Maggie and Joe : Chicago Botanic Gardens

Wow, I don’t even know where to start with describing this unbelievable wedding at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Chicago, Il. It was one of the most spectacular events I have had the honor of documenting. Not only was it a photographer’s dream, with all the color and eye popping floral, but Maggie and Joe are one of my favorite couples!! It was such a joy to work with them, their families and all the hard working vendors who helped make this the wedding of their dreams!

Chicago Botanic Garden wedding. Blue floral wedding dress and custom designed suit.

Below the images, I have posted the elegantly worded write up by the couple and Jesse, from Bliss Weddings and Events. The whole event was simply magic, hats off to everyone who made this day happen!

Chicago Botanic Garden wedding. Blue floral bow tie to match the custom designed wedding dress.

One of a kind Oscar de la Renta blue lace wedding shoes

Custom designed blue floral wedding dress by Francesca Miranda

Custom designed wedding invitations with hand drawn wedding map. The floral pattern was used through out the theme of the wedding

Unique groom and groomsmen boutonnieres

Chicago Botanic Garden wedding. Blue floral bow tie to match the custom designed wedding dress. Chicago Botanic Garden wedding. Blue floral bow tie and suit for the groom Bride and groom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Blue Floral wedding dress and custom designed suit Bride and groom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Blue Floral wedding dress and custom designed suit White bridesmaid dress with colorful flowers White bridesmaid dress with colorful flowers Family time at the Chicago Botanic Gardens wedding Bride and groom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Blue Floral wedding dress and custom designed suit wedding party at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

Ceremony programs and refreshments Garden ceremony set up Wedding ceremony in the garden Walking down the aisle at the Chicago Botanic Gardens Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_20 Wedding ceremony in the garden at Chicago Botanic Garden Married!! Dogs with bow ties at a wedding

Margarita bar set up in the english courtyard at the Chicago Botanic Garden Margarita bar Margaritas and cocktails at the Chicago Botanic Garden Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_27 Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_28 Reception appetizers passed during cocktail hour at Chicago botanic garden Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_30 Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_31

floral table assignments and table cards floral table cards unique reception chairs at chicago botanic garden wedding custom deigned reception menu Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_36 Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_37 custom deigned reception menu Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_39 Garden tented wedding reception in chicago Garden themed wedding in Chicago Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_42 wedding cake using the same floral pattern on the invitation set

We are so excited to announce that this wedding is featured in The Knot National Magazine, on stands now!

Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_44 Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_45 Maggie and Joe_Jen Lynne Photography_46

Event Design & Planning: Jesse Deckard of Bliss Weddings & Events, Chicago IL
Cinematography: I Do Films, Winnetka IL
Location: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe IL
Floral & Décor: HMR Designs, Chicago IL
Lighting & Rigging: Frost Lighting, Chicago IL
Ceremony Musicians: As Your Folks, Chicago IL
Band: Marc Broussard, Louisiana
DJ: Style Matters, Chicago IL
Catering: Culinary Landscape, Glencoe IL
Cake: Cake Sweet Food Chicago, Chicago IL
Other Sweets: Three Tarts Bakery, Northfield IL & Reno, Chicago IL
Printables and Invitations: EJD Design, Chicago IL
Linens: BBJ Linen, Niles IL & Tailored Elements, Chicago IL
Ceremony Chairs: Halls Rental, Chicago IL
Ceremony Benches: A La Crate Vintage Rentals, Madison WI
Reception Chairs: Classic Party Rentals, McCook IL
Vintage Rentals: A La Crate Vintage Rentals, Madison WI
Photo Booth: 312 Photo Booth, Chicago IL
Bridal Gown: Francesca Miranda
Bridal Shoes: Oscar de la Renta & Harriet Wilde
Groom’s Attire: Custom suit by Formally Modern, Allen Edmonds belt, shoes by Too Boot New York, watch by Shinola
Bridesmaids: Lula Kate & Anna Elyse
Bridesmaids Jewelry: Leber Jeweler
Groomsmen Attire: Custom suits by Formally Modern, socks from Urban Outfitters, belts by Trafalgar
Beauty: Ashley Condron of RC Beauty, Chicago IL & Rosie Scianna of Makeup by Rosie, Chicago IL
Guest Gift Bags: Logan’s Square Farmers Market tote bag, Chicago Honey Co-op, Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, Mama’s Nuts, River Valley Ranch & Kitchens

