BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
When Kaitlin Priddy wed Michael Cernak on May 28, three thousand peonies of every variety served as their backdrop. The grounds of a magnificent Chicagoland estate, dating from the early days of the last century, had several peony bushes of the same vintage – in a nod to love, all chose to bloom in time for the wedding. A team of family and friends gathered the day before to help arrange these luscious blooms in shades of fuchsia, pink, and white in Wedgewood bowls and pitchers. This hard work resulted in 150 centerpieces sitting atop simple and elegantly adorned long tables, in a tent filled with twinkling lights and a view of expansive lawns.
Peonies were not the only floral stars of the day, however. A pergola of wisteria led visitors, all dressed in colors fit for a garden wedding, into the outdoor theater. Before toasts and dinner in the tent, guests walked the grounds and enjoyed taking in the yellow iris (situated next to more of the estate’s famous peonies, these a rare yellow varietal), as well as every spring flower thriving in the Midwest.
But it was the bride who captured everyone’s attention that day, looking as radiant as any bloom in a glorious dress once worn by her grandmother, Ginny Andrus, and her mother, Amy Priddy (both present and equally willowy as the bride). The strong sense of family bonds were apparent during the reciting of vows as well, with Kaitlin’s sister Laura Priddy serving as maid of honor and the groom’s brother, John Alex Cernak, standing beside him as best man.
Maison Meredith Photography