Stephen and Rafael were married in one of the most scenic spots in Chicago: the Adler Planetarium. Their intimate wedding featured florals by Exquisite Designs, music and lighting by MDM Entertainment, photography by Brigette Burgman Photography, and an absolutely dreamy Chicago sunset!
How We Met
We met over ten years ago in Chicago using okcupid.com! This was before the days of dating apps, and Stephen invited Rafael out to a tapas style picnic in Lincoln Park. Rafael was quickly swept off of his feet and we have since journeyed across the country, taking residence in both Scottsdale, AZ and now Los Angeles, CA.
By the time the proposal came around, we had already been together for nearly seven years. Not long after the start of 2016, Stephen arranged for what seemed like a normal spa day to unwind and enjoy a couples massage. As we were about to soak in our couples bath, Stephen got down on one knee and popped the question. Rafael obviously said yes through many tears as he was already happy to be leaving with loose muscles and tighter looking skin, now he was leaving engaged! It was finally all happening after years of everyone asking “when are you two going to get married?!” Well, almost. We stayed engaged for three more years before finally tying the knot!
The Wedding Vision
We automatically knew we wanted to stray from a traditional wedding, especially since we aren’t a traditional couple. We wanted the entire event to be more of a celebration of the past ten years than just a ceremony itself and we knew we HAD to be near the lake. When we went to visit the Adler Planetarium it was an instant “this is it” moment for us. The view cannot be beat and you’re practically in the water. The space inside was exactly what we wanted: open, airy, clean lines, elegant yet modern, much like our overall aesthetic and style. We didn’t want to do too much to deter from the natural beauty of the space but instead to warm it up and to find elements that tied in with the theme of the planetarium. So we used hanging stainless steel light orbs as a focal point which tied in all of the stainless steel and glass in the space and sprinkled white and green hydrangeas and succulents throughout the space and tables and used deep eggplant lines and floating candles to add the desired warmth to the space. Since the actual ceremony rather short, we had a very modern two pillar archway created that created a simple frame that tied in with the windows of the Adler the overlook the skyline and had it adorned with pre-lit hydrangeas that could also serve as space for photos with family and friends through the duration of the night. So overall: clean, modern, elegant, warm.
Our families did an incredible job with the toasts, to the point where our eyes were swollen from tears. We were also blessed with some of the best Chicago weather we have ever experienced. The weather was SO beautiful. A slight cool breeze but not a cloud in the sky, which lead to one of the most magical sunsets and views of our city that we have ever seen. Evidence is clear in the photographs taken that day. Lastly, we found out that our amazing photographer Brigette Burgman is related to Stephen, one of the grooms! She even got to meet new cousins at the wedding! Talk about serendipity and fate, huh?!
Patti at MDM Entertainment was AMAZING! She took care of not only curating our music tastes for an incredible night but she provided the hanging lights, point spot lights, uplighting and all audio equipment. Chatting with her over the phone during the planning process felt like I was talking to one of aunts back home.
We also have to give a shout out to Alexandra over at Exquisite Designs. The floral arrangements, the archway, the candles, and the table settings were ALL exactly what we wanted and more. Additionally, we, along with a few guests, replanted the succulents from the arrangements we took home and they’re still thriving today! A great idea to get even more bang for your buck with the arrangements.
Lastly, our photographer Brigette Burgman is the BEST. She does incredible work and she’s one of the best human beings out there.
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Wedding Planning Advice
Most people will tell you that your wedding day will be a blur and will fly by. They’re not lying. So remember to take moments to breathe, reflect and ENJOY your moment. You spent so long preparing for this and you will be kicking yourself if you realize you were so caught up in everything being perfect that you actually forgot to live in the moment. And those moments in which you’re really living in it and loving your partner are what truly show up in those pictures and in the hearts of all of those who took the time to help you celebrate your love.