05.10.19 Morgan & Oscar

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The Meeting

Morgan and Oscar first met when they were sophomores in high school during a cooking class. They became friends but didn’t start dating until Morgan’s senior year of college.

When I came home for spring break, Oscar told me that he liked me and whenIMG_4525.jpg I was home for summer, he would be taking me out on a date. I told him, “We’ll see.” And he still doesn’t let me live it down! Four years later… we got married!

The First Date

Morgan and Oscar shared a mutual interest in each other, but because they had been friends for so long, Morgan was hesitant to date him.

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I was afraid it wouldn’t work out and I’d lose a good friend. Eventually, Oscar made the first move, and now I’m so glad he did.

 

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Our first date was to Casa Margarita for dinner. We love Mexican food. We even had a taco bar at our wedding from our caterer, Cuisine America. I highly recommend them!

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The Moment

I actually wasn’t interested in getting married before we really started to date.MO-309.jpg Oscar changed my mind somehow… he’s been a huge part of my life for many years and with him, it felt right to get married. Oscar says he knew he wanted to marry me right when we first started dating.

 

The Song

One day, Oscar sent me a song called “Someday” by The Growlers. A line in the chorus goes “someday you’re going to be my wife.” Admittedly, I got a little freaked out at first! We ended up using the song as our introduction song when walking into the reception.

 

The Proposal

We like to play video games together, so Oscar told me he wanted to go down into the basement and play Mario Kart. When I plugged, in the game, there were string lights on the wall that lit up and said, “Marry Me?” He got down on one knee and proposed. I was so excited and wanted to go to my parent’s house to tell them, but he said he wanted to go to Beer Market to get a skillet cookie. I was confused why he didn’t want to go to my parent’s but went along with him. To my surprise, he had invited both of our families and all of our friends—we even had our favorite waiter, Justin!

 

The Wedding 

Our favorite part was seeing all of our family and friends who came out to celebrateMO-575.jpg with us. Oscar had a lot of family come in from Mexico for our big day, which was very special. All of the anticipation and waiting to see Oscar was finally over and it almost felt like a relief to be able to be with him again. Plus, he cried when he saw me and I thought it was so sweet!

 

The Dress & Tux 

I got my wedding dress and topper from BHLDN. The bridesmaids dresses were from Kennedy Blue, and the tuxes were rented from Men’s Warehouse.

 

The Venue

 My brother and sister-in-law were married at The Haight and it was so gorgeous. I knew I wanted a loft venue, but all the venues in Chicago either weren’t in our budget, had no parking, or were too small for the number of guests we wanted. The Haight was perfect for us! It was everything I wanted and none of the downtown Chicago headache. They also knew exactly how to help us bring to life our vision for our wedding—it was easy to personalize the day. I also love that the ceremony and reception are in the same building. Plus, every part of The Haight makes for a great photo opportunity!

 

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The Marriage

MO-681Our relationship really hasn’t changed much since getting married. We are still the same people we were before getting married, now we just introduce each other as our “husband” or “wife.” Some days, Oscar will suddenly remember we are married and when it hits him, he says,” Morgan. We’re MARRIED” and he will get excited all over again.

The Advice

I would say, start the planning early so you won’t be stressed and cramming to get it all done in time. That way you have time to also enjoy being engaged to your fiancé! Using the preferred list of vendors was a huge help as well. We used all preferred vendors and they were all familiar with The Haight and what they had to do/where everything had to go. Some even gave discounts!IMG_3551

The Shoutouts 

Every vendor we used was perfect—no complaints about any of them! We used Oh So Lovely Photography for our engagement and wedding photos. Esther is so talented! We love our photos and so does everyone who sees them. She really captures the moment by taking candid shots. Cuisine America makes amazing food. We had a taco bar that I still crave to this day. Our guests loved it too! We used Kyle from Sounds Abound for our DJ and the dance floor was packed the entire night. Herb’s Bakery made our cake for a great price. It looked great and tasted so good—we got tons of compliments! My flowers were from Town and Country Gardens. I used King Protea as my focal flower and each bridesmaid carried one king protea with blue thistles.

 

THE VENDORS
PHOTOGRAPHER: OH SO LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHY
FLORALS: TOWN & COUNTRY GARDENS | CATERING: CUISINE AMERICA
CAKE & SWEETS: HERB’S BAKERY  | DJ: SOUNDS ABOUND

08.10.18 Kaylen & Jacob

The Meeting_LJL8228 (1)

Kaylen first met Jacob in high school—she was a sophomore and he was a senior. They went to the movies for their first date and saw a horrible comedy, but were able to laugh about it afterwards.

