Monday, November 30, 2015

"I always tell my friends, 'You never know when you’re going to meet the one!' Mike and I met at a karaoke bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans (I know, classy). He was there with a bachelor party and I was with some girlfriends visiting. He came right up to me and we instantly hit it off. The only problem was he was living in New York at the time and I in Chicago. I happened to be in NYC for work a few weeks later – he took me on the best date ever (dinner, drinks, jazz) – and the rest is history.

"After two years of long distance we both relocated to Boston together and that’s where we got engaged. He popped the question in our apartment with flowers, candles and champagne, and then whisked me away to a cabin in New Hampshire for the weekend. It was perfect. We moved to Chicago this June to live happily ever after.

"I was never one of those girls who thought about my wedding, until it was actually time to plan it. So in some ways I started from scratch, but eagerly jumped right in. We knew we wanted a city affair and since I grew up in Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum was the perfect fit.

"We wanted it to be charming, romantic and completely 'us,' so we tried to hire vendors we had previous connections to, including a wedding coordinator, florist, pastry chef, photographer and band. For instance, Nicki Eistenstein of BCR Events and I went to high school together and we hired her to be our coordinator. Spot on decision. She was perfect. The owner Beth Barnett of Larkspur Chicago is my cousin. She handled the majority of our floral and décor. MVP award of the night. I don’t know what I would have done without her. And my mom, Janet Rosing, is JR of JR Dessert Bakery, so of course I was going to have her do the wedding cake and sweet table. I had a cheesecake wedding cake topped with strawberries and the best dessert table ever, including S’mores with handmade marshmallows, passion fruit mousse, his and her favorite mini cakes (carrot cake for me and a chocolate decadence cake for him), and cookies shaped like the sun, the moon and the stars. 

"To say the day was magical would be an understatement. I woke up to a torrential downpour (good luck, I’m told), but it fortunately cleared that afternoon and turned into a beautiful day. We spent the afternoon getting ready at the Langham Hotel with the bridesmaids and I in a gorgeous suite overlooking the Chicago River (worth every penny). Mike and his groomsmen enjoyed a tasty lunch at Portillo’s before heading back to get dressed.

"We had an intimate Ketubah signing at the hotel, then jumped on a trolley to the venue, had a fun photo shoot in the museum’s courtyard and prepared for the big moment. My brother officiated the ceremony, which was about as personal as you can get. Some might say he stole the show, but that’s fine by me! I felt like I was in a trance standing under the chuppah with Mike in front of all my closest family and friends. It was a beautiful feeling to be surrounded by so much love.

"The rest of the night was a piece of cake. When people say it goes by fast, they mean it. We drank, we ate, we laughed, and we danced like crazy. We felt like every person in that room wanted to be there to celebrate with us and I truly thank them for that. From a beautiful arch I specially brought in to be draped with lights; to the blossoming pastel flowers; to a dip in our first dance; to the custom dessert table and wedding cake my mom designed; to Mike’s best man jumping on stage for an epic solo with the band; to my dad’s hysterical toast; to feeling like a princess in my wedding dress and knowing Mike thought so, too, the evening was a complete success. And at the end, I got to take off my shoes and walk out with the man of my dreams." -- Natalie Silvestro

Ceremony + Reception Site: Chicago History Museum // Photography: Steve Koo Photography // Officiant: Max Kaplan // Wedding Consultant: BCR Events // Bride's Gown: Vera Wang Chicago // Hair + Makeup: Reiman Condron Beauty // Bridesmaid's Dresses: Various // Formalwear: Bloomingdale's // Invitations: Sarah Drake Design // Flowers: Larkspur Chicago // Catering: Food For Thought // Entertainment: Artistrings with Sarlas for the ceremony, Big Sadie for the cocktail hour, the Stephanie Rogers Band for the reception // Sweets: JR Dessert Bakery // Transportation: Second City Trolley