This Couple Threw an Epic Chicago Wedding … on a Wednesday!
Sadie and Brandon
In Chicago, pizza is a serious thing. But it's also why Sadie and Brandon crossed paths. Back in 2009, Brandon was working at Piece Pizzeria and Brewery, where Sadie went to interview for a hostess position. She walked in and he didn't stand a chance.
Not long after she got the job, he got the girl. Two-and-a-half years later, in the hour before leaving to catch a plane to California to celebrate Sadie's birthday with her friends, Brandon surprised Sadie with her present—an engagement ring. They told their families on the way to the airport, celebrated with Champagne up in the air, and went out that night with friends.
Bubbly, buddies, and family came together once more on August 6, 2014, a Wednesday. It was back to Chicago (the couple had moved to St. Louis for Sadie's grad school) to tie the knot. They chose the Logan Square Monument—a spot of significance since it was only one block away from their first apartment together—and invited 35 guests to join them for a ceremony in the square. Dancing and sparkling wine followed until the group ventured over to Lula Café—the pair's favorite restaurant for lunch and the impetus for the mid-week celebration since it was the easiest time to host the party.
The bride and groom felt that getting ready together made sense since they were putting the wedding plans together too. The pre-made mix tapes in their room at the Longman and Eagle Hotel added ambiance. Though there was no official "reveal" there were lots of compliments back and forth as their looks came together.
A Good Luck Charm
Sadie's sister made a pair of origami cranes and brought them to the hotel room as a bit of wedding day luck. They now sit next to a picture frame with a photo from the day in the couple's home.
As a token of her appreciation, Sadie gave her bridal party silver key necklaces that they wore that day. Brandon gave his groomsmen and the officiant beer glasses and a few other beer tokens from back in St. Louis.
Sadie didn't want to spend a ton on her wedding dress since she knew she'd only wear it once and that there would be something stunning out there in a reasonable price range. She found a short dress while visiting friends in San Francisco, but after a few months passed, it didn't feel right anymore so she relaunched her search. When her sister Hannah (also the maid of honor) found the Kimchi Blue crinkle gauze maxi dress on the Urban Outfitters site (on sale for $90 no less) Sadie just knew it was right. She ordered two sizes and took one to a local tailor to get it fitted.
A mix of white blooms were woven into the bride's hair by her dear friend Perle, who has been doing the bride's hair and makeup for special events since they were 20 years old.
The Flower Girls
Brandon's niece Jemma served as flower girl.
Jemma ran off and cried once the ceremony started because she realized that she and Brandon could no longer be married if he married Sadie. "She has since recovered and loves her Auntie Sadie," says the bride, who took the four-year-old for a little "magical dancing adventure" in front of the monument where they twirled away her sorrows.
A program fan outlined the service on one side and showcased the couple's initials on the back—the same design that graced part of the invitation suite.
Sadie's sister (the maid of honor), Brandon's sister (the bridesmaid), and Brandon's best man and groomsmen held the poles of the chuppah—the same cloth used at the bride's parents' wedding 38 years earlier—during the pop-up ceremony at Logan Square Monument. Entering together to Dave Brubeck's "Stardust" Sadie and Brandon stood under the structure while their friend Chance officiated the ceremony, kicking it off with an introduction about love, and then talking about the bride and groom as individuals and as a couple.
After reciting their personalized vows to one another they exchanged their Bailey Banks & Biddle bands, said "I do," and smooched. In keeping with Jewish tradition, Brandon stomped on the glass (with the shattered pieces representing hope for many moments of happiness in the future), the couple was married, and Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher" filled the air.
Bubbles and bubbly (Spanish Cava) were on hand for the celebration, which started as soon as the celebration wrapped.
The First Dance
"You're All I Need To Get By" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell played during the pair's first dance. A lot of other Motown classics played during the post-ceremony time in the park (after all, Brandon is from Detroit, and the couple loves that genre of music) thanks to a playlist and a friend of the bride who served as DJ using a Jambox for speakers.
The Father-Daughter Dance
Sadie's dad has sung "My Girl" by the Temptations to her since she was a baby and the same tune played for their dance together. When Brandon took to the dance floor—also known as the grass—joined by his mom Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" played.
The crowd spent about an hour dancing, drinking bubbly, and celebrating before moving on to the reception.
Sadie counts the help of everyone in making the day special as one of the best parts—from their parents hosting the event, to their friend who was ordained just for the occasion, to Sadie's childhood friends (who all ended up wearing floral dresses by chance) pitching in in various ways.
The couple stole away for a few photos taken by Stephanie Bassos, even posing in front of their old apartment.
Lunch took place at Lula Café, with drink options touching on Brandon's career as a brewer and the couple's roots—one beer was from the bride's native California and one from the groom's home state of Michigan. Drink options were listed on one side of the menu and the three-course meal was listed on the other. A Flander's Spritz (made with rosemary, Aperol, cocchi bianco, and lemon) was the signature sip of the afternoon.
Sadie and Brandon sat at a sweetheart table, with their family sharing a large table, and friends spread across three others.
A Quick Kiss
The couple stole a kiss before lunch began.
The gluten-free spread consisted of warm marinated olives with heirloom cherry tomatoes; fresh local berries with farmer's cheese, honey gastrique, and herbs; new potatoes and swiss chard Spanish tortillas; quesadillas with summer squash, roasted chiles, ricotta, and oregano; spinach and apple salad with crispy amaranth, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese dressing; lemony black kale; green beans and black quinoa with plum vinaigrette; and roasted chicken.
While Sadie and Brandon were off taking photos before joining the group for lunch, Sadie's friends Liza and Val passed out post cards and had everyone write a note to the couple. They were mailed to the newlyweds so that they received a few every week for the first few months of their marriage.
Sadie's father gave a moving toast that brought everyone to tears, and Sadie's sister followed with a beautiful toast about life, chances, and celebrating the marriage, before Brandon's best man Phil spoke about an epic road trip that he and Brandon took from California to Chicago and their long friendship, evoking laughs from the crowd.
A mascarpone ice cream cake with raspberries, almond dacquioise, basil, and sunflower seeds was served for dessert.
Following lunch, it was back to the hotel for more drinks, and then an after-party, not far away at Weegee's Lounge, where more of the couple's friends joined them for danced "like maniacs" to Spotify mixes until 2 a.m. Piece Pizzeria sent over pies as a wedding present for the bride and groom, who owe it to the restaurant for first crossing paths.