Wedding :: Courtney + Justin [A New Leaf, Chicago]

What was supposed to be a 15 minute introductory call to discuss options for installing her new floor, turned into discussion about love for travel, and Cambodia, turned into sharing noodles, and turned into the unity of Courtney and Justin.

February 19 was unequivocally ‘them’. From the classic old Hollywood glam style to the cherry branch tucked into Justin’s boutonniere to a first dance to My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker to a wedding cake made of cheese, this date was the ultimate celebration of these two individuals. Surrounded by immediate family and friends at A New Leaf, Courtney and Justin committed their vows to each other. 

Hear from them what made the day extra special.

What was the #1 factor for you and Justin when planning the wedding day?

It's so hard to pick just one thing! Our vision was to create an intimate and modern-inspired winter wedding filled with loads of candlelight, elevated comfort food and unique, personal touches (be it walking down the aisle to David Bowie's "Life on Mars" on strings, an unexpected wedding cake or late-night Chicago hot dogs). It was also important that our venue provided a unique experience for our guests, as opposed to the standard sit-down dinner. We loved that A New Leaf has so many levels/areas to explore, and we are still in disbelief (and incredibly thankful) that everyone was able to enjoy the venue's gorgeous outdoor courtyard during an unseasonably warm winter night!  

Tell us about your wedding cake.

It was a tiered "cake of cheese" from Pastoral Artisan Cheese (one of our favorite places!). It had three kinds of cheese: O'Banon, Brillat Savarin and Delice de Bourgogne, and our caterer, Hearty Boys, decorated it with dried fruits. nuts and jams. It was outrageous! Putting together an amazing cheese board is an entertaining staple in our home, so we wanted to carry that through to our wedding and thought it would be a fun twist on the standard wedding cake. 

What did you look for in a photographer?

We are both pretty shy in front of the camera, so most importantly, we wanted someone who was going to make us feel comfortable and relaxed. Pam's low key style immediately put us at ease. A New Leaf served as a gorgeous, visually-striking backdrop and we loved its modern, industrial and organic features.We wanted someone who was familiar shooting in the space, could harness its beauty and be creative in the process. Pam was outstanding.     

What piece of advice of you have for couples planning their wedding?

Don't drive yourself crazy on Pinterest. Less is more. Focus your energies on the things where you can really put your personal mark and trust the rest to your vendors/partners. Also, make sure you prioritize spending as much time together as you can on your wedding day. It can be a whirlwind, so make sure you carve out some quiet moments for just the two of you to take it all in.

What was your favorite memory from the day?

Definitely saying our vows, which we wrote ourselves. They were deeply personal, and I was nervous I was going to ugly cry the whole way through! But when it came time to do it, I just looked into Justin's eyes, took a deep breath and felt this complete calmness wash over me. It was like time stopped; I've never felt more present and in the moment then I did then. It was truly one of the proudest moments of my life, and our guests talked all night about how authentic, meaningful and moving our vows were. Our post-ceremony "we did it!" moment outside A New Leaf at dusk was pretty great, too!  

When talking to Courtney and Justin in planning for the wedding day, it was important to them to capture emotion and their love for each other, freezing that feeling and essence in a photo. Click through the images below to catch a glimpse into Courtney and Justin's day!

Wedding Gown: Catherine Dean
Venue: A New Leaf
Sustenance: Hearty Boys
Tunes: Toast and Jam
Wedding Cake: Pastoral Artisan Cheese
Hotel: Waldorf Astoria