A Dream City Wedding With a Vera Wang Gown

Classic city weddings will always have my heart. Always. And when they just so happen to include the dreamiest Vera Wang cap sleeve gown and a horse-drawn carriage ride, you can be certain it’ll land on my favorites list. Samantha Helmig of Shannon Gail Weddings and Events was the creative genius behind this timeless celebration and Brett Heidebrecht photographed from start to finish. Have a look this way in the gallery.


From the Bride… Ross and I always knew we wanted a destination wedding of some sort and with my parents living up in Chicago, Ross proposing in Chicago and it being one of our favorite cities to visit, we decided to start making plans there.

Fact: The weather in Chicago in mid-April rarely ever cooperates. From the beginning, we always expected the worst and prayed for the best. So you can imagine our excitement and relief when we awoke to a beautiful, 75-degree sunny day. Apparently, the weather does cooperate, sometimes, in this city!

The morning of the wedding, my wedding party and I were able to eat, drink and relax in our robes before getting started with hair and makeup. I was extremely calm and giddy all morning until that moment when the dress and veil went on, and all eyes were on me. Suddenly, everything became very real! As I prepared to go up to the rooftop to greet Ross for our first look, the nerves had definitely set in. But the moment we finally locked eyes the only thing I could think about was how truly lucky I was to be marrying this incredibly amazing man!

After laughing, crying and taking a few pictures, we headed down to the hotel lobby to join our wedding party. We all hopped on a bus and headed towards Fourth Presbyterian Church for pictures in their courtyard prior to the ceremony. Just like every other aspect of the day, the ceremony was perfect. The church itself is absolutely stunning and our Reverend, Shannon Kershner, was beyond amazing.

We walked out of the church to bubbles (sort of) and all of our friends and family cheering. Once we made it down the steps of our church, my parents had one last surprise for us. Around the corner was a beautiful horse-drawn carriage, just like the one from our engagement! This allowed us to ride around by ourselves for a while and really take it all in, before heading back to the hotel for the cocktail hour and the reception.

The most important things to us when planning this day were the venue, food, drinks, and the band! TheWit was everything we ever wanted in a venue. From the hotel itself to the views it offered, the roof top bar, the reception room, the food and the staff (especially Brittney Epstein, the Senior Social Catering Manager), we could not have picked a more perfect venue. Then once The Stu Hirsch Orchestra started playing, I don’t think a soul sat down for the rest of the night (including my 84-year-old grandmother!).

Overall, everything about April 16th was perfect and very special to both of us. Ross and I can both honestly say that this was the best night of our lives!! We were surrounded by our family and closest friends, most of whom traveled long and far to show their support and love for us. The best part is that we realized the wedding is just the beginning! Brett Heidebrecht, as always, did an amazing job capturing all the memorable details and emotions in all of the photographs. We were so lucky to have him capture the essence and fun of our wedding day!

Photography: Brett Heidebrecht Photography | Event Planning: Shannon Gail Weddings and Events | Floral Design: Mangel Florist | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Ceremony Venue: Fourth Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: The Wit Hotel | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Hair + Makeup: Sonia Roselli