Chicago is an incredibly good looking city with its numerous iconic buildings and incredible skyline. Working as a Chicago Wedding Photographer, husband and wife photo team who has lived here most of our lives, we agree with many of the locals who say “the top”, #1, or “the best” part of Chicago are the views. We specifically love Chicago at night and the skyline after dark. Dramatic and breathtaking not only while taking photos, it is simply beautiful to look at when visiting the city with or without a camera. The Chicago buildings after dark with twinkling lights, and reflections of the city off of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River water is personally our absolute favorite thing to see in the city.
Ed + Natalie’s wedding day incorporated a theme of “We love Chicago!”… so choosing an iconic city venue to host their ceremony and wedding reception was a must. Ed and Natalie decided on the Tribune Tower. A one-of-a-kind rooftop ceremony and cocktail space with skyline views, the open air terrace called “The Crown” sits 25 floors above Michigan Avenue and has 360 degree views, overlooking the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, and 50+ iconic buildings in the Magnificent Mile area. Standing as one of the “Big Four” skyscrapers surrounding the Michigan Avenue bridge at Michigan and Wacker, The Tribune building has unrivaled views of the city’s top notable historic architecture including the Wrigley Building, the new LondonHouse hotel, and down river is Trump Tower, plus 50+ more iconic museums & buildings in the river area.
Married on July 25, 2015 at the top of Chicago’s iconic Tribune Tower, Ed and Natalie’s summer outdoor wedding ceremony was strategically planned to occur during sunset. Arriving a few minutes early, guests viewed sights of the skyline, peered onto the over 50 area building rooftops, and mingled sipping on champagne. As the glimmering sunset lowered, reflections off of the city’s sea of glass, steel skyscrapers, and historic rooftops set the perfect scene. The Tribune Tower’s Crown offers lookout points in all directions and 360 degree views. The unique venue has historic architectural significance and one-of-a-kind appeal with its open-air veranda wedding space where ceremony attendees have memorable opportunities to experience the iconic skyline view from day to sunset and into the night.
If you are a Bachelor or Bachelorette ABC TV show fan, you may have recognized the groom is Ed Swiderski. Ed Swiderski is the CEO of Klever and a digital marketing technologist. Back in 2009, Ed was a contestant and winner on season 5 of the reality TV show The Bachelorette. And later, Ed also competed on season 3 of The Bachelor Pad. A fun ode to the groom’s participation in The Bachelorette, during the ceremony, a Final Rose presentation was planned by Ed + Natalie as a surprise “Final Rose Presentation” for their mothers. Ed presented two red roses to each mom, asking them first “Will you accept this rose?” As hoped, July 25th was a beautiful, summer day with picture perfect weather. Rays of warm sunlight beamed through the tower’s architectural columns of the Crown adding a romantic glow behind the bride and groom. Around the time the couple said “I Do.”, the tower’s majestic spotlights popped on. In the open air space, 25th floors above, we captured photos of the city’s skyline as it peeked out from the Tower’s flying buttresses.
White and elegant. Metallic, glitzy and urban… with a twist of fun, we loved this wedding. Are you loving Natalie’s bridal fashion style as much as we are? Natalie wore metallic pumps designed by Via Spiga and a Monet 2-piece cocktail length, mini gown by Monique Lhuillier. Her eye-catching bridal look was finalized adding a Oscar de la Renta satin, gold & crystal belt and tulle borrowed and custom altered from her mother’s wedding veil. While a wedding is the bride’s time to shine, Natalie planned for the ladies in her wedding party to have a little sparkle too. The five bridesmaids were dressed up wearing shimmering and sequined gold bridesmaid gowns with metallic shoes and accessories adding a dash of glamour and twinkle.
Following the ceremony, Natalie + Ed arranged time to step away before the evening began to capture evening skyline photos after dark at the Tribune Tower’s Crown veranda. After the night wedding photos, the celebrating continued downstairs during Natalie + Ed’s wedding reception at Howells & Hood restaurant located at the base of Chicago’s legendary Tribune Tower building. Howells & Hood is one of kind modern cocktail-style wedding reception venue with its indoor and outdoor amazing space. Steps from the ballroom, through a wall of sliding glass doors, is the ballroom’s outdoor private terrace with captivating views of the Wrigley Building lit up at night. Guests danced, shared light bites, and enjoyed signature cocktails. It was a fun and lively indoor/outdoor casual Chicago-style reception. Guests signed a book featuring photos of their favorite city… Chicago! The modern copper and rose gold ballroom was accented in Chicago themed decor with a metallic cake featuring an adorned, shiny replica of the city skyline, and the word “LOVE” was spelled out in bright, marquee lights, similar to the lights outside the historic Chicago Theater.
Chicago Rooftop 25th Floor Outdoor Wedding Ceremony: The Crown of Chicago’s Tribune Tower 435 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
The Tribune Tower has a one-of-a-kind rooftop, open air terrace call The Crown. 25 floors above Michigan Avenue with 360 degree views, overlooks the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and 50+ iconic buildings in the area. The Crown and Tribune Tower’s historic building is in a Gothic Revival architectural design, with flying buttresses and neo-Gothic architectural arches and openings.
Reception Venue: Howells & Hood at Tribune Tower in the Tribune Tower 435 N. Michigan Avenue
Wedding Theme: We Love Chicago!
Colors: White, Silver and Gold
Wedding Planning: Susan Cordogan of Big City Bride
Groom’s Attire: Suitsupply
Veil: Tulle from the mother of the bride’s veil, cut and designed by Debra Shirley at Ultimate Bride
Bride’s Metallic Heels: Via Spiga
Dress Shop: Ultimate Bride
Bride’s Dress Designer: Monique Lhuillier Monet 2-Piece Gown with a Oscar de la Renta satin, gold & crystal belt
Bride’s Earrings & Headband: Peaches Boutique
Beauty: Hair By Lindsay and Makeup by Tamara of Tamara MakeUp + Hair Artistry
Bridesmaids: Dresses from David’s Bridal and each individually selected shoes and accessories
Caterer: Cocktail Style Food by Howells and Hood
Decor: K.La Designs and Mother of the Bride
Decor Details: The couple stood next to an arbor with strings of crystals constructed by the florist K.La Designs. Candle lit wedding lanterns decorated the the ceremony and later moved onto the outdoor patio of the reception space at Howells & Hood.
Cupcakes + Cake: Mariano’s Grocery Store
Flowers: K.La Designs
Invitations: Designed and Constructed by Bride’s Mother
Music: During the bridal processional, the bride’s aunt sang Etta James’ At Last. A single violin serenaded the bride and her father during their walk down the aisle playing Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love.
DJ: A Groomsman
First Dance Song: All of Me by John Legend
Party Favors: Slate plaques with handwritten romantic quotes
Transportation: Windy City Limousine
Hotel: The wedding party and guests stayed at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Chicago
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue:
Natalie’s something old was her veil. The tulle was cut from her mother’s wedding veil. Something new was a 2-piece Monique Lhuillier Monet gown. Something borrowed, was a lucky sixpence coin, that Natalie put in her shoe. For Natalie’s beautiful blue, Natalie wore an antique, sapphire and diamond ring given to her by her Aunt.
Unique DIY wedding details:
DIY items courtesy of Sally Jo, the Mother of the Bride: Small clear votives and petite vases in varying sizes and styles were coated in silver paint, placed in clusters on the guest tables and filled with a variety of white, fresh flowers. Mom made a pennant banner that read Just Married and Bride and Groom signs for the couple’s sweetheart table and chairs. The room incorporated a combination of white and sequin table cloths and an eye-catching silver marquee letters spelled out “LOVE” sign with large circular bulbs was hand-made by the bride’s parents.
The bride admits the cake was the best bargain of the day! For a 3-tiered cake and 4 dozen cupcakes the grand total was $250!! The mother of the bride stylized the deserts and purchased glittery paper from the craft store, cut it into the shape of the Chicago skyline and added pearls and a rhinestone ribbon. All of the supplies were taken to a local grocery store baker, who baked and constructed the cake. Dressing up and in finalizing the cupcakes, gold wrappers and special Michigan State university Spartan mascot toppers were added.