Ever wonder what a bridal gown expert chooses for her own wedding day? Whitney Harris, a bridal consultant at Vera Wang in Chicago, wore a stunning mermaid gown by the designer for her springtime wedding to Kadmiel Christmas. The couple exchanged vows before their 185 guests during an interfaith ceremony, followed by dinner and dancing in the ballroom, all held at the elegant Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago.
Bride and groom: Whitney Harris and Kadmiel Christmas
Occupations: Bridal Consultant at Vera Wang Chicago (Whitney); Owner and Managing Director of Adon Solutions (Kadmiel)
Based in: Chicago
Wedding date: March 21, 2015
Wedding venue: The Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel, Chicago
Number of guests: 185
Minted wedding invitation: “Dapper Amper” by Snow and Ivy
Wedding gown: Vera Wang
Hair & makeup: Kate Johnson of Kate Johnson Artistry
Florist: Juliet Tan Floral Design
Decor: Art of Imagination (chuppah and lighting)
Cake: Sugar Hills Bakery
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie
How did you and Kadmiel meet?
We met at a fundraising event I was hosting in August 2011 and exchanged business cards.
Tell us about the proposal!
Kadmiel decided to propose at his 40th birthday celebration that I had planned for him (it wasn’t a surprise). It was a Gatsby-themed bash at the Public Hotel in Chicago. The proposal was a complete surprise—Kadmiel got down on one knee after he blew out his birthday candles and gave a speech in front of all our family and friends. I was stunned and had no clue he was planning to propose—I was very emotional and love that the speech and reaction was filmed on a friend’s phone.
Who made your wedding dress?
“Olympia” by Vera Wang, from the Spring 2015 collection. I also wore a veil that my grandmother wore on her wedding day 56 years ago. My grandmother, mother, and aunt have all worn it at their weddings.
What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
I’m a bridal consultant and I made sure to consult my team! Most brides only consult family, friends, and their Pinterest board; I also had a team of colleagues to chat with about it.
Click through to read more of Whitney and Kadmiel’s wedding story…
How did you find your ceremony and reception venue?
The Blackstone was a venue I had always loved after working—I had been a wedding planner’s assistant and got to see a beautiful wedding held there firsthand. When we got engaged it was the first venue I took Kadmiel to see and he fell in love with it as well.
How did you hear about Minted, and how did you choose your wedding invitation?
I heard about Minted through friends and by researching several design sites. I found it to be the easiest to navigate with the most variety that I felt was closest to our style.
Were your invitations letterpressed or flat-printed?
Did you add any special touches to your invitations to make them your own?
We loved the classic look, font, and colors of “Dapper Amper” by Snow and Ivy. We made one of our inserts a “Happy New Year” card with a link to our wedding website since we sent the invitations right at the first of the new year.
How did the invitation tie in to the wedding’s overall look and feel?
We wanted a classical, elegant look and chose an ivory, black, gold, and blush palette for our wedding. I felt that this invitation matched perfectly—it was simple but formal enough.
Did you incorporate any other Minted elements into your wedding?
Save the dates!
Did you incorporate any family or cultural traditions into the wedding day?
We are interfaith, so we had a primarily traditional Jewish ceremony where we incorporated a couple of Christian verses and our mother’s lit a Christian unity candle for our families. We broke the glass under the chuppah at the ceremony and we danced the hora at our reception!
What was on the dinner menu?
For the first course, we served a poached pear and apple salad with havarti and lemon tarragon dressing; the second courses were Amish chicken breast with ratatouille and fingerling potatoes, wild halibut in buerre blanc with parsnip potatoes and asparagus, and black truffle gnocchi with wild mushroom. For the final course, we had a dessert display of incredible sweets by Sugar Hills Bakery.
What were some of your fondest memories from the day?
I felt as though we had a seamless, flawless wedding day that surpassed all of our hopes and dreams. By far, one of my favorite moments was our first dance together to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”—we danced right at the start of the reception and it felt like an intimate, special moment just between the two of us. I was in awe of how magical it felt to have all of the people we love in one place. We are both from very big families (we’re both one of eight children!), so having our families come together was unforgettable. Also, we are both music lovers and love to dance, and our crowd did not disappoint—nearly every person was there on the dance floor, dancing nonstop. We danced in between courses through dinner and until late into the night with DJ Megan Taylor and percussionist Chris Paquette. So many memories on the dance floor!
Did you have any after-party?
No. We danced at the reception until 1:30-2:00 a.m.!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Bali, Indonesia, and the Coachella Music Festival in Palm Springs, CA.
Any advice for brides who are starting to plan their wedding?
Choose a definitive point on your wedding day where the checklist just fades away and no longer matters, and you let your hair all the way down and dance! (This advice is most successful when you have a wedding planner!)
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• Emily & David in Annapolis, MD
• Kelly & Andrew in San Clemente, CA
• Diane & Kaelem in Toronto
• Megan & Leo at Carondelet House, Los Angeles
• Leah & Mike at Los Poblanos, Albuquerque, NM
• Grace & Michael at Reif Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
• Julia & Deric at Escala, Seattle
• Shelby & Douglas at Castle Hill, Keswick, VA