Looking through these images from Olivia Leigh, I don’t think my smile ever left my face. There seriously isn’t a more beautiful place to get married in the fall than the Midwest! Meagan, a schoolteacher, and Drew are two of the most fun-loving people we’ve seen, and it shines through in every photograph. Prepare yourselves for some serious wedding dress envy from Lazaro (that corset is beyond, people):
From the bride, Meagan: Our goal was to keep the details tasteful and stylish with an element of playfulness. More than anything, Drew and I wanted to create a feeling of merriment throughout the whole weekend. We wanted our friends and family to be participants in our celebration rather than observant guests. To accomplish this we chose a band and caterer that would keep things fun, fresh and seamless. There was dancing between courses and we opted for an ice cream sundae bar instead of serving cake.
We didn’t choose a set theme or colors for our wedding; instead we drew inspiration from autumn colors and textures. We considered the groomsmen’s grey suits, the bridesmaids’ blue dresses and the chocolate brown linens as ‘neutrals,’ and let the flowers become the focus. The beautiful arrangements tied everything together with rich fall colors like cranberry, orange and goldenrod.
Though we opted not to have an overall theme, the personal banner Drew sketched for our website become a link between the little details. Drew is from the East coast and I’m from the Midwest; we met while living in NYC and now live in Chicago. In his sketch, the New York and Chicago skylines are united by a heart. We took the opportunity to compare Chicago to New York in small ways, like showcasing a Brooklyn Lager vs Chicago’s 312 at the bar and a New York-style hot dog vs a Chicago hot dog for the late-night snack. Our vendors were incredible, and we also had tons of fun designing DIY ‘extras’ to personalize our day. We made cootie catchers to lay at the bars, ‘worst wedding song’ lists to display in the bathrooms, and table numbers out of our favorite song lyrics.
Our families and friends helped us assemble wedding programs, menus, escort cards, Chicago-themed hotel guest bags and the animal crackers we gave away at the end of the night (our venue was next door to the zoo!). We also designed and assembled all of the church decor and florals. It was tons of work but a great way to spend time with everyone!
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Our ultimate goal was to have a blast and feel relaxed on our wedding day. To do this we knew we needed to be organized and prepared. We did a lot of research and enlisted the help of our parents for advice and guidance. We educated ourselves with magazines and websites to figure out what we wanted, how to access it, how to budget for it, and how to achieve it. When decisions got a little stressful we’d ask ourselves: “On the day of our wedding, what will actually matter? What will we remember most?”
From the photographer, Olivia: Meagan and Drew are two of the sweetest, most fun people I’ve ever worked with. Their day was beautiful and chic but throughout it all, it was their humour and happiness that shone most brightly! Meagan looked SO beautiful in her gorgeous whimsical tulle wedding dress. It was, of course, a very windy day in Chicago, and it was a riot throughout the day watching the dress do its own thing, eventually enveloping Meagan in a tunnel of tulle on Michigan avenue. Later into the night, they actually ended up cutting the dress with scissors on the dance floor to ensure maximum party capabilities. 🙂 They decided to go back to Meagan’s hometown of Western Springs, Illinois, for a ceremony at the quaint church where her dad directs their incredible music program. A reception followed at the historic Cafe Brauer, a Prairie Style gem in the middle of Lincoln Park in Chicago. This building is just stunning and the perfect setting for a true Chicago wedding with its rich history and beautiful skyline views!
Wedding Vendors (Chicago, IL):
Ceremony Location: First Congregational Church of Western Springs / Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer / Wedding Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie / Wedding Flowers: Stems / Wedding Dress: Lazaro, “LZ3061” / Wedding Shoes: Caparros / Bride’s Hair: Eli Mancha / Makeup: Elana Darrus / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Attire: Jos A. Bank / Wedding Caterer and Cake: Jon Wool of Finesse Cuisine / Wedding Musicians: Bradley Young Orchestra / Wedding Invitations: Minted / Wedding Officiant: Rich Kirchherr / Transportation: Trolley Car & Bus Co. and Windy City Limos