator, break out rooms, and plenty of audio visual equipment to meet your needs. Also, they have space for more than 60 tables. I am pretty sure that can handle most of the weddings we shoot.

Let’s break down the individual spaces a bit more.

The Highland Loft Bridal Suite

The bridal suite at The Highland Loft wedding venue has just about every option you need in a bridal suite. Giant windows line the side of the room for perfect natural light in the massive space they provide. Also, it is tucked in the corner of the event space opposite off the groom’s suite to ensure you get the privacy you want during that time. Space is provided for hair and make-up artists to do work their magic. The attached bathroom is a huge perk that you really don’t see everywhere. This space is a perfect place to hang out with your best friends and get ready for the best day of your life.

Highland Loft Groom’s suite

Groom’s suites are becoming more and more popular in Chicago area wedding venues. The groom’s side typically requires a few less amenities since they aren’t bringing in crews for hair and make-up. Although, it is nice to have a space large enough for your entire bridal party to get dressed and relax before the day officially starts. The Highland Loft of Elgin definitely did not forget about the guys.

The room is secluded in a corner of the event space at the end of a long hallway. This gives the guys enough space to not accidentally see the bride and have some fun without disturbing anyone else in the space setting up or getting ready. Again, huge windows provide all of the natural light you will ever need. They also nailed it with the little things. Little coat hooks, mirrors, and super comfortable couches make it the relaxing and easy place the groom and groomsmen need.

Ceremony Space

The Chicago and Fox Valley area weather is so unpredictable. With that being said, having a quality indoor ceremony space is a requirement for much of the year. Highland Loft Elgin stepped up to provide an indoor ceremony space for the area. The stunning ceiling design, floor to ceiling windows, and exposed brick create an industrial, yet rustic, space that takes your breath away when you walk in. This whole space is located on the third floor of a historic building in Downtown Elgin on Highland Avenue.

The ceremony space is well lit with natural light from the massive windows Also, it is separate from the reception area so you don’t have to worry about shuffling guests around to tear down and set up for various portions of the day. Hardwood floors run throughout and top off this fantastic space.

Reception Space

The reception space at The Highland Loft wedding venue in Elgin is downright huge. The hardwood floors continue and meet even more massive windows lining the entire side of the building. The ceilings are beautiful and high providing plenty of space for incredible wedding photos. The space can be divided for more intimate settings or left wide open. Also, a massive bar is right in the reception space as well as a dedicated area for a dance floor. I really loved having a separate space for the dance floor because it felt more like the party atmosphere than the typical middle of the table area set up.

The Highland Loft Elgin Price

The cost of The Highland Lost depends greatly on what event you are looking to book. They have flexible rates and can accommodate any event you are looking to host.

Highland Loft Wedding Photos

Go check out The Highland Loft website for more information

The Highland Loft is located at 168 E. Highland Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120

info@thehighlandloftevents.com or call them at (847) 254-0621

Head over to our Contact Page so we can chat about your wedding photography!

The Highland Loft Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue

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Riverside Receptions and Conference Center in Geneva, Il is right on The Fox river. It is an incredible Geneva wedding venue with two levels, four ceremony sites, and all-inclusive wedding packages to fit every brides vision and budget. The picturesque location, personalized attention as well as the quaint and rustic feel provide a wedding venue in the Chicago suburbs like no other.

Let’s dive deeper into this Geneva, Il wedding venue to break down all the reasons you should consider having your wedding here.

The Knot and Wedding Wire list this riverside event venue as moderate in cost and having a guest capacity of up to 300 people. However, the Riverside website itself says they can seat up to 260 guests for a reception. They come very highly rated with a 5.0 and a 4.9 rating on these two popular wedding sites.

Riverside On-Site Ceremonies

Riverside Receptions and Conference Center offers four different ceremony locations for you to chose from. They include the outdoor courtyard, Mill room, Bridgeview room, and The River Room. The Mill Room is available for main level rentals and can handle up to 110 guests. Also, the outdoor courtyard is available April through October and can handle up to 130 guests. Next, the Bridgeview Room is open for upper level rentals and can handle 130 guests. Lastly, The River Room requires whole building rental but can handle up to 200 guests.

Ceremonies at Riverside Receptions Geneva can be added for a $575 ceremony set-up fee for indoor ceremonies. Additionally, you can choose the outdoor ceremony site for a $650 set-up fee.

Riverside Receptions Wedding Cost

Almost every wedding venue varies their prices based on the day of the week. This wedding venue near St. Charles is no different. Check with the venue for discounts or price changes. Evening receptions are 5.5 hours long but also include a 30 minute cool down time at the end after the bar closes to say goodbye to guests. Finally, here is a quick breakdown of the wedding pricing for Riverside. It should be noted that these are just the minimums for rental. Also, the price will actually vary based on the number of guests and plate chosen.

Riverside Receptions Wedding Pricing Room Minimums

The Lower room has a minimum rental rate of $8,500 on Fridays, $10,000 on Saturdays, and $5,000 on Sundays.

The Upper room has a minimum rental rate of $10,000 on Fridays, $13,000 on Saturdays, and $6,000 on Sundays.

