While waiting out a long delay at the Willard Airport in Champaign in 2007, University of Illinois student Jaye Eisenberg noticed a fellow passenger, Jonathan Kepniss, wearing a U of I fraternity shirt. “I had a sorority T-shirt on, so we started talking to see if we could find people in common,” she says. Though the two then parted ways, they reconnected at a local bar the following school year. “I said, ‘Weren’t you on the airplane?’” Eisenberg says. “The rest is history.”
After graduating, Kepniss, a New Jersey native and tax manager at Deloitte, moved to New York City with Eisenberg, a development coordinator at National Academy Foundation. On a Friday afternoon in August 2013, the two met up to head to Chicago for what the bride thought was her nephew’s birthday party. “We were walking uptown to get a cab [to the airport] and he stopped at the base of Central Park and got down on one knee,” she says. “We then headed straight to the airport, where a party waited for us in Chicago.” Though the proposal was very New York, the bride wanted her nuptials to feel more like her hometown. “Chicago is home to me and always will be,” she says. “I always knew I wanted to get married in the city I love.”
On Oct. 25, more than 180 guests gathered at the opulent Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago (163 E. Walton), where they were greeted with gift bags filled with Carol’s Cookies and Garrett’s Popcorn before the traditional Jewish ceremony. The couple then led guests to a fall-inspired reception, complete with gray and purple accents and an abundance of mini appetizers, including hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Later, the duo made their way to the dance floor for their first dance. “We spent less than a minute on a traditional wedding song — ‘You Make It Real’ by James Morrison — and then we broke out our sunglasses to [dance to] ‘Empire State of Mind,’ ” Eisenberg says. To cap off the wedding, the newlyweds fled to Tahiti, Mo’orea and Bora Bora for a romantic honeymoon.
Photos by Jai Girard Photography
Bride’s gown: Martina Liana, Doris Bridal, 448 Sheridan, Highwood; Dorisbridal.com
Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo, 716 Madison, New York; Jimmychoo.com
Bride’s makeup: Cynde Hoffman, Cynde Cosmetics, Blue Orchid Salon and Spa, 1847 2nd, Highland Park; Blueorchidsalonandspa.com
Groom’s attire: Canali, Sams-Fine Mens Clothing, 555 S. Livington, Livington, New Jersey; Samsclothing.com
Rings: Newark Jewelers Supply Co., 1581 Springfield, Maplewood, New Jersey; Newarkjewelers.com
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection, 139 W. 35th, New York; Jennyyoo.com
Groomsmens’ attire: Joseph Abboud, Men’s Wearhouse, 112 S. State; Menswearhouse.com
Wedding planner: Liza Morich, Bliss Weddings and Events; Blissweddingsandevents.com
Sweets: Gotta Sweet Tooth, 3017 Commercial, Northbrook; Gottasweettooth.com
Florist & décor: Richard Remiard Event Design, 451 N. Paulina; Richardremiard.com
Entertainment: Rendezvous Music, 1718 Sherman, Evanston; Rendezvousmusic.net
Invitations: F.U.N. Cards and Gifts, 1442 Waukegan, Glenview
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