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Real Wedding | Alyssa + Greg

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We met in 2013 in downtown Chicago at a late night bar. Our first date consisted of us walking along Lake Michigan talking about our least favorite fonts and early 90's hip hop. By the end of our second date, we had clocked 13 hours of just walking and talking and lots of laughing. We both love to take it day by day and enjoy not taking life too seriously. Alyssa can find the best in every person she meets. She has an impeccable eye for design and loves to laugh. In her free time, she enjoys learning new methods of cooking and spends her evenings expanding our palates. She also enjoys sketching and painting. Greg is laid back, sarcastic and analytical. He has a lot of hobbies which stem from a lifetime of loving to learn. He enjoys golfing, horology, drawing, billiards, collecting sneakers and vinyl records. Together, we love to travel and cook while listening to old Motown records. Typically, a night out in Chicago involves trying a new restaurant and hitting a speakeasy to wind down the night in style.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

Alyssa planned two weddings. Initially, she found a large venue in downtown Chicago with gothic architectural details and expansive ceilings. This space could accommodate up to 350 people. Fast forward to four months before the wedding - Chicago was still in lock down, so we knew we’d have to reimagine the event. Both of us sat down and listed our priorities for the day. We found parallels in how we wanted the day to unfold. The common thread highlighted a more intimate celebration: one where we could remember meaningful conversations with each guest present. Alyssa scoured the internet and ended up finding a private art studio called White Studio on the Southside of Chicago. The space was modern yet timeless, effortlessly transitioning indoors to outdoors with a thoughtful floor-to-ceiling sliding glass design. In the studio, the artist showcases his robust, yet minimalist pieces with a focus on neutral tones. He lures the viewer in with texture rather than color. While the space was tucked away, it was sneakily accommodative and could comfortably fit 50 people. When we walked into the studio, we immediately looked at each other and said “this is us”.

How many guests did you have?

We had 42 guests.

Tell us about your outfits.

Greg wore a black velvet tuxedo, black suede shoes and a vintage Omega Speedmaster Professional, circa 1970. I found a strapless, backless dress adorned with an asymmetrical bow and long train from Ines di Santo. I wanted something that would balance my love of minimalism with a modern twist and with just the right amount of drama. The silhouette felt like a current day Greco-Roman statue draped in the ivory crepe. I paired the dramatic dress with a fingertip veil lined with delicate florals and silk kitten heel from Manolo Blahnik.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

It was critical that I surrounded myself with vendors that not only inspired me as a creative but also people who exuded warmth and kindness - such as our photographers Joel & Justyna, planner XO Design Co., florist Taxa Floral and hair and makeup artist Angelo Juliano. Planning became my second job after logging off. I would spend hours corresponding, emailing, and chatting with them individually. During the planning process, I would host design work sessions and emphasized collaboration. I had a clear vision complete with mood boards, 3D renderings and all the imagery you can imagine. I wanted the design sessions to encourage individual creative freedom. Professionally, I’ve found that being open to collaboration yields the best designs. Ultimately, happy people create happy events - so why not apply this principle to the biggest day of our lives?

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

Color – or lack thereof. We focused on blacks and whites. We like simple and by choosing neutral tones and a neutral venue, the ivory wedding dress and dark emerald bridesmaid dresses really popped.

Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during Covid?

Be kind to yourselves and each other. Be patient and prioritize how both of you want to feel on that day. When I look back, I do not think about the tears lost for having to tell family and friends that it wasn’t safe to host a 100+ event. What does stand out is a moment when Greg and I snuck away to sit in the warmth of the sun at a nearby bench. We sat under a tree and shared laughs about nothing - just enjoying the quiet before the storm. This moment was so genuinely us. We were dressed to the nines, with no one around and we were laughing about some silly movie. It was our moment, to hold hands and kill the nerves before we put on the show.

Photographer : Joel & Justyna @joelandjustyna | Ceremony + Reception Location : White Studio @lonneywhite | Entertainment : Spark Entertainment @sparkentgroup | Planner : XO Design Co. @xpdesign_co | Flora : Taxa Floral @taxaflora | HMUA : Angelo Juliano | Catering + Beverages : Beyond Catering @beyondcateringchi | Cake : Piece of Cake @pieceofcakeinc | Stationery : Sarah Drake @sarahdrakedesign | Bride's Dress : Ines di Santo – Margot Dress @inesdisanto | Shoes : Manolo Blahnik @manoloblahnik


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