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Kim and Matt | The Montgomery Club | Chicago Illinois Wedding| Ever After Planning Love Story

Mar 25, 2019

Kimmy and Matt

It goes without saying that this post (and this wedding) is near and dear to my heart…it’s my sister’s wedding! My family and I had so much fun with this event- from helping Matt pick out Kim’s engagement ring, to the surprise proposal and after party, to the bachelorette party, wedding shower, and the actual wedding of course, it was months of hard work and planning, but it was also tons of quality time we got to spend together, and we loved every second. We’re a tight-knit family, and we absolutely adore Matt and consider him one of the Birmingham family clan, and he and Kimmy were so thoughtful in involving us in their special day. I couldn’t be more excited to write about one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen, one of the best couples I know, and overall the most fun day ever!

They met when…

Kimmy and Matt met through mutual friends a few years after they graduated from college. What they didn’t know, at the time, was that they actually grew up 2 blocks from one another. Both our childhood home and Matt’s are right down the street from each other; Matt’s mom said in the rehearsal dinner toast that they probably went trick or treating at each other’s houses and had no idea because they didn’t go to the same schools. What’s even more special about this is that our parents, who have been married 35 years, also grew up down the street from each other but didn’t know until they were introduced by mutual friends. Here’s hoping a similar beginning ends in the same long-lasting marriage!

I’ll never forget, after Kim and Matt had been dating for awhile, Kimmy talking to my mom and me and casually mentioning engagement rings and church ceremonies. I’m pretty sure I choked and my mom almost fainted because we had NEVER heard Kim talk about marriage before. That was the first sign (to us) that this relationship might be different. After that conversation, I immediately texted Matt and said something like “I hope this doesn’t scare you, but if and when you’re ready to propose to Kimmy, I know what kind of ring she wants.” Matt replied and said “that doesn’t scare me at all.” That’s when I knew it was different.

The Proposal

Matt worked for months to design the perfect ring for Kim that was everything she wanted (a solitaire stone set on a diamond band) but he didn’t stop there. He also planned a surprise proposal and after-party. He took Kimmy out to dinner and then they came home and he proposed in the home they shared together. He then convinced her to walk to the nearby grocery store to buy some champagne, which is when my family, Matt’s mom and grandma, and a few friends snuck into their condo to surprise Kimmy when she got back. There were tears in her eyes when she saw that Matt had included us all in their moment, and the surprises continued from there. We continued to lie to Kim and tell her we were going to a nearby bar to celebrate, and little did she know that around 50 of her closest friends would be there waiting in a private room with balloons, cupcakes and more to celebrate the newly engaged couple. She was shocked, and it was a perfect night.

The Planning

Then the wedding planning began. We all knew Kimmy wasn’t going to be a traditional bride; she’s not someone who sits around worrying about stationary, flowers, or the perfect lip color. The only thing I ever heard her speak adamantly about was that she wanted a live band, because she had been to a wedding where they had one and she said it was like being at a concert. So one of the first things they did was book CHICAGO Catz for the reception. And damn, were they good.

In addition to the music, another thing Kimmy and Matt both cared a lot about was the reception food and drink package. They wanted to make sure their guests were treated to an excellent meal and that the drinks would be flowing, and the Montgomery Club did not disappoint. It’s owned by Gibson’s Steakhouse, and the food was probably the best I’ve ever had at a wedding (my own included). From what I recall, the drinks weren’t bad either…Matt and Kim designed a “signature drink” for the reception called The Lucy, named after their beloved Labradoodle. The Lucy definitely helped me out during my maid of honor speech, so thanks for that.

After deciding on the band, venue, and menu, the planning halted a little. Like I said, Kim isn’t like any other bride I know, so she wasn’t really obsessing about the details. When she started asking me to make decisions for her, I suggested she hire Jordan from Ever After Planning. Kim knew Jordan from my wedding, so the decision just made sense. Thankfully Jordan was able to help manage some of Kim’s stress and aid in the decision making, which overall made the process more enjoyable for everyone.

Wedding Vision

Kim and Matt both knew they wanted to get married in the city of Chicago; they had both been living downtown for several years and love Chicago and all it has to offer, and so they wanted their beautiful city to be the backdrop for their wedding. They were married at Holy Name Cathedral, an iconic church in the heart of downtown, and after the ceremony the newlyweds and the bridal party rode all around the city in a trolley, stopping to take pictures at various historic places. Ed and Aileen Photography did an amazing job capturing both the beauty of the city and the beauty of the wedding so that they complimented each other perfectly.

Kim decided on mauve, blush, ivory, and green tones for her color palette; this was reflected in the bridesmaids mauve chiffon gowns, the gorgeous bouquets by Flowers Flowers, and the simple but elegant centerpieces. As a fun twist, Kim and Matt placed pictures of themselves from their childhood next to each table number.

Kim’s dress was from Bella Sposa in Orland Park (the same place where I got my wedding dress!) and was a gorgeous, mermaid-style lace gown with an open back and intricate beading throughout. She wore a lace veil that had matching beading, and a crystal clip in her hair. Her makeup was done by Makeup Diem and her hair was styled by Pin Me Up Chicago.

Matt and his groomsmen wore traditional black and white tuxedos from Black Tux, which reflected the elegance of the ceremony and reception venue.

Their cake came from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and the reception guests were treated to a variety of mini bundt cakes in several different flavors. Kimmy said her only regret here was not ordering more for leftovers! And as if the dinner and dessert wasn’t enough, the bride and groom also brought in Papa John’s pizzas and mini hamburgers around 11pm. I’d be lying if I said those pizzas weren’t a welcome sight. I may have borrowed an entire pizza and brought it back to my hotel room after the reception was over.

The Day of

The morning of the wedding started off a little rainy, but it cleared up beautifully by the time the ceremony started. Watching Kim walk down the endless aisle at Holy Name, escorted by my dad and surrounded by the gorgeous architecture and stained glass windows was truly breathtaking.

After the ceremony we had SO MUCH FUN riding around the city in the trolley, blasting our music and waving at everyone we passed. I think it’s easy to see from the photos how much fun this part really was- I don’t think I’ve seen a photo from this wedding where someone isn’t smiling.

The fun didn’t stop there either. Kimmy was right when she said having a live band at a reception was like attending a concert; I’ve never seen anything like it. The dance floor was packed all night long, and when people needed to take a break from dancing they were able to relax on the giant outdoor patio in front of the Montgomery Club.

When the night was finally over we were exhausted, but our hearts were full. For someone who was never very interested in wedding planning, Kim (and Matt) threw one hell of a party. When I asked Kimmy to reflect on her favorite part of the day she said “I don’t remember. It was the worst hangover of my life though!” But that’s Kimmy; she lives in the moment and she doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Her advice to newly engaged couples is to remember that a wedding is a great memory, but building a marriage is what lasts a lifetime.

Kimmy and Matt, cheers to a lifetime of love, and happily Ever After.

Kimberly & Matthew Short Film from Old North Film Company on Vimeo.

Videography: Old North Film Co

XoXo,
Ali

Want to see more of Kim and Matt’s special day? Check out their full gallery on our website!

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