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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

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

Irene & Rich, The Racquet Club of Chicago

Congratulations to Irene and Rich who welcomed their son, Luis Felix Paris into the world on March 9th.  He is absolutely beautiful and we could not be happier for you all!

We had so much fun on Irene and Rich’s wedding day.  We began the day getting ready in Irene’s home with her closest friends and family by her side.   After getting dressed in her Amsale gown, Irene met Rich for their first look at the South Gardens of the Art Institute.   Photos continued around the city and then we came back to the Racquet Club to get ready for the ceremony.

Irene carried a textural bouquet composed of blush and white peonies, white ranunculus, blush and white roses and elegant stephanotis blossoms. Guests were greeted by a striking display of monobotanic and monochromatic bouquets in varying glass cylinder vases on mirrored pedestals.  Irene and Rich exchanged vows framed by a collection of pedestals hosting lush floral in an asymmetric configuration.

Irene is from Venezuela so many of their guests were traveling internationally.   It was so important that their friends and family felt comfortable and at home while enjoying the wedding reception. Heffernan Morgan brought in tufted brown leather bars and dark wooden and iron bistro tables for the lounge that allowed their friends and family to sit back and relax throughout the evening.  Guests enjoyed mini chicken empanadas and lamb lollipops and the Racquet Club’s famous sausage en croute along with a gorgeous raw bar display.

The dining tables were adorned with blush peonies, ivory hydrangea, bright green viburnum and pink roses.  We completed the look with tapered candles, pillar candles and etched glass votive candles.  After a delightful dinner of red wine braised short ribs and seared mahi mahi, guests were invited back into the lounge for cake, assorted desserts and dancing. Kent Drake was there to capture it all.  Irene and Rich have one of the most beautiful relationships and I was honored to be a part of their wedding.

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Ceremony and Reception: The Racquet Club of Chicago
Photography: Kent Drake Photography
Ceremony Music: Artistrings
Reception Entertainment: The Chris Sarlas Orchestra
Wedding Cake: Elysia Root Cakes
Floral and Décor: Heffernan Morgan
Lighting: Frost Chicago
Linens: BBJ Linen
Tables: Chicago Farm Tables
Officiant: Bruce Otto, Spirited Weddings
Make Up: Brian Sutherby @ Muse Beauty
Hair: Angelair Salon
Hair on Site: Lauren Logan
Getting Ready Location: Bride’s Home
Honeymoon Suite: The Thompson Hotel
Dress: Amsale
Rehearsal Dinner: Sixteen @ the Trump International Hotel and Tower
Post Wedding Brunch: Fig and Olive
Invitations and Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Transportation: VIP Valet Services

Laurin & Andy, Chicago Botanic Garden

Laurin and Andy met at a Cubs Game on the Fourth of July in Chicago and were engaged five years later in England, where Andy is from.  A few weeks later, they chose the Botanic Gardens for their ceremony and reception. Since Andy’s family was traveling from Great Britain, they knew they wanted a special place for the guests to enjoy this celebration.  Laurin and Andy also wanted to showcase the wonderful city they live in, so after the rehearsal took place at the Gardens, guests enjoyed a classic steak dinner at Gibson’s in Chicago.

The morning of the wedding, Laurin and her bridesmaids got their hair and make up done at Salon Buzz. After getting ready, Laurin headed up to the Botanic Gardens for the first look with Andy. Photos around the Gardens with their bridal party followed.

Laurin carried a romantic teardrop bouquet of peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, freesia and eucalyptus. This fresh garden bouquet looked beautiful with her Vera Wang gown. Andy and his father had traveled to Scotland to select the pattern for his custom kilt.

The bride, a designer, created all of her paper items and even customized signage that we placed around the Gardens.  Every element of her designs was carried through the reception and we completed this look with her floral.  Each of the long rectangle tables showcased a pair of tall summery fresh floral arrangements in shades of blush with textural accents and trailing greenery.  Surrounding the tall pieces was a collection of silver lanterns, silver compotes filled with coordinating floral and greenery and an abundance of candles.  The round tables were adorned with antique silver compotes filled with an array of soft floral and greenery for a fresh picked garden look.  Nicole at Fleur Couture added a lush garland with mixed foliage and a mixture of candles for the head table.  She also added silver lanterns around the lounge areas outside where guests could sit and relax while taking a break from dancing.  Style Matters kept the dance floor packed all night long.  Congrats to Laurin and Andy!!

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Ceremony and Reception: The Chicago Botanic Garden
Catering: Culinary Landscape
Photography: Avery House
Ceremony Music: Artistrings
Wedding Cake: Elysia Root Cakes
DJ: Style Matters
Floral and Décor: Fleur Couture
Hair and Make Up: Salon Buzz
Dress: Vera Wang
Shoes: J Crew
Andy’s Kilt: Vintage family tartan of the Ewing Family
Invitation Suite: Designed by the bride, Laurin Ewing
Getting Ready Location: The Godfrey Hotel
Officiant: Tom Maluga
Transportation: VIP Valet Services

Kathryn & Jed, The Langham Chicago

Sophistication and grace would be the two words to describe Kathryn & Jed and their wedding day. They have a timeless style that was woven throughout their wedding day. From Kathryn’s gorgeous Vera Wang gown to the gardenia blossoms at each place setting, it was a classic celebration captured by Elena Banzini Photography and LEAP Weddings.

Kathryn & Jed worked together to incorporate personal items into their day, like Kathryn’s ceremony procession to Clair de Lune, having their friend read an excerpt from “Gift By the Sea” during the ceremony, and introducing their wedding party to the tune of Cissy Strut.

