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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

Colleen & Tony, Private Residence (Florida)

Of the thousand reasons I enjoy my job as a planner, being able to plan my best friends’ weddings is on the top of my list. Colleen and I have been best friends since kindergarten so when she got engaged in July of 2013, we were thrilled to commence the planning! Colleen and Tony reside in Florida so it was only fitting that they get married on the beach at her parents’ home on Anna Maria Island, FL.

We had a wonderful team of vendors who came from all over the southwest Florida to service Colleen and Tony’s Wedding. Working with Elegant Designs and MMD Rentals was one of the many highlights of this wedding. Their beachfront residence is already stunning; however, we added décor that truly enhanced the look Colleen and Tony desired. Guests entered the property and walked over a bridge that was adorned with shepherd hooks carrying floral and candles. They then entered a “shoes optional” station where they had the option to remove their shoes on bamboo beach mats, before making their way to the ceremony. Colleen and Tony were married under a driftwood arch that was custom made by MMD Rentals and decorated with seasonal floral and foliage. As a finishing touch, we lined the aisle with seashells, lanterns and starfish accents to create a nautical feel.

After the ceremony, guests made their way back to the house and were greeted with champagne, sparkling water and passed hors d’oeuvres. We brought in wooden farm tables, cabarets and hi-boys for guests to munch and mingle, along with Tuscan and Bistro chairs to complete this beach look. These tables had arrangements made up of hydrangeas, peonies, celosia, astilbe, ranunculus, dahlias and poppies along with blue, glass and mercury glass pillar candles. Some of these tables were under a tent and on a beautiful wooden floor provided by US Tent Rental. We brought in wicker lounge sets with French restoration ottomans, cube stools and garden end tables for guests to sit at on the beach. We had a boxwood hedge bar that was stationed in the lanai of the home. Guests were encouraged to eat around the pool where we hung cantina lights, paper lanterns and floral floats that held seasonal greenery and candles to give off some ambient light once the sun went down. The pool and lanai area were decorated with lanterns and urns of floral and an abundance of candles.

The menu was perfect for a Florida wedding in June and guests raved about the food! Mattison’s Catering provided chef attended food stations that consisted of: a Southern Grits Bar with all the fixings, fried green tomatoes, corn bread and biscuits, Pulled Pork and Chicken Slider station with accompaniments, a Mac and Cheese Station and a Fish Taco Station. A sweets station provided by Grace and Shelly’s was filled with mini key lime pies, pecan pies and a selection of mini cupcakes. Guests danced the night away with music from the Brett Foreman Band. It was a perfect summer evening to celebrate one of my closest friends’ weddings. Congrats to Colleen and Tony!

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Planner: Lauren Knuepfer, LK Events
Day of Assistants: Confetti Events
Photographer: Tammy Leathem
Invitations, Day of Items: Paper Plane Paperie
Ceremony and Reception Location: Bride’s Parent’s Home
Off Premise Catering: Mattison’s
Cupcakes: Grace and Shelly’s
Furniture, Rentals, Décor: MMD Events
Floral: Elegant Designs
Entertainment: Brett Foreman Band
Tent and Lighting: U.S Tent Rental, Inc.
Hair and Make Up: Salon Salon on Pine
Rehearsal Dinner: The Waterfront Restaurant
Valet Parking: Courtesy Valet Corporation

Welcome to LK Events, Allison DeKnight!  

Allison joined LK Events in the Spring of 2014 and has been a true asset to this team!  We are so proud to have a new Senior Event Coordinator joining us.  Allison’s passion for weddings is truly what makes her so special to us.  She is extremely organized and detailed and manages every expectation of clients and vendors with grace and a smile.

Congratulations Allison!

Once again, Tammy Leathem outdid herself capturing a fun day with the LK Events team!!   We had a blast at one of our favorite spots, Summer House Santa Monica.  Thank you to Kate and the rest of the team at Summer House for making us feel so welcome!  We love what we do and as you can see, have a blast doing it!!


Lauren, Nicole, Jennifer and Allison

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Photography by Tammy Leathem Photography.

Christine & Manny, Fulton’s On The River

I always looked forward to my meetings with Christine and Manny as they are a couple that is always happy, warm, kind and considerate. Who wouldn’t want to be around that? We would always meet at the Caribou between both of our places and there was always much laughter and merriment as we went through their wedding details.

