Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event, Wedding 2017

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a perfect event


photos: carasco photo, alissa pagels, simply by suzy, roots of life

3050 north lincoln avenue - chicago - - 773.244.9333


let’s toast to love

“Together. What a beautiful place to be.”

photo credit Glossed and Found

“The happiest people on earth don’t have everything, they just make the best of everything.” “Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” and my favorite, by my favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald, “You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest and most beautiful persona I have ever known - and even that is an understatement.” We are in love with love. And in love with helping design celebrations of love. It’s 2017 - a whole new year to live and love and create beauty all around us. so let’s get reading - and sharing real love stories and the season’s reasons to celebrate: from Superbowl to Valentine’s to warm winter family dinners by the fire.


contents Of Wedding Lace & Love 12 Sip, Sup, Superbowl 36 Wedding Meets Interiors 46 Baby it’s Cold Outside 52 Cooking up Comfort 54

Dance Baby Dance 62 Valentine Gals 84 Oh Sweet Valentines 100 Love on the Roof 110 Now Trending: Romance


La Dolce Vita 156 A Green Year 168



interior designer

skincare expert

Named Best in Design/Best in Customer Service by Houzz, her style's defined by a long love affair with European architecture.

Chicago's top skincare expert, Leah Chavie of Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique, has worked for 20 years on some of the Windy City's most recognizable faces.

BILLY PARISI chef Billy Parisi wears many hats: Chef, TV Host, Influencer and is dedicated to highlighting new, old, mashup, and simple twists on classic recipes.



Her blog, Tongue in Cheek, is woven from her experiences of living in the south of France. Her tales are of linens, letters, vintage scraps & moments of these objects whispering in her ear.

We dare you to keep up with Kenny. His connection between art and photography, plus love of travel and culture, means he spans the globe snapping hundreds of weddings and destination events.





wedding lace &


by samantha sleeper bridal photos by roberta smi photography

now trending: lacy floral + lacy china patterns

dress diy cupcakes with washi tape makes instant toothpick arrows

something blue = vintage velvet ribbon on your bouquet

style the vintage cocktail glasses + washi

e bar 1, 2, 3: tape stripey straws + fresh floral

custom napkins make cocktails taste better, available at a perfect event

ask your maids to stand by your side in sweet style with costume ring-cakes.

samantha sleeper bridal, handmade in brooklyn, means couture layers, laces, floral and feather abundance

dl loft = brida

al prep perfection

“bey” hand embellished, hand dyed ostrich feathers in palest blue, sapphire swarovski crystals, blush lace applique, embroidered illusion base overlaying a french chantilly lace


inspired by a vintage crystal setting, a unique combination of raffia beads,and gathered tulle skirt with a corded white lace top

add whimsy & wonderment with sculptured balloon garlands in your wedding hues

Sip, Sup, Superbowl by Chef Billy Parisi

football bbq chicken dip Ingredients 2 cups of Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes, Drained 1/2 cup of brown sugar 1 tablespoon of molasses 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1 carved and roughly chopped rotisserie chicken, bones discarded 1 pound of cream cheese cut into 1” chunks 1 oval shaped loaf of sourdough bread with the center cut out. 1/2 pound of shredded Colby Jack Cheese Instructions Preheat the oven to 375°. In a blender puree together the diced tomatoes, brown sugar, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper until combined to make a bbq sauce and set aside. Place the chopped rotisserie chicken, cream cheese chunks and bbq sauce into a slow cooker on high heat for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Mix together and place in the center of the cut out bread bowl and top off with the shredded cheese. Place the bread on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted. Serve the dip with tortilla chips as well as the leftover bread cut into 1” squares.

football cheese ball Ingredients 10 ounces can of Ro*TelÂŽ Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained 1 1/2 pounds of softened cream cheese 15 ounce can of drained and rinsed black beans 1/2 cup of sliced green onions 4 ounces of shredded Colby Jack Cheese 4 ounces of roughly chopped chorizo salami 1 mozzarella cheese stick sliced into 4 slices Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste Crackers for serving

