Our Wedding Day Was A Dream Come True!
I went into Bridal and Formal thinking I was just going in to see what types of gowns were popular and to see if I got a sense of what I liked. Courtney W. was my consultant and she was AMAZING! She was patient and well versed in everything bridal related. I was a little uneasy at first because I had no clue what I wanted but Courtney made it easy and fun. She offered her suggestions and I ended up choosing the 2nd dress I tried on. 🙂 I was so happy. Courtney helped me decide which veil to chose and which bustle would look best too. She really was so helpful! It was an Eddy K dress and it was like no other dress I had seen on any other bride and the price was unbeatable! The dress made me feel classy, elegant, pretty, and still sexy. I loved it. I had such a great experience picking out my dress. It was the easiest part of all wedding planning and the only thing that was perfect during the process. After my 2 hour visit I felt like I knew Courtney for years and I was sad I didn’t have a reason to work with her again. haha I really had a fun time and I have recommended Bridal and Formal to a few of my other newly engaged girlfriends. I don’t think I would of had as professional of help anywhere else.
I also worked with Molly G. after I picked out my gown, to look for bridesmaids dresses. And like my gown, I had no idea what I wanted except that I knew I wanted all different colors. Molly was so extremely helpful and professional she helps guide me to what looks best together. I wanted all different shades of blues, and finding the right shades that went well together from different designers was no easy task, but just like Courtney, Molly was very patient and well versed with the bridesmaid’s designers and gowns. I left Bridal and Formal that day with my wedding gown picked out and all 5 bridesmaids dresses decided (all different shades and designers) when I thought I was going in to just browse. I was also very pleased that my bridesmaids were offered 20% off their dress since I bought my gown from Bridal and Formal. I live in Chicago and Bridal and Formal even shipped me my gown with 1-day shipping and when my gown arrived it was so nicely packed. I was very pleased with the service and attention I received from Bridal and Formal. I am extremely happy with the experience I had at Bridal and Formal, it was the only non-stressful part about wedding planning and I so appreciate everyone making it an enjoyable experience for my mother and me!
Our wedding day was literally a dream come true. As we checked the forecast everyday leading up to the wedding it said we would get a thunderstorm the day of so we knew going into it we would have some rain, we were just hopeful it wouldn’t happen during the pictures outside. Thankfully the day of, it did not. It was the most beautiful day, blue skies, 75 degrees, and no humidity. The venue was The Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Ave in the South Loop of Chicago. It faced Grant Park and Lake Michigan, truly an iconic feel of Chicago. The ceremony and reception were both in the Crystal Ballroom and they transformed the ballroom during cocktail hour, which was held in Art Gallery Hall. The Crystal Ballroom, was built, along with the entire hotel, in the early 1900s and captures a neoclassical Beaux-Arts style with stunning French doors that surround the perimeter looking out on Grant Park and a large sparkly chandelier as the focus of the room. Some of our guests said the room looked like an inside of a wedding cake. 🙂 Myself, my Mom, Mother-in-law, and my bridesmaids got ready together in the bridal suite, called the Smoke-Filled Room (famous for the number of Presidents and celebrities that have stayed in the room). We had makeup artists and a hair artists come in to make us look pretty on site, which saved us plenty of time. I gifted the girls with stemless wine glasses with their names and light blue “prep dresses” for the girls to wear while they were getting ready. Each prep dress had a funny saying on them. Mine said “Best.Day.Ever” (and was white) with the wedding date, others said “Hello gorgeous”, “Is it time for champagne yet?”