The absence of the bride’s father and the groom’s mother was remembered and symbolized by charms on the bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere. But when Christina’s mom took the microphone to share her blessings with the newly betrothed couple, that absence was much more pronounced. You see, Terry Bilyk knew he wouldn’t be around to walk his little girl down the aisle, so he recorded a message to be played on her wedding day. For one minute, we heard his voice– his blessings on her marriage, his hopes for the couple’s future, and all of his love from beyond. The moment was surreal, even as someone who never met him. So powerful. So magical. That was his gift to his only daughter on her wedding day. And what a beautiful gift it was.
Matt and Christina were joined in marriage on April 14, 2018, at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois. The ceremony and reception were hosted indoors and highlighted a number of rustic touches, with Ukranian heritage and memories of loved ones throughout. Matt and Christina chose to include a first look, complete with a Guinness for each of them. They met three years ago over a Guinness, so it came as no surprise when they chose to incorporate this into their wedding portraits.
Given the bride’s Ukranian heritage, the couple incorporated unique touches to their wedding day festivities. The bride wore a Ukranian embroidered belt, while the groom donned a traditional embroidered Ukranian shirt. A korovai was present throughout the day and presented to the couple at the reception. (For more information on this tradition, see this link.) In presenting the korovai, the bride’s mother and grandmother and the groom’s father and step-mother held the wedding bread and bestowed their blessings on the newly betrothed couple.
Enjoy some of my favorites from the Wassenhove’s special day! And all my hugs to this fun, sweet couple!