These two subscribe to the #elopenowpartylater moto, because truthfully not everyone wants a big wedding. Marriage is a commitment between two people, and sometimes a discreet ceremony with just the two of you is just right. Anna found a great dress on Modcloth and made a simple-yet-elegant bouquet, Mike donned a suit and they headed to the courthouse. Their main accessory? Big ‘ol smiles! I love that they did what felt right to them, and I especially love that they chose me to document it!
Mother Nature challenged us with some very cold weather, but these two braved it and grabbed some hot coffee and wandered Humboldt Park for some lovely photos. Luckily the next stop included two of their favorite things… fried chicken and whiskey! Parson’s was so accommodating and sent over some drinks for the newlyweds, it really couldn’t have been a better celebratory meal. A few months later they gathered their friends and family for a party, bringing the celebration full circle and kicking off their new moto: “everyday is a honeymoon.” (Be sure to scroll through for their fabulous GIF and commentary)
Hair and makeup: Kristine Lorenzo at Marin Hair Co. did my hair, both for the ceremony and for the party we had in October. She’s WONDERFUL, and she made my shaggy, grown out pixie cut look like a million bucks.
Florist: Anna went to Mariano’s the day before and picked up orange roses and chamomile and made my own bouquet.
Ceremony location: City Hall Marriage Court, Chicago – April 26th, 2016
Reception location: Chicago Party Animals Loft Venue – 1133 W. Fulton Market. – October 1st, 2016 Josie at Party Animals was nothing short of awesome. She gave us total flexibility to do whatever we wanted, and she provided a fun, casual, low-maintenance atmosphere.
Officiant: “The Judge”. I should probably know his name, haha.
Cake: Reception – Cupcakes from Mariano’s. Silly and simple, but everyone loved them. They do custom colors.
Caterer: Ceremony: Fried Chicken and Whiskey at Parson’s Chicken and Fish. Reception: Taqueria Los Altos de Jaliscos in Cicero. They set up a taco cart outside and dished them up along with rice, beans, guac, and homemade salsas. Everybody loved them!
Invitations/Stationary: Squarespace. We kept everything online. So easy and elegant.
Accessories: B.A.I.T. Footwear. My ring was a simple gold band I found on Amazon. Mike’s is silicone from Safety Ring
Suit/Men’s accessories: Nordstrom Rack, haha.
Why was City Hall right for you? Did your date have special meaning? Did you have a reception party later? It was so important to have our wedding ceremony be just about us and no one else. Everyone is full of opinions and advice about how weddings should be done, and we just wanted to cut away all of that and do exactly what we wanted to do, for each other and no one else. We didn’t really have an engagement, just a conversation about what we wanted and a happy discovery that we were both totally on the same page. We picked a random Tuesday afternoon about a month away that worked for both our schedules and told our parents and a few select friends a couple days before but no one else. Our parents took a few minutes to process why they couldn’t be there for the ceremony, but after that, they were all completely supportive and totally on board (as long as we promised a celebration at a later date). Since our photographer was going to be the sole guest at our wedding, it was really important to us that they be awesome. We Instagram-stalked a few for a couple days, but we pretty quickly had our hearts set on Maypole Studios. Bethany was the perfect wedding guest. She put us at ease and was friendly and professional. Our reception followed the precedent we set with our ceremony, casual, fun, and exactly what we wanted. It was about 6 months later at a loft/warehouse space in Fulton Market. We brought in beer and wine, and we made a special bourbon cocktail. No party of ours would be complete without a little whiskey. We hired a taco cart to set up outside, and we made our own playlists. Everyone we loved was there, and it was perfect.
What was the most memorable moment of your day? We loved how great everyone at Parson’s was… people at the bar giving up their seats so we could take pictures, the shots they sent over, the great photos we got of the food, and how warm it was after taking pictures in the cold.
What was your favorite detail? Or favorite personal touch? Our neighborhood is so special to us. It’s where we eat, drink, and explore, and it’s where we started a life together. Humboldt Park is such an oasis and so peaceful and beautiful. The pictures we took there we’ll treasure forever.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? After we got home we sent a photo of us at the Marriage Court via text message to the rest of our friends and family. The wave of reactions was priceless. Shock, confusion, speechlessness, and then pure joy. It was the best.
Do you have a favorite photo from your wedding day? Mike loves the one at Parson’s with our hands and the food. It’s a perfect take on a typical wedding photo that’s so “us”. I love the one of us sitting on the bench under the tree taken from a distance. It’s a beautiful composition, and the distance makes it seem that much more intimate.
Any advice for future brides/grooms? Every step of the way stop and ask yourself if the things you’re doing are because you want to or because you feel like you have to. Do the things you want to, and skip the rest. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how supportive people are.
If you could do it all over, would you change anything? Some warmth and sunshine would have been nice! Otherwise, not a damn thing.
Where did you go on your honeymoon? Every day is a honeymoon.
A little history:
How did you meet? We met online in July of 2013. Our first date was at Fountainhead. We sat at the bar and sipped whiskey and traded life histories. It was one of those perfect dates where all of a sudden it’s almost midnight and you have no idea where the time went.
When did you know he/she was “the one”? We both see things, small and large, every single day that remind us why we belong together. It’s constant affirmation.
Five words that best describe your significant other: Mike describing Anna: “Loving, considerate, intelligent, loyal, sincere”, Anna describing Mike: “Honest, friendly, funny, authentic, caring”