Love is in the Air Wedding: Shelby + Daniel

chicago wedding

Shelby + Daniel are from two totally different worlds but together they work perfectly. :) Daniel was born in Guatemala and raised in Los Angeles while Shelby was raised in a small town in Illinois. They really wanted to highlight where they’ve been and where they are now. Right after Daniel proposed, he got a job in Dallas which is where they now live. So, they really wanted to highlight those four places in their wedding. They represented their past, present (traveling long distance between Chicago and LA throughout our 4 year courtship), and their future in Texas.

They choose the theme “Love is in the Air” to play off all of their air travel and Shelby (who is a graphic designer) started sketching illustrations for their invitations. They had several nods to the long distance, from airplane decorations to her cloud aisle runner to the place cards which were little wooden cutouts of the four places in their “story.” They also really wanted to embrace both of their families and their cultures so every single piece of printed material + signage was translated into both English and Spanish. Their ceremony was bilingual and at the reception they served Guatemalan sweetbread as one of the desserts with instructions on how to eat it “like a Guatemalan.” Thanks so much to Katherine Elizabeth for sharing the gorgeous photos – and who is also our superstar intern here at GWS! :)

love is in the air invite

bride getting ready

lace wedding dress, locket on bouquet

I love the story behind their venue! From Shelby, “Our venue was a bank built in 1921 that had been owned by my grandfather. It had been used as storage for our family business for the past 30 years until I was desperate to find a place for my reception. One night after an exhaustive day of searching this crazy idea popped into my head. I ran it by my dad as he is always my partner in crime for these types of things! So despite my short 4 1/2 month engagement we completely remodeled the entire building to accommodate the reception. My dad literally worked around the clock to make this happen. The bank had so much sentimentality to me because as a child I had played in it and as a teenager I had my art studio in the upstairs. The building itself had the perfect feel for my small, family wedding. I love the art deco design and original flooring and lighting! When I walked into my reception, I was in awe of how beautiful the building looked, and it warmed my heart to think of it being used again after all these years.

I love that my grandpa bought that building not knowing how special it would be to me someday. It was a perfect way to remember him. Our entire wedding was a labor of love from our friends and family. During the four months we remodeled the bank we had so many awesome late nights, drinking coffee from the Keurig and sanding floors or fixing the 75 vintage chairs I collected. It was an amazing way to spend time with everyone before having to move across the country.

bank building reception

bride in yellow cardigan, yellow heart

groom in floral bow tie

rice to throw at ceremony

nature preserve ceremony

cloud isle runner

What song did you walk down the aisle to? I walked down the aisle to Bridal Chorus (performed by Adrian Holovaty) exited to Faster by Matt Nathanson

bride walking down isle

bride walking down isle

nature preserve ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

rice wedding exit

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? By far the most memorable part of our wedding day was our ceremony. Our families had never met until the weekend of our wedding and it was absolutely overwhelming to look at Daniel and then look out into the crowd and see everyone we love all together, laughing and smiling at us! I will never forget that my brother (who preformed our ceremony ) would make a joke in English and then Daniel’s brother would translate and all of Daniel’s family would burst into laughter. It was wonderful!

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom laughing

bride and groom under big tree

bride and groom shoes

bride in yellow cardigan

wedding direction signs

state shape wedding favor

yellow and pink decor

vintage chairs

cloud design windows

cloud note guestbook

paper fan photobooth backdrop

indoor reception

dessert bar

pan dulce

multi-colored wedding cake layers

wishing lanterns

wishing lanterns

movie letter light initials

Love their big letters? I do! Shelby made them herself and I found this great DIY so you can make them yourself via designsponge.

Any advice for those planning now?
My advice to brides planning is to enjoy the experience but to simplify. I am an obsessive, detail person so I spent loads of time and money on projects that I didn’t even see on my wedding day. I would suggest putting your most effort DIY wise into your ceremony background, sweetheart table and centerpieces. These seem to be both noticed the most by guests and photographed the most. Although, of course you could do a huge hanging decoration over your dance floor or something and totally prove my theory wrong :)

Also, I found that I am normally the person at events who is running around like crazy making things perfect. At your own wedding you can’t do this and if you’re that kind of person I would really recommend a wedding planner or at least a day of coordinator. I didn’t think it was necessary but truthfully there are many details that were missed in the execution stage just because there wasn’t someone who specifically had the job to oversee it.

