Heather and Randy's Intimate Wedding at Cloister in the Woods

When we met with Heather and Randy at The Sip for our initial meeting we knew they would be an awesome couple to work with; totally laid back and so sweet together. We had great conversation and great vibes. It was also so fun for Jamie to discover that she and Heather both grew up in Calumet City and knew a lot of the same people. (Shout out to our Cal City Peeps!)

Their intimate ceremony and reception was held at Cloister in the Woods with close friends and family surrounding them. When asked to describe her wedding style in three words, Heather said…

“Lavender, Light & Love”

“I chose lavender and sage because of a dream I had about walking in a field of lavender with the sun shining on me. I was so happy in the dream that I thought I'd incorporate it into my planning.”

Tell us about how and where you met?

“We met at work at the University of Chicago while taking a break on a sunny afternoon. He made me laugh so much that day that I made sure to take breaks at the same time every day in the hopes of seeing him out there. We discovered that we were both single parents with kids the same age and that we'd nearly crossed paths for years before we met.”

What is your favorite way to spend time together? 

“We love to discover old objects at local resale shops and refurnish them. We also love traveling to new places and going to see live music when we have a chance.”

Bride - how did you know HE was THE ONE?

“I showed him how we could get up to the roof of our building to see the University and Chicago skyline. We had to climb a small ladder, and instead of climbing up there and taking in the view, he turned back to me and extended his hand. It was really considerate, and my heart just knew.”

Groom - how did you know SHE was THE ONE?

“Heather and I were talking on the roof and she tied her hair back while we were talking and she said "You're really shy aren't you?" and before I could respond, she put her hands on the sides of my face and kissed me. I didn't know if she really liked me until that kiss and that's when I knew.”


“he turned back to me and extended his hand. It was really considerate, and my heart just knew.”

-Mrs. Jones


“She put her hands on the sides of my face and kissed me. I didn't know if she really liked me until that kiss and that's when I knew.”

-Mr. Jones

The Proposal:

“I spent months looking for a ring, and when I finally found the perfect one, I spent another few months overthinking the perfect way to propose. Eventually (eight months later), I arranged an overnight trip to New Buffalo, MI. A few minutes after getting to the hotel room (the Grand Harbor Resort), there was a knock on the door. It was a bellhop with a "romance basket" - champagne, chocolates, cheeses, and fruits. While Heather sipped champagne and looked out the window at the harbor, I pulled out the ring and got down on one knee. When she turned around, I asked her to marry me. She was shocked because she hadn't expected it at all. Neither of us cried though - we were too giddy.”

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Bridal Party:

On the Groom's side -” My son Nolan, my best friends John Baldwin, John Gaddy and Paul Pruzinski. I chose them because they have been there for me during important times in my life and I wanted them to be there for this new adventure that Heather and I have embarked on together.”

On the Bride's side - “My daughter, Sophia; Randy's sister, Crystal; my best friend from third grade, Amy; and my Maid of Honor was my older sister, Kathy. I chose Kathy because she has always been my rock throughout my life. She had hoped for years that I would find a guy like Randy and is so happy for us.”

All of our friends and family helped tremendously - especially my brother Rick and his husband Nick. Rick was our Officiant, and Nick has a background planning extravagant Mardi Gras balls in New Orleans. So, once they arrived from New Orleans, I let them manage the details of the rehearsal and the ceremony. Nick also put together the favors and kept things moving throughout the day. My best friend Amy and her husband Casey also helped tremendously, especially with cleaning up at the end of the night.”

Please share your Vendors with us!

  1. Rings: The custom engagement ring was purchased online from James Allen. The wedding bands were from James and Sons in Highland, IN. They were amazing and even cleaned the engagement ring right before the wedding.

  2. Gowns: David's Bridal for the wedding and bridesmaids dresses. My Mom actually picked out the wedding dress. I didn't think I'd like it, but once it was on and I realized IT HAD POCKETS, I was sold. I chose the bridesmaid dresses with some of my bridesmaids because I liked the style and because they assured me that the dresses were comfortable. That was important to me because I knew it would be a long day.

  3. Suits: Black Tie Formalwear in South Holland. They were amazing, everyone was nice and really knew how to fit everyone in the groom's party.

  4. Flowers: Belles and Thistles. They had simple wildflowers and the table pieces were not over the top. Lavender and purple roses, they were beautiful.

  5. DJ: Adam Piendl was our DJ, he was referred from a friend and was great to work with.

  6. Makeup: Emily Dupre (Recommended from Carmen and Jamie)

  7. Hair: Muse Parlor for hair - Mary Jane did an amazing job

  8. Alterations: Thread Diva in Highland did the alterations and they were awesome.

Were there any challenges planning your wedding?

“We had a few months to plan the wedding. Most helpful thing was to talk to people who have been through it, having a project management background and Pinterest. Finding good vendors was also key to making things go smoothly and finding vendors that worked well with each other.”

What piece of advice would you pass on to future brides and grooms?

It is ultimately your day, so don't let family politics and small missteps throw you off. At some point in your marriage, you can look back and draw on that love from everyone on your special day to get you through the tough times.”

What made you choose Carmen & Jamie as your wedding photographers? 

“For one, Jamie and I grew up in the same area, so I knew right away that she'd take care of us - haha. But I researched photographers for months and months and came across the Tales of a Dream portfolio. I do some graphic design, and I know what I like. And I loved their work! I contacted them and we met for coffee and talked for a long time. We had such a great time that we didn't even interview anyone else.”

Dear Heather and Randy,

We had a wonderful time spending the day with you! Your family and friends were all so welcoming, warm and fun! We could really feel the love surrounding you on that day. May you carry that love with you on your journey together as a new family. We wish you all the happiness in the world!

Love, Jamie & Carmen

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