Chicago Wedding by Melissa Hayes
November 1, 2010

It is official...we are absolutely beside ourselves with a mega wedding crush.  Between the pale blue details that are so delicate and pretty, the clean, modern succulent centerpieces,  and the breathtaking backdrop of the Garfield Park Conservatory...this Chicago Wedding knows the way to our blogger hearts. And paired with the photography by Melissa Hayes? Complete and total perfection. See lots more of this gorgeous day in the gallery.

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click here to see more of this beautiful wedding!

From the Bride, Della...

Bob and I love our home in New York where we met, but out of respect and love for our families, we chose to return to Chicago to be married. We're both art directors and when we started planning our wedding, I knew that our collective creativity and my years of planning and designing my friends' weddings would help me bring together every detail of our own. Bob wanted to get married at the Garfield Park Conservatory partly because of its intrinsic beauty and strength as an essential community center but also because his father's family lived in the area back in the 40s and 50s. My mother was married in India in the 60s and it was her 41-year-old wedding sari that I wore on my wedding day which was the inspiration for our wedding aesthetic. Woven pale blue silk (the polka dots were fashioned with actual silver thread,) inspired the subtle circle patterns see sparingly throughout the design. With this and a focus on simplicity, the invite was executed utilizing a blind debossed pattern with light gray ink for the typography.

The Conservatory is filled with such amazing flowers and plants that I chose to keep the centerpieces flower-free - highlighting my favorite succulents as accents. For table numbers, cylinder vases were partially filled with white sand while pillar candles were grounded in their center. I used tall white candles from the dollar store, and wrapped them with Chinese rice paper sourced back in New York whose varying white patterns added a hint of warmth. Guests were encouraged to take home the different milk glasses on the tables - items my sister hunted at local thrift stores over the last 6 months. Instead of a guest book, our family and friends were encouraged to write us individual messages and seal them in envelopes — a time capsule so that we will open and enjoy on our one year anniversary. The food was amazing. We wanted to represent Chicago as well as New York City, choosing cheesecake and Black and White Cookies in lieu of traditional wedding cake. This was as big a hit as it was delicious. Special thanks to Tom Kokinakos and his staff at Phil Stefani Signature events.

We wanted the details of our wedding to carry meaning and involve those closest to us. Bob wrote the beautiful ceremony. My brother's old friend at Florist on Forest arranged my bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres. My makeup was done by the talented Kathleen Gardiner - the youngest sister of my high school friend. Her close friend Nick Stenson did my hair. My much loved twin nephews, Luke and Max, wore a youth version of the same shoes Bob wears. My adorable niece, Maya, carried a flower ball I purchased from Elmo and Ike on Etsy. Our officiant, The Honorable Maureen Connors Barton, is one of Bob's mother's childhood friends. (Their group of close girlfriends have a standing dinner at Chicago's South Side Ignotz's Restaurant, and here we chose to have our rehearsal dinner.) And finally, I cannot begin to say enough about Melissa Hayes Photography. She, with her husband Casey, spent the whole day with my family and I. She is simply amazing and was able to capture everything and in a way that I could never have imagined. My family adored her. She was so personable and sincere — a very important quality when inviting someone to share such a special day. And the pictures are a great representation of who we are as people as well as our family and friends - warm and inviting.

Documentary Wedding Photography: Melissa Hayes / Venue: Garfield Park Conservatory / Music: Just Press Play Productions / Catering: Stefani Catering / Hair: Nick Stenson / Makeup: Freelance Artist Kathleen Gardiner  / Bridal Dress: Vintage Indian wedding dress that was also worn by her mother for her own wedding / Hair Flower: Silver Pencils / Invitations Designed by the bride