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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 University Club of Chicago, Allison & Matt

Allison and her bridesmaids got ready in the Presidential Suite at the Blackstone Hotel.  After hair and make up completed, Allison put on her Vera Wang gown and saw her father for the first time.  It was such a beautiful moment and we love when our couples get to spend special moments with their parents before heading out for photos.  Allison and her bridesmaids met the groomsmen and Matt for the couple’s first look and additional bridal party photos around the city before the ceremony took place at Old St. Pat’s.

Allison carried a stunning organic hand tied bouquet of garden roses, peonies, ranunculus and vibernum.  Her bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bridal bouquet with accents of pale and deep green.  Guests were greeted by a stunning escort card display of dramatic bells of Ireland and blooming bridal veil in a footed urn.  We covered the table with moss and duvalia ferns and placed the escort cards in antique silver trays, provided by the bride’s parents. 

The guest tables were decorated with three different designs in a lush variety of height and texture.  Stems used lush boxwood, camellia, ferns and hanging amaranthus to complete this garden inspired summer wedding. Allison and Matt sat at a gorgeous sweetheart table that was adorned with a laurel and bay leaf wreath, organic boxwood and an abundance of pillar candles.

Allison and Matt surprised their parents with a personalized note that was at their place settings when their parents sat down for dinner.  It was such a special moment watching both parents read these notes from their children before dinner was to start.  We love touches like this one!

Larry King kept the dance floor packed all night long and Gerber and Scarpelli and Wedding Masterpiece were there to capture it all!  As they celebrate their first anniversary next week, we are thinking of you both and wishing you nothing but love, laughter and happily ever after!  Congrats Allison and Matt!

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Getting Ready Location: The Blackstone Hotel
Wedding Planner: LK Events
Photography: Gerber and Scarpelli
Videography: Wedding Masterpiece
Ceremony: Old St. Pat’s
Reception: The University Club
Entertainment: The Larry King Orchestra
Floral: Stems
Lighting: Frost
Wedding Dress Designer: Vera Wang
Shoe Designer: Charlotte Olympia
Tux Designer: Martin Greenfield
Bridesmaid Dress: Amsale 
Hair: Dana Sokolewicz
Make Up: Carissa Bruce
Invitations and Day of Paper: Clementine Inc.
Linens: BBJ Linens
Chairs: Halls Rental
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Rehearsal Dinner: The Chicago Yacht Club

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

 

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

Kate & John, The University Club of Chicago

I had the absolute pleasure of growing up with Kate and our parents are dear friends.  When they called me to plan their wedding, needless to say, I was ecstatic!  Kate and John chose The University Club for their fall reception and was a perfect venue for their October nuptials.  Kate grew up going to many events at The University Club and it was also where her aunt was married so it held a very special place in their hearts.

Kate and John knew they wanted a very unique but classic and elegant look and Allison at Stems created that for them.  Kate carried white and ivory garden roses with white mums while the bridesmaids wearing classic black, carried petite nosegays of white garden roses and stock.  The escort cards were placed on a bed of fresh sheet moss with a focal arrangement of tall willow branches and hanging candles in a vase wrapped in fresh birch bark.  We carved the couple’s initials in the birch bark.  The guest tables had different lanterns (many of which the bride provided) and we used pillar candles, fresh moss, succulent blossoms, white mums, birch bark and willow branches.  We adorned the branches with hanging candles so we had amber candlelight throughout the cozy room.

We had a beautiful October day for Kate and John’s Wedding.  Kate got dressed at her parents home and we took photos outside after Kate put her wedding dress on.  Kate and her parents took a classic vintage Rolls Royce to The University Club, where she and John had their first look.  The couple then headed around Chicago with Chad Husar of Husar Photography while he captured some great shots of them and the bridal party.  We had such an incredible wedding day for this sweet couple.  Chris Sarlas, of Sarlas Music, kept the party going all night long; it was a blast!!

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Getting Ready: Parents of the Bride’s Home
Ceremony: Holy Family
Reception: The University Club
Photographer:  Husar Photography
Videographer: REM Productions
Transportation: VIP Valet Services
Floral and Decor: Stems
Lighting: The University Club
Ceremony Music: Artistrings
Reception Music: Sarlas Music
Hair and Make Up: Beauty on Call
Linens: BBJ
Rentals: Halls
Rehearsal Dinner: Smith and Wollensky’s
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid
Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston
Invitations: Family Friend

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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