What’s the point of having a wedding if it isn’t made up of all your favorite things? This was the exact mindset Erica and Andrew had in mind when planning their super-chic small wedding in Chicago. It was all about them, baby! After COVID derailed their original plans of getting married in a traditional ceremony with 250 guests, the two decided to get creative and just stick to what they truly loved. Andrew’s first thought? “Fried chicken and lots of booze”.
That’s when we thought of Parson’s Chicken & Fish, a restaurant we loved back when we lived in Chicago, known for their insanely delicious fried chicken and super retro vibes. Once we had the venue, everything else fell into place.
Though they planned their own nuptials, Erica and Andrew worked with Studio 29 Photography to capture photos that would last a lifetime for them. Buckle up, you’re about to see tons of smiling faces and feel all the good vibes!
Love at First Glance
Erica and Andrew’s love story begins in 2014 when they met in medical school. In their many years of training together, the couple moved several times between New York and Chicago, and eventually, Andrew popped the question. Though COVID derailed their original wedding plans, the two exchanged vows privately in January of 2021.
In 2019, Erica purchased this beautiful Rime Arodaky wedding dress. She looks so incredibly stunning after finally having the opportunity to wear it!
Besides having this absolutely adorable first look with her groom, Erica opted to do a first look with her father and brother as well.
I got ready privately with my mom and sisters and did a “first look” with my dad and brother. I am the oldest of four, and our family is incredibly close, so it was important to have a special moment of us Parks all together.
Each and every bridesmaid was grinning ear to ear when celebrating their wonderful friend on her wedding day.
And we’re off! Andrew and Erica headed to the Airbnb they rented out for the weekend to have their ceremony.
Making up for Lost Time
The unity ceremony kicked off with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The perfect embodiment of their shared love of food!
The ceremony was officiated by their close friend, Drew, who was supposed to marry them back in 2020. Andrew and Erica are ecstatic that it finally got to happen their way!
Andrew and Erica were whisked away in a flurry of confetti to celebrate their love.
The couple cozied up with one another outdoors before heading inside for their epic reception!
Fried Chicken & Good Vibes
Their custom marquee was inscribed with the motto of the day: Big Hearts, Full Bellies, Drink Booze!
My biggest advice to future brides is to not be afraid to do something that feels a little untraditional - like getting married at a fried chicken restaurant. Let your decisions be guided by what feels most like you and your partner, and not what tradition says it should be!
Tables were decorated with all the essentials! Adorable table numbers, hot sauce, more hot sauce, koozies, and a mini bottle of Malort (IYKYK) were everything guests needed to get the full Parson’s experience.
Look at this outstanding centerpiece! The florists behind Fleur created this stunning arrangement using a mixture of dried and fresh florals, plus a few disco balls for some extra pizzazz!
Let’s talk FOOD. Guests were treated to a delectable meal of fried chicken, fried fish, hush puppies, and some amazing mac and cheese. We may need to take a trip to Chicago to try it for ourselves!
Cake simply wasn’t in the cards for Erica and Andrew. Instead, pie was the name of the game! Not only is it great to have a variety of flavor options for guests, but the pies were also a subtle nod to when Andrew proposed to Erica at their favorite local pie shop.
And to top it all off, there was a champagne tower!
While the wedding delays were stressful and pushed our patience to our limits, it ended up being a blessing. The extra time made us realize what we really wanted out of our big day – which was definitely not the wedding we originally planned. When we first started wedding planning, I felt like I had to “tick the boxes” of a traditional wedding and I was afraid to break out of the mold and do things I really wanted to do. But after two years of disappointing postponements and delays, I wasn’t scared to try things anymore and go for what we wanted.
Congratulations to Erica and Andrew! We wish you a lifetime of happiness!
photography: Studio 29 Photography // venue name: Parson's Chicken & Fish, Chicago, Illinois, USA // florals: Fleur // wedding dress: Rime Arodaky 'Stone' // wedding dress boutique: Alice in Ivory // bride's shoes: Marc Fisher // bride's ring: Brilliant Earth // bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo 'Priya', Jenny Yoo 'Aniston', BHLDN 'Beckett' and BHLDN 'Cali' // hair stylist: The Bridal Beauty Team // makeup artist: The Bridal Beauty Team // groom attire: Suit Supply and Tie Bar // groom's shoes: Karl Lagerfeld // groom's ring: Blue Nile // catering: Parson's Chicken & Fish // desserts: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits // music: Scratch Weddings