Jewish Wedding with Rustic and Elegant Design Elements in Chicago

Deena and Brian

Photographed by: Ed & Aileen PhotographyLocation: Chicago, Illinois, United States

As with many other couples nowadays, Deena Robeson and Brian Horwitz met through a dating app. After Deena postponed their first meeting for two weeks and almost canceled on him, Brian wanted to make sure their first date was special and took her to watch Nik Wallenda walk a tightrope between two skyscrapers across the Chicago River. Windy weather delayed the event, making the date almost a disaster, but Brian salvaged the evening by asking Deena, a dog lover, to join him while he walked his pup Charlie. 

The next summer, Deena had a conference in San Diego, California, and her boss asked her to grab something from a hotel room. After struggling with the key card, she was floored when her beloved opened the door. “[Brian] coaxed me into the room, which was set up beautifully with candles, rose petals, paper lanterns, and hidden cameras to document the special moment when we chose to spend the rest of our lives together,” the bride shares. 

The pair selected a venue with lovely brick walls and wooden floors, beams, and ceilings – perfect for the rustic-elegant design they were planning for the special day. Varieties of purple and champagne hues were used throughout, combining natural elements with the formality of a city wedding. The chuppah showcased the blend of Brian’s desire for a rustic look and Deena’s preference for elegant design. “It was custom made using birch branches as the pillars, flowers adorning the top, a simple white cloth laying across, and strings of delicate orchids hanging down around us,” the bride reveals.

Though both the bride and groom are Jewish, Deena grew up Orthodox while Brian was raised following Reform Judaism. “As a result, we did our best in blending both Deena’s and my traditions and incorporating our own take on parts of the day after diving deep into the meaning of each one and how they related to us,” the groom explains. They altered the Orthodox tradition of the bride circling the groom seven times to represent surrounding him with love and making him feel safe and comfortable. During their ceremony, Deena circled Brian six times, and he completed the seventh circle to show his own love and devotion. 

The newlyweds had a true partnership in planning their big day, and advise other couples to work together, compromise, and try their best not to stress when planning their own nuptials. The bride muses, “In the end, a wedding is for a couple to celebrate their love – so try and make it a loving and bonding experience!”