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A Stylish Soiree at Trump Hotel in Chicago

When one of my best friends called me to tell me her boyfriend proposed  (after digging her car out of the snow one night), I was ecstatic.  I am sure Sean didn’t intend to be stuck outside in the blistery cold Chicago weather before dropping down on one knee, but it made for a pretty cute story. Samantha and I have been friends since college and have had some incredible memories together. Samantha and Sean are two of the most sincere people I have ever met and together, they make a pretty cute couple.

Samantha and Sean fell in love with the Trump Hotel. They knew it was the perfect place for them to celebrate their nuptials and for their guests to enjoy a fun, fall evening. I had so much fun planning Samantha and Sean’s wedding because the two of them, along with Samantha’s mom, planned everything together.  I love when the groom gets involved in the planning and throughout every meeting it was apparent that Sean was there because he wanted to spend time with Samantha.  It was incredible to see two people enjoy this process so much because they were spending time together, and of course, having some fun along the way.

Samantha carried an elegant and timeless bouquet of white roses and hydrangea.   Her bridesmaids carried a smaller bouquet of all white roses to complement Samantha.  Jessica at Heffernan Morgan created a warm and intimate setting for the ceremony with an abundant array of candles.  We had two mirrored pedestals at the start of the aisle that each hosted tall silver candelabras with pillar candles. Continuing down the aisle was a series of low mirrored risers that each hosted an abundance of soft, romantic candlelight.  Samantha and Sean were married under a gorgeous Chuppah designed of modern open frame chrome legs and a white lattice top.  Suspended from the top and within the legs was a plethora of hanging votives.  Samantha and Sean’s ceremony made all of us tear up!  Rabbi Chalom told stories throughout Samantha and Sean’s relationship that made us all laugh and cry.  It was incredibly heartfelt.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvre overlooking the city while we turned over the room to get ready for dinner service.  We used the silver candelabras on half of the guests’ tables with petite hydrangea arrangements surrounding the base.  We added a trio of varying height cylinders with floating candles to complete this elegant look.  The remaining dining tables featured a trio of tall glass vases with dramatic cascading white phalaenopsis orchids and surrounding candles.  We also elevated these arrangements with a mirrored light box that illuminated them from below.  The room looked incredible, especially once we opened the drapes for guests to enjoy the night skyline.  Greenlight kept the dance floor packed the entire evening and Tammy Leathem and Wedding Masterpiece were there to capture it all.

I was honored to stand next to Samantha while she married the man of her dreams.  I am so excited for what is to come for these two – a baby boy in January!!  Congrats Samantha and Sean!  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your incredible day!

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Honeymoon Suite: The Trump Hotel
Ceremony and Reception: The Trump Hotel
Photographer: Leathem Photography
Videographer: Wedding Masterpiece
Entertainment: Greenlight
Floral and Décor: Heffernan Morgan
Lighting: PSAV, Trump Hotel
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Jessica Bernardi Meeker
Invitations: Invitations Creations, Highland Park
Rehearsal Dinner: Nico Osteria
Dress: Anne Barge
Shoes: Jimmy Choo and Converse
Tux: Armani
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo

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

Meg & Alex, Peninsula Hotel

I had so much fun planning Megan and Alex’s wedding. Megan was one of the sweetest brides I have worked with and Alex had the greatest sense of humor. There was something about the two of them though – they had such a connection and every time we got together we shared plenty of laughs.

Megan and Alex fell in love with the Peninsula Hotel and decided to host their ceremony and reception there.  Soon after we booked the Peninsula, we contracted with Becca Kaufman. Music was so important to them and I just knew Becca would be the perfect fit for this couple!  Becca and her band learned, “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” for their first dance and it was beautiful!  Every time I hear that song I think of Megan and Alex; it was such a special part of the evening!

Megan and her bridal party walked down an aisle adorned with mirrored cubes filled with fluffy white hydrangeas.  Heffernan Morgan created a stunning arch backdrop with crystal strands and hanging white peonies in front of a white drape.  She carried a stunning bouquet of all white peonies accented with a locket enclosed with a picture of her grandfather.  The oval dining tables were dressed with lush mirror cubes of fluffy white hydrangeas, white peonies and floating candles.  We added phalaenopsis orchids and glass globe candlesticks for the round tables and completed the look with taupe and soft pink sequin linens.

Chad Husar and I Do Films captured every moment of this incredible wedding weekend.    I was honored to help plan Megan and Alex’s wedding; hard to believe it’s been a year! Congrats you two!

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Planner: Lauren Knuepfer, LK Events
Getting Ready Location: The Peninsula Hotel
Ceremony and Reception Location: The Peninsula
Entertainment: The Becca Kaufman Orchestra
Photography:  Chad Husar
Videography: I Do Films
Floral and Décor: HMR, Jessica Griffin
Lighting: Frost
Hair and Make Up: Sonia Roselli
Invitations and Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Ice Sculpture: Nadeau’s
Rehearsal Dinner: Public Hotel
Rentals: Halls Rental
Linens: BBJ Linens
Transportation: VIP Valet Services

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

Jennifer & John, The Field Museum

One of the many highlights of last year was planning Jennifer and John’s wedding. Jennifer and John met at Vanderbilt University and started dating soon after they graduated. Jennifer is originally from Dallas and John is from Atlanta and they currently live in Houston together. You may be wondering why this adorable couple chose to get married in Chicago. They lived here together for a year while John attended law school and both fell in love with the city. They wanted a summer wedding and knew Chicago would be the perfect destination for their guests who were all traveling from afar.

