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Real Wedding

Sophisticated Illinois Night Wedding: Melissa & Brittany

Carter's Photography

April 15, 2016

Brittany and Melissa met at an event that Melissa was hosting. She approached Brittany and asked if she was having a good time. That event was six years ago. They were always completely drawn to each other, but the timing wasn’t right. They didn’t start dating until several years later.

Fast forward to the proposal – they knew they wanted to marry each other and had picked out rings. They didn’t know who was going to propose first, but Brittany beat Melissa to it.

Melissa’s mom passed away when she was 8 and her grandmother raised her. Unfortunately, her grandmother had a stroke several years ago and is now in a nursing home. Brittany wanted to ask Melissa’s grandma for her permission, but she has aphasia and has a hard time talking. She is, however, very away of what is going on.

Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
In the weeks leading up to the proposal, Brittany contacted Melissa’s sister and her own sister to help her execute her plan. She asked Melissa’s grandma for permission to marry her and she happily said yes. She cried, Brittany cried, Melissa’s sister cried and Brittany’s sister, an amateur videographer, caught the whole thing on video! They took the footage and created an edited video.
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography

The couple had a vacation planned to the Virgin Islands and were leaving on July 4, 2015. On the day they were set to leave, Melissa thought Brittany had to work for a few hours. She left to run some errands and Brittany set everything up. Melissa returned to a remote and a note at the front door that told her to push play on the DVD player. She was hiding in the house, and at the end of the video she came out and proposed. They loaded up the car and headed to the airport a few hours later. During the entire two-hour car ride they were surrounded by 4th of July fireworks. It felt like a scene out of a movie.

Carter's Photography
Brittany and Melissa’s wedding venue had special significance, as Melissa helped design it and is the general manager. They would not have chosen any other location. It was fitting for Melissa to get married where she had helped hundreds of couples make their dreams come true.
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography

Planning was a piece of cake. They had everything taken care of before they even started planning. They wanted to do something different than they had seen so they opted for a night wedding. Their photographer is a perfectionist and insisted on proper lighting! They even did a lighting test run the week of the wedding. Brittany wrote, “It’s pretty fantastic when you are marrying someone who plans weddings for a living, the wedding planner finally got married!”

Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
The first look was probably their favorite memory from the wedding day. They decided to walk to one another with balloons in their hands so they couldn’t see each other. Melissa had music playing in the garden as Brittany arrived at the wrought iron gates. She started to tear up the minute she heard it. When she finally got to see her it was like everything Brittany ever needed was right in front of her. It calmed her nerves completely.
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
Carter's Photography
Brittany’s advice to other couples would be, “No matter who you are be yourselves, find vendors who make you feel comfortable and allow you to do that.  Have a team of supportive and capable people behind you; and remember to just enjoy it all, it goes by so fast!”

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Lighting, Floral and Draping: Park Avenue Blooms // Photography: Carter’s Photography  // Catering, Planning and Design: The Wedding Garden // Bakery: Cristaudo’s 

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