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FASH ION

& Beauty Issue Iconic

CHICAGO venues

ways to NOVEMBER | DECEMBER COVER

$5.99

2018 EDITION

WOW your guests


2018 | 2019 EDITION CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Joseph H. Chambers

PUBLISHER Kelly Broz

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sylvia Seib

ADVERTISING SALES Kelly Broz | Denise Bruscher | Jackie Gilbert | Tarin Pokorny

OFFICE MANAGER & PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Agnes Romanek

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER & WEB ADMINISTRATOR Sylvia Seib

WEB DEVELOPMENT American Eagle | Web Infotech, LLC

MAGAZINE CIRCULATION & DELIVERY Al Range

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Lauren Beers | Micaela Fischer | Edyta Stopyra

MAGAZINE PRODUCTION Abneyville | Studio Graphics

ADVERTISING DESIGN Abneyville | Claire Tomm | Studio Graphics | Sylvia Seib

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lauren Beers | Kristen Castillo | Katie Day | Micaela Fischer | Heather Hagy Colette House | Nesa Mangal | E. Ce. Miller | Christina Oddo | Katie O’Shaughnessy Kelsey O’Shaughnessy | Kate Sora | Lynn Tangorra | Emma Sarran Webster

ADVERTISING INFORMATION 847.584.2626 | sales@chicagostyleweddings.com

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS 847.584.2626 | submissions@chicagostyleweddings.com

FOR THE WEDDING PROFESSIONAL ChicagoStyle Weddings ® is a fully integrated marketing program to reach your target client. We provide marketing consulting services, magazine advertising, website advertising and listings, e-marketing services, direct marketing lists, sponsorships, contests/giveaway coordination, surveying mechanisms and other products and services to the wedding industry. For engaged couples, we provide an upscale magazine, a highly popular website at chicagostyleweddings.com, e-newsletters, tip sheets, bridal shows, news, articles, advice and more to help plan the perfect wedding. ChicagoStyle Weddings ® is published annually by Chambers Marketing Options, Copyright 2018. ChicagoStyle Weddings Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. ChicagoStyle Weddings® is a trademark of ChicagoStyle Weddings Publishing Inc. The unauthorized use of this trademark is strictly prohibited. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate. However, ChicagoStyle Weddings ® cannot and does not guarantee accuracy. ChicagoStyle Weddings® cannot and will not be held liable for the quality of performance of goods and services provided by advertisers or any other portion of this publication.

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS PRODUCT 14

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


Congratulations on Your Engagement!

F

or over three decades, ChicagoStyle Weddings has had the privilege of providing couples with the inspiration necessary to help create their perfect Big

Day. We pride ourselves in not only staying on top of current

wedding trends, but also developing styles that allow couples

REBECCA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY | HAIR & MAKEUP: APPEASE, INC.

the ability to customize their day in a way that is as unique as they are. Having the opportunity to encourage couples as they begin to write the newest chapter of their lives together is truly a distinct honor and one that we do not take lightly. Since 1987, we have positioned ourselves as Chicago’s go-to wedding resource and look to the future with the same enthusiasm and excitement as we have had over the past thirty years. We have transitioned into not only a captivating resource, but also a fashion-forward planning tool for couples as they begin to embark on their upcoming adventure. The resources that we provide our readers with are backed by a sincere passion for weddings and extensive industry research. Simply put, we love what we do! The vendors that we have teamed up with over the years share our passion for weddings and it truly shows throughout the pages of our publication. We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to help couples write their own happily ever after. We look forward to all of the love stories to come! Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life and we are elated that you have chosen us to join you on your journey down the aisle. Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness,

Kelly Broz KELLY BROZ Publisher

C h i CAG O sT Y l e W e D D i N G s . C O M

15


Covers

18

2018-19 Edition

September/October

November/December

January/February

LEFT MODEL: GOWN: Marquise Bridal via Luxe Bridal Rack, luxebridalrack.com SHOES: Jessica Bedard Shoes, jessicabedardshoes.com RIGHT MODEL: GOWN: Marquise Bridal via Luxe Bridal Rack, luxebridalrack.com SHOES: Jessica Bedard Shoes, jessicabedardshoes.com JEWELRY: Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com HAIR & MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com VENUE: Studio Rental Chicago, studiorentalchicago.com STYLING: The Wedding Dresser, theweddingdresser.net PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin Hoyt Photography, erinhoytphotography.com

GOWN: Rivini by Rita Vinieris via Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, bellabianca.com BRACELET: Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com EARRINGS & RING: Razny Jewelers, razny.com HAIR & MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com VENUE: Studio Rental Chicago, studiorentalchicago.com STYLING: The Wedding Dresser, theweddingdresser.net PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin Hoyt Photography, erinhoytphotography.com

GOWN: Rime Arodaky, rime-arodaky.com PHOTOGRAPHY: Greg Fink

March/April

May/June

July/August

GOWN: Jenny Yoo Collection, jennyyoo.com HAIR & MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com VENUE: Studio Rental Chicago, studiorentalchicago.com STYLING: The Wedding Dresser, theweddingdresser.net PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin Hoyt Photography, erinhoytphotography.com

GOWN: Enzoani via Kathryn’s Bridal & Dress Shop, kathryns-bridal.com EARRINGS & RING: Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com NECKLACE: Razny Jewelers, razny.com HAIR & MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com VENUE: Studio Rental Chicago, studiorentalchicago.com STYLING: The Wedding Dresser, theweddingdresser.net PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin Hoyt Photography, erinhoytphotography.com

GOWN: Netta BenShabu, nettabenshabu.com HAIR: Ran Karisi MAKEUP: Tali Peretz PHOTOGRAPHY: Dvir Kahlon

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


ChicagoStyle Weddings

IN THIS ISSUE

2018-19 Edition

Fashion 30 A Few of Our Favorite Things 60 Pure Beauty 50 Runway Report 76 Gown Glamour 36 Wed Essentials 44 The Perfect Fit 56 Beyond the Dress 72 The Complete Guide to Bridesmaids

Health & Beauty 80 Bridal Beauty Blunders 86 Hello, Gorgeous! 88 Get in Shape the Right Way

60


ChicagoStyle Weddings

IN THIS ISSUE

2018-19 Edition

Planning & Preparation 286

Designers’ Challenge

296

Ask A Planner

303

Day-of Anxiety Relief

304

Ceremony Essentials

308

The Dish on Wedding Registries

Invitations & Stationery 312

The Suite Life

316

You Are Cordially Invited

320

Décor to Adore

326

Lifelong Keepsakes

Culinary Services 333

Ask A Caterer

338

Reservation for Two

342

Icing on the Cake

348

Delicious Decisions

KRISTIN BERNICE PHOTOGRAPHY

Floral & Décor

320

Photography 350

Capturing Forever

356

Picture Perfect Engagements

358

These Magic Moments

364

Thanks for the Memories

368

Chicago’s Newest Newlyweds

Entertainment 370

Hit the Right Note

Transportation 376

Make Your Wedding Day Ride Memorable

Honeymoon & Travel Packing Perfection

Planning Notes

22

26

12-Month Planning Checklist

29

Budget Breakdown & Tipping Guide

28

Obtaining a Marriage License

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

JOHNA R. BRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

378

28


ChicagoStyle Weddings

IN THIS ISSUE

2018-19 Edition

98

City Scene

106

Sweet Home Chicago

124

Step-by-Step Guide to Booking Your Perfect Venue

134

It’s a Date

142

No Regrets

154

Ace Your Outdoor Wedding

162

A Family Affair

172

The Complete Guide to Renewing Your Vows

178

Two Worlds, One Family

190

The Perfect Backdrop

198

Top Questions to Ask Your Venue

200

A Memorable Guest Experience

208

Practice Makes Perfect

216

Toast of the Town

224

How to Avoid Becoming “That Bride”

230

Expect the Unexpected

236

Reception Timeline

246

What to do After “I do”

TIMOTHY WHALEY PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS

Celebration Locations

106

Spotlight on Style 54

Big City Bride

94

Soirée LOLA Event Productions

152

Spiaggia

52

Rachel & Jack

188

Northern Greenhouses

78

Linda & Steve

222

You Name It Events

92

Fisayo & Seyi

254

Divine Designs & Events

104

Chris & Diego

268

Ashland Addison Florist Company

120

Dana & Ben

150

Charlie & Jordan

170

Lindsay & Chris

186

Júlio & Ryan

220

Nikki & Rick

Resources 18

About the Covers

256

Ceremony Locations Ceremonies & Receptions

270

Prelude to the Party Rehearsals, Brunches, and Events

244

Haley & Josh

252

Erin & Jonathan

Advertisers’ Index

266

Kristin & Bill

282

Renata & Sergei

318

Pauline & Dan

340

Rachel & Eric

380

Teresa & Bobby

382

24

Real ChicagoStyle Weddings

122

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


ONE YEAR ___ Create your budget. ___ Begin researching wedding vendors (go to chicagostyleweddings.com/vendordirectory to get started). ___ Choose a date and time for your ceremony and reception. ___ Select and book your ceremony location and reception venue. ___ Choose your attendants. ___ Begin wedding dress shopping. ___ Decide on an officiant and meet with him or her to learn about any premarital requirements. ___ Begin planning the guest list to get a rough idea of head count. ___ Determine your wedding theme, colors, and décor.

TEN-TWELVE MONTHS ___ Finalize your guest list. ___ If you are having a destination wedding, mail save-the-dates. ___ Choose your dress and accessories and schedule delivery date and fitting(s). ___ Select dresses for bridal attendants. ___ Meet with and make final decisions on your team of vendors: wedding planner, stationer, floral and décor, caterer, musicians, photographer, videographer, transportation. ___ Have engagement photos taken.

12 MONTH

Planning Checklist

Y

ou have said “YES!” but now what? With plenty to do before walking down the aisle, our twelve-month planning checklist will help you stay organized without experiencing the occasional mini-breakdown.

By using our easy-to-navigate guide, you will be able to plan your Big Day while also enjoying every moment of your exciting new chapter.

WRITTEN BY Lauren Beers & Kate Sora GOWN Edith Élan via Dame Couture, damecouture.com

26

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


LET IT SHINE Be sure to sparkle on your Big Day. Get your rings polished a few days ahead of your wedding. RAZNY JEWELERS, RAZNY.COM

NINE MONTHS ___ Begin to plan groom’s and groomsmen attire. ___ Register for gifts. ___ Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. ___ Reserve any rental equipment such as tables, chairs, and tent (if necessary). ___ Choose a cake designer for your wedding cake and groom’s cake.

TWO MONTHS ___ Mail your invitations. ___ Develop a system for organizing RSVPs. ___ Begin to write wedding vows. ___ Prep for bachelor and bachelorette

STUNNING STATIONERY Mail your invitations two months before the wedding to ensure arrival and enough time for your guests to RSVP. INVITATIONS BY DESIGN, INVITATIONSBYDESIGN.COM

parties. ___ Confirm details for rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception.

ONE WEEK

___ Select hair and makeup vendors.

___ Give assignments to wedding party

ONE MONTH

members and remind them of rehearsal

SIX-EIGHT MONTHS

___ Pick up rings and check engraving.

details.

___ Mail your save-the-dates.

___ Research local marriage license and

___ Start planning your rehearsal dinner. ___ Choose wedding favors for your guests. ___ Meet with your officiant to plan ceremony details. ___ Start planning your honeymoon (check passports/visas if necessary). ___ Secure transportation to and from the ceremony and reception. ___ Purchase wedding bands and arrange for engraving. ___ Reserve groom’s and groomsmen attire. ___ Schedule hair and makeup trials.

name change requirements. ___ Have your final dress fitting. ___ Confirm details with the florist, caterer, entertainers, and officiant. ___ Have a trial run for full hair and makeup. ___ Purchase gifts for attendants, flower girl, ring bearer, fiancé, parents, and

___ Attend bachelor and bachelorette parties. ___ Plan for floral and dress preservation. ___ Decide who will do readings and

THREE-FIVE MONTHS

___ Choose the ceremony music and

TWO WEEKS ___ Finalize seating arrangement. count. ___ Break in your wedding shoes.

or DJ.

___ Bride should get last pre-wedding

accommodations.

cards. ___ Prepare tip envelopes for vendors and arrange for someone to distribute them the day of the wedding. ___ Perfect your wedding vows.

ONE DAY ___ Get a manicure and pedicure. ___ Arrange to have welcome bags delivered to hotel rooms. ___ Host rehearsal dinner and hand out special gifts to the wedding party. ___ Ensure dress, shoes, jewelry, and ___ Pack overnight bag if you are staying at a hotel the night of your wedding.

___ Give caterer and venue final guest

discuss reception music with your band ___ Confirm out-of-town guest

___ Assign attendant to collect gifts and

accessories are all ready to go.

___ Meet with caterer to discuss menu

guests.

vendors.

wedding extra special.

___ Finalize wedding vows.

___ Plan welcome bags for out-of-town

___ Confirm timelines and details with all

anyone else who helped make your

toasts.

details.

___ Obtain marriage license.

haircut and color. ___ Practice your wedding vows.

WEDDING DAY ___ Arrange to get checked in and have luggage delivered to your hotel. ___ Relax and enjoy the day!

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS Bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces – oh my! Meet with your florist ten to twelve months before the Big Day to design the floral of your dreams. WILLOW DESIGN LAKE GENEVA LLC, WILLOWDESIGNLG.COM Looking for more tips and tricks to help you navigate the planning process? Head over to chicagostyleweddings.com and find all the inspiration you’ll need to create the wedding of your dreams.


Obtaining an Illinois Marriage License

Where To Go Call your County Clerk’s office to verify requirements, hours, and additional locations. We recommend getting two or three certified copies of your marriage certificate for name change

REQUIREMENTS

of former spouses. Counties may vary

Both partners must appear together in

when it comes to forms of acceptable

COOK

person at the time of application.

ID. Call your county clerk to verify what

Downtown Chicago – Daley Center

documentation you should bring.

Unmarried people who are 18 years of

50 W. Washington St. East Concourse (Lower) Level, Room 25

WHO MAY APPLY CIVIL UNIONS

Chicago, IL 60602 312.603.7790

age or older and not blood relatives can

Civil unions are still legal, valid, and

apply for a marriage license, as can first

offered to all couples in the state of

DEKALB

Illinois. It is not required that a civil union

110 E. Sycamore St.

be converted into a marriage. If couples

Sycamore, IL 60178

would like to convert their civil union into

815.895.7149

cousins 50 years or older. People 16 and 17 years of age must provide the following information: sworn consent, in person, from each parent or legal guardian before the county clerk at the time of application, as well as a certified copy of their birth certificates and a second form of identification to show their date of birth. Those giving consent must provide proper identification, including a valid driver’s license, state ID, or a valid US passport. If the legal guardian is giving consent, a certified copy of his or her guardianship papers must be provided.

WHAT TO PROVIDE

a marriage, the marriage license fee will

421 N. County Farm Rd.

licenses and has their ceremony within

Wheaton, IL 60187

60 days of the date their civil union was

630.407.6500

actualized. If a couple does not live in Illinois, they may still apply for a marriage license in an Illinois county, provided they have a ceremony in that county

GRUNDY 111 E. Washington St., Room 12 Morris, IL 60450 815.941.3222

within 60 days.

KANE

COST Depending on your county, the cost to obtain a marriage license is $20-$60. Certain counties only accept cash, so

You must provide one of the following

call ahead to confirm what types of pay-

pieces of information to receive your

ment the clerk will accept. If you intend

marriage license: valid U.S. driver’s license

to request multiple copies of your marriage

or state ID, valid U.S. passport, or U.S.

license, be prepared to pay a small repli-

Armed Forces identification card. If the

cation fee.

two of the following: a certified copy of

DUPAGE

be waived if the couple applies for their

719 S. Batavia Ave., Building B Geneva, IL 60134 630.232.5950

KANKAKEE 189 E. Court St., Room 1 Kankakee, IL 60901 815.937.2990

LAKE 18 N. County St., Room 101 Waukegan, IL 60085

above is not available, you must provide

847.377.2400

your birth certificate, U.S. naturalization

WAITING PERIOD/ EXPIRATION OF LICENSE

papers or resident alien card, a valid for-

A marriage license becomes effective

667 Ware Rd., Suite 107

eign passport, life insurance policy that

twenty-four hours after it is issued. After

Woodstock, IL 60098

has been in effect for at least one year, a

the document becomes effective, couples

815.334.4242

baptismal record showing the birth date

have 60 days to hold their ceremony and

of the applicant, or a consulate identifi-

make their marriage official. The couple

302 N. Chicago St.

cation card. Some counties may require

must hold their ceremony in the same

Joliet, IL 60432

divorce decrees and/or death certificates

county that issued their marriage license.

815.740.4615

edited BY Christina Oddo 28

and/or filing purposes.

C H i CAG O St Y L e W e d d i N G S . C O M

MCHENRY

WILL


40% Ceremony & Reception (venue, food,

Stationery 3%

Photo & Video 11%

Floral & Décor 7%

Officiant 1%

3% Cake (sweets, dessert bar)

Cake 3%

accessories)

2% Beauty (hair, makeup, spa services)

Beauty 2%

6% Attire (wedding gown, formalwear, rings,

Attire 6%

Here is a good starting point.

Entertainment 9%

many couples find themselves overwhelmed at the prospect of putting together a budget for their Big Day.

Other 3%

your money. Whether your funds are limited or infinite,

Event Planner 13%

There are an array of options when it comes to allocating

Transportation 2%

Ceremony & Recepttion 40%

Sample Wedding Budget

beverage, rentals)

9% Entertainment (DJs, bands, orchestras) 13% Event Planner 7% Floral & Décor (bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces)

1% Officiant PHOTOGRAPHY BY FURLA STUDIOS

3% Other (gifts, tips, favors, rehearsal dinner) 11% Photo & Video (engagement session and wedding day)

3% Stationery (invitation suite, programs, menus, thank-you notes)

2% Transportation (limousine, trolley, classic car)

Tipping Guide Aside from contracts that include it, tipping is never required. In instances when a vendor has gone above and beyond, tipping is always

15% Bartenders 15-20% Catering Managers $50-100 Civil Officiant or Friend Performing the Ceremony

greatly appreciated. But how much is enough to thank those who have

$1-2 Coat Check Attendants, per guest

helped make your Big Day extra special? We’ve got you covered!

15% DJ 15% Event Planner, or a gift valued up to $500

10% Florist 15-20% Hair & Makeup Artists 15-20% Limo Driver $20-50 Live Musicians, per member $100-300 Officiant, additional to be donated to their institution

15-20% Photo & Video $1-2 Valet Attendants, per car Invitations by Design, invitationsbydesign.com

$25+ Waitstaff per server

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

29


A Few of Our Favorite Things

W

ith wedding trends continually changing, there are always a handful of traditions, styles, and items

that remain near-and-dear to our hearts while also withstanding the test of time. We love watching couples weave new into old to create a day as unique and memorable as they are. By shining a spotlight on tried-andtrue trends alongside industry newcomers, we cannot wait to see what our cutting-edge couples will choose to incorporate into their Big Day.

WRITTEN BY Lauren Beers GOWN: Jenny Yoo Collection, jennyyoo.com


CAPTIVATING CAPES The versatility of capes and capelets allows brides to utilize Anne Barge, annebarge.com

this statement piece no matter what season their wedding falls. Lighter materials and shorter lengths like a capelet allow for an alternative to a veil in warmer months, while heavier fabrics and longer length capes keep you warm for outdoor ceremonies and photographs. If you have not found accessories worth swooning over, consider these statement pieces.

GALA by Galia Lahav, gala.galialahav.com

DITCH THE DRESS If a wedding gown does not seem like a natural fit for you, no need to worry. There are a multitude of stunning bridal pant and romper options that will still have you feeling like a star. The versatility of both pant and romper styles allows brides to utilize the outfit again after their celebration. Pant options do not necessarily need to scream “menswear� either. With the opportunity of using fabrics such as lace, silk, and even sequin detailing, a delicate feminine feel can be combined with the comfort of a pant suit or romper. If you are not ready to forgo your dream dress, consider a white romper or pant suit for your rehearsal dinner. Viktor & Rolf Mariage, viktor-rolf.com


YOU DESERVE TO SHINE Inspired by the galaxies above, we love the incorporation of celestial patterns into not only bridalwear but accessories as well. Utilizing three-dimensional appliques as well as holographic detailing, designers are creating heavenly gowns that are truly out of this world! GOWN: GALA by Galia Lahav, gala.galialahav.com HEADPIECE: Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories, mariaelenaheadpieces.com

SLEEK & CHIC While the runways were full of sleek ponies and simple yet elegant pulled back styles, Chicago’s experts are still seeing styles that scream bohemian romance. With loose waves and relaxed, natural body, these styles utilize a bride’s own texture to create a look that is effortlessly romantic and directly from a page of your favorite fairy tale. If you are looking to combine both looks, consider doing a sleek half-up hairstyle where the front pieces are pulled back, but the remainder plays off of your natural texture. If polished is what you are after, requesting your stylist provide you with a low ponytail provides a chic yet sophisticated look without overshadowing your dress. Justin Alexander, justinalexander.com

SEASONS OF LOVE Looking for a way to mix up your beauty routine without overhauling your product lineup? Switching fragrances as the seasons change, is an easy solution. Spring is oftentimes associated with the newness that accompanies flowers popping up from the freshly thawed ground. Fragrances that match the blooms of the season such as jasmine, lily of the valley, fresh cut grass, and even lilac are commonplace in spring. Once the warmer temperatures of summer begin to creep in, many tend to gravitate towards fruity and lighter scents. These refreshing perfumes often include notes of fresh air and citrus. Autumn is the perfect time to use a vanilla-based fragrance from the spring along with a scent that is rich in notes of amber or suede. With BYREDO – Velvet Haze Eau De Parfum, byredo.com | Jo Malone London Grapefruit Cologne, jomalone.com: Recommended by Alexa at Zazú Salons, zazusalons.com | Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Italian Zest, dolcegabbana.com 32

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

winter’s blustery chill, many opt for warmer scents such as sandalwood and cocoa. Incorporating new fragrances for Chicago’s seasons is a great way to add variety to your beauty regime.


KICK UP YOUR HEELS If you are looking for a way to add a pop of color or sparkle to your ensemble, consider opting for a pair of fancy flats. Whether it is with the iconic red-lacquered sole

FIT FOR A PRINCESS

of a Christian Louboutin shoe or the bedazzled Jimmy

Long before any royal wedding, tiaras have been a staple for many

Choo’s you have had your eyes on, adding color and

brides. These stunning pieces provide a glamorous touch and are

sparkle to your footwear is easy! Donning a shoe that is

not just reserved for royalty. Since tiaras tend to be more of a

an alternate hue will also help prevent them from looking

statement piece, it is important that you do not get lost under your

dingy while walking all over Chicago snapping your perfect

dress, tiara, and accompanying accessories. If you choose an

wedding photos. Are you looking for more reasons to go

intricate dress full of detailing, consider opting for a more simplistic

with a colored shoe? A pair of blue heels is the perfect

hair accessory or veil. If your dress seems to be missing that “wow

“something blue” for your wedding. And lastly, you will be

factor”, consider trying on a tiara to see if it ties your look together.

more likely to wear a pair of colored shoes long after your

With many sizes, shapes, and materials, finding a tiara that makes

wedding day.

you feel like a real-life princess is absolutely possible.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Erin Hoyt Photography, erinhoytphotography.com

Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories, mariaelenaheadpieces.com

KEEPING THE TRADITION We love the story behind Jessica Bedard and her exquisite bridal shoe collection. Each pair of shoes by Jessica provides brides with “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”. The traditional saying is etched onto the sole of each shoe to represent “something old”, your “something new” is your new pair of shoes, “something borrowed” comes into play as each left shoe contains a magnetic ring that the bride sends back to Jessica (in a supplied envelope) where the ring is then placed into another shoe for another bride. Finally, the “something blue” can be seen by the signature pastel blue tip of the shoe’s heel. Jessica Bedard’s shoes are one stop shopping when checking the “something old, new, borrowed, and blue” boxes on your to-do list. Jessica Bedard Shoes, jessicabedardshoes.com

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

33


HOOP IT UP LUXE LOUNGES

Flowers are always a no-fail addition to any wedding

One issue many couples face when picking a loft or open venue is

and the incorporation of floral hoops are no exception.

what to do with the extra space? While leaving it open is an option,

These stunning works of art can be utilized as an

creating a useful and visually pleasing space provides solutions to

alternative to the traditional bridesmaid bouquet and

both the “what do we do with this?” and “how can we make our

can also be used as a backdrop or décor option.

venue look complete?” hurdles. Creating a lounge space provides

Not only do circles (hoops) represent never-ending

guests with an extra area to socialize without taking away from the

love, but they are stunning to look at (talk about a

other décor of the room. These functional spaces can be tailored to

win-win!). We love the use of hoops suspended be-

meet any theme through the pieces that are chosen. A bohemian or

hind the couple as a backdrop for their “I do’s!”

rustic theme can utilize mismatched antique furniture, while a modern

and even as a photo wall backdrop. (It’s always an

look can be achieved through furniture with simplistic lines and

added bonus when you can double your space and

bolder colors. Lounge areas can also double as a photo spot where

use the same décor for multiple purposes)! The

guests can use props placed on a coffee or side table to take

versatility of these arrangements allows couples the

snapshots in a comfortable setting.

ability to customize their hoops to match the seasonally available foliage.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Erin Hoyt Photography, erinhoytphotography.com

PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy of Avant Gardenia, avantgardenia.com

GEOMETRIC GEMS If you are looking for a subtle addition to your décor, consider incorporating the use of geometric shapes into your Big Day. While you don’t necessarily need a shape-themed wedding, you can weave in refined geometric shapes such as hexagonal terrariums filled with natural florals or candles as a modern centerpiece or use geometric patterns within your wedding cake design. Many couples who use a loft or more modern space opt for the addition of shapes as it ties in their venue to the overall vibe of their wedding. Subtle variations of geometric patterns can be added to your stationery suite and tablescape without detracting from your color scheme or theme. CHARGER: BBJ Linen, bbjlinen.com PHOTOGRAPHY BY Alicia’s Photography, alicias.com


PERSONAL TOUCHES One trend that will never go out of style is customizing your love story throughout your Big Day. We enjoy when couples provide guests with delicate nods to their love story and uniquely weave them into their wedding day. While these touches do not necessarily need to be grand or overpowering, representing the couple and their story through small gestures always goes a long way. Think outside of the box if you are looking for distinctive ways to pay tribute to the story that you two have written together. Perhaps you and your beloved share a passion for travel, this can be spotlighted throughout your reception with various centerpieces representing destinations you visited together. Or, you two met at a wine bar and decide to utilize the theme of “wine” for your wedding. Further, creating a specialty drink to honor your relationship or a loved one is a perfect way to highlight your style and your love story. PHOTOGRAPHY BY Cling & Peck, clingpeck.com

GROOVN’ ON THE DANCE FLOOR Hitting the dance floor is arguably one of the best parts of any wedding celebration! Your floor décor is just one more way to add style and personality to your dance party. You can keep it simple and subtle, or you can be bold and dramatic with your design. Customized vinyl decals, LED lighting, projection spotlights, and gobo lighting are just a few ways to elevate your wedding day vision on the dance floor. Enjoy dancing with your new spouse, friends, and family on a personalized dance floor. PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy of Yanni Design Studio, yannidesignstudio.com

MUSIC MASH-UPS When it comes to the music chosen for a wedding, many couples have a list of must-have songs. If you are looking for a unique twist, consider asking your DJ to compile a mash-up of a select few songs that represent you both as a couple. Chicago DJ Peter Merkle gave the example of the popular fatherdaughter dance song, “Butterfly Kisses” combined with the Beatles’ “All my Lovin’” since the bride’s father used to sing it to her at bath time, so she would not get soap in her eyes (specifically the line, “close your eyes”). Incorporating meaningful lyrics into a mashup not only creates a sentimental moment for you and your beloved, it also provides guests with a memorable lasting impression of the music chosen. PHOTOGRAPHY BY Kristin Bernice Photography, kristinbernicephotography.com C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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FORMALWEAR

Formally Modern Tuxedo, formallymodern.com

dashingly debonair

CUFFLINKS

Razny Jewelers, razny.com

AFTER SHAVE BALM

Baxter of California, baxterofcalifornia.com: Recommended by Alexa at Zazú Salon, zazusalons.com

STATIONERY

Double Trip Press, doubletrippress.com

RING

Benchmark, benchmarkrings.com

WATCH

Rolex via Razny Jewelers, razny.com

SHOES

Jojayden, jojayden.com


STATIONERY

Maxe Designs, maxedesigns.com

EARRINGS

Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com RING

Razny Jewelers, razny.com

blushing beauties

GOWN

LEFT: THEIA via White Dress Bridal Boutique, whitedressbridalboutique.com RIGHT: Jenny Yoo Collection via Jenny Yoo Collection, jennyyoo.com

FLORAL

Mayfield Flowers, mayfieldflowersdesign.com

SHOES

Badgley Mischka, badgleymischka.com

LIPSTICK

Charlotte Tilbury - Pillow Talk, charlottetilbury.com: Recommended by Carrie at Appease, Inc., appease2you.com


GOWN

Viero Bridal, vieroweddingdresses.com

STATIONERY

Too Chic Little Shab, toochiclittleshab.com

making waves EARRINGS

Sara Gabriel, saragabriel.com

RING

Razny Jewelers, razny.com

NAIL LACQUER

Butter of London – Candy Floss, butterlondon.com: Recommended by Brandi at Bridal Brigade, bridalbrigade.net

FLORAL

Mayfield Flowers, mayfieldflowersdesign.com

SHOES

Badgley Mischka, badgleymischka.com


1.

put a

ring

2.

on it

ROSE GOLD

4.

1. Brilliant Earth, brilliantearth.com 2. Razny Jewelers, razny.com 3. Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com 4. Razny Jewelers, razny.com 5. Benchmark, benchmarkrings.com 6. Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com

3.

6.

5.

GOLD

7. 8. 9. 10.

Razny Jewelers, razny.com Brilliant Earth, brilliantearth.com Benchmark, benchmarkrings.com Benchmark, benchmarkrings.com

7.

8.

9. 11. 10.

13. 12.

15.

MIXED METALS

14.

11. Razny Jewelers, razny.com Each band sold separately. SILVER

17.

16.

18.

12. Razny Jewelers, razny.com 13. Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, evejewelry.com 14. Benchmark, benchmarkrings.com 15. Razny Jewelers, razny.com 16. Razny Jewelers, razny.com 17. Benchmark, benchmarkrings.com 18. Razny Jewelers, razny.com


44

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


The Perfect Fit H o w T o c o n f I d E n T lY f I n d T H E d R E s s o f Y o u R d R E A m s

A

s a little girl, I would spend hours lining my stuffed

decade and I rapidly became flushed with panic. This would be

animals up along my bedroom floor to witness the vows

the dress of all dresses and one that I wanted to remember as

between Barbie and Ken. I dressed up as a bride for

nothing less than perfection. All brides-to-be are faced with the

multiple Halloweens and quickly fell in love with fairy tales and

decision of which dress to choose, and while this may seem

all things related to “Happily Ever After�. Years before I met my

like a monumental task, there are several ways to lessen any

now-husband, I began to plan my dream wedding as I could

anxiety that accompanies this process. Rest assured, you will

not wait to experience my own personal fairy tale with my very

be armed with the knowledge and confidence necessary to

own prince charming. I would cut images out from piles and

decide on the dress of your dreams without second-guessing

piles of bridal magazines in an attempt to piece together my

yourself along the way.

future perfect day. After the initial shock of my proposal began to wear off and I

1. CALCULATE YOUR BUDGET.

blissfully floated back down to reality, I quickly began to

There is no sense in falling in love with a gown that is outside

wonder what dress I would wear. I recalled all of the bridal

of your budget. By firmly setting a budget prior to looking at

fashion that had been accumulating in my mind for over a

dresses, you are ensuring that you will be able to fall in love

WRITTEN BY Lauren Beers | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Dominika Photographer C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

45


BRIDAl fAsHIOns

with, and afford, your dream dress. It is

vision include shoes that will cost double

important to keep in mind the cost of

the price of your dress itself? Will your

shopping related stress. In your hands,

any alterations that might be necessary

gown only look complete with the inclusion

you are currently holding a wealth of

in order for your dress to fit properly. I

of added detailing? Have you thought

information when it comes to all things

was able to find a reasonably priced

about how much the veil you have dreamt

weddings; flip through these pages and

gown for my wedding, but the alterations

about since you were a little girl actually

see if any gowns stand out to you.

needed for it to actually fit ended up

costs now that it’s time to say “I do?” By

Utilize social media as a tool in order to

costing well over half of the initial dress

doing so, you will help define your budget,

gain inspiration from other brides who

price. What started as a steal quickly

and most importantly, find a final look

have paved the way before you. Reference

turned pricey. While there is absolutely

that fits within your allotted budget.

all of these resources prior to stepping inside a bridal boutique to avoid feeling

no harm in shopping around for alter-

overwhelmed. In the same way, decide

choose is reputable and guarantees his

2. DECIDE ON YOUR IMAGE.

or her work. While there may be less

Have you always dreamed of walking

you’d like to avoid. Maybe you love the

expensive alteration options available,

down the aisle looking like a princess in

long sleeve look but also know you will

having your dream dress altered incor-

a gown that would make Cinderella envi-

not be able wear those long sleeves

ations, make sure that whomever you

what type of style, fabrics, and details

ous? Or are you seeking a simple yet

because your wedding is in July - these

elegant look? Are you opting out of a

details are great to make note of as well.

When setting your wedding dress budget,

dress completely and on the hunt for a

Once an overall image is decided upon,

also keep in mind what accessories or

modern pantsuit? Deciding what look

you can use your new-found inspiration

rectly could quickly turn into a nightmare.

46

cumbersome options and unnecessary

details will be necessary in order to

you would like to convey on your wed-

to hit the ground running in the hunt for

make your dream a reality. Does your

ding day will help weed out a handful of

your dream dress.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


input. Many brides opt for bringing between two and four people with them

to let the opinion of others detour you

If one thing can be learned from years of

shopping (often their mother, grandmother,

from following your heart. Looking back

oftentimes easier said than done, try not

watching wedding shows on television,

sister(s), and maid of honor). Depending

on your wedding photographs with regret

it’s that less is sometimes more. This

on how many people are able to join,

over not picking the gown you wanted would truly be a shame.

certainly rings true when it is time for

extending an invitation to your future

you to decide who to bring with you

mother-in-law is often well-received and

dress shopping. While the idea of having

appreciated. No matter who you choose

4. KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

a large group of your closest friends and

to bring with you, one thing to always

Falling in love with a dress while standing

family with you may sound picturesque,

keep in mind is that this is the dress

in a fitting room is one thing, but, you

a large group can often make the already

you will be wearing. It is your wedding

also need to make sure that you will be

challenging decision that much more dif-

and you are the one who needs to be in

able to enjoy yourself for the entirety of

ficult, as more people often means more

love with your final decision. While it is

your wedding celebration. I tried on one

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

brIDaL FashIoNs

3. IT TAKES A (SMALL) VILLAGE.

47


BrIdAl FASHIOnS

dress in particular that was stunning, I truly thought that I had found The One.

5. TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

However, upon trying to sit down I quickly

Give yourself plenty of time to find your

realized that I could hardly breathe and

gown. After all, it took you until this

enjoying our wedding cupcakes would

moment to find The One to marry, why

have been nearly impossible. Think about

settle for a dress that isn’t perfection?

your wedding and find a dress that fits

We suggest giving yourself at least ten

accordingly. Are you planning on dancing

months prior to your wedding to purchase

until your venue turns the lights off? Per-

a dress. By doing so, you ensure ample

haps a gown with yards upon yards of

time for your gown to arrive and schedule

additional fabric weighing you down is a

any necessary alterations in order to

bad idea. Or are you saying “I do!” on

make your dream dress a reality. Allow

the beach? Seek out a dress that is

yourself the opportunity to appreciate

lightweight and airy. A great alternative

each new chapter that accompanies this

is to choose two dresses. One for the

special time prior to your wedding. Enjoy

ceremony and one for the reception. It’s

the celebratory showers and parties that

your celebration, you can change gowns

are thrown in your honor and soak up

if you want to…or not! With thousands

the love that will surround you during

of options available, finding a dress (or

your engagement. Try not to let the

dresses) that make you feel beautiful,

anxiety of finding a gown overshadow

while still enjoying your wedding day fes-

these joyous moments. With a minimum

tivities is a must and absolutely possible.

of ten months, you ensure that you have given yourself enough time to find the perfect dress without experiencing buyer’s remorse that often goes along with rushing a purchase.

6. HIGHLIGHT YOU. For most of us, our wedding day will be our most photographed day. With that in mind, it’s of the upmost importance that you are in love with the way you look in your dress. Wedding gowns come in a variety of materials, cuts, colors, sizes, and designs for a reason; no two brides are exactly alike. What might appear offputting on the hanger may fit like a dream once you try it on. Think of finding a dress like its very own chapter in your wedding book. Go into this chapter with an open mind and an open heart to ensure that you are giving yourself every opportunity to fall in love. It is also advised to purchase a dress that fits your current figure and not a goal that you have set for yourself. While many couples like to use their wedding as motivation to revamp their eating and 48

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


bridAl fAsHioNs

exercise habits, there is no reason to put extra pressure on yourself to squeeze into a dress that is two sizes too small. Planning a wedding can be stressful enough, why add the stress of weight loss into the mix? Never let your beauty be defined by a number. Tags are sewn into the inside of our garments for a reason, so no one else needs to know. The glow that radiates from a bride on her wedding day has nothing to do with the price of the gown, the designer, the size and style, or even how long it took to decide on the dress. The reason brides are so beautiful on their wedding day stems from the confidence they carry as they walk down the aisle. Confidence in your dress decision brings you one step closer to your “Happily Ever After�. To find the perfect bridal attire for your Big Day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

49


MIKE COLÓN PHOTOGRAPHY

SpRINg/SuMMER  2018  •  celeBration locations

The Runway

REPORT The  bridal  fashion  runways  continue  to  inspire  and  delight.  There  is  a

ALL THE HOTTEST LOOKS FROM B R I D A L   FA S H I O N   W E E K .

resurgence  of  the  ball  gown  and  simplistic  designs.  But  with  the  dazzling details  of  capes,  oversized  bows,  and  floral  touches,  it  is  clear  that  bridal fashion designers decided to take their designs and bump it up a notch. These dress  trends  are  perfect  for  the  most  fashion  forward  bride.  Whether  you  are a  risk-taker  or  a  slightly  more  playful  and  romantic  bride,  taking  these  looks

photography By SYPhotography, syphotography.com

from  the  runway  and  translating  them  down  the  aisle  will  leave  you  feeling custom and couture.

From left to right: BERTA berta.com | INES DI SANTO inesdisanto.com | REEM ACRA reemacra.com 50

c h i cag o st y l e W e D D i n g s . c o M


EARRINGS

UGO CÁMERA

Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories mariaelenaheadpieces.com

PRONOVIAS

pronovias.com

ALON LIVNÉ WHITE

livne-white.com

JUSTIN ALEXANDER

justinalexander.com

NOUVELLE AMSALE

amsale.com


RACHEL & JACK Proposal Story “We took a two-week trip to Asia and went to the Great Wall on the very first day. We went up to the tallest tower on the Mutianya section of the wall and I thought we were taking a break to catch our breath before heading down. Instead, he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. Most tourists weren’t willing to walk all the way up so it was just the two of us. It was so perfect and a complete surprise.”

Finding the Perfect Gown “My aunt, Kathryn, who owns a bridal shop that I worked at for many years, came to help me get dressed before we left for the church. For years and years, I watched the inventory at the bridal shop change and never knew what I would wear myself. When it was finally time for me to pick my own dress, Kathryn had me try a gown that I never would’ve chosen and it was the one I wore down the aisle!”

Favorite Wedding Memory “Locking eyes with each other in the church as I walked down the aisle was something neither of us will ever forget. It was the moment that the day got so real. Neither of us were super nervous or too emotional. We were just extremely happy.”

Tip for Engaged Couples “There’s always potential for planning a big party to become very stressful, which is why it’s so important to remember what your wedding is all about. Just enjoy the day with your new spouse!”

Number of Wedding Guests: 185 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Ceremony: St. Vincent de Paul Parish | reCeption: Germania Place | photography: Heather DeCamp Photography Videography: Higuchi Productions | rings: James Allen | Bride’s gown: Badgley Mischka via Kathryn’s Bridal and Dress Shop hair & makeup: Deco Adamo | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Kathryn’s Bridal and Dress Shop | Floral & déCor: Steve’s Flower Market Formalwear: Jim’s Formal Wear via Kathryn’s Bridal and Dress Shop | Catering: Kenmare Catering | Cake & sweets: Alliance Bakery entertainment: Matt Stedman Band & Ring of Music Orchestra C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

53


S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Jackie & Ben


Vendors EVENT PLANNER: Big City Bride | VENUE: Chicago Cultural Center | PHOTOGRAPHY: Robyn Rachel Photography STATIONERY: Big City Bride | FLORAL & DÉCOR: Kehoe Designs | CAKE & SWEETS: Amy Beck Cake Design To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

55


Beyond the Dress W h at i l e a r n e d a b o u t m y s e l f While dress shopping

WRITTEN BY E. Ce. Miller PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jasko Omerovic Photography


brIdAl fAshIOns

I

f there’s any one wedding planning moment made iconic by pop culture, it’s saying yes to your wedding

dress. And whether you have been dreaming about your perfect bridal gown since the good ol’ days of middle school, or are diving into the bridal boutique deep end totally blind, shopping for the dress you’ll wear on what’s arguably the most photographed day of your life comes with a fair amount of pressure and vulnerability. Especially if you’re not used to seamstresses seeing you in your underwear. As it turns out, I learned a lot about myself while shopping for my wedding dress. Or, at the very least, I had some long-held suspicions about myself con-

firmed, once and for all. And if you can learn anything from my mistakes, successes, and general confusion, then it’s

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

57


BRIDAL FASHIONS

definitely worth sharing every moment of

before buying it. As such, prior to wedding

there was one cliché that was well

my self-revelation. Here are five things I

dress shopping, it was entirely lost on

ingrained in my mind and, I’m sure, is

learned about myself while shopping for

me that I would be expected to take off

equally-ingrained in the mind of every

my wedding dress.

1. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING ACTUALLY WAS.

the clothing I had arrived in and adorn

wedding-planning bride. When you find

myself in massive amounts of white lace,

THE ONE (the one dress, that is) you

satin, and organza. I expected to sit,

will cry. Whether that crying looks like

maybe sip champagne, and point at

some tastefully tear-filled eye ducts or

things while some fairy god-seamstress

full-on sobbing into your tulle, crying is

magically estimated my exact dimensions

to be expected. If you do not cry, you

In the year leading up to getting engaged

by glancing at me out of the corner of

must not have found THE ONE. That

and shopping for my wedding dress, I

her eye. Then, in 6 to 12 weeks, I’d

was simply not true for me. This narrative

was living in a 600-square foot studio off

return and pick up my perfectly-tailored

lasted for the exact amount of time it

Chicago’s Belmont Red Line stop, with a

dress, which I would slip into for the first

took to try on a single dress. Standing in

television only slightly bigger than the

time on the morning of my wedding. For

front of the full-length mirror, I thought:

iPhone X and no cable. Reality television

anyone with similarly misguided expec-

“Hey, I actually look good! Let’s do

shows dedicated to bridal fashion were

tations, this is precisely not how it works.

not a part of my regularly scheduled programming. I am also the kind of gal who tends to know my exact size in everything, in the approximately three clothing stores that supply my entire wardrobe, and therefore almost never try anything on

this again!” I scampered back to my dressing room to try on a second dress.

2. I CARE ABOUT COMFORT MUCH MORE THAN I THOUGHT.

Upon returning to the full-length mirror, I

If there were ever a day to sacrifice com-

“Huh. I look pretty good. Again, so,

fort for fashion, I imagined my wedding

fourth dress, then?” while beginning to

day would be it. Then I discovered: not

wonder how long this was all going to

so much. With minimal exception, the

go on. Without a tear in sight, I settled

wedding dresses I tried on could have

on the fifth dress, because that was not

taken me down the aisle and then right

only the exact number of dresses I had

found myself thinking: “Hey, that’s kind of flattering! Maybe this isn’t so bad after all.” Upon evaluating the third dress:

back home to bed. As it turns out, I

the patience to try on, but also because

gravitated towards wedding dresses that

five had been my grandfather’s lucky

shared a surprising number of qualities

number and I liked him. The moral of

with my favorite comforter. Don’t under-

this story is, whether you try on two

estimate the power of a super comfortable

dresses or two hundred, love them all or

wedding dress — and, believe it or not,

struggle to find one that speaks directly

you do not have to sacrifice style for

to your bridal spirit, if you do not cry, do

comfort. Seriously, I promise! Don’t forget

not despair. Knowing you have found

that you’re going to be spending a really

the dress for you is not determined by

long time (think: sun up to sun down) in

how many tears you cry, but by how

your dress. Dancing, eating, hugging

rockin’ you look in it. And believe me:

endless numbers of people, taking hun-

you’re rockin’.

dreds of beautiful photographs. You will want to be comfortable.

3. I AM NOT A CRYER – AT LEAST, NOT A FASHION-INSPIRED CRYER.

58

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

4. I GET CONFUSED WHEN OTHER PEOPLE CRY OVER FASHION. Unlike my own tear-free eyeballs, the three people I invited to watch me parade around in white organza all afternoon

As oblivious as I was to the actual

were beside themselves. From subtle

logistics of wedding dress shopping,

sniffles to mascara rivers, each of the


BrIdAl fAshIoNs

dresses I tried on was met with the same level of awe, enthusiasm, and tears. Now, don’t get me wrong, having people stare at you and tell you you’re so beautiful they are inspired to cry is enormously flattering. It should probably happen more often than it does in a woman’s lifetime. But it in no way gave me any indication whether one perfectly great-looking dress was any better than the next perfectly greatlooking dress. If you anticipate you’ll be an indecisive bride, make sure you bring at least one level-headed gal pal along for concrete feedback.

5. I SHOULD HAVE SUBSTITUTED ALL THAT PRE-WEDDING PILATES FOR PREWEDDING WEIGHT LIFTING. Anyone who has never spent much time around wedding dresses before might be shocked to know how much a little lace, tulle, and bedazzlement can actually weigh. The answer is somewhere between the weight of a small dog and that of the first car you bought after getting your driver’s license. If you’ve been living off kale and lemon water for the last six months, under the mistaken assumption that there’s one perfect dress size all brides must meet before walking down the aisle, you might find yourself weakened and staggering under the weight of your dream dress instead. While we’re surrounded by all kinds of stories about wedding day dieting, my number one piece of advice to every dressseeking bride is to throw out those diet books and do whatever makes you feel your strongest, your happiest, your healthiest, and your most beautiful – inside and out. But honestly, adding a little pre-wedding strength training never hurt anyone. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

59


PURE

beauty

GOWN Atelier Pronovias via Luxe Bridal Rack luxebridalrack.com | JEWELRY Razny Jewelers razny.com PHOTOGRAPHY Erin Hoyt Photography erinhoytphotography.com

STYLING The Wedding Dresser theweddingdresser.net

HAIR & MAKEUP Rare Bird Beauties rarebirdbeauties.com

To see the video and more photos from this fashion shoot, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration.


GOWN Peter Langner peterlangner.com EARRINGS Eve J. AlfillĂŠ Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com RING Razny Jewelers razny.com


LEFT MODEL: GOWN Marquise Bridal via Luxe Bridal Rack luxebridalrack.com SHOES Jessica Bedard Shoes jessicabedardshoes.com RIGHT MODEL: GOWN Marquise Bridal via Luxe Bridal Rack luxebridalrack.com SHOES Jessica Bedard Shoes jessicabedardshoes.com JEWELRY Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com


ABOVE: GOWN Dame Couture damecouture.com | EARRINGS Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com | BRACELET & RING Razny Jewelers razny.com RIGHT: LEFT MODEL: GOWN Dame Couture damecouture.com | JEWELRY Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com | RIGHT MODEL: GOWN Dame Couture damecouture.com | EARRINGS Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com | BRACELET & RING Razny Jewelers razny.com


GOWN Rivini by Rita Vinieris via Bella Bianca Bridal Couture bellabianca.com | BRACELET Eve J. AlfillĂŠ Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com EARRINGS Razny Jewelers razny.com


GOWN Peter Langner peterlangner.com EARRINGS Eve J. AlfillĂŠ Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com HEADPIECE PARIS by Debra Moreland paristiaras.com


GOWN Jenny Yoo Collection jennyyoo.com | HAIR COMB Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories mariaelenaheadpieces.com RINGS Eve J. AlfillĂŠ Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com


GOWN Enzoani via Kathryn’s Bridal & Dress Shop kathryns-bridal.com | EARRINGS & RING Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio evejewelry.com NECKLACE Razny Jewelers razny.com LOcATION Studio Rental Chicago studiorentalchicago.com

STYLING The Wedding Dresser theweddingdresser.net

PHOTOGRAPHY Erin Hoyt Photography erinhoytphotography.com

vIdEOGRAPHY Timothy Whaley Photographic Artists twaphoto.com

HAIR & MAKEUP Rare Bird Beauties rarebirdbeauties.com

NAILS Tara Kadar


The Complete Guide to Bridesmaids WRITTEN BY E. Ce. Miller PHOTOGRAPHY BY Furla Studio


BrIDAl FAshIons

W

hile you are unquestionably

back 24/7? Are there one or two girl-

the most important gal walk-

friends who anticipate your needs (be-

ing down the aisle on your

fore you even ask) better than anyone

wedding day, there are still some pretty

else? Who has an awesome sense of

special ladies who you are going to

humor and is great in a last-minute,

want to lead your way. Yup, we’re talking

unexpected crisis? These are the ladies

about your bridal party – and from select-

you want to surround yourself with as

ing your bridesmaids to wondering why

you wade into the wedding planning and

you even need them in the first place –

wedding day waters.

there are definitely some things you will want to keep in mind before assembling the folks to stand beside you on your wedding day. This is your complete guide to bridesmaids.

WHY DO WE HAVE THEM? The short answer: to keep you sane throughout the wedding planning process and to do your (nicely requested) bidding on the Big Day. The long answer: to keep you sane

WHAT ARE SOME CUTE WAYS TO ASK THEM? As it turns out, the question popping doesn’t end with: “Will you marry me?”. You still have an entire bridal party to woo! These are a few of our favorite ways to ask the ladies in your life to stand beside you on your big day: 1. Literally “pop” the question – fill a balloon with confetti flowers and a note asking them to be your bridesmaid.

through out the wedding planning process and to do your (nicely requested) bidding on the Big Day, while also reminding some of the most important women in your life how important they really are to you. As well as perhaps, trying to set your single BFF up with your soon-to-be brother-in-law. Because honestly, besties marrying brothers sounds like an awesome vacation/reality television show waiting to happen.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SELECTING YOUR BRIDESMAIDS? If you’ve had the same best friends since your elementary school days, this question pretty much answers itself. But if you are a social butterfly whose life is filled with lovely ladies who all mean a lot to you, feel free to think about this like a business decision. Who is really going to be able to help you out with everything you need, from the months of planning to partying on the big day? Who has already had your C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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BrIdAl fASHIonS

Hand them a pin and let the wedding planning begin. 2. Plan a girl’s day – complete with pampering (courtesy of you) and plenty of wine. Cap off the evening by asking

gal to be your bridesmaid is by writing

you ask your backup, they won’t feel like

down all the reasons you love her and

the backup that they are.

want her there on one of the biggest days of your life.

TOP TIPS FOR BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESS SHOPPING

them if they’ll join you down the aisle.

WHAT IF SOMEONE SAYS NO? (EEEK!)

3. Have custom fortune cookies made

This almost never happens. However, if

gown was going to be the biggest fashion

with “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

someone does happen to say no, for

challenge of your big day, think again.

whatever reason, our best advice is to

Shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses is

be quick about just letting it go. Some-

hands-down the more difficult of the two.

times people can’t stomach standing up

After all, you’re trying to please a whole

in weddings that are not their own for a

dressing room full of bodies and styles, as

whole variety of reasons, from actual

opposed to just your own. The good news

scheduling conflicts to the secret crush

is, you have a few options:

4. Gift them with their wedding day jewelry – maybe you’re planning to give each bestie a necklace or bracelet that expresses your unending love and gratitude for the role they play in your life. Consider gifting them the goodies before the big day by using that personalized locket or charm bracelet to celebrate the fact that they are about to be your bridesmaid.

they’ve had on your fiancé since college. The last person you want supporting you as you walk down the aisle is someone who doesn’t want to be there in the first

If you thought shopping for your bridal

1. The Totally Hands-Off Bride This is the bride who is all: color, style, length, price point? – it’s totally up to you ladies. Wear what you want and

place. Pro tip: have a backup or two in

enjoy what you pick. Maybe you’re plan-

5. Keep it simple and write a sweet

mind before you go about asking anyone

ning an informal wedding and allowing

note – sometimes the best way to ask a

to be your bridesmaid – that way, when

everyone to express their own style is what works for you. Maybe the rest of your wedding is a black-and-white color palette, and you want your bridesmaids to add their own pops of color. Maybe you’re exhausted from wedding planning at this point and don’t actually care. Just remember to be open to guiding any bridesmaid who might find herself lost in the bridal fashion woods. While it might seem like the totally hands-off bride is the easiest one to work with, some bridesmaids genuinely just want to please you and do what you ask. 2. The Totally Hands-On Bride This bride is a gal who knows exactly what she wants and is determined to get it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Again, it’s your wedding. Be mindful that while everyone might not love your color or style choices, they’re there to support you. If someone seems overly concerned about how they look or the way a style vibes with their body type, be sure to listen to their concerns, stay open-minded, and if all else fails drench them in a stream of

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loving whatever it is you selected. 3. The Bride Who Falls Somewhere in the Middle The middle-of-the-road bride is becoming more and more common these days: someone who has a few elements of her bridesmaids’ dresses selected (color, cut, or length) but not all. Maybe you

thing you ask of them because they’re

loyal of besties could totally lose it on

having a bad day, or fighting a cold, or

your Big Day. It’s not ideal, but it

are still hungover from the rehearsal din-

happens. Remind yourself of all the rea-

ner, or just don’t feel like being your

sons you love this person enough to

minion at the moment. Again, if you are

have asked them to be your bridesmaid

dealing with the latter, my advice to you

in the first place, and be sure to return

would be to just let that drama go. Wed-

the favor by being a disappointing brides-

dings bring up all sorts of unexpected

maid to them in return. (Totally kidding,

emotions in people – even the most

don’t do that.)

BRIDAl fAsHIons

compliments that will ensure they end up

want all your ladies adorned in the same color, but don’t care as much about the style of dress they select. Maybe you want everyone in the same cut of dress but are okay inviting your gals to select their own color from a particular color family. While this bride is generally the one who will walk away with the highest number of happy bridesmaids, remember that you are not obligated to sacrifice something you really want for someone else’s picky tastes. There is really no right or wrong option here. It’s your wedding, after all, and these ladies agreed to be your pillars of support knowing full well you could decide to dress them in tulle-covered potato sacks. That’s just what besties do. However, if nothing else, remember that you will be looking at photographs of this day for the rest of your life, and the last thing you want to think later is: what was I thinking, or why does my sister look like she’s about to suffocate in a tulle-covered potato sack?

AND, FINALLY, WHAT IF SOMEONE TURNS OUT TO BE A DISAPPOINTING BRIDESMAID? This is something that can definitely happen, the appropriate response to this will depend on the degree of disappointment. Your bridesmaid running away with the groom the morning before your wedding deserves a whole different caliber of reaction then, say, one of your bridesmaids simply not doing every single C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Gown GLAMOUR

FIFI’S TAILOR & CUSTOM DESIGN Sophia Tolli, fifistailor.com

EVA’S BRIDAL INTERNATIONAL Laine Berry Couture, evasonlagrange.com

VALEN BRIDAL Jasmine Bridal, valenbridal.com

ALESIA C. BRIDAL BOUTIQUE Venecia gown, alesiac.com

ALEXIS KAY DESIGNS BRIDAL & FORMAL WEAR Kenneth Winston, alexiskaydesigns.com


VEILED BY CHA CHA In Love Collection, veiledbychacha.net

CRYSTAL BRIDE Essense of Australia, crystalbride.com

EVA’S BRIDAL OF ORLAND PARK DEMETRIOS, evasbridalsoforlandpark.com

DIANA’S BRIDAL BOUTIQUE Allure Bridal, dianasbridalboutique.com

BELLE CUSTOM ATELIER & BRIDAL BOUTIQUE J. Mendel Bridal, bellecustomatelier.com


LINDA & STEVE How They Met “Steve and I met in high school, and I remember the first time I saw him like it was yesterday. We sat on opposite sides of the room in Chemistry class, and I was instantly drawn to his laid-back personality and the way he genuinely engaged with people. He also wore these bright tie-dye shirts and vintage Hawaiian button-downs. Junior year, he asked me to the homecoming dance and I’ve been in love with him ever since.”

Why Chicago? “We initially wanted to elope in an exotic destination, but our families have such a special connection with the city. Steve’s grandfather helped build the Sears Tower, and my father took me to the Meatpacking District every weekend as a kid. We compromised by having a small ceremony in Chicago and flying to Ireland the day after our wedding. We spent two days with Maciej Suwalowski, who beautifully captured our newlywed bliss as we caught the sunset on the Cliffs of Moher and got caught in the rain at Conor Pass.”

Favorite Wedding Memory “Sneaking off to Shake Shack after we left Little Goat to grab a burger and a shake!”

Tip for Engaged Couples “Focus on what's important to you and your significant other. When you focus on each other and not on what other people want you to do, decisions become easier to make.”

MACIEJ SUWALOWSKI

Number of Wedding Guests: 11 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


MACIEJ SUWALOWSKI

MACIEJ SUWALOWSKI

Real Wedding Vendors Venue: Little Goat Diner | PhotograPhy: The Colagrossis; Maciej Suwalowski | Bride’s gown: Jenny Yoo Collection hair & MakeuP: goldplaited | ForMalwear: Frank and Oak | Floral & décor: Little Goat Diner | catering & sweets: Little Goat Diner

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Bridal Beauty

BLUNDERS N o m at t e r h o w a m a z i N g y o u r m a k e u p a N d h a i r s t y l i s t s a r e , t h e r e a r e c e r ta i N s e l f - i N f l i c t e d b e a u t y d i s a s t e r s t h at N o p r o f e s s i o N a l s h o u l d h av e t o N av i g at e .

I

f you were a professional painter, would you rather create

Blunder: Attempting a Quick Emergency Tan. whether

a masterpiece on a fresh, flawless canvas, or one that’s

you’re slathering on lotion, getting sprayed in a booth, baking

stained and poked full of holes? unless you’re going for a

in a bed, or laying out beneath some good old fashioned

look that’s wildly unorthodox, we’re betting that you would opt

natural sunlight, the odds of a last-minute quickie tan going

for the clean canvas instead of the messy one. in order for you

well are incredibly low. darkening lotions and spray tans are

to leave your appointment looking like a bridal masterpiece,

notorious for their streaky results and tanning beds and

you need to do yourself and your beauty team the courtesy of

poolside lounging can culminate in horrific burns. so, what’s

prepping intelligently beforehand and not arriving at the salon

the key to successful tanning? start early. instead of using an

looking like a train wreck. we aren’t saying that you need to

overnight miracle lotion, opt for a gradual product that builds

walk in looking picture perfect – it’s your artists’ job to get you

color with each use and start applying it about a week before

camera-ready, and minor flaws like errant pimples and dark

the wedding. if you are the spray tan type, the same rule

under eye circles can be easily remedied – but there are certain

applies. start with a lighter option and gradually work your way

beauty behaviors that no bride-to-be should ever engage in.

up to avoid an oompa loompa debacle on the eve of your big

read on to discover our list of definite beauty blunders.

day. while we can’t responsibly endorse tanning beds due to

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health concerns, we can say that if you insist on this option, be smart about it and tan in increments rather than attempting a twenty-minute power session beneath the UV lights the night before your wedding.

Blunder: Testing Out New Beauty Products or Regimens. No matter how convincing the reviews are online, do not – we repeat DO NOT – use any skin or haircare product that you haven’t used in the past. The night before you get hitched is not the time to finally try that fancy Brazilian exfoliating cream you got in your stocking last Christmas, and the same goes for any new lotions, shampoos, conditioners, makeup… you get the idea. Even if you have never had sensitive skin in the past or haven’t had a disastrous run-in with a new beauty product, it’s better to err on the side of caution and stick to what you know. This rule doesn’t just apply to products you can buy at a store – whipping up new homemade concoctions are also a bad idea. Making an avocado and coconut oil smoothing mask sounds like a great idea in theory, but when you show up for your beauty appointment the next morning with hundreds of tiny green clumps in your hair (mashing the ingredients with a fork is not the same as pureeing them), you’re going to have an awful lot of explaining to do. Just trust us on this one, save the skin and haircare experiments for a different night.

Blunder: Trying Aggressive Fake Nails for the First Time. We’re all about looking to Instagram for mani-pedi inspiration, but if you’ve never worn long acrylic nails before, your wedding day is not the time to give them a test drive. They might look amazing but if you aren’t used to wearing them, performing even the simplest wedding day tasks will be next to impossible. Popping in your contacts, touching up your makeup, and holding utensils at your reception all become infinitely harder when you’ve got a set of inch-long talons glued to your 82

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healTh, BeaUTy & FITneSS

beauty bag must-haves

fingers. So unless you are already an expert, go with the nail routine you’re used to.

Whether you are packing your beauty bag for your Big Day, getting ready for your honeymoon, or revamping your bag for those postwedding pick-me-ups, we polled the pros and compiled a list of their favorite must-haves for any last-minute beauty blunders to keep you glowing and fresh on-the-go.

Blunder: Giving Botox or Lip Plumpers a Whirl. They may have worked wonders for your favorite celebrities but getting any kind of permanent wrinkle treatments or fillers near your wedding day is like betting on the worst horse in the race. There’s a chance that everything will

1.

work out in your favor, but there’s an even higher chance that your treatment will go wrong. Infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, itching, bleeding, bruising, allergic reaction… unless you’re

1.

going for the Bride of Frankenstein look, we recommend saving your artificial enhancements for after your wedding.

3.

Dabbling in Botox is entirely your choice, but trying it for the first time right before your wedding is borderline reckless. 2.

Blunder: Using Communal Makeup 5.

2.

4.4.

5.

Collections. We’re all for sharing your deepest secrets and biggest dreams with your bridal party, but your makeup is one thing that you should absolutely keep to yourself. If you’re rolling your eyes and preparing to skip to the next item on our list, pause and imagine your honeymoon. Is pink eye part of your vision? If not, take this rule seriously. But I want all my bridesmaids to look cohesive, you are probably thinking to yourself. And I don’t want to make them all splurge on lavender eyeshadow that they’ll never wear again. The good news is that if you’ve hired a professional makeup artist for

6.

your wedding, you won’t have to waste 6.

a single moment worrying about gross germs. If you’ve decided to forgo professional help and want everyone do their own makeup, remember that Q-tips are

1. evo water killer dry shampoo, evohair.com: Recommended by Carrie at Appease, Inc., appease2you.com; 2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, anastasiabeverlyhills.com: Recommended by Alexa at Zazú Salon, zazusalons.com; 3. Too Faced Hangover Primer, toofaced.com: Recommended by Ioana at Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com; 4. invisibobble SLIM, sephora.com: Recommended by Brandi at Bridal Brigade, bridalbrigade.net; 5. Benefit Roller Lash, benefitcosmetics.com: Recommended by Nidia at Blushing Beauty, blushingbeautyhair.com; 6. Tweezerman Slant Tweezer, tweezerman.com: Recommended by Wendy at Visage Joli, visagejoli.net 84

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

your friends and bring a bundle of them to your bridal suite.

Blunder: Insisting on Going Over the Top. Until now, we have mostly focused on beauty blunders that happen before


HEALTH, BEAUTy & fITnESS

the Big Day, but one of the most common mistakes actually occurs the day-of. Every girl who’s ever modeled or done theatre knows that in order to look your best on camera and video, your makeup needs to be a little bolder than normal. Since your wedding day is one of the most photographed days of your life, it’s understandable that you would want to treat that rule like gospel. However, it’s dangerously easy to go overboard. Whether it’s dark bronzer, garish eyeshadow, heavy liner, or any other extreme beauty faux pas, we recommend leaving theatrical makeup looks to the runway models and opting for a style that’s less outlandish. As you stand at the altar with your partner and exchange vows, you want them to gaze lovingly into your eyes and not be distracted by the fact that your XXL Ultra Max Volume Explosion fake lashes are slowly becoming unglued. Yikes.

Blunder: Forgetting that Internal Health Fuels External Beauty. Even if you’re armed with enough hair and makeup products to open your own beauty counter at the mall, all of your helpful tools, brushes, and sprays will be for naught if you don’t take care of yourself on the inside. Hit the gym. Drink tons of water. Eat your greens. Take daily vitamins (and get them from your doctor, not a former reality show contestant who is peddling “the next big thing” on Instagram). Concealers and hair treatments might make you look like a million dollars but living a healthy life is what will make you feel like a million dollars. The list of beauty do’s and don’ts is almost endless and feeling overwhelmed is totally understandable. However, the beauty blunders that we have discussed with you are things that can easily be avoided with a little planning and common sense. Steer clear of these and you will be well on your way to looking gorgeous on your wedding day. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Hello, Gorgeous! FRESH & FABULOUS

THE SIEGERS PHOTO + VIDEO

TIMOTHY WHALEY PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS

The natural look is more popular than ever. Let your inner beauty shine through by highlighting your natural features. Feeling bold? Add a pop of color to your lips!

HAIR AND MAKEUP: Bridal Brigade,

bridalbrigade.net

MAKEUP: SLT Makeup Artistry,

sltmakeupandphoto.com HAIR: Alyssa LaMontagne

“Stay in your comfort zone. If you aren’t used to wearing a lot of makeup, it’s still possible to look glamorous without going overboard.” – Wendy at Visage Joli Makeup & Hair Chicago, visagejoli.net

LIPSTICK: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick, Tannin, sephora.com

Recommended by Ashley at Manifest Makeup LLC, manifestmakeupllc.com LIP LINER: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat, Pillow Talk, charlottetilbury.com

Recommended by Ioana at Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com MASCARA: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, urbandecay.com

Recommended by Alexa at Zazú Salon, zazusalons.com FOUNDATION:

BY TERRY Terrybly Densiliss Foundation, byterry.com Recommended by Kate at Kate Johnson Artistry, katejohnsonartistrybrides.com

“Just because wedding planning is keeping you up at night doesn’t mean you have to look like it! There is no better time to invest in a really great eye cream.” – Catalina at Lapiel Laser Center, feelinggoodmatters.com

EYE CREAM: Biopelle

Tensage Stem Cell Eye Cream, biopelle.com Recommended by Julie at Lapiel Laser Center, feelinggoodmatters.com


THAT BRIDAL GLOW

Healthy skin is “in”! By focusing on your skincare regime, you can confidently walk down the aisle with fresh, dewy skin that will make everyone envious.

“Skincare is key, be less concerned with foundation and lashes and more concerned with achieving a glowing, even skin tone.” -Ashley at Manifest Makeup LLC, manifestmakeupllc.com

JADE ROLLER:

MISS MOTLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Jade Roller Beauty, jaderollerbeauty.com Recommended by Ioana at Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com FACE CREAM: fresh

Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, fresh.com Recommended by Sarah at SLT Makeup Artistry, sltmakeupandphoto.com

MAKEUP: Manifest Makeup LLC, manifestmakeupllc.com HAIR: Ramsay Marston

THE MANE EVENT

DORY L. TUOHEY PHOTOGRAPHY

ARTISTRIE CO.

With an emphasis on effortless style, sleek locks alongside loose waves allow brides to embrace their own unique hair texture.

HAIR AND MAKEUP: Appease, Inc.,

HAIR AND MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties,

appease2you.com

rarebirdbeauties.com

ROUND BRUSH:

Olivia Garden brush, oliviagarden.com Recommended by Nidia at Blushing Beauty, blushingbeautyhair.com HAIR SPRAY: Oribe Superfine

Strong Hair Spray, oribe.com Recommended by Kate at Kate Johnson Artistry, katejohnsonartistrybrides.com

“Before curling your hair, spray a heat protector or working hair spray first. This protects the hair from the heat, and locks the curl in with lasting hold!” -Jen at Rare Bird Beauties, rarebirdbeauties.com


Get In Shape

THE RIGHT WAY T

here’s no denying that on your wedding day, you - the

pressure can lead brides to make hasty life changes disguised

beautiful, blushing bride – will be the star of the show.

as healthy ones. No matter if you have been intending to pursue

Your groom will look dapper in his suit, your bridesmaids

these life changes for a while, these not-so healthy choices can

will be glowing in their dresses, and your flower girl and ring

actually do more harm than good for your body (we’re looking

bearer will be so cute you can barely stand it. Yet despite all of

at you, crash dieting). Figuring out the healthiest and most

that, you will still be the one at the center of attention. Some

effective ways to get in shape and feel your best can be tricky,

women adore the spotlight while others find themselves feeling

and many women have a hard time figuring out where to begin.

slightly shy and bashful. Regardless, many soon-to-be brides

So what’s a girl to do? ChicagoStyle Weddings and the experts

feel the pressure to look perfect on their wedding day. That

are here to help pave the way to a healthier and happier you.

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need a structure that goes beyond “I’m

has been thoroughly debunked, it’s

The biggest mistake that brides make is

going to cut out dessert and try to work

okay to put a little extra focus on certain

delaying the fitness process until a few

out when I can.” To start, write down

areas in addition to doing full-body cardio

weeks before their wedding and then

your goals while keeping your gown in

and strength training. Regardless of what

expect to see a drastic change. Just like

mind. Strapless? Tone those arms. High-

workout plan you decide to adhere to,

building a solid relationship, sculpting

low? It’s all about your legs. Mermaid?

it’s important to set a realistic schedule.

your body is a process that takes a con-

Perk up your butt. While spot training

Print out a weekly calendar and pick

siderable amount of time and effort. Get-

(targeting only one area of your body

which days are your workout days, keep-

ting healthy doesn’t happen overnight.

and expecting it to drastically change)

ing in mind that you deserve at least two

HeAlTH, beAuTy & fITneSS

DO: Start months in advance.

Whether you have been working out here and there or haven’t seen the inside of a gym in months, we recommend committing to your workout and diet plan shortly after your engagement. The celebratory buzz that accompanies a proposal is an amazing motivator, and when you’re dying on the treadmill and can’t remember why you thought cardio was a good idea, a quick glance down at the sparkle on your ring finger should be enough to keep your head in the game.

DO: Stagger the start of your diet and your workout. The goal, of course, is to diet and workout at the same time, but enforcing a strict diet and implementing a challenging workout routine can be a shock to the body. If you think you can handle starting both prongs of your fitness plan at once, then by all means, do so. However, there’s a considerably higher success rate if you take things one step at a time. It’s up to you whether you want to start with your diet or with your workouts, but we recommend beginning your fitness journey with your diet. It might take a few days to get into a rhythm but eating “clean” gives you a boost of energy that will make your initial workouts more tolerable. After a week or so of eating clean, lace up your shoes and get ready to hit the gym.

DO: Attack your fitness goals with a plan. The second biggest mistake that brides make is failing to formulate a plan of attack. In order to succeed, you will C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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days off. Juggling work, wedding planning,

that’s perfectly okay. If your girls aren’t

your social life, and a workout regimen

up for the challenge, try grabbing your

can be difficult, but the first week is

groom and turning him into your workout

always the hardest. Once you get into a

buddy instead. The real takeaway here is

routine, things tend to balance out and

that no matter who you enlist as your

get easier.

partner (or partners) in crime, working out with your fiancé or friends is a great

DO: Vary your workout and exercise with friends. One of our favorite bridal workout tips is

way to keep your workouts fresh, fun, and consistent.

your leading ladies, hit the gym together

DON’T: Buy a dress for the body you think you’ll have 8 months from now.

or sign up for SoulCycle, Pure Barre, or

The urge to buy a dress for a body you

to get your bridesmaids involved. If you’re lucky enough to live in the same city as

any other type of group fitness class. If

don’t yet have comes from a positive,

your bridesmaids agree to join your

optimistic place, but it’s a dangerous

health crusade but live out of town, turn

road to head down. In addition to further

your GroupMe into a motivational support

heightening the pressure behind your

squad and send each other positive rein-

pre-wedding fitness plans, there’s a good

forcement. There’s a chance your brides-

chance that you might not transform

maids have minimal interest in pursuing

from a size fourteen to a size six in a

your fitness goals alongside you and

matter of months. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment on a day that should be filled with nothing but happiness, and that’s why we highly recommend shopping for the body that you currently have no matter how motivated you think you are.

DON’T: Fall down the Instagram fitness rabbit hole. No two bodies are exactly the same, which means the way you gain muscle or lose weight will be different from your favorite Instagram models and fitness gurus. Not all butts can be sculpted to reach Jen Selter-status, and Kayla Itsines’ legendary abs are practically the eighth wonder of the world. Don't forget, Instagram icons know exactly how to position the camera to make their bodies look out of this world. Bone structure and genetics play a huge role in what body type you have, which makes every fitness journey unique. It’s important not to compare yourself to other women – especially those who have dedicated their entire careers to fitness. 90

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


effects increase tenfold. Passing out at

proposed to the perfect you that exists

the altar will probably secure you a spot

right now, cellulite and not-quite-a-six-

You have been killing your workouts and

in a “Most Embarrassing Wedding Fails”

pack abs included. Becoming a healthier

diet for two weeks. You are feeling great,

reel, so eat a sensible breakfast and

version of yourself is always something to

you’re starting to notice your body toning

avoid internet infamy.

strive for, but that in no way means that

up, and then you go out with the girls

If this all sounds too hard and you’re

one Friday night and the drunk munchies

feeling demoralized, never fear: your fiancé

strike. Rather than accepting the minor

didn’t propose to a hypothetical, post-fit-

slip up as an inevitable cheat day and

ness-crazed version of you. He or she

you aren’t beautiful exactly the way you are

HEAlTH, BEAuTY & FITNESS

DON’T: Overreact to messing up your fitness plan.

and deserving of the bridal spotlight. To find the best wellness plan for you, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

climbing right back onto the horse, many brides have a tendency to say, “I screwed up. I might as well just call it all off right now.” Avoid the urge to be a perfectionist and go easy on yourself. One glorious night of 3 A.M. pizza rolls is not going to derail your health journey unless you allow it to. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and return to your quinoa.

DON’T: Cram the night before or the day of your wedding. This is one of the most important don’ts on the list, and it’s the one that always gets dismissed. At this point we probably sound like a broken record but we’re only repeating ourselves because it’s so important. Say it with us now: Fitness. Isn’t. An. Overnight. Process. If you haven’t been working out consistently and decide to go to Barry’s Bootcamp the day before your wedding, the only things you will gain are a painful limp and a significant dose of embarrassment as your overworked leg muscles try their best to get you down the aisle. And the same goes for achieving “Michelle Obama Arms” after putting in a single night’s worth of dips and curls – it’s not going to happen. Crash dieting is the worst of them all. If you wake up the morning of your wedding and decide that the breakfast of champions consists only of water and an apple, you stand the risk of ruining your entire day. Not fueling your body appropriately can lead to nausea, dizziness, and even fainting. Once you add a healthy serving of wedding jitters into the mix, those side C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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F I S AYO & S E Y I How They Met “An accidental coffee date turned into a day we pray is a lifetime of forevers.”

Darling Details “Our contemporary, fall romance wedding was emphasized by lush greenery and floral backdrops in deep burgundy and royal blue. Our guests from around the world experienced a stunning atmosphere while enjoying our Yoruba culture and Nigerian cuisine.” “I surprised my mom by wearing a blue wedding gown as she did on her wedding day to my dad. I also showed her my bouquet featuring photos of both her and my grandmothers. It was a very special and sentimental moment between us.”

Seyi’s Favorite Moment “My favorite moment of the day was when I saw Fisayo for the first time. I was only familiar with the idea of a husband seeing his wife walking down the aisle. However, she explained it would likely be the most alone time we would have together once the ceremony began. I love that intimate moment between us.”

Tip For Engaged Couples “Hire a professional event planner unless you have experience in the event industry. He or she will have close relationships with various vendors allowing you the ability to prioritize your needs and ensure that your vision is actualized.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 250 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors VENUE: Meyer’s Castle | PHOTOGRAPHY: Olu Jr. Photographer | VIDEOGRAPHY: Yomi Films | EVENT PLANNER: One Look Events DAY-OF COORDINATOR: Olivia Grace Events | BRIDE’S GOWN: Calla Blanche via Eva’s Bridal International HAIR: Grace Longe at Glamour and Grace | MAKEUP: Emily Umunna | FORMALWEAR: Jojayden | STATIONERY: Vividesigns by Alero FLORAL & DÉCOR: One Look Events | BRIDE’S BOUQUET: Oliver Dogwood Floral Co. | CATERING: Qaato African Catering ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Kishi | CAKE & SWEETS: Alliance Bakery C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Anna & Shane


Vendors EVENT PLANNER: Soirée Weddings & Events |  VENUE:  Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room at the Art Institute of Chicago PHOTOGRAPHY: Carasco Photography |  STATIONERY: Calligraphy by Alexander; Dependable Letterpress FLORAL & DÉCOR: HMR Designs |  CAKE & SWEETS: Sugar Fixé Pâtisserie To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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City Scene w H AT ’ s n e w A R O u n d c H i c A G O l A n d PHOTOGRAPH BY Jasko Photography

W Chicago – City Center 172 w. Adams st. • chicago, il 60603 312.332.1200 • wchicagocitycenter.com Built upon elevated ideas and an elevated structure, w chicago – city center reflects the second city’s rich ties to architectural design and cultural history, appropriately nestled in the heart of the iconic downtown loop. The w brand celebrates the relaunch of our living Room and restaurant outlet, Midland social club. This is a milestone in our longstanding history as an innovator and trendsetter in the windy city.

The Knickerbocker Chicago 163 e. walton Pl. • chicago, il 60611 312.751.8100 • millenniumhotels.com Often touted as one of chicago’s most iconic buildings, you have the opportunity to set the scene of your wedding with historic glamour. experience the original illuminated dance floor in our famous crystal Ballroom. You will delight in the new cove lighting that enhances the beautiful gold gilded ceiling. with this new illumination, personalizing your wedding within your color scheme is easily accomplished. At The Knickerbocker chicago, we have the experience, knowledge, and unique setting to make you the star of your special day.

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Halim Time and Glass Museum 1560 Oak Ave. • Evanston, IL 60201 224.714.5600 • halimmuseum.org Nestled in central Evanston, visitors to Halim Time and Glass Museum will discover one of the North Shore’s most unique museums and a flawless new event space. Halim Time and Glass Museum is perfectly suited to host the once in a lifetime celebration that is your wedding day, and offers multiple spaces for you to utilize. The Wisteria Room on the museum’s fourth floor boasts a stunning dome and breathtaking floor to ceiling windows, and the Roof Top Garden offers the perfect space for the ceremony or cocktail reception that you have always dreamed of. No matter which space you decide to use, you will be hosting your wedding

Terrace 16

COLLIN PIERSON PHOTOGRAPHY

in a venue that’s as unique and memorable as you are.

401 N. Wabash Ave. • Chicago, IL 60611 312.588.8030 • trumphotels.com/chicago Terrace 16 champions one of the most stunning attributes found in Chicago restaurants: A 200-seat, inviting outdoor patio, which has enamored thousands of guests for the past

230 N. Michigan Ave. • Chicago, IL 60601 312.345.1000 • stjanehotel.com

ten years with its breathtaking views of Chicago’s prized

The opulence of Art Deco meets contemporary splendor at

architecture, the winding Chicago River and awe-inspiring

St. Jane, a hotel and event space for those seeking the

Lake Michigan. Now considered a cohesive entity under Chef

distinctly different. The perfect backdrop for your celebration,

Dostal’s purview, the restaurant’s indoor dining room will

rehearsal dinner, special event, and more, St. Jane represents

capture the spirit of Chicago’s glorious summer months year-

a common ground for the uncommon. With intimate,

round with a warm design transformation, convivial bar,

gorgeously appointed spaces, impeccable guest services,

unmatched vistas and an ever-changing menu whose

and a building unique to the entire city, St. Jane is an

ingredients shine bright during breakfast, brunch, lunch and

invitation to the remarkable.

dinner services.

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St. Jane Chicago

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Swissôtel Chicago 323 E. Wacker Dr. • Chicago, IL 60601 312.268.8235 • swissotel.com/chicago

Cantigny Golf

Cantigny Park

Introducing Élevé, Chicago’s newest penthouse

27w270 Mack Rd. Wheaton, IL 60189 630.260.8145 • cantignygolf.com

1s151 Winfield Rd. Wheaton, IL 60189 630.260.8145 • cantigny.org

With sweeping views of the Chicago skyline,

ballroom for you and your guests to enjoy. the River, Navy Pier and Millennium Park, our new floor to ceiling windows allow you to take

Cantigny Park and Cantigny Golf are located on the 500-acre former estate

in unobstructed, breathtaking views. Private

of Colonel Robert R. McCormick in Wheaton, about 35 miles west of

elevators are available to whisk your guests

Chicago. The elegant Woodside Pavilion, a premium tented venue at

up into the fresh new space where they will

Cantigny Golf, opened in 2018 and accommodates up to 250 guests. Also at

experience contemporary décor that is modern

Cantigny Golf, the Red Oak Room is a great choice for receptions of up to

and elegant, ideal for any occasion. Our south-

150 guests. Adjacent to the golf course is Cantigny Park, home of Le Jardin,

harbor facing cocktail space will be a memorable

for parties of up to 250. This space, adjacent to the Visitors Center and

start to your wedding celebration, bridal shower,

remodeled in 2018, offers views of Cantigny’s spectacular gardens.

and rehearsal dinner!

The Metropolitan 233 S. Wacker Dr., 66th & 67th Fl. • Chicago, IL 60606 312.876.3200 • themetropolitanchicago.com As part of a 500 million-dollar reinvention of the Willis Tower, The Metropolitan Club is getting a new look and a shorter name. The Metropolitan will feature new contemporary spaces that best suit the needs of the modern Chicagoan. Located in the heart of Chicago's Loop, The Metropolitan offers unparalleled views of the lake and skyline, certain to take your guests' breath away. The team at The Metropolitan works with the city's best vendors to create an overall amazing experience. Whether you desire a Chicago wedding venue that is intimate or extravagant, the experienced Private Event Directors are ready to help you with every detail to make certain that your big day is absolutely perfect.


