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“If you are researching a historic wedding reception venue that offers an on-site outdoor ceremony space, we suggest taking a peek at the Museum of Science and Industry. Jonathan + Vera’s choice in selecting the museum offered a perfect combination of the old and the new (plus something borrowed and something blue!). With its architectural origins dating back to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (at the time, it was called the Palace of Fine Arts), the museum is of great historical importance to both the city and the world. Combining picturesque vantage points, historic architecture, and spectacular modern-day science and technology exhibits, the Museum of Science and Industry was a perfect and ideal location for J+V. If you are searching for an eye-catching space, MSI offers just that. Guests are able to experience captivating, non-traditional wedding visuals extending from floor to ceiling. Inside the venue are vivid colors, earthly elements of tornados, waves and water, lights, and the added activity of guests being able to enjoy the exhibits after dinner via private tours just steps away from their tables. The action packed evening made the night and our shooting spaces unlike any other ceremony and reception we have been to. With a first dance under suspended full-sized aircraft, and Jon and Vera closing the evening with a walk through a tornado, what a unique series of photos and memorable events. According to Vera, the couple had a few special reasons for choosing the venue:

“The Museum of Science and Industry is our favorite museum in Chicago (and one of our top favorites out of the world). We love the exhibits at MSI, and the subject matter pertains to our lives more so than any other museum in the city. Jon is an optometrist and I am a microbiologist. We considered the Art Institute but while we appreciate art, it doesn’t define us as clearly as MSI does. Also, Jon and I had many dates at MSI.”

When working with Jonathan + Vera to plan their day, we set aside time for photographs in a few modern and timeless historic settings to capture a variety of innovative wedding photographs. As already mentioned, the inside of the museum was captivating. In contrast, the outside of the museum was a classical setting where rows of massive ionic columns surrounded the building. Just beyond a grand staircase was an amazing waterfront terrace. The couple’s evening ceremony took place waterside and was breathtaking! J+V exchanged vows outside on the Museum of Science and Industry’s South Portico. The outdoor ceremony on the South Portico occurred on a sunny June day, surrounded by lush landscaping, tranquil scenery, columns, and all of their friends and family. Brilliant pink, purple and white floral arrangements accented the black-and-white outfitted bridal party, as well as the crisp white altar and seating areas, making for a breathtaking color exclamation next to the neutral waters. While inside, we stopped at a few exhibits in the Museum of Science and Industry, photographing the couple in editorial style wedding photography setups. A few favorite stops of ours included the sleek, modern and eco-friendly Smart Home, as well as the futuristic Science Storms showcase, and the interactive You! The Experience exhibit. All provided a unique look that Jon and Vera desired in either an eye-catching or a modern photography setting. From the moment we first met, Jon + Vera talked with excitement about us capturing unique photos in the museum’s dramatic spaces. When the big day arrived, we found J+V naturally fit into the photos. They were glowing with enthusiasm and excitement for the day.

From the romantic, scenic outdoor ceremony where guests were seated between towering pillars and the calming lagoon, to the elegantly-appointed reception space under the dramatic rotunda and purple-hued lighting, every detail of Jonathan + Vera’s early summer wedding was carefully planned and executed… even down to the handmade wedding invitations and pyramid guest gifts lovingly designed and assembled by Jon’s mother. From the bride getting into her Vera Wang gown to the very last dance of the evening, it was easy to see that the couple was so at home at the Museum of Science and Industry, which made for an abundance of stunning wedding photography opportunities. We had so much fun with you, Jon + Vera. We can’t thank you enough in deciding to book us to capture your photos at the museum. As for our wedding photography experience at the Museum of Science and Industry, we had so much fun with J + V that we can’t wait to go back to the site and shoot more photos. Cheers to Jonathan + Vera on a beautiful and amazing city event!”

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In closing this blog post, we would like to share a few of Vera’s memories, key moments, and favorite parts from the day:

“Jonathan says his favorite memory was the first look, which is ironic because we didn’t even know what a first look was from the start. So first advice for brides and grooms? Trust and listen to your wedding photographers! We agreed a first reveal was right for us, and we are very glad we did it. My favorite moment of the day is when I got to eat my dinner with Jonathan at our sweetheart table…best decision of the wedding planning aside from booking Miller + Miller. Dinner was the only time during the day we had some time to ourselves to just be ourselves together. That’s my second piece of advice for brides and grooms: plan some time for yourselves to reconnect and take in the wedding day because it goes by in a blur. There’s so much activity that there is no time for your brain to absorb what is truly happening. I don’t remember much of my wedding aside from the time in the Smart Home and dinner at the sweetheart table. Last piece of advice is really for the wedding day itself. Whatever happens — just go with it because a solution will present itself and the wedding will still be everything you dreamed it would be. Jonathan and I both agree that our best memory associated with the wedding is that it’s finally over and we got to go on our 3-week honeymoon to Europe. The trip of a lifetime to start our lifetime together.”

This summer wedding day in Chicago brought to you by:
Outdoor Ceremony Venue: South Portico at the Museum of Science and Industry
Reception Venue: The Rotunda in the Museum of Science and Industry
Suits: Groom Hugo Boss and Groomsmen and Dads Perry Ellis from Formally Modern Tuxedos
Bridal Dress Designer: Vera Wang
Veil + Dress Shop: Vera Wang, 945 North Rush Street, Chicago
Bridal Shoes: Guess
Bride’s Jewelry: The necklace, ring, and bracelets are from Hong Kong. The earrings are a wedding day gift from Jonathan. : )
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Gifts: Black Wayfarer Ray Ban Sunglasses
Wedding Bands + Rings: Viachi is the designer, but we purchased through Monique of Switzerland Jewelers in Minnesota.
Beauty Services: Hair by Becky and Make-up by Maris of Blend Beauty
Bridesmaids Shoes + Dresses: Black dresses and either red, cream or black heels. Vera let them choose the designers
Caterer: Sodexo at the Museum of Science and Industry
Menu: Goat cheese salad, rosemary and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast, and zinfandel braised boneless short rib
Cake + Desserts: Dessert station consisting of different flavored cupcakes, creme brulee, pot de creme, fresh fruits, tea, and coffee.
Flowers: Kloeckner Preferred Flowers
Invitations: Handmade by Jonathan’s mom
Reception Up Lighting: Chicago Lighting Design
Guest Gifts: Personalized fortune cookies within pyramid boxes made by Jonathan’s mom
DJ: Corey Sanford from MME
Honeymoon: Italy and Greece
Engagement Photography Session: Fall of 2011 by Miller + Miller at MSI and the Loop