I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

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!

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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

 

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Vanessa and Justin celebrated with a wedding in Mexico that “felt like a vacation with all of our favorite people!” The Cape, one of our favorite Cabo venues, offers views of downtown and El Arco, with a chic, contemporary vibe. Lynette Dow with Amy Abbot Events planned the day which included modern florals and decor that enhanced the stunning views and atmosphere of the venue while personalized details like graphic letterpress invitations by Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy, a short and sweet ceremony by the sea and fireworks made the night that much more special. See all the details in these stunning images by Ana & Jerome.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Mexico is a special place for us and we loved that our wedding felt like a vacation with all of our favorite people!  The rooftop of The Cape has views of downtown Cabo San Lucas and El Arco, making it a stunning and unique place for a wedding.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I went to a dress shop by myself while out of town and fell in love with the gown’s Josephine embroidery and silhouette. The designer is Atelier Pronovias.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We were really detailed when picking the music and that made the ceremony and reception feel personal. The DJ was awesome and we didn’t leave the dance floor all night long! Instead of traditional centerpieces and the standard wedding look, we wanted modern flowers and decor that would enhance the stunning views and atmosphere. Our florist totally captured our vision – the orchids and succulents were the perfect compliment the beautiful venue. Having our favorite snacks as late-night food was also a fun personal touch!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It’s really hard to choose what was most memorable but we both loved the fireworks and the dancing. Justin had forgotten about the fireworks so that was a really fun surprise for him!  The ceremony is a special memory – it was short and sweet and made us both laugh and cry. We also have great memories of the heartfelt speeches from family and friends. The service at The Cape was excellent and we will always remember how special they made our guests and us feel that day.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. We didn’t know anything about each other and no pictures were exchanged beforehand so neither one of us knew what to expect but it ended up being a great first date! As far as getting engaged, Justin made big plans for our 1-year anniversary – drinks at the same place we had our first date, followed by dinner at a secret location, and a proposal at the end of the night. But things didn’t go according to plan. The day before the planned proposal,  Justin took the ring out of his safe and it started “burning a hole in his pocket” so he drove over to Vanessa’s house and jumped the gun by proposing out of nowhere. It was definitely a spontaneous proposal!  We celebrated our engagement with a vacation to Cabo!

Photography: Ana & Jerome // Wedding Planner: Amy Abbot Events Lynette Dow // Floral Design: Pina Cate // Venue, Catering and Cake: The Cape // HMUA: Blanc Bridal Salon // Invitation Suite: Jacques Oskanian, Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy // Printed Material: Bells & Whistles Design // Dress: Atelier Pronovias in Sacramento // Rentals: Del Cabo Events, Pina Cate Warehouse Rentals // Cocktail Entertainment: Smart Music Francisco Alatorre (guitar & violin) // Dj  Entertainment and Lighting: Alex Alanis

 

“I want to be your husband forever, will you marry me?” Matt popped this exact question on the night of Amanda’s parent’s 40th wedding anniversary party. Amanda—of course—said yes, and the couple said “I do” the following spring at McGovern Centennial Gardens.  Keely Thorne Events planned the garden celebration with details in white including: florals and installations by Events In Bloom, a stunning cake by Jody Cakes, and an elegant tented reception. The vegan menu included vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream and giant vegan cinnamon rolls as party favors for everyone to eat for breakfast the next day. Lucky for us, the couple enlisted the expertise of Mustard Seed Photography who captured all the details in these bright and cheery photographs.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The indoor/outdoor venue was truly amazing for our ceremony and reception. We were able to enjoy the natural beauty of Centennial Gardens and even had a butterfly join in on our photo shoot. The gardens are wonderful because they are so beautiful and calming to experience. Sharing this location with our friends and family was icing on the cake. At the end of the night in the pouring rain we had a great dance and exit and will remember those moments for the rest of our lives.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The gown is made by Michal Medina. I found it at Now and Forever. I was the first bride to wear this design. I honestly never thought I would choose a dress like that. I felt like the most beautiful bride and wish I could wear that dress every day. I especially enjoyed spinning in my dress and having it lift off of the ground!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Our wedding cakes and much of the food were vegan. Everyone especially enjoyed the vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream! We also had giant vegan cinnamon rolls as party favors for everyone to eat for breakfast the next day.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Every part of our wedding day was memorable, but some stand out moments were our first touch photos, walking up the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song played by a string quartet, our choreographed first dance to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, and spinning in my dress out in the grass in front of the hill with Matt after our ceremony.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met through a mutual friend and watched Edward Scissor Hands at a movie watching party. I knew he was the one from the moment I saw him and he knew that I was there to see him. For our first date we went to Tea Shop in Chinatown followed by some Bahn Mis. We were engaged 4 and a half years later at my parents 40th anniversary party at my brother’s house, it was the perfect opportunity as all of many of our friends and family were already there. I was completely surprised and the conversation that ended with him on one knee started with me saying “Man, I really wish we were engaged already” and him saying “I don’t have a plan, but are you ready now?”. He had the ring in his pocket the whole night and everyone else was pretty much in on it but me. He got down on one knee and said “I want to be your husband forever, will you marry me?”

