“We’ve known each other since sixth grade,” confirms Jack Leopardo of his relationship with Brooke Magee. “We had a really great friendship that whole time that turned into something more.” After knowing each other for 15 years and dating for five, he knew it was time to take the next step. While visiting Chicago for the holidays, Jack worked with their families to plan the perfect proposal. After Brooke got ready for dinner, Jack told her to meet him outside.

“I saw him from the window in the door with a bunch of candles and a red carpet and knew what was going on,” she reminisces. As she stepped out front, replicas of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame led to Jack and spelled out “Will you marry me?” Brooke happily accepted her beau’s proposal, and the couple’s future wedding photographers secretly captured the special moment on camera. “It was the most perfect engagement,” she muses.

Months later, loved ones were invited to the celebration with a sophisticated suite designed by Elizabeth Grace in a high-contrast color palette of black, red, and white with a silver monogram, which set the tone for the rest of the soirée. On the day of the nuptials, 400 guests gathered inside a beautiful house of worship to witness the Catholic ceremony.

So as not to distract from the beauty of the space, décor was kept minimal with lush arrangements of ruby roses placed on either side of the altar. The bride was stunning in a lace gown featuring an illusion neckline and removable sleeves from Dimitra’s Bridal Couture; Brooke clutched a bouquet of crimson roses as she walked down yet another red carpet to meet her groom. “There’s so much buildup leading to your wedding day, so when she finally got to me, it was a huge relief, ” smiles Jack. “Everything I could have hoped for and more.”

A luxurious hotel in the city was selected for the reception since it felt both intimate and accommodated a large guest list, two necessary components desired by the couple. Attendees found their seating assignments on rich onyx escort cards with crimson borders and vanilla calligraphy, which were neatly displayed on mirrored tables topped with a towering obsidian urn filled with roses.

As they entered the ballroom, friends and family members were transported into a romantic setting showcasing bold, majestic décor. The groom desired a dark theme for the design, so the couple’s wedding team created a gorgeous space filled with bold details, bright red blossoms, and shimmering crystal chandeliers that worked together to provide an ambient atmosphere.

Modern, rectangular ebony tables were decorated with mirrored runners topped with low arrangements of scarlet roses and crystal candle votives, while translucent ghost chairs surrounded them. Contrasting acrylic chairs in a deep ink shade were placed around circular tables strewn with metallic silver linens and adorned with lush arrangements of wine-hued roses atop crystal centerpieces. Between courses and after slices of the couple’s five-layer cake were served, loved ones enjoyed dancing to the music provided by a live band on a large jet-black dance floor highlighting the couple’s oversized monogram.

When asked if they would do anything differently for their special day, both Brooke and Jack agree everything was perfect. “Actually, the one thing I would change would be bringing our dogs Tony Soprano and Louie to the reception,” laughs the groom. Despite not having their English and French bulldogs by their side, the pair was honored to spend time with friends and family until the early-morning hours. “The wedding day really went by so fast,” affirms Jack. “Before I knew it, Brooke and I were standing in an empty banquet room at 3AM eating our late-night snack, deep-dish pizza.”

The bride was equally surprised by how quickly the day passed and offers one piece of advice for engaged couples: “No one will notice if something goes wrong except for you. If something does go wrong, remember the reason why you are there – marrying the love of your life.”

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