Instructions In a large bowl completely mix together the Ro*Tel, cream cheese, black beans, green onions, cheese, salt and pepper and place on a cutting board and form into the shape of a football. Next, evenly sprinkle on the chopped chorizo salami to cover the cheese. Place the mozzarella slices on top of the chorizo to replicate football laces. Cool for 1 hour before serving with crackers.

sloppy joes tater tot nachos Ingredients 2 thickly sliced sweet onions 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon of sugar 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic 1 each seeded and diced red and yellow bell pepper 2 pounds of ground beef 1 cup of ketchup 2 tablespoons of brown sugar 1 tablespoon of mustard 1 teaspoon of chili powder 1 teaspoon of soy sauce 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup of water 1 cup of shredded pepper Jack cheese 1 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese 2 pound bag of heated up and cooked tater tots 8 strips of chopped crisp cooked bacon 1 cup of small diced bread and butter pickles

Instructions Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the onion slices on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and put in the oven. In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar and sugar and brush the onions in the oven every 5 to 7 minutes for 30 minutes or until they are caramelized. Remove the onions from the oven and small dice. Set aside. In a large saute pan on high heat with 1 tablespoons of olive oil add in the garlic and peppers and saute for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add in the beef and cook until there is no more pink. Next add in the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and mix it in until it is completely combined. Add water to thin out. To Plate: Place the hot tater tots on a sheet tray or in a bowl and sprinkle on the cheese and place under the broiler on high heat until it is melted and lightly browned, about 2 to 4 minutes. Next, add the sloppy joes, chopped onions, chopped bacon and butter pickles to the top and serve!

pull apart bread with chorizo queso Ingredients 1 pound of loose chorizo sausage 1 pound of pasteurized prepared cheese product cut into 1” chunks 4 ounces of cream cheese cut into 1” chunks 10 ounce can of Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies 3 packages of crescent rolls totally 24 crescent rolls


In a large cast iron skillet on high heat with olive oil add in the potatoes and cook until browned and softened, about 15 minutes. Next, add in the peppers, onions and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Finish by adding in the sliced sausage and salt and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Keep warm. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a non-stick frying pan and cook 4 eggs to your desired style and doneness. Season with salt and pepper. To Plate: Place the eggs on top of the hash. Garnish with sliced chives.

football pizza pockets Ingredients 1 teaspoon of olive oil 1 small diced yellow onion 2 finely minced cloves of garlic Two 15 ounce cans of Hunt’s® Diced tomatoes, undrained 1 tablespoon of dry oregano 1 tablespoon of dry basil 1/2 cup of Hunt’s Tomato Paste 4 premade pie dough sheets rolled out to ⅛” thick and cut into 20 4” football shapes, reserve the extra dough 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese 1/4 pound of cooked loose Italian sauce 10 large slices of pepperoni 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk whisked together to make an egg wash Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Instructions Preheat the oven to 425° In a medium size pot on high heat with olive oil add in the onions and garlic and saute for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Next, add in the tomatoes and herbs and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the tomato paste until the sauce becomes thick, and season with salt and pepper. Cool completely in the refrigerator. Once the dough is rolled out and the football shapes have been created place a small amount of the tomato sauce in the center of a football shaped piece of dough. Add on a little shredded cheese and then some pepperoni slices or cooked Italian sausage. Brush a small amount of the egg wash around the outside edge of the dough and place another piece of dough right on top pressing down around the edges. Use a fork to press around the outsides to seal them. Next, cut 4 thin strips per pizza pocket and form football like strings over the top of the pizza pocket. Brush the entire pizza pocket with egg wash and place on a cookie sheet tray dusted with corn meal or sprayed with PAM® Original No-Stick Spray and bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Wedding Interior meets

by Donna Mondi Donna Mondi Interiors

The designer in me couldn’t help but think of how I would translate my wedding choices into interior selections.  Inspiration for our projects can come from anywhere... Even my own wedding.

Why feel like a goddess only one day in your life?

 With this stunner you can capture that feeling every day.

Being perfect is boring.  Color outside the lines with your gilding and you’ll end up with the most unexpected treasures like this mirror.

Everyone Needs a Little Bling...

Koket makes the most beautiful chests that are like jewelry for your home.

The bridal bouquet sets the tone for the wedding decor just like an amazing chandelier does for a room.

