Alina and Chris knew each other since they were teenagers because Chris played on a soccer team with Alina’s brother and some other close friends. After they graduated college and as their mutual friends started moving away, they found themselves hanging out more and more one-on-one. Over time what bloomed from this friendship was a romantic relationship. After only a few months of dating Alina was accepted into a master’s program at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. They both decided it was the right time to move away from Michigan. Like any solid relationship they had their fair share of good times and not so good times, and after seven years, Chris proposed on the rooftop of their apartment building. Chicago skyline at sunset made for a beautiful backdrop for this special occasion.
Growing up, Alina and her family went on a lot of ski vacations and spent most summers along the northwest coast of Michigan. As Alina and Chris’ relationship grew she eventually brought him along on the family trips. He instantly fell in love with the beauty, the nature and calmness of that side of the state.
“We couldn’t imagine celebrating our marriage anywhere else […]”
And Alina always wanted to get married “Up North”. Their priorities were simple: near the water, amazing food and ambiance that felt casual but still sophisticated. They were married at Ciccone Vineyard on Sutton Bay. The venue had an incredible view of the bay and definitely fit the couple’s criteria.
There was rain on the day Alina and Chris had their engagement photo shoot. It rained on the day of their bridal shower. It rained during their bachelor/bachelorette parties. So naturally it rained on their wedding day.
“Things will go wrong!”
The night of their rehearsal dinner, the staff was underprepared for the event and only informed the couple of this as they were on their way to the location. This, plus some other minor set-backs, may seem like too much stress for some people.
“The end result? Chris and I got married. We celebrated starting a new life together with our closest friends and family in a beautiful location that means something to us.”
Moral of the story: everything could go wrong, but at the end of it, you still marry the love of your life.
Alina was six appointments into the gown shopping process when she came to Mimi’s and she was worn out. She was pretty much set on a gown in Chicago, but wanted to exhaust all her options before committing. For this very reason Alina felt that she was “wasting her time” going to this last appointment. Her consultant pulled a gown that to Alina had zero hanger appeal, but when she put it on she was thrown off guard.
“I didn’t want to take it off, but I was still conflicted about the dress I thought was the front-runner.”
Suddenly there was a new top contender. Alina’s consultant encouraged Alina and her mother to take the night to think about it.
“I had dreams of that dress […]”
Alina ended up coming back the next day to try it one more time and as soon as she put it on again, she just knew, this was ‘The One’. The gown was ‘Teresa’ by Hayley Paige, a flowy, chiffon A-line gown with a heavily beaded bodice and cool T-back detail.
“Getting married is an emotional experience […] Be present and celebrate every little moment.”