A Formal Pink Wedding in Chicago, Illinois
Mindy and Matt
Mindy, an attorney, and Matt, a consulting-firm marketing manager, met during law school in Chicago. After four years of dating, Matt popped the question and a wedding date was set for Sunday, August 28, 2011. To kick off their country-meets-city nuptials, they planned a weekend full of festive activities, including a welcome BBQ, wedding day brunch, and beach volleyball.
Lady Fingers Letterpress created the calligraphed letterpress invitation suite. The subtle icon at the top of the card mimicked the bride's lace gown.
The Welcome Kit
Out-of-town guests were given paper suitcases lined with old maps of Chicago and filled with Windy City goodies: bottles of Chicago Beer Co. beer, cans of Dad's Root Beer, a Chicago-themed book ("The Adventures of Augie March," "Devil in the White City," "Sin in the Second City," or "Boss"), Frango mints, and a tin of "Chicago Mix" from Garrett Popcorn.
The Welcome Kit
The welcome case also included a hand-drawn map and a booklet that detailed the weekend's itinerary, and listed area attractions.
The ceremony took place at K.A.M. Isaiah Israel, a Neo-Byzantine synagogue in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.
A Traditional Element
Mindy and Matt's ketubah, a Jewish marriage certificate, was laser cut by Ardyn Halter.
Matt wore a vintage Lanvin tuxedo and monogrammed platinum-and-diamond cufflinks, which belonged to his grandfather.
Mindy's Vera Wang "Esther" gown (from Saks Fifth Avenue) boasted English netting, Chantilly lace appliques, and satin-covered buttons. A custom silk-taffeta bow belt cinched her waist, and a French silk-and-tulle veil by The Dress Doctor crowned her head. (Later, she changed into a crystal headband from The Left Bank.) Adding sparkle were the finishing touches: crystal-embellished stilettos by Nina Ricci and antique pink-pearl-and-diamond earrings from Matt's grandmother. She also wore a pendant, a gift from the groom, and her grandmother's silver-and-opal heirloom ring.
Jesse Deckard of Event Creative made Mindy's bouquet, tied up with a vintage ribbon, out of garden and spray roses and ranunculus. The final touch: an antique cameo brooch given to Mindy by Matt.
The bridesmaids carried pink and peach garden roses.
Hypericum berries made up Matt's boutonniere.
Rachel Alvia of Avail & Co. designed the vintage-inspired silk-chiffon ball gowns with taupe underlays and blush-colored sashes. The eight custom dresses were designed and completed within four weeks.
Mindy gave her bridal party antique handkerchiefs, silver necklaces, and jewelry boxes. And throughout the day, they all carried charmingly mismatched vintage clutches.
Square program booklets were hand-punched around the corners, tied with grosgrain ribbon, and set out in a box on a table.
The bride's parents, Cindy and Richard Chudoba, walked her down the aisle. Matt was also escorted by his mother and father, Paula and Steven Kopald.
The young ring bearers walked down the aisle, but Matt's brother Brandon actually carried the wedding rings.
But just hours before the ceremony, the wedding bands were missing. (When Matt and Mindy first saw each other just before the ceremony, he followed up a sweet "you look beautiful" with these words: "I have something to tell you. Please don't freak out.") Luckily, replacement rings that Matt's mother picked out from the Tiffany website were delivered just in time. The original bands -- a vintage platinum Cartier ring from Oak Gem for him and a 1920s engraved white-gold band from Marlene Harris for her -- were found in the pocket of Matt's wedding suit. They now wear both sets.
The bride and groom were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony.
Mindy circled Matt three times under the huppah (quite a feat, as she wore a cathedral veil). Rabbi Batsheva Appel gave the seven blessings, and the couple exchanged vows -- he quoted Jeremiah 31:3 and she recited Solomon's Song 6:3 and Psalms 132:14.
Family portraits were taken outside on the stairs of the synagogue.
A Signature Drink
At cocktail hour in Lincoln Park Zoo, guests sipped pink drinks made with Prosecco and organic rhubarb syrup in honor of the venue's proximity to the Flamingo Pond.
Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band, a string quartet, played folk and bluegrass music during the cocktail hour and early portion of the seated dinner.
The Reception Venue
After an alfresco cocktail hour, the 100 guests moved inside to Cafe Brauer, a landmarked building constructed in 1908, that features exposed beams, original hardwood floors, intricate brickwork, and arches. The urban oasis, nestled in the middle of Lincoln Park, overlooks a lagoon and offers views of downtown Chicago.
Long farm tables were set with crystal charger plates, a mix of stemware and flatware, and distressed wooden chairs.
The Head Table
Mindy used pieces from her personal collection of pink Depression glass for flower vessels on the head table, which was centered under a trio of wrought-iron chandeliers and 20-foot tall chiffon drapes suspended from the ceiling.
Antique cut-crystal vases at every table were filled with garden roses, stock, and ranunculus.
Guests dined on beef ravioli with toasted hazelnut butter and chive oil; grilled herb rack of lamb with spiced blueberry jam, savory baby leek bread pudding, and squash with mint jus; seared beef tenderloin filet with olive and mustard crust, Yukon Gold potato-celery root gratin, and tri-color carrots and edamame with lime cilantro butter; roasted French chicken breast with peach-goat cheese gratin, grilled asparagus, sweet onions, carrot ribbons, and natural jus; and vegetable polenta stacked with garlic-roasted baby spinach and charred tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and rosemary jus. The multicourse meal was prepared by Limelight Catering.
Mindy and Matt danced to "Wagon Wheel" by the Old Crow Medicine Show.
Matt and his mom took a twirl to "Summertime" performed by the band Maggie Speaks, which then took over the night's entertainment.
The dessert bar displayed all-pink sweets, including strawberry creme brulee, passion fruit truffles, and white chocolate-peach truffles.
Cheesecake lollipops and petit macarons were also offered.
A four-tier buttercream cake by Amy Beck Cake Design was decorated with sugar peonies. It also showcased different flavors: vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream, chocolate bourbon cake with chocolate truffle ganache, and lemon cake with lemon curd filling.
At the end of the night, guests left with pink Depression glass berry bowls filled with old-fashioned candy.
Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie
Wedding Planner: Anthony Navarro of Liven It Up Events
Videography: Megan Taylor of Fig Media
Catering: Limelight Catering
Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design
Event Design: Jesse Deckard of Event Creative
Stationery: Lady Fingers Letterpress
Calligraphy (for day-of paperie): Diane Daly
Yarmulkes: Zara Mart