Maia + Mike | Monique Lhuillier Wedding from Steve Koo Photography

There is a wonderful sincerity about Maia + Mike’s Chicago wedding.  I love the eclectic surroundings at the Cafe Brauer in the Lincoln Park Zoo and this couple’s ‘first look’ photo montage is super sweet!  Don’t miss Maia’s beautiful Monique Lhuillier wedding gown, aptly named Promise.  This a-line dress has an equally sincere quality to it…made of silk and lace in shades of ivory with delicate and feminine lace straps – perfect!

Maia + Mike | May 24, 2014 | Cafe Brauer, Chicago, IL | Dress Listing:  Monique Lhuillier, Promise

The Ceremony
Our ceremony and reception were both held at Cafe Brauer in the Lincoln Park Zoo. This allowed us to have the outdoor wedding we dreamed off on the Loggia and then move indoors for the reception. The ceremony itself combined elements of Jewish and Lutheran tradition. We had the moms light a unity candle as a remembrance/memorial, incorporated a beautiful lace chuppah, signed an interfaith kettubah, and broke a glass (actually a light bulb) at the end. Everyone asked if I cried but actually it was my husband who cried! We also took 15 minutes after the ceremony, per Jewish tradition. Apparently, it was originally to consummate the wedding but it was a nice chance to take a breath before the ceremony and recognize together that we had finally tied the knot! We were actually up on a balcony behind a pillar so we could see the guests but they couldn’t see us, which was really fun.

The Reception
The reception was held in the main room of Cafe Brauer, which is this gorgeous Arts and Crafts style building that at one time was actually used for park storage! We used long tables and while we had a fantastic 5-piece band the emphasis was on the dining experience and the 5-course tasting menu we had planned out and which emphasized local, seasonal ingredients. Since our names both start with M we had little tins of M&Ms as party favors which we customized with the wedding date and colors. We made sure that guests didn’t walk away hungry although despite the intermezzo of lemon basil sorbet, the candy/popcorn table, and the dessert table with three types of mini cupcakes, we ran out! The caterers literally told us they had no more desserts in the back! We skipped a cake in favor of a sweets and candy table although we did have a small cutting cake and a birthday cake for one of the bridesmaids.

Maia’s Dress Search
I can’t remember exactly how many dresses I tried on, but probably close to 10 or 12. It was more about finding something I liked then finding ‘The One’. The one thing I had wanted was straps or sleeves. But the salons assured me that any of the dresses I tried on could incorporate sleeves, which made it more complicated when choosing. I wanted something that was an A-line without being a meringue and that still allowed me to use the bathroom without assistance. Ultimately, I picked the one I did because I could see that all the elements were there and that I could make the appropriate alterations to it to make it exactly what I wanted. I was sort of in a hurry when I picked it too because I was leaving right after and knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to find anything after that. So I really only had a weekend to get it all done. The process itself was uncomplicated although I remember being disappointed because they didn’t offer us champagne like in Bridesmaids or even allow us to take pictures! I had to go on to find a picture of an actual person wearing the dresses I was thinking about! I also looked a lot on and really wanted to purchase a previously worn dress but wasn’t able to find anything in the exact style and size that I wanted.

How Maia Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Comfortable, Timeless and Elegant.

Why Maia Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
As much as I wish there was an occasion I could wear it to again, there isn’t. Especially after telling everyone else not to wear white to my wedding! I don’t have a romantic gene (the one time my husband tried to do something spontaneous and romantic I started laughing) and the practicality of needing to store it for years upon years also seems a bit senseless. I also believe in reducing, reusing, and recycling and did that with my bridesmaids’ bouquets as well, using them as centerpieces for the head table. I truly hope that whoever buys this dress enjoys it as much as I did and is able to pass it on to someone else. A wedding dress should be worn more than once.

Wedding Dress:  Monique Lhuillier, Promise | Photography: Steve Koo Photography | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer | Event Planning: Clementine Custom Events | Floral Design: Revel Décor | Cake: Limelight Catering

See all of our wedding dresses by Monique Lhuillier…