I got my first email from Michelle as they were driving their packed car and two french bulldogs across the country in a move from California to Chicago. She asked me about taking some engagement photos once they were settled in their new apartment, and then a week later said that maybe they might just head over to the courthouse and get hitched after all and was I in? Of course I was! Fast forward a few more days and family decided to fly in for the celebration, Michelle found a dress on Etsy (even “flower girl” dresses for the puppies!), a wedding officiant (the awesome Liz Hoffman of RevItUp!), they transformed their living room into a cozy dining area for their whole family, wrote some vows, Brandon rented a bus and away we went! The spontaneity of it all was exhilarating, truly a fabulous and fun way to celebrate with the ones you love most. Watching them party on the bus, champagne toasts full of laughter (even a few family members watched via FaceTime on the iPad, gotta love technology!) and then all gather in the kitchen to prepare dinner was amazing. Michelle even threw an apron over her dress and started cooking! There was so much love in that room, I was seriously smiling for days. Michelle and Brandon are absolutely gorgeous, inside and out, and capturing this awesome day for them was unbelievable.
Five words to describe Michelle and Brandon: Kind, Considerate, Funny, Loving & Beautiful
Michelle even had her mom’s wedding dress on display.
She did her own hair and makeup and then got the flower girls dressed.
First look on their balcony…
We gathered for an impromptu wedding ceremony at the Cancer Survivor’s Garden on Randolph Street.
This family gave new meaning to “party” bus!
Congrats Michelle and Brandon, what a beautiful way to jump into married life!
Hair and makeup: Michelle
Ceremony location: Cancer Survivors’ Garden
Reception location: Our Home
Event Planner: n/a —> no planning here!
Decorations: Tablescapes & Some great thrifting finds
Officiant: Liz Hoffman – Rev it up
Cake: Michelle, yet again
Caterer: Our Mom’s,Grandma and myself! (My dad helped too)
Invitations/Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas
Dress: Custom made by A Sweet Lady named Zitaa
Accessories: A vintage ring from each Grandma,My Grandma’s earrings & My Mom’s Vintage Wedding hat that she wore on her wedding day over 30 years ago!
Suit/Men’s accessories: Hugo Boss
Q&A with the bride:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
I think that the ceremony is what really stands out for me. Brandon (and everyone else for that matter) was so emotional when the ceremony started. I thought for sure I would be a big crying mess, but once I grabbed his hands I was very at ease. It was really special to share such an intimate moment with just our families.
What was your favorite detail?
Gosh, that is so hard! I truthfully can’t pick just one. Everything was just very us, intimate and fun.
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Haha, where do I begin on this one? My funniest memory is probably before walking down the “aisle” with my dad. He wanted to take a couple “selfies” of just us before it all happened, we face-timed my brother who last minute couldn’t make it. Not to mention he was just making me laugh hysterically before/during our walk. He is the best.
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Don’t take the day too seriously. It goes by way to fast. Try and sit back, look around and really breathe it in. Not everything will always go perfectly to plan, but I promise when you embrace the mistakes and just laugh about them, that is when the magic really happens.
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
The day was so perfect, so it’s hard to say yes but I think there are a couple things we would probably readjust looking back now.Personally, I would def. change my dress. I loved it, however when I finally got it, I really didn’t have time to alter it at all. It was just so big and so much material, It def.wasn’t doing me any favors. Nonetheless, it was a perfect day!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We are actually going back to San Diego in November to have a big wedding party with all our friends and family to celebrate our wedding. I think after that, there may be a surprise trip somewhere 🙂
A little history…
How did you meet? (How long have you known each other?)
I met brandon through a friend when I was in Highschool. I actually didn’t like him at first, but he was pretty persistent and apparently I came around. We just hit the 8 year mark this August. 🙂
When did you know he/she was “the one”?
Well according to my father-in-law, Brandon knew I was the one when I went on a family vacation with them years back and we were in the middle of canada on a lake, when our boat hit a rock and we literally started sinking…. I was shoveling water and ready to swim….Apparently I passed the test.
I knew Brandon was the one when, at one point in our relationship, maybe 5 years ago, we took a little break- The time we were apart, I learned what it felt like to loose a piece of your heart. After, when we decided to get back together, I knew that was it. I couldn’t live without him.
How did he propose?
Brandon Proposed on New Years Eve. His parents were having a big party at their house, both of our families and friends were all there to celebrate ringing in the new year. Brandon grabbed our little french bulldog, Runey and went running outside to the backyard mumbling something about her going to the bathroom. I followed of course. When we got down there, he bent down to set her in the grass, turned and just sorta stayed down on one knee. Then, he opened his hand and was holding my Grandma’s wedding ring, AKA the only piece of jewelry I’ve ever loved/ literally dreamed about. To say I was hysterical may be an understatement. It was so special, even though this huge party was going on, it was just us in that moment. I finally pulled it back together,and at that point he confirmed, “you said yes right” apparently all the tears didn’t answer the question. went back upstairs to go inside and everyone was standing around cheering it and clapping…. then we celebrated!