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Angela & Trip, The Langham Chicago

Working with amazing couples and talented colleagues in Chicago is why I love my job so much. When I first met Angela and Trip, I knew that we were going to have a fun journey together and that they were going to have a beautiful wedding day. I was not wrong.

Angela and Trip really made a weekend out of their wedding because they wanted to show off the city that they love. The day before the Wedding, Trip had a Groom’s Brunch at Hash House A- Go-Go and then took his groomsmen on a river boat cruise. Angela and her ladies had a luncheon at Jane’s with a mani-pedi party at Polish & Pour. We then had a Rehearsal at Saint Clement with a Dinner/Welcome Party following that at Little Goat. What a way to start the festivities!

On the morning of the wedding, Angela and her ladies gathered in her suite at The Langham, Chicago, for hair and make-up appointments. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, except for the fact that we were still waiting for a bridesmaid to get into Chicago. Unfortunately, her flight was affected by some disturbance at O’Hare and she had grabbed the Amtrak Train and was traveling straight through to be by her friend’s side. That is definitely a best friend!

Angela was soon stepping into her stunning Lazaro gown and then Amanda Hein was bringing her to the Plaza to meet her fiancé. These photos!! Amanda truly captured the spirit of Angela & Trip and their love of Chicago. After some more photos inside The Langham with their wedding party and family, we all traveled up to Saint Clement for the wedding ceremony. I always love seeing couples getting married in the parish I call home and Angela and Trip’s ceremony was very touching.

We shuttled guests back to The Langham, Chicago, where they were greeted with passed sparkling water and wine, along with Specialty Cocktails – the Bride’s Moscow Mule and the Groom’s Old Fashioned. They also noshed on a North Carolina Style Pulled Pork Slider and Mini New England Lobster Rolls while mingling with Angela and Trip. We soon brought everyone into the Devonshire Ballroom for dinner and Cornelia McNamara had provided a spectacular fall, romantic and classic atmosphere, with beautiful paper accents from Courtney Callahan. After Angela and Trip were introduced as husband and wife, they had their First Dance to “Home”. Guests were delighted with the culinary skills at The Langham and Rendezvous soon had them on the dance floor for a party that lasted until after midnight. Congratulations to my newest friends, Angela & Trip!

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Gown: Lazaro
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair Stylists: Ashley Young Styling
Make-up Artist: Cherie from Sonia Roselli
Florist: Cornelia McNamara
Ceremony Musicians: Chicago Musical Connection
Reception Musicians: Rendezvous
Photographer: Amanda Hein Photography
Photo Booth: Shutterbooth
Rehearsal Dinner: Little Goat
Room Blocks: The Langham Chicago, Westin Chicago River North, Conrad Chicago
Stationery: Courtney Callahan Paper
Transportation: Chicago Trolley Company and M&M Limousine & Bus
Ceremony Venue: Saint Clement
Venue, Food & Beverage: The Langham, Chicago
Lighting: PSAV
Wedding Planner: 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

Molly & Alex, Esperanza Resort in Mexico

I had the pleasure of planning Molly and Alex’s wedding in Cabo San Lucas in May.  We started planning their destination wedding in late September as their wedding was to take place in Molly’s parent’s backyard.  After a few months of planning, Molly and Alex decided they wanted something smaller and intimate, with their closest family and friends.  I will never forget the day we sat down to discuss options in Cabo, a place that was very special to them.  I was so excited to begin the plans because I knew we would make this work in 8 months!  And we did!

Esperanza is an Auberge resort located next to the Baja Peninsula overlooking the Sea of Cortez.  Guests were welcomed to the resort with personalized totes that included Mexican tequila, shot glasses, local margarita mix, limes and salt, sunglasses, playing cards and a schedule of events to get through the wedding weekend.   Wednesday night we celebrated the birthday of Molly’s brother at a private party at El Dorado.  The chef prepared fish tacos and ceviche on site and guests enjoyed the stunning ocean view.

The Welcome Party was held on Thursday night at La Palapa in Esperanza. There were food stations of ceviche, empanadas, fish tacos, quesadillas and plenty of margaritas.  We had wish lanterns for guests to write their wedding wishes and they were sent off as the sun was setting.  For dessert we served churros with chocolate and caramel sauce and surprised the guests with a fireworks show!  It was the perfect way to kick of the wedding weekend.

