Once Upon a Dream: The Union of Kelsey & James at Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
- Author: Natali Grace Levine
- Wedding date: 07/14/2023
- City: Chicago
Let's dive into Kelsey and James' sweet love story. These two have been inseparable since they met, and their bond only grew stronger over the years. But the real kicker? James’ surprise proposal in Captiva, Florida. Picture this: a bike ride across the island, a scrumptious lunch, and then James popping the question with their pup Honey sporting a scarf saying, “My humans are getting married.” Pure magic, right?
“I was over the moon!! We walked into the house and my family had “going to the chapel” blaring on the speaker and we all drank champagne and celebrated at the beach together while the sunset,” recalls Kelsey. “It was such a PERFECT day. Jimmy knows how much my family means to me, so proposing in a way that was still private for him and me, but being able to have those that I love the most there to celebrate with after was so considerate and special. It was a day and trip I will never forget.”
Kelsey and James' big day was a pure fairy tale. Picture 190 guests, a year of planning, and a setting that screams "Italian garden wedding" right in Vernon Hills. The Cuneo Mansion and Gardens was their slice of Italy, combining classic elegance with stunning garden vibes.
“We could get everything we wanted, but without flying to another county. The grounds and gardens are gorgeous and the architecture of the mansion is stunning,” shares the bride.
Rise and shine! The wedding day kicked off with Kelsey designing all the stationery herself on Canva, spiced up with a custom wedding crest from Etsy. Talk about DIY goals!
And those rings? Timeless gold bands with a personal touch of Roman numeral engravings. “My mother, and grandmother had a thicker gold band for her wedding band so it only seemed fitting for me to do the same. Not only will it always be a classic ring, but it is also sentimental to have the same style as my favorite role models,” Kelsey stated.
Kelsey rocked a Paloma Blanca dress that screamed elegance. Found at Volles Bridal & Boutique, this gown was a clean, embellishment-free masterpiece. Kelsey shares, “I knew I wanted something classic from the start but wasn’t exactly sure of the style. However, when I started trying on clean dressing with no embellishment or lace, I knew this was the look I was going for! It just is so elegant and timeless!”
Her look was complemented by a cathedral veil, pearl-embellished kitten heels, and an all-white rose bouquet from Trellis Flowers, and voila! Bridal perfection.
The bridal party looked stunning in their floor-length and dusty blue Azazie dresses. “They were each able to pick the style they felt the most comfortable in,” says Kelsey, “I love the mixed dresses look! I feel it just looks so more elevated than having everyone matchy-matchy!”
They all got ready at an Airbnb in Libertyville but took photos at the Cuneo Mansion. “There are so many rooms for photos! We did some in the music room with the painted ceilings, and one of my other absolute favorites is an all-gold bathroom upstairs! It’s gorgeous!!” recalls the bride.
Meanwhile, James suited up in a sleek Calvin Klein tuxedo, surrounded by his closest pals. His getting-ready moments were filled with laughter, anticipation, and maybe a little bit of nerves.
Ah, the first look! On the terrace overlooking the gardens, emotions ran high. James, seeing Kelsey in her bridal glory, couldn’t hold back tears. “It was so so so sweet!” says Kelsey.
They did private vows in this intimate setting, as well. “I think that was my favorite mom from the whole entire day. It was just so special to have that moment, just us two, filled with so much emotion and love,” Kelsey shares. Absolute heart-melters!
Their ceremony, held in the mansion's formal gardens, was straight out of a dream. Kelsey, walking down the aisle to “Canon in D,” left everyone, especially James, in awe. A moment frozen in time, truly unforgettable. Kelsey shares her favorite moment, “Seeing Jimmy get emotional as I walked down with my Dad was truly a moment I will never ever forget.”
The Cuneo Mansion was a vision in dusty blue and gold, with touches of white, black, and greenery. Personalized with their wedding crest, the venue was a perfect blend of classic and modern vibes.
And then came the reception! Their first dance to Andy Grammar’s “I Am Yours” was a room silencer. Everyone basked in the glow of their love, dancing the night away, celebrating the beginning of Kelsey and James' forever.