In my 14 years as a professional planner, I have been blessed to work with certain families multiple times. In 2017, I had the chance to work with a family that has been very dear to my heart. I had planned Emily’s sister’s wedding 3 years before and was so honored that one of the first thoughts that Emily (and her mom) had when Clay popped the question on a family vacation, was that they wanted to see if I was available to help them through the process.
We had a good idea of where Emily & Clay would end up for their wedding day, but Emily and I spent a very fun, and snowy, afternoon touring venues and listing out the pros and cons of each. Emily and Clay did finally choose Morgan Manufacturing and with that decision settled, we moved on to the rest of the planning checklist. I loved that Emily wanted to make sure her wedding was a reflection of her and Clay, but she also loved so many of the event professionals that were hired for her sister’s wedding, so we had a fun time balancing the quick booking of favorites and the research on finding some new professionals to bring their vision to life.
Fast forward to Emily & Clay’s wedding day, and we all found ourselves at The Four Seasons with everyone getting ready for the big day. A gorgeous color palette, attention to little details, and the most beautiful dress for Emily all created a beautiful canvas for Timothee and Bethany from Tim Tab Studios to create the most stunning of photos. Emily and Clay chose to have their First Look at Olive Park, so we had Clay go on ahead while I helped to get Emily, their wedding party and parents on the bus for photos. We also had a surprise appearance from Maverick, their dog, during the portraits at the park.
From there, we traveled to Morgan Manufacturing for some final photos on the rooftop and then we had everyone sit down and relax as guests began arriving. Erin and Tori from Revel Décor, blew our expectations out of the water with their stunning industrial garden creation. Can we please talk about the overhead trellis elements in the main room and the balloon installation with the escort card display? So unique and exactly what Emily was looking to accomplish with her industrial romantic garden theme.
Some of my favorite moments of the day were during the ceremony. The setting was just magical, but seeing the ringbearers and flower girls almost stealing the show, and seeing the joy and love between Emily and her dad before he walked her down the aisle…those are the moments I am so honored to witness in my job. Emily and Clay had chosen Emily’s uncle to officiate the ceremony. He did such a wonderful job of incorporating their story into a ceremony that had both Emily and Clay in tears. I especially loved the detail that the water from the family lake home they love was used to bless their rings. After the ceremony, guests moved into the cocktail area where they were delighted by all of the mini hors d’oeuvres paired with mini drinks. Guests could not get enough of those!!
While Revel Décor and Entertaining Company flipped the main room, our team was helping to place the custom menus and vellum placecards at each place setting. Allie Hasson was in sync with Emily’s vision and these are just a few of the stationery elements that stayed true to the theme and captivated guests. When guests entered the main room for dinner, they found themselves in the middle of an enchanted garden. Emily and Clay were introduced into the room together and went right into their first dance – “Let’s Stay Together.” Then Emily’s dad gave another amazing Father of the Bride toast, which had guests laughing and crying. After a dinner of Baby Kale Salad and a duet of Filet and Halibut, Emily and Clay said their thank you’s to their family and guests. There were a few special parent dances that followed and then everyone was ready to party with The Chicago Players. Once again, that band had everyone on the dance floor…and Clay taking the mic for Warren G’s “Regulate.”
Emily and Clay, thank you for trusting me with your special day. I am so grateful for the journey we had together and witnessing a truly magical day. Congratulations, my friends!!
Note from the couple:
What a year and a half it has been! Words cannot begin to express how grateful Clay and I are for the unwavering support, patience, kindness and love you showed us throughout our marriage planning journey. Thank you for sacrificing so much time, energy and emotions on throwing us the most perfect wedding day despite all of your personal hardships. Thank you for being you, Nicole. We are so lucky to know you and are elated for the forever friendship.
Bakery: Elysia Root Cakes
Beauty: Pin Me Up for Hair and Valliant Beauty for Make-up
Rehearsal Dinner: LuxBar
Post Wedding Brunch: Drumbar
Catering: Entertaining Company
Floral/Décor: Revel Decor
Getting Ready Hotel: The Four Seasons
Room Blocks: The Four Seasons, Thompson Hotel, JW Marriott
Musicians: The Chicago Players
Photographer: Tim Tab Studios
Transportation: Signature Transportation Group
Venue & Beverages: Morgan Manufacturing
Videographer: One Fine Day Productions
Wedding Planner: Nicole Zenner from LK Events