Real Weddings: Caleb and Julie’s Romantic Downtown Wedding

by jaime on July 2, 2012

Get ready for a storybook romance in Chicago! I felt right at home as I poured over the images that Julie sent me (she and I went to college together!) and it reminded me how gorgeous a city-centric wedding can be. But enough about me… enjoy the photos and amazing story of Julie and Caleb Eplett!

From the Bride: I have dreamed about my wedding day since I was old enough to recognize the love my parents had for each other. I wanted someone who I could love like crazy and who would love me back just as much (forever and ever!).

Caleb and I met at the end of high school when a mutual coach introduced us at a track meet. Fast forward seven years and we were still so madly in love that a wedding was not only the next step, but something Caleb was finally ready for. The week Caleb proposed, we attended an event called Jazzin’ at the Shedd at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. There was music, food, drinks, fireworks and of course, lots of fish!  We never would’ve imagined having an event there in the past. When we proposed that weekend, the Shedd Aquarium was one of our first choices.

We decided on Memorial Day weekend because not only was it the weekend we originally met, but since most of our family would be coming from Michigan, it would give them time to spend in the city. We wanted to emphasize the city that we love, and have a small Chicago theme throughout our décor.

We wanted to see each other before the wedding and the first look photos are some of my favorites!

I found my dress at Piera’s Bridal near my parents house in Michigan. I tried on dozens of dresses and I knew this was the one. I found a beautiful belt that I added to my dress after the ceremony for the reception.

Our ceremony was held at the Tiffany Gardens in Grant Park. It turned out to be a beautiful day and the backdrop couldn’t be beat. One of our best friend’s was our officiant and he did an amazing job personalizing our story during the ceremony. Another friend, who writes a popular blog, wrote a poem about us to read.  Caleb and I also wrote our own vows to each other. Our one of a kind ceremony evoked many emotions from our family and friends!


The flower girls (my cousins) kept with the hot pink theme in tutu dresses made by a family friend. The wedding colors were charcoal grey and hot pink. The bridesmaids all chose their own grey dresses and hot pink shoes as unique as them. The men wore black tuxedos with a mix of specially ordered black ties and bow ties. After the ceremony Caleb and I rode away in a horse drawn carriage, while the wedding guests took a Chicago style double decker tour bus to the reception.

In college, Caleb made me a deal. Once he can get a motorcycle, I would get my engagement ring. Many mini toy motorcycles later, I finally got my ring. Before the ceremony began, I surprised Caleb with a groom’s cake in the shape of a motorcycle. I had saved money throughout our engagement to give him to purchase a motorcycle as wedding gift. He was so surprised!

Our reception began with cocktails on the terrace and then moved onto to main aquarium floor for the reception. Each dinner table was a name of a popular Chicago landmark and featured a photo of us at that site from our engagement shoot. The placecards had sketches of each Chicago site. Caleb is not a fan of cake, but he loves Sweet Mandy B’s cupcakes. Caleb’s Dad built a cupcake tree to feature our four favorite flavors. For our favors, we made our own lemoncello for everyone to try.


Our first dance was to Better Together, by Jack Johnson, because as cliché as it is, we really are! We should have practiced because my nerves got the best of me and I messed up every spin and dip we tried!

Then everyone danced the night away in the foyer of the Shedd Aquarium. Our photographer set up a photobooth type set up with props and everyone had a blast posing.  We ended the night with the Navy Pier fireworks on the terrace, mini cheeseburgers and cookie and milk shooters and Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.

All photos taken by Wasio Photography in Chicago, IL.

How can you not love this wedding – and the couple?! Thank you so much for sharing your magical day with us, Julie!


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