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History Repeating

A first-date spot turns out to be an iconic location for a beautiful wedding full of personal traditions.  

Aideen dips Dara for a romantic kiss.

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A bagpiper celebrated Aideen’s Irish heritage.

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The brides paired elegant bands from United Gem Limited Diamond Manufacturing with their engagement rings (Dara’s a 3.5-carat round brilliant solitaire and Aideen’s a 2.5-carat radiant-cut solitaire)

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Each bride carried a voluminous bouquet of white and ivory blooms.

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Erin McDonald brought high contrast to the centerpieces by color blocking with white and pink roses, orchids, hydrangeas and ranunculus.

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Pastry Chef Elysia Root mirrored the wedding’s white, hot pink and gold color palette in the four-tiered cake.

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What was originally planned as a casual dinner hosted by mutual friends turned into a love—and life—connection for Dara Goynshor and Aideen Shea. Two years later, Dara proposed at the Peninsula Chicago hotel during a romantic dinner—much to Aideen’s surprise. Keeping her soon-to-be spouse on her toes, Aideen made it a double engagement by proposing to Dara a few months later at the Chicago History Museum—the site of their first date—which is also where the couple made things official just nine months later.

For the ceremony, both brides combined elements from their respective heritages. For Aideen, this meant the incorporation of an Irish Handfasting blessing, reading and bagpiper. For Dara, the couple wed under a chuppah with a Jewish reading and the traditional breaking of the glass. Choosing the rings was easy, as Dara works at United Gem Limited Diamond Manufacturing, a third-generation family-owned and -operated diamond business.

Traditions and location may have been decided by the blushing brides, but planner Ali Phillips of Engaging Events by Ali assisted to transform the museum into a gold, hot pink and white utopia, ripe for a celebration. Case in point: The centerpieces were collections of clear, gold and white creamy glass housing myriad roses, orchids, hydrangeas and ranunculus in color-blocked tones of white, ivory, pale and vibrant pink, and touches of coral. Guests feasted on a meal of seared Lake Superior whitefish with corn puree, roasted tricolor cauliflower, heirloom tomatoes and citrus-caper brown butter, and marinated and grilled petite filet with roasted fingerling potatoes in a truffled demi and beurre monte sauce.

Later, Stitely Entertainment kept everyone moving on the dance floor, and there was a beautiful sweets table and almond with vanilla bean and double chocolate with chocolate fudge wedding cake from Elysia Root Cakes. Guests also went home with cookie favors shaped as diamonds and jewelry-cleaning cloths, both paying homage to Dara’s job. While their wedding day is behind them, the newlyweds have a New Zealand honeymoon to look forward to in 2017.

Chicago History Museum
Planner Ali Phillips, Engaging Events by Ali
Flowers & Decor Erin McDonald 
Brides’ Gowns Aideen: Zac Posen, David’s Bridal; Dara: Edgardo Bonilla, Dimitra’s Bridal 
Brides’ Shoes Aideen: Kate Spade; Dara: Gucci
Invites Clementine Ink + Paper
Catering Paramount Events
Cake Elysia Root Cakes
Music Stitely Entertainment
Videographer Keith Jorgensen, Poetic Productions