A Blush-and-Green Wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden

wedding couple portrait blue garden bench
Kristin LaVoie

In July 2013, while Teresa was in college and Kyle was out in the work force, mutual friends introduced the pair: "They thought we would be a good match, and they were right!" says Teresa. "We began a summer romance that turned into an eight-year relationship before we were married." Kyle proposed during a road trip through several National Parks, hiding the ring in his backpack during more than a week of camping before pulling it out at the couple's last stop in Glacier National Park. "We were soaking wet from the rain and in full rain jackets—not super cute—but it was absolutely breathtaking and special," says Teresa.

After moving their wedding twice because of COVID-19, Teresa and Kyle tied the knot on September 11, 2021, in front of 170 guests at St. Mary of the Angels church in Chicago, Illinois, followed by dinner and dancing at the Chicago Botanic Garden. "I wanted it to be romantic and textural," says Teresa. "We loved the garden theme, because it was as if our reception was already decorated on its own."

The couple chose a palette of ivory, peach, taupe, and cappuccino, incorporating dried floral elements into the bouquets and bright greenery draped throughout the reception space. "We had an Indian family ceremony and welcome party which reflected parts of my culture," says Teresa, who also changed into a custom lehenga during the reception. "We wanted the wedding filled with lots of family and love, and that is definitely what happened."

01 of 20

Blush Brushed

elegant cream colored wedding invitations
Kristin LaVoie

Sugared Fig Paperie created the couple's invitation suite with handmade paper, calligraphy, and letterpress and digital printing. "We wanted it to match our garden theme with the green envelopes and sage letterpress on blush handmade paper," says Teresa. "We loved using green and blush."

02 of 20

One and Done

bride in floral lace sweetheart wedding dress
Kristin LaVoie

Teresa only needed a single day of browsing bridal boutiques with her mother, sisters, and friends to decide on her strapless and embroidered trumpet Monique Lhuillier wedding dress. "I had also screenshotted the exact dress months before, never thinking it would be the one I would actually get!" she says. "I knew it was the one because I kept coming back to it, and it was truly the one I felt most beautiful in. It was also the only dress my mom got emotional with."

03 of 20

Toffee Break

bridesmaids in taupe dresses and neutral tones flowers
Kristin LaVoie

Floral designers from Splendor of Eden created "loose and organic" bouquets for Teresa and her bridesmaids, incorporating dried ferns with white, ivory, dark blush, and tan blooms. "I really wanted toffee roses and my florist had said they wouldn't be available," says Teresa. "However, she got them last minute!"

04 of 20

In the Black

groom in black suit with suspenders
Kristin LaVoie

Kyle chose a classic black tuxedo from The Black Tux, adding cuff links, a bow tie, and suspenders for a more custom look. "We tailored it, which is very important and made it look very classy on the day-of," says Teresa.

05 of 20

Petal Power

wedding flower girl in tulle dress
Kristin LaVoie

The couple asked Kyle's nieces to serve as flower girls, choosing tulle skirts with blush-colored ribbons and adding flower crowns made by the bride. "I completely forgot to ask our florist to bring flower petals for them or make baskets," says Teresa, "so they had been practicing tossing petals and we had to tell them to just walk down the aisle. It is one of those things that only we would know about—because they were so cute, no one even noticed."

06 of 20

Hooked on a Feeling

bride and groom wedding altar in ornate catholic church
Kristin LaVoie

Deciding to hold their ceremony at St. Mary of the Angels was "a no-brainer," says Teresa. "The inside just takes your breath away with the colorful stained-glass windows and high ceilings," she says. "It had a pipe organ, which was my father's one request. When we walked in, the church definitely felt very special, and we couldn't let go of that feeling."

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07 of 20

Saying "I Do"

couple kissing at wedding ceremony
Kristin LaVoie

Teresa and Kyle exchanged vows in a traditional religious ceremony—the first time they saw each other on their wedding day. "We wanted that surprise of seeing each other," Teresa says. "Walking with my dad down the extremely long cathedral aisle and seeing each other for the first time that day was so surreal and breathtaking—something that I will remember forever."

08 of 20

Walk It Out

guests smiling and clapping couple ceremony recessional
Kristin LaVoie

Guests cheered as the newly-minted newlyweds recessed out of the church.

09 of 20

'Maids and Men

wedding party in neutral tones
Kristin LaVoie

Teresa chose blush-colored satin bridesmaids' gowns from Australian brand Bec and Bridge. "I loved them because they did not look like your traditional bridesmaids' dresses," she says. "We got so many compliments on them!" Kyle's groomsmen wore black tuxedos for a "classic and elegant" look. "[The men] always look good, but that day, they were on point," says the couple.

