This bride has some serious style. I mean, one look at the amazing Joanna August clad bridesmaids and it’s pretty plain to see (they are lovely). And her beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden wedding? Well, it’s just as gorgeous as you would think it would be with stunning blooms from Virginia Wolff, soft gold and blush hues and all sorts of love-filled moments captured by David Lai. See it all here.
From the Bride… After one heck of a surprise during a vacation to Napa Valley, I found myself engaged to the man of my dreams and planning the most important event of my life. As a public relations professional, planning an event was my forte, but I’ve never planned a wedding before. I didn’t have a scrapbook started from my childhood, but thank goodness for Pinterest! When you throw events for a living, there’s a lot of pressure to blow people away. During the planning process, there were two things that were important to me: the venue and the dress.
My soon-to-be-groom, Wes Moran, and I (Janice Yu) must have visited 10+ venues before discovering the Chicago Botanic Garden. From the moment we arrived at the site, I knew this was where we had to get marry. It also helped that there was a wedding that night so we saw how beautiful it could be. It was outdoor and there were flowers everywhere (built-in decor!). The location was beautiful already with minimal decor needed. We found our wedding venue!
Wes and I met at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign almost seven years ago, and have been together ever since.
We were married at dusk on Aug. 30, 2013 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, with the sun setting as we ate, drank and danced. The ceremony took place in the garden pavilion next to a pond, and the reception followed in a tent overlooking the pond. It had rained earlier in the day, and when the couple exchanged vows, lightning joined the party as an unexpected guest.
One of our close friends officiated the wedding, which made the ceremony extra special. I went with a rustic glam theme, making use of the natural blush and cream colors found in the garden, which is located in Glencoe. Gold accents, including the ribbon on the cake and the centerpiece vases, completed the look.
At the reception, his and hers cocktails — a Manhattan and a Moscow Mule, respectively — were served. Freshly made chocolate macaroons from a local restaurant, Storefront Company, were given as favors. We danced to Michael Bublé’s “Everything.”
For the guestbook, we had family and friends take Polaroid photos and leave notes with them. We also encouraged guests to share photos via their special wedding hashtag on Instagram. About 100 photos were tagged.
After the wedding, we went on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon. Both foodies, Wes and I loved trying different restaurants in Greece and Italy, and indulged in plenty of fresh pasta and Italian wine.
Photographer: David Lai | Videography: Daniel Sather | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaid Dresses: Joanna August | DJ: Okyne Media Lab | Wedding Favors: Storefront Company | Day-of-Coordinator: Amanda Morris | Florist : Virginia Wolff | Hair and Make Up : Sonia Roselli | Lodging: The Westin Chicago North | Reception Dress: Parker | Wedding Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden