Mimi + Nick’s Olympia Fields Country Club wedding was the highlight of our summer. This July after much planning they officially became Mr. + Mrs. This day was just the beginning of their life together. We were thrilled they chose us to capture their day, and with a very special guest! Along with his team of photographers, Mr. Timothy Whaley photographed their big day! We sat down with Mimi & Nick to learn more about their trip down the aisle. Enjoy their story and an exclusive look at their Olympia Fields Country Club wedding by the man behind our favorite photography studio!
Nick and I lived apart for a majority of our engagement, so the planning process was far from ordinary. For some of the more important items, like invitations, or fun items, like cake, we made sure to plan those appointments around when Nick was visiting. At home, it was stressful at times to balance between wedding planning and graduate school; having my mom was HUGE, and the wedding definitely would not have been as detailed or spectacular if I did not have her help in the planning process. For some of our vendors, such as our florist and TWA, we didn’t need to consider options ~ we knew that’s who we wanted, so we didn’t look any further. I will admit, though, that while wedding planning started off as a lot of fun and full of excitement, having it last for 18 months made it difficult to stay motivated without getting overwhelmed, especially with the smaller details.
Planning the wedding was really a full-team effort. Family and friends, whether in the wedding or not, all helped in some way; as sounding boards for ideas, helping put together guest gift bags, running errands on our behalf a few days before the wedding, or simply praying over and for us. As with any wedding, we had our fair share of family drama on both sides, but we didn’t allow it to affect the joy and celebration on the day of our wedding. Looking back, all the little details that became stressors’ actually helped bring the day together! It was a challenge but, there certainly were quite a few laughs along the way. There’s a picture of everyone at our rehearsal dinner in a large circle. At the end of our rehearsal, our pastor asked if we could pray as a group. As he finished praying, I spoke up and said that I had a prayer. It was a moment that I will remember vividly because I am not one to cry, but in that moment, I was incredibly humbled by how blessed I was to have so many loving people in my life, and it made me look forward to the next day all the more.
Our Wedding Day
The morning of the wedding was filled with nerves and excitement. And, as the day progressed I was so happy to see the details I envisioned planned out. The moment my dad and I shared our first look is something I will cherish forever. My dad rarely, if ever, cries or is left speechless. When he turned around for that first look, he was both; speechless and crying. All he could say was, “Wow”.
Before leaving for the church, my mom, godmother, aunt, and I gathered in a circle, and each of them prayed over the day. Given the challenges we had experienced throughout the planning process, I wanted to make sure the day started with a prayer to ask God to be in and through everything that would happen that day. This is also why Nick and I chose to pray together prior to the ceremony; just us, no bridal party, no family, no one else (well, except for our TWA team). We each prayed for the day and prayed that it would be full of joy, excitement, love, and amazing memories that we would cherish for a lifetime. After the prayer, Nick and I went to our respective places to get ready for the ceremony to begin.
Right before the ceremony began, I noticed that there was a piece of fabric flapping under my arm and realized that part of my dress had become undone. Thankfully, our wedding coordinator had an emergency sewing kit, and my mom is an excellent seamstress who could fix the problem readily. When the ceremony started, our pastor was overcome with emotion as he’s known me for a quite some time, and has watched Nick and my relationship grow since the beginning. As a result, he accidentally skipped over our readings and hymn and went straight into his message. When he finished the message and asked us to face each other for the declaration of intent, I looked at him and said, “Um, we had readings……. And a congregational hymn…..”. After his reply, I asked, “We also had personal vows. Are we still doing those, or…..?”. So we ended up doing the traditional vows, went back to do the readings and congregational hymn, then recited the personal vows we had written.
Once the ceremony was over, we were able to mostly relax and have fun. We just needed to get through our first dances, and then we were home free ~ the planned out aspects of the day would be complete! What I didn’t plan on was how gorgeous our reception hall would be decorated by our florist. He just asked me to trust him, so that’s what we did. Oh, my goodness ~ my breathe was taken away when I walked in the room. Terry took my vision and made it explode beyond my wildest dreams. I felt as if I had walked into a fairytale.
Once all of our guests were settled, we were actually way ahead of schedule (thanks to Kristin and her team for being AWESOME), so the kitchen wasn’t quite ready to serve, which worked out perfectly. We were able to get all of our speeches done before dinner, and done without interruption. While I enjoyed all of the speeches, I must admit that our best man’s opening line is still one of my favorites from the day: “…so strap in everyone ’cause these next three minutes are the only three minutes Mimi hasn’t planned all day”. Nick and I had decided to have a choreographed first dance, which was great! It was also amusing to see how well the Daddy-Daughter dance turned out as my dad and I did not practice extensively. We just came up with a few steps here and there to a track my brother mixed for us. I still smile when I watch the video and hear people cheering when they realized that we weren’t doing a traditional Daddy-Daughter dance.
My favorite compliment all day, though, wasn’t about how gorgeous I looked, or how beautiful the flowers or my dress were, but rather, “I have never seen a bride enjoy her wedding day so much”. I spent so much time planning, I better enjoy it. In all seriousness, though, I enjoyed the day because I didn’t stress about things going wrong and the day not being perfect. Part of that is because I knew the day wouldn’t be perfect when I planned it, part is because the day didn’t start perfect, and part is because I knew that things going wrong is what makes fun memories and awesome stories. Are there things I would change about the day? Sure, but I feel that on the whole, the day was unbelievable, and honestly, I kind of like some of the ways in which our wedding day “went wrong”.
Life Since Getting Married
Since getting married, Nick and I have been incredibly busy. Nick started a new job and relocated to Chicago shortly before our wedding and has had to travel quite a bit for training. The time we do get to spend together has become all the more precious, and we continue to appreciate every hour we get to see each other. While it has been challenging to settle into a routine with the crazy schedules and time away from one another, it has given us the opportunity to make some fun memories and to be creative with what is considered to be a date night. In December, I will graduate from my Master’s program and will be applying for jobs. At that time, Nick and I will also be looking for a more permanent place to live, a new place of our own ~ somewhere we can finally call home.
Mimi + Nick’s Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Planner: Kristen Milano- Everlasting Impressions
Ceremony: Parkview Christian Church (Chapel)
Reception: Olympia Fields Country Club
Bride’s Attire: Bella Bianca Bridal Couture
Gown Consultant: Erica at the Chicago location
Dress designer: ‘Margeaux’ by Ines di Santo
Groom’s Attire: JP Tuxedo
Tux designer: Allure
Floral Design: Terry Teske Design
Wedding Stationary: DBY Invitations
Cake: Calumet Bakery
Sweets Table: Olympia Fields Country Club
Catering: Olympia Fields Country Club
Band/DJ: Steve with AdmitOne DJs
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Timothy Whaley is a 3rd generation photojournalist. His father, along with his grandfather, a Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame inductee, passed down a love for telling stories through pictures.
Mr. Whaley has taken this passion and assembled a group of award-winning photographers who are dedicated to providing couples with excellence and care. Visit us at twaphoto.com to learn more.