Destiny can be mysterious when it comes to romance. Chicago attorney Meredith Katz never would have guessed that she would meet her future husband Joseph Rudas at the same law firm where she had been working for six years. “However, it wasn’t until we both happened to be on vacation in Aspen where we had a chance to actually get to know each other,” says the groom. “The rest, as they say, is history.”

Originally seeking a destination wedding, the two ultimately decided to host their nuptials in the “Windy City” at a luxurious venue where Meredith has celebrated many special occasions. “My bat mitzvah was there… it feels like home, and the food is the best!” she explains. With the guidance of her wedding planner and floral/décor designer Rishi Patel of HMR Designs, Meredith worked to create an intimate, warm celebration – with one considerably unique aspect: tenting the ballroom to craft a dreamy ambience that transported guests into a one-of-a-kind fairy tale. “It was absolutely perfect,” she reflects of the rare setup.

The ceremony incorporated traditional Jewish aspects and sentimental songs carefully chosen by the couple. “We selected music that guests would like since it sets the tone for the wedding,”says Meredith. The Beatles' classic tune “In My Life” played as the procession began. The space had been decorated in striking lush verdure and timeless white florals. Meredith soon entered wearing a strapless gown with a frothy layered skirt, and holding a nosegay of Japanese anemones. She and her groom looked perfect as they joined hands beneath a magnificent circular chuppah and began to recite their handwritten vows.

For the reception, guests found their seating cards at a table beautifully bedecked in succulents, greenery, and vanilla blooms. Tall, live trees were installed at the entrance, maintaining the flow of a dreamy setting. Collections of low centerpieces, romantic candlelight, and blue chinoiserie china pieces decorated guest tables, whereas the head table boasted a garland of crème brûlée flowers down the center.

Despite a guest list of close to 250 people, it was very important to the bride to have the reception feel personal. Monogrammed napkins at every seat as well as bars made of verdant hedges displaying family photos helped to tie in Meredith’s special request. After a delectable supper was served and tender speeches toasting the newlyweds concluded, dancing and merriment ensued.

In lieu of the cake-cutting tradition, Meredith surprised Joey by presenting a life-size confection replicating his precious cat, Ruth Bader Ginscat. “Joey’s face was priceless,” she exclaims. “The cake was rolled out with sparklers and everyone loved it!” Joey admits that was one of his most memorable moments of the special night. “The cake looked exactly like my cat, and I mean exactly! Everything about the surprise was perfect,” he says.

The couple was thrilled with the final outcome of their big day and encourage others who are engaged to infuse their personalities into the event. “Be true to yourself and don’t listen to anyone,” suggests Meredith. “We did what we wanted and pushed details that we knew were important to create a big party with lots of love.” Joey also agrees that every aspect was eloquent and thoughtful: “It was not one thing that made our wedding unique – instead it was everything in the aggregate.”