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

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!"

The couple scouted out various modern spaces and lofts before settling on A New Leaf in Chicago. "We chose it because it had a chapel up top, a mid-level [and] lower-level space and outdoor area," the bride says. "Plus, it's a bundle package -- you get your florist and venue in one!"
Vintage-Inspired Wedding Reception at A New Leaf
In search of a romantic look with a modern cut, the bride chose this trumpet-style dress purchased at Brides by Demetrios. "It had a sweetheart neckline and the entire back was cut out," Janell says. "I even wore a long, lace-edged veil along with a gardenia in my hair."
Janell Getting Ready
Beaded Silver Wedding Belt
"The staff at A New Leaf was so friendly and literally mastered our arrangements for us," the bride says. "I just loved my bouquet!"
The couple designed their own logo and ordered a custom stamp off of Etsy that was used to decorate the handmade paper fans for the ceremony.
Indoor Ceremony at A New Leaf
DIY Here Comes the Bride Sign
Straw Wedding Broom
A New Leaf Wedding Reception in Chicago
Glass Vases in Wood Containers
The groom illustrated and hand-lettered all of the signs scattered throughout the reception space -- including this chalkboard menu!
Candy Station With Glass Jars
The couple recruited boutique baker Cookie Crumb Cupcakes to bring together their custom dessert table. "They create cakes with cookies on the bottom," the bride says. "We had an assortment of sweets, including key lime and caramel mini cakes!"
Cookie Crumb Cupcakes created this key lime wedding cake for the couple along with a complete dessert table.
Creative Photo Booth Props
Janell and Joe Magazine Programs