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Festive Winter Elopement in Chicago

I always love the simplicity and relaxed atmosphere of elopements! Captured by Emily Alt Photography, Gretchen and Tom were married in a super intimate ceremony right before Christmas at the Chicago Cultural Center. Getting married at the Cultural Center is a once a month opportunity, with a number of couples exchanging vows and clapping for one another as they walk down the aisle. Gretchen wore a beautiful, short black lace dress and carried a pearl encrusted clutch; a perfect look for a wedding just before the holidays. I adore the festive atmosphere of this lovely winter wedding!

A few words from the bride:

We were introduced by a mutual friend in college and became friends. After graduation we ended up working for the same company and living in the same apartment complex. One thing lead to another and we started dating. Everyone that knew us sighed and said, “Finally!”. Tom says that he always knew.

Our inspiration was something fun, relaxed and easy. We wanted something that we both felt comfortable with everything. Our wedding came together in three weeks, after we threw our hands up in frustration at six months of planning with no progess. By that point we just wanted to be married! So simple was in, anything complicated was out. If it was easy and we wanted to do it, we did it. Otherwise, it didn’t happen. And that was okay. And it resulted in a fantastic, stress-free day that both of us cherish.

Our biggest lessons learned: trust yourself and your partner first. Lean on each other, you’re setting up the precedent for your marrige both in how you interate with each other and how you interate with the families you were born into.

Be kind but firm, if something really and truly matters to you – do it.

Photographer: Emily Alt Photography // Ceremony Venue: Chicago Cultural Center // Reception Venue: The Rosebud Prime // Bridal Gown Designer: Eliza J // Bridal Gown Store: Nordstrom // Bridal Shoes: J. Renee Lilliana Pump // Bridal Veil/Headpiece: DIY by Maid of Honor // Jewelry Designer: Moriarty’s Gem Art // Floral Designer: Bryan Florist // Lunch Reception: The Italian Village // All images by Emily Alt Photography // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Stylish Winter Wedding in Chicago

Since we are still shivering during this relentless winter, we might as well enjoy a lovely winter wedding! Captured by Jill Tiongco Photography, Laura and Bill were married in the iconic St. Vincent Ferrer church on the day after Thanksgiving in chilly Chicago. A rich, purple color palette was used throughout the attire and decor and Laura and her bridesmaids wore gorgeous fur shawls to keep them warm. The reception included tall vases with lush arrangements, hand painted table numbers and custom cookie favors. I especially love the images of Laura getting ready, so stunning!

A few words from the bride:

We met at “Mother’s” aka “Mom’s” which is a bar at Eastern Illinois University; the college we both went to. We found out we had some mutual friends which led to us hanging out more and officially started dating a couple months later. Fast forward 7 years later, Bill took me to dinner at our favorite restaurant in the city (Mastro’s) and completely surprised me when he popped the question.

Our inspiration/vision was elegant and romantic– with a hollywood glam feel. With the help of our wonderful family, friends and fabulous vendors we pulled off the exact look and feel we were going for and everyone seemed to have a great time! Bill and I never left the dance floor and we truly did enjoy every minute of our wedding day–which was the constant “word of advice” everyone seemed to share with us before our big day!