We also want to add that there were many many personal touches we added to this wedding, but a few more notable ones were the giant lanterns, dog treat party favors, koozies that said “our humans are getting married”, and our hash tags “lettucerejoice” and “itsjusttheveganing”. All the furniture and the array of tables, couches, bar highs, and pillows, coffee tables, and stools that could be moved or used as tables added to the elegant, but comfortable and relaxing atmosphere we wanted to have! This was the best day of our lives and we wish we could do it again and again! Everyone had such a wonderful time and it was so great having everyone enjoying it with us! Dog treat party favors courtesy of Cody and Lacy, our two beautiful furry children that we could not live without!

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography // Planning: Keely Thorne Events // Florals and Event Decor: Events In Bloom // Paper Goods: Pendance Studio // Venue: McGovern Centennial Gardens // Dress: Michal Medina // Bridal Boutique: Now and Forever Bridal Boutique // Cake: Jody Cakes // Hair and Makeup: Sunkissed and Made Up // Band: Doppelgänger // Videographer: Bear Hands Media // Musicians: Divisi Strings // Shoes: Kate Spade // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Gina and Ronson’s wedding is a true vision in white. It’s romantic, happy and filled with elegance that dazzles against the stunning backdrop of Montalvo Arts Center. A garden-chic sensibility underlies the details designed by Natalie Choi Events and absolutely shines in the soft, white and green blooms in the installations and arrangements by April Baytan. We’re especially loving the illustrated timeline by Chasing Linen that kept all the guests informed in the most adorable fashion. And, of course, the four-tiered white cake by A Spoonful of Sugar topped with fresh, white florals is a perfect final touch on the loveliest of days and lucky for us, the ever-awesome Amanda Wei Photo was on hand to capture all of it!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Everything. The wedding was special because it truly represented us. We shared the same vision from the food, dessert, colors and invitations so it was really special and amazing to see our vision come to life on our wedding day.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The Cruz gown by BHLDN was everything I wanted: crepe, modern lace, a beautiful train and revealing back. Before I found The Cruz, I tried dresses at other bridal shops and tried on at least eight other dresses. The stylist pulled dresses I pinned on Pinterest but those styles did not look the way I imagined. At my third appointment, I went to BHLDN and the stylist asked what I was looking for and pulled out the Cruz. At a first glance, I don’t think I would have picked this off the rack because of the halter. I tried it on anyway and once the stylist clipped the halter, I instantly knew it was the one. I do believe it when people say you’ll just know when it’s the right one. You’ll feel it and you’ll know.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The ceremony. I remember we were looking at each other the entire time while my dad walked me down the aisle. We both remember holding hands at the altar, waiting until Lili pronounced us as husband and wife. Our ceremony was shorter than others, but we were like, “What is taking so long?” Once we were pronounced husband and wife, it was amazing seeing and hearing our family and friends, celebrating this big moment with us. We’re so grateful to have our family and friends all in the same space, celebrating and sharing the moment with us.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

The Story — We met during our sophomore year in high school and quickly became good friends. After high school, we dated for a little bit then realized the timing just wasn’t right. Gina moved to Los Angeles for college and Ronson stayed in San Jose. They separated and went off to do their own things.

