A Romantic Wedding With California Flair at Concorde Banquets in Chicago, Illinois

For their early September wedding, Sylvia Krzysztofek (28 and owner of This Girl Sylvia Photography) and Daniel Mackey (31 and chief technical officer

For their early September wedding, Sylvia Krzysztofek (28 and owner of This Girl Sylvia Photography) and Daniel Mackey (31 and chief technical officer and cofounder of Package Zen) headed home to Chicago, Illinois, to celebrate with their closest family members and friends. Holy Name Cathedral was a given for the ceremony, the intricate architecture and striking stained glass windows providing an unforgettable backdrop for the day, while Concorde Banquets provided a sophisticated setting for the reception. “The big windows overlooking the grounds, the soft lighting and the delicious food made the entire evening magical,” Sylvia says. During the planning period, the pair called California home and knew that incorporating elements of their West Coast life throughout the wedding was a must. Sylvia and Daniel chose a palette of dusty blue, soft jade green, ivory and slate gray with hints of blush inspired by the Pacific Ocean, and they filled the room with elegant gold accents to inject the decor with the warmth of the California sun. Wine-cork place card holders, which the couple made themselves, and a scattering of seashells on each tabletop subtly spoke to California’s Napa Valley and Half Moon Bay. Sylvia and Daniel’s stunning selection of blooms were arranged by their close friends at Fionna Floral and flown to Chicago from Santa Cruz, California. “They provided a lush, intimate and romantic setting that evoked the sunsets along the Pacific Coast Highway,” Sylvia says. Some tips from Sylvia: “Have a date night with each other every other week during the planning process where you don’t talk about planning. Always have an opinion about your fiance’s questions, however small. He’ll appreciate your input to whittle down the hundreds of options that exist. Also, don’t overthink your style—trust your gut. Be yourself on your wedding day because that is who your fiance fell in love with.”

White Lace Wedding Dress with Open Back Detail
Drawing inspiration from their West Coast theme, Sylvia and Daniel chose an elegant watercolor design for their invitations in soft pastel hues from Wedding Paper Divas. For the programs, place cards and other signage, the pair went for a more formal look and harnessed Daniel’s design skills to pull it all together.
After doing some serious research online, Daniel headed to Stephan’s Jewelry in Santa Cruz, California, to pick out the perfect ring for Sylvia. “Knowing my sense of style, Daniel looked for a delicate but unique ring that would stand out but wasn't too over the top,” Sylvia says. He chose a sparkling solitaire diamond-style with intricate diamond detailing around the center stone. For wedding bands, the pair went classic, with Daniel choosing a simple platinum design and Sylvia choosing a similar style by Cartier in rose gold.
Pastel Bouquet with Garden Roses and Ribbon Wrap
Lace Long Sleeve Wedding Dress
White Lace Long Sleeve Wedding Dress
Fionna Floral took the reins on all of the couple’s floral needs, designing striking, textured arrangements of veronica, hydrangeas, tillandsia, garden roses, tulips, amaranthus, dusty miller, eucalyptus, air plants and more for Sylvia and her bridesmaids to carry down the aisle. The bouquets perfectly captured Sylvia and Daniel’s California theme, filled with soft shades of blue, green, ivory and pink.
Classic Black Prada Suit with White Boutonniere
White Lace Wedding Dress with Plunging Neckline
When it came to choosing her wedding dress, Sylvia knew she wanted something different. “My style is very simple but detail-oriented,” Sylvia says. “The silhouette of my dress was very elegant, but the lace added a layer of romance I knew would blow Daniel away. It struck the right balance between modest and sexy.” For her hair and makeup, Sylvia was inspired by the couple’s life in California. She wore her hair down in soft, beachy waves and went for a dewy, sun-kissed glow.
Cascading Bouquets Wrapped in Ribbon
Before heading to Concorde Banquets for a night filled with dinner and dancing, Sylvia and Daniel exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago, Illinois. “We both grew up in the Chicago area and went to college in the city, so we knew we wanted to have our ceremony there,” Sylvia says. “Holy Name Cathedral has was always a special church for me growing up, with its beautiful architecture and long history in Chicago.”
Floral Centerpiece with Air Plants and Roses
The decor struck the perfect balance of classic elegance and West Coast chic with warm golden accents, textured blooms and understated touches like bundles of fresh lavender at each place setting and wine-cork place card holders made by the couple.
Fionna Floral more than delivered in the flower department, creating a series of standout centerpieces for each of the reception’s tablescapes. The whimsical arrangements were displayed in gilded bowl vases and filled with tulips, dahlias, textured greenery and more in soft oceanic tones that spoke to the couple’s California-inspired theme.
Display Table with Succulent Wedding Favors
At the end of the evening, Sylvia and Daniel sent their friends and family members home with pint-size pots filled with lush green succulents. “We wanted our guests to take with them a piece of our wedding that would last beyond the night itself,” Sylvia says, “so we bought baby succulents from California for them to take home as a reminder that love continues to grow with proper care.”
After a dinner of French onion soup, Caesar salad, filet mignon and champagne chicken, Sylvia and Daniel treated guests to flaming brandy vanilla ice cream, an assortment of sweets and a slice of classic wedding cake. The three-tier confection featured white cake with raspberry filling and was decorated with combed buttercream, fresh purple hydrangeas, olive-leaf accents and textured blue thistles.
Down Hairstyle with Loose Curls