The love story behind this wedding is what sealed the deal for us.  At first glance, it was all the gorgeous details crafted by Alice’s Garden and The Ideal Day, all the layers of ombre on that impeccable cake by Amy Beck Cake Design, all the sparkle from those Kate Spade shoes and the perfect documentation of the day captured by Jess Barfield Photography that pulled us in, hook. line and sinker. But then we read the Bride’s story. It’s love realized at the age of eleven. ELEVEN! It doesn’t get much sweeter than that. Read it and weep and then check out the gallery for so much more.

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From the Bride… Our love story is not like most — I mean who really finds their soul mate when they’re 11 years old? That is why I have always said that Russ was not only a gift from God, but a gift from my mother. Shortly after she passed away, a charming boy walked into my life and brought my smile back. So when we got engaged after over a decade of being each others’ better half there was a sigh of “it’s about time” from our friends and family!

When nailing down our wedding style, there were a couple of things we knew were doing to be difficult. How would we incorporate our love for the city of Chicago, where we grew up, with our love for the state of Texas, where we went to college? How do you mix big city style with country style? And that’s when we found Gallery 1028. It was everything we could have imagined in a venue. It was city chic, but its unfinished wood floors and ceilings gave us the rustic Texas feel we were looking for as well. It was a space that we could transform into whatever we wanted — we loved the blank canvas feel of the space.

We wanted our wedding to feel intimate and romantic, not just for Russ and me, but for our guests as well. That’s how we came to settle on a winter wedding. Nothing says romance like snuggling up close with your loved one in a candlelit room on a dark, cold night. To make our big day feel intimate, we turned to our friends, family and vendors for help. Our invitations, place cards and programs were handmade by my best friend’s mother, our officiant was a close family friend, and our photographer, Jess Barfield, went to college with us. Our wonderful florist, Scarlet Petal, pinned a photo of my mother on her wedding day to my bouquet so she could be with me on the biggest day of my life. It was these small touches that made our day feel like our own. In the years to come when Russ and I look back, I don’t know if we will be able to remember what we ate or what flowers were in my bouquet, but what we will never forget was the feeling in the room that night. There was so much love and happiness. One thing I know for sure was my mother was with us all on that day — we saw her in our smiles, heard her in our stories and felt her in our hearts.

Wedding Photography: Jess Barfield Photography / Wedding Venue: Gallery 1028 in Chicago, Illinois / Floral Design: Scarlet Petal / Event Design: Alice’s Garden / Event Planning: Laura Patterson of The Ideal Day / Wedding Invitations: Charmant Invitations / Catering: Calihan Catering / Cake + Cupcakes: Amy Beck Cake Design / DJ: Fig Media / Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bride’s Hair Piece: Peacock Pixys / Hair: Marek Hartwig Bridal Stylist / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Bridesmaid’s Shawls: Classy Wedding / Men’s Suits: Tommy Hilfiger / Men’s Ties: Brooks Brothers

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