An Alternative, Dog-Centric Wedding at Peckish Pig in Evanston, Illinois

A relaxed restaurant venue and darling, dog-inspired details made for an ultra-personal fall fete for Michelle Lustig (31 and an event planner) and Nicholas (Nick) Walby (36 and a real estate broker). Committed to creating a guest experience that felt anything but traditional, the couple booked their go-to neighborhood restaurant for their “I dos.” Guests gathered under a tent on the restaurant’s brick-lined patio for cocktail hour, which took place before the ceremony. “We didn’t want a traditional wedding that started in a banquet room and moved into another room down the hall,” Michelle says of switching up their wedding timeline. In lieu of a formal ceremony aisle and chairs, guests were invited to stand to witness the duo become Mr. and Mrs. “I loved that our guests huddled closely together and that our wedding party had to zigzag their way through the crowd to get to the altar,” Michelle says. The bride clutched a compact arrangement of amaranthus, craspedia, ranunculus and roses. She stunned in a two-piece dress, while Nick and their bulldog, Porter, donned matching bow ties. Nick gifted his groomsmen with bespoke pocket squares bearing stitched silhouettes of their own dogs. “The last thing we wanted was a ton of flowers that would take away from the venue’s existing aesthetic,” Michelle says of highlighting the restaurant’s industrial fixtures, exposed brick and handcrafted wood tables. Red-brick table numbers dotted the tablescapes, along with verdant garlands and paper coasters featuring Porter’s illustration and the couple’s wedding date.