Christina and Jonathan grew up down the street from each other, sharing mutual friends and a common interest in their high school theater program. Their love story, however, didn’t begin until they were both 250 miles from home, attending the University of Iowa. Brought together by a mutual friend’s visit to campus, their year-long friendship eventually became something more when Jonathan asked Christina out on their first official date with a pie chart of all the reasons he liked her. “Many highs and lows together over the years— long-distance dating, fun getaways, family illnesses, and the Cubs World Series— have built a strong foundation for our relationship,” Christina explained. “We are truly each other’s best friend.”
When it came time to plan a wedding, Christina and Jonathan knew it had to take place in Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago was a natural choice for their wedding. The pair regularly used the Institute’s iconic lions as their meeting spot in the city and loved exploring the new exhibits. Once Jonathan proposed in front of Renoir’s “Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando,” it was clear this was the spot to celebrate the beginning of their new life together as a married couple.
Their wedding was full of personal and symbolic details: Christina’s traditional Vietnamese ao dai, Jonathan’s “Starry Night” socks, and a touching Vietnamese tea ceremony with their families. The officiant created a beautiful metaphor for marriage from the “Acrobats” painting Jonathan proposed in front of, and the couple gave guests a chocolate orange as a favor in reference to the painting and its significance. In the midst of all the excitement, Christina and Jonathan took the time to take some photos on the Nichols Bridge and enjoy a few moments of quiet together with a beautiful backdrop. Another magical wedding day memory for the pair? Having the Art Institute all to themselves and walking through the building together in the dark.
Photography: Gold Grid Studios
Venue: Art Institute of Chicago
Officiant: Rev. Anne Styx of The Rev for Whatev
Event Planner: Lionhearted Events
Rings: Steven’s Jewelers
Bride’s Gown: Thai Nguyen Atelier
Bride’s Shoes: Prada
Makeup: Tera Weeks of Chanel
Groomsmen’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Brideside
Floral & Décor: Edwards Florist of Winnetka
Cake & Sweets: Molly’s Cupcakes
Lighting & Photobooth: Magic Uplighting