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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

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

Wedding Showcase on a Budget at Chez

All of us on the LK Events team were elated when this past winter we were asked to participate in a wedding showcase at one of our favorite venues in the city – Chez. When we were asked to showcase our services at a booth for newly engaged couples, we struggled with where to begin. How can we show everything that we do on one table? If you are a regular reader of our blog, you might know that our strengths and passions are linked to matching the perfect event professional for our couples and clients, bringing their vision to life, and being their guide through the planning process. We kept thinking that everything that our clients rely on from us is not a tangible product to showcase. It wasn’t until we were brainstorming as a team one day that we realized one aspect that the majority of our clients ask us or struggle with on a regular basis – budgeting for décor.

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We had a goal of showcasing how we guide our clients through developing a realistic budget for their guest count and vision and how it all comes to life. We were so excited about this idea and quickly called our friends at Revel Décor and Tablescapes to help us bring our ideas to life. We had so much fun working with our peers to develop the two tables shown side by side below and were thrilled to talk to newly engaged couples about how to mix and match elements to fit their vision at the Chez Wedding Pop Up!

We are excited to share some of our insider tips on how to develop a strategy for your décor needs and how to mix and match high and low end pieces to create a unique and personal ambiance for your wedding!

  • Before meeting with your planner or a designer, make a list of your priorities for décor. What are the elements that are most important to you? Whether it is custom linens, a specific flower, lighting, or unique seating; your designer and planner will help guide you on how to achieve your “must have” items in your budget!
  • If you would like to cut back spending your budget on linens, remember that you do not need to stick with white cotton poly linen! Colored linens in the same fabric all cost the same price and can bring so much warmth and personality into your reception.
  • If you dream of large and tall centerpieces but can not budget having one at every table, your designer will work with you to create two to three designs in varying price points. Mixing the centerpiece designs not only works with your budget, but also gives your guests so much more to experience at your reception!
  • As we’ve alluded to a few times now, mixing and matching is a great approach to hit any budget! Love a designer linen but can’t afford to outfit every table? Add it to the head table and the escort card table! Or mix and match textured and classic linens in the same color to create dimension. Love chargers for your place settings? Consider using them only at your head table or trying a chop plate at a lower cost instead.

There are so many ways to execute your dreams for your wedding reception and we love being your guide in the process! Thank you so much to our friends at Chez, Revel Décor, Tablescapes, Windy City Linen, Entertaining Company and of course – Vanessa Wheeler at Averyhouse for the incredible photos!

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Refined Summer Elegance at Union League Club of Chicago, Jennifer & Wick

I find that most of my couples have high demand careers and have limited time to plan a wedding. This was true for Jennifer and Wick last year. We strategized when they would have some down time so that we could schedule multiple planning meetings to knock out decisions. I also had the joy of working with Jennifer’s mother, Linda, throughout the planning process and through multiple phone calls, that included a bit of laughter, we were able to put together an amazing team for Jennifer & Wick’s wedding day.

My first thought was to introduce Jennifer & Wick to averyhouse to capture their day. They connected right away and Vanessa was able to navigate our rainy wedding day to capture all of the perfect details. Isn’t Jennifer’s First Look with her Dad so priceless? I loved that Jennifer and Wick were able to see each other for the first time on the terrace at the Public Hotel. It is such an iconic backdrop!

Jennifer, Linda and I absolutely bonded over planning the décor for the wedding. I knew that Jessica at HMR Designs would understand their vision and be able to take it to the next level and we were not disappointed. Everything about the Main Dining Room at the Union League Club of Chicago was enhanced to showcase a style of refined elegance. From the entrance drapery, to the King’s Table, to the custom dance floor, the room was absolutely stunning!

Jennifer’s father, Jim, made one of the best welcome toasts that I have heard over the past 12 years and that set the tone for a very celebratory evening. (You can hear some of it in this highlight reel from Delack Media Group). The Union League Club of Chicago put on an impressive culinary display with a duet entrée of petite filet with blue cheese crust and a jumbo lump crabmeat cake. Once dinner wrapped up, guests were on the dance floor with the High Society Orchestra for a dance party that included baskets of flip flops for tired feet, passed mini hummers for those with a sweet tooth, personalized sunglasses for the cool cats, a dress change for Jennifer, and a wedding wand send off for Jennifer and Wick.

Congratulations Jennifer & Wick! I was so honored to be a party of your beautiful celebration!

A little note from Linda, the Mother of the Bride:

The weekend was fabulous and YOU are a huge reason why.  We cannot begin to thank you enough. You anticipated our every move and were there to lead us, guide us, nudge us, and HELP us.  It was never more evident than when we arrived at our table and my flip flops were under my chair and Jim’s cigar box was on his…and then magically in our room later as were the baskets, vase, leftovers! Thank you for helping make our daughter’s wedding day seamless, beautiful and memorable. We are very grateful!

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Bakery: Bittersweet
Beauty: Pin Me Up
Ceremony: St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church
Floral: HMR Designs
Venue, Food & Beverage: Union League Club of Chicago
Rehearsal Dinner & Post Wedding Day Brunch: University Club
Musicians: High Society Orchestra
Photographer: averyhouse
Chairs: Tablescapes
Getting Ready & Room Block Hotel: Public Chicago
Room Blocks: University Club and The Westin Michigan Avenue
Day of Stationery: All She Wrote
Day of Calligraphy: Stacey Shaprio
Transportation: V.I.P. Valet Services
Cinematographer: Delack Media Group
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

 

Insider Secret – Budget for Food & Beverage

Chicago is a city known for culinary masters and we find that many of our couples prioritize the food and beverage experience at their wedding. We want to share some helpful hints as you review venue and catering proposals for your special day.

Before you begin thinking of your menu and specialty cocktails, we ask our clients to find their comfort threshold for their wedding food & beverage. A great way to start is to think about this scenario: If the two of you were to go out for a nice dinner in Chicago…have a cocktail and an appetizer, a salad course, a bottle of wine, entrée and dessert…how much would you expect to pay for this night out? Now multiply that by 150 guests…or 250 guests. That begins to put things into perspective as you map out how much you will pay for food & beverage on your wedding day.

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Besides the guest count, here are other items that will affect your food & beverage budget:

    • Chicago weddings are known to be open bar weddings – that is about 4 hours of alcohol being served to your friends and family – with a separate wine service for dinner. Some venues require that your alcohol or mixers are purchased through them, so make sure they provide you pricing in their proposal so that you have a complete understanding of your commitment.
    • Beef and some Fish/Seafood entrees are going to be more expensive than a Chicken entrée and when given the choice, most guests will opt for Beef.
    • Everyone loves the idea of Food Stations, but they are actually more expensive than a plated dinner.
    • While specialty cocktails and late night snacks are a popular option, you never have to apply your full guest count to these items…not everyone will try these.
    • Review your proposal carefully to understand what rental items (i.e. tables, chairs, linens, etc) are included in the cost.

Your guests will remember the food & beverage experience at your wedding, so take the time to understand the costs involved in feeding 150 or 250 guests and then you can have fun with your menu choices!

XO,

LK Events

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Photography: averyhouse, Kent Drake Photography

Chicago Botanic Garden, Mariana & Joey

Mariana and Joey’s wedding weekend began after their rehearsal with a lovely Rehearsal Dinner at Skokie Country Club and then they continued the celebration with a Welcome Party at Trifecta Grill.

The morning of the wedding B. Beautiful Chicago and Kristin Ruengpinyophun made sure the ladies’ makeup and hair were picture perfect. Steven from Steven Rosenberg Photography and Will and Vadim from Imagination Designers were there to capture all the getting ready fun and special moments throughout the day. Joey and his groomsmen headed over to the Chicago Botanic Garden for some photos and then Mariana and her bridesmaids headed that way as well. Once Mariana and Joey’s first look was complete it was time for group photos.

