Kari’s inspiration behind her wedding day was simply “fairytales”—a beautiful gown fit for a princess, a picturesque mansion with white columns and fountains, an antique car and some seriously sparkly shoes. I think her dreams definitely came true!
Photography by Kristin La Voie.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? Something old: my mother-in-law’s wedding shoes. Something new: my wedding dress, veil, and accessories. Something borrowed: my mother’s prom charm that was given to her by my father at their senior prom. Something blue: my toenail polish.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was when I was brought back to reality and was told not to stress over the details because the wedding is about marrying the love of my life and that’s all that matters.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? I love the idea that this church was constructed from multiple former downtown Chicago churches.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? I had saved programs from previous weddings that I attended and chose my favorite reading and songs to use for my own.
“Ryan and I dated for 6 ½ years before we got married. We have the same friends and are very close with one another’s families. I feel so lucky that we were able to share our day with our closest friends and families and because of that, our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives!”
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Both our mothers first lit the unity candle before the ceremony began. I also brought a bouquet of flowers to the statue of Mary and prayed while ‘Ave Maria’ was sung.
What was your ceremony music?
Seating of the Parents: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
Procession of the Bridal Party: “Canon in D”
Procession of the Bride: “Bridal Chorus”
Lighting of the Unity Candle by Mothers: “Blessed”
Lighting of Unity Candle by Couple: “Wherever You Go”
Offertory: “Here I Am Lord”
Distribution of Holy Communion: “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace” and “Be Not Afraid”
Presentation of Flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Ave Maria”
Recessional: “Wedding March”
Who officiated your ceremony? The pastor of the church, Rev. Fr. John A. Jamnicky.
What were your ceremony readings?
First Reading: The two of them become one body; Genesis 2:18-24
Second Reading: Love is Indispensable; Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Gospel: Wedding at Cana; John 2:1-11
What were your vows like? They were traditional. We went with the standard Catholic Church vows.
Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, formal, religious.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? When the Priest announced us as husband and wife—all of our friends and family cheered as we walked hand in hand down the aisle.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Fairytales.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Remember to relax and have fun throughout the entire process!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? If you have the time, DIY projects helped cut down the cost. Also, before the planning really begins, I recommend having the budget talk right away so everyone involved is on the same page.
“Ryan and I walked into the reception to ACDC “Back in Black”, as the Iowa Hawkeyes walk out onto the field to that song for every game. We met at the University of Iowa and wanted to include the song in our wedding. Our parents had surprised us with a slideshow of pictures of the both of us growing up over the years. My mother’s side of the family surprised us with a skit and sang a couple songs about us. They changed the words of the Brady Bunch theme song and incorporated our story instead. The dance floor was absolutely packed all night—our guests enjoyed dancing the night away.”
Did you have a signature cocktail? No it was an open bar but the servers were great and made fun cocktails for all the guests.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? My favorite part was when my husband and I stepped to the back of the room and paused for a moment to take everything in. It was amazing to stand there and watch all our loved ones dancing and enjoying one another’s company. It was truly a wonderful moment knowing everyone was there to celebrate our love!
How would you describe your reception? It was like a fairytale. Vintage, elegant, and romantic.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? I wanted a venue that was classy and would make all the guests ‘ooh and ahh’ as they arrived. The Lehmann Mansion was absolutely stunning and fit the vintage image I had in mind. It was very elegant, romantic and had a beautiful outside patio with a fountain and rose garden.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? We made our guest name tags from wine corks that we had saved throughout our engagement. Our table numbers were wine bottles from the wineries we have visited together as a couple. We gathered our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparent’s wedding pictures and displayed them on the mantel in the mansion.
What was your wedding menu? Guests were given the option to choose a chicken, sirloin, or vegetarian dish when they RSVP’d to the wedding. Everyone was served salad before the meal and then their meal included red potatoes, and a vegetable medley.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a white cake with layers of vanilla custard and strawberry fruit filling.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First Dance: “You are the Best thing” by Ray LaMontagne
Father/daughter: “What a Wonderful World” by Loius Armstrong
Mother/son: “The Perfect Fan” by Backstreet Boys
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Absolutely not, everything was beyond perfect.