Woman's Athletic Club Wedding by Vrai Photography + Sweet Pea Wedding Studio
February 6, 2012

Wow... what a Monday.  Not only is this amazing Chicago wedding literally bursting with lovely pink hues and uber-gorgeous details that are guaranteed to make you swoon (including one beyond breathtaking heirloom veil), but every last amazing moment was lovingly planned by the oh-so-stunning bride, who just so happens to be the talented lady behind Sweet Pea Wedding Studio.  Add to that a gallery filled to the brim with lovely images by Vrai Photography and some beautiful blooms by Avant Gardenia and I think we have ourselves the perfect start to the work week.  Click here for more.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride... Being a wedding planner myself (I own Sweet Pea Studio in Chicago), it was really important to me to make sure my wedding was a reflection of me and my groom. From personal touches in the details to nods to our family and heritage, we really wanted to wedding to scream "Ian & Kristin." To start, we had the exact same wedding venues as Ian's grandparents did 60 years prior — same church, same reception. And I was really proud to be wearing "The Veil." It was first purchased in 1920 in Belgium and given to Ian's great grandmother by her husband-to-be. The veil, made of "Bruges lace," was dipped in tea to get the ecru color. Since then, Ian's grandmother, mother, sister, aunts and cousins have worn it on their wedding day. I was the 12th woman to proudly wear it down the aisle, and at each wedding, a "veil photo" is taken where everyone there who has worn it stands behind the bride, holding the veil. We had our rehearsal dinner at an Italian restaurant (my family is Italian), a bagpiper to pipe us out of the church (Ian is Scottish), and we had the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band play during cocktail hour (my late great uncle was Phil Cavarretta, a famous Chicago Cubs baseball player back in the 1940s). Our wedding reception was held in the ballroom at the Woman's Athletic Club on Michigan Ave, where Ian's mother is a member. The building has landmark status in the city and has a gorgeous, 1920s feel to it.

When it came to bringing our personal style to life in a ballroom setting, it was a challenge to include what Ian likes too. I'm into ballet, pink, ruffles and flowers, and growing up I always just wanted my wedding to be like Shelby's in "Steel Magnolias" (i.e., blush and bashful). Ian is into fishing, nature and animals ... which really has nothing to do with pink. I wanted to somehow combine our styles into one cohesive look and feel so it wasn't just about me. So, we mixed lots of outdoor textures with soft pink florals. The floral plan included pheasant feathers in one of the centerpiece designs, and all the boutonnieres were pheasant feathers and monkey tail ferns. Our tables were named after African animals (we honeymooned in South Africa), and the names were slid into mini tree stump holders from Etsy. Ian and his groomsmen wore camouflage socks, and he even changed into a camouflage bow tie after dinner, which was so Ian. My dress made me feel like the ballerina I used to be, especially with the pink tulle crinoline I wore underneath. We absolutely love gummy bears, so we put our own spin on the candy bar idea with a gummy bar. And for a nod to Chicago, the city we love and adore, we had Frango mints in our hotel welcome bags and served our favorite deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati's, of course) as a late night snack.

One of my favorite elements was our DIY save-the-dates. I found these rustic, wooden pencils which just seemed so perfectly us (I'm also a writer). My sister spent hours putting them together with me, and while it was a lot of work, I was so happy with the result. The save-the-dates really inspired me and set the tone for the rest of the wedding! We have so many favorite memories of the day, but one of our favorites was just after the ceremony when we had our "royal" moment. The church has this little balcony that overlooks the courtyard, so rather than coming out the front of the church like most couples do, we came out on a balcony, kissed and waved, just like Will & Kate! Overall, our day was everything we wanted: it was all about us. We had the most amazing vendors and could not have pulled off this day without them!

Wedding Photography: Molly Grace of Vrai Photography / Wedding Planning: Sweet Pea Wedding Studio (The Bride's Company) / Flowers: Avant Gardenia / Wedding Ceremony: St. Chrysostom's Church in Chicago, Illinois / Wedding Reception: Woman's Athletic Club in Chicago, Illinois / Wedding Cinematography: Optrix Weddings / Wedding Dress: Christos via Belle Vie Bridal Couture / Bride's Pink Crinoline: Loca Loves Pirate / Bride's Belt: Weddings 826 / Bride's Shoes: Ivanka Trump / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale via Bella Bridesmaid / Jewelry: Left Bank Jewelry / Veil: Vintage Family Heirloom / Day-Of Coordination: An Event Less Ordinary / Cocktail Band: Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band / Reception Band: Final Say / Photo Booth: Red Eye Photo Booth / Wedding Invitations: Yellow Bird / Wedding Save-the-Dates: DIY / Hair: Blush Salon & Spa / Makeup: Primp / Late-Night Pizza: Lou Malnati's / Tree Stumps Place Card Holders + Large Tree Stump with Wedding Date: This Fine Day