You’ve got great taste and we’ve created this very particular wedding guide with you in mind. We know that you want your wedding to reflect your taste and be fun, too: in both the planning and on the day, for you and your whole crew. We won’t be going into details about save the dates and buttercream vs. fondant because there are enough very thorough wedding-planning guides that’ve already got that covered. We’re here to hook you up with the awesome people ready to help you get hitched in high style at Dose Trousseau: the wedding vendors who are aesthetically-ambitious, most excellent in their field, Love-loving people who will partner with you to make your wedding absolutely kick-ass. We’ve gathered them in the spirit of joy and excitement we hope you carry with you on the day of your wedding and far into the future. We’ve been in the mines digging for the gems and here they are all wrapped up in a giant bow. We hope you love them. We sure do.
You’re engaged, you’ve set a date, you’ve booked your venue. Now you need to start the invitation project. It is a project!
INeedYourAddress.com is what you need to deploy now. Whatever list you have is most likely wildly out of date. Use this tool to send your email list a link and you’ll receive in return a functional list of all the mailing addresses you need in a standard format that will make sending your save the dates and invitations infinitely easier than the alternative. No tears need be shed here.
Now, let’s take this party analog.
EVR PAPER CO. is the brainchild of Christine Bellagamba, an artist excelling in finely-detailed watercolor illustrations. She comes from a family of printers and is trained in fine art and botanical illustrations. She puts her watercolor magic to use in custom illustrations of cities, forests, maps, and pretty much whatever her clients want for their wedding invitations. In addition to illustrations, she creates entire invitation suites in her gorgeously detailed, light, and organic style. Adore!
Sarah Drake Design has been designing custom wedding invitations for over a decade. Sarah creates invitation suites from scratch. She meets her clients to find out exactly what they’re into–what their home is like, what they do for fun, what their dog’s name is–and creates an invitation suite that reflects their taste. Sarah excels at the details: fine papers, foiling, custom liners, edge painting, silk ribbons, wax seals. Launching on Valentine’s Day, Sarah is also offering ready-made invitations that couples can customize and order online. So easy to work with!
Bushyl Calligraphy is modern calligraphy–elegant without being stuffy. Stephanie Schertz can calligraph (yep, that’s the word!) your wedding invitations, table numbers, escort cards, menus, wedding signs, and anything, really, to give your celebration the personal touch no printed font can reproduce. She specializes in watercolor calligraphy and will craft her hand lettering to match your wedding design, sourcing all the materials you need from fab papers to wooden signs.
If you’re into tight balls of white roses we have nothing to offer you here. These florists work in the wilder, gardeny, Dutch Masters realm of floral artistry. We hope they are open for your date. Seriously, you’re going to be walking in a wonderland of flowers with these pros.
Pollen is the leading edge in green floral design in Chicago. Owner and Designer Lynn Fosbender’s green commitment runs deep: she studied prairie restoration and co-founded the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance. She sources flowers from U.S. growers using certified green practices and uses new techniques to arrange flowers without toxic floral foam. Lynn is a master with 16 years in floral design and pioneered the gardeny style that we love. It’s easy to spot her floral designs by their elegant, balanced structure, lively movement, and texture.
Field & Florist is the company of two florists, Heidi and Molly, who also grow their own flowers. They’ve been farming rows of dahlias and special blooms right outside the city and now they’re making a big leap to growing in southwest Michigan–with greenhouses to keep things blooming all year long. Expect rare delights like Icelandic poppies and absolutely fantastic, imaginative designs. Martha Stewart loves them. Sweet Paul loves them. We love them. [Full Disclosure: Molly was previously a Dosette.]
Becca Blue Flowers creates super dreamy, romantic florals. Becca lives and breathes flowers and it’s hard to understand how she can get so many stems into a vase. Each arrangement is like a painting: Becca loves to create fantastical floral installations from arches to hanging greenery. No two of her weddings look alike. She absorbs all of your details and comes up with a fabulously custom floral wonderland.
These designers are mining hard-won beauty. They are up against mass market dresses of subpar quality. Based in Chicago and New York City, they are putting every shred of their imagination and artistry into the New Bridal, creating stunning, romantic, handmade designs with ethical practices. You are going to look brilliant.
