If this is how you do weddings in Chicago, I want in. Let me just list the boxes Brandi and David ticked on their incredible day: a romantic rooftop first look, getting hand tattoos in their hotel room, playing with smoke bombs against the backdrop of a spectacular rainbow, and their two pups were the ring bearer and flower girl! Then, as if that wasn’t kickass enough, a week later the bride contacted photographers Ed and Aileen Photography to do a ‘trash the dress’ session, which took place in Lake Michigan on a 2°C day! That’s not just setting the bar high, that’s sending it stratospheric.
Brandi and David met through mutual friends when the bride worked at a burger bar. When he came in wearing a teal blazer from an ’80s party the night before, he made her laugh! “We started hanging out after that and I got that giddy feeling you get when you’re in middle school. I had no idea he had a crush on me, too”, she said.
The couple had a goal, rather than a set theme, which was to throw the biggest party they could, at ceremony venue Concord Fifty Five, filled with tacos, booze, food, music and love. Brandi said their inspiration was, “Really our personalities. We wanted everything to really show who we are as a couple. It is really the one time you get to throw a party and do what you want, so we definitely took advantage of that.” When we asked them what their budget was, Brandi said fabulously “What’s a budget? We fell just shy of $30K.”
Belinda, from Australia, met J, from New Zealand, in 2014 at a Halloween party. They now live in the UK together. They originally planned a big wedding for 80 guests in Auckland, but changed their minds and decided to do something small in the UK when the costs were just mounting too high.
“Our only big mistake during wedding planning was starting down the path of planning an expensive wedding in my home country of New Zealand”, the groom began. “Not only was the cost of hosting a large wedding daunting, but trying to arrange it all from another country made things really stressful.”
“We were very close to booking a venue, when Belinda’s mum suggested we scale things way back and have a small garden wedding in the UK. The more we thought about it the more it made sense, and once we changed plans everything started to fall in place. While it was hard to drastically reduce the number of guests, our friends and family were all really supportive.”