Rachel and Matt’s wedding was perfection from beginning to end. It was low key, laid back and fit them to a tee.
The day started with Rachel getting ready and getting her make up done by Josann Rahning and then getting into her beautiful dress. When Rachel told me she was getting married, I struggled to imagine her in a wedding dress. But the dress she chose was perfection and she looked simply stunning in it.
After all the getting ready was done it was time to head to the venue, Firehouse Chicago. I didn’t get to see the venue in advance of the big day but I was blown away when I saw it.
An actual old firehouse converted into an event venue, the Firehouse Chicago had an abundance of character. From the vegetation covered walls, to the wooden doors, to the spiral staircase and even a fireman’s poll there was charm everywhere you looked.
But when Rachel walked in, the guests only had eyes for her. She spent a few minutes saying hello before heading upstairs to prepare for the ceremony. With drink in hand she composed herself and then it was time for the ceremony! Dad was on hand to walk his little girl down the aisle to her future husband who looked ecstatic to see her.
The ceremony was performed by Matt’s cousin Tom while the guests looked on. My favorite part of the ceremony, maybe even the whole day, was the vows. The couple wrote their own vows but said them only to each other. I was right in their faces with my camera and I couldn’t hear a word they said, but I know the right words were said because both of them shed a tear. Once the vows were done, it was time to exchange the rings and then with a quick “Do you…” they were married!
The next hour was a cocktail hour serving Rachel & Matt’s signature drinks as well as some light appetizers. Then it was time for dinner! The bride and groom opted to go for a buffet style, informal dinner with Chicago classics on offer like hotdogs, sliders and sweet potato fries. Everything provided was delicious and the crowd devoured it.
But of course they saved room for dessert! A 3-tiered brownie cake covered in marshmallow fluff, I think that’s pretty unique for a wedding cake.
After cutting and trying the cake, the bride and groom were whisked away to listen to toasts from Rachel’s brother Josh and Matt’s Mom and Dad.
Immediately after that there was the first dance. Set to the tune of Ingrid Michaelson’s Take Me The Way I Am, the bride and groom performed their first dance as husband and wife. They were unable to take their eyes off each other the entire time, swaying to the music as if nobody else was in the room. It was a beautiful thing to witness.
From there, the party began! DJ Rachel pumped out the tunes all night, keeping the dance floor full the entire time with her savvy song selection. As the night wound down the couple gathered all their guests onto the dance floor for one last song, Semisonic’s Closing Time. With everyone gathered in a circle around the couple in the centre everyone belted out the words. As the song ended, everyone heeded it’s advice: you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.