Kelly & Ben’s Lakeside Wedding at the Geneva National

November 4, 2016

Ben from Beloit, Wisconsin and Kelly from Johnsburg, Illinois met in 2012 when Kelly moved to Chicago, and they’ve been together ever since. When Ben proposed, he planned a whole night out, taking Kelly to some of their favorite spots in the city. At each location, there was a card and rose waiting for her. The last stop of the night was at the fountains outside of the Lincoln Park Zoo, where Ben dropped to one knee and proposed.

Ben and Kelly planned a classic, timeless wedding. Kelly’s favorite moment of the ceremony was when the doors opened and she saw Ben for the first time. “We didn’t see each other before the wedding ceremony, so it was an extremely special moment. I also loved the unity ceremony. We planted an African Violet with soil from each of our childhood homes.” Ben and Kelly also loved their pastor: “We got married in a Presbyterian Church, and the traditional readings didn’t fit us, so he let us pick readings for every part of the ceremony.”

Then it was time to celebrate at the Geneva National. “We could not have been happier with the Geneva National,” Kelly says. “The setting was absolutely stunning with Lake Como in the background. Michele, our wedding coordinator from the resort, gave our wedding 110%. She was so enthusiastic, has a ton of experience, and was amazing to work with!”

When guests arrived at the reception, they received a glass of champagne. “We had passed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar during cocktail hour, which took place under a white tent on the golf course.” The open bar closed during dinner, then reopened afterward. For dinner, guests enjoyed the option of chicken, pork, or pasta. For the kids, there were chicken fingers: “We actually had some adult guests get the chicken finger meal, too — they loved it!” To satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, Kelly and Ben served dessert from Bittner’s Bakery.

For the night’s entertainment, Felix and Fingers dueling pianos played the entire evening. “They were phenomenal,” says Kelly. “I cannot say enough great things about them!” As with the dueling pianos, Ben and Kelly did a lot of DIY projects and added personal touches to make their day unique. At each guest’s dinner seat, there was a handout listing five fun facts about the bride and groom. The bridal party was introduced like an NBA starting lineup. For the garter and bouquet toss, the winners got a gift card to either Starbucks or Chipotle. Ben and Kelly made a family tree that had pictures from their grandparents’ and parents’ weddings. Kelly even worked her mom’s wedding dress into her own ensemble, taking lace from the bottom of the dress to trim her own veil.

Ideal Impressions Photography captured the day. “Scottie really went above and beyond for us,” Kelly says. “When we sat down to meet with him a week before the wedding, he did a great job of explaining things to us about photos and photo timelines — info we didn’t know or hadn’t thought of.” Kelly’s advice for future brides would be to focus on the things that matter most to you and your fiancé: “Don’t stress out about the weather or small details, because at the end of the day, you are married, and no one is going to know about the little things that went wrong. I loved how everything turned out! I have no regrets and walked away feeling like it was the most perfect day.”

Rehearsal Dinner~Celebration on Wells
Ceremony~Linn Presbytrian Church
Reception & Catering~Geneva National
Cake~Bittner’s Bakery
Flowers~Crazy for You, Lake Geneva, WI
Music/Entertainment~Felix and Fingers (Dueling Piano Group)
Photographer~Ideal Impressions
Bride’s Dress~Vera Wang
Bridesmaid Dresses~Banana Republic, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL
Men’s formalwear~Macy’s
Rings~Engagement Ring: New York Jewelers in Chicago, IL`Wedding Bands: Kay Jewelers