Nestled in the heart of Chicago and hidden from view is the lovely Ivy Room. Its outdoor courtyard with dripping ivy is the perfect spot for an intimate and romantic city wedding ceremony, and Tina and John took full advantage of the venue’s beauty for their August wedding. Videography by Kathy Ramirez Films and photography by Alexandra Lee Photography.
How We Met
Our story began in 2015 at the John Hancock building, where we had both been working for over a year. We had yet to officially cross paths, but I had my eyes on John after spotting him in the building’s coffee bar. After a few months I received a new desk neighbor to chat with about the dating scene in the city. I shared my admiration for the man I saw in the coffee bar and to my luck, my new neighbor had gone to college with him.
After hearing of a grapevine rumor, John finally had a light bulb moment and wrangled my phone number and contacted me the eve of my birthday party. Without any hesitation, I invited John to join the get together the next evening. John came to the party with his closest friends in tow. Little did he know, he wouldn’t need his friends as he danced with me the entire night. We instantly felt a connection and went on our first date a days later. As they say, the rest is history.
My mother passed away 10 years ago, and I made sure to have a few details incorporated into the day that would keep her spirit alive. For my bouquet, I wrapped a piece of her veil around the stem, which were filled with her favorite flowers, peonies. One of my wedding bands was my mother’s wedding bands, which I still wear every day as a reminder of her. And last but not least, we had a photo table featuring all of our grandparent’s wedding photos, as well as a few of my favorite photos of my mother. We know she was with us that day, and continues to be every day as husband and wife.
Our Proposal Story
We were planning our first trip to Europe and would be leaving for two weeks in Paris, Florence and Rome. The week prior, John began the final preparations for the proposal, which included spending the full day before leaving packing and relaxing, as well as going to Lake Michigan to practice taking photos a new camera prior to taking it to Europe. As John woke up that morning, ready to take the next step in his relationship, I reminded him that I had not taken Friday off like he thought, and had no idea what he was talking about when he opined about our full day of activities he had planned that morning. This put a glitch in his plan, but he didn’t falter.
I went in to work and continued to tell John I was leaving “soon” but didn’t end up departing until two hours past the agreed upon time. The rain was coming soon, and John was eager to get to the lake to take photos. I eventually arrived home and we walked to the lake near their apartment to take photos.
When we arrived to the lake, there was no one in sight. We took out the camera and I began taking pictures of the Chicago skyline, including the John Hancock building where we had first met. As I continued to take in the skyline, John got on one knee. I turned around and immediately said yes! Off to Europe we went, no longer boyfriend and girlfriend, but as fiancés.
A Wedding at the Ivy Room
With family and friends in Minnesota and Michigan, Chicago was the perfect place to join our families together. This was where we met and where we would begin our lives together. We found the perfect location with the Ivy Room at Tree Studios which is nestled in the heart of the city, and hidden from view in their garden of ivy.
White flowers with greenery was a must. Clean lines with a classic feel was woven throughout all details, from the invitations to the table decor. Music was key, including violins during the ceremony and cocktail hour, followed by a DJ at the reception that would keep all of our guests on the dance floor.
The most important part of our vision was having a celebration that all of our guest would enjoy, and be one that we would never forget.