It’s hard to look at this wedding and not be happy. I would go as far as to say it’s practically impossible. It’s filled to the brim with whimsy and fun, not to mention one pretty color palette, making every image snapped up by Rachael Schirano a pure joy to peruse. Lucky for all of us, the fun continues right here in the full gallery.
From the Bride…Ryan and I met for drinks one night after exchanging a few silly messages about our favorite candy back and forth on a dating site. After a few hours of banter about our families, work, and music, I left with a huge smile on my face, knowing I had to see him again. We both immediately noticed how comfortable we felt together, like we had known each other forever. A year and half later Ryan proposed to me downtown Chicago in front of the Chicago theater, my friends and family, and a hoard of surprised tourists on the sidewalk.
As soon as Ryan and I got engaged we knew we wanted to get married at Bloomington Country Club, because it’s Ryan’s home town and the club always looks so beautiful in the summer. We chose shades of purple and pink for our colors, because I love bright colors and felt they were the perfect colors for the transition from Summer to Fall since we were getting married over Labor Day weekend.
Ryan and I love to be silly and laugh so we wanted to make sure there was an element of fun throughout the wedding. We did this, for example, by finding Mario and Peach from Super Mario Bros. for our cake toppers on Etsy and using giant purple balloons in our photos. Ryan is admittedly a comic book nerd, so all of the groomsmen wore different superhero masks for their entrance into the reception and the girls wore bright pink bows on their heads, which were a hit with all the ladies being passed around to each guest all night. Ryan’s love for comics was also integrated into our Save the Date’s designed by our friend Colleen Clark, who is a graphic designer in Bloomington. She designed them to look like a comic strip and we had a great time shooting the pictures of Ryan pretending to save me from an oncoming train. He is my own personal superhero :)
Ryan and I aren’t very traditional so we kept our ceremony short and sweet, but full of meaning. We wrote our vows expressing our love; mine included the fact that Ryan is able to make me laugh every single day and feel supported no matter what. Ryan recited Adam’s Sandler’s “I want to grow old with you”, which immediately made me smile and relax my nerves, something he is always able to do. To honor Ryan’s Irish heritage and wanting to do something unique, we incorporated a Celtic tradition called “hand fasting” into our ceremony. Our hands were wrapped in silver and ivory cord to signify our unity bound forever by our vows.
When planning the overall look for the wedding I went with more contemporary designs choosing chevron and ikat to be incorporated into our invites and signage at the wedding. I worked with Courtney Callahan in Chicago to design every element of the invitations, which was really fun. I used non-traditional wording to make sure people knew right from the beginning this wouldn’t be your typical country club wedding. The ombre purple chevron design from the invites was including on all of our signage as well.
For the tables, I chose silver and white chevron napkins and had an ikat table sign made to pull in the design from the invites. We also created a simple menu using purple and pink font to complement the bright pink hydrangeas in the centerpieces. I love mercury glass so I scoured all the craft stores to collect as many mercury glass votives I could find and scattered them over all of the tables.
Another favorite part of the wedding planning was the dessert buffet. I love dessert and I especially love pie so I was determined to offer a handful of delicious choices. We had three amazing cakes made by Sugar Mama in Bloomington. Basically the only reason we had three cakes is simply because I couldn’t choose which decoration I liked the best! The hot pink ombre two-tier cake not only looked gorgeous, it tasted amazing. The options were definitely a great decision since all the guests piled their plates high with dessert with all three cakes and 24 pies being consumed by the end of the night!
We decided to offer two signature cocktails to serve at the wedding with names that represented significant events in our relationship. “Cleo’s Cooler” was a delicious strawberry mojito named after the bar we went to on our first date. “State & Lake Sipper” was a long island iced-tea named after the intersection in Chicago where Ryan proposed to me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t drink anything without a straw, so we bought lavender and white striped straws to top them off.
Our overall goal was to plan a wedding that represented both of us, with a contemporary and whimsical aspect, that still felt classy and put together. Everything at the wedding was the result of our ideas and since we helped design everything, it felt very personal. It was an amazing day that we will never forget!
Bakery: Sugar Mama Bakery | Bride's Dress: Vera Wang | Bridesmaid's Dresses: J.Crew | Ceremony + Reception: Bloomington Country Club | Florist: Casey's Garden Shop and Florist | Invitations and Table Cards: Courtney Callahan Paper | Photographer: Rachael Schirano Photography