Carly Cristman didn’t let rain on her wedding day put a damper on her wedding day. The style correspondent and social media personality tells The Knot that she and her now-husband, Cody Carson, didn’t anticipate the bad turn in weather, but things, as they do, turned out for the best in the end.
“It was absolutely gorgeous in Chicago every Saturday leading up to our wedding, and then we had an insane thunderstorm that lasted only during the time of our ceremony. Seriously,” she says. “But I am thankful that we were able to still take photos outside during the day and the rainbow afterwards was absolutely stunning. Thankfully we selected a venue that had a great indoor option in case we had to move it inside!”
Cristman, 29, and Carson, 30, had specifically hoped to exchange vows on the rooftop because it was where their journey toward the aisle began: according to Cristman, Carson proposed on a rooftop seven months prior to their October 2017 wedding. “We knew we wanted to get married in downtown Chicago, and when I saw the rooftop that was a part of our venue it felt so sentimental and special,” she says.
Not that the change of plans impacted the good vibes of their big day, however. Cristman tells The Knot that looking back on the wedding and celebrating with 120 of their favorite people, she can honestly say that it was “the best day ever.”
“I was so happy for all of our closest family and friends to finally know how much we loved each other,” she says of the moment when they were pronounced husband and wife. “Making that commitment in front of everyone was incredible.”
Here, some more details about Cristman’s big day.
The couple got married at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in downtown Chicago, a sentimental spot for the both of them, but their planning was made trickier by the fact that they themselves weren’t living in Chicago at the time. Luckily, the venue was prepared to help.
“We had guests coming in from all over the country—and outside of the country—so we knew we wanted our ceremony and reception to be in the same place,” she says. “We also lived in California while we were planning a wedding in Chicago, so picking a venue that had the catering and decor built in was a huge plus for us.”
The Cristman-Carson wedding was a formal black tie affair, so it only made sense that Cristman’s wedding gown similarly held that same elegance and pizzazz. “My wedding dress was something I never would have guessed I would have chosen, but I fell in love with it the first time I tried it on,” she says of her strapless Pnina Tornai gown. “It sparkled like nothing I had ever seen before. It was so beautiful! I loved that it was nothing like I had ever—or could ever—wear again. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime dress.”
“I always knew that I wanted the bridesmaids dresses to be silver,” she says. “I actually found their dresses before I found my own!” Cristman made sure to keep the price point low (under $200) to be considerate of all the money the girls were shelling out for the wedding party besides. Her friends at L’Oreal Paris (Cristman is an ambassador for the brand) also took part in the big day, helping to get the bridal party photo-ready with hair and makeup.
THE GROOM’S LOOK
Carson kept things classy with a black tux and bow tie, and his groomsmen similarly donned black tuxes and black ties. All the men wore white roses as boutonnieres.
As a social media influencer, every detail counts. And when it came to her engagement ring, Cristman says she knew exactly what she wanted: an emerald-cut diamond with a simple diamond band. It helped that she had previously worked on projects with Tacori; when it came time to find the perfect ring for her, Carson teamed up with Tacori to create the perfect dazzler.
In keeping with her white, black, and silver theme, Cristman kept her flower game simple and elegant. “All of our flowers were white roses in different variations—simple boutonnieres, white rose bouquets, white rose petals for tossing, and then very large, statement pieces during the reception and ceremony,” she says.
“We had a cocktail hour following our ceremony, and the rain had just cleared up so our guests
could go out on to the rooftop space and see the incredible rainbow that was over the venue,” Cristman says, adding that champagne and mini-grilled cheeses were served during the cocktail hour. For dinner, she and Carson wanted their guests to keep their energy up with a surf and turf menu.
The cake, importantly, came in two different flavors: a double chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, and a funfetti cake with vanilla bean frosting. One of Cristman’s most memorable moments from the big day even involved a slice of the delicious baked treat. “My favorite wedding moment was after the wedding, when we got to go back to the hotel and eat cake together and finally soak in being husband and wife,” she says. “It was the best feeling!”
Find your perfect wedding vision by starting with The Knot’s Style Quiz, here.