This is a wedding I hold very close to my heart. Immediately upon meeting Michaela, we had an instant connection. It was nothing but exciting conversations on aesthetic, style and being overly type A. Can you think of a better combo for a wedding planner? Now throw a pandemic into the mix. The initial postponements were disappointing, but in the end it meant more opportunities to create extra spacial moments.

After eight years together, Irwin thoughtfully popped the question on the top floor of the Ace Hotel. The couple originally planned on tying the knot with those near and dear in September of 2020; some traveling across the world to celebrate with them in their home town of Chicago. After two postponements and the realization that there was no guarantee of things going back to normal anytime soon, Michaela and Irwin had to pause on starting their next chapter of their lives together. As devastating as this was for them and so many others experiencing the same thing, Michaela has noted, “Looking back, those moments when things felt most out of sorts, now feel meant to be. While the big wedding was the initial dream, we realized the dream was really having a moment that was truly ours.”

That being said, they decided to elope and throw a party to celebrate with friends and family when the time was right. Michaela and Irwin had an intimate ceremony right in the living room of their new home, officiated by their pastor and in the company of their parents. The next morning, they hopped on a plane to Utah were they read their written vows to each other on top of the red Moab canyons at sunrise. To make it all even more special, these moments took place on the weekend of their original wedding date, captured by their photographer and a close friend to bear witness.

Their adventure elopement and city wedding celebration was romantic, modern and free-spirited with an abundance of neutrals and lots of texture. They are music and desert lovers at heart and drew inspiration from the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California— a festival they’ve been attending for years together. Irwin calls it his happy place. Their wedding aesthetic definitely reflected that.

Michaela’s wedding dress was the East Gown by designer Rue de Seine from Alice in Ivory in Chicago. She wanted a unique dress to reflect her style today. The music at their wedding celebration – from the bride’s getting ready playlist (which was thoughtfully created by the groom) to the ceremony to the cocktail hour and reception (X-Fade Entertainment), was all carefully curated by Michaela and Irwin. We wanted our guests to feel like they were out in the desert with us, even though it was a cold, mid-November day in Chicago.

“Throughout this crazy journey, our wedding vendors never left our side and we made sure to keep the same team intact. From the start, we knew we wanted to be surrounded by vendors who understood our story, vision and would work with us and each other collaboratively throughout the whole process. We outlined our vision and completely trusted their process and expertise in their field. We wanted them to feel like they were a part of our day with us, and not just working our day. We could not be more happy with the end result. It truly felt like a dream team.” — Michaela

 

Venue: Gallery 1028 // Floral & Decor: Xo Design Co // Photographer: For Love and Light // Lead Hairstylist: Ericka Derry // 2nd Hairstylist: Blush and Braids Beauty // Makeup: Paige Puccio // Entertainment: X Fade Entertainment // Food & Beverage: Calihan Catering // Cake: Sugargoat

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