Whitney and Justin were hitched in Chicago at Gallery 1028, an industrial style venue on Goose Island. The space provided the perfect canvas for their winter wedding, the style of which was influenced by other weddings they’d attended as well as wanting day that suited the season but didn’t feel to festive or themed. They were married on December 7th.
“We were shooting for a theme that seemed wintery, but not in a Christmas or holiday sense”, Whitney began, “and we came up with the idea of Midnight Garden. We worked with our vendors to elicit a focus on warm dim lights, white cotton, burgundy and lush greenery. I would describe our ‘look’ as a rustic outdoor garden at nighttime – only indoors!”
The day started with a ‘first look’, so they could see each other as soon as possible but also because it was winter and sunset was at 4pm, they wanted to get as many photos taken before their ceremony as possible. Of the ceremony itself, the bride says, “We wanted to keep it brief and to the point, but still really nice. We’re not religious, so we held a secular ceremony in the same space as the reception, with inspirational readings from our friends instead of scripture. My brother graciously accepted our request to have him officiate, since he was the one who brought us together in the first place. It was his first time officiating, and he did a fantastic job helping us as we exchanged our vows and rings. All in all, the entire ceremony only ran about 20 minutes.”
“My favourite part of the day was hearing Justin’s vows for the first time. I had no idea what direction he would go in and was very emotional over his words. Justin’s favourite part was getting to be with each other and with our best friends. Weddings are scary, and no bride or groom should ever have to go through it without the support of each other or their companions. Every time we were able to retreat to our private bridal suite with our friends was a much needed breather, and really helped keep anxiety at bay.”
They did a few DIY projects, mostly related to the decor such as the place cards, the photo station and the lanterns which the bridesmaids carried down the aisle. Whitney spray painted them and added battery powers tea lights. One of their favourite elements was that they were able to have their own custom beer on tap! The bride explained, “We are good friends with several people in the Chicago craft brewing scene, and our favourite brewery made us very own IPA that our guests were able to enjoy. It was a huge hit.”
“Our advice to other couples is to communicate and be on the same team. It’s really easy to get stressed over planning such an important event, but you need to remember why you’re doing it. Ultimately as long as you love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives together, the power to create an incredible wedding is in your hands. Listen, compromise and expect something to go wrong, because it ALWAYS does. The most perfect wedding in the world will have a slip up, and so will yours, so just grin and brush it off.”
“Weddings are a profitable industry, and there is enormous pressure to have the perfect one, now more than ever with the advent of social media,” Whitney concluded. “While it’s okay to find inspiration on Instagram, blogs or Pinterest, it’s important to remember that you are looking at curated results. The photos don’t show all of the tough decisions and mistakes that go on behind the scenes. Ultimately there are a billion ways to have a great wedding, and I think we pulled off ours the way we wanted to. I hope any future brides and grooms reading this find something useful to take away from it, and find the courage to plan a wedding that’s right for them.”