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

Patricia and Rick’s wedding is classic in the hue of light blue. The Chicago wed at The Armour House just days before moving their very Windy-City-rooted-lives to North Carolina . The bride describes the day as “a beautiful send-off for our adventures ahead as newlyweds.” Classic white rose-centric florals by Life in Bloom adorn the outdoor ceremony and are especially gorgeous climbing the steps of the venue’s grand staircase leading to the traditional ballroom reception. The white rose theme is carried into the piece de resistance—a spectacular three-tiered cake that mimics rose petals opening up. Lucky for us, Maria Harte Photography was on hand to capture the cake, the roses and the gorgeous couple and all their joy.

What made the wedding special and unique?

Rick and I made the decision to live together before we got married, so we often wondered “would our lives really change that much when we get married?” We put a lot of effort to make our wedding special and unique, but I think what made our wedding most special was the timing. We got married two days before we picked up our entire lives in Chicago and moved 800 miles away to North Carolina. I lived in Illinois my entire life, and Rick’s only time out of state was the 4 years he spent in Baltimore for college – this was a big change for us. Our wedding was truly a celebration of not just getting married, but it was a beautiful send-off for our adventures ahead as newlyweds.

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

Once we got engaged (and let’s be serious, before the proposal as well), I was on the hunt for the perfect wedding dress. I envisioned a timeless dress that I, and any potential future daughters, could look back on years later and continue to say “wow this is stunning.” My buzzwords for the perfect dress were lace, sweetheart neckline, and mermaid style. I was absolutely willing to try on different styles for some fun, but I was pretty set on what I wanted.  I looked online to try to narrow down the dresses I loved, then called stores in the area to see if they carried it. I first tried on a dress I had been absolutely obsessing over but when I put it on, I thought “oh yikes, not how I thought it would be.” I went back to the drawing board to find another dress that met my criteria, and again called the shop. I went to The Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL to try on a different dress that I had fallen in love with online. However, I again put it on and thought “oh gosh, is this not the style I really want?” My posse wouldn’t let me feel defeated, and they hit the floors looking for my dress. This shop had so many amazing gowns so I was feeling pretty good about it. Sure enough, the next dress that I tried on was THE dress. What made it even more special to me was that my sister, Annie, picked it out! My dress was the Moriah gown by Soterro & Midgley, and I absolutely love it!

What were some touches made to your wedding to make it personal?

There were so many subtle touches to our wedding that made it personal to us but not too obvious to our guests. Chicago holds such a special place in our hearts. We both grew up in the suburbs, but our entire lives as Rick and Patti was in the city. Our relationship started there, our first place together was there, we got engaged there, the list goes on as to why this place is so dear to us.  Rick would be starting residency in North Carolina, and our big move was happening just two days after our wedding. To signify our transition from our lives in Chicago to our new married life in North Carolina, Rick got me a pearl necklace and earrings because “every southern belle needs her pearls.” We also always said we would get a dog once we are settled and in a good place to have a fur child, so I got Rick french bulldog cuff links as a promise for Rick’s dream dog – and now we are proud parents of our frenchie, Kevin. Another subtle touch that was so special to us but may not have been too obvious to guests was that I walked down the aisle with my mom to a harpist playing my dad’s favorite song. My dad passed away 7 years ago, and it was so important for me to feel his presence there as I walked down the aisle.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Without a doubt, the most memorable part of the day was walking down the grand staircase with my brand new husband to all of our guests as we were announced as Mr. and Mrs! It was truly overwhelming to see all of the love and support we had from our family and friends, and it was so incredibly special to look into a room full of all of the people that we hold so dear to our hearts.

Tell us how you met and how you became engaged.

I was attending the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana when Rick made a special trip from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to watch his brother, George, play football against U of I. His family set up camp at the stadium parking lot to tailgate before the game started; I had plans for my usual pre-game shenanigans at my sorority-fraternity block party until my friend (and Rick’s longtime friend) Casey suggested a switch-up in the plan to attend some tailgate instead. Surprise! I  was on my way to meeting my future husband, but that’s not to say “the rest is history” quite yet. We exchanged pleasantries, played some games, and socialized with everyone else at the tailgate. We went to different areas of the stadium to our assigned seats to watch the game, and that was the end of that – what a blunt and disappointing ending to the day they first met… Luckily the story turns around. Several years later, we were lucky enough to get a second chance. We re-met again at a mutual friend’s surprise birthday party. And now THIS time, the rest officially became history. Everything came full circle when Rick’s mom later found a photo from the day they first met at that tailgate. It wasn’t until that photo reappeared that we realized it was actually love at *second* sight.

For a LITTLE while, I would drop some not-so-subtle hints that I would be pretty happy to be engaged. We got plenty of save-the-dates in the mail, and I’d “jokingly” say how I can’t wait to send ours out. The day we got engaged, we had our annual plans to go to the Auto Show for his brother’s birthday. It was completely normal for our family to be there at our place before we headed out, so I didn’t think anything of us being together. Rick pulled me aside to show me yet another save the date that came in the mail. As I pulled it out of the envelope, I realized it’s OURS! He created a save-the-date with all of his favorite pictures of us. I turned around to find him down on one knee, with our family surrounding us. I expressed the ugliest cry and managed to say “yes!”

Photography: Maria Harte Photography // Floral: Life in Bloom // Stationery: Shine Wedding Invitations // Venue: The Armour House // Dress: Sottero and Midgley // Hair: Three One Two Bridal // Makeup: Joey Claeyssen // Video: Delack Media Group // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box