“Laura + Anuj first met as baristas in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Over the past years of friendship, their fondness for each other bloomed into a sweet romance. Newly engaged, the couple tripped out to California for a Pacific Coast tour as a respite from work and wedding planning. Taking in a little Hollywood – as well as rich craggy tide pools and leisurely, avocado and citrus-laden bungalow brunches with local friends – they found joy in a barefoot break from Chicago’s intense and long lasting 2014 winter.” – Spark + Tumble Photography
How did you find your photographer?
“Lisa of Spark + Tumble actually met my sister at a writing conference about 13 years ago. Introductions were made and we have been fast friends ever since. I have been the lucky recipient of many beautiful pictures through the years so the decision to have her do the photography was a simple one. As the engagement session shows, she can make the simplest moments looks stunning…
What are you DIY-ing for your wedding?
..The DIY elements of my wedding luckily will be a community effort. I am always looking for more ways to include DIY but here are a few things that won’t come through traditional wedding hubs. Stephen, one of the groomsmen and father of my daughter, is going to do some artwork for the save the date cards. Dena, a bridesmaid, will use her skills as an architect to design invitations and other paper products. I am hoping to design and sew bridesmaid dresses from Indian fabric with modern silhouettes (designer feel, hopefully less cost) and use pieces of the same fabrics to make boutonnieres for the groomsmen. And since I love thrift stores, I am giving myself plenty of time to collect found objects for the tables…
What are you looking forward to the most?
..Anuj and I come from different worlds. They both have beautiful traditions and ways of communicating. I am excited to see how well we are able to meld the two in a way that honors and celebrates and makes sense to all of our guests. We are getting married at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. It is set in a park next to Lake Michigan with a tree-lined drive to the front door, floor to ceiling window, and vintage details that make the big space feel nuanced and interesting. The outside space will allow us to have a baraat, where the groom is brought in by horse following a parade of his family. I am excited to see how my friends and family react to such a spectacle. We are bucking lots of traditions, so we also decided to forgo the cake and make s’mores instead. Aside from the fact that they are one of my favorite desserts, it will be fun to share this nostalgic treat with his family as an example of my family’s fire-side traditions. The plans that feel like they will tell the story of us to a bifurcated group are the most exciting. I will know that we’ve succeeded if there are lots of intermingled smiles on the day of the wedding.” – Laura, the bride-to-be