"Originally, we were planning to do a destination wedding and get married on a beach in Florida, Hawaii or even Thailand. I am in nursing school, and once I got my schedule we realized that I had very minimal time off. So, we decided to get married quick, before school took over our calendar. We planned the wedding in 4 months! Greenhouse Loft caught our eyes right away because of the outdoor garden and the light that drenches the loft area through the glass walls. It is actually the only venue we looked at, we knew it was “the one” immediately. Even though our wedding was in April, we were determined to have an outdoor ceremony to match our original idea of a beach wedding. Luckily, the Chicago weather gods smiled upon us and it was a perfect 80 degree day! Our main goal for the day was that the ceremony and reception be a true representation of us and our love for one another. We kept traditions that felt meaningful to us, while scrapping those that didn’t feel right. CJ’s best friend was ordained just to marry us, which was the most incredible gift. He made the day so genuinely us, and so special. We had a small wedding party; just a maid of honor (my sister) a best man (CJ’s brother) and a flower girl (our adorable niece). The wedding was held on a Sunday, but still SO many of our friends and family came with their love and support…and dancing shoes! Seriously, the dance floor was never empty! And a huge group of us even went to a rooftop to continue the party after! We truly never felt stressed throughout the day or the entire planning process for that matter. We had the best team working with us! Plus, we were just so excited to be marrying each other! So far, we don’t look back and wish we’d done anything any other way. We didn’t see one another the entire day until the moment I walked down the aisle, which we thought was pretty special. We’ll definitely remember that moment forever."

Wedding Date: April 24, 2016

Favorite memory: 

Cara- We wrote our own vows and kept them entirely to ourselves until the moment we said them during the ceremony. We never practiced them together or gave one another hints. All I knew was I would write 8 and he would write 8 and then we’d take turns reading one at a time to each other. Many of our vows ended up being so similar, it was amazing! We made each other laugh, cry, and pinky swear…I still get butterflies when I think about it. 

CJ- I think one of my favorite moments was just having everyone we love and care about all in one place to celebrate US dedicating and proclaiming our love to each other in our own unique way.  We went and did things how we wanted, throwing tradition out the window, and it all worked out great!!!  From having Adam as the minister to not leaving the premise for pictures to writing our own vows.  I'll still never forget seeing Cara for the first time on an 80 degree April Chicago day outside just like we always wanted with the sun shining and her looking as radiant and as beautiful as ever.  It was the best day!!

 

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