The Moment

We knew we wanted to get married when I went to college at UIC. We just knew we were going to stay together.

The ‘I Love You’

Jacob said it the first month we were dating and then I said it without even thinking when we were talking on the phone the following month.

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The Proposal

Jacob proposed when we were camping in a lightning storm on the beach of IL Beach State Park. It didn’t go exactly how he planned, but it was a very magical moment being on the beach with the wind and the lightning in the distance. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful moment.

The Wedding Day

My favorite part of the wedding day was the ceremony and our first dance… which we danced to OUR SONG—“First Date” by Blink 182.

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The Venue

We chose The Haight because it is so beautiful and the people who work there are awesome!

The Dress

_LJL8410.jpgI actually got my dress on a second-hand website called Still White. It cost me less than half the price of a brand new one. I was able to get exactly what I wanted at an awesome price. The designer was Maggie Sottero and it was an Ivory A-line sheath style dress.

The Marriage

Our relationship hasn’t changed that much. We had been living together and we’ve been together for so long that it really feels the same. Changing my last name was the biggest change. That… I am still getting used to.

The Advice

My advice to newly engaged couples? Focus on what’s important. The things that matter are the small things during the day. But do get a really good photographer to capture the special moments.

The Shoutouts

Uncle Bub’s had amazing food and all of our guests told us how much they enjoyed the food. Platinum Occasions DJ, Jim, did an awesome job playing the songs we requested and we ended up dancing the night away.

THE VENDORS
PHOTOGRAPHER: LANCE’S STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY
FLORALS: TOWN & COUNTRY GARDENS | CATERING: UNCLE BUB’S
CAKE & SWEETS: THE SUGAR PATH  | DJ: PLATINUM OCCASION’S DJ
HAIR/MAKEUP: ELLE SALON | ALCOHOL: DRINKS ON ME CATERING

Jennifer & Roy 11.09.18

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The Meeting

Jennifer and Roy met through online dating back in 2014. They had both been in long-term relationships before dipping into the unknown waters of online dating.

JR-25.jpgWe were each other’s first match right out of the gate… and forever.

The First Date

We went out for fondue at Gejas in Chicago.  Roy was on time, and due to terrible traffic coming from work, I was VERY late.  When I saw him and he wasn’t upset whatsoever, I knew he was a special person. Roy’s patience was further tested during our meal when I continued to lose my tofu in the fondue!  He, as always, helped me out so I didn’t starve. He also gave me glitter crayons, since I LOVE to color. I still have them to this day.

The Moment

JR-449.jpgIt sounds simple, but from the sheer easiness of being together, I knew I wanted to marry Roy.  All relationships require work, time and patience; but, this one always feels like we are working in the same direction.  And we laugh all the time. Nothing is ever so serious that we can’t make it work out.

The Shared Song

JR-745We sing a lot of songs in our house, and our shared Spotify playlist really runs the spectrum of genres!  Because she’s such a talented musician, great writer and puts on a HELL of a show, our song is Butterflies by Kacey Musgraves.  If you haven’t heard it, go do it now.

The Proposal

We went on a road trip in October 2016 to buy the ring from a small jeweler (because walking into the store to buy a cookie cutter item isn’t our style). Though I knew what the ring looked like, I still wanted to have a surprise to the proposal.  I used to tease and tell him that he should just give it to me—that I wore it around the house when he wasn’t home. But, he said to wait until the time is right.JR-3 The “right time” was just a regular day. Roy likes to go on what we call “Roy-ventures,” where he just hops in the car, puts on some music or a podcast and goes for a drive alone, or with our dog Sarge (who loves to be in the car).  On January 6, 2017, after work and kinda late, Roy asked me to go on a Roy-venture with him. It was cold outside, and I was already in my pj pants and a sweatshirt…I wasn’t into it. Then, when he asked, my response was, “Do I have to put on a bra?”  Finally, he talked me into it, and we packed up Sarge and hopped in the car.

JR-437.jpgAs we were driving, we were just talking and having a good time.  We made our way toward Chicago, and I began pointing out all kinds of places we’d gone to on dates.  Roy pointed out others, and then talked about places that we should go to in the future. Then, he pulled to a stop, and he asked me to look at the time.  It was now 1-7-17—the beginning of a new year and the beginning of our new phase of our life together.

