Ever After: Hayley Florio & Alex Ayala

By / Weddings / March 17, 2016

In 2000, seventh-grader Hayley Florio had her eye on the new kid, Alex Ayala. “He had just moved from Romeoville,” says Florio, 28, recruiter for Chase Bank. “We kind of dated — [as in] we played soccer together and hung out with the same kids around the block.” The two went their separate ways for college, but reconnected and started dating when they graduated in 2009.

Five years later, Ayala, 29, chef at Standard Market Grill, proposed to Florio while out to dinner at Sixteen (401 N. Wabash). “The weather outside was sunny, snowy, sleeting, rainy [and] windy,” Ayala says. “I think the world knew we were about to get engaged.”

For their Feb. 6 nuptials, the couple chose the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing (111 S. Michigan) for the reception, which featured non-stop music from Eric Claussen. The night ended on a high note, when Ayala and his groomsmen sang Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country” to the bride. “It wasn’t choreographed, it wasn’t a plan,” Ayala says. “It was just the way the night took us.”


Photos by Doru and Claudia Halip of H Photography

It’s in the details

Bride’s gown: Cielo, Bijou Bridal, 17W170 W. 22nd, Oakbrook Terrace; Bijoubridal.com

Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade, 203 Yorktown, Lombard; Katespade.com

Bride’s hair & makeup: Renee Edgcomb, Versed Salon, 11914 S. Route 59, Plainfield, Salonversed.com; Brandi Paap, Bridal Brigade, Bridalbrigade.net

Bride’s jewelry: Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand; Shop.nordstrom.com

Groom’s & groomsmen’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse, 643 E. Boughton, Bolingbrook; Menswearhouse.com

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bill Levkoff, Bijou Bridal, 17W170 W. 22nd, Oakbrook Terrace; Bijoubridal.com

Rings: Heritage Jewelers, 1115 E. 9th, Lockport; Lockportjewelryshop.com

Wedding planner: Courtney Bollettino, Bollo Hollow; Bollohollow.com

Catering: Bon Appetit, 111 S. Michigan; Artic.edu

Décor & Florist: Magdalena Sobieski, ZuZus Petals, 15623 S. 70th, Orland Park; Zuzuspetalsevents.com

Entertainment: Eric Claussen, Music By Design, 801 S. Wells, Musicbydesign.com; harpist Ben Melsky, Benmelsky.com

Invitations: Lynda Junge, Greenstar Paperie, 5121 N. Main, Downers Grove; Greenstarpaperie.com