Today, a classically beautiful wedding between two high school English teachers at – where else – the library! From the lovely bride, Linda: We went to the Harold Washington Public Library in downtown Chicago on one of our first dates, and we just sort of knew that if we ever got married, it would be there. Our friends and students weren’t surprised by our choice of location – we got a lot of responses like “Of course you would!” After we booked the gorgeous Winter Garden room, which has domed skylights, ivy and trees, we decided on a literary theme. We spent lots of time scouring antique stores for books we’d like to keep, as well as some that would be good conversation starters.

Since we didn’t have a ring bearer, Cameron and I tied our rings around our wrists before the ceremony. We untied each others’ ribbons before we exchanged rings, and I will remember that forever.

My dress is a custom-made Alvina Valenta. The designer happened to be at the Ultimate Bride in Chicago during a trunk show, and she was so nice. When I mentioned liking the styles of two dresses, she offered to combine them for me!

Heather and Jon from One Love Photo are ridiculously talented and fun, and having them come all the way to Chicago was incredible. They knew about our literary theme, and found a bookseller called Printer’s Row that had a wonderfully homey feel for our after-ceremony pictures.

The most memorable moment has to be our first dance. Our wedding happened to fall on Venetian Night, which is like a big parade of boats on Lake Michigan, and the city does fireworks for it too. We had no idea until the fireworks started, which happened to be right when our DJ began playing our song!

Some planning tips from Linda, “My (totally subjective) advice to other brides: 1.) Saying hi to all of your guests is important, but so is dancing with them! 2.) Don’t allow wedding magazines to make you feel like your details are not up to par (inner envelopes? why?), but don’t let the indie bride blogs make you feel lame for not wearing a feather headdress or giving out felt mustaches, either (I’m looking at you, Etsy). 3.) Do NOT purchase a pre-worn dress if the seller writes “no returns” at the bottom, unless you have an opportunity to go try it on. Opening the box and finding stains on your dress is a sad (and expensive) moment! 4.) DIY does not necessarily mean less money, especially if you don’t have a crystal-clear idea of what you want and what you’re doing beforehand. 5.) Read A Practical Wedding.”

Ceremony venue: Old St. Patrick’s Church, Chicago, IL

Reception venue: Harold Washington Public Library

Bride’s dress: Alvina Valenta from Ultimate Bride

Groom’s suit: Formally Modern Tuxedo

Seating “card catalog” / centerpieces: DIY

Congratulations Linda and Cameron! Thank you for sharing your lovely wedding with us, and thank you to Heather and Jon at One Love Photo for sending over these beautiful photos – see tons more from this gorgeous wedding over at their blog.

27 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings
  1. annie

    Oh my gosh, this is exactly the kind of wedding I want to have. Gorgeous, fun, and literary. Beautifully done!

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  2. Angela

    the library setting and the books! i love it!

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  3. Kristi Wright

    What a gorgeous venue. These are so beautiful and sophisticated.

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  4. Amanda

    perfection, i adore all the details and the photography is beautiful!Congrats Linda and Cameron!

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  5. Carly

    I've never thought of tying rings on your wrists…such a wonderful idea and what a touching moment that must have been!

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  6. brendalynn

    Yay! Love to see "A Practical Wedding" shout-outs! Love, love, love that blog!

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  7. karey m.

    had to kirtsy this one. stunning.xoxo!

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  8. sinnlighet

    your blog…… like like like like & LOVEagneta, sweden

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  9. Anonymous

    A gorgeous wedding with some fantastically sound advice from the bride!

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  10. One Love Photo

    oh wow! It looks great! Linda and Cameron an awesome couple and did such a wonderful job planning their wedding. We enjoyed every minute of it!

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  11. chandra

    Love Chicago (used to live there and love seeing shots of it like this) and LOVE this Chicago wedding. Beautiful!

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  12. Charlie and Tango on a Sunday

    What a beautiful wedding! Such a unique setting plus I love the dress and the photos. Congratulations :-)

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  13. Maranda @ {Evoke Images}

    So beautiful! I love the idea with the rings…. so unique! I had to feature your article and this wedding on my blog… I am really hoping that one of my brides decide to try something like this!

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  14. Damaris

    makes me want to get married again

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  15. amber

    THAT was a library?! It's beautiful! And the card catalog piece is so perfect. I'm planning an outdoor wedding so I'm searching for ideas for seating cards. Very nice :)

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  16. alexia

    One Love Photo is my absolute fave! I wish I could afford them!

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  17. Amber

    Love the literary theme; the card catalog is perfect!

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  18. Leslie

    SO beautiful! The shot looking down on the ceremony is seriously breathtaking. As a fellow book lover, I think this wedding is just lovely!

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  19. Sarah

    i live in chicago, so it was cool to see a chicago wedding that incorporated a great city landmark, the el (lol!), and such wonderfully thoughtful details. congrats!

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  20. youngmi

    i love books, libraries, and chicago (oh chicago how i miss thee). this wedding is lovely :) and the fireworks? a sure sign that it was all meant to be!

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  21. Dustjacket Attic

    Now that is my perfect….I'm over from sweet Maranda's place.xoxo DJ

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  22. my name is lauren.

    what a gorgeous and unique wedding. LOVE.?{Lauren}

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  23. umama

    So gorgeous! I love all the books everywhere and that church is gorgeous!

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  27. Wedding Invitations Sydney

    Didn’t look like a library at all. Well set! We love ’em!

    / Reply

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