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Graham & Fran

A West Town couple celebrates with four fashionably fun weddings.

Graham (left) and Fran having fun with the big-day balloons.

 

Guests enjoying a rickshaw ride

 

Wedding programs featuring more Polaroids of the pair’s travels

 

The wedding party’s mum corsages

 

A yellow banner by Elise Bergman

 

The happy couple posing in their West Town home

 

Polaroids decorated the mantle

 

August 10, 2013

There’s no shortage of imagination between Graham Kostic and Fran Taglia, who first thought their wedding should be an over-the-top affair at a castle in Ipswich, Mass. (They lived in Boston at the time.) But that started to seem complicated, so next they announced a 2013 New Year’s Eve bash back home in Chicago. Yet procrastination—and budget!—got the better of them, and they pushed it back again.

Finally, after returning to Chicago for good and beginning renovations on a house in West Town, they realized that an intimate wedding at home would be more meaningful. “The idea of a small wedding was a surprise to our big families because they thought we’d opt for more of a blowout,” says Graham, the creative director of the fashion and beauty website Glossed & Found.

A series of summer events began to take shape. There would be the official small ceremony at home followed by a chic, Ralph Lauren-inspired seated dinner for 80 at RM Champagne Salon in the West Loop. Additionally, the Kostic family would host a barn dance near their vacation home in Michigan, and the Taglia family would throw a backyard bash in Lisle. “It was really like we had three weddings,” says Fran, a chief operating officer with a Red Bull/beverage distribution company in Chicago.

Make that four. Unbeknownst to anyone, Graham and Fran had eloped to Boston a month prior, where they were wed before the county clerk and received the marriage license that, at the time, they could not obtain in Illinois. “We’re fortunate to have the great models of our parents’ loving marriages,” says Fran. “We know our love is as strong as their love. To be able to call it the same thing was important.”

On the day of the Chicago ceremony, guests squeezed joyfully into the courtyard at the couple’s just-finished house. Strands of cheerful yellow pennants—crafted and hand-dyed by friend and fashion designer Elise Bergman—decorated the space. The grooms’ mothers walked them down the aisle, and beaming friends participated in the vows during a group reading of a poem that promised they’d stand by the couple “when you break a rule, when you act the fool” and “when you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew.”

A flock of 20 rickshaws festooned with giant white balloons carried guests to RM’s twinkling courtyard, where an accordion player and other musicians serenaded the crowd during each dinner course. On impulse, a Parisian friend sang “La Vie en Rose,” and all night, an open microphone was at the ready for anyone who wished to make a toast. Not surprisingly, it was constantly in use.

“Throughout our process of dating and making it all work, our friends and family have always supported us,” Graham says. “Our wedding was as much about them as it was about us.”