Spring has definitely sprung! Karen + Philip celebrated their wedding at the Royal Sonesta Chicago River North with a beautiful day and great friends!
“We originally met at our mutual friend’s birthday party in 2016,” Karen told me. “We both liked each other but it wasn’t a good time because I was moving to the Czech Republic two weeks later. After I came back, we reconnected and started spending more time together. At our same mutual friend’s birthday in 2018, we spent the entire day (about 14 hours) talking with each other and we’ve been together ever since!”
Karen + Philip got ready separately at the Royal Sonesta Chicago River North. I experienced a wedding first when I arrived at Karen’s room: we were ahead of schedule! The bride got in her dress with the assistance of her amazing bridesmaids. Philip was assisted by his parents and groomsmen in a room two floors up. We decided to do their first look in a secluded spot outside of the hotel. Even if folks want to do their first looks in public I ALWAYS recommend having it be in a place that isn’t surrounded by too many people. The couple was able to have a private moment to themselves before hopping in the limo!
I may have grown up Jewish, but I’m still a sucker for old large ornate churches. St. Gertrude definitely didn’t disappoint! The interior felt magical. Father Rich delivered a wonderful Catholic service, filled with lots of traditional aspects. After an emotional ring exchange with vows, Karen + Philip were officially married! They kissed, walked back up the aisle, then took some immediate family photos at the altar.
Honestly, we could not have asked for a sunnier day. We took advantage of the incredible sunshine coming through the side of the church as we took more portraits. To everyone who doesn’t know me: I really do squeal when I get excited about photos, and this was no exception. I couldn’t stop smiling as I chatted with the couple about how much I loved theses photos. We’re not always so lucky with light and weather! Afterwards we drove over to North Avenue Beach to take some photos by the lakefront. In typical Chicago fashion it got a little windy, so Phil gave Karen his jacket to wear while they finished up taking photos.
Once we were back at the hotel, the couple took some time for themselves while their guests enjoyed cocktail hour. The reception began with a fun entrance from Karen + Philip, followed by them cutting their gluten-free cake. Although the newlyweds had a sweetheart table, they were almost never in it! They both made sure to greet every guest who had come to celebrate them, complete with table photos so no one was missed.
Karen’s dad made a speech, followed by the maid of honor and the best man. The couple then shared a beautiful first dance. For their parent dances, couple decided to dance together to the same song (which I’ve honestly seen a lot of lately and I think it’s a great idea). The rest of the evening was spent dancing and drinking! Karen tossed the bouquet and it went to one of the *youngest* guests of the evening. She’ll have to wait awhile before her own big day. Congrats to this amazing couple, Karen + Philip! :)
Getting Ready Location + Reception: Royal Sonesta Chicago River North
Ceremony: St. Gertrude Catholic Church
Hair: Melissa Paredes Styling
Florals: Hedonia Flowers
Dress: Amelishan Bridal
Suit: The Black Tux
Cake: Defloured Bakery
DJ: Phil Trocchio