Vince Hart from Kehoe Designs worked with Kathryn and her mother to create a spring, Southern look to The Langham’s Devonshire Ballroom. Using flowering branches, white orchids, white tulips, mint hydrangea, and touches of green camelia foliage, guests were transported to a lovely, spring garden. Guests then enjoyed a first course of Maine lobster risotto with English peas, red sorrell, vanilla bean oil and espelette. A choice entrée of organic salmon or slow-roasted filet mignon followed, with the granddaddy of a finish…a custom four-tier cake from Elysia Root Cakes.

Kathryn & Jed chose to work with a choreographer for their first dance and they were such a striking pair, gliding over the dance floor to the Chicago Catz’s rendition of Love Is Here to Stay. Congratulations to Kathryn & Jed, a couple who will never go out of style!

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Wedding Gown: Vera Wang
Bakery: Elysia Root Cakes
Beauty: Sara & Cherie from Sonia Roselli Studios
Floral/Décor: Kehoe Designs
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Musicians: artistrings
Reception Musicians: Chicago Catz
Photographer: Elena Banzini Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Sepia
Friday Night Welcome Reception: Stout Barrel House
Rehearsal Dinner Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Company
Linens: BBJ Linen
Rentals (chairs, chargers): Hall’s Rental
Room Blocks: The Langham and The Kinzie Hotel
Invitation Suite: Hannah Handmade
Ceremony Programs: All She Wrote
Escort Card Calligraphy: Mary Zabrin
Venue, Food & Beverage: The Langham, Chicago
Videographers: Josh & Rob from LEAP Weddings
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

Liz & Dave, Chicago Illuminating Company

I am not even sure how to begin to tell about the journey I had with Liz & Dave in planning their wedding day. It was one filled with laughter, planning pretty details, and setting a foundation of a friendship. I was so honored to work with these two…and their families and amazing team of creative partners!

We started the wedding day at the Four Seasons with Liz and her ladies having hair and make-up done by Sara & Melissa from Sonia Roselli Studios. It’s not like these girls needed a lot of extra primping to look absolutely stunning! Meanwhile, Dave and his gentlemen were relaxing in another room and even spending some time with Webster, Dave & Liz’s dog. As Tim Tab Studios and Chris & Oliver arrived at the Four Seasons, we had the wedding party finalize their preparations and let Liz and Dave have some personal time to open each other’s wedding day gifts. What a very special moment!

Once Liz and Dave were dressed in their finest and ready to go, we had them arrive separately at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their First Look. How cute are these two!?! I don’t think they ever stopped smiling all day! The Lyric Opera was a perfect location to keep Liz & Dave and their wedding party out of the rain we had that day. But it was also fun to grab some umbrella pictures at the Museum Campus. It was so amazing to have the clouds break and sun come out for the rest of their special day! These shots from Tim and Bethany are award-winning!

While photos were being captured around the city, we were also managing the set up for the ceremony and reception at Chicago Illuminating Company. Guests arrived and walked down the brick alley to the tent covered courtyard. They were able to grab some flavored water before finding a seat, all while being serenaded by musicians from the Becca Kaufman Orchestra. Jessica from HMR Designs had worked with Liz on a romantic setting with a boxwood wall backdrop with two large arrangements flanking the couple. The use of the French Country chairs in this setting was absolutely perfect!

Rev. Tom Maluga performed a lovely ceremony for Dave and Liz with a special blessing from Father FitzGerald. Then it was time to celebrate with the new Mr. & Mrs.! Guests were welcomed into Room 21, which was decorated with hiboy and cabaret tables with cameo shantung linen and white ruffle linen with gold stich. There were also large round ottomans for additional seating. Meanwhile, the staff from Entertaining Company was passing Prosecco with a fresh raspberry garnish, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin, Pear & Smoked Gouda Quesadillas and Cucumber Yellowfin Tuna Lillipops…just to name a few.

Guests were then brought into the main event space for dinner. The room was a perfect mixture of sequins, stripes and pure elegance. From the drapery to the mixture of table sizes and textures to the gold rimmed glassware to the crystal versaille chairs and the low, lush floral arrangements – it was such a romantic picture. Liz and Dave had their parents and wedding party enter the dining room to “Bust a Move”, while they entered the room as husband and wife to “You Make My Dreams”. Guests enjoyed a lovely meal with a Wild Field Greens first course and a Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin & Seabass duet entrée.

After a lovely speech from Liz and Dave, they hit the dance floor for their first dance to “Into the Mystic.” The Becca Kaufman Orchestra performed this and the parent dances and then the dance floor was open. So was the dessert station!!! Between the beautiful and yummy carrot cake from Elysia Root Cakes and the mini desserts (like the warm doughnut holes and nutella crepes) from Entertaining Company, guests were in heaven. For those guests that needed a break from the dancing, we transformed the brick alley into a cigar bar. So many details and so many pretty things for a couple that I am honored to call my friends. Congratulations Liz & Dave!

PS – Please check out some of Liz’s thoughts on her wedding and follow her at Sequins & Stripes.

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Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Hair & Make-Up: Sonia Roselli Studios
Bakery: Elysia Root Cakes
Favors: Matchbooks from Magnificent Milestones
Florist: HMR Designs
Food: Entertaining Company
Bridesmaids Luncheon: Fred’s at Barney’s New York Chicago
Rehearsal Dinner: River Roast
Welcome Reception: Glascott’s Saloon
Post Wedding Day Brunch: Thompson Hotel
Hotel Room Block: Four Seasons, Thompson Hotel, Hilton Chicago
Musicians: Becca Kaufman Orchestra
Officiant: Rev. Tom Maluga
Photographer: Tim Tab Studios
Stationery & Calligraphy: Holly Hollon & Emily Irwin at Paper Plane Paperie
Transportation: V.I.P. Valet Services
Venue: Chicago Illuminating Company
Videographer: Chris & Oliver
Wedding Planner: LK Events