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The Art Institute of Chicago, Erin & Joey

Erin and Joey’s story began while they were both attending the University of Illinois. After college they moved to Chicago and a few years later Joey proposed on their rooftop followed by a romantic dinner out. They celebrated with friends the next day and then the wedding planning began.

They kicked off their wedding weekend with their Rehearsal on the Grand Staircase at the Art Institute followed by their Rehearsal Dinner at III Forks.

Their wedding day started with some pampering for the ladies from the amazing makeup artists and stylists from BrideEyes, Makeup by Beth, and the Charles Ifergan Salon while the guys had a relaxing morning at Erin and Joey’s condo. Amanda Hein Photography was onsite to capture all the special moments of their day.

Erin and Joey had their first look in the beautiful gardens of the Art Institute and then joined their families for photos. Then it was time for these two to get married. While the string quartet played Halo by Beyonce all eyes were on Erin as she walked up the Grand Staircase in a stunning Lela Rose gown with both of her parents. She carried a beautiful bouquet that was a mix of ivory polo roses, white majolica spray roses and white Eskimo roses with delicate white ranunculus blooms tucked throughout.

Hello Darling dressed the dining tables in a mix of ivory shantung, harvest shantung and ivory contessa linens. Some of the tables were decorated with a pair of vintage medium cut glass vases of varying sizes & silhouettes with textural round bouquets of white hydrangea, white stock, white lisianthus, ivory polo roses, champagne sahara roses and ivory majolica spray roses with accents of pale green seeded eucalyptus. Tucked around the blooms were two silver mercury glass candlesticks topped by optic glass hurricanes and a collection of gold and sliver mercury glass votives and globes. The other tables had a pair of silver mercury stemmed glass candlesticks tucked next to a trio of three petite vintage cut glass vases filled with textural round bouquets of white hydrangea, white stock, white lisianthus, ivory polo roses, champagne sahara roses and ivory majolica spray roses with an accent of pale green seeded eucalyptus. Silver and gold mercury glass votives and globes were placed around the candlesticks.

Toast & Jam started the reception with the Wedding Party introductions and then introduced our newlyweds. After the introductions Erin and Joey gave their thank you toast followed by Reverend Jennifer Burns Lewis giving the blessing. The guests were served a lovely duo of a Peeky Toe Crab Salad and a Cheddar Heirloom Tomato Soup. Once the guests were served then Erin’s Maid of Honor & Joey’s Best Man gave their toasts. After the toasts guests dined on Grilled Hanger Steak and Housemade Gnocchi with Heirloom Tomatoes. While guests were dining on their entrees Erin’s Father gave his toast and then danced with his daughter. Then it was Joey’s Fathers turn to give his toast and then Joey danced with his Mother.

We started the party with Erin & Joey’s first dance. After dancing for a bit they cooled themselves off with some yummy gelato from gelato cart provided by Black Dog Gelato Company. Everyone danced the night away until the last song that was played which was Mirrors by JT.

It was an honor being a part of Erin and Joey’s Wedding Day! We wish them all the best, congrats you two!

Caterer: Bon Appetit
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Artistrings
Ceremony Venue: Woman’s Board Grand Staircase at the Art Institute
Décor: Hello Darling
DJ: Toast & Jam
Gelato: Black Dog Gelato Company
Gentlemen’s Attire: Formally Modern Tuxedo
Hair: Charles Ifergan Salon
Hotel: Waldorf Astoria
Makeup: BrideEyes & Makeup by Beth
Officiant: Reverend Jennifer Burns Lewis
Photographer: Amanda Hein Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: III Forks
Reception Venue: Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room Art Institute
Stationery: Magnificent Milestones
Transportation: Odyssey
Valet: 5 Star Valet
Wedding Dress: Lela Rose

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

An Autumnal Affair at the Iconic Drake Hotel

Hard to believe Ashley and Jim’s October 31st wedding was almost a year ago! From the moment I spoke to Ashley over the phone, I knew we would become fast friends; we clicked immediately! I was so excited to plan Ashley and Jim’s nuptials, especially because they happen to be friends with past clients of mine from Food For Thought. Ashley and Jim are two of the most sincere people I have ever met. They are absolutely adorable together and no matter what decision was being made, they always put each other and their family first.

After looking at a few venues, Ashley and Jim chose the Drake Hotel. Ashley had a feeling all along that the Drake was “the one” and they fell in love with the Grand Ballroom for their October wedding. After choosing Kent Drake to document the wedding weekend and Déjà vu to entertain us all night, we focused on floral and décor and selecting the perfect invitations and day of paper from Magnificent Milestones.