Photographer: Jill Tiongco Photography // Videographer: Joe Mastrino // Ceremony Venue: St. Vincent Ferrer // Reception Venue: Victoria in the Park // Catering: Victoria in the Park // Rentals: BBJ  // Bridal Gown Store: Jasmine Bridal Couture, T142059 // Bridal Shoes: Jasmine Galleria // Bridal Veil/Headpiece: Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Cathedral Length Veil // Jewelry Designer: // Bridesmaids’ Dress Designer: Alvina Valenta , Style 9273 // Bridesmaids’ Dress Store: Bella Bridesmaids // Groom’s Attire: BLACK by Vera Wang // Groom’s Shoes: // Groomsmen’s Attire: Mens Wearhouse // Cake Designer: Victoria in the Park // Floral Designer: Gail Gregor // Makeup Artist: Lauren Guillen- LG Makeup Design // Hair Stylist: Jillian Koch of Jillian’s Salon // Invitation Designer: Jenni! fer Rossi via RedHeartPaperCo // DJ: John Grammatis of Ultra Music Inc. // Photobooth: Victoria in the Park // Officiant: Fr. Matthew Strabala // Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton // Travel Agent: Chloe Cipollone of Tahiti Travel Planners // Honeymoon: Moorea, Hilton; Bora Bora, St. Regis Hotel // Transportation: Elite Chicago Limo  // All images by Jill Tiongco Photography

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Gorgeous Pink, Cultural Wedding in Downtown Chicago

Wow, is this wedding held at a fabulous venue! Captured by J Wiley Photography, Anne and Rick were married at the historic Rookery Building in downtown Chicago on a lovely Spring day. The ceremony and reception took place in the Rookery Building’s luminous central light court, remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. The soaring glass ceiling and expert ironwork make a stunning space for a celebration! The couple’s wedding effortlessly mixed Anne’s Taiwanese and Canadian heritage into the details of the day. A color palette of bright pink and purples complemented the mostly white reception space while still allowing the architecture to shine.

A few words from the bride:

Rick and I met while working together at a philanthropic management consulting firm in Chicago. Even though our cubicles were across the aisle from each other, we worked in separate departments and did not cross paths much. I just had a vague impression of him as the cute guy that did something tech-ish. After a while, I decided to switch jobs and move on to a new firm. As I was saying my goodbyes, I mentioned to Rick that we should keep in touch and hang out sometime–thinking nothing would come of it. To which he replied, “Great! How about Tuesday?” and we’ve been together ever since!

Five years later, we were married at the historic Rookery in downtown Chicago. We share a love of architecture and found the perfect venue in the Rookery. It is a National Historic Landmark originally designed by famed Chicago architects Burnham and Root and later remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright. Technically it’s the lobby of an office building—which doesn’t sound romantic at all! But the light-filled atrium, gold-inlaid marble, and delicate wrought iron work make for a gorgeously ethereal space. To contrast against the Rookery’s white marble interior, we decided on a color scheme of rich shades of red and purple.

Our favorite elements of our wedding are the personal touches, of course. The contributions of our family and friends were so meaningful to us. We were honored to be married by Rick’s college roommate who flew in from Spain (where he was completing missionary work) to officiate our wedding. Our wedding also included nods to my Taiwanese and Canadian heritage. We had a tea ceremony to pay tribute to our parents and I changed into a chi pao for the reception. Rick’s mom, a talented quilter, quilted a double-happiness banner for our sweetheart table. It’s a wonderful keepsake of our wedding that will become a family heirloom for our children in the future. To celebrate my Canadian upbringing, we had a late-night poutine bar. If you’ve never tried poutine, it’s French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy. Best midnight snack ever!

At the end of it all, we were absolutely thrilled with everything—the wedding, celebrating with our family and friends, and most importantly to finally be married!

Photographer: J Wiley Photography
Videographer: XO Pictures
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Rookery
Catering + Rentals: Jewell Events Catering
Chaircovers: Sylwia
Draping: Art of Imagination
Bridal Gown Designer: Watters
Bridal Gown Store: RK Bridal
Bridal Shoes: Me Too
Bridal Veil/Headpiece: Occansey Designs
Jewelry Designer: Haute Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: ML by Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaid Dress Store: Nordstrom
Groom’s Suit: Balani Custom Clothiers
Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Cake Designer: Bittersweet Bakery
Floral Designer: Vale of Enna
Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist: Kim Piech
Invitation Designer: Minted
Wedding Planner: Sweetchic Events
DJ: Spin
Officiant: Ben Knox, friend of couple

All images by J Wiley Photography

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