ABOUT THE WEDDING – by the couple

Wedding Dress:

Francesca Miranda – All the women that work at Francesca Miranda are mothers who are sole income of their homes. In Spanish they call it “madres cabeza de familia” which translates to “mothers head of their home” literally.
There are approximately 20 women with this quality who work in the atelier. Also, they work closely with artisans from around Colombia who have taught them ancestral techniques that they use today.
How did you meet?
Joe and I casually chatted via tinder for a month or so before we officially met for what we have termed our “feeler” date on February 15 at Moe’s cantina (classy, we know). I planned to have just one beer that night since I had to work the next day, but somehow he managed to keep me entertained for 3 Modelo Especials. We casually parted ways – he went out with his buds and I went home and cuddled with Beans.
One week later he took me out on our first real date to my choice of Antique Taco. This was when we really hit it off. I shared my mushroom taco with him and we drank too many margaritas. After we finished dinner we ended up walking down the street and stopping into Nick’s Beer Garden for some live music and our first “photobooth contest” aka PBC. We couldn’t figure out how to choose the border for the picture strip and we ended up with one that read “Marriage is a wonderful journey.” Little did we know that this border would become a reality almost 2 years later.

How did you get engaged?

Short story:
he carved “will you marry me?” on a pumpkin!

Long story:
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Joe had scheduled a “brunch and pumpkin carving contest” in our shared calendar so that’s what the plan was for the day. We ate brunch at Longman & Eagle and then headed over to the farmers market. We perused each farm stand to decide which had the best pumpkin selection. I picked mine out pretty quickly, but Joe was taking this very seriously – he needed to make sure that his planned sketch would fit the pumpkin. I pointed out a pumpkin for him that was taller than the other ones (not knowing what it would be used for) and he said it was the perfect one.

We got home and setup outside to carve since it was 70 degrees and sunny! We sat on opposite sides of the table so that we could keep our pumpkins hidden and surprise each other when our carvings were finished (the same as we did the Halloween the year before). Since Joe had won the pumpkin carving contest the year prior, I spent the first 15 minutes or so searching for a good stencil to use because I wanted to “win” this year. He put music on and the first song that played was our song by Marc Broussard, “The Beauty of Who You Are”. He started carving and immediately covered his work-in-progress with a towel. At one point during the carving, I honestly thought in my head “is he going to propose on that pumpkin? No, he wouldn’t do that…” I kept telling him I might win. As he was carving he kept getting frustrated at mistakes he was making and he said he “needed to perform surgery” on some of his cutouts so he grabbed some toothpicks and continued working. When we were both finished I suggested that we put our pumpkins next to each other, towels still covering them, switch seats and unveil each other’s masterpieces. We switched seats, but he told me to wait. He said his pumpkin had a presentation. Then he dug in his pockets for some notes. He started reading and immediately got choked up. I kept saying in my head “is this really happening right now?!” I couldn’t believe it. I remember stopping him mid-proposal and telling him to wait because John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland” was playing and it was too distracting so I quickly turned it off! Haha, he continued reading his beautiful proposal and when he was done he fished in his pocket for the gorgeous sapphire engagement ring, got down on one knee and asked “will you marry me?” Of course I said yes and started hugging him while he stood up, but he really wanted me to see his pumpkin, which read “Will you marry me?” It was so perfect and amazing. We hugged and hugged and enjoyed the moment. He asked me if I wanted to call people and I suggested we go for a nice walk through Palmer Square and have some time engaged just him and me. We went for a lovely walk through our favorite Palmer Square Park before the craziness of calls, celebrations and the beginning of our wedding planning.

