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Author Archive | LK Events

A Bright and Cheery Summer Soiree, Harold Washington Library

Planning weddings means we are surrounded by pretty flowers and gorgeous details throughout the year, but what usually stands out most is the bond we end up forging with the families whom we work with. This was one of those families. Their warmth, insatiable humor, and kindness ensured that our year spent planning Jenna and Scott’s wedding was beyond enjoyable.

When I first met Jenna and Scott, the conversation revolved around having the best band to get the dance party started. Knowing their family and friends who would be in attendance, a great band was high on their priority list. When they made the decision to hire The Chicago Players, I just knew that the following June would live up to their expectations for a classic dance party!

As soon as we finalized the band, we spent the rest of the year dreaming up ways to infuse their personal style into the wedding day. Fleur decked out the Winter Garden Ballroom with some of the biggest coral charm peonies I have ever seen! Jenna and Scott infused so much personal style into their paper goods from the invitations and literary quotes on the cocktail tables to the custom water color cocktail in honor of their pup, Augusta. It was an incredible day spent with such a loving family and I am so honored to have been there for their journey. Wishing you all the best!

Photography: Christine Ciszczon, Gerber & Scarpelli
Catering: Wolfgang Puck
Venue: Harold Washington Library
Band: The Chicago Players
Floral/Décor: Kelly Marie Thompson, Fleur Inc
Paper Goods: Chena Designs
Beauty: Sonia Roselli
Photo Booth: Smilebooth & Custom Backdrop by Jayne Weddings
Transportation: VIP Valet
Planning: Allison Young, LK Events

The Art Institute of Chicago, Erin & Joey

Erin and Joey’s story began while they were both attending the University of Illinois. After college they moved to Chicago and a few years later Joey proposed on their rooftop followed by a romantic dinner out. They celebrated with friends the next day and then the wedding planning began.

They kicked off their wedding weekend with their Rehearsal on the Grand Staircase at the Art Institute followed by their Rehearsal Dinner at III Forks.

Their wedding day started with some pampering for the ladies from the amazing makeup artists and stylists from BrideEyes, Makeup by Beth, and the Charles Ifergan Salon while the guys had a relaxing morning at Erin and Joey’s condo. Amanda Hein Photography was onsite to capture all the special moments of their day.

Erin and Joey had their first look in the beautiful gardens of the Art Institute and then joined their families for photos. Then it was time for these two to get married. While the string quartet played Halo by Beyonce all eyes were on Erin as she walked up the Grand Staircase in a stunning Lela Rose gown with both of her parents. She carried a beautiful bouquet that was a mix of ivory polo roses, white majolica spray roses and white Eskimo roses with delicate white ranunculus blooms tucked throughout.

Hello Darling dressed the dining tables in a mix of ivory shantung, harvest shantung and ivory contessa linens. Some of the tables were decorated with a pair of vintage medium cut glass vases of varying sizes & silhouettes with textural round bouquets of white hydrangea, white stock, white lisianthus, ivory polo roses, champagne sahara roses and ivory majolica spray roses with accents of pale green seeded eucalyptus. Tucked around the blooms were two silver mercury glass candlesticks topped by optic glass hurricanes and a collection of gold and sliver mercury glass votives and globes. The other tables had a pair of silver mercury stemmed glass candlesticks tucked next to a trio of three petite vintage cut glass vases filled with textural round bouquets of white hydrangea, white stock, white lisianthus, ivory polo roses, champagne sahara roses and ivory majolica spray roses with an accent of pale green seeded eucalyptus. Silver and gold mercury glass votives and globes were placed around the candlesticks.

Toast & Jam started the reception with the Wedding Party introductions and then introduced our newlyweds. After the introductions Erin and Joey gave their thank you toast followed by Reverend Jennifer Burns Lewis giving the blessing. The guests were served a lovely duo of a Peeky Toe Crab Salad and a Cheddar Heirloom Tomato Soup. Once the guests were served then Erin’s Maid of Honor & Joey’s Best Man gave their toasts. After the toasts guests dined on Grilled Hanger Steak and Housemade Gnocchi with Heirloom Tomatoes. While guests were dining on their entrees Erin’s Father gave his toast and then danced with his daughter. Then it was Joey’s Fathers turn to give his toast and then Joey danced with his Mother.

We started the party with Erin & Joey’s first dance. After dancing for a bit they cooled themselves off with some yummy gelato from gelato cart provided by Black Dog Gelato Company. Everyone danced the night away until the last song that was played which was Mirrors by JT.

