For some brides-to-be, the challenge to organization is time or distance. For Lucy Cikra, it was both, as the Chagrin native was living in London UK and coordinating her wedding that took place in Chicago in June.

Friends introduced Lucy and Charlie Jones of Palo Alto, CA, and their first meeting was during Blossom weekend in 2014. With Lucy at Ohio University and Charlie at Miami, the couple split their time between the schools, then moved to Chicago after graduation. They dated for nearly five years including an 18-month engagement. “We did a lot of planning in the first few months to ensure we had our top choice in vendors,” Lucy says. “So after the first three months we had all the key stakeholders locked down.”

Last November the couple had the chance to move to London through Charlie’s work at PwC, and arrived just two months later. Once the move was certain, “we kicked into high gear with all things wedding – cake tasting, hair and makeup, dress fittings… anything we needed to be boots on the ground for,” she says. Still, the six-hour time difference wasn’t easy. “Communicating with vendors and receiving timely responses was tough,” Lucy admits. “In the final month it was quite frustrating not getting responses back during the working day because of the time change.” She notes the importance of investing in good vendors for peace of mind. She also describes having the registry in the US while they lived here, but then changing the registry to London so guests were spared international shipping charges.

The wedding and reception were held at a spectacular venue, the Chicago Illuminating Company, a penthouse outdoor patio and indoor dining room in the South Loop, with 135 guests in attendance, four bridesmaids and five groomsmen. “We were one of the first of our friends to get married. We wanted the day to be reflective of us – and it definitely was,” she says. “My dress was more on the trendy side than traditional but it was characteristic of me, and made me feel like a better version of myself. Charlie wore a crisp black tux (and looked so handsome!) He paired his tux with velvet loafers and his grandfather’s cufflinks – small touches that made him feel like a million bucks.”

Lucy opted for an understated feel for her theme. “We kept things very neutral and fresh, so we didn’t have colors. We put a lot of emphasis on black and white – channeling an elegant and sophisticated vibe,” she says. “The flowers were all white and blush peonies and turned out to be so stunning… it just looked so fresh and airy.” The couple was married by Charlie’s Uncle Bill Jones, who also married Charlie’s parents and Charlie’s two brothers. More, Charlie’s dad, who has worn his own father’s wedding band for the last 35 years, gifted the heirloom to Charlie, continuing their family tradition.

“It was very much a Chicago wedding,” says Martha Towns, Lucy’s grandmother and longtime Currents writer. “We love Chicago, and our being there helped make it local. It was very much a family affair, and I was just happy to be in the same place as all three of my grandchildren for a little while,” she adds.

Other personal touches included the Labrador-shaped card holders for the tables, in honor of Ari, the couple’s Chocolate Lab who stayed at home in London, to avoid complicated travel regulations. The couple loves candy, so they had a candy bar for guests to enjoy. They also arranged for their favorite Chicago-style pizza to be served as a late-night snack, so guests, especially those from out of town could experience the city’s famous nosh.

Right after their special day, Lucy and Charlie flew from Chicago to their honeymoon in Fiji. They are at home in London.

Lucy Cordes Cikra
and Charles Everett Jones
Wedding Gown: Designed by Marquise, purchased from Luxe Bridal Rack, Chicago
Ceremony/Reception: Chicago Illuminating Company
Caterer: Boka Catering Group, Chicago
Florist: Steve’s Flower Market, Chicago
Photographer: Lindsey Smith/The Salted Grey, Chicago
Cake: Lemon with butter cream frosting, Sweet Ali’s Bakery, Hinsdale IL