Vendors started to arrive on Friday along with the LK team.  Preparations for the weekend began!  Guests enjoyed a day of golf at Cabo Del Sol or a Pool Party at Cocina Del Mar entertained by DJ Spider, flown in from LA.  In the early evening, we had the ceremony rehearsal on the beach.  The bridal party, family and close friends headed over to Corazon de Alcachofa for an intimate Rehearsal Dinner.  Later that evening, the LK team oversaw the installation of the pool cover, which was quite a site!  We were so excited for the next day.

Guests arrived at a Private Villa Garden and enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres and champagne.  The bridal party freshened up after spending the late afternoon taking photos.  Los Mosquitos Quartet entertained guests during the pre-ceremony cocktail hour.  As soon as they moved down to the beach, guests began to follow and take their seats.  Molly and Alex were married on the beach, under a stunning chuppah.  It was fully covered in curly willow, white hydrangeas, white roses and white phalaenopsis orchids. Clear glass candles hung under the chuppah offering ambient light as the sun was setting.  Guests were seated on benches, couches, ottomans and chairs.  The custom made wooden platform allowed the bridal party to walk down the aisle with ease.  Immediately following the ceremony, guests walked back to the Pool Terraces.  The Gentleman of Leisure began playing and the dance floor opened.  After 30 minutes of dancing and the sun had set, guests took their seats on wooden tables adorned with custom runners, collections of floral that included clear glass vases of varying heights filled with white hydrangeas, roses, peonies, phaleonopsis orchids and curly willow.  Lamps hung above the tables with curly willow, roses and clear glass candles.  Dinner was served family style – grilled Caesar salad, crab cakes and Ahi tuna to start.  Followed by roasted chicken, sea scallops and beef tenderloin.  For dessert, guests enjoyed a beautiful station of petite sweets and of course, the Mother of the Bride’s famous carrot cake that the pastry chef re-created several times until he perfected the recipe!

Guests danced the night away on the white wooden platform that covered the main pool area of the resort.  We brought in lounge furniture and small tables, wooden bars and floral for guests to relax while enjoying the view of the Sea of Cortez.  Right before 10 PM as the dance floor was getting crowded, we surprised guests with a firework show while the Hora began. A few hours later guests made their way to El Bar for some late night quesadillas and s’mores, entertained by DJ Spider and DJ Chris.

The next morning, a farewell brunch was served at Cocina Del Mar and El Bar.  Later that day, a pool party continued entertained by DJ Spider in the exact location of the wedding reception.  We removed the pool cover installation and every table, chair and décor element between 2 and 6 am to bring the pool back to life for the next day!  This was one of LK’s most memorable weddings and we owe it all to the team of vendors we were so fortunate to work with.  The Esperanza team, Elena Damy, The Gents, transportation, hair and makeup….no detail was overlooked and we had Chris and Lynn and I Do Films there to capture every moment.  Congratulations Molly and Alex and thank you for letting us be a part of this incredible wedding celebration!

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Wedding Planner: LK Events
Photographer: Chris + Lynn Photographers
Ceremony and Reception Location: Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Videographer:  I Do Films
Save the Dates, Invitations and Day of items: Magnificent Milestones
Bride’s Gown (Ceremony): Vera Wang
Bride’s Gown (Reception): Monique Lhullier
Grooms Attire: Custom Made Tuxedo
Floral, Decor, Lighting, Furniture: Carlos and Elena Damy
Cake : Martha Melman’s Special Occasion Carrot Cake recreated by Esperanza
Entertainment: The Gentleman of Leisure
DJ’s: DJ Spider and DJ Chris Kennedy
Makeup: Brian Sutherby, Muse Beauty
Hair: Kelly Cardenas Salon
Transportation: Esperanza
Rehearsal dinner: Corazon de Alcachofa
Officiant: Reverend Marco Arechiga

Blair & Rob, Chicago History Museum

Even though a couple’s wedding day is nothing about me, there are some couples that just bring me so much joy and laughter. This was the case with the stunning Blair and debonair Rob. Our journey together in planning their wedding was filled with fun and continually crossing off items on our To-Do lists!

When our team arrived at Public Chicago on the morning of the wedding, Blair and her ladies and her mom were in the midst of all of their beauty appointments with Lauren Logan and Brian Sutherby. There was much excitement in the air and soon we were putting Blair into her wedding dress. It was a very special moment as this was her mother’s wedding dress and doesn’t she look stunning? We then brought up Rob to have a look at his bride and their moments were absolutely priceless.