CHRIS & DIEGO How Chris Knew He Had Found the One “Diego is someone who not only completes me but complements me as well. Over the past 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to grow and explore with him whether at home in our garden or voyaging off to a new destination. We make sure to celebrate both the big and the small moments together.”

Fun and Fabulous Fête “For our June wedding we wanted to include all that spring has to offer with peonies and sunflowers; parrots and butterflies; and lemons and oranges! We made sure to incorporate the most important and special people in our lives into our celebration, including our canine family Tito and Jake. No detail was too small or overlooked. With Diego having a Brazilian background, we were able to add many Brazilian influences into our celebration including traditional dishes into our five-course seated dinner. Our carrot cake had passion fruit filling and coconut flakes for Diego and a peanut butter and jelly tier for myself. The floral and décor created a beautiful spring table using our personal collection of candelabras and china, and mimicked our stunning invitation suite to perfection. Music was essential to us as well. A cello and keyboard enabled us to keep it classic for the ceremony, while Brazilian guitarists played during dinner to spice things up. Then, we danced the night away on our rooftop deck until the police asked us to bring the volume down.”

Their Favorite Memory “Seeing our beloved friends and family in their fun and fabulous wedding outfits. Black was discouraged! We had specific instructions for everyone to really showcase their personalities to match our wedding theme.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 32 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors VENUE: Grooms’ Home | PHOTOGRAPHY: Laercio Luz Photography | VIDEOGRAPHY: RED Weddings | OFFICIANT: Bryan McGuire WEDDING RINGS: Don Strzepek at Tucker, Inc. | FORMALWEAR: Richard Dayhoff at Zeglio Custom Clothiers STATIONERY: Hannah Handmade | FLORAL & DÉCOR: Anthony Gowder Designs; MDR Creative | RENTALS: BBJ Linen; Hall’s Rental CATERING: InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile | CAKE & SWEETS: Bittersweet | ENTERTAINMENT: BeatMix Music; DJ Ale Maes

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Sweet Home

CHICAGO O

ne of the main reasons that couples gravitate towards

ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

getting married in Chicago is its rich history. From its

The original Art Institute was built in 1870, but like many

rough and tumble days as a 19th-century transportation

great buildings it was destroyed by the Chicago Fire. It

hub to its current status as one of the most beautiful and

moved around a few times before being built in its permanent

visited cities in the world, Chicago has a knack for winning the

home on Michigan Avenue in 1893 and was built for the dis-

hearts of everyone who passes through its streets and engaged

tinguished World’s Fair. The museum and its vast collection

couples are a healthy portion of that population. Many of the

of artwork have grown and changed considerably over the

Windy City’s premier wedding locations offer a unique and fas-

years, but its stateliness and attention to detail have remained

cinating slice of history in addition to typical venue amenities.

the same. The Art Institute offers a variety of both indoor and

Read on to discover these quintessential Chicago venues and

outdoor ceremony and reception spaces, allowing each

get inspired to throw a celebration that the Second City will

couple to find a spot within the museum’s campus that truly

never forget.

speaks to them in an inventive way. Being able to add artists

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CelebrATIon loCATIonS

like Monet and Dali to your guest list is

the grand façade of the private men’s

an opportunity beyond compare, and it

club was on full display as an innumer-

CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM

is one that only the Art Institute can

able number guests flooded Chicago

Chicago’s original history museum was

to attend the celebrated event. The

one of the many causalities of The

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has

Great Chicago Fire of 1871 but once

truly deliver.

CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION HOTEL The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has spent 125 years influencing Chicago’s social landscape and leaving a distinct

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long since opened its doors to all Chicago residents, but the building’s visual impact and alluring mixture of competitive spirit and class have stood

the collection found a permanent home in 1932, the Chicago Historical Society – which would one day become the Chicago History Museum that we know and love – began to flourish and con-

mark on the Windy City. The Venetian

the test of time and continue to attract

tinues to do so to this day. While its

Gothic building was also completed just

engaged couples who seek a venue

library of historical items continues to

in time for the 1893’s World’s Fair and

with character and flair.

wow and amaze, it’s the museum’s firm

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determination to tell the stories of the city and its people that makes it such a powerful landmark. Hosting a wedding at the Chicago History Museum gives couples a unique way to become a part of that narrative, and is truly a venue that your guests will never forget.

CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY/HAROLD WASHINGTON LIBRARY The Chicago Public Library is another Windy City landmark that overcame the horror and destruction of the Great Chicago Fire and became an irreplaceable part of the city. The library began in the aftermath of the inferno as a British donation of 8,000 books to the city of Chicago in order to start a free public library. It eventually blossomed into an internationally renowned library that attracts the attention of everyone from elementary school children and Bill Gates, to engaged couples who simply cannot get enough of this gorgeous venue.

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AT THE CHICAGO TEMPLE In addition to being the oldest church in Chicago, the First United Methodist Church predates the city itself by a full six years. The church was originally just a quaint log cabin that sat north of the Chicago River, but it was eventually floated across the river and rolled to its current location on the corner of Washington and Clark using logs. The church put down roots there and while its exterior has undergone a series of upgrades and renovations over the past two centuries (some planned, and some induced by the Great Chicago Fire), the persistent spirit of the Chicago Temple is what has allowed it to become one of the most famous urban churches in the United States and a frequented ceremony destination for couples from all over the world. 110

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HOTEL ALLEGRO

legal draft pour in the city. Three decades

chandeliers. To host a wedding at Hotel

This iconic remnant of the Golden Era

later, the building was purchased by

Allegro is the equivalent of taking your

has appeared in different forms and

the Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group

guests on a time-traveling adventure with a modern flair.

operated under different names over the

and underwent a series of extensive ren-

years but its rich and storied past is

ovations that transformed the build-

what keeps guests coming back time

ing into an art deco homage. Today’s

and time again. In the 1930s when Hotel

Hotel Allegro features all the glitz and

Allegro was known as the New Bismarck

glamour of the Roaring Twenties along

Hotel, it was the site of the very first

with the building’s original handrails and

THE LANDING 1841 Indians. An Underground Railroad conductor. A humble dairy farmer. A hall of fame aviator. A world-renowned artist. At first glance, you would never assume that the aforementioned people had anything significant in common but in reality, they are all united by one common thread: at one point or another, each one of them was the proud owner of the property at The Landing 1841. Today, the venue shines with a vintage-rustic charm that has enticed hundreds of couples to select it as their wedding venue. And if its deep history and natural charisma were not enough, the barn also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the White River and its beautifully forested property.

LONDONHOUSE CHICAGO Prior to being transformed into a hotel, the LondonHouse operated as a famous club that served as the musical homeaway-from-home for several of jazz’s most brilliant luminaries. Stars like Herby Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, and more recorded sets there and treated Chicago music enthusiasts to incomparable performances before the club closed its doors in the 1970s. The property reopened in 2016 as LondonHouse Chicago, a luxury lifestyle hotel that’s the perfect place for trendy couples to tie the knot.

LOYOLA CUNEO MANSION This architectural gem was originally owned by General Electric founder Sam Insull but was purchased by the Cuneo family following the Great Depression. The mansion itself was designed in the 112

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CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

Italianate style and the property’s lush

Nixon, and the members of the Rolling

gardens were created by a world-

Stones have all enjoyed a stay at The

mix and before long, Palmer House had

renowned landscape artist. The estate

Knickerbocker Chicago, and the hotel

become Chicago’s liveliest social cen -

masterpieces were soon added to the

and its accompanying art museum were

is often touted as one of Chicago’s

ter. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Ella

gifted to Loyola University Chicago in

most iconic buildings. Today, couples

Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and a slew

the early 2000s. They have since become

who host their reception in the hotel’s

of U.S. Presidents spent time at the

one of Chicagoland’s most sought-after

Crystal Ballroom are treated to ornate

hotel, along with prominent literary figures

wedding venues. One look at the man-

delights such as a gilded golden ceiling

like Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.

sion’s cheerful façade and statue laden

and an illuminated dance floor, just to

Palmer House still maintains every drop

front porch makes it easy to understand

name a few.

of its historic majesty and elegance and

why engaged couples can not stop falling

serves as one of the premier wedding

in love with this venue.

PALMER HOUSE

THE KNICKERBOCKER CHICAGO

extravagant wedding gift from owner Potter Palmer to his new bride, a young

ARMOUR HOUSE MANSION & GARDENS

Built in 1927, The Knickerbocker Chicago

French socialite named Bertha Honoré.

While his wife was away in Vienna,

venues in Chicago.

Palmer House originally served as an

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boasts a colorful history. Highlights

Following decimation at the hands of

Jonathan Ogden Armour purchased a

include Al Capone’s brother running a

the Great Chicago Fire, the Palmer

1200-acre property known as Mellody

casino on the Penthouse Floor and a

House was rebuilt and became home to

Farm and made plans to build a man-

brief yet memorable stint in the 1970s

the largest collection of impressionist

sion on the land to surprise her upon

when the hotel served as the Play-

artwork outside of France. Garnet-draped

her return. Four years and ten million

boy Towers. John F. Kennedy, Richard

chandeliers, regal frescos, and other

dollars later, Armour House Mansion &

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Gardens came to fruition. The mansion,

as Loyola Cuneo Mansion) as an event

which is located on the Willis Tower’s

known as Reid Hall, featured internation-

space beyond compare.

103rd floor. Here, couples can celebrate

ally imported mantle pieces from a variety

their marriage above the clouds and brave

of different countries as well as an

THE WILLIS TOWER

guests can venture out onto The Ledge (a

impressive marble staircase that was

The star of the Chicago skyline didn’t

glass box that extends almost five feet

built with the primary purpose of one

open to tenants until 1973, but it quickly

directly off the side of the tower while

day serving as a dramatic marital entrance

rose to fame and prominence as one of

offering unobstructed views of the city).

for the couple’s daughter. The estate

the most impressive architectural feats in

Several floors down, but still soaring at

changed hands several times but even-

the world. Today, the tower is home to

breathtaking heights, The Metropolitan is

tually landed in the care of Lake Forest

multiple incredible wedding venues that

situated on the 66th and 67th floors. The

Academy. The school utilizes the gorgeous

each offer couples an entirely different

Metropolitan offers incomparable panoramic

mansion

grounds

experience. Weddings will find themselves

views of the city and shoreline and is the

(designed by the same landscape architect

perfectly at home at Skydeck Chicago,

perfect space for the modern Chicagoan.

and

surrounding

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WARWICK ALLERTON HOTEL CHICAGO Opened in 1924 as one of the crown jewels of Chicago’s Roaring Twenties scene, the Warwick Allerton has its roots as an exclusive club hotel for men that catered to the young entrepreneurs flocking to the city for all the white-collar jobs. Members enjoyed private libraries and lounges in addition to a barbershop, miniature golf course, and a gymnasium. In the 1940s, the clubrooms on the 23rd floor were replaced by The Tip Top Tap, a cocktail lounge with striking views of the Chicago skyline that was heralded by a large sign atop the building’s roof. The Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago of today has stayed true to its glamorous origins and maintained its reputation for flawlessly delivering luxury events.

CONGRESS PLAZA HOTEL Congress Plaza Hotel opened in 1893 for the famous Chicago World’s Fair, showing that Chicago had bounced back from the devastating Great Fire of 1871. The hotel featured cobbled streets, gaslights, and horse drawn carriages. The elaborately designed hotel soon became a favorite among Chicago’s high society and politicians. Many famous people have stayed at the hotel, including several U.S. Presidents. In fact, the Congress Plaza Hotel was known as the “Home of Presidents” among Chicago hotels. The Congress Plaza Hotel also served as home to Al Capone, who had a suite on the 8th floor of the north tower. Capone’s spirit is thought to haunt the hotel to this very day. Today, following nearly 125 years of refinements and refurbishments, the Congress Plaza Hotel stands as a living, breathing piece of Chicago history with a story as rich and fascinating as that of the Windy City itself. To find the perfect venue for your Big Day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors. 118

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DANA & BENJAMIN How They Met Dana and Benjamin’s love story began when they were introduced by a mutual friend.

How Benjamin Knew He Had Found the One When they first met, Dana approached Benjamin and asked him to donate to her charity marathon run for pediatric cancer. It was at that moment that Benjamin realized what a caring and passionate individual Dana was and in addition to a donation, Dana also “got his heart.”

Darling Details “Our family and friends are what made our wedding so perfect” explained Dana and Benjamin. The days leading up to their wedding included a horrific snowstorm which resulted in delayed, diverted, and canceled flights. “We were worried we were going to lose half of our guests! It made us extra thankful that almost everyone made it!”

Tip for Engaged Couples “The best advice is not to sweat the small stuff. Also, take your pictures before the ceremony so that you can spend more time with your guests.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 100

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Venue: LondonHouse Chicago | PHOTOGRAPHY: Collin Pierson Photography | OFFICIAnT: Rev. Dennis Condon BRIDe’S GOWn: Alyne by Rita Vinieris via Bella Bianca Bridal Couture | BRIDe’S JeWeLRY: Bella Bianca Bridal Couture BRIDe’S SHOeS: Christian Louboutin | HAIR: Natalie Ruzgis at Thrive Hair Collective | MAKeuP ARTIST: Frances Tsalas FORMALWeAR: Groom’s Personal Collection | BRIDeSMAID’S DReSS: Bloomingdales | FLORAL & DÉCOR: Nancy Krause Floral Design STATIOneRY: Minted | CAKe & SWeeTS: Bittersweet | CATeRInG: LondonHouse Chicago | enTeRTAInMenT: DJ Lee Michaels C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Yogitha & Alake


Vendors EVENT PLANNER: LOLA Event Productions |  VENUE: Skyline Loft at the Bridgeport Art Center |  STATIONERY: Magnificent Milestones PHOTOGRAPHY: Olivia Leigh Photographie |  FLORAL & DÉCOR: HMR Designs |  CAKE & SWEETS: Elysia Root Cakes To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Step-by-Step Guide to

Booking Your Perfect Venue

T

here are many steps that go into planning a wedding,

overall tone for your wedding depending on the location and

but for the most part, you cannot get started on any of

the style of the space. So how do you go about deciding on

them until you book your venue. Not only does your

venue often dictate your wedding date, but it also sets the

something so important? Follow these steps to guide you through the process.

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celeBrATIOn lOcATIOns

1. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET. Before you start browsing venues, it is important to know your ballpark budget. As a general rule of thumb, your venue and catering will account for approximately 40 percent of your overall budget. This can change slightly depending on what’s most important to you, but it’s a good place to start when you embark on your venue search.

2. FINALIZE YOUR GUEST LIST. You will also need to have a good idea of the size of your guest list. Otherwise, you may waste time visiting spaces that could never fit all of your guests or miss out on unique options that only work for small groups. Of course, you won’t know your exact guest count until much closer to the wedding date, but it’s generally safe to estimate that approximately 80 percent of the people you invite will attend, so use that number when checking out capacities at venues.

3. DECIDE ON A CEREMONY LOCATION. Your ceremony and reception may seem like two completely separate things to plan, but it’s a good idea to know where your ceremony will take place when booking your reception venue. For example, if you are getting married in your hometown church in the suburbs, that will affect your decision on whether or not to hold your reception in the city. Keep transportation in mind for you and your guests. If you want to hold your ceremony and reception in one venue, you will need to know that going into your search so you can properly review your options and availabilities.

4. CONSIDER YOUR “VIBE”. There are countless wedding venues in 126

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the Chicagoland area, it can be extremely

5. GATHER INFORMATION.

overwhelming when beginning your search

Before you hit the streets for venue

and potentially falling in love with, a

without having some idea as to what you

visits, gather as much information as

venue if it’s not available when you want

are looking for. Take time to consider

you can. Check our Ceremony and

to get married.

your personal style and the overall vibe that you are hoping to achieve. Browse through wedding magazines and websites to give you an idea of the various aesthetics that are available. From there,

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ahead of time. There’s no use visiting,

Reception Guide for helpful information ions. Consider creating a spreadsheet to

6. VISIT YOUR TOP CHOICES.

keep track of details for each venue.

Once you have narrowed down your list,

Then, you can easily compare and narrow

schedule visits so you can see the poten-

down the list to those you would like to

tial venues in person. When you’re there,

on the location, capacity, and inclus-

seek out venues that specifically meet

visit in person. If you have a specific

take time to look around at all the spaces

your look – like industrial chic, modern

date (or a limited number of dates) in

you would potentially be using, including

and elegant, or soft and romantic.

mind, ask about availability on that date

bathrooms. Check out available areas

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CElEBraTIon loCaTIons

for you and your wedding party to get ready and relax in. Be sure to snap pictures throughout your tour. Even if you think you’ll remember everything, after seeing so many venues, they can start to blur together! But don’t only think about the space, pay attention to the person you will be working with, and get to know them a bit more. That person will play a large role in ensuring your vision is carried out and that everything goes as planned. It’s very important that you trust and can openly communicate with that person throughout the planning process.

7. ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS. Choosing a venue is more than falling in love with a pretty space. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask detailed questions to ensure there are no surprises. How many hours you will have the venue? Is there a charge for additional time? How much privacy will you have (particularly in a hotel or restaurant that might be open during your wedding)? Are there any restrictions on music? What are your meal options? Do you have to stick to an exclusive vendor list for things like catering, flowers, and lighting? Will you be responsible for set-up and cleanup? When do you have to vacate the space? Do you need liability insurance (many venues carry their own, while others require the couple and/or the vendors to do so)?

8. PUT A HOLD ON YOUR DESIRED DATE. You don’t necessarily have to wait until you’re 100 percent certain about your choice to hold a date. Many venues allow you to hold a date, with the understanding that if another couple also requests the same date, you will have to decide quickly and put down a deposit payment. If you have narrowed your choices down to two favorites and just 130

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CElEBrAtION lOCAtIONs

need to reevaluate how much to allocate

hold on each one just in case. Wedding

to other aspects of the wedding? Are you

It may be a bit scary to finalize that deci-

venues book up fast in Chicago!

okay with that? Ensure that you won’t

sion, but you can rest easy knowing you

have any issues with logistics, such as

have done your research, asked the hard

9. MAKE SURE THE VENUE WORKS WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR WEDDING.

getting from the ceremony to the reception,

questions, and thought very carefully

It’s a good idea to double check on the

move on to other fun aspects of wedding

Before you finalize everything, make sure

aspects that are most important to you

planning. But don’t feel like you have to

you consider the venue within the bigger

before signing the venue contract.

getting your guests where they need to

about this choice. Once the venue and

be, and having enough time for photos.

date are confirmed, you’ll be able to

move immediately into the next phase. Give yourself a moment to relax and

picture of your wedding, particularly the

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deposit payment and secure your date.

need to do a bit more research, put a

budget and timeline. Now that you know

10. BOOK IT!

relish in marking this big item off of your

how much the venue will cost, do you

All that’s left now is to put down your

wedding checklist.

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It’s a Date Need A BreAk frOm weddiNg pLANNiNg? we’ve gOT yOu COvered! T h e S e A m A z i N g d AT e S A r e T h e p e r f e C T e x C u S e T O T r e AT y O u r S e Lv e S . e’ re going to let you in on a little secret: there’s

but why not take the opportunity to get out and do some-

more to your engagement than just planning a

thing new? Like most major cities, Chicago and its surround-

wedding. Believe it or not, the year that you spend

ing suburbs provide an endless supply of fun, adventurous,

waiting to tie the knot will be filled with valuable moments of

and romantic date nights. There’s no better way to celebrate

downtime. Sure, you could spend those precious Saturday

your engagement than to try new things together, but we

nights curled up on the couch with a pack of Oreos, your

know how hard it can be to break out of your dating routine.

fiancé, and the newest season of your latest Netflix binge,

The solution? Amazing dates you can enjoy without ever

W

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CeLeBrATION LOCATIONS

leaving the Chicagoland area (and without

pack a picnic lunch (or don’t, and enjoy

blowing through any of your wedding

one of Brookfield’s eateries), and head

lute must. Spearheaded by Tony and

planning money).

to one of the best zoos in the country.

Cathy Mantuano and located in the

You and your fiancé can enjoy seasonal

museum’s Modern Wing, Terzo Piano

BOWLING & BOCCE AT PINSTRIPES.

experiences like Boo-at-the-Zoo or Holi-

effortlessly combines the luxury of both

day Magic. No matter when you visit the

food and art to deliver an organic and

Whether you’re a competitive bowler or

zoo, it’s sure to put a smile on your face.

sustainably produced menu that will leave you begging for seconds.

you still use bumpers, knocking over date night for couples who don’t want to

SOAK IN THE CITY AT THE WILLIS TOWER.

sit still. This unique and trendy venue

Nothing beats standing thousands of

pins while sipping on wine is the perfect

ENJOY THE FRESH AIR AT CANTIGNY PARK.

offers all the fun and festivity of bowling

feet above the Windy City and getting a

and Bocce in a luxurious lounge setting.

birds-eye-view of the gorgeous place we

Getting outside, enjoying the fresh air

With locations in Streeterville, Oak Brook,

call home. Skydeck Chicago gives you a

and strolling through the wilderness is

and Northbrook, there’s no excuse to

chance to experience the city like never

always in season. Cantigny Park and its

miss out on the excitement.

before using the Tower’s famed observa-

lush, sprawling grounds are the perfect

tion deck, The Ledge.

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Chicago’s trendy restaurant is an abso-

place to stretch your legs and take an

TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE AT BROOKFIELD ZOO.

ENJOY EDIBLE ART AT TERZO PIANO.

No one’s too old to enjoy a trip to the

Whether it’s brunch, dinner, or after-work

First Division Museum and brush up on

zoo! Put on some comfortable shoes,

cocktails, dining at the Art Institute of

your American history.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

invigorating nature walk. Wander through acres of beautiful paths and if you’re a war buff, stop by their comprehensive


CELEBRATioN LoCATioNS

delicious bites and bumping music or

Boleo brings dramatic flavors and sultry

snuggle up outside and watch the waves,

beats to one of the best rooftops in the

we promise you will be planning your next

Loop. Relax beneath a massive retractable

TOUR LAKE MICHIGAN WITH ENTERTAINMENT CRUISES. There’s nothing like seeing Chicago from

cruise the moment you step off the boat.

glass ceiling and enjoy aromatic Peruvian

the water. Climbing aboard one of Entertainment Cruises’ gorgeous boats and enjoying a trip around the lake is a date night that simply can’t be beat. Whether you stay inside to take advantage of the

and Argentinian street food without the

ESCAPE THE CITY AT KIMPTON GRAY HOTEL’S BOLEO. Named after an Argentine tango move,

hassle and expense of jetting off to South America.

DINE ON THE WATERFRONT AT RIVER ROAST. Located right on the Chicago River, River Roast serves up dramatic city views from every single seat in the restaurant – both indoors and out. The eatery boasts one of the best patios in the entire city and has an incredible menu to match, offering an eclectic yet delicious assortment of contemporary American tavern fare. To experience a food and music pairing that showcases some of the city’s best blues artists, stop in over the weekend for the Brews & Blues Brunch.

BOOK A COUPLES MASSAGE AT EAGLEWOOD RESORT & SPA. Planning a wedding is hard work, and you deserve to be rewarded for all that effort. The stressful side of your engagement can only be survived if you occasionally give in to the urge to “treat yourself”, and there’s no better place to do so than Eaglewood Resort’s Spa. Sign up for their signature couples massage and allow yourself to be whisked away to your happy place.

SAY CHEERS AT VOLO RESTAURANT WINE BAR. Sipping and savoring has never felt so stylish. With a curated wine list and an array of unique fare, Volo brings an impressive menu and a vintage chic vibe to Roscoe Village. This wine bar is the perfect Friday evening stop and with 138

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CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

weekly happy hours and events like the

famous Game Room: a competitive com-

Annual French Wine Dinner, luxury date

bination of cocktails and activities like

SPEND A LONG WEEKEND IN LAKE GENEVA.

night has never been so fun.

Bocce ball, shuffleboard, chess, foosball,

Located just over the Wisconsin border,

and more. After you’ve finished playing

Chicago’s beautiful neighbor Lake Geneva

games and enjoyed some healthy smack

is one of the most well-known Mid-

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME AT THE CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION.

talk, head next door to the Chicago Ath-

western vacation destinations. Whether

letic Association’s Cherry Circle Room

you’re hitting the links at Hawk’s View

What began as a simple billiards room

and experience one of the trendiest

Golf Club, touring the romantic waters

menus in the Windy City.

of Lake Geneva with Lake Geneva

has grown to become Chicago’s most

Cruise Line, or enjoying sports and picturesque views at Lake Lawn Resort & Spa, you’re sure to enjoy some welldeserved R & R and return to Chicago feeling perfectly refreshed.

GET THE GERMAN EXPERIENCE AT HOFBRÄUHAUS. Convincing your fiancé to sit down and look at linens might be difficult, but getting him to take you to Chicago's most famous German beer hall should be considerably easier. In addition to amazing brews, take advantage of all the entertainment this festive bar has to offer. Test your strength in their weekend Masskrugstemmen (holding out a oneliter stein with one arm; winner keeps their stein). Make new friends with a shot-ski, a row of shot glasses attached to a ski. Stop by in October to celebrate Oktoberfest. No matter when, Hofbräuhaus will deliver a night you'll be talking about for weeks to come.

GRAB A QUICK BITE IN STYLE AT COCO PAZZO CAFÉ. If you can't wait until the weekend and are looking for the perfect weekday date, look no further than Coco Pazzo Café. This chic, trendy eatery on East Ohio Street serves up time-honored Tuscan favorites amid gorgeous Modigliani-style murals. If you stop by while the weather's nice and warm, you and your amore can take advantage of the Café's outdoor seating and dine alfresco. Saluti! 140

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No Regrets HoW To plan a TImeless WeddIng

R

ight now your mind is swirling with all the unique things

WHO’S THE BOSS?

you want to pack into your wedding day. Your heart

When it comes to a big creative event like this, everyone has an

may be set on the grandest, most beaded dress

opinion, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If no one listened

money can buy or a menagerie of whimsical peacocks performing

to advice, we’d still be living in caves roasting squirrels over

a tightly choreographed show tune. But let’s just calm down

campfires, but you need to hear it while keeping your own

here and take a step into the future for a minute.

desires at the forefront of your planning.

It’s likely that something small will go wrong despite your best

Family members often seem to have their own idea of how your

intentions, but if you go with the flow and find the humor in it

wedding should go. Whether they envision something more tra-

you’ll come to appreciate the minor hitch from the day you

ditional than you’d like or something built from their wildly over-

got hitched. That said, you should still take certain measures

active imaginations, they need to know that you and your

to reduce the severity of potential regrets. Here’s how.

partner make the final decisions.

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ceLeBRATIoN LocATIoNS

Never lose sight of whose wedding this keep you from being pushed around, but

UNCLE HARRY IS A VERY AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER.

is. Being direct right at the beginning will

who changed your diapers and fed you when your parents wanted a date night.

be kind. Remember that they just want

Just because a family member owns a

the best for you, and any “help” they

fancy camera, doesn’t mean they know

STAY CLASSY.

offer is out of love.

how to use a fancy camera. Professionals

Dig out pictures of your mother’s and

have taken classes and honed their pro-

your grandmother’s wedding dresses.

DIY AT YOUR OWN RISK. DIY décor and favors may seem “totes adorbs” right now, but they’re also totes work, totes time-consuming and totes not-as-budget-friendly-as-you-think. All

fessional skills, and it’s in your best

Now imagine yourself swaddled in those

interest to hire one. Plus, you want Uncle

puffy sleeves and yards of lumpy fabric.

Harry to be burning up the dance floor

No thanks.

with Aunt Sheila.

Styles and tastes change. While current

those raw birch tree slices cost money

Look at several photographers’ portfolios

fads seem amazing, be wary of hyper-

and they don’t personalize themselves.

before you make a choice. Good framing

modern trends. Find a classic, simple

Your bridesmaids love you to death, otherwise they wouldn’t be by your side through this exciting process, but they can only tolerate so much. If you ask them to bundle 500 packets of homedried herbs in individually-cut, hot-glued, hand-addressed teabag sachets, they might leave you at the altar.

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around a hired stranger than the sweet guy

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

and impeccable focus are one thing.

look and add your own twist. If you’re

Style is another. When you’re making a

tempted by an aisle-long train and volu-

decision, look for someone whose style

minous chicken-wire veil, maybe bring in

suits what you envision for your wedding.

a level-headed bridesmaid or two. The

Whimsical, classic or bold, a portfolio is

less over-the-top your dress is, the more

the best indication of what you’ll have to

likely it will still be in style 10 years down

preserve the big day.

the road.

Also keep in mind that it’s easier to boss

Do a few dance moves in the dressing


Collin Pierson Photography


CElEBrATIoN loCATIoNs

room. We’re not saying you need to

smokier than the pits of hell or lipstick

Consider alternatives to walking around

memorize a traditional jig before your fit-

that causes solar flares. When you get

to each individual during the reception.

ting, but maybe try to drop it likes it’s hot

those professionally taken photos back

Everyone is busy shoveling in their deli-

once or twice to make sure nothing slips

and wonder who your spouse is dancing

cious entree, and having you pop up

out. If the cut of the dress doesn’t allow

with, you may regret your decision.

behind them when their mouth is full is

you to be the hottest dancer at the

Natural hues that highlight rather than

awkward for all parties. Instead, form a

reception, opt for something that will

disguise your charms will keep your style

receiving line as people leave the cere-

keep you comfortable enough to focus

yours with all the glam you need.

mony and tell them how excited you are

on the guests who have flocked out to

to celebrate with them at the reception.

adore you rather than the dress boning

HOW TO GREET IN ONE EASY STEP.

If you’d prefer to be swept off in the limo

that is piercing your side for nine hours.

WHO’S THAT LADY? It’s your day, and you have professionals lined up for your hair and makeup. The inclination is to go super glam and enjoy your transformation into a supermodel, but remember who your partner fell in love with and make sure that person is the one getting married.

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For every person who regrets wasting their entire reception circling the room and repeating the same short “thank you” speech, there’s another who regrets not making it around to everyone. Your guests are your staunchest supporters.

as soon as the ceremony ends, spend the cocktail hour making your rounds. For a raring good time, take each person into a photo booth with you and your partner as they arrive at the reception. A strip of pictures with the two of you will be thanks enough.

They zoomed from long distances to cel-

Another option is to prepare a toast with

ebrate your union and they deserve some

your spouse to thank everyone for their

recognition for that. But this is your day

presence. Make it heartfelt and maybe a

Unless it’s your daily style, you’ll look

to enjoy yourself and finding that balance

little tear-inducing while keeping it general

totally different when you opt for eyes

is so difficult.

enough for everyone to fall under its

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celeBraTIon locaTIonS

cozy umbrella. This way everyone gets

only one stressful item on your already full

love reminding you about that time

to enjoy the party without all the awkward

plate. It’s easy to see the reception as the

you drunkenly collapsed onto your own

first time you really get to let loose and

wedding cake.

handshakes.

sip on some cool, crisp relaxation juice.

DON’T WEAR THE LAMPSHADE AT YOUR OWN PARTY.

You’ve been preparing for this night for

Go ahead. Have one. Have two. Then

several months (or since you saw “The

maybe slow down around three or four.

Sound of Music” when you were seven

Getting sauced on your wedding day is

and immediately began making lists and

You’ve been lost in a storm of planning,

not the ladylike or gentlemanly thing to

diagrams). With the success of pulling it

and the lead-up to this shindig has been

do, and believe us, your guests will

off, you should soberly swim in the sea of “oohs” and “aahs” and look around at the amazing show you’ve created. Your most cognizant memory shouldn’t be the bathroom floor.

MAKE SURE IT’S A HAPPILY EVER AFTER. In movies, the deliriously happy couple is whisked off at the end of the party to their honeymoon while their guests wave wistfully and dab at tears. In reality, the deliriously happy couple is also deliriously exhausted and burnt-out. They may not have spent much time with each other since they said their vows, and they may (if they didn’t take our earlier advice) be slightly inebriated. Starting your honeymoon the night of or morning after your wedding may seem like a romantic whirlwind of adventure, but let us tell you what’s not romantic: airport security. You don’t want to stand in that line, get frisked and then propel 33,000 feet into the air while there’s still tequila settling in your stomach and blisters on your dance-wor n feet. Besides, what’s the point of lodging ocean-side if you sleep through the first 48 hours of it? Spend a day or two at home or at a nearby hotel lavishing in the love you now legally share before tackling anything strenuous like trotting the globe. Sleep off the pre-wedding anxiety, duringwedding adrenaline and after-wedding lushness. Your body and mental state will thank you. 148

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JORDAN & CHARLIE How Jordan Knew She Had Found the One “Charlie is my best friend and I found myself always wanting to share moments with him and I’d miss him when he wasn’t there. That’s when I knew I couldn’t live without him.”

Darling Details “I really wanted a very romantic and soft atmosphere for our Big Day. During the cocktail hour, our guests enjoyed the terrace overlooking the beautiful Chicago River that Charlie had used as a backdrop for our proposal. It was so gorgeous on the terrace that not one person could be found inside. To round out the romantic look and feel, we utilized silver and gold mercury glass throughout the venue in addition to having hints of soft pinks, blues, and grays in the floral.”

Jordan’s Favorite Moment “EVERYTHING! Everyone seemed so happy to be celebrating our marriage which brought Charlie and I so much joy. What especially stood out to us were the many heartfelt speeches. Being able to hear the perspectives of others made us realize that not only did our relationship make us happy, but we have also touched so many other lives by being together.”

Tip for Engaged Couples “Get a wedding planner! We were new to Chicago and having a planner made the process so much easier. On our wedding day we didn’t have to worry about a thing! She literally took care of everything so we could enjoy every moment of our special day.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 175 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors VENUE: River Roast | PHOTOGRAPHY: XO Azuree Photography | EVENT PLANNER: The Simply Elegant Group | RINGS: dimend SCAASI BRIDE’S GOWN: Casablanca via Nancy’s Bridal Boutique | BRIDE’S SHOES: Dyeables | HAIR & MAKEUP: Deco Adamo GROOM’S FORMALWEAR: Bachrach | GROOM’S ACCESSORIES: J.Hilburn; Tommy Hilfiger; Happy Socks; Bar III; Magnanni GROOM’S SHOES: Ted Baker | BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Azazie | STATIONERY: Design That Flies | CATERING: River Roast FLORAL & DÉCOR: Atmosphere Events Group | ENTERTAINMENT: Ashley & The Cosmos | CAKE & SWEETS: Urban Icing TRANSPORTATION: Signature Transportation Group C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Cori & Jason


Vendors VENUE: Spiaggia Private Events | PHOTOGRAPHY: Jordan Imhoff Photography | STATIONERY: Fine Day Press FLORAL & DÉCOR: BotaniCouture | CAKE & SWEETS: Bittersweet To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Ace Your Outdoor Wedding F

rom blue skies and gentle breezes to longer days and

HAVE A PLAN B (AND EVEN A PLAN C).

busy nights, it’s no wonder that spring and summer are

You can plan for many aspects of your wedding, but unfor-

the popular times of year to get married. Outdoor wed-

tunately, the weather is not one of them. During the plan-

dings are becoming increasingly popular, but not without addi-

ning process, work with your event coordinator to devise

tional precautions. Here are some tips for ensuring your

backup plans in case of inclement weather. This helps alle-

outdoor soirée goes off without a hitch.

viate extra stress on the Big Day because you’ll already

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have plans to shift to if needed. The best thing about backup plans is that they’re not one-size-fits-all. You can take elements from one plan and incorporate them into another on the fly to

Of the few details guests remember from

and cooling of food in order to keep it appetizing and, most importantly, safe!

a wedding, food is almost always one of

Pro tip: No matter how beautiful your

them. Heat can do awful things to some

cake, keep it somewhere cool before

menu items and can even make guests

and after you cut it – you don’t want it to

craft a backup plan that’s perfect for

sick, so it’s critically important that your

melt or collapse on the floor from too

your situation.

selections are made to withstand the hot

much sun exposure.

Common backup plans include having a tent on the grounds (look into ordering side panels, to block wind and rain), having an indoor option on standby, stalling start times if the weather is expected to clear, and having outdoor heaters in case of an unexpected cold front. Backup plans are one of those

156

OFFER A SEASONAL MENU.

summer sun. If your cocktail hour is taking place in the afternoon beneath the sun, stick to seasonal veggies, fruit skewers,

PREPARE FOR THE ELEMENTS.

and other light appetizers instead of heavy

As lovely as summer can be, it can also

or dairy-based items that might melt or

be pretty high maintenance in terms of

change in texture due to heat. Make sure

staying comfortable. Anticipate your

all seafood, dairy, and meat are stored in

guests’ needs by making sure the cere-

cooled serving dishes or on ice.

mony and reception sites are equipped to combat the potentially warm weather.

things you cross your fingers and hope

For dinner, consider comfort foods like

If you’re having ceremony programs,

you won’t need, but you will be thankful

pulled pork barbecue with a citrus salad

brainstorm ways to double them as fans

you have one prepared. After all, rain on

or a pig roast with corn on the cob.

or distribute mini battery-operated fans

your wedding day is supposedly good

These dishes are not only delicious but

so guests can cool off if it’s hot. To keep

luck, so you might as well be ready to

bring instant nostalgia to the dog days of

guests hydrated at the ceremony, have

tackle it head-on.

summer. Talk to your caterer about timing

bottled water in themed ice buckets or a

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CElEBrATIOn lOCATIOnS

lemonade stand close by. Once the

the sun sets, you can host a bonfire with

reception starts, move the hydration sta-

weddings are practically limitless. Take

a late night s’mores or hot dog bar.

tion near the dance floor – you and your

advantage of the abundant space by

When the night ends, have a sparkler

using scenery and natural landscapes

sendoff, where guests light up the path

to your decorating advantage. Some

from your reception to your getaway car

guests will definitely need it later! If you haven’t already booked your wedding site, research venues that offer both indoor and outdoor party areas, so guests can decide if they would be more comfortable indoors. If you’ve already secured your space, talk to your event coordinator about how to use natural shade and other cool-off options. Guests might also appreciate having sunscreen, lotion, bug

158

own rules, the décor options for outdoor

ideas include creating signage for menu

or release paper lanterns into the sky, a

items and directions to drinking, dinner,

long time Asian tradition that symbolizes

and dancing locations. You can also use

good wishes.

battery-operated lights to string in tree branches or line the top of a tent to help

DRESS FOR SUCCESS.

create a romantic, ambient atmosphere.

Ensure comfort and confidence on your

Strung lights will look especially pretty

Big Day by making sure your look is

once the sun sets, too.

summer ready. Whether it’s a dress or menswear, stick to lighter, breathable

spray, and other seasonal remedies on

Outdoor weddings not only create a

fabrics that will keep everyone cool.

hand. Place these items in decorative

memorable setting, they also make it

Work with your dress consultant to find

containers at the wedding site or put

easy to entertain. Consider personalizing

a gown made of flowing fabrics, such as

them in a bathroom basket so guests

bean bag sets with your names and

chiffon or crepe. If your heart is set on a

can grab for on-the-go relief.

wedding date or providing Bocce ball,

gown made of heavier fabric such as

PLAY OFF YOUR SETTING.

horseshoes, and other casual lawn games

satin, consider changing into something

for the adults. Bubbles and kites are

more lightweight when it’s time to dance.

While indoor-only venues may have their

great for the kiddos in attendance. Once

Guarantee all-day comfort from head to

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CelebRATIoN loCATIoNs

toe by wearing block heels, flats, or

compact in her survival kit in case of a

devise a plan to keep your guests cool

other shoes that won’t stick in the soft

beauty emergency.

and comfortable. Also, take into consid-

summer grass.

eration the direction guests will be facing

HAVE A SMART TIMELINE.

for the ceremony. Those having daytime

Keep your hair and makeup on point

Guests don’t want to stand around in

nuptials should try to orient the ceremony

from morning to night by choosing styles

the sweltering sun while you’re off taking

so the sun will be on the guests’ backs

that work with warm weather, not against

photos, so be mindful of when the sun

and not in their eyes. Guests will appre-

it. Curls, waves, and sculpted up-dos

might be at its strongest and coolest

ciate not having to squint to see your

often don’t do well in humidity. To fight

when planning your timeline. Not sure

vows and that you spared them a poten-

frizz, ask your stylist to experiment with

where to start? Research when the sun

tially painful sunburn.

sleeker styles at your hair trials, such as

is expected to set in your wedding month

a pulled back bun or ponytail. For a

and year, then build your timeline around

boho vibe, try a chunky braid to keep

that window. This will help keep guests

your hair away from your face and off

comfortable and you will also guarantee

your neck. While it’s important that you

ideal natural light for photos. For refer-

look and feel your best, keep in mind

ence, the hottest part of the day is

that the more makeup you wear, the

usually between 1-3 in the afternoon,

greater chance it might run by the end of

give or take.

the night, so play around with palettes

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Whether your wedding takes place in a garden or backyard or on a mountain or beach, there’s something truly special about an outdoor wedding. While they come with more dos and don’ts than traditional weddings, outdoor weddings tend to offer more possibilities for innovation. Acing an outdoor wedding is easy

that won’t require a lot of layers.

