Marco is a talented DJ and Sound Designer, and his blushing bride Elise is an interior and event designer in Chicago. Drawing from her professional background, Elise conceptualized every detail of this celebration at Chicago Athletic Association , and was inspired by the Alfonso Cuaron’s 1998 adaptation of “Great Expectations,” with its bohemian ballrooms, textures and greenery. And, commissioning the work of local artists and creative friends was of utmost importance. From the florals by Moon Canyon to stationery suites from Vichcraft Lettering and even her reception gown by Samantha Sleeper– nearly every detail of this celebration was a labor of love from fellow industry creatives whom Elise admires deeply. The couple enlisted the skills of Olivia Leigh Photographie to capture all their fabulous details and we’re thrilled to share the images with you today!
What made the wedding special and unique?
From the bride: I am the founder of Forward Fruit, an experiential design and interiors firm, and co-founder of Filigree Suppers, a design-driven supper club highlighting local makers and culinary talent. Needless to say, our wedding was both an expression of love for each other, and a wonderful collaborative creative project. My passion is in creating engaging and memorable environments, so it was only natural our wedding would follow suit. With a deep admiration for the creative event industry, we commissioned the work of independent makers, many of whom were friends, who perfectly complemented the overall design vision. Marco is a sound designer by day/ DJ by night, so music was a really important part of the day. He also weighed in on pretty much every detail, which was a great way to keep us both involved!
I called upon my industry friends who contributed to the overall vision of the celebration – many of whom were standing by our side on our wedding day. This parallels the foundation of Filigree Suppers, which was designed so the makers would attend the gatherings they were a part of, and be engaged in conversation with those who were enjoying the fruits of their labor.
My friend Jenna Blazevich, a Chicago-based graphic designer and owner of Vichcraft did all the lettering and calligraphy. She also did the design for the save the date, which was inspired by the Venetian Gothic architecture of the venue. This design was also carried over to the cake.
Floral designer Kristen Caissie of Moon Canyon designed the flowers and was also a bridesmaid. Many other elements were from independent artisans, as noted in the vendor list.
Rainbow letterpress foil and an envelope liner inspired by “The Equatorial Jungle” 1909 by Henri Rousseau amplified the bespoke invitation suite, designed by me in collaboration with Vichcraft.
The front of the programs and invitation suite were inspired by the architecture of the venue. Small moon & stars/shells/squirrel references were made with an explanation about the symbolism seen through some of the wedding day design and how it told a story of our love. The shell motif was seen on my reception dress, place cards, and even the bread and butter plates!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My ceremony gown was previously worn by two generations of women – my grandmother in 1937, and my mother in 1976. For our reception, I switched into a fun, costume style gown which was custom created with Chicago native and bridal designer, Samantha Sleeper.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
A thoughtfully-designed ceremony highlighted our individual heritages. A rabbi married us beneath a floral and lace chuppah in a nod to my Jewish faith, while a lasso ceremony reflected Marco’s Catholic upbringing. Marco, who is also Mexican and Puerto Rican, called upon his uncle to read a Pablo Neruda poem in Spanish, which was also read in English by my best friend.
A string quartet played “In My Life” The Beatles for the wedding party. I walked down the aisle to a string adaptation of “Latch” by Sam Smith, a song that was popular our first full summer together. The recession was to “Wedding March” because we love tradition. My parents met playing in an orchestra so this was a nod to them. This was our gift to (and surprise for) my parents.
Marco and I surprised our parents and guests with a performance by a Mariachi band during the reception!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
We did a lift during our first dance that went off without a hitch! We were so excited we barely finished the dance!
The most epic dance party either of us had been to. As a DJ (him) and a former dancer (me), that was SO special to have our family and friends with us on the dance floor all night.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Neither of us had ever used a dating app, but in the summer of 2013, we both signed up and that first night I was on, I met Marco. A few weeks after that, I went on my first and last blind date. A few weeks after THAT, we both had the feeling that “this was it”!
Marco proposed in 2016 against a sunset backdrop with a stunning emerald (my favorite color) ring on the dock at my family’s lake house. We had just polished off a few pieces of strawberry rhubarb pie. We were married just over a year later at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, a recently renovated, men’s club turned destination hotel.
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie // Wedding Designer: Elise Metzger (bride) Founder of Forward Fruit and co-founder of Filigree Suppers // Planner (partial): Bianca Hall Estera Events // Florals: Kristen Caissie Moon Canyon // Invitations: Bride made with Vichcraft Lettering // Lettering & Calligraphy: Jenna Blazevich Vichcraft // Venue/Catering: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel // Bride’s Gown Ceremony: Vintage Mother’s and Grandmother’s // Reception Gown: Samantha Sleeper // Bride’s Shoes: Ferragamo (ceremony) SJP (reception) // Bride’s Earrings: JCrew // Bride’s Veil Designer: Blair Nadeau // Bride’s Hair: Angelica Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists // Makeup: Nika Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists // Groom’s Tux: Custom // Groom’s Shoes: Suit Supply // Rings: Hers Both Tiffany & Co Michigan Ave // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Fame and Partners Online // Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Black Tux // Candles: Creative Candles // Photo Booth: Paper Moon Shoppe // Cake: Cake Chicago // Invite Details: Little Postage House Vintage Stamps // Rentals: Flatware and Vintage Stemware Nimblewell // Ceramics: Ashley Lin Ames // Linens: Dot & Army / La Tavola Fine Linen // Lighting: Kehoe // Chuppah: Chuppah Studio // Cocktail Stirrers: Vintage on Etsy // Toss Flowers: Larkspur Hill via Etsy // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Ceremony Entertainment: Innocenti Strings // Reception Entertainment: Mariachi Ameca // DJ: DJ Matt Roan // Videographer: Logan Moore Wholehearted