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Ben & Claire

A Sentimental & Chic Chicago Wedding

Dear Ben & Claire,


It isn’t every day that I get to plan a wedding in Chicago with a couple who lives in Shanghai, but I knew the moment I read your first email that I was going to love working with you! Your attention to detail, your love of family and close friends, and all the personalized details of your wedding won me over immediately.


Your photographer Laurie, from Elle Rose Photo described your wedding perfectly, “What a visually stunning, and wildly fun wedding! There was glamour, heartfelt speeches, urban backdrops, huge smiles, sweaty dance moves, tons of love, and some sparklers to cap it all off. Oh – and food. SO much amazing food!” Laurie was spot on. Your wedding was all that and more!

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You and Ben weren’t content to simply have a beautiful ceremony and killer dance party. You wanted your guests to have an experience that was unforgettable and that meant creating meaningful touches that would truly delight your guests. From fantastic food and creative favors, to great music and polaroids, you went all out in making your guests feel cherished and involved in your story.


Claire, I loved how you incorporated your heritage in small but meaningful ways. The washi paper you had handmade in Japan for your invitations was beautiful and incredibly delicate. The sake cups you had your mother bring from Japan, and the pouches she made from her old kimono fabric made the perfect wedding favor. It was both incredibly unique and sentimental.


You and Ben clearly poured a lot of time and love into your wedding program (book!), and it was by far my favorite detail of the day. Seeing your guests take this incredibly thick, yet chic program, and watching their eyes light up as they opened it, was priceless. I cannot begin to tell you how deeply your guests were touched to see that each and every one of them was mentioned with a thoughtful story or witty fact about them. As people were leaving the reception, they asked if there were extra copies as they wanted a few as keepsakes. They were that special.

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You two swaying in each other’s arms as you danced to “Slow Boat to China” was simply adorable. You couldn’t have picked a better song! Claire, at the reception your father gave the most beautiful father of the bride speeches I have ever heard. All your guests were in tears, but you probably didn’t expect that all your wedding vendors would be tearing up as well. In fact, I may need to hire him in the future for toast writing!


Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day and here is my toast to you and Ben as you have just celebrated your six month anniversary: To a couple who has experienced the gift of love and shared it with all who know them, congratulations! I pray God blesses you both immeasurably and that your marriage brings you more joy and laughter with each passing day. Cheers!


Vendor Credits: Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham (Esme), Church: St. Mary of Celle, DJ: Toast and Jam, Floral Design: Cornelia McNamara, Getting Ready Hotel: The Acme Hotel + The James Hotel, Photographer: Elle Rose Photo, Second Shooter: Nicole Francesca Photography, Reception/Food/Cake: The Publican, Wedding Coordination: MatchMade Event Co.

“I found myself feeling more and more confident every day that, in Rachael's capable hands, the wedding would go by without a hitch. I was right!”
— Claire & Ben