Erin at Revel Decor designed this autumnal affair where she created a brilliant fabric archway for the ceremony with suspended votive candles hanging throughout the entire installation. Pops or orange orchid blossoms hung amongst the glowing candles giving an illusion of floating candlelight and blossoms. Since it happened to be on Halloween, Ashley wanted to give her guests a little fun and seasonal accent. We greeted guests with metallic gold painted mini pumpkins that held escort cards designed by Magnificent Milestones. The tables were adorned with rich orange and white botanicals consisting of hydrangea, roses, orchids and calla lilies and touches of green and burgundy floral hanging. We added foliage and branches to add height to the tall pieces and an abundance of candlelight throughout the entire ballroom.

Ashley and Jim had one of the most heartfelt ceremonies and it was truly an honor being a part of the planning experience and wedding weekend. I am fortunate to call Ashley a dear friend and we couldn’t be happier for you and Jim! Congratulations on one year and thank you for choosing LK Events!

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Ceremony and Reception: The Drake Hotel
Wedding Planner: Lauren, LK Events
Photographer: Kent Drake Photography
Hair: Lauren Logan
Make Up: Krystal Hall (bride)
Jessica Bernardi-Meeker (bridesmaids and family)
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Dress: Jenny Yoo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Groom’s Tux: Jos. A. Banks
Entertainment: Deja Vu
Officiate: Bruce Otto, Spirited Weddings
Invitations and Day of Paper: Magnificent Milestones
Rehearsal Dinner: Osteria Via Stato

Elegant Fall Wedding at University Club, Sarah & TJ

I met Sarah almost a year before her wedding day and distinctly remember our two days of traveling around Chicago to find the perfect venue for her and TJ’s wedding. The couple had already decided that they were going to have their wedding ceremony at Saint Clement, and they wanted to find the perfect reception venue to celebrate in. I was very excited that they chose The University Club of Chicago, as Cathedral Hall is an elegant and iconic room in Chicago.

Sarah found Todd James Photography through a friend and he captured the day so beautifully. From the first snowfall of the season, to the faith-filled ceremony, to the beautiful reception in Cathedral Hall, the celebration and joy from Sarah & TJ emanate from their photos. Getting caught in the first snowfall was not planned; however, we all embraced the moment and laughed our way through snowflakes in our eyes and wet snow in our shoes! Along with Todd, Aaron Bean was also onsite to capture all of the moments on video, especially the getting ready karaoke moment from the ladies, such a treasured moment.

Given Sarah’s personality and vision for her wedding day, I knew that she had to meet Alexandra from Exquisite Designs. The two of them hit it off right away and Alexandra designed a beautiful color story and centerpieces that were the perfect look for a fall wedding. I’m completely in love with the Sarah’s bouquet and the lush head table garland. Sarah also has a similar paper goods obsession that I do, so I knew the perfect place for her stationery items would be at Magnificent Milestones. From the menu cards with quotes on them to the matchbooks with their hashtag, they were the little details that helped to make Sarah & TJ’s celebration truly unique. I also loved that they had Allie Hasson create a custom crest to be used as their guest book!

The final touch to Sarah & TJ’s celebration was the music. They wanted a packed dance floor and I knew that Sarah & TJ would love Gold Coast Events and they were over the moon with The Chicago Players. The special surprise was that Sarah’s family organized a flash mob on the dance floor to “Shut Up and Dance” and the look on her face is priceless! Congratulations Sarah & TJ! I was so honored to have been on this journey with you!

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Beauty: Sonia Roselli Studio
Florist: Exquisite Designs
Rehearsal Dinner: Topo Gigio
Ceremony Musicians: Thomas Yang String Trio
Reception Musicians: The Chicago Players
Photo Booth: Shutterbooth
Photographer: Todd James Photography
Linens: BBJ Linen
Lighting: Frost
Room Blocks: Palmer House Hilton, Blackstone Hotel
Stationery: Magnificent Milestones
Crest Guest Book: Allie Hasson
Transportation: Trolley Car & Bus Company
Ceremony Venue: Saint Clement
Reception Venue, Food & Beverage, Getting Ready: University Club of Chicago
Videographer: Aaron Bean Cinema
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

 

The Ivy Room, Stephanie & David

The term “Triple Threat” is typically reserved for actors and actresses in showbiz, however Stephanie and David brought the term to wedding planning – a great sense of humor, graciousness, and style. And when I say style – this couple really hit it out of the park. When they teamed up with Jessica from HMR to take Stephanie’s love of the color marsala, bold details, and out of the box ideas into their October wedding, I just knew it was going to be really, really good.

