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Stefanie + Jason met in Pharmacy school. They dated for about three years, and then Jason popped the question one weekend when they were away at his family’s lake house with about 15 of their friends looking on. They say it was a lovely weekend – I’m sure it was! Lake house, friends, engagement ring, and the excitement of an upcoming wedding to talk about! They actually found us because we photographed Stefanie’s brother Dimitri’s wedding last summer. You may remember their rustic wedding.

And just like their intimate and special engagement, they followed that up (almost one year later to the day) with a simple and beautiful wedding — with all of the things that matter most to them — family, amazing food, and wine. They got ready and had their first look at the Ritz-Carlton downtown. We took some gorgeous photos there, and then we headed to Michigan Ave and hopped into a cab to go by Kinzie Street Bridge. We then met their immediate families at the Art Institute for family photos, and from there we went to one of the most amazing restaurants in Chicago — Girl and the Goat, winner of season four of Top Chef, owned by Stephanie Izard. There they were married in a private room in the wine cellar of the restaurant in front of twenty of their closest family members. Afterwards they laughed, ate, drank, and were merry. It was a beautiful evening of love, celebration, and enjoyment of the most important things in our lives — each other.

Stefanie + Jason were the first to get married at Girl and the Goat! Stephanie Izard even came downstairs to say hello and take a picture with the couple. That was pretty exciting!

I also must mention Stefanie’s sense of style! Those Valentino shoes and that Alexander McQueen purse were stunning. I had no problem spending a few minutes of their day photographing the shoes and purse, as I was thoroughly impressed and maybe a little jealous 😀

At the end of the evening, Tom and I left Stefanie + Jason’s wedding with such a good feeling. We wish everyone could feel the love we felt in the room that night. That is what a wedding is really all about, love. Not all the details and the colors and the music, but love — love between Bride and Groom, and love between the couple and their families, the people that know them best and love them deepest.

Thank you Stefanie + Jason for showing us how special a day could be. We were moved and honored to spend your day with you.

Gina Cristine Photography

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Vendors and Details:

Ceremony and Reception: Girl and the Goat

Hotel: Ritz-Carlton, Four Season

Florist: Jane’s Blue Iris

Cake: Creme Cakeshop and Bakery

Shoes: Valentino

Purse: Alexander McQueen

You can also view the slideshow here