Bailey and Mike had the kind of wedding that looks like it belongs in the movies. An absolutely timeless gown, a bow-tied groom, a gushing father-of-the-bride, and a downtown Chicago locale–all the moments and details lend themselves to a cinematic elegance that we rarely see. This is obviously due in much part to photographer Annie Parish, who captured their wedding a similarly timeless approach. We are beyond thrilled to share with you such an incredibly beautiful couple, and the gorgeous images from their day.
What made the wedding special and unique?
It’s so hard to pinpoint what exactly made our wedding special and unique as the entire day, and weekend really, felt like a dream coming true that still hasn’t quite sunk in. I was a bride for Halloween when I was 5, so I’d obviously been thinking about my wedding for quite some time, and I can truly say there was nothing that happened on our wedding day that I didn’t want to happen and nothing that didn’t happen that I did want. Even down to the weather – it was raining heavily all morning the day of the wedding. I had been worried about the weather for weeks leading up to the big day, and knew that with my “the cosmos like to test me” kind of luck I knew we’d be thrown for a loop, and I was right. However, we didn’t have any scheduled outdoor events during the morning the day of, and somehow the weather decided to cooperate and stopped raining just in time for me to ride to the church with my dad, take photos outside in the gorgeous courtyard of our church before and after the ceremony, and for us to greet our guests after the ceremony on the steps surrounded by bubbles, just as I had always dreamed I’d be able to do. The gloomy skies even helped the reception room feel more romantic casting a darker glow over dinner which only served to highlight the hundreds of candles all over the dining room tables, giving the room an intimate dinner party feel, which is what I’d always wanted, but knew would be difficult to pull off with 170 guests.
Tell us about the dress and where/how you found it!
The dress was designed by Peter Langner and purchased at Ultimate Bride in Chicago. I always thought I wanted the big princess wedding dress, big full skirt and everything, however I also knew I wanted something different. I don’t like to follow the crowds trend wise, but am still very traditional, so wasn’t sure what I would end up with that would fit both categories. I told my consultant all of this, and we tried on about 5 different dresses of all shapes, and some were stunning. But she helped me narrow down what I did and didn’t like about each dress, and came back with another 5 dresses to try on. I saw my dress in the plastic bag and though “I need to try that one on”. My consultant wouldn’t let me, she wanted to save that one for last because it was so different than any other I’d seen. I again made it through the rest of the beautiful gowns, but when I put mine on I just knew, it was me in every sense. I loved the seams and the fact that the bottom folds of the dress weren’t sewn on to the top body of the dress but were designed by Peter Langner to be made of one single panel. The straps and sweetheart neckline were beautiful and I though the back was a statement maker. It also matched the color of my sister’s veil and sash perfectly, which to me felt like a sign. I really knew it was “the dress” when I almost refused to take it off at the end of our appointment J I loved my dress so much that the second time I cried on my wedding day, after just before walking down the aisle, was at the end of the night when I had to take my dress off!
What were some touches added to make it personal?
We had a few small touches throughout the day and night that made the entire wedding more personal for me. The hair stylist that came to do the bridal party has been doing my mother’s hair for 20+ years and did my first hair up do for a 7th grade dance. It was so special to have here there with us as she’s seen me grow up from awkward teenager to bride. For my something old, I wore a garter made by my Aunt out of lace from my Great Grandfather’s christening gown, threaded with blue ribbon for my something blue. I also carried a vintage handkerchief around my bouquet that was my maternal grandmothers. For my something borrowed I wore the veil and sash my sister wore at her wedding 2 summers earlier. Finally, the presiding minister over our ceremony was also the woman who lead me through my confirmation when I was in 8th grade.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Mike and I didn’t see each other before the ceremony, so I have to say the most memorable moment for me was seeing his smiling face at the end of the aisle waiting for me as I walked towards him with my dad. I’d never seen him smile the way he was, and at that moment I felt pure happiness. Following that I would say the most memorable would be a related moment, when it was just my dad and I standing in the back of the church, waiting as the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle. I got very emotional (the first time that day, which was shocking considering I’m a very emotional person) just as we were about to start walking, and I grabbed my dad’s hand and he gave me a big hug and started making jokes to help pull myself together. It was such a special moment between us that I’ll cherish forever.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Mike and I were introduced by a childhood friend of mine who went to college with him at Miami University. After I graduated from the University of Virginia, I moved back to Chicago to be closer to my family, and my childhood friend told me about “this guy I had to meet”. Mike and I met summer of 2007 and became friends over the next year. After a few false starts, we finally started dating in Fall of 2008 and he proposed in May 2013 in Key West, Florida. We had been to Key West a few years prior and really enjoyed our vacation, so when a cousin of Mike’s was getting married in nearby Jupiter, we took the opportunity to make a vacation out of it. We were staying at the Simonton Court Inn, an old cigar factory and ship captains home turned in to a beautiful B&B. Our room had a lovely balcony off of the bathroom, and as I thought Mike was about to jump in the shower he yelled for me to come out to the balcony. I was still in my towel from my shower and asked what was so important, can’t I get dressed? He insisted I come out, I figured there was a bird or something to see, and when I came out he motioned for me to sit down next to him on the chair. I was still confused as to what he would want, and asked if this could wait, and he further insisted I sit down. Just as I did, he got on to his knee and I finally understood what was happening. The proposal was so perfectly us, Mike catching me a bit off guard, having it just be the two of us, in one of our favorite spots. Mike also has a great photo of me in my towel showing off my new ring; I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever looked happier without makeup! We called our immediate family to share the news then left to go to a wonderful dinner at Blue Heaven, another favorite spot of ours. By chance, the table they gave us was the “Honeymoon” table. We celebrated with champagne and had a wonderful rest of our night.
Vendors: Photography: Annie Parish Photography // Wedding Coordinators: A Perfect Pair // Florist: Artquest Ltd // Location: University Club of Chicago // All Paper (Menu, programs, escort cards): Papertales // Band: Gold Coast Orchestra // Hair: Diane Moltaji, of ALX Salon // Makeup: Rachel McQuen // Dress: Peter Langner // Bridesmaids Dresses: JCrew // Brides shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo // Earrings: BHLDN // Necklace: Sister’s // Groom Tux: Indochino