This week we head to Chicago for the urban industrial feel wedding of Tracey and Josh. They threw a full on party full of fun and personality. I adore the first look, the warehouse venue and quirky wedding cake. Such a stylish and lovely couple.
Thanks so much to J Wiley Photography for sharing their gorgeous imagery with us today.
The Proposal… We were taking a long weekend vacation in New York City, and one morning we left our hotel in Brooklyn on a quest for epic bagels. There are just not good bagels in Chicago. We found a hole-in-the-wall bagel mecca, and got a few bagels and decided to enjoy them in Columbus Square. We were discussing organized labor and lamenting over how much we love these bagels, when Josh pulled a box out of his bag and said “So you want to get married?” He gave me the most beautiful ring from the 1920s, which he purchased from his best friend Amy’s mother. We celebrated with Amy and her then-fiance, who live in New York, for the rest of the weekend.
The Vision for the Day… We knew we wanted something fun, colorful, and a true reflection of who we were and what we liked. We decided pretty early on that we wouldn’t subscribe to the “wedding is not at all about you, its about your guests” doctrine. We wanted to throw a great party for the people we love, but also wanted to enjoy it and be a part of it.
The Planning Process… We planned the wedding for 16 months. Not much to say about it, except lots of lists and excel sheets! We have a very large family, so there was a lot of time spent on the guest list. There were also lots of meetings!
The Venue… We knew that we wanted to have a wedding in the city. Tracey found the Ravenswood Event Center when she was searching for a unique wedding venue. It was the only place we looked at, because as soon as we saw it we knew wanted to be married there. It was so different and cool. We were wowed when we saw all of the cars and neon signs, and we knew our friends and family would love it also.
The Dress + Accessories… I wore a bridal gown designed by Watters. My shoes and headpiece came from BHLDN. The necklace I wore was my great-grandmother. The pearl bracelet I wore was really special, as my mother had it made special for me out of a string of pears that my father gave her in the 1980s. My father passed away in 1999, so it was really special to have that “gift from him,” as my mom put it.
Finding the Dress… I found my dress on a total whim. My mother and I had a meeting with a wedding vendor one day, and during lunch decided it would be fun go to the Macy’s Bridal Salon. After 5 dresses tried on, all epic failures, they brought in my dress. I knew that it was the dress since I didn’t want to take it off. I loved it!
Groom’s Attire… My husband wanted to be solely responsible for picking his entire for himself and his groom’s party. He found his suit at a suit shop and had it tailored. He found his bowtie online, which he really enjoyed doing. He looked great!
The Readings + Music… We chose to do only one reading for our ceremony. We read an excerpt from Goodridge v. The Department of Public Health, which was the first case in the U.S. to establish marriage equality. We struggled with the decision to get married when so many of our friends and loved ones are denied the same right. We wanted to honor them. There was only two songs played during the ceremony, collectively from one of our favorite records “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel. We walked in to “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea,” and walked out to “Holland 1945.”
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had 5 bridesmaids. My sister Ellen was my maid of honor, and then I had my cousins Susie and Katie, and my two best friends Liz (who traveled from her adopted home of Rome) and Kelly. Their dresses were designed by Alfred Sung. I picked a color and a fabric, and then the girls choose from about 24 different styles. The only requirement was really that they all had to choose a different style. My husband also had a “groomslady,” who was also wearing one of these dresses.
The Flowers… To be honest I hadn’t given any thought to flowers, and basically told our florist and decoration vendor, Kehoe Designs, to make something really colorful and unique. When they did the mock up 6 months before the wedding I was thrilled!
The Cake… We decided we were going to forgo a traditional cake and just do a bunch of different cupcakes from Molly’s Cupcakes. For our cake cutting we had a fun, whimsical funfetti cake from Sweet Mandy B’s. It was delicious!
Your Photographer… Jen was a mutual friend of some of our friends. When we looked at our website we knew we wanted her to shoot our wedding day! We were disappointed to learn that she was moving to California, but we were thrilled when she agreed to fly in and do our wedding! We had great chemistry with her, and were so happy that she was a part of our day.
The Details + Decor… Kehoe Designs did the lighting and floral for the big day. They did such an amazing job, and really made our vision of colorful, fun, and whimsical come to life! The lighthing and flowers worked so well with the cars and neon signs and everyone loved it. One of our favorite things was the awesome checkered dance floor, which worked so well with everything, and also served as a shout-out to Josh’s ska days!
The Honeymoon… We took our honeymoon in Rome, Italy. We stayed at a hotel in the city center, and spent most days walking around to see the sites or drinking beer and playing cards. Since Tracey’s best friend lives in Rome, we were able to spend a good amount of time with her and her husband. They showed us a lot of the “real” real rome. Also, Josh works in the wine industry, so we took a day trip to Abruzzo and visited a vineyard that he works with. They took us on a horseback ride through the mountains, showed us their growing process, and we tasted amazing wines. They also took us to a fabulous dinner at Michelin Star winning Villa Maiella.
Memorable Moments… One of the best parts of the day was when Josh had his bridal gift for me delivered. He sewed by hand a pillow that looked like our dog, who we both love very much, to “keep me company”!
Advice for Other Couples… Perspective! It does fly by, so just enjoy it!
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Ceremony: Ravenswood Event Center
Photographer: J Wiley Photography
Bakery: Molly’s Cupcakes
Planning: Elizabeth Tulipana, Anticipation Events
Makeup: Chicago Bridal Hair & Makeup
Floral & Lighting: Kehoe Designs
Reception Band: Indigo
Shoes: Something Bleu
Such a fantastic day. Thanks so much for sharing guys :-) XOXO Lou
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