Having met in college and becoming friends first, Carolyn Brooks and Daniel Sosnovsky had established a great relationship before evolving into a romance during their junior year at Northwestern University. Years later when they were living in Chicago together during the midst of the pandemic, the twosome decided to spend a weekend at a resort in Wisconsin. “I thought it seemed a bit random, but Daniel promised me a massage and a nice dinner, so I had no follow-up questions!” smiles Carolyn of the memory. “He proposed the first night we were there in a beautiful garden on the grounds.” 

When it came time to start wedding planning, Carolyn found herself being more decisive than she had ever been. “I don’t usually think of myself as having many strong aesthetic opinions, but from choosing my dress to little details like the font on our invitations, I knew exactly what I wanted and didn’t waver as much as I expected,” she confides. 

Selecting the location for the celebration was also a breeze. “I knew we would get married in Houston, no matter where in the country we happened to be living at the time. Houston is my hometown, and I knew I wanted the most important day of my life to be there,” says the bride. A gorgeous luxury hotel in the heart of the city served as the perfect site – and home base for all of the groom’s family who would be traveling from Atlanta

The focal point of the ceremony décor was the lush floral chuppah. “The look of the wedding just unfolded from there,” details the bride, who worked closely with Ann Whittington Events and other local wedding professionals. “The team completely blew us all away with how they executed our vision.” 

Carolyn was a vision in a timeless white A-line gown, carrying a classic bouquet of orchids and lilies of the valley, on the arm of her father. “We hired a gorgeous string quartet, who graciously learned to play a specific opera aria for my entrance with my dad – he taught me to love opera music, and one of our favorite songs is ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Turandot by Puccini,” she confides. “Naturally, we were both sobbing while processing in to the beautiful tune.” Daniel was also feeling sentimental watching his bride make her way to him. “I was completely emotionally overwhelmed in the moment and just felt so grateful,” he expresses. 

Both bride and groom were intent on a service that incorporated aspects of the Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths rather than agnostic or a general spiritual ceremony. “We had a Catholic deacon and a Jewish rabbi officiate our wedding, and they melded the respective traditions beautifully,” notes Carolyn. The couple also opted to write their own vows to personalize the “I dos.” 

“The team completely blew us all away with how they executed our vision.”

The romantic, muted color palette from earlier in the day was carried over into the ballroom for the evening festivities. Both king’s tables and round tables were dotted with beautiful low arrangements of blooms, pillar candles, and gilt-rimmed charger plates. The ambience of the space was warm and inviting – just as the couple had desired for their wintry wedding

Florals from the chuppah were transitioned into a pièce de résistance suspended over the dance floor where attendees spent much of their time. “The band was incredible all night long… I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in my life,” comments the bride, who had opted to change into a shorter frock for the dancing portion of the reception. 

One wonderful highlight that the newlyweds shared from the evening was the excitement they felt during the horah. “Daniel and I were hoisted up in chairs and half our guests knew what to do from there… but the other, non-Jewish half had no idea what was going on and mostly stood in a circle and took videos of the whole scene,” illustrates Carolyn. “It was absolutely hilarious.” 

In reflection, there are two things that the new Mr. and Mrs. would have done differently. First, ask for help. “I sometimes took on too much of the burden myself. There is so much to do, and that can’t be avoided, but I had a whole host of people willing to step in for me – Daniel, both of our mothers, and Ann, our amazing planner – and I just needed to ask them!” Carolyn says. Second, “don’t lose your spouse during the wedding!” she urges. “A constant risk during a large celebration is that you get pulled into conversations with different individuals… The night is about the two of you being together, so don’t let each other out of your sight for too long!”

This real wedding was originally published in the Winter 2024 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. 

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