Emily and Bobby were married at the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Ill. on June 6. “We lived in the neighborhood of the Chicago History Museum in Old Town, and I would walk past it often when walking our dog,” Emily said. “We always loved the feel of it, and it is beautiful inside and out. When our originial venue canceled on us about eight months before our wedding, we were devastated and very worried to say the least. Chicago History Museum ended up being everything and more not to mention it is a museum honoring the city where we fell in love. We loved it from the beginning, before we were even engaged, so I guess it was meant to be for us.” The bride wore a strapless lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized wit her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of Kate Spade peep-toe bow pumps, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of peonies, hydrangeas, and berries. “I especially enjoyed taking pictures before the ceremony with our wedding party,” she said. “The weather was perfect, and our photographer, Eric, handled everything so well. It really captured how relaxed and happy we felt on that day.” The ceremony took place outside in the plaza with scenic views of Lincoln Park. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard that described the itinerary. Aisles were lined with lanterns lit with candles. “It was a gorgeous 70 degree day with not a cloud in the sky,” Emily said. Following the “I do’s,” sealed with a kiss, the reception took place inside the ballroom. Tables were decorated with navy blue linens, silver napkins, burlap runners, tall curly willow centerpieces in mason jars, and patterned numbers. “The handmade and heartfelt details – we put so much time and effort into the day, and we wanted it to really show who we are and where we come from,” Emily said. “Our guests appreciated our extra touches.” The surprise entertainment during dinner was a slideshow put together by her stepdad! The newlyweds’ best advice? “If I could offer one piece of advice for other couples during planning, I would say to make one day a week a wedding-free day,” she said. “Go to dinner, enjoy each other, and put the wedding out of your minds for a moment. It’s hard to do, but it’s important to not let it take over and to remember why you are doing it all in the first place. I would also say to expect that something along the way will not go as you thought or planned, so prepare for that. Then, let it go and be thankful for all that goes right.” After it was all said and done, they traveled to St. Thomas for their honeymoon!
Stefanie and Trevor were married at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, Calif. on January 18 — exactly five years after they first met! “It was really important to us to have an indoor and outdoor option since we were getting married during winter, and the weather would be unpredictable,” Stefanie said. “We got lucky, and it ended up being 80 degrees.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of satin high heels, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a matching tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore short pale blue chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, anemones, silver brunia balls, and dusty millers. The ceremony took place in the Oval Terrace overlooking a pond. “It was the most favorite part of our big day,” she said. “Our good friend and brother-in-law was officiated and performed it. He shared such a special time with us and wrote the most beautiful words that was funny, thoughtful, and exactly what my now-husband and I wanted.” Afterwards, the reception followed in the ballroom. Guests found their seats via escort cards hanging from clothespins. Tables were decorated with white linens, lantern centerpieces, and mercury glass votive candles, surrounded by silver chiavari chairs. “When I walked through the venue all decorated, I almost started to cry,” Stefanie said. “It could not have been more perfect. My vision and ideas I had been planning for all finally came to life!” Plus dinner, a four-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. “Our DJ was absolutely amazing and did a fantastic job of orchestrating the dance floor component without being overbearing.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Stay true to yourselves and what you want as a couple for your wedding,” she said. “There will be many people that give you opinions leading up to and on.”
Michelle and Alex were married in a traditional church ceremony at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish followed by a reception at India House in New York, N.Y. on December 7. “As soon as we saw our venue, we could picture our wedding taking place there,” Michelle said. “India House is a beautiful historic building, complete with a working fireplace and candles in the windows. It seemed like the perfect place for a Manhattan winter wedding. We also loved the nautical accents, as my grandfather worked in the cruise and shipping industry, making that a big interest in my family.” The bride wore a silk taffeta mermaid wedding gown with a bateau neckline, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, faux fur coat, gloves, and a pair of Kate Spade peep-toe bow pumps, while the groom wore a black tuxedo, accessorized with a bow tie and plaid scarf. “I fastened one of my late grandmother’s cameo brooches to my bouquet of red roses,” she said. “My grandmother and I were very close, and it was special to have this keepsake of hers on me. The cameo was captured in a lot of our photos, which was a nice remembrance.” Bridesmaids wore short strapless dresses and carried bouquets of white roses. “After our post-ceremony pictures by the church, Alex and I found ourselves alone for the first time that day while we waited for our ride to come,” Michelle said. “It was great to have those few moments with each other to relax and feel so excited that we were married. As we stood outside, a little girl dragged her dad across the street to congratulate us. She was so sweet, and we really appreciated her warm wishes.” The reception took place inside the ballroom. Guests were escorted to their seats via ornaments. Tables were decorated with lace linens topped with gold overlays, tall topiary centerpieces with twisted branches, surrounded by black chiavari chairs. Notice the Mr. and Mrs. ones had stockings hanging from them? “My now-husband and I love winter in New York, patricularly Christmastime, with all the decorations and fun traditions,” she said. “Our venue and the surrounding areas were decorated for the season with green garland and twinkling lights. Having a winter wedding also inspired some of our own accents . . . my two sisters got married the same year I did — Danielle in July 2013 and Gabrielle in September 2013, so our celebrating in different seasons also helped our wedding have its own feel.” Everyone danced the night away wearing Santa and Elf hats and reindeer antler headbands until an exit in a vintage taxicab was made. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Have fun!” Michelle said. “Planning a wedding can be a lot of work, and it’s easy to get bogged down by the details. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself during this time. Also, prioritize. That way, if you bite off more than you can chew and can’t do absolutely everything your to-do list, the items at the bottom aren’t essential.”
