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 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.