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0 In Elopement/ Inspiration/ Real Weddings

Washington State Elopement

Despite living and getting married in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jessica wanted her wedding photos with her fiance Glen to feature the Pacific Northwest area where she had spent much of her adult life. With photographer Traci Edwards on board, they took the opportunity to get Jessica the pictures she’s always dreamed of having while creating beautiful memories during Glen’s first trip to Washington. This little mini-elopement would take place prior to an intimate ceremony later in Arizona.

Traci met them at their Airbnb in Anacortes on a rainy cold day, but they still conquered the day hiking several trails and popping champagne! Jessica said: “Being from the Northwest, I’d always hoped to have Wedding photos taken in my home state with my husband-to-be. I’m now beyond excited to say, these photos and this memory will forever hold a very special place in my heart, and will be treasured for years to come. Not only was Traci able to capture the love (and laughter) I have with my future husband, but she was able to so perfectly capture the rainy, but beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Elopement Adventure Photographer
Elopement Adventure Photographer

Couple: Jessica & Glen
Photographer: Traci Edwards Photography
Location: Eagle’s Bluff Airbnb in Anacortes, Washington
Dress, Hair, & Makeup: by the bride
Flowers: Market Lavender


1 In Holidays/ Inspiration/ Styled Shoot

Lady Bosses Celebrate – A Galentine’s Day Shoot

So for any Parks & Recs fans out there, you know that Valentine’s Day is preceded by what some might consider to be an even more important day, “Galentine’s Day”. This unofficial holiday created by Amy Poehler’s TV character is a day for ladies to celebrate ladies. Transcending the screen into real life, Galentine’s Day celebrations have been popping up for the past few years now.


Photographer Sarah Heppell said, “ever since attending a Galentine’s bash an hour and a half away with my bff Jenn last year, I’ve wanted to create something locally that gave me the same warm and fuzzy feelings. The feelings I experienced when I was celebrating friendship in a room with 100 other gals, sipping on mimosas, listening to music, eating yummy treats and getting our craft on – happy, thankful, excited, and full from delicious food, to name a few. #ladiescelebratingladies style! So I created it on a small level. A styled shoot and after party for all of my lady boss business owning gal pals!!! We set up, did the shoot, and then enjoyed our labor of love and we photographed that, too! Happy Galentine’s Day!”


What a fun group. Maybe they can invite me next year! Do any of you celebrate Galentine’s Day officially or unofficially? Let me know in the comments.


Linens and Coverings: BBj Linen Chicago  // Specialty Foods: 1911 Spirits // Floral Designer: Whistlestop Florist Inc // Bakery: The Half Moon Bakery // Other: Jeff the Magic Man // Calligrapher:Lanni Made // Cake Designer: The Cake Shop CNY // Bakery:The Sweet Praxis // Equipment Rentals: She Rents Vintage // Design & Styling: MLH Events // Photographer: Sarah Heppell Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

0 In Lounge/ Show Spotlight

Diamond Daydream Lounge

In honor of the tenth year of Indie Wed, we’ve partnered with Chicago Vintage Weddings and Lakeshore In Love to bring you the Diamond Daydream Lounge! We’ve curated the winter wonderland of your wildest dreams inspired by iridescent colors and abstract shapes. Follow the twinkling signs by Paper Love Club to the third floor to meet our exclusive Indie Wed vendors.

Hang out in The Cube, a shimmering collaboration by Zuzu’s Petals and Atmosphere Events Group, with furniture from Chicago Vintage Weddings. Let Northern Fork Catering & Events lift your spirits after a long day of wedding planning with their own special take on some cocktails and light bites that you know and love, then show off your true colors on the dance floor with music provided by Toast & Jam DJs. Make sure to check out our beautiful custom art installation by Black Candy Design and maybe even have Colin Lyons Photography  snap a photo of your crew in front of it! Make sure to visit the Surmesur table for tips on how to look your best on your big day. And what’s better than that sun-kissed look in the Summer? Icy, iridescent glitter freckles from Fearless & Bella that will have you showing off your arctic sparkle to all your friends.

*If you haven’t had enough to eat, don’t miss Doughnut Vault ’s doughnut wall (as if we could ever say no to a doughnut).

Want to see more? Check out the Pinterest board we used during the planning of this lounge.

