Erin and Matt’s Salvage One wedding in Chicago was a day to remember. I was introduced to them through a mutual friend and I’m so honored they chose me to document their day! From the venue to all the details they put together, to her grandfather playing the accordion at the reception, everything was perfect. Their story began a few years ago…
How they met:
Before we officially met, we went to the same college (The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), with the same general group of friends, and worked at the same bar; somehow we managed to never officially “meet.” It wasn’t until years later when Matt hosted a co-ed wedding shower for a mutual friend-couple who they knew from University. The friend-couple, Gene (a fellow frat brother of Matt’s, also a groomsman) and Stephanie (loving referred to as Yenta), had been urging Erin and Matt to meet for over 6 years. And even after they went to the same college, worked at the same bar, and ran in the same circle of friends… they expertly avoided each other. After meeting that night, they were official soon after. Their first date (Matt’s choice) was a live storytelling event called ‘The Moth’ at Martyr’s Bar in Chicago. Their second date (Erin’s choice) was at a dive bar called Big Joe’s to watch turtle-racing. The next 4 years happened in a flash — to the next chapter!
Matt took me to the Morton Arboretum on December 17th, 2016 — it was 5 degrees out. I had an inkling that he was gonna drop a knee because that’s the place his grandpa proposed to his grandma. But… I played coy… I got my hair and nails did that same day… telling him, “oh ya know… just trying to get things in before the holidays…”. He knew full well that I was full of… One thing I’ll remember- he basically blacked out as he was proposing. He walked into a tree branch which clipped his snow hat right off… as it fell to the ground I asked if he wanted to stop and grab his hat but he kept walking and guiding me to a tree. In that odd, funny, nervous moment I knew what was ahead. The other thing I’ll never forget is he also packed my favorite nail polish (this was before he knew I got my nails done).The boy is the most thoughtful, sweet, and chivalrous guy I know. A limo was waiting in the parking lot to take us back to Forbidden Root, a brewery in West Town, where all our close friends and family were waiting. Our parents met that night for the first time. It was awesome.
It was a warmer than normal day in November and the sun was shining. Erin’s BHLDN gown had such an elegant, 60’s vibe. It was so unique, totally her, and I loved her dress and simple details so much! I loved how all the bridesmaids chose their own style of dress and the emerald, jewel tones were so pretty. The guys got ready at a friend’s place nearby which had the best natural light. The florals from Steve’s Flower Market included thistles which were in the first bouquet Matt ever bought for Erin.
Erin and Matt couldn’t wait to see each other. Erin kept asking me if he was ready and she could see him yet. The anticipation and seeing her walk up the stairs to him and the joy in their reactions to finally seeing each other was so sweet.
Erin’s God Parents brought wine from their vineyard for a wine ceremony during the vows. I usually tear up during the vows at the ceremony, but especially this time. Erin always has such a way with words which is apparent in our email exchanges and her speech, but her vow to Matt was poetic. I’ll probably hire her to write mine when the time comes! haha
Their attention to detail at their ceremony was insane. I was photographing the tables while they were walking through and they said they were so glad to finally have all the bottles out of their kitchen. haha They had been collecting these bottles and taking the labels off to use as their centerpieces and storing them at their place!
Everything came together beautifully. One of my favorite moments is when Erin’s grandfather played the accordion at the reception. He had a couple encores and everyone loved it!
We ended the night with a quick shot outside by Salvage One’s Chicago sign.
Congratulations Erin and Matt!
Venue: Salvage One
Event Coordinator: Melissa Samek – Clementine Events
Bridal Gown: BHLDN (linked to similar)
Bridal Headpiece: Danani Bridal
Bridal Shoes: Lulu’s
Bridal Hair Stylist: Crystal Trower – Sogna Di Vita Salon
Bridal Makeup Artist: Rebecca Males – Dorothy + Delora
Bridesmaid Dresses: Each chose their own different styles
Tuxedos: Formally Modern Tuxedo
Florist: Steve’s Flower Market
Caterer: Jewell Events
Cake: Erin’s Aunt Peggy Gagne
Band: Matt Stedman Band
Transportation: M+M Limo