Classic Wedding with Gold Details + Greenery at Library in Chicago

Jenna Wallis and Jeremy Bauer

Photographed by: Bob & Dawn Davis PhotographyLocation: Chicago, Illinois, United States

After initially getting to know one another on a dating app, Jeremy Bauer was so eager to go on a date with Jenna Wallis that he accidentally scheduled their first meeting on the Fourth of July – and he already had plans. “I actually sold my Dave Matthews Band concert ticket that I had bought for that night so I could take her out,” admits Jeremy. Their instant connection confirmed that he made the right decision. “Within three weeks of dating, we introduced each other to our parents, siblings, and families,” shares Jenna. “It was almost immediate that we knew we had something special.” The relationship blossomed and when Jeremy asked Jenna to move in with him, he already knew he would propose one day.

Before popping the question, Jeremy took his sweetheart’s parents to dinner and asked for their permission for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Naturally, they said yes, and the trio met Jeremy’s parents for frozen yogurt to celebrate together. “The hard part was that Jenna follows all of her family and myself on the Find My Friends [app], so we had to be sneaky and leave our phones away so she wouldn’t know we were together,” he laughs. A few days later, Jeremy met Jenna’s brother and sister for dinner and asked for their blessings as well. On what Jenna thought was a night to celebrate the birthday of Jeremy’s mom; her beau stopped her – in the rain – in front of the restaurant where they had their first date. He got on one knee and presented her with the stunning cushion-cut diamond engagement ring. “With tears in my eyes and the decoy of his mom's birthday gift in hand, I threw my arms around him and said yes!” the bride exclaims. A limo arrived and picked up both sets of parents, as well as Jenna and Jeremy’s grandmothers who had flown in from California and Florida, respectively. The families met up with the bride and groom’s siblings at Jenna’s favorite restaurant to celebrate the milestone.

Both hailing from the northern Chicago suburbs, the lovebirds knew that the “Windy City” would be where they would tie the knot. Conveniently, event planner Marcy Glink is a close family friend of both the bride and groom. “It was a no-brainer that we were going to use her to help us plan our dream wedding!” Jenna affirms. Having attended many weddings at hotels in downtown Chicago, the couple started the process by visiting venues they had not been to before. With a large guest list, their options were limited. However, they soon came across the Harold Washington Library and knew it was the perfect place. In addition to the beauty of the winter garden room, the setting felt appropriate due to the bride’s profession as a teacher.

Following a romantic “first look” and portrait session by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography on the streets of Chicago, it was at last time for the evening ceremony to commence. The architectural beauty and glass ceiling of the space inspired a natural garden aesthetic. The foot of the aisle featured two beautiful trees as a focal point, and the stunning chuppah was placed in front of a hedge wall and adorned with several varieties of verdure and white blossoms. Jewish traditions were incorporated throughout the service, and the couple honored close relationships with their respective cousins by having them each read one of the seven blessings. After the breaking of the glass, the newlyweds were exuberant during their recessional, holding hands and smiling wide as Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” was performed by the live band.

A design scheme of greenery, classic white hues, and romantic candlelight continued into the reception. “The space was spectacularly beautiful, but also felt so warm and inviting for our guests,” Jenna describes. Three long tables surrounded the dance floor, topped with sleek gold risers to elevate foliage that cascaded down the sides. Tea lights ensconced in geometric terrariums accented the elegant arrangements. Additional round tables were adorned with similarly styled centerpieces that also included a trio of pillar candles. Another design for the alternating round tables focused on a geometric motif with a variety of terrariums and vases filled with florals.

“One of my favorite aspects of our wedding reception was how much dancing there was!” Jenna exclaims. The live band even opened with a dance set before dinner, immediately following the cocktail hour. “Our dance floor was never empty,” Jeremy confirms. The beauty and the energy of the celebration provided an absolute dream day that neither bride nor groom would change if given the opportunity. Jeremy muses, “I had the best time of my life.”