The Wedding Day

I truly loved every single minute of the day, but if I had to choose, it was when we performed a vow renewal ceremony for our guests.  Roy and I really wanted to emphasize that this day was not just about us on our day, but about love and how much potential love has to overcome everything.  JR-513.jpgSo, as a surprise to our guests, Roy and I became ordained online. We wrote a short ceremony and invited all of our guests who wanted to take the time to renew their own wedding vows to each other to do so.  It was an amazing thing to see the love that made each of us as individuals be renewed as we began our next adventure together! One of my favorite pictures Nicole captured for us was of my parents during the vow renewal.  I get choked up thinking about it now!!

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The DressJR-13.jpg

Jennifer’s dress was from Bride’s by Young Collection at Brides By Young in Schaumburg, IL. Roy’s Roy’s Custom Barong Tagalog was made by Lupita of Philippine’s Finest Barong in Forest Glen (Chicago, IL).

JR-435The Venue

Roy and I knew that we were going to have a wedding that would be on the smaller side, as we wanted to really invest in giving our guests the best experience we could without breaking the bank.  We wanted a venue that was going to be unique and the Haight did not disappoint! The Haight was the ONLY venue we visited, as we booked the next day with no regrets. The venue itself allowed us to not have to do too much to the atmosphere, so we could customize smaller details–really making our day so personal.

 

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The history of the building appealed to us as well, and all of the industrial yet artistic touches everywhere throughout the building really gave us the opportunity to create a customized experience for our guests.  There will never be enough good things to say about the staff either. They are kind, responsive and so organized that I was stress free. Their list of vendors was also a great guide–planning a wedding is so overwhelming with choices that having a set of people that you know are great really helped ease the process.  The day of staff (Lauren!!) was also phenomenal. Their help allowed me to take a nap in the bridal suite—I was so relaxed!!!

 

The Advice

Remember that your wedding day is the celebration of you as a couple and where you are at your lives in that moment. Stop at different times throughout the day and think about that fact.  Take that moment when you approach your partner for the first time in front of your group of loved ones. Take the moment when you dance. Take that moment when you walk out of the ceremony.

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Decide what you want to spend your money on!  Prioritize what’s going to be most important to you as you look back, and spend your money there. For us, it was photos (since they last a lifetime) and food (because we love to eat!).

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If you’re crafty, don’t feel like you have to make everything yourself! You will go down a rabbit hole of fun ideas, but don’t let it be stressful.

The Shoutouts

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Custom keychain place cards were made by MyCraftedStudio on Etsy. Custom Cookie Favors were courtesy of Sweetbox Boutique. Photographer, Nicole Vega of The Still Life Photography. Food and set up by Cuisine America. Hair and Makeup by Cassie and Mariah of Blushing Bride.

 

The Vendors
Photographer: The Still Life Photography
Florals: Town & Country Gardens | Catering: Cuisine America
Cake & Sweets: The Sugar Path  | DJ: DJUj
Hair/Makeup: Blushing Bride | Alcohol: Drinks on Me Catering

Samantha & Chris 10.05.18

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Meeting & Falling in Love

Samantha and Chris first met in 2006 while playing Xbox Live games. Samantha was 16 at the time and, as she did quite often with her best friend, would form friendships over the online gaming platform.

 

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I eventually became friends with a good-looking gamer over Uno (yes, the card game). The cute gamer’s friend then entered the scene, who ended up wooing myself with his sultry voice  over mic chat. Soon we were talking to each other every day. Even though he was miles away in North Dakota, Chris became one of my best friends. We would talk for hours and our conversations spanned over every intimate detail of our lives. Chris eventually bit the bullet and traveled to Chicago to finally meet me. When he arrived, however, I wasn’t there! I never showed up to meet him because I was insecure, scared, and not ready to have such a major change in my life. Chris went to my parents house in hopes that I’d be there, but I wasn’t. I actually escaped to a friend’s house in fear, knowing that Chris had my home address and would look for me there first. Defeated, he left a book of poetry with my mom’s boyfriend at the time and went back to North Dakota. We didn’t speak for a year after this incident and the book of poetry would lay, forgotten and unread, underneath my bed.

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After the year of silence passed, I came across the book and finally read its contents. Feeling the undeniable love he felt for me through his words, I immediately knew that I had made the biggest mistake in my life by running away from him—I not only lost my best friend, but the man I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I sent Chris a MySpace message apologizing to him and hoping there could still be a friendship between us. Chris replied that he didn’t want to be friends…instead, he loved me and never stopped loving me. 48972801_10218244041002199_358807516437544960_oHe wanted nothing but to try and figure out this thing between us.

