When it came to planning their wedding day, this darling duo wanted to highlight the city that played the backdrop to their romance. From growing up and then falling in love in Chicago, to their Navy Pier proposal, the Windy City held a special place in their hearts, so it seemed only natural that they choose the magnificent Chicago Cultural Center as their wedding venue. Boasting the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome, it made for one stunning and elegant wedding, captured by Two Birds Photography. See all the grandeur in the Vault!
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From the Bride… Jim and I met at a country concert through mutual friends in September of 2011. We hit it off instantly and found that we had more than a just few friends in common. Growing up about a mile apart, it felt like we had known each other forever. It wasn’t long after the concert when Jim asked me out on our first date. When we began dating, I was living in Lakeview and we were both working in downtown Chicago. We fell in love that year exploring the city – trying new restaurants and shows, attending baseball games and concerts, walking along the lake, and taking weekend trips. We dated for another three years, and in March of 2015, Jim proposed at Navy Pier with the city we both love so much as the backdrop. After the proposal, Jim surprised me with an engagement party to celebrate with all of our family and friends. It was definitely one of the happiest days of our lives!
When we began wedding planning, we knew we wanted to have a full Catholic mass. Jim and I both come from strong Irish Catholic families on the Southside of Chicago, so we chose St. Christina Church in the neighborhood where we both grew up. We also knew we wanted to have the reception downtown, and after visiting the Chicago Cultural Center, we left in awe. Preston Bradley Hall, with the world’s largest Tiffany dome, was one of the most beautiful rooms we had ever set foot in. Our decision was made, and we (quickly) booked our date for August 27, 2016.
With the two major venues set, the details began falling into place. We agreed on a classic and elegant theme and chose a neutral palette of ivory, gold, and blush to complement the green and gold accents of Preston Bradley Hall. The groomsmen wore black tuxes, and the bridesmaids wore long, black chiffon dresses for an elegant look. We accessorized with blush bouquets and boutonnieres. My mother helped me pick out my wedding dress, which was very special to me. Not only did I feel it suited my personality, but it also suited the venue. I loved how it was simple with a touch of glamour on the capped sleeves; yet the full skirt gave it a presence under the large dome.
For a personal touch, I designed all the wedding stationery from our invites and programs to the signs and menus, using quartz paper, gold ink, and blush accents. All of our vendors that we brought into the Cultural Center were absolutely amazing and, in my opinion, made our wedding live upe to the beautiful venue. Everything came together perfectly – the awesome band (312 Chicago), amazing food (Food Evolution), beautiful cake (Cake Chicago), and gorgeous florals and centerpieces (ZuZu’s Petals).
The morning of our wedding, it was pouring rain, but by the time we went to the church, the sun was out. Our wedding mass was exactly how I envisioned – we were surrounded by our family and friends with our wonderful bridal party standing by our side and our godparents and Jim’s grandfather playing a special part. I’ll never forget my dad walking me down the aisle trying not to cry or the overwhelming sense of calm that came over me after we said our vows.
After the mass, the bridal party went downtown to take pictures at the south garden of the Art Institute, which is one of my favorite spots in the entire city. I absolutely love the trees, ivy, and greenery – it inspired our summer wedding! After the Art Institute, Jim and I took a few pictures on the LaSalle Street Bridge – which have that iconic, downtown Chicago feel – before we went to our reception. When Jim and I walked up the grand staircase and into Preston Bradley Hall, it was truly magical. Seeing the entire room set up and lit with candles, and viewing the beautiful cake below the dome (Cake Chicago) was exactly how we envisioned and more. We had the absolute best day and night of our lives celebrating with all our friends and family in one room. We could not have asked for anything more.
A special thanks to our wedding planner, Lindsay Green Wedding and Events, and her team who took care of every detail the month leading up to and day of our wedding. From coordinating the vendors ahead of time to getting ready in the morning and cleaning up after the reception, they made everything run smoothly so we could truly enjoy every minute of our day. After the wedding, we received our amazing photos (Two Birds Photography) and video (One Fine Day Productions) and could not have been happier with how they captured every detail. Jim and I feel truly grateful for our beautiful wedding day and for the wonderful memories we will have for a lifetime.
Photography: Two Birds Photography | Cinematography: One Fine Day Productions | Event Planning: Lindsay Green | Floral Design: Zuzu's Petals | Cake: Cake Chicago | Catering: Food Evolution | Band: Stitely Entertainment | Venue: Chicago Cultural Center | Table Numbers: GreenStar Paperie