Heartwarming.  One simple word that describes this gorgeous Evanston wedding to absolute perfection. Well, that and seriously stunning, beyond beautiful and oh-so-breathtaking.  And the combination of the four?  Literally amazing.  From the sweet minty hues to the glorious images by Cristina G Photography to a First Look that is all sorts of fabulous, it’s moment after moment of downright pretty and some serious L.O.V.E.  Ready for a swoon-fest in the gallery?  Join me there for more.

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From the Bride… Dave and I started dating during our second year at St. Olaf College. For the first year of our relationship, we never had to travel more than a mile across campus to see each other. However, throughout the course of our seven-year relationship, we spent almost four years living apart. When we got engaged, Dave was in medical school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I was teaching in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than a wedding, we both kept dreaming of when we’d finally be together every day. Our engagement lasted a year and a half. I am terribly indecisive and knew that I would need ample time to consider all my options. The easiest decision was the location of the ceremony. I always knew that I wanted to get married in the church I grew up attending in Wilmette, Illinois. We looked at various reception sites near the church but fell in love with the Woman’s Club of Evanston. The ballroom has an understated elegance with a high arched ceiling, lots of big windows and beautiful, dark wood floors.

I looked at an embarrassingly large number of bridal stores before I finally found my lace Cymbeline gown at Dimitra’s Bridal in Chicago. The gown served as inspiration for the vintage look of our wedding. Lisa Shary, an independent florist who works out of her home in Evanston, made the stunning bouquets and floral arrangements at the reception. A friend from church had a hand in styling the ceremony and reception, including the church altar and the pews. Like most couples, we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of our families as well as ourselves. Our families were a huge help as we prepared for our big day. My sister designed the menus, and Dave’s mom made our ceremony programs. The invitations and place cards were also a combined family effort. I come from a family with a passion for cooking and good food, so serving quality food was very important to me. Fortunately, J & L Catering was recommended to us, and they prepared a fabulous meal. Neither Dave nor I are crazy about cake, so our guests had warm chocolate chip cookie pie for dessert. Dave wanted to honor the memory of his grandfather, Buzz, by serving his cocktail of choice. It is a cross between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, known as the “Buzzo Cocktail.” In lieu of wedding favors, we made a donation to an organization called Opportunity International, in honor of my uncle who passed away last spring. Dave loves to sing, so he surprised me with a song at our reception. It was hilarious and sweet at the same time, very much a reflection of his personality.

On our wedding day, I wanted to get ready in the comfort of my childhood home. Dave and I had our first look in the backyard of my parents’ house. Our photographer, Cristina G, knew the perfect places to take pictures that showcased the beauty of the town where I grew up. Our favorite part of our wedding day was when we said our vows. When we looked into each others’ eyes and said those words, we were overwhelmed by love for one anther. So much of our wedding day is a blur, but we will never forget that moment.

Wedding Photography: Cristina G Photography / Ceremony: Winnetka Covenant Church in Wilmette, Illinois / Reception: Woman’s Club of Evanston in Evanston, Illinois / Floral Design: Lisa Shary of Fleurs de Lisa / Styling: Linnea Johnson / Catering: J & L Catering / DJ: Ryan Meeks of Non-Stop Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Cymbeline via Dimitra’s Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles / Bride’s Necklace: Che Bella in St. Paul, Minnesota / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Banana Republic / Men’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank / Men’s Ties: J.Crew Factory Store

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