When it came time to start planning their wedding, Ester + Matt wanted to create a day that best reflected their “couple personality” + was chock-full of all the things they love. To pull it off, they came up with the perfect theme (and coined a new term!): Nashcago, a blend of the two cities that brought them together, Nashville + Chicago! Ester + Matt describe their fictional city as “one part country, two parts awesome and everything about who they are”. I just love it when couples go the extra mile to really make their day their own! Here’s more about it from Ester:
When our theme came to mind, we knew this was it! Every decision from there on out was with the following two filters: 1. Do we love it? and 2. Does it fit the theme? Luckily for us, pretty much everything we love falls into either the Nashville/Country or Chicago/Classic-Glam bucket. Everything from the music, to our vows, to the truck we drove away in, was a reflection of who we are as a couple. We wanted the guests to feel a part of our saying “I do” and to know their importance to us, their role in getting us to the altar and supporting us in our future marriage – there wasn’t any other way we would have wanted the day to go. Bleeding personality is who we are and who we want to be going forward together.
Big thanks to Brad + Jen of Q Avenue Photo for sending this one my way and congratulations to Ester + Matt on an awesome day! :)
Truly one of the sweetest first looks ever!
Ester looked lovely in her understated gown, which she paired with a gorgeous, avant garde floral crown by Flourish!
Processional: Wonderwall – Ryan Adams
Recessional: You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
First Dance: I Will Keep the Bad Things From You – The Damnwells
For Ester: The dancing. There was a point in the night where the dance floor was packed with people clumsily trying to learn the line dance sequence my Texan-born and bred cousin was leading at the front of the dance floor. I was in the midst of a complete mix of people from every era of my life, laughing, twirling, dancing, and messing up when I saw Matt across the floor doing the same thing. It was a moment of pure joy for me, seeing Matt + I, celebrating the beginning of our new adventure together, with the people we love most, soaking up every minute to be present and recognize the preciousness of the day. All of our hard work, every argument and frustrating moment was worth it--we were here, celebrating our new union, in the most personalized way possible, and not letting it go by unnoticed.
For Matt: Our pastors asked to do something that ended up being very cool. About a month before we were set to get married, they asked us to make a top ten list of what Ester and I love about each other. They told us that it could, and should be fun (and maybe a little goofy). There was only one rule: our lists had to be kept a secret until they read them to us at the altar. We both turned in our lists about a week before the wedding and, for the most part, forgot about them. At the wedding, Ester's 10 things were read first. The first few were very deep + emotional and I was crying more + more with each passing item. Then, in between numbers 5 + 6, our pastor paused slightly as if he couldn't believe what was on the paper. "Number 6...How hot you look when you wakeboard..." There was another slight pause and then everyone burst into laugher. It sounds stupid but in that moment I couldn't have been more certain about who I was marrying. Not because someone finally thought I was hot, but because of the natural beauty she possessed, both internally and externally. I don't remember the other 9 things (sorry, Ester), but I will certainly never forget that moment.
LOVE that they made Nashcago shades for their guest’s to wear at the reception!
Stay true to who you are and what you as a couple want. It may make it a bit stickier with your parents, future parents in law, siblings, etc. but trust us, it's worth it. Put a little more effort in communicating with everyone to try and explain why you're choosing these flowers, or that alcohol selection. In most cases, people care about being in the know, and will support you once they understand your underlying motives – they just want to help and be involved in the biggest day of your life! Help them help you. :)
photography: Brad + Jen of Q Avenue Photo // venue: A Friend’s Private Estate in Barrington Hills, Illinois // event design: Ester Mellado (Bride) // day of design: Shauna Niequist // event planner: Sweet Pea Wedding Studio // florals + hairpieces: Kirsten Lindberg of Flourish // wedding dress: Weddings 826 // shoes: Jechta in Metallic Misc by Call it Spring // bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew silk chiffon bridesmaid dresses in Graphite. I let each girl pick the dress style they felt most comfortable in // hair: Betsy Stover // makeup: Donna Oliver-Forsythe // groom suit: Suit Supply // videography: Ty Tuin // paper goods: Ester Mellado (Bride), printed at HD Design & Printing // catering: Lou Malnati’s Pizza, Portillo’s
to your wedding faves