Some of the most luscious wedding photography we have the great fortune to showcase comes from our Chicago partner, Photographer Jai Girard. This beautiful Indian wedding is filled with color and textures and such lovely details.
The bride and groom held their wedding and reception at the bride's family home garden in Lake Forest, Illinois. The couple, JJ and Devika, went to high school together in Lake Forest and were friends throughout but never thought to be a couple. Once out of college, (2007) they started hanging out on the weekend as they both lived in downtown Chicago. After 7 months, they finally made a move and started dating! "It was a huge deal as our families were already very close friends," says Devika. "And of course all our friends were intertwined. As soon as we shared our first kiss, I thought to myself - this is the last guy I will kiss!"
Their engagement is such a wonderful story.
In 2009, JJ and I packed up our lives in Chicago and went to live in Barcelona Spain for two years while JJ did his MBA and I taught English and did some freelance design. It was the most incredible years of our lives while traveling to countries all over and meeting some amazing, lifelong friends. Just a couple days before JJ's graduation, I was teaching English - singing songs about farm animals - to my little 3 year olds at school, sitting on miniature, heart-shaped chairs when JJ showed up in the classroom with a sign saying "Will you marry me?" with the parts of speech marked as I would do while prepping lesson plans for older students. The kids and I sang our goodbye song and JJ took me out of the school and we walked towards home, stunned, and through the park next to our apartment - where both sets of parents were waiting with Cava, strawberries and cameras! JJ got down on one knee right there and everyone yelled "finally!!!!"
We asked Devika if there was a special part of the wedding day.
The whole day was so special as I am Indian and had my entire family from India and London come out here, plus JJ's mix of Greek & Italian background made for such a unique wedding. From my wedding dress (Indians only where white to funerals so I wore a champagne color) and JJ's Sherwani (the Indian suit) to the best surprise EVER of JJ showing up to the ceremony on a horse (Indian tradition) to a family gospel reading to the Greek and Indian flavors at our French Service-style dinner to the traditional Greek dancing and Greek Sweet Table of pastries. Then I was surprised by my parents with a photobooth and a scrapbook table in the tent. There were a lot of special parts but I loved how unique and personal our wedding was from morning to night!
Wedding gown - Tarun Tahiliani - an Indian couture designer
Bridesmaid gowns - Dessy
Wedding shoes - Michael Kors
Wedding planner - Rachel Bradley
Floral and event design - Event Creative
Invitations - Pink Elephant Events
Wedding cake - no cake
Photographer - Jai Girard
Linens - Event Creative
Caterer - Entertaining Company
Entertainment - Matt Lewis and The Union
Make-up - Traci Fine
Hair - Jahnne Velez