Eight years after Jacqueline Jaskowiak and Albert Gehrke started their relationship as high school sweethearts, the duo decided to make their union official. While it was a long road to the altar, the bride will tell you the wait was well worth it. To pop the question, Albert whisked Jacqueline away from Minnesota, where they lived, to a Chicago country club where the soon-to-be groom had played golf with his family as a child. Unaware of Albert's grand plans, Jacqueline bet that she'd crush him in their next golf game — and that her reward should be a proposal. "I swear I am not making this up," she says. "He will tell you he almost had a heart attack when I said it." Although the competition was fierce, there were no losers in this game. At the last green of their nine-hole game, Albert got down on one knee and asked Jacqueline to be his wife.
The couple returned to Chicago for their September 19, 2015, wedding. When they first began to plan their 250-person fete, all they knew was that they wanted their day to be a reflection of their favorite city. But soon, that vision evolved to include a romantic color palette of blues and creams coupled with killer food, great music, and a real party atmosphere in which guests could kick back and have fun. With the help of Estera Events, the couple was able to pull off the party of their dreams, and can remember it fondly with photos from Kyle John Photography.
Jacqueline admits it was tough to plan their big day from afar. "Details and elements that I bought for the wedding would be shipped to my parents' house and I would have to just hope that they worked," she says. "Sometimes we wouldn't get to meet all of the vendors we wanted on our weekend visits home and we had to hope that our phone calls, emails, and short meetings would all come together in the end. But they did, which is why amazing vendors are your saving grace!"
The easiest decisions to make were choosing their ceremony and reception sites — Holy Name Cathedral, an architecturally stunning church in which Jacqueline had long dreamed of tying the knot, and Morgan Manufacturing, where brick walls and high ceilings hinted at city loft living.
The couple's color palette worked it's way into their invitation suite, which featured gold script and blue invitations. The gorgeous design also hinted at Jacqueline and Albert's wedding aesthetic. "I not-so-shamelessly dubbed our theme romantic industrial glam," says the bride.
The bride's unique fashion sense often means she picks the unexpected and even unconventional attire. So, she says, no one was surprised when she donned a peach-hued Jim Hjelm wedding dress that included not one but two silhouettes — a fit-and-flare skirt with an A-line organza overlay. "When my mom and I found it, we kind of knew it would be my final choice," Jacqueline says.
The beautiful wedding dress featured a built-in-belt in neutral moonstone hues, and the salon's owner generously made Jacqueline a beaded crown to match. The bride also wore a champagne veil that matched the color of her gown's overlay, stud earrings, and a custom rose gold necklace made with diamonds from her grandmother.
She carried an organic bouquet made from a variety of different roses, dusty miller, and olive greens, all tied together with ivory and blush silk ribbon.
"All he knew was that he wanted to look like James Bond," Jacqueline says of Albert's dream wedding day attire. "We went and bought him a black tux and a bow tie. He looked pretty darn Bond-esque to me!"
As a nod to their love for golf — and their engagement story — Albert and his groomsmen wore boutonnieres made from cream-colored blooms and dusty miller, with a hidden golf tee tucked inside.
Jacqueline gave her bridesmaids the green light to pick their own gowns, as long as the styles they selected were floor-length, and either gray or blue. "I wanted their dresses to bring in the dusty blue hue and have the romantic aspect of our day in them," says the bride. "I didn't even think about the fact that my dress had a peach hue and it ended up looking great with their colors."
As for the groomsmen, Albert wanted his guys in classic black tuxes. "Guys are easy!"
"Our church was already very grand and had so much history that we did not need much in terms of décor," Jacqueline says. The couple placed floral arrangements at the altar and left it up to the existing architecture to do the rest.
The bride's father walked her down the aisle to Canon in D played by a violin and accompanied by a cantor. "I could barely squeak out the repeat-after-the-priest ones!" Jacqueline says of her nerves when exchanging vows.
As the newlyweds recessed down the aisle, guests were encouraged to wave blue ribbons wands, a detail that started out as a DIY project but ended up being something for which the couple happily paid. "I attempted to tackle them, but once I realized a very talented person on Etsy could do it even better than me, I jumped on it and am so glad I did," the bride says.
Jacqueline and Albert loved their reception venue, Morgan Manufacturing, because it was unique and it had an industrial-yet-glamorous feel. But the challenge was making the huge warehouse feel like an intimate space for dinner and dancing. That's where the couple's color palette came into play: "The shades we picked made it feel romantic. The flowers and, of course, the gold elements, like the chandeliers in the warehouse, brought it all together," the bride says.
Some of the couple's banquet-style tables — which were all lined with industrial gold metal chairs — featured long garlands of greenery and roses, while others were topped with low floral centerpieces in pastel hues. Amber string lights hung above the tables, casting a soft glow over dinner and, later, dancing.
To sneak in their love of golfing, the duo chose dusty blue flags as their table numbers.
Dinner included selections like short ribs with asparagus and potatoes, French-cut chicken with butternut squash ravioli, and vegan panko-crusted lentil and red onion cakes with mushrooms. "Food was all Albert," Jacqueline brags. "If you can't tell, he is a little bit more of the picky one and he had the most fun with this part of the planning."
The five-tiered wedding cake fit the couple's romantic-meets-industrial glam theme to a T. With romantic ruffles and flowers, modern layer with dusty blue and edible gold details, the confection was almost too pretty to eat!
And, as gorgeous as it was on the outside, it was equally amazing on the inside. Layers of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, vanilla cake with cookies and cream frosting, and chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting made for a sweet ending to the night. "There was no way Albert was going to pick just one flavor of cake," Jacqueline laughs.
The couple danced for the first time as husband and wife to John Legend's "All of Me," before opening up their dance floor to guests. "Our only big request to our DJ was that he meshed the songs together so that there were never any lulls," says Jacqueline. "This made it hard for guests to have the chance to ever sit down! Our biggest compliment from the night was our music. I am biased of course, but our dance floor was packed from first group song to last."
Now, when Jacqueline and Albert think back on their wedding day, they talk about how easy it felt. "We didn't feel stressed at all on the day and we could not stop smiling. We had gorgeous weather in our favorite city and were surrounded by our favorite people."
Ceremony Venue: Holy Name Cathedral || Reception Venue: Morgan Manufacturing || Wedding Planner: Estera Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm || Veil: Che Bella || Jewelry & Wedding Bands: The Classic Gem || Hair: Hair and Love || Makeup: Shannon O'Brien || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo; The Dessy Group || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's &am; Ring Bearer Attire: Mr. Tux || Wedding Bands: Classic Creations || Florist: Fleur, Inc. || Invitations: Sarah Drake Design || Music: Twin Strings; Okyne Medialab || Catering: J & L Catering || Cake: Elysia Root Cakes || Rentals: Ultrapom Event Rental; La Tavola Linen || Favors: The Match Man Co. || Videographer: Mitten Films || Photographer: Kyle John Photography
Planning your own party in the Windy City? Then you'll love watching another couple tie the knot in Chicago in the video below.