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Flower Power

Love is in bloom: These stunning nuptials maximized their florals with incredible statement-making displays.

Mariya and Michael share a special moment under their orchid and Swarovski crystal chuppah;




Rather than escort cards, guests found their seats on this mirror adorned with roses and orchids. 

Yanni Design Studio used more than 1,000 white roses to cover the aisle.

Orchids also decorated a towering confection from Natasha Cakes.


Joseph and Soma exchanged vows in front of a large, elaborate wall of roses created by Taylor & Co. Events. 

The ornate floral arrangements flanking the aisle enhanced the ballroom’s spectacular decor.



Hydrangeas, roses and orchids topped crystal chandelier centerpieces for an eye-catching display. 

Soma carried a bouquet of cascading orchids.  

The bride wore a custom Mira Couture gown in her favorite color, pink.



Flowers covered nearly every surface in the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, including the elaborate upholstered arch created by Kehoe Designs, which featured orchids, hydrangeas, and blush and white roses. 

Alliance Bakery created a four-tier cake decorated with fresh florals and two rose-gold tiers.


A lush flower wall added color and texture behind the head table. 

1. Mariya Rakhman & Michael Elyash
July 30, 2016
Concorde Banquets
Photography by Andre LaCour

Mariya Rakhman and Michael Elyash met during their freshman year of high school in a foreign language class. “I didn’t learn much Russian, but I did get to know a very special girl,” says Michael. From then on, he and Mariya were inseparable—they even started a successful sock business, Living Royal. Eventually, the couple’s devotion led them down an aisle covered in white roses at Concorde Banquets. Under a chuppah adorned with hundreds of phalaenopsis orchids—the bride’s favorite—and as many Swarovski crystals, Mariya (in Monique Lhuillier) and Michael (in Saint Laurent) vowed to spend the rest of their lives together.

Following the garden-inspired ceremony, guests were escorted to a black-and-white-themed ballroom (the couple had their names decaled onto a black mirror vinyl that covered the dance floor). The flowers also followed them in 5-foot-tall centerpieces and a 6-foot-tall cake with layers of orchids that stood next to the custom glass sweetheart table, where the pair toasted to a happy life together.

Wedding Planner
Tom Manikas, Manikas Designs
Bride’s Gown Monique Lhuillier, Ultimate Bride
Bride’s Shoes Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Hair Taylor Reese Salon
Groom’s Tux Saint Laurent
Groom’s Shoes Salvatore Ferragamo
Florals Yanni Design Studio
Catering LaMirage Restaurant
Cake Natasha Cakes, 224.522.5872
Rentals Covered Affairs
Linens Tabletoppers
Entertainment Marat World
Videographer Delack Media Group

2. Soma Akainyah & Joseph Pawlikowski
December 10, 2016
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel
Photography by Beking Joassaint and Brian Casey

After playing it cool all night at a friend’s going-away party, Joseph Pawlikowski was surprised when Soma Akainyah finally made the first move to introduce herself. Thankfully she did, because they hit it off immediately. Fast-forward to a summer day in Vernon Hills, where the couple was celebrating Soma’s father’s birthday. The festivities took a twist as Joseph knelt down on one knee in a gazebo—Soma’s family watching from their balcony above.

A year later, the couple married at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in downtown Chicago. “My father is from Ghana, so an Ashanti royal matrimonial dance was performed,” says Soma. “It is a cultural statement and a salute of acceptance into the royal family.”

Complementing the ornate ballroom space, flowers by Taylor & Co. Events were a key decorative feature—especially a flower wall, which provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony, the head table at the reception and picture-taking. Illuminated by light boxes, an assortment of hydrangeas, roses and orchids on crystal chandelier centerpieces brought each table to life—as well as those sitting around it. After the magical evening, the couple spent an exciting honeymoon in New Zealand and Australia, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.

Bride’s Gown
Atelier Pronovias, Mira Couture
Bride’s Shoes Vince Camuto, Nordstrom
Bride’s Veil Derrick Taylor
Groom’s Tux Joseph Abboud, Men’s Wearhouse
Groom’s Watch Skagen
Rings Fey & Co.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Bill Levkoff, Macy’s Bridal Salon
Groomsmen’s Tuxes Joseph Abboud, Men’s Wearhouse
Florals Taylor & Co. Events
Cake Alliance Bakery
Invitations VP Elegance
Entertainment DJ Bonsu 
Favors Sechi Bath & Body

3. Amanda Dermer & Zak Zeman
October 8, 2016
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
Portrait by Justine Bursoni; details by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography

Since grade school, Zak Zeman and Amanda Dermer were just friends—he was her brother’s buddy, after all. It wasn’t until they were on a vacation that the two started seeing hearts, and the rest was history. Last year, the couple spent Valentine’s Day at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif., where, on their balcony overlooking the ocean, Zak proposed.

The couple wed eight months later at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. After the couple’s dog, Capone, walked down the aisle in a flower collar, Amanda followed in a custom pink gown from Mira Couture. “We wanted it to feel as beautiful and natural as possible,” Amanda says about their floral design. Including a massive flower wall, a total of 25,000 pink and white flowers were used.

After the ceremony, the couple walked out to their favorite film score, “You’re So Cool” by Hans Zimmer from True Romance—the ultimate exit before their European honeymoon.

Wedding Planner
Marcy Glink, Great Events
Bride’s Gown Mira Couture
Bride’s Shoes Christian Louboutin
Bride’s Jewelry Earrings: Dana Rebecca
Bride’s Veil Mira Couture
Bride’s Hair & Makeup Hair: Renee Feldman; makeup: Elise Brill
Groom’s Suit Canali, Nordstom
Groom’s Shoes Bruno Magli, Nordstom
Groom’s Watch Movado
Rings Tiffany & Co.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids
Groomsmen’s Tuxes Canali, Nordstrom
Florals Vince Hart, Kehoe Designs
Cake Alliance Bakery
Rentals Tablescapes
Entertainment HYPE Productions 
Videographer Dan Gelfond
Favors Stan’s Donuts