Featured Wedding: Shawn & Stephanie from Chicago’s Jai Girard


Many thanks to the wonderful photographer Jai Girard for sharing this featured wedding with us – fabulous as always!

Stephanie & Shawn met in December 2008 through an online dating service and spent hours talking on the phone, prior to meeting in person. “After meeting and hitting it off right way, we realized that we had the same New Years Eve plans, with mutual friends.

It was the beginning of something special …”

Shawn romantically planned the engagement. After a terrible flood in their apartment, that had them living in a hotel for weeks, he decided to take Stephanie away for a couple days to relax. Since it was also her birthday weekend, she did not think twice about the getaway. She was presented with a certificate that only told her what to bring and a few details about the weekend.

As Shawn drove, after “lots of questions,” he finally caved and told her they were going to Kohler, Wisconsin. Once they arrived at the American Club, they found out that their room was “not ready.” The hotel suggested the couple walk around the beautiful gardens that surround the hotel. Again, she did not think twice about this. As Shawn began to talk to her, Stephanie quickly began to realize what was happening. Then, Shawn was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring Stephanie had ever seen.

After making many phone calls, their room miraculously became “available.” The hotel was in on the whole thing and they made the couple’s stay one to remember. From the upgraded room, champagne, strawberries, spa treatments and room service, October 9, 2010 will be a day never forgetten!

The couple chose strictlyweddings.com’s Chicago partner the Ritz-Carlton for their wedding venue. “We knew we wanted a traditional fall wedding in downtown Chicago. As Shawn is from out of state, we wanted our wedding guests to enjoy the beautiful city of Chicago while in town. After visiting several venues, we fell in love with the Ritz-Carlton for many reasons. We loved that the ballroom wing is private and hotel guests cannot roam the area. We also loved the way the curtains in the ballroom were closed and then miraculously open when it gets dark revealing our beautiful city. Everyone was so accommodating, the food was outstanding and they could not have been more willing to please.

Her family owns the florist they used, Swansons Blossom Shop. “It was always their dream to provide the decor for my dream wedding. They were able to make my dream a reality and created the most exquisite all rose Chuppah unlike anything I had every seen!”

“While our wedding day was picture perfect, there are two special moments that stand out in my mind. The first happened while I was getting ready in my bridal suite. Once I was dressed, my Dad came in to see me for the first time. The look on his face, seeing his little girl in her wedding dress, was a moment that meant so much to me. I can still remember his expression and emotion upon seeing me for the first time!”

“The second memory that will hold a place in my heart forever was seeing Shawn for the first time. It was a beautiful day and I walked across the street to a beautiful and peaceful park. Standing in front of me, with his back turned, was my soon-to-be husband. I remember walking towards him for what seemed to take forever. I was so excited for him to see me and for me to see him. I knew that when he turned around, the reality of the day would sink in. I remember standing behind Shawn and tapping him on the shoulder. He slowly turned around and the joy that came over me was a feeling that is indescribable. Once we saw each other and had our “moment” we took pictures all around the city. Standing in the middle of Michigan Avenue with the one and only Jai Girard capturing the moment, was incredible. As cars and buses zoomed by, people in taxis were taking pictures and screaming “congratulations” from their windows. This moment was truly the icing on the cake for a picture perfect day!”


Couple: Stephanie Becker & Shawn Tasman
Wedding Date: October 22, 2011
Bridal Gown: Kenneth Pool
Hair: Salon Buzz on Delaware- Reva Gorbaty
Shoes: Badgley Mishka
Photographer: Jai Girard
Wedding Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Chicago
Cake: Sarah’s Pastries – Oak St.
Event Planner: Jan Ehrenberg/Parties, Events & More
Florist: Swansons Blossom Shop
Band: Bradley Young Orchestra

Chicago Weddings
Featured Weddings

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  1. I wait and wait for one of your Weddings to come up-they are all so over the top-and no wonder with always a beautiful Bride-Handosme Groom’s and the places they are taken place at!! I have been following this site for sometime now-and I send all my Brides to it-just wanted to say THANK YOU-for putting such a class act of a site together.


  2. It was a pleasure to be the event planner for this beautiful wedding! Stephanie and Shawn are an adorable couple who made this evening very fun! The Becker Family and Swanson’s Blossom Shop had a true vision for this very special evening and every detail was well worth it! Jai Girard captured it all.

    Jan Ehrenberg/Parties, Events & More

  3. Thank you all for such a stunning Wedding-here at The Ritz Carlton Chicago ( A Four Seasons Hotel) Photos by Jai Girard and Wedding Executed by Parties, Events and More-and the rest of the group, made a great memory for Stephanie and Shawn!!