Over the Rainbow

February 2023 View more

This couple brought modern touches to their wedding at historic Hotel Baker

A couple getting married

Plainfield resident Michael O’Connell, 27, and native Texan Macaire Ament, 29, might never have crossed paths if it weren’t for a bit of Disney magic. While attending the University of Iowa and University of Texas at Dallas, respectively, they happened to meet during college internships at Walt Disney World. “I knew immediately she was smarter than everyone else in the room,” O’Connell says.

Their friendship turned to romance when Ament later visited Chicago for a Bruce Springsteen concert. “No one I had dated had ever made me laugh,” Ament says. “We were cracking up all weekend, and he was such a gentleman. He had all the things I thought were unrealistic to expect from a partner.”

A newly married couple dancing at their reception

O’Connell later proposed on a trip to Yellowstone, and when it came time to wedding plan, they were captivated by the 1928 details of Hotel Baker in St. Charles—especially the Rainbow Room’s original light-up glass-block dance floor. “When you walk into the hotel, it just has that character—that it’s been lived in,” O’Connell says. “It was kind of an honor to add a chapter to its history.”

Their October 7 celebration was full of sentimental details. They recited their own vows under a bloom-covered arch adorned with tiny disco balls and framed wedding portraits of their parents and grandparents. In lieu of a guestbook, the couple’s loved ones signed quilt squares that will be stitched into a keepsake quilt by a family friend. And as for the sneakers that O’Connell and his groomsmen rocked, there’s a special story there. “So, I was actually ring bearer at my parents’ wedding at one and a half years old in 1996, and I wore a pair of Jordan 11s, the Space Jam shoes,” he says. “My parents kept my original pair, and my godson wore them as our ring bearer, and I bought myself and all my groomsmen a pair of Jordan 11s.” After a honeymoon in Cancun in December, Ament and O’Connell are settling into newlywed life in their condo in Oak Park.

Wedding Vendors

Hotel Baker, St. Charles

Bride’s attire
Essense of Australia gown from Blue Sky Bridal, Seattle; alterations by the Alterationist, Chicago

Bridesmaids’ attire
David’s Bridal, Naperville

Hair and makeup
Lueur Beauti, Chicago

A little boy in a tuxedo

Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire
Kosack’s Black Tie, Joliet; Nike Air Jordan 11 retro sneakers from nordstrom.com

Invitations and signage
Type K Studio by Karena Tsai

The wedding cake

BellaRose Sweets, Elgin

Floral Wonders, Geneva

DJ Rachel Karlic, Toast & Jam DJs, Chicago

Photography and videography
Eight Hands Photography, Mokena


Photos courtesy of Eight Hands Photography