A Formal Pink Wedding in Chicago, Illinois

Mindy and Matt

Olivia Leigh Photographie

Mindy, an attorney, and Matt, a consulting-firm marketing manager, met during law school in Chicago. After four years of dating, Matt popped the question and a wedding date was set for Sunday, August 28, 2011. To kick off their country-meets-city nuptials, they planned a weekend full of festive activities, including a welcome BBQ, wedding day brunch, and beach volleyball.

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The Invitation

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Lady Fingers Letterpress created the calligraphed letterpress invitation suite. The subtle icon at the top of the card mimicked the bride's lace gown.

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The Welcome Kit

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Out-of-town guests were given paper suitcases lined with old maps of Chicago and filled with Windy City goodies: bottles of Chicago Beer Co. beer, cans of Dad's Root Beer, a Chicago-themed book ("The Adventures of Augie March," "Devil in the White City," "Sin in the Second City," or "Boss"), Frango mints, and a tin of "Chicago Mix" from Garrett Popcorn.

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The Welcome Kit

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The welcome case also included a hand-drawn map and a booklet that detailed the weekend's itinerary, and listed area attractions.

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The Location

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The ceremony took place at K.A.M. Isaiah Israel, a Neo-Byzantine synagogue in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

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The photographer, Olivia Leigh, snapped photos of the couple in the courtyard of the Elysian Hotel before they set out for the synagogue.

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A Traditional Element

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Mindy and Matt's ketubah, a Jewish marriage certificate, was laser cut by Ardyn Halter.

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The Fashions

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Matt wore a vintage Lanvin tuxedo and monogrammed platinum-and-diamond cufflinks, which belonged to his grandfather.

Mindy's Vera Wang "Esther" gown (from Saks Fifth Avenue) boasted English netting, Chantilly lace appliques, and satin-covered buttons. A custom silk-taffeta bow belt cinched her waist, and a French silk-and-tulle veil by The Dress Doctor crowned her head. (Later, she changed into a crystal headband from The Left Bank.) Adding sparkle were the finishing touches: crystal-embellished stilettos by Nina Ricci and antique pink-pearl-and-diamond earrings from Matt's grandmother. She also wore a pendant, a gift from the groom, and her grandmother's silver-and-opal heirloom ring.

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The Bouquet

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Jesse Deckard of Event Creative made Mindy's bouquet, tied up with a vintage ribbon, out of garden and spray roses and ranunculus. The final touch: an antique cameo brooch given to Mindy by Matt.

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The Bouquets

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The bridesmaids carried pink and peach garden roses.

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The Boutonniere

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Hypericum berries made up Matt's boutonniere.

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The Bridesmaids

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Rachel Alvia of Avail & Co. designed the vintage-inspired silk-chiffon ball gowns with taupe underlays and blush-colored sashes. The eight custom dresses were designed and completed within four weeks.

Mindy gave her bridal party antique handkerchiefs, silver necklaces, and jewelry boxes. And throughout the day, they all carried charmingly mismatched vintage clutches.

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The Programs

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Square program booklets were hand-punched around the corners, tied with grosgrain ribbon, and set out in a box on a table.

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The Processional

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The bride's parents, Cindy and Richard Chudoba, walked her down the aisle. Matt was also escorted by his mother and father, Paula and Steven Kopald.

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The Rings

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The young ring bearers walked down the aisle, but Matt's brother Brandon actually carried the wedding rings.

But just hours before the ceremony, the wedding bands were missing. (When Matt and Mindy first saw each other just before the ceremony, he followed up a sweet "you look beautiful" with these words: "I have something to tell you. Please don't freak out.") Luckily, replacement rings that Matt's mother picked out from the Tiffany website were delivered just in time. The original bands -- a vintage platinum Cartier ring from Oak Gem for him and a 1920s engraved white-gold band from Marlene Harris for her -- were found in the pocket of Matt's wedding suit. They now wear both sets.

