It is a rare occasion that  a couple has the chance to marry at their meeting spot. In this case, they met at Old Saint Patrick’s Church, one of the only buildings to survive the great Chicago fire, and truly one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture on our own soil. Lucky dogs. As if the ceremony location couldn’t get any more gorgeous, they moved the party to yet another historically handsome spot: The RookeryStems provided peonies, peonies, and more peonies for this pink picturesque day, shot by Chicago Video Works and Gerber + Scarpelli. We are at a loss for further words, so please direct your Friday attention to the rest of the wedding!

From the Bride… My husband and I chose to have our wedding ceremony at Old Saint Patrick’s Church, a beautiful Catholic church in the downtown loop that is famous for surviving the Great Chicago Fire. Even more importantly, it’s where he and I met just two years ago at their annual “World’s Largest Block Party,” a summer street festival, cliched for singles to meet their spouses. It was love at first sight that night, followed by an engagement one year later, and now, marital bliss.

After searching online for weeks for the perfect wedding venue, I decided on The Rookery building.  It’s not a banquet hall, a museum or any place one might typically consider having their wedding reception — until you see it.  By day, it’s a downtown business building, famous for it’s architectural heritage. The interior is predominantly white marble with gold accents, then add a second level mezzanine, glass atrium and a spiraling, 12-story staircase — it’s breathtaking. With a little draping and minimal decor, it was the perfect reception venue. It inspired our “wedding colors” of white and gold with a splash of pink. I wanted an “all peony”  wedding, and in fact,  changed the date of my original fall wedding to a late spring wedding (when these flowers are in season) to make it happen. The bridesmaids’ dresses were blush pink in color to match the color of the peonies in my bridal bouquet. The cake, made by Amy Beck, was a three-tiered ivory cake with gold ribbons and adorned with peonies. The tables had square gold vases with peonies. Peonies galore! Our catering company, George-Jewell Events, provided our guests with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the upper mezzanine, followed by a seated gourmet dinner on the main floor. The guest favors were personalized bags of Garrett’s Popcorn, featuring our names and wedding date.

We hired the Stu Hirsh Orchestra for entertainment. They were AMAZING. Words can’t describe it. We had Stu as the solo pianist during the cocktail hour, followed by a jazz trio during dinner, then the full 10-piece orchestra for the rest of the night. I’ve never seen so many wedding guests on a dance floor at a wedding (or seen my dad on a dance floor before!). The Chicago Trolley Company provided us with a white stretch Rolls Royce for the pre-wedding and post-wedding transportation, and a large 32-person trolley for our photo shoot session (3 hours between the ceremony and reception).  During this intermission, the trolley took our entire wedding party, their plus ones, and our photographer (Mike Scarpelli) around Chicago for photos.  It was 75 degrees and sunny, a perfect wedding day!  We took photos in the middle of LaSalle street downtown, in Olive Park on the beach and on the ledge over the lake, and in The Rookery staircase.

Overall, the wedding day was perfect. It was a small and intimate wedding, just as I had imagined. Even in the busy downtown loop in Chicago, we were able to give our guests a soft, romantic, classic experience. We spent our honeymoon in Bora Bora, which was amazing, so we included a few photos from St. Regis Bora Bora!

Wedding Photography: Mike Scarpelli of Gerber + Scarpelli / Ceremony: Old Saint Patrick’s Church in Chicago, Illinois / Reception: The Rookery in Chicago, Illinois / Floral Design: Allison Deny of Stems / Wedding Cinematography: Chicago Video Works / Catering: Kristin Kramer of Jewell Events Catering / Wedding Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design / Wedding Stationery: Melody of emDOTzee Design / Band: The Stu Hirsh Orchestra / “I DO” Shoe Decals + Chalkboards: For Wedding Sake / Personalized Hanger: Lui of Einspanner / Cake Stand, Serving Set, Chargers, Table Number Holders + Place Card Frames: Amazon + Craigslist / Transportation: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. / Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton Chicago / Wedding Dress: Amsale “Bijou” / Bride’s Long Veil: Amsale / Bride’s Birdcage Veil: Cindy of Fascinating Creations / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Earrings: Nadri via Nordstrom / Hair: Paris of Mario Tricocci / Makeup: Vesna of MAC Cosmetics / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier / Tuxedos: Black by Vera Wang / Wedding Rings: Designed by the Bride & Groom + Created by Larry Zimont of Ethan Lord / Honeymoon: Bora Bora / Drapes: Start With Imagination