Family and friends tend to have high expectations of a wedding day, but when everyone in the Chicagoland events industry expects to see the real "wow" factor, that brings in some real importance. So when Michael, son of Yanni Elyash, owner of Chicago's prestigious celebrity wedding decorating company, Yanni Design Studio of twenty years married this summer all eyes were on the elegant Chicago wedding. Step into the wow-factor that photographer Andre LaCour captured of this spectacular dream day showcasing Chicago's vendor talent and one unforgettable Monique Lhuillier bride.
Michael & Mariya's love story began ten years ago, where they met at a Russian language class, during their freshman year of high school. After growing up together and graduating college, they started a business venture together. They start-up was a small company that quickly grew into a successful brand, "Living Royal." The love birds are inseparable and ready to conquer the world. When their special day arrived, friends and family were invited to the ceremony room, where they were enchanted with a modern chuppah suspended from the ceiling, decorated with hundreds of phalaenopsis orchids. Not only were there thousands of orchids, but just as many hanging Swarovski crystals extending from the oval shaped design. Their garden inspired aisle was framed with boxwood structures, which were completely covered with white hydrangeas, snow white roses, phalaenopsis orchids, and endless amounts of candlelight. The bride took her first steps down the aisle on a breath-taking runner that was completely covered with white roses. Yanni Design Studio designers used over 1,000 white roses to cover the entire walkway.
Following the ceremony, the guests were escorted to a magnificent ballroom with a modern black and white theme. The beautiful ballroom at Concorde Banquets was enhanced with lighting and lavish sequin fabric draped throughout the entire space. The dance floor was covered with a black mirror vinyl and a unique decal with "Mariya and Michael" names. The tables consisted of five-foot-tall, custom-made centerpieces, which were also covered in endless phalaenopsis orchids and tons of candlelight. There were three main designs, all of which were very uniform with one another and included candles, candelabras, candleholders, and orchids. Mariya and Michael had a lovely custom glass sweetheart table on their bridal stage. Next to the bridal stage, guests enjoyed a six-foot-tall cake created with layers of flowers, set on a custom built candlelit table. From the décor to the live band and crew of celebrity chefs, the guests have unbelievable memories of this event.
The inspiration for the wedding started with a fabulous Monique Lhuillier dress that became the iconic look for the boutique window at the Ultimate Bride in the heart of downtown Chicago. From Mariya's dress, her Jimmy Choo shoes, her statement necklace that belonged to her grandmother (something borrowed), and her classic hair/makeup, she looked like a true fashion beauty. Michael also showed himself off, with not one, but two looks in one night. He wore a Saint Laurent tuxedo, Balenciaga shirt, Brioni bowtie and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes to his ceremony, where he later changed into an all-black look for his reception, wearing a Versace tux and Stefan Ricci bowtie.