Real Martina Liana Bride Sarah + Caleb

Caleb and Sarah’s Windy City wedding was intimate and perfect. With an all-pink color palette, the bride and groom said “I Do” in the bride’s backyard in front of their closest friends and family.

Caleb popped the question at the tastiest dinner of lives at Maple & Ash in Chicago. It was my graduation present to eat through their tasting menu (we are definitely foodies) and then out of nowhere he started talking about the future. He asked me to stand up and I was SO surprised when he got down on one knee! I was hyperventilating with excitement! Our waiter snapped a few pics, then brought over the bubbles and an ice cream sundae buffet tower. Couples around us offered to buy us drinks and gave us marriage advice, so DEFINITELY recommend proposing in an amazing restaurant! We came home to a surprise party with both of our families to keep the celebration going.

Finding the perfect Martina Liana Wedding Dress

I had a fantastic shopping experience at Bella Bianca in Oakbrook, IL. I tried on about ten dresses and was able to bring my grandma, mom, little sister, future mother-in-law, and my best friend from college. Our florist even sent champagne and flowers to the boutique so I would have a bouquet to try with the gowns! I tried a few gowns I had seen online that were beautiful, but they didn’t have the “wow” or drama factor I was looking for. Then I tried one with a huge mermaid tulle skirt and train, which is what I thought I wanted, but it just didn’t feel right being so tight and strapless. Then the stylist had me try on Martina Liana’s 1122 and it was practically a no-brainer! It was comfortable, yet gorgeously dramatic with pearl-beaded details and a shaped-lace train. I added a mermaid tulle insert and said yes to the dress.

The wedding details

The theme was pink peonies with gold accents. Because the event was so small, it really felt like there were flowers everywhere! Pink pjs, shimmer pink dresses, and strawberries and cream cake. I wore on my right hand a sapphire (something blue) ring that Caleb’s grandfather cut and polished himself, which was really special. The speeches by my dad, sister, and brother-in-law were so full of love and humor that we were laughing and crying the whole time. Many elements were homemade, and I loved that. My sister painted our drink menu, my mom did table arrangements, my dad hand-picked the wine, my in-laws made appetizers, my brother organized a drone flyover, and I even baked the Communion bread myself. Our family dog, Harley, made several appearances throughout the day, especially when the cake got brought out.

    One of the things I was most excited about was walking down the aisle. Our chapel cancelled all weddings for the year so we tied the knot in my parent’s backyard with our closest friends and family. I adored the aisle walk in “Crazy Rich Asians” with Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love” played acoustically, so a friend from college was able to sing it and play guitar! I walked out at the lyrics, “Take my hand, take my whole life too,” and had them engraved inside Caleb’s ring as a surprise. So unforgettable.  

Photography by Katie Velasquez