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Megan & Aaron

A downtown couple plans an intimate wedding in their extended home—Chicago’s urban (and not so urban) landscape.

Megan & Aaron

Megan’s stylish stilettos from Stuart Weitzman

 

His-and-hers rings courtesy of Chicago Diamond Consultants

 

Fresh blooms by HMR Designs

 

The happy couple enjoying the Hora

 

Chicago’s cityscape was the party’s bold backdrop

The peony- and rose-topped cake by Magnolia Bakery

 

May 4, 2013

When Megan Carroll was planning her wedding to Aaron Kulick, she wanted an elegant, at-home setting a la her favorite movie, Father of the Bride. Problem was, she grew up in Lincoln Park and needed more than a postage-stamp-sized yard for 250 guests. “We checked out Cafe Brauer [at Lincoln Park Zoo], and it was perfect,” says Megan. “It felt like the city was our extended backyard.”

The couple first met on Feb. 13, 2009 at Landmark Grill (which has since closed and is now the location of Balena restaurant), but their encounter wasn’t without a minor roadblock. After not clicking with the guy her friends invited as a setup, she spotted Aaron. “He was wearing a baseball hat and looked so cute and normal,” she says. “We were sitting 6 feet apart, so I just said, ‘Hi.’”

Four years later, they were planning an interfaith ceremony at Fourth Presbyterian Church with a pastor and a rabbi from Chicago Sinai Congregation. The bride walked down the aisle in a Monique Lhuillier gown from Ultimate Bride, and her college friend read E.E. Cummings’ poem “I Carry Your Heart With Me.”

Megan describes the reception, executed by Nicki Eisenstein of BCR Events, as rustic with a modern twist. HMR Designs mixed rectangular wood farm tables with Lucite ghost chairs for a sophisticated touch. “I wanted it to feel like a really fun dinner party,” she says of the choice to swap out traditional round dinner tables. The darker brick environment was brightened with white centerpieces. “The day before the wedding, the florist called and said our peonies were destroyed in customs,” she recalls. “If it had happened two weeks earlier, I would have freaked out, but I trusted Jessica [from HMR] to find flowers in the same vein.” And the replacements were so spot-on that if she hadn’t known about the snafu, she wouldn’t have noticed.

Following the seated dinner by Entertaining Company (they also provided late-night snacks like mini sliders and pigs in a blanket) and four types of Magnolia Bakery cake—banana, red velvet, vanilla, and cookies and cream icebox cake—DJ Rob from Okyne Medialab spun a mix of ’70s Motown and Southern hip-hop. The couple only left the dance floor when they were hoisted in the air in the Jewish wedding tradition, and their looks of shock and laughter were caught by photographer Dennis Lee. “We loved him because he’s not a typical wedding photographer; he’s more of a photojournalist,” she says. “That was important to us—having the day captured exactly as it was.”