After photos were finished it was time for the Wedding Party to head to Glencoe Union Church (which you might recognize this church from the movie Sixteen Candles). After a wonderful ceremony performed by Reverend David Wood it was time to make Mariana’s childhood dream complete as we headed back to the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden for their reception.

Nicole from Fleur Couture added beautiful touches to the English Walled Garden. As guests entered the garden she hung mossy M and J Letters that were accented with fresh blooms on the garden gate doors. The large beautiful tree by the little pond was adorned with garden style arrangements in mason jars hung from navy ribbon and lanterns. The place card table had two large billowy garden style arrangements on both ends composed of hydrangea, garden roses, stock, dahlias, babies breath, curly willow and other seasonal florals in shades of ivory, blush, butter & apricot in ivory iron garden urns. The escort cards were placed atop green moss filled beveled mirrored boxes and mixed in between the boxes were votive candles and large open blooms. Guests enjoyed Crab Cakes, Goat Cheese Croquettes, Pork Tenderloin, Ratatouille Bruschetta and Roasted Scallops.

As guests entered McGinely Pavilion for the reception they took in all the beauty that surrounded them. There were tables with tall clear glass curvy vases topped with airy arrangements of ivory hydrangea, butter, yellow and ivory roses, peach and blush hypericum berries, deep blue delphinium, blush spray roses, blush dahlias, apricot stock, ivory Hawaiian orchids, ivory wax flower queen annes lace, seeded eucalyptus, trailing jasmine with votive candles hanging from curly willow branches. Other tables had low mercury glass footed vases filled with a cascading mix of similar floral in the taller arrangements including some curly willow touches.

Dan from The Indigo Band announced in our newlyweds and they cut their gorgeous cake from Three Tarts Bakery. After the cake cutting Mariana’s parents welcomed their guests and Reverend David Wood blessed the meal. The Best Man and Maid of Honor toasted the happy couple while guests enjoyed their Romaine, Radicchio and Watercress Salad. Guests dined on Filet Mignons, Roasted Salmon or Wild Mushroom Ravioli all cooked to perfection by the team from Culinary Landscape. Mariana’s Father took another moment to speak about his daughter and his new son-in-law. And then it was Mariana and Joey’s turn to honor their families and friends.

After their thank you speech Mariana and Joey had their first dance followed by the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances. And now it was time for The Indigo Band to let loose and get this group on the dance floor and my goodness they kept them on the dance floor all night to the point that I wasn’t sure we were ever going to get them off of it. After the band played their final song was when some of the remaining guests broke into a capella singing and if memory serves me correctly Mariana had a part in this as well. It was such a fun night for everyone!

I was very honored to help Mariana and Joey with their wedding planning process. Throughout their wedding day I was able to see so many loving looks, genuine smiles, laughter and pure happiness. I love catching up with them and always look forward to the next time I see them.

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Band: Indigo with Arlen Music Productions
Brunch: Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel
Cake: Three Tarts Bakery
Caterer: Culinary Landscape
Church: Glencoe Union Church
Floral: Fleur Couture
Hair: Kristin Ruengpinyophun
Makeup: B. Beautiful Chicago
Officiant: Reverend David Wood
Paper Items: Yellow Bird
Photographer: Steven Rosenberg Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Skokie Country Club
Room Block: Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel
Transportation: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker and VIP Valet
Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden
Videographer: Imagination Designers
Welcome Party: Trifecta Grill

The University Club of Chicago, Allison & Matt

Allison and her bridesmaids got ready in the Presidential Suite at the Blackstone Hotel.  After hair and make up completed, Allison put on her Vera Wang gown and saw her father for the first time.  It was such a beautiful moment and we love when our couples get to spend special moments with their parents before heading out for photos.  Allison and her bridesmaids met the groomsmen and Matt for the couple’s first look and additional bridal party photos around the city before the ceremony took place at Old St. Pat’s.

