When Chris Canty first appeared on Melanie Richards‘s Bumble feed, she swiped right without realizing he was a Super Bowl Champion with the Giants and ESPN radio host. They matched, and three years later, after a museum date to the MoMa and a stroll through Central Park, the former pro-athlete proposed.
The couple then began wedding planning, easily deciding on the Chicago Cultural Center as their venue. “It’s a gorgeous architectural gem in Chicago,” Melanie notes about the home of the largest Tiffany glass dome and the city’s first public library. She fondly remembers all of her childhood adventures here with her mother—it’s been a longtime dream destination. To bring their vision to life, the two hired Brianne Garritano of Michigan Avenue Events.
“Fashion gives me life, so finding the right gown was a challenge I embraced head-on,” the bride says. “My style flirts with androgyny, streetwear, and glam, so I wanted to curate style moments that leaned into each of those elements.” Going into the dress search, Melanie had a few designers in mind, but when she tried on a Monique Lhuillier dress at Mark Ingram Atelier, she knew she had found the one. “Since I maintain a short haircut with natural curls, nailing my hair looks was especially important for me,” she adds. T. Cooper styled her hair with a sleek blowout, channeling the glamour of the Harlem Renaissance.
On August 26, 2022, guests entered the Preston Bradley Hall, which was transformed into a bright, lush garden by HMR Designs. The couple walked into the ceremony, while the DIVISI Strings Quartet strummed “All of The Lights.” The bride will never forget her processional and looking at all of her loved ones, as the refracted light from the Tiffany dome illuminated their faces. It was, as she recalls, truly ethereal. Anée Atelier photographed the breathtaking day.
The vibrant—and fun—reception followed in the GAR Hall. Blue Plate catered the delicious dinner, and ECBG baked the tiered cake. The Cocktail Academy and Diageo concocted experiential botanical drinks and a tequila tasting. The string quartet continued playing and providing the soundtrack until a few musical guest stars, like renowned Ro Parrish and DJ Scratch, took over the setlist.
The newlyweds love 70s soul music and aptly shared their first dance to “For The Love of You” by Isley Brothers. From then on, they never left the dance floor. Melanie confesses that she and her groom were in their own world. The last dance of the evening was to Beyoncé’s “Summer Renaissance.” The bride confesses she will never listen to that song without reliving the electricity of this night and remembering flashes of Chris’s smile, loved ones dancing, and even the final aromatic sips of her handcrafted gin and tonic.