A Dreamy Wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden

A Dreamy Marriage ceremony on the Chicago Botanic Backyard

It was love at first sight when Taylor Whiting and Jennifer “Jen” Kelly met one beautiful morning in 2016. On the time, Taylor was beginning her first 12 months of instructing at a faculty in Chicago, the place Jen had been working for 4 years. As soon as the 2 locked eyes in Taylor’s new classroom, it felt like nobody else was within the room. “I used to be instructing a social research lesson, and Jen walked in, and I forgot every thing I used to be speculated to be instructing,” Taylor admits. They stored it pleasant for a 12 months till Jen lastly took the plunge and requested Taylor out on a date. 

After a blissful 12 months of courting, each Jen and Taylor had been planning a proposal—with out the opposite’s data. That fall, they determined to attend a lantern pageant within the Mojave Desert, which they each thought was the right alternative to pop the query. “Taylor had already written on her lantern, ‘Will You Marry Me,’ and was getting ready to ship it up into the air,” the couple remembers. “Jen’s plan was to attend till the sky was crammed with lanterns to ask Taylor.”

At that second, the occasion coordinators introduced that they needed to cancel the pageant on account of rain—an unlikely prevalence in the midst of the desert! “We each instantly began arising with a backup plan, making an attempt to not let the opposite work out what was taking place,” the 2 reveal. 

As soon as they received again to the lodge, it was time for plan B. “Taylor, being very decided and a bit impatient, couldn’t wait yet another second and dropped to her knees to suggest,” Jen remembers. On the identical time, “Jen bent right down to ‘decide one thing up’ and proposed to Taylor in the very same spot.” The coincidence was telling of their relationship—they at all times gave the impression to be on the identical web page. 

Though their unique plans fell by, they couldn’t have imagined a extra significant proposal. “We knew from that second on that it doesn’t matter what got here our approach, we might at all times deal with it so long as we discovered one another in the long run,” the couple remarks. That outlook guided them all through the marriage planning course of and stored them grounded regardless of having to postpone.

The duo initially deliberate their wedding ceremony for August 2020, however as soon as a worldwide pandemic hit, it was again to the drafting board. With their optimistic perspective and the limitless assist they acquired from occasion planner Kirstin “Kirsty” Basch and their households, they managed to tug out the entire stops and truly savor the expertise. “Having an additional 12 months to plan gave us this lovely reward of time, and we received to really get pleasure from each second of the planning course of,” they share.

The top consequence? A whimsical backyard wedding ceremony filled with pure touches on the Chicago Botanic Backyard with over 200 visitors. Preserve studying to see how their special occasion unfolded, as deliberate by Kirsty Basch of LOLA Occasion Productions and photographed by Alex Marquardt of Alexandra Lee Images.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


For his or her unique 2020 wedding ceremony date, Jen and Taylor selected navy because the focal hue of their colour palette. However, as soon as the pandemic hit and compelled their plans to alter, they determined to include wine, blush, champagne, and sage into their colour scheme. “We shifted to lighten the décor as the marriage date was so near the Fourth of July,” they clarify. “We used dusty rose as the start line and crammed in with deeper tones of reds and burgundies.” They launched the theme of their massive day by sending out floral invites in shades of pink, pink, and purple. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


The duo kicked off the festivities at their rehearsal dinner. Jen rocked a tailor-made white go well with with a enjoyable twist: a pair of daring pink heels. Taylor sported a white two-piece set, that includes a maxi skirt, a sleeveless shirt, and rainbow drop earrings for a pop of colour. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


The rehearsal dinner was all about personalization. As soon as visitors arrived on the website, they had been greeted by welcome baggage, which every contained chocolate coated pretzels that Taylor’s aunt made. As for the centerpieces, Jen and her father constructed the buildings utilizing wooden from a tree that they lower down in her father’s yard. From there, it was a workforce effort to assemble the centerpieces. “Jen, her brother, her maid of honor, and her greatest man created floral preparations to stitch on prime of the wooden for every of the tables,” they describe.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


On the morning of her wedding ceremony day, Taylor received prepared in a white waffle-knit gown, which displayed their wedding ceremony date and an illustration of two interlocking rainbow rings to characterize their union. Whereas getting glam, Taylor chosen nude shades for an easy look. “I simply wished it to be pure and nonetheless really feel like me,” the bride shares. “Tricia, our make-up artist, was so wonderful at actually becoming the make-up to who we’re.” As for her coiffure, Taylor pulled her lengthy locks again right into a low bun. “I wished it to be free with some falling items to make it look extra delicate and to accent the romance of the venue,” she explains.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Jen shared an intimate second together with her father whereas getting beautified. Like Taylor, Jen additionally showcased a minimalist magnificence look. “I wished every thing to really feel very ‘me,’” Jen expresses. She additionally stored it easy together with her updo. “Having dreadlocks, I knew I wished them to be up and in a chic bun,” the bride provides. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


