Ever After: Katie Balmford & Jeremy Jernigan

By / Weddings / November 8, 2016

Katie Balmford knew her colorist at Vidal Sassoon (181 N. Clark) had the perfect shade for her hair, but she didn’t realize she also knew her perfect match. After many styling sessions — during which Balmford, 39, an attorney, complained about her dating mishaps — her colorist suggested she meet Jeremy Jernigan, 40, another hairdresser at the salon.

It took convincing, but finally, Balmford’s colorist arranged for them to meet at the salon. “We talked about mousse,” Jernigan laughs. A couple days later, in June 2014, he called to set up their first date.

Jernigan proposed in February while the couple was on vacation in Cabo. He led Balmford to the terrace of their suite overlooking the ocean. “I had placed the box on a table outside and it was a Tiffany box,” he remembers. “Once she noticed that, the gig was up.”

Amid soft pastels, candlelight and gold accents — think elegant English garden — the couple exchanged traditional vows at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing (111 S. Michigan) Sept. 24. “We wanted something that would feel like a Chicago experience for our guests,” Balmford says.

Perhaps the most enchanting part was the backdrop made of suspended paper cranes. Jernigan’s sons, Ethan and Henry, were taking an origami class and, with a little help, they crafted over 1,000 cranes in six weeks as their gift to the couple. The festivities continued into the reception, where the couple danced to “Someone like You” by Van Morrison, and guests indulged in handmade ravioletti, roasted chicken, a table full of Italian cookies and a four-tier chocolate and passion fruit cake topped with fresh flowers.

Photos by Peter Wynn Thompson

It’s in the details

Bride’s gown: Victoria Sdoukos Couture, 924 W. Madison; Victoriasdoukoscouture.com

Bride’s hair & makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists, 1821 W. Hubbard, Nikavaughan.com; RC Beauty, Rcbeauty.com

Bride’s shoes: Manolo Blahnik; Manoloblahnik.com

Groom’s attire: Armani Collezioni, Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand; Nordstrom.com

Rings: Tiffany & Co., 730 N. Michigan; Tiffany.com

Wedding Planner: Emily Rodecker, Five Grain Events, 2841 W. Armitage; Fivegrainevents.com

Florist: Fleur, Inc., 2651 N. Milwaukee; Fleurchicago.com

Decor: Elegant Event Lighting, 630 Morse, Schaumburg, Eelchicago.com; Jayne Weddings & Events, Jayneweddings.com

Catering: Bon Appétit Management Co., 111 S. Michigan; Artic.edu/about/event-planning

Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design, 636 N. Racine; Amybeckcakedesign.com

Sweets: Italian cookies and cannoli made by bride’s mother; cookies from D’Amato’s Bakery, 1124 W. Grand

Entertainment: Artistrings string trio, Artistrings.com; Style Matters DJ, Stylemattersdjs.com

Invitations: Studio M Creations, 2841 W. Armitrage; Studiomcreations.com

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