Chicago Wedding at The Drake Hotel from Olivia Leigh Photographie
January 16, 2013
Classic WeddingsBallroom Weddings
This next couple proves that the love of your life may be living right around the corner from you, and that you're bound to run into each other at some point! I love this couple's story and their whirlwind romance that ended in this spectacular fete captured by Olivia Leigh Photographie. It's like a real life fairy tale and you can live happily ever after right here in the gallery.
Check out this fabulous film from Leap Weddings:
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From the Bride... Ted and I met in May 2010, and we were immediately smitten with each other! Coincidentally, we both lived on Oak Street, and that is where Ted proposed to me in December 2011, underneath the lighted gazebo across from The Drake Hotel. Since we wanted a summer wedding, planning began pronto! Choosing the historic Drake Hotel for our reception was simple; my family and I have always enjoyed the ambiance of The Drake. Ted and I love the rich and storied history of the hotel, and its neoclassical, opulent décor fit perfectly with our vision of an elegant, classic and glamorous wedding. Truly the icing on the cake was residing in the absolutely decadent Princess Diana Suite for the wedding weekend. What a perfect space for me to prepare for the big day, surrounded by my mom and my best friends!

Ted and I made a conscious effort to live each moment in every part of the day and to make time for private moments together. We had talked about making sure we were by each others' sides the entire night. During Ted’s toast, he presented me with Chinese finger cuffs to ensure we stayed together … and they were pink and navy! We have a multitude of amazing memories of our wedding day. We will never forget seeing each other for the first time, taking pictures on the beach and streets of Chicago with tons of people yelling “Congratulations!”  and dancing with our families and friends! Ted and I were blessed with an idyllic day, a glorious event celebrating the beginning of our lives together, surrounded by loving family and friends. Our ceremony was held at Saint James Chapel, a breathtaking chapel dedicated in 1918 and modeled after Sainte Chapelle in Paris. Our floral designer, Cornelia McNamara, arranged great poufs of sugary pink, Dutch hydrangea and fragrant O’Hara garden roses with boughs of gilded magnolia and feathery apricot eremeris lilies in vintage chic gold urns to flank our exchange of vows. We could not have found a more romantic setting for our ceremony. As a nod to Ted’s love of sailing, the cocktail hour had a nautical feel. The hour commenced in the Venetian, a room that gave the guest a spectacular view of Lake Michigan. Dazzling arrangements of blue hydrangea, cobalt blue delphinium and masses of navy blue viburnum berries adorned the tables, and the vases were covered in sailing rope. Our engagement photos, taken on a sailboat on Lake Michigan, complemented the nautical charm of the space.

I selected pink and navy for our wedding colors, as they handsomely reflected who Ted and I are individually and as a couple. I have very feminine tastes and have always loved pink; navy, a masculine color, symbolized Ted’s strong and calm nature. Together, the colors illustrated our classic style. We used stunning pops of gold throughout, from the cake to the gilded magnolia leaves that formed our new monogram above the head table. The lower centerpieces were arranged in gorgeous, cut-crystal vessels, which added another layer of flash and glamour to the already stunning room. Cornelia used masses of garden roses and dahlias in every shade of pink, set off by gold “camel” roses and gilded foliage. The taller centerpieces were long-stemmed garden roses and dinner plate dahlias with golden magnolia branches arranged in antique birdbaths. She also surprised us with two bougainvillea topiaries with trailing vines covered in hot pink blooms, which framed us for the few moments were able to sit!  The table numbers were street names of Chicago, personally meaningful to us.


Wedding Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie / Ceremony: Saint James Chapel in Chicago, Illinois / Reception: The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois / Wedding Planning: Renny Pederson of Bliss Weddings & Events / Floral Design: Cornelia McNamara Flowers / Wedding Cinematography: Leap Weddings / Wedding Cake: Sarah’s Bakery / Band: Don Cagen Orchestra / Wedding Dress: Enzoani / Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride's Accessories: The Left Bank Bridal Finery / Hair: Ashley Condron / Makeup: Rachel Reiman / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung