The Couple: Roksy and Jon
The Wedding: 8.25.12 – Trump Hotel, Chicago, IL
What were the top three priorities for you in planning your wedding? Getting gorgeous real wedding photos & hosting a wedding at a chic, Chicago wedding venue that represented our personalities and tastes so that we would have no regrets.
Making sure that our guests felt taken care of, and had a great time.
Having a memorable celebration.
What wedding traditions or cultural traditions did you incorporated into your wedding and what did they mean to you? I was born in Ukraine so I wanted to bring in a few cultural elements into our Chicago wedding. The most prominent was incorporated during the ceremony. After I arrived at the altar our Maid of Honor and Best Man laid out a traditional ukrainian vishitiy rushnik in front of us – a hand embroidered towel. Jon and I stood on it during the ceremony. The use of the rushnyk dates back to the 16th century. We have the towel framed in our apartment now. Additionally, our band learned two traditional ukrainian wedding songs. It was really great to see my grandma on the dance floor during those songs! The band did a phenomenal job. I think our guests had the most fun with the Ukrainian nesting doll favors. People were very excited to open them up and see how small the last piece could get. I hope that our guests are reminded of our wedding when they see the nesting dolls in their homes.
Were there any places where you broke the rules in your wedding planning? Why and how did you do that? We tried not to focus too much on the rules and just focused on planning an event that felt right for us. We planned our Chicago wedding from our home in New York, so a lot of decisions were made virtually instead of in person. We took a trip to choose our venue and picked all the vendors through references and skype interviews. On top of that, we did not hire a wedding planner so most of the logistics and research fell on me. During the reception, we broke away from a few traditions, but not by a long stretch. We did our first dance at the end of dinner instead of in the beginning of the night, had a few more toasts than were suggested by my wedding book, and did not have a head table, but instead had a sweetheart table.
What was your biggest wedding planning success? I think our biggest accomplishment was planning a great wedding long distance without a wedding planner in 11 months. I think we accomplished our goals and were able to have the day exactly the way we had imagined it. We are also extremely happy with the photos from our day. Olivia captured the day exactly how we saw it and we will always look fondly back on our photos.
What was the most important thing that you learned through the wedding planning process and what would you tell other brides-to-be? I learned that its important to understand your own tastes and preferences, but that you also dont have to have the image of the day in your head from day one. We approached the planning process one task a time and found that one element often inspired the next. Our venue inspired the style of our wedding, my dress to some extent inspired the flowers and so on. I think dividing the process into a sequence of tasks kept both Jon and I sane throughout the wedding planning process. With so many sources of inspiration it is really easy to get lost and overwhelmed by all the available options, so we found it absolutely vital to focus on what we wanted, and we tried not to go back on a decision once wed made it – just make one decision at a time.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie
Ceremony Venue: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
Reception Venue: Trump Hotel Chicago
Videographer/Film Maker: Studio 272
Invitation Designer: The Luxe Invitation Suite, by Elum purchased at Papyrus in New York City
Catering: Trump Hotel Chicago
Florist: Richard Remiard Design
Cake: Cake Chicago
Wedding Dress: Vera Wang Hannah dress and cathedral veil with a blusher
Bridal Accessories: Shoes – Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Satin Pumps in Cobalt Blue, Earrings – Rodrizo Otazu for Swarowski, Bracelet – borrowed from Mom
Bridesmaids Apparel & Accessories: JCrew Arabelle Dress in Graphite Silk Chiffon
Groom’s Apparel & Accessories: Tuxedo – Hugo Boss, Shoes – Salvatore Ferragamo
Groomsmen’s Apparel: Tuxedos – The Mens Wearhouse
Hair Stylist: Rachell from Prink Studio
Make-up Artist: Sana at Sonia Roselli
DJ: Stitely Entertainment
Live Music: Chicago Groove Collective of Stitely Entertainment
Transportation: Metropolitan Limousine
Dance Instruction: Dance with Me Studio in Soho, New York City
Favors: Ukrainian nesting dolls purchased by my uncle in Ukraine
Rings: Family jeweler in Philadelphia
Thank you Roksy and Jon! What a stunning wedding day!
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