…etc. Jason (the groom) and I did our first look across the street at Grant Park. It truly was my favorite part of my day. I was so nervous and excited as I was walking up to him, I was bawling my eyes out as I was crossing Michigan Ave. I was overwhelmed with the kindness and attention from bypassers. After our first look, and some alone time, the rest of the bridal party met us in the park for more pictures. We were so thrilled with the weather, it wasn’t humid, it wasn’t hot, it wasn’t windy (it usually is near the lake), and it was blue skies all day! I never get this lucky… We had an interfaith wedding, I’m Catholic, and Jason is Jewish, so a few minutes before the ceremony we met with the Rabbi, and our family and wedding party for a ketubah signing. Now, time for the ceremony. As we lined up to wait our turn to walk down the aisle, the violin and piano duet starting to play “Tale as Old as Time” from Beauty and the Beast, and my mother lost it, she started crying uncontrollably it was so sweet. My mother walked down the aisle with my Dad and I. It was really nice to have them both by my side. Our ceremony was led by a Priest and Rabbi, both side by side (Fr Tom Hurley and Rabbi Michael Sommer). They both did a great job incorporating both elements and traditions from each religion. All of our guests commented on the nice job they did and how unique the service was. It was a quick 30 minutes and we remember every second of it. I loved it. We stood underneath a Birchwood chuppah with cascading flowers of white hydrangeas, blue tweedia, pink and white garden roses, greenery, and ranunculus. The cocktail hour was held in 1 floor above in the “art gallery hall”. It was a nice large long space with marble black and white checkered flooring and marble highboy tables. Since we took all of our photos before the ceremony Jason and I were able to enjoy the cocktail hour and mingle with all of our guests. Cava, white wine, and our signature drink was passed around during the hour along with hors-d’oeuvres. Our signature drink was modeled after the martini we had on our first date at Marchellas in Columbus, Ohio. They call it the strawberry balsamic martini but we called it “the first date”. When it was time for the reception, guests entered the Crystal Ballroom with the 9 piece band as the first thing they saw, and all the doors looking out at the night with the lights of the city. It was stunning. Our tables had white linens, gold Chiavari chairs, blue table numbers to match my bridesmaids. My bridesmaids wore all different shades of blue long chiffon dresses. There were 2 different types of centerpieces. On half of the tables were large candelabras with a wreath of lush greenery and flowers at the base, and the other half of the tables had a large compote dish with cascading greenery and flowers with votives around the large dish. The head table was a long “community style” table with the chuppah flowers draped on the table in front of Jason’s and my seat, the bridesmaids bouquets and mine sitting in vases, and different heights of large pillar candles lined down the middle of the table. Jason and I had a greenery and flowers draped on the back of our chairs with ribbon. Our cake was 4 tiers with different shades of light blue starting from the bottom tier fading up to white to the top. There were hand-painted flowers on the bottom tier, a W monogram on the second tier, and fresh flowers speckled on the edges of some of the tiers. The 2 cake flavors were chocolate fudge cake with tiramisu filling and orange almond cake with passion fruit filling. OMG they were delicious! Our first dance was to Bee Gees “How Deep is Your Love”. We didn’t necessarily choreograph a dance but we did take dance lessons so we made sure to use all the steps that we learned during our dance, our guests were impressed! A fun touch for our wedding was that the band played songs from almost every decade starting with the 70s until now and we never had less than a jam-packed dance floor. One of my favorite elements was doing the “hora”, the Jewish traditional dance. We were lifted up and down on chairs over everyone’s heads it was a blast. The end of the night ended with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and everyone got in a large circle, shoulder to shoulder, swaying back in fourth, while Jason and I slow danced in the middle. Everyone was shouting out the words to the song at the top of their lungs, it was as if it was all planned. Somehow, everyone just naturally started doing it, it was so cool how it came together. It really was the best ending to the night. The wedding was perfect, if anything went wrong, we certainly didn’t notice!
Bridal Gown by Eddy K, style EK1131 and in the Ivory/Champagne/Skin color.
Bridal Veil by PARIS by Debra Moreland, style Match Maker and in the ivory color.
Bridesmaids Gowns by Watters, style 300 and in the Light Blue color; Jasmine Bridesmaids style P196002 and in the Citadel color; Dessy style 6751 and in the Mist color.
Wedding Location in Chicago, IL
Ceremony and Reception Location at The Blackstone Hotel in the Crystal Ballroom.
Music by The Lakeshore Encores.
Photography was taken by Tim Tabailoux.
Flowers by Flowers For Dreams.