Love will always find a way.

In 2009, we decided to try meeting again and this time, I didn’t run. I instantly recognized Chris as he walked towards me at O’Hare. It was a surreal experience to finally see each other in person for the first time, after all of these years of talking. I was so enamored to see Chris… I never stopped staring at him and smiling—he still jokes about it this to this day. Things moved pretty fast from there, we lived together for a year in Colorado, then returned to Chicago. We blossomed those following years, creating a deeper bond with not only ourselves but all of the friends and family that watched us grow together. We continuously made things better for each other, always having positive outlooks amid any situation.

 

 

The Quirkiest Things

I love her sense of humor, her kind heart, her patience, talking about deep things such as philosophy and religion as well as her artistic abilities; she is a wonderful painter and musician. She is also an outstanding mother to our daughter and that is a quality I admire.

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I love that Chris and I are not afraid to be ourselves in front of each other. I love that we make each other laugh hysterically at least once a day. I love that Chris will come up to me and we will just stop what we are doing and grab me to dance with him with or without music. I love that we try to teach and show each other things we are passionate about because we love each other so much that we want each other to love what we love. I love so much that we can work together the hardest we will ever work—to teach and give so much love to our baby girl, Luna. He truly is my best friend.

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The Proposal

49106978_10218243758075126_2581973543369572352_o.jpgIn 2014, the first heavy snowfall of the season prompted us to bundle up and play in it (as we did every year). We walked hand in hand around the town, enjoying the silence when suddenly Chris stopped and turned towards me. He got down on one knee and proposed. It was such a dream come true on a beautiful snowy evening, there were no other words except, “YES!”

 

The Wedding Day

49206525_10218243915879071_2742007782914916352_o.jpgMy favorite part of the wedding was finally getting to read the vows I had written Chris almost 5 years before the wedding. I love that I get to have the BEST last name ever (Sweet). I loved having our family dance with our baby girl, Luna. I loved all of our closest family and friends there to celebrate with us. I really loved EVERYTHING about that perfect day, even dancing to Metallica (requested by Chris) with all of our friends.. WHO PLAYS METALLICA AT THEIR WEDDING?… The Sweet family does!

 

The Wedding Venue

48997546_10218243842997249_5735896564308639744_oWhen we walked into The Haight and saw the beautiful drapery, the seats and everything set up, Chris turned to me and said, “Yep! This is the place!”—taking the words right out of my mouth. The bridal suite wasn’t there when we had first seen it and it turned out to be EVERYTHING! We are so happy to have chosen The Haight. All of our friends and family said they LOVED our wedding location. The farm tables are gorgeous and all of the decorations and help from the staff made everything a dream come true! Best decision ever!

 

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The Marriage

48991592_10218244108803894_8008454590590615552_o.jpgI love my new name. It took a while to get used to husband and wife, but we did try to go out of our way to say it for the first couple of months. Ha! Our relationship has for the most part stayed the same considering we had been living with each other for years before we got married. There is less anxiety now that the wedding planning is over with and now that people are treating us as husband and wife. I feel more secure and it has made me want to be better. The more we are together, the better we understand each other, and the more in love we are!

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The Dress & Tux49205965_10218244042042225_3178708736038404096_o.jpg

I got my dress from David’s Bridal and it was designed by Oleg Cassini. The tux was a custom suit from Men’s Warehouse.

The Advice

Take it all in! Patience when planning and with each other during planning. Don’t work towards the expectations of others and invest in your marriage! WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS!! It was my favorite part of our wedding!

The Shoutouts

48428790_10218243823196754_6775656156091121664_oNicole at The Haight was honestly SO AMAZING! She gave me the best ideas and helped me set everything up perfectly. Cuisine America brought us food on our day and let us borrow so many things from them! We loved that they are family-owned and how sweet and beautiful they were to us! We loved the entire experience working with them! Town and Country Gardens were so talented and did such beautiful work—I’m still obsessed with my flowers! Esther with Oh So Lovely Photography is SO talented and sweet…honestly one of the nicest people ever. We loved working with her!

 

Backthird Entertainment played everything and anything we asked for. They were AMAZING! We loved that The Sugar Path added our little cookie from Kingdom Hearts and Nina was so sweet and attentive! We loved our cake tasting and all of our choices! I can’t say enough about Craft Donuts! We LOVE their donuts so much and donuts are Chris’ favorite food! Concept One Photography did a great job on the photo-booth and I’m so grateful to my really good friend, Loni Lovely for my hair and makeup!

