A Natural, Elegant Wedding at Cafe Brauer in Chicago, Illinois

Sometimes the best scenic venues aren't located in the heart of the city, but rather, they're tucked away in the least obvious of locales. For example

Sometimes the best scenic venues aren't located in the heart of the city, but rather, they're tucked away in the least obvious of locales. For example: this natural, garden-inspired metropolitan wedding of Christina Riley (26 and in asset and wealth management) and Matthew Eaves (28 and in investment banking) at Cafe Brauer in Chicago's Lincoln Park. With a focus on understated, elegant details and armed with a clean green and ivory color scheme, the couple worked closely with Liven It Up Events and Christina's mother to plan their perfect day. "We loved that Cafe Brauer perfectly combined that feeling of being surrounded by nature with the elegance of the city," the bride explains. Dressed in a classic, white lace Anne Barge gown (purchased at Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City), the bride and her Armani-clad groom exchanged vows in a traditional ceremony at St. Chrysostom's Church before retreating to their reception with 180 guests. "We found the church after walking through the neighborhood one day," Christina explains. "We loved everything about it and soon became regular members." Lush green arrangements loomed over each reception table while white candles and gold framed, tree-inspired table numbers added to the natural aesthetic of the evening. After a round of heartwarming speeches, guests enjoyed a night of impromptu dance performances before heading home with their pockets full of chocolate-covered fortune cookies and Loveless Cafe blackberry jam (all the way from Nashville!). As for wedding day advice? Christina says, "Go on your honeymoon right away, and extend all of that excitement of the wedding for as long as you can!"

The couple used a natural color palette of green and ivory to bring their desired theme of "understated elegance" to life. "We wanted our style to reflect the venue, which was so elegantly designed," Christina says. "Lots of trees, flowers, clean lines and the natural beauty of Lincoln Park."
The groom wore a classic Armani tux purchased at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue for a look that matched his groomsmen. The bridesmaids wore emerald-green floor-length Amsale gowns in various styles.
Each of Christina's bridesmaids wore emerald green floor-length Amsale gowns in various styles. To complement the bride's pearl-and-emerald earrings (that belong to her mom), each bridesmaid wore vintage costume jewelry.
Christina wore a white lace wedding dress by designer Anne Barge from the Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City. "I had the most amazing consultant there," she says. Salon Buzz completed her classic bridal look with an intricate, twisted, sideswept bun.
Simple Green Boutonnieres
Christina and Matthew exchanged vows in a sweet ceremony at St. Chrysostom's Church, a location they chose while walking through their neighborhood. "We loved everything about it and soon became regular members of the church," the bride says.
Green Fern Aisle Decoration
Natural Tree Escort Card Table
The newlyweds celebrated with 180 guests at the expansive Cafe Brauer in Lincoln Park. "We loved that it perfectly combined the elegance of the city with the surrounding nature," Christine says. "It was an incredible venue and truly breathtaking."
Tall Green Floral Centerpiece
Green and White Centerpiece with Ferns and Hydrangeas
Tree-themed table numbers were framed in gold.
Card Table with Green Flower Arrangement
Bittersweet Pastries baked up this four-tier green and white confection for the couple, complete with fondant and green hydrangeas.
The couple's elegant celebration was filled with dinner, drinks and a whole lot of dancing. "We had a special performance of 'A Love Like This' by Wild Belle and danced the entire night away!" Christina says.
Wedding Reception at Cafe Brauer
White Lace Anne Barge Wedding Dress