Three years later, we ran into each other at the gym. Out of all the places, right? We went to Yardhouse to catch up and spent more and more time together. We realized that even though so much time has passed by, not much has changed between us. Talking to each other was easy. There was obviously something still there between us. We are very happy our crossed paths again and gave love a second chance.

The Proposal –We went hiking for my birthday weekend hoping to see some wildflowers. We were hiking along and I remember saying, “It’s so peaceful out here.” It was quiet and there was no one else on the trail. Ronson was trailing behind so I thought he was getting some water. He kept saying, “Honey, honey” so I thought he wanted me to turn around for a picture. I turned around and I saw Ronson, on bended knee holding a ring! He asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! I was very surprised and had no idea he was going to propose that day. He did such a great job surprising me.

Photographer: Amanda Wei Photo // Coordinator: Natalie Choi Events // Florist: April Baytan // Paper Goods: Chasing Linen // Venue: Montalvo Arts Center // Dress: BHLDN // Hair & makeup: Makeup by Quis // Cake: A Spoonful of Sugar // Catering: Catered Too // Linens: La Tavola Linen // Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage // Photobooth: Chroma Photobooth

 

Parker and Ryan chose Il Mercado on Magazine street as the perfect venue for their guests to celebrate their love and experience New Orleans. Then they enlisted the help of planner Ruby & Pearl to fill their day with romantic details like white florals and greenery by Poppy & Mint draped throughout the beautiful courtyard ceremony and reception. A lace Augusta Jones  gown adds vintage romance and a second line parading the streets of NOLA keeps things light-hearted and fun. Our friends over at Arte De Vie worked their magic behind the lens and captured all the love and beauty of Parker and Ryan’s big day.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

With most of our guests traveling in from all over the country (and even some from overseas),  we were so excited for them to experience a New Orleans wedding. Il Mercato located on Magazine Street was the perfect venue to showcase the unique character and culture of the city. All of the bridesmaids got ready in the most beautiful AirBNB I have ever stayed in right across from the venue. It made for the best bridal prep spot and ended up being a great spot for photos as well!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I got my dress at The Bride Room in Nashville, TN. I tried on so many beautiful dresses, I was really overwhelmed at first. My mom actually pulled this one and as soon as I tried it on, I was sure it was the one.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We wanted the ceremony to be less formal and more personal to us as a couple. We chose songs for the ceremony that were special to us as a couple and even had the musicians write sheet music for the “This Is Us” theme song (our favorite TV show) for me to walk down the aisle to. One of our close friends officiated our wedding and made our ceremony so meaningful. I relive it every time I watch our wedding video!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

We were not originally sure on the idea of a first look, but looking back I am so glad we did. There were already enough nerves before our ceremony, getting to see him and have a few moments to ourselves was exactly what we needed. After that, we were so relaxed and I feel like we were able to really soak in the ceremony that was so important to us.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We had met several times through work, but our relationship really started when we were both working the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. One of our best days on that trip was spent on the Red Steps in Times Square and I think that is when we both realized how we felt about each other. So the next time we were in New York visiting his family for Thanksgiving, he proposed to me in that same spot on the red steps.

Parker + Ryan | Highlight from Carriage Films on Vimeo.

Photography: Arte De Vie // Event Design/Coordination: Ruby & Pearl // Florist: Poppy & Mint // Stationery/Calligraphy: Shine Wedding Invitations // Calligrapher: Ashley Gordon // Venue: Il Mercato // Bride’s Gown Designer: Augusta Jones // Bride’s Gown Store: Bride Room // Hair & Makeup: Flawless Bride // Cakes: Swiss Confectionary // Videographer: Carriage Films Gabby // Lighting & Party Rentals: Luminous Events // Wedding Rings: Kay Jewelers/Adlers // Bridesmaids’ Attire Designer: AmSale // Bridesmaids’ Attire Store: Bella Bridesmaids // Groom’s Attire: Ted Baker Suit From Nordstrom // Groomsmens’ Attire: Generation Tux // DJ/Band: Karma // 2nd Line Band: Coolboone Brass Band (Booked thru White Oak Productions) // Catering: Joels Catering // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box