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Ashley DeBoer & Joel Garrett

May 10, 2014 | Loft on Lake

The couple shares a moment with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop.

The Couple
What started as a failed setup of afterwork drinks by Ashley’s twin sister turned into a date with destiny, when Joel stepped in to swoop Ashley off her feet. That night of dancing led to a summer of dating, and the relationship continued as the couple finished college. After two years of living together post-grad, Joel surprised Ashley with a romantic proposal over a Christmas dinner at Roy’s restaurant. “He had been planning the perfect day for months,” says Ashley. “My family came out from around a corner just as I was presented with a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and the words ‘Ashley, will you marry me?’ written out in chocolate.”

The Details
After the couple said “I do,” guests were served Champagne cocktails and escorted to Loft on Lake’s Grand Loft for the festivities, where they dined on a healthy dinner of fresh seafood and veggies. “It was important to us to serve food that reflected our lifestyle,” says Ashley.

The Party
From the couple’s choreographed first dance to signature cocktails commemorating their departed grandmothers, the reception was full of personal touches. After the reception, the crowd headed outside to a tented afterparty complete with a cigar bar, comfy lounge seating and late-night snacks like pizza squares, fish tacos and Glazed & Infused donuts.

What We Learned
“One of our favorite things leading up to the wedding was taking dance lessons together. But when I put my wedding dress on, I realized it was too tight to do the dance as we had practiced, so we had to ad-lib a bit. You just have to have fun with it,” says Ashley.

The Honeymoon
Ashley and Joel departed their wedding via Lyft, then headed on a romantic, and relaxing, honeymoon to the Dominican Republic.

WEDDING RESOURCES
Decor Deborah Weisenhaus, Art of Imagination
Flowers Juliet Tan, Juliet Tan Floral Design
Bridal Gown Allure Bridals, Crystal Bride
Groom’s Tux Vera Wang
Wedding Rings Custom-designed by Berj Kouyoumjian, Berj Kouyoumjian Jewelry, Los Angeles
Invitations The Paper Merchant
Catering Ted Grady, J and L Catering
Cake Luscious Layers Bakery
DJ Dustin Harris, Style Matters
Favors Namesake Garrett Popcorn, Chicago Mix
Linen Rentals Windy City Linen
Something Borrowed The bride’s jewelry belonged to her mother.