Joy & Toby’s Stylish and Laid-back Snowy Day Wedding


chicago cultural center winter wedding

Joy and Toby got married on a cold winter day in Chicago a few months back. Minus all the fuss that comes with planning large-scale weddings, they had cozy civil ceremony at the Chicago Cultural Center surrounded by family and close friends. The venue also proved to be a fantastic photo spot as evidenced by their gorgeous portraits against the beautiful artworks in the gallery and in the snow-covered park outside. In its no-frills  simplicity the relaxed atmosphere brought out genuine expressions & raw emotions, highlighting the one thing important to the couple — making a lifetime commitment of love.

We have Mark Trela Photography to thank for the beautiful photos and here he is to provide an overview of what went on that day:

Their wedding took place during early winter storm in Chicago, yet both Joy and Toby were gleaming with excitement, full of energy and ready to take on Chicago’s winter in their snow boots. With the wind blowing we tromped through the snow-covered Millennium Park and documented their love through pictures.

May this gallery inspire your readers to go out and not to be afraid to play in the snow on their wedding day. Winter can be a wonderful time to tie the knot especially in the amazing city of Chicago. The snow can also be a perfect backdrop for photographs and makes the love story very memorable.

chicago cultural center winter wedding

mark-trela-photography-chicago-civil-winter-wedding-0031

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

Isn’t this series of photos just amazing? Before I share the rest, I’d like you to meet lovely couple Joy and Toby:

Joy & I are both geography graduates, Joy from Cleveland Ohio, Toby from Sussex England. We met at a company which makes maps.

In retrospect, our shared enjoyment of obscure 60s funk, craft beers, and endurance athletics meant it was quite likely we were a good match. We got ‘House-Married’ earlier in 2013 and Toby proposed during a week-long hiking trip through Isle Royale National Park later that summer.

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

Joy & Toby on why they chose to have a civil ceremony -

We realised three things:
1. We didn’t want to make too much fuss. According to family legend, Toby’s parents had a civil ceremony and invited the guy and his dog who were waiting outside to be witnesses.
2. The after-party is the best part of any wedding, the getting married bit is a bit of a chore for most attendees, and
3. People generally don’t need more big parties to go to in December.

So, we decided to hold a civil ceremony for family and the friends-who-might-as-well-be-family (ie. the only people who really enjoy the ceremony anyway) The party was pushed off until the spring/summer when it would be more pleasant for everyone.

Chicago Cultural Center holds once-monthly civil ceremonies which sounded a little more special than going to the basement of City Hall. They allow 20 guests maximum, which turned out to be a very good number.

Obviously, we followed the wedding ceremony with a nice lunch. All attendees deserve a treat, see point 2.

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

chicago cultural center winter wedding

Advice from the newlyweds:

Hire a good photographer. We would highly recommend Marek and Maggie Trela.

It’s your life-event, so if you want to go nuts, go nuts! Ultimately, the most important thing on wedding day is signing that bit of paper and legally committing yourself to the love-of-your-life. Everything else is extravagance and a potential distraction from enjoying the special day with the person you’ve committed too.

chicago cultural center winter wedding

Thank you Mark for sending your stunning photos my way, and congratulations Joy and Toby! I sincerely wish you a lifetime of married bliss. :)

Photographer: Mark Trela Photography
Wedding Ceremony: Chicago Cultural Center
Wedding Reception: Tavern at the Park
Bride’s Dress: Nicole Miller
Bride’s Coat & Shoes: Calvin Klein
Bride’s Bouquet: Fleur, 3149 Logan Square, Chicago
Bride’s Hair: Joy’s mom
Groom’s Suit: Jos A Banks
Groom’s Shoes: Aldo
Groom’s Coat: Tommy Hilfiger
Groom’s snow shoes: Sports Authority :)

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2 Comments

  1. Great article of a beautiful wedding. Mark and his partner took such beautiful photos that I still get misty-eyed when I see them. And he is such a nice guy.

    By the way, it wasn’t the guy outside, it was the grave-digger (a friend) and another friend we met outside with her dog who witnessed our wedding. BUT if Mark had been available I wish he could have worked his magic for us.

  2. Some great tender poses in these photographs. Love the whole unformal feel to the day, great stuff.

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