Textures add drama

without color. Â A gorgeous lambswool stool adds sophistication and edginess just like these Jimmy Choo feathered shoes.

Baby it’s Cold Ou

by sty







1. ‘Grafton’ Shearling-Trimmed Down Parka, $2665, 2. ‘Flame’ Spread Collar Shirt, $128, 3. Wool Suit Trousers, $79.90, 4. Alex Mill Ribbed Mélange Cashmere Beanie, $100 , Mrporter.Com 5. Saint Laurent Brush Suede Boots, $915,



ylist Eric Himel



1 5


1. Ermanno Scervino Technical Coat with Fur Detail, $10,700, 2. Gianvito Rossi Over-The-Knee Boots, $2195, 3. Peter Pilotto Intarsia Sweater, $919, 4. Portolano Studded Leather Gloves, $155, 5. Loro Piana Zip Corduroy Pants, $800,

Cooking up Comfort by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

fresh country chicken noodle soup

Ingredients 2 Tbl. oil (I used bacon drippings.) ½ cup sweet onions, diced 1 Tbl. garlic, minced 32 oz. chicken stock + 3 cups of water 2 tsp. sea salt 2 tsp. coarse ground pepper 2 cups carrots, sliced 2 cups celery, sliced with green leaves 1 Tbl. fresh thyme, chopped + twigs for garnish 1 Tbl. fresh oregano, chopped 2 ½ to 3 cups extra wide old fashioned egg noodles

Instructions In a large stock pot over medium heat, put the oil and onions. Sauté about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue another 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add the chicken stock, water, salt, pepper and carrots. Stir and blend. Cover with a lid and cook about 25 minutes. Add the celery, thyme and oregano. Blend, cover and cook another 20 minutes. Add the egg noodles, blend, cover and cook another 20-30 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Ready to serve.

crunchy veggie & olive buttermilk salad Ingredients 3 cups mini cucumbers, sliced (into rounds) ½ cup red onion, diced 4 mini red peppers, sliced thinly into circles ¼ cup olives with pimentos, chopped & drained ½ tsp. sea salt ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper Coupons ½ tsp. red chili flakes 2 cups buttermilk

Instructions Combine in a medium mixing bowl the cucumbers, onion, peppers, olives, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Toss and blend. Add the buttermilk and stir. Cover and refrigerate about an hour before serving.

pesto meatballs & marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 350 1 ½ pounds ground lamb 1 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper ¼ tsp. red chili flakes ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs 1 egg, beaten 1 cup basil pesto, store bought, divided ¼ cup oil 1 jar (25 oz.) marinara sauce 1 cup ricotta cheese, somewhat room temperature 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, garnish


In a large mixing bowl crumbled the meat. Sprinkle over the meat the salt, pepper, red chili flakes, bread crumbs. Add the egg and two thirds cup of basil pesto. Using your hands, work everything into the meat. Do this for several minutes to make sure all is incorporated and distributed. Put a sheet of parchment paper in a large cookie sheet. Roll the meatballs into about ‘golf ’ ball sizes. Heat a large cast iron skillet (10”) on medium high heat. Let it get hot. Add the oil and let it get hot for about a minute. Add about 6 meatballs at a time and brown turning on all sides. Use tongs to remove to the cookie sheet. Repeat with all meatballs Bake in a preheated 350 oven about 15-18 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce heat to low on the skillet and add the marinara sauce. Stir and scrape up any of the good sticky crumbles in the skillet. Add the remaining pesto to the marinara and blend. Place the cooked meatballs in the skillet and roll and cover them in the sauce. Cover with a lid. Let the meatballs simmer about 20 minutes. Serve meatballs/sauce in a shallow bowl with a couple of small ice cream scoops of ricotta and sprinkle of fresh basil.

cranberry coconut cookies

Ingredients Preheat oven to 325 1 cup fresh cranberries, pulsed in a food processor into a fine mixture 1 cup coconut, shredded, sweetened 1 cup coconut flour 1/8 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. vanilla 1 1/4 cups sweetened condensed milk 2 Tbl. powdered sugar