If temperatures are expected to be hot

with a little extra planning and organiza-

all around, consider shortening the time

tion. Follow these tips and your biggest

Pro tip: Have your maid of honor pack

between your ceremony and reception

wedding day worry will be making sure

travel hair spray, blotting papers, and a

and talk to your event coordinator to

your champagne flute is always full.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


A Family Affair Way s t o I n c l u D e y o u r K I D s I n t o y o u r W e D D I n g

W

eddings oftentimes symbolize more than just

provides them with the opportunity to feel welcomed into

two individuals making a promise to one another.

your life, but it also serves as your first activity together as

When your wedding day also represents two

a new family. Whether you have children of your own or you

families being brought together, it is important to recognize

are looking to incorporate your fiancÊ’s children into your

and celebrate the newest additions in your life as well.

Big Day, there are multiple ways to create lasting memories

Including your children into the wedding day events not only

for all involved.

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CeLeBraTIOn LOCaTIOnS

the opportunity to literally lead you to

and complete the walk down the aisle

the next step of both of your lives.

without getting distracted or shy.

assign to children during the wedding

Give Them Flower Duty or Make Them

Have Them “Give You Away.” Tradition-

ceremony that will not require too much

the Ring Bearer. The role of flower girl

ally, the father of the bride gives her

coordination from them or add a ton of

has long been relegated to cute younger

away to the groom during the wedding

DURING THE CEREMONY There are a handful of roles that you can

preparation to your ceremony planning

relatives and charming children of close

ceremony. However, you can certainly

(because let’s be honest, who needs

friends. However, if you have a daughter

have your child give you away too! How-

that?). The following ideas are simple,

that is younger than nine, it’s a no-

ever, aisles can quickly become crowded

yet put a modern twist on the treas-

brainer to let her be the one to scatter

so try to stick to one or two people be-

ured traditions you will probably already

flower petals down the aisle. While it’s

sides yourself to escort you down the

be including.

best to have a flower girl at least three

aisle for a smooth entrance.

Let Them Lead the Way. One of the

bit younger, consider assigning a relative

most magnificent parts of the ceremony

or family friend to help her get down the

is when the wedding party makes their

aisle without a hitch. If you have a son,

grand entrance. While your friends, rela-

making him the ring bearer is one of the

tives, and beloved eagerly await your

easiest ways to include him in your

presence, the kids can kick off the pro-

special day. Your son will feel like an

cessional. Consider giving them a sign

important part of your union when he

to hold adorned with a phrase such as

carries in the rings, and those pictures

“Here Comes the Bride.” Having your

will be absolutely adorable. Make sure

Have Them be a Part of Your Unity

child lead the processional gives them

your son is old enough to hold the rings

Ceremony. There are many different

years of age, if your daughter is a little

Photos by: Maksym Prokopiv

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Include Them in Your Wedding Party. Some couples make their longtime friends or siblings their bridesmaids or groomsmen, but there’s no rule saying you can’t make your mini-me your right-hand pal. Let your child stand first in line by your side as you promise forever to the love of your life.


celebrATION lOcATIONs

types of unity ceremonies that have

all, you are promising forever not just to

behind the gift itself. Or this can be the

become popular over the years, but no

your partner, but to your children as well.

perfect time for you to say personal

matter which one you choose they are

If your child is an adolescent, you and

vows to your children expressing your

all very easy to adapt to have your

your partner can have them stand at the

commitment.

children involved. The candle unity cere-

altar as you recite vows directly to them.

mony can be customized by having your

Teenage or adult children can create

DURING THE RECEPTION

children light the two candles that you

their own vows to your partner to recite

If you and your fiancĂŠ would rather give

will use as a couple to light the main

along with you and your groom.

unity candle, as is normally done by the parents of the couple. This is great for couples who have separate children of their own, as it gives them a way to show the joining of the two families. If you choose to go the sand route, it is as easy as picking a different color for each child and having them integrate their color within yours.

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Giving Them a Gift of Commitment. As you are giving your fiancĂŠ a ring to show your commitment, you can also choose to give a gift to your children as well. This is generally done before or after the exchanging of the rings. It can be as simple as a rose, a special book with

your child a role in your wedding that is a little more creative and out-of-the-box, the wedding reception is the best place to do it. Not only does this allow for creative incorporations that your guests can participate in, but it also allows your child to think up their own way to be a part of your wedding.

meaning, or perhaps jewelry. A bracelet

Let Them Throw the Bouquet, Too.

is a great choice as it also is circle

After the cake has been cut, many brides

Add Them to Your Vows. There are a

shaped and can be a sign of unity for

opt to toss their bouquet. However, there

couple of ways that you can include your

your family. There are different ways that

is a darling way to add your child to this

children in your wedding vows. If your

you can present the gift of commitment

age-old tradition as well. While your

child is an infant or toddler, writing the

as well. Your officiant can explain the gift

single friends and family are clamoring to

child into your vows is an option. After

of commitment or talk about the meaning

catch your bouquet, you can have your

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


celebrATION lOcATIONS

little one toss a small matching bouquet

Include Them in the First Dance. During

more children, consider devoting time to

of their own into the crowd. This can be

the first dance, all eyes are typically on

choreograph a fun dance number for all

especially fun if they are between the

the couple as they sway their way into the

of you to perform in lieu of the first dance.

ages of three and nine as they are likely

night. However, this is a moment where

If your child is shy or doesn’t dance, you

to be excited to be included in the

three or more is not a crowd. You can

can include them in the brainstorming

action. Some florists and specialty

make your first dance extra special by

process as you and your partner choose

shops also make edible candy bouquets,

including your child in a variety of ways.

which can add an element of fun for a

All three of you can huddle or dance in a

younger “tosser.”

circle holding hands. If you have two or

the song you both will dance to. You can even have your DJ shout out their involvement in picking the song. Create a Signature Drink for Them. If you are already creating a unique cocktail for your guests at your wedding, consider having an additional non-alcoholic signature drink in honor of your child or children. Name it after them or include them in the process of naming it and pass them around with your appetizers. Your child will feel like a rock star having their very own special drink that they can partake in during toasts and any guests who don’t drink alcohol will appreciate having a signature drink with so much meaning behind it. Give them a Spotlight Moment. There will be plenty of times throughout the night where the focus will be solely on you and your new spouse. However, you can add a specific and special moment during the reception in which your child can share something that is unique to them. This can be anything from a poem, playing an instrument, or kicking off the toasts. There is no limit as to what your child can do. You can also take this a step further by having them prepare for their spotlight moment with a relative or family friend to make the moment a sweet surprise for the day of the wedding. Overall, there are many ways to incorporate your children or your fiancé’s children into your wedding celebration. You can try one of these suggestions or even find your own special way to include your child in the festivities. We have only one requirement – have your photographer on call and ready so that you can cherish these moments for years to come.

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LINDSAY & CHRIS How Lindsay Knew She Had Found the One “We met in passing years ago and I gushed about Chris to one of our mutual friends, saying what a great guy he was and how happy he was going to make some girl one day. I never thought anything of it until a year later when we ran into each other at a friend’s party. The rest was history!”

Cultural Fusion "We both have strong roots in our cultural traditions and expressed them on our wedding day through music. Our ceremony was made all the more special by the Scottish bagpiper who played as guests arrived and as I proceded down the aisle. Drawing on Chris’ Chaldean and Assyrian heritage, a drummer led us into the ballroom during the zeffa, the traditional way of starting the reception that includes a lot of dancing. The room was filled with so much energy from the start and it continued throughout the night.”

Favorite Wedding Memory “Having every single person that means something to us in the same place at the same time. Never in our lives will that probably happen again and it was totally surreal to look around the room from our sweetheart table and take it all in.”

Tip for Engaged Couples “Don’t forget to take breaks to reinforce why you got engaged in the first place. Your life shouldn’t only be about wedding planning. Make time for date nights and schedule planning-free days where you get to spend time together without the stress of budgets, decisions, and seating charts.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 275 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Ceremony: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel | reCeption: Hyatt Regency O’Hare | photography: This Is Feeling Photography Videography: New Pixel Films | eVent planner: You Name It Events | rings: New York Jewelers | aCCessories: Brides & Hairpins Bride’s gown: Hayley Paige via Nordstrom | hair: Blohaute | makeup: Shannon O’Brien | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Lela Rose Formalwear: Balani Custom Clothiers | Floral & déCor: Yanni Design Studio | stationery: Invitations by Design Catering: Hyatt Regency O’Hare | Cake & sweets: Oak Mill Bakery | entertainment: Ron Bedal Orchestra | Bagpiper: Tim Hess transportation: M&M Limousine C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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The Complete Guide to Renewing Your Vows

O

ne of the most beautiful ways for a duo to reaffirm

vows. Many couples will consider a vow renewal to commemorate

their love for each other is through the renewal of

a milestone wedding anniversary, such as their five, 10 or 15-

their wedding vows. While wedding ceremonies come

year anniversary. Some couples may opt to renew their vows

with quite a few must-dos, fortunately, most of the details of

after overcoming big life obstacles or rough patches in their

planning a vow renewal can be as simple or as extravagant as

relationship. Others might finally have the means to have the

the couple desires. If you’re ready to relive or upgrade one of

dream wedding they wish they could’ve had the first time

the most special moments of your life and are not sure where

around. Realistically, anything goes when it comes to you and

to begin, look no further. Here are six answers to the most fre-

your spouse re-embracing your commitment, so go with your

quently asked questions about vow renewals.

heart and renew for whichever reason feels right to you both.

WHY SHOULD I RENEW?

WHEN DO I RENEW?

There is absolutely no wrong reason to renew your wedding

A couple can renew their vows any time after their first

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CeleBraTIOn lOCaTIOnS

marriage ceremony. Since a renewal

Be sure to set aside enough time to

few weeks or even a few days to prepare and plan.

ceremony is not legally binding, there

execute the type of ceremony you are

are no real restrictions on timing. This

planning to have. If you are looking to

ultimately allows you and your sweet-

have a larger affair, you still want to

WHERE DO I RENEW?

heart to renew your vows as soon as

follow the same preparation time frame

The simple catch-all answer to this ques-

the next day or even 60 years down the

for a wedding, which is 12 to 15 months.

tion is – anywhere that you would like. If

road. Typically, the reason you choose

On the other hand, if you are having a

you were not able to go big the first time

to renew your vows will also indicate

casual spontaneous getaway for just

around, renewing your vows could be

the date you’ll choose to renew them.

the two of you, you may only need a

the perfect time to bring out the fanfare if your budget now allows. Choose a venue the same way you would during traditional wedding planning by booking it at least eight months to a year out. On the other hand, if you felt obligated to have a larger ceremony on your Big Day, now is the time to make it an intimate occasion out of town, or at a small or casual location.

WHO HAS TO OFFICIATE? Because the vow renewal ceremony has no legal roots, virtually anyone you would like can officiate it and they don’t need to be ordained. This is unlike a wedding ceremony, where certified religious clergy or civil officiants have to perform this role. If you want to throw a tender nod to your first wedding, you can ask the person who officiated it the first time around to officiate your vow renewal as well. If you are looking for a less traditional spin, consider having a close friend, relative, or even your children officiate. If you prefer something more personal or you are renewing your vows with your partner alone, you can share the responsibility.

WHO DO I INVITE? The truth is you do not have to invite that many people, or you can invite everyone. Wedding renewals give you free reign with how you invite your guests to your event. Unlike your original wedding ceremony, where mailing invitations was the best practice, your vow renewal offers more flexibility. You can 174

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CeleBRATION lOCATIONS

choose to invite your guests by phone, via email, or even text. If, however, your vow renewals are going to be as grand, if not grander, than your original wedding, then plan on sending out physical invitations. Make it clear that you are inviting guests to a vow renewal ceremony, but the rest of the information, such as location, date, and RSVP will

to upgrade or get in on the trend of

ing the vows that they said when they

stackable wedding bands.

were first married. Another option is for couples to completely rewrite their original vows. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your spouse to spend time reflecting and verbalizing how you feel about your relationship after a few years. Or, you can skip both of those

remain the same. Determine who should

options and stick to the traditional

be a must on your invite list based on

script. Usually, rings are exchanged

your reason for renewing your vows.

after the vows are completed. Before

Overall, out of the many events tied to the bond of marriage, renewing your vows has the least amount of structure and legal necessities. For couples looking to recreate the magic of their wedding, their renewals might resemble the traditional wedding ceremony. However, if your vow renewal is part of a casual or more creative plan to renew your vows, the couple can look forward to putting as little or as much

Don’t be afraid to trim the guest list from

the vow renewal ceremony, you and

your wedding ceremony and invite only

your partner can decide if you want to

like. This flexibility makes for a truly cus-

your closest friends and family.

re-exchange your rings or switch them

tomizable occasion, whether you are looking

out for new ones. Couples might even

for something small or large. No matter

consider engraving the bands of their

how you look at renewing your wedding

wedding rings with a heartfelt phrase or

vows, the act is both a sweet nod to the

WHAT KIND OF VOWS DO WE EXCHANGE?

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homage to a sweet memory by exchang-

thought and preparation as they would

When it comes time to renew your vows,

the date of their vow renewal. If a couple

love you and your partner have shared

you have a few options as to how you

is interested in exchanging new rings,

over time and a chance to truly celebrate

can go about it. Some couples pay

however, this is the perfect opportunity

that love in whatever fashion you wish.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


Two Worlds, One Family P l a n n I n g a n d P r e P P I n g f o r y o u r c u lt u r a l f u s I o n w e d d I n g

A

long with being a day to declare your love and commit-

might be wondering how best to incorporate elements that not

ment to your significant other, your wedding can be an

only honor all the diverse customs from both your backgrounds,

opportunity to pay homage to your cultural heritage.

but also appease your families.

Most cultures have customary wedding traditions that brides and grooms might be expected to follow. But if you and your

COMMUNICATION IS KEY.

partner come from different cultural or religious backgrounds,

Before you dive into the details of your wedding planning

going the traditional route may not be an option. Instead, you

process, it’s important to communicate with your partner from

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CeleBrATIoN loCATIoNs

the very start. Have an open conversation with your fiancé about which of your tra-

your families. Not only will this prevent

ditions are must-haves. If one of you is

any unexpected surprises on the day of,

CREATE AN INFORMATIONAL PROGRAM.

Jewish, will you exchange vows under a

but your family might make great con-

Many weddings offer guests an itinerary

chuppah or sign a ketubah? If either of

sultants. Parents and grandparents can

prior to the ceremony. If you choose to

you is Greek, will the money dance be

often offer their wisdom if you are unsure

make one, it might be helpful to write

part of your reception?

about any of your cultures’ wedding day

brief summaries of traditions your guests

Being upfront with each other will give

rituals. Along with being a great resource,

might not be familiar with. If you don’t

you a much better idea of how to organize

your family will surely appreciate you

want to add another stationery piece to

the events of your wedding. Your decisions

going the extra mile to include them in

your list, then you might have your

should reflect what works best for both

the planning.

of you, without sacrificing important parts of your identity. At the same time, keep an open mind and be prepared to compromise. You don’t want to upstage the needs of your fiancé.

180

line of communication with both of

officiant explain the rituals before conducting them. Not only will this prevent

It’s also encouraged to take time to edu-

confusion for your guests, but it will also

cate both your families on each other’s

help them understand the significance of

traditions. They will undoubtedly be curi-

what you’re doing.

ous and explaining your reasons behind certain choices might help to ease any

SET THE SCENE WITH AN APPROPRIATE VENUE.

KEEP YOUR FAMILIES IN THE LOOP.

concerns they might have. If there’s cultural etiquette that may not translate, be

Choosing a venue to host your cere-

While decisions you make for your wed-

honest with them about it. This is the

mony might be the trickiest decision yet,

ding are completely up to you and your

best way to avoid any accidental faux-

especially if you and your soon-to-be

fiancé, it’s a good idea to keep an open

pas on your wedding day.

spouse come from two different religious

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


CeLeBrATIon­ LoCATIonS

backgrounds.­It’s­very­common­for­couples­to­get­married­in­places­of­worship,

FIND A FLEXIBLE OFFICIANT.

but­a­ceremony­at­a­Catholic­cathedral­if

Crafting­a­multi-cultural­ceremony­where

more­favorable­for­marriage,­while­others

you­or­your­fiancé­is­Muslim­may­not­be

each­family’s­traditions­and­customs­are

could­signify­bad­luck.­Also,­be­mindful­of

the­ greatest­ fit.­ Unless­ you­ and­ your

represented­ is­ undeniably­ challenging,

any­notable­cultural­events.­You­wouldn’t

spouse­ decide­ otherwise,­ a­ traditional

so­choosing­the­right­officiant­is­crucial.

want­ to­ risk­ offending­ your­ guests­ by

wedding­ ceremony­ venue­ might­ not­ be

Pick­an­officiant­experienced­with­seam-

making­them­choose­between­your­wed-

wanted­by­either­of­you.­If­you­do­decide

lessly­blending­elements­of­different­reli-

ding­ or­ a­ beloved­ holiday.­ Consult­ your

to­have­your­wedding­in­a­religious­insti-

gions­ and­ cultures.­ Finding­ the­ right

families­ to­ find­ out­ if­ there­ are­ any­ dates

tution,­ you­ will­ want­ to­ research­ your

officiant­ might­ take­ a­ bit­ of­ research.

you­ should­ avoid­ if­ you­ want­ to­ observe

venue­to­make­sure­they­will­honor­inter-

Don’t­stop­looking­until­you­find­the­per-

these­aspects­of­your­collective­cultures.

faith­ceremonies.­

fect­fit­–­someone­willing­to­give­you­the

In­the­end,­you­may­choose­to­avoid­reli-

ceremony­experience­you­desire.­­

CHOOSING YOUR ATTIRE.

You­ might­ also­ decide­ to­ take­ it­ a­ step

Wedding­attire­varies­widely­across­different

vows­in­a­neutral­location.­If­you­plan­on

further­by­hiring­two­officiants­to­represent

cultures.­Colorful­lehengas­or­saris­in­rich

getting­married­during­the­warmer­months,

gious­institutions­altogether­by­exchanging

both­ backgrounds.­ This­ is­ an­ excellent

tones­ of­ red­ and­ gold­ are­ standard­ garb

for­ example,­ a­ gorgeous­ outdoor­ cere-

compromise­ that­ equally­ respects­ and

for­ brides­ of­ Indian­ cultures,­ while­ white

mony­ on­ the­ beach­ could­ be­ a­ great

includes­your­two­cultures.­

Kimonos­are­customary­for­the­traditional Japanese­ bride.­ But­ you­ don’t­ have­ to

solution.­ Likewise,­ during­ chillier­ times

182

­w edding.­For­example,­according­to­Chinese­tradition,­certain­dates­are­considered

of­ the­ year,­ you­ might­ decide­ to­ host

SAVE THE (RIGHT) DATE.

fully­ commit­ to­ one­ look­ for­ your­ cultural

both­your­ceremony­and­reception­in­an

In­ some­ cultures,­ there­ may­ be­ certain

fusion­ wedding.­ If­ you­ have­ South­ Asian

indoor­garden.­

dates­ you­ will­ want­ to­ avoid­ for­ your

roots­ but­ want­ to­ incorporate­ a­ more

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


CeLebrATIOn LOCATIOnS

westernized style, wear a sweeping white

Cocktail hour is another great opportunity

gown, but then also incorporate the

to pay homage to traditional cultural cui-

dances, make sure to inform your wedding

mehendi ceremony of intricately applying

sine by offering a nice sampling of

coordinator and DJ well in advance to

henna to your hands. You can experiment

different hors’ d'oeuvres. Maybe including

handle any prior preparations. Similar to

with different combinations of attire to

flaky Spanakopita or melt-in-your-mouth

the ceremony, alert your guests so that

find what works best for you.

Tirokroketes as a nod to Grecian roots.

they understand what you’re doing. If the

Likewise, if you decide to have a wedding

dances are simple enough, you might offer

CRAFT THE PERFECT FUSION MENU.

cake you might also consider having a

the opportunity for guests to learn the

dessert table filled with sweet delicacies

steps so that they can join in on the fun!

As the tastiest part of the day, you will

from both your cultures.

want to create a menu that your guests

184

If you plan on performing any traditional

Planning a cultural fusion wedding is

can thoroughly enjoy. Some cultures and

ENTERTAIN YOUR GUESTS.

challenging, but it doesn’t have to be

religions abide by certain dietary restric-

In some cultures, weddings are bold, lively

overwhelming. While you may feel pres-

tions, so take extra care when choosing

parties filled with dancing and jubilation;

sured by your family to follow certain

which foods will be served. While it’s

while in other cultures they are more

traditions and rituals, remember at the

impossible to please everyone, variety

solemn, ritualistic affairs. Consider the

end of the day you get the final say in

should be a priority to avoid offending

diversity of your guest list and tailor your

what you do. When all is said and done,

guests who are unable eat certain items.

entertainment to what you think will appeal

your wedding will mean more than just

If you go for a buffet-style instead of a

to the majority. A DJ can play a mixture of

uniting your families. It will be the marriage

plated dinner, it’s polite to properly label

traditional music along with more popular

of all the beautifully complex customs

all the dishes to make it easier for guests

songs. Or, you might choose to stick to a

and practices that make up your unique

to navigate your wedding meal.

playlist of your choosing altogether.

backgrounds.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


J Ú L I O & RYA N How Ryan Knew He Had Found the One “The night of our first date, when we went to leave, I caught my shoe on the leg of our table. I knocked over all our empty wine and water glasses, the pitcher of water, an empty wine bottle, and just caused a whole big scene. He pretended nothing happened as we quickly ran out the door laughing – him because he thought I was adorable, me because I was horrified by what had just happened.”

Why the Art Institute? “We met at the end of September and by that Thanksgiving we knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. However, it wasn’t until Valentine’s Day, that we’d said ‘I love you’ to each other at Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago. We pleaded with a security guard to let us take a quick picture outside on the closed terrace. Gratefully, we convinced the security guard take us out into the cold, February night and we were able to snap a picture to remember this very special moment. The guard even took a photo of us on my phone! It’s one of my favorite pictures of us! At that moment, we both knew this was the place we had to get married.”

Their Favorite Wedding Memory “Júlio’s mother and sister did a combination speech. His mother, who doesn’t speak any English, spoke in Italian and his sister translated. There was literally not a single dry eye in the house.”

Ryan’s Tip for Engaged Couples “We had a day-of coordinator and she was worth every penny. I wish we had used them to do all the planning – absolutely worth the investment. I’m a total control freak and towards the end, you literally lose your mind. I will be the first to admit that I had my moments of being a ‘pridezilla’ – it’s not just for the brides!”

Number of Wedding Guests: 180 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Venue: Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago | PhotograPhy: Ryan Moore Photography | Day-of CoorDinator: Couture Events rings: Koorosh Daneshgar at Wedding Bands & Co. | WeDDing Party hair & MakeuP: Blush Events | forMalWear: Indochino ties: The Tie Bar | WatChes: MVMT | floral & DéCor: The Flower Firm | stationery & faVors: Double Trip Press Cake & sWeets: Cake Chicago | Catering: Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago | entertainMent: Matt Griffo transPortation: Windy City Limousine C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Alexandra & John


Vendors FLORAL & DÉCOR: Northern Greenhouses Floral & Event Design | VENUE: Concorde Banquets PHOTOGRAPHY: George Kossieris Photography | STATIONERY: Vera Wang Papers via Hill’s Hallmark Shop CAKE & SWEETS: Central Continental Bakery | LIGHTING, BACKDROP & DANCE FLOOR: Remarkable Events To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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The Perfect Backdrop D e T e r m I n I n g T h e r I g h T K I n D O F S e T T I n g F O r Y O u r B I g D AY

Y

ou are envisioning your wedding as a fairy tale. You and

you decide that, you can work with a wedding planner or do a

your future spouse are the main characters, but every

search online to find several options.

story must begin with a setting.

HOTEL AMENITIES

Choosing your venue may be the most overwhelming step for

When you book a wedding at a hotel, you know you will be

you. It sets the tone for the entire wedding. Whether you opt for

taken care of. A hotel is a one-stop wedding shop with facilities

the convenience of a hotel or the rustic landscape at the edge

for the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, a luxurious night’s

of a forest, each choice has its ups and downs.

sleep, and an optional morning brunch.

Figuring out where to start is the hard part. Before deciding on

Some hotels keep everything such as food and beverage in-

your venue, allow yourself several visits to a handful of places

house. They handle the set-up, servers, take-down, and even

in order to figure out what your style truly is. Knowing what

have their own executive chef. Think of these locations as a one-

type of venue will enhance your vision is half the battle. Once

stop shop. Check with hotels to see what they offer in the way

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of customization. Many changes can be

with loft event spaces in the city. Each

made to the room in order to suit your

offers a different vibe, and they’re usually

everything. Dealing with all those separate

individual style such as uplighting, changing

open to letting you customize the look.

vendors on your own can be difficult.

the color and material of chairs that are

Details from the furniture that is selected

Definitely lean on your venue’s event

used, and the linens that are chosen.

to the layout of the room can be cus-

coordinator. Event spaces know what

The biggest draw of a hotel wedding is that you know your guests will be safe. When you’re at a hotel, the only keys

192

many lofts require you to bring in almost

tomized to encompass each couple’s

they’re doing, and with their resources

unique vision. No two events will ever be

at your disposal, you know you are

the same.

your guests have to touch are the ones

Many couples gravitate toward loft spaces

that let them into their rooms. It’s also

because of the modern, airy, open feel.

choosing from a list of quality caterers and vendors who deliver on their promises, taking the guesswork out of it.

convenient if you have guests traveling to

Exposed white-washed brick or large

attend your nuptials. “Guests can come

columns can really emphasize the enormity

from out of town and go right to their

of the space. This chic, modern style has

guest rooms,” says Larmon. This means

become extremely popular and will definitely

Conference centers are also set up to

you have them corralled the next morning

continue to grow. Minimalistic décor on

serve. With staff well-versed in the many

if you want to host a brunch, letting you

the walls can really emphasize the unique

intricacies of large-scale events, you can

spend more time with the loved ones you

look while sheer draping and natural light

often find plenty of amenities in one con-

don’t get to see all the time.

creates a clean and bright aesthetic.

venient location with the accommodations

One thing to note as you are imagining

CONFERENCE CENTER SIMPLICITY

you’re looking for.

LOFTY EXPECTATIONS

all the amazing furniture and décor you

With its contemporary feel and sleek styl-

Offer your guests a unique experience

can arrange in such an open space,

ing, a conference center wedding attracts

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modern couples. Conference centers

with local vendors. Be sure to ask who

abundant photo opportunities that utilize

provide couples with a larger guest list

they recommend.

their natural surroundings.

the ability to have everyone they love in

Many golf courses feature outdoor spaces

space to customize their Big Day. These

PAR FOR THE GOLF COURSE

spaces are often a clean slate and open

If you are envisioning a picturesque

to providing couples with the ability to

do their best to make sure their ballroom

landscape as the backdrop for your

has a stunning view of the green. Sprawl-

tailor to space to fit their vision. Confer-

vows, book a golf course for your wed-

ing lawn, beautiful trees, no ugly buildings

ence centers also have strong ties

ding. Golf courses provide guests with

or streets in the way? Yes, please. Golf

one room while still allowing ample

for the ceremony with an indoor ballroom for the reception. Most golf courses will

courses get a bad rap for not being able to create a unique look for each couple, but it’s simply not true. When it comes to personalization, they want to help you create your vision. Another perk for some of your guests? Most courses will offer golf outing packages to wedding parties for both pre and post wedding events.

MANSION GLAMOUR Go for bold opulence with a wedding at a mansion. Perfect for vintage lovers and architecture nerds, a mansion wedding offers a rich aesthetic before you even lift a finger. Not only can the guests explore at their leisure, but you can also pick different and interesting ways to utilize all of the available spaces. Couples can exchange vows in unique spots around the mansion such as under a pergola in the gardens or, if available, in a historic church or courtyard. With a combination of indoor and outdoor space, you can truly customize to your needs. Having your wedding in such a unique location ensures your guests will never forget your big day. Although there’s plenty of room for you to bring your own details into the mix, there isn’t much need for customization. With original woodwork and gorgeous décor, a mansion lets you forego the expense of decorations to feature the location’s natural beauty. 194

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RAISE A GLASS

offers us. In addition to many iconic

any last-minute showers or flurries. Some

Create a classy event for your guests

spots throughout the city, there are also

venues have outdoor fire pits and open

with a wedding at a winery. Wineries

hidden gems that incorporate the aes-

areas that allow your guests the oppor-

combine a rustic vibe with elegant décor

thetic of nature alongside an urban oasis.

tunity to roast marshmallows or play a

to create a rich experience. Many wineries

For couples who feel a deep connection

game of bags during cocktail hour.

allow ceremonies to be held in the vine-

to Chicago (if you have ever considered

yard itself followed by a reception in the

a tattoo of the Chicago flag), utilizing the

winery. This gives couples the option to

city as your venue is the ideal fit.

have two different looks, an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception, without

WIDE OPEN SPACES

traveling to a second location.

If you are looking for a way to escape

Working vineyards come complete with

the hustle and bustle of the city, consider

tanks and a barrel room, which allows

heading to the outskirts of town for a

your guests to experience the whole

rustic barn wedding. There are a multitude

process. Just imagine having your pictures

of options when it comes to finding a

taken in a rustic barrel room or running

barn or farm space within driving distance

through the vineyard. It’s like your own

of the Chicagoland area. The magnificent

wooden beams tell a rustic story, while modern touches such as the décor you choose can add a personalized flair. Many couples who decide to utilize a barn often keep with the antique or rustic theme and incorporate vintage touches such as mismatched china, strands of lights to create ambiance, and burlap table runners.

landscapes that accompany a rural set-

no matter what your style is, it’s important

ting allow for an array of options for your

to select a venue that speaks to you.

EXPLORE THE CITY

photographer. With our always-changing

Pick a place where you feel comfortable

Surrounded by skyscrapers and beaches,

weather, a barn will provide both indoor

with the staff and confident your wedding

we are lucky to have the options Chicago

and outdoor options to accommodate

will be perfect.

little Tuscan escape.

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The beauty of a barn is that it is a blank slate with antique undertones. The aged

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Top Questions to

Ask Your Venue 1. IS MY DATE AVAILABLE?

venue will include those items but require you to purchase a

This one may seem obvious, but it is the first and most

premium bar package. Determine if tax, gratuity, and service

important question to ask. Many couples desire a specific date

charges are included in the total cost. Be sure to read every

because it has significant meaning to them as a couple, or they

line of the fine print to avoid unexpected charges.

are trying to coordinate the date with their church. However, if your date is flexible, available options will likely open up.

2. WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM CAPACITY?

4. WHAT IS THE BACK-UP PLAN IN THE CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER? When it comes to Chicago weather, most couple’s agree that a plan B is essential. Inclement weather can include scorching

It is extremely important to have an idea of your guest count.

heat one day and downpour rain and sixty degrees the next.

You do not want to fall in love with a venue that is too small to

Even a tented reception needs a back-up plan; no tent can

host all of your guests. On the other hand, you do not want

withstand flooding and extreme heat. Be sure to be ready for

your venue space to swallow you up, making your wedding

what Mother Nature serves up.

look unattended. Finding that happy medium in your venue is a top priority.

5. COULD THERE BE ANY ISSUES WITH ACCESSIBILITY?

3. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TOTAL COST?

your space. Your desired venue should have ramps and

Learning all of the details associated with your event space is

elevators for wheelchairs and strollers. Everyone should have

Acquire information on any critical accessibility issues with

key. One venue may offer affordable food and beverage rates

easy access to your wedding while feeling safe and welcome at

but ask you to rent chairs, linens, and flatware. While another

your celebration.

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A Memorable Guest Experience MAkIng YouR WEDDIng A nIght to REMEMBER

Y

ou’re on fire with all this wedding planning stuff! You

GET THEM JAZZED

can visualize your dream dress, you have tentatively

Pump up some anticipation by creating a website for your wed-

chosen your florist and you may have to check out that

ding. Include the web address on your Save the Date and

bakery just one more time to make sure it’s absolutely perfect

update the page regularly as your planning goes along. With

even though you’ve already eaten two entire cakes.

pictures of your first dates to photos of the proposal, you can

Everything will be perfect for you because it’s your day and it’s

catch up your friends and family who haven’t yet heard your

all about you! Right?

heartwarming story. If you are feeling particularly ambitious,

Wrong. Well, at least partly wrong. Your wedding should be among the best days of your life, but your enjoyment isn’t the only important thing of the day. Your guests, your most fervent supporters, are coming out en masse to celebrate your union.

write a series of blog entries. Your guests will be happily involved as they read about your dress fittings and taste testings. But be careful not to give away too many spoilers. You still want their jaws to drop in awe on the day of the wedding.

You owe it to them to make it one of the greatest days of their

Create an interactive experience to customize your party to

lives too.

your guests. Add polls regarding food options and signature

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drinks. Take song requests to pass on to the DJ. Most importantly, post hotel options and an itinerary so everyone knows where to be and when.

LOCATION Try to keep your sites as local as possible. Your guests don’t want a two-hour drive between the ceremony and reception; if possible, do both parts at the same venue. After the ceremony, your party need only focus on their elation and securing their favorite mixed drink. Before your invitations hit the postal service, drive from the ceremony site to the reception venue. Did you get lost anywhere en route? Was there a confusing detour? When you do send out your invitations, be sure to include clear directions that take construction and traffic into account.

PERFECT TIMING If both parts of your wedding are at the same venue, send your guests directly into a cocktail hour and begin the wedding about an hour later. This keeps everything moving quickly but allows time for a receiving line and for your dress to be bustled. When travel between locations is involved, allow plenty of time for your guests to get there and have a cocktail hour scheduled for shortly after their arrival. That way they don’t have to go out of their way to find entertainment in the interim. If you want to spend some time on photographs, schedule carefully so that you can still make it to the cocktail hour as a lot of couples underestimate how long is needed between events.

A TOAST TO THE PARTY AHEAD Remember that the cocktail party isn’t just a way to stall guests as you have your pictures taken. It’s a time for you to kick off the party. With this in mind, make sure that you are as prompt as 202

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ERIN HOYT PHOTOGRAPHY

celebration locations

possible so you can have a private sneak

take the time to personally thank your

peek of your venue and have time to

guests for coming out to celebrate you

couple. if you don’t want to spend a lot

begin greeting your guests.

and your love. if you weren’t able to get

of money on flowers or centerpieces,

although the cocktail party doesn’t require as much foresight as the reception, there

to everyone at the cocktail hour, circle

consider bringing in additional lighting

the room and say hi to each table.

and sound systems to incorporate a

should never be grumbling bellies. think

consider every aspect of your guests’

of the cocktail hour as the last chance to

visual experience for your guests.

comfort. leave a basket of one-size-fits-

You have already tested all the food to

pump up the excitement. one option is

all flip flops near the dance floor so

ensure you’re feeding your guests only

to utilize hors d’oeuvre stations as they

everyone can jam without worrying about

the highest quality fare. Hopefully you

not only provide delicious bites for your

their new stellar stilettos. if it’s an outdoor

also read reviews online so you know

guests, but they keep guests moving

wedding, provide shawls, fans, heaters

your vendors will provide smooth service.

around and mingling with one another.

and a hardly-roughing-it bathroom trailer.

Make sure to hire servers that introduce

since the dancing hasn’t kicked off yet,

as the tunes get going, ask the DJ not to

you will need another form of entertainment.

drown out conversation, especially during

since many couples do not have the

dinner. it’s not a club; it’s a fancy wedding.

budget to hire a band to play all evening,

Grandma doesn’t want to bump and

opting for a band during cocktail hour

grind, and your hip friends don’t want to

and a DJ for dinner and dancing is a pop-

square dance.

ular compromise. setting up a slide show

Find music that’s sFW

themselves to your guests (bonus if your bartenders can remember names)! this added layer of customer service will make your guests feel extra special and welcome. if you are thinking about a cash bar, we need to stop you right there. Your guests

and pleases everyone.

bought you a gift, blocked out a whole

pensive way for guests to have something

it’s your wedding and it should reflect

be shelling out to stay the night. buy

to look at before your reception begins.

the unique personalities of you and your

them a drink. even providing a limited

brand-spankin’-new spouse. if your guests

THROW A RECEPTION TO REMEMBER

selection of beer and wine is better than

can say, “oh, that’s so them!” they’ll

asking them to pay.

Don’t give Jeff, the groom’s best college

spouse are sports fans, utilizing pictures

SNACK ATTACK

friend, 45 minutes to give his speech.

of past and present players of your

at the end of the night, feet are aching

No one thinks he’s as funny as your new

favorite team as a table centerpiece is a

and heads are spinning from the drinks

husband does. limit two or three speakers

great way to incorporate your individual

that you provided (see above); your

to five minutes each so guests don’t

style. Want to add a little wow factor?

guests are going to need some munchies.

have to wonder at the appropriateness

consider hiring your team’s mascot to

Psa: only time reduces the effect of

of certain inside jokes as their stomachs

come at the end of your wedding to

alcohol but the addition of extra goodies

cave in on themselves.

greet guests. Have fun with your theme

is always appreciated. another great way

or a picture table is an easy and inex -

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while staying true to who you are as a

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day to devote to you and they may even

remember it forever. if you and your


celeBrATiOn lOcATiOnS

to help your guests is to provide a shuttle service to the hotel. Schedule reinforcement food to arrive a little over an hour before the wedding ends. Stick with your theme if you have one. Mini versions of a couple’s favorite foods are always a crowd pleaser as guests love to see the connection between what is being served and the couple. Think mini burger, mini hotdogs, or even popcorn. Other popular options are ordering pizza (ahead of time of course) or hiring a food truck to show up outside. Ask your venue if they have a menu of late night snacks for an easier option as many venues have separate options for late night food and hors d’oeuvres. Make it personal by bringing in outside food from places that are important to you. Whether it’s sweets from the cupcake shop you two frequented in your early days or pizza from his cousin’s local parlor, it brings something special into play just when everyone thought all the excitement was over. Favors give your guests a reminder of your Big Day. A lot of couples set up candy buffets as they take the place of a sweets table and they can be used as favors. Truly a win-win!

IT DOESN’T END THERE After your Big Day there is still work to be done. Once the gifts have been opened and a few relaxing days have gone by, it’s time to start writing those thank-you notes. Make sure each one is personalized with a heartfelt note that shows your appreciation for their presence and, of course, their present. Yes, this takes a long time. Yes, you have to do it. Split it 50/50 with your loving partner and break it up over a couple of weeks. A few a day won’t kill you. After all, every single person who showed up deserves your gratitude as much as you deserve theirs after throwing such a scintillating soirée! 206

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Practice Makes Perfect A REHEARsAl DinnER GuiDE

Y

ou have spent months planning this amazing party.

WHO DOES THE GUEST LIST INCLUDE?

Every box has been checked, every flower ordered, and

First thing’s first: the guest list. Before picking a venue or

every name card has a place, but there’s just one thing

choosing a menu, decide who should be a part of this evening

left to organize: the rehearsal dinner. This is definitely a common tradition that cannot be skipped, unless you want the groomsmen trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing on the fly.

besides the bridal party. There are no rules! Other than members of the wedding party, who typically bring a spouse or guest, out-of-town guests are generally invited since they have traveled for the special

Rehearsal dinners are the perfect place to have a little fun and

occasion. The officiant and the immediate families of the bride

relieve some stress before the Big Day. For once, someone else

and groom also attend. Your guest list really depends on the

will be telling you where to go and how things should run.

budget and on how big of a soirée you would like. Have a con-

At least for the rehearsal part.

large the guest list should be.

versation with whomever is footing the bill to determine how

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ceLeBraTIoN LocaTIoNS

WHO PAYS? Traditionally, the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. Nowadays, more and more couples are deciding they can pay for the dinner themselves with maybe a little help from Mom and Dad. If the families both feel strongly about helping host the dinner, let them split the bill. Just make sure they are aware of how many guests you want to attend and the type of venue you’ve chosen.

HOW FORMAL SHOULD THE DINNER BE? It generally depends on the preference of the couple. Typically, if a couple is having a formal wedding, the rehearsal dinner will be a more casual, laid-back event. Just because an event is casual, does not mean you need to forgo formal elements. This is an opportune moment for the families to spend some quality time together before all of the excitement begins for the Big Day. However, you don’t want your rehearsal dinner to compete with your wedding reception. Some couples opt for low-key venues such as someone’s backyard or even a bowling alley. It will vary based on how intimate you would like the atmos phere to be. You want your guests to be relaxed and enjoy themselves, especially since most of them won’t know each other and it’s a smaller event than your actual wedding.

WHERE SHOULD I HOST THE DINNER? Location may be one of the easiest choices to make. Pick something that is the most convenient for you and your guests. This will make it less stressful on the bridal party and immediate family. Most will want to relax after the ceremony rehearsal and not spend a good chunk of time carpooling to the next location. Unless you are dead set on hosting your dinner at a certain venue, find some 210

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COLLIN PIERSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Creating a bouquet of gift ribbons during the bridal shower is a time honored tradition. The ribbon bouquet symbolizes love, support, and best wishes that come from the bride’s family as well as the special bond between the bride and the maid of honor. The ribbon bouquet will be carried down the aisle in lieu of live flowers during the rehearsal ceremony.

short car trip of where the ceremony will

place within walking distance or a very

WHAT ABOUT TOASTS AND GIFTS?

be held.

The rehearsal dinner is a perfect place

WHEN SHOULD I START PLANNING THE DINNER? It is suggested to book a rehearsal dinner location within a few months of deciding on your wedding venue. Since many restaurants host both weddings and rehearsal dinners, desired dates often book up quickly. To stay on schedule, have a general idea of who is attending by about three months out.

