Just two years after his first date with girlfriend Jayme Fogel, Andy Slate was certain he wanted to ask for her hand in marriage. One night after dinner, he surprised her with a photo album containing images of the two of them on their various adventures. “As I turned to the last page, there was a picture of Andy on bended knee, and the caption read, ‘Will you spend the rest of your life with me?’” Jayme shares. Andy then got down on one knee and proposed, and Jayme responded with a resounding “yes.”
The duo hosted their event in the bride’s hometown of Chicago at a venue that could easily accommodate their 250-person guest list. The space also presented the perfect canvas for the stunning décor desired by the bride. “I was sold on The Standard Club as soon as I saw the amazingly high ceilings and gorgeous dark-wood floor – no hotel carpets to compete with,” says Jayme.
Because the wedding took over a year to plan, everyone was quite elated when the happy day finally arrived. “We had our family and friends around us as we signed the ketubah, which brought a very loving and warm feel to the moments before the ceremony,” says Jayme of the tradition with which they began their Jewish wedding.
Inside the ballroom that housed the ceremony, arrangements of ivory calla lilies, vanilla orchids, and a sprinkling of purple-hued Picasso calla lilies sat in clear vases of various heights that rested atop low ceramic cubes on either side of the aisle. Curtains emphasized with violet up-lighting framed the perimeter of the space, and dazzling chandeliers added sparkle overhead; however, the centerpiece of the décor was a towering chuppah that stretched from floor to ceiling, its posts draped in flowing white drapery that was gathered and bound with garlands of sweet, snowy blossoms. “It was so tall you couldn’t help but be amazed by it,” explains Jayme. “It felt magical looking at it from afar!”
After the wedding party had entered the room and taken their places, it was the bride’s turn. “My most memorable moment was walking out from behind the curtain at the top of the aisle and seeing Andy way down at the other end,” recalls Jayme, who wore a strapless, trumpet-style gown with lace detail. “His smile (and tears) made me feel at ease.” Likewise, the groom fondly recalls being moved by the same moment. “It must have gotten dusty in the room since my eyes started to water,” he smiles.
Following the couple’s poignant exchange of vows and first kiss shared as husband and wife, sentiment transitioned into excitement in anticipation of the reception. “Right before I was about to stomp on the glass, I looked at my groomsmen and my family, and I was so excited to let the celebrating begin!” exclaims the groom.
After enjoying a festive cocktail hour, guests obtained seating assignments from a glamorous mirror-top table and proceeded to enter a beautiful ballroom that was indeed primed for a fantastic fête. Dinner tables were draped in delicately crinkled gunmetal-grey linens. A metallic-rimmed charger plate boasting a crisp linen napkin and a single orchid sat at each place setting. Centerpieces consisted of assorted arrangements of frosty blooms that mimicked those used in the ceremony. “I wanted simple and elegant flowers,” explains the bride.
The groom was eager to begin one reception tradition in particular as soon as the party got underway. “My friends and I do a mean hora!” he boasts. When the dance was over, the wait staff passed out cold towels to help the sweltering partygoers refresh. “It was very appreciated by all the men – and their dates!” smiles Andy.
Guests parted the event with meaningful favors: apple cider donuts, shipped from a farm in western Massachusetts that the bride frequented every autumn as a child; and copies of the New York Times Sunday edition, to honor the city where the pair first met.
The couple admits that adhering to the conventional wisdom of “stop, look around, and take it all in” is especially challenging since everything goes by so quickly. “After the speeches, the dancing and the party began, I had no clue what time it was,” says the bride. “And it was already 2 AM!” The groom agrees. “You are on such a high marrying your best friend surrounded by so many people you love,” he says. Instead, the pair offers a more realistic recommendation to future bride and grooms: “Just relish how good everything feels in the moment!”