Bridal Sign Up

Mandy Pentler & Brett Byron

November 29, 2014 | Armour House

Mandy ordered extra fabric from Kenneth Pool to replace the tulle at the front of her gown with a full satin skirt.

Frustrated with the post-college dating scene in Milwaukee, Mandy Pentler took her mom’s advice and extended her online search to Chicago. Brett Byron caught her attention, and the two hit it off online before meeting in person. “We had one of those perfect dates that starts as lunch, turns into coffee and evolves into an afternoon walk and dinner,” Mandy says.

Despite apprehensions, in 2012 the two decided the struggle of long distance was worth it, and began traveling back and forth between Milwaukee and Chicago each weekend. “Ten months later, I had quit my job and moved to Evanston so we could live together. Six months after that, we were engaged,” Mandy shares.

Mandy and Brett, both teachers, knew they wanted a classic black-tie affair with “as much candlelight as possible.” Fortunately for the couple, the venue also doubled as their home and Mandy’s workplace: Lake Forest Academy. “We moved onto the Lake Forest Academy campus, where the Armour House is, when I became residential faculty, so we were literally living and breathing our venue day and night,” Mandy says.

Wedding planner Megan Estrada of North Shore Weddings & Events used a black-and-white theme and tied in metallics to create a space worthy of royalty. “I was a major follower of the royal wedding. I loved their use of trees and how they filled space in a picturesque way without being too fussy,” Mandy adds.

Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor supplied bronze manzanita trees with hanging glass votive orbs, white Dendrobium orchids, Tibet roses, hydrangeas and eucalyptus. The couple also added a few fun, bespoke elements to their elegant day: personalized M&M’S and a string quartet that played instrumental renditions of popular film music (from Jurassic Park, Jerry Maguire and Love Actually). You don’t have to “go native,” but for this couple, it definitely made for a night to remember.

WHAT WE'VE LEARNED 
“I was constantly worried whether every decision I was making would be ‘right’ in the end. If you just let things go and choose what you enjoy everything will turn out just right,” says Mandy.

THE LIST
Location Armour House
Wedding Planner Megan Estrada, North Shore Weddings & Events
Invitations Minted
Florals Ashland Addison Floral & Event Decor
Catering Sodexo and Armour House
Cake Poppie’s Bakeshop
Linens Covered Affairs
Entertainment Dolce Strings and Charizma Entertainment
Bride’s Gown Kenneth Pool, Ultimate Bride
Bride’s Shoes Jimmy Choo
Jewelry Jenny Packham, Ultimate Bride
Groom’s Tux Vera Wang, Men’s Wearhouse
Rings Tiffany & Co.
Hair and Makeup Antonette White Airbrush Makeup and Hair Design
Videographer Amor In Motion