Chicago Style Weddings : Real Wedding: Lisa LaFemina-Wamsley and Ryan Wamsley
Posted 3/21/16 on Chicago Style Weddings
Ryan and I met in Las Vegas in July 2014. He lived there for over 20 years and worked at the Mirage for more than three years. Ironically, though I stayed there often, our paths never crossed. A mutual friend introduced us. Instantly there was an undeniable connection. We went on our first date on July 13th and by November 7th, we were driving across the country moving Ryan to Chicago.
We were living together for nearly a year when he proposed on October 19th, 2015, with our favorite Armand’s pizza that had ‘Will you marry me?’ spelled out on it in red peppers. In the midst of all of the excitement, Ryan was offered an incredible career opportunity in Maryland, set to begin this April. With this in mind, we set the wedding date for January 9, 2016, and immediately began planning our wedding in less than three months!
We knew we needed professional help to plan a wedding in a ten-week time frame. Luckily for Ryan and I, the stars aligned and we connected with Michelle Durpetti of Michelle Durpetti Events. Michelle and her entire staff were amazing. Their attention to detail, impeccable taste, and unparalleled talent and professionalism helped make our wedding day unforgettable.
Our wedding was absolute perfection. It was simple, beautiful, classic, and elegant. It was January in Chicago, so the weather wasn’t ideal, but we considered it ‘super good luck’ because it wasn’t just raining, it was raining and snowing. The weather didn’t hinder our day, though. I threw on Hunter boots under my dress and Michelle graciously carried the back of my dress everywhere we went.
The day was filled with so much excitement and joy, but also a calmness. Michelle Durpetti and Jill Durbin had everything planned down to the minute and their presence gave everyone involved a sense of relief knowing it was all under control. Per Michelle, my only job that day was to marry the love of my life and enjoy every minute. And I did, because of her.
I had a very difficult time finding a dress in this time frame. Michelle sent me to Dimitra’s Bridal Couture. They were so patient and wonderful in helping me find ‘THE’ dress. I absolutely fell in love and I am still obsessed with my wedding dress. It is a strapless ivory Stephen Yearick gown with Swarovski Crystal beaded top and silk organza ballroom bottom. Getting dressed on my wedding day was one of the best moments — I felt fabulous in this dress. I will never forget the look on my father’s face when he first saw me as a bride. It was one of the most touching moments of the day.
We had an intimate ceremony at the church I grew up in. It was still charmingly decorated with just the right amount of Christmas decorations from the holidays. Everyone that was in attendance has been an integral part of our lives so the church was filled with love and happiness — it was palpable. When the doors opened and I saw Ryan for the first time, it is a moment that will be with me forever. It was so emotional, yet peaceful because there was not a doubt in my mind that I was making the right decision. The ceremony was beautiful and the musicians were spectacular.
After the ceremony, Ryan and I went to the historical Cheney Mansion in Oak Park for a private photo shoot on the recommendation of Michelle. The extremely talented Collin Pierson took the most breathtakingly beautiful, unique, and timeless wedding photos that Ryan and I will treasure forever.
MDE and The Estate by Gene and Georgetti did an outstanding job designing the space. The décor was exquisite! The colors were eggplant and steel, again thanks to Erin McDonald of MDE. Those colors were complemented perfectly with stunning floral arrangements.
Michelle held the guests in the pre-function space to allow Ryan and I to have a private room reveal. It was an unforgettable moment. I was absolutely speechless when I walked into the room. I couldn’t believe how perfect and gorgeous everything was — I really couldn’t believe it was my wedding! Everything was meticulously placed on every table, the mixture tall White Calla Lily centerpieces and short Plum and Picasso Calla Lily centerpieces were perfectly arranged, the colors were beautiful and gave warmth to the room, and the lighting added just the right amount of elegance.
The cake was gorgeous and delicious! All of the food was over the top. From the Antipasto Station spread, to the Lamb Lollipop and Bacon Wrapped Scallop hors d’ourvres, to the Filet and Stuffed Chicken Roulade entrée, to the late night sliders and root beer floats – our guests were truly amazed.
My Father gave the best speech anyone had ever heard, leaving not a dry eye in the house. Then it was on to the fun! Our DJ had the guests on the dance floor literally from the first song to the last. We also had a photo booth, a gelato cart, and a sweets table! Our guests are still saying this was one of the best weddings they have ever been to! What better compliment could we, or our vendors, ask for? It truly was perfect.
When people asked what kind of wedding I wanted, I said simple and elegant and ‘a really fun party’ and that is exactly what it was. Ryan and I sincerely thank everyone that was involved, vendors and guests. We are truly blessed to have had such an amazing wedding day from start to finish. — Lisa