Any bride who chooses to wear a green wedding dress is an absolute winner in my book, but Claudia takes it one step further with the cutest little green veil! Definitely a superstar in my book for daring to go against the grain and wear whatever maker her feel best for her big day.
And then there’s the florals (seriously, have you seen the chuppah?). And the super cool stationery. And the warmth and love radiating from every single image by Allison Williams Photography. And…. you get the picture – this wedding is very, very special.
Ryan, the groom, converted to Judaism and embraced Claudia’s family and Jewish traditions emphatically. I loved seeing their modern take of all the Jewish wedding traditions in the wedding film at the bottom of the post. Have a peek – it’s an absolutely gorgeous film
In a slight deviation from the norm, the narration of this W-Day comes directly from Carlene Smith of Naturally Yours, Claudia & Ryan’s super talented wedding planner.
Enjoy! This wedding may very well make you green with envy (could not resist, but you’ll excuse me because it’s a Friday, right?). Happy weekend everyone!
How they met
Carlene Smith, their Wedding Planner: Despite attending the same college, Claudia and Ryan didn’t meet until they attended a serendipitous goodbye party for a mutual friend in New York. After their initial conversation, Ryan instantly felt moved by Claudia. He asked her out, but she said no!
In the form of an email, Ryan laid out a convincing argument as to why she should go on a date with him – and she agreed! Fast forward a few years later, Ryan planned an elaborate proposal that involved a cute scavenger hunt (including their friends and family from all over the country) that ended with him on one knee on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building.
A warehouse wedding with a vintage, eclectic feel
The whole room felt very vintage, eclectic, and slightly prohibition era-esque. And yet, the setting still set a classic, romantic wedding tone. After the ceremony and cocktail hour downstairs, guests were escorted to the upstairs space. From the moment they stepped off the industrial elevator, guests saw the bright and shining Chicago skyline.
A Chicago skyline theme of sorts
There was a light Chicago theme, emphasising the skyline in their invitations and other printed goods. Combining Claudia and Ryan’s aesthetics, we utilised old whiskey crates for the escort cards, and the pie table.
A warehouse venue with skyline views
We chose Bridgeport Art Center because it was a perfect mix of industrial, prohibition feel, but with warm rustic brick and wooden beams. Since Claudia is an architect, having skyline views was very appealing to her.
A ceremony full of Jewish wedding traditions
Two aspects that Claudia and Ryan agreed upon right away were that celebrating with their family and friends was the biggest priority and that they wanted to incorporate many Jewish traditions into their ceremony (Ryan, newly converted to Judaism, embraced Claudia’s family and Jewish traditions with excitement).
Many of their friends and family flew in from across the country to help them celebrate their big day. The ceremony included the tisch (joyous celebration with the men drinking whiskey and signing the marriage contract), the badeken (the veiling of the bride and greeting her loved ones), and then they moved into the formal ceremony under the chuppah. Many family were involved in this portion with the seven blessings, the ketubah signing, and the breaking of the glass.
A green wedding dress
From Claudia’s leaf-green gown to the floral chuppah, each element was designed to reflect the couple’s love of nature and commitment to their future.
Two tastes coming together
Planning Claudia and Ryan’s wedding was interesting because both had completely different ideas of what they wanted their big day to be like: Claudia envisioned a very casual, Sunday backyard pizza party, and Ryan wanted a lively and more formal Saturday night party. As the planner, we had to find solutions to bring two different tastes together in the same event, to make it feel cohesive and like their two tastes were coming together.
Claudia & Ryan had a kosher southern barbecue family style meal which felt casual and fun. The pies for dessert tended to the more casual feel that Claudia wanted.
Claudia & Ryan’s little white book
Wedding planner — Naturally Yours Events
Photographer — Allison Williams Photography
Videography — Charlie Hilbrant Films
Venue — Bridgeport Art Center
Flowers — Fab Floral Designer
Caterer — Wolfgang Puck Catering
Bride’s dress — Mignonette Bridal Dress Designer
Hair + Makeup — Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists
Tableware rentals — The Festive Frog
Limousine — M&M Limo Transportation
Lighting — Atmosphere Events Group Lighting
Invitations — Spilled Ink Press and Starshaped Press
DJ — Toast and Jam DJs
Orchestra — Key Tov Orchestra Musicians
Photo booth — Fotio