This is the kind of wedding that forces ear-to-ear smiles on everyone who watches the stunning highlight film from Loudbyte Cinematography. It’s the kind of wedding that has an energy that is happily contagious. It’s the kind of wedding we can all relate to because the bride and groom are so beautiful, yet so down to earth friendly, we feel like we know them the moment we first spy their prevalent smiles. It is the perfect wedding to put you in the perfect mood for your Saturday morning.
Brian proposed on a trip to Whistler, British Columbia. He woke up that morning and knew that he would propose that day so he popped the ring in his pocket as we set out for the day. The plan for the day’s activities had not been fully hashed and I was inspired on a whim to go zip lining after a hike that morning. So, yes, it made a lot more sense why Brian seemed uncharacteristically unnerved while we were zipping around the mountains, 10,000 above ground, engagement ring in pocket, moments before the big proposal.
I grew up in Chicago and would drive by the Lincoln Park Zoo every day on the way to school so Café Brauer and the zoo have always felt like an extension of my neighborhood. Café Brauer had always resonated with me as the most beautiful place in the world ever since I was dazzled by my best friend, Matt’s, jazz-themed bar mitzvah in that venue when we were in 7th grade. Fast forward a decade, Brian and I now live just a few blocks west of the zoo and Café B, we take our dog, T, on walks there every weekend. So it really felt like we were inviting everyone to our backyard to celebrate with us in our home.
We wanted to incorporate the zoo into the wedding so we had animal shaped place cards and table numbers, laid out on moss and monstera leaves to give it a jungle-like feel. We had green linens to maintain an earthy feel along with a floral deep purple.
We incorporated several personalized elements from Jewish tradition into our wedding day. My cousin and one of my bridesmaids, Amy, made me beautiful “Bridal Blessings” which I read during the ceremony leading up to the chuppa called the badeken. The bridal blessing my cousin made was printed on a decorated tambourine which I could play during the badeken while my family and friends sang and danced to traditional Jewish wedding music. There is also a Jewish belief that a bride has a special connection with God on her wedding day so I gave each of my bridesmaids and my best friend Matt a special blessing under my veil – these were all deeply personal, moving moments for all of us.
We sent our guests home with mini cupcakes in mini Chinese takeout containers that were baked by our favorite local bakery and baker of our wedding cake in the same flavors as our wedding cake.
Cinematography: Loudbyte Cinematography / Photography: Danielle Aquiline Photography / Flowers: Ashland Addison Florists / Event Design: Ashland Addison Florists / Event Planning: Anika Kai Events / Ceremony Location: Café Brauer at the Lincoln Park Zoo / Reception Location: The Foreman Pavilion, Lincoln Park Zoo / Invitations: Designed by Clementine Ink + Printed by Accucolor Plus / Shoes: Kate Spade / Dress Designer: Ulla Maija + TOMS / Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Jenny Yoo Collection / Men’s Fashion: DKNY