It was an honor being a part of Erin and Joey’s Wedding Day! We wish them all the best, congrats you two!

Caterer: Bon Appetit
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Artistrings
Ceremony Venue: Woman’s Board Grand Staircase at the Art Institute
Décor: Hello Darling
DJ: Toast & Jam
Gelato: Black Dog Gelato Company
Gentlemen’s Attire: Formally Modern Tuxedo
Hair: Charles Ifergan Salon
Hotel: Waldorf Astoria
Makeup: BrideEyes & Makeup by Beth
Officiant: Reverend Jennifer Burns Lewis
Photographer: Amanda Hein Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: III Forks
Reception Venue: Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room Art Institute
Stationery: Magnificent Milestones
Transportation: Odyssey
Valet: 5 Star Valet
Wedding Dress: Lela Rose

French Elegance at Chez, Melanie & Richard

When I first met Melanie’s mother, Jodi, I knew that we would have a fun few months finalizing all of the details for Melanie & Richard’s December wedding at Chez. Jodi is witty and has the most open heart, that you can’t help but be best friends with her! She found all of the people that became our team of professionals and I assisted with final meetings and deadlines.

Jodi has impeccable style and that was shown in the team she chose – Chez, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Entertaining Company and Kehoe Designs…just to name a few. I loved that Jodi incorporated some of her own china and antique finds to the final look of the wedding. Those are some of the details that make a wedding so unique, and Melanie & Richard had a wedding that was uniquely their own!

Melanie & Richard chose to have a First Look and then take a few iconic photos with their wedding party around the city. It was a clear and crisp December afternoon and everyone was in high spirits as we hopped in and out of cars to capture photos in downtown Chicago. Meanwhile, Chez was being transformed into a French Country style, with a twist. Vince from Kehoe Designs brought in key elements, like gold baroque console tables to accent the escort card table, a stunning floor to ceiling chuppah with exquisite draping, and vintage mirror tables for guest dining. Everywhere we turned that night, we were in awe of some other detail.

Melanie & Richard signed their Ketubah prior to the ceremony beginning and there was such an air of excitement and of love when Melanie walked down the steps and the aisle to Richard. There was not a dry eye. With the shout of “Mazel Tov”, guests were moved into the cocktail and lounge area of Chez while the room was flipped for dinner. It was a spectacular display…from the floral/décor from Kehoe Designs, the personal (and rented) china, the exquisite meal from Entertaining Company, and the stunning four-tier cake from Elysia Root Cakes. What a memorable celebration!

Congratulations, and Happy Anniversary, Melanie & Richard! I was so honored to have helped you enjoy your special day!

A little note from the couple:

We just wanted to say thank you so much for everything you helped us with before and during the wedding. You were so attentive and organized and really made sure that we were happy with everything. There is NO way we could have done everything without you. My mom and I were joking that we were just twiddling our thumbs the week before the wedding because you had everything covered! You were so great during the wedding too and I felt like I was really able to enjoy it and not worry about all the details. So thank you SO MUCH.

Melanie’s Dress: Anna Maier from Ultimate Bride
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Helm from Cenzina’s
Mother of the Bride Dress: Mira Couture
Gentlemen Tuxes: Black Tie Formalwear
Bakery: Elysia Root Cakes
Beauty: Cynde Cosmetics & Salon Soca
Floral/Décor: Vince Hart from Kehoe Designs
Food & Beverages: Entertaining Company
Musicians: Bluewater Kings Band
Officiant: Rabbi Evan Moffic
Photographer: Jeremy Lawson Photography
Getting Ready Hotel/Room Block: Ivy Boutique Hotel
Invitations: Magnificent Milestones
Venue: Chez
Videographer: Vanilla Video
Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

We’re So Grateful!

lk-events-grateful-2016_2642 Hard to believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow!  We are so grateful for what each day has brought us.  I especially love this post because it allows us to take a moment to reflect and think about what 2016 has meant to us.  We wish you all a safe and wonderful Holiday weekend filled with family, friends, food and champagne, of course!

Lauren KnuepferI am especially grateful for this year, as 2016 reminded me how lucky I am to be still doing what I love most. After seven successful years of running LK Events and planning my dream client’s weddings and events, I was able to take a tiny step back to focus on my family. My time (even though it never felt long enough), made me realize how much I love this industry, how much I truly love planning weddings and how incredible this company is. Thank you to my couples and their families; I have made lifelong friends and have had some of the most memorable weddings to date.