Finally, the whole place has a minimum rental rate of $16,500, on Fridays, $19,500 on Saturdays, and $10,500 on Sundays.

These are just the minimums needed to rent the space. The final price will be based on the number of guests and plates chosen. Prices start at $80 per plate for a single plate option. Also, you can add a second option for $1.75 or a third plate option for $2.50 per person. All pricing here does not include facility fees, 21% gratuity, or the 8% sales tax. Catering and bar service provided by Riverside Receptions Culinary Team. Additionally, special considerations can be made for outside desserts and late night snacks. Food allergies will be accommodated as long as the food and beverage director is notified of the allergy.

When you choose to rent this space you will need to put down a 20% deposit. The next payment is 30% of the minimum and is due six months prior to the event. Finally, the last payment is due the week of the event.

Additionally, final guest count is due ten days prior to the event.

All-Inclusive Wedding Package

The wedding package cost at Riverside includes:

  • Four hour open bar
  • Champagne Toast
  • Wine with dinner
  • Four course meal
  • Custom wedding cake from The Cakery
  • Centerpiece Options
  • Floor length tablecloths
  • Ivory House linen
  • Chiavari chairs
  • Reception coordinator

Riverside Receptions Geneva Lower Level

Riverside Receptions Geneva IL is known for its gorgeous views in a historic building. It can be described as peaceful, tranquil, and quaint with a rustic feel. This all happens because of its floor to ceiling windows as well as natural stone and brick walls.

The lower, or main, level can handle up to 140 guests for a seated dinner. The lower level is right at ground level and includes gorgeous views of The Fox river. The warm and cozy atmosphere helps guests feel right at home and ready to dance their night away. The pub style bar, three charming fireplaces, and natural stone throughout add to the rustic feel.

The Upper Level

The upper level is much larger and can handle up to 260 guests for a seated dinner. The spacious and elegant space offers floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of the Fox river. Also, the candlelit rooms add to the ambiance of the star filled night sky. The room is so well laid out and provides a perfect set-up for every wedding reception.

Brides and grooms have the option to rent the entire building and combine these unique spaces. The seating capacity remains the same due to having everyone eat in the same room but you have the option to have cocktail hour and dancing in different areas. This ensures that you have the entire space to yourself for the entire day.

Riverside Receptions

There are a few things they specifically note on their website for couples to know. These include rules like, no glitter, confetti, or sparklers allowed in the building. Also, vendors can access the space at least two hours prior to the event start. Finally, no outside food vendors without a fee and venue approval.

Riverside Receptions and Conference Center

35 North River Lane, Geneva, IL 60134

Call them at (630) 262-8371

Email them at info@riversidereceptions.com

Having experience at Riverside Receptions is key when photographing a wedding there. Let us know when you are ready to talk about your photography options.

If you are looking for other wedding venues go check out our Top Wedding Venues in the Chicago Suburbs or our venue page on our website

Riverside Receptions and Conference Center

Wedding Details

Weddings

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The Fox Valley in Illinois offers a huge array of wedding venues. You can find pretty much any style you want throughout. Brittany and Matt decided that a ceremony at Geneva Lutheran Church was the best fit for them.

The Geneva Lutheran Church IL is located in downtown Geneva. It sits right on the main strip and offers a ton of restaurants and bars for your guests as well as one of the coolest hotels around, The Herrington.

Geneva Getting Ready Photos

Matt and his groomsmen decided to get ready on the 2nd floor of the Old Towne Pub and Eatery. This spot offered a ton of natural light as well as great food and bar service. Also, the space is massive and gave all the guys plenty of room to spread out. Additionally, Brittany and her bridesmaids got ready at a nearby house.

Geneva Lutheran Church Wedding Ceremony

Matt and Brittany picked the Geneva, IL Church location to start their married life. Pastor Trudy Stoffel took them through the entire process and made their day easy. The downtown Geneva IL Lutheran Church is well done inside and out.

Fox Valley Bridal Portraits

After the ceremony was finished, we took Matt and Brittany around the downtown area and took their bridal portraits. The couples photos were great due to the old buildings, greenery, and proximity to the Fox River. Also, the staff at Niche was also kind enough to let the bride and groom inside to get some amazing wedding bar photos.

Geneva Lutheran Church

The Geneva Lutheran Church in Geneva, IL was a great fit for Matt + Brittany. The uniqueness of the ceremony venue as well as the ample space for family and friends made it an easy choice.

After the ceremony was over and the bridal portraits were done Matt and Brittany headed over to the Chicago Marriott Naperville for their wedding reception. This space was an easy drive and finished off their wedding night on a perfect note.

Go check out our location specific blog about the Naperville wedding reception venue.

Otherwise, head over to our Top Wedding Venues in the Chicago Suburbs Blog for more Spots.

If this spot sounds like a great fit for you head on over to their website!

Geneva Lutheran Church Wedding

Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding venue

Wedding Venue

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The Chicago Marriott Naperville wedding venue is an elegant all-inclusive spot for a dream wedding in Naperville Illinois. Also, there are a ton of perks to having your wedding at a hotel. These spots can offer ceremony space, reception space, and a place to stay for the night. It truly offers all that you could possibly need. The Chicago Marriott wedding venue is a one stop shop. Also, they are well versed in all things weddings to put your mind at ease.

