The Midwest winters always seem never-ending and have very cold days which make many brides and grooms choose not to celebrate their wedding day in the depths of winter. However, we often forget the simple beauty of the winter landscape…the silent air and clear skies that create such stunning backdrops, the neutral background that allows all colors to pop. Mike loves the winter and Jessica had always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding so they decided to just go for it and have a winter wedding outdoors. They planned the wedding in 5 months so they learned to make big decisions quickly. They didn’t spend a lot of time agonizing over the details and everything turned out perfectly. Today’s wedding is all those things that make a winter wedding perfect: simple, subtle, warm, glamorous and OH SO romantic. So grab a cup of cocoa, curl up with your sweetheart and let Jessica & Mike’s wedding warm your chilly Wisconsin Weekend.
Jessica and Mike were married outdoors in the evening on December 21st, 2013 at the Danada House located in Wheaton, IL. They were hoping for a light snowfall, but instead had a light drizzle/rain…still making it a very romantic evening wedding. Jessica was committed to the outdoor ceremony, because of the beautiful location. I LOVE her attitude and drive! Jessica purchased her wedding dress from Jasmine Galleria in Lombard, IL. They had hundreds of old-fashioned white lights strung up around the structure and it looked SO incredibly magical. Here is the BEST part…Jessica & Mike gave each couple a cozy blanket as a gift, which came in very handy due to the weather! Each guest blanket was wrapped with ribbon and a note on it saying “To have and to hold in case you get cold”. Now get your tissue ready…during the ceremony as their unity item they each brought soil from where they grew up (using that tissue yet?) and added it to a potted tree that they are going to plant this spring. The guests sat in a circle and surrounded the bride & groom during the ceremony.
Jessica and Mike chose Artists’ Eyes Photography as their photographer for their special day. Artists’ Eyes Photography had photographed Jessica’s sister’s wedding in June and Jessica & Mike loved their style and personalities so it only made sense that they use them as their photographer too! Charlie and Carol, the photographers, are a married couple that work together to capture all of the special moments on the big day! Charlie was with Mike during the ‘getting ready’ process while Carol was with Jessica and the girls. Charlie and Carol have different personalities which make for more interesting pictures. They took their time to learn everyone’s name in the wedding party which made the experience that much better for everyone involved.
I know Jessica could not have lived without her florist, Jim from Fabbrini’s Flowers and the caterer, John from Angeli’s. The florist and caterer were the most integral part of the wedding success! The service provided by both Jim and John were unbelievable! If Jessica could imagine it they were able to make it a reality. No lie! The florist spent DAYS hanging lights for the ceremony. The caterer had to call FIVE different companies to find the color linens Jessica wanted. All the guests raved about the flowers and how delicious the food was. That is MAJOR for a wedding. Don’t think just anyone can pull that off. Make sure your caterer and florist are willing to go that extra mile to make your dream wedding come true!
They had a fun cocktail hour where Mike and Jessica were able to visit with all of their guests. The appetizers served were: Fig & Brie Crostini, Butternut Gnocchi, Shrimp Cocktail, and amazing Mini Meatballs. The reception room was AMAZING! For dinner Angeli’s catered in Caesar Salad, Chicken & Fillet Vesuvio which was grilled fresh on site, Red Skinned Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Steamed Asparagus. All the guests raved about how delicious the food was. During the dinner they had a slide show playing of Mike and Jessica with their families and friends.
The wedding cake was from Allegretti’s Bakery. The cake topper was 2 trees intertwined. They had FOUR, yes I said FOUR, different flavors: yellow cake with buttercream frosting; yellow cake, strawberry filling and buttercream frosting; chocolate cake with chocolate frosting; chocolate cake, cherry filling and chocolate frosting. I’d say there was something for everyone there!
Their DJ, Mike Dodson from MDM Entertainment, kept the dance floor packed all night long. The guests were DEFINITELY there for a party!
Instead of a guest book they had each guest write a message and sign a quilt square. Jessica and Mike are going to get it made into a quilt soon! Jessica made the table numbers by putting a picture of both Jessica and Mike at that age…so table 2 had a picture of Mike & Jessica at age 2. Cute? YES!!!! Everything about this dinner and reception was absolutely beautiful. The outdoor space was lit up like a scene in a movie. The reception room was so elegant and romantic! They had purple lighting around the room. For the centerpieces they had huge bouquets of flowers that lit up from the base. They used two different style vases that were different heights to make the room look more interesting. The florist submerged a flower in the vase and colored the water. The linens and chair covers were dark purple and the tie for the chair was olive-green. There was a hallway that led to the reception room so they lined that with different heights of vases filled with water and floating candles. The extras just brought everything together and gave Jessica the wedding she’s always wanted. The ambience was everything Jessica could EVER hope for.
I am SO happy Jessica and Mike moved forward and went on with the wedding ceremony outside despite the rain that evening. I don’t think it could have been more perfect! Make sure that your wedding is an extension of you as a couple. Jessica and Mike made sure every aspect of their wedding was a reflection of them and their personal style, and I think that really connects you to your guests. It also sets your day apart from other weddings.