Home Is Where the Heart Is

September 2021 View more

On their first date, Kristine Strouse and Christopher King had effortless conversation from the start. But it was their second date at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Naperville that cemented their connection. “After dinner we just stayed talking for another two or three hours,” says King, 31, an account executive with DocuSign in Chicago. “I’m sure the wait staff was really annoyed with us, but being able to just sit with someone and talk for that long and have so many laughs and share so much that easily—that’s when I pretty much knew.”  

They both attended Michigan State University and shared mutual friends, but didn’t officially meet until they matched on dating app Hinge years later. King proposed in July 2019, and they planned a September 2020 wedding for 190 guests at the Chicago Cultural Center. 

When COVID-19 shutdowns hit, they postponed and focused on house hunting in Naperville—which gave way to a different plan entirely. “We bought a house in November … and decided to have [a smaller backyard] wedding here in May,” Strouse, 32, says. 

They finished renovations in time for the big day on May 14. “We were putting on closet doors right up until the last minute, two hours before the rehearsal dinner,” King says. Their vendor team transformed their backyard into an elegant garden party with a clear-topped tent draped with greenery and lights. 

After dancing until midnight, they ordered late-night delivery for two from fast-food favorite Wendy’s. “We sat in the tent after everyone had left, still in our tux and dress, and ate and talked about the evening,” King says. 


Venue The couple’s Naperville home

Planner Brittany Reynolds, Plum & Ivy Events

Bride’s attire Sareh Nouri gown from Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, Oakbrook Terrace

Bride’s hair and makeup Rare Bird Beauties, Chicago

Bridesmaids’ attire Dessy dresses from Bella Bridesmaids, Oakbrook Terrace

Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Tuxedos from combatgent.com

Invitations Paper Source 

Catering Hearty Boys, Chicago

Dessert Cake by DeEtta’s Bakery, Naperville; sweets table by Hearty Boys, Chicago 

Florist Steve’s Flower Market, Chicago

Rings James & Sons Fine Jewelers, Chicago

Entertainment DJ Mike Kane of Amplified Events 

Transportation Chicago Cloud9 Limo, Elk Grove Village

Photographer Ashley Biess, Artistrie Co.