Watching my children grow has been the greatest gift God could have ever given me. I am eternally grateful for my husband (and rock), Bryan, my precocious son, Jack and my precious baby girls, Lucy and Ellie…(who are no longer babies).  You two were the biggest surprise in my life but I can’t imagine my world without you. As Carrie Underwood wrote (and what I sing to you everyday), “I finally found, what I never knew I always wanted.”   You kiddos keep me on my toes (literally) all day, you make me laugh harder than I ever thought possible and I can’t wait to come home to our nightly dance parties.

I am grateful for Sunday Fun Days, now that majority of my immediate family have made their way to the suburbs. Somehow, we happen to have dinner together every Sunday. Our kids are so close and I am so excited to watch them grow up together. My nieces and nephews are my world. I am grateful for my parents and in laws who have been the BEST Nana’s and Papa’s to our babies and provides them with the most unconditional love. To my best friends (old and new) who continue to inspire me and make me laugh even when we aren’t living in the same city anymore….I cherish the times we spend together and grateful that we can still laugh and talk for hours.

This company has grown again and I couldn’t be more proud. Bridget and Lara, congratulations on your first successful year with LK Events!!  Nicole, Jennifer, Allison, Bridget and Lara – you are the heart and soul of LK Events. I am so lucky to have you on my team. I continue to learn from each of you every day. You make me a better Mom and a better business owner by providing me with the most unconditional support and love. You are my family, my closest friends and my inspiration. And to the new additions about to make their debut into this world, Baby Young and Baby Warren – welcome to the family!! We can’t wait to spoil you!

It has definitely been an interesting year but I am SO excited for 2017 and what’s to come!! It’s going to be our best year yet!

XOXO,
Lauren

Nicole ZennerI think I speak for most people when they say that 2016 has been a roller coaster of a year. I am grateful that I have weathered the ride – I have grown as an event professional, I have evolved as a friend, I have become a stronger individual. I am thankful for this year’s journey.
A special thank you to my family and friends who never question my commitment to my clients and are patient with my crazy schedule. To my ILEA family – you continue to inspire me, refuel my passion, and keep me driving to be a better event professional. A very heartfelt thank you to my clients, past and present, and the trust you put in me to help you plan your special day. I am grateful to call many of you dear friends! Finally, to Lauren, Jennifer, Allison, Lara, & Bridget – thank you for always sharing a smile, a shoulder, a bottle of champs and your friendship.

XOXO,
Nicole

Jennifer2016 had some amazing highs and some not so fabulous lows. I am thankful for both as the lows made me appreciate the highs even more. I am most thankful that I was able to celebrate my Grandma’s 95th Birthday with her this year. I was fortunate enough to travel & explore Austria & Croatia with one of my best friends. We met wonderful people, saw beautiful places & things & I was able to eat anything I wanted which for someone with a lot of dietary restrictions this was a real treat! Oh how I miss those chocolate croissants! I was so fortunate to have another amazing year building relationships with clients and other wedding professionals. I am so appreciative to have another year with the lovely ladies of LK & thank them for their constant support, friendship & willingness to always pop a bottle of champs or uncork a bottle of wine. Love you ladies!

Cheers,
Jennifer

AllisonWith 2016 coming to a close, I am so grateful for my growing family! This Thanksgiving will be spent waiting for our first little one to enter our lives, which I know will never be the same. This little girl is already so loved and I just can not wait to introduce her to family, friends and of course my LK family too! Until then, I am also thankful for all the Thanksgiving pies and treats to make the end of this long wait just a bit more bearable. Oh, and Andy Cohen’s new book! 🙂

I am also so thankful for my husband, Dave, who makes me laugh everyday and never complains when I work late or ask for help alphabetizing escort cards on a Friday night. My friends and family who are spread across both coasts – I miss you all every day and continue to relish any time we spend together.

Thank you to all the couples I have been blessed with over the past year. Each of you have taught me something new and let me be a part of such an intimate and special day in your lives and I will never forget it.

And to my LK Events team – thank you for being family, friends, coworkers and everything in between. We grew so much as a company this year and and it only makes me that much more excited to share all of our passion and knowledge with the incredible couples we get to work with. Can not wait to celebrate the end of 2016 with many glasses of wine!

XO,
Allison

BridgetAs I reflect back on this year, I have SO much to be thankful for, and have spent 2016 continually grateful. First and foremost, I am so very thankful for my husband, Mark, my rock, sounding board, and constant support. His love and laughter through even the toughest of times, keeps me going, and I wouldn’t be who I am without him. And for the little one we are expecting this spring. We haven’t met you yet, but my love for you already is more than I could imagine, and I am thankful for you every day.

