This Chicago Wedding Is All About Eclectic Romance

Chicago, Real Weddings

Elizabeth Hart and Matthew Ortolano will definitely stand the test of time. After all, they survived high school together! "We met when we were 15, and were great buddies for years before we started dating," Lizzie says. After they graduated from college, their friendship became romantic, and on a trip to St. John, Matt proposed to Lizzie after dinner on a private beach.

For their September 6th, 2014 wedding, the couple sought a venue that was romantic and fun, and Salvage One is all that and more. "The mood, with repurposed chandeliers, eclectic artwork, and mismatched furniture created a space that was both high-end and made guests feel like they were in our home," says the bride. And with all those details to capture, it's a good thing they had Caili Helsper on-hand to take their gorgeous photos — keep reading to see more!

"I never thought I would be obsessed with my wedding dress, but when I put this on, I cried," says Lizzie of her V-neck Jenny Packham gown with crystal embellishments on the shoulders and waist. On her feet were ornate cut-out sandals.

Lizzie's bridesmaids wore strapless dresses by Amsale in light gray and pink. All the women carried bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. Lizzie's featured pearl-accented stephanotis, while her bridesmaids carried succulents.

The bride's father walked her down the aisle, beneath Salvage One's unique chandeliers, as "Air" by Bach was played.

Matt and Lizzie's ceremony was officiated by their best friend's father. "He knows us so well, and was able to incorporate so much meaning into the ceremony," says the bride.

Another favorite detail of Lizzie's gown? The ornate silver lace around the dress's open back!

All the details of Salvage One have been collected from around Chicago over the years, giving the space an authentic Windy City atmosphere.

The venue's mid-century tables were topped with mercury glass vases holding pink hydrangeas and baby's breath. For dinner, guests dined on red snapper with yuzu and braised short ribs and sipped two signature cocktails: a Whiskey Smash (whiskey, ginger beer, lemon, and berries) and A Night in Paris (peach vodka, orange juice, lemon juice, and a splash of soda).

Matt's best friend, Mike, was supposed to be the best man, but he was deployed to Afghanistan before the wedding. Mike and Lizzie surprised Matt with a video Mike had recorded from his station, played during the other best man's speech.

The bride and groom skipped the cake in favor of donuts from Chicago's Glazed and Infused, as well as Argentinian alfajores.

Says Lizzie, "There's so much planning to be done, but if you can get things done ahead of time (and take some non-wedding time together), it will be fun!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Salvage One || Day-Of Coordinator: Amy Stockbridge of Big Day Easy || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham || Shoes: Klub Nico || Hair: Kerry Maggard || Makeup: Kevin Mulka || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Black Tie Formalwear || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Atlantic Diamonds || Florist: Ridgewood Gardens Inc. || Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas || Music: Spinnin' Discs || Catering: Jordan's Food of Distinction || Donuts: Glazed and Infused || Cookies: Lucila's Homemade || Food Truck: Cheesie's || Videography: Turning Point Productions || Photography: Caili Helsper Photography

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