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  • Writer's pictureAfton Vangsness

Kristen + Paul: Trendy Tequila-Filled Chicago Wedding

Kristen + Paul have been having fun together for over a decade, and their wedding day was a celebration of them, their families, and more good times to come!

All photos courtesy of Victoria Saint Martin Photography.

Wicker Park Chicago Wedding

Big Star Chicago Wedding

These two stuck around their neighborhood for their wedding day - Wicker Park/Bucktown in Chicago. The bride and her ladies got ready at The Robey Hotel with hair and makeup by Diem Angie.

Bride getting ready at The Robey Chicago

Kristen wore a sleek, modern wedding dress by Alyssa Kristin. The bridesmaids wore mismatched blue dresses from Brideside in styles to suit each of them.

Bridal party in blue bridesmaids dresses

Invitation suite for Chicago wedding

In the meantime, Paul and the guys got ready in the speakeasy located at their wedding venue - The Joinery. They wore tuxedos from Formally Modern Tuxedo.

Then it was time for the first look, located on the rooftop of The Robey. With views of Chicago surrounding them, Kristen and Paul were ready to see each other and get this party started!

Chicago rooftop wedding photography

This couple is effortlessly cool and focused on what really mattered throughout their wedding day - having fun. After such a long time together, it was clear they are best friends that love being together. They had already built a life together over all this time, shared in countless memories, and had a big group of family and friends surrounding them. That is why they wanted to forego any wedding elements that didn't suit them, and make this day simply a celebration of their life together.

Bride and groom at Big Star Chicago

Their first stop was Big Star for some photos and tequila shots!

Big Star wedding photos

Chicago wedding photography

It was scorching hot out in Chicago, and they didn't want to be sweating going to different photo locations. Instead, they just took some chill photos, had drinks with their wedding party on the trolley from Aries Charter, and headed to the venue early for some photos there.

The Joinery has excellent backdrops for photos right in their outdoor courtyard, so the wedding party had some fun in that area while the vendors finished setting up inside.

Wedding party photography at The Joinery

Wedding party photography in Chicago

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - THIS is the level of hype I want from your wedding party on the wedding day. This group was seriously so much fun. They let loose, didn't take themselves too seriously, and were all about ensuring Kristen and Paul had a great day!

Upon arriving at the venue, guests entered through their courtyard where they have lush ivy and floral. We used signage with a minimalist design to accompany the modern style of the couple.

The ceremony took place indoors, featuring large tree structures against the white brick for the ceremony backdrop. Cafe lighting was strung across the venue's skylight, and we used their signature aqua chairs. The aisle was lined with greenery and candles. The bouquets featured lush floral with shades of peach, yellow, pink, orange, and white - giving it a fun and playful feel. All floral was done by Anthony Gowder Designs.

The Joinery with floral from Anthony Gowder Designs

Wedding ceremony at The Joinery Chicago

Paul and Kristen were both escorted down the aisle by their parents. They chose modern songs for the processional and recessional, including Ellie Goulding, Foster the People, and The Theorist.

They also featured both girls and boys as their 'flower kids.' How cute are they?!

The ceremony was officiated by the bride's cousin. I find that the majority of our couples use someone close to them to officiate their ceremonies. It creates such a personal touch when filled with stories and words specific to the couple. In this instance, he did an amazing job! If you have someone close to you that would be perfect, I say go for it! (But leave it to the professionals if you don't!)

Chicago wedding ceremony by Afton Events

Just married in Chicago

Officially Mr. and Mrs. Tracy!

Just married

One of the small moments during the wedding day that I love the most is immediately post ceremony. Look at this pure joy (and relief)!

Afton Events wedding

Cocktail hour took place in the courtyard with passed appetizers from Cocina Fusion as well as signature cocktails featuring signature cocktails with tequila (which proved to be the most popular alcohol of the night).

Cocktail hour at The Joinery in Chicago

Wedding group photo at The Joinery

They even got a big group shot during cocktail hour which turned out amazing!

Kristen and Paul got a little moment away from the crowd in the venue's speakeasy while we transitioned guests indoors for dinner.

Modern wedding seating chart

The reception was filled with fun little details that were personal to the couple, such as table numbers featuring their cats!

Wedding tablescape with greenery and candles

Wedding reception decor

Sweetheart table with floral

Once everyone was seated, the bride and groom entered to a custom mix from DJ Stack from Cage and Aquarium of 'This Is What You Came For' by Calvin Harris and 'You & I' by Galantis. They of course did a shot as they entered as well - this is a party after all!

Sweetheart table with trees

Toasts and a family-style dinner followed in the intimate, candlelit room.

After dinner, they had their special dances under the bistro lighting.

First dance under cafe lighting

Wedding cafe lighting

As if the entire day wasn't enough of a party, the party REALLY started after dinner. The dance floor was full all night long, and this group had some serious moves!

Wedding glow sticks

After all of this time together, and having to postpone their 2020 wedding, Kristen and Paul had their perfect day. They stayed true to who they are, skipped anything cheesy, and made sure their wedding was the celebration everyone had been waiting for! Cheers to a lifetime of fun together!

Photo at Chicago wedding venue

Chicago wedding photography

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Tracy!



Check out their full day with this film from Diffuse Media!

Vendors Team -

Planner: Afton Events

Videographer: Diffuse Media

Venue: The Joinery

Catering: Cocina Fusion

Photo Booth: Fotio

Transportation: Aries Charter

Hair and Makeup: Diem Angie

Bridal Gown: Alyssa Kristin

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Brideside

Accommodations: The Robey Hotel


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