When we saw Pottery Barn registrants, William and Ashley’s beautiful small town wedding we instantly fell in love. With vintage-inspired touches, a century-old reception space, hints of lavender and photography brilliantly captured by Britta Hundertmark of Britta Marie Photography, we knew this was something very special. Read the bride’s Q&A as she describes her big day in her own words. Q. Can you tell us a little about you and your husband?
A. My husband and I started off very differently. William was born in New Orleans and lived around the South as a young child eventually making it up North to Indiana as he approached High School. I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana about a 30 minute drive from Chicago. We love being a part of one another’s interests that are typically are the same. We love sports and events, while I enjoy painting, cooking and redoing old furniture. Entertaining has become a big part of our lives, we enjoy having our friends and family over for dinner parties and cookouts. We are a very laid back and fun couple, and enjoy anything we do when we are together!
Q. How did you meet?
A. William and I met in Bloomington, IN where we both held our first real jobs out of college. We started off as good friends, and as we spend more time together, our relationship grew into more than friendship. We moved up to downtown Chicago where we took full advantage of everything Chicago had to offer.
Q. How did you get engaged?
On a random Wednesday. I came home late from work and met up with William and his good friend at one of our favorite spots – Celtic Crossings in Chicago for dinner. After having some pizza and a few beers, we walked back to the apartment where he suggested going up to the rooftop to see the Chicago skyline since it was such a beautiful night. When we arrived at the rooftop, we had a heartfelt conversation and after a year and a half of dating William got down on one knee and proposed. I was so surprised! So right away we made our standard family phone calls to share the good news. Still excited we ran back to Celtic Crossing where they gave us a bottle of champagne and Guinness to celebrate!
Q. Describe your vision for your wedding day.
A. Our vision was to have our wedding be romantic and fun while surrounded by close friends and family. We choose to have our wedding in Evanston, IL a really cute town that would allow our guests a small town feel but located close to downtown Chicago. I created a theme as I planned our big day to help bring my vision into a reality. I wanted a romantic vintage feel with a southern flair. We chose a 100-year-old reception hall that was once a Women’s Club – this fit my theme perfectly. Since so many of William’s family would be traveling to attend the wedding, I thought it would be special to include the southern style particularly to our food and drink. We choose Heaven on Seven in downtown Chicago, that specializes in New Orleans, LA Cajun cuisine to cater our wedding. This was a fun twist to the typical “wedding food” and we even included New Orleans Hurricane’s as our signature drink at the bar. However, since we did have several people in from out-of-town so we included small pieces of Chicago as well, such as mini bags of Garrett’s popcorn as our wedding favors and the famous Sprinkles cupcakes at the sweet table. Our colors were a very soft lavender, grey and ivory with mixed metals as accents –however our flowers were all different kinds of soft colors and had a very organic feel. For my dress, I went with a very detailed lace and crystal Stephen Yearick mermaid style gown and silver Manolo Blahnik’s. William sported a three-piece grey suit with Burberry tie. I wanted that feel of very classy look, which tied in nicely to our vintage feel.
Q. What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
A. I had several memorable parts of the wedding day. I had so much fun getting ready with my girlfriends in our Pretty Plum Sugar robes – they made for some beautiful pictures! Of course, the most special part of the day was having my father walk me down the aisle and seeing my very soon to be husband see me for the first time. I had a wonderful moment as I was walking; I had my head down almost the entire time to try to keep myself from crying, and when I did look up, I looked to the left to see my Grandmother crying – which in turn almost made me lose it! I also loved walking into our reception hall all decorated before everyone arrived – it was so amazing to see a year and a half of work come together so nicely. All in all, spending the most important day of our lives with our friends and family was the most memorable experience.
Q: Can you tell us about the song you chose for your first dance?
A. Our first dance was also a very memorable moment for us. William is really into music, so I wanted him to pick a song that reminded him of our relationship. He chose Tim McGraw’s, “My Best Friend” as our first dance song. I loved it and as I really listened to the lyrics it reminds me exactly of our relationship. I also felt a country song was a great fit for us because for me when I listen to country it is just simple, laid back and fun – that is how William and I are together.
Q. Any favorite items you registered for?
A. We registered at Pottery Barn and everything we received we loved! Our favorite items were our PB Classic Sheet Set, our Emma Dinnerware, and our monogrammed toasting flutes. The bedding is so comfortable. I love changing up the throw pillows to change the look. Our Emma Dinnerware is so cute and goes with everything!
Photography: Britta Hundertmark of Britta Marie Photography
Venue: Women’s Club of Evanston
Catering: Heaven on Seven
Dress: Stephen Yearick
Popcorn Favors: Garrett