Hire these stand out wedding vendors, per my recommendation, but also for outstanding results that will have you falling in love with your day and partner again and again.

The vendors on my Spotlight include photography, videography, hair & makeup and paper goods design.

See contact info, samples & my reviews below!

Read my reviews here!

Kerri Carlquist SHINES. Her spirit on your wedding day will lift you up the moment she walks in the room. Her smile will show through in the expressions you see on every person’s face as you gaze through your portfolio.

About the Experience – Kerri will make you genuinely smile, tell you what to do with your hands and find you in the perfect impromptu moment to showcase the real you. She uses humor and direct instruction as her main weapons to perfectly curate the best day of your life into a LITTT, ON FIREEE digital photo package. Kerri understands that wedding day is about the bride & groom, so she will consistently check in with you to ensure you are happy! She will also help you plan out your day for the most optimal timing for getting all the necessary shots. She made a few helpful suggestions for our itinerary which ended up allowing our day to be entirely stress free. I am thankful for her up front honesty about the appropriate time she needed to capture our requested photos, and I fully appreciate the benefit of her expertise and knowledge.

About the Photos – Kerri’s photography and editing skills are unmatched. Indoor, outdoor, dark, light, it doesn’t matter because she will find a way to craft the pictures worthy of going on your entryway wall. The beauty of Kerri’s style is that she gives simple direction that turns into too many portraits and candid pictures to even pick a favorite – all vastly different, but perfectly representative of your relationship. She will make you fall in love with your significant other all over again by the way they look at you in the perfectly timed image.

About the Cost – Kerri’s pricing more than reflects the emotional and tangible investment she puts into every part of making your wedding day and memories magical. There were things we cut out of the wedding for budgetary reasons, but for photography, I was so set on Kerri. The investment we took in Kerri immediately made sense based on 1) how smooth our wedding day photos went and 2) the results we saw simply based on the preview photos.

Mat Grimes at Vivid Wedding Videos (Vivid Plus Media) went above and beyond for our wedding in Chicago. His portfolio, and the experience we saw first-hand at my sisters’ wedding, made it a no brainer to hire him for our wedding video. Although he lives in Ohio, he didn’t hesitate to accept a job in Chicago, and more-so, he was thrilled to adventure to a new city.

Not only did he shoot our full wedding day, but he also filmed our rehearsal dinner venue, cocktail hour, and speeches — all while obtaining nighttime drone footage of the Chicago River, and Merchandise Mart (where our dinner took place). Seeing that, I couldn’t believe how one man could be in so many places at once, and not miss a single thing.

During wedding day, Mat was timely and engaged but also very much behind the scenes. He never forced the footage, but somehow crafted the shots to turn out amazing. I only remember him twice during the day, asking us to do something specific for the video — and both instances look outstanding on film! He was quick to take our style and turn the video into a soft dj music video masterpiece after we told him our first dance song is by “Kygo”. The song he chose for the preview/highlight videos, and the way he pieced together the footage, made it feel exactly like us.

We received the preview video shortly after the wedding and the highlight video soon after. It was the perfect way to relieve such a phenomenal day, without needing to wait months. And on top of that, he delivers all the footage in a compiled 1-3+ hour video of the entire day a few months post wedding. Such service, professionalism and expertise is what you should expect when hiring Mat & Vivid Plus Media. And pure kindness. Mat hung around through the after party because he was “having so much fun and wanted to experience more of Chicago”. It was a pleasure to have him a part of our day.

Hire this team of boho, boss babes!! Goldust Woman has established themselves in the Chicago wedding community since 2011 and continue to make a mark around the country (and internationally!). Beyond being stellar at hair & makeup, they are well known for their coolness, creativity, and friendship.

  • Emily is your expert Hairsylist of 10+ years, who happens to be one of my oldest friends. She is magnetic, genuine, and incredibly trendy. “She’s known as the modern-day Stevie Nicks with the entrepreneurial tenacity of a trampoline.” Emily is the best listener and will ensure that translates into your dream wedding hair. She can push the limits on high fashion or give you a darling blowout. You can’t go wrong with her trusty hands and imagination.
  • Kelly is your expert Make Up artist of 25+ years, who can double as a hair stylist. She is incredibly chill but will hype you up to feel your best self. She’s more than perfected her craft so you can ask to look “runway-ready” or “backyard chic”, and either way still look your best. “Kelly will deliver. All while gently bobbing her head to music that only she hears. Cause that’s how artistic geniuses do.”

These women are thoughtful, inclusive, and radiate positivity, while also being authentic. From the moment they arrive, the day is about the bride. They will ensure you are comfortable throughout the entire morning. Nothing to worry about because you will turn out beautiful as ever!

I specifically requested “an elevated version of myself”, focusing on natural makeup and my go-to formal hair style. I said, “make me, me, but GLAMMED.” Kelly made sure my freckles came through while still ensuring my skin was smooth and even. Emily added extensions giving volume and length to enhance my simple request for long-curls. Just because I went natural, that is not their norm! They can go big with bright and daring colors in the most perfect way. They love a themed wedding where they can push the boundaries further and “play”. Their style on your wedding day will be whatever you request but they are naturally creative and ready to try something new in a heartbeat.

Their years of experience in the beauty industry will shine through and exceed your expectations, all while setting an amazing tone for the rest of this special day.

A DOPE DESIGN SHOP, delivered by the boldest chick out there! Lauren delivers engaging and creative design, largely driving female entrepreneurial brands. She’s fearless to push the boundaries and try something different. The way her brain sees things will amaze you, and her small creative tweaks make a world of difference to your original idea.

While wedding paper goods is not her current focus, she started a side hustle many years ago specifically creating wedding invitations. Since then, her design career at Ulta and entrepreneurial spirit has led to the development of her own business – The Bemused Studio.

I felt a need to establish a wedding brand so I could then design the communications, décor and vibe around it. I jumped on the opportunity to hire Lauren for our big day, and the communications leading up to it, due to her ability to create a unique concept and bring it to real life.

Modern. Simplistic. Elegant. Those are the three words I used to described what I wanted based on Matt and my style. We already booked a venue that was easily explained by those descriptors, so we put it into Lauren’s hands to bring it to life in other ways.

The process was fun and easy – Lauren hosted an initial meeting with mood boards and questions ready for me to answer. (Notice I am writing “me” because Matt gave his blessing to not involve him in any of these decisions LOL). She provided concepts to choose from, and samples of color schemes. I received her recommendations on the sizes for different pieces and paper textures, which I would’ve had no idea how to decide. The printing was all covered in the cost, so finding a print vendor wasn’t needed. I relied on Lauren’s expertise for just about everything, and she delivered.

Lauren is a fabulous investment for your design needs. While you are investing in her, she invests in you right back. She understands the vision and brings it to life tenfold. She’s on the way to building her brand empire, so reach out as I know she is in high demand. And maybe your email will stop her for five minutes from buying new fonts!

Vivid Wedding Videos stunningly captured our wedding weekend...

Do you need inspiration as you are wedding planning?