Sam & Kim | Sunday, September 9, 2018

On Sunday, September 9, 2018, at 5:00 o’clock in the evening, I made my way across a park I spent my childhood playing at, alongside my dad, preparing to marry my favorite person.

Image captured by: Grace Gruwell | True Grace Creative

The day was an absolute whirlwind, I attempted to try and stay present throughout the day; trying to commit as many moments to memory as I could, knowing they would fly by faster than I could retain them. For that reason alone, I am so grateful that I had our talented friend, Grace Gruwell of True Grace Creative to capture our day. As someone who likes to fly under the radar, she gave me the confidence to be in front of her lens simply by being the kind, sweet person she is everyday. We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating a couple of times since we met during one of our mutual 2013 weddings at the Danada House in Wheaton, Illinois. I always look forward to seeing her name on my inquiry form!

I fully intend to breakdown the beauty that was our wedding day, since so many of the details really deserve to be in their own pomp and circumstance in an individual post. For now, I’ll leave you with a few stunning highlights, all captured by Grace. Enjoy!

 My handsome husband, Sam.  Image by Grace ||  True Grace Creative

My handsome husband, Sam.

Image by Grace || True Grace Creative

 Bouquet |  Allium Floral   Hair & Make-Up |  The Beauty Team .  Image by Grace |  True Grace Creative

Bouquet | Allium Floral

Hair & Make-Up | The Beauty Team.

Image by Grace | True Grace Creative

 I am completely obsessed with the floral hoop trend, I hope it stays around for a while! These two cuties are our two of our nieces, Maddy (L-7yrs) & Emma (R-4yrs), they carried these for all of group photos, swapping them out only for the ceremony to drop fresh rose petals.  Floral Hoops |  Allium Floral   Image by Grace |  True Grace Creative

I am completely obsessed with the floral hoop trend, I hope it stays around for a while! These two cuties are our two of our nieces, Maddy (L-7yrs) & Emma (R-4yrs), they carried these for all of group photos, swapping them out only for the ceremony to drop fresh rose petals.

Floral Hoops | Allium Floral

Image by Grace | True Grace Creative

 More on this beautiful monster in a lengthy post, our ceremony circle was the only thing I really wanted floral-wise for our wedding. It came out beautifully, and I am so grateful to have so many talented floral designer friends in my life to carry it to fruition!  Ceremony Florals |  AimStudios   lead designer: Amy Constanzo assisted by: Steve Yamamoto   Bouquet |  Allium Floral   Hair & Make-Up by  The Beauty Team .  Image by Grace |  True Grace Creative

More on this beautiful monster in a lengthy post, our ceremony circle was the only thing I really wanted floral-wise for our wedding. It came out beautifully, and I am so grateful to have so many talented floral designer friends in my life to carry it to fruition!

Ceremony Florals | AimStudios lead designer: Amy Constanzo assisted by: Steve Yamamoto

Bouquet | Allium Floral

Hair & Make-Up by The Beauty Team.

Image by Grace | True Grace Creative

 Florals |  Allium Floral   Hair & Make-Up by  The Beauty Team   Men’s Attire | Ties - The Tie Bar / Suits - Men’s Warehouse Oakbrook  Women’s Attire | Dresses - Bill Levkoff / Necklaces - ForTheMaids on Etsy  Image by Grace |  True Grace Creative

Florals | Allium Floral

Hair & Make-Up by The Beauty Team

Men’s Attire | Ties - The Tie Bar / Suits - Men’s Warehouse Oakbrook

Women’s Attire | Dresses - Bill Levkoff / Necklaces - ForTheMaids on Etsy

Image by Grace | True Grace Creative

 Our statement decor inside was this stunning fireplace designed by Amy from AimStudios. She ran point, directing our team of designers to bring all of the floral pieces to life. I could not be more proud, or pleased, by their work. It was exactly everything I wanted and more.  Florals |  AimStudios   lead designer: Amy Constanzo assisted by: Steve Yamamoto   Image by Grace |  True Grace Creative

Our statement decor inside was this stunning fireplace designed by Amy from AimStudios. She ran point, directing our team of designers to bring all of the floral pieces to life. I could not be more proud, or pleased, by their work. It was exactly everything I wanted and more.

Florals | AimStudios lead designer: Amy Constanzo assisted by: Steve Yamamoto

Image by Grace | True Grace Creative

I cannot wait to pull apart the details to share with you - stay tuned for future updates! For now, I’m going to settle in for the night, with my husband and some netflix.

xo,

Mrs. Chrusciel

*waves*

Guys, its been a minute since I've done this whole blogging thing. A few of you may not even know who I am, or how you got here. So hello! I'm Kim, and I own Allium Floral Designs in Lombard, Illinois. We're a home-based floral design studio specializing in weddings and events in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. 

 Photo: Grace - True Grace Photography | Make-up: Carly Palmer - Carly Does Makeup | Hair: Amanda - Fringe of Lombard

Photo: Grace - True Grace Photography | Make-up: Carly Palmer - Carly Does Makeup | Hair: Amanda - Fringe of Lombard

That's me, and my fiancee, Sam -- this lovely shot was taken by Grace Gruwell of True Grace Photography for our engagement session this past May. We're walking down the aisle this September, hence why the business has been a bit MIA. 

Allium may appear to be dormant, but I promise, its been a calculated, quiet, season intentionally. The goal for 2018 wasn't growth, but to establish one thing: Process. 

