TWO SIS­TERS IN LOVE… WITH THE SAME VENUE 156

Inside Weddings - - Features - April 23, 2016 Chicago, Illi­nois | Pho­tographed by Kin­genSmith Oc­to­ber 15, 2016 Chicago, Illi­nois | Pho­tographed by Kin­genSmith

A pair of sis­ters, en­gaged only months apart, both wed in the same ho­tel where they cel­e­brated hol­i­days as chil­dren.

When sis­ters Mag­gie and Amy DiMatteo found them­selves pre­par­ing to tie the knot in 2016, it was only nat­u­ral that they se­lected to host their wed­dings in the same Chicago ho­tel in which their fam­ily spent ev­ery Christ­mas week­end as long as they could re­mem­ber.

Af­ter a dream en­gage­ment dur­ing a he­li­copter tour of Kauai, Hawaii, Mag­gie and fi­ancé Kevin Pren­der­gast could think of no bet­ter place than the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Chicago to start their lives to­gether. “We knew we didn’t want any com­po­nent out­side and we wanted our guests to be able to take a quick el­e­va­tor ride up to their rooms once the party was over,” Mag­gie notes. While the bride took the lead on the ma­jor­ity of the plan­ning, the groom knew where he might be most help­ful. “Mag­gie has far bet­ter taste than I do when it comes to dec­o­ra­tions and mu­sic, but I did en­joy the tast­ings and help­ing pick out the food very much!” Kevin laughs.

MAG­GIE DIMATTEO & KEVIN PREN­DER­GAST

While or­ga­niz­ing her own nup­tials a short time later, Amy found that her groom, Jonathan Saigh, wanted to dive head­first into the process. “He was in­volved in ev­ery de­ci­sion be­sides the dress!” she re­veals. Af­ter meet­ing at a pool party dur­ing grad­u­ate school, the two be­came fast friends. “We both had sig­nif­i­cant others at the time, so there was no pres­sure to im­press,” Jonathan re­calls. Soon, their other re­la­tion­ships ended, al­low­ing them to strike up a ro­mance. Three years later, Jonathan pro­posed while tak­ing a stroll on the beach dur­ing a visit with Amy’s par­ents – though he ad­mits that “af­ter two months of dat­ing, I knew she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with” – just one month af­ter Kevin had popped the ques­tion to her older sis­ter. The pair also agreed on their venue. “The ho­tel was a no-brainer. It’s like a sec­ond home to us,” Amy gushes. “Why not add the best mem­ory of my life to the Rolodex?”

AMY DIMATTEO & JONATHAN SAIGH

“I saw the most beau­ti­ful gown on­line, so I called Dim­i­tra’s Bri­dal Cou­ture,” Mag­gie says. “Sadly, they told me that since it had just de­buted at Bri­dal Fash­ion Week, they wouldn’t have it avail­able for pur­chase un­til af­ter my wed­ding.” Dis­ap­pointed but de­ter­mined, she con­tin­ued to search for “the one” and tried on a slew of pretty gowns. How­ever, her mind was still on that stun­ning, beaded, V-neck en­sem­ble. “I called Dim­i­tra’s again on a whim and begged them to find a way to let me try it on. They pulled some strings and had it sent over from New York, straight off the run­way! They re­ally went above and be­yond for me,” she beams. “Once I put it on, I knew it was my dress.”

When it was time to find her gown, Amy also ven­tured to Dim­i­tra’s Bri­dal Cou­ture. The bride-tobe was set on find­ing a ver­sa­tile out­fit for her big day. “I wanted that big bri­dal skirt, but I didn’t want to have to carry it around all day,” she re­marks. In an ef­fort to cre­ate the per­fect en­sem­ble for her “I dos,” she was able to select the sil­hou­ette of one dress and the vo­lu­mi­nous, de­tach­able over­skirt of an­other and meld them to­gether – pro­duc­ing a ro­man­tic A-line gown with a lace bodice and a sweet­heart neck­line. “It was just per­fect!” Amy muses.

Hope Weis helped the duo cre­ate an idyl­lic at­mos­phere for their vow ex­change. “I wanted it to be warm and in­ti­mate, with noth­ing feel­ing overly cu­rated – even though, in fact, it was planned down to the vo­tive,” Mag­gie affirms. The space was filled with re­flec­tive el­e­ments ac­cented by can­dles of vary­ing heights and op­u­lent chan­de­liers sus­pended over­head, all ac­com­pa­nied by soft light­ing, against a creamy linen back­drop. “I wanted the first time I saw Mag­gie that day to be walk­ing down the aisle, so no ‘first look’ pic­tures,” ex­plains Kevin. “See­ing her en­ter the room was one of the most emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences of my life.”

Opt­ing to hold their ser­vice in a nearby church, Amy and Jonathan elected to keep the dé­cor min­i­mal. “I wanted the beauty of the chapel to shine, so we kept it sim­ple with two dec­o­ra­tive flo­ral pieces at the al­tar,” she tells. Though they were mar­ried in a house of wor­ship, the cou­ple de­sired to in­cor­po­rate a few non­tra­di­tional el­e­ments, in­clud­ing a “first look,” which turned out to be the most spe­cial mo­ment for the groom. “I will never for­get the mo­ment I turned around and saw my bride for the first time,” he smiles. Amy, like Mag­gie, also had her father and mother walk her down the aisle – an as­pect of great im­por­tance to both sis­ters.

Con­tin­u­ing the bliss­ful and cozy vibe from their cer­e­mony, the re­cep­tion ball­room was bathed in neu­tral hues, in­fus­ing a hint of gold ac­cents through­out. “I wanted the flow­ers to feel like my dress, with a lot of tex­ture and depth, so we had three dif­fer­ent heights of cen­ter­pieces in the room,” Mag­gie notes. At­ten­dees en­joyed a sit-down din­ner by can­dle­light, fol­lowed by a slice from the new­ly­weds’ four-tier, choco­late­and-hazel­nut wed­ding cake. “The best!” gushes the bride. The night was topped off with plenty of lively danc­ing. Muses Kevin, “The band put on a tremen­dous per­for­mance which in­cluded chore­ographed vi­o­lin­ists!”

“I wanted peo­ple to feel like they walked into a ro­man­tic dream,” ex­plains Amy of the mo­tif of their cel­e­bra­tion, which show­cased am­ple green­ery with touches of ivory, char­coal, and cream. With both the bride and groom hav­ing di­etary re­stric­tions, they were ex­cited that the venue was able to cre­ate a de­li­cious menu within their bound­aries. “Our close friends are still rav­ing about the food!” ex­claims Jonathan. The cake was de­signed with the dress of the bride in mind, and “the ma­jor­ity of guests still don’t know that it was gluten free,” adds the groom.

MAG­GIE & KEVIN

RE­SOURCES

Beauty

Re­nee Feld­man - hair

Stella Mikhail - makeup

Bri­dal Gown

In­bal Dror

Bri­dal Sa­lon

Dim­i­tra’s Bri­dal Cou­ture Brides­maid Gowns

Jenny Yoo

Cake

Al­liance Patis­serie

Con­sult­ing

Hope Weis Con­sult­ing

Dresser

Car­o­line Shaw for The Wed­ding Dresser

En­ter­tain­ment

Ken Arlen Evo­lu­tion Orches­tra Flo­ral De­sign

HMR De­signs

For­mal­wear

Hugo Boss In­vi­ta­tions/Cal­lig­ra­phy

Han­nah Hand­made

Jewelry

BHLDN

Bur­deen’s Jewelry

Light­ing De­sign

FROST Chicago

Linens

Tai­lored El­e­ments LLC

Mother’s Gown

Stephen Yearick

Pho­tog­ra­phy

Kin­genSmith

Reg­istries

Bloom­ing­dale’s

Sur La Ta­ble

Rentals

Clas­sic Party Rentals

Hall’s Rental

Shoes

Jimmy Choo

Veil

De­bra Shirley for Millinery, Etc. Venue/Ca­ter­ing

Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Chicago

AMY & JONATHAN

RE­SOURCES

Beauty

Re­nee Feld­man - hair

Stella Mikhail - makeup

Bri­dal Gown

Ersa Ate­lier

Bri­dal Sa­lon

Dim­i­tra’s Bri­dal Cou­ture Brides­maid Gowns

Hay­ley Paige

Cake

Elysia Root Cakes

Con­sult­ing

Hope Weis Con­sult­ing

Dresser

Car­o­line Shaw for The Wed­ding Dresser

En­ter­tain­ment

Ken Arlen Evo­lu­tion Orches­tra Flo­ral De­sign

HMR De­signs

For­mal­wear

Ike Be­har

In­vi­ta­tions/Cal­lig­ra­phy

Han­nah Hand­made

Jewelry

The Left Bank Jewelry & Bri­dal Fin­ery

Light­ing De­sign

FROST Chicago

Linens

Tai­lored El­e­ments LLC

Mother’s Gown

Alex Teih Cou­ture

Pho­tog­ra­phy

Kin­genSmith

Reg­istries

Bloom­ing­dale’s; Sur La Ta­ble Rentals

Clas­sic Party Rentals; Hall’s Rental Shoes

Stu­art Weitz­man

Veil

De­bra Shirley for Millinery, Etc. Venues

Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Chicago

Saint James Chapel at the Arch­bishop Quigley Cen­ter Videog­ra­phy

O’Grady Cin­ema

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