Jackie Shannon and Dave Burchfield first met as freshmen in college; however, it wasn’t until attending a reunion three years after graduation that their relationship blossomed. “That weekend, sparks definitely flew, and I realized that there might be something special between the two of us,” remembers Jackie. Since Dave was living in Houston at the time and Jackie in Chicago, Dave invited his future wife to meet him in Seattle for a weekend getaway as their first date where they learned about their “mutual love for spicy food, chardonnay, and indie rock,” shares Dave. “I knew I couldn’t let her go.” Jackie, too, was smitten. “That was the beginning of forever,” she muses.
Following a picturesque, overseas engagement while visiting the islands of Croatia, Jackie and Dave began planning their stateside nuptials. Their passion for travel initially inspired them to host a destination fête in Maui; however, they ultimately decided to wed in their hometown of Chicago to ensure more friends and family members could attend. The couple enlisted the help of Hope Weis Consulting, who also planned the wedding of the bride’s sister and brother-in-law, to coordinate the details of their day and design a personalized celebration they would never forget.
Desiring a blend of modern and romantic styles, the pair’s floral designer created a gorgeous ceremony space in their vision. “Rishi Patel of HMR Designs executed this flawlessly,” says Jackie. A wide aisle lined with ambient candlelight led to an asymmetrical wooden arch featuring lush greenery and ivory florals. Crystal chandeliers, as well as clusters of unique, geometric lanterns, were suspended above their attendees. “It was truly beautiful and perfect for us,” notes the bride.
Jackie waltzed down the aisle in a stunning beaded gown from Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, meeting her groom for a touching service they personalized together – starting with the music. The duo selected songs by Bon Iver, their favorite indie folk band, for the band to arrange into instrumental renditions. “Most of our guests probably didn’t even notice, but it made it special for us,” confesses Dave. They further customized the proceedings by having the bride’s brother-in-law officiate, asking friends and family to recite song lyrics, and exchanging personalized vows. “Every single second of the ceremony was planned by us,” affirms the groom.
Following the secular service, “Hope whisked us away to a private room where we had our signature cocktails and appetizers waiting,” shares the bride. “Our ceremony had been so special and personal for us, and it was incredibly meaningful to have a moment to reflect and celebrate just the two of us before joining the party.” Meanwhile, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour as the room was transformed for the reception. They found their seating assignments displayed on a custom etched-glass escort card table inscribed with “On the road to happily ever after” and the names of various cities meaningful to the couple, as a nod to their love of travel. Attendees then gathered at tables named after the same locations.
In keeping with the style of the ceremony, the reception space was adorned with ivory and gold décor along with ample greenery to bring life to the ballroom. The altar became the backdrop for the 15-piece band, and additional light fixtures were suspended overhead. Low centerpieces featured one of two designs: collections of votive candles and starburst décor or arrangements of greenery, pale blue blossoms, and ivory dahlias, roses, ranunculuses, and anemones. After a delectable sit-down dinner service and slices of the couple’s tasty confection were enjoyed, dancing ensued until 1AM.
Not wanting the party to end, loved ones traversed from the reception space into another room designed with a Miami-nightclub atmosphere in mind, featuring all-white lounge furniture and vibrant pink lighting, for an after-party that lasted until the early hours of the morning. The groom cites “the look on people’s faces when they saw our after-party” as one of his most memorable moments. “For everyone to pour out of one ballroom and into another to experience a whole different vibe was pretty incredible,” he adds.
Besides enjoying more of the fare, the newlyweds wouldn’t change a thing about their soirée. Jackie offers sound advice for couples preparing to wed: “No matter what happens, never lose sight of your partner. This day is about the two of you and your future together,” she advises. “With all of the time and energy that goes into planning an event that includes your friends and family, it is easy to [forget] that. Just try to remember that this day is about you.”