A Glamorous New Year's Eve Destination Wedding in Chicago
Dani and Victor, A New Year's Couple
Victor DeBoer was in San Francisco visiting friends when he struck up a conversation with local Dani Dudeck one night at a bar. Within hours, he’d changed his plans to stay through the weekend, and within weeks, she flew to his hometown of Chicago to meet his friends and family. The couple dated long distance for a year and half, and Victor proposed to Dani at a going away party before he moved to the Bay City to join her. Not long after, on December 31, 2012, the couple made it official with a weekend of festivities capped off with a New Year's Eve ceremony and celebration that rung in a new year and the newlyweds.
A Special Note
Notes to each guest were sealed in a gold envelope stamped with the couple’s soon-to-be shared last initial and delivered to hotel rooms upon arrival. It outlined some of the couple's favorite local haunts and places to walk around. The couple also gave tote bags filled with Chicago staples: Garrett's popcorn, Wrigley gum, and Jay's potato chips.
A Bold Bouquet
Deep jewel-toned flowers, English cabbage roses, peonies, and sweet peas, came together in the bridal bouquet, which was jazzed up with a mix of textural gold and white ribbons and trims. A key to the door of Dani's grandparents' first house dating back to the 1930’s was tied on as a sentimental addition.
The gents wore boutonnieres made from red, fuchsia, purple, and blue blooms.
City Chic Attire
A Touch of Sparkle
The bride's something blue? A pair of Gucci pumps.
The five ladies in the bridal party wore vibrant Lela Rose gowns and carried clutches of red flowers.
Bridal Party Gifts
A Sweet Ride
Dani and her father were all smiles before their walk down the aisle.
A Traditional Service
Dani and Victor wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony at the historical St. Michael in Old Town in front of 130 guests.
The Reception Venue
The reception took place at Café Brauer, located in the Lincoln Park Zoo. "The best part was the car ride from the church to the reception," Dani said. "We had the driver go around the neighborhood twice and throughout the park, so we could have a little Champagne toast and gush about the ceremony."
Snazzy bars offered a six signature cocktails. A Kir Royale, bourbon and ginger, and a vodka martini for her; and an Anchor Steam, an Old Fashioned, and a gin martini for him. Veuve Cliquot was served in Champagne coupes to keep the New Year’s Eve spirit going all night.
During cocktail hour, guests were welcomed to sit at small tables covered with sequined navy cloths.
To celebrate winter, seasonal appetizers were on hand: roasted petite tender and tomato fondue, grilled pear crostini, Parmesan risotto cones, and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo.
The Dinner Set Up
The grand reception space was outfitted with round tables covered in blue linens and set with gold chairs. Like many of the big day's details, the setting was conceived by the couple and their planner and event designer Amy Nichols of Amy Nichols Special Events.
Centerpieces held some of the same flowers used in the bride’s bouquet, as well thistle and artichokes. Tables were named after places and restaurants the couple had been to together.
Dani and her mom made special chair backs for the newlyweds.
A guestbook was fashioned from a vintage French tome.
The First Dance
The new Mr. and Mrs. DeBoer danced to "Give Into Me" from the Country Strong soundtrack.
Dancing With Dad
It was another country song, Heartland's "I Loved Her First", that played with Dani took a spin with her father.
A Glistening Confection
A gold ombre cake glittered from top to bottom and was adorned with English cabbage roses.
Tasty treats flanked the wedding cake, as did a “Sweet Dreams” sign and stickers with the same sentiment to seal cellophane bags that guests could fill with the desserts. They choses from lemon knots, cookies, s’mores, plus some heart-shaped sugar cookies the groom’s mother is famous for.
Quite the Spread
A sequined gold chevron linen hung behind the table of sweets. Clocks were set among the desserts, as another New Year's Eve touch.
A Warm Treat
Hot cocoa was served with peppermint stirrers—a perfect late-night treat for the December evening.
Gold sequined fabric and a pennant banner made for a great Smilebooth backdrop. Props like top hats, monocles, and masks were on hand for added fun.
Sparkling hats, tiaras, top hats, party horns, noisemakers, feathered headbands, and Happy New Year crowns were handed out as midnight approached.
As luck would have it, the reception venue offered a great view of the Chicago fireworks at midnight for everyone to enjoy as they rung in the New Year.
Photography: Stevi Savage of Averyhouse
Event Planning and Design: Amy Nichols Special Events
Catering: Blue Plate
Flowers and Lighting: Botanicals
Stationery: Hello Lucky
Calligraphy: Michele Papineau of Papineau Calligraphy
Music: Green Thirteen