Samantha Sleeper designs are for the free-spirited, elegant, cool, gracious, fashion-forward bride who thinks beyond the traditional weddingscape. Her dresses are fluid, ethereal, whimsical, and unlike any other dresses you’ve seen …. let alone wedding dresses. You have to see them to understand. Samantha Sleeper’s atelier is in New York City but you’ll often find her on a flight to fit and hand deliver.
Alyssa Kristin started her career in public accounting before transitioning into the bridal world. While engaged, Kristin struggled to find The Dress and decided to take matters into her own hands (literally). She is self-taught and her wedding dress, the Alessandra gown, is the first gown she ever made. It’s crazy that this is true, but right out of the gate Alyssa has been making stunning modern gowns that fit like a glove and make her brides look fantastic. To complement her line, Alyssa also offers a line of veils, belts and accessories.
Dame Couture is a bridal line and cozy boutique in Evanston. Owner and designer Holly Greenhagen caters to the unconventional bride who cares about the timeless details. Holly’s dresses have classic, beautifully-engineered silhouettes. She also re-styles vintage dresses. Her boutique is the sole stockist for small, independent designers from the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia that you can’t find anywhere else in the Midwest including Truvelle, Celia Grace, and Elizabeth Dye.
Veronica Sheaffer offers up-to-the minute fresh designs at her enchanting design studio and showroom in Wicker Park. Veronica channels her brides’ style and personality to create one-of-a-kind designs that are modern, playful, and deeply romantic. Because it’s also about the wedding night, she has a house lingerie line and a curated collection of vintage and antique lounge wear that she’s showcasing at Dose Trousseau. She has brides (and non-brides) covered.
Not that you were actually considering it,but don’t DIY. Whether you never wear makeup or wear it every day, the professionals know how it goes for weddings with summer heat, sweat, and happy tears. These hair and makeup pros will make you look like your very best self, a true beauty you’ll recognize in your photos.
Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists is a team of hair and makeup artists averaging 10+ years of experience. Their signature look is a natural, fresh face, but they can turn up the volume if that’s what you’re into. They know that freckles are sexy and love for skin to look like skin. They also offers airbrush makeup, individual lash services, and a house line of gloss and lip color. The Nika Vaughan team works in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
Debra Petrielli is a Chicago-based hairstylist and makeup artist who also travels. Deb’s hair designs are light and romantic and she’s a master of the effortless updo that makes you look like you’re the heroine of an English novel just chilling on a windswept cliff. Deb is the sweetest and you’re going to be so happy she’s working with you and your ladies on your wedding day.
Nightingale Beauty is a boutique bridal hair and makeup company headed by Vanessa Morales, a veteran hairstylist who holds it down at Art + Science in Wicker Park. The team at Nightingale Beauty is extremely versatile, and they really listen to what you want. Their bailiwick is makeup that is natural and polished and hair designs that are chic and sophisticated. Nightingale services all of Chicagoland and is down for destination weddings.
Taste is key here. Everyone at your wedding is going to have an opinion. These bakeries put a lot of effort into sourcing and baking with only the best ingredients and you’re in good hands whether you’re looking for the most delicious 3-tiered buttercream or a rainbow of pies.
Amy Beck Cake Design is a luxe, custom cake company in River West. Amy Beck is passionate about creating couture works of art for weddings from cascades of delicate sugar flowers to lace patterns to match your veil. Her technique continually evolves and her designs are frequently featured in wedding and cake design magazines. Amy Beck cakes are made with the best natural ingredients to ensure every couple receives a delicious work of art for their wedding.
Elysia Root Cakes creates bespoke wedding cakes. She works closely with couples to create a beautiful and distinctive cake that will astonish. Elysia can whip up anything from romantic watercolor washes to precise geometric patterns. (And if you go gluten-free, her gf cake is delicious.) In addition to using local and organic ingredients in her cakes, she composts, recycles, and uses minimal packaging because she cares.
Bang! Bang! does weddings! The friendly team behind the Logan Square pie oasis will bring their homespun sweetness to your wedding. Not into cake or just doing a cutting cake? Have a dessert buffet of their seasonal fruit, chocolate, and cream pies and everyone gets what they want. Because we all just want more pie.
