The sweet color palette of pale pink with green and gold accents, a dramatic ballroom venue, garlands and candelabras – so much inspiration in Gina and Tim’s Chicago wedding! Kina Wicks captured the day in these beautiful photos…
From the bride: “Far and away my favorite moment was my first look with Tim. We met in one of the gardens across the hotel in Grant Park and I will never forget the look on his face when we finally saw each other. All of my anxiety melted away and I was the most calm and happy during that private time together. It was also great to get our portraits before our ceremony so we could enjoy cocktail hour with our guests.”
The signature cocktail was The George’s Grapefruit Gimlet: tequila, grapefruit, soda, and a spring of fresh thyme.
Lush garlands and centerpieces of pink roses and dahlias gave the ballroom a touch of garden romance.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We always knew we wanted to get married in Chicago. It is where we met, fell in love, and where we are choosing to plant our roots. Logistically, it also made the most sense for our families and friends to have it in the city. We wanted to give our guests a classic Chicago feel, and the Renaissance Blackstone fit the bill. Situated directly across from beautiful Grant Park, it felt like it was in the center of all Chicago had to offer. I loved how the ballroom was primarily white and gold, a blank palette for my ideas. At first I thought I wanted an outdoor wedding, but when I saw how the windows of the ballroom open and you could see out to the treetops of the gardens across the street, it was the best of both worlds and we really brought the garden romance we wanted inside the ballroom. The food at Blackstone also blew us away and we were so lucky to be able to work with their chef to customize our menu, as we are very particular about what we like!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Before I was even engaged, I had been in love with Happy Menocal‘s custom crests. They come off as both elegant and playful which echoed the tone we wanted to create for our celebration. We got in contact with Happy, and she spent some time getting to know us as a couple, what was important to us, and created the most beautiful custom crest that became a central element to our day. We used the crest on the invites, menus, ceremony programs, as well as individual flourishes on the escort cards such as shamrocks, arrows, and flowers. The crest felt like the perfect way to signify our new family, with our own traditions that we will create together.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I was very lucky to borrow jewelry from my mom and stepmom. The crown my grandmother wore on her wedding day topped our cake. My grandmother’s Bible we had placed on our altar. My Pi Beta Phi badge was pinned to my bouquet. I also included my sorority’s Bible verse in our ceremony. Tim’s grandmother was a very special and important person in his life and to honor her, we handed out Oreo cookies and milk on the dance floor, a favorite memory that Tim shared with his Grandma. The women in my family also made hundreds upon hundreds of traditional Italian cookies that we gave as favors to our guests.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Build a few moments in your timeline where just you and your groom can be alone together on your wedding day. It is true that everything just flies by, and I was so thankful to have those moments during our first look, and again before we walked into cocktails to just talk, take it all in, and say “Can you believe it?!? We’re married!”
What advice do you have for other brides? Work with vendors you trust and admire. When meeting with potential vendors, bring them your inspiration photos and ideas but also be open to their suggestions and what they can creatively bring to the table. They are the professionals, after all. I was incredibly lucky to find vendors who were not only were organized, professional, and great to work with, but every meeting I felt their passion for what they did come across in everything. It is inspiring to work with people who love what the do and are in it for the right reasons. Since the wedding, I have remained friends with these inspiring women!