{Real Wedding} Katie & Wes: Cheery DIY Lakeside Chicago Wedding

There are a few places where I’ve lived or traveled that hold a special place in my heart, and Chicago tops them all.  It is just the best city and I miss it all the time.  Yeah the weather sucks 65% of the time, but on those days when the weather is good, there is no place like it.  So when this wedding came my way, it was like going home (my second home) for a little bit.  I’m so excited to share it with you today!  It just makes me happy.

From the bride:
We stuck true to both of our personalities and worked to find a combination of playful and stylish, from the food to the decor to little details of the ceremony and celebration. We opted for cheesecakes instead of traditional wedding cake and had food that reflected Wes’ North Carolina roots. My dress and shoes were really reflective of my personality – the shorter length keeping things playful and a little edgy.

Before arriving at the wedding, my bridesmaids and I took pictures downtown. We felt almost famous, standing in the middle of the street all decked out. People were honking and waving and pre-celebrating with us for a second, and it was a great way to get excited for the hours to come.
Wes’s favorite thing about Chicago is the lake, so when we found this beautiful park and gorgeous building sitting on a peninsula right on the lake, we couldn’t say no. The water and city skyline made for an awesome view for guests and an incredible backdrop to our vows.
My bridesmaids and I did all of the flowers on our own. It added a little bit of stress the day before the wedding, but it was totally worth it. We saved a ton of money, and it was actually a lot of fun making the bouquets and boutonnieres. They felt really special.
We really wanted to walk down the aisle to something special and different, and we opted for the acoustic version of “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service. It made for the most beautiful feeling and was perfect for the lakefront setting.
Our first dance was to the acoustic version of “Beloved One” by Ben Harper. In the first few weeks of getting to know each other, I made Wes a CD of some of my favorite songs, and that song was one of them.
One of my favorite moments of the day was about twenty minutes before I walked down the aisle. My bridesmaids and I were hiding out in a back room, looking out the window at everything all set up, seeing guests begin to arrive, and of course, spying on Wes as he checked things out and talked to a few people. It was really exciting to see him. He looked amazing, and I almost started crying and ruined my makeup.
Ah, I just love this wedding!  From the DIY florals (seriously, what an incredible job!), to the lakeside setting…le sigh.  And the personal touches that this couple incorporated to make their wedding them were perfect.  I’m also really loving the citrus touches in the centerpieces and with the favors!  What’s your favorite detail?  Do tell 🙂
{Vendors}  Photographer: Studio Finch / Location: Promontory Point / Event Planning: Lauren at Ryan Alexander Events / Food: Wishbone Catering / Dress: Justin Alexander 8465 / Makeup: Tiara Peach / Cheesecake: Cheesecake Factory
leave a comment.


  1. Kimmi Smith
    Posted May 2 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I was there and this day was truly beautiful. Katie and wes are a one of a kind couple and they really did capture both their styles perfectly. It was also supposed to rain that evening, which could have put a bit of a damper on the party. But the clouds disappeared and the sky was open and the sun was shining. They could not have asked for a better chicago day.

  2. Posted May 3 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Oh man, this wedding does it for me on so many levels:

    1) Chicago is my hometown (and current residence), and we are also getting married downtown.
    2)Promontory Point was one of our possible venues that we looked at (decided on the Caldwell Lily Pool)
    3)That is the dress I tried on and fell in love with (out of my price range) and have a very sad picture of me sitting on the floor of the dressing room in it, saying goodbye to my dream dress.

    Now my heart hurts, because this is so beautiful and gaaa, my dream dress! It is haunting me everywhere I look! Although, seeing as it is so popular, perhaps it is for the best. I haven’t seen anyone anywhere in the dress I ended up choosing. Yet…

    Thanks for the Chicago love, Chandra! And for the record, after days of crap weather, it is gorgeous here today.

  3. Posted May 3 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

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  4. Posted May 3 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I love this blog and can’t get enough of every aspect of it. You are a fabulously talented writer and manage to make everything so relatable. You are so good at this in fact, that sometimes while reading I feel like our hearts and minds become one and basically I feel as if I am reading my own thoughts.

  5. Posted May 6 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    So nice wedding and excellent color combination. I love this.

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