Okay, so I totally have a crush on this adorable couple and their pretty, pretty wedding…But how can you blame me really? Just a few minutes into this wedding gallery, and I was totally smitten with the cuter-than-cute way that they look at one another. Even though neither one is from the windy city, they knew that a downtown Chicago wedding was just the thing for them. Their wedding was captured perfectly by Lorenzo de Gregorio Photography and there’s a whole lot more right here in the full gallery!
From the Bride… Having grown up across the country from one another, bringing our family and friends together to share in our wedding was really important to us. James is from the north woods of Wisconsin, and I grew up in Austin, Texas. There was never a doubt that Chicago was the perfect location for our wedding — it’s where we live, where we met and where we fell in love. Our best man introduced us in March 2008, and James moved to Chicago two months later on a gut feeling that things just might become serious between us. Which they did.
We were certain that the wedding should take place in the heart of downtown because we wanted our guests to really experience and enjoy the city we love so much. Our ceremony took place at one of Chicago’s oldest churches, Assumption Catholic Church, which has beautiful vaulted ceilings and huge, stained glass windows. James and I are both Catholic, so a church wedding was a no-brainer, but I was nervous about how to handle walking down the aisle. My dad passed away in 2007 and not wanting anyone to take his place, I decided to walk down the aisle by myself. Before approaching my groom, I stopped at my mom’s pew so she could lift my veil, which was a really emotional moment for us. For 24 years, I was an only child — until my mom had another baby. Our flower girl is actually my little sister, Ella! During the homily, our priest read a letter James and I wrote to our family and friends, which expressed our love and gratitude and explained why it was so meaningful for us to have them there to celebrate with us.
Other than location, our photographer was top of the list in importance. James and I wanted to look back on our pictures and remember how the day felt. We found Lorenzo’s portfolio online and never looked back. As a photojournalist, Lorenzo’s work tells a story and offers dreamy, beautiful narratives that are filled with emotion. I get tears in my eyes looking through our photos at all the moments he captured. Most of all, it’s amazing to see how much fun we were having and how many photographs show us laughing. Part of what made our wedding feel so special were the hand-crafted elements. We didn’t have an event planner or coordinator, so we dreamed up and created everything from the decor to the printed materials. We ordered tissue poms from an Etsy vendor, Paperwhite Designs, in our color palette of peach, gray, ivory and blush. The scalloped stickers on the macaron boxes were from Whimsy Whimsical Paper Goods, another Etsy vendor. The table number and wedding sign frames were inexpensive finds that I hand-painted in peach. James and I designed and printed all of the paper goods – our programs, menus, table numbers and signs and escort cards – which was a really fun project to do together. I designed our wedding cake and asked our bakery to make rose and vanilla bean macarons for the favors. We placed fresh blooms from our florist on top of the cake to add color. And speaking of flowers – I adored my bridal bouquet. The combination of pastel peonies, garden roses, silver brunia and dusty miller was so romantic.
We were so lucky to happen across Hotel Monaco for our wedding reception, which in my opinion is a hidden gem in the midst of dozens of downtown hotels. James and I fell in love with the venue right when we walked in – the whimsical decor is french-inspired – elegant, yet fun at the same time. It’s a mix of warm lighting and rich, gold hues with pops of color, pattern and modern touches. We spent the night eating, drinking, laughing and dancing. Our last dance was “We Are Young” by Fun. which was the perfect anthem to end the night.
Wedding Photography: Lorenzo de Gregorio Photography / Ceremony: Assumption Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois / Reception: Hotel Monaco in Chicago, Illinois / Floral Design: Flora Chicago / Wedding Invitations: Paper Source / Desserts: Alliance Bakery / DJ: Knight Sounds Entertainment (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Poms: Paperwhite Designs / Macaron Box Stickers: Whimsy Whimsical Paper Goods / Personalized Flasks: Liquid Courage Flasks / Wedding Dress: Watters / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Jewelry: The Left Bank Bridal Finery / Bride’s Hair Comb: Dana Castle / Hair + Makeup: Carley Martin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s Tuxedo: Tommy Hilfiger / Groomsmen’s Suits: DKNY