Instructions In a large mixing bowl, combine the cranberries coconut, flour and salt. Toss and blend well with your hands. Add the vanilla and sweetened condensed milk. Blend into a thick mixture. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use a small spring scoop and dollop cookies on to the cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 325 oven about 17-20 minutes. Cookies should be soft to the touch. Remove, dust with powdered sugar and cool. Notes When the cookies are eaten shortly after coming out of the oven, they have a crunchy exterior. Store in an airtight container. They will soften. They will be good for several days.

venue DL Loft photography roots of life

a pop

ppin’ bottles soiree


add instant party whimsy with our custom cheeky paper banners, available at A Perfect Event

dress up that big window with balloon statement decor: adds a splash of color and fun


cucumber + artichoke spread + smoked salmon

melon + proscuitto + washi skewers available at a perfect event

endive + jalepino spread + bacon

cupcake chic = washi arrows, available at a perfect event

V alentine Gals Gather the girls & toast to fab friends

venue DLLoft florals A Perfect Event photography: Amy Boyle Photography

Step 1 - unroll wrapping paper down the table as a colorf Step 2 - wrap paper doily around glass bottles, wrap with

ful runner. h twine, fill with peony or fave flowers for a golden touch.

Fill carafes with juices to splash into champagne or prose

ecco for instant cocktails.

Endive + Goat Cheese + Jam + Pistachio + Mint + Honey

Bake Flatbread + Fig Jam + Blue Cheese in oven, top with Basil

Click here to print off our pretty recipe cards for guests to take home and enjoy!

Oh Sweet Valentine with Grandbaby Cakes Jocelyn Delk Adams

berry rhubarb punch INGREDIENTS: For the Berry Rhubarb Simple Syrup: 3 cups water 2 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries 1 1/2 cup fresh raspberries 1 cup chopped rhubarb Hand full of mint For the Punch: 2 1/2 cups ginger-ale 1 cup Smirnoff Raspberry 1/2 cup raspberries 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced For Garnish: Chopped rhubarb and fresh mint for glasses

INSTRUCTIONS: For the Simple Syrup: Add water, sugar, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb and mint to a medium sized pot over medium high heat and stir together allowing sugar to dissolve. Bring liquid to a boil then lower heat to medium and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat, strain the mixture leaving just the liquid. Cool to room temperature. For the Punch: Add Raspberry Smirnoff and ginger-ale to simple syrup and stir together until well combined. Add berries to punch then add to pitcher. When serving punch, fill glasses with ice, pour in punch then add one mint leaf and one chopped rhubarb stalk straw to each glass and enjoy!

oscar tomato tarts

INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 onion, sliced Salt and pepper to taste 2 sheets puff pastry (thawed according to package instructions) 1 large Safest Choice egg, plus 1 teaspoon water beaten 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced 1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded fresh parsley and herbs

INSTRUCTIONS: Melt butter and olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions to pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, continuing to stir, until tender and golden brown (this process takes a while- up to 20 minutes) then set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough out of puff pastry and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush egg wash on each pastry circle then top each with a tomato slice in the direct center. Next add caramelized onions on top of each tomato slice and sprinkle shredded cheese and fresh parsley and herbs on top. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until tarts are puffy and golden brown and cheese has turned golden and melty. Cool for a few minutes then serve.

hot strawberry spinach salad with bacon INGREDIENTS: 5 uncured bacon slices 1 large shallot, minced Kosher Salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries INSTRUCTIONS: In a skillet or heavy pan, cook the bacon until crispy on both sides. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the shallot and a sprinkle of salt to the bacon fat and cook over low heat, stirring often, until the shallot is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, vinegar, and honey and stir. Cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the dressing from the heat and add the spinach, strawberries, and crumbled bacon to the pan. Toss the salad well to coat the leaves (they will wilt slightly) and season with salt. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately. Note: If possible, try using one of the beautiful artisanal spinaches available seasonally, like the red spinach in the cookbook.

stuffed flank steak with roasted brussel sprouts INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms 1/2 cup diced onions 1 teaspoon rosemary 2 teaspoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce kosher salt and black pepper 1 lb butterflied flank steak 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter Toothpicks for securing INSTRUCTIONS

