Wedding with Outdoor-Inspired Décor at Industrial Venue in Chicago

Ariel and Daniel

Photographed by: Robyn Rachel PhotographyLocation: Chicago, Illinois, United States

“I met my now husband, Daniel, the way any single girl in New York City meets a nice, respectable boy… at a super crappy bar in Union Square,” laughs Ariel. “I will forever be grateful for the bad music and poor liquor that drove us together that night.” Three years later, Daniel proposed at the very spot where they first met. Though the establishment had since gone out of business, he tracked down the broker and landlord for the building, asked for permission to propose on-site, and was given access for the memorable moment, which was followed by a romantic sushi dinner prepared by a private chef. “I wouldn’t have had it any other way!” smiles the bride of the proposal.

Since Ariel works as a manager in fashion public relations, she was used to planning events; however, she was overwhelmed by the amount of organization required for their big day. “I’ve planned events for work, but nothing came close to the amount of details I had to consider when planning our wedding,” she confirms. The couple relied on their team of vendors to turn their dream day into reality, focusing their choice of wedding professionals on those with stellar reputations in Chicago.

Though many city weddings take place in grand hotel ballrooms, the bride asserts: “I am not a ballroom girl,” she shares. “I wanted a space that felt industrial and unfinished, so that I could put my own touches on it.” They chose a unique event space featuring brick walls, exposed ducts, and lovely skylights that offered the canvas the bride desired.

As 325 guests took their seats atop Ghost chairs for the June ceremony, they anxiously awaited the bride’s grand entrance. At last, she appeared in a strapless gown showcasing romantic floral appliqués, complementing the blooms adorning the space. She met her groom beneath a luxurious chuppah featuring branches, greenery, and suspended tea lights in glass orbs. “We are both Jewish and were married by the same rabbi that not only married my parents, but also married my grandparents,” explains the bride. “I thought that was so special.”

Once they were pronounced husband and wife, family and friends enjoyed mingling at a cocktail hour designed to be fun, not stuffy. Passed beverages including Moscow mules and hors d’oeuvres such as miniature lobster rolls were offered to loved ones – “food that makes you happy, nothing too pretentious or serious,” notes the bride. When it was time for the newlyweds to enter their reception space, they were in awe – noting the moment as the most memorable of the big day. “We were just so happy to be married and have the opportunity to party with all our friends and family,” shares Ariel.

“I wanted this bare, industrial space to look like A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our designer [HMR Designs] nailed it,” affirms Ariel of the exquisite décor that transformed the venue. “There were so many hanging florals and greenery; the juxtaposition between a pre-Chicago fire warehouse and this fresh and floral space was incredible.” Guest tables were decorated with arrangements of ivory blooms illuminated with ambient candlelight emitted from taper candles as well as crystal votives. The décor also showcased a number of blue delphiniums, the bride’s favorite flower. “Rishi, our designer, was able to create these hanging branches with delphiniums that covered long, wooden tables,” she adds of the unique arrangements.

To personalize their event even further, Ariel and Daniel made sure to include décor elements that featured the likeness of their beloved dog. “We are totally obsessed,” smiles Ariel. “An old coworker of mine drew this incredible illustration of him, covered with a wreath of delphiniums. We put that illustration on our save the dates and the cocktail and bathroom napkins.”

In addition to enjoying great conversation and delicious fare, the couple and their attendees danced all night long to the sounds of a live band, The Gold Coast All Stars, on a dance floor beneath the pièce de résistance of the space: an incredible ceiling installation of greenery covered with twinkle lights. “It was so magical!” muses Ariel.

From planning a celebration for hundreds of loved ones to enjoying every moment of the big day, the bride offers one piece of advice for brides currently in the midst of organizing their nuptials: “Don’t worry too much! If you’re marrying the right person, the wedding will turn out perfectly in the end.”

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