Settle in because you are in for a gorgeous albeit insanely long post. You see, Kina Wicks takes really pretty pictures. The kind of pictures that tell a tale of one very lovely couple and their garden-inspired affair at Cafe Brauer. They also are the kind of pictures that are too gorgeous to edit down. Read: I made seventeen boards and could have easily made ten more. The good news is, you get to reap the benefits of my board ramblings below and  can then mosey on over to the gallery for a wee bit more.

Click here for the FULL wedding gallery!

From the Bride and Groom… The first and most important part of our wedding to us was the setting. We spent countless hours looking into venues that matched our personalities. Rachel, being a floral designer at a high end floral design company in Chicago, had been to several of the city’s most prominent wedding venues which made it all the more challenging to rule out so many great options. After visiting Cafe Brauer up close without any decor in it, Rachel knew that this was the canvas she wanted to work with. It had the park all around it which was appropriate as we are both huge nature lovers, as well as the beautiful view of the skyline in the background. That combined with the old architecture of the building made this venue the obvious choice for us. Once that was decided, it was time to paint the canvas.

The desired mood we were after was that of a garden party. To capture that mood, the tables were adorned with a luscious mixture of Ranunculus, Peonies, Sweet Pea, and Garden Roses as well as a dash of Rachel’s ever favorite succulents. We wanted to incorporate as many do-it-yourself touches to make our larger wedding seem smaller and more intimate while still being able to include everyone on our big day. Instead of the traditional guest book, we opted for a wish tree where guests could leave little notes, pieces of advice, or warm wishes for us and hang them on our Olive tree. We also created our own favors, wildflower seed matchbooks, using a template found on the Martha Stewart Website, for guests to take home.

All of our vendors worked seamlessly together. Matt, our DJ, was outstanding and kept the dance floor busy all night and even honored our special request of the bulls theme song introductions. Kina, our photographer, was there to capture every moment along the way. We feel so lucky to have been able to share our special day with all our family and friends, many of whom traveled long distances to get to Chicago. Our wedding was more beautiful and special than we ever could have imagined.

Photography: Kina Wicks Photography / Ceremony: Holy Name Cathedral / Reception: Cafe Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo / Catering: Blue Plate / Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s / DJ: Matt of Okyne Media / Flowers: Jessica Griffin of Botanicals / Favors, Programs, Invitations: DIY / Bride’s Dress: Enzoani Bridal / Bride’s Heels: Kate Spade / Bride’s Flats: J.Crew / Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale via Bella Bridesmaid / Getting Ready: Swissotel Chicago / Tuxes: Black Tie Formalwear / Hair & Makeup: Vanessa Yttre