The Love Story
11 years ago, Ervis and Catalina met through mutual friends at a European Cafe. After connecting just a few weeks after that night, they became inseparable. They even were long-distance for 5 years while Catalina was studying in graduate school in Nevada! It was then one October night that everything changed. Catalina had just gotten off a red-eye flight and noticed Ervis was a bit more dressed up than usual. A little bit curious and a bit out of it from the flight, Catalina and Ervis made their way to one of their favorite restaurants for food & drinks. After, they made their way over to the beach despite it being super cold. Ervis then proposed to Catalina and the rest was history. Funny thing is, is that Catalina was actually carrying the ring in her purse all night because Ervis had said it was the box to his cufflinks! Pretty sneaky if I do say so myself but it was the perfect ending to a rather eventful night for them.
Chicago Wedding at the Bridgeport Art Center
We started off the day with some getting-ready photos of Catalina and Ervis. After hanging out a bit with the bridal parties, we made our way down to The Art Institute of Chicago South Gardens for the first look. I definitely recommend opting in for a first look on your wedding day! Not only does it help prevent those pre-aisle walking jitters that you may have, but it gives you and your partner a chance for intimate alone time before the ceremony! Moments after the first look, they both exchanged private vows which always gets the tears flowing.
After Catalina & Ervis’ first look, we made our way over to their ceremony in the Skyline Loft at the Bridgeport Art Center. The Bridgeport Art Center was the perfect venue for Catalina & Ervis. It incorporates their love for unconventional spaces paired with large windows that allow natural light to veil over the space. Along with that, the natural wood and historic touches also compliment the beauty of the venue. This venue is very open and spacious which allowed for it to transform from a ceremony space to a reception space that spoke to both of their styles. I would highly recommend booking the Bridgeport Art Center as your wedding venue. Also… if you need a wedding photographer… *cough cough* I’m your gal!
The Ceremony & Reception
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and so touching. The decor throughout the venue was absolutely phenomenal and so lush. Catalina & Ervis really wanted to tie in a lot of greenery and romantic, geometric touches. While planning, they really wanted to incorporate modern and industrial decor combined with the softness of romantic flowers. Ervis actually made the arch used in the ceremony which I thought was such an amazing touch. Catalina & Ervis decided to have a Greek orthodox wedding which consisted of them being crowned, exchanging rings three times, and a ceremonial walk around the altar three times. Alongside their godparents, as they exchanged vows and finally said “I do”, you could really feel all the emotions in the air.
After the ceremony, it was time to clear out the chairs and open up the space for the reception! Their guests and myself were absolutely wowed by how much the venue could morph and change into a different atmosphere. After the usual speeches and dinner, it was then time to open up the dance floor. Since Catalina & Ervis are both Eastern European immigrants, they really wanted to make sure that their wedding day was wholeheartedly and authentically them. With that being said, for their first dance, they actually learned the Viennese Waltz, just two months prior to the wedding. They moved flawlessly across the dance floor and honestly should debut on DWTS (just kidding… maybe).
Advice from the Couple
Catalina & Ervis:
“Prioritize time for each other and your self-care while going through the planning process. Unexpected expenses, problems, and stress is likely to happen, but take the time to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and come together with your partner. Also, communicate respectfully and be flexible!”
The day was absolute perfection. From the traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony to the stunning decor to the insanely beautiful choreographed Waltz… it all was just breathtaking. Catalina & Ervis recommend taking the time to consider whether a decision is based on your style or because you saw it on Tik Tok/Instagram/Pinterest. It can get really easy to get caught up with trends as your wedding day gets closer. So the best advice is to make sure that your wedding day is how YOU want it.
If you loved this Chicago Wedding at the Bridgeport Arts Center then you are for sure going to love this Summer Garden Wedding in Chicago!
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Photography: Iron + Honey Photography
Wedding Planner: Your Day by MK
Bride Makeup: Jacqueline Jaber
Bride Hair: Tamara Holden
Tuxedos/Suits: Emmanuelle Tuxedo
Ceremony + Reception Decor: Art of Imagination
Catering: Jewell Events and Catering
Cake: Flourish Cake Design
Videographer: Munaco Pictures