I wished to really feel snug in what I used to be carrying and ensure it represented who I’m as a bride.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Each brides chosen a novel wedding ceremony costume that aligned with their very own private fashion. Jen donned an ivory lace robe by Randy Fenoli, which had beaded gildings across the plunging neckline. “I knew I didn’t need a big costume that was out of character for me,” Jen says of her outfit selection. “I wished to really feel snug in what I used to be carrying and ensure it represented who I’m as a bride.” 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Taylor additionally dressed herself in a lace costume, however hers was a Rue de Seine quantity with a excessive neck, an open again, and lengthy sleeves that billowed. It was the very first costume she tried on when procuring together with her mother and father. “After I first noticed myself within the mirror, I couldn’t assist however start to tear up,” Taylor shares. “It simply felt prefer it was made for me.” Simply to make certain, the bride attended the opposite appointments she had scheduled that day, however she couldn’t cease fascinated by the primary costume. “I got here again and tried it on once more that afternoon and knew it was the one,” she elaborates. The bride accessorized with lace sneakers, her grandmother’s pearl ring, a Tiffany & Co. bracelet her mother and father gifted her, and a silver bracelet from her grandparents. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


The youngest members of the bridal occasion appeared valuable of their apparel. The flower ladies dressed themselves in delicate pink attire, and the ring bearers wore navy blue pants, white costume shirts, floral-printed bow ties, brown leather-based belts, and suspenders. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


The brides surrounded themselves with a big assist workforce on their special occasion. Every bridesmaid chosen her personal costume so long as it fell inside the colour scheme. “We gave the women an image of a flower with the colour swatches subsequent to it and instructed them to put on any of the colours proven,” the 2 illuminate. The bridesmen all wore a variation of a navy go well with and a floral tie. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


We toured a number of locations that had been completely lovely, however none of them gave us the emotions that the Botanic Backyard did.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


When looking for the right wedding ceremony venue, the brides wished an out of doors website surrounded by nature. After visiting a number of completely different places, the 2 stored coming again to the Chicago Botanic Backyard. “We toured a number of locations that had been completely lovely, however none of them gave us the emotions that the Botanic Backyard did,” they disclose. “We couldn’t cease fascinated by the rose backyard and English walled gardens after we walked by them.” To them, the locale felt like a real reprieve from the bustling metropolis of Chicago. They enhanced the pure setting by lining the aisle with white and pink floral preparations on wood urns, which led to a birch tree arch. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Earlier than the brides mentioned “I do,” visitors stored cool by sipping on infused water.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


As soon as it was time for the ceremony to start, Taylor walked down the aisle subsequent to her father whereas a string quartet performed “Blackbird” by The Beatles. For Jen’s grand entrance, each her father and grandfather accompanied her as they processed to “Life Is Higher With You” by Michael Franti.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Taylor’s brother, Alex, officiated the ceremony. “We didn’t need any readings or something,” the duo notes. “We simply wished [Alex] to speak about our journey, who we’re as a pair, after which, for us to learn our vows.”

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


After the brides had been formally married, they took a second to share the excellent news with Taylor’s grandparents, who weren’t in a position to attend the marriage. “Seeing them and having the time for them was so particular and meant the world to us,” they convey.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


When everybody arrived on the reception, visitors discovered their seats on a timeless seating chart and grabbed a refreshing beverage. The brides served two signature cocktails—a smoked outdated trend from Jen and a spicy margarita from Taylor.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


A mixture of spherical wood tables coated in blush linens and lengthy banquet tables crammed the reception house. Jen and Taylor had greenery garland and string lights draped from the ceiling, together with one assertion ornament. “The spotlight of the room was the floral rings that hung over the dance ground and eating tables,” the couple mentions. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


For an additional natural contact, a greenery runner and white votive candles lined the middle of the desk. Tall and low floral preparations, which had been composed of pink and white hydrangea, peonies, and roses, sat within the middle. The duo had every seat set with pink velvet napkins, gold-rimmed chargers, and floral menu playing cards. 

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


A customized neon pink signal augmented the dance ground. The couple admits that they couldn’t have adorned the house so fantastically with out the assistance of their planner, Kirsty. “Working with Kirsty was an absolute dream,” they exclaim. “I don’t understand how she did it, however she made every thing we might have ever imagined come true for our wedding ceremony day.”

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Taylor became her second outfit for the day for the reception. She swapped her high-neck lace robe for a two-piece Rime Arodaky set with flutter sleeves and floral detailing.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


The newlyweds danced to “Danny’s Track” by Loggins and Messina for his or her first dance.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


“I’m biased, however I believe our cake was essentially the most wonderful cake,” the couple gushes. Their colourful three-tier cake included watercolor designs, rose gold leaf, and fondant flowers. Once they lower into the cake, a rainbow appeared. As for the flavour? “We had been so obsessive about the entire flavors from our trial that we picked a number of mixtures,” they illustrate. They selected almond cake with cream cheese filling, lemon blueberry cake with honey lavender buttercream filling, banana cake with cream cheese filling, and chocolate cake with passionfruit and raspberry buttercream filling.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


For dinner, visitors had a selection of beef filet mignon on a mattress of risotto, lemon hen paired with mashed potatoes, or portobello mushroom smothered in pink sauce for the vegetarian possibility.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Then, it was Jen’s flip for a wardrobe change. The bride sported a pointy white go well with jacket, customized white shorts, and Christian Louboutin sneakers.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Each brides wished a particular second on the dance ground with their fathers. Taylor and her father did the Associates dance routine for his or her father-daughter dance, and Jen danced to “Brown Eyed Woman” by Van Morrison together with her father.

Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Photograph by Alexandra Lee Images


Whereas trying again on their wedding ceremony weekend, the brides couldn’t have requested for a greater expertise. They attribute the success of their wedding ceremony to their carefree perspective and skill to stay current all through the planning course of. “Don’t get misplaced within the particulars,” the newlyweds advise. “Do not forget that on the finish of the day, it’s going to be completely excellent since you get to marry your greatest good friend.”