I have a confession to make…I booked our wedding venue before I was even engaged.
Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest! Okay so now you’re thinking I’m crazy, but please allow me to explain. Our wedding venue is a happening spot in Chicago. In fact it’s so popular, it’s been voted “Best Place to Get Married” in the Chicagoland area. Because of this popularity, it books up waaaay far in advance. Like YEARS in advance if you want to have a Saturday wedding. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s rewind to September 2012. Finn & I had chatted about marriage many times by this point, and we knew that we wanted to tie the knot within the next few years. In fact, we had even gone ring shopping. So I knew that a proposal wasn’t far off. I was in Chicago visiting my family (we lived in St. Louis at this point) and my mom and I went to this place called Salvage One to look at some of their antiques and decor. We instantly fell in love with the place and couldn’t get over the unique space. We got to chatting with one of the store employees and they told us how it’s a popular event space on the weekends, especially for weddings. I knew we wanted to get married in the fall, and at that time Fall 2013 was already booked. We inquired about Fall 2014 and we left the store with a list of available dates. I ran the list by Finn, and he said we should just go ahead and book it. So I didn’t quite have a ring on my finger…but I did have my venue booked for October 11th, 2014.
Let me first say that this is not a cookie-cutter wedding venue. In fact, if you’re a very traditional wedding person..then you’ll probably dislike this place. But that’s a-okay with us. We knew we didn’t want a banquet hall type wedding. Salvage One is a bit difficult to describe…it’s a lofted warehouse, antique store, event space that is filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind pieces. It’s 3 levels tall and located in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. From the outside…it doesn’t look like much…just an old industrial building. But when you get inside…wow it’s truly breathtaking.
We had our ceremony on the first floor of Salvage One. This is primarily the “store” area…as everything you see is for sale. There is one large area with wooden church pews, and this is where we had our Catholic mass and wedding ceremony.
I loved having our ceremony in this space because it was so cozy, intimate, and romantic. The entire aisle is lined with chandeliers, and we put lanterns and candles down the aisle. The ceremony space was packed with people we love and we even had a gospel choir sing some of our favorite church hymns and songs.
This was by far my favorite part of the wedding. Saying our vows, declaring our love, and being amongst our friends and family…it was a magical moment that I will remember forever. After our ceremony, it was time to get the party started. Guests stayed on the first floor of the venue for drinks and appetizers, and they also had a chance to check out all of the cool items available at Salvage One (I don’t think anyone actually purchased anything…but still pretty neat to browse!)
After an hour of cocktails, it was finally time for our reception. All guests headed upstairs to the large open loft space on the second floor. Salvage One keeps this space completely open, and you decide where you want tables to go, and they’ll then hang chandeliers over tables. The cool part is that you can mix and match all of the tables they have. So that means that no table or chair is alike, and they’re not all the same size. We had to group 4’s, 6’s, 8’s, 10’s….and our head table fit 18 people! Very cool for an untraditional couple like us (maybe not so cool if you’re into a uniform look.) They also place couches, coffee tables, and lounge seating around the perimeter of the dance floor so if you’re not a big dancer you can still feel like you’re a part of the action.
We added a few personal touches to the space to truly make it feel like “Casey & Finn.” To amp up the romantic feel, we covered the table in vintage glassware…about 300 pieces total (the same used at Bridget’s wedding). These were then filled with candles for a nice glowy, soft feel in the space. (P.S. If you live in Chicago and you’re interested in buying some glassware please shoot us an email at [email protected] It’s all so beautiful but we simply don’t have room for it. We will give you a great deal!)
To go along with our “love letter” wedding theme, we used old postcards as our table numbers, a farmhouse mailbox for our card box (details in this post), and had a large display of pictures of us from the past decade. We also had a photo booth that our guests really loved. Seriously some hilarious pictures were taken in there…so fun!
Because we’re not big cake people, we decided to go with a very small cake for us to cut and then have a cookie & milk bar for our guests. It was a hit and people even filled up baggies of cookies to take home with them.
All Photos Courtesy of Gina Cristine Photography
It’s true how they say that your wedding day goes by in a blur. It really does. But I’m so grateful to have these pictures and the memories from our special day, at a very special place.
Tomorrow the wedding eye candy continues as I’ll show you some of my favorite photos from our wedding day…