Ambitious Wedding Part 1: Getting Ready + Our First Look

Ambitious Kitchen’s wedding part 1: sharing photos from our first look and our amazing day getting ready. See all of the details here!

It’s almost been three months, but finally I’m sharing our wedding photos with you. I’m not going to lie, our wedding day was everything I dreamed it would be and so much more.

I cannot explain how many tears went into putting our very special day together, but it was SO worth it. Everything went off without a hitch (except I did forget to buy one tie for Tony’s dad, but no biggie!).

My vision for our wedding was to be a mix of greenery, bohemian, romantic and vintage; I think it was more than brought to life. There were over 800 photos, so I had to split the posts up a bit. We’re starting with getting ready + our first look.

So without further ado, let’s get to our day!

We started our morning at the Westin in River North Chicago, where all of our party stayed the night before. It was easy and convenient since we were only getting married 10 minutes away. We also wanted everyone who was flying in to be able to have a true Chicago city experience. The night before our wedding my mom stayed with me so that Tony and I could have time apart before our special day.

About two months before our wedding I hired a day of coordinator to help organized things on the day of. If you are getting married, a day of coordinator is essential to helping you stay organized and get everyone in line leading up to final weeks and days of your wedding. Erin, my coordinator was AMAZING and so detailed. She got on the phone with me, organized sheets with timelines and helped everyone on our actual wedding day (including getting the tie I forgot to buy)! I WOULD HIGHLY recommend her!

The guys stayed in their room and did whatever men do while girls get ready (eat sandwiches?)

Anyway at the hotel the morning of our wedding, all the girls got ready, had breakfast and lunch catered in for us to enjoy in our room while my makeup artist, Shannon O’Brien, came and did everyone’s makeup. We also rotated our hair getting done!

After we all got ready, I started to feel INCREDIBLY nervous. Like shaking nervous. I hadn’t talked to Tony all day and I think that frankly I was just ready to get married and dance the night away. So when it came time to do our first look, I was more than ready.

We decided to do our first look at Garfield Park Conservatory. Tony wasn’t obsessed with the idea, but we didn’t really have a choice since both our ceremony and reception were back to back in the evening. We met with Ren + Caleb of Studio 29 Photography a few weeks prior to pick a spot that felt like us. Not going to lie, it wasn’t easy to find a spot in the city with plenty of greenery during the month of November. However I fell head over heels in love with Garfield Park — it offered a mix of both indoor and outdoor and completely covered with various greenery. It was perfect.

Of course I know that a lot of you will ask how I chose my wedding colors so I wanted to make sure I addressed that. Frankly, I spent a ton of time searching Pinterest and Junebug Weddings for colors that were appealing to my eye. I also really leaned into my gut and intuition; colors aren’t easy to pick out but I basically just learned to go with the themes that I kept pinning over and over again.

Above all, I discovered that I wanted to keep the bridesmaids dresses neutral so that my flowers would really tell a story. Oh and I also knew that I wanted a flower crown. It was basically my ultimate dream.

That being said, I tried to keep everything else minimal besides a pop of color from Tony’s blue suit. Initially, it took awhile for my florist, Splendor of Eden, and I to work through what would work because I kept changing my mind with colors (I didn’t want any bright pinks, etc). Ultimately I just had to let go and trust that she understood my vision (she totally did)! The flowers WERE EVERYTHING!

About our first look: I’m actually really glad we did a first look because it helped prepare me for the actual ceremony. It was amazing to see his face and have that special alone time together before our ceremony. It also gave me a boost of confidence to walk down the aisle without bawling my eyes out (I get super emotional).

After we met at Garfield Park and did our first look, we took photos with our family and bridal party, which was SO MUCH FUN! Then we headed back to Salvage One for our ceremony and reception.

Wedding dress: Ines Di Santo via a&be bridal

Suits: Calvin Klein

Bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu 

Photography: Studio 29 Photography

Videography: Aaron Bean Cinema

Flowers: Splendor of Eden

Hair: Carrie and Issac, my two hair stylist from XO Studio in Lakeview, Chicago (she’s the best!)

Makeup: Shannon O’Brien

Day of Coordinator: Erin Shanley of Bride and Joy Events

First Look location: Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL

Ceremony & Reception: Salvage One

To be continued soon…

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