Sonia U.: Chicago Sparkle

Sonia U.: Chicago Sparkle

Mother of: Sarah
Wedding venue: Chicago Hilton
Vibe: Black tie, big ballroom
Dress: La Femme from Saks Fifth Avenue

Sarah and Zach’s Chicago wedding was straight out of the movies: a first love turned forever love (they met at summer camp and corresponded by passing a journal back and forth for more than 10 years—he wrote on the first page that he'd marry her one day), two Covid delays to add the inevitable plot twists, all leading up to the grandest of finales:  a big, black tie weddings in a downtown Chicago ballroom that was exquisitely decorated in white and gold with arches of white flowered trees dramatic enough to make J. Lo swoon. Sarah’s fashion memo for her mom and the mother of the groom: don't wear black. She wanted them to sparkle in metallics. Specifically, gunmetal for Sonia, mother of the bride.


“I had fun looking for gunmetal, but dress after dress didn’t work. I was ordering online, and what one dress looks like in a picture on a model may be very different on the person ordering it,” says Sonia, who stands 4 foot 11. “I finally called Sarah and asked if silver would be ok. She approved, so I returned all the gunmetal dresses and started all over again, looking for pewter or silver. I kept telling my husband not to look at the credit card bill, because all but one would be returned!”

Well, maybe not all of them. “I did find two other dresses that I loved along the way and bought them on sale for incredible prices at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom," Sonia confesses. "Knowing Sarah was the first of my group of friends’ adult children to get married, I figured I could wear them to other black tie events!”  

But back to THE dress. Sonia found it online at Saks Fifth Avenue—a one shoulder, sequined gown by La Femme that wrapped at the middle for a flattering line and hint of leg. Bonus: built-in bra for a boost.


“I felt pretty in it—and maybe even a little bit sexy, with one leg exposed,” Sonia says. She's petite; the dress was not, but she didn’t sweat it. She took it to her tailor in Minneapolis who “did an incredible job of shortening, taking it in, and lifting it up." She even swapped the dark lining for one in a nude color. Sonia  paired her sparkling silver gown with delicate black pointed heels.

If there’s a takeaway from Sonia’s experience, it’s the value of a great tailor…and a glam squad to complete the look. “I didn’t want some fancy up-do. I wanted to feel like ME, but even better, and they did exactly that. Get a team that helps you look and feel like yourself—only on steroids!”


| Photography by Dawn & Bob Davis Photography

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