Rob, Blair and their Wedding Party then left with Taylor Lord for some fun photos around Chicago! We then joined up with them again at the Chicago History Museum for a few more photos until guests began arriving. Allison from Stems completely transformed the South Gallery with beautiful large arrangements with lush floral, branches, foliage and vines. This is definitely one of our favorite ceremony set-ups! When guests entered the room they were greeted with Ginger Rosemary Lemonade and lovely prelude music from artistrings.

Rev. Dave Angle performed a lovely ceremony for Blair and Rob and soon we had guests out on the Plaza for the Cocktail Hour. It was a beautiful July day and guests enjoyed the Specialty Cocktail of Bees Knees and hors d’oeuvres like Ahi Tuna on a Lotus Root Chip and Chile Rubbed Chicken in a Crispy Wonton. While guests mingled and congratulated Blair and Rob, the North and South Gallery was transformed into an elegant summer evening reception. From the ivory shantung linens to the fruitwood versaille chairs and the stunning centerpieces, the room was a perfect picture of elegance.

Blair and Rob chose for just the two of them to be introduced into the room for dinner and both of their fathers provided a short speech before dinner was served. The meal that evening featured Blair’s recipe for Blue Cheese Grits alongside a duet of Flat Iron Steak and Pan Seared Chicken. The guests absolutely devoured it all! But there was still room for some delicious Red Velvet Cake from Amy Beck Cake Design. Then to top off the celebration of Blair and Rob, the Gold Coast All Stars kept all of the guests on their feet all night. What a wonderful evening and congratulations to Blair & Rob!

PS – Please check out some of Blair’s thoughts on her wedding and follow her at The Fox & She.

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Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Gown: Redesigned Mother’s Wedding Gown
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make-Up: Brian Sutherby
Bakery: Amy Beck Cake Design
Florist: Stems
Food: Food For Thought
Bridesmaids Luncheon: LuxBar
Rehearsal Dinner: Gibson’s Bar & Restaurant
Hotel Room Block: Public Chicago
Musicians (Ceremony & Cocktail Hour): artistrings
Musicians (Reception): Gold Coast All Stars
Officiant: Rev. Dave Angle
Photographer: Taylor Lord
Stationery & Calligraphy: The Bride
Transportation: V.I.P. Valet Services
Venue & Beverages: Chicago History Museum
Wedding Planner: LK Events

Ashley & Aaron, The Field Museum

I was ecstatic when Ashley called me to tell me she was engaged! I planned her brother’s wedding a few years ago I knew this was going to be so much fun! Ashley and her family are family to me; my parents were with her in Italy when Aaron proposed – in Italy! Doesn’t get much better than that J And so it began….

When Ashley and Aaron walked into Stanley Field Hall at The Field Museum, we knew this was the place for them. They were beaming! We walked outside on the Northeast Terrace and Ashley told me that this was the place she wanted to marry Aaron. The Field Museum holds a special place in my heart and I was so excited to begin the planning for the next year.

Music was very important to these two and we contracted Greenlight who kept the dance floor packed the entire night. Ashley’s brother is an incredible musician and he wrote and performed a song for her during the reception. It was awesome!

Jessica at Heffernan Morgan designed this elegant affair for Ashley and Aaron. Ashley loved sunflowers so Jessica created a gorgeous Escort Card display with various heights and risers wrapped in custom navy and white fabric. The sunflowers held each guests’ escort card. The ceremony aisle featured beautiful arrangement of ivory and green hydrangea, yellow snap dragons, petite white spray roses and vibrant yellow roses. We used these arrangements near the lounge vignettes inside Stanley Field Hall for the reception; they looked incredible!   We had square and round dining tables adorned with the rich yellow, green and ivory floral combinations and added antique gold etched glass candles and votives that completed this garden party. We brought in lounge groupings on shag rugs accented with petite floral centerpieces that made Stanley Field Hall so warm and inviting. Guests were served from sleek double mirrored bars which matched the mirrored stage surround that added a touch of glamour to the dance floor area.

Ashley carried a soft and textural bouquet of pale yellow garden roses, white ranunculus, light yellow spray roses, butter garden stock and white freesia.  Aaron wore a white ranunculus with freesia for his boutonniere.