From the start of this business in 2013, I've flown a bit by the seat of my pants. Pulling from my prior experience in another well-known Floral Shop, and my time in retail, I have created a long list of desires & dreams for my business, but had little time while working full-time, to make them a reality.

The time for those dreams is now. Slowly, piece by piece, wedding by wedding, I've built a brand that I believe in, and am excited to begin investing both the time, and energy, it deserves. I want to stress that all of my/our collective energy goes into the events we have booked, beyond that, items like the website, and our facebook go to the back-burner. I've embraced our Instagram (follow-us... its a daily shameless plea from me to the world to secure a #dunkindonuts sponsorship) page to keep everyone up to date on the things we are doing to keep this business moving forward. 

Thanks for coming along on my journey -- more beauty to come in the upcoming months, I hope you'll stay tuned!!

xoxo,

Kim Stanke

AFD Real Weddings | Kim & Michael - Shedd Aquarium, Chicago IL

In the Summer of 2016, a small crew and I packed up 3 vehicles to the brim with white and lavender blooms, and headed into the city for the Shedd Aquarium, from our humble home-based studio in Lombard, for Kim & Michael's wedding. Their ceremony was like none I had ever witnessed, complete with a dolphin show! Pair that with the cocktail hour skyline view, and a private reception in the great hall, this was truly a unique event from start to finish. 

 Photo by Tim Tab Studios

Photo by Tim Tab Studios

 Photo By: Tim Tab Studios

Photo By: Tim Tab Studios

For her palette, Kim and I designed a blend of lush, full, blooms in whites and lavenders. We settled on white peonies, fresh cut lavender, light purple scabiosa, gorgeous mid-purple spray roses, 'cool water' roses, white hydrangeas, Italian ruscus, and accents of grey dusty miller. 

 Photo by Tim Tab Studios

Photo by Tim Tab Studios

It's hard to pick a favorite part of their wedding, as the reception was centered around a caribbean reef fish tank. It's not wonder the details of the day were picked up by Artfully Wed, you can see the publication here

It was a pleasure to work with such an easy-going couple, and amazing vendors. It is definitely one of those weddings that will remain in our Hall of Fame for years to come!


 

Full list of vendors below:

Florist: Allium Floral Designs, Lombard IL

Photographer: Tim Tab Studios

Event Planner: Anticipation Events

Ceremony & Reception: Shedd Aquarium

 

"EVERY moment is a fresh beginning"

T.S. Eliot said that once, according to a quick google search I just did for "new beginning quotes" I'm working on my transparency in 2018.... can ya tell? I have to say though, with the turn of another year, I am hyper aware of birth of new beginnings.

2017 on a personal level brought so many, heart-stretching, beautiful things: the birth of my second niece, Addison Grace, the birth of my nephew, Wyatt Daniel, and a proposal to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, Sam. (I said yes, btw.) The balance of work-life-business has been a challenge, but after another successful season, I feel excited to move into a new year, with a refreshed approach to life and love. 

 Miss Addison Grace - July 2017

Miss Addison Grace - July 2017

 Mr. Wyatt Daniel - November 2017

Mr. Wyatt Daniel - November 2017

[ I am all about the first photo with any teeny human being a selfie -- just us, in the first moments of meeting - I have one with my first niece, Emma, that I absolutely cherish]


Becoming a bride-to-be has altered the way I approach my consultations. Viewing my industry and business from a potential client's perspective is truly eye-opening. I never grow tired of hearing how people fall in love or why they have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together. I love watching my couples families grow and change, from fur babies, to teeny humans, to new houses, or new states -- it makes my heart so full to see people in love. 

Even with the turn of a new year, I still have my favorite things close at hand, Sam (MY FIANCEE, how weird is that!?), our two fur-weirdos, Tony and Friday, and a hot coffee or tea. I've picked up a new hobby, a monthly book club, and refined my approach to project lists. In short, the year ahead should be an exciting one, full of change and time spent together! 

How are you spending the first few weeks of 2018? What are your plans and goals for the new year? Sending you all of my love and support from afar while you guys reach your dreams! 

-- K 

AFD Real Weddings | Angela & Henry 10.8.2017

I am often at the most peace when I can see nature; Any kind, really, trees, running water, a bright sunlit sky- and yesterday’s wedding views at Riverside Receptions did not disappoint. Situated just over the Fox River in downfown St. Charles, is a beautiful old brick building that can house two weddings at once, each with a private feel, and both with a stunning river view. Sadly, due to the beautiful sunshine and my poor photography skills, no photos of that view will be seen here. But if you find yourself in St. Charles, go take a peek at the site. It is truly beautiful! 

 

Speaking of beautiful, how awesome is this textured bouquet Angela chose? I really enjoyed pulling together this palette of dusty-sage greens and blues mixed with bright pops of purple and balanced out champagnes and whites. Flower types used were: snapdragons, veronica, Lacey dusty miller, ‘Sahara’ / ‘Grey Knight’ / ‘Cava’ / ‘Earl Grey’ roses, brezillia berries, Italian discus, seeded and silver dollar eucalyptus, stock, ‘pollux’ echeveria, and wax flower. I finished the bouquet with flared stems wrapped in a beautiful double-face ivory satin. 

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Angela and Henry said their vows to each other in the quaint courtyard just outside of their reception space. It was truly a beautiful day!  

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But my favorite part of my day was spending it with my mom- she came along (graciously, I might add..) to help me! Thanks, mom!