Photography by
Kenneth Nakai Photography


Julia Dirks & Anthony Marlowe

May 25, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois


Julia and Anthony met late one evening when they both walked into the same bar on the University of Iowa campus, where Julia was wrapping up her senior year. “Anthony insists it was my black and white striped dress that demanded his attention,” she states. “In the one and only instance I would ever describe my husband as shy, he simply handed me a drink and walked away before returning to talk to me minutes later.” Unexpectedly, their initial conversation turned into a unique connection, and Anthony programmed Julia’s name into his phone as, “Julia Marry Her.”

Later into their relationship, the couple landed in Florida for NASCAR’s Daytona 500 cup series race. It was Julia’s first experience with auto racing, and Anthony’s first race as a team co-owner. During a romantic helicopter ride over the beach, just as the sun was setting, he surprised Julia with a proposal.

For the newly-engaged pair, planning their wedding revealed more than their personal tastes in aesthetics. “Anthony is a fantastic negotiator, and I began to admire that throughout the planning process,” Julia describes. “It’s important to be open with each other about expectations and priorities for the wedding day, and both the groom and bride should have their personal touches implemented to create a real representation of the cohesiveness of the couple’s vision.”

On the wedding day, there were no nerves – only excitement. To create a timeless, tasteful, and glamorous ambiance, certain details were carefully chosen. White bridesmaids’ dresses added to the regal and elegant feeling, and a live artist was hired to paint the reception as it transpired, surrounded by the museum’s exquisite architecture.

To encourage guests to break out of their comfort zones and have fun, the night’s entertainment included electric violinists, a highly-ranked Billboard Dance Chart DJ, and a former Minnesota Timberwolves In-Arena host to keep the high level of energy going for hours.

“The wedding day flew by so incredibly quickly,” Julia says. “We were the last to leave the reception. Walking out into the cool summer air, the Chicago skyline glistening around us, Anthony and I reflected on the long year of planning it took to get us here, and how swiftly it comes to an end. Bottom line, it was totally worth it!”

>Written by: Lauren Malamala

Ceremony Location: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Chicago, IL; Reception Location: The Field Museum Chicago, IL; Planner: Kensington Florals and Events Skokie, IL; Floral Design: Kehoe Designs Chicago, IL; Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror; Bridal Salon: Dimitra’s Bridal Chicago, IL; Cake: Vanilla Patisserie Chicago, IL;
Groom's Attire: Vera Wang; Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.; Linen: Halls Rentals Niles, IL; Lighting: Frost Lighting Chicago, IL; Hair: Blaze Salon Iowa City. IA; Makeup: Makeup by Kimberly Patterson Chicago, IL; Cinematography: Amor in Motion Chicago, IL;