"Exelon is a utility company – what could possibly be exciting about a utility? But there was this one day when sparks started to fly! It was a classic office romance. It all started when our paths crossed in the Finance department. JaCee: a Southern belle with an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech who escaped a career in investment banking to join Exelon. Joe: a Jersey boy who moved South to play football for Florida State University and happened to join PwC as an accountant, only to be recruited by his client, Exelon. One memorable day, Joe made his intentions known with hot chocolate and a doughnut, and the rest – eight years of dating, a putt-putt game to introduce Joe’s two boys to JaCee, five losing Cubs seasons, three Stanley Cups, the blending of families, a home purchase in Lincoln Park, a romantic, snowy proposal at North Pond, and finally engagement – was history.
"June 20, 2015 was a beautiful day in Chicago. We began bright and early at The Trump International Hotel & Tower with family and friends to help us get ready. Something Old: handkerchief made from JaCee’s mother’s wedding dress. Something New: Alexander McQueen lace skull clutch. Something Borrowed: diamond tennis bracelet from Teresa Doster, JaCee’s matron of honor. Something Blue: Manolo Blahnik satin pumps! And, of course, a six pence in her shoe!
"Our 'first look' occurred on The Terrace of Trump – breathtaking views of the city. It had been a roller coaster of a week and to have this quiet moment was priceless. We raised a glass to celebrate the beginning of our life together as husband and wife… and then… the festivities began. After photos in and around Trump, we joined our bridal party for pictures and videos throughout Sweet Home Chicago. It was a fun and festive excursion throughout the city. The seven bridesmaids were stunning in black – each picked her own style! The six groomsmen were handsome in classic black tuxedos from Formerly Modern Tuxedo. A dear friend, Michelle Speight, ensured flawless execution throughout the day.
"Our traditional ceremony took place at the historic and beautiful Fourth Presbyterian Church. JaCee’s younger brother, Brannon Burnes, walked her down the aisle. Sadly, JaCee’s father, Charlie Burnes, was unable to attend at the last minute due to health issues, but he was a huge part of the nuptials just the same, with a touching video’ed speech at the reception and a FaceTime session that lasted throughout the day and night. Our officiant, Layton Williams, brought humor and a personal touch to the ceremony, in addition to reminding us of the sanctity of marriage. We shed tears as Ave Maria was sung and were filled with gratitude by the amount of love that filled the sanctuary. After pronounced husband and wife, we were greeted with applause and cheers by our guests (and other onlookers) on Michigan Avenue. A white 1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud then whisked us away to the Trump.
"Our wedding cake was a traditional white cake with butter cream frosting and raspberry and chocolate filling. JaCee arranged for a three-tier groom’s cake which captured some of Joe’s favorite things – FSU, the IronMan and Chicago sports.
"We also wanted our friends and family to experience Sweet Home Chicago. Out of town guests received a Welcome Box – 'JaCee & Joe: The Perfect Chicago Mix,' which included some of our favorites such as Garrett’s popcorn, an Old Style beer, Wrigley gum, Cubby Bear gummies, Fannie May chocolate and Jay’s potato chips. We gave each table a classic name rather than traditional table numbers! Some of our favorites were: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Lollapalooza, Devil in the White City, Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, Second City and Taste of Chicago. Chicago has so much to offer that it was easy to have 23 creative table names for our guests. Lou Malnati’s and Chicago hot dogs were served late - and did not last long! We even managed to have the Stanley Cup welcome a few of our guests at the Trump on Friday – a little luck was involved!
"Our only regret is that we were not able to spend as much time with everyone as we would have liked. Still, it was important that each guest knew how special they were to us and how thrilled we were that they were present to celebrate our marriage. At the reception, each of our guests were greeted with a seating card that included a personal, handwritten note.
"Eddie Victorian and The Victorian Experience brought down the house and kept our guests dancing until 1am! The Trump also provided a wonderful vista for the Navy Pier fireworks and a dramatic thunder & lightening show outside. It was a night of perfection." -- JaCee Trpik
Ceremony: Fourth Presbyterian Church // Reception: Trump International Hotel & Tower // Photography: Jai Girard Photography // Videography: Evolution Films // Officiant: Layton E. Williams // Wedding Consultant: Personalized Events by Michelle // Bride's Gown: Vera Wang // Shoes: Manolo Blahnik from Neiman Marcus // Hair + Makeup: salonblonde // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaid // Formalwear: Hugo Boss from Formally Modern Tuxedo // Stationery: Magnificent Milestones // Flowers: HMR Designs // Catering: Trump International Hotel & Tower, Lou Malnati’s // Entertainment: The Victorian Experience // Sweets: Cake Sweet Food Chicago (wedding cake), Tipsycakes and More (groom’s cake) // Transportation: Windy City Limousine, Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.
All images by and courtesy of Jai Girard Photography.