10 of 20

In the Garden

bride and groom walking through garden wedding portrait
Kristin LaVoie

The reception space at the Chicago Botanic Garden felt like a perfect fit for the nature-loving couple. "We both love being outdoors, but did not want to do a destination," says Teresa. "The reception venue was so in-your-face beautiful that it was the easiest to pick. It was romantic and had so many cool spaces—I also absolutely love flowers, so it was perfect."

11 of 20

Guest Book Alternative

guest taking pictures with polaroid for guest book
Kristin LaVoie

In lieu of a traditional guest book, the pair set out a polaroid camera so their loved ones could snap sweet memories in real time.

12 of 20

Plant Wall

potted plants on shelf cocktail hour decoration
Kristin LaVoie

A cheerful potted plant display reinforced the surroundings.

13 of 20

Change of Heart

bride in traditional wedding attire with groom in courtyard
Kristin LaVoie

Teresa had always planned to change into a traditional lehenga during the wedding, so she snuck out after the pair's first dance to swap her ceremony gown for a custom look, accented with jewelry she picked out during a recent trip to India.

14 of 20

A Perfect Fit

close up portrait of bride in ornate traditional wedding attire
Kristin LaVoie

Teresa designed her blush and green lehenga at Crossover Bollywood Se in Deer Park, Illinois. "I knew I wanted green in it to go along with our theme—and because Kyle and I love that color—and the pink came about because it looked so good with the green embroidery," says Teresa. "We went in with some ideas and she drew out designs and multiple drafts; then they make a sample square of the embroidery and you are able to tweak it as you want. When it arrives back from India, they fit it perfectly to you. Kyle was super blown away by it, so it was a very exciting process."

15 of 20

Card Counting

wedding seating chart cards on round table with flowers
Kristin LaVoie

A sculptural vase on the escort card table was filled with the same ivory, toffee, peach, and white flowers that made up the bouquets, and surrounded by classic tented cards.

16 of 20

Glass Act

green wedding table number with neutral tones flowers
Kristin LaVoie

Delicate blooms in simple bud vases surrounded table numbers that matched the green and blush palette of the invitation suite. Shimmering cut glass and brass votive holders and ivory taper candles reflected candlelight throughout the space.

17 of 20

Dining Al Fresco

elegant neutral tones wedding reception round tables
Kristin LaVoie

The menu from Culinary Landscape included grilled beef with sweet corn puree, grilled onions, potatoes, and chimichurri; and butter-basted chicken with squash gnocchi, roasted mushrooms and parsnips, and tarragon cream.

18 of 20

A Sweet Moment

simple off white wedding cake with brown flowers
Kristin LaVoie

Alliance Bakery provided an almond cake with fresh berries and pastry cream, which the couple's florist decorated with leaves and blooms that tied into the rest of their décor. "The cake was absolutely fresh and delicious," says Teresa—though neither she nor Kyle made it to the dessert table in time to get a slice during the reception. "We were kind of bummed that we didn't get any of our wedding cake, but happy that everyone enjoyed it," she says. "Then when we got to our hotel room, there was a whole tier of cake waiting for us there! That was such a fun and sweet surprise."

19 of 20

Just Dance

wedding first dance under chandelier
Kristin LaVoie

For their first dance, Teresa and Kyle chose an artist they had loved since the beginning of their relationship: Leon Bridges. "We ended up going to his concert in Milwaukee and then saw him at Lollapalooza in the beginning of our relationship," says Teresa, "which is why we picked his song 'Coming Home' for our first dance—because it reminds us of the beginning of our relationship and how much fun we had. After our first dance, we had our DJ play 'Love on Top' by Beyonce, and our family and friends all flooded the dance floor. It was really special and fun to go right into dancing. We were looking forward to having the dance party, especially after COVID, so that was really exciting."

20 of 20


wedding couple portrait on stone steps
Kristin LaVoie

Photography, Kristin LaVoie Photography
St. Mary of the Angels (ceremony); Chicago Botanic Garden (reception)
Event Planning,
Clementine Custom Events
Culinary Landscape
Splendor of Eden
Vaughter Films
Sugared Fig Paperie
Alliance Bakery
ArtiStrings (cocktail hour); DJ Bryen Hall (reception)
Bride's gown,
Monique Lhuillier (ceremony); Crossover Bollywood Se (reception)
Bride's accessories,
Ultimate Bride veil; Stuart Weitzman shoes
Hair by L+A
Shannon O'Brien
Bridesmaids' dresses,
Bec and Bridge
Groom's attire and menswear,
The Black Tux
Lighting, MDM Entertainment
Charter Empire; Second City Trolley
Guest book,
Photo booth,
Oak Street Films

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