"Ever Thine, Ever Mine"
a styled love story
Set in a midwinter wood, browned and deadened by the cold, a rich and vibrant jewel tone palette is used to warm up the space and breathe life into everything around these lovers. Ancient viking symbolism and tradition are thoughtfully infused throughout their modern day celebration. Opulent natural wood feasting tables overflowing with loose textural floral arrangements, a sea of dripping candles and richly colored fruit, gentle highland creatures and a curated wardrobe paint an immersive & exquisite scene for this love story.
We styled Maddy, our wintery bohemian bride, in a long sleeve high neck chantilly lace fit-n-flare gown designed by Eddy K, elegantly paired with a regal lace floor length cape. Her intricately braided hairstyle is a tribute to viking warrior women. And for extra warmth in the snowy forest, a faux fur shawl was draped over her shoulders. Niko, our gallant nordic groom, wore a 1970s stand collar cable sweater with big bold wood buttons and modern slim fit gray flannels. The outfit was completed with a perfectly appointed ascot ~ 80s Christian Dior paisley silk. And to take it way, way back a 1920s raccoon fur coat. Hair was styled in an intentionally loose updo, telling the story of a wild spirited lover.
A binding ceremony is performed under a mahogany arch dripping with monochromatic fabric and a vintage bronze chandelier. As night falls, the couple applies face paint and intentions are sealed with their rendition of a Nordic "Ember" ceremony, as the newlywed lovers ceremoniously burn their vows and dance wildly together amongst the flames.
Note from Maddy (bride): "Niko and I met at the gym he worked at. I was a frequent member, and he had been training someone at the time we had crossed paths. I was smitten with him the second I saw him, but was determined not to let him know that. As it happened, we were both to be traveling within a month of meeting each other, him to Thailand and myself to the USVI. He would be gone for a month, which I agonized over. We messaged back and forth, i tried to read into his texts as flirting so that I could broach being flirtatious myself. When he got back, and I mean the very day he got back from Thailand, we went and got coffee. We sat and doodled on a bench in a coffee shop, and I suggested we go on a walk in a nearby forest preserve. It was late spring, still somewhat chilly, but buds of green tipped each branch. It was mostly quiet on that walk. I wanted to know everything about him, but avoided being too aggressive. After that day, we kept seeing each other. Four years later, and we really haven’t gone two weeks without each other. This shoot was really interesting for us, not only the theme and concept but how close to home it was for both of us. I live in Chicago, and so has Niko. When we were told it would be at Ryerson forest preserve, I thought of how I’d spent most of my childhood running through that forest. I’d even brought Niko with me on a few dates. Two months before the shoot, Niko was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was on his second or third treatment during the time of the shoot. Being together for this shoot symbolized how much we’ve been there for each other. To hold each other and walk through the cold winter landscape, it felt like any other day. It felt nice to be able to honor each other like this, to see the other all made up. I’ve always seen Niko as my partner, as someone I hold a deep love and respect for. This shoot felt like a recognition of that love, of the times we’ve been there for each other and held each other. Through everything, we’ve always come through together, lifting each other up and taking care of each other."
King & Opal (Photography & Wardrobe Styling) Ashley Nicole Events Inc (Planning) Xo Design Co (Floral + Decor) Delish Cakes (cake) Minted Weddings (Invitations & Menus) Mariefel Westa (Hair) Adrianna Ghilarducci (Makeup) Love Theory Bridal Shop (Bridal Gown) Richard's Fabulous Finds (Menswear) Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods (Venue) Northern Decor (rentals) Marquee Event Rentals Chicago (rentals) Nick Faldstein (videography) Nikolas Lapelusa (groom) Madelyn Eve Hughes (bride)