If you want to see an example wedding from here, go check out our other blog.

Naperville Marriott Hotel

Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding Venue Highlights

The venue itself is grand in both size and flexibility. The all-inclusive packages include amenities that every Chicago bride and groom dream of. Also, locally sourced catering all planned by Marriott Certified Wedding Planners ensure that every detail will be handled with the care that you deserve.

Some of the main highlights include:

  • Outdoor & indoor ceremony locations
  • 21 event rooms
  • capacity of 800 reception guests
  • 7,000 sq ft Grand Ballroom
  • Private ballrooms
  • Suitcase wall
  • Custom Chiavari chairs
  • Bridal Suite
  • 18′ ceilings
  • Oversized windows
  • Expansive foyers
  • Spacious lobby area
  • Multiple room configurations
  • High tech lighting packages

Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding Ceremony

This venue is located in one of the most popular Chicago suburbs. Also, conveniently located near Naperville road and I-88 you have access to everything you’ll ever need. You can choose to have your ceremony at any of the local locations or have it right on site. For example, the Naperville Marriott offers one outdoor ceremony location and 5 possible indoor wedding ceremony spots.

Naperville Marriott Wedding Ceremony Cost

  • Naper Patio (outdoor) – $300, capacity – 80
  • Bailey/Hobson Room – $500, capacity – 120
  • Portion of Naper Ballroom – $500, capacity – 150
  • Naper Ballroom – $1,000, capacity – 300
  • Portion of Grand Ballroom – $1,000, capacity – 350
  • Grand Ballroom – $2,000, capacity – 800

The Naper Patio is the only outdoor ceremony location the the Naperville Marriott offers. The rest of the ceremony spots are all indoor. With capacities between 80 and 800 you are sure to have plenty of space for any size wedding in the Chicago suburbs. Also, every wedding ceremony reservation includes banquet chairs, set up, tear down, rehearsal, staging, and a microphone for the officiant.

Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding Reception

The Naperville Marriott is known for its grand and private ballrooms for massive weddings. With a capacity of up to 800 you can’t go wrong. This Chicago suburbs wedding venue has a 4.7 star rating on The Knot and is listed as a moderate cost. The all-inclusive wedding packages include an open bar, four course dinner, and a custom wedding cake. Additional amenities include gorgeous centerpieces, bridal suite, and custom Chiavari chairs. Plenty of upgrades are available to customize the venue to your liking.

All-Inclusive Wedding Packages

The Chicago Marriott Naperville offers three different wedding reception packages. They include the Romance package, Glamour package, and the Indulge package.

The Romance package includes a six hour event with five hours of premium bar. Also, you get three butler passed hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, four course dinner, and wine service through dinner. Custom wedding cake, coffee station, custom menu cards, floor length linens, votive candles, and coat check are also included. Additionally, the Glamour package includes everything from the Romance package but upgrades to top shelf bar. Also, it adds one late night snack, two complimentary suites for the parents, and floral centerpieces for guest tables. Finally, the indulge package includes all the previous options as well as a 24′ head table backdrop, colored satin napkins, and upgraded colored linens or overlays for the head table.

Chicago Marriott Naperville Marriott Wedding Cost

The total price to have a wedding at the Naperville Marriott depends on a few factors. The total cost is based upon the number of guests and which entree you choose. For example, you can plan to spend between $85-$133 depending on which entree you choose for your guests. The cheapest option at $85 is the vegetarian option while the most expensive at $133 is the Filet Mignon. They also offer sorbet, a children’s menu, and a vendor meal at a lower price.

You can also choose to upgrade just the type of bar service or add hours on depending on your needs. The Marriott Certified Wedding Planners can help you figure out exactly what you need. Contact them to go over all the decor options as well as the late night snack additions to keep your guests fueled for the entire night.

Naperville Marriott Hotel

We have gone over all the details about the site as a wedding venue. Now it is time to dive into the hotel amenities. The hotel offers 424 guest rooms, two hotel shuttles, great central location near the highway, indoor pool, and on-site dining. Also, the hotel has a full service Starbucks, Great room bar, as well as upscale, on-site accommodations. Additionally, every couple that books a wedding with the Naperville Marriott gets a free one night stay for their one year anniversary. Finally, check out the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards before you book to make sure you get all the perks you deserve.

Naperville Illinois Wedding Venue

One stop shop wedding venues are a great fit for a lot of couples, but not every couple. If you are looking for some other unique locations go check out our Top Wedding Venues in the Chicago Suburbs. Also, you can visit our Venue page on our website.

The Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding venue is a great place to have a worry free dream wedding. Also, the availability of a Marriott Certified Wedding Planner make it easy get everything set the way you want it.

The Chicago Marriott Naperville is located at 1801 N. Naper Boulevard, Naperville, Illinois 60563

If you are ready to check it out call them at (630) 505-4900 or go to the Marriott Website.

Let us know when you are ready to have us capture your Naperville Illinois Dream wedding! Head over to our contact page.

Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding Venue