For Abbye Miller and Andrew Marx, wedding planning turned out to be a surprisingly easy process - and an enjoyable one as well. The bride's mother had advised the twosome to avoid becoming anxious in the month leading up to the affair; so, the couple made a point to take delight in every task, celebrating each and every final decision as an achievement in itself. "It really helped to make the road to our wedding day extremely exciting versus overwhelming," shares the bride.
Abbye was certain she wanted to marry at her parents' home in the suburbs of Chicago. "I knew how special it would be for for my family," she confides. The Miller’s vast estate offered sprawling lawns manicured to perfection and a serene two-acre pond. The bride's older brother had held his wedding reception in the exact same location the year before. "Because, my brother had such a perfect celebration, I know our event would be just as special and unique," Abbye reveals. "We even planned the date around the availability of our vendors because we knew they'd create and capture our dream wedding."
The couple made it a priority to ensure that loved ones involved in their nuptials felt relaxed and pampered. "They were the people surrounding us on our big day," says the bride, "and we wanted to show them how amazing it was to have them there to share in our memories." To express their gratitude, the pair transformed the lower level of the house into an exquisite salon replete with hair stylists and makeup artists to treat the bridal party. For the male contingent, an expert dresser was on hand to aid with trussing bow ties to perfection.
Two impressive tents were erected on the property, the first of which housed the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. To create an ambiance that was romantic and warm, the bride selected a color palette inspired by the neutral tones of a glass of Champagne. A chuppah inspired by a classic garden gazebo held vibrant rows of hydrangeas, Tiber roses, Vendella roses, Azure lilies, and flourishing white dahlias.
Timeless hurricane candleholders and pillared luminaries in diverse heights guided Abbye down the aisle as the song "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin played. "My mom walked to the same song on her own wedding day, and I have known since I was little that I wanted to follow in her footsteps - literally," shares the bride. Abbye wore an understated strapless gown that exquisitely accentuated her natural beauty. Twelve bridesmaids were the height of elegance in ebony single-shoulder gowns.
At the conclusion of the traditional Jewish ceremony, guests retired to another area of the enclosure, where cocktails were enjoyed along with a variety of flavorsome fare from stations that ranged from sushi to comfort food. Custom-built bars upholstered in luxurious rose fabric and topped in white leather offered signature concoctions as well as a collection of fine wines.
The reception tent was designed to evoke an elegant dinner party, and the bride took care in selecting each detail of the fête. Billowing fabric was draped artfully around the room, while candles, crème brûlée-colored linens, and vanilla-hued centerpieces adorned each table. Low floral arrangements consisted of Cote De Azure lilies, Tibet roses, Majolica spray roses, freesia, and creamy dahlias. Three hammered-iron candlesticks featuring custom metal vines and hurricane candles anchored each design. Mother-of-pearl silverware as well as crystal glassware contributed to a sophisticated dinner service. A grand tree on the property even played a role in the breathtaking décor: Its towering trunk rose through the floor and extended beyond the roof from the center of the tent. Shadows of leaves were then projected on the custom dance floor to unify the alfresco theme.
Understanding the importance of great music at a reception, the couple had hired a live 12-piece band - complete with additional vocalists and a saxophone player - to ensure an amazing celebratory experience. They also vigilantly selected their play list. "When it came to choosing the music, we knew we wanted to hear our favorites, as well as a selection of songs that out guests would want to dance to," explains the bride. It must have worked, because Abbye and Andrew were delighted to witness how difficult it was for attendees to stay seated - and the dancing continued until 2:30 in the morning! "It was just amazing to watch our guests on the dance floor, dancing between the tables, and throwing their hands in the air," remembers the groom. The bride's father even got on stage to play the drums during "Mustang Sally" with the band. "It was so heartwarming to watch!" exclaims Abbye.
Although elements of the entire evening illustrated the personalities of both the bride and groom, the true reflection of their relationship remained in close proximity to one another, from their first dance through their final good-byes. "We were side-by-side the [entire night]. This intimacy with my husband, while surrounded by family and friends, is something I will never forget. It's a feeling I wish for every bride," admits Abbye. "Even many months after the wedding, people still say how much love filled the room," says Andrew. " I couldn't agree more."