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The Ceremony

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The bride and groom were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony.

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The Ceremony

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Mindy circled Matt three times under the huppah (quite a feat, as she wore a cathedral veil). Rabbi Batsheva Appel gave the seven blessings, and the couple exchanged vows -- he quoted Jeremiah 31:3 and she recited Solomon's Song 6:3 and Psalms 132:14.

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Family Portraits

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Family portraits were taken outside on the stairs of the synagogue.

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A Signature Drink

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At cocktail hour in Lincoln Park Zoo, guests sipped pink drinks made with Prosecco and organic rhubarb syrup in honor of the venue's proximity to the Flamingo Pond.

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Cocktail Hour

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Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band, a string quartet, played folk and bluegrass music during the cocktail hour and early portion of the seated dinner.

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Escort Cards

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Iron skeleton keys were tied with small tags (calligraphed by Diane Daly) and silk embroidery ribbon from Mokuba. At dinner, each place setting included a card rubber-stamped with a keyhole.

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The Reception Venue

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After an alfresco cocktail hour, the 100 guests moved inside to Cafe Brauer, a landmarked building constructed in 1908, that features exposed beams, original hardwood floors, intricate brickwork, and arches. The urban oasis, nestled in the middle of Lincoln Park, overlooks a lagoon and offers views of downtown Chicago.

Long farm tables were set with crystal charger plates, a mix of stemware and flatware, and distressed wooden chairs.

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The Head Table

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Mindy used pieces from her personal collection of pink Depression glass for flower vessels on the head table, which was centered under a trio of wrought-iron chandeliers and 20-foot tall chiffon drapes suspended from the ceiling.

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The Centerpieces

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Antique cut-crystal vases at every table were filled with garden roses, stock, and ranunculus.

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The Dinner

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Guests dined on beef ravioli with toasted hazelnut butter and chive oil; grilled herb rack of lamb with spiced blueberry jam, savory baby leek bread pudding, and squash with mint jus; seared beef tenderloin filet with olive and mustard crust, Yukon Gold potato-celery root gratin, and tri-color carrots and edamame with lime cilantro butter; roasted French chicken breast with peach-goat cheese gratin, grilled asparagus, sweet onions, carrot ribbons, and natural jus; and vegetable polenta stacked with garlic-roasted baby spinach and charred tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and rosemary jus. The multicourse meal was prepared by Limelight Catering.

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First Dance

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Mindy and Matt danced to "Wagon Wheel" by the Old Crow Medicine Show.

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Matt and his mom took a twirl to "Summertime" performed by the band Maggie Speaks, which then took over the night's entertainment.

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Sweet Treats

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The dessert bar displayed all-pink sweets, including strawberry creme brulee, passion fruit truffles, and white chocolate-peach truffles.

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Sweet Treats

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Cheesecake lollipops and petit macarons were also offered.

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The Cake

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A four-tier buttercream cake by Amy Beck Cake Design was decorated with sugar peonies. It also showcased different flavors: vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream, chocolate bourbon cake with chocolate truffle ganache, and lemon cake with lemon curd filling.

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The Favors

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At the end of the night, guests left with pink Depression glass berry bowls filled with old-fashioned candy.

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Olivia Leigh Photographie

Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie

Wedding Planner: Anthony Navarro of Liven It Up Events

Rentals: Tablescapes

Videography: Megan Taylor of Fig Media

Catering: Limelight Catering

Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design

Event Design: Jesse Deckard of Event Creative

Stationery: Lady Fingers Letterpress

Calligraphy (for day-of paperie): Diane Daly

Hair: Arianna Puljic of Tricoci Salon; Tigerlilie Salon

Makeup: Brianna Thompson of Elysian Spa; Tigerlilie Salon

Locations: K.A.M. Isaiah Israel; Cafe Brauer

Entertainment: Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band; Maggie Speaks

Yarmulkes: Zara Mart

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