Allison carried a stunning organic hand tied bouquet of garden roses, peonies, ranunculus and vibernum.  Her bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bridal bouquet with accents of pale and deep green.  Guests were greeted by a stunning escort card display of dramatic bells of Ireland and blooming bridal veil in a footed urn.  We covered the table with moss and duvalia ferns and placed the escort cards in antique silver trays, provided by the bride’s parents. 

The guest tables were decorated with three different designs in a lush variety of height and texture.  Stems used lush boxwood, camellia, ferns and hanging amaranthus to complete this garden inspired summer wedding. Allison and Matt sat at a gorgeous sweetheart table that was adorned with a laurel and bay leaf wreath, organic boxwood and an abundance of pillar candles.

Allison and Matt surprised their parents with a personalized note that was at their place settings when their parents sat down for dinner.  It was such a special moment watching both parents read these notes from their children before dinner was to start.  We love touches like this one!

Larry King kept the dance floor packed all night long and Gerber and Scarpelli and Wedding Masterpiece were there to capture it all!  As they celebrate their first anniversary next week, we are thinking of you both and wishing you nothing but love, laughter and happily ever after!  Congrats Allison and Matt!

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Getting Ready Location: The Blackstone Hotel
Wedding Planner: LK Events
Photography: Gerber and Scarpelli
Videography: Wedding Masterpiece
Ceremony: Old St. Pat’s
Reception: The University Club
Entertainment: The Larry King Orchestra
Floral: Stems
Lighting: Frost
Wedding Dress Designer: Vera Wang
Shoe Designer: Charlotte Olympia
Tux Designer: Martin Greenfield
Bridesmaid Dress: Amsale 
Hair: Dana Sokolewicz
Make Up: Carissa Bruce
Invitations and Day of Paper: Clementine Inc.
Linens: BBJ Linens
Chairs: Halls Rental
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Rehearsal Dinner: The Chicago Yacht Club

The Ivy Room, Stephanie & David

The term “Triple Threat” is typically reserved for actors and actresses in showbiz, however Stephanie and David brought the term to wedding planning – a great sense of humor, graciousness, and style. And when I say style – this couple really hit it out of the park. When they teamed up with Jessica from HMR to take Stephanie’s love of the color marsala, bold details, and out of the box ideas into their October wedding, I just knew it was going to be really, really good.

When I first met Stephanie and David, their graciousness and hospitality was evident right from the start. When we started talking about their vision for the wedding day, their answers always came back to making it the best day for their guests. We tackled their desire head on, beginning with transportation for all guests to and from the ceremony – making their trip from downtown hotels easy and enjoyable, with coolers filled with waters and easy pick-up locations. The next approach was through food and drink, and Abby from Boka Catering Group helped Stephanie and David come up with an incredible menu, drinks, and worked in Stephanie’s Croatian heritage into the mix as well with glasses of specialty liqueur, which greeted guests as they entered the reception. The mix of farm tables and round tables with luxurious leather banquets designed by HMR provided their family and friends with unique seating and a stunning atmosphere to dine and celebrate the newlyweds!

With family and friends continuing the unofficial theme of hospitality through some of the most heartfelt speeches I have ever witnessed and surprises for the bride and groom, their guests were in no doubt left with a wedding that was unique, personal, and flowed seamlessly into dancing and late night fun. Front of House kept the party on the dance floor until the very end! We are so excited to share the incredible photos from Pen/Carlson and are so happy for Stephanie and David!

A little note from Stephanie & David:

The entire day was incredible. We cannot thank you enough. You know, a lot was said at the rehearsal dinner about David’s love of rom coms. To steal a line from one, Allison Young, you are our Ambassador of Quan. We love you!