SHOULD I SERVE CAKE? HOW DO I CHOOSE THE MENU? Many couples opt for serving a meal that will not be duplicated at their wedding. Family style is a popular choice as it

212

for the couple to address friends and family to thank them for the time spent in helping make the upcoming day so special. This is also a great time to thank the

of the couple on how much they want to spend on their respective parties.

WHAT ABOUT DECORATING THE VENUE FOR THE REHEARSAL DINNER?

bridal party for their involvement. If the

Décor should never compete with your

groom’s family is hosting, it’s expected

reception, but if you like to decorate,

that they will give a speech. The bride’s

decorate away! Many couples use their

parents can also say a few words if they

rehearsal dinner to highlight their story

feel prompted.

vs. highlighting a general theme.

If you don’t have time to add a little something extra to the schedule for the wedding, get creative and set aside some time to have it at the rehearsal dinner. This could include slideshows of the couple, any sort of readings, or just fun stories family and friends want to share.

If you choose to host it outside, hanging lights could be an intimate, classic option. Long tables are recommended to encourage a family-style meal setting. If your event is very casual and the venue is already beautiful, you won’t have to prepare any decorations or spend the time setting up. Place cards are unnecessary

brings in a relaxed and casual feel to the

Most couples choose this time to hand

unless you would like to ensure people

meal which often correlates to a rehearsal

out bridal party favors and sometimes a

mingle with guests they don’t know.

dinner. Additionally, choosing family style

gift of appreciation for Mom and Dad.

does not require guests to decide on

Bridesmaid gifts can be as simple as

their meal ahead of time which often

jewelry or as elaborate as a bridesmaid’s

feels like hosting a second wedding.

bag, which includes essentials like tissues,

WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL? SHOULD WE PAY FOR AN OPEN BAR?

Since most couples serve cake at their

lip gloss, and a robe for getting ready.

Alcohol can be expensive, so it depends

wedding, the rehearsal dinner is the per-

Groomsmen gifts can range from cufflinks

on who is paying for the evening. You

fect time to try something different.

to a grooming kit. It is up to the discretion

can choose not to have an open bar,

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and if you would like to offer alcohol to your guests, you can speak with the venue to see about packages. Some hosts will offer to pick up the tab for beer and wine while guests are responsible for purchasing mixed drinks if they want them. Never feel obligated to provide alcohol. Don’t forget, you are already paying for their meal tonight. Some may choose to not have alcohol because they don’t want things to get too rowdy, especially with the bridal party who have to be up and at ’em early the next day.

SHOULD MY PHOTOGRAPHER ATTEND THE REHEARSAL DINNER? If you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget, you may choose to have the photographer capture some precious moments of family and friends at the rehearsal dinner. Some photographers prefer to attend the rehearsal because it gives them a chance to find the best angles to shoot the bridal party, especially the bride and groom. It is also nice to have more candid photos of the dinner and guests mingling as extra mementos. Plus, if you have a large family, you can get photos with everyone with the extra time. Yes, even Uncle Stan! That way you don’t have to spend too much time worrying about scheduling all of the photos during the reception when you are trying to visit with everyone. Not many couples choose to do this, but if it’s something you can afford, go for it. Remember, the night before your wedding should be relaxed and stress free. The dinner is meant to be a time for family members and friends to come together to celebrate the joining of two families. Take the time to plan something that feels right for you and your significant other without trying to top what you have planned for the Big Day. 214

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Toast of the Town HoW To GIve THe PerfecT WeddInG ToAsT

W

hen it comes to public speaking there are typically

PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

two schools of thought; either we don’t mind it or the

When giving speeches in any capacity, it is always suggested

thought of speaking in front of others is what fuels

to plan ahead and skip the “wing it” mentality. Give yourself

our nightmares. Traditionally the father of the bride and groom

plenty of time to collect your thoughts, write down what you

would give a toast at the reception, but with wedding traditions

would like to convey, and practice as much as possible.

evolving over the years, giving a toast is fair game to all. If you

Allowing ample time to practice will help build confidence

have been bestowed the honor of giving a toast at an upcoming

and erase any pre-speech jitters that might be lingering.

nuptial, no need to panic. By following our no-fail guide, you will

Practicing will also ensure that should you forget your beloved

confidently be able to give a toast worth bragging about.

notecard at home, you will still have enough memorized to

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make it through the entirety of your toast without bumbling along.

between you and the bride and groom,

enjoyed one too many of the couple’s

using your toast as a platform to discuss

signature cocktail.

these hurdles (despite a positive outcome)

SPEAK APPROPRIATELY.

is not appropriate. Use this time to high-

Prior to standing up and regurgitating a

light positive memories and optimism for

tacky story about you and the bride

a future full of love and happiness.

from your college days, it is advised to find out who will be in your audience.

HOLD OFF.

Typically, older family members will be in

Despite the fact that several glasses of

attendance which warrants a touch of

wine might seem like an easy way to

conservatism in terms of the topics that

chase off any pre-speech jitters, there

you include in your speech. If you are

is nothing more cringeworthy than lis-

not sure who the guestlist will consist

tening to a drunken toast. Refrain from

of, always air on the side of caution and

drinking until after your speech to ensure

use the “would I say this in front of my

that your words are not slurred, your

grandparents?” rule of thumb.

posture is not wobbly, and your overall demeanor is not sloppy. With social

BE YOU. If profanity is a part of your daily vocabulary, making slight adjustments to your natural vocabulary is recommended prior to standing in front of others to make a toast. While you do not want to sound like someone else, you do want to make sure that what is being said is appropriate for all. Don’t spend time thumbing through a thesaurus in order to swap-out your own words in order to come across differently. There is a reason why you were asked to give a toast; there is history, trust, and admiration between you and changing that would be a disservice to

REMAIN OPTIMISTIC.

media being such an easily accessible

Wedding toasts are not the time to air

option for your audience, nothing would

any dirty laundry between you and the

be worse than waking up the next morn-

REMAIN RESPECTFUL.

newlywedded couple. Despite any bumps

ing to find yourself tagged in multiple

While you and the happy couple might

in the road that might have taken place

videos highlighting the fact that you

your relationship.

love reliving stories from your childhood, be mindful of the audience and the fact that all that stands between them and their meal is the conclusion of your toast. Aim for under five minutes as the attention span of those who are hungry and wanting to eat is limited.

THE BASICS. If you are unsure how to format a toast, try to include a beginning, middle, and an end to keep your thoughts organized. Many will begin by introducing themselves and explaining their relation to the bride and groom. Being mindful and thanking the couple and their families for including you into their Big Day is always appreciated. After including a story, a memory, or even a quote that relates to the couple, conclude by turning to the audience and requesting they join you in raising their glasses to toast the newlyweds. Throughout the duration of your toast, make sure and stand tall, smile, and establish eye contact as your confidence will visually radiate through your body language. 218

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NIKKI & RICK How Nikki Knew She Had Found the One “Rick and I can always be ourselves and we bring out the best in each other. We have always had each other’s backs and supported whatever adventure was thrown our way.”

Come Rain or Shine “Knowing our luck with weather, we made sure to order umbrellas in case of rain. Of course, as we were leaving the church it started downpouring. We were so disappointed we couldn’t take pictures outside until we pulled up to our reception and it was the most beautiful sunset you could ever imagine.”

Cheers “Rick and I wanted to incorporate our shared love of wine and adventure into our décor, so we went with a wine theme since we got engaged at Silver Oak Cellars in Napa Valley. Our reception venue had high ceilings, so we incorporated beautiful, tall vases with draping flowers as well as wine bottles with twinkle lights to weave in our theme throughout. We even had a magnum-sized bottle of wine from the winery where we got engaged to share with our bridal party!”

Rick’s Favorite Moment “Running into our reception as husband and wife and hearing the DJ announce us as Mr. and Mrs. Pecora was one of my favorite moments. We had our DJ create a mix with our favorite Taylor Swift and Avicii songs.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 275 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors CEREMONY: Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church | RECEPTION: Chandler’s Weddings & Special Events | RINGS: Ancona Jewelers PHOTOGRAPHY: Angela Renee Photography | VIDEOGRAPHY: Buller Media | EVENT PLANNER: Sarah Kathleen Events BRIDE’S GOWN: Pronovias via Dimitra’s Bridal Couture | HAIR & MAKEUP: Antonette White Airbrush Makeup and Hair BRIDE’S SHOES: Badgley Mischka | BRIDE’S EARRINGS & VEIL: Simply Luxe Bridal Boutique | FORMALWEAR: Formally Modern Tuxedo GROOM’S ACCESSORIES: Hugo Boss | BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Jenny Yoo Collection | STATIONERY: Wedding Paper Divas WEDDING CREST: Samantha Meyer Studio | FLORAL & DÉCOR: Flowerville | ENTERTAINMENT: A-List DJs CAKE & SWEETS: The Baking Institute | TRANSPORTATION: M&M Limousine Services; Emperor Limousine C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Allison & Mike


CELEbRATION  LOCATIONS

Vendors EVENT PLANNER: You Name It Events |  VENUE: BRIQUE |  PHOTOGRAPHY: Cling & Peck |  STATIONERY: That’s Just My Type FLORAL: Pollen Floral Design |  DÉCOR: Atmosphere Events Group; You Name It Events |  CAKE & SWEETS: Alliance Bakery To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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How to Avoid Becoming

“That Bride” f course you’re a gracious, caring, loving person. But

it every second of every day. Please don’t bombard family,

let’s face it, you’re engaged. Everyone feels stressed,

friends, and co-workers with photos of flowers, wedding favors,

overextended, and generally fed up at times when

or potential bridesmaid dresses. When they ask how the

planning a wedding. But beware – that can make you susceptible

wedding planning is going, try to avoid launching into a 30-

O

to turning into “That Bride,” also not-so-affectionately referred

minute spiel on how you can’t choose between the crab puffs

to as a “Bridezilla.”

or the stuffed mushrooms.

No one wants to be “That Bride.” But how do you know if you’re

It may seem beneficial to get things off your chest, but it may

venturing into that territory? If any of these sound like you, it

actually stress you out more. Instead, enjoy spending time with

may be time to put down this wedding magazine, take a step

your loved ones. See how they’re doing, catch up on what’s

away from the sample invites, and take a break.

YOU TALK ENDLESSLY ABOUT THE WEDDING.

going on in their lives, and take a (well-deserved) break from the wedding madness.

You’re excited. And everyone’s excited for you. Your wedding is

YOU TREAT YOUR BRIDESMAIDS LIKE ACTUAL MAIDS.

a big, momentous occasion and people are happy to celebrate

Your friends love you and they’re most likely honored to be

with you. However, that doesn’t mean they need to hear about

part of your special day. To be honest, most of them would do

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ceLeBrATIOn LOcATIOnS

almost anything for you, but please don’t ask them to. Don’t ask them to blow their entire savings account on a dress they’ll never wear again. Don’t demand that they come to appointments at the last minute. Don’t force them to spend their precious weekends DIYing your centerpieces, invites, and favors. Your license to get married is not a license to boss your friends around. Understand they have bills to pay, jobs to go to, and other loved ones that need their time and attention. If you love an expensive bridesmaid dress, offer to pay for it or split the cost. Plan ahead for any outings you’d like your girls to attend. Ask them politely to help you with your wedding DIY projects at a time that’s convenient. They’re your bridesmaids and they want to be part of your wedding, but they also want to be treated with respect and kindness.

YOU DISMISS YOUR FAMILY. You’re getting input from everyone. Mom thinks you should have more flowers. Grandma has a gorgeous venue in mind. Your sister wants short bridesmaid dresses. It can be overwhelming when everyone is throwing ideas your way. I mean it’s your Big Day right? Shouldn’t you get what you want? Of course, but before you start screaming “my day, my way,” try to see where your family is coming from. They’re excited, too, and they really do have good intentions. Listen to their ideas and appreciate that they care. You certainly don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, but by listening you’ll make them feel loved and appreciated. Who knows, they may actually have some great ideas!

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on your Big Day, so take the initiative to make things right.

YOU TRY SOMETHING NEW AT THE LAST MINUTE. Your wedding photo will likely be on display for years to come, so it’s only natural that you want to look your best. Maybe you’re looking to slim down. Maybe you’d like to clear up your complexion. Whatever your reasons, don’t be too extreme. Talk to your doctor before you try a new diet or workout routine to make sure it’s right for you. You may be in great shape for the wedding, but if you’re too exhausted to dance, what’s the point? Same goes with hair and makeup. Give any new skin care products, hair colors, DAN VOSS PHOTOGRAPHY

or makeup styles a test run well in advance of your Big Day. If you’re planning on getting a trim or a touch up color, make sure you do it a few days before the wedding, just in case. You’ll have enough to think about as your Big Day approaches, your looks don’t need to be you try it on anyways, and you fall in

difference from another area to allow the

love. A week later you’re picking out

cost to even out.

simple bouquet of roses, but there are

YOU DON’T APOLOGIZE.

YOU FORGET THE POINT OF THE DAY.

so many other options. The next thing

It’s a week before your wedding and

Dress? Check. Flowers? Check. Food?

you know you’re picking out spring

you’re meeting up with your sister for

Check. Venue? Check. Photographer?

peonies for a fall wedding.

brunch. She walks in with an awful

Check. Looks like you’ve got everything,

flowers. You’d planned on getting a

We’re not saying you should skimp on your Big Day here – you only get one wedding, so you want to make it absolutely perfect. That’s totally understandable. But there’s a reason you created a budget. Nothing causes stress

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one of them.

new haircut. As hard as you try, you

right? Wrong. You’re missing the most

just can’t keep quiet. Your brunch date

important part of the day – your fiancé!

ends with you yelling at her about how

It’s easy to get caught up in the wedding

she’s going to ruin your wedding photos

planning process. It can seem like there’s

and how you can’t believe she’s being

so much to do and so little time to do it.

so inconsiderate.

The easiest way to avoid becoming “That

and anxiety quite like debt. Create a

No matter how hard you try not to be

list of wedding must-haves and a list

“That Bride,” you may slip up. That’s

is all about. It’s about you and your fiancé

of wedding would-likes. Start with the

okay. No one’s perfect and your loved

spending the rest of your lives together.

must-have list, and allocate what’s left

ones know that. It’s embarrassing if you

When you think about that, the details

to the would-likes. If you just must

do go off the deep end, but the best

don’t seem to matter as much. At the end

have a gown that’s over your allotted

way to do damage control is just to fess

of the day, you get to marry the love of

dress budget, see if you can borrow the

up. You don’t want any hard feelings

your life. That’s what really matters.

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Bride” is to remember what your wedding


Expect the Unexpected M

ishaps can and do happen during weddings. From

from derailing the special day. Follow these simple strategies

small missteps like the DJ accidentally playing a

to stay ahead of mishaps and handle unavoidable issues

song on your “do not play” list to major mess ups

with confidence.

like the venue double-booking your reception hall (Bride

Wars comes to mind), it is possible that a few errors will occur

CREATE A GREAT EVENT TEAM.

along the way.

Having a team of professionals with years of experience is

It is important to remember that no matter what happens, your wedding day will turn out perfectly because it’s the day you “officially” commit to spending the rest of your life with

invaluable for the planning process and the wedding day itself. The more organized and reliable your team is, the less likely mistakes will happen in the first place.

your significant other. Celebrating your love for one another

The first step to creating a great team is doing your homework

is what’s most important. While mistakes happen, preparing

prior to hiring them. Start by asking recently married friends,

for potential errors ahead of time helps prevent a misstep

family, and co-workers about their wedding vendors and reach

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out to the recommendations that strike a chord with you. Flip through these pages and research online to find local vendors. When looking at examples of their work, make sure they align with your taste. A florist can put together a gorgeous arrangement, but if it’s not your style or doesn’t match your wedding theme, the vendor might not be the right fit for you. Once you have identified potential vendors, be prepared for your initial meeting with them. Have a list of questions ready, such as: Have you ever worked on a wedding at my venue before? What do you do if a crisis arises on my wedding day? During your meeting, remember that it is as much about learning their style of work as it is getting to know them and figuring out if you will work well together.

CONSIDER HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER. Every member of an orchestra is a talented musician, but for them to play in perfect harmony, they need a conductor to lead them. Think of a wedding planner as the conductor. They help orchestrate the whole event. They know everyone in the bridal party, where they need to be, and when. They work with the vendors to make sure each vendor is on time and has what they need. The wedding planner can handle payment to vendors for you and can be a go-to resource for their needs as well as the bridal party’s needs that day.

MEET WITH YOUR VENUE COORDINATOR AND WEDDING PLANNER OFTEN. Your venue plays a huge role in your wedding. To avoid mistakes, make sure you have picked the venue that’s right for you. Talk with the coordinator and find out if other weddings similar to yours have been done there. If you want 232

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something unique at your wedding like

Miscommunication is a common reason

easier for either option to go off without

fireworks, make sure the venue allows

for error, but it’s easily avoidable by

a hitch.

for that. You don’t want to bring in

clearly stating your wants and needs.

something special at the last minute and find out that it’s not permitted. That’s a big mishap waiting to happen! Being on the same page as the venue coordinator is also important if you’re looking to avoid mistakes. Meet with your coordinator several times leading up to your wedding and ask as many questions as you’d like. Some examples include: What parking is available? Is coat check available? What happens if someone needs to leave their vehicle overnight? Are vendor meals included? Who can vendors talk to if a problem arises? The more questions you ask and the more details that get planned in advance, the less likely something will go wrong. Your venue wants you to have a great experience. Communicating with them early and often helps ensure that.

SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS.

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SET DAY-OF TIMELINES. The appointments leading up to your wedding are great opportunities to practice setting clear expectations. For example, you will likely have a hair and/or makeup trial before the Big Day. If you like how everything looks, say so. However, if the hairstyle isn’t what you were expecting or you’d like different makeup, speak up. The same goes for finalizing your menu or how you want the reception set up. Talk to your wedding planner or the venue coordinator ahead of time and be firm in what you want.

Setting a schedule for the entire day is vital to everything going smoothly. You or your wedding planner should create a timeline that includes everything from getting ready before the ceremony to the last bridal party duty. The schedule should include the time and location for every part of the day. Pass it out in advance of your wedding day. Tucking it into their gift at the rehearsal dinner is an option as is emailing or printing it the night before and passing it out. Make sure your wedding planner sends

ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B.

the timeline to each of your vendors as

You know what type of wedding you

well. It helps them plan their day and

want, but sometimes circumstances

what they need to accomplish. If you’re

beyond your control prevent that from

wondering where to start, your venue

happening. You need a plan B in those

and other members of your vendor team

cases. Let’s say you’re planning an out-

are great resources.

door wedding, but as the day draws luck turns and the clouds part, but not

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.

If you want the wedding of your dreams,

always. Coordinate with your venue and

It is easier said than done, but if something

you need to clearly explain what that

wedding planner ahead of time to prepare

does go wrong on your wedding day, try

looks like to all vendors involved. If

alternative options. Make sure that you’re

not to sweat it. In the end, you are mar-

you’re not clear on your vision, no one

happy with plan B, so if you have to

rying the one you love and starting your

else will be. Be polite, but firmly state

move the wedding inside it doesn’t ruin

life together. That’s what the day is all

what your expectations are for everything

your day. If you and your vendor team

about. If you keep that in mind, even the

from the food served to music played.

know what plan A and plan B, it’s much

biggest mishaps seem small.

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near the forecast calls for rain. Sometimes,


Reception Timeline K e e p Y o u R C e l e b R aT i o n o n S C h e d u l e our Wedding Reception is a well-timed event. From

GET HELP.

cocktail hour to dinner and dancing to cutting the cake,

When it comes to planning your reception, don’t try to do it

everything runs on a precise schedule, which means

alone. Work with a wedding planner or your venue’s coordinator

you need to know what to do and when to do it. ChicagoStyle

who can help you organize the ins and outs of your reception.

Y

Weddings breaks down the reception basics and helps you

These wedding professionals arrange events all the time so you

plan your party hour by hour.

can trust they know the particulars of party planning. They can

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celeBrATIon locATIons

help you stay on schedule and make

be in place at least an hour before the

even after the rehearsal dinner if everything

sure you don’t underestimate the time

reception starts; the same goes for your

is in place. If you leave these details to

needed to tackle reception events like

wedding cake. Decorative elements like

the last minute, you’ll feel hurried and

the first dance.

candles, chair covers and linens should

frustrated, especially if something doesn’t

be ready to go a day before the wedding.

go as planned.

GET STARTED EARLY.

Banquet staff can arrange these elements

Venue setup takes time and should be

for you. Then you and your planner can

done well before the party starts. Your

review the look and make any necessary

reception flowers and centerpieces should

changes the day of your wedding – or

REVIEW YOUR VENDOR CONTRACTS. Part of making sure your day goes as smoothly as possible is ensuring your vendors know what’s expected of them and when. If you want your DJ to be set up 30 minutes or more before the party starts, make sure that time clause is in the contract – if it’s not, you don’t have control over your time frame. Your planner can help you set reasonable expectations for each vendor, and she can make sure the vendors know what time table they’re working with for the day of coordination.

HAVE A RECEPTION GAME PLAN. As with any event, you need to develop and write out a party plan. Make sure each person assigned to a job – from the bartender to wait staff to band leader – knows what’s expected of him or her. Write out the plan, review it with your vendors to foresee problems and then test the plan with a dry run a week before or more. Part of this plan involves having a backup in case something doesn’t go as expected. Meet with your planner a few weeks prior to your Big Day so you can map out the day hour-by-hour, area-by-area. You’ll want to figure out where you and your groom need to be at all times, plus you’ll review reception details like when dinner will be served and small nuances like which tables will get served first. If it helps you and the guests in your wedding party, type up an itinerary so everyone knows what to expect.

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through your wedding reception. No one

won’t have all your guests’ requests, but

HOUR ONE:

will have a good time if the event is too

both are okay. If you can relax a little,

Cocktail Hour You said “I do,” kissed, and now it’s

structured and everyone feels pressured

you’ll see that every event has a few

to stay on schedule. Build some flexibility

wrinkles

make-or-break

time for the guests to make their way

into your reception so you can let the

moments. So take a deep breath and

to the reception. There may be some

good times happen naturally without feel-

enjoy the what-ifs as much as possible.

down time between, but guests will

ing the pressure to finish by a certain

Your wedding reception is a once-in-a-

generally arrive to a cocktail hour pretty

time. For example, if your first dance

lifetime kind of event. You get to plan all

quickly after the service. If the cere-

receives an encore, then go with the

the details, like the menu, the music

mony is held at the same venue as the

flow. Don’t worry that an extra dance will

playlist and the décor. You want to expe-

reception, guests may simply venture to

make you stray from the schedule. These

rience every moment to the fullest, so do

another part of the space to continue

little moments are the memorable ones,

your best to devise a plan and a timeline

the festivities.

so embrace them.

that you can follow and not fret about

DON’T OVERLOOK THE DETAILS.

aren’t

when the day comes.

Make a list of all the important details

THE HOUR-BY-HOUR BREAKDOWN.

that are essential to your reception’s

While you and your guests may want to

success. Budget enough time for each

boogie until the wee hours of the night, it’s

key item so your schedule doesn’t get

not likely that your venue and caterer’s

backed up or out of sync. The toasting,

staff feels the same. A typical wedding

for example, should happen after the

reception runs approximately five hours

announcement of the bride and groom.

long, and has a fairly structured schedule.

Make sure waiters have enough time to

Your band leader or DJ will serve as the

serve guests champagne or cider so

Master of Ceremonies, or the MC, for the

they’re ready to toast your nuptials.

evening. He or she will keep your party mov-

PLAN FOR THE UNEXPECTED.

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that

ing along smoothly so no one feels rushed and you don’t run into overtime fees.

While the new couple, their attendants, and their families are out taking glamour shots around the city, it’s up to the MC to keep guests entertained. Light music in the background allows for socializing without that awkward silence. The MC can also advise guests to begin taking their seats about ten or fifteen minutes before the couple is scheduled to make their grand entrance.

HOUR TWO:

The Newlyweds Arrive After the MC has guided guests to their seats, the band or DJ will change up the music to indicate that something big is

Nothing is perfect so have wiggle room

Whether you’re looking at a mid-morning

about to happen. The MC will take the

planned for your party. Maybe your menu

reception or an evening affair, here’s a

mic and start introducing the family and

will get a last-minute change or your DJ

general overview of how it can progress.

wedding party as they enter one-by-one,

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two-by-two, or whatever-by-whatever.

back to some pleasant background music

family eat first – especially those who

The newlyweds will be announced last –

to encourage chatter through dinner.

are making speeches. Toasts usually

to wild cheers from the crowd, of course.

Here’s your chance to start greeting your

begin about 20 minutes after dinner has

After this, the MC will request that guests

guests at each table.

been served.

take their seats. This is a great opportunity to move right

A few minutes later, dinner will be served.

Traditionally toasts are started by the

At this point, take a break and grab a

best man, followed by the maid of honor,

into your first dance. You’ve got the

bite. You’ve been planning this meal

and then the parents’ speeches. If you

spotlight, might as well use it! When the

for months! You deserve a few minutes

and your new spouse would like to say a

dance is over, the band or DJ will switch

to try it. Let the wedding party and

few words, this is a great time for that as well. Be sure to give your MC a list of everyone’s name so they can announce each person who will be speaking and their relation to the couple. Bonus tip – spelling the names out phonetically will drastically reduce the number of awkward pronunciations.

HOUR THREE:

Dance, Dance After the speeches wrap up, it’s time to hit the dance floor. If you decided not to do your first dance right after your grand entrance, now would be the time to do it. Traditionally, the father-daughter dance follows, and then the motherson dance. After that, your MC will invite guests to join the wedding party on the dance floor, and everybody starts going crazy.

HOUR FOUR:

Traditions As the dancing continues, it’s time for all the single ladies to put their hands up and catch the bouquet. It’s also garter time for the guys. Your MC will keep track of time and help spread out any of the fun extras, like the Hora at a Jewish wedding, an anniversary dance, or a money dance. About halfway through the hour, you get to smash frosting into your new spouse’s face – oops, we meant cut the cake. Your MC will help to clear the floor a bit so that everyone has a great view. Then it’s right back to dancing. Because let’s be real – that’s what everyone wants to do! 242

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HOUR FIVE:

Take A Bow While you and your crew are out on the dance floor getting your groove on, Grandma is probably starting to fall asleep at her table. Guests will start to trickle out during hour five, and it’s time to start wrapping up the evening. Have your MC announce last call at the bar about 30 to 45 minutes before the reception officially ends. A great way to start getting everyone out the door is to have the wedding party coordinate a fond farewell for the newlyweds outside the venue, complete with bubbles or sparklers. If you plan to do this, have your MC give the crowd a fifteen-minute warning before it begins. If you’ve got a particularly rowdy crowd that doesn’t seem to be taking the hint, ask your band or DJ to play a very definitive last song. It’s pretty hard to misinterpret the meaning of “Closing Time” by Semisonic. After that, bring up the lights, shut off the music, and eventually people will head out.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER. As you’re planning your reception timeline, remember that it’s always best to overestimate the amount of time needed. Allow enough time between scheduled activities for the unexpected, and don’t forget that you and your spouse need time to relax and enjoy your family and guests! Check to see if your venue contract requires all guests and vendors to vacate the premises by a certain time. Remember that once your guests leave, your vendors will still need time to clean up and clear out any equipment. Those speakers don’t pack themselves. Make sure to give them at least an hour to ensure you don’t exceed your venue rental period. Overtime fees can get expensive quickly. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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HALEY & JOSH How They Met “I started with a large general contracting construction company in Chicago and was involved in hiring Josh. After getting to know each other and becoming friends, it wasn’t long until we started dating. We kept our relationship a secret for nine months until we shocked people when we became engaged shortly afterwards.”

How Haley Knew She Had Found the One “I knew there was something special and the connection was clear after the very first date. Our opposite personalities attract and we share so many of the same beliefs and values.”

Darling Details “Our wedding included so many personal touches. I wore a borrowed gold bracelet from my mother and our maid of honor created our stationery. We also had handmade rustic wooden signs, and I got to design our table numbers with Josh. We even used the same unity candle that my parents lit at their own wedding!”

Tip for Engaged Couples “Don’t write off suggestions made by your parents during the process – they bring a fresh perspective. But remember, it’s still your day and you won’t be able to please everyone.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 170

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors CEREMONY: Trinity Lutheran Church | RECEPTION: Metropolis Ballroom | PHOTOGRAPHY: Ashley Galminas Photography OFFICIANT: Pastor Charles S. Mueller, Jr. | BRIDE’S GOWN: Stella York via Here Comes the Bride | HAIR: Alexandra Santi at Zazú Salon BRIDE’S SHOES: Nine West | MAKEUP ARTIST: Kristin Alexander at Velardé Salon | BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Sorella Vita via Brideside RINGS: Shane Co. | EARRINGS: Kate Spade | FORMALWEAR: Generation Tux | GROOM’S ACCESSORIES: Express; Generation Tux FLORAL & DÉCOR: Kio Kreations | CATERING: Metropolis Ballroom | ENTERTAINMENT: DJ-Chicago | CAKE & SWEETS: Gladstone Bakery TRANSPORTATION: Absolute Dream Limousines

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What to do After “I do” ou just spent months – or longer! – planning the

flutes, danced that first dance, and tossed that bouquet like

wedding of your dreams. You found the dress, tasted

Kyle Hendricks at the 2016 World Series.

the cake, picked out the rings, and wrote and practiced

Then, you swapped out those dancing shoes for some comfy

your vows. You walked down that aisle like the regal wedded

travel flats, grabbed your pre-packed bags, and hit the road.

goddess (or god) that you are. You clinked those champagne

Whether you backpacked across Europe, ate your way through

Y

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Asia, camped Sequoia, or cruised the

worn luggage inside the front door,

Caribbean, I’m sure you had tons of

looked into one another’s eyes, and

to start planning right away. In fact,

fun, relaxation, and romance. When it

thought…now what?

unless you absolutely have to make

came to newlywedded bliss, there is no doubt you and your brand-new spouse rocked that just-married glow from sun up to sun down.

That’s actually a really great question – plenty of newlywed couples ask themselves once all the fuss, commotion, planning, and celebration has died down:

your lives. And you definitely don’t have

another major transition immediately (like moving for someone’s job or actually buying that house) my best advice is to take a few weeks – even a few months – to do a whole lot of nothing at all.

Jet-lagged, road-weary, but happy, you

What does come after the wedding and

have returned home, dropped your travel-

the honeymoon? Now that the events

If you weren’t already living together

that have consumed so much of your

before the wedding, now is the time to

relationship (and time) for so long are

focus on finding your groove as newly-

over, how do you get back to your every-

weds and getting familiar with all those

day relationship and start building the

quirks your pre-wedded selves were

rest of your lives together?

totally oblivious to. (Buckle up and hold

If building the rest of your lives together

on tight to your sense of humor, because

suddenly sounds like a lot of pres-

chances are there will be a lot of them.)

sure, don’t worry: you’re not alone.

If you have already been coupled up and

When it comes to planning a wedding

cohabitating for years, then just take

and honeymoon, there’s a pretty clear

your much-deserved time to enjoy any

blueprint that most couples follow,

new feelings or dynamics that marriage

to one degree or another. But when it

might bring into the equation. Be sure

comes to building your very own lives?

to finally open those wedding gifts and

There is no one-size-fits-all plan. It

write those thank-you notes, take some

turns out that the childhood song lyric,

time for quiet dinners at home, and

“first comes love, then comes marri-

slowly start getting back into your regularly

age, then comes a baby in a baby car-

scheduled routines of grabbing your

riage” is missing a whole lot of steps.

morning lattes, going to work, hitting the

Like, “open a joint checking account”

gym, hanging out with friends, and just

and “buy a house” and “wash all the

being yourselves again.

honeymoon laundry.”

Shortly after our own wedding, my spouse

The good news is, unlike planning your

and I started a new tradition. We decide

wedding and all the other related festivi-

on a goal or theme each year of our mar-

ties, you have more than a few hectic

riage. Sounds cheesy, I know, but hear

and tulle-filled months to plan the rest of

me out. The theme for our first year consisted of spending as much time in our bedroom as possible, sleeping! We were still exhausted from the whole “getting married” thing. Since then we have had a year dedicated to taking a different road trip each month, a year committed to taking one hike every weekend, a year dedicated to saving money, a year dedicated to getting healthier together, and a year when we focused on starting our family. Having something clear and fun to collaborate on, has definitely helped keep our relationship fresh, exciting, and

248

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


TIMOTHY WHALEY PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS

cElEBRATION lOcATIONS

centered around us achieving our goals

Remember, even positive life transitions

as a team. Maybe you and your spouse

nurture our own hobbies, have our

such as marriage, great job, new house,

have a five-year dream of buying a house,

own friends, and are honest about

and travel adventures can all add stress

taking some time to live abroad together,

those times when we each need to pri-

to the best relationships. After the

paying off one of your student loans, or

oritize ourselves as individuals over

emotional highs of a wedding and hon-

starting a family of your own. Figure out

ourselves as a team.

eymoon, returning to regular life can feel

what small steps you can take now, in order to reach your goal(s) by your desired deadline. Don’t be afraid to be flexible with your plans – after all, sometimes life just happens!

250

need that mother/daughter time.) We

If you and your new spouse do need to jump into another major transition immediately post-wedding – buying a house, moving to a new city, starting a

a little underwhelming. Set aside time to communicate your feelings with one another, reconnect with your shared goals, and plan an afternoon to catch

new job, taking on a recent promo-

up on that Netflix queue as soon as both

The flipside of all that teamwork is that

tion – be gentle with yourselves as you

of you can slow things down a bit.

my husband and I are also mindful of

adjust to yet another life milestone

Everything you’re experiencing is totally

spending time (like, plenty of time)

together. When possible, still prioritize

normal – and consider reaching out to

apart as well. One of the best pieces

time to celebrate your recent union and

friends and fellow couples who have

of marriage advice I’ve ever received

find a way to integrate the “everyday”

been exactly where you are, before.

was: “take vacations by yourself”. My

things you love to do into your still-

At the end of the day you and your

best friend and I have celebrated by

hectic lives: cooking dinner together,

spouse probably got married because

having an annual girls’ weekend – seri-

visiting your favorite Saturday morning

you already know how to best support

ously, no boys allowed, no exceptions

farmers’ market, checking out the near-

one another: bolstering each other’s

– every year since I got married. Both

by coffee shops in your new neighbor-

spirits in times of stress, celebrating

my husband and I make time to visit

hood or city, hitting the gym together,

each other in times of success, leaning

our families separately, at least once a

or even just doing a quick check-in with

on one another in times of transition,

year. (Hey, sometimes you just really

each other in the evenings.

and loving one another through it all.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


ERIN & JON AT H A N How Jonathan Knew He Had Found the One “I knew Erin was the perfect person for me pretty early on. Never in my life had I felt more comfortable or more appreciated for what and who I am until I met her. I always wanted to be with her and when I wasn’t, she was the first person I wanted to share my day with.”

Ringing in the New Year “A formal black-tie affair was exactly what we wanted for our wedding and what better day to throw such a party than New Year’s Eve? The evening centered around fine wine, an abundance of remarkable food, and a luxury bar. There was live music and dancing, glitz and glam décor, and most importantly, love and laughter!”

Erin’s Favorite Wedding Memory “Watching Jonathan’s face as I made my way down the aisle. I could see the happiness beaming from his eyes, and it was the best feeling because it mirrored exactly how I felt. I’ll never forget that moment.”

Tip for Engaged Couples “Take time to soak in all the love and happiness surrounding you. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the whirlwind of the day. It goes by so quickly!”

Number of Wedding Guests: 175

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Ceremony: Northwestern University | reCeption: Prairie Landing Golf Club | photography: Juancho SC Photography Day-of CoorDinator: Jennifer Sutton Events | BriDe’s gowns: Calla Blanche; Kenneth Winston | makeup: Beth Smith at NARS hair: Lumos Nox Studio | formalwear: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Catering: Prairie Landing Golf Club | Cake & sweets: Gigante Bakery rings: D. Diamante Limited | stationery: Invitations Etc. | rentals & lighting: BBJ Linen; Marquee Event Rentals; Elegant Event Lighting floral & DéCor: Town & Country Gardens | entertainment: Bluewater Kings Band | transportation: Chicago Cloud9 Limouisine C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

253


S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Jackie & Bill


Vendors FLORAL & DÉCOR: Divine Designs and Events | VENUE: InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile PHOTOGRAPHY: Natalie Probst Photography | STATIONERY: Invitations by Dawn | CAKE & SWEETS: Bittersweet To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

255


Celebration Locations Ceremonies & reCeptions

L

ocating and securing the perfect venue for your wedding celebration is most likely at the top of your priority list. Whether it is a formal affair or a more casual afternoon gathering, finding the right venue for your reception style requires asking yourself a few key questions. For example, do you want to get married in the city, suburbs, or off the beaten path in a

countryside affair? Additionally, will your venue be able to comfortably host and accommodate your desired guest list? some venues can easily house 200 guests, while other venues are a bit more intimate. if you have always dreamed of tying the knot outdoors, several venues offer beautiful spaces that will fulfill all of your alfresco wishes. From ballrooms and mansions to lofts and gardens, these inquiries and more can be answered by simply perusing the next several pages. Keeping this guide handy will help you navigate this important wedding decision quickly and accurately ensuring the picture-perfect fit for your Big Day.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Erin Hoyt Photography 256

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


LOCATION

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

All informAtion is subject to chAnge without notice. PleAse check with venue for detAils And AvAilAbility.

