Windy City Winter Wedding
Winter weddings have our hearts forever! The coziness, the plaid, the deep hues all combine to create the most beautiful fêtes! Michelle & Robyn are weddings industry professionals, so we knew they'd nail it! We are honored that they shred their big day & love story with us!
Michelle and I met in 2009. We live together in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood with our two dogs, and we run two businesses together out of our home office. We spend a ridiculous amount of time with each other, and we love it! :) We both believe that the most valuable and precious thing in life is TIME....and time spent together. We love owning our own businesses and working together because it offers us a flexible lifestyle--sometimes you can find us trying a new brunch spot on a random Tuesday or wrapping up our week early and opening up a bottle of wine at 2pm on a Friday to get the weekend started. We love making last minute travel plans and exploring new cities. We are currently planning our honeymoon--somewhere nice and warm where we can relax on a beach and ditch the winter for a bit.
We got engaged on top of Kite Hill in San Francisco in early 2014, and knew we wanted to seal the deal before the end of the year with a winter wedding in Chicago.
From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to plan everything ourselves. We knew we wanted to work with eco-friendly vendors and vendors who gave back to the community. We also knew we wanted special DIY projects and personal details throughout the ceremony and reception. We picked our venue, Gallery 1028, because it is a raw, open warehouse space--lofty and full of original old wood. The venue also works with a catering company that accommodated our request for comfort food--BBQ chicken and BBQ glazed salmon with green beans and sweet potato fries.
December in Chicago is typically FREEZING, so we wanted to create a warm, cozy feel throughout the venue. We used over 400 candles--Yes....400! We had votives lit around the entire perimeter of the room, and each centerpiece included a cluster of candles with varying heights. We used mercury glass to create an added sparkle and glow. Pine was used throughout the venue as additional decor to fill up the space with a fresh, wintery smell. Each table setting included a sprig of pine, as well.
Besides the pine, the florals we included were simple--the bridal parties had small bouquets made of babies breath. Both brides carried a winter greens bouquet with pine and blue thistle as well as babies breath.
Some of my favorite wedding projects and highlights from our day include:
-Michelle painted the "Rob + Mitch 12.13.14" sign on a window pane we found in an alley near our house.
-We collected old photo frames from thrift stores and antique stores and then we collected wedding day photos from both sides of our families all the way back to our great-great grandparents' wedding day, and we displayed those near the guest book table so that guests could see our family histories.
-We used mini champagne splits as wedding favors and as part of the table setting. As the night went on and guests wanted to break out the bubbly, many of our guests "chilled" their bottle in their water glass!
-We opted for a small wedding cake to cut that had buttercream frosting and rainbow layers inside. For guests, we had a variety of our favorite cupcakes from Courageous Bakery which donates 10% of their proceeds to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
-We were married by our good friend, Amanda, and we wrote our own vows to repeat to each other.
-We incorporated our favorite songs into our ceremony. Our entire processional was to Shawn Colvin's cover of "This Must Be The Place", and as we were being pronounced married, we had our DJ start playing "Now Is The Start" by A Fine Frenzy. In our wedding video, you can see that we both start dancing to it a little right before we kiss!
Advice for brides & grooms currently planning their wedding: The planning process will be as stressful or as fun as you allow it to be. We purposely took on all the planning ourselves so we didn't have tons of opinions and ideas and suggestions being thrown around by relatives and friends. We honestly didn't stress about anything throughout the entire planning process...We found fun ways to include personal details, and we spent time finding the right vendors to work with us so our experience was completely stress-free and enjoyable. We consider our vendors our true friends now!
- Photography By Erin Hoyt Photography
- Event Planning By Naturally Yours Events
- Venue By Gallery 1028
- Catering By Calihan Catering
- DJ By Gold Noise DJs
- Videography By Charlie Hilbrant Films
- Florals By Heather Fields Floral
- Hotel By Thompson Hotel
- Hair By Meghan Piironen
- Makeup By Allie Long
- Baked Goods By Courageous Bakery
- Lighting By AEG Production