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The Loft of Elements Preserved served as the venue for a Winter Bridal-styled inspiration shoot last fall, and it remains one of our favorites. When Jennifer Jenkins, owner at Jennifer Jenkins Photography and I began to discuss our ideas for this shoot, we quickly agreed on a beautiful Mulberry settee, a vintage camelback raspberry-colored beauty, as the focal point, and the color scheme and design revolved around this rich and colorful piece. Trimmed in beautiful carved wood, we can only imagine Mulberry’s history, and whose home she may have once resided in. We’re pretty happy she’s home with us now, where we can share her for weddings, family photos, engagement parties, bridal showers, and any events where a real statement piece is required!
With Jennifer residing in AZ, our planning conversations were strictly by email, with an initial phone call. My vision for this shoot was pretty simple; I wanted to show how a ceremony set up for an intimate wedding of up to 75 people would look in The Loft. Small elopement-style weddings are becoming more popular, and we feel that The Loft provides such an elegant feel to any event, but especially a wedding! So, a ceremony area was of key importance in the areas I wanted to style. Using mis-matched wooden chairs, we created the look of a ceremony area, complete with a simply decorated aisle. Even a simply decorated event in The Loft has the feel of elegance because of the ambiance you feel with the overhead pendant cage lighting, and the 24-arm chandelier which takes center stage over the 14 Ft. Harvest Table. Filled with additional vintage furnishings, the space really does create a “wow” when you step inside!
Our vintage charcoal buffet/server is a favorite for a Sweets Table! Accented with glass cylinders filled with pine cones, and wooden rounds used as risers for some of the simple mercury glass lanterns, we created a simple winter look that wouldn’t compete with the beautiful cakes created by @cacao sweets and treats. We were so happy to have a beautiful macrame runner lent to us by Brandy from @ket mercantile. Brandy also shared a beautiful macrame backdrop, and floral bouquet cover for this shoot! These pieces added just the perfect Boho touch to our Winter-themed inspirational bridal shoot. Janet Gallagher, florist, @Designs by Janet created stunning floral displays for the buffet, the Harvest Table, and the beautiful backdrop. Using red roses as pops of color against the many shades and textures of green, we wove other accents of winter styling into the displays. Wooden rounds, touches of rosemary, blue thistle, eucalyptus and tiny red berries all helped create a simple wintry feel to the floral decor. We left the four-armed silver candleabra to stand on their own; filled with ivory tapers, they added a warm glow to the romantic feel.
Jennifer made arrangements with @Simply Luxe Bridal to borrow a beautiful gown for the day. With the drop shoulder and simple beading on top, this dress was just perfection for our model, Tessa Boutje, as if she had been personally fitted for the dress. Hair and makeup was completed by @Meghana Prasad. Just like with any vendors you choose for your wedding day, take the time to get to know your makeup artist, and hair stylist so that you can feel comfortable and relaxed as they bring your best forward. Next, our efforts turned to putting all the finishing touches on the design of each furniture piece from @Elements Preserved Vintage Rental, our sister company.
Another of our vintage tables served as a celebratory drink station for the couple, awaiting a champagne toast! Simple florals decorated this table, as well as another silver candleabra. We recommend when you are determining your rental and decor selection that you consider the bigger picture, and choose items that will make the best statement, even if that means you may choose less. Selecting a stunning lounge seating area for your guests to feel comfortable lingering is far more memorable than choosing lots of smaller items that may get lost in your overall memory. Your guests won’t forget that they were able to enjoy watching your Father-Daughter Dance, or your Mother-Son Dance in a comfortable and inviting space. Creating a stunning Sweets Table with coordinated cake plates, platters, and trays will make a memorable impression, as well as displaying your yummy sweets in an attractive way.
The family table, our in-house 14 foot Harvest table, complete with seating for 18, served as a beautiful focal point, as well, for the shoot. Centered under a breathtaking 24-arm chandelier, it’s not unusual to just stand in awe of the dangling crystals and twinkling lights above. We always welcome families of the celebrated couple to sit together and enjoy the event, as family. To carry out the winter theme, small pine cones adorned each Pottery Barn dinner plate, while mismatched vintage flatware and etched Fostoria stemware were set at each place. Mercury glass silver and vintage silver urns adorned the head table, filled with roses and natural greens, focusing on pops of beautiful red throughout each arrangement.
Each place setting had hand-lettered name cards, created by @Rebecalynnart. Consider having your invitation suite, rings, color-coordinated ribbon or a few flowers from your bouquet displayed on a silver tray. Not only is this such a beautiful way to remember the details of your wedding, but it’s an artistic way to display them, as well. Take the time to add these simple touches for the most important aspects of your wedding; you’ll love seeing those photos again and again in years to come.
To set the ceremony site, our iron arbor was brought in, and decorated with simple fresh greens, giving a peek into the seating area, where our mismatched wooden chairs were set. The aisle decor included simple clear cylinders with floating candles, directing your eye to the beautiful macrame ceremony backdrop. If your guest number is small enough, you might even have a few select seats available, and most of your guests stand in a semi-circle as you say your vows. We’ve witnessed this kind of ceremony as well, in our space.
Working together with such creative vendors was such a treat, and together, we had such a fun afternoon creating this beautiful Winter Boho-Styled Bridal-Inspirational Shoot. Winters in Chicago can be harsh, and honestly, it’s not my most favorite season, but I do love all the accents that are used during the winter months, such as pine cones, evergreens, berries, and roses – always roses! Watching the snow fly outside would have been a little added extra to this special day!
Our natural light venue serves our customers for so many varying events, whether it’s a private family celebration, birthday, anniversary, bridal shower, or baby shower, but we especially love the intimate weddings we’ve had the privilege to have a part in, and the opportunity to create something personal to the couple’s wishes.
Set in the historic Commercial District of Elgin, IL, The Loft of Elements Preserved is a century old building that has been renovated and carefully restored. Filled with one-of-a-kind vintage furnishings, natural light, pendant cage lighting, and hardwood floors throughout, this hidden gem is waiting to make your intimate event dreams come true. We loved the opportunity to create winter-styled wedding inspiration in The Loft, and hope these photos may be helpful as you enjoy your wedding planning journey.
Photography: Jen Jenkins Photography
Hair and Makeup: Meghana Prasad Makeup, @meghana-rose
Florals: Janet Gallagher Designs
Gown: Simply Luxe Bridal
Invitations: Rebeca Lynn Art, @rebecalynnart
Macrame: Ket Mercantile
Venue: The Loft of Elements Preserved
Rentals and Styling: Elements Preserved Vintage Rental