Due to the nature of the pandemic, many couples had to postpone and reschedule their special day. Joel & Lauren are the perfect example of taking an unfortunate situation and turning it into something beautiful for their beautiful Chicago wedding at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Joel & Lauren have been together since the Fall of 2016 and with all of the pandemic restrictions, really wanted to focus on celebrating their love with the people they love. They decided to have their wedding at the Garfield Park Conservatory here in Chicago. Both Joel & Lauren love nature and the Garfield Park Conservatory deemed an escape from the brutal Chicago winters. They fell in love with the greenery & plants in addition to the unique architecture and history of the building. Naturally, the Garfield Park Conservatory was their first choice for their wedding venue. Confident in their decision, they knew that their guests would fall in love with this breathtaking historic Chicago gem. Spoiler alert: they did.

Wedding Decor/Theme

As for their wedding decor, they really wanted the venue to speak for itself. Rather than competing with the decor, they chose to compliment it! Lauren & Joel stuck with lots of greenery, pops of bright colors in the florals, and some subtle geometric accents to echo the glass ceilings. The decor and overall ambiance of the Greenfield Park Conservatory were a huge component in turning Lauren & Joel’s special day into a real-life fairytale. Many of their guests had never been to the conservatory, so they really wanted the setting to WOW them. Since they’re also major foodies, they wanted the guests to be blown away by the amazing food from The Publican. Fun fact: this is where they had their first date!

Their favorite part of the day was seeing each other for the first time. Lauren and Joel said it truly was a moment they will never forget. The ceremony was truly magical and they even had Lauren’s best friend be the officiant and Joel’s dad playing the keyboard. They made the ceremony incredibly personal and meaningful for both of them. Did I mention that they also had an ice cream bar? Sharing ice cream sundaes with their friends and family was another highlight on an incredibly magical day. At the end of the day, they said that they would not change one single thing about their wedding day *cue the tears*.

Chicago Wedding Planning Obstacles

As much as their day was a magical love story, they did face some obstacles while planning their wedding. They had postponed their wedding by about eight months due to the pandemic. They had then chosen a new wedding date in May of 2020, but had no idea what the future would hold. After months of worrying about whether it would be safe or even feasible to have a wedding at all, they were so grateful to be able to safely celebrate with their friends and family. All the stress and uncertainty made their special day THAT much sweeter and I couldn’t be more happy.

Advice from the couple

Lauren and Joel really wanted to give some advice for any couples looking to get married as of right now.

Lauren & Joel: “The pandemic definitely helped us hone in on what was absolutely essential to our wedding which was being surrounded by the people we love. At the end of the day, that was the only detail that mattered!”

At the end of the day, Lauren & Joel are absolutely right. As many couples face the challenges of postponing their wedding day, here’s one thing to remember. Being around people who love and support you is what matters. Lauren & Joel’s wedding day was truly one to remember. One of their family members even remarked that during the ceremony L+J were looking at each other like they were the two luckiest people in the whole world, and that they were.

For some vendors that L+J used for their Chicago wedding, scroll to the bottom of this blog!

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Photography: Iron + Honey Photography

Wedding Planner: Lauren West @ Naturally Yours Events

Bridal Hair & Makeup: Hair by Marissa Schmitt @ Salon Vie Rebelle

Wedding Florists: Stephanie Stopka @ Flowers by Stem

Caterer: The Publican

Music: Karissa @ Toast & Jam

Invitations: Minted

Ceremony + Reception Site: Garfield Park Conservatory

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