30th Jan 2013

Michelle & Jonathan

After attending Miami University, Michelle and Jonathan, met during their senior semester both carefree and with no expectations to find love. In February 2008, they had their first date at Kona Bistro in Oxford, Ohio. This was just the beginning of great times together at Miami!  

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As Michelle graduated and moved to Columbus, Ohio to start a new job, Jonathan stayed at Miami to finish his last semester in Engineering.  Living very different lifestyles, the two made it work by staying committed to each other - frequently driving back and forth to spend weekends together. This continued until Jonathan graduated and started his first job in Cleveland, Ohio. Everything was smooth sailing until Michelle took a new job in Chicago, Illinois - bringing "long distance" to a new level.  
During the next year and a half, frequent plane rides, suitcase living invaded their lives.  Realizing the connection with one another, Jonathan moved to Chicago to finally try living in the same city!  Only a few blocks separated the two in Chicago, where weekends were spent with great friends and family exploring restaurants and landmarks.
The two trained for 7 months and finished the Chicago Marathon, hand in hand, this past October! Just one of their many milestones they will complete together throughout their lives together! After the race, Jonathan knew Michelle was the one.  

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On January 26, 2012, Michelle was getting ready for a dinner cruise with her parents in Florida. Jonathan was originally a part of these plans until he had some sudden "work commitments" to tend to back in Chicago.  Moments before the Shorts were ready to leave, the dinner plans were disrupted by a surprise guest. A limo driver stood at the door holding a special note for Michelle. In the note was a small poem and set of directions asking Michelle to get in the limo for a scavenger hunt.
Guided by clues in the form of more short poems, the first stop on the journey was a local wine bistro where Michelle was gifted a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, her favorite wine.
The limo then escorted Michelle to a local flower shop where she stopped for another gift - a presentation of beautiful long stem red roses and a small collection of cupcakes, two of Michelle's favorite things.

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Finally, Michelle was brought to the beach where she would find her real treasure. She sprinted across the beach to find Jonathan sitting next to the water, nervously waiting for his soon to be fiance. Overlooking the beautiful gulf coast sunset, Jonathan asked Michelle to be his wife.
The ring Jonathan chose was a gorgeous 6-prong round brilliant cut diamond set in platinum.   

The couple wished for a wedding day surrounded by all the people they loved where they could commit to one another forever and Michelle always dreamed of wearing a classic gown with a modern twist.

Finding the dream dress was stressful knowing the seven-month time limit between the engagement and the wedding date.  After researching dress ideas, the Bride-to-Be knew she wanted an Augusta Jones dress and went to the only two locations in Chicago, Illinois that she knew she could find her dream dress.  Once she tried on Roberta, she knew she had found her match!
To accent the Bride's dress, an Augusta Jones belt was purchased to glam it up.  She found matching earrings and a purse that complimented the same modern/classic style.  Two garters were worn, one passed down through the women of my family and the other a Miami Merger garter that showed the couples love and honor to our alma mater.  

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After celebrating on the night of our engagement with the Bride's Grandparents, her grandmother grew very ill and passed away in April.  With over 60 years of marriage, their relationship was the love story that she looked up to.  On the eve of the wedding, Michelle's grandfather presented her with her grandmother's sapphire and diamond wedding band to wear as a something borrowed, something blue accessory.  It was special wearing the ring and knowing her grandmother was there in spirit.  
The bride chose to just glorify her every day look by wearing her hair half up and adding a touch more a makeup.  The groom wanted to be able to recognize the bride and have her look similar to the way he fell in love with her.
The violet bridesmaids dresses were Lulu Kate purchased from Bella Bridesmaid.  The style and color complimented each figure and hair color as well as gave a punch of color.
The grooms wore classic Calvin Klein black tuxedos and bow ties from Men's Warehouse.  The all looked handsome and polished.

The flowers from Fleurs de Lisa, were a mix of pink, purple, green, and white.  The flowers of inspiration were calla lilies, freesia and roses.  Leopard organza ribbon was used to finish the Bride's bouquet (had to have the leopard in there somewhere)!   

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240 invites went in the mail because that was the capacity of reception hall.  
The ceremony was at the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, Illinois.  
The reception was held at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois.  The Country Club venue was spectacular on its own.  The table clothes that were rented matched the covered chairs.  Flowers and candle sat elegantly on each table to create a romantic evening in the ballroom.  

The morning of the wedding, the Bride woke early to find a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and an iPad video from her groom-to-be.  Jonathan wanted to be the first to say good morning on their wedding day and since he could not see her in person, he chose to tell Michelle the 5 reasons he loved her: family, competitive drive, large heart, smile and for being his best friend.  Soon after the video, Michelle went on a 5 mile run to get her day started.  At 8 am promptly, all 8 bridesmaids arrived to be pampered by hair and makeup teams.  While romantic movies played in the background, the ladies chatted and giggled over the memories of Michelle and her soon to be husband.
The father of the Bride and Bride rode in a 1969 Rolls Royce to the church.  The wedding party rode in a Trolley to the reception.  

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The candelabras flickered as the sun rays shined through the stain glass windows.  When the bride entered upon the ruby carpet, all were in awe as she made her way to her groom.  The ceremony chosen by the Bride and Groom reflected on their love and commitment for one another.   Their vows and rings were shared in front of all their loved ones.  
Upon entering the reception at Exmoor Country Club, all guests were escorted to the patio to overlook the sunset.  Due to the September chill, cocktails were moved inside to an intimate ballroom while delicate horderves, cocktails, and piano music created a perfect start to the evening.  Once seated in the large ballroom, the Wedding Party was introduced and then greeted by the Father of the Brides speech.  While the room filled with laughter and tears, the speeches from the MOH and BM were a perfect way to highlight such a wonderful couple.  From the delicious food to the tremendous band, all the guests enjoyed the reception.  What better way to send the couple off to their quaint hotel than with a sparkler exit.  

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The three-layer cake was lavender flavored with vanilla butter-cream icing with a design that included the lace design from my dress. It was delicious especially with the touch of chocolate swirl and fresh berries that were served along side.  
Two of my best girlfriends have been Hodgkins Lymphoma survivors.  In lieu of favors and knowing September represents blood cancer month, we made a donation on behalf of my friends to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Our first dance song was 'Marry Me' by Train.

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I love being a wife and I could not ask for a better husband.  
By the smile planted on my face, I could not have felt more confident, happy and in love.  I savored every moment and will forever cherish the memories we made on our wedding day!

My advice to any bride would be: Find the man that completes you, makes you over the top happy, and is your best friend so that you can live happy ever after.

Photographer: Z Plus V
Flowers: Fleurs de Lisa
Dress: Macy's Bridal Salon, Chicago, USA

Photographer: Z Plus V
Dress: Roberta, by Augusta Jones at Macy's Bridal Salon
Location: Chicago USA
Stockist:
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