I am thankful for my family and friends, who no matter the distance, continue to support and encourage me through life with unwavering guidance, approval and love.

I am thankful to be a part of this amazing LK team! To Lauren, Nicole, Allison, Jennifer and Lara, thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to grow in my love and dedication to event planning! Thank you for being a constant support, guidance and source of laughter through it all. You ladies make this job incredibly rewarding, and I am in constant awe of each one of you! And to each couple I have met along the way, I am thankful to know you, and to have the opportunity to share in your love!

Lastly, I am thankful to be healthy and happy, to have taken risks and made choices that have brought me to where I am today. I look forward to the year ahead and all that is to come! Cheers to 2016, and hello 2017!

XOXO,
Bridget

LaraI feel like I say this every year, but in 2016 I’m so grateful for how much I’ve learned and grown. I was able to prioritize my own happiness, which has made 2016 one of my happiest and healthiest years yet. I am so thankful for my husband, who supports and encourages me every day. We brought home a little puppy this year and it’s been so fun to watch him practice being a dad to our ball of fur. I’m thankful for my siblings and my parents who are my best friends in the entire world. I’m also thankful for all of my other amazing friends, who are so often selfless beyond measure. I am thankful each day for the girls on this team, who lead by example, are so kind, knowledgeable, and most importantly, the best people to share a drink and a laugh with. I’m hopeful that 2017 will be filled with many more (drinks and laughs).

Cheers,
Lara

A Garden Wedding, Galleria Marchetti

One of the greatest pleasures of my job is getting to plan one of my oldest friend’s weddings.  Leslie and I have been friends since pre-school so when Scott called to tell me he was proposing, needless to say, I was ecstatic!  I knew this was going to be a fun wedding, not only because Scott and Leslie have impeccable taste…but this was also going to bring us childhood girls back together again!  

Leslie and Scott fell in love with Galleria Marchetti for many reasons.  The outside courtyard was perfect for their ceremony and cocktails and the newly renovated tent provided the most intimate dinner in the heart of the city.  We kicked off the wedding weekend at Jane’s Restaurant and headed back to the Langham Hotel where Leslie got ready in the morning.  Leslie and Scott had their first look right outside the Langham that provided the picture perfect backdrop for these two! A little rain didn’t stop us from taking photos around the city before heading back to Galleria Marchetti for the ceremony.  The rain did prevent us from an outdoor wedding; however, we were able to set up the most beautiful ceremony inside the tent. Fleur Couture adorned the back of the chairs with a garland made up of lemon and bay leaves and lined the entrance with clusters of polished nickel lanterns with mossy green accents. 

Leslie carried a garden style hand tied bouquet of seeded eucalyptus, bay leaves, white peonies and Juliet garden roses.  The bridesmaids carried coordinating bouquets of seeded eucalyptus, blush peonies and garden roses. Each dining table evoked a fresh picked garden feel with a focus on greenery and complimenting spring blooms.  We used classic nickel lanterns surrounded by mercury glass bowls of plumosa, white peonies and ranunculus on some guest dining tables and rustic wooden boxed filled with white hydrangea, berries, apricot stock and queen annes lace adored the others.  Paper Plane Paperie designed the wedding logo that we carried throughout the invitation suite and paper details.  We accented the menu cards with a bay leaf sprig that gave the napkins the perfect pop of color on the neutral tables.

Artistrings’ trio performed for the ceremony and after Leslie and Scott recessed to, “Love Story,” the party continued with Cage and Aquarium keeping the dance floor packed all night and Sapan capturing it all.  We had such an incredible day for Leslie and Scott and it was an honor for us to be a part of it all!  Congrats you two!!

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Wedding Planning: LK Events, Lauren Knuepfer
Venue and Catering: Galleria Marchetti
Rehearsal Dinner: Jane’s
Photographer: Sapan Ahuja
Event Design: Fleur Couture
Entertainment: Cage and Aquarium
Ceremony Music: Artistrings
Officiate: Groom’s Uncle
Wedding Cake: Alliance
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Dana Jasper
Invitations and Day of Items: Paper Plane Paperie
Tables: Halls Rental
Linens: BBJ Linens
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Dress: Amsale
Shoes: Pelle Moda
Groom’s Tuxedo: Tommy Hilfiger
Groom’s Shoes: Johnston and Murphy

An Autumnal Affair at the Iconic Drake Hotel

Hard to believe Ashley and Jim’s October 31st wedding was almost a year ago! From the moment I spoke to Ashley over the phone, I knew we would become fast friends; we clicked immediately! I was so excited to plan Ashley and Jim’s nuptials, especially because they happen to be friends with past clients of mine from Food For Thought. Ashley and Jim are two of the most sincere people I have ever met. They are absolutely adorable together and no matter what decision was being made, they always put each other and their family first.