 

The Vendors
Photographer: Oh So Lovely Photography| Photo-booth: Concept One Photography
Florals: Town & Country Gardens | Catering: Cuisine America
Cake & Sweets: The Sugar Path & Craft Donuts | DJ: Backthird Entertainment
Hair/Makeup: Loni Westman | Alcohol: Drinks on Me Catering

Madison & Brandon 11.11.18

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The Meeting

Madison first met Brandon in high school—she was a freshman and he was a senior. Their first date was at Olive Garden on November 11, 2014.

DSC_5263The Moment

We knew we wanted to get married about 5-6 months into our relationship when Brandon got me a promise ring.

The Proposal

Brandon and I were moving from Illinois tounnamed Arizona and we decided to make our move into a road trip. We stopped in Colorado to visit my uncle, and he took me to a waterfall on a hike. He took me into the middle of the stream and it was there that he got down on one knee with so much confidence and asked me to marry him.

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The Wedding DayDSC_5915.JPG

My favorite part of the wedding day was just spending it with him…dancing with my friends and family AND just so many photos! Oh yeah, and my dog!

The Venue

I fell in love with The Haight the first minute I saw it and I knew that everything else would fall together.

 

 

 

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The Dress & TuxDSC_4019

Brandon’s stuff we got from Kohls. My dress was a limited Sherri Hill prom dress that began as just plain white, but I had a complete redesign done to it that I overall chose the design for. The redesign was done bGemma out here in Arizona.

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The Advice

Make sure to get a GOOD photographer and videographer for the wedding (even if it’s just a friend). These photos will mean more to you than you know.

 

 

 

The Shoutouts

All of my vendors did such a fabulous job. Danny’s Pizza for food, David Leith for DJ, Mary Zygulski’s desserts through Danny’s Pizza, The Haight for my venue, and many, many more.

 

 

 

The Vendors
Photographer: Judith Rackow Photography| Florals: Jewel Osco
Catering, Late Night Food, Cake, & Sweets: Danny’s Pizza
DJ, Cocktail, & Ceremony Musician: David Leith| Alcohol: Drinks on Me Catering

Kelsey & Mike 09.28.18

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The Meeting

Kelsey and Mike-406.jpgKelsey and Mike first met in high school. Senior year they became friends when they were paired up as lab partners in microbiology class. Their connection was instant and they went on to spend a lot of time together that year.

Mike would pick me up for dates in the 1990s Chevy Caviler with silver flames that he painted on himself. It wasn’t until a year after we graduated high school in 2010 that we made our relationship official.

 

Kelsey and Mike-24.jpgThe Moment

Mike and I got to grow up together from being just 19-year-olds—we always had each other to lean on, through college, and starting our careers. We both knew we were meant for each other.

The ProposalKelsey and Mike-27-2.jpg

Finally after seven years together Mike proposed in our home with just the two of us and, of course, our dogs Levi and Ella. I knew something was up because he kept calling to ask when I would be home from work, which was very odd. The bigger the surprise was him putting together a little engagement party that night with out family and friends.

The Wedding Day

Our wedding day was perfect; Mike and I were both thrilled to celebrate with our friends and family. For both of us while sitting at dinner at the front of the room and looking out at everyone who was there for us was a very humbling moment and something we will both remember forever.

 

Kelsey and Mike-8.jpgThe Venue

Both Mike and I always said we did not want to have our wedding in a typical banquet hall we wanted a venue that was unique. Mike’s work holiday party was at The Haight and we both knew that was where we wanted our wedding. We did not even look at any other venues.

 

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The Shout Outs

We had an incredible vendor team behind us to make our day special. Cranes Chicago Photography captured our day perfectly. Our florist MC Designs put our vision together.

 

 

The Marriage

Since Mike and I have been married we have enjoyed the process of becoming a stronger couple. We are no longer two individuals in a relationship we are a unified couple working together towards our best life. We are both excited to see what the future holds for us.

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The Vendors
Photographer & Photobooth: Crane’s Photography| Videographer: Kevin Wagen Cinematography | Florals: MC Designs, Inc.
Catering: Cuisine America | Late Night Food: Danny’s on Douglas | Cake & Sweets: Herb’s Bakery
DJ & Ceremony Musician: DJs For You | Ceremony Musician: Lauren Canitia
Hair/Makeup:Kara Stiverson & Bella Makeup | Alcohol: Drinks on Me Catering