Although Claire Ziemba and Corey Scott first met at a mutual friend’s birthday party in Chicago, they really clicked one month later once they saw each other again on a boat cruise on Lake Michigan. “We both remember fireworks going off and thinking about a first kiss, but we were surrounded by too many people,” the bride reminisces. “Sparks flew!” The couple dated for nearly two years before Corey surprised his sweetheart with a diamond engagement ring on a romantic Italian getaway. “Corey proposed during a hike along the coast between Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza,” Claire muses of the special moment.
With help from the bride’s parents, the pair hosted a soirée in a city with sentimental value to them. “[Chicago is] the city where we met and would live,” she tells, “[and it would be] easy for guests to get around and enjoy the weekend.” In honor of their faith, they commenced the celebration with a traditional Catholic mass at a nearby church. The pair decided to select their own scripture readings and hymns that they wished to hear throughout the hour in order to personalize the service. “The reading and music from our ceremony was something Corey and I spent a lot of time on. Also, one of my bridesmaids sang one of our songs, which was really memorable,” she remembers.
The duo's photographer Nancy Beale of Studio This Is captured the ceremony and elegant reception beautifully. “I knew I liked neutrals with a slate blue accent. We wanted it to feel very intimate,” Claire reveals of the décor. The simple palette paired perfectly with floral arrangements incorporating lush greenery and white blooms. The abundance of candlelight complemented the design and illuminated the reception space. In addition to the sophisticated décor, the couple was overjoyed to showcase precious portraits of their loved ones. “Family is also really important, so the family photo collection morphed from a table to a full wall of multi-generational photos. It was awesome and so unexpected!” the bride says. Throughout the night, guests enjoyed the Italian menu, late-night sliders and milkshakes, and dancing to the sounds of a high-energy band.
Reflecting on her experience, Claire confides that the planning process is more pleasant with reliable vendors: “Wedding planning is much easier when you are working with people that you and your family have good chemistry with and trust.”