The menu planning was such a blast for all of us! Ashley and Aaron wanted to incorporate their love for Italy and Italian foods and Blue Plate worked with us to customize a perfect menu for them. We started the seated dinner off with an Antipasti Course; a Burrata Salad with sliced red and yellow tomatoes and next was the Pasta Course; Truffled Pecorino Gnocchi with a Parmesan Cream and White Truffle Oil and for the Secondi; guests’ choice of Cracked Pepper Crusted Beef or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. Guests enjoyed a Gourmet Cappuccino Station and a Dolci Station with Italian and American petite sweets for dessert. We served Mini Sliders, Mac and Cheese Cups, Mini Grilled Cheese and Chocolate and Vanilla Milk Shakes for Late Night and guests were treated to a Candy Station with Ashley and Aaron’s favorite candy and Mini Gelato Cones as they departed.

Ashley and Aaron had the most perfect day and it was an honor for me to be a part of it. Matt and Vanessa with Avery House captured every precious moment from these two. We loved every minute of working together and I am so happy for them!!

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Planner: LK Events
Photographer: Avery House
Videographer: I Do Films
Honeymoon Suite: The Palmer House
Ceremony and Reception Location: The Field Museum
Dress: Vera Wang
Bridesmaid Dresses: Joanna August Newberry Long, Tangled Up in Blue
Groom and Groomsmen Tux: J Crew
Flower Girl: J Crew
Ring Masters: J Crew
Bride’s Shoes: Bridal Tom’s
Ceremony and Reception Entertainment: Greenlight
Catering: Blue Plate
Cake: Cake Chicago
Invitation and Day Of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Officiant: Bride’s Cousin
Floral and Décor: Heffernan Morgan
Lighting: Frost Chicago
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Brian Sutherby, Muse Beauty
Photo Booth: Smile Booth
Rehearsal Dinner: Quartino’s
Thursday Night Welcome Party: Parents of the Bride’s Home
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Sunday Brunch: The University Club

Citlaly & John, Union Station Chicago

Citlaly and John both agree on how their journey began but when you ask who spoke to who first that day on the trolley well that part is still up for debate even to this day.  What isn’t up for debate, however, is how much these two are madly in love with each other.

The morning of the wedding the ladies headed over to Zazu Salon in Hinsdale to start getting ready with Citlaly’s Man of Honor supervising the process.  After hair and makeup they went back to Citlaly’s parent’s house to finish getting ready and begin taking photos and video as soon as David Wittig Photography and XO Pictures arrived.  In the meantime John and his guys were getting ready at the Palmer House waiting in anticipation for their trolley from Chicago Trolley and Double Decker to arrive so they could head out and get some photos and video of their own before heading to the church.

Citlaly donned in a gorgeous mermaid style Vera Wang gown with a cathedral length veil and carried a gorgeous peony and rose bouquet as she was was escorted by her father down the aisle at Holy Family Church.  If you’ve ever stepped foot in Holy Family Church you already know how breathtaking it is.  So Lauren with Fleur de Lis Florist kept things simple and elegant with a variety of arrangements composed of white hydrangea, tuberose, garden and spray roses and various greenery.  The ceremony was performed by visiting Father Adan Sandoval and there was even music by a Mariachi Band!  The Mariachi Band continued the celebration at Union Station by playing during Cocktail Hour and even a few songs during the reception.

Their guest book was a variety of postcards for people to write messages to the happy couple and then a friend takes the cards and is responsible for mailing them a card once a week until the cards run out.  Such a fun way to keep the wedding magic going!

Lauren at Fleur de Lis Florist and Maggie at Frost Lighting worked hand in hand to design amazing décor at Union Station.  Maggie used uplighting in amber tones on the marble columns and installed sheer ivory panels on which she projected textured lighting.  She used color washes to create movement and texture during dinner and ramped it up for dancing.  Citlaly’s father had these amazing marble tea light candle holders made for each guest to be used as their Escort Card along with marble pedestals that Lauren used for centerpieces during dinner.  Her centerpieces of gorgeous arrangements of white hydrangea, cream, blush and pink colored garden and spray roses and accents of gardenia blossoms sat atop pink shantung linens.

