landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

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Melissa Hayes Photography

From the Bride:
After a long line of brothers and family members on my side having destination weddings, Matt and I knew without question that we wanted a Chicago wedding. With me being the only girl, the third and final sibling to marry and Matt being the oldest sibling in his family and first to be married, we knew we wanted a traditional, elegant, romantic and memorable weekend.

Almost 20 years ago, my grandmother was married at Fourth Presbyterian Church at Michigan and Delaware. Although I was only 12, I remember the day as if it were yesterday — the stunning chapel, the cherubic organ music, the magnificent stained glass windows, the awe of the guests. Matt and I wanted this same stunning church and feeling for our special day. We were married at 5 o’clock in the evening with 200 guests who stood to greet my dad and me as we walked down the aisle to a trumpet fanfare. Although it was raining outside, it certainly did not dampen our spirits or the joy and energy that was contagious indoors.

For decades, my family has been members of The Mid-America Club. An elegant members-only club located high above the city on the 80th floor of the Aon building. Over my life, I have spent much time at the club. We have celebrated numerous holidays and enjoyed many dinners and have always left completely satisfied but yearning for our next visit. The club boasts 360 degree views of our beautiful city, marvelous food, incredible service and awe-inspiring ambiance — Matt and I wanted nothing more but to show this off to our guests.

Upon the wedding parties’ arrival, the guests were moved to the ballroom which had views of the south, east and west. The ballroom was nothing short of extraordinary. Warm candle light greeted guests as they picked up their escort bag filled with Hershey kisses. Alternating tables had vases filled with stems of green dendrobium orchids with white floating candles and towering arrangements with orchids, curly willow, green cymbidiums and hanging votives. The table markers were street signs that had significance for both Matt and I.

Champagne was waiting to be drunk as toasts began and dinner was anticipated. Guests dined on mushroom bisque with truffle foam, a cucumber and spinach roulette and their choice of crisped white fish with couscous, parmesan chicken picatta with risotto or a filet with grilled shrimp. The wedding cake was a favorite of Matt and mine. A four tiered carrot cake with salted caramel and crème Brule filling. Being that Matt and I were both graduates of the University of Iowa, a grooms cake was fashioned to look like a football field with our beloved mascot Herky to finish it off.

Soon after cake, music filled the ballroom by the glorious Chicago Catz. The band consisted of nine pieces and kept the dance floor packed all night. In between dances, guests sneaked off to the photo booth to adorn themselves of costume and create lasting memories.

Nearing the end of the evening, a late night snack of burger sliders satisfied hungry dancers and had everyone leaving happy. Overall, our wedding was more than we could have hoped for. Filled with love, romance, elegance, happiness and unforgettable memories.

Photography: Melissa Hayes Photography | Ceremony Venue: Fourth Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: The Mid-America Club | Florist: Fleur Tatious Designs, Ltd | Hair / Makeup: Studio 110 Salon | Band: The Chicago Catz | Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Groom’s Tux: Calvin Klein | Bridesmaids Dress: Lela Rose | Shoes: Badgley Mischka

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