Creativity, and DIY touches are something that this wedding has in spades. Not only does it create a unique feeling for the whole event, but it also reveals the personal style of this adorable couple. Julie and Zack were excited to be a part of Middle of the Map Weddings, and were so generous in sharing all the details of the hard work they put into making their event so beautiful.
Who, What, Where ~~ Ceremony and Reception: 63rd Street Beach House. Photography: Kate Miller Photography. Fresh Flowers: A New Leaf. Caterer: Jewell Events Catering. Photobooth: Magnolia Photobooths.
Zack and Julie met in high school in the northwest “burbs” of Chicago, and starting dating their sophomore year, in 1996. They’ve been inseparable ever since, and a few years ago, while vacationing in the Bahamas, Zack got down on one knee during dinner and proposed. They knew right away that they wanted a home town wedding. They love to entertain (they’re always hosting get togethers at their home for friends and family), so they wanted their day to feel like a fancier version of a summer dinner party.
Zack and Julie wanted an outdoor location for their wedding. They decided to check out the 63rd Street Beach House on the Chicago Southside, and it was love at first site. It had all the qualities they were looking for: right on Lake Michigan, unique, memorable, and a Chicago landmark that will always be open for them to come back and visit for years to come.
The majority of the flowers were made of fabric. Julie is a hotel interior designer, and had lots of samples from her company cleaning out it’s design library. She translated templates from Paper Source for the fabric, and along with her mom, and sister, made roughly 600+ flowers. The boutonniere’s were made out of leather, and the only live flowers were the bouquets carried by the bride and her bridal party.
Julie loves the combination of mixed metals, such as silvery grays, warm golds, and coppers. She chose gray dresses from J Crew for her bridesmaids, and gray Calvin Klein suits for the men. Her dress was a Jenny Yoo design, and the necklace came from Francesca’s Collection.
The only formal photos the wedding party took were in front of Wrigley Field. Zack and Julie are both huge cubs fans, so these pics really made their day.
The fabric flowers were incorporated into centerpieces along with glass hurricanes and candles at the reception. Other DIY project included love wands for the kids (but Julie says they were a hit with young and old alike). Smooth black pebbles with guests names written in silver acted as escort cards.
Julie ordered the cardboard frame with honeycomb filler from the website “Uncommon Goods”. Guests wrote messages on slips of paper, then rolled them up and slipped them in a pocket. Julie and Zack put the message board in a large shadow box frame that hangs in their home, and they can go back and read all the sweet wishes everyone wrote for them on their special day.
Julie’s mom, and big sister Shannon (also her maid of honor) baked and decorated all the cupcakes for the reception. The flavors they created included salted caramel, chocolate mocha, and orange creme. They also created the cupcake stand to display their creations.
They used Jewell Catering and Events for their food, which Julie says was amazing. They also served a signature cocktail, spiked sweet tea, which was a big hit with their guests.
Julie said they decided to break with tradition, and didn’t do a bouquet or garter toss, or cake cutting. However they did do their first dance, which was to John Lennon’s “Woman”.
A big thank you to Julie and Zack for sharing all the details of their inspiring day with us. They’re a great example of how hard work and DIY projects can pay off to create an amazing, personal day. Also thanks so Kate Miller Photography for the submission!