When I first met Stephanie and David, their graciousness and hospitality was evident right from the start. When we started talking about their vision for the wedding day, their answers always came back to making it the best day for their guests. We tackled their desire head on, beginning with transportation for all guests to and from the ceremony – making their trip from downtown hotels easy and enjoyable, with coolers filled with waters and easy pick-up locations. The next approach was through food and drink, and Abby from Boka Catering Group helped Stephanie and David come up with an incredible menu, drinks, and worked in Stephanie’s Croatian heritage into the mix as well with glasses of specialty liqueur, which greeted guests as they entered the reception. The mix of farm tables and round tables with luxurious leather banquets designed by HMR provided their family and friends with unique seating and a stunning atmosphere to dine and celebrate the newlyweds!

With family and friends continuing the unofficial theme of hospitality through some of the most heartfelt speeches I have ever witnessed and surprises for the bride and groom, their guests were in no doubt left with a wedding that was unique, personal, and flowed seamlessly into dancing and late night fun. Front of House kept the party on the dance floor until the very end! We are so excited to share the incredible photos from Pen/Carlson and are so happy for Stephanie and David!

A little note from Stephanie & David:

The entire day was incredible. We cannot thank you enough. You know, a lot was said at the rehearsal dinner about David’s love of rom coms. To steal a line from one, Allison Young, you are our Ambassador of Quan. We love you!

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Ceremony: Alice Millar Chapel
Reception Venue: Leslie Fuller, The Ivy Room
Getting Ready Suite: Trump Hotel
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Photography: Brett and Kiri Carlson, Pen/Carlson
Videography: Tom Buttaccio, XO Pictures
Band: Ken Arlen’s Front of House
Floral and Décor: Jessica Griffin, HMR Designs
Lighing: Frost
Catering: Abby Kritzler, BOKA Catering Group
Linens: La Tavola Linens & BBJ
Rentals: Tablescapes
Hair Styling: Michelle Foust, George The Salon
Makeup: Sami Young, Sonia Roselli Studio
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Invitations & Day of Paper: Kara Gordon, Magnificent Milestones
Wedding Dress: Ultimate Bride, Oscar de la Renta
Planning: Allison Young, LK Events

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

Klari & Mike, The Field Museum

From the first meeting I had with Klari & her mom I knew this was going to be fun!  Klari & Mike wanted a private ceremony with just the two of them so they were eloping to North Carolina in July and they wanted an amazing celebration in October with all of their family and friends.  When we were doing our site visits looking for their venue it was apparent that the search was over when we walked into The Field Museum as Klari just glowed when she walked in the door and envisioned having her Celebration there.  Done and done!

Something I have to let you know now as you will see this throughout the story of their day is that I was obsessed with their details!  Klari’s nickname is “Bee” so our décor team came together to effortlessly find creative ways to bring this into their celebration (more on this later).

Kara at Magnificent Milestones helped us incorporate cute little Bee’s on their custom paper items.  Bee’s appeared on various pieces of their invitation suite, the outside of envelopes, menus, escort cards and of course there was a honeycomb liner for the envelope.

At the start of Cocktail Hour their guests were greeted with Moscow Mules in the traditional copper mugs.  While guests were enjoying Cocktail Hour they also took time to sign Klari & Mike’s Jenga Guest Book.  HMR gave the guests a preview of the beauty they would see the rest of the evening with their amazing Escort Card Table design of an architectural arrangement of crisscrossed orange eremurus coming from a bed of chartreuse moss all designed in a white box.

Matt from Matt Lewis & the Union Band, Klari & Mike led the guests in a trumpet & tambourine parade down the stairs into dinner.  Blue Plate tempted their tummies with a Baby Arugula and Fig Salad that was accompanied by Corn and Poblano Chowder.  Guests dined on Chaippetti Lamb Loin and the Pan Seared Halibut for dinner.

We have to talk about décor, as this was such a collaboration of our décor team with Jessica from HMR & Maggie from Frost!  The round tables were dressed with Hunter Green Bengaline Linens and then a tall white square vase and gold cube were each filled with a textural and interesting design of white football mums, orange ranunculus, umbrella fern, pin cushion protea, chartreuse celosia, fern shoots and eucalyptus foliage.  Then there was an air plant that sat under a glass dome and all of this was surrounded by a collection of pillar and votive candles.  We brought in rectangle farm tables and dressed them with the White Taurus Runner (that is a honeycomb pattern – of course)!  Then the tables featured a collection of white, copper and gold vessels filled with white, orange and chartreuse floral and foliage.  White resin candlesticks and mercury glass hurricanes sat amongst the floral with additional votives scattered about.

