Like all modern-day love stories, we met on Tinder,” says Natalie Stelmaszek of her husband, Brian Burke, 44, who works in cybersecurity software sales for Nuix. When Burke’s Belgian sheepdog Loki took a special liking to Stelmaszek, that sealed the deal. “I really think that Loki chose me … and I have absolutely become his mom,” says Stelmaszek, 37, an economic sanctions specialist for First Republic Bank. Loki even assisted Burke in a surprise proposal to Stelmaszek by wearing the engagement ring tied to a ribbon around his neck.
Stelmaszek’s cousin, a priest, married them in an intimate ceremony for 15 family members at the Chapel at St. Michael (1633 N. Cleveland) in Old Town late last year. Afterward, they dined at Chicago Cut Steakhouse (300 N. LaSalle) and staycationed at Chicago Athletic Association (12 S. Michigan). On Dec. 31, the couple hosted a blowout New Year’s Eve reception for 115 at the Kitchen (316 N. Clark), which charmed them with its inventive menus and riverside location. It also happened to provide a front-row seat for the city’s dazzling fireworks display at midnight.
In honor of the Chicago Bears making the NFL playoffs, guests sipped themed cocktails such as the Mack Attack, the Trick Play, and the Run Pass Option while sporting metallic party hats and beads. The holiday feast included yellowfin tuna ceviche, harissa chicken brochettes, and miniature sweets such as chocolate-peppermint tarts, gingersnap sandwiches, and maple-frosted spiced apple cupcakes. In lieu of a guest book, friends and family signed a framed artist’s sketch of the downtown skyline, which now hangs in the couple’s Rogers Park condo.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Bride’s attire: Dessy from Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand, shop.nordstrom.com (ceremony); BHLDN, 8 E. Walton (reception)
Bride’s accessories: David Yurman necklace and earrings from Nordstrom (ceremony); Tyler earrings from BHLDN (reception); shoes by Jimmy Choo
Bride’s hair & makeup: Kate Johnson Artistry, katejohnsonartistry.com
Groom’s attire: Custom tuxedo from Tom James Company, 300 N. LaSalle, tomjames.com
Entertainment: DJ Jeff, A Posh Production, aposhproduction.com
Floral: Bouquet and boutonnieres by LaSalle Flowers, 731 N. LaSalle, lasalleflowers.com
Rings: NY Jewelers, 11 N. Wabash, nyjchicago.com
Photographer: Lara Pucci, larapucci.com