CHICAGO Art Institute of Chicago, The artic.edu/weddings

312.443.3530 111 S. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

400

$150

109

Bridgeport Art Center bridgeportart.com

773.843.9000 1200 W. 35th St. • Chicago

900

Call

175

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel chicagoathletichotel.com

312.940.3552 12 S. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

300

$179

111

Chicago History Museum chicagohistorymuseum.org

312.799.2254 1601 N. Clark St. • Chicago

300

Call

114

Chicago Park District chicagoparkdistrict.com

773.256.0159 7059 S. South Shore Dr. • Chicago

800

Call

156

Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center chipublib.org

312.747.4130 400 S. State St. • Chicago

400

Call

Club Lucky clubluckychicago.com

773.227.2300 1824 W. Wabansia Ave. • Chicago

190

Call

Congress Plaza Hotel, The congressplazahotel.com

312.427.3800 ext. 5071 520 S. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

550

$125

Elite Private Yachts eliteprivateyachts.com/chicago

888.957.2634 600 E. Grand Ave. • Chicago

150

$125

Fig & Olive - Chicago figandolive.com

312.445.0600 104 E. Oak St. • Chicago

300

$100

Galleria Marchetti - La Pergola galleriamarchetti.com

312.563.0495 825 W. Erie St. • Chicago

160

$110

Galleria Marchetti - The Pavilion galleriamarchetti.com

312.563.0495 825 W. Erie St. • Chicago

480

$110

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse gibsonssteakhouse.com

312.587.0508 1028 N. Rush St. • Chicago

300

$65

Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North martplaza.com

312.529.1114 350 W. Mart Center Dr. • Chicago

500

$120

Hyatt Regency Chicago chicago.regency.hyatt.com

312.565.1234 151 E. Wacker Dr. • Chicago

1800

$130

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place mccormickplace.regency.hyatt.com

312.528.4168 2233 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. • Chicago

800

$99

celebration locations

VENDOR

206

202

169

110

173

8-9

8-9

6-7

167

149

112

c h i cAg o st y l e w e d d i n g s . c o m

257


Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

Simultaneous Weddings

312.321.8735 505 N. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

550

$180

Kimpton Gray Hotel + Boleo grayhotelchicago.com

312.950.7012 122 W. Monroe St. • Chicago

250

$160

Kimpton Hotel Allegro allegrochicago.com

312.325.7142 171 W. Randolph St. • Chicago

250

$142

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago hotelpalomar-chicago.com

312.985.0730 505 N. State St. • Chicago

220

Call

Knickerbocker Chicago, The millenniumhotels.com

312.751.8100 163 E. Walton Pl. • Chicago

300

$148

99

La Villa Banquets lavillabanquets.com

773.283.7980 3638 N. Pulaski Rd. • Chicago

230

Call

210

Loews Chicago Hotel loewschicagodowntown.com

312.840.6600 455 N. Park Dr. • Chicago

660

$175

LondonHouse Chicago londonhousechicago.com

312.357.1200 85 E. Wacker Dr. • Chicago

200

$170

115

Metropolitan, The themetropolitanchicago.com

312.876.3200 Willis Tower, 66th & 67th Fl. 233 S. Wacker Dr. • Chicago

240

Call

117

Mid-America Club, The midamclub.com

312.861.1100 200 E. Randolph Dr., 80th Fl. • Chicago

400

$130

Murphy Chicago, The the-murphy.com

312.280.8447 50 E. Erie St. • Chicago

200

Call

131

Mystic Blue Cruises mysticbluecruises.com/chicago

888.957.2634 600 E. Grand Ave. • Chicago

200

$74

110

Odyssey Chicago River odysseycruises.com/chicago-river

888.957.2634 455 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr. • Chicago

200

$109

110

Odyssey Lake Michigan odysseycruises.com/chicago

888.957.2634 600 E. Grand Ave. • Chicago

500

$84

110

Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel palmerhousehiltonhotel.com

312.422.1325 17 E. Monroe St. • Chicago

800

$165

Pazzo’s at 311 pazzoschicago.com

312.913.1600 311 S. Wacker Dr. • Chicago

500

$80

LOCATION

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile icchicagohotel.com

c h i cAg o st y l e w e d d i n g s . c o m

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

101

143

113

147

137

125

119

159

All informAtion is subject to chAnge without notice. PleAse check with venue for detAils And AvAilAbility.

celebration locations 258

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

VENDOR


Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

312.422.0150 150 N. Dearborn St. • Chicago

350

$49

Pinstripes pinstripes.com

312.527.3140 435 E. Illinois St. • Chicago

220

$70

165

River Roast riverroastchicago.com

312.527.1417 315 N. LaSalle St. • Chicago

1200

$99

141

Salvatore’s Ristorante salvatores-chicago.com

773.528.1200 525 W. Arlington Pl. • Chicago

230

$90

103

Signature Room at the 95th, The signatureroom.com

312.280.0465 875 N. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

180

$129

Skydeck Chicago theskydeck.com

312.875.9447 233 S. Wacker Dr., 103rd Fl. • Chicago

175

Call

127

Spiaggia Private Events spiaggiarestaurant.com

312.280.3300 980 N. Michigan Ave., 3rd Fl. • Chicago

300

$95

155

Spirit of Chicago spiritcruises.com/chicago

888.957.2634 600 E. Grand Ave. • Chicago

500

$74

St. Jane Chicago stjanehotel.com

312.345.1000 230 N. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

250

$165

Stan Mansion stanmansion.com

773.276.0099 2408 N. Kedzie Blvd. • Chicago

300

Call

Swissôtel Chicago swissotel.com/chicago

312.268.8235 323 E. Wacker Dr. • Chicago

750

$145

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago trumphotels.com/chicago

312.588.8000 401 N. Wabash Ave. • Chicago

250

$225

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar volorestaurant.com

773.348.4600 2008 W. Roscoe St. • Chicago

120

$75

W Chicago – City Center wchicagocitycenter.com

312.322.1200 172 W. Adams St. • Chicago

250

$99

W Chicago – Lakeshore wchicago-lakeshore.com

312.943.9200 644 N. Lake Shore Dr. • Chicago

200

$99

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago warwickallertonweddings.com

312.274.6423 701 N. Michigan Ave. • Chicago

200

$138

LOCATION

Petterino's Restaurant petterinos.com

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

242

celebration locations

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

VENDOR

135

110

145

139

12-13

2-3

202

Inside Front Cover, 1 ■

Inside Front Cover, 1 129

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

259


celebration locations

VENDOR

LOCATION

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront wyndhamgrandchicagoriverfront.com

312.462.7065 71 E. Wacker Dr. • Chicago

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

250

$120

163

NORTH, NORTHWEST & WISCONSIN

260

Allegra Banquets allegrabanquets.com

847.987.0897 4200 N. River Rd. • Schiller Park

250

$35

AuClair at Ramada Galena auclairgalena.com

815.777.2043 11383 US Hwy 20 West • Galena

300

Call

Café la Cave cafelacave.net

847.827.7818 2777 Mannheim Rd. • Des Plaines

320

$74

Chandler’s Weddings & Special Events chandlerschophouse.com

847.885.9009 401 N. Roselle Rd. • Schaumburg

320

$69

148

Concorde Banquets concordebanquets.com

847.438.0025 20922 N. Rand Rd. • Kildeer

650

$60

191

Cotillion Banquets thecotillionbanquets.com

847.934.5500 360 S. Creekside Dr. • Palatine

650

$60

197

D’Andrea Banquets & Conference Center dandreabanquets.com

815.459.7234 4419 Northwest Hwy. • Crystal Lake

600

$43

210

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa eagleridge.com

815.776.5027 444 Eagle Ridge Dr. • Galena

300

$72

225

Eaglewood Resort & Spa eaglewoodresort.com

630.773.1400 1401 Nordic Rd. • Itasca

340

$85

157

Elmcrest Banquets by Biancalana, The elmcrestbanquets.com

708.453.3989 7370 W. Grand Ave. • Elmwood Park

400

$47

Geneva National Resort & Club genevanationalresort.com

262.249.3849 1221 Geneva National Ave. S. Lake Geneva, WI

300

$84

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse gibsonssteakhouse.com

312.587.0508 5464 N. River Rd. • Rosemont

250

$65

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa grandgeneva.com

800.558.3417 7036 Grand Geneva Way • Lake Geneva, WI

600

Call

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa grandtraverseresort.com

800.748.0303 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd. • Acme, MI

800

$125

c h i cAg o st y l e w e d d i n g s . c o m

108

227

132

219

6-7

217

207

All informAtion is subject to chAnge without notice. PleAse check with venue for detAils And AvAilAbility.

249


Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

847.494.2795 250 S. Grove Ave. • Elgin

300

$54

201

262.348.9900 7377 Krueger Rd. • Lake Geneva, WI

330

$55

232

Heritage Ballroom at the 847.531.7047 Centre of Elgin 100 Symphony Way • Elgin centreofelgin.org/banquets/banquet-facilities

300

$25

158

Holiday Inn Itasca holidayinn.com/itascail

630.773.2342 860 W. Irving Park Rd. • Itasca

400

$75

192

Hotel Arista hotelarista.com

630.579.4100 2139 City Gate Ln. • Naperville

300

$90

203

Lake Geneva Cruise Line cruiselakegeneva.com

262.248.6206 812 Wrigley Dr. • Lake Geneva, WI

225

Call

218

Lake Lawn Resort & Calladora Spa lakelawnresort.com

262.728.7950 2400 E. Geneva St. • Delavan, WI

350

$65

182

Landing 1841, The thelanding1841.com

262.758.6611 3640 Bieneman Rd. • Burlington, WI

200

Call

232

Lehmann Mansion weddingvenuelakevillail.com

847.356.9911 485 N. Milwaukee Ave. • Lake Villa

450

Call

168

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel loewshotels.com/chicago-ohare

847.447.4203 5300 N. River Rd. • Rosemont

500

$95

205

Manzo’s Banquets manzosbanquets.com

847.593.2233 1571 S. Elmhurst Rd. • Des Plaines

500

$49

243

McHenry Country Club mchenrycc.net

815.385.1072 820 N. John St. • McHenry

200

Call

Metropolis Ballroom metropolisballroom.com

847.870.8787 6 S. Vail Ave. • Arlington Heights

250

Call

Midwest Conference Center midwestconf.com

708.409.2828 401 W. Lake St. • Northlake

1100

$46

206

Mirage Four Points Sheraton themiragerestaurant.com

847.671.4230 10255 W. Irving Park Rd. • Schiller Park

330

$35

164

Pinstripes pinstripes.com

847.844.4810 100 W. Higgins Rd. • South Barrington

250

$70

LOCATION

Grand Victoria Casino grandvictoriacasino.com Hawk’s View Golf Club hawksviewgolfclub.com

celebration locations

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

VENDOR

184

213

165

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

261


celebration locations

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

262.249.3849 W4240 WI-50 • Lake Geneva, WI

270

$63

Rolling Green Country Club rollinggreencc.com

847.253.0400 2525 E. Rand Rd. • Arlington Heights

230

Seville, The theseville.com

630.289.4500 700 S. Barrington Rd. • Streamwood

Wandering Tree Estate wanderingtree.com

Westin Chicago Northwest, The westinchicagonorthwest.com

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

219

$60

214

850

Call

847.381.1907 North Barrington

275

Call

630.773.4000 400 Park Blvd. • Itasca

800

Call

Armour House Mansion & Gardens armourhousecatering.com

847.615.3219 1500 W. Kennedy Rd. • Lake Forest

250

$125

Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort chicagomarriottlincolnshire.com

847.634.0100 10 Marriott Dr. • Lincolnshire

700

Call

Crystal Ballroom & Lounge, The crystalevanston.com

847.570.4400 529 Davis St. • Evanston

200

Call

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago North Shore chicagonorthshore.doubletree.com

847.679.7000 9599 Skokie Blvd. • Skokie

350

$74

Halim Time & Glass Museum halimmuseum.org

224.714.5600 1560 Oak St. • Evanston

400

$110

181

Highland Park Country Club pdhp.org/highland-park-country-club

847.579.4047 1201 Park Ave. W. • Highland Park

350

Call

176

Hilton Orrington/Evanston hotelorrington.com

847.866.8700 1710 Orrington Ave. • Evanston

400

$109

177

Loft 21 loft21events.com

847.868.5638 1501 N. Milwaukee Ave. • Lincolnshire

1600

Call

237

Loyola at Cuneo Mansion & Gardens luc.edu/cuneo

847.362.3042 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave. • Vernon Hills

300

$125

214

Pinstripes pinstripes.com

847.480.7676 1150 Willow Rd. • Northbrook

220

$70

165

VENDOR

LOCATION

Ridge Hotel, The ridgelakegeneva.com

Simultaneous Weddings

10-11

161

247

144

215

262

c h i cAg o st y l e w e d d i n g s . c o m

179

183

All informAtion is subject to chAnge without notice. PleAse check with venue for detAils And AvAilAbility.

NORTH SHORE


Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

847.965.4094 620 Lincoln Ave. • Winnetka

200

Call

Abbey Farms: The Emporium abbeyfarms.org

630.966.7775 2855 Hart Rd. • Aurora

300

$95

Abbington Distinctive Banquets abbingtonbanquets.com

630.942.8600 3S002 IL Rte. 53 • Glen Ellyn

1200

$59

Allegra Banquets of Villa Park allegrabanquetsvillapark.com

630.607.0094 237 W. St. Charles Rd. • Villa Park

250

$35

Arrowhead Golf Club arrowheadgolfclub.org

630.653.5802 26W151 Butterfield Rd. • Wheaton

275

$74

Belle Salle Banquets bellesallebanquets.com

630.449.3065 1920 E. New York St. • Aurora

350

Call

BrighterDaze Farm brighterdazefarm.com

630.774.0042 10978 Crimmin Rd. • Newark

700

Call

Brookfield Zoo (Managed by Chicago Zoological) brookfieldzoo.org

708.688.8355 3300 Golf Rd. • Brookfield

350

Call

Cantigny Park cantigny.org

630.260.8145 1 S. 151 Winfield Rd. • Wheaton

250

$85

Carleton of Oak Park, The carletonhotel.com

708.848.5000 1110 Pleasant St. • Oak Park

200

$70

Chicago Marriott Naperville marriott.com

630.505.4900 1801 N. Naper Blvd. • Naperville

400

$89

Cliffbreakers – Riverside Hotel & Conference Center cliffbreakers.com

815.282.3033 700 W. Riverside • Rockford

1000

$34

251

Doubletree Hilton Downers Grove doubletreedownersgrove.com

630.971.2000 2111 Butterfield Rd. • Downers Grove

400

$70

126

Drake Oak Brook, The thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com

630.571.0000 2301 York Rd. • Oak Brook

350

$99

Drury Lane drurylane.com

630.530.0202 100 Drury Ln. • Oakbrook Terrace

1500

$60

LOCATION

Winnetka Community House winnetkacommunityhouse.org

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

185

128

146

celebration locations

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

VENDOR

WEST

108

140

233

238

241

195

160

180

239

138

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

263


Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

630.575.8070 915 Harger Rd. • Oak Brook

2000

Call

235

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Naperville chicagonaperville.embassysuites.com

630.799.5900 1823 Abriter Ct. • Naperville,

1000

$50

130

Empress Banquets, The theempressbanquets.com

630.279.5900 200 E. Lake St. • Addison

750

Call

193

Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort oakbrookhillsresortchicago.com

630.850.5555 3500 Midwest Rd. • Oak Brook

850

$90

Naper Settlement napersettlement.org

630.420.6010 523 S. Webster St. • Naperville

Call

Call

Naperville Park District napervilleparks.org

630.848.5000 320 W. Jackson Ave. • Naperville

160

Call

Oaks, The at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse gibsonssteakhouse.com

630.954.0000 2105 S. Spring Rd. • Oak Brook

300

$65

133

Paramount’s Meyer Ballroom paramountaurora.com/weddings

630.723.2468 8 E. Galena Blvd. • Aurora

240

$39

194

Pinstripes pinstripes.com

630.575.8744 7 Oakbrook Ctr. • Oakbrook

270

$70

Prairie Landing Golf Club prairielanding.com

630.208.7633 2325 Longest Dr. • West Chicago

250

$71

Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante venutis.com

630.376.1500 2251 W. Lake St. • Addison

600

$65

Woodbine Bend Golf Course & Restaurant woodbinebend.com

815.858.3939 3500 E. Center Rd. • Stockton

180

Call

LOCATION

DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau discoverdupage.com

116

226

226

165

174

4-5

238

118

209

SOUTH, SOUTHWEST & INDIANA

264

Bolingbrook Golf Club bolingbrookgolfclub.com

630.771.9400 2001 Rodeo Dr. • Bolingbrook

900

$26

Chicago Marriott Southwest at Burr Ridge marriott.com

630.986.4100 1200 Burr Ridge Pkwy. • Burr Ridge

450

$50

Crowne Plaza Chicago Southwest at Burr Ridge cpchicagosw.com

630.325.2900 300 S. Frontage Rd. • Burr Ridge

250

$50

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209

All informAtion is subject to chAnge without notice. PleAse check with venue for detAils And AvAilAbility.

celebration locations

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

VENDOR


Starting Price per Person

Ceremony Site Available

Simultaneous Weddings

Outdoor Reception Area

Page Number

708.371.7300 5000 W. 127th St. • Alsip

500

$50

136

Georgios Banquets & Hotel georgios.com

708.403.1100 8800 W. 159th St. • Orland Park

1200

$40

166

Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn oaklawn.hilton.com

708.229.8850 9333 S. Cicero Ave. • Oak Lawn

400

$54

229

Holiday Inn Countryside & William Tell Banquets holidayinn.com/countrysideil

708.354.4200 6201 Joliet Rd. • La Grange-Countryside

350

$50

231

Holiday Inn & Suites Joliet Southwest hijoliethotel.com

779.206.2915 1471 Rock Creek Blvd. • Joliet

500

Call

242

Odyssey, The theodysseyvenue.com

708.429.7400 19110 S. Ridgeland Ave. • Tinley Park

1000

$58

Prairie Bluff Golf Club prairiebluffgc.com

815.836.4653 19433 Renwick Rd. • Lockport

200

$30

Silver Lake Country Club silverlakecc.com

708.349.6940 ext. 5 14700 S. 82nd Ave. • Orland Park

420

$55

LOCATION

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Alsip chicagoalsip.doubletree.com

celebration locations

Max Reception/ Dinner Size

VENDOR

199

196

211

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KRISTIN & BILL Lovely Locations After a December engagement, Kristin and Bill decided that Chicago would be the location for their upcoming March nuptials. “Since we wanted a short engagement, we chose March for our wedding,” explains Kristin. After wandering into Chicago’s Second Presbyterian Church for a complimentary tour, Kristin and Bill quickly fell in love with the church and its artistic architecture. For the reception, they then decided on the Chicago Cultural Center as it was not only large enough to accommodate their guestlist, but it also houses a magnificent Tiffany dome ceiling and memorable mosaics that leave guests and visitors alike in complete awe.

Family Focused Kristin and Bill chose a daytime wedding as the ambiance was brighter and more welcoming for families. In addition to the timing of their nuptials, the couple also incorporated the use of long King’s tables and family-style meal service designed to encourage conversation and interaction amongst their guests.

Sweet Heritage As a nod to Kristin’s Swedish heritage, the couple requested a princess cake to be served. Chicago’s m.henry crafted a beautiful cake for the couple including the traditional green marzipan that is laid over an airy sponge cake.

Darling Details To finish her bridal look, Kristin wore delicate baroque pearl earrings as she loved their classic elegance and unique features. “I like that each piece is unique since the pearls vary,” explains Kristin when describing her bridal accessories.

Number of Wedding Guests: 150 To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors CEREMONY: Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago | RECEPTION: Chicago Cultural Center | PHOTOGRAPHY: This Is Feeling Photography OFFICIANT: David M. Neff | EVENT PLANNER: Effortless Events | BRIDE’S GOWN: Whistles Wedding | EARRINGS: in2 Design HAIR: Pin Me Up Chicago | MAKEUP: Kelly Letto | FORMALWEAR: Tommy Hilfiger via Macy’s | STATIONERY: Hello Tenfold FLORAL & DÉCOR: Revel Decor | CATERING & SWEETS: Limelight Catering | CAKE: m.henry | RENTALS: Hall’s Rental | LINEN: BBJ Linen ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Logan Bay; Katherine Andrick Music Services; Sound Investment | TRANSPORTATION: Windy City Limousine C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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S P O T L IG HT O N S T Y L E Hues Used:

Charisse & Gene


Vendors FLORAL & DÉCOR: Ashland Addison Florist Company | VENUE: Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile PHOTOGRAPHY: Martini Severin Photography | EVENT PLANNER: Bliss by Sam Wedding and Occasion Planners | LINENS: BBJ Linen STATIONERY: Maxe Designs | CAKE & SWEETS: Cake Chicago | LIGHTING: Luxe Productions | RENTALS: Marquee Event Group To see more photos from this Spotlight on Style, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/inspiration. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Prelude to the Party

REHEARSALS, BRUNCHES, AND EVENTS

270

312 Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Venue

136 N. LaSalle Dr., Chicago 312.325.7118

111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312.443.3530

12 S. Michigan Address,Ave., City Chicago 312.940.3552 000.000.0000

Maximum # of Guests: 225 Starting Price per Person: $60

Maximum # of Guests: 150 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum Maximum##ofofGuests: Guests:300 XX Call Starting Price per Person: $XX

From the heart of Italy to the Heart of the Loop, 312 Chicago focuses on contemporary Italian cuisine by Chef Luca Corazzina. The ambiance continues to evoke the comfort and sophistication of a 1930’s supper club, but the style is pure, modern elegance with rich walnut wood & dramatic chandeliers.

Let your guests mingle with masterpieces by adding a private gallery viewing in the second largest art museum in the country.

TLocated on Chicago’secultural mile on Michigan x Ave. across fromt Tthe iconic MillenniumePark and Jay PritzkerxPavillion, the Chicagot TAthletic Association has e been restored and x transformed into at T241-room luxury lifestyle e hotel. The property x features 17,000t upscalet Tsq. ft. of multi-functional e venue space to accommodate x events and functions of various sizes. Text.

312chicago.com

artic.edu/about/event-planning

chicagoathletichotel.com webaddress.com

Club Lucky

Coco Pazzo Restaurants

The Congress Plaza Hotel

1824 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago 773.227.2300

300 W. Hubbard St. • 212 E. Ohio St., Chicago 312.836.0900

520 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312.427.3800

Maximum # of Guests: 190 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 150 Starting Price per Person: $40

Maximum # of Guests: 550 Starting Price per Person: $45

Bucktown/Wicker Park’s most popular restaurant and unique cocktail lounge. Featuring generous portions of traditional Italian food served family style. Convenient location blocks from expressway and downtown hotels. Private party & wedding room, main dining room and patio available. Special rehearsal, wedding dinner and bar packages.

Coco Pazzo’s elegant setting, and Coco Pazzo Café’s warm ambiance add versatility when selecting the perfect venue for your wedding festivities. Our goal is to make all guests feel welcome, as we embrace all couples and event celebrations.

This downtown Chicago hotel offers a convenient location across from Grant Park and close to Lake Michigan. Since hosting its first wedding in 1893, the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center has upheld an enduring tradition as one of Chicago’s premier settings for unforgettable celebrations.

clubluckychicago.com

cocopazzochicago.com

congressplazahotel.com

CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE FOR DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY.

Kehoe Designs

CHICAGO


CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

CHICAGO -

continued

D.O.C. Wine Bar

Erie Café

Fig & Olive - Chicago

2602 N. Clark St., Chicago 773.480.3708

536 W. Erie St., Chicago 312.266.2300

104 E. Oak St., Chicago 312.445.0060

Maximum # of Guests: 120 Starting Price per Person: $17

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $35

Maximum # of Guests: 400 Starting Price per Person: $55

Thank you for considering D.O.C. Wine Bar for your special event. Our private rooms are available seven days a week for brunch, lunch, or dinner. There are no room rental fees. We can accommodate up to 80 guests for a sit-down meal or up to 120 guests for a relaxing cocktail party complete with our extraordinary wine selections and top-quality appetizers.

The Erie Café is a classic Chicago steakhouse, with warm and inviting fine dining. The Erie Café is a family owned and operated, with 3 generations providing exceptional service and attention to detail. Highly individualized private dining is a priority at this River North establishment.

Fig & Olive - Chicago is located in the city’s luxurious Gold Coast district on tree-lined Oak Street. This 10,000 sq. ft. dining destination features indoor and outdoor spaces which evoke the ambiance of the Mediterranean Riviera. Combined with modern finishes and accents, the venue’s various spaces can accommodate an intimate event of 10 guests to a large event of 400 guests.

docwinebarchicago.com

eriecafe.com

figandolive.com

Galleria Marchetti - La Pergola

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Gibsons Italia

825 W. Erie St., Chicago 312.563.0495

1028 N. Rush St., Chicago 312.587.0508

233 N. Canal St., Chicago 312.414.1100

Maximum # of Guests: 160 Starting Price per Person: $50

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $75

Maximum # of Guests: 750 Starting Price per Person: $45

Introducing La Pergola at Galleria Marchetti, the new openair boutique venue for extraordinary events. This unique setting features a European-designed shade structure with a retractable roof, a beautiful indoor pre-function space, and the fantastic food and service for which the Marchetti’s of Como Inn fame are known.

Always happening and consistently offering abundant portions of USDA Gibson’s prime angus, pristine fish and homemade desserts. Entertainment radiates from the piano bar where locals, celebs and out-of-towners mix and mingle. Choose from six of the iconic steakhouse’s private dining rooms.

Located in the West Loop, Gibsons Italia is a three-level, modern Italian steakhouse that features outdoor dining and a retractable roof showcasing stunning views of the Chicago River. The menu includes seafood, vegetables, risotto, and gold-extruded pasta. At the heart of the menu is a world-class tour of beef featuring Gibsons USDA Prime Angus, grass-fed Australian, and Japanese Kobe.

galleriamarchetti.com

gibsonssteakhouse.com

gibsonsitalia.com CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

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Gino’s East

The Guesthouse Hotel

Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North

162 E. Superior St., Chicago 312.266.5421

4872 N. Clark St., Chicago 773.564.9568

350 W. Mart Ctr. Dr., Chicago 312.529.1114

Maximum # of Guests: 300 Starting Price per Person: $22

Maximum # of Guests: 50 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 400 Starting Price per Person: Call

Our centrally located restaurants are perfect for entertaining a rehearsal dinner, reception, welcome dinner, engagement party or day after brunch. We can offer the perfect setting for your legendary event. Our spacious rooms can accommodate groups of 15-300. Room sizes will vary based on location. Please contact our event management team for further details on custom menus and setup.

Voted one of the best new hotels in Chicago, celebrate like a local at our neighborhood boutique hotel. Perfect for an intimate wedding, rehearsal dinner, shower or milestone celebration, our unique event space is designed with urban sophistication. Our distinctive style and exceptional service is guaranteed to create lasting memories.

From beginning to end, the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North offers innovative culinary concepts, impeccable service, and Instagram-worthy cityscape views overlooking the Chicago River. Our team of professionals work closely with you to provide everything needed to make your wedding dreams come true.

ginoseast.com

theguesthousehotel.com

martplaza.com

Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House

Hyatt Regency Chicago

Kimpton Gray Hotel + Boleo

1024 N. Rush St., Chicago 312.640.0999

151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago 312.565.1234

122 W. Monroe St., Chicago 312.950.7012

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $75

Maximum # of Guests: 40 Starting Price per Person: $40

Maximum # of Guests: 250 Starting Price per Person: $85

A lively next-door neighbor to the iconic Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, this Gold Coast seafood authority offers an impressive selection of fresh seafood, flown in daily, along with renowned USDA Gibsons Prime Angus beef. Guests can choose from six elegant private dining rooms.

Experience Hyatt Regency Chicago’s superior service and style. Whether it’s an elaborate dinner for entertaining or a brunch after the ‘big day’, let us build the perfect backdrop for your event in our private dining room, The Annex or in Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi. Our events team will help you create the perfect menu and an unforgettable celebration.

Boleo, the year-round rooftop lounge at The Kimpton Gray Hotel, may only be 15 floors up, but you’ll feel like you’ve been transported all the way to Argentina. Contact us to plan your timeless celebration under the stars. The drinks flow, the music is always playing, and the food is irresistible!

hugosfrogbar.com

chicago.regency.hyatt.com

grayhotelchicago.com

CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE FOR DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY.

CHICAGO -


CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

CHICAGO -

continued

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago

The Knickerbocker Chicago

Lockwood Restaurant & Bar

505 N. State St., Chicago 312.985.0730

163 Walton Pl., Chicago 312.751.8100

17 E. Monroe St., Chicago 312.917.4933

Maximum # of Guests: 150 Starting Price per Person: $70

Maximum # of Guests: 70 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 75 Starting Price per Person: $50

The Canvas Room, a non-traditional space, boasts highlights like floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor patio space, and the capacity for interactive chef events-thanks to an open-kitchen layout. The sophisticated style of our River North luxury lifestyle hotel-and that loveable Kimpton personality-make us the ideal setting for your next to-do.

The Knickerbocker Chicago is located in the heart of the Gold Coast, and is a versatile venue that is perfect to accommodate any size event. Our Executive Chef will create a special menu for you, whether it be a casual, themed, upscale, or family fun event. We have the experience, knowledge, and setting to get you ready for your special day.

Craft an event reflective of your vision for the occasions leading up to and following your wedding. Entertain in a refined setting under 21 Greek mythology frescoes of the Palmer House Lobby while sampling from seasonally fresh menu selection serving up simple plating of high quality flavors from our rooftop with unique homegrown garden-fresh ingredients.

hotelpalomar-chicago.com

millenniumhotels.com

lockwoodrestaurant.com

LUXBAR

The Metropolitan

The Mid-America Club

18 E. Bellevue Pl., Chicago 312.642.3400

233 S. Wacker Dr., 66th & 67th Fl., Chicago 312.876.3200

200 E. Randolph Dr., 80th Fl., Chicago 312.861.1100

Maximum # of Guests: 180 Starting Price per Person: $50

Maximum # of Guests: 400 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 400 Starting Price per Person: $50

The ultimate evolution of the neighborhood bar in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast. Comfort, convenience and familiarity of the corner tavern are combined with luxury, quality and service. Second level private dining room boasts views of Rush Street.

Located on the 66th & 67th floors of the iconic Willis Tower, experience stunning panoramic views of the Chicago skyline while enjoying world class cuisine & service. Impress your guests with a unique Chicago experience. The Private Event Team at The Metropolitan is ready to assist in turning your vision into a night to remember!

The Mid-America Club is among the most idyllic Chicago venues located just steps from Michigan Avenue, Grant Park, Millennium Park, and we have the best views in the city. The elegant, private ambiance of our venue offers a unique option for those who wish to avoid having their celebration in the public eye of a hotel or restaurant.

luxbar.com

themetropolitanchicago.com

midamclub.com CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

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The Murphy Chicago

Odyssey Chicago River

Orso’s Restaurant

50 E. Erie St., Chicago 312.280.8447

455 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr., Chicago 888.957.2634

1401 N. Wells St., Chicago 312.787.6604

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $110

Maximum # of Guests: 100 Starting Price per Person: $24

Steps away from Michigan Avenue, The Murphy offers elegance, charm and historic space for rehearsal dinners too! Working with Chicago’s top caterers, let us execute a wonderful event for you.

The newest vessel in the Entertainment Cruises fleet – Odyssey Chicago River – has arrived just in time to add a stunning backdrop to your rehearsal dinner. Plated menus, flexible bar packages, curated entertainment and unparalleled views of Chicago’s iconic riverfront combine to make this unique glassenclosed vessel an experience like no other venue in the city.

Old World charm in the heart of Old Town. We offer a variety of options to host rehearsal dinners, engagement events and weddings. Our beautiful outdoor garden can accommodate up to 100 people for a traditional sit-down dinner or up to 125 for a cocktail reception. With keen attention to detail, Orso’s seasoned Event Planners will help make your vision a unique memorable experience for all.

the-murphy.com

odysseycruises.com/chicago-river

orsosrestaurant.com

Paris312

Pazzo’s at 311

Pinstripes

2116 N. Halsted St., Chicago 312.242.1825

311 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago 312.913.1600

435 E. Illinois St., Chicago 312.527.3140

Maximum # of Guests: 50 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 400 Starting Price per Person: $65

Maximum # of Guests: 220 Starting Price per Person: $41

Paris312 is a party store, design studio, and venue for any occasion. Specializing in décor with luxury balloons Paris312 brings a modern Parisian flair to any special event. The space can be transformed for a rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, or post wedding brunch. Capacity is 30 guests seated, or 50 guests cocktail style.

Pazzo’s is located south of Willis Tower. We provide full-service event planning and have two private rooms that seat 50-400 guests. Our atrium makes us one of the most beautiful venues in the city. Let our staff customize an event you’ll always remember in a venue you’ll never forget. Also available for rehearsals and engagements.

Our beautiful ballroom seats up to 220 guests, while our private reception rooms and beautiful outdoor balcony create an intimate experience. Picturesque views of the Chicago skyline, luxurious bowling lanes, bocce courts, and a cozy outdoor fire pit allow you to craft an unforgettable and simply unique wedding celebration.

paris312.com

pazzoschicago.com

pinstripes.com

CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE FOR DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY.

CHICAGO -


CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

CHICAGO -

continued

Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar

Remington’s

River Roast

626 N. State St., Chicago 312.698.5000

20 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312.952.6120

315 N. LaSalle St., Chicago 312.527.1417

Maximum # of Guests: 300 Starting Price per Person: $35

Maximum # of Guests: 250 Starting Price per Person: $55

Maximum # of Guests: 280 Starting Price per Person: $39

Embrace the essence of an authentic Italian urban ristorante, pizzeria and wine bar in quintessential Gibson’s Restaurant Group style. Complimenting the regional Italian cuisine is an extensive wine list with offerings by the liter, mezzo or quartino.

Remington’s is a classic American grill, welcoming guests to enjoy from scratch cooking & unparalleled service in an elevated & sophisticated atmosphere. Located steps from Millennium Park, this energetic & modern restaurant offers multiple private & semiprivate event spaces. Spaces include the much-buzzed about Wine Room featuring glass walls filled with 1200 bottles of wine.

Located on the Chicago River, River Roast offers dramatic city and water views from every seat. James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano and executive Chef John Hogan’s menu of contemporary American tavern fare is satisfying and soul-warming. Our private rooms accommodate intimate affairs from 50-280 for cocktails and dinner with access to a private outdoor veranda.

quartinochicago.com

remingtonschicago.com

riverroastchicago.com

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Ronero

Salvatore’s Ristorante

1 W. Grand Ave., Chicago 312.755.1677

738 W. Randolph St., Chicago 312.600.6105

525 W. Arlington Pl., Chicago 773.528.1200

Maximum # of Guests: 250 Starting Price per Person: $40

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $25

Maximum # of Guests: 230 Starting Price per Person: $45

Rock Bottom will make your wedding event a memorable one! Our renovated event spaces & rooftop terrace create an atmosphere for a one-of-a-kind event. River North location, private rooms with full bar access, upgraded AV capabilities and a private staff dedicated to you. Add our award-winning craft beer selections and innovative menu choices and you have the recipe for your event’s success!

Located in the Westloop, Ronero takes guests on a journey through South America; highlighting flavors from Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina. The space pulls inspiration from the Art Deco era, mixed with rustic Colonial to emulate the perfect Latin American backdrop. Our private rooms accommodate both intimate and larger groups, making it the perfect space for any style event.

Salvatore’s is the perfect place to begin your wedding celebration! Let our staff create a rehearsal dinner, reception or bridal shower that you will never forget! With the help of our event planners expertise, they can design every detail to fit your needs. From linen to custom menus we are always happy to help!

rockbottom.com

ronerochicago.com

salvatores-chicago.com CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

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Shula’s Steak House

Spiaggia Private Events

St. Jane Chicago

301 E. North Water St., Chicago 312.329.6831

980 N. Michigan Ave., 3rd Fl., Chicago 312.280.3300

230 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312.345.1000

Maximum # of Guests: 45 Starting Price per Person: $75

Maximum # of Guests: 300 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 250 Starting Price per Person: $100

Enjoy an undefeated private dining experience with the best beef money can buy, The SHULA CUT®. Our private room seats up to 45 people, features audio-visual capabilities, specialized group dining menus, and a highly qualified service team. With Shula’s experience and dedication, we ensure that your event will be a “Perfect” one.

Featuring floor to ceiling panoramic views of Lake Michigan and The Magnificent Mile, Spiaggia’s private event spaces set the perfect backdrop for your rehearsal dinner. James Beard award winning Chef Partner Tony Mantuano, Executive Chef and Season 15 Top Chef winner Joe Flamm and Sommelier Rachael Lowe support in creating a menu and experience to wow all guests.

The opulence of Art-Deco meets contemporary splendor at St. Jane, a hotel and event space for those seeking a distinctly different rehearsal dinner experience. The perfect backdrop to your celebration, St. Jane represents a common ground for the uncommon. With intimate, gorgeously-appointed spaces, impeccable guest service, and a building unique to the entire city, St. Jane is truly an invitation to the remarkable.

donshula.com

spiaggiarestaurant.com

stjanehotel.com

Terrace 16

Tuco & Blondie

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago 312.588.8030

3358 N. Southport Ave., Chicago 773.327.8226

2008 W. Roscoe St., Chicago 773.348.4600

Maximum # of Guests: 50 Starting Price per Person: $75

Maximum # of Guests: 60 Starting Price per Person: $18

Maximum # of Guests: 120 Starting Price per Person: $45

The rehearsal dinner marks the beginning of your celebration and Terrace 16 can create a truly memorable evening. Our private dining rooms and outdoor patio offers stunning views of the city, Chicago River and Lake Michigan, matched only by the exceptional cuisine by Michelin Awarded Chef Nick Dostal.

If you’re hungry, chow down. If you’re thirsty, drink up. We have room for all. The hottest new spot on Southport! Private & semi-private rooms available seven days a week for (up-to) 60 guests. Perfect for your shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, or reception. With several party options...it’s a perfect fit with a lot of fun!

Volo has been fortunate to have hosted many rehearsal dinners, post-wedding brunches, and other wedding related celebrations that have been truly special. We’d love to create a unique and memorable celebration for you. Our “#1 Hidden City Patio” (Chicago Magazine), 100 year old patina’d barn, and urbanchic dining room combine to create an ideal wedding venue.

trumphotels.com/chicago

tucoandblondie.com

volorestaurant.com

CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE FOR DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY.

CHICAGO -


CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

CHICAGO -

continued

W Chicago - City Center

W Chicago - Lakeshore

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago

172 W. Adams St., Chicago 312.332.1200

644 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago 312.943.9200

701 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 312.274.6421

Maximum # of Guests: 300 Starting Price per Person: $99

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $99

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $70

Old-world glam meets iconic W style. Step across the vintage terrazzo floor in our spectacular venue, surrounded by vaulted archways and beaux-arts architecture. Our sensational spaces are just the beginning; when you plan your wedding events with us, you’ll get to enjoy exclusive Whatever/Whenever® services, so all you’ll need to do is decide how you’ll make a grand entrance.

Lofty visions and high expectations? Not a problem. Towering above the Windy City, W Chicago – Lakeshore offers 360-degree views of downtown Chicago and the pristine waters of Lake Michigan. The only hotel with an unobstructed lake-front vantage point, our incredible backdrop is only rivalled by our unparalleled W-signature service.

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago presents two very different, yet equally spectacular ballrooms, for your occasion. Our 23rd Tip Top Tap offers breathtaking views of Michigan Avenue and downtown Chicago, accommodating up to 200. For more intimate affairs, you’ll love the architectural features of our 3rd floor Buckingham Ballroom, accommodating up to 120 guests.

wchicagocitycenter.com

wchicago-lakeshore.com

warwickhotels.com

Weber Grill Restaurant

The Windsor

Multiple locations, Chicago & Suburbs 630.953.8356

160 E. Huron St., Chicago 312.952.6120

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

Maximum # of Guests: 150 Starting Price per Person: $26

Maximum # of Guests: 175 Starting Price per Person: $45

From backyard barbecues to gourmet dinners Weber Grill Restaurants can help you create the perfect event. We have many options including Private rooms with patios as well as full service catering with On-Site Grilling. Let us share our passion for grilling and entertainment while you sit back and enjoy your guests.

Located just steps off Michigan Avenue, The Windsor is your neighborhood hideout for enjoying craft cocktails, classic American fare, and good times in the heart of Streeterville. Warm hospitality combined with an elevated menu makes each dining experience unforgettable. Multiple private and semi-private event spaces for your shower, rehearsal dinner, reception, or post-wedding brunch!

Chicago’s newest addition to the rehearsal dinner scene. Stunning, panoramic views of the city, a true Chicago experience like no other! Amazing food, outstanding service, and jaw dropping views.

webergrillrestaurant.com

thewindsorchicago.com

wyndhamgrandchicagoriverfront.com

71 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago 312.462.7077 Maximum # of Guests: 140 Starting Price per Person: $50

CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

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Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

Eaglewood Resort & Spa

1524 S. Randall Rd., Algonquin 847.658.5040

20560 N. Rand Rd., Deer Park 847.438.1850

1401 Nordic Rd., Itasca 630.694.5907

Maximum # of Guests: 84 Starting Price per Person: $15

Maximum # of Guests: 72 Starting Price per Person: $15

Maximum # of Guests: 340 Starting Price per Person: $40

Located in Algonquin Commons, Biaggi’s Special Event Room comfortably accommodates up to 84 guests. With large tables, glass and mahogany wine displays and a stone hearth fireplace, your guests will dine in comfort. Whether it’s your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or wedding reception, let Biaggi’s help to make your special day an event to remember.

Located in the Deer Park Town Center, Biaggi’s offers a choice of private room options. Our Special Event Room, complete with mahogany wine displays, comfortably accommodates up to 72 guests. And our Wine Room is perfect for smaller gatherings of 10 – 20 guests. Let Biaggi’s help to make your special day an event to remember.

Nestled on 106 acres of lush, manicured grounds, Eaglewood can provide an unforgettable setting for your happily ever after. From breathtaking photo opportunities and personalized culinary creations to authentically crafted receptions and rehearsal dinners, we look forward to delivering a day as momentous as your love for each other.

biaggis.com

biaggis.com

eaglewoodresort.com

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Gino’s East

Grand Victoria Casino

5464 N. River Rd., Rosemont 312.587.0508

45 S. Barrington Rd., South Barrington 847.304.4466

250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin 847.531.7652

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $65

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $22

Maximum # of Guests: 250 Starting Price per Person: $54

This Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse location is situated in the heart of Chicagoland’s bustling Rosemont area, a stone’s throw from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Allstate Arena and the Rosemont Theater. The classic American steakhouse features Gibsons Prime Angus beef along with fresh fish, classic cocktails, an extensive wine list and exceptional service.

Perfect for entertaining a rehearsal dinner, reception, welcome dinner, engagement party or day after brunch. We can offer the perfect setting for your legendary event. Our spacious rooms can accommodate groups of 10-150. If you are from Chicago or visiting for the first time, Gino’s East is the spot to make your memorable event stick out from the rest.

Reinvent your reception at the Grand Victoria Casino! Experience two newly renovated ballrooms, the Grand Ballroom and the Victoria Ballroom, plus our outdoor balcony overlooking the picturesque Fox River. Let us customize the perfect menu for your ideal reception, rehearsal, or brunch.

gibsonssteakhouse.com

ginoseast.com

grandvictoriacasino.com

CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE FOR DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY.

NORTH & NORTHWEST


CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

NORTH SHORE

continued

Sharrett Studios

Andre LaCour Photography

CHICAGO - continued NORTH & NORTHWEST -

Hofbräuhaus Chicago

Wandering Tree Estate

The Crystal Ballroom & Lounge

5500 Park Pl., Rosemont 847.671.2739

North Barrington, IL 847.381.1907

529 Davis St., Evanston 847.570.4400

Maximum # of Guests: 1000 Starting Price per Person: $33

Maximum # of Guests: 275 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 220 Starting Price per Person: $35

Hofbräuhaus Chicago provides an authentic entertainment experience. From traditional German cuisine to famous freshly brewed beers, and nightly live music from Germany, every day feels like Oktoberfest. Hofbräuhaus Chicago can accommodate any size party and offers three classic rooms: the Beer Hall, King Ludwig Room and Biergarten.

Wandering Tree Estate is an exceptional venue for extraordinary events. It’s the only private estate in the Metropolitan Chicago Area that is open for exclusive luxury celebrations and gatherings. Wandering Tree Estate provides ten acres of award-winning gardens at the edge of a fouracre lake along with scenic model garden railways.

Crystal Ballroom & Lounge takes events to the next level with a stunning space featuring scratch cooking, personalized one on one attention, and a flexible approach. From casual to refined, we ensure you have exactly the experience you’ve dreamed of. Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, you’ll have lakefront photo ops, guest accommodations, and amazing nightlife at your fingertips.

hbchicago.com

wanderingtree.com

crystalevanston.com

Highland Park Country Club

Hilton Orrington/Evanston

Pinstripes

1201 Park Ave. W., Highland Park 847.579.4047

1710 Orrington Ave., Evanston 847.556.7920

1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook 847.480.7676

Maximum # of Guests: 350 Starting Price per Person: Call

Maximum # of Guests: 450 Starting Price per Person: $39

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $38

You and your guests will enjoy excellence that extends from our first-class service to our first-class menu prepared by Catered By Design. Make your event memorable in our beautifully appointed main room and adjacent salons with floor to ceiling windows and patio overlooking spectacular nature views. All at a location that is conveniently accessible.

