An "Intimate" Chicago Wedding for 300 People!

This huge wedding was surprisingly cozy

Updated 09/26/17
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Photo by Kyle John

"If you thought planning a wedding was hard, try doing it with a one and a half year old," says Kiley Taslitz, who married Erik Anderson on June 10, 2017. “It made us realize why people usually get married before having kids!” The pair, who met as college students in 2008 and were engaged on Malibu’s Point Dume in September of 2016, had an intimate celebration in mind—and a 300-person guest list. “We really wanted the celebration to be warm and inviting, no matter how many guests we had,” says the bride. To make such a huge crowd feel small, Kiley and Erik wed in the round (to keep their guests close!) and then invited everyone to settle for dinner at long communal tables. The pair wrote their own vows, made sure guests were well-fed, and, of course, included their son, Baer, in the mix!

Keep reading to see how natural materials, clean lines, and lots of candlelight totally transformed the couple's black venue space, the Geraghty, into an experience all 300 guests won’t soon forget. Designed by Kehoe Designs and photographed by Kyle John, this Chicago wedding is proof that you don't need flowers to have an absolutely breathtaking wedding!

<p>Solo shot of bride</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Close-up of bride</p>

Photo by Kyle John

“When my mom asked me how I wanted to feel in my wedding dress, I answered with one word: Beautiful,” says Kiley. With a little help from the team at Vera Wang, that was exactly the result. Kiley wore a Chantilly lace gown with knuckle-length sleeves, a sheer high neck, and a curve-skimming silhouette. Her bouquet? A handful of white poppies.

Bride's hair

Kyle John

The bride paired her modern gown with a soft chignon at the nape of her neck.

<p>Bride with bridal party</p>

Photo by Kyle John

Kiley selected three different dresses for her nearly a dozen bridesmaids, ranging from a pale blue halter and an all-white slip to a white high-waisted skirt and a black corset top, all from Solace London.

<p>Bride and groom together</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Bride and groom kissing son</p>

Photo by Kyle John

The bride and groom (in a navy tuxedo jacket and black tuxedo pants from Suit Supply) posed for portraits with each other—and their son, Baer, who wore a tiny tuxedo with a white jacket.

<p>Chairs at ceremony</p>

Photo by Kyle John

For the ceremony, wooden cross-back chairs were set up in a semi-circle shape to ensure that every single guest had a great view.

<p>Bride and groom at altar</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Bride smiling at groom</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Bride and groom kissing</p>

Photo by Kyle John

One of the couple’s closest friends officiated the ceremony, which the bride and groom wrote together. “It was extraordinarily special to put it together,” says Kiley. The pair stood on a circular stage, while light poured in from the venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows behind the altar.

<p>Table setting</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Table number</p>

Photo by Kyle John

Wooden chandeliers held pillar candles high above the farm tables, which were decorated simply with candles in hurricanes, denim napkins, and blue water glasses.

<p>Baguette on table</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Food platter</p>

Photo by Kyle John

Guests nibbled on fresh bread, crudité, charcuterie, cheeses, and nuts on wooden serving boards while toasts were given. The colorful trays took the place of fresh flowers—and we didn't miss the blooms at all!

<p>Reception venue</p>

Photo by Kyle John

A selection of chandeliers and strands of café lights gave the room a warm glow, while olive trees added hints of greenery to the room. Talk about a dream lighting situation, right?!

<p>Bride and groom sitting</p>

Photo by Kyle John

<p>Bride and groom first dance</p>

Photo by Kyle John

“We value depth and closeness in our relationships, and wanted the night to be a reflection of that,” says Kiley. “We decided early on that we wouldn’t do anything at our wedding just because 'that’s what people do.' Every choice we made felt like us!”

Wedding Design, Florals & Rentals: Kehoe Designs || Venue: The Geraghty || Bride's Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride's Jewelry: Martin Katz || Hair: Yasmine Kitanovski || Makeup: Rachel Reiman Connor || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Solace London || Groom's Attire: Suit Supply || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Loriann Stevenson || Wedding Bands: Shay Fine Jewelry, XIV Karats || Paper Products: Kim Sommers || Catering & Cake: J&L Catering || Entertainment: Moeller Music || Transportation: M&M Limousine Services || Videography: Charlie Hilbrant Films || Photography: Kyle John

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