The JW Marriott suite was alive with laughter, music and hairspray when I arrived on their wedding day. Tammy from Leathem Photography captured all of the little details including the handkerchief gifts for Christine’s mother and mother-in-law. With the girls all primed for the wedding day celebration, we traveled up to St. Vincent de Paul Parish to meet up with Manny and his groomsmen. Christine and Manny had decided they wouldn’t see each other before their ceremony, so we helped orchestrate the arrival of both groups at the church.

Christine & Manny’s ceremony was very heartfelt and prayerful and really reflected their faith as a couple. It was beautiful to witness. After the celebration at the church ended, Christine, Manny and their wedding party took photos in the church and then we boarded the mini bus for some photos by the Chicago River. Tammy was able to capture some stunning images – both of this amazing couple and our beautiful city.

As guests arrived at Fulton’s on the River for the cocktail hour, Christine, Manny & the Wedding Party boarded a River Taxi and pulled up to the patio balcony waving to all of their friends and family. Such a unique entrance! Guests were treated with passed appetizers of Firecracker Shrimp and Beef Tataki and soon we were moved inside for dinner. After an amazing meal of Filet Mignon or Seared Salmon, the dancing began. It was a night of celebration for both Christine and Manny featuring their beloved Dibs – the DePaul Blue Demons mascot – and a Chicago Blackhawks win over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final – Manny is a huge fan!! Congratulations again to such a beautiful, faith-filled, and fun couple, Christine & Manny!

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Hair & Make-Up: Salon V
Florist: Sweet Pea Floral
Hotel for Guests: JW Marriott
Lighting & Draping: Elegant Event Lighting
Musicians (ceremony): Choice Music Chicago
Musicians (reception): Toast & Jam
Photographer: Leathem Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Lou Malnati’s
Stationery: Clementine Ink + Paper
Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Company
Venue (ceremony): St. Vincent de Paul Parish
Venue (reception) and Food & Beverage: Fulton’s on the River
Videographer: R.E.M. Video & Photography
Wedding Coordinator: LK Events

Michelle & Ryan, The Signature Room

Michelle’s sister Melissa and I have been best friends for the past 17 years. Because of this, Michelle and I have shared many memories together – vacations, holidays, birthdays, etc. Of course, I was ecstatic when Ryan proposed!

Michelle is a pre-school teacher at St. Helen’s Church in Chicago. It was the perfect location for their nuptials. Michelle and Ryan chose the Signature Room at the 95th Floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago for their reception location. The Signature Room has incredible views of the city. It’s convenient for out of town guests and they have a wonderful culinary team and service staff. It was the perfect place for a summer wedding.

Michelle and Ryan met at McGee’s Tavern – so it was only fitting they stopped there after the ceremony for a cold beer. They also managed to swing by their home and take some pictures with their dog Juicy. It was a hot Saturday in June and Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography captured every moment. This was also the first wedding I worked with Tammy; an incredibly talented photographer in Chicago and one of my close friends now. We had so much fun that day as we always do on wedding weekends!

It was a day filled with family and friends, love and laughter and now that they are expecting their first baby in a few months it was the beginning of a truly “happily ever after”.

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Hotel/Getting Ready Location: Four Seasons
Ceremony Venue: St. Helen’s Church
Reception Venue: The Signature Room
Photographer: Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography
Videography: REM Productions
Invitations and Day of Items: Magnificent Milestones
DJ: DJ Chicago
Floral: Flora
Rentals: Halls Rental
Linens: BBJ Linens
Cake: The Signature Room
Hair and Make Up: Beauty on Call
Ceremony Vocalist: Jenny Knuepfer of Déjà vu’ Band
Dress: White Chicago (currently closed)


Kate & Tim, Chicago History Museum

I was really looking forward to meeting Kate and Tim. They were in town from DC one weekend in June and the fun began! We were exactly one year out when we met on a Sunday morning over coffee and we immediately clicked. I felt like I was talking to old friends and was so excited to begin the plans with them.

Kate didn’t move to Chicago until a few months before her wedding so plans were done via email and on several in town visits. Kate was so detailed and organized and she knew exactly what she wanted. She chose Food For Thought to cater her wedding at the Chicago History Museum and Flora Chicago for her floral and décor. While finalizing the menu and decor we moved forward with Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography and the bride’s friend, James Kittendorf, who is a super talented videographer in Michigan, where Kate is from.

It was a very hot Friday in June, but we had a blast! The weather was perfect, photos were exquisite and the Chicago Room at the History Museum was bright, cheerful and full of love and laughter. Kate and Tim are so in love and such a happy couple – you can tell instantly from these photos. Enjoy!