After looking at a few venues, Ashley and Jim chose the Drake Hotel. Ashley had a feeling all along that the Drake was “the one” and they fell in love with the Grand Ballroom for their October wedding. After choosing Kent Drake to document the wedding weekend and Déjà vu to entertain us all night, we focused on floral and décor and selecting the perfect invitations and day of paper from Magnificent Milestones.

Erin at Revel Decor designed this autumnal affair where she created a brilliant fabric archway for the ceremony with suspended votive candles hanging throughout the entire installation. Pops or orange orchid blossoms hung amongst the glowing candles giving an illusion of floating candlelight and blossoms. Since it happened to be on Halloween, Ashley wanted to give her guests a little fun and seasonal accent. We greeted guests with metallic gold painted mini pumpkins that held escort cards designed by Magnificent Milestones. The tables were adorned with rich orange and white botanicals consisting of hydrangea, roses, orchids and calla lilies and touches of green and burgundy floral hanging. We added foliage and branches to add height to the tall pieces and an abundance of candlelight throughout the entire ballroom.

Ashley and Jim had one of the most heartfelt ceremonies and it was truly an honor being a part of the planning experience and wedding weekend. I am fortunate to call Ashley a dear friend and we couldn’t be happier for you and Jim! Congratulations on one year and thank you for choosing LK Events!

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Ceremony and Reception: The Drake Hotel
Wedding Planner: Lauren, LK Events
Photographer: Kent Drake Photography
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Krystal Hall (bride)
Jessica Bernardi-Meeker (bridesmaids and family)
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Dress: Jenny Yoo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Groom’s Tux: Jos. A. Banks
Entertainment: Deja Vu
Officiate: Bruce Otto, Spirited Weddings
Invitations and Day of Paper: Magnificent Milestones
Rehearsal Dinner: Osteria Via Stato

Elegant Fall Wedding at University Club, Sarah & TJ

I met Sarah almost a year before her wedding day and distinctly remember our two days of traveling around Chicago to find the perfect venue for her and TJ’s wedding. The couple had already decided that they were going to have their wedding ceremony at Saint Clement, and they wanted to find the perfect reception venue to celebrate in. I was very excited that they chose The University Club of Chicago, as Cathedral Hall is an elegant and iconic room in Chicago.

Sarah found Todd James Photography through a friend and he captured the day so beautifully. From the first snowfall of the season, to the faith-filled ceremony, to the beautiful reception in Cathedral Hall, the celebration and joy from Sarah & TJ emanate from their photos. Getting caught in the first snowfall was not planned; however, we all embraced the moment and laughed our way through snowflakes in our eyes and wet snow in our shoes! Along with Todd, Aaron Bean was also onsite to capture all of the moments on video, especially the getting ready karaoke moment from the ladies, such a treasured moment.

Given Sarah’s personality and vision for her wedding day, I knew that she had to meet Alexandra from Exquisite Designs. The two of them hit it off right away and Alexandra designed a beautiful color story and centerpieces that were the perfect look for a fall wedding. I’m completely in love with the Sarah’s bouquet and the lush head table garland. Sarah also has a similar paper goods obsession that I do, so I knew the perfect place for her stationery items would be at Magnificent Milestones. From the menu cards with quotes on them to the matchbooks with their hashtag, they were the little details that helped to make Sarah & TJ’s celebration truly unique. I also loved that they had Allie Hasson create a custom crest to be used as their guest book!

The final touch to Sarah & TJ’s celebration was the music. They wanted a packed dance floor and I knew that Sarah & TJ would love Gold Coast Events and they were over the moon with The Chicago Players. The special surprise was that Sarah’s family organized a flash mob on the dance floor to “Shut Up and Dance” and the look on her face is priceless! Congratulations Sarah & TJ! I was so honored to have been on this journey with you!

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Beauty: Sonia Roselli Studio
Florist: Exquisite Designs
Rehearsal Dinner: Topo Gigio
Ceremony Musicians: Thomas Yang String Trio
Reception Musicians: The Chicago Players
Photo Booth: Shutterbooth
Photographer: Todd James Photography
Linens: BBJ Linen
Lighting: Frost
Room Blocks: Palmer House Hilton, Blackstone Hotel
Stationery: Magnificent Milestones
Crest Guest Book: Allie Hasson
Transportation: Trolley Car & Bus Company
Ceremony Venue: Saint Clement
Reception Venue, Food & Beverage, Getting Ready: University Club of Chicago
Videographer: Aaron Bean Cinema
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

 

Elysia Root Cakes

elysia-root-cakes-lk-events-guest-blogger-chicago-cake-maker_0389 Guest Blogger: Elysia Root of Elysia Root Cakes

Some of the team members at LK Events have quite a sweet tooth, so we sat down with the hottest cake designer in Chicago to get her thoughts on wedding cakes.

