As Victoria says best, the chances of her and Richard ever meeting were almost impossible. "Richard and I were born and raised in two different countries. The odds of us meeting were very slim, due to him spending most of his time working in a sale position in London while I was in college in Chicago," she said. But in 2010, fate stepped in and brought both Victoria and Richard to Bogota, Columbia where they met at a mutual friend's birthday party.
They went their separate ways and until finally reconnecting on April 29, 2011 when Victoria was dutifully awake watching the Royal Wedding and sent Richard a message in London. The two chatted across the Atlantic Ocean, saved vacation days for overseas visits, and each boarded 13 international flights between the United States and London, before finally getting engaged on June 16, 2013 when Richard proposed in front of his church congregation.
They selected August 30, 2014 as their wedding date and wed in front of 150 guests at the Civic Opera House in Chicago, Illinois in a bash entirely inspired by Will and Kate's big day.
Keep reading to see their entire formal wedding, captured by Angela Shae Photography.
When it came time to choose where they would wed, Victoria and Richard needed little help. "Before Rich and I were ever engaged we thought it would be fun to look at wedding venues," the bride remembers. "Little did we know that when visiting the Civic Opera House, that one day it would be where we said our 'I dos.'"
The bride chose an ivory Vera Wang ball gown for her royal-inspired wedding day, complete with a cathedral-length skirt and lace-tipped veil. She added simple, dangling diamond earrings that complemented her very classic emerald-cut engagement ring.
Victoria's nine bridesmaids all wore matching Dessy dresses in three different shades of pink.
Richard and his groomsmen wore Vera Wang suits, but the groom donned a classic bow tie to differentiate his look from the skinny ties his attendants had.
To fit with their royal vibe, Victoria and Richard decorated their ceremony and reception space in shades of gold and pink, and guests walked over regal red carpets on their way to watch the couple exchange vows. Violinist Taras Umrysh performed for both the ceremony and reception. A six-foot-tall "W" (in honor of the couple's last name) was decorated with flowers and acted as their ceremony backdrop.
Both the bride and groom wrote their own vows, but Victoria remembers Richard took the challenge to the next level. "He sang the first part of his vows, which was a surprise to me," she says.
The reception space was transformed with the addition of four long tables. To keep their look cohesive, the couple repurposed their ceremony décor during dinner by using their floral arrangements as centerpieces.
Victoria and Richard hired La Mirage, a Russian caterer, to create a delicious menu as a nod to her family's heritage. Since the bride felt strongly against having a traditional wedding cake, the couple ordered a one-tiered polka dotted confection from a local Polish bakery instead. The tiny raspberry mouse confection was decorated with tons of pink roses.
"The greatest advice I could give any couple is to make the wedding day reflect you as a couple," Victoria says. "You want your guests to look back at the end of a busy wedding season and say, 'Yes, their wedding was something special and so-them!'"
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Civic Opera House || Officiant: Michael Peters || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Shoes: Chinese Laundry || Hair: Vita Novak Salon || Makeup: Triphena Johnson || Bridesmaid's Dresses: Dessy || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang from Men's Wearhouse || Invitations & Stationery: William Arthur || Ceremony & Reception Music: Taras Umrysh || Catering & Rentals: La Mirage || Cake: Oak Mill Bakery || Videography: Blu Couture || Photographer: Angela Shae
Did you love this formal Chicago wedding? Then see another glamorous affair in the video below.