The Northshore’s finest hotel located in the heart of Evanston. Ideal for your rehearsal dinner, brunch the following day of your wedding, showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties. Amazing space to fit your needs and style. More than 8 various and unique spaces to choose from.

Our beautifully appointed ballroom seats up to 200 guests. Private reception rooms and a grand outdoor patio surrounded by picturesque wetlands create an intimate experience. Luxurious bowling lanes, bocce courts, and a cozy fire pit allow you to craft a simply unique wedding celebration.

highlandparkcc.com

orringtonevanston.hilton.com

pinstripes.com CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

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CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

WEST

Holiday Inn Countryside & William Tell Banquets

Whitney’s

Arrowhead Golf Club

9333 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn 708.229.8888

26W151 Butterfield Rd., Wheaton 630.653.5800

Maximum # of Guests: 40 Starting Price per Person: $15

Maximum # of Guests: 250 Starting Price per Person: $27

From the time you book a private dining room until the final toast is made, we will cater to your every need. Almost anything on our menus can be on your private menu, from delectable appetizers, to mouth-watering steak, to delicious desserts. Premium bars & award-winning wines are also available.

Nestled among a forest preserve, the stone and brick clubhouse, lush fairways, lavish greens and sparkling waters provide the perfect setting for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, and indoor and outdoor ceremonies.

holidayinn.com/countrysideil

whitneyscafe.com

arrowheadgolfclub.org

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

The Carleton of Oak Park

D.O.C. Wine Bar

2752 Showplace Dr., Naperville 630.428.8500

1110 Pleasant St., Oak Park 708.848.5000

326 Yorktown Ctr., Lombard 773.480.3708

Maximum # of Guests: 56 Starting Price per Person: $15

Maximum # of Guests: 200 Starting Price per Person: $35

Maximum # of Guests: 100 Starting Price per Person: $17

Located in Naperville Crossings, Biaggi’s Special Event Room comfortably accommodates up to 56 guests. With large tables, glass and mahogany wine displays and a stone hearth fireplace, your guests will dine in comfort. Whether it’s your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or wedding reception, let Biaggi’s help to make your special day an event to remember.

Class, quality and ambiance are the signature of events hosted by The Carleton of Oak Park. A historical venue with event coordinators eager to assist in the planning of your celebration, The Carleton is located 9 miles from downtown Chicago and has over 6,000 sq. ft. of event space, making it the ideal location for rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches.

Thank you for considering D.O.C. Wine Bar for your special event. Our two private rooms are available seven days a week for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Join us for a sit-down meal or cocktail style reception. Our event spaces feature a private bar, table and couch/lounge seating, floor to ceiling windows, fireplace, and access to an outdoor courtyard.

biaggis.com

carletonhotel.com

docwinebarchicago.com

6201 Joliet Rd., Countryside 708.354.4200 Maximum # of Guests: 350 Starting Price per Person: $50 Unique venue offering four spacious ballrooms featuring fireplaces, stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and skylights. Our customized wedding packages are tailored to suit each couple’s wishes!

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CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE FOR DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY.

Timothy Whaley & Associates

SOUTH


CELEBRATION LOCATIONS

CHICAGO - continued WEST - continued

The Drake Oak Brook

Gino’s East

Naper Settlement

2301 York Rd., Oak Brook 630.571.0000

315 W. Front St., Wheaton 630.588.1010

523 S. Webster St., Naperville 630.420.6010

Maximum # of Guests: 350 Starting Price per Person: $30

Maximum # of Guests: 150 Starting Price per Person: $22

Maximum # of Guests: 40 Starting Price per Person: Call

The Drake Oak Brook Hotel will create a rehearsal dinner that will be one to remember. Whether your party is casual or calls for a truly extravagant meal, we offer many options that are perfect for your special event needs. Our culinary team uses the freshest and highest quality products.

Perfect for entertaining a rehearsal dinner, reception, welcome dinner, engagement party or day after brunch. We can offer the perfect setting for your legendary event. Our spacious rooms can accommodate groups of 10-150. If you are from Chicago or visiting for the first time, Gino’s East is the spot to make your memorable event stick out from the rest.

With its warm wood floors and ceiling, authentic hand-carved bar and period lighting, the historic tavern is an ideal setting for a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower. An outdoor patio is also available. Our exclusive listing of approved caterers and staff will work hand-in-hand with you to make your event unforgettable.

thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com

ginoseast.com

napersettlement.org

The Oaks at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Pinstripes

Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante

2105 S. Spring Rd., Oak Brook 630.954.0000

7 Oakbrook Ctr., Oak Brook 630.575.8744

2251 W. Lake St., Addison 630.376.1500

Maximum # of Guests: 300 Starting Price per Person: $65

Maximum # of Guests: 270 Starting Price per Person: $38

Maximum # of Guests: 600 Starting Price per Person: $65

The OAKS is a nearly 6,000 sq. ft. private dining expansion at Gibsons’ Oak Brook location. The versatile and beautiful space, with hardwood floors, terrazzo entry, and custom wooden accents, is accompanied by Gibsons’ legendary food and service for events of all kinds. Customizable menus will be available from the expert private dining team.

Our beautifully appointed ballroom seats up to 270 guests; private reception rooms and beautiful outdoor patio create an intimate experience. Luxurious bowling lanes, bocce courts, and cozy fire pit allow you to craft an unforgettable and simply unique wedding celebration.

Enjoy your party at Chicagoland’s most dramatic special events property. Old world architecture mixed with contemporary artwork offers the elegance and warmth that you deserve on your special day. Known for our attention to detail, five star service and our exquisite food, let Venuti’s customize your private event.

gibsonssteakhouse.com

pinstripes.com

venutisbanquets.com CHICAGOSTYLEWEDDINGS.COM

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R E N ATA & S E R G E I How Sergei Knew He Had Found the One “We spent quite a bit of time together and during that time I could tell we shared the same values as one another. I loved her calm nature and clear thinking and one day I knew I needed to tell her I loved her.”

Why Chicago? “Our friends and family live in Chicago and New York so in order to make it work logistically we decided on celebrating our big day here in the Windy City.”

Attention to Detail “Pinstripes has large windows and gorgeous wood surfaces in their halls, so our florist was really able to bring the space to life with roses, gold accents, and romantic lights.”

Renata’s Favorite Memory “We had planned an outdoor ceremony for our wedding and with rain in the forecast, I knew all hope was lost. My spirits were low, but Sergei reminded me about faith. The rain had subsided just long enough for us to take our photo session in our favorite outdoor locations before the rain resumed.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 65

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Venue: Pinstripes - Northbrook | PHOTOGRAPHY: Maksym Prokopiv Photography | VIDeOGRAPHY: Weddline Studio OFFICIAnT: Sergei Shakhov | RInGS: EVS Designs | BRIDe’S GOWn: Allessandra Rinaudo via Viero Bridal BRIDe’S SHOeS: Badgley Mischka | BRIDe’S HAIR COmB: Mariell | HAIR: Gulnara Petrova | mAKeuP: Elena Grevtsova FORmALWeAR: Jos. A. Bank | STATIOneRY: Elegant Wedding Invites | FLORAL & DÉCOR: Lora’s Floral Arrangements CATeRInG: Pinstripes | enTeRTAInmenT: Bravo Chicago DJs | CAKe & SWeeTS: Lana’s Dazzling Desserts C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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DESIGNERS’ CHALLENGE local PlanneRs go head-to-head t o c R e at e t h e i R fa n ta s Y W e d d i n g d e s i g n s .

a Venetian a f fa i R

constRucted elegance

he said Yes!

VOTE fOr  yOur  faVOriTE  dEsign  aT  chicagOsT ylEwEddings.cOm/VOTE

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Whimsical Romance


A Venetian Affair – Lynne Kennedy The Gilded Aisle • thegildedaisleweddings.com The Gilded Aisle is a Chicago-area luxury boutique planning firm. As planners to Chicago’s most discerning brides and grooms, we work with our clients to carefully curate an unforgettable wedding day experience. The Gilded Aisle is owned by Lynne Kennedy. She has earned her Professional Wedding Planner™ designation through the Association of Bridal Consultants and also serves as the organization’s State Manager for Illinois.

Constructed Elegance – Kasey Larson DBY events • dbyevents.com Kasey, a CPA, finds that her business background is very effective in helping her newly engaged clients stay on budget, but the creative side of her brain also led her to a design certification and a minor in art. After working in fundraising, event management, and advertising, in 2003 Kasey and a business partner began the retail design studio that would grow into DBY events & invitations. Over the past 20 years, she has planned events large and small for a wide range of clientele.

He Said Yes! – Misha Newgren Nouvelle Events • nouvelleevents.com Based in Chicago, Nouvelle Events delights in creating spectacular weddings that are pure you. Each event is an original, just like our couples. Owner Misha Newgren and collective, tailor the wedding planning process to their clients' needs. Specializing in full-service planning, packages in month-of and partial planning are also available. Nouvelle works with couples to customize the process, assembling a team of vendors and pulling together the sweet details of the day which bring a wedding day vision to life.

Whimsical Romance – Margaret Ochoa Creatively Inspired • ciwevents.com Creatively Inspired Weddings & Events is a full-service event planning and design firm with expertise in planning weddings in beautiful locations around the U.S. and the Caribbean. Margaret Ochoa is the owner and creative director of the company. She is passionate about her work and understands that her clients want unique experiences that are tailored to their individual styles. Margaret and her team find inspiration to capture the essence of their clients through thoughtfulness and creativity.

Photographer – Rick Aguilar Rick Aguilar Studios • rickaguilar.com Rick Aguilar has been a photographer for more than 20 years in Chicago. His fun, artistic approach to weddings makes him a favorite for top wedding clients in the city of Chicago. Rick has a timeless and journalistic feel to his photographs. His years of experience in the wedding industry make him a valued asset in the event community. His work has been featured in a variety of wedding magazines, books, and wedding websites. Rick has taken part in national reality TV shows on networks such as Bravo, The CW, and VH1. He had the pleasure of photographing some of the top weddings in Chicago, including the mayor of Chicago.

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designers’ challenge |

A VE N E T IA N A F FAIR

THE GILDED AISLE


The Team PLANNER/STYLIST The Gilded Aisle thegildedaisleweddings.com FLORAL & DÉCOR Kensington Florals & Events kensingtonflorals.com CAKE & SWEETS Amy Beck Cake Design amybeckcakedesign.com STATIONERY Maxe Designs mollyaxe.com RENTALS Marquee Event Group marqueerents.com VENUE Chicago Athletic Association chicagoathletichotel.com PHOTOGRAPHY Rick Aguilar Studios rickaguilar.com

Vote for your favorite design at chicagostyleweddings.com/vote


designers’ challenge |

C ON ST RU C T E D E L E G AN CE DBY EVENTS


The Team PLANNER/STYLIST DBY events dbyinvitations.com FLORAL & DÉCOR Beautiful Florals & Décor beautifulfloralsdecor.com CAKE & SWEETS Delish Cakes delishcakes.net STATIONERY DBY invitations dbyinvitations.com RENTALS Marquee Event Group marqueerents.com VENUE The Drake Oak Brook thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com PHOTOGRAPHY Rick Aguilar Studios rickaguilar.com

Vote for your favorite design at chicagostyleweddings.com/vote


designers’ challenge |

H E S A ID Y E S!

NOUVELLE EVENTS


The Team PLANNER/STYLIST Nouvelle Events nouvelleevents.com FLORAL & DÉCOR Northern Greenhouses ngfloral.com CAKE & SWEETS Bittersweet bittersweetpastry.com STATIONERY Double Trip Press doubletrippress.com RENTALS Marquee Event Group marqueerents.com; The Festive Frog thefestivefrog.com VENUE Kimpton Gray Hotel grayhotelchicago.com PHOTOGRAPHY Rick Aguilar Studios rickaguilar.com Vote for your favorite design at chicagostyleweddings.com/vote


designers’ challenge |

W H IMS I C A L RO MA NC E

CREATIVELY INSPIRED EVENTS


The Team PLANNER/STYLIST Creatively Inspired Events creativelyinspiredevents.com FLORAL & DÉCOR Yanni Design Studio yannidesignstudio.com CAKE & SWEETS Oak Mill Bakery oakmillbakery.com STATIONERY Too Chic Little Shab Design Studio toochiclittleshab.com RENTALS Marquee Event Group marqueerents.com VENUE Bridgeport Art Center bridgeportart.com PHOTOGRAPHY Rick Aguilar Studios rickaguilar.com

Vote for your favorite design at chicagostyleweddings.com/vote


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Ask A

PLANNER N

ot all heroes get to wear capes and star in Marvel

to discover that planning a wedding involves so much more

films but if anyone from your team of wedding vendors

than juggling a team of vendors. It’s a demanding job that takes

deserves superhero treatment, it’s your planner.

amazing time management skills, leadership, empathy, a sense

Placing your dream wedding in the hands of a stranger can be

of humor, and even some occasional bravery. It’s a combination

a nerve-inducing decision, but if you’ve picked a true professional,

of traits that sounds almost… heroic.

there’s a great chance that hiring a planner will end up becoming one of the best decisions you have ever made.

We rounded up the top questions that engaged couples

Many couples approach organizing their wedding with a

have when it comes to hiring a planner. You asked, and they

cavalier “How hard can it be?” attitude, but they quickly come

answered!

WRITTEN BY Christina Oddo | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Ashley Galminas Photography C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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PlAnnIng & PreP

Q

A

Finding the right planner has been

8, 12, or 24 months and interacting with

so tricky! At the end of the day, are

them more frequently than any other

all wedding planners the same?

vendor. This is why it is so important that

While I would like to think that all wedding planners have the same

goal: to make the couple's wedding

planning experience easier; there are so many things to consider when choosing your wedding planner. There are wedding

you hire someone you'll love working with and that you trust to execute your vision. Ultimately your wedding planner will protect the large investment you're making into this special event. – Alexis Alvarez at Lillian Rose Events

coordinators, planners, and designers and some who do it all. One isn't better than the other, but it's important to know what you're looking for and find someone

Q

my wedding to be, or can they help

meet your specific needs. Another really

me figure that out?

important piece to the puzzle is personality. I tell all of my couples during our ner-couple relationship is so intimate that it is probably the most important

planner like? Do I have to come with a complete vision of how I want

who has the talent and experience to

first conversation that the wedding plan-

What’s a first meeting with a

A

Bringing ideas, sharing Pinterest boards, photos and color scheme

options help tremendously for that first meeting. But, a seasoned planner will

factor in your partnership decision. You

also be able to review your details and

will be working with this person for up to

know what is feasible and within your budget during that first conversation. The more information that can be provided about the wedding party, desired flow of the day, and theme, the more you will get accomplished during your first meeting. Then, your planner can hit the ground running with your ideas. – Bethany Moore at Bethany Moore Events

Q

What are some signs that your planner really knows what he or she is doing?

A

Can they show you their previous work? Do they answer your questions

confidently? Are they asking questions

that make you think of things you never would have thought of yourself? A wedding planner should be like a coach. We do this every weekend, so you probably aren’t aware of all the skills we bring to the table. It’s our job to make sure everything is covered. A planner that’s been in the game for a while is 298

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PLANNINg & PreP

able to suggest unique ideas and creative

amount of time you will have to spend

of the day that takes place at the

solutions. Another good cue that someone

making sure everything is taken care of

reception venue. However, he or she will

really knows what they’re doing is when

properly. This could be similar to a part-

not be in attendance at all of the additional

they look for inspiration everywhere.

time job. You will likely end up paying

wedding related events. Your venue coor-

When you sit down with a potential plan-

more money. Typically, wedding planners

dinator will not be at your rehearsal or

ner, they should be showing you concepts

have relationships with vendors they

your church while you exchange your

from home décor, architectural, and

work with regularly. These partnerships

vows. A wedding planner can assist you

food magazines, not just the obvious

can possibly save you money in the long

with a variety of additional items. For

bridal magazines. They should also be

run. Planning your own wedding from

example, schedule your transportation,

able to show you past events in a vari-

start to finish may also bring on stress.

help you into your wedding gown, and

ety of venues and in all of Chicago’s

You don’t want drama during your

create an itinerary detailing the wedding

different seasons. – Cindy Shanholtz at Effortless Events

engagement and wedding day – leave it to a planner! – Denise Bonds at Windermere

Q

myself and then have a day-of coordinator come in at the end?

A

Elegant Weddings

Can’t I do all the major planning

Yes, you can plan your wedding and

frame, and design your day. Cons – the

reception. Let a professional assist you all along the way. – Misha Newgren at Nouvelle

Q

Our venue has a planner on staff.

Events

Do I really need to hire an outside planner?

invest in a Day-Of Coordinator. Pros

– you plan, work within your own time

day from dawn to dusk. There is much more to getting married than just the

A

An on-site venue coordinator can be very helpful relating to the portion

Q

What’s the biggest wedding day disaster that you’ve had to deal with, and how did you fix it? I’m so nervous about unexpected things going wrong!

A

If you are working with a professional wedding planner, chances are, you

will never know if something didn't go according to plan; even long after your

wedding day. I've dealt with a variety of issues, but it’s my job to ensure they are handled professionally, quickly, quietly, and with your best interest at heart. From broken elevators and unplanned speeches

to

drooping

cakes

and

Mother Nature's unpredictability – you name it, I've dealt with it. Having a great plan in place is critical, but you have to have a great back up plan too! I've had to make emergency phone calls to vendors to assist with 150 accidentally broken champagne flutes. I have personally re-frosted a cake that had melted in the sun, ushered un-wanted speakers away from the microphone and sewn up groomsmen’s pants when they busted at the seams. There are a 300

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PlaNNING & PrEP

lot of fun stories to share, but some of these horror stories are from weddings without professionals at the helm. Do

Q

yourself a favor and hire professionals

talented, responsive, and a team player.

When a planner recommends a florist, stationer, or any other type

Our preferred vendors willingly go above

of vendor, how do they come up with

and beyond for their couples and will provide the best value. That said, we

those recommendations?

who have experience servicing weddings. You have one wedding day, make it memorable (in a good way)! – Tionna Van Gundy at Wedicity – Wedding & Event Detailing

also recommend certain vendors based

A

The only way to get on our “preferred vendor list” is to do an amazing job

on price, availability, and style. No list of vendors is ever the same. Every couple

for our couples. We only refer vendors

is different, so their vendor list should

that have a proven track record of being

reflect that. – Lori Stephenson at Lola Event

Timothy Whaley Photographic Artists

Productions

Q

How accurate is the movie “The Wedding Planner?” Silly question, but I’ve always wondered!

A

In some ways, it’s spot on. The scene where Mary is walking calmly

in front of guests and then running when

she’s out of sight, is pretty accurate. Some scenes are fairly exaggerated, but hey, it’s Hollywood! One part I wish was true: Mary’s toolbelt under her blazer! I have searched high and low for an underthe-blazer tool belt, but our fanny packstyle belts will have to do. – Sarah Rodriguez at Sarah Kathleen Events

Q

After seeing so many couples say "I do!”, what advice do you have for couples who are planning their Big Day?

A

If I could offer one piece of advice to all the newly married couples it

would be this: after you are married, keep investing in your relationship. Marriage is very similar to business. You always need to develop the marriage

and create excitement in your relationship.

Heather McDaniel Studio

Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP!

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– Shuki Moran at Exceptional Events by Shuki

To find the perfect event planner for your Big Day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.


Day-Of Anxiety Relief Tips and Tricks for When You GeT overWhelmed stage fright walking down the aisle, that

outdoors and it’s pouring rain. now what?

like to take things down a notch for a

weird thing your hair is doing, or the

a great wedding planner (or a bestie who’s

couple of songs. Take advantage of this

weather forecast gone awry, these are

been there) can help you plan for plan B,

time to reconnect with one another, even

just some of the factors that can induce

before the wedding. That way, you will

if it’s just for three minutes to waltz to

wedding day anxiety. The good news is,

have a solution on hand, one that will keep

“When a man loves a Woman”. for a

there are tons of tips and tricks for

your day from going totally off the rails.

keeping it together when you start to feel totally overwhelmed.

HAVE A MEMBER OF YOUR BRIDAL PARTY ON CALL.

day dedicated to celebrating the two of you, surprisingly, you see very little of each other once the festivities begin.

A LITTLE LAVENDER GOES A LONG WAY.

do you keep missing the tray of mini

in your day-of bridal survival kit, consider

cousin has pulled you aside to say hi?

tossing in a small bottle of lavender essen-

While making your guests feel welcome

normally, an extra glass of wine or two,

tial oil. lavender oil has long been studied

is critical wedding day etiquette, you’re

to help you unwind after a long day is

for its calming properties, helping to elim-

also entitled to a break from the chit-

entirely fair game. But, if you find your-

inate anxiety and soothe stress. a couple

chat. having a member of your bridal

self repeatedly hitting the open bar to

of drops on the inside of your wrists or

party nearby will give you time to relax

relieve that wedding day anxiety, you

on the soles of your dance-fatigued feet,

and refuel for a second wind.

might want to think twice. from being

quiche appetizers because yet another

followed by some deep breathing, can

AVOID THAT IMPULSE TO HIT THE OPEN BAR.

too buzzed to appreciate memorable

totally Zen you out in a pinch.

HAVE A CHAT WITH THE DJ.

moments to getting a little sloppier

PLAN FOR PLAN B.

feeling like you have not had enough

your anxiety outlet is probably best

planning for plan B isn’t easy. You had

one-on-one time with your new spouse?

avoided. save those celebratory sips

your heart set on first-look photographs

Give the dJ a heads up that you would

for the honeymoon.

than intended, using the open bar as

WRITTEN BY E. Ce. Miller | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Ocken Photography C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Ceremony Essentials W h AT T O p l A n p r i O r T O S Ay i n g , “ i D O ! ”

W

hile every couple’s wedding is unique, when it

1. THE ANGLES.

comes to planning the Big Day, it often seems that

Many ceremonies have a pretty standard set-up: the couple

a large amount of focus and energy goes toward

and officiant are up front, the bridal party is on either side, and

planning the perfect reception. Of course, the reception and all

the guests are seated in rows (with an aisle in-between). But

of its intricacies are indeed a big undertaking – but it’s only one

that doesn’t mean every ceremony looks that way. Depending

part of your wedding day. The reception is a celebration of the

on your venue, the layout might be slightly different. Make sure

ceremony that precedes it, and planning the ceremony takes

you discuss with your wedding planner or the venue manager

time and effort as well. As you work toward putting together

exactly how everything will look. Some questions you may con-

your perfect day, consider these seven key ceremony aspects.

sider asking include: Where will you and your officiant stand?

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plannIng & prep

Will you be on a platform elevated slightly above your guests, or on the same level? Where will your bridal party stand or sit? Where will your guests sit? Will everyone be able to see the action? It’s worth having a conversation with your photographer and videographer once you have a concept of the layout, so they can ensure they’ll be able to get the photographs they need.

2. THE DURATION. If you’re following a fairly traditional ceremony (such as a religious one), the length may be dictated by the predetermined elements of that ceremony. If not, it’s a good idea to consider how long you ideally want your ceremony to last before figuring out the individual parts of it. Do you want it to be a short and sweet 20 minutes and get your guests quickly to cocktail hour? Or do you want to take more time – perhaps 45 minutes to an hour – to incorporate more components that are important to you? Keep in mind that the length of the ceremony affects the rest of your schedule as well. When deciding on ceremony length, try mapping out a rough itinerary for the day, working backward from your reception. If the ceremony is 45 minutes, for example, what time will you need to start in order to get you and your guests to the reception on time? If the ceremony and reception are at the same venue, what time will you need to start to ensure the cocktail hour starts on time?

3. THE ORDER OF EVENTS. If you are putting together your ceremony without following a predetermined layout, it’s up to you to decide the order of events. Some of the most traditional elements of a ceremony include the processional, the officiant’s greeting and message to the couple, the declaration C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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of intent, the readings, the vows, the

immediately before the vows, for exam-

until you find something that feels right

exchange of rings, the pronouncement

ple, it’s completely fine to swap those

for you and your fiancé.

of marriage, the kiss, and the recessional.

two, or include a reading in between.

There are of course certain components

You can intersperse a few readings

that clearly fit into certain spots, but

throughout the ceremony or have them

you have some freedom with the order

read consecutively. Try “storyboarding”

One of the most fun parts of planning

of the ceremony, after all, it’s your cere-

the ceremony: write each element on a

your ceremony is deciding what ele-

mony. While you may find that plenty of

small piece of paper, lay them out in

ments you’ll include. Again, there are

couples do the declaration of intent

order, and then play around with them

plenty of traditional components to a

4. THE EVENTS THEMSELVES.

wedding ceremony, but you can decide which of those to use and not use, as well as any additional “events” you may fancy. The decisions can be based on whether the ceremony is religious, nondenominational, or perhaps a fusion of two different cultures. The ceremony can be based on what speaks to you and what best represents you as a couple. For example, you may want to include a memorial to loved ones, a thank you to your guests, a “Blessing of the Hands,” or a musical performance, the options are limitless. Customize the content and wording of your Big Day as you would like. Don’t feel constrained to only the most common wedding readings. For example, if you want someone to recite the lyrics of your favorite song, go for it! And when it comes to things like the declaration of intent, there are many variations your officiant can use leading up to the “I do”. Browse online and find versions that really speak to you. Many people choose to incorporate a mini “unity ceremony” within the larger ceremony. If you go that route, consider what style of unity ceremony you would like – such as mixing two different colors of sand into one glass vase or using two separate candles to light one unity candle simultaneously.

5. THE MUSIC. There are a few things to think about when it comes to ceremony music. First, decide where you want music to be incorporated into your ceremony. Will it 306

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such as an aisle runner, a microphone,

recessional? Do you want anything to

and a table for the unity ceremony.

it by making a list early on, checking off

play softly in the background of events

Many items like candles, chairs for your

when you acquire the items, and then

the week of your wedding. Get ahead of

like the unity ceremony or ring exchange?

musicians, programs, as well as a card

delegating the plan to get each piece to

Do you want to include a vocal or

box may seem like small details that can

the ceremony on time.

instrumental performance in the mid-

be figured out last minute, but those

dle? Once you’ve made those decisions,

small details can add up to big headaches

For help planning the perfect wedding ceremony,

you can move on to choosing the tunes

when you’re trying to take care of them

visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

PlannInG & PreP

only be during the processional and

and how the music will be played (such as live instrumentals via a string quartet or harp, a live vocalist, or recordings played over a speaker). If you’re working with a musician, they can likely play you some samples and help you decide what direction to go with your song selections.

6. THE PARTICIPANTS. The participants include the usual suspects: you, your future spouse, and your officiant, of course. But, who else will be involved in your ceremony? What roles will your bridal party play in the ceremony? Will they stand the entire time on either side of you or will they sit in the front row? Are there any additional tasks you need to assign them (like holding bouquets or rings)? Beyond bridesmaids and groomsmen, consider how you might incorporate other important people into your ceremony. Perhaps you’ll have two parents light the individual candles ahead of the unity ceremony or ask a close friend to do a reading.

7. THE PHYSICAL ELEMENTS. Think about what types of physical elements to include in your ceremony. Will you get married under a chuppah or wedding canopy? If so, plan ahead to secure the purchase or rental of one along with any additional components, like silk draping or an additional floral display. Don’t forget to confirm the logistics of delivery, set up, and break down. Then, there are the smaller things

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The Dish on Wedding Registries etting up the wedding gift registry might be every

worthy items you have always wanted but never really needed,

engaged couple’s single favorite part of wedding planning.

without actually spending any money yourself. Plus, if you rock it

Except, maybe, for cake tasting! And honestly, who can

old school (aka: actually register for gifts in a store, in person) you

blame you? You’re basically shopping for all those splurge-

get to use one of those super-fun barcode scanners. If you’ve

S

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and those co-workers still paying off stu-

ulous) destination wedding, keep that in

scanner comes with a surprisingly exhila-

dent loans who might be operating with

mind when you’re registering for gifts.

rating sense of power, use it wisely.

a more modest budget. The bulk of your

Make sure your expectations take into

But like every other element of wedding planning and prep, setting up your wedding registry comes with its fair share of etiquette, and some helpful guidance to go with it. Here are seven things to keep in mind while setting up your wedding registry – guaranteed to keep you and your gift-giving guests happy.

1. CHOOSE YOUR PRICE POINTS MINDFULLY. Before you even start to put together

registry items should fall somewhere in

account what your gracious guests will

the middle of your highest price point

already be spending just to attend your

and your lowest – and a good rule of

wedding – both in travel costs and in any

thumb is to expect guests to spend

time they might need to take away from

around the same amount of dough as

work. Also make sure you set up your

you are budgeting per-head for your Big

registry so that everything is delivered

Day, give or take.

directly to your home address (or wherever

PlANNINg & PreP

never done this before, wielding a barcode

you want all your gifts to go). No one

2. CONSIDER EXACTLY THE KIND OF WEDDING YOU ARE HAVING.

that gift registry, really think about who

Naturally, if most of your guests live

you’re inviting to your wedding, and plan

locally and will have minimal travel

your wish list accordingly. Be sure to

expenses, they’re going to have more

have a few big-ticket items for those

to offer in the gift-giving department. If

wants to transport a Crock-Pot across 3,000 miles, only to have you transport it right back.

3. TRY TO KEEP THAT REGISTRY AS ORGANIZED AS POSSIBLE.

folks who you know are going to want to

you are asking your guests to venture

I once gifted a soon-to-be-wedded girl-

splurge on you, while also being courteous

across the country – or even around the

friend a dozen napkin rings, 18 napkins,

of anyone like your old college roommate

world – to attend your (undoubtedly, fab-

6 place settings in one pattern, 3 place

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PlANNINg & PreP

settings in another, a soup ladle, and the

anecdote above) for your guests. Partic-

lid to a butter dish. This was not by

ularly those of us who are not especially

design. The folks who had gotten to her

adept at wrapping one half of a butter

registry before me had completely ran-

dish.

sacked it – buying a couple plates here, a few table linens there, a butter dish (sans lid), without any rhyme or reason that I could discern, based on the chaos that was left behind. Now, I understand housewares stores where everything comes with its own barcode, it can be hard to keep your registry orderly. Better Together Photography

Kara Evans Photographer

Kara Evans Photographer

if you’re registering at one of those

(Plus, nobody wants to stress over being their own gift registry police when they’ve got an entire wedding to finish planning). But, if possible, try to register for things in sets, and try to refrain from constantly editing the items on your registry throughout your engagement. It makes things very confusing (and un nec essarily embarrassing – see personal

4. KNOW YOURSELF (AND YOUR FIANCÉ). I speak from experience when I say if you have never, ever, felt the impulse to bake homemade bread in your life, marriage is not going to change that about you. Not now, probably not ever. Do not feel like you must register for items you will never use, just because it is a classic registry gift. Should you register for a bread maker and then actually receive one, you will most likely attempt to make said bread exactly one time, before you realize two things: 1.) you are not all that interested in baking homemade bread and 2.) you have now made it entirely impossible to return your shiny, brand new bread maker for something you will actually use and love. If the person who gifted you the bread maker is someone who regularly spends time at your house, you will be obligated to pull the bread maker out of the back of your pantry and place it on your kitchen counter every single time they come over. And bread makers, for anyone who hasn’t spent a lot of time moving them to and fro, are notoriously heavy. Know yourself, register for things you will actually use.

5. BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO TREAT YOURSELF EITHER. If you’ve always been interested in, say, brewing your own beer (or, you know, actually baking your own bread) then, by all means, your wedding registry is the opportunity to treat yourself to the pricier items you have had your eye on – with the added benefit of someone else’s budget. 310

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6. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. …The gift box, that is. Although receiving eight blenders and a stash of sterling silver candlesticks you will (probably) never use has practically become the stuff of wedding cliché, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to filling your registry with items that can fit inside a standard gift box. Consider registering for experiences instead of, or in addition to, items to stock your home. Looking to take some of the financial stress out of your honeymoon? You might want to set up a fundraising page and ask your guests to contribute to your travel budget. You can make “experiential gifting” feel a little more personal than just writing a check by inviting your guests to put together a few fun date night goodie bags for you and your new spouse. Instead of adding everything and the kitchen sink to your registry, you can also put together a shorter list of biggerticket items (think camping gear, a couples’ wine tasting class, his-and-hers surfboards, etc.) and make sure your guests know they can pool their giving towards one larger item or experience for the two of you. At the end of the day, your guests just want to give you something you’ll both love.

7. PAY IT FORWARD. Have everything you could ever need and want, and a comfortable travel budget to boot? Consider using your wedding registry to pay your own hard work and good fortune forward. If there’s a charity you and your soon-to-be-wedded love, or a nonprofit near and dear to your hearts, invite your guests to make a donation in your names, in lieu of gifts. Giving back is definitely a great way to celebrate your new life together. To find the perfect wedding registry for your Big Day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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The Suite Life A rundown on All of your essentiAl w e d d i n g s tAt i o n e ry needs

I

f you’re still buzzing from your engagement high, there’s a good chance you have not given your wedding stationery

a great deal of thought yet. sure, you know JENNA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

the invitations will have to go out at some

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point. But that should be easy enough – after all, your guests just need to know the

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You want your invitations to be a true

If only it were that simple. Believe it or

reflection of your personalities as well as

not, there’s more to wedding stationery

set the tone of your wedding celebration.

then just slapping some information on your save-the-dates.

Your invitation suite is the very first

It’s time to demystify this crucial compo-

will experience. You want to make a

element of your wedding that your guests

nent of your wedding planning so that

good impression. From the moment they

you are set up for success from the

open the envelope, your guests will

moment you put your first stamp on your

already be forming ideas about what

save-the-dates until you sign the last of

your wedding will be like. In other words,

your thank-you notes.

InvITaTIonS & STaTIonerY

when and where of your Big Day, right?

your guests will take a lot of their cues from the kind of stationery you send

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

them. Stylized script with a sophisticated

Why put so much time and effort into

flourish? They are bound to think formal.

your wedding stationery? For starters, it’s

Distressed paper with floral prints and

a precious memento you’re likely to keep

twine? Probably going to guess shabby-

for the rest of your married life. It is

chic. Your stationery can help clue your

usually the first major completed milestone

guests in about what they should wear,

in your planning process, as well as one

or even their gift choice. Let the colors

of the last remaining souvenirs after the

and themes of your wedding help guide

dust from your wedding finally settles.

your design.

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InVITATIonS & STATIoneRY

INVITATIONS BY THE NUMBERS. Start thinking about how big your guestlist is going to be to get an idea of how much stationery you will realistically need. But remember, the number of invites you send out is not equal to the number on your guestlist. You will probably have a great deal of families and couples that only need one invitation per household.

copies of your stationery suite to save for yourself. When your wedding day finally arrives, don’t forget to grab one to be photographed at your venue!

TACKLING THE TIMELINE. While you might be chomping at the bit to get your stationery suite underway, you’re probably wondering when exactly you should get the ball rolling.

Keep in mind, it’s a good idea to have

Traditionally, save-the-dates are sent

at least five to ten extra invitations on

out eight to twelve months before the

standby. You never know when you

wedding date. Invitations are typically

might wake up one night in a cold

mailed about eight to ten weeks before

sweat with the sinking realization that

the wedding – but this is not a hard

you completely forgot to invite dear

and fast rule. Consult your vendors to

Aunt Martha up in Minnesota. If such an

see when they will need a final head-

occasion arises, those extra invitations

count, and then tack on a few extra

will be a life saver. But apart from any

weeks to give yourself some leeway.

last-minute stragglers, you will also

As much as we would all love for people

want to make sure you have a few

to RSVP on time, chances are you’ll have to do some last-minute following up with some of your less punctual guests. When you finally send out your invitations, consider any holidays that might slow down delivery. You might have to bump back your mail-out date to make sure your invitations arrive on time. The same applies to guests who live abroad.

WHAT’S INCLUDED? The shining star of your wedding stationery, the invitation suite is a package that includes the design of your invitation as well as all of the little details that make them uniquely beautiful (every tie, every ribbon, and every stroke of the fountain pen). Your invitation suite includes an outer envelope, many times an unsealed inner envelope, the invitation, a details card, a response card, and a response card envelope. Additional materials like printed maps, menu cards, and hotel information can also be included in your suite. It can be a bit overwhelming, so let’s break down the basics. 314

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wedding when you can get a handful of

doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Find a

envelope to identify the invited guests.

them completed. Writing them in incre-

professional stationer who can give you

• Invitation – Indicate the who, what,

ments will be much easier than trying to

the customized invitation suite you envi-

when, and where of your Big Day.

get them done in one fell swoop. You

sioned. He or she will guide you through

• Details Card – Include your accom-

might even turn an otherwise dull job

the process from concept to delivery.

modation information, wedding web-

into a sweet activity to do with your new spouse over Saturday morning coffee.

Set yourself up for success by getting a

site, and additional guest information. Split into multiple cards, if needed.

While there is a lot involved in creating

time, and you’ll be sure to get your

• Response Card – Give guests a way

your wedding stationery, the process

guests’ seal of approval.

InVITATIOnS & STATIOnERY

• Envelope – Use an outer and inner

head start, take things one step at a

to RSVP to your wedding. It can also be used to gather dinner selections and the number of guests attending from each household. • Response Card Envelope – Include postage for guests and host’s address on the envelope. You want to make sure your guests can reply to your Big Day as easily as possible. Once you’ve got your invitation suite ready to drop in the mail, there are a few other elements you will want to think about to round out your wedding stationery. These elements include your ceremony programs, table cards, seating chart, menus, favor tags, as well as your thank-you notes. Work with your stationer to keep your overall look and design consistent throughout your Big Day.

DON’T FORGET THE THANK-YOUS. Although it may seem like a tedious task, it’s incredibly important to send a thankyou note to all of your guests no more than three months after your celebration. These should be personalized, handwritten notes to show your love and appreciation for everyone who made your wedding such a special event. Take this time to thank everyone individually not only for their kind gifts, but also for all the amazing memories they helped you make. Hand-writing every single thank-you note may sound like an endless endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Try carving out a time each week after your C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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You Are Cordially Invited T

he rules that accompany wedding invitation etiquette

wedding. Your invitation suite should have one cohesive

can be complex. In order to make sure you dot your

look that provides guests with an idea of the look, feel, and

i’s and cross your t’s, we have partnered with our

style of your wedding. Think of your invitation as a preview

experts to provide the proper do’s and don’ts that go along

for the main event. Still unsure of the look you want to

with save-the-dates, invitations, and thank-you notes.

achieve for your wedding day? Stationers have a portfolio of their work that can be used to gain inspiration about

DO:

potential color combinations and themes.

• Do send save-the-date cards six to eight months before your wedding. If you are planning on having a destination affair, informing your guests earlier is always appreciated so that appropriate travel arrangements can be made. • Do send wedding invitations at least eight weeks prior to your Big Day. Eight weeks provides guests ample time to RSVP as well as time for you to receive a headcount for planning purposes.

• Do utilize proper titles when addressing guests such as Ms., Mrs., Dr., or Mr. • Do supply guests with the appropriate postage for the RSVP cards or envelopes. This task should never be left to the recipient. • Do take a sample invitation to your local post office to verify if additional postage is required prior to mailing out invitations.

• Do work closely with a stationer who understands your

Depending on the size and weight of your invitations,

vision for not only your invitation suite, but for your wedding

additional postage might be required. The last thing you

day as a whole. This is often referred to as ‘branding’ your

want is to come home to a mailbox full of returned wedding

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since

the

appropriate

postage was not initially used. • Do order the appropriate number of

invitation suite into the envelope all elements should be on top of one another according to size with the

• Don’t use abbreviations on the invitation or the envelope. • Don’t email thank-you notes to your

invitations. Many couples find them-

smallest pieces in the front and the

guests. Your family and friends spent

selves having to place multiple orders

largest pieces in the back. Slide every-

the time not only picking out a gift to

due to a miscount. By planning your

thing into the envelope with all text

celebrate your Big Day, but also took

guest list well in advance, you will

facing upwards so that when recipients

the time to celebrate with you. They

avoid accruing unnecessary costs

open your invitation they will be able

deserve a handwritten note of appreci-

from multiple orders being placed.

to read your invitation with ease.

ation within 12 weeks of your wedding.

InVITaTIonS & STaTIoneRY

invitations

• Do provide guests with directions and information regarding the ceremony and reception locations. Include maps, lodging, and dining information, as well as an email address or telephone number of someone that can be contacted if necessary. • Do express gratitude to your guests and wedding vendors by sending them handwritten thank-you notes after your wedding.

DON’T: • Don’t send save-the-dates to guests unless you are certain that you will invite them to your wedding. Some venues have a maximum number of guests that can fit into their space. Confirm with your venue that their space fits your guestlist prior to sending save-the-dates to avoid having to retract your invitation. • Don’t use any form of mailing labels as this leaves guests with an extremely impersonal feeling. Handwrite your envelopes or, if handwriting isn’t your strongest suit, hire a calligrapher. Remember, your invitations are the first impression that guests are given of your wedding. • Don’t offer multiple response options to your guests. Providing an email response, online RSVP, and a mailing card results in confusion which can cause extra work for couples as they try to finalize their head count. Simplify the process and provide guests with one way to respond. • Don’t be untidy. When placing the C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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PA U L I N E & DA N How They Knew They Had Found the One “It was a culmination of moments. The more time we spent together, the more we realized just how much we have in common. We’ve always felt so comfortable with one another and can truly be ourselves.”

