A natural fit

November 2021 View more

Melissa Mac had always had an adventurous spirit, so when Jamie Caraballo picked her up for their first date on his motorcycle, she knew it was going to be an exciting time. They were 19 and 20, respectively, and connected on Facebook because they had mutual friends.

“I love new experiences, and he is always up to try new things,” says Mac, now 31 and working as a travel nurse. “Ever since that date, we’ve just been glued together,” adds Caraballo, 32, a production coordinator for ABX in Schaumburg and founder of his own techno music label, Opaque Records.

Caraballo surprised Mac with a Christmas proposal in 2018 and they planned a wedding for 150 guests in Itasca for September 2020. They had just sent out the save-the-dates in March 2020 when the pandemic brought gatherings to a halt. They decided to rethink their plans and pivoted to a 50-person celebration at Morton Arboretum on July 23.

“I love the natural beauty of greenery and the outdoors,” Mac says. “With all the beautiful areas within we wouldn’t have to leave to go to another location for photos.” They recited their own vows on the west lawn before uncorking bottles of Champagne under a greenery-laden pergola.
“I’m half Chinese and half Vietnamese … so to include some of the culture, my mom and also Jamie’s mom wore traditional Chinese dresses,” Mac says.

The newlyweds now live in Des Plaines with their dog, a rat terrier-Jack Russell mix named Luna, and as of presstime, were spending 13 weeks in St. Louis for Mac’s first travel nursing assignment.

Morton Arboretum, Lisle

Bride’s attire
Essense of Australia gown from Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique, Tinley Park

Bride’s accessories
Badgley Mischka shoes from shopnordstrom.com, earrings from oliveandpiper.com

Bride’s hair and makeup
J.A.S. Studio and Dani Lou Beauty

Bridesmaids’ attire

Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire
Men’s Wearhouse, Arlington Heights


The Cakery, Aurora

Gingko Catering at Morton Arboretum, Lisle

Flowers Just For You Floral Design, Lemont

brilliantearth.com (hers), benchmarkrings.com (his)

DJs Ben Ventura and Kevin Rabor

M&M Limousine, Des Plaines

Ian Rempel, Rempel Photography