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Julia & Mark- the definition of lovely

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A perfect afternoon might involve Julia and Mark curled up on the sofa as Mark strums the ukulele with a couple of dogs from Julia’s Rover-night doggie boarding company laying at their feet. They would sip on a hand-crafted cocktail or smile at their now very large collection of gnomes. Of course I am speculating but it is true that they brought this same sense of togetherness and personalized elements to their wedding. I see love in the details, and there was no shortage of wonderful details and certainly an abundance of love. It was a perfect Fall day, complete with golden sunshine and moderate temperatures. Mark met his fellows at the Lincoln Lodge for a tasty breakfast and then headed to the hotel to see his bride. We had ample time for photos at the Garfield Park Conservatory, the bridal party even pitched in for some leaf throwing to get some perfect photos of the bride and groom. Then off to the church for a beautiful, simple, and touching ceremony as the sun streamed through the stained glass. Kiki’s bistro was our final destination, a quaint French restaurant that provided the perfect warm atmosphere for family and friends to dine and be merry. Pollen outdid themselves on the flowers and decor, and Julia and Mark’s collection of gnomes (gathered over the last year) was a wonderful touch, there was even one hanging above them at their table. Everything about this day was wonderful and overflowing with photo-worthy moments, I can’t get enough of these two.

Julia was thrilled with her mom’s makeup.

So pretty!

Jamie met up with the guys for breakfast at the Lincoln Lodge.

Flat Bill Cosby was at breakfast too…

Great humor runs in the family- Mark’s sister created these hilarious Bill Cosby’s…

First look…

When Julia saw all of the beautiful flowers she gave Lynn from Pollen a giant bear hug.

Kiki’s bistro is so cute!

Special wedding day socks.

Best bridal party photo.

The north side of the church is very colorful.

Mark made these great CD’s for all the guests with their favorite songs.

Julia’s brother came all the way from Qatar.

We had to take a photo with the best mustache…

Julia and Mark showed Kiki some love.

May this be the start of a wonderful life together- congrats Julia and Mark!

In case you missed their wonderful engagement session, you can view the photos here: Julia and Mark’s engagement

Hair and makeup: Chicago Bridal Hair And Makeup
Florist: Pollen
Custom Invites, Programs, Menus, & CD Jackets: MOK DUK by Anne Benjamin
Ceremony location: Chicago Community Mennonite Church
Reception location: Kiki’s Bistro
Officiant: Megan M. Ramer, Pastor
Cake: Alliance Bakery
Dress: J.Crew
Accessories: BHLDN & Vera Wang

Q&A with the bride and groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Julia: I loved waking up on my wedding day. I was alone and ate left over apple pie and just felt happiness and contentment. I knew I was about to make the best decision of my life that day.
Mark: Taking a moment at the ceremony to look at all the friends and family members who surrounded us, and feeling incredibly loved and lucky.

What was your favorite detail?
Julia: The majority of our vendors were local, self-employed women. That detail probably wasn’t obvious to our guests but I felt the honor of working with
Anne Benjamin, Holly Kasprisin, Lynn from Pollen, Megan (our minister), and of course the delightful Bethany Fritz! Chicago has such great, natural talent out there.
Mark: We made a mix CD comprised of songs that I had put on mixes for Julia when we were dating. MOK DUK did the jackets for the CDs and we’ve been getting compliments on them since the wedding.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Julia: My brother was my maid-of-honor and he was in from Doha, Qatar for our wedding. We don’t get much alone time together these days. Every moment we had alone, he made me laugh.
Mark: Under our centerpieces we placed little garden gnomes, and we brought a few larger ones to decorate the reception space. One of gnomes was designed to hang by its pants from a rope, and the friends who set up the decorations suspended it right over the head table. I didn’t notice it until someone pointed it out to me, and I had fun pointing it out to people the rest of the night.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Julia: On those days you just don’t want to make any other wedding-related decisions and you begin to wonder why you’re going through all the trouble in the first place, treat yourself and your spouse-to-be to a really nice dinner, have a little wine, and kiss a lot.
Mark: Try to spend some time with your out-of-town guests before the wedding. The day itself will fly by. We hosted an open house/welcome party at our place the night before the wedding and we were so grateful for the extra time with everyone.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Julia: Nope. I guess if I had to relive planning a wedding (wasn’t our favorite thing), I’d take my Mom for monthly massages and extravagant lunches. She was such a source of support this last year and totally deserves lots special treatment.
Mark: I really don’t think so, everything exceeded my expectations. We ran into budget limitations, but we worked together to end up with much more than I originally expected.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Portland, OR

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