Julie and Mike
June 1st, 2015/Photography by Cassandra Eldridge/Custom Dress by Julie Mersine
Julie Mersine Romeli, dress designer and owner of Mira Couture, has a gift for designing gowns that perfectly match a bride’s style to her wedding aesthetic. But if you had asked her a few years ago what she had envisioned for her own big day, she was stumped. It took Julie getting engaged to Mike Romeli, and determining a perfect plan for their wedding for Julie to decide what she would wear down the aisle. And for Julie and Mike, their perfect wedding plan included four celebrations, and five dresses.
Following their engagement in January 2015, Julie and Mike quickly got into planning mode, and decided they would get married in Skyros, Greece. A small island that meant the world to Julie and her family, as it was the home of her late mother’s grandparents, and had become a common destination for Julie’s family to vacation over the years. The island would be the perfect backdrop for their day, but would lend itself to a more intimate occasion. So the couple decided to plan a few other celebrations to ensure that all of their loved ones had a chance to attend.
“We really wanted to have a smaller, more intimate wedding. However, we are very close with our family and friends and it was really important to us to be able to celebrate with everybody. The larger the wedding, the less time you get to spend with each guest. By breaking it up into smaller celebrations, it made it more intimate and meaningful.”
Julie and Mike’s wedding celebrations commenced with a simple and elegant courthouse wedding at the Illinois Supreme Court House. The wedding was officiated by Justice Anne Burke, a loyal client of Julie’s at Mira Couture, who wrote a customized ceremony for the couple, and included two readings by Julie’s father and Mike’s mother. The couple’s immediate family bore witness to the marriage, and Julie and Mike were dressed perfectly for the occasion. “Of course we could have just gotten legally married without getting dressed up or celebrating, but where’s the fun in that!?” Julie expressed. Along with an offset birdcage veil, rhinestone encrusted Badgley Mischka shoes, and a lush bouquet made by Asrai Garden, Julie wore her late mother’s wedding gown. “When I tried her dress on, I fell in love. It was an absolute perfect fit on me.” Julie remarked. Julie altered the floor length A-line gown to be a sophisticated cocktail dress with a keyhole back, perfect for a courthouse wedding.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their families celebrated with a farm-to-table luncheon on the rooftop of Celeste in River North. The reception was a perfectly intimate affair, with their two families gathered around one table, sharing stories about Julie and Mike and giving their blessings on their wedding day. After lunch, the party moved to Streeterville Social, the terrace at Loews Chicago Hotel, for seasonal cocktails and a warm welcoming of the happy couple by Julie and Mike’s close friends.