[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]
Blue and white is a color scheme we both love and have throughout our home together. I (Danielle) am particularly obsessed with it from loving French pottery with delicate blue and white floral details, so I knew we had to go in that direction. Ryan loves color, so we didn’t want it to be only blue and white, so we brought in pops of other colors throughout the details (the plates, florals etc). My mom (who passed years ago) also wore a blue dress to marry my dad back in the day, so I wanted to include that as a way to honor her memory. My engagement ring is also blue and white sapphires with little pearls.
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]
We knew for a long time that we wanted a small wedding- neither of us love being the center of attention, and after photographing so many large weddings, I knew I didn’t want to have to deal with that stress. This lead us to start looking into destinations outside of the US for our wedding, since we also love to travel together it made sense to leave the country, and was a way to keep things on the smaller side. We looked at places in Italy and France, and decided on Italy! Ryan is a great cook and food lover, so we knew Italy would be a fun place for us to explore together and to bring our family & friends to experience this with us. Once we hired our wedding planner Natalia, she helped us pick out the perfect venue (I was mainly looking for a place with olive groves for the ceremony and a courtyard with greenery for the reception, so Borgo Bastia Creti was simply perfect!) and then we went from there with the decor. We kind of landed on a European, romantic spring vibe for the overall colors and design. We wanted the vibe to be fun, chic and romantic, and I think we got it.
[field title=”Proposal Story”]In 2019 we spent a few months living in New York for Ryan’s old job, and I fell in love with the city. So, once covid was a bit better/we were vaccinated, we planned our first trip since early 2020 for New York in November 2021 as kind of an early birthday present for me. I kind of thought Ryan would maybe propose in NY, but I knew we didn’t have the ring yet so I didn’t expect anything. We spent our first day going to an antique market near central park, and then went on a long walk around the whole park. It was a beautiful fall day, so we took a rest on some large rocks in the park near the water. When we got to get up to leave, Ryan went down on one knee and pulled out a ring pop and popped the question! We had decided to design my ring together since I wanted something pretty specific, so this was the perfect surprise. We then celebrated at our favorite restaurant in Brooklyn (Kings County Imperial) and at other favorite bars nearby. It was perfect.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Getting Ready”]
[board_carousel title=”Bridal Portraits”]
[board_carousel title=”Flat Lays”]
[board_carousel title=”First Look”]
[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”]I love fashion, so I knew this would be a hard choice! But as we narrowed down the overall look/vibe for the day itself, I knew I wanted something romantic with sleeves. I was originally going to look for a blue dress, but I ended up falling in love with this dress when I was casually trying things on around Chicago to get an idea of what I liked, so I went for it! The neckline was originally high which I loved, but in the end it wasn’t as flattering as I wanted it to be, so we made it lower and I think that was the right call. I love the lace floral detailing and sleeves so much, plus it had pockets! It was definitely a lot of dress to travel with, but it was worth it. For my party look I wanted something fun, so I ended up finding a white sparkly mini dress (that also had sleeves because I love a sleeved dress!) and it was perfect for the direct flash photos I wanted with the champagne tower, and more comfortable for the end of the night hang out.[/field]
[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]Since we only had 24 guests, who were immediate family only and then our friends who would have been in the party anyway, we decided against a formal wedding party. But our dress code was “festive semi formal” for all our guests and some people had a fun time with it![/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]
Ryan wanted something on the lighter side (color and material wise) so he wouldn’t get too hot. When I decided to go with a white dress, we thought a light blue suit would be perfect for him! We went to Suit Supply and they helped us create his custom linen blended look, and gave us the knit tie option that we would never have thought about but ended up loving. He also lost his mom a few years back, so his sister gifted him some fabric from his mom’s clothing for him to carry during the day to have her with us as well.
