I’m so excited to finally share all of my wedding day details! The day was a complete whirlwind, but it was absolutely incredible. Before I spill all the details, I just wanted to say that I will mention some of my wedding vendors. My wedding was in no way, shape or form “sponsored,” I did not receive any discounted services, and my vendors did not request to be mentioned in this post. Okay, enough with the technicalities…
We got married on Saturday, September 3. We figured we would all probably need an extra day to recover, so we went ahead with a Labor Day weekend wedding. The weather was absolutely perfect, which, as all Chicagoans know, is incredibly rare.
Before I get too far into it, I have to give a quick shout out to our wedding planner, Cindy, from Effortless Events. (All contact info for my vendors will be listed below.) Without Cindy and her team, my wedding would have never come together the way it did. She truly made everything happen, and without her, I would have ended up without a florist, (true story — we fired our first florist 30 days before the wedding) and I wouldn’t have been able to truly enjoy my day.
The night before the wedding, all the girls stayed at my house, and the guys all slept at Ryan’s parents. By some miracle, I was actually able to get some sleep that night. The limo picked us girls up bright and early at 6:30 am, and took us to my parents’ house to get ready. I’ve always hated the idea of getting ready in a hair salon or hotel room. I knew that I’d be most comfortable at my parents’ house, so we had the whole makeup and hair crew set up there for the morning. Plus we had bottomless mimosas at our disposal, so that’s always a plus.
We hired our photographer for 12 hours on the wedding day. We wanted every moment captured, so there were actually two photographers shooting non-stop. Lukas, the main photographer, arrived at my parents’ house at 9:00 am. While he snapped shots of us girls, his other photographer was over at Ryan’s parents’ house getting pictures of the guys.
I wanted my look to be very classic. From the pearl necklace to my Valentino’s I wanted everything to be timeless and elegant.
The First Look
For our first look, Ryan and I met at a local outdoor venue and distillery. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Once we had our first look, we took all of our family and wedding party pictures. I wanted to take as many pictures before the ceremony as possible, because I knew as soon as the ceremony ended I’d be ready for an extra-large cocktail…
We had our wedding ceremony at Zion Lutheran church. The ceremony was so beautiful. Believe it or not, I actually hate when I know that hundreds of people are staring at me…. and when I’m uncomfortable I literally just can’t stop laughing. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I was laughing non-stop for the first five minutes of the ceremony.
After the ceremony we spent at least another hour at the church taking all of the pictures with all of our extended family members. By the time we finished those pictures, I was so ready to be done smiling. So our entire bridal party loaded up on the party bus and headed to a local bar. This was the one part of the day that I didn’t want professionally photographed (HAHA!) But of course, we have some candid shots from our phones. While we celebrated at the bar, our guests were arriving to the reception venue for the cocktail hour. Thankfully the photographers were there to capture how the space looked before everyone arrived.
The entire reception venue was decorated by our florist, Revel Decor in Chicago. They literally transformed the venue and brought my entire vision to life. With the help of the wedding planner, Revel Decor coordinated the gold rimmed stemware, the sequins table cloths, and of course, all the greenery and centerpieces. We wanted to have three different centerpiece designs that would all be at different heights to break up the room.
Our reception had an outdoor space, so we had the entire area decorated with lanterns and flowing greenery as well. We also had a bourbon and cigar bar set up for all the men to enjoy. I can’t even believe that I’m saying this, but I didn’t even have a chance to go outside and see this in person!
Our reception began with our entrance, followed by cutting the cake. Our cake was 5 tiers, and was made by Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, Illinois. Trust me when I say, it was just as delicious as it was beautiful. Once we sat down, my dad gave his toast. He obviously had the whole room tearing up, and at end of his toast, he mentioned that we had a surprise guest… Jim Cornelison was there to sing the National Anthem. (Okay side note for anyone who isn’t a hockey fan, and isn’t from Chicago – Jim Cornelison is the Anthem singer for the Chicago Blackhawks…Obviously Ryan and I are huge Blackhawks fans, and we couldn’t believe our parents had pulled off this surprise.) You can clearly tell from the photos that I was shocked.
Julianna’s maid of honor speech was perfect, of course. And even though I rarely have any feelings, I actually cried. Once the speeches ended, I could finally change out of my first dress and into my second. My second outfit was a corset and skirt from BHLDN. My first dress was so heavy, and the second was so much more comfortable.
The dress change meant that the party could officially begin. We had our formal dances, and then the dance floor opened up for all of our guests. I couldn’t believe it, but the dance floor was honestly packed all night long.
I couldn’t believe how fast the day flew by. Everything was absolutely perfect, and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. To all of our vendors, thank you so much for making the day come together. And of course, thank you to all of our friends and family for celebrating our big day with us. Feel free to send your questions to us by commenting below!