Do most of your clients have a clear vision on what they want their wedding cake to look like and to taste like?

I would say about half of our clients know exactly what they want and come into our consultation and tasting appointment with a clear vision. And the other 50 percent have little to no idea of what they want or have almost too many ideas and are having difficulty narrowing things down. It’s ok to be in either camp when meeting with us, because our job is to listen and provide ideas and suggestions.

I personally like to hear about the overall wedding look and feel and hear about the other design decisions that have been made to get a sense of how the wedding cake might fit into that overall vision. Even if you know exactly what you want for the cake, perhaps I could offer a suggestion as to how to personalize the cake or make it even more special.

And if you have too many ideas, that’s ok as well – I like to have each couple walk me through what they like about the different cake photos they bring in, so I get a better sense of their aesthetic in order to create a custom design that reflects the couple’s particular wedding.

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Is there a piece of advice you would give couples as they are looking to finalize their wedding cake?

Before the cake appointment, set aside at least 10-15 minutes to talk to each other first to make sure you both are on the same page regarding the wedding cake. It always makes for a smoother cake consultation appointment when the couple is aligned on what they want in general for the wedding cake.

By no means does this mean that you need to know exactly what you want design-wise or flavor-wise, but things to ask each other before the appointment include:

“What shape of cake do you like for the wedding cake? Round, square, or other?”

“How do you envision cake service? Plated and served tableside for each guest or as part of a dessert station or cake and coffee station?”

“Are there design elements on the cake that are “must-haves” for each person?”

“Would you want a groom’s cake?”

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What trends are you seeing for Fall/Winter wedding cakes?

For Fall, richer jewel tone color palettes are trending in both the cake and sugar flowers we are producing. Gold accents on the cake are also very popular with both Fall and Winter wedding cakes.

The “semi-naked” cake (where there is a thin layer of buttercream on the cake that is scrapped thin to reveal the cake underneath) has been especially popular for our Fall couples.

For Winter, we’re seeing lots of texture as far as ruffles and sparkle to give cakes a fun Winter Wonderland feel.

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Where do you find inspiration for your creativity?

Inspiration is literally everywhere, whether it is a pattern or detail on the wedding invitation, a china pattern, Chicago’s beautiful architecture, the latest fashion trends, or fresh flowers – I see things that I think would look amazing on a cake! It’s always fun to be given free reign to let the creative process flow.

When you’re not wearing your pink chef’s coat, what do you like to do for fun in Chicago?

I have two fun loving and energetic Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers at home, so I love taking the dogs on long walks and exploring the city and we live close to the 606 trail, so that always makes for a nice afternoon walk. I’m also a bit of a foodie and love to go out to eat with my husband to check out the new restaurants in the city and of course, dessert is always my favorite course!

Elysia Root Cakes is a Chicago based designer of beautiful bespoke wedding and special occasion cakes.  Every cake created by the Elysia Root Cakes team is always couture, always custom and always uniquely you.  From modern and contemporary to sophisticated and elegant, Elysia Root Cakes can create the wedding cake of your dreams.

Before launching Elysia Root Cakes, Elysia who has her B.S. in Business from the University of Illinois and a M.B.A. in Strategic Management and Marketing Management from the University of Chicago, worked in the Insurance industry for 10 years in various roles. Cake decorating began as a fun hobby for Elysia in 2010. Before long, Elysia left her corporate job and completed her formal training in the pastry arts at The French Pastry School in Chicago and launched her eponymous business after graduation in 2011.

Photo Credit: Bodas Modernas Photography, Coach House Pictures, Tamara Gruner PhotographyTimTab StudiosAvery HouseElena Banzini PhotographyKent Drake Photography

The Real Definition of D.I.Y.

We feel our industry will always have a debate around D.I.Y. vs hiring event professionals, so we thought we would weigh in on our thoughts on D.I.Y. Weddings.

