An Elegant, Modern Wedding at Prairie Production in Chicago, Illinois

Stephanie Miller (31 and a social worker and developmental therapist) and Philip Tomas (31 and a social worker) at Loyola University Chicago, while th

Stephanie Miller (31 and a social worker and developmental therapist) and Philip Tomas (31 and a social worker) at Loyola University Chicago, while they were both doing their Master’s degree in social work. While they knew of each other through the program, it wasn’t until the last few weeks of school that the couple officially met. A mutual friend introduced the two over drinks and they instantly hit it off. “A few days later, the three of us made plans to go out for dinner; but our mutual friend canceled, leaving Philip and I to go to dinner by ourselves,” says Stephanie. “This casual dinner turned into our first date and the rest is history.” Philip proposed on the evening of his 30th birthday. Stephanie had already planned a surprised party for Philip, but he managed to get his friends to help him use the party as a cover for proposing. “About an hour or so into the party, our friends who were hosting happened to ‘run out of snacks,’ so Philip volunteered us to go to the store,” says Stephanie. “When we returned, our friends were standing out on the back deck with candles and rose petals. As we walked closer, Philip knelt down and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked that I didn’t answer right away, but in the end of course I said yes!”For their wedding, the couple planned a modern, elegant affair at Prairie Production, near the West Loop of Chicago. The unique space has an industrial loft-inspired feel with 20-foot high ceilings, glossy cement floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, offering a blank canvas for Stephanie and Philip to make their own. Drawing on the venue for inspiration, the couple opted to keep the decor on the more minimal side. They dressed up the space with a purple and gray color palette, fresh bunches of vibrant pink and purple blooms like hydrangeas, stock, dahlias and wildflowers, plus lots of candlelight. The effect was playful, yet refined. Five hundred origami ducks, the symbol of a long and happy marriage in the Korean culture, were also incorporated into the design of each table and created the backdrop for the ceremony. Dozens of paper lanterns hung from the vast ceilings, introducing a warm, ambient glow to the modern space as the sun began to set. “Keeping things simple was important to us, since we wanted to keep the focus on our family and friends, the memories we were creating, and honoring both of our cultures in whatever details we could,” says Stephanie. As a nod to their Filipino and Korean backgrounds, the couple created a menu filled with Korean and Filipino-inspired hors d’oeuvres and incorporated traditions like a brief Korean ceremony at the start of the reception, donning traditional Filipino and Korean wedding attire and having Philips parents present them with symbolic offerings for prosperity, unity and love.

Inspired by their wedding's location, the couple incorporated a Chicago motif into the design of their invitations. The iconic Chicago Theater sign was placed on the front and a map of the train system on the RSVP cards.
Unique White Gold Wedding Bands
Stephanie's trumpet gown from David's Bridal was the picture of timeless elegance with all-over lace, an illusion neckline and delicate cap sleeves. She completed the look with a pair of classic pearl drop earrings.
The flowers were the star of the show, the bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces boasting brightly hue blooms like orchids, dahlias, stock, roses and succulents in shades of purple and cool blue.
Allowing her bridesmaids to choose their own dresses from J.Crew, in a soft shade of gray, ensured the girls would be able to wear them again.
Bright Purple Dahlia and Rose Bridesmaid Bouquet
Classic Black Groomsmen Suits
Prairie Production Wedding Ceremony
Stephanie and Philip made the ceremony programs themselves, incorporating a playful infographic on each to introduce their wedding party.
Stephanie and Philip, with the help of their family and friends, folded 500 origami ducks, a Korean symbol for a long and happy marriage, for the ceremony backdrop, aisle and the reception tables.
Purple Origami Mandarin Duck Aisle Decorations
Ceremony Processional at Prairie Production
Modern Wedding Ceremony at Prairie Production
Stephanie and Philip Exchange Vows
Stephanie and Philip's First Kiss
The unique orb-style lighting that dotted the ceiling of the reception space lent an element of modern whimsy to the decor.
Simple Gray Escort Cards
To bring the reception space to life, the tables were decorated with bright, wisy bunches of ivory and purple blooms like stock, hydrangeas, dahlias and roses.
Purple Reception Table Linens
Purple Floral Centerpieces and Korean Term Table Names
Instead of a traditional guest book, Stephanie and Philip opted for guests to sign an illustrated tree, which they could hang in their home. Friends and family stamped the tree with leaf stamps and then signed their names on each.
Incorporating their Korean and Filipino cultures into the wedding was important to both Stephanie and Philip. During the reception, the couple performed a traditional Korean ceremony, each of them donning traditional dress from their respective backgrounds.
Stephanie and Philip's First Dance