Laura and Johnathan were married at Laurel Creek Manor in Sumner, Wash. on July 20. “The venue is beautiful and . . . allowed guests to flow between indoor and outdoor all while being surrounded by nature and festivities,” Laura said. “We didn’t go with a color scheme. We knew Johnathan’s family might be coming in leathers, since they are all apart of a motorcycle group. And my family would likely come dressed in dresses and ties. We went with a Midsummer Night’s Dream theme. Pastel colors of all types. We tried to keep the colors as close to natural as possible.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a beaded bodice, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls and a pair of strappy high heels, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore pale short dresses with a high-low hemline and carried bouquets of roses, sunflowers, and gerber daisies. “The moment I was walking down the aisle,” she said, was her favorite. “I had been planning for two years, and then the actual day, all I got to do was sit and get ready. I hardly got to see the setup of everything until I was allowed to go outside for the ceremony. Up until that moment, I had not seen my groom, the space, any of it. It took my breath away when my dad and I rounded the corner and it looked so magical. I felt like I had walked right into my own fairy tale.” Aisles were lined with an assortment of lanterns and quotes from 1 Corinthians 13. To symbolize their unity, the couple opted to combine sand to join two families as one. There were over 100 guests there to witness the vows. Of course, all wearing sunglasses to beat the summer heat! Cocktail hour began with lawn games such as corn hole, chess, and giant Jenga. Bonus: An improv acting group. “They helped mingle everyone during cocktail hour,” Laura said. “They were ‘wedding crashers.’ It really helped as these actors had them interacting for a good hour.” The reception took place underneath a frame tent. Wooden tables were decorated with moss runners, vintage books, champagne bottle numbers, and rippled glass square charger plates, surrounded by cross-back chairs. “I would have to say my cake,” she said. “I can’t believe how incredible the entire design turned out.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t forget that it is one day, and the most important detail is for you to have fun,” Laura said. ‘I felt like I had more fun that day because all those around me were having fun. Every vendor and detail we chose was more to promote an attitude rather than just something visible aesthetic. If you keep your end goal in mind, and then just allow the day to flow, you’ll enjoy it.” At the end of the night, fireworks lit up the sky.
Liza and Wyatt were married in the bride’s uncle’s backyard in Shreveport, La. on December 13. Liza has been battling a form of cancer called synovial sarcoma, and she and Wyatt planned the surprise wedding in just two days.
“After getting the prognosis that my cancer was terminal, we laid in bed that night and made a bucket list of things we wanted to do — mostly travel and adventure trips,” Liza said. “When we started considering it more seriously we both decided that we wanted to get married. Once we were told I only had a couple weeks left, I never thought we would have enough time to pull off a wedding, but Wyatt said he knew we could do it, and convinced me by coming up with the idea to do it as a surprise! When we returned to Shreveport the night before the wedding, Wyatt and I finally had a little time for just the two of us. He pulled out the most beautiful ring and told me he couldn’t love me anymore or be any happier to call me his wife. I was taken aback by the ‘official proposal’ because I had no idea his dad had already shipped Wyatt his mom’s ring to give to me.”
The venue was nestled on Cross Lake, “where my family spent a lot of time growing up,” she said. “I always wanted to get married there because the sunset over the lake is so beautiful.” The bride wore a v-neck lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with capped sleeves and keyhole back, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, floor-length veil, and a bouquet of roses and hydrangeas. “Maybe the most trickiest detail of planning a wedding in 48 hours is finding a dress,” Liza said. “Luckily for me, I had always dreamed of wearing a dress just like the one a neighbor had worn at her wedding a few years before. Because we were in such a rush, I decided to call her and just ask if I could wear it at my own wedding. She graciously said yes and even offered to allow me to make alterations. It fit perfectly. I also borrowed my best friend’s mom’s sapphire earrings. My best friend had gotten married the month before and her mom wore the earrings to her wedding. I loved them so much that she promised me I could wear them as my ‘something blue’ at my own wedding, thinking that would be years, not weeks away.”
The ceremony took place at dusk on the lawn with 150 witnessing. “It was so fun to see everyone’s faces as I walked down the aisle,” she said. “They were so overjoyed and many of the guests, men and women alike, had eyes full of tears. Wyatt said he can’t stop thinking about how happy I looked when I walked out on my dad’s arm. He said my smile has never been bigger.” The newlyweds’ performed their first dance shortly after followed by dinner and the cake cutting inside the private residence. Of course, Liza smashed a piece in Wyatt’s face! “We cut out a lot of the little details and delegated decisions that weren’t important to us,” Liza said. “I’m sure most of the details weren’t perfect, but I felt we had the best wedding ever. We realized that what makes a wedding great are best friends and family, a great setting, good food, plenty of drinks, and non-stop music.” They ended the night with the song “Shout.” “After about eight hours of celebrating, we closed the night by dancing to a favorite song,” she said. “We were in a screened-in porch and all of our family and friends swarmed around us in a circle. I remember looking around and seeing all these people we loved dancing and having the times of their lives.” A grand exit took place amongst a sea of glitter and a ride in a fancy old convertible car.
For more information on synovial sarcoma, visit the Love for Liza at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center fund. Please follow this link here.