previously known as iron and honey

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool Intimate Chicago Wedding


March 23, 2022

While I love the hustle & bustle of the city, there are moments where it’s almost necessary to step outside. Outside of the business of the city and into a more peaceful and serene area. For Nikki and Dan, something small and a venue filled with a lot of greenery was important to them. They wanted something that could bring together their families in a celebration of marriage and that is exactly what happened. This is their love story at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool for their intimate Chicago wedding.

The Love Story

Nikki and Dan met in a chemistry class and instantly became friends. After about a year or so, they planned a trip to Istanbul where they soon realized they were more than friends while walking around the old city in the snow. One day in 2018 while wandering around the french quarter in New Orleans with their friends, they were all having so much fun that Dan decided he wanted to propose. Spontaneous and excited the two were overjoyed and of course… Nikki said yes!

Nikki and Dan chose to elope for a few different reasons. In the words of Nikki & Dan, they chose to “reverse elope”. Meaning they went to their families rather than going elsewhere. Actually, the pandemic was a big inspiration in their decision to elope. They felt like planning a big traditional wedding felt like too much work. Also, the distance that they all experienced due to the panoramic really made it clear what they valued most, which was to be around people they love. With all of that in mind, every other decision after that came easily.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool Intimate Chicago Wedding

I met up with Nikki and Dan at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool which is located in the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The AC Lily Pool is a hidden garden where you are surrounded by nothing but gorgeous trees and the sound of birds singing and waterfalls. It truly is a hidden oasis and an escape from all of the business that is the city and is definitely a fan favorite for many couples for this reason. It’s one of those hidden Chicago gems and is definitely a must if you’re looking for an amazing location in Chicago for an intimate wedding/elopement. At the time of their wedding, Nikki and Dan were faced with much uncertainty, especially with the condition of the world at the time. They chose this location specifically because of its peacefulness and the fact that it was outdoors (thank you pandemonium).

Their ceremony was small & intimate which led to a lot more intentional and meaningful conversations. Vows were exchanged and before we knew it the two were officially husband & wife. We celebrated their new marriage with some champagne toasts (some more excited than others LOL) and spending time catching up. The pressures of a traditional wedding were gone out the window and instead, we spent the day creating memories & reminiscing on good times.

After the ceremony, I stole Nikki and Dan away to take some portraits around the Lily Pool. Nikki had this gorgeous bouquet from Fleur Chicago that was so insanely gorgeous, I couldn’t stand it. It was the perfect pop of color against all of the gorgeous greenery surrounding them. Nikki and Dan also had the best dynamic and proved to be true soulmates. The entire day they spent laughing, smiling, and being true to themselves which was the best time.

Wedding Reception at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba

After the ceremony, we packed up our things and headed to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for the reception! At Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, they serve Spanish cuisine that is absolutely divine. Their menu is designed to be very interactive with one another, since they mainly serve shareable dishes. My mouth is watering just thinking about all of the delicious food! We were met with all of Nikki and Dan’s wedding guests and ended the night with good food and good company. It was the perfect way to end their intimate wedding, and I feel so honored & humbled to have been given the opportunity to capture such memories.

Elopement Advice:

If you’re looking to have a small & intimate wedding or in the middle of planning your elopement, take some friendly advice from our lovely couple:

“Do it! A low-stress wedding is good for the soul; my motto was if it stresses me out, I don’t need it- I think my partner lives by this motto so he just did his thing while planning”

Oh and if you loved this Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool Intimate Chicago Wedding, then you’re going to love this Intimate Fall Chicago Wedding!

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Photography: Iron + Honey Photography

Bridal Gown: Maison Lemoine

Jewelry: We Dream in Colour 

Hair Pins: BHLDN

Florist: Fleur Chicago

Caterer: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba

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