Imagine the worst things that could come up before a blind date. Dental work is probably pretty high on the list, right? Well that’s exactly what happened to Katie Vickerman before going out with Nick Anderson. Though her friend urged her to reschedule after seeing a picture of her, Katie decided to attend the date as originally planned, immediately disclosing her issue with a numb mouth. “We enjoyed a few drinks and laughs about my predicament,” Katie says. Little did she know that her best friend had saved the post-dental-work photo and presented it during the maid of honor speech when Katie and Nick were married. 

Nine months before that toast would be given in the couple’s honor, Nick informed Katie they needed to meet with an electrician at his lake house. Of course, there was no electrician, and when the couple took part in their usual ritual of watching the sunset over the lake, Nick got down on one knee to pop the question. However, the surprises didn’t end there. “He arranged to have our families come to Michigan for a celebratory brunch,” the bride shares. 

Before the proposal, Nick had revealed his intentions to Katie’s parents. Her mom knew just what to do – enlisting the help of her longtime family friend, wedding planner Hope Weis of Hope Weis Consulting. “Having a wedding planner was a huge help,” Katie confides. “Hope helped us finalize our decisions. Using checklists to help space out the planning to keep from being overwhelmed, the team of the bride, her mother, and Hope prepared for the regal December wedding. 

Despite snow starting to fall over Chicago, everyone was on time and ready for the 5:15 p.m. ceremony. Following her bridesmaids in soft gold dresses with metallic details, Katie took her father’s arm to walk down the aisle. Dressed in a Monique Lhuillier ball gown with a delicate lace bodice and full tulle skirt, she looked like a princess of a winter wonderland. To honor their late grandparents, Nick wore his grandfather’s cuff links, while Katie wore a vintage diamond ring that belonged to her grandmother. Though the couple had a traditional Catholic ceremony, they “did have an Irish blessing at the reception,” the bride notes. To add a personal touch, the priest had Katie and Nick write letters to each other, which he read instead of performing a homily. “It was almost like having our own vows while keeping the traditional church vows,” she explains. 

To match the gilded look of their ballroom that hosted the reception, the sweethearts selected a color palette of white and gold, with just a hint of blush. “We knew that, getting married in December, we wanted a winter wedding – but not necessarily a Christmas wedding,” Katie confirms. Lush flowers and romantic candlelight filled the space, thanks to arrangements of cream-hued traditional and spray roses, stock, and hydrangeas – with a sprinkling of blush garden roses for a pop of color. 

The newlyweds began their first dance swaying to Sam Smith’s cover of “How Will I Know” before speeding things up as it transitioned to the Whitney Houston original. The reception was a “dance through dinner” format, with each course separated by trips to the dance floor. Revelers kept the party going until midnight – an impressive feat, considering “from the moment the doors opened to the reception, everyone was dancing!” exclaims the bride. Due to the advice of their planner, the couple made an effort to stay together throughout the night, as it’s easy to get separated due to the amount of guests to greet and see. “It was great because all the memories we have are shared together,” Katie reflects.