We all know that couple. The one that can finish each others sentences. The ones that you catch still staring lovingly at one another after years of marriage and let’s be honest the ones that you look at and wishfully say “I want to be that couple”. Meet Michele and James Gustin, owners of Fig Weddings. They are THAT couple, celebrating 19 blissful years of marriage.  When we first decided to bring you the love stories of Chicago’s lucky in love couples, we knew the creative genius behind so many glorious wedding photos and videos had to take part. As we celebrate this month of love in the #BeUEmpire, we wish all of you to experience a love as true as theirs, a love that is #meant2beChicago, may you all be future #meant2beChicago stories!

Photo Courtesy of Fig Weddings

Q. When did the stars align on this love story you and James have built?

Michele: We met at the Whole Foods Market 1987-there was only one in Houston back then and “my future husband” asked me if I knew how to cook a turkey. Although I’d been a vegetarian for 10 years, I gave him a recipe for duck a l’orange, that would translate well. As I was giving him the instructions, I thought that he didn’t appear to be listening to what I was saying but rather he was looking at me, I later learned he wasn’t interested at all in hearing about how to make a turkey!

James: I saw her first and knew she was the beautiful blue eyed girl I would marry.

Q.When did you get married and where?

Michele: We got married in 1993 in Houston, Texas. The actual ceremony took place at the courthouse, we couldn’t decide between Church or State. We went and checked out pre-cana {Definition: a course or consultation couples must undergo before they can be married in a Catholic church} at the Catholic Church, which was how James was raised. It would be a destination wedding if we used the Methodist Church where I grew up. I was more interested in the actual place than the religion and neither felt quite right. I simply felt hypocritical. We ended up with a Texas judge; my parents got married at the courthouse so it seemed like a safe bet.

James: I wasn’t super involved; I just wanted her and didn’t mind the process. I arranged the horse and carriage ride and showed up!

{“I just wanted her” our hearts just melted a little}

Photo Courtesy of Fig Weddings

Q. How long was your engagement?

Michele: 5 years

James: too long

Q. What surprised you about the wedding planning process?

Michele: How it was entirely up to me to drive it, James was off the hook.

James: That didn’t surprise me.

Q. Did you have any sticker shock during the process? If so, what category surprised you the most?

Michele: Yes! Everything added up so quickly! We wanted great champagne but found a great sparkling wine from Alsace that was superb.

James: I tried not to think about it!

Q. What do you wish someone had told you prior to planning the wedding?

Michele: That it’s not about my budget but about what I value. To love what I choose and not worry about what others think.

James: I could have had way more fun and been involved more.

 Photo Courtesy of Fig Weddings

Q. What is the best advice that you received about the wedding day?

Michele: I don’t think anyone gave us any advice.

James: Marry the woman you love, the rest will follow.

{Do you see why us #BeUGals adore James?}

Q. What was the best advice you received during the wedding planning process?

Michele: People love to help and they do! So many people made our day happen.

 Photo Courtesy of Fig Weddings

Q. Who were some of the vendors and/or designers that you loved working with?

Michele: We designed and executed it ourselves, so US!

James: The Acadian Bakery in Houston, the cake was fabulous!

We can’t help but feel that the best advice in love from this dynamic duo is simply to #alwaysbeU. As they celebrate 20 years together we dreamily imagine what the Golden anniversary will look like. Theirs is a love that endures and grows stronger, one that is #meant2beChicago.


One Response to Meant 2 Be: Michele and James Gustin

  1. Josie Mineau says:

    That is truly an amazing story! I love your journey for keeping it real. Real interesting to the rest of us finding our way in LOVE. What is real love? You both certainly found your road together and making the magic happen. Thank you for bringing your wedding and FIG WEDDINGS to us in Chicago!

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