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Ceremony: Alice Millar Chapel
Reception Venue: Leslie Fuller, The Ivy Room
Getting Ready Suite: Trump Hotel
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Photography: Brett and Kiri Carlson, Pen/Carlson
Videography: Tom Buttaccio, XO Pictures
Band: Ken Arlen’s Front of House
Floral and Décor: Jessica Griffin, HMR Designs
Lighing: Frost
Catering: Abby Kritzler, BOKA Catering Group
Linens: La Tavola Linens & BBJ
Rentals: Tablescapes
Hair Styling: Michelle Foust, George The Salon
Makeup: Sami Young, Sonia Roselli Studio
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Invitations & Day of Paper: Kara Gordon, Magnificent Milestones
Wedding Dress: Ultimate Bride, Oscar de la Renta
Planning: Allison Young, LK Events

Eleni & Steve, Saddle & Cycle Club

Theirs is a story of meeting, losing touch with each other, and then falling in love. Eleni & Steve had been dating 6 years when Steve proposed and while both of them did not grow up in Chicago, they call this city their home and wanted to celebrate their marriage here. When I first spoke with the couple, they wanted an elegant, traditional, but unique wedding day. We were able to customize a planning timeline that worked with their busy schedules, yet made them feel informed of the decisions and purchases that had to be made.

My first thought was to introduce Eleni & Steve to averyhouse to capture their day. It was the perfect connection and Vanessa was able to get every moment of the day, and every detail that Eleni chose for the day. But this was not just Eleni’s day, I loved that Steve was so involved in the planning of their wedding day. From their joint decision to get married at Saint Clement, to going on site visits for their reception location, and leading the charge for securing the perfect band, Steve was involved and they seemed to easily agree on every decision.

Eleni & Steve had attended social events at the Saddle & Cycle Club and with new eyes, they fell in love with the venue for their wedding. The expansive green lawn, open terrace and bright ballroom were just what they had in mind for their celebration. To help set more of the theme for the wedding, we worked with Fleur to put together a Timeless Elegant look featuring cream, ivory, green and hints of raspberry. We also had some fun showcasing unique linens like the Ivory Gabriella Linen on the Escort Card Table and the Ivory Corsage Linen on the Hiboys. One of my favorite vignettes of the day was the Escort Card Table – all sorts of prettiness!!

From being introduced to Chelsea Dagger, to the last song of Sweet Home Chicago, the dance floor was packed thanks to the rockin’ tunes of Chicago Groove Collective. Eleni & Steve’s guests were treated to the culinary delights at the Saddle & Cycle Club and the couple’s favorite desserts from Sweet Mandy B’s. Eleni absolutely loves sparklers, things that sparkle, paper goods and pops of pink. All of these items were included throughout the day – bridesmaid dresses, linens, the exquisite stationery from Magnificent Milestones, and bridesmaid bouquet ribbons. While I always get a little nervous around sparklers at the end of the night, their guests enjoyed waving sparklers to congratulate Eleni & Steve and then grabbing some tacos from the Big Star Food Truck.

Congratulations Eleni & Steve! I loved working with you, getting to know you more, and to be able to call you friends!

A little note from Eleni & Steve:

As we woke up this morning, one of our first thoughts was about your absolutely flawless execution of our big day. Thank you so much. We can’t wait to get together with you soon to remember all the craziness!

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Bakery: Sweet Mandy B’s
Beauty: Pin Me Up
Ceremony: Saint Clement
Floral: Fleur
Venue, Food & Beverage: Saddle & Cycle Club
Late Night Food Truck: Big Star
Rehearsal Dinner: Spiaggia
Post Wedding Day Brunch & Room Block Hotel: The Westin Michigan Avenue
Linens: BBJ Linen
Musicians: Chicago Groove Collective
Photographer: averyhouse
Getting Ready & Room Block Hotel: The Four Seasons
Additional Room Block: Raffaello Chicago
Stationery & Signage: Magnificent Milestones
Transportation: V.I.P. Valet Services
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events