A Flower-Filled DIY Wedding at A New Leaf Florist in Chicago, Illinois
Graphic designers Janell Jones (34) and Joe Nelson (37) spent months searching for the perfect all-in-one venue their summer Chicago wedding, only to find their dream space right under their noses...literally. "We got married at A New Leaf -- the flower shop we used to create our arrangements!" the bride says. "It was perfect for us -- it had a chapel up top, mid and lower levels and an outdoor garden space. Plus, two of Joe's coworkers got married there, so we knew firsthand how we could utilize the space." Dressed in a vintage-inspired gown complete with a delicate cathedral-length veil, Janell and her groom used a natural color palette of cream, green and brown to pull off their flower-filled garden wedding in the heart of Lincoln Park. "We carried the color palette into our flowers, which were lush and slightly unkempt," the bride says of her peony-and-succulent-filled bouquet. Dozens of DIY details added a personalized touch to the venue's airy space, including custom-stamped paper fans and handcrafted signs created by the groom himself. "Joe and I worked for months spray-painting letters and crafting paper flowers for the aisle," Janell says. "We even designed our invitations, magazine favors and wedding website together." In lieu of a traditional cocktail hour, the newlyweds and 75 guests immediately kicked off the night's celebration with custom cocktails, a photo booth, an intricate cake table and an unexpected dance routine from the bride. "I was finishing up my thank-you speech when one of my bridesmaids began dancing barefoot along with the DJ," Janell says. "More friends joined in, and I played along as if I didn't know what was going on. Then I busted out in a lip sync of Beyonce's 'Love on Top' for Joe. It was a big hit, and he was totally surprised!"