Citlaly and John wanted the food they served to their guests to be a reflection of their life together as a couple and so decided to team up with Anna and the amazing staff at Food for Thought to make their favorite things and home recipes come to life for their guests.  With John being from Wisconsin there was no doubt that there was going to be a cheese station.  But if we were going to have a cheese station we also needed to have housemade authentic guacamole to represent Citlaly’s Mexican background and we had to have Jalapeno Margaritas for the specialty cocktail.

After dinner Citlaly and John cut their cake and gave their toast which led into a slide show they had put together for their guests.  Shortly into dancing we had the La Vibora de la Mar which is a Mexican traditional dance where Citlaly and John stand on chairs while holding her veil like an arch for all of their guests to dance underneath their archway and through the tables.  It was such a fun and exciting dance to witness.  Clowning Around provided the flip book photobooth which was a huge hit with their guests…the life size cutouts of Oliver and Bella were very popular.

For dessert they had an assortment of sweets but the show stopper was made by Selene from Cakes from Atlantis who brought their journey to life with a three-part cake symbolizing their lives together up to their wedding day.  The first cake represented where their journey began upon a trolley where they first met.  The second cake showed John’s proposal over a fun game of Scrabble and the last cake was a replica of the ceiling at Union Station with John, Citlaly, Oliver & Bella (their furry kids) figurines.

We loved working with Citlaly and John on their wedding and enjoyed all the personal touches that they incorporated into their big day.  We love you both and wish you a lifetime of happiness.

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Wedding Planners: LK Events
Salon:Zazu Salon
Photography: David Wittig Photography
Videography: XO Pictures
Transportation: Chicago Trolley and Double Decker
Honeymoon Suite: Palmer House
Dress: Vera Wang
Ceremony Venue: Holy Family Church
Reception Venue: Union Station
Florist: Fleur de Lis Florist
Cake: Cakes from Atlantis
Music: DJ Chicago
Photo Booth: Clowning Around
Mariachi Band: Pedro Medina
Officiant: Adan Sandoval
Lighting: Frost Chicago
Caterer: Food for Thought

Carolyn & Eddie, Adler Planetarium

Carolyn and Eddie were such a joy to work with. I will never forget the summer day I met Carolyn and her Mom at one of my favorite cafés in Lincoln Park, Floriole Café and Bakery. We hit it off immediately; they were so much fun to talk to and just excited to get the wedding plans started. And that we did!

Carolyn and Eddie knew they wanted a Chicago wedding. They chose the Adler Planetarium after visiting a few venues and fell in love with the gorgeous skyline view. We decided to have their ceremony in Lincoln Park, in order to give their guests a full “Chicago” experience.

Amanda Hein and White Wedding Cinema captured every moment of the wedding day. We started with hair and make up at the Radisson Blu Hotel where the girls and guys finished getting ready. We transported all of the wedding guests by bus to the Foreman Pavilion at the Lincoln Park Zoo where the ceremony was held. Carolyn and Eddie were married under a gorgeous chuppah designed by Kloeckner and the Meetinghouse Company. After Carolyn and Eddie were pronounced husband and wife, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvre by Tigerlily on the south end of the Pavilion before heading over to the Adler for yet another cocktail hour, overlooking Lake Michigan. Food For Thought served the bride and groom’s favorite cocktails, Cava Sangria and Watermelon Ginger Aqua Frescas. We had a Martini Bar offering Lemon Drops, French and Pineapple Infused martinis and guests enjoyed more hors d’oeuvre while listening to one of Sarlas’ acoustic guitar players. Kloeckner designed each table with Carolyn’s favorite flowers – a collection of hot pink roses, hydrangea, orchids and roses. Once guests were invited inside Galileo’s, we introduced the bridal party and went straight into dancing. Carolyn and her Dad surprised the guests (and Eddie!) with a choreographed dance to “The Way You Look Tonight.” It was such a special moment as was the rest of the evening. The room was filled with love, laugher, friends and family and endless dancing thanks to Sarlas Orchestra! Congratulations to Carolyn and Eddie!