We sat down together and discussed the following three questions:

When you think of D.I.Y. & Weddings, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Honestly, there was a lot of cringing around the table as we thought of the topic of D.I.Y. & Weddings and that is because the majority of D.I.Y. projects that we have witnessed have not worked out. Many of the Pinterest D.I.Y. tricks are not scalable for a wedding of 200 guests, nor is there a “team” for production, installation or strike. We have also seen the stress and disappointment in the face of the bride (or mother of the bride) when a project has been too much and the end product is not at all what they had envisioned.

However, we also shared stories of beautiful D.I.Y. elements that were just the right amount of a personal touch for the couple’s day.

  • Invitation envelopes with hand calligraphy from the bride.
  • A ring bearer’s pillow made out of the bride’s mother’s and grandmother’s dress.
  • An heirloom lace tablecloth for the head table.
  • Monograms embroidered on linen dinner napkins.
  • Wood signage created by the groom’s parents.
  • Jars of jam from the bride’s hometown as favors.
  • A wooden card box that was a replica of the couple’s new home that was created by the father of the groom.
  • 1000 paper cranes that have been folded by the mother of the bride for the ceremony.

View More: http://christytylerphotography.pass.us/mollie-dave Photo – Christy Tyler Photography

Where do couples go wrong with D.I.Y. projects?

We have witnessed many D.I.Y. projects that have gone wrong and that is why we always try to educate our clients on what D.I.Y. elements are right for their wedding. We often get asked if our clients can purchase items, rather than renting them from another event professional. Depending on the specific item, it usually makes sense to rent from an event company, as you are often left with hundreds of votives, vases, or used dirty napkins, etc.

Couples go wrong with D.I.Y. when they bite off more than they can chew with their level of craftiness or expertise – or space! It takes a lot of space to execute a lot of what you see online and it also takes skills and tools that might not be easy to manage while juggling a career and wedding planning. D.I.Y. projects are complicated from conception to completion and often family and friends have to be brought on board for execution. Yes, this can be a bonding moment; but remember that your family and friends may be stressed with helping you too!

Finally, the wedding day logistics of some D.I.Y. projects can cause headaches for everyone. Most venues, florists and wedding planners will not install certain elements for liability reasons. You also have to be aware of building codes. For instance, buildings and venues in Chicago require special lights that comply with fire hazards and require a licensed professional to install them. Also, your wedding planner has more of a “producer” role for your wedding day, and you do not want him or her setting up your centerpieces when they should be ensuring you’re on time for photos, etc.

diy-wedding-chicago-wedding-planning_0368 Photo – Steven Rosenberg Photography

What is one D.I.Y. component for a wedding that you would recommend for a couple?

We discussed that the reason many people want to incorporate a D.I.Y. element into their wedding is because they want a unique and personal touch to their wedding. Unless your family and friends are going to weddings every weekend, we promise that even a little detail will be that one personal touch that your guests will remember. So keep your D.I.Y. product small and leave the bigger items to the professionals.

Besides the success stories we listed above, here are some other ideas for a D.I.Y. component:

  • If you are an artist, work with your invitation designer to create a custom monogram or seal that can be used on your paper goods or even on your cake. This works because you create the image once and then your event professionals can repurpose the image in various elements in your wedding.
  • Want a unique table runner? Try a bold and patterned wrapping paper or repurpose a duvet cover into runners.
  • Create a talking point over cocktail hour or dinner by incorporating favorite sayings or moments in your relationship on your cocktail napkins or table numbers.
  • Make unique memories with your own photo booth props. Whether you have inside family jokes that you can write on a chalkboard, or live and die by your alma mater, or wish your four legged friend could be with you on your wedding day, these are just a few extra props you can add to your photo booth.

As the debate continues, we will continue to encourage our couples to add unique, personal touches to their wedding day, while relying on the expertise of their event professionals.

XO,
LK Events

 

View More: http://christytylerphotography.pass.us/mollie-dave Photo – Christy Tyler Photography

diy-wedding-chicago-wedding-planning_0369 Photo – Steven Rosenberg Photography

diy-wedding-chicago-wedding-planning_0370 Photo – Averyhouse

Door County Nuptials, Megan & Darrin

I don’t even know where to start with the journey that I had with Megan, Darrin & their parents. Theirs was one of the more memorable weddings that I have worked on, from beginning to end. Their wedding was a team effort – they provided the direction and I helped to curate our team to make their dream a reality. Plus we had a lot of fun and laughter together along the way.

Megan knew that she wanted to get married at her parent’s home in Fish Creek, WI. The next step was to find the right tent company to bring their vision to life. Arena Americas was able to provide the custom size, clear tent that would set the stage for this elegantly eclectic celebration in Door County, WI. Given Megan & Darrin’s hip and laid-back style, I knew I had to introduce them to John & Maura of Stoffer Photography. Their personalities meshed so well and John & Maura were able to capture every detail of the wedding weekend. I absolutely love the sweet First Look, magical First Dance, and the celebratory fireworks, which were a surprise for Darrin!

