We were so honored and thrilled to be invited to partake in the Paper Styled Shoot Challenge on Style Unveiled earlier this year! For the challenge, each designer was sent pieces of paper inspiration and then asked to build a team of vendors to create a breathtaking shoot.
When we signed on for the challenge, we were both excited and anxious to receive our inspiration and really dive into the project! Our anxiety was relieved when we received an email from Heather explaining that she found paper that was inspired by our most recent banner ad, which featured a sparkly, gold border. Sparkly gold!? It couldn’t get much more MDE than that, as we have a large penchant for all things sparkly and feminine! In addition to the fabulous gold sparkle paper, we received a gorgeous cream and gold chevron piece, which we immediately fell in love with and our creative minds went wild.
Both gorgeous pieces of inspiration reminded us of our childhood, when we would play dress up and plan tea parties and imagine a beautiful, fancy setting – with lots of sparkle, very feminine details and always in a beautiful outdoor setting (MDE loves animals!). So, when we saw the paper, we thought, "Well why can't we use those childhood memories and turn them into something really beautiful and sophisticated with a nod to the whimsical roots of the original idea?".
With this feminine, sparkly, whimsical inspiration filling the team’s heads, we set to work finding the perfect location and a genius team of Chicago vendors to help us bring "Emilia & Luca's Piccolo Sogno D'Amore" (Emilia & Luca's little dream of love) to life! Michelle immediately thought of the patio at one of her favorite restaurants in Chicago, Piccolo Sogno. Not only does Piccolo Sogno have phenomenal food, they have a great patio, hidden from the hustle and bustle of the city, and we just knew it would be the perfect place for the shoot. We were lucky that Tony Priolo and Ciro Longobardo, the owners of Piccolo Sogno, were immediately receptive to the idea, and they could not have been more helpful all day, making sure our vision really came to life!
With the concept and location nailed down, we moved on to inviting some really, really phenomenal vendors to help us. Everyone we reached out to leapt on board and brought their absolute A game to the project! The team of; Fleur, David Turner Photography, Elysia Root Cakes, Elizabeth Grace, Leap Weddings, Makeup by Aga, Robyn Tornabeni Productions, Tablescapes and Amy DiTomasso of a Sweet Delivery was a talent powerhouse and it really shows in the final product!
Caleb from Fleur created the softest, dreamiest floral, that fit perfectly into the setting and theme of the shoot. Elysia Root whipped up everything from gorgeous wedding cakes, to bling cherries, and some of the prettiest (and yummiest) cupcakes we’ve seen! As this is was a paper challenge, we turned to Laura at Elizabeth Grace to bring the collateral to life. The menus and place cards were divine, but what really knocked our sox off was the woven paper runner! Laura found a beautiful cream paper with delicate gold flowers on it, and wove it into the runner that complimented the gorgeous farm table perfectly! Amy DiTomasso lent us her perfectly edited eye and lovingly curated props, to bring everything together in perfect harmony.
Obviously, no little (or big!) girl’s tea party fantasy is complete without an over the top gown, and we knew just where to go to get the perfect dress. Dimitra’s Bridal is one of our favorite bridal boutiques in the city, and recently just imported the new collection of Ersa Atelier, the first shop to do so in the states! After explaining our vision to Tina at Dimitra’s, she pulled the perfect champagne, gold beaded gown that fulfilled all of our fantasies! With a gorgeous model from Factor Women, and stunning accessories from Maria Elena, we were off to the races! Aga, of Makeup by Aga, and Robyn, of Robyn Tornabeni Productions, worked their magic on our already dazzling model and turned her into the perfect blushing bride! And to top off all the whimsy, sparkle, wonderfulness, David Turner and Leap Weddings joined us to catch all the details, from the set up to the final product!
We are overjoyed with the final product. The overall picture came together so perfectly, and even the tiniest detail of the totally adorable bunny place card holders from BHLDN, made us giggle. Thank you to Heather, for inviting us to partake in this challenge, we had so much fun revisiting our childhood memories and creating the grownup version of a little girl’s tea party!