Ladies and Gentlemen, for the first time on this blog: Mrs. Melissa Dowell!


My wedding with Jordan has been by far my favorite environment to co-create. I say co-create because Jordan was in every decision and every build project. He was with me every step of the way. Future grooms, i urge you, do not be passive grooms. Be in it with your bride.

[steps off soapbox]

One of the first things Jordan and I did was sit down and decide what we wanted our wedding to be about...what would be the driving theme or words that would be communicated. We decided on Story. Honor. Charm. We wanted our wedding to tell both our story and the story of Christ and His bride. We wanted our guests to see us and our story, to see Christ and the story He's writing for us and for all of us. We also wanted our wedding to honor those who helped shape our story. we wanted every guest to feel recognized and thanked. We wanted our guests to feel noticed and loved. Finally we wanted our wedding to be charming. we wanted it to make people smile. If those things happened, we would be satisfied.

Inspired by the sunrise we watched on the day we got engaged, we chose coral, charcoal, peach, and light grey as our wedding colors. We did away with many of the traditional wedding formalities and created decor, chose attire, and programmed elements that felt like us, that made us smile.



Choosing a dress has always been a dream of mine. I've been sneaking wedding magazines since the college. It was difficult to decide which direction to go with since I had 8 years of favorite styles to choose from. I decided the best way to narrow it down was to pretend I'll have 5 more weddings to Jordan in my life and I'll have opportunities to try other styles then. For now, I feel like I couldn't have picked a more beautiful dress for this wedding.

luella dress by BHLDN, necklace by Anthropologie

luella dress by BHLDN, necklace by Anthropologie

As i mentioned, Jordan is crazy talented at making beautiful things. He tied the fly fishing boutonnieres and made the reception centerpieces.

suit by Theory; shirt/vest by Calvin Klein

suit by Theory; shirt/vest by Calvin Klein

We also have the privilege of being surrounded by the most amazingly creative people. We're so honored to call them friends.

Our friend Aaron designed our invitations and programs:


Jordan's sister, Adrienne, did my hair and makeup:


Our friend sylvia handmade most of the decorations at our ceremony and reception:


My made of honor (and lifetime best friend) Jessica handmade the bouquets out of fabric:


Our friend and one of Chicago's best musicians, chris, played our ceremony and reception along with a killer jazz band:


And our new friends tyler and christina captured every detail of the day with the most beautiful photos i've ever seen:


The day could not have been more beautiful. God answered every prayer with perfect temperatures and that kind of sunshine that makes you feel alive. The ceremony was beautiful and funny and sincere and incredibly meaningful thanks to our friend/pastor/boss/ Jon.


The reception at Rose Angelis featured some of the best italian food in Chicago. To highlight the "honor" portion of our wedding, our centerpieces feature photos of each guest with me and/or Jordan with a handwritten note to each of them thanking them for the role they played in our lives. It was our favorite part of prepping for the wedding.



The number one thing I heard about the wedding was, "it's so you guys." I couldn't be more thankful.


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Posted in Thoughts From Melissa.