No small detail was overlooked for Emily & Imogen. Their Chicago vintage-inspired, modern wedding oozed luxe and style.
You had a few little hiccups in wedding planning, what happened?!
I: Our photographer double booked us, we actually were meant to be getting married at a different venue, and it went bankrupt three months out. We also had a disaster with Emily’s dress, and she had to get a new one, just two weeks out! It was all super stressful.
In hindsight, it all worked out the way it was meant to, and our wedding ended up being better than we ever could have imagined! We are so happy we found Made to Be Mine. We couldn’t imagine anybody else sharing the day with us.
The Fairlie, where we ended up having our wedding, was spectacular and couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for us, and for Emily’s dress, I mean, you’ve seen the pictures. Wow. She’s perfect.
What was the inspiration behind your wedding day theme?
E: As an interior designer, I truly believe how a space looks creates a mood, tone, and even emotions. I knew I wanted the space to reflect our personalities. The vibe was very romantic and vintage but also edgy and modern. I think at one point, our wedding planner described it as “sexy, moody.” There were not a lot of colors, just light blushes, nudes, and pinks. I knew this would be a great contrast with all the black and grey.
Imogen made sure we added a little greenery, which I was hesitant about but happy with in the end. I spent hours and hours making sure all the details were perfect and exactly what I had envisioned. I even put together a google slide document for every area that showed what was meant to go where. Which was probably a little overkill- but hey, cant better over prepared than under.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
I: I actually had two outfits because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to wear a dress or a suit, so I wore both! First, a dress for the ceremony, then a suit for the reception. I have never felt more comfortable with a decision in my whole life. Mimika Designs made the dress I had made for me as I was torn between two dresses, one that I had found in the US and one I had seen while shopping with my mum and sister in England. We sourced the primary material from here and Poland’s lace because I’m fussy and couldn’t find lace that I liked in the whole US! The dress turned out better than I expected, and they even made me a birdcage veil from the leftover lace. I wore off white heels by Nina New York for the ceremony.
For the reception, I found a perfect white tux from Little Black Tux, I had a black bowtie, and I wore black loafers by Sam Edelman. I felt amazing in both outfits. They perfectly represented my style. I loved that I got to mix feminine and masculine on our big day!
E: My wedding dress, what a DISASTER. I went to a super trendy boutique bridal shop in Chicago and found a dress I thought was perfect. It was crepe, tight, and sexy. I was and am a curvy woman. Needless to say, the sample sizes at the shop did not fit me. I had recently lost forty pounds and knew I would lose more. We all thought when it is in my size, it will be perfect! I ordered the size I was when I went to the bridal shop even though I knew I was going to lose weight.
The bridal shop attendant advised me to order the size I was then because you can always take in a dress, but you can’t take out a dress.
Six months later and twenty pounds lighter, I went to pick up my dress. I put it on, and it was HUGE. We were happy, though, because it was beautiful and thought that it would be perfect once it was altered. We took it to get altered over the next four months, and it kept looking better, but you could see every line and curve in my body. I tried on every pair of spanks imaginable. The alterations women assured me it would look great. They just needed to steam it. Fast forward one week before my wedding, my mom and I went to my last fitting. It was then we realized I could NOT walk down the aisle in that dress. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t because it was go time and so many other things had gone wrong. But, I wasn’t surprised.
I ended up getting a lace dress that was beautiful and off the shelf from my home town. I looked good in it and felt confident, but it wasn’t perfect. To this day, I still don’t think it was my perfect outfit, and I wish I had looked more for a dress. That being said, the wedding dress does not make a wedding.
It was still the best day of my life. The room was still filled with more love and happiness; than I could have ever imagined, and I felt confident and beautiful.
Talk to us about the big day!
E & I: Where to start? It was and always will be one of the best days of our entire lives. We would do it over again and again if we could. In our eyes, it was perfect from start to finish despite all of the hiccups we had getting to the day itself. We felt so much love and warmth from everyone there, including the staff on hand. Every single person involved made it what it was, and it was incredible.
What are your favorite moments?
I: My favorite moments are getting dressed with my mum and little sisters. My first look with my Dad, we both got choked up, and I’ll never forget the way he looked at me. Going on the trolley with the wedding party to take photos. My Dad’s speech – “Imogen, I am so proud of the woman you have become” and “this morning I woke up with five daughters, and tonight I’m going to sleep with six” those words are etched into my brain. Getting to dance with my Mum and my Dad was super special to me as well, and how could I forget what a great speech my sister and my brother-in-law gave, I was so proud of them. It was so amazing to have a lot of my family with me.
But at the top of my list, it has to be that first look with Emily. Watching the video, she put together with all of my friends and family that couldn’t make it over from England. I’ll cherish those moments forever. She was and always is the most beautiful human in the world to me.
Our favorite joint moments were getting to take photos together, just us. Our photographers were adamant that was important as it would be the only time we would have to ourselves, and they were right. It was super special to have those quiet moments, just us and them capturing it.
Getting to have a few minutes together in the dressing room before the DJ announced us at the reception was amazing as well. We did a tequila shot together and ate some snacks. Walking down the staircase again, this time as a married couple and meeting in the middle so that I could put a branded “Hobbs” leather jacket on Emily, all while dancing to Lizzo’s Girls, was an amazing feeling.
And now that you’re married, what does the commitment mean to you?
I: To me, a wedding is a tradition that brings family and chosen family together to celebrate love. We were truly lucky to have the people we had around us at our wedding. We felt nothing but love and kindness the whole day.
To us, marriage means promising and wanting to spend your life with someone through all of the bad and good things that life brings. We know that we wouldn’t want anyone else by our side if times get tough or when life is full of great things – experiencing everything together as a team.
And any parting advice for other LGBTQ+ lovers planning their wedding day?
I: Compromise! No matter how similar or different you are from your partner. Your idea of the perfect day will inevitably differ from one another’s, so learn to compromise on things because it is a great skill to have in a relationship anyway! As well as compromising, be strong, and don’t give in on something you really feel strongly about. Those are the things that need to be talked through and compromised. Sit down at the very beginning of your planning journey and discuss what parts you have strong feelings about. It will save arguments later on!
Last piece of advice. Just roll with it. Some things will be entirely out of your control, especially when there is nothing left to do when it gets to the day. Try your best to roll with the mistakes or disasters. For us, everything turned out better because of the stressful disastrous parts. Just breathe, you’re with your forever person through this, and you’ll have good stories at the end of it! We promise it will all work out in the end!
Photography by Made to be Mine
Cake Toni Patisserie
Catering J and L Catering
Ceremony Venue The Fairlie
Cinematographer Dayson Roa
Event Planner Lisa Jaroscak of Storybook Weddings
Florist Vale of Enna
Lighting & Sound Hire Toast and Jam
Signage By Precious Anne
Stationery Mite Printing and Jacob Goble