Chicago couple Madison and Ryan didn’t have to look far for inspiration for the perfect place for their romantic mini-destination wedding – they found the most stunning Italian villa wedding venue on the shores of Lake Michigan and knew Villa Terrace Museum was the one! The stunning estate was inspired by a sixteenth-century Italian villa, and their guests traveling from across the midwest felt as though they had been transported to the Mediterranean. The venue inspired their natural decor and neutral meets greenery color scheme, with their planner Gracious Events helping them knock it out of the park with food and drinks, Tuscan-inspired garlands, and perfect planning! Their wedding day photos from McNiel Photography are like a mini-Tuscan vacation!
To complement the natural setting and lush gardens of the venue, Madison decided to stick to a stylish neutral palette for her bridal party and decor, adding greenery details and white flowers to create the perfect Tuscan feel for their local Italian villa wedding. She chose taupe Dessy dresses for her bridesmaids to perfectly pair with her Stevie wedding dress by Made With Love Bridal. The slim-fitting lace gown from the Australian bridal designer featured a nude tulle lining with a gorgeous lace overlay, giving her a lightweight and wearable wedding dress with the most stunning train!
The groom wore a custom navy blue tux from Blvdier in Chicago with a black bow tie.
Before finding their dream venue and settling on their Italian villa wedding style, Madison and Ryan considered brewery venues to celebrate their love of craft beer. Since they chose a naturally beautiful setting instead, Ryan and his groomsmen shared a beer at Hacienda Brewing Company in Milwaukee before the wedding instead!
The couple held an emotional First Look before their ceremony – but not before Madison pranked her future husband with his Best Man wearing his wife’s wedding dress! The funny moment helped cut the wedding day anticipation, and the couple shared an intimate moment and a lot of laughter before their marriage!
The lush green gardens and grounds of the museum inspired the couple’s flower choices and design elements with Gracious Events! Madison carried a bouquet of white roses, olive branches, and dusty miller to create the perfect Italian-inspired flower arrangement!
The tan lining and lace overlay of her breezy wedding dress was the perfect choice for the Italian villa wedding venue, and the cathedral veil with a lace trim added the most romantic finishing touch for their stunning portraits in the formal gardens and along the terrace. The veil had been worn by Madison’s mother on her wedding day for the most romantic heirloom touch!
The ceremony took place on the Terrazzo della Luna, with a view of Lake Michigan in the distance. The couple chose to upgrade the venue’s rentals and use the cane back chairs for their wedding ceremony and reception, adding to the beautiful French country feel of the setting and their organic decor.
On Handmade Details for their Wedding Day –
We provided escort cards that doubled as favors. Ryan spent several hours leading up to the wedding writing our guests’ names on marble coasters. These were placed around the fountain in the courtyard at our venue to help guest’s find their table number, and they were able to take them home!The Bride
The terrace wedding reception was set against the worn brick facade of the villa, with long tables set under strands of string lights overhead. Elegant gray tablecloths covered the long farm tables, with greenery garlands and white flowers adding to the sophisticated French country decor. Gold mercury glass votive candle-holders were the perfect way to add warmth that echoed the cane back chairs!
The chairs had been a source of debate for the bride and groom for months, but they loved the natural touch they brought as such a large focal point in the reception space!
Photos and memories were another priority for the couple, and they loved the shots captured by McNiel Photography – their only regret was not adding videography to have even more memories of their wedding day!
Beautiful moments on a terrace overlooking the reception courtyard allowed them to combine a portrait shoot and an intimate dance together!
When it came to deciding how to use their wedding budget, Madison and Ryan knew that they wanted to prioritize food and drinks! They used their experiences as wedding guests to plan out their wedding day, wanting to ensure that everyone had a great time and a wonderful meal. A family style meal was the way to go, with plenty of food that guests raved about long after the wedding!
Instead of a wedding cake, the couple opted for a delicious dessert spread, including Warm Beignets with Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce; Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée with Berries & Orange Zest; and Chocolate Pot de Creme with Sea Salt Caramel.
One of the couple’s favorite memories from their wedding day was their First Dance! They shared this wonderful wedding moment on the terrace, feeling the buzz of the day stop as they danced under the stars, with the whisper of wind off the lake and surrounded by their loved ones!
WEDDING VENDORS –
Photography: McNiel Photography | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Villa Terrace Museum | Event Planning, Florist, and Catering: Gracious Events | Wedding Dress: Stevie from Made With Love | Bride’s Shoes: Chaos & Harmony | Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy | Engagement Ring: Oak Park Jewelers| Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux and The Tie Bar | Hair Styling and Makeup: Raven and Blonde | Stationery: Bicycle Paper Designs | DJ: Sound By Design | Linen Rentals: Gracious Events | Transportation: MKE Shuttle | Specialty Food: Ian’s Pizza | Submitted via: Matchology