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A Summer Classic at the University Club of Chicago, Adriana & Stephen

With Adriana and Stephen, we had 6 months to plan their perfect Chicago wedding, while both of them lived out of Chicago. Yes, that poses some challenges, but we made efficient use of the time when they were in Chicago to cross items off their planning checklist.

Adriana chose to get ready at her parent’s home in Northbrook and it provided a stunning backdrop to her stunning gown and accessories. Amanda Miller captured every last detail with flawlessness. The ladies all traveled to St. Joseph Catholic Church for the traditional Catholic ceremony presided by the same priest that presided over her parents’ wedding ceremony. We love those special touches!

After the ceremony, Adriana and Stephen took some private time with Amanda to capture photos of just the two of them and we are just swooning over these portraits. Meanwhile, their wedding party, parents, and guests enjoyed a lavish cocktail hour before heading to Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago for dinner and dancing.

Alexandra from Exquisite Designs took the vision that Adriana and her mother had and wowed all of us with the lush tall centerpieces for every table. Our favorite feature though, was the garland and candles lining the staircase when guests walked up to cocktail hour. It felt so decadent!

Guests enjoyed the very heart-felt toast by Adriana’s father, which also included an impromptu serenade by many of the men in Adriana’s life. After a choice entrée meal of a Duet of Agnus Beef Mignon with Crab Cake or Prime Veal Chop, guests hit the dance floor with the Stu Hirsh Orchestra. It was an unforgettable, classic summertime, Chicago wedding. Congratulations Adriana & Stephen!

Beauty: Vanessa Valliant Make-up
Ceremony: St. Joseph Catholic Church
Floral: Exquisite Designs
Food & Beverage, Cake, Venue, Brunch: University Club of Chicago
Lighting: Frost Chicago
Reception Musicians: Stu Hirsh Orchestra
After Party DJ: Okyne Media Lab
Photographer: Amanda Megan Miller Photography
After Party Photo Booth: Shutterbooth
Linens: BBJ Linen
Chairs & Lounge Furniture: Tablescapes
Day of Stationery: A Perfect Event
Signage: Reenie Rose
Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Company and VIP Valet Services
Videographer: Marshall Camera Films
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events

Refined Summer Elegance at Union League Club of Chicago, Jennifer & Wick

I find that most of my couples have high demand careers and have limited time to plan a wedding. This was true for Jennifer and Wick last year. We strategized when they would have some down time so that we could schedule multiple planning meetings to knock out decisions. I also had the joy of working with Jennifer’s mother, Linda, throughout the planning process and through multiple phone calls, that included a bit of laughter, we were able to put together an amazing team for Jennifer & Wick’s wedding day.

My first thought was to introduce Jennifer & Wick to averyhouse to capture their day. They connected right away and Vanessa was able to navigate our rainy wedding day to capture all of the perfect details. Isn’t Jennifer’s First Look with her Dad so priceless? I loved that Jennifer and Wick were able to see each other for the first time on the terrace at the Public Hotel. It is such an iconic backdrop!

Jennifer, Linda and I absolutely bonded over planning the décor for the wedding. I knew that Jessica at HMR Designs would understand their vision and be able to take it to the next level and we were not disappointed. Everything about the Main Dining Room at the Union League Club of Chicago was enhanced to showcase a style of refined elegance. From the entrance drapery, to the King’s Table, to the custom dance floor, the room was absolutely stunning!

Jennifer’s father, Jim, made one of the best welcome toasts that I have heard over the past 12 years and that set the tone for a very celebratory evening. (You can hear some of it in this highlight reel from Delack Media Group). The Union League Club of Chicago put on an impressive culinary display with a duet entrée of petite filet with blue cheese crust and a jumbo lump crabmeat cake. Once dinner wrapped up, guests were on the dance floor with the High Society Orchestra for a dance party that included baskets of flip flops for tired feet, passed mini hummers for those with a sweet tooth, personalized sunglasses for the cool cats, a dress change for Jennifer, and a wedding wand send off for Jennifer and Wick.

Congratulations Jennifer & Wick! I was so honored to be a party of your beautiful celebration!

A little note from Linda, the Mother of the Bride:

The weekend was fabulous and YOU are a huge reason why.  We cannot begin to thank you enough. You anticipated our every move and were there to lead us, guide us, nudge us, and HELP us.  It was never more evident than when we arrived at our table and my flip flops were under my chair and Jim’s cigar box was on his…and then magically in our room later as were the baskets, vase, leftovers! Thank you for helping make our daughter’s wedding day seamless, beautiful and memorable. We are very grateful!

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Bakery: Bittersweet
Beauty: Pin Me Up
Ceremony: St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church
Floral: HMR Designs
Venue, Food & Beverage: Union League Club of Chicago
Rehearsal Dinner & Post Wedding Day Brunch: University Club
Musicians: High Society Orchestra
Photographer: averyhouse
Chairs: Tablescapes
Getting Ready & Room Block Hotel: Public Chicago
Room Blocks: University Club and The Westin Michigan Avenue
Day of Stationery: All She Wrote
Day of Calligraphy: Stacey Shaprio
Transportation: V.I.P. Valet Services
Cinematographer: Delack Media Group
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

Anna & Charley, Morton Arboretum

It was the sweetest occasion. Anna & Charley’s rustic elegant wedding at Morton Arboretum had us wrapped up in their love. One of my favorite photos of the day was of Anna before she had her First Look with Charley – doesn’t she look like an angel?

The backdrop of the outdoor venue really provided Dean with the perfect palette for all of the photos from the day. As guests arrived, they were greeted with some hot chocolate and a choir. That detail is not one we see every day and added that extra special touch. After the ceremony, guests were ushered indoors to warm up with cocktails, appetizers, an acoustic guitar and a photo booth. As guests moved into dinner, they experienced the full rustic elegant style of Anna and Charley. With deep purple linens, natural centerpieces, and Italian string lights, the guests were engulfed in the love of the day. After a 3 course meal, the guests were ready to party with Rendezvous. What a perfectly sweet day!

Special thanks to our vendors:

Bridal Attire: Dimitra’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire: Formerly Modern Tuxedo
Bakery: The Cakery
Makeup: Sonia Roselli Makeup Studio
Caterer: Classic Fare Catering
Hotel: Hyatt Lisle
Lighting: MDM Entertainment
Ceremony Musicians: Grace United Methodist Church Choir
Cocktail Hour Musician: Carl Hix
Dinner & Dancing Musicians: Rendezvous
Photographer: Thorsen Photography
Photo Booth: The Traveling Photo Booth
Rentals: Tablescapes
Stationery: Sara Paper
Transportation: Aries Charter Transpotation
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Morton Arboretum