Turn oven mode to Roast and preheat to 350 degrees. Add olive oil and butter to medium sized pan over medium high heat. Once both melt together, add mushrooms, onions, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste, stir and cook until tender. Next add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, making sure not to burn it. Add in Worcestershire sauce, stir together and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, then set mixture aside while you prepare the steak. Lay butterflied steak on a cutting board and season with salt and pepper on the outside of the steak then turn over. Spoon mushroom mixture in an even layer across the steak. Next arrange spinach and sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the surface of the mushroom mixture. Drizzle half of the butter over the breadcrumbs. Starting at the very bottom of the steak, carefully and tightly roll steak, and secure seam with toothpicks to hold it together. Place the rolled steak in the center of the Wolf Gourmet baking pan and brush the top of it with the remaining butter. Bake until the probe inserted into the steak reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F, around 40 minutes. Your steak will be medium to medium well around this temperature. If you prefer it well done, continue cooking until it reaches internal temperature of 155. Remove rolled steak from oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Cut the steak into 1 inch thick slices, remove toothpicks, and serve with easy roasted Brussels sprouts if desired.

Raspberry Gooey Butter Cookies INGREDIENTS: 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 large egg 1 box white cake mix 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 (3 ounce) package raspberry gelatin (OPTIONAL) 1-2 drops red or pink food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of your mixer and cream until smooth. Next turn mixer to medium and add in one egg until batter is smooth. Then turn your mixer to a low speed and add in gelatin, cake mix and food coloring until everything is well combined and thick. Remove finished cookie dough from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. While dough chills, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and roll into small balls and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.

Love Marta on+

the Roof + Baran

photos Jai Gerard venue Trump Hotel florals/decor A Perfect Event

now trending:

the jeweled chignon

sneak peek: bridal prep with bridal party pup

dramatic dress detail: it’s all about the

statement back

Marta’s bouquet featured Garden Roses, Ranunculus, Berry, Fern, Eucalyptus, Brunia

Floral urns down the aisle added soft, english garden romance to the Trump ballroom overlooking Chicago’s iconic river and architecture.

Marta’s soft, feminine bouquet was reflected in masculine style for Baran’s boutonniere with Spray Rose, Berry and Fern.

the wedding feast, a 9 course chef’s tasting at 16

roman now trending:

Venue: DL Loft Victoria Sdoukos Floral/Styling: A Perfect Event Photo: Amanda Hein


bouquet chic: peony, tulip, ranunculus, veronica, eucalyptus

take the plunge deep couture necklines rule the runway

victoria sdoukos custom designs every gown, veil, accessory by hand in her chicago atelier

custom cocktail tags dress the bar bottle display, available a perfect event


ish garden elegance = ivy, mini roses, kalanchoe

it’s all about the mini layered with removeable full tulle skirt, beaded belt

victoria skoukos creates custom wedding gown clutches with

left, custom stationary trends include geode and watercolor floral designs, available a perfect event. below, coral charm peony, our favorite wedding bouquet bloom.

La Dolce Vita

Amore in Ravello by Lotta Rodriguez, Mint Design Styled by Mint Design Photography Rebecca Yale

Since the time we got engaged, Marcos and I dreamed of Italy for our honeymoon.

We are both in love with everything Italian – culture, history, food, wine...Italy was our place. Instead of Italian honeymooning - we first home purchased as we planned our wedding.

But fate and serendipity stepped in - as they often do and work took me to Ravello, Italy. A dream come true. To work and enjoy Italy for a business trip combined with newlywed travel - even better.

A Green Year We’ve Gone Green for 2017’s Pantone florals, details and styling: a perfect event

add hints of “greenery’ to florals with hydrangea, orchids, camelia leaf

add a pop of green with washi tape to stationery, paper details

green hues like mint are famous for sweet favors, and favor accents like rich emerald peacock feathers

love emerald green?

layer in the hue with rich jewel tone linen, menus and placecards

layer in green accents with crystal votive and china details

floral accents like kermit poms and lady’s mantle are our favorite “greenery”

don’t love green?

you don’t need to...even with your chosen floral hues, you have lovely pops of green in floral stems

green pops perfectly as favor bags, placesettings and ribbon details

Next Up:

All Things Spring!

launching April 1st! DIY Easter Elegance Mother’s Day Soiree Spring Fling Fun and more

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