I arrived at Cara’s hotel room at The Wit just as her hair and makeup team (Aracely Besic and Nicole Jacob, respectively, had finished styling. Cara was admiring their work in the mirror and thinking about the fact that in just a few hours, she would be walking down the aisle to marry her fiancé, Nick. But first, she needed to get into her dress. Cara’s mother was on hand to help the bride into her Vwidon gown and attend to details.
Nick’s mom dropped by, too, and both mothers beamed from ear to ear as they inspected Cara. She couldn’t have looked more perfect. After one last look-over in the mirror, Cara and crew were out the door, headed to meet Nick at the Art Institute Garden.
Nick was already in position in the garden, ready for his first look at his bride. He couldn’t help but smile in anticipation- he had been waiting for this moment for a long time.
It was a truly special moment, and it was made even more special by the presence of Nick and Cara’s families. Both sets of parents and each of their brothers were there witness the first look. We took advantage of the family gathering to take some group portraits before the couple and I headed out for a pre-ceremony session.
Nick’s mother and brother watching as portraits are taken.
Cara gives her brother a quick peck before we head out.
Nick and Cara were married inside the Art Institute of Chicago and we made good use of their facilities during the pre-ceremony shoot. I took the couple through the museums fantastic gardens before parading them out on to Michigan Avenue- to pose with the famous bronze lions by the entrance, of course- and then inside to check out the displays. We had a great time, and it shows in this collection of Nick and Cara’s pre-ceremony photos:
A fun fact: did you know this sculpture has a name? This one is entitled “In an Attitude of Defiance” and it’s partner, on the north side of the steps, is called “On the Prowl”. And now you know.
Every corner of the Art Institute has a display perfect for taking pictures. I was happy that we had some time to wander around and explore!
We hopped out onto the patio for a round of pictures featuring the fantastic view of the Chicago skyline. That was it for the pre-ceremony shoot- it was time to get married!
A few minutes later, Cara’s father was walking her down the aisle. She joined Nick, and the ceremony began. It was a beautiful and meaningful ceremony, at that, as one of the couple’s friends presided over the ceremony and friends participated by giving readings. All the while, they were surrounded by friends and family on all sides, as guests observed from the gallery’s upper levels.
One of the grandmothers went through a whole purse-full of kleenex.
The couple employed these adorable personalized vow books during the ceremony.
With rings and vows exchanged, Cara and Nick began their marriage with a kiss.
Congratulations, Cara and Nick!
Cocktail hour began immediately, with guests treated to drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Cara and Nick made their way around the great room, greeting their loved ones- and grabbing a bite, when possible.
A big kiss from one grandma…
…and a happy congratulations from another.
The party was off to a smashing start- Nick and Cara were grateful for the efforts of Liza from Bliss Weddings and Events, who helped coordinate all the details of the day.
After cocktails, everyone gathered in the banquet area, where after Cara and Nick made their grand entrance, friends and family began to give speeches.
Following a delicious dinner catered by Bon Appetit, the newlyweds dug into the cake, which was baked by Bittersweet. There were also cupcakes from Molly’s to enjoy. Lots of options for a sweet tooth- it was my kind of party!
With bellies full of cake, Nick and Cara showed off their dance moves as they shared their first dance. After their twirl around the dance floor, they each shared a dance with their respective parent. Then DJ Rachel from Toast & Jam opened up the floor to everyone, and did these guests ever turn out! Check out some of my favorite pictures from the dance party:
The party was in full swing, but I asked Cara and Nick to sneak out for just a few minutes to get a few pictures with the Chicago skyline. It was amazing, and I love how these pictures turned out.
What an incredible day! Thank-you for sharing it with me, Nick and Cara, and congratulations on your marriage!