1 In Events/ Lounge/ Wedding Planning

Prost! Visit the Wedtoberfest Wedding Lounge

If you don’t already have enough reasons to attend the upcoming 9th Annual Winter Indie Wed, let me give you one more!  As with year’s past, we’ve tasked one special Chicago event planner with transforming the entire 3rd floor of the Ravenswood Event Center into a lounge for attendees to relax in between visits with vendors below.  This year we are partnering with the Carlene Smith of Naturally Yours Events to create an elegant Wedtoberfest-themed lounge.

Interested?  Well, let me tell you more! Oktoberfest has come early this year at Indie Wed! The third floor has been reimagined into the chicest beer hall in the city, with a quirky and bright color palette that will combat any winter blues. Immerse yourself in a mix of hops and neon. Yup, I said neon! Take a peek at her lounge themed Pinterest board right here for some ideas you can swoon over.

Carlene has curated an incredible selection of vendors for you to experience this weekend. Atmosphere Events Group will help set the mood with lighting and decor while Relics Vintage Rentals showcases a warm and inviting tablescape. Nibble small bites paired with beer and beer cocktails, courtesy of FIG Catering. Sugar Fixe Patisserie will help you indulge your sweet tooth. Don’t miss the bespoke ceremony backdrop created by Black Candy Design. Paper Love Club has all the paper goods taken care of with their whimsical take of wedding invitations. Do a double take on the stunning floral arrangements created by The Striped Petal as they are all created from paper. Look your best with attire from The Groomsman Suit and make sure you say ‘beer cheese’ as photographer Ryan Moore Photography is on hand to capture the day. Last but not least, Gussied will get you up and moving as they play live music throughout the day.

So if that doesn’t get you in the mood even more, I don’t know what will.  This year’s show is going to be amazing and this will be just one more reason you will be glad you came.  Tickets are on sale now.  Visit here to get yours while they are still available.

And if Wedtoberfest sounds a little familiar, that is because it is our sister show. Naturally Yours Events and Indie Wed, pair up every fall for a unique event that pairs wedding planning with the casual atmosphere of a beer fest. The Wedtoberfest lounge will give you a preview of the next event, coming in October of 2018.



0 In Food/ Sponsors

Healthy Snacks For Your Big Day

Planning a wedding can be exhausting. Countless hours spent going from vendor meeting to vendor meeting, late nights deciding who will sit where, and then of course… the big day! Even if you are lucky to have gotten a good night’s sleep the night before your wedding, chances are you will be up early and may not get a chance to rest till the wee hours of the night. While you are busy getting ready, it is important to take care of yourself (as well as your bridesmaids/groomsmen) and stay nourished.

When Indie Wed was approached by KIND snacks to partner for our upcoming event, at first I was a bit confused. What do healthy snack bars have to do with weddings? I love KIND bars. The dark chocolate almond mint bars are my go-to snack when I’m in the office. I love the KIND snacks mission and their use of natural ingredients. But weddings? I didn’t get it.

Then I was chatting with event planner Carlene Smith of Naturally Yours Events and she reminded me how perfect KIND snacks are for weddings.

“I like to keep Kind Bars in my emergency bag in case anyone in the wedding party gets hangry or too tipsy and needs something in their stomachs. “

Of course! Keep a stash of them in your bag so they are ready to hand out at a moment’s notice. You never know when you might need a little extra protein… while getting your hair done, on the ride over to the ceremony, or a late night snack on the way to the hotel. Pass them out to your bridal party, put them in goodie bags in your guests’ hotel rooms, or be the best client ever by making sure your DJ, photographer or other vendors have a snack to get them through the long night ahead.

While KIND has a range of products, I’m most excited to try their pressed snack bars. Pressed by KIND is a healthy and tasty snack to sustain you through preparations for your wedding and to share with your guests!  Like all KIND products, Pressed is made from simple and nutritious ingredients that you can see and pronounce.

The best part… KIND will be on-site at Indie Wed for you to try some the newest and most delicious Pressed flavors! #GiveKINDaTry

0 In Holidays/ Newlywed

A Newlywed’s Guide to Gifting

It’s your first holiday together as a married couple.  Even if you have been together forever, the pressure is on to make this important first a memorable one. That includes the gift(s) you plan to give each other. Sometimes trying too hard is all it takes to send your stress level, budget, and the occasion spiraling out of control.  Before you venture too far down that path and make it memorable for all the wrong reasons, use the following tips as a guide to help you plan your wish list.

