As soon as I laid my wedding loving eyes on these gorgeous images, I knew this was going to be the perfect way to kick off another week here at SMP Illinois. You know a wedding is beyond gorgeous when you wish you were on the invite list. And get this-the groom got his DIY craft on and designed all the programs, escort cards, table cards and menus! Robyn Rachel Photography captured all the elegant details and there’s so much more in the full gallery!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…Admittedly, the beginning of the day could have started better.  Don’t get me wrong – we were both ecstatic for what lied ahead and were having a great time with our bridesmaids/groomsmen and respective families, but the weather was a bit of concern.  I’m not a risk-taker in the slightest so I did not plan any outdoor aspects to our wedding for that very reason.  However, as I looked outside and saw the green-colored sky, sheets of rain and lightning, all I could think about was how I was going to get from the trolley to the church.  Fortunately for me, I was able to stop worrying about 20 minutes prior to the ceremony – the weather cleared up and we had a perfect summer day from there on out.

Our ceremony was particularly special to me as we got married in the church that I grew up attending and my grandpa’s cousin officiated, making it all the more personal.  The overall design of our day was really inspired by the venue for our reception though, the Chicago Cultural Center.  Now even though I grew up outside of the city of Chicago, I had never even heard of the building until I wound up there one Saturday afternoon with a friend to check out a Marilyn Monroe exhibit they were hosting. My friend and I walked around when we were done and stumbled upon Preston Bradley Hall – a gorgeous room with mosaic tiled walls, a view overlooking Millennium Park and home to the world’s largest Tiffany dome.  I instantly fell in love and knew that one day I would be celebrating my wedding there.  Luckily for me, Steve felt the same!

We knew how quickly places booked up in the city, so in the Spring of 2010, before we were even engaged, we decide to put a hold on the room for August 20, 2011.  (I can’t help it…I like to plan ahead!)  Fortunately for me it worked out, because on August 20, 2010, on the steps of the Cultural Center, Steve proposed.  Needless to say, the venue had a very special place in our hearts and naturally inspired the design of our wedding. The Cultural Center is a beautiful, historical landmark in the city, which was perfect because all of Steve’s guests were from out of town and we really wanted to give them a taste of classic Chicago!  We wanted to capture the turn of the century feel of the city, since the venue was built in the 1890s.  This was evident in some of our details like our “guest book” – antique photograph and vintage travel poster postcards of the city back in the day.

We used a color scheme of sage green – a prominent color in the room’s mosaics – taupe and yellow, and carried it through everything. The printed materials all leveraged some design aspect of the room, be it the dome or the chandeliers. Steve has a background in design so he actually designed the programs, escort cards, table cards and menus himself.  He even did the drawing of the dome that was used in our save the dates!  It added such a personal touch to the day and made it so much more special to look around the room and see what he had created for us.

Steve and I also wanted to make sure that the wedding was reflective of our relationship.  We met in college at the University of Michigan, so it was only appropriate for us to walk out to our school’s fight song, “Hail to the Victors.”  And since so many of our guests were also Michigan graduates, we took a huge group photo on the staircase, sporting a mock-up of the Michigan banner the players hit while entering the stadium.

All in all, though it started off a little rocky because of the weather, it ended up being an absolutely perfect day.  We were so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love and care about us!  And I would be remiss if we did not thank our amazing photographer, Robyn Rachel for capturing the day beautifully and our wedding planner, Chrissy Magliano, for making our dream wedding a reality – thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Wedding Planner: Chrissy Magliano of Big City Bride / Wedding Photography: Robyn Rachel Photography / Venue: Chicago Cultural Center / Church: Our Lady of Perpetual Help / Caterer: Blue Plate / Wedding Videography: Delack Media Group / Band: Ken Alren Orchestra / Floral Design: KLA Design / Hair:  Eunice Johnson of Sam Martirano Salon / Make-up: Elise Brill / Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo via Dimitra’s Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Charles David / Tux: Brooks Brothers / Invitations: Sarah Drake Design / Wedding Cake: Rolf’s Patisserie / Lighting: VLS