Garden party meets gorgeous ballroom. Let that image soak into your head for a moment, and then start to scroll through the stunning images from Olivia Leigh Photographie below to see it come to reality. The result is just pure perfection from start to finish with one adorable couple adding to the sweetness, and you can see it all right here.
From the Bride… It was really easy to tell in the beginning stages of our relationship that my husband was a keeper. He is truly an amazing man – kind and patient, a sweetheart that helps with household chores, touches base regularly throughout the day just to see how I’m doing and randomly asks “Are you happy? What can I do to make this relationship better?” Having just recently celebrated our first year of marriage, there’s still the occasional squabble over dirty socks left strewn about, but I love my husband even more fiercely today and am truly thankful to have found my life’s partner.
Looking back at the wedding-planning phase, I am still blown away and completely humbled by how overwhelming the process could be at times. Generally speaking, I’d say my then-finance and I were a pretty resourceful and well-organized team; we had traveled the world together, lived abroad, stretched ourselves professionally and personally – but I’m not going to lie, there were times I thought we weren’t going to make it. We laugh about it now, but I vividly remember a teeny-tiny moment when I thought it’d be easier to call the whole thing off than to effectively verbalize the type of overall feel we were hoping for – which ended up being something along the lines of “an intimate, yet elegant garden-like affair”, but started off as “uh, we would like some pretty flowers please.”
The staggering amount of details and decisions that comes with a wedding is enough to make any sane person weep, but from the get-go it felt like we were fighting an uphill battle trying to plan a wedding in Chicago from Philadelphia – and then the big bomb, the city announced it would be hosting the 2012 NATO Summit that same weekend. Then began the all-out scramble to understand and address any and all logistically nightmares that the added security presented including rerouting vendors and guests through and around closed streets and protests groups, and being moved to another part of our venue for the cocktail hour because the Secret Service needed to prep the room for a luncheon the next day.
But in the same way life would not be the same without Mac by my side, our wedding weekend would not have been the most beautiful and incredible time of our lives had it not been for our team of the most-talented and wonderful vendors. Our ceremony/reception took place in the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center – a breathtakingly beautiful space; where when we first walked through during the hunt for the venue our moms collectively clapped, gasped and held each other’s hands.
We loved how our officiant Pastor Bill Yaccino really took the time to get to know us as a couple so that the ceremony felt very personal and intimate for us and our +200 guests. Our floral designer, Kate McCollum of K.La Designs really went above and beyond, bringing the already spectacular space alive with her creations. Scott Reichelsdork of J&L Catering not only elevated the level of dining service, but really was a much appreciated calming presence given the extraordinary circumstances of the NATO Summit weekend. We could not have imagined a more excellent way to celebrate with our friends & family than with the incredibly phenomenal Kristin Marks of Toast & Jam, who kept the dance floor packed ALL NIGHT! And the unifying force behind it all, Darcey Lohman of Big City Bride who was our planner-extraordinaire and truly a godsend. It was the best weekend of our lives and we will be forever grateful to Olivia Leigh (our photographer) and Chris + Oliver (our cinematography team), for being part of our celebration and for capturing all the details, precious moments, and all-around magic so beautifully.
Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Cinematography: Chris + Oliver | Wedding Venue: Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center | Event Coordination: Big City Bride | Floral Design: Kate McCollum, K La Designs | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Groom’s Attire: Custom by Tom James | Catering: J&L Catering | Officiant: Pastor Bill Yaccino | Cake: Bittersweet Bakery | Hair: Livia Caporale | Makeup: Andie Cumber | Ceremony Music: Elan String Quartet | Guitarist: Linsea Moon Waugh | DJ: Toast & Jam