Eric Francis has been making mix CDs for Rebekah Nielsen since they met in high school — and over the past 12 years, Nielsen, 28, an HR director, has accumulated close to 100 of them.
This spring, right before their wedding at Café Brauer (2021 N. Stockton), Nielsen opened a gift from Francis, 28, a trader. “I pull out a Discman and inside is a CD,” Nielsen says. “All the songs [represented] memories of our lives.” Case in point: “Yellow” by Coldplay (their first concert together) and “Good Riddance” by Green Day, which ends every CD he’s made her.
From the moment they walked to First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (1301 N. LaSalle) with their guests — a nod to the Italian tradition of walking through the village during a wedding ceremony — the day was marked with each of those memories, from the jazz trio (the groom played electric guitar in high school) to one of the mixtape songs, “Wake Me” by the Bleachers, playing during their first dance.
But it was a bright green neon ‘“Life is a party” sign that said it best: “That just explains us,” the bride says.
Photos by Emilia Jane Photography
Bride’s gown: Vera Wang, Casa de Novia Bridal, Houston, Texas; Casadenoviabridal.com
Bride’s hair & makeup: Kailey Service and Meghan Liston, Urban Bride Chicago; Urbanbridechicago@gmail.com
Bride’s jewelry: Banana Republic, 744 N. Michigan; Bananarepublic.com
Bride’s shoes: Ann Taylor, 600 N. Michigan; Anntaylor.com
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Brideside, 660 W. Lake; Brideside.com
Groom’s & groomsmen’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse, 535 N. Michigan; Menswearhouse.com
Rings: Michael Genovese Jewelers, St. Louis, Missouri; Genovesejewelers.com
Wedding planner: Nicole Hensley, Storybook Weddings & Events, 516 W. Briar; Storybookchicago.com
Catering: Calihan Catering, 833 W. Haines; Calihancatering.com
Cake: pistachio with chocolate ganache and raspberry filling with rosewater buttercream frosting
Decor & floral: bouquet of white peonies, roses and helleborus with ferns, jasmine vine, camellia and seeded eucalyptus, Event Creative, 219 N. Paulina; Eventcreative.com
Entertainment: Style Matters; Stylemattersdjs.com
Invitations: Minted; Minted.com