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        Stephanie Marie Photography The Silver Fox Historic Wedding Venue Streator Chicago Illinois Iowa City Photographer_0040.jpg

        Steve and Nicole met about 10 years ago when they both worked in different departments at a casino. They had hung out in a group of friends, but for their solo first date they went ice skating and played video games at the mall – like teenagers! Five years later, the couple discussed marriage knowing they wanted to be in a permanent committed relationship. While they weren’t sold on the idea of legal marriage, Steve knew Nicole “couldn’t resist an over-the-top engagement” and proposed to her in Napa Valley on the weekend of her 30th birthday with a bottle of a red wine labeled “will you marry me?” that the couple blended themselves. They exchanged engagement rings and decided to get to planning the wedding when Steve was more established in his career and Nicole was closer to finishing her PhD. 

        The couple exchanged vows on March 22nd, 2019 at the historic Silver Fox wedding venue in Streator, Illinois. They fell in love with the venue when they saw it online, and ultimately chose it because of the location, being central for both of their families. Nicole says that “in addition to falling in love with the impeccably decorated historic building and the symbolism behind it, we were also enamored with their policy of donating flowers and leftover food to local folks who will benefit from it and their ‘pay-it-forward room,’ for wedding parties to share what they’ve used.” The ceremony was performed by the couple’s good friend, Aarti Sharma, who was “funny, irreverant, and goofy, yet still really expressed the beauty of love in all it’s forms.” The couple wanted to celebrate their 10-year relationship rather than the institution of marriage, and they say that Aarti captured that perfectly. 

        Nicole described the vibe of their wedding as “unstuffy glam”, and had a vision of bright, multicolored flowers against a neutral (but sparkly!) backdrop. The bridesmaids – or “bridal buddies” as Nicole calls them – were asked to wear anything in the gold/champagne/almond family that made them feel glamorous, and they coordinated beautifully with the stunning multicolored flowers from Willow and Stock! The reception was a bit untraditional – instead of a sit down dinner the couple had stations of food and activities that allowed their 170 guests to socialize and mingle at their leisure. They had a DJ to keep the party going, a selfie station, and a caricature artist to create prints for people to take home as a favor. Nicole and Steve say their favorite moments of the day were “speeding through town to take pictures and video at Spring Lake before the ceremony! Seeing my best woman’s face beaming up at me when she took my bouquet! Walking down the aisle hand in hand with Steve… while getting pelted with confetti! Our dance choreographed by Cat Cantrill!   Signing our marriage license on the pool table! Dancing with friends and family, especially Aunt Rose! I also really liked dancing in the window overlooking our reception (to The Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang)! Steve’s favorite moments were our first look, confetti shower, and first dance!”

        One special touch is the story behind the couple’s wedding bands. Nicole says, “one of my very best friends, Bethany Wood, is a metalsmith specializing in wearable art. She made both Steve’s and my wedding bands. His was made by encasing my maternal grandmother’s ring in several sheets of silver so that the stones lay flat against the ring and this way I got to pass my grandma’s ring to him. Mine is made out of white gold and is designed to look like petals for my engagement ring to rest into. She also made a remarkably beautiful metal belt attachment modeled off the lace pattern of my wedding dress.”

        Nicole and Steve had this to say about their photography experience: “Stephanie was a DREAM to work with!!! She’s thorough, always so on top of things, and rolls with the punches. We threw a few curveballs at her and Julie on the day of our wedding and they both rose to the challenge! Stephanie and Julie were also able to really take charge and keep everyone close to our chosen timeline, which was invaluable to me as a bride trying to keep everything relatively under control. Steve and I had worked with Stephanie before, so we know her work is stunning, but we were just blown away by our photos! We love the romantic and beautifully edited series at Spring Lake and Steph and Julie perfectly captured all the details of our ceremony and reception. Stephanie was also really quick in turning our albums around and includes all of the edited digital images in her rate, which makes the process seamless. We wholeheartedly recommend her wedding photography and feel so lucky to have such gorgeous images to remember our wedding with!”
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        Photographer – Stephanie Marie Photography

        Dress – Boutique: Bride’s by Young in Shaumburg, IL. Designer: Essence of Australia

        Shoes – Betsey Johnson (heels), Kate Spade for Keds (dancing shoes)

        Tux – Rashid’s Formalwear

        Flowers – Willow and Stock

        Venues – The Silver Fox in Streator, Illinois

        Catering – Halal Guys, The Cheese Shop

        Cake and cupcakes – Christy’s Kitchen

        Music /DJ – DJ Mixwell

        Videography – Fred Ebong

        Hair & Makeup – Encore Salon

        Event Planning – The Silver Fox

        Rings – Bethany Wood

        Bridesmaids dresses – David’s Bridal

        Groomsmen apparel – Rashid’s Formalwear

        Other (birdcage veil) – Veiled by ChaCha

        2 COMMENTS

        Gorgeous! The setting, the bride, everything!

        Morgen Bermel

        Ok, I might be a little bias.. but wow!!! These are my favorite! The photos by the water are absolutely breathtaking and the confetti shots, so much fun!! They make me smile just looking through them. Nicole is such a wonderful human being, this couple is life goals for sure!! Stunning!

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