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Getting Ready Location: Radisson Blu Hotel
Rehearsal Dinner: The Chicago Yacht Club
Ceremony: Foreman Pavilion at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Reception: Adler Planetarium
Dress: Vera Wang
Floral and Décor: Kloeckner
Floral and Décor for Ceremony: The Meetinghouse Company
Lighting: Spin Productions
Catering: Food For Thought
Ceremony Catering: Tigerlily
Transportation: Odyssey
Hair and Make Up: Bride’s Stylist and Artist
Photography: Amanda Hein Photography
Videography: White Wedding Cinema
Valet: Sam’s Valet
Ceremony, Cocktails and Reception Entertainment: Sarlas’ Orchestra
Cake: Orland Bakery (Orland Park)
Dessert Station: Kirstin’s Bakery (Burr Ridge)
Invitations/Day of Items: Greenstar Paperie
Day of Items: Design Studio Creations

Jen & Joe, Napa Valley

Planning Joe and Jen’s Wedding was one of the many highlights of last year, especially because the groom happens to be my little brother. We had an absolute blast planning their Napa Valley nuptials!

Jen grew up in the Bay Area and always knew she wanted a Wine Country Wedding. After visiting Napa Valley and Sonoma to look for venues, we decided on The Vintage Estate in downtown Yountville. The Vintage Estate was incredible – large enough to hold 250 + guests, ceremony, reception and dinner could be held outside and we could continue the dancing and reception late into the evening in their barrel room.

We had the most incredible team of vendors. Vrai Photography and I Do Films flew out to Yountville for the weekend to capture every moment, starting with the Rehearsal Dinner at Merryvale. Déjà vu Band from Chicago also came out to celebrate with the couple and kept the dance floor packed until the early hours of the next morning. Sharla Flock Designs created the most beautiful table arrangements consisting of hydrangeas, roses, dahlias and foliage to capture a natural, organic feel for this outdoor wedding. We brought in wooden farm tables, wooden wine barrels for cocktail rounds, tons of candles and lanterns along with hanging café lights to create an intimate feel during this outdoor reception. We placed the escort cards into wooden boxes filled with fresh grapes and vines and displayed them on a wooden farm table. Magnificent Milestones created the beautiful save the dates, invitations and all of the day of items for Jen and Joe. It was incredible!

We had the best wedding weekend starting a Bridesmaid Luncheon at Chandon, Groomsmen Luncheon at Quintessa and the Rehearsal Dinner at Merryvale – which was held in the stunning Cask Room. We adorned one long table with candelabras and an abundance of floral and it was such a beautiful setting. The bridesmaids and groomsmen got ready in separate suites at The Vintage Estate and Joe and Jen had their “first look” at Quintessa – a special place for both families. We took pictures around the estate and made our way back to The Vintage Estate where the ceremony was held outside and guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvre in the lawn while dinner was being set up. Guests enjoyed dinner made from the freshest ingredients from the valley and paired with the couples’ favorite Napa Valley wines. We served dessert and late night snacks in the Barrel Room as guests danced the night away. It was the perfect setting and an unforgettable wedding weekend! Congrats Jen and Joe!

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Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Vintage Estate, Yountville, CA
Getting Ready Location: The Vintage Inn
Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew
Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Floral and Décor: Sharla Flock Designs
Lighting: The Lux Productions
Invites and Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Cupcakes and Dessert Station: Sift Cupcake
Catering: The Vintage Estate
Photography: Vrai Photography
Videography: I Do Films
Linens: La Tavola and Classic Party Rentals
Farm Tables and Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Ceremony and Reception Entertainment: Déjà vu
Hair and Make Up: Sherrie Long
Rehearsal Dinner: Merryvale
Bridal Luncheon: Chandon
Groomsmen Luncheon: Quintessa
Day of Coordinators: Stacy McCain Event Planning

Jessica & Michael, The Ivy Room

I had the absolute pleasure of helping coordinate one of my dearest friends and colleagues’ wedding this past March.  Jessica and I have been working together for several years as she is a talented senior floral designer for Heffernan Morgan.  We became fast friends and have worked on some of our most memorable weddings together.  I was honored when she asked me to help with her wedding plans.

Jessica knew when Michael proposed, that she wanted her ceremony at St. Michael’s Church in Old Town.  The reception was at her favorite venue in Chicago, The Ivy Room.  Given her event schedule, Jessica decided on having the wedding in March, which worked out perfectly, given that March is one of the best months for floral! Jessica designed her entire wedding, starting with the gorgeous bridesmaids gifts.  She made each of them custom wooden boxes with wedding inspirations and personal messages about how important each of the girls were to her.  The bridesmaids all wore variations of gold, champagne and ivory dresses that looked beautiful with the groomsmen’s grey suits.