It was important to the family to use as many local event professionals and it was a fun experience to broaden my network and work with some great companies from Green Bay and Door County. There was Chives, who provided guests with culinary treats like Whitefish Bruschetta, a Raw Bar presented in a canoe, and a family style dinner that featured Fried Perch with Lobster Remoulade. Jeff from Twigs created lush garlands around the ceremony structure and on our wood tables and we brought in re:find Joy to help us with brass accent pieces. Mary from Alpha Delights created the perfect wedding cake for Megan and Darrin, but also provided an abundant and decadent sweets table for the guests to enjoy throughout the evening.

The comfort of their guests was very important to Megan and Darrin, so we researched multiple accommodations to be able to offer guests, including some VRBO homes. (This proved to be a bit of a challenge because September is still in the tourist season in Door County and our room blocks expired months before the wedding date.) They created custom welcome bags for each guest and provided trolley transportation throughout the weekend. Family and friends were also invited to the Rehearsal Dinner the day before the wedding, and the Brunch, the morning after the wedding. It really was a weekend celebration!

There were so many moments of the actual wedding day that stand out to me: the relaxed but excited atmosphere when the girls were getting ready that morning in the house, the string octet playing All of the Lights while Megan walked down the aisle, witnessing Megan and Darrin exchange their vows in front of all of their families and friends, the teamwork we had in creating a magical environment for guests in the tent, the heartfelt welcome by Megan’s father, the surprise performance of “The Cover Girls” during dinner, and a packed dance floor all night long thanks to The Becca Kaufman Orchestra. It was a night I will never forget and I know Megan, Darrin, their families and friends will not forget either!

Congratulations Megan & Darrin! I was truly honored to be a party of your beautiful celebration!

A little note from the couple:

It is difficult to find the words to express our gratitude to Nicole and LK Events for everything that was done help Darrin and I make our dream wedding a reality. Nicole’s graciousness and enthusiasm set the tone for our planning and for the wedding itself.
Nicole was on top of everything!  Her connections with reputable vendors and her ability to keep everyone on task took all of the weight off of our shoulders.  She and her team made multiple trips from Chicago up to Wisconsin to meet with our families and vendors over the planning year to ensure first hand that everything was taken care of.  All I had to do was send Nicole an email about an idea I had about music, bridesmaid gifts or photography and she would respond right away that she would take care of it…and she always did!
On the weekend of the wedding Nicole and her team worked tirelessly to coordinate set-up so that Darrin and I could spend time with our family and friends who had traveled to celebrate the weekend with us.  All that was left for us to do was sit back and enjoy some champagne!

Post-script from Nicole:

The logistics of planning this wedding in Door County, along with the teamwork from everyone involved and the fun that I had with the couple and their families prompted me to submit this wedding for the 2016 NICE Award for Best Logistical Achievement. We were announced as a nominee and the award ceremony was held in Chicago on April 12, 2016. We are very pleased to say that we won the Award! It truly took an amazing team of event professionals to bring the wedding to life!
I also submitted this wedding for the 2016 ILEA Esprit Awards for Best Wedding over $150,000. This was the first time I had submitted my work for an Esprit Award and we were truly honored to be announced as a nominee. The award ceremony was held in Austin, TX, on August 13, 2016, and we were shocked and humbled to have won the Award! With that, I again thank everyone listed below for every part they played in Megan & Darrin’s celebration!

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Bakery: Alpha Delights
Floral: Twigs
Food & Beverage: Chives
Furniture: AFR Event Furnishings
Area Rugs: Bowery & Bash
Rehearsal Dinner: Horseshoe Bay Golf Club
Lighting: ACME Corp Production Resources
Linen: BBJ Linen
Musicians: BeatMix Music & The Becca Kaufman Orchestra
Officiant: Rev. Bob Laubenstein
Photographer: Stoffer Photography
Photo Booth: Shutterbox
Restroom Rental: United Site Services
Room Blocks: Homestead Suites, The Whistling Swan, Cedar Court Inn, The Ashbrooke, Landmark
Stationery: Kate Weidlich (friend of couple)
Tent and Rentals: Arena Americas
Additional Rentals: Lakes Area Rental
Additional Rentals: Hall’s Rental
Additional Rentals: re:find Joy
Transportation: Door County Trolley & Lamers Bus Line
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events