This bride admits getting a November wedding in Chicago to feel “warm” is a challenge, but with the help of Clementine Custom Events, florals from Studio AG, and a significant number of candles, she most certainly pulled it off. Christy Tyler Photography did a lovely job capturing the event so if you like what you see, find the full gallery here. And don’t miss the film from Xpress Video Productions at the end!
From The Bride…Brian and I first met on the first day of class at Indiana University in 2005. Starting off as friends first, by spring semester we were officially dating and in May of 2012 we were engaged. I grew up in New Jersey and Brian was raised in the Chicagoland area, so Chicago has played a huge role in cultivating our relationship as Brian has strong roots and is where I would frequently visit. In the past, I had visited Chicago with my family and can remember riding the Ferris wheel and falling with the romantic setting that was Navy Pier. Frank Sinatra’s My Kind Of Town came over the speaker and I can remember saying to myself, “this is the perfect place to get engaged one day.” During one summer in the beginning of our relationship, I visited Brian where we rode the Ferris wheel together and I told him this story. Brian would later admit that it was in that moment he realized this was real and if our relationship continued, is where he would propose. As fate would have it, Six years later, he got down on one knee in one of the gondolas and asked me to marry him.
Wedding planning began and we both knew that we wanted the wedding day to encompass three central themes – Our love for our families, our love for the city of Chicago, and our love for each other. We both have large extended families and a unique network of friends who hail from various locations. Several family members and friends traveled from India, the Netherlands, and Japan along with other guests who arrived from Texas, Washington State, Washington D.C., and from all over the East and West Coast. The day was 18 months in the making and every moment was as we had imagined and hoped.
As a young girl, my father passed away and my mom, in all of her strength, was left to care for myself and my younger sister Alana. My mom would eventually remarry and together we would create the most loving blended family but I still wanted to find a way for my dad to walk me down the aisle. Growing up, I kept a tie that reminded me of him in a box in my room after he passed away. So on our wedding day, I took that tie and wrapped it around my bouquet so that he could be with me. My mom walked me half way down the aisle where I then was joined by my step father until we met Brian at the end. All of our guests in attendance who are like family to us, understood this symbolized our path and how each person joined our lives in different stages.
We wanted our guests to feel enveloped in warmth which we’ll admit, is hard to do in November in Chicago. To create this feeling, we decided on décor which consisted of warm off-white flowers, mix metal floral vessels and more candles then I think the fire code actually allowed. The ceremony musicians played renditions of Coldplay, The Beatles and Adele songs so the room felt more like a family room. All of my bridesmaids being so wonderfully unique were able to select their favorite flower, all beautiful and exceptional just like them.
TheWit hotel also had the absolute perfect backdrop for a swanky cocktail hour on ROOF, which gave our mostly out of town crowd, a VIP experience and a taste of one of our favorite rooftop bars in the city. The Reception included more nod’s to Chicago with each table named after some our favorite Chicago landmarks with a printed history on the back since Chicago history is one of Brian’s favorite subjects.
My most favorite part of the day though was after reading our vows to each other which we wrote in secret, hearing us both ending our vows with a promise to love each other “Always and forever.” Almost every love letter, card and post it note I wrote to Brian until then ended this way and perfectly encapsulates why we wanted to make this commitment to each other. If I could ask for one more thing it would be the opportunity to do it all over again in exactly the same way.
Photography: Christy Tyler Photography | Videographer: Xpress Video Productions | Event Planning: Melissa Samek At Clementine Custom Events | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhullier | Cake: Cake Chicago | Invitations: Erickson Design | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Makeup: Juli Valdez | Hair: Erin Graham Hair | Favors: Vanille Patisserie | Officiant: Jarrod Gaither | Ceremony Music: Belle Music | Bridesmaids Bracelets: J.Crew | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Wit Hotel | DJ & Reception Lighting: Okyne MediaLab | Favor Packaging: Tableau Party | Floral Design/Decor: Studio AG Design | Table Numbers: Purple Sapphire Designs | Tuxedos: Black By Vera Wang