The look would not have been complete without the round bar with copper top.  When guests needed to give their feet a rest due to the amazing Matt Lewis & the Union Band we brought in high back sofas, upholstered metal arm chairs, gold benches and wood tables for them to take a break on.

And then there were the draping and lighting elements Maggie from Frost put together.  There were washes of color on the balcony arches and dance floor.  Pinspotting on the centerpieces and uplighting on the south dome, columns, elephants & totem poles – how often can you say you had uplighting on elephants & totem poles at your celebration? Frost hung fabric panels that had a honeycomb wash on them.  The details didn’t stop there with the multiple strands of mini lights strung across the room.

I am so glad that I was able to help Klari & Mike bring their vision to life for their Celebration and that Amanda Hein was there to capture it all.  And I LOVE that these two get to celebrate their wedding twice a year – once for their Ceremony and once for their Celebration!

 

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Band: Matt Lewis & The Union Band
Beauty: Sonia Roselli
Catering: Blue Plate
Favors: Sertodo Copper
Floral: HMR
Hotel Blocks: Club Quarters, JW Marriott, Palmer House & University Club
Lighting: Frost
Photographer: Amanda Hein
Stationary: Magnificent Milestones
Transportation: VIP Valet
Venue: The Field Museum

 

Stephanie & Chris, Morgan Manufacturing

It was an honor to help plan Stephanie and Chris’ April Wedding last year. Stephanie and I have known each other for years as she used to be the events coordinator at the Chicago History Museum while I was working at Food For Thought.  Together, we planned countless weddings and became fast friends.  When she got engaged to Chris, needless to say, I was ecstatic.  Stephanie has impeccable taste and after choosing Morgan Manufacturing for her wedding venue, I knew this was going to be an incredible wedding weekend.

Food was one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process to them since they had traveled all over the world (and would soon be living in China) so we wanted to create a menu that was a reflection of their travels but also unique and fun for their guests.  Food For Thought designed Stephanie and Chris’ worldly menu that consisted of a Dim Sum Station with bahn mi’s, shu mai and pot stickers served in mini bamboo plates with chop sticks and accompaniments, a South American Station with skewers, mini chorizo sandwiches, rice and beans and plantain chips served on a black griddle top and a Middle Eastern Station with shawarma, gyros, gnocchi and a traditional Greek salad.  We ended the evening with mini Chicago style hot dogs and fried cheese curds (thanks to Chris’ alma mater), Madison, Wisconsin style….with Tiger Sauce.   Chris also flew in Milkbar (the bride’s favorite bakery in New York City) to surprise her with her wedding cake and cake truffles.  Stephanie was so surprised and loved it!

Revel Décor provided a gorgeous landscape of botanical based floral that was seasonal and organic – exactly what Stephanie had envisioned for her wedding day.  Stephanie carried a lush white bouquet with herb elements and black ”berry” accents (navy centered anemones and black seeded eucalyptus).  The bridesmaids wore varying shades of grey and held red anemones and red ranunculous.  They looked amazing all put together!

The ceremony was held inside Morgan Manufacturing and Revel hung a cluster of natural Manzanita branches showcasing draped greenery that hung behind the couple. We lined the aisle with pedestals and candles adding a glow to the walkway.   We had three looks for the reception design each on wooden rectangle dining tables.  One table had a greenery garland with botanical elements, votive candles and mixed metal candle holders.  The second look had a collection of candles and botanical elements that included lisianthus, anemones, white roses, black berries and greenery.  The third design had a knotted drift wood piece on the dining table with succulents, airplants and white floral finished with an ambient glow from the candles.  The reception looked stunning and we finished the look by hanging a large Edison bulb chandelier over the dance floor. The room looked amazing!  Amanda Hein captured this day beautifully while the Gold Coast All Stars kept the dance floor packed all night!

Stephanie and Chris met in graduate school at Northwestern.  They are two of the funniest people I know and they were always making each other laugh.  We had the best time together but more importantly I was honored to be a part of a dear friend of mine’s wedding.   Stephanie and Chris are a perfect match and I am so excited to see where life takes them.  For now, they are beginning their life as a married couple in China.

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Wedding Planner: Lauren Knuepfer, LK Events
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Morgan Manufacturing
Honeymoon Suite: The Westin, River North
Floral and Décor: Revel
Lighting: Sound Investment
Photography: Amanda Hein
Catering: Food For Thought
Linens: BBJ Linens
Entertainment: The Gold Coast All Stars
Wedding Dress: Vera Wang
Make Up: Shayna Shapiro, NARS Cosmetics
Hair: Megan Manzer
Invitations and Day Of Items: Magnificent Milestones
Rehearsal Dinner: Lux Bar
Transportation: VIP Valet Services

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

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