Emily and Matthew's gorgeous Chicago wedding captured by Emilia Jane Photography is full of all the details we love from mix matched bridesmaids dresses to the heart felt ceremony officiated by Emily's mothers co-pastor, Bunny Hughes. We caught up with the happy couple to chat all about their love story and big day.
How did the two of you meet?
Matthew went to college with one of my best friends from high school, Jared. All three of us moved to Chicago after college and we became good friends. We didn't start dating until a couple of years later! I'm pretty sure Jared still questions his decision to introduce us!
Tell us all about the proposal!
I started (very subtly!) picking up some ideas and preferences for the proposal about 6 months before popping the question. Emily might tell you that it wasn’t so subtle and resulted in a lot of anticipation, but what can I say - good things take time! So Emily and I were in the process of purchasing a home together immediately prior to getting engaged. This was our first home purchase which is stressful in and of itself but there was an added factor of trying to time the move with my secret proposal plans.
About two weeks after we moved in, I colluded with one of Emily’s friends Courtney to go to a morning workout class together so that I could prep for the proposal. After she got back and we got ready for some fake brunch plans, I went up to our private roof and waited for Emily to come find me. I was waiting for her with flowers, champagne, and some of our favorite things. I took Emily through some mementos from our three years together and explained what each one meant to me and what it said about us. Then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Emily was crying so she never actually said “yes” but she did nod her head and I took that as confirmation.
We celebrated with champagne and called our families and some close friends to share the news. Then we got ready for our real lunch plans with our families (or so Emily thought). In keeping with the surprises and outdoor theme, I got all of our closest friends and family to meet us at a local restaurant “Homestead on the Roof” where we surprised Emily with a party on their terrace to celebrate and we kept the party rolling all night!
Describe the wedding planning process. Why did you choose the vendors you worked with?
Our wedding planner, Ali Phillips, was great! We chose her because she had a great sense of humor, seemed to match our laid back approach, and was really flexible on when she could meet with us (important, since we both work and travel a lot). Ali has many years in the business and drove a lot of our choices when it came to vendors. We would describe what we were generally looking for and she would present the best options - it was great! I call her the OG of wedding planning - everyone seemed to know her, love her, and want to do her a favor. Everything remained pretty relaxed throughout the entire process and we really enjoyed it.
How was your wedding day? The more details you can provide, the better! Please also describe your design and decor choices.
I loved everything about our wedding day! Getting ready with my best friends and family (old and new!) was honestly so much fun. Everyone was relaxed and having fun . And everyone looked and felt so beautiful! I was much more emotional than I thought I would be - I cried a lot. Like a lot (you can ask Emilia). Matthew made a book with photos from our four years together and wrote a long note at the beginning, that was really special to me - a perfect encapsulation of why I was marrying this man. Putting on the dress was like a dream! It felt so surreal - I had to keep reminding myself to be in the moment and remember as much as possible. I didn't expect how much I would want to be with Matt from practically the minute I woke up, so by the time our first look rolled around I was really excited to see him and start experiencing our wedding day together. The ceremony was done by my Mom's co-pastor, who is like family to us - so that was a really special experience. Matthew and I both wrote our own vows and I was so nervous to read mine, but having this personal connection was so nice for us. It was the perfect way to capture our feelings for one another and the emotions of the day.
And after that it was one big celebration! The reception flew by, neither of us got to talk to everyone we wanted to but we had so much fun, our hearts were so full. Fun fact: we had a sparkler exit and didn't realize until we were in our getaway car that neither of us had our phones or wallets. We had to walk up to the front desk of the Langham and ask for room keys to our hotel room in our wedding attire!
As far as decor choices: A lot of this was driven by how aesthetically interesting Revel Motor Row's space is. We kept pretty much everything to neutrals - whites, greens, and wood chairs to warm up the space a bit. The girls all picked their own dresses within a color range and had all green bouquets which I LOVED. Matt and I have very similar taste, so we agreed on everything almost right away - which was helpful.
What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing Matthew. Matthew's favorite moment was our first look seeing me in my dress and getting to spend the rest of the day together from there.
What is your advice for newly engaged couples?
Make sure you enjoy your engagement and wedding planning process! It can and should be a fun experience that builds memories and companionship for the years to come. And don't sweat the small stuff, the day will fly by and we promise you won't notice!
MEET THE TEAM:
Men’s Attire | Trumaker
Hair Stylist | Juan Jose Herrera
Photo Booth | I Love Photo Booth
Band | Blue Water Kings | @bluewaterkingsband
Transportation | M&M Limo
Cinematography | Mirar Productions