Classic Church Ceremony + Reception at Art Deco Venue in Chicago

Christine and Jimmy

Photographed by: Carasco PhotographyLocation: Chicago, Illinois, United States

The love story of Christine Razny and Jimmy Porter started before they were even born. The Raznys run a jewelry store while the Porters own a pipe-supply company. Christine’s grandfather started buying supplies from Jimmy’s grandfather, who in turn would purchase jewelry for his wife. The friendship continued to the next generation, and Christine’s father grew close to Jimmy’s father and uncle. Once when she was newly single, her father asked if there were any available Porter boys she could be set up with, much to her chagrin. “I am lucky to say, the first person that came to [my uncle’s] mind was me,” reveals Jimmy. He had actually seen Christine at her family’s store a few years back and always had a little crush on her. Since it was a few days before Valentine’s Day, he sent her a bouquet of flowers. “All of this sounds like such a good old-fashioned love story, but truth be told, we are still millennials,” he says before admitting that he messaged Christine on Instagram after sending the flowers. They set up their first date and then quickly fell in love.

It was only six months later that Jimmy approached the man he hoped would become his father-in-law. Once he secured the blessing, the two worked together on the ring in the family jewelry store. “Stan [Christine’s father] would stay late and I would have to come after Christine went home for the day, so she wouldn’t see me,” Jimmy explains. “One night I actually ended up crawling across the floor behind the counter because a couple other employees were also working late, and we didn’t want Christine finding out.” Eventually they found the perfect cushion-cut diamond to create the engagement ring.

Given her family’s industry, Jimmy knew he wanted to propose to Christine in a special way. She and a coworker went to Switzerland for a work trip, and two days later he followed her to Geneva. Jimmy worked with his sweetheart’s colleague to arrange for her to arrive in front of the famous St. Pierre Cathedral at 7PM, where he was waiting. “I noticed a guy who kind of looked like my boyfriend,” remembers Christine, before she realized it was, in fact, her beloved. When she walked up the steps, he dropped to one knee. “I love helping create love stories and getting pictures from my clients of their perfect proposal, but this time it was my turn!” she exclaimed.

Desiring a unique space that combined the bride’s hope for style and character as well as something luxurious to please her dad, the couple finally found a perfect event space that had brand new facilities combined with an old-school charm. The ceremony venue was an easy decision, as their Catholic church has beautiful stained glass windows and architecture. “Jimmy and I were both raised Catholic so a full mass was important to us,” adds Christine. For added personalization, they wrote letters to each other to explain their love, and the priest used these to create the homily.

Though the reception venue reflects the Art Deco era, the bride didn’t want to lean into a Roaring Twenties aesthetic. “I wanted the wedding to feel like an extremely elegant and upscale dinner party,” she confirms. Together with a team of vendors, SQN Events worked with the couple and their parents to bring this vision to reality, which was captured beautifully by Carasco Photography. A simple and classic color scheme of mostly white flowers with accents of pale blush was carefully mixed with romantic candlelight and mercury glass. Chandeliers were displayed overhead to contrast with the brick walls.

While a great live band – The Gold Coast All Stars – entertained the revelers, that was not the standout performance of the night. Jimmy got onstage and serenaded his new wife with “Yellow” by Coldplay, which was her most memorable moment of the special day.

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