Though I’m not married yet, I’ve been told by many a bride how fast your wedding day goes by. Between primping and photos, emotional first looks and long glances down the aisle, toasting your new life together and dancing the night away, the day you’ve been planning for a year or more is gone just as quickly as it came. Besides the snapshots from your photographer and the ones you’ve tucked away in your mind to treasure forever, how will you remember one of the most important days of your life? I’ve found three unique Chicago women who are in the business of doing just that: preserving wedding memories.
Loreen Hospodar was working in the art industry in Chicago when a family friend approached her painting something for her niece as a wedding gift. After brainstorming a bit, she decided she would paint the bride’s bouquet since she loved to paint natural objects. With the final brush stroke, Loreen realized she was on to something—and her bouquet-painting company Reenie Rose was born.
“There is a lot of time, money, and symbolism that goes into producing a bride’s bouquet,” Loreen says. “At the end of the day, it is such a shame to literally ‘toss the bouquet.’” Even if you do keep your bouquet, a dusty handful of dried flowers are anything but pretty to look at. But what I love about a Reenie Rose painting is the fact that you’re able to remember your wedding day through a piece of art in a timeless, modern way. “Unlike a photo that may fade, an oil painting will withstand the test of time,” Loreen explains.
And it certainly should, for Loreen puts in a good amount of time on each one—between 35 and 60 hours, depending on the size and complexity of the piece. She also offers prints and notecards of the original painting, which are perfect for thank-you cards.
For more, you can watch a video of her work here, or catch up with Loreen in person at these two upcoming events, which you won’t want to miss! While the photos here are gorgeous, they simply cannot do her paintings justice—you must see them in real life, and you just might find yourself commissioning a work of art even before you’ve decided on the bouquet itself!
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Similar to Loreen, songwriter and musician Dina Bach got her start by getting creative in the gift department for her sister’s wedding. Inspired by her love for composing, Dina surprised her sister and new brother-in-law with an original wedding song. Soon after, she began getting calls from friends, then friends of friends, wanting their own wedding songs—and so she turned her talents into a business called Sealed With A Song.
Dina essentially captures all the emotions of your love through individual sessions, elegantly composing meaningful lyrics and music to suit your wedding ceremony. She sits down many times with a couple to truly get to know them as individuals and as two becoming one. “An original wedding song tells your love story and emphasizes the most important characteristics of your relationship,” Dina explains. “With the right music and lyrics, there is nothing better to express your feelings and share them with friends and family.”
We think a customized wedding song could be the perfect addition to personalized vows, or add a sweet touch to the typical vows if you’re the type to break out into waterworks. Plus, you can break out the CD every year on your anniversary to relive the memories of the day you became husband and wife! Visit Dina’s Web site to learn more about the packages she offers, which can include a live performance of the song and specialty CD favors for guests.
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A girl of only 13, the young Rosemary Fanti lied about her age (she said she was 16!) to enroll in a life drawing class at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She was passionate about the art then, and is just as passionate now in her career as a live wedding and event illustrator.
I first met Rosemary at a Wedding Guest Party at Arthur Murray Studios. While my boyfriend and I were learning new steps and I was enjoying my twirly dress, Rosemary was sketching away, unbeknownst to us—and at the end of class, she presented us with an incredible drawing of the two of us on the dance floor. I was amazed by two things: first, how fast she completed it, especially given how fast we were moving; and two, how accurately she captured our emotions and connection with each other in just a few simple lines.
Which got me to thinking, what better way to commemorate your first dance as husband and wife! Rosemary works with a couple beforehand to make a list of what moments you want captured on your wedding day. “Like a courtroom artist capturing moments in the courtroom, I am capturing the moments and people chosen by the couple, for artwork that they will have framed and displayed in their homes to enjoy forever,” says Rosemary. In addition to couple shots, a large “glamour shot” illustration of the bride is hugely popular. She also can create large paintings of a wedding scene (such as the ceremony or cake cutting), details of the dress or flowers, bridal showers, children in the wedding party, guest, or whatever your heart desires—your wish is her command.
The best part? She does all her artwork live, so your guests can enjoy watching just as much as you’ll enjoy the pieces long after the night comes to an end. Rosemary is always out-and-about at local events, doing sketches live for you to see her work firsthand. You can get your own likeness drawn on Sunday, April 29 at Grace Meets Glamour at the Allerton Hotel.
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We hope these three women provide some inspiration for preserving your own wedding memories! Tell us, what unique ways are you planning to remember your wedding day?