Your vision for the day:

We wanted an intimate outdoor wedding that represented us as a couple and incorporated our non-traditional traditions.

Your favorite details from the day:

The paper goods by Liz Dixon – they still make me happy to look at and I love that they were printed on seed paper☺We liked how the wedding represented our values of being sustainable and not wasting – details like the linen cocktail napkins were a lovely touch and the
Chicago Botanic Gardens composted all food leftovers. Seeing the escort cards displayed as little vases with single stem florals was a beautiful entrance to the reception.

Your favorite memory of the day:

Our first look and the ceremony. Both moments felt so intimate and special and were so much more meaningful than we both expected.

Any other notes you would like to leave:

We wanted the wedding to be as local, sustainable and eco conscious as possible.


DESIGN OF THE WEDDING – by Bliss Weddings & Events

Overall Feeling

Maggie and Joe wanted a wedding that was organic and gardeny with lots of color and textures.


Set in the middle of the Rose Garden in the semi round for intimacy, we created a vibrant yet classic garden setting. Guests arrived to a flavored water station where they could enjoy a fresh beverage before the ceremony. Custom printed fabric matching the floral pattern created for the unique inner envelope of the invitation was used on reclaimed wooden benches as cushion alternating with rows of French country chairs. A faux grass walkway was laid as a solid path for guests to make their way to their seats and provide a surface for the bridal party to stand. A wrought iron arch and matching chandelier were covered in vibrant jewel toned floral and textural foliages as if the structure was permanent in the garden and had been grown on. Programs were handed out made of seed paper printed in deep blue to coordinate with Maggie’s dress and to be planted when guests take them home. A dusting of fresh white roses petals signified the start of the ceremony.


Taking place in the English Walled Garden, simple highboy and cabaret tables were draped in textural white jute linens and cinched with fresh foliages. Maggie and Joe loved margaritas so we created a custom margarita bar named after their signature, Moe’s Margarita Bar. Recycled hand made white tissue Mexican Flags were suspended from tree branches and a vintage hand painted mirror welcomed guests to the bar to order their margarita of choice out of our three specialty options. White hemstitch napkins were passed with hors d’oeuvres and at the bar to create less waste than paper napkins.

Dinner & Dancing

Maggie did not like the white tent ceiling of the tent where dinner and dancing were to take place. So we decided that we wanted to turn it into a lush garden canopy composed of wild green smilax and dripping white wisteria. Over 14,000 stems of white wisteria were suspended from a cabling grid structure that was created throughout the entire tent that was then covered in smilax. Guests arrived to dinner to find eclectic petite budvases each filled with varieties of single stems blossoms with their calligraphed escort card tied to them for them to take to their tables and add to the colorful floral tablescapes. Reclaimed wooded tables were draped with vintage white lace runners and then layered with both textural floral and various candlelight in organic and vintage eclectic vessels. Square tables drapes in textural white linen cloths featured bold textural floral as well paired with vintage mix and max china and flatware. A seed paper menu created in deep blue was placed at each place setting inside a white hemstitch napkin. Hand designed table numbers were placed on each table with each being uniquely designed. Gold wrought iron chairs added a pop of antique gold around each tables. Collections of eclectic vintage lounge furniture were placed in the grass outside of the bars giving guests a place to relax and take a break from dancing. Vintage buffets and workbenches made up two dramatic sweets stations that were layered with vintage silver trays and cake stands with plethoras of sweets. Three miniature cakes of different styles, one including a custom printed sugar paper of the floral pattern from the invitation, were accented with a combination of hand made sugar flowers and fresh floral blooms. Guests danced the night way as cold lemon scented towels were passed on the dance floor for a refreshing summer touch.