The classic and medieval style of one of the buildings in the University of Chicago served as a perfect setting for our couple’s personality. They have always preferred classic styles and it’s not surprising that they achieved this effortlessly through their outfits and venue choices. This album also serves as some sort of preview of their wedding because they want their special day to be filled with classic and elegant details as well. But aside from this all, they did not forget to pay homage to one of the things they love to do together as a couple – sailing – when they had the rest of their engagement session by Lake Michigan. Enjoy this lovely feature and to our couple, advanced congratulations!
Here is what our bride-to-be shared with us…
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
Nathan and I met by chance in Turkey. He was a student at the United States Naval Academy; I had just finished my graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh. We both received scholarships to participate in an intensive Turkish language program abroad, and found ourselves sitting together in a Beginner Turkish class of four. During that summer together in Turkey, we became best friends. Upon our return to the States, I moved to California, and Nathan volunteered to join me on the five-day roadtrip to get there. That cross-country drive marked a turning point for us; somewhere between Kansas and Colorado, we decided to give dating a try. The
rest was history!
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
Nathan and I are both romantics at heart. Nathan is sweet, chivalrous, and has more character and integrity than any man I’ve ever known. We share traditional values and a vision for our lives together. We treasure the time we spend together – we love outdoor activities, cooking, learning languages, reading, and avidly following politics together!
How did he (or you) propose?
Nathan dropped off a package at my office that afternoon, which contained going-out clothes for that evening and a sweet handwritten love note. After work, he picked me up in a cab and took me out for a cocktail at the Signature Room in Chicago, with beautiful skyline views of the city. Much to my surprise, our next stop was home, where Nathan had prepared a fresh DIY sushi and sashimi spread. Sometime after dinner, he got down on one knee and proposed. I was so overwhelmed with happiness and love – the rest is a blur!
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
The planning process has been surprisingly smooth, given that I’m planning a Raleigh, NC wedding from Chicago. One year for planning has provided a comfortable timeline.
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
If you are prone to stress and anxiety, make it a priority to plan your wedding with low-stress logistics in mind! Don’t let people pressure you otherwise. Sure, outdoor ceremonies are beautiful – but for me, the possibility of April showers pouring down on my big day was too anxiety-inducing! I decided to opt for an indoor wedding instead.
What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding & what would you have done differently to avoid them?
If you have out-of-town guests coming, block hotel rooms early! I didn’t realize how quickly they fill up.
What inspired your wedding decor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
Our style is very classical, and we wanted our engagement and wedding details to reflect that. We wanted the day to hold all the joy and closeness of a big family holiday, so we opted for a more intimate size and location for the wedding, with dinner served family-style. Nathan had my ring custom engraved with a laurel detail (a subtle nod to the meaning of my name).
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
75 invited; final count not yet totaled
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We’re planning a trip to the Azores Islands – a small cluster of Portugese islands in the middle of the Atlantic. Just a short four-hour plane ride from Boston, the islands have been described as a blend between Hawaii and Ireland, with stunning scenery, cozy fishing villages, and the freshest seafood.
What are you most excited about for the future?
I’m most looking forward to building our lives together, settling into a warm and cozy home, and filling it with beautiful memories with family and friends.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
As a former baker, my advice is to indulge in as many cake tastings as necessary until you find the perfect bite!
What would you say, the overall story for this album?
The overall story of this album is one of charm, romance, and affection. Nathan and I loved the University of Chicago (where he attends school) as a backdrop to reflect our classical styles. The ivy-draped buildings and gothic detail suited our session perfectly. We also decided to feature Lake Michigan in the photos, where we spent many summer days sailing together, exploring the shoreline, and lazing on the beach together.
What inspired the outfits?
We let our personal styles guide our outfit choices. We shirked some of the typical engagement session advice and chose not to shy away from patterns. We wanted a range of looks and colors, and tried to style our outfits in a way that would still look cohesive.
What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day was ditching the technologies and distractions of day-to-day life for the engagement session. What a blessing to spend a few hours focusing only on my husband-to-be!
Photographer: Dana Ann Photography
Event Venue:Bond Chapel University of Chicago