Elegant Wedding with Gold & Champagne Color Palette in Chicago

Nicole and Michael

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

Nicole Nisson did not expect her 28th birthday to be particularly notable, but her boyfriend, Michael Segretto, had other ideas. First, he made chocolate-chip pancakes while “Heroes” by David Bowie played in the background. “He is a super fan,” Nicole confirms. That evening, he took her to the restaurant where they had their first encounter – even ordering the same meal they shared three years ago. “Our conversation focused around David Bowie because days before, I asked him what his favorite Bowie song is and he wasn’t able to answer,” Nicole explains. Michael said he had figured out his choice and began to recite the lyrics: “I, I will be king.” Recognizing the line from “Heroes,” Nicole had started to complete the verse when she realized her beloved had stood up and walked to her side of the table. As he got down on one knee, he finished the lyric – “And you, you will be queen” – and opened a box to reveal a halo engagement ring featuring a stunning oval diamond. Nicole exclaimed, “Of course!” as everyone in the restaurant clapped and cheered. 

There was no doubt where the nuptials would be held – the same hotel ballroom where Nicole’s parents exchanged vows. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always dreamed of walking down the same aisle as my mother did 32 years ago,” the bride muses. Instead of a traditional runner, amber lighting in a floral pattern created the pathway for Nicole to enter in her regal lace ball gown. Stunning arrangements of ivory florals led the way to the magnificent chuppah, all created by Kesh Events

For the vow exchange, the rabbi read letters the bride and groom wrote to each other. Michael was overcome with emotion when he heard Nicole’s started with the words “Thank you,” as he had utilized the lyrics of the song “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin in his own letter. “I thought that was more than just coincidence, like many things in our relationship,” the groom confides. Affirms the bride, “We knew at that moment, it was the universe telling us we are meant to be.”

However, it was the ritual before the ceremony that was of the utmost importance: the signing of the ketubah. The grandfather and last-surviving grandparent of the groom being able to attend was a touching moment for the couple. “Being surrounded by my closest family and friends for the ketubah signing was all I needed,” admits Michael. “I could’ve skipped the rest of the night because it couldn’t get any more perfect than that.”

The lush and decadent floral arrangements included white orchids, a significant detail for the bride because her parents’ wedding showcased the blooms. There were two styles of centerpieces: A tall, whimsical arrangement brimming with cream and sand roses, orchids, tulips, hydrangeas, and cascading green amaranth with glass globes encasing flower petals; the second design was a crystal candelabrum with blossoms wrapping through and around the stand down to the base. Ivory silk linens featuring an intricate gold textured overlay from Nüage Designs tied the aesthetic together. 

Nicole and Michael wanted to satiate their epicurean tastes, and thus had a five-hour tasting with their caterer instead of the more standard two hours. The four-course meal included an antipasto plate, a custom Cobb salad, four choices of entrée selections for guests – braised short rib, honey-roasted chicken breast, seared salmon, or sweet potato gnocchi, each with their own gourmet side dishes – and several options for the dessert, which were brought out via tableside carts. Slices from the stunning five-tier, baroque-style wedding cake were boxed up as favors for the attendees, who could select lemon cake with raspberry buttercream or double-chocolate cake with both peanut butter and salted caramel buttercream. 

Naturally, the newlyweds chose “Heroes” by David Bowie for their first dance as husband and wife. Michael took the music selections very seriously for the big day, making sure all of his favorites were included. The reception was followed by not one, but two lively after-parties. The first featured eclectic dance music in the same room as the ceremony. “Our second after-party was a reflection of Michael and his favorite musicians. It was a private party enjoyed by our closest friends and family,” notes the bride. 

Unlike many grooms, Michael was involved in the wedding planning and advises future grooms to do the same: “It means a lot to her that you care enough to share your opinion,” he asserts. Nicole did in fact appreciate the ability to bounce ideas off each other. She reveals, “Our engagement brought us closer together, and we developed fond memories we can look back on.”