Night Wedding at Salvage One in Chicago // Your Wedding, Your Way

Dana and Alex actually wed five years ago in Ireland with a civil ceremony, but they dreamed of a “real” wedding so all of their family could meet and celebrate together. But, as with many couples, COVID busted in and delayed their vision by two years since they had so many traveling from Europe. Given the vision behind the wedding, they didn’t want to sacrifice a thing, and the wait was more than worth it! Cue all the happy tears for this long-awaited occasion! Believe it or not, a night wedding can be just as spectacular as a sunny daytime ceremony. Hope you enjoy a peek inside this night wedding at Salvage One in Chicago!

The thing I loved most about Dana and Alex’s wedding is that they wholeheartedly and unapologetically did everything their way. They didn’t have a traditional wedding party (all of their guests were the wedding party!). Instead of a first look, they loved the anticipation of getting ready separately (although they did see each other in PJs before getting dressed).

Dana and Alex prioritized their experience with loved ones above all else. In addition to hiring yours truly, they went old school and placed disposable cameras throughout the reception venue for guests to use.

To creatively capture those priceless moments, they used a lip-shaped FêteFone for their audio guest book. Guests could leave heartfelt or silly messages for them to play back for years to come. Being able to hear your loved ones speak personal message—especially if they live an ocean apart—is an extra special gift.

You Do You, Boo! // How to Get Married Your Way

This isn’t fast food. You really can have it your way! Here are my top 5 tips for doing your wedding your way.

Pick a venue you love.

The venue sets the stage and creates the ambiance of the day. Dana and Alex are an eclectic, creative couple, so this industrial venue provided the perfect backdrop for their night wedding. Salvage One is so unique and we used it everywhere in their portraits. Keeping with the modern industrial look, the vintage warehouse is beautifully polished and has great lighting. It was a stormy day so we did all of their portraits indoors without sacrificing portrait quality. I’m in love with this cool editorial look, and their décor enhanced that even more!

Prioritize what’s most important to you.

Dana and Alex have a very close crew of loved ones, and with people coming in from all over, it didn’t make sense to designate a traditional wedding party. Instead, they kept everyone close for an intimate ceremony, and they brought their sweet pup Delilah to stand by their side during the vows. The focus was solely on the two of them as they exchanged vows, and then they got the party started surrounded by their friends and family.

Don’t be afraid to politely say, “No.”

Everyone has opinions, and given the chance, most people are more than happy to offer up those opinions and unsolicited advice. This is your wedding, so feel free to say, “We’re still weighing our options right now. Thank you for thinking of us!” (Or you can find some other way to say, “Thank you, but no thank you.” Most likely, they’re simply trying to show support.)

You run the show.

Let your wedding vendors and professionals know how you envision the day, and ask them how they will help make that happen. (As we wedding photographer, I’ve been known to help redirect overzealous family members or lallygagging wedding participants.) When you choose your vendors, look for quality, but also look for a team who will have your back and see your vision through.

It’s all in the details.

Incorporate pieces of you throughout the day. Maybe you’re a sneakerhead, outdoor enthusiast, world traveler, or art hobbyist. Whatever speaks to you, infuse that into the details of your wedding day. Dana and Alex love to throw it back with all things retro—the venue, the phone guest book, and vintage disco ball all speak to that.

Night Wedding @Salvage One in Chicago

Vendor Team

Photography // @hannawalkowaik
Hair // @hairandlashesbykaedi
Makeup // @kaseysurges.mua
Floral // @elenasgardenevents
Caterer // @heartyboys
Venue // @salvageoneevents
Music/DJ // @toastandjamdjs – Kate
Brides Dress Designer // @viktorandrolfmariage
Bridal Dress Shop // @secondcitybride
Grooms Suit Designer + Shop // @theblacktux
Invitation // @minted
Guest Book // @fetefone
Couple // @dana.lynn + @alex_swan_