Congrats to Shelby + Daniel!!

photography: Katherine Elizabeth Photography // venue: old bank owned by the family // wedding dress: Allure Bridal, from Marien Mae Bridal Boutique in Peru, IL with yellow cardigan from The Limited // shoes: Nina Shoes with shoes clips from etsy // hair + makeup: Sarah Harris, Peru, IL // groom suit: Banana Republic, AllSaints and TopMan // catering: The Catering Gourmets, Sugar Grove, IL // cake: Wanda McNally Cakes

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  1. Beautiful! Love the organic feel and all of the DIY items! :)

  2. What a sweet, intimate wedding! And what a cool venue.

  3. katie Elizabeth is one my dear friends & colleague. Her work is absolutely out of this world. It is not every day you find someone with talent like hers. This venue & the decor is absolutely fabulous as well.

  4. What a unique creative wedding. Love the setting and the story behind it. Great photography.

  5. The invitations are awesome! The house/venue/bank looks fantastic. This couple thought about photography when picking all this! Nice work photographer!

  6. Absolutely in love with this wedding, and the couple’s story. The photos are dreamy pretty, the DIY details are drool-worthy, and the wedding itself was not only beautiful, but so full of meaning and love, which is the most important thing! Congrats to the lovely couple.

  7. Absolutely beautiful! I may have to “borrow” the paper lantern idea for my own someday wedding :)


  8. Beautiful wedding! I especially love the clouds in the windows and the organza bows on her shoes… so pretty!

  9. Yay! So happy to have this on the site :) All the comments are great – Carly, you are the best!

  10. Such a beautiful, meaningful wedding! And that rainbow cake is amazing!

  11. love her yellow cardigan. adore the paper goods and the simplicity of it all.

  12. I love the homespun simplicity of this wedding. It definitely feels more like a celebration with family and friends rather than a huge event full of “things.”

  13. I’ve been dying to see this wedding! Not only is the photographer one of my best friends, she is the most talented photographer I know! This wedding had so many beautiful details that were so well captured, as well as the love between the bride and groom! LOVE.

  14. where is the aisle runner from?

  15. Chrissy – she made it herself!

  16. The letters sure did a very important rule it felt like the end ..and so they live now as Mr.and Mrs…that is how it sounds!!!:)

  17. Love the photobooth and the Chinese lanterns, in fact that’s just given me a great idea!! Watch this space great ideas don’t happen that often anymore!!!

  18. Seems like a really wonderful couple with a really wonderful story. Beautiful.

  19. What gorgeous pictures and what a beautiful wedding. I love the picture of the bride in front of the bank; how wonderful to have such a great place in the family. The lanterns look great and I do love all those delicious looking desserts.

  20. I love a cross-culture wedding and think it was super how they encouraged guests not to sit on bride/groom sides..always think it must be awkward if one half doesn’t have so many guests as the other! Very striking, that shade of yellow and the gorgeous aisle runner!

  21. I love LOVE how much of the ceremony that you shared- what a beautiful set-up! The pinwheels and rainbow cake are definitely my favorites.

  22. Just a beauty. Amazing wedding. Love all the pics and the night shots. So elegant!!!

  23. Loved the advice about what to focus on design-wise and about getting a day of planner. A friend of mine told me I should get a day of planner because I am that person who would normally be running around doing everything. I was so grateful for that advice and glad to hear it again from a bride with similar traits. Thanks!

  24. Hi Shelby! I loved your wedding, it was beautiful! I also loved the paper fan photo booth back-drop. I was wondering how you made those, What size paper, etc. Please let me know. I’d appreciate your time! Have a swell day :)

  25. LOVE the locket…. And really EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

  26. I absolutely love the lantern idea! This will definitely inspire the brides from our wedding registry.

  27. Shelby This compliment may be a repeat,but how well you created your vintage wedding vision.Thanks so much for allowing me to be your florist……Mary Mecum Marys special touch floral

  28. Nice set oif images with good warm colour co-ordination going on! Well done.

  29. Lovely set of photos with an almost golden glow feel to them; almost an ageless quality. Well done!

  30. Some great use of tilt and shift and love all the 1.4 stuff.

  31. Just wondering what model the allure dress is?, its so lovely. All the pictures on their website are so puffed up its hard to tell which one it is.


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