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A Tale of Two Cities

A California couple returns to their hometown for a romantic, urban affair. 

Lauren and Josh share a quiet moment outside Room 1520.

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The couple’s initial decked in cascading greens was a whimsical touch.

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Fleur created bouquets of white and ivory garden roses, ranunculus and greenery

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The bride and her mother found the lanterns for the centerpieces at Accent Decor.

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A naked almond cake with ganache and buttercream frosting from Alliance Bakery fit the reception’s natural decor.

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Art of Imagination created the lush greenery wall that served as the focal point of the reception.

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Chicago natives Lauren Miller and Josh Bean met at the University of Iowa while celebrating their shared 21st birthdays. Little did they know that this meeting would lead to another shared milestone—their wedding—eight years later. They moved to Chicago after college but left the Midwest for the West Coast in 2014, settling in San Francisco and getting engaged the following year.

Despite the fact that the two love life in California, getting married in Chicago was a no-brainer. “It’s where our roots are,” says Josh. “Plus, the vibe of the city can’t be beat.” Over the course of their 14-month engagement, this distance proved to be a good thing. “It was a blessing in disguise. We’d spend a weekend in Chicago to do all the planning, then go back to California and enjoy our engagement without being overwhelmed,” reflects Lauren, whose family also had a large hand in the planning process. A few months before the big day, they enlisted the help of Nicole Fauls from Urban Allure Events to handle the last-minute coordination.

Certain that they wanted a loft-like venue, the couple quickly settled on Room 1520, transforming the blank space with a soft color palette of white, ivory and lush greenery.

“We wanted the decor to remind us of the outdoor beauty that we love about California,” says the bride. Her rose gold dress added a hint of subtle color, while personal decor touches completed the romantic aesthetic.

After a ceremony led by the bride’s godfather, the 120 guests enjoyed a rollicking dance party and extra-special signature cocktails. “My mom and I made the mixers for our signature drinks, a vodka tonic and a Champagne watermelon cocktail,” says Lauren. “They definitely fueled the party,” says Josh with a laugh.

Post-wedding, the couple honeymooned in Mexico, where they filmed a daily video blog that they then posted on YouTube. “We wanted to share the experience with our friends and family,” says Josh. “It’s so great having those videos to look back on,” adds Lauren.

Room 1520
Day-Of Coordinator Nicole Fauls, Urban Allure Events
Flowers Fleur
Decor Art of Imagination
Bride’s Gown Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Skirts: Jenny Yoo; tops: Mignonette Bridal
Groom’s Tux Suitsupply
Invites Aerialist Press
Catering Cocina Fusion
Cake Alliance Bakery
Music Style Matters
Videographer Nicodem Creative