Real Wedding | Jen & Jake

One of the great things about this site, is that I get to see tons of beautiful weddings.  But Jen and Jake’s stand out from the rest.  The church is breathtaking.  The reception tent is amazing.   The photography is magazine worthy.  I could go on and on….but I’ll let you be inspired for yourself.

Jen & Jake | August 15, 2009 | Chicago, Illinois

How he proposed
Jake and I met three years ago while out with a mutual friend.  He claims he knew that night that I was the girl he was going to marry — who would have guessed he would be right!  Despite the fact that he had to leave Chicago shortly afterwards to finish grad school in Arizona, we started seeing each other.  Somewhere over the course of the next few weeks, I must have mentioned that I always envisioned ‘the proposal’ to be a simple, private event on the beach of some exotic destination spot.  Thirty days and thirty dates later, Jake left our hometown for Tucson, but my words stayed with him.

In May of 2008, after nearly two years together, we took advantage of a long weekend and hopped a flight to Puerto Rico.  Our second night there, we walked along the beach, where, just as I had pictured it, Jake asked to marry me!

Real Wedding: Jen & JakeThe ceremony
We were married in a Catholic ceremony at St. Hyacinth Basilica, the church in which my dad had served as an altar boy growing up.  My father walked me down the aisle, and we were surrounded by our dearest family and friends as we said our vows.

Real Wedding: Jen & Jake

Afterwards, our photog Glen was able to rally everyone together on the front steps for a group picture – I love looking at the expression on each person’s face!

Real Wedding | Jen & Jake

The reception
My initial vision for the wedding included an outdoor reception.  Those who live in Chicago, however, know that hosting any event outdoors is risky, thanks to our very unpredictable weather!  So, we decided to be ‘practical’ and find an indoor venue.  However, months and many tears later, after a less than desirable experience with our banquet facility, we canceled our reservation with them.  We were only 3 months away from our date!  As we scrambled to explore our options, we realized this could be fate, and that an outdoor celebration was meant to be.  A perfect reception site lay right in Jake’s backyard, a beautiful setting on 3 acres of land, overlooking open fields and massive oak trees.

As the date drew near, we were concerned about the weather; Chicago was experiencing the ‘year without a summer.’  We were incredibly blessed however — It warmed up and stayed dry the week before the wedding, while the tent was constructed and final details were addressed.  The weather on the day of the wedding was absolutely perfect and the entire day went off without a hitch.  Truly, the best day of my life!

Real Wedding | Jen & Jake
I will never forget arriving at the house after the ceremony and pictures, and seeing that our vision had come together.  Our families had worked so hard on the details, and to see the big picture was phenomenal – beyond my expectations.

How Jen knew the gown was the one
I visited a few bridal salons, and knew right away that Lazaro gowns were it for me.  When I tried mine on, the words ‘this is it’ flew out of my mouth.  Its shape was feminine and flattering, it had an incredible amount of beading and detail that made it so unique.. it was just perfect!

Real Wedding | Jen & Jake

Advice for other brides

relax and take time to breath the few days leading up to the wedding.  Be prepared but when you wake up that morning, clear your head and enjoy every minute.  Brides tend to take control in the planning process, but on the wedding day, your one job is savor the experience – so let the people closest to you take over — they will make sure that things run smoothly.

Real Wedding: Jen & Jake

Photography: Glen Abog
Jen’s Wedding Dress: Lazaro LZ3866