Talk It Over

While this holiday represents an important milestone in your lives together, it is very different than navigating the first holiday after you met.  Back then budget differentials and awkward unknowns made determining an appropriate gift virtually impossible.  The chances of an epic failure were high, and someone was bound to be disappointed or read too much into the cost or nature of a gift.  Now you are a married couple.  You have navigated through the deal-breakers and decided to make it legal.  You know one another’s fears, incomes, debts, personalities, and deepest desires.  Don’t set yourselves up for disappointment.  Discuss your expectations well in advance, and decide together how much to spend, and what level of thought needs to be put into the purchases.

Practical Solutions

If the transition into marriage has left you with household needs, consider using your holiday budget to acquire some of the items that didn’t make it from your registry to your wedding reception.  Knife sets and vacuum cleaners may not be as exciting as jewelry or new tech toys, but they very effectively reflect the deep meaning of the commitment you have made to one another. Just make sure if you go the practical route that you both agree.  Stepping outside of this agreement harkens back to that very first holiday after you met, and can lead to hurt feelings and disappointment. Here are more gift ideas that every couple needs in their home.


Low on Budget, High on Fun

Couple’s today are covering more, if not all, of the cost of their own wedding.  That often means the first holiday is a cash-strapped one. Newlyweds can combat the urge to dig the debt hole even deeper by turning the holiday into an adventure.  Set a very specific spending limit, and consider gift shopping only at thrift stores.  For added fun, shop your personal items that made it into the marriage, but not into the house or apartment. This will also serve as a reminder to make a final decision about those items instead of leaving them in permanent storage in your attic or basement.

Maximum Impact

If budget is not an issue for you and you’re hoping for a major wow-factor, consider purchasing that one item that your spouse has been eyeing but just couldn’t bring themselves to splurge on.  This might be as small as a new cell phone or as large as a new car.  Just make sure if it is a major purchase – anything requiring a contract commitment, or anything else they will have to live with for years to come – that it is something they truly want, and you have been given the authority within your relationship to make that decision without them.  An alternative, to avoid any fallout that might result, is to make this major purchasing commitment together.


Financial circumstances will certainly dictate the gift exchange for this first official holiday as a married couple, but it doesn’t have to dictate your level of enthusiasm.  Setting expectations in advance will help you both navigate the gift exchange with minimal stress.  It will be a wonderful and memorable experience as long as you remember to enjoy the time together and make gift decisions that strengthen your bond and help build your future together.


Article by contributor, Julie Morris
Ms. Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways.

Images via Pixabay

0 In Events/ Lounge/ Show Spotlight

Let Love Bloom Wedding Lounge

If you don’t already have enough reasons to attend the upcoming 8th Annual Winter Indie Wed, let me give you one more!  Similar to last year’s event we will be transforming the entire 3rd floor of the Ravenswood Event Center into a lounge for attendees to relax in between visits with vendors below.  This year we are partnering with the wedding blogger collective Aisle Society to create a stunning lounge with the theme Let Love Bloom.

Interested?  Well, let me tell you more!

Winter might still be raging outside, but spring is in the air at Indie Wed! Follow the scent of flowers and freshly cut grass to the third floor, where Aisle Society and a select group of vendors will #LetLoveBloom. Under the direction of Heirloom Event Co., immerse yourself in a virtual garden to brighten up your day, with fresh greenery, and beautiful blossoms from Fifty Flowers. The perfect place to take a spring break, the lounge will also include rentals from Chicago Vintage Weddings, floral arrangements from Jill Christine Studio, sips and bites from Lula Cafe, and decadent desserts from Sugar Fixe Patisserie. Nika Vaughn Bridal Artists will be on hand to discuss all your beauty needs while Notable Nails will have a mini-manicure station set up from 11-3. Before you go, be sure to head over to our fun photo booth, sponsored by RED Weddings and Aisle Society, for a sunny selfie or two. The first 250 visitors to Aisle Society’s booth will receive a gorgeous Let Love Bloom tote!

So if that doesn’t get you in the mood even more, I don’t know what will.  This year’s show is going to be amazing and this will be just one more reason you will be glad you came.  Tickets are on sale now.  Visit here to get yours while they are still available.