Clary Photo deserves a standing ovation for this traditional beauty, because not only is it timeless, it’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Really, it’s classic perfection – the definition of an elegant affair that will never go out of style. And with a Bride this beautiful and a Groom this smitten, I’ll be giving more than one round of applause for this fancy fête in the full gallery!

From the Bride…When it came to planning our wedding, every element we selected was part of a cohesive overall vision. From venues, to florals, to our mode of transportation; we wanted a classic, traditional feel as the backbone of the day. We then infused plenty of personal touches, great style, and antique accents.

Photography and a fantastic venue space were our most important planning decisions. We booked Clary Photo because we knew no one could capture the essence of our wedding to be like she could. Architectural Artifacts was an easy choice for us because my family is full of antique collectors! The space is incredible and gave guests a feel for Chicago without being an obvious venue choice.

I LOVE fashion, so styling our wedding wardrobe was a treat. My wedding gown needed to embody my personality, while remaining timeless and sophisticated. Vera Wang Chicago was the perfect partner to make it happen. The tulle detailing on my skirt was reminiscent of a dress my late maternal grandmother wore to her high school prom. When my mother told me I looked like her in the dress, I knew it was the one.
Another major styling priority was moving away from traditional bridesmaid looks. I wanted my favorite women to look like they were going to a fabulous black tie ball in dresses that were perfectly suited for them. I styled each of my bridesmaids from head to toe. Hair styles, dresses, vintage jewelry, and shoes. The jewelry was certainly a project. I searched for months looking for vintage earrings and bracelets to suit each dress and the lady who would wear it. It was so exciting to give the pieces as gifts to my bridesmaids on our wedding day. We contrasted their black gowns by dressing the groomsmen in classic ivory dinner jackets and black pants. For Andrew, a traditional black tux with tails worked perfectly.

I never thought I’d get so into selecting our Save the Dates and invites! The second I conceptualized our Save the Dates (they are meant to give the feel of opening a package with an antique inside), I was hooked. I realized that invitations truly set the tone for the wedding day – it’s like a preview for the guests. We worked with The Aerialist Press to make our beautiful letterpress invitations and ceremony programs. I made the invitation wraps myself. All of our calligraphy was done by my extremely talented bridesmaid, Krystle Ansari. She also made custom sketches of the bridal party as a gift to us.

Forgoing a standard “wedding colors” theme to dictate our decor, we infused traditional bridal colors, ivory & black, with antique gold and dark wood. Florals provided a hint of spring colors in lavenders and peaches. The colors accented both our classic church and our modern venue space.

Candlelight is one of my favorite things, so a romantic, glowing ambiance at the reception was what we went for. My parents and I sourced about 50 vintage brass & crystal candlesticks from local thrift stores. They were arranged on half of our tables, along with small antiques from Architectural Artifacts, and short floral arrangements. The other half of our tables had tall, branchy arrangements with flowers woven in like the first buds of spring. Votives candles hung from the branches. Stemline Creative did a spectacular job! My mother made customer scalloped table runners in patterned black and ivory material to accent our linens. Finally, we had to select a beautiful chair to complete the tables. They’re a bit of a splurge, but do so much to complete the vision of the room. I chose the Contempo style chair in fruitwood. Our party-musts were plentiful food, a well-stocked bar, fabulously decadent cake, amazing music provided by DJ Demchuk, and a late-night quesadilla snack (it was Cinco de Mayo, after all).

Everytime I think back on our day, even just rehashing all of these details, I am filled with so much happiness. We are fortunate to have amazing family and friends to share in our joys. They are what made our wedding the most special of days, second only to the love Andrew and I have for one another. There is no possible way to express how grateful we are for having the wedding of our dreams, and the promise of a beautiful life together.

Photography: Clary Photo / Save the Dates: DIY / Invitations and Programs: The Aerialist Press / Calligraphy: Krystle Ansari / Musicians: Quartet Parapluie / Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang / Bride’s Jewelry: Vintage / Bride’s shoes: Fendi / Bridesmaid Jewelry: Vintage / Hair: Brian Kalz, Frankie/ Make-up: Jean Ramos, Agnes Buda / Groom and Groomsmen Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse / Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Co. / Church: Bethany United Church of Christ Chicago / Flowers: StemLine Creative / Venue: Architectural Artifacts / Catering: Catered Productions / Rentals: Hall’s Rentals / Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery / DJ: Cage and Aquarium / Day of Coordination: Camille Victoria Weddings