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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

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

Samantha & Stephen, The Art Institute of Chicago

I had the absolute pleasure of planning Samantha’s brother’s wedding in May of 2012.  When her mother called to tell me her daughter was engaged, I was thrilled!!  I adore this family and was so excited to begin the planning for Samantha and Stephen’s wedding.

Samantha and Stephen reside in Michigan but getting married in Chicago was very important to her, as this was where she grew up. The Art Institute held a very special place in their hearts, due to Stephen being an artist.  They fell in love with the Modern Wing and decided to have their ceremony on Bluhm Terrace and the reception in Griffin Court. 

The weekend began with a Welcome Party at Café Ba Ba Reeba, a favorite restaurant of the bride’s family.  The next day, the bridesmaids enjoyed a morning of manicures, while the groom and groomsmen enjoyed hot shaves.  After the rehearsal on Friday, guests were invited to a Shabbat Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful fall day for Samantha and Stephen’s Wedding.  Samantha and Stephen spent the day taking photos around Chicago prior to the ceremony. Guests arrived just as the sun was setting, and we began the beautiful ceremony on Bluhm Terrace.

Renee Price, Senior Designer with Kehoe Designs, designed the wedding décor for Samantha and Stephen.  Samantha carried a single arching stem of white phalaenopsis orchid blooms while her bridesmaids carries a single calla lilies finished with a navy ribbon to match their dresses.  The ceremony aisle was adorned with white boxes that held square glass vases with submerged calla lilies and accented succulents.    The rustic wood chuppah had soft sheer fabric embellishments on the sides and the families’ tallit hung from the top. Magnificent Milestones created a perfect entrance statement sign that read, “Pick a Seat, Not a Side.”

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvre on Bluhm Terrace and in Terzo Piano before making their way downstairs to Griffin Court for dinner and dancing.  Samantha and Stephen danced to “Something Beautiful”.  After cutting their wedding cake, guests enjoyed a seasonal apple salad for their first course.  Filet and chicken were served for dinner followed by CAKE Chicago‘s Wedding Cake and a selection of petite sweets from Bon AppetitThe Party Faithful kept the dance floor packed all night while Vrai Photography and Smiling Toad captured every moment.  Samantha and Stephen are two of the sweetest people, and I am lucky to call them friends of mine today.   Congrats you two!

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Photographer: Vrai Photography
Videographer: Smiling Toad Productions
Floral, Décor and Lighting:  Kehoe Designs, Renee Price
Save the Dates, Invitations and Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Ceremony: Cantor Deborah Bard
Entertainment: The Party Faithful
Linens: BBJ Linens
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Brian Sutherby, Muse Beauty
Sunday Brunch: Fairmont Hotel
Shabbat Dinner: Fairmont Hotel
Welcome Reception: Café Ba Ba Reeba
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Wedding Cake: CAKE Chicago
Wedding Dress: Reem Acra
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaids Choice of Navy Dresses

Tracey & Ron, The Art Institute of Chicago

Tracey and Ron were two of the most fascinating people I have ever worked with.  They met while attending a conference in Brussels and fell in love soon after.  Both working in New York City, Tracey and Ron felt that getting married in Tracey’s hometown of Chicago was important to them. Working in international business keeps these two very busy and well-traveled.  Tracey and Ron wanted their guests to feel as though they were traveling around the world with them so we made sure to incorporate many aspects of Tracey and Ron’s adventures into their wedding weekend.

We worked side by side with Chef Tony Mantuano from Bon Appetite at The Art Institute of Chicago to create customized stations for Tracey and Ron’s Wedding Menu.  Tracey and Ron were huge “foodies” and it was important to re-create some of their favorite dishes from across the globe.  We had an Indian Station with Grilled Vindaloo Spiced Leg of Lamb, Butter Chicken (murgh makhani), Papro Chaat on Crispy Wafer, Pilau Rice with Cashews and Golden Raisins and Spiced Beets with Curry Leaves and Shredded Coconut.  The Mediterranean Station had Swordfish with Roasted Lemon, Tomato and Cilantro, Leek and Spinach Spanikopeta, Jerusalem Salad, Raita, Tzatziki, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Garlic Naan Bread with Lebanese Pita Bread.  The Italian station had Artisan Charcuterie and Local Cheeses, Free Range Veal and Ravioletto with Smoked Crescenza Cheese and Pesto with Grilled Seasonal Vegetables.  The dessert station had a collection of mini sweets that included homemade Fig Ice Cream (bride’s favorite!), Pistachio Opera Cake, Dolce Amore Gelato, Bombay Fruit Salad, Apple Strudel and Peanut Butter Semi Fredo with Curry Popcorn.    The Mexican Late Night Station was a hit!  We had Taquitos, Flautas and Churros for guests to enjoy while they danced the night away.

Renee Price, with Kehoe Designs, created the most beautiful fabric Chuppah for Tracey and Ron to get married under in Griffin Court. The aisle was lined with white square boxes topped with submerged green orchids.  We brought in fabric cabanas to Terzo Piano to create a lounge feeling so guests could sit anywhere and enjoy the fantastic meal created for them.  We had collections of sofas, Moroccan ottomans, banquettes and colorful accent pillows to create soft and luxurious cabanas for guests to hang out in.  All of the tables received residential style lanterns and collections of sleek green leaf accents, tropical leaves and foliage and white floral.

