Julia and Anthony, New York City natives, really wanted their wedding to be something special. They imagined whisking their guests away to a romantic destination and spending a weekend celebrating with close family and friends. While the couple had originally toyed with the idea of being married in Italy, after attending Ayelet and Aaron’s wedding here in the Windy City, they knew they’d found the right fit!
Julia and Anthony selected the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel as the location. Its history made it the perfect setting to show their guests a quintessential Chicago affair. Julia started off the day getting her hair done by the lovely Livia Caporale in a suite upstairs in the hotel. She had a small bridal party consisting of her sister, Anthony’s sister and a close friend, all of whom had been instructed to select their own long dress. Everyone looked incredibly elegant.
The bride and groom shared their first look on the balcony overlooking the famous Knickerbocker lobby. First looks are often my favorite part of a wedding day. It’s a real prividge to be present for the first time a groom sees his beautiful bride. Their photographer, Eric Meng, and I had really impressed upon Anthony that he NOT turn around until Julia arrived. I guess our instructions may have been a little too strong because it took some prodding to get him to believe Julia was behind him and ready to be greeted!
The bridal party, which included Julia’s 3 bridesmaids and Anthony’s party of eight, departed with Eric for some location shots in the area while we finished the setup for their ceremony.
Scarlet Petal did an incredible job on the Chuppah and decor for this event. I loved the bright green accents along with the dramatic black and gold scheme of the Crystal Ballroom.
Just before the ceremony was due to begin, they gathered their close friends and family to sign the ketubah. The bride and groom come from diverse cultural background and so the ketubah was custom made to include the wording in four languages: Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, and English. I thought it was such a beautiful nod to the bringing together of two heritages.
The ceremony was lovely and was expertly officiated by Rabbi Michael Sternfield. I had the opportunity to work with him while preparing for my own wedding and was constantly awed by his wisdom. I noticed many a tear in the congregation during the service.
While the rest of the guests were enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, Julia and Anthony were rehearsing their first dance. One of the fun and funky parts of the Crystal Ballroom is the light up dance floor. The glow gives these images an almost magical look, doesn’t it?
The party started without ado as Ron Bedal Orchestra welcomed guests into the ballroom. It was certainly a dancing crowd, and there wasn’t a moment wasted!
After Millennium Knickerbocker staff served a delicious meal, the couple’s families gave some of the most heartwarming speeches I’ve ever heard delivered. Even I had a hard time holding back the tears.
The light-up floor changed from white to blue (to set the mood) and the rest of the evening was spent with the full guest list partying to Ron Bedal’s great tunes. It was a fabulous event and I was thrilled to be a part of it. Congrats, you two! I hope you are enjoying your martial bliss.