For the reception, Jessica used bold patterns in shades of gold, ivory and grey, with an abundance of candlelight and modern lighting.  These elements created a sophisticated yet warm and intimate feel.  The floral centerpieces consisted of garden roses, white sweet pea (the bride’s favorite), ranunculus, dusty miller and camelia.  For the “dinner club” feel, banquettes were used that surrounded custom mirrored top tables.  There were custom grey patterned linens on the round and long rectangular tables.  The gold sequin linens that adorned the head table were stunning, along with the custom sputnik chandeliers that hung low over the banquettes.

Jessica created and assembled all of her own invitations, programs, menu and place cards.  Her father made the backdrop for the band, Michael’s dad made the wooden table numbers and Jessica’s mom made the late night cookies to go.  A real family affair! Jessica even baked her own wedding cake!!  Her delicious carrot and chocolate cake was THE best wedding cake I have ever had.

Jessica’s design expertise showed in creating her own magnificent wedding reception.  She had so many personal details that made her wedding day truly special and unique to her and Michael.  It was such an honor to be able to help one of my dearest friends with her wedding.

Congratulations Jessica and Michael!

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Ceremony Site: St. Michael’s Church in Old Town
Reception Venue: The Ivy Room
Photographer: Kent Drake Photography
Caterer: Entertaining Company
Band: Green Light Band
Rentals: Halls Rentals
Linens: BBJ Linen & Tailored Elements
Floral and Decor: Heffernan Morgan Ronsley (HMR) Designs
Planner: LK Events
Cutting Cake: Tipsy Cake
Wedding Cake: THE BRIDE!
(Jessica baked the cakes that were served to the guests – carrot and chocolate)
Bride’s Dress: White by Vera Wang
Bride’s Shoes: BCBG
Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss
Groom’s Shoes: Gucci
Groomsmen’s Ties: Men’s Warehouse
Bride’s Fur: A vintage find borrowed from a colleague
Band Backdrop: Father of the Bride
Table Numbers: Father of the Groom
Guest Favors: Mother of the Bride
Programs, Invites, and Day-of Paperie: The Bride
Bridesmaid ‘s Boxes: The Bride

Whitney & Eric, The Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing

Whitney and Eric’s November wedding was full of laughter, wonderful family and friends, hilarious toasts and stories and a stunning setting.  I will never forget how much fun I had planning their Wedding at The Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.   Whitney and Eric met working together on Michigan Avenue and knew they wanted a city wedding.   The Modern Wing a very special place for Whitney and her family as her mother was a volunteer docent there for over 25 years.

Whitney had an impeccable sense of style and knew she wanted a classic wedding with a rustic and earthy feel to reflect her and Eric’s love of the outdoors.  Jessica at Botanicals took Whitney’s vision and produced a gorgeous ceremony and reception setting.   The ceremony aisle in Griffin Court was lined with large paper lanterns that illuminated as Whitney walked down with her parents.  The tables in Terzo Piano were set with moss runners lined with mason jars, mercury glass, organic seasonal floral and French café lights strung across the dance floor. It felt as though we were outside in a garden café in Paris; absolutely breathtaking. Whitney and Eric made their own table numbers from chalkboard painted wine bottles, photos of them from childhood decorated the dining tables and Whitney’s mother made her wedding cake.   Every detail enhanced the overall look and feel of their wedding and captured the beautiful couple Whitney and Eric are.   Entourage kept the dance floor packed all night long and Peter Thompson Photography captured every moment.  We had an incredible team of vendors, a perfect wedding day and Whitney and Eric’s Wedding was the best way to end our 2011 Wedding Season!

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Special thanks to our vendors:

Wedding Photography: Peter Wynn Thompson
Wedding Venue: Terzo Piano at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago
Flowers, Decor + Lighting: Botanicals, Inc.
Catering: Bon Appetit
Wedding Cake: Mother of the Bride
Chalkboard-Painted Table Number Bottles: DIY by the Bride + Groom
Band: Entourage via Arlen Music
Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta
Hair Flower: The Left Bank
Hair: Anna Gowler of Beauty Bar by Anna (630-945-4532)
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo +TOMS
Bridal Party Getting Ready Location: Affinia Chicago
Groom + Groomsmen Getting Ready Location: The Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Family Welcome Dinner Venue: Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Rehearsal Dinner Venue:Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse