Eclectic Chicago Wedding by Robert Wojtowicz Images
March 18, 2011
DIY InspiredVintage

This goes out to all of you foodies and lovers of culinary treats. A Chicago wedding of two chefs filled with adorable food inspired centerpieces and one eclectic venue that has us reeling with delight.  Photographed by Robert Wojtowicz Images, this is a food lover's DREAM, a vintage lover's PARADISE, and the perfect example of thinking outside of the box all while creating a unique and personal wedding. See this couple's recipe for love and the rest of the yummy details in the gallery.

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From the Bride... Our inspiration came from my engagement ring and our love for all things old. We had my engagement ring made by Fuenfer Jeweler in Winnetka, IL to look like a vintage early century piece by oxidizing the platinum/diamond band and setting to appear blackened where a rare orange/pinkish padparadscha sapphire was set in.

We were on a fairly tight budget but felt that the wedding location would basically determine the overall feel of the wedding. The moment we walked into Salvage One in an industrial area near downtown Chicago I knew that the architectural salvage warehouse was the place. The venue was at the top of our budget but we justified the cost because it included mismatch chairs and tables that didn't require linens and tons of decor and charm which meant less rentals and headaches for us. All the paper goods I printed and designed myself with the exception of the invitations which I custom ordered from an Etsy artist Letter Box Inc. Both my husband and I are chefs (him - a chef, me - a pastry chef) so we decided to use pastry ingredients as our centerpieces which was metaphoric to our recipe for love. We collected Brett's grandmother's vintage bowls and vessels to put them in. I bought burlap from Joann's fabric and created runners with them. I also made the homemade fig jam for the favors and asked our food industry friends and family to make cookies for the cookie bar. It was all DIY.

My dress was from the 1960's and the first dress I tried on at Silver Moon in Chicago where Liz Meyers (a stylist for the likes of Aerosmith and Paul McCartney) specializes in vintage wedding dresses. We reworked the dress to a strapless with a sweetheart neckline and removed a hideous gold sequined stretchy band from the waste and replaced it with a pewter chiffon sash. The silk chiffon dress was made of a beautiful champagne color not seen today in wedding dresses. It was also incredibly affordable at $770 with alterations. The 1920's cream fur shawl we picked up at the last fitting with Liz. My necklace was a cameo that was last worn on Brett's Mother's (Robin Swartzman) Bat Mitzvah 50 years ago, the diamond earings were also from Robin, and the gorgeous bracelet was from her mother who gave it to her sister Beth who then gave it to her before she passed.

Brett's suit was the best find of all. We strolled into a resale shop in Evanston, Il  by the name of Classy Closet and were met by the owner who was reminiscent of Bernie Mac in a double breasted black suit and a fedora. We walked out with a custom Oxxford Suit for Neiman Marcus circa 1980 for a bargain price of $50. The only catch was that it was a size too small so we took it Saks Fifth Ave. and had it tailored for $160. And that's were we picked up all his other accessories.

The food was everyone's favorite part at the wedding. We heard statements all night, "Best wedding food EVER!" All the food ingredients were donated by Brett's best friend and food purveyor/owner Patrick Fitzgerald of Midwest Foods. Blue Plate Catering did the rest and I can't tell you what an amazing job they did. We are still receiving compliments to this day. And, the beautiful vintage laced cake with pewter ribbons and whimsical peachy grey peonies was a wedding gift from a dear friend of mine Mary Winslow who owns Take the Cake.

Our day-of coordinator was our friend Millie Harper who was the catering director at Brett's country club. It was her wedding gift to us since I made her grooms cake earlier that year for her wedding. Besides Spencer Lokken, our awesome DJ who played none of that generic or hokey wedding music, we hired a college kid from UW-Madison Miles Comiskey to drive down to be our guitarist/soloist for the cocktail hour and ceremony. And a friend was our Elvis impersonator later on in the night.

Wedding Photography: Robert Wojtowicz Images / Wedding Venue: Salvage One / Wedding Caterer: Blue Plate / Wedding Gown: Silver Moon / Wedding Cake - Take the Cake / Florist - Asrai Garden / Wedding DJ - Style Matters / Soloist/Guitarist: Miles Comiskey / Rabbi - Michael Sternfield / Hotel - TheWit Hotel / Wedding Coordinator: Friend of the Bride / Jeweler: Fuenfer Jewelers / Wedding Invitations - Letter Box Inc.