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Getting Ready Location: Drake Hotel
Ceremony: St. Mike’s
Reception: Chicago History Museum
Catering: Food For Thought
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Invitations: Paper Plus
Photography: Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography
Videography: James Kittendorf
DJ: Jeff Rutter
Hair and Make Up: Beauty on Call
Dress: Jenny Lee
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Tuxedo: Black Tie Formalwear
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Cocktail Musician: Dan Hayes Orchestra
Floral: Flora Chicago

Gina & Max, The Trump Hotel

I had so much fun getting to know Gina and Max throughout the wedding planning process.  Gina and Max met in college and had been together for over ten years.  It was important that their Chicago wedding was personal and representative of who they are as a couple. Tom Maluga (their Officiant) helped them write the entire ceremony and they each wrote their own vows.  The ceremony was held at Our Lady of Pompeii, a very meaningful church to both Max and Gina.   We booked Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography because I knew Gina and Max would love her work and of course, her incredibly upbeat personality.  Speaking of upbeat personalities – Becca Kaufman Orchestra could not have been more perfect for this couple and their guests.  Gina is originally from St. Louis so we worked with Milestone Pro videography and they were fantastic! Jesse at Event Creative designed a stunning reception at The Trump Hotel.  We draped the doors leading into the ballroom with a gunmetal twist for a dramatic entrance. Pink and white orchids and green hydrangeas submerged and cascading created a vibrant and glamorous feel to the room.    Guests enjoyed the Shutterbooth so much that the props were worn on the dance floor all night!  Gina even wore a custom cowboy hat veil and boots for her introduction with Max…and I don’t think those ever left the dance floor.  We had a blast!








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Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of Pompeii
Reception Venue: The Trump Hotel
Getting Ready Location: Lakeview Suite at The Trump Hotel
Catering: The Trump Hotel
Wedding Cake: cake
Photography: Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography
Videography: Milestone Pro
Band: Becca Kaufman Orchestra
Ceremony Musicians: Artistrings
Hair and Make Up: Beauty on Call
Floral Design and Drape:  Jesse Deckard of Event Creative
Lighting: Jesse Deckard of Event Creative
Invitations: Papyrus
Wedding Dress: Marisa
Wedding Shoes: Nina
Transportation: VIP
Photobooth: Shutterbooth
Officiant: Tom Maluga


Kathryn & Zach, Harold Washington Library

I had the pleasure of coordinating a friend’s wedding this past May. The groom, Zach, and I have known each other since the 6th grade and when his fiancé called me about their wedding, I was ecstatic. When Kathryn and I met to discuss her wedding I knew immediately we would become friends. We had a blast chatting about her ideas and visions for her wedding day.

The planning began immediately and Kathryn and Zach selected Harold Washington Library for their venue. We then booked Deja Vu Band, Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography and Fleur Couture to handle their floral and décor. Although we knew the G8-NATO Summit was taking place in Chicago that weekend, we weren’t informed until February that the Library would be used for Federal Government purposes. Our invitations were printed, Save the Dates had been sent and all vendors were booked, so I knew we had a challenge ahead of us. I immediately contacted everyone in my network, the City of Chicago and all of our vendors to inform them of the situation and prepare them for a back up plan. Nothing was going to stop this wedding from happening – not even NATO!

We ended up having a fantastic wedding weekend! We started at Osteria Via Stato for their rehearsal dinner with family and close friends (and an awesome groom’s cake – thanks to Amy Beck Cake Design). On Saturday, Kathryn and Zach had their first look at the park outside the Sofitel. After photos around Chicago and staying clear of the protests, Kathryn and Zach were married at St. James in Lincoln Park. The reception at Harold Washington Library was stunning! Deja Vu kept the dance floor packed all night long and Blue Plate catered an exquisite meal for the guests. We are so fortunate to Harold Washington Library for their support and all the vendors involved given the circumstances with NATO. Kathryn and Zach had an unforgettable wedding weekend!

Special thanks to our vendors:

Reception: Harold Washington Library
Church: St. James
Catering: Blue Plate
Floral: Fleur Couture
Band: Deja Vu Band
Dress: Lazaro
Shoes: Nina
BM Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid
Grooms Tux: Jos A Banks
Cake: Take the Cake (now known as Cake)
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Make Up: Brian Sutheby
Invitations and Paperie: Kustom Kreations
Photographer: Tammy Leathem of Leathem Photography
Hotel: Sofitel
Rehearsal:  Osteria Via Stato
Groom’s Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design