I can honestly say that from the moment I met Mike and Terese, I knew they would make it into this blog. First off, they are just an amazing couple who clearly care about each other beyond words. Secondly, Mike is a crazy talented carpenter so I knew their wedding would be handmade perfection. And finally, their photographer (Kukla Photography) was kind enough to share her beautiful photos with me!
Normally this would be the part where I would talk about how beautiful Terese looked (which she did!) or about how unique their decorations were (which they were!) but instead I am going to do this one a little different! When I decide to feature a wedding on the blog, I have a little questionnaire that I send out to the bride so I can make sure to credit all of their vendors and have a little more back story into the special elements of their day. Most brides fill out the sheet only as much as necessary– and who can really blame them, they just got done planning a wedding!– but not Terese! She sent me back some of the most detailed and heartfelt responses I could have ever asked for. So this time around, I am going to let Terese (and the pictures) do most of the talking!
The day began with Terese getting ready in our Bridal Suite at the building while Mike got ready at the hotel and took pictures with the guys in Echo Park.
After everyone was ready, Mike and Terese met in the Gazebo in Echo Park for a first look…
And then it was time for some bridal party and couple pictures…
The weather was less than ideal for an outdoor ceremony but Mike and Terese were determined to do it… and I think they are glad that they did because the pictures turned out stunning!
Michael and Terese also incorporated so many handmade details into their day. Terese did a lot of the smaller decorations such as the floral arrangements and Mike built the amazing cupcake stand as well as the trellis that the ceremony took place under.
After the ceremony, some formal pictures were taken while the guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Patriots Room.
In case you’re wondering the adorable little girl in all the pictures is Mike’s daughter, Madison. Mike and Terese did such a great job of incorporating her into their wedding!
After all the pictures, it was time for the reception! Even though this group was only 80 people, they really knew how to have a good time!
Now for some thoughts from Terese:
Me: What was your favorite part of planning your wedding?
Terese: I think my favorite part of planning the wedding, was the point where I could FINALLY see it all coming together. The moment you find your theme and a few of your ideas finally come to life, it makes it so much easier to not just want to give up and throw it all away and get married in a courthouse! It took me quite some time to finally get to that point, but when I did, the feeling was amazing! Not to mention, I absolutely LOVED the way it all turned out!!!
What was the most stressful part of planning your wedding?
Besides Pinterest and money?!? Haha For me? It had to be the fact that the ONE thing that I wanted so bad to have at my wedding didn’t get completed until the week of! My husband had a year and a half to build it……..but I knew it would get finished! Happy Wife….Happy Life. He’s lucky he finished my cupcake stand! It turned out so beautiful and was well worth the wait (and the stress!).
If you could do your wedding day again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?
I’m trying so hard to think of things and I am drawing blanks. The day happened the way it was meant to happen. We have some extremely funny moments with ducks quacking and some not so exciting moments like photos in the freezing cold, rain, and snow! But….. they all have created a story worth telling!
What was your favorite part of the actual wedding day?
Saying “I DO” in front of all of our family and friends. From the beginning (up until the last, ohhhhh maybe 5months or so hehe), I didn’t want to put all the time and money into ONE day, and wanted to get married in the courthouse. My husband said I’d regret it and that we were going to have a wedding whether I liked it or not. For once in the last 5.5yrs, he was right! The feeling of standing up there, in front of the man of my dreams, reading my vows and listening to his and having a ring put on my finger is something I will never forget. Our blood, sweat, and tears went into our wedding day and it was worth every drop!!!
What advice would you give other brides/ grooms going through this process?
I don’t have any great advice that Pinterest (and married friends) hasn’t already given. But the biggestthing that Mike & I are proud of is that we didn’t go into debt over our wedding. We didn’t charge anything to credit cards. We knew what we could spend and stayed within our budget the entire time!!!
OH. And do your best to NOT fight over anything while planning!
Any other important info we should feature about your wedding in our blog?
I would like to give a HUGE shout-out to my extremely talented husband Mike, who handmade all of the wood items at our wedding! The arbor, cupcake stand, wood slice centerpieces, and mini tree slice candle holders were all done by him. The number of hours that went into each item to design, cut, router, sand, clear coat…..and clear coat again…………..annnnnd clear coat again are endless. His attention to detail is like no other and it all paid off in the end.
Almost every decoration was crafted by the two of us, down to putting together our own floral centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres (with the expertise of my talented friend Mariselda!) 2 days before the wedding. Mike and I are beyond thankful for all of the help from our family and friends to pull this day together. We seriously could not have done this without all of you. You know who you are!!!! We love you xo.And one more big thank you, goes out to Laura, the event planner at VT, for answering every question of mine, probably 100 times! She was always so gracious with me, with all my requests during the planning process. Veterans Terrace is so lucky to have her to make sure every bride’s big day goes off without a hitch!!!! (I promise I didn’t bribe her to say that!)
Officiant: Michael Alagna (Best brother in law a girl could ask for!)
I’d like to say that Gooseberries exceeded our expectations. We knew the food and cupcakes were going to be fantastic because of our tasting, but the service from their wait staff, was out of this world. They were always asking if Mike and I were ok and if we needed anything (not to mention, made our plates for us!?), gave us 2 big take home boxes worth of food for later in the evening, during cocktail hour my mom told of them she only eats mustard, so they brought her out some mini brat appetizers with only mustard JUST for her! They were so great and we were so thankful for their generosity throughout the night.
Bridal Gown and Bridesmaids’ Gowns: Kathryn’s Bridal, McHenry, IL
Hair: Rebecca Kijak, Independent
Makeup: Ashley Rose Brooks, Independent
Both are very talented young ladies and did an amazing job on the entire bridal party!!!
Groom/ Groomsmen Attire: Rented from Gipper Formal Wear, McHenry, IL
Cake/ Desserts: Gooseberries Fresh Market
Best in the business!! Professional and fun!! Endless possibilities with music and has fantastic lighting and set-ups!
Photographer: Kukla Photography
I could go on and on about Kristin, but her photos show you just how talented her (and her second shooter Lynn Davis) are. They are so much fun and are great with directing every shot!!!!
Floral: Mariselda Quintanilla Floral, Independent.
Décor: All handcrafted by us!
Invites/ Save the dates: VistaPrint
BEYOND satisfied with the quality and most definitely the PRICE!
Event Planning: Me, myself, and……..Pinterest!
Pupkins and Hay: Stade’s Farm & Market
Congrats again to Mike and Terese!