A love of sports bonded Yana Meinert, 28, and Steve Strutz, 30, during their time at Western Illinois University. After their first date — to the coldest Bears game in recorded history — in December 2008, the pair dated for six years before Strutz proposed on a trip to Costa Rica. “I said yes before he could even finish his sentence,” Meinert laughs.
After their May 28 ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral (730 N. Wabash), the couple, along with friends and family, headed to Stan Mansion (2408 N. Kedzie) for an elegant reception with florals by Juliet Tan Floral Design.
Family touches were important: A buffet of Russian food celebrated Meinert’s heritage and an empty chair at the head table paid homage to Strutz’s brother, who passed away unexpectedly three months before the wedding. The reception also celebrated the passions and occupations of both the bride and groom. Strutz, the state manager for The Patrón Spirits Company, developed his own cocktails for the bash, while Meinert, a project manager at United Airlines, incorporated the pair’s love of travel by naming each table after a place they’d been.
The bash went into the wee hours and, while the pair had worried their families wouldn’t be up for the long night of drinking and dancing, such concerns were unwarranted. “They weren’t ready for the party to end,” Meinert says.
Photos by Hilda Burke of Angel Eyes Photography
Bride’s gown: Augusta Jones, Macy’s Bridal, 111 N. State
Bride’s shoes: Nina; Ninashoes.com
Bride’s jewelry and pair’s rings: Diamond Zone, 5 S. Wabash
Bride’s hair/makeup: Brides by Enrique; Bridesbyenrique.com
Bridesmaid’s dresses: David’s Bridal, 2749 N. Elston; Davidsbridal.com
Invitations: Minted; Minted.com
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire: Black by Vera Wang, Men’s Wearhouse, 535 N. Michigan; Menswearhouse.com
Food/catering: LaMirage, 3223 Algonquin, Rolling Meadows; Lamiragechicago.com
DJ: DJ Steve, Chicagoland DJ Services; Chicagolanddjs.com
Décor: Art of Imagination, 1829 S. Halsted; Artofimagination.com