It’s all about the party. Make it something everyone will remember fondly. It’s your time to tear it up, babe!
South Social & Home is in a very special category that is difficult to describe if you haven’t experienced their work. Planners? Yes. Designers? Yes. Producers? Yes. Dean Renaud and her team either have what you need in their warehouse of treasures or they will find it in the world … or they will build it. Collaborating with brilliant vendors in Chicago and all across the country, they will bring your vision to fruition, whatever it is. Their imagination and execution is boundless. No two of their weddings are alike, but they all share the same South Social & Home magic.
Nimble Well is a rental company that focuses on making your tables beautiful. You supply the tables and Nimble Well supplies all the things to put on them–the kind of pieces you see on wedding blogs and in lifestyle magazines and didn’t know you could rent. Nimble Well has a rainbow of glassware, vintage flatware in silver and brass, servingware, handmade stoneware plates, and a ridiculously large collection of cake stands. Use the rental collection to build a blush champagne tower, an over-the-top dessert table, or a dinner service your guest will remember.
Smilebooth is an open photo booth, like a mini-photography studio, with a sleek camera console that your guests can control with a hand-held clicker. Customize your Smilebooth with an array of backgrounds and custom props, and you can add GIF-making, slow motion, video, green screen, social sharing, and on-site printing. Your guests are going to go nuts here. And you’ll have a record of everything that went down.
And … The Traveling Photo Booth is a classic photo booth with Atomic Age design, velvet curtain, and skinny printed photo strip. This photo booth is on point for vintage vibes and has the space to fit a serious posse (14 is the record). Plus, unlike some of those other ones, the photo strips print fast. Updated features include customizable photo strips, GIF-making, and digital and social sharing. Yes!
These photographers are artists who understand that, yes, this whole party needs to be documented to the utmost and perfectly. They understand how real couples interact. They will make you look like yourself and will capture all the big moments, and the lovely grace notes that you didn’t know could be recorded. You won’t be disappointed.
Roots of Life Photography is the work of Tara Wickey. Tara is a true aesthete with a passion for fashion, nature, and the arts. Her classic editorial style is emotionally evocative and always tells a unique story. Specializing in fine art wedding, boudoir and editorial photography, Tara’s photos are richly detailed and luminous. It’s clear why her work has been featured in so many top wedding blogs.
Stoffer Photography is the company of Maura and John who grew up down the street from each other, went to prom together, got married, and now have a sweet babe. You don’t need to know all that to hire them but they’re great and it’s something special to have a couple in love shoot your wedding. They’ve been documenting weddings together since 2008 and work as an amazing team. Their photos enchant in a way that is inexplicably glorious. Check out their portfolio!
Momoko Photography excels at elegant, modern portraiture in both film and digital photography. Appreciating love of all kinds, tenderness pours out of Momoko’s photos. There’s a beautiful stillness in her photography that contains so much emotion. Originally from Washington state, Momoko has been shooting since she was a teen and has the exceptional ability to make people comfortable in the vulnerable moments.
Charming in Love is the elegant solution for the couple that wants to elope. The Charming team will help you put together your elopement whether than means helping to source a stunning bouquet or scouting beautiful spots for your photos. Owner Laura Rose Davis is a photographer and stylist and you can see both her strengths in her photos. She uses her expertise to help you choose the elements to express the meaning of your relationship so you can celebrate your nuptials in your own fashion and have the lovely photos to keep and share.
Make it the best wedding they’ve ever been to.
This first edition of Dose Trousseau (as well as this guide) has been curated by Kelly Connolly, a Doser (the proprietress of boutique event rental company Nimble Well) and a woman of many, many talents. The Dosettes adore her. Here’s Kelly in her own words:
“I’ve been hungry for a contemporary aesthetic in weddings that is heartfelt, thoughtful, ethical, and exuberant. It’s been a dream working with Dose to curate a group of like-minded businesses so couples planning their weddings can celebrate in ways that are true to them. How we choose to hold onto or discard received traditions, integrate our friends and family, and work with wedding businesses shapes this ritual and celebration that continues to hold meaning for us.”
We say: true that! Carry on, beauty! Thank you for being an exceptional woman with extraordinary taste.