Lauren + Michael : Chicago Wedding at Maggiano’s

So much love from one very adorable couple.  That’s the best way to describe Lauren & Michael.  When I first met them and started talking about their wedding, it felt as though I had known them for years.  They met at ” True Partners Consulting, when Mike started working there in December 2015. Lauren was already an established staple of the firm and Mike was looking to make some new friends. It didn’t take long before Mike had begun to become part of Lauren’s group of friends at True Partners. After about a year and half, the development of a close friendship and a couple of Saturday beverages during March Madness at State Bar, we smooched. There has been no turning back since!”The amazing vendors that made up their day :

Venue : @maggianoslittleitaly
Florist : #rosemarysgarden
DJ : #AudioEffex
Video : #MikeStaffProductions
Hair : @salonbuzzchi
Makeup : Kim Frost
Dress : @bellableubridal (Lea-Ann Belter)
Tux : @blacktietuxes

READ A LITTLE ABOUT LAUREN & MICHAEL:

Q.  When did you get engaged? Where?

A. January 13, 2018 at Lakefront Restaurant in Lincoln Park (attached to the Theater on the Lake).

Q.  How did the proposal happen?

A. On a sunny and slightly chilly Saturday in January (1/13/2018), Mike lured Lauren to a seemingly harmless brunch at the newly opened Lakefront Restaurant (in Lincoln Park) with two of our best friends [Jen and Ryan] visiting from NYC. The skyline is far too beautiful to not take advantage; so, pictures had to be taken. After pictures of Jen and Ryan were snapped, we were up. Mike was slightly more than nervous and Lauren could not understand why he was facing her mentioning several nice sentiments as opposed to facing the camera for their approaching scenic snapshot…until he reached into his pocket and got down on one knee. The rest, as they say, is history!

Q. What’s one thing about your spouse that made you realize you wanted to marry them?

A. We make the BEST team ever–there is not a thing that we can’t do together and we make each other laugh (among multiple other reasons)!

Q.  What was the most important aspect for you two when planning your wedding?

A.  Efficiency, flexibility and accommodation. We got married 6 months and 15 days after we got engaged; so, we needed to move quickly and efficiently. We had the venue, church, priest, DJ, photographer (you), hotel blocks and website all done before we left to go to Mexico for our friends wedding January 31st. We also had a significant number of family and friends coming in from out of town so we wanted to make the whole weekend as convenient as possible–the ceremony (Assumption) was 4 blocks from the venue (Maggiano’s) which was across the street from the hotels (Hyatt and Aloft).

Q. How did you choose your wedding venue(s)?

A. All of the Above.

It was a combo platter. We wanted something that was available in the summer and we didn’t want to wait until Summer 2019; we wanted to have the location be in the city as we had so many out of towners (many of whom had not been to Chicago before); and we wanted something that we would be comfortable with pricewise so that we could enjoy the day but that was going to deliver a top notch experience for everybody.

Q.  What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?

A.  Having that many close friends and family all in one place on the most important day of our lives was one of the most surreal and amazing feelings in the entire world. Everyone should be able to feel that way.

Q. What were the first dance songs?

A. We danced to “Superhuman” by Slander. Mike and his mom danced to “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles.

Q. Where did you (or plan to) go for your honeymoon?

A. We are headed to South Africa and Mauritius for 3 weeks! We are headed to Cape Town first followed by a road trip around the southern tip of the country to Knysna. From Knysna, we are headed to Durban where we will go on a safari then off to Mauritius to relax on the beach for a week!

Q.  Can you give any advice for future couples planning a wedding?

A.  Don’t dwell on the decisions–inform yourself and make good decisions that fit your needs but don’t dwell on them; be flexible–some things are not going to go according to plan but it helps if you can take it in stride, make a decision and move forward; lastly, have fun with it–we both did an equal amount of the planning and made the decisions together which made it fun. This will help reduce the stress and keep focus on what’s really happening–remember, you’re marrying your best friend…not the venue. At the end of the day, its just you two with a whole bunch of family and friends celebrating–everyone should have fun!

THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

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The day started at Chicago’s Talbott Hotel.This was so fun going through later while editing.  Lauren and Michael basically had the same reactions to their cards and presents from each other.  Simply adorable!Same face! <3 I love a classic black tux and bow tie.  Such a great look on everyone, especially this awesome group!LOVED Lauren’s dress from Bella Beau Bridal!It’s all about the details.Lauren’s mom handing down a family tradition for the bride.  A blue heart that she would carry in her pocket…yes POCKETS! Love dresses with pockets!We were all so excited to see Lauren in her dress, finally! Simply Stunning! (Also, that image on the left is now a spread in Premier Weddings Magazine! See I told you, when I say let’s take a magazine cover picture, I really mean it!)And I loved how excited her family was to see her!Loved this sweet moment with her brothers. <3 And off to the church we go to get these two married!The beautiful Assumption Church in Chicago.
While the guys lined up inside, Lauren waited on the trolley outside with this cutie! <3And of course her MOH and amazing twin sister!Here we go!!!Walked down by her brothers = <3 <3 <3 I mean if I were Michael, I’d probably be saying ” Guuuuuuurl, you look good.” 😉 HA!
How cute are they seeing each other for the first time?!YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE!Stopped in the middle of the aisle for one more kiss!Married! Woohoo!!Off to LaSalle Street Bridge for a few pictures with family.  That was a cool aspect about this wedding.  The wedding party WAS family and friends so everyone came along on the trolley, and everyone was involved with pictures around the city.  So much fun!I loved the lighting here so made them stop not realizing the building where they both work (and met) was right behind them. 🙂LOOOOOVE that Michael kept lifting Lauren up ALL day.  These two were the cutest and so much fun to photograph.  I didn’t have to do much, it’s all them! <3 Off to Lincoln Park Zoo area for more pictures before the reception.And this proves why long veils are AMAZING!Smaller wedding parties are always so fun to work with.  This group was the BEST!

(Also, Lauren and her sister = SAME LAUGH) 🙂How about some champagne toasts?! PERFECT!See what I mean about Michael picking up Lauren all day…this picture is for sure a favorite!

Keep scrolling though to their first dance…so FUN!

The charm on Lauren’s bouquet was a framed picture of her Father who had passed not too long ago, but his presence was felt throughout the entire day through their happiness, the speeches, and the amazing closeness I witnessed from this beautiful family. <3 Clouds in the sky in Chicago made for some cool city pictures.And off to Maggiano’s Little Italy in Chicago for dinner and dancing!MR. & MRS.!!!They came in to lots of cheers and went right into their epic first dance.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!!!All of these toasts by Lauren’s brothers, her sister, and Michael’s wonderful friends were some of the most heartfelt and HILARIOUS toasts I’ve heard.The reactions were priceless!Just when you think Michael only showed off those fancy dance moves with his new wife, he starts swinging his mom around the floor and entertaining us all. So fun!<3 <3 <3 TIME TO DANCE!!!This dance floor was AMAZING! Everyone joined in and had a blast.(I may have joined in on the dancing too…lol!) 😉Before we left for the night I had the newlyweds come outside for a moment alone and one cool final night shot in front of their venue.…ok a couple. 😉You two are seriously the BEST! I cannot thank you enough for such a fun day! You were simply put, pure joy.  I wish you all the happiness in the world with lots of crazy dancing and champagne popping.  To many, MANY more happy days like this one.

HUGS!

p.s. I want to tag along on your amazing honeymoon, k? 😉

Thank you to Genevieve for all of your amazing help throughout this day!

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