Wined and Wed

Ilya and Nicole met at a University of Chicago seminar on the Soviet Union and instantly connected. “He’s simply the easiest person to be around,” Nicole said. “It felt completely natural.” So natural, in fact, that the couple got engaged after being together for only four months.

Nicole married Ilya in the University Club of Chicago Library – the very same place where he proposed. The intimate walls of books and wood-paneled décor meshed flawlessly with their “Wine in the Wilderness” theme, surrounding the couple and their guests in a cozy blur of peach, deep red, and pale pink. Later that night, vintage wine crates and bottles were transformed into elegantly rustic centerpieces at their Cathedral Hall reception.

Ilya and Nicole’s wedding honored their beautifully varied heritage by borrowing from a variety of cultural and religious traditions. In a nod to Ilya’s Jewish and Russian background, Nicole circled him three times during the ceremony and read her vows in Russian. At the end of the ceremony, the couple “jumped the broom” as an homage to her African-American roots.

Nicole’s favorite memory? “When all of my sorority sisters surrounded me and sang our traditional wedding song. I’d sung that song so many times before, but it was amazing to have it sung to me!” As for Ilya, his favorite memory from the wedding was taking Nicole’s shaking hand in his after she walked down the aisle.

By: Christina Oddo

The University Club Of Chicago


Ceremony: The University Club Of Chicago Library Reception: The University Club Of Chicago – Cathedral Hall Photography: Studio This Is Officiant: Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld Wedding Consultant: Allen/Williams Events Bride’s Ceremony Gown: Victor Harper Couture Bride’s Reception Gown: Amsale Hair: Elizabeth Adam Salon And Day Spa Makeup: Solomon Arnold Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Macy’s Formalwear: Macy’s Stationery: Allen/Williams Events Floral: Cattleya Bridal & Floral Design Catering: The University Club Of Chicago Entertainment: Style Matters DJs Cake: The University Club Of Chicago

Photography By: