OH MAH GOODNESS I am so pumped to finally share this September wedding!!!!! This was the most wonderful perfect weathered day with Dani and Mike at 12 corners vineyard (and a really fantastic brewery!).
To say these are some of my favorite people is the understatement of the year. Dani and Mike and their whole vibe/life/amazing personalities make my heart so happy. Not only are these two a TON OF FUN (check out their first dance later….) but they also are incredibly kind, thoughtful and genuine people. I truly adore them and everyone they surround themselves with. I had a blast with their very small wedding party (highly recommend this) while chilling at North Pier Brewing Co and hiding amongst the grapes at 12 Corners Vineyard.
I also cannot explain how much I adore their DJ, Derek Hall. I seriously think he makes the best parties 100x better. And is such a helpful guy. I also hired him for my own wedding happening next fall so I MIGHT BE BIASED but he seriously knows how to make something a great time. He also noticed how AMAZING the end of the sunset was in the middle of speeches, and we took a little break for EVERYONE to go grab some rad photos. He’s truly amazing.
I truly hope Dani and Mike love these photos. And I also hope my own wedding literally a year from their wedding, has this same weather/vibe/funness going on. Now I will let them take it from here with their notes on the day!
Mike and I met online in late 2010. Mike might tell you he viewed my professional LinkedIn profile, but it was another site. We first met in person on December 8th, 2010 and things just kinda felt right. We went to a bar, had a drink or two and basically never stopped talking. We bought a house together in July of 2012, got engaged on April 8th, 2017 and now almost 8 years later we got married September 8th, 2018.
I had a really hard time finding THE dress. I ended up going to BHLDN in Chicago on Thanksgiving weekend – I had tried on a few of their bridal gowns previously, but nothing struck me. I went to try some of their bridesmaid line. I was alone in the fitting room and the sales woman was like you are BEAMING. I face-timed with my mom, who was less than impressed but I knew it was the one. It was perfect for a winery, easy to wear, so freakin’ comfortable!
We got Mike’s suit at Macy’s its from a brand called Bar III, which cleverly uses a man running in a suit as their label. The tie, pocket square, and socks are all from Tie Bar.
Prior to getting engaged, we had talked about the type of wedding we wanted. We had come up with a few things that were our non-negotiables. We wanted to take the emotion out of a big financial and emotional decision so the first thing we did was created categories with which to rank our visits. I think we had 7 categories of things. Including, ease of transportation, cost, overall vibe and more. After each venue visit, we separately ranked each category 1-10. 12 Corners not only won on the emotional level but it outranked all the other venues in our makeshift ranking system.
We also ended up at one of our favorite breweries in the area, North Pier, for a first drink of sorts with our bridal party and their +1s. It was a really great way to enjoy everyone who had traveled to be with us and just be all dressed up and have a moment of chill.
The short story is our ceremony was more perfect than we could have ever dreamed. Mike’s cousin Terry officiated it and he knocked it out of the park. The long story is … always trust your gut. Our ceremony was equal parts funny, serious and effortlessly us. We opted to incorporate our mixed heritages and said unique vows from Walt Whitman’s song of the open road. Oh! And we took a selfie!
The only way I can describe the theme was that I did not want to out vineyard the vineyard. My mom made the gorgeous ceremony signs that matched our invitations. And the centerpieces were a labor of love – I scrubbed the labels off of 80+ bottles of wine. The rest of the décor was minimal, I made the bar signs and the s’mores sign and just stuck them in borrowed frames!
Reception/Dancing/Music: All the fun!
Our DJ, Derek Hall aka The Block Party brought. The. Party. For the speeches, we had Derek play walk-up music, an ode to baseball. He also mixed Go Cubs Go into Mike’s mother-son song. There has never been a more joyful mother-son dance ever.
We opted to make our first dance, a Hall and Oates classic, the last of the formal dances so that we could start the party immediately following. I don’t think a single person left the dance floor all night. Which is a dream and a true testament to Derek.
Rachel and Tina were amazing. Rachel brings light and joy into everything she touches and made our day so seamless. She and Tina both showed up with a huge smile and an easy-going attitude that put my own stress at ease. Taking portraits took what felt like 5 minutes and being grabbed off the dance floor for night photos was the perfect reflection point in the night. I was so grateful to not have to think about anything photo related at any point during the day, because I knew we were in good hands all day long.
Any Advice for couples planning their wedding?
Don’t listen to anyone else’s advice. Okay, if your vendors tell you that your timeline is crazy ambitious, maybe listen to that but, otherwise, the wedding of your dreams is only limited by your imagination. There are no rules so trust your intuition.
A real piece of advice though – do everything early. That way during the week/ weekend of your wedding you can truly sit back and enjoy!