[board_carousel title=”Wedding Party”]
[board_carousel title=”Cocktail Hour”]
[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]This was an important part for both of us, as we wanted everyone to enjoy a taste of Italy! Our wedding planner connected us with the most amazing local chef and winery, who provided all our food, wine and a spritz bar, plus our delicious cake. They outdid themselves and everyone still talks about how good the food was. My favorite dish we had was a truffle gnocchi, and of course, all the amazing wine and prosecco![/field]
[field title=”Florals & Decor”]Besides photography, florals were the most important thing to me! I am a huge plant/flower/nature lover, so I knew I wanted to have minimal but stunning floral decor to compliment the venue space. I love an organic shaped bouquet and arrangements, so I told our incredible florist Rebecca that, plus our colors, and let her do her thing! We combined the florals with a handmade blue linen our wedding planner sourced for us for the main reception table, and had plenty of candles and string lights to create the overall romantic and cozy vibe.[/field]
[field title=”Wedding Cake”]Our cake was a traditional Italian millefoglie cake and it was delicious! It was filled with fresh cream and berries and had a beautiful minimal floral design.[/field]
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]We didn’t do any readings during the ceremony, but we did have our good friend, who has known us both before we even started dating, officiate for us. She created a beautiful and simple ceremony that I told her to make under 5 minutes, and she did it! We were legally married in Chicago in our favorite park in 2022, so we didn’t need anything crazy, and knew we’d all want to get to the party part of the day quickly. We did private vows to each other after we did our first look earlier in the afternoon, which I can’t recommend enough! It was great to be able to say what we both really wanted to say without worrying about what anyone else thought.
I made playlists for each part of the day. There was the pre-ceremony music that was oldies love songs. Then I walked down the aisle to a string version of “Don’t Wanna Close My Eyes” by Aerosmith because Ryan and I have had a joke about that song for years. We walked up the aisle after the very short ceremony to the Golden Girls theme song because we both love that show so much. There was a dinner playlist that combined both of our music tastes, and a party playlist for the rest of the night. We had our first dance to “I’ve had the Time of my Life” from Dirty Dancing, which is another song that has been “our song” throughout our relationship. We love to joke around and be silly, so we wanted to include that part of our personalities in an otherwise very “classy” day. The best part about that song is how it has the short slow part and then the more fun part, so we did a little slow dancing and then when the beat picked up, we invited all our guests to dance with us for the rest of the song, and it was so much fun.[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]I’m a wedding photographer, so I had a lot of little things/details I knew I/we wanted. I loooove shooting detail flatlays, so I made sure to include all of our curated details for Audra to play with, and she did an amazing job. My shoes were the ones I wore when Ryan and I had our legal ceremony here in Chicago on our 10 year dating anniversary the previous August. I brought the ring pop he proposed with, along with my moms wedding ring, and the ring I wore as a temporary ring while we were designing my actual engagement ring. It was a small pearl, so that’s why we also included pearls in my engagement ring. I embroidered Ryan’s pocket square with a phrase we use to talk about our two cats, Hugh & Barry, and made him custom cat socks with photos of the two cats we currently have, and our cat who passed away a few years ago. My something borrowed was a ceramic floral headpiece from my friend Kpoene’s dress shop who I love to work with, Mignonette Bridal, and my earrings were new from Etsy. My veil was gifted to me from Cindy who works at Mignonette but also owns the amazing Blush & Cinders veil shop. I also brought the vintage blue beaded purse I bought at the antique market in NY the day we got engaged, along with some other details and ring boxes I bought on our frist trip to Italy together in 2022. For our PJ photos, I got my dream set from Bon Vivian, and Ryan wore his favorite t-shirt that one of our cats’ Hugh has made holes in from when Ryan holds him, which is very cute.[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #2″][/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″][/field]
[board_carousel title=”Couple Portraits”]
Photography: Audra Wrisley Photography | Floral Design: Rebecca Hawkins | Dress: Mira Couture | Invitations: Kananaskis Design | Shoes: Margaux | Ring: Heidi Gibson | Wedding Bands: Stanley Brown | Hair & Makeup: Giselle Dozier Artistry | Groom's Attire: Suit Supply | Venue: Borgo Bastia Creti | Catering/Cake: Annalisa Bacchetta | Headpiece: Mignonette Bridal | Pajamas: Bon Viviann | Paper Goods: Menu, Signs, etc: Italian Weddings by Natalia | Veil: Blush & Cinders | Vow Books: Lauren Yvonne Design