We had such a beautiful evening for Tracey and Ron and their family and friends.  After the ceremony we went out on the bridge overlooking the city of Chicago and released butterflies with Tracey and Ron’s nieces and nephews.  It was the most beautiful day, for such a beautiful couple inside and out. Congratulations Tracey and Ron!

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Ceremony and Reception – The Art Institute of Chicago
Photography- Melissa Diep Photography
Catering – Bon Appetite
Floral, Décor, Lighting – Kehoe Designs, Renee Price
Hotel Stay/Honeymoon Suite – Waldorf Astoria
Rehearsal Dinner – Emilio’s Tapas
Photo Booth – Shutterbooth
Ceremony Music – Symphony Sounds
Cake – Cake Chicago
City Tour for Guests – Al Walavich (through City of Chicago)
Transportation – Executive Coach and VIP Valet Services
Make Up – Brian Sutherby, Muse Beauty Bar

Bride’s Dress Designer: Alvina Valenta
Brides’ Shoes: Benjamin Adams
Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo
Invitations & print items: Mc & Co DesignFur Vests: Designed by one of LK’s past clients, Kristin Koury

Lauren & Daniel, The University Club

I had so much fun meeting Lauren and her mom, Kimberly, the year before Lauren and Daniel’s wedding. Lauren is full of energy, funny and outgoing. She was so excited to talk about the plans that would be happening in the coming year. Lauren was finishing school in Chicago and had met Daniel a few years prior. They chose the Michigan Room of The University Club for their wedding reception. They loved the elegant charm of the classic ballroom but we gave it a modern twist with the colorful floral and décor that Lauren and Daniel chose.

The invitations and programs were kept simple and beautiful with creams, gold and black text. The bridesmaids each carried a different color bouquet of orchids that popped against their black dresses. Renee, from Kehoe Designs, designed the stunning monobotanic floral arrangements for the guest tables. We used an artistic collection of square vases filled with Hawaiian orchids, hydrangea, spray roses and peonies for each table. The colors of fuschia, emerald and orange were stunning. The tables were square with crisp white linens and clear Versaille chairs to enhance the vibrant colors of the centerpieces.

Lauren and Daniel’s wedding was so much fun! Spoken Four kept the dance party going all night and the guests were loving every minute of it.

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Vendors:

Getting Ready Location: The University Club
Rehearsal Dinner: The Signature Room
Ceremony Location: Holy Name Cathedral
Reception Location: The University Club
Floral and Décor: Kehoe Designs
Cake: The University Club
Invitations & Paperie: Yellowbird Store
Hair: Maxine Salon
Make Up: Beauty on Call
Linens: BBJ
Rentals (Chairs, China, Glassware): Halls Rental
Transportation: Windy City
Photography: Pen / Carlson
Band: Spoken Four
Wedding Dress: Ultimate Bride
Photobooth: Shutterbooth

Annie & Ian, River East Art Center

Annie was in the middle of her residency while we planned her wedding and she knew exactly what she wanted – which always helps when it comes to a limited schedule!   Annie and Ian had an interfaith ceremony at Holy Family Church, one of my favorite churches in Chicago.   Dolce Strings provided the wedding ceremony music and I always love working with them. Miraculously, we missed the storm that strolled through the city, as we were in the middle of the ceremony. Annie and Ian took their photos prior to and you can’t even tell there was a storm in Heather’s beautiful photos!

Guests were then able to enjoy cocktails outside on the terrace of the River East Art Center with music by Spanish Guitarist, David Chiriboga and hors d’oeuvre from Blue Plate Catering. Renee Price, Senior Consultant for Kehoe Designs, designed a stunning reception .  We used lucite versaille chairs, gunmetal twist linens and eggplant lamour napkins.  The tables were decorated beautifully with clear glass vases of varying heights and sizes, cascading mokara and dendrobium orchids and lush purple hydrangeas. Surrounding the vibrant floral were dozens of floating candles and votives. David Young of  Entourage of Ken Arlen Music, kept the dance floor packed the entire night.  It was a beautiful wedding and reception and I am so glad Heather Parker was there to capture it all!

Reception Venue: River East Art Center
Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Caterer: Blue Plate Catering, Elinor Brown
Floral Designer: Kehoe Designs, Renee Price
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Wedding Gown: Amsale
Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang
Tuxedo and Men’s Attire: Hugo Boss
Wedding Band: Entourage of Ken Arlen Music
Lighting: Kehoe Designs, Chicago Illinois
Ceremony Location: Holy Family Church, Chicago Illinois
Cinematography: REM Video Chicago, Illinois
Cake Designer: Amy Beck Cake Design, Amy Beck, Chicago Illinois
Ceremony Musicians: Dolce Strings 
Hair Stylist: Alice Salazar 
Makeup Artist Nika Vaughan