• Photography By:

    Jai Girard Photography


    August 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois

    Dayna and Benji met while they were attending college at Syracuse University. A mutual friend was having people over, and Benji instantly knew Dayna was his soulmate. Dayna, however, thought “Benji was nuts” because he wanted to have a handstand contest. After talking continuously throughout the night, the two students realized they were destined for each other. They both had grandpas named Phil, aunts named Donna, and their mothers shared the same birthday—an incredible amount of similarities.   

    The proposal took place when Benji’s family was visiting Dayna’s family for Thanksgiving. Everyone gathered to see the lights at Lincoln Park Zoo, where Benji had arranged for a Mariachi band to be waiting and singing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (Dayna’s favorite song). In front of both families, along with about 100 curious strangers, he asked for her hand in marriage.


    With Dayna and Benji living in New York at the time, planning for a wedding in Chicago turned out to be quite stressful. Fortunately, their wedding planner and Dayna’s mother both came to the rescue, streamlining the wedding planning process, and helping to gather all the details together.

    By the time the wedding day arrived, the bride and groom were beaming with happiness, and their love for each other was evident to everyone in attendance. The wedding décor surrounding them was beautifully unique, as they had envisioned a fun and modern look to fit their personalities. Drawing inspiration from an art deco aesthetic, as well as “Great Gatsby” touches, the décor colors included black, white, red, and hints of gold.

    Special embellishments were incorporated into Dayna and Benji’s wedding from the beginning. Their invitations consisted of a box with a little paper wedding cake inside—a lovely surprise for their guests to open. Benji also wore a black sequin tuxedo jacket on the big day, while walking down the aisle to the James Bond theme song; and the bride chose to make her grand entrance to a Rihanna song. Even their wedding program covers read “Music Starts, D&B Get Married, Everyone Parties,” with a giant tulle bow on top.

    The ceremony space was elegantly decorated in white with shimmering accents, which created the perfect contrast to the reception room—a party environment with shimmering gold tablecloths, red roses, and a gold dance floor. Having envisioned their reception as being “all about a good time,” the couple also chose elaborate white feather plumes and strands of pearls for a lively look.

    When guests entered the reception area, they were greeted by a chocolate covered strawberry at their place setting and a sign that said, “Life is short. Eat dessert first.” After a wonderful night celebrating together, everyone enjoyed a late night snack of single-serving pizzas from the famous Chicago pizzeria, Lou Malnati’s.

    The entire wedding and evening was filled with joy, turning out to be even more than the bride and groom had imagined. Each carefully crafted detail was perfect, and the newlyweds loved being able to take in and cherish every moment.


    Location and Caterer: JW Marriott Chicago, Chicago, IL; Event Design and Planner: Designer Event Chicago, Chicago, IL; Floral Design, Rentals and Lighting: Richard Remiard Design, Chicago, IL