Michele & Nick: Romanian Orthodox Wedding – Glenview Illinois

Glenview Wedding Photography Valley Lo Club Ariel Chapman

“In a sea of people, my eyes will always search for you” – unknown

Michele and Nick got married on August 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois in a traditional Romanian Orthodox ceremony. I had the distinct pleasure to be, not only a guest at their beautiful wedding, but also their planner. Blush, Burgundy and dusty rose set the color pallet for their late summer wedding. Out of all aspects of the wedding, family was by far the most important and their wedding day was no exception. For that reason, the morning began with Michele getting ready in her parent’s home surrounded by her Grandmother, Mom, sisters and bridesmaids. Their family dog was also a huge part of their wedding celebrations. Sadly, Michele’s dog passed away two weeks after her wedding. Therefore, these images serve as a very emotional reminder of the love between an owner and fur baby.

Glenview Wedding Dog Bride Illinois
Glenview Illinois Wedding Valley Lo Club

Similarly, Nick was able to spend the morning hanging out with the groomsmen and his family. I always feel that the groom gets left out of so much preparation, but Michele made sure Nick was close by and his out-of-state family was welcomed at her home to kick off the day.
Chicago Suburb Wedding Glenview Illinois


Michele comes from a large Romanian Orthodox family. As a result, there is a lot of tradition and culture interwoven throughout their day. Special dances, songs, ceremonies and foods are apart of every Romanian celebration. If you have ever seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” that is a pretty accurate interpretation of an Orthodox ceremony. In an Orthodox ceremony, the bride and groom wear crowns symbolizing that they are the King and Queen of their household. I wish everyone got to wear a crown for a day! Their ceremony was beautiful and full of rich history and tradition.
Orthodox Ceremony Chicago Romanian Wedding
Outdoor Wedding Photos Chicago Glenview Illinois


Michele and Nick chose to have their intimate reception (of 200) at the Valley Lo Club in Glenview, IL. Valley Lo, is a wedding venue tucked inside a private residential golf and swimming community. Michele’s aunt owns Truffles Cake & Pastry Shoppe, a bakery located in Michigan City, Indiana. Because of this, she wanted to use her special talents and gift them a stunning desert display. She painstakingly made each and every dessert and drove them to the reception. It took her several hours to build the stunning dessert display. Most importantly, they tasted better than the looked; and they looked amazing.
Reception Valley Lo Club Glenview Illinois
Daddy Daughter Mother Son Dance First Dance Glenview Illinois

Above all, as Michele and Nick settle into married life, I wanted to thank them for allowing me to be apart of their special day. It is a unique position to be in, both the planner and a guest. Ashley Nicole Events had a great team in place where I could actually step back and enjoy the wedding as a guest. I even got to have a cocktail – or two! Congratulations on your marriage and I wish you nothing but a lifetime of love and happiness!
Lakefront Wedding Glenview Illinois Valley Lo Club Dark Moody Photography Vendor Love:

Planning: Ashley Nicole Events Inc
Photography: Ariel Chapman Photography
Videography: Juan Alvarado Photography
Ceremony Venue: Holy Nativity Romanian Orthodox Church – Chicago, IL
Reception Venue: Valley Lo Club – Glenview, IL
DJ: Fig Media
Floral: SaniMar Decor Studio
Cake & Sweets: Truffles Cake & Pastry Shoppe
Transportation: VIP Express Limousine Inc.
Lodging: Sheraton Northbrook
Invitations: Paula Kolar
Hair: Hair By Julia
Makeup: Makeup By Sarah B

Office Romance Turns Into A Whirlwind Wedding With One Very Special Guest

Some couples meet at the bar, the grocery store, or even online these days. Kelly and Joe happened to meet at work. After many days of small talk, Joe finally asked Kelly to dinner at Boka, which happened to be her very last, first date. Neither Kelly or Joe are actually from Chicago, as they both happen to be from Michigan (it really is a small world). Since 98% of the guests attending would be from out of town, they wanted to show the very best that Chicago had to offer. They were very specific when it came to the location of the wedding, and the Wyndham Grand proved to be what they were looking for. It had the views they wanted and a breathtaking rooftop. How can one possibly compete with the scenic views of the beautiful Chicago River and city skyline?!

Wanting to accurately depict their individual personalities, they served their guests Kelly’s favorite macarons, their go-to late night pizza, two different cakes (to compliment both Kelly and Joe) and their favorite champagne signature drinks. Kelly’s final touch was incorporating her  favorite scented candle- whipped cream and pear from Anthropologie on each table. Reason being is that a certain scent can take you back to a specific time or memory, therefore Kelly wanted to think of their magical day anytime she lit one around the house.

When I think back to Kelly and Joe’s special day, I think of three things. The first thing to pop into my head was their beloved dog, Kevin who was able to be apart of their special day. Kevin accompanied his fur mom and dad on their first look and even danced with guests at the reception. How adorable is that?!?

The second thing I think of is Kelly’s dress, (or should I say TWO Hayley Paige dresses!) If I thought one was a stunner, the second one was even better. 

The third thing I think of was actually a little scary in the moment. Let me explain…When Kelly and Joe were cutting their cake, they did not realize that at the base of each tier is a small piece of cardboard. When they tried to cut their cake, they hit the cardboard and kept pushing…in the process, they actually broke the cake knife and Kelly cut her two fingers! No fingers were lost in the process and no blood got on either the cake or the dress! It was however, a close call. After a brief delay, we bandaged the bride and all had a good laugh. This moment happens to be one of Kelly’s favorite on her wedding video. It was my first bridal injury, but I use this tale to inform my other clients in the proper way to cut a cake! (Thanks for providing a teachable moment, Kelly!)

Kelly realized several things in the planning process. The first thing she realized was that she actually really enjoyed planning. She just could not manage executing everything on the day. She didn’t want to burden family or friends with tasks, so she was very grateful to have a professional planner make everything happen. The second thing she learned is that she has very expensive taste! I am sure Joe will be regretting this discovery every.single.day.

Kelly had one mission. To get married. She wanted to keep the experience both intimate and reflective of their individual styles. I would say, job well done! Kelly, Joe and Kevin currently live in Chicago and are planning a honeymoon for their first anniversary where they will visit Greece and Croatia in September.

Vendor Spotlight
Venue: Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
Photography: Ann & Kam Photo
Florist: Flowers For Dreams
DJ: Okyne Media  
Bakery: Bittersweet 
Hair: AJ Palace
Makeup: Shannon O’Brien