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Modern DIY wedding in Chicago: Chris + Grace

February 3, 2017

When Grace started planning her + Christopher’s Chicago wedding, she was a graphic designer and calligrapher. But after seeing how their DIY modern wedding came together in these images by Mayden Photography, we’re pretty confident she could add floral designer, event planner, and master crafter to the resume. See for yourself below!

Did we mention she designed the invites, too?  They wanted to strike the perfect balance between chic and budget friendly for their day, and it ended up giving Grace a chance to do all the creative projects she loves.

Speaking of DIY, Grace’s BHLDN-esque dress was actually from the evening gown department at Lord & Taylor. She completed the look by creating a belt from a beaded applique from Her Lovely Supplies ironed (and sewn for extra security) onto ribbon. Applique + ivory velvet ribbon = beautiful bridal sash. Voila!

Grace says, Almost everything at our wedding was hand-painted, hand-lettered, or handmade by me, and the store-bought items were all carefully chosen to be cohesive elements. I even tried my hand at floral design, and while I am no professional florist, I am really happy with how the bouquets and centerpieces turned out. The paper cone ceremony backdrop was a great DIY project I found online, and one of my bridesmaids and myself worked tirelessly on this, and it took us about 40 hours in total, spread out over many weekends (with Thai takeout and wine on hand, of course!).

Would you ever guess this was a DIY wedding?

Their favorite moment… Our first look on the rooftop of Hyatt Place in the Chicago Loop! Our photographer, Chris, and one of the groomsmen were searching for a first look location up to the last hour before we were supposed to see each other, and I’m still not exactly sure how it happened, but they were able to convince the staff of the hotel to let us up on the rooftop. It made for an impressive and memorable first look experience!


Photographer: Mayden Photography / Videographer: Vanilla Video / Venue: Loft on Lake / Event Design, Planning, Floral Design, Invitations, Paper Goods, Calligraphy, & Signage: Grace Niu / Day-of Coordinator: Ruth Durack / Hair: Sarah Siazon / Bride’s Makeup: Grace Niu (Bride) / Cake & Cupcakes: Sweet Mandy B’s / Catering: Beyond Events / Liquor: Binny’s / Photobooth: Simplebooth Co. / DJ: X-Fade Entertainment / Bride’s Dress: Basix Black Label from Lord & Taylor / Shoes: Jessica Simpson / Earrings & Bracelet: BaubleBar / Engagement Rings: Anna Sheffield / Wedding Band: Sea Babe Jewelry /  Beaded Applique for Belt: Her Lovely Supplies / Ring Box: The Mrs Box / Groom’s Suit: Express / Shoes: Ted Baker / Ties: The Tie Bar / Jordan Shoe Pins: Reppin Pins / Wedding Band: Bellyssa Jewelry / Groomsmen Suits: Zara