Each time Jennifer and her Mom came to Chicago – we would make the most of our time with the planning and meeting their vendors. I will never forget spending time together while they were in town; we had a blast! Jennifer and John fell in love with the Field Museum; it was a place they visited often while living here and a perfect way for their guests to experience one of the cities’ most iconic venues.

Heffernan Morgan and Frost worked their magic on creating the most gorgeous look outside on the terrace for their ceremony and inside Stanley Field Hall for the reception. We adorned the aisle with fresh rose petals and Jennifer and John were married under a wrought iron arbor decorated with greenery and ivory and peach blooms. We also hung a crystal chandelier that added a touch of glam for this outdoor setting. Cocktails took place on the north terrace overlooking the city. We set up the Escort Cards on a bed of peach and blush blooms in mirrored boxes for guests to take and find their seats. Guest tables were decorated with ivory and green hydrangeas, peach spray roses, open blush garden roses, café au lait dahlias, garden stock and coral roses. We used mercury glass votives, footed glass bowls, varying candlesticks and etched clear glass. We lit each table and the entire Hall with ambient lighting that gave the room a warm glow as the sun went down. Jennifer and John were introduced into the reception and cut their incredible cake from Amy Beck and John was surprised by Jennifer’s thoughtful groom’s cake, which was a Game of Thrones theme. He loved it! The Gentleman of Leisure kept the entire dance floor packed all night and Vrai captured every moment. Before departing in a classic Rolls Royce, Jennifer and John exited their reception by walking down the south steps as guests tossed fresh rose petals for them. We had an unforgettable wedding weekend for Jennifer and John!

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Getting Ready Location: The Drake Hotel
Ceremony: The Field Museum, Northeast Terrace
Reception: The Field Museum, Stanley Field Hall
Wedding Dress: Ines de Santo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhuillier
Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Floral and Décor: Heffernan Morgan
Lighting: Frost
Invitations: Hand Calligraphied in Dallas
Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design
Photographer: Vrai Photography
Caterer: Blue Plate
Entertainment: The Gentleman of Leisure
Make Up: Brian Sutherby, Muse Beauty
Hair: Lauren Logan
Rehearsal Dinner: Gibson’s Steakhouse
Friday Night Dessert Reception: The Drake Bros’
Sunday Brunch: The Drake Hotel
Officiant: Reverend David, Reverend By Request
Transportation: VIP Valet Service
Something old: A piece of my mom’s wedding dress was wrapped around my bouquet
Something new: A diamond necklace
Something borrowed: A veil from my husbands great grandmother
Something blue: Chanel light blue nail polish

Kate & Andrew, Adler Planetarium

I met Kate and Andrew in the fall of 2011 and I knew the moment we started talking on the phone, we would get along great. I was so excited to start the planning process with them! Kate is one of my close friends today and I am so lucky to have been a part of their wedding planning.

Kate and Andrew had dated for five years before he popped the question. Kate is originally from Minnesota and Andrew is from the Northern Suburbs of Chicago. With guests coming in from around the country, they knew they wanted a memorable Chicago location for their wedding and reception. After only a few venue visits, they fell in love with the Adler Planetarium and the rest of the planning began!

I was thrilled when they chose Kristina Carter with Vrai Photography and I Do Films Videography to shoot their wedding weekend. Jessica at Botanicals created a beautiful setting in Galileo’s. We suspended a collection of colorful lanterns over the dance floor, adorned every table with vibrant orchids, fresh stock and candles. Despite the uncertain weather forecast, we decided to have the ceremony outside on the Adler‘s northwest terrace. It was a little breezy but the guests were in awe of the incredible Chicago skyline and the picturesque views. The Bradley Young Orchestra kept the dance floor packed all night long. I will never forget how much fun Kate and Andrew were during the planning but even more so, on their wedding day. Enjoy!

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VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception: Adler Planetarium
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhulier
Bride Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaid: Assorted black jersey long – mainly Amsale & Two Birds
Groom’s Tuxedo: Isaia Aquaspider
His Shoes: Ferragamo
Caterer: Food For Thought, Exclusive Caterer
Getting Ready Location: Hotel Palomar
Ceremony and Reception Band: Bradley Young Orchestra
Photography: Vrai Photography
Videography: I Do Films
Floral and Décor: Botanicals by Heffernan Morgan, Jessica Griffin
Lighting and Installations: Frost
Photobooth: Shutterbox
Officiant: Bruce Otto & Reverend David
Save the Dates, Invitations and All Day Of Items and Signage: Magnificent Milestones
Wedding Cake and Dessert Table: Tipsy Cake
Rehearsal Dinner: The Signature Room at the John Hancock, 95th Floor
Make Up Artist: Brian Sutherby, MUSE Beauty
Hair: Cathy Battistoni
Transportation: Victoria’s Flying Lady and VIP Valet Services