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: 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!"