Tarrah Cooper and Jeffrey Wright, both 33, first crossed paths at a business breakfast in 2014. “I saw Tarrah walk in and … it looked like she was floating,” Wright says. “She was so beautiful and glowing and … everyone was just stopping to make sure they spoke to her.” At the time, Cooper was press secretary for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Wright was working as a commercial banking team leader at Urban Partnership Bank.
They got to know each other through the Economic Club of Chicago and eventually started dating. “I was attracted to his drive and his determination and just his warm spirit,” Cooper says of Wright. “He always had a smile on his face.”
They bonded over their faith, a love for Champagne and the rewards (and challenges) of founding their own businesses: Cooper owns Rise Strategy Group, a strategic communications and public affairs firm, while Wright owns Gold Leaf Capital Partners, a financial services firm. They married May 10 at the Drake Hotel (140 E. Walton) in a ceremony combining their Catholic and Baptist faiths. “We wanted to make sure the actual ceremony was really a worship service,” Cooper says.
The couples’ grandmothers were the flower girls and his 4-year-old son Jeffrey Jr. carried the rings. “He was so excited … he ran down the aisle at full speed,” Wright says. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Star Jones were among the 350 guests at the “Great Gatsby”-inspired reception laden with white blooms, crystal candelabras, and gold vases.
Cooper swapped out her heels for a pair of magenta Nike Air Jordans, and Wright and his mother surprised the crowd with a dance to “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg. “We started off as if we were going to do a classical dance, but when the bassline dropped … people lost it!” he says. “Nobody saw it coming.”
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Venue and catering: The Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton, thedrakehotel.com
Wedding planner: Danielle Jones at Elaine Marie Events, Beverly Hills
Photographer: Kenny Kim Photography, kennykim.com
Bride’s attire: Allure Romance from House of Brides, 16100 S. LaGrange, Orland Park, houseofbrides.com
Bride’s makeup: Sharday Arnold, Reflection of Beauty, reflectbeauty1.com
Bridesmaids’ attire: Brideside, brideside.com
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire: The Black Tux, 917 W. Armitage, theblacktux.com
Cake: Red velvet and almond cake with cream cheese frosting by Cake, 1635 W. Walnut, cake-chicago.com
Entertainment: Maya Tatum-Lattimore (ceremony vocalist); Genesis Rivera (ballet performance); Matt Cannon (reception DJ), mattcannon.com
Floral: Calla lily boutonnieres and white floral bouquets and arrangements by Juliet Tan Floral Design, 220 N. Halsted, juliettanfloraldesign.com
Rings: Joel Singer, 29 E. Madison, singerjewelry.com
Videographer: Aria Fine Art Films, 6425 N. Hamlin, Lincolnwood, evpvideography.net
Photo booth: Snapbooth Chicago, snapboothchicago.com