Darling Details “As part of our ceremony at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, our florist created a birch wood arch with flowers and greenery that was also used at our sweetheart table during the reception. She told us that a few of the flowers on the arch had been cut from her own garden that very same morning! It was so sweet, and we felt really special knowing she’d included that personal element.”

Favorite Wedding Memory “We both picked the same memory. As we ate dinner, we took a second to pause and look around the room. The sight of all our guests laughing, eating, and having fun just made our hearts feel so full.”

Tip for Engaged Couples “It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the small things when planning a wedding. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, your guests probably won’t remember what flowers you used in your centerpieces or what color your cake was. They’ll just leave knowing they had a good time!”

Number of Wedding Guests: 110

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors Ceremony: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | reCeption: La Pergola at Galleria Marchetti | photography: Dana Ann Photography event planner: DBY events | rings: Celine’s Jewelry, Inc. | Bride’s gown: Rita Vinieris via Bella Bianca Bridal Couture hair & makeup: Pin Me Up Chicago | Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal | Formalwear: Adrian Park Custom-DeLouice Floral & déCor: A Stem Above | lighting & danCe Floor: MDM Entertainment | stationery: DBY invitations | Catering: Galleria Marchetti Cake & sweets: Elysia Root Cakes | entertainment: Non-Stop Entertainment | transportation: Pontarelli C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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DÉCOR to Adore

W

hile every part of your wedding day has opportunities

elements of your wedding to clash, so it’s important to find a

to be unique, wedding receptions are the place to let

theme or style and stick with it so that it flows nicely.

your personalities truly shine. Receptions give you a

lot of freedom to play up your color scheme or theme. But if you are a bit intimidated by the wide world of wedding décor, you’re not alone! Choosing just the right furnishings and decorations to capture the feel you want for your reception is no easy feat – but it’s far from impossible. Read on to find out how to pick out the right décor to achieve the wedding reception you have been dreaming about.

KNOW YOUR STYLE.

Remember, Pinterest is not your only source for décor inspiration. If you want your wedding reception to be infused with your and your fiancé’s unique personalities, all you have to do is search for elements already present in your life. Take inventory of how the two of you decorate your home or office. Notice if there are clothing styles you absolutely love. These things can act as a springboard to finding your own personal style.

TABLE MATTERS.

If you have not decided on an aesthetic for your wedding yet,

There is perhaps no single element more important to a perfect

that’s priority number one. Pinterest can be your friend when it

reception than putting together the right table décor. Not only will

comes to getting inspiration for your wedding reception, but

the design be repeated across the entire room, it’s also the

sometimes it can also make things more difficult. It’s all too easy

element of your wedding your guests will have the most interaction

to get lost in the bottomless abyss of wedding boards, but if no

with. This makes your tables one of the most important features

consistent style emerges in your searches it can be challenging

of your wedding reception.

to know just exactly how you want your reception to look. Think of your wedding as a whole and how your photos will

When it comes to table arrangements and place settings, the possibilities are nearly endless. You could keep it simple with

look all laid out in a photo album. There should be a visually

nice floral centerpieces matching your wedding colors for a tra-

pleasing consistency tying the day together. You don’t want the

ditional look. Elevated floral centerpieces, such as tall fluted

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FLOrAL & DéCOr

vases, are growing in popularity. Not

nected to you. For example, if you and

Do not forget to design your head table

only do they allow your guests to see

your fiancé are movie buffs adding quotes

– the place where you, your new spouse,

each other from across their tables, but

about love from your favorite films to

and your bridal party will sit. Or, you

they also give an opulent and romantic

each place setting is a great way to

might decide to do a sweetheart table,

look your reception.

show off that side of your personality.

with just the two of you. It’s where your

If you want to step it up with something

Likewise, if you are bookworms you

guests’ eyes will be naturally drawn to

that will really wow your guests, don’t be

might consider assigning each table a

when they first arrive to your reception,

afraid to get creative. Personalize your

literary classic theme. Your imagination

tables to help your guests feel more con-

is the only thing holding you back.

so you want to make it spectacular. Consider the arrangements you are planning for the guests’ tables and think grander. Again, you want to keep the consistency while still making your head table stand out. Foliage and floral table garlands draped elegantly across the length of the table are beautiful options that are growing in popularity.

LIGHT IT UP. Choosing the right lighting is everything when creating the perfect ambiance for your wedding reception. If you don’t want to rely on the lighting available at your reception venue, there are plenty of options for manipulating the lighting to achieve the feel you’re going for. Festoon lighting, commonly known as string lighting, is particularly appealing to many couples wanting to give their receptions a whimsical, fairytale vibe. It provides magical accents that can be used to create a canopy effect, especially when set against a backdrop of tulle or silk. String lighting is perfect for outdoor spaces and can be draped over bushes, woven within tree branches, or strung around banisters. For a more industrial look, Edison bulbs offer a contemporary twist on a vintage classic. They offer a cool, rustic flair that makes a perfect companion to warehouse or barn venues and their rough-hewn quality makes them great centerpieces. Hanging Edison bulbs above the head table or around the venue also creates a great accent to your décor. Lanterns are another great option to add a hint of enchantment to your wedding 322

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floRAl & DécoR

reception. Not only do they make gor-

all squared away. Now comes all the little

geous centerpieces, but they can also

miscellaneous goodies that will make

broken record, but when planning your

be hung around your venue to create a

your guests go, “aw!”. These include your

design, always keep your core aesthetic

dreamy, romantic atmosphere. They are

gift table, guestbook display, dessert

in mind. Remember that you want every-

especially suited to outdoor or summer-

station, bar set-up, cake stand, wedding

thing to come together and flow seamlessly.

time affairs. To create an air of excitement and variety,

favor display, and any other elements you want to include in your reception.

consider pattern projections, also called

A table of pictures showing the progression

a gobo, that can dance across the walls

from childhood to your engagement of

along with your guests as the party gets

both you and your new spouse is an

underway. They don’t have to be elab-

adorable way to tell your love story. It also

orate – in fact, it’s probably better that

gives your guests a chance to see more of

they are not. Just something simple to

your milestones while pulling at the heart-

display that will help create a romantic

strings of Mom, Dad, and even Aunt Sally.

atmosphere. In recent years, it’s been common for newlywedded couples to get their first initials or a custom monogram projected onto the dance floor.

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At this point, we probably sound like a

The possibilities are truly endless for creating beautiful and personalized wedding receptions. While it might feel a bit overwhelming at first, just remember a little goes a long way. Don’t feel like you have to go overboard with decorations. You might run the risk of it looking too busy or cluttered. A few well-placed, deliberate décor decisions can make all

If you have loved ones who have passed

the difference when planning the design

away, you might consider reserving a

of your reception. As long as you are

place for them at your reception by

being true to the unique style of you and

giving them a table of their very own.

your fiancé, your wedding reception is

THE EXTRAS.

This is a beautiful and reverent way to

bound to be a truly breathtaking affair

So, you have figured out the theme you

honor those special people who regretfully

that perfectly represents the love the

want. You have your tables and your lighting

can’t be with you on your special day.

two of you share.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


Photography by Kristin Lavoe


Way s T o T u r n y o u r W e d d I n g I T e M s I n T o

Lifelong Keepsakes T

he image of my grandparents’ wedding album is per-

savvy generation, the standard wedding keepsakes just do

manently imprinted in my mind. Its pillowed, white,

not cut it anymore.

lace-trimmed cover sat tucked behind the glass of

their china cabinet next to an equally fluffy ring bearer pillow and a cracked, brown leather guestbook. They were lifelong keepsakes that held a special place of honor from the moment they moved into their house after their wedding, until they retired to Florida over 50 years later.

If you have spent months planning your dream wedding, there is no doubt you are going to want the keepsakes from your big day to be as uniquely special as the day itself. Here are eight great ways to turn your wedding items into lifelong keepsakes; the kind you will want to keep on display for decades to come.

Most of us can recall an image from our childhood like this, parents whose wedding keepsakes held similar, lifelong places

1. GET CREATIVE WITH THE GUEST BOOK.

of honor. While the marriages and the memories were no

While my new hubby and I love flipping through our guest

less special then than they are today, for our Pinterest-

book every now and then (usually on our anniversary),

the hutches and china cabinets of our parents and grand-

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your names and wedding date. Invite

shelf in the closet of our home office. If

guests to tuck away notes or words of

you are looking for fun and creative

wisdom that you will love to read for

ways to make your guestbook a keep-

years to come.

fLorAL & DéCor

most of the time it is tucked away on a

sake you will want to display all year round, think outside the box or, outside the “book,” if you will. Invite your guests to sign another item; something that speaks directly to who you and your new spouse are. Did you go

2. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG WITH A PHOTO BOOTH. Photo booths have been making appear-

backpacking across Europe before

ances at weddings for years now and

tying the knot? Invite your guests to

trust me when I say they never, ever get

write their notes to you on a vintage-

old. Most photo booth companies will

feeling map of the continent, one you

allow your guests two copies of each

will be thrilled to hang in your home.

picture strip they snap: one for them,

Are you both classic rock lovers? Leave

and one to paste into a keepsake album

a few vinyl records out on a table and

for you! There is nothing like flipping

invite your guests to sign them with

through an album of crazy selfies post-

paint pens. Consider creating a “mes-

reception. Not only will you laugh over all

sage in a bottle” style guestbook by

the fun your guests had, you will also

decorating a wine bottle (or multiple

have hard evidence that their photos

depending on your guest count) with

only got goofier as the night went on.

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FlorAl & DéCor

3. UPCYCLE SOME OF THOSE FABRICS. This is a great way to give your wedding dress, your ring bearer pillow, your garter – basically any linen that you purchased instead of rented – a second life. There are tons of creative ideas for upcycling the fabrics you selected for your Big Day. From using pieces of your bridal gown for baby clothes or a baptismal gown (if kiddos are next on your to-do list) to repurposing your table runners as fun throw pillows, you definitely have more options than just storing them in a mothball-filled box in the attic.

4. INVEST IN A CUTE SIGN. In other words, not something that you will just roll up and stick in the garage for years. Do you and your newly-wedded love to entertain friends and family around your spacious kitchen? Consider a sign for the hors d'oeuvres or dessert table, inviting your guests to feel welcome and dig in – something that will look cute at your wedding and great on your kitchen island later. Are you an outdoorsy duo? Maybe a distressed wood sign placed outside the reception, painted with your names or a favorite quote is more your style. After the wedding, display it near your front door or in your garden.

5. REPURPOSE THOSE CENTERPIECES. When selecting centerpieces, think longterm. Items like mason jars or square candle votives not only make great table arrangements, they are also timeless enough that you can use them in your home for years to come. Vintage teacups make great wedding planters and afterwards your kitchen will be fully-stocked for teatime. But you do not necessarily have to plan on just tossing those floral arrangements out, if you already love having greenery around your home, consider using succulents for your centerpieces. 328

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to monogram than you are in the weeks

wedded heart out. Otherwise, you might

last through the wedding and stick around

and months leading up to your wedding

consider something just as personal,

long afterwards. Lastly, you loved your

day. Don’t get me wrong, whether you

but a little more, shall we say, evergreen?

bouquet, so why not preserve it? Have it

are swapping last names, hyphenating,

Do you remember the exact spot where

made into a piece of jewelry – think ear-

or keeping things traditional, there’s

you and your soon-to-be spouse met?

rings, bracelet or a pendant drop for a

something about two names becoming

If so, a quick online search can tell you

necklace - you will enjoy your beautiful

one that is totally worth celebrating.

the coordinates. “41.8781° N, 87.6298°

bouquet for years to come.

But with that said, in five years, are

W” looks super cool on a shot glass

you really going to want to invite your

and, it makes for a good story. Maybe a

6. DO NOT MONOGRAM EVERYTHING.

new boss and his wife over to toast

line from your favorite song would look

your recent promotion with heart-and-

great etched along the base of a wine

From

champagne

initial etched wine glasses? If yes, then

glass. Did you get the same, regrettably

flutes, you will never be more inclined

by all means, you monogram your little

impulsive, tattoo in college? (Four leaf

shot

glasses

to

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FLOraL & DécOr

They are durable enough that they will

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FlOrAl & DéCOr

clovers, moon and stars – you know the kind I’m talking about). You might cringe at those tiny skulls on your left hips now, but they might be the perfect design for a one-of-a-kind whiskey tumbler set. All I’m saying is, think outside the monogram.

7. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO THINK BIG. This is an idea I am loving lately – but it’ll take a little more planning than your standard wedding keepsake. Consider snagging a vintage rocking chair or a cozy bench to set up somewhere near the guestbook, or use it to replace your guestbook entirely! Place some fancy paint pens near it and invite your guests to write you loving messages or doodles during the reception. This keepsake will look completely adorable on your front porch or back deck for years.

8. CONSIDER A TIME CAPSULE. Maybe you are all set at home: you have enough pillows, drinking glasses, and teacups to last you a lifetime. Or, maybe displaying your wedding memories all year-round just is not your style, no matter how much you might love all that swag on the big day. A wedding time capsule might be just what you are looking for. Pick a capsule that speaks to you and your spouse: a vintage

trunk,

glass

canister,

repur-

posed wine bottle – practically anything works. Fill your “capsule” with items from your wedding day (notes you wrote to one another, personalized napkins, your hair clip, candid photographs that didn’t quite make the wedding album — the list goes on. Seal the capsule until a special anniversary and tuck it away until the next Big Day.

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Ask A

CATERER P

lanning a wedding can feel like a rollercoaster. There are moments when things come together flawlessly (getting a discount on your dream shoes) and times

when you’ll find yourself frustrated enough to pull out your hair. Along the journey though, there are several moments that are

Q A

What type of research should we do before we start reaching out to different caterers?

It is helpful for your caterer to know where your event is

going to be held, the number of guests you are anticipating,

almost guaranteed to be highlights, and your menu tasting with

and what sort of vision you have for your wedding. Are there

your caterer is one of them. Just like trying on your gown or

any must-haves for your special day? For example do you want

selecting a cake flavor, crafting your wedding menu and getting

steak or do you have your heart set on dinner served buffet

to sample your selections allows you to get a sneak peek of

style? These types of details will help us to get a better idea of

what your wedding day will be like. It’s a fun, interactive expe-

how to best serve your needs. Sharing your estimated budget

rience that even the most reluctant grooms will get excited

or price per person allows us to be able to estimate what we

about, but choosing a caterer and creating your menu isn’t a

can or cannot accommodate. Many times, we are able to cus-

quick and easy decision. It’s a process that requires vision and

tomize menus and special services to line up with your budget.

attention to detail, and a great caterer will deliver both, along

Finally, be sure that your venue will allow for you to bring in an

with delicious food!

outside caterer of your choosing. If so, are there any additional

With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect caterer can be tough. Many couples find themselves full of questions, so we asked a few caterers to give us their honest feedback. You asked and they answered.

fees they may charge you as a result? Some venues are very strict about using an approved catering list, which can limit your options when choosing a company to cater your Big Day. – Lauren Rullo at Weber Grill Catering

WRITTEN BY Lauren Beers | PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy of Jewell Events Catering C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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CulInARy sERvICEs

Q

A

I also ask if they want their meal served

necessary to create a pop-up kitchen

as a buffet or a plated meal, family style

even in the most unconventional locations

of options to choose from, or do you

or cocktail style? At BellaRu, we also

if needed to create the best culinary

tell them exactly what you want?

incorporate many ethnic twists into our

offering that we can.

How does creating a menu even work? Does the caterer give you a list

We begin by asking our clients for a few details about their vision for

their wedding day, including whether

they’re hoping for any specific menu items or themes. From there, we will either provide a menu showcasing our

menus. I talk with couple’s about bringing in pieces of their heritage and then I is unique and should be reflected in their catering options. – Maya Rotman-Zaid at BellaRu Catering

menu for them based upon their feedback. and can revise, create, and customize from there. – Jenna Cook at Jewell Events Catering

Catering

write a custom proposal. Each wedding

most popular options or we will create a We use these menus as a starting point

– Jenna Cook at Jewell Events

A

Weber Grill catering can provide onsite grilling bringing out authentic

Weber charcoal kettles to prepare every-

thing on the spot. Guests get hot food right off the grill and the nostalgia of

Q

A

Does the food get cooked onsite or at

every family party or backyard celebration

the venue, or does the caterer cook it at

that comes along with the taste of char-

a separate location and bring it over?

coal grilled favorites.

Chicago laws allow for “finishing”

– Lauren Rullo at Weber Grill Catering

on-site. For example, while your

steak might be grill-marked off-site, we

A

We discuss the vision of their day and ask a lot of questions – likes,

dislikes, any dietary restrictions?

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can finish cooking on-site so that everything is fresh from our ovens to your guests’ tables. We bring in everything

Q

Will our caterer be able to help us figure out wine parings, or are caterers strictly concerned with food?


Most caterers employ a liquor man-

wines with your menu should you request

meal to their likes, their guests can

ager, but not a sommelier. However,

that service.

always go to McDonald’s afterwards if

Jewell Events has cultivated close rela-

tionships with a number of sommeliers

– Lauren Rullo at weber Grill Catering

they are still hungry. – Maya Rotman-Zaid at BellaRu

both in the city and across the country with whom we can work to create incredible wine pairings to complement your menu selections. – Jenna Cook at Jewell Events Catering

Catering

Q

My fiancé and I are both vegetarians. Is it rude to make the entire menu meat-free?

A

A

This is entirely a matter of preference. There are wonderful options for a

I don’t think it’s rude to be meat-

vegetarian menu and our talented chefs

free. If you are vegetarian, incorpor-

can absolutely create a completely veg-

ate the food you love. This is your day

etarian meal that all guests will enjoy.

Since we are both a restaurant and

and your guests are there to celebrate

– Jenna Cook at Jewell Events

a caterer, we are able to help you pair

you. I always tell couples to tailor the

A

Each caterer is a little different.

culInary SErvIcES

A

Catering

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CulINARY SERvICES

Q

A

We can’t decide if we want to do a

American comfort food, but we’re

buffet or sit-down dinner with

worried about finding a caterer

waitstaff. What details should we

who can do both. Should we get

consider before making our choice?

two caterers?

I always ask, “what do you want the feel and vibe of your event to

be?” That will determine that style of

A

Every caterer is different but, our specialty is worldly ethnic cuisine

– authentic or fusion. Nearly all of our

and your fiancé are requesting. – Jenna Cook at Jewell Events Catering

A

Yes! As much as we would like to accommodate certain ethnic cuisines,

you are certainly looking for someone

meal you choose. Also, price has a big

weddings have some kind of ethnic

who can do both and do it really well. In

part to play in the decision-making

twist to the traditional American cui-

that case, it is best to have each caterer

process. Don’t rush your decisions. Give

sine. We can create a customized menu

do what they are known for and do best.

yourselves time to think about them

to incorporate both of your cultures

Then, you won’t be concerned if Weber

and weigh your options. Regardless if

from the hors d'oeuvres and meal, to

Grill is able to serve a brilliant biryani, or

you do a buffet, family style, or a plated

the desserts.

that the Pakistani caterer is grilling your

meal, you always want some kind of wait staff at your event.

– Maya Rotman-Zaid at BellaRu Catering

steak to perfection. – Lauren Rullo at Weber Grill Catering

– Maya Rotman-Zaid at BellaRu Catering

Q

My fiancé is Pakistani and I’m

A

Our chefs are more than happy to either create fusion menus, work

from your family recipes or collabor-

American. We want our menu to offer

ate with an outside restaurant, if nec-

a traditional Pakistani dish and

essary, to provide the exact dishes you

Q

Does the caterer also run the bar, or do we need to hire a separate company for that?

A

Jewell Events provides full bar service. Depending on your venue, we

also offer a BYOB option and can work

with you to help you provide your own liquor while we provide your mixers, garnishes, licensing, and bartenders to complete the package. – Jenna Cook at Jewell Events Catering

A

Because we are both a restaurant and a full service catering company,

we are able to provide bar services. We

are also able to serve alcohol that is purchased by the couple and serve it at the event. BYOB can be very helpful when it comes to costs. Some venues require that you use their in-house staff for the bar or a preferred vendor. Additionally, if Weber Grill Catering is handling the bar service, most venues will ask for copies of our licensing and certificates of insurance, which we are always happy to provide. – Lauren Rullo at Weber Grill Catering 336

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BUBBLY, BEER, BOURBON, AND OTHER DRINKING MATTERS At more and more of today’s weddings, the bar is limited to beer, wine and one specialty drink, like a martini or a signature cocktail. While other trendy couples are

opting for an array of

micro-brewed beers, top-shelf liquor or an ice luge. Here are some helpful hints about stocking your bar and keeping your guests happy.

BE A RESPONSIBLE HOST.

full bodied or a light-bodied wine. Con-

Always have ample alternative beverages,

sider the ingredients of your meal. If you

including soft drinks and bottled water

are offering a choice of fish, meat, or

available, for those choosing not to par-

poultry, and you have decided on a red

take in the spirits. These guests may be

wine, an easy choice is a light-bodied

designated drivers. Thank them by ensur-

red wine such as a pinot noir. It goes

ing they have lots of choices as well.

with everything.

Wine 101

CONSIDER THE WEATHER.

While we are certainly not a sommelier, we can offer you a quick crash course to help match the right wine with your menu.

THE RULES HAVE CHANGED. You don’t have to serve red wine with

Guests will often prefer a lighter wine in the warmer weather and a richer one in the cold.

SIPPING TIPS. Choose a full-bodied red or white wine for cuisine that is spicy, richly sauced, or

GO FOR A SPLASHY PRESENTATION.

meat and white wine with fish.

Ask your caterer or director of catering

KEEP IT SIMPLE.

with heavy cream sauces. Choose a

Would you like to offer red wine, white

light-bodied red or white with meals that

wine or both? Determine if you want a

are delicate, such as broiled fish.

to serve the drinks in specialty glasses, like tulip or fluted glasses for champagne, large-bowled glasses for red wine, curved

CULInArY SErvICES

Sipping Solutions

hearty. This is also a good choice for salmon or tuna that has been prepared

top ones for white wine.

TINY BUBBLES. Champagne is a festive beverage, perfect for hors d’oeuvres, toasts, and wedding cakes. Technically, the real thing is produced in the region of France called Champagne. Imported French champagne is considered the finest. According to the experts, everything else should be called sparkling wine. Until medieval times, the French monks tended the vines and prepared the drink for mass. Over the years, it was used to celebrate the marriages of the monarchs. So, you are basically royalty.

THE GOLDEN RULE. It is a good idea to have alternative transportation in place to avoid drinking and driving. Arrange for your hotel shuttle or van to make regular pick-ups and drop-offs towards the end of the evening. Encourage guests to use Uber, Lyft or a good-old fashioned taxi. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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RESERVATION for two Chicago attracts some of the world’s top culinary talent by combining a sincere passion for food alongside the artistic mastery that only a select few embody. When it comes to your wedding day meal, Chicago’s culinary scene is ready to prove that it is in-fact a reality to have high standards when it comes to what your guests will enjoy after you say “I do!”. Wow your guests by serving them an edible masterpiece that will be talked about long after your Big Day.

Cesar Gutierrez Chief Culinary Officer Pinstripes - Chicago pinstripes.com

Focusing on Italian American cuisine, Chef Gutierrez began his career by working through the ranks at Maggiano’s where he earned the title of Executive Chef. He attributes his success and love for food to the inspiration he gained working alongside other talented chefs throughout the years.

John Hogan & Cedric Harden Executive Chef and Chef Di Cuisine River Roast riverroastchicago.com

Located along the iconic Chicago River, River Roast offers dramatic sweeping views of Chicago along with versatile indoor/outdoor event spaces. Together, Chef Hogan and Chef Harden lead the culinary program and provide guests with unforgettable experiences. Harden brings his family’s deep Southern roots and passion to the table that combines contemporary American fare with dishes carved tableside. Hogan is a fixture in the culinary community where he was recently inducted into the “Chef’s Hall of Fame” – 2018 and named one of the “Top 10 Chefs in Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune. Dish Above: Local, slow and tender Riley Bros. Farm roast beef with potato croquette.

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Seeing their passion for food inspired him to take his skills to the next level. Working in the culinary industry started very early for Chef Gutierrez. He watched his mother run a restaurant which had a lasting impact on his culinary style. Chef Gutierrez states “I am able to be creative and inventive with my dishes. I love learning something new every day in the kitchen.” Dish Below: Fetuccini Bolognese – noodles tossed in a beef, pork, and lamb ragu, topped with mascarpone cheese, fresh basil, and black pepper.


Dan McGee Executive Chef Swissôtel Chicago swissotel.com/chicago

Dan McGee is the man behind Swissôtel Chicago’s culinary confections and creative cuisine. With 34 years in the business (8 of which are at Swissôtel), he knows how to create a menu that will leave your guests impressed and their taste buds more than satisfied.

Tony Mantuano & Joe Flamm

While it was his love of cooking that made him want to get into this business, it’s the room for exploration that producing new menu items regularly and customizing

Chef/Partner and Executive Chef Spiaggia

dishes to meet guests’ expectation and satisfaction.

spiaggiarestaurant.com

made him stay. To Dan, the best part of being a chef is

Tony Mantuano and Joe Flamm are the talented duo behind Dish Below: Salmon Crudo on Lotus Root.

Chicago’s Michelin Star restaurant Spiaggia, where they have set the standard for Italian dining. With Chef-Partner Tony Mantuano at the helm, and Executive Chef Joe Flamm, Top Chef Season 15 winner, leading the culinary vision, Spiaggia offers guests an unrivaled experience that honors the heritage of Italy. Inspired by Manutano and Flamm’s journey through Italy, your experience begins with the country’s finest ingredients, unparalleled service and award winning dishes. Dish Above: Salmone Piccolo with asparagus salsa verde, focaccia and roe.

Ben Holt Director of Culinary Operations Jewell Events Catering georgejewell.com

With degrees in Culinary Arts and Pastry, Ben trained at Second Empire Restaurant in Raleigh for almost 8 years under Executive Chef Daniel Schurr. There he learned the discipline of staying true to the craft and working very hard. Ben entered the catering world for the excitement and unique challenges that come with working in the most prestigious offsite venues. There is never a dull moment in catering with ever changing menus, cuisines, venues and tight timelines. All of these attributes feed his passion for the culinary arts and freedom to express his creativity. Dish: Tuna and scallop crudo, curry emulsion, finger limes, micro greens, and edible flower. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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RACHEL & ERIC

How Rachel Knew She Had Found the One “We complement one another perfectly. Eric’s my best friend and I really can’t imagine life without him in it.”

Why Chicago? “Chicago has been the backdrop for most of the greatest moments in our relationship, so it only seemed fitting. We couldn’t have imagined getting married anywhere else.”

Eric’s Favorite Memory “Our flower girls went rogue while walking down the aisle in the processional. It took half of the wedding party and grandparents to round them up. Though it was chaotic, everyone had the biggest smiles. It was that moment that I realized not everything was going to go exactly as planned, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Tip For Engaged Couples “Don’t let wedding planning stress you out, you’re celebrating the start of a new life with the person you love most.”

Number of Wedding Guests: 160

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors VENUE: Crystal Ballroom at The Blackstone Hotel | PHOTOGRAPHY: Dominika Photographer | VIDEOGRAPHY: Wholehearted Wedding Film Co. OFFICIANT: Pastor Tom Noll | RINGS: C.P. Diamonds; Blue Nile | BRIDE’S GOWN: Pronovias via Eleganza Tuxedo & Bridal Gallery BRIDE’S SHOES: Jimmy Choo | ACCESSORIES: CrystalAvenues; Glamourous Bijoux | MAKEUP: Harriet Grevers | HAIR: Jillian Boeckh at Elle Salon BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: BHDLN | FORMALWEAR: Men’s Wearhouse | GROOM’S ACCESSORIES: Family Heirlooms | FAVORS: Ryba’s Fudge Shop STATIONERY: Minted; Wedding Paper Divas | FLORAL & DÉCOR: Avant Gardenia | CATERING: The Blackstone Hotel CAKE & SWEETS: Cake Chicago | ENTERTAINMENT: The Innocenti Strings; ShutterBooth Chicago; MDM Entertainment C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Icing on the Cake M a k e t h e M o s t o f Y o u R W e d d i n g C a k e ta s t i n g ake tasting is often a couple’s favorite part of preparing

combinations, shapes, and sizes, many couples find the task

for their Big day. not only does this provide you with

of deciding on a wedding cake that is delicious as well as

the opportunity to eat cake together, but it also

visually pleasing to be a bit daunting. Read on to ensure that

checks off a wedding list to-do. Who says that you can’t have

you and your fiancé will be prepared to make the most out of

your cake and eat it too? With infinite possibilities of flavor

your cake tasting experience.

C

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cAkeS & SweeTS

PREPARATION In order to make your wedding cake tasting as smooth and successful as possible, some upfront preparation is required. There are five key pieces of information to know before you reach out to a bakery and cake designer.

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or New Year’s Day. By rule of thumb,

Venue Choice: Some couples are not

couples are advised to begin reaching

aware that their venue can influence the

out to bakeries at least nine months

design of their wedding cake. A couple’s

ahead of their Big Day. Give yourself

decision to hold their wedding at a rustic

enough time to research bakers and cake designers in your area, schedule tastings, and make your final decision. A word of caution: if you are planning on

barn or a chic, contemporary museum can fuel a cake designer’s suggestion and many will be happy to create custom designs based on their clients’ choice of

Wedding Date: Selecting your wedding

purchasing a cake with sugar flowers,

date is crucial before you make plans

plan to add on two to three months.

with a cake designer, especially if your

Sugar flowers are beautiful additions,

that fits your style, the less you will

Big Day falls on a busy holiday for wed-

but as any cake designer will tell you,

spend transforming it into what you want

dings, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day,

they are not built in a day.

it to be.

venue. The more you choose a venue


sure you have all ideas prepared to

be working with. First, do your research

have your final guest headcount by the

share with your cake designer. Swatches

to get a feel for what you may want and

time you begin your cake tasting, but a

of your bridesmaid dresses or tapestry

can afford. Then, email or call all poten-

rough estimate will dictate how many

colors are also ideal for your cake

tial vendors to obtain pricing and set up

tiers of cake you will need in order to

designer to create a cake that is a

a meeting. Keep in mind that most wed-

perfect color match. The more specific

ding cake tastings come with a fee of

you are with your vision and examples,

around $25 per session. However, this

Design Ideas: Couples should have

the more creative the cake designer can

price is often refunded in your cake pur-

rough ideas on the floral and dĂŠcor or

be with bringing your ideas to life.

chase if you choose that specific cake

offer everyone a slice on your Big Day.

CAKeS & SweeTS

Number of Guests: It is unlikely you will

designer. Always remain realistic about

the overall look and feel of their wedding before they go in for a consultation.

Budget: The process for finding an agree-

your budget, but don’t be afraid to ask

Better yet, it can be helpful to compile

able price tag for your wedding cake is

questions. A cake designer may be able

inspiration for your wedding cake. Make

much like all of the other vendors you will

to help you achieve the look and feel

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CAkeS & SWeeTS

TASTE

tasting time.

For the cake designer, setting up a cake

Do ask ques-

“If we didn’t nail the cake flavors, ask for more flavors or ask if certain combinations can be made. If there’s a cake you love that I haven’t offered, be open and honest about what you’re looking for. It’s my job to make your dream cake happen.”

tions: Many bak-

– Amy Beck Cake Design

you want with an alternate technique or

is nothing more

product, ensuring that both you and the

awkward

cake designer leave the agreement happy.

encroaching on

than

another couple’s

tasting appointment can take two and a half hours at the very least. However, on the day of the tasting, you can look forward to spending about an hour at the consultation. The first half of the meeting will be spent confirming details and specifications as well as going over the design of your wedding and any ideas you already have for your wedding cake. The last half hour will be spent on everyone’s favorite part, tasting and rating the cake flavors and options.

DO’S AND DON’TS Do be prompt: Many cake designers schedule tastings back-to-back, and there

eries will present the couple with a selection of their most

they’re vegan or gluten-free, everyone

popular cake flavors and fillings as well as

deserves a slice of wedding cake.

their seasonal selections. Don’t be afraid

However, we suggest not making the

to ask for more flavors.

entire cake gluten-free or vegan. Ask

Don’t be rude: It is okay to not be thrilled by a specific cake flavor or even any of them. However, it isn’t okay to voice your dislike in an impolite way. Cake designers spend a lot of time on flavor profiles. If you are not enjoying a particular sample of cake, politely move on to the next. Do think about your guests: Whether

your bakery if they’re willing to make the top tier gluten-free and the rest of the tiers traditional cake. Gluten-free cake can still be covered in buttercream frosting and the whole cake will still look cohesive. Unfortunately, though, cream made from vegan butter doesn’t hold up as well and can cause the design of a cake to go awry. If you are vegan, opt for a vegan cake on the side and serve a tra d itional wedding cake to your guests. If you do opt for one of those non-traditional choices, there is likely to be a price difference. Always mention your dietary restrictions in your initial call or email.

ENJOY After your tasting, you should follow up to confirm your choices and any additional details. Delivery is often coordinated directly by the cake designer and your venue. Most bakeries service the immediate areas around them; however, if you live far away from the cake designer you really like, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose them. Simply ask them what the charge would be to deliver to your desired destination. Overall, with a little preparation, every cake tasting can be successful even if you do not end up choosing that specific cake designer. Your wedding cake is only one aspect of your Big Day, but the joy you will receive when you find the perfect cake is so sweet. Bon Appétit! 346

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CakeS & SWeeTS

Raising the Bar Couples are finding new ways to make desserts unique and interactive for guests. The latest trends encourage guests to dive into tasty dessert bars along with a small cake to cut into for photos. Read on to find out how you can create your own sweet ending.

ICE CREAM BAR Grab a few ice cream flavors and give guests the opportunity to create their own perfect sundae. Offer toppings like chopped fruit, chocolate syrup, candy, and cereal in cute containers. We hear that ice cream sandwich bars are also a huge hit!

CANDY BAR This option tends to be the most colorful. Incorporate different textures and types of candy to make sure every guest finds something sweet. When picking chocolates, we suggest something with a candy coating to help keep it from melting. Don’t forget to offer a nut-free option!

S’MORES BAR Crunchy graham crackers, gooey toasted marshmallows, and soft, melty chocolate – the perfect dessert combination. Whether using a bonfire or a sterno surrounded by decorative rocks, guests will enjoy warming up and crafting this memorable treat. Be sure to have an attendant at this bar, if the sprinkler system went off, it would really ruin your hair.

(ROOT) BEER BAR Serve your favorite alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks with a scoop of decadent vanilla ice cream. With so many drink options, create a small menu of ideas for guests to sample. For those who don’t love the creaminess of ice cream, offer a sorbet-and-champagne combination. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Delicious Decisions Many couples assume picking a wedding cake and sweet treats will be the easiest part of their wedding planning. However, it can be a little sweet and sour if you do not know what you are doing. With so many decedent decisions to make, some couples find it difficult to know where to start. When meeting with a baker or cake designer it is helpful to understand exactly what they are saying. Read on as we share some of the basic terminology to ensure you are requesting the correct confection.

CROQUEMBOUCHE

TRES LECHE

MERINGUE

French dessert consisting of choux pastry

A sponge cake with special syrup and

An icing that is made primarily of egg

balls piled into a cone and bonded by

meringue frosting. This cake requires

whites, sugar, and flavoring. This is a great

threads of caramel.

refrigeration, is served cold, and is made

icing for outdoor weddings in the summer

with three layers: cake, filling, and top-

as the icing will hold up well in the heat.

MACARONS

ping. There are four types of milk in the

A sweet meringue-based confection made

filling and topping including whole milk,

ROYAL ICING

with egg white, icing sugar, almond pow-

condensed milk, evaporated milk, and

Made of egg whites and confectioners

der or ground almond, and food coloring.

heavy cream.

sugar, this soft icing dries to a hard texture to create latticework, beading,

It consists of two halves sandwiching a creamy filling and comes in a variety of

BUTTERCREAM

colors and flavors.

The traditional choice for flavor and ver-

bows, and flowers.

satility. This type of icing or filling is used

DOTTED SWISS

NAKED CAKE

inside cakes, as a coating, and as deco-

An icing piping technique that forms tiny

Cake with a minimal outer layer of frosting

ration. It is softer and more spreadable

dots in random patterns resembling

than most icings and is among the most

dotted swiss fabric. This beautiful design

showing off the cake’s layers and texture.

PETIT FOURS

popular icings available.

is generally monochromatic, but multiple colors can be utilized as well.

Coming from the French word meaning

FONDANT

“small oven,” petit fours are small, fancy,

A type of icing that is rolled out with a

SUGAR FLOWERS

bite-sized confectionaries such as cakes

rolling pin and draped over a cake. It

A cake decoration that is created to

and cookies.

provides a smooth, firm base for decora-

resemble many different types of floral to

tive details. Fondant cake should not be

match your wedding gown and décor.

refrigerated.

They are usually formed from sugar paste

TORTE A dense cake that does not use baking

to create shape, texture, and movement

powder or baking soda.

within your wedding cake design.


LEFT PAGE: Urban Icing, urbanicing.com | TOP LEFT: Bittersweet, bittersweetpastry.com | TOP RIGHT: Vanille Patisserie, vanillepatisserie.com • PHOTOGRAPHER: Studio Finch | BOTTOM LEFT: Amy Beck Cake Design, amybeckcakedesign.com • PHOTOGRAPHER: Wasio Photography | BOTTOM RIGHT: Delish Cakes, delishcakes.net • PHOTOGRAPHER: Laurel + Prairie/ Storytelling Photography

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Capturing Forever FINdINg Your PerFecT weddINg PHoTograPHer

I

f there’s just one thing you want to get right when

though you both know you have already settled on the

planning your wedding (other than, you know, selecting

chocolate ganache, the florist who shows you gorgeous

the person who will be standing on the other side of the

samples of all-things-peony – with a wedding photographer

aisle) it’s your wedding photographer. This is the guy or gal

you won’t be totally sure what you’re getting until after

who, after all the champagne is gone, the flowers are wilted,

the fact. (I mean, fine, they may have captured all those

and the dancing shoes are worn-through, will be entrusted

other couple’s “I do’s” perfectly, but will she capture yours

with making sure every memorable moment is captured. From

perfectly too)?

the first look to the last dance, you will want the eyes behind the lens to make you look your absolute best (not a difficult task, of course – but still).

The good news is, when it comes to narrowing down your list of wedding photographers to the one that’s just right for you, you don’t have to be completely in the dark. Here are some

But, unlike the other folks helping to make your big day a

things to keep in mind as you decide who will be clicking the

success – the seamstress who is happy to arrange multiple

shutter on what will probably be the most photographed day

fittings, that caterer who lets you keep tasting cake even

of your life. (No pressure)!

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PhOTO & viDeO

1. MAKE SURE YOU VIBE WITH ONE ANOTHER.

to name your firstborn son after the

around them – what your energy is like,

fellow snapping your wedding photos, it

how comfortable you are cracking a

You might be inclined to focus in on the

is important that you’re comfortable

joke or asking questions – and let that feeling help guide you.

photo-specific details right away such

around one another. (This person is,

as: How many weddings has your pho-

after all, going to be snapping every

tographer shot? What is their creative

kiss, slow dance, and gooey-eyed gaze

aesthetic? Make sure, first and foremost,

you share with your new spouse. You

the two of you click. While you hardly

want to be able to be yourself in front

have to become instant besties or promise

of them). Pay attention to how you feel

2. HAVE A CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. One of the great joys of the internet age is that you can click through the wedding photographs of practically anyone you want, within a matter of minutes. Do your research before meeting with photographers to get a clear sense of what style of photography you want: vintage, artsy, classic portraits, candid, edgy, documentary-style, tons of blackand-white. Then, once you know what you like (and, equally as important, what you don’t) make that known to any photographers

you’re

considering.

They want you to love your photographs just as much as they do. So, if your styles don’t mesh, don’t worry, just be honest!

3. ASK FOR SAMPLES. Almost every wedding photographer today has an online portfolio full of samples of their work, making it even easier for you to do your research before you set up an interview. But even if you have scrolled through dozens of their photography, be sure to ask for some samples in person, too. Also check out the wedding album styles they offer, or any large-print and canvas

options

they

might

have.

Researching online doesn’t quite compare to looking at the real thing.

4. SHOP AROUND. Along with your research, don’t hesitate to ask friends and family (whose wedding photographs you love) for recommendations. Be sure to take the time to interview a few photographers – compare their work, how you mesh with one another, 352

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PhoTo & vIDeo

and pricing. Always be mindful of their

Big Day, ones that might not be immedi-

time (especially if you’re arranging inter-

6. BOOK YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION.

views during the busy wedding season).

Speaking of fun add-ons, an engagement

maybe you selected your venue because

session is the perfect way to get more

of the unique skyline, or there’s a family

5. DON’T BE SHY ABOUT YOUR BUDGET.

familiar with your photographer – and

tradition you want caught on film – let

for your photographer to get more familiar

them know ASAP, and make sure they’ve

with you. They will be able to use that

got a plan for snapping all those must-

able to identify before you even call that

time to pick up on the subtleties of your

have shots. Most photographers will ask

first photographer on your wish list. But

relationship, as well as what lighting the

you for this anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to

before you fall head-over-heels in love

two of you look best in. (If Instagram has

plan ahead. This way, you will be sure

with the work of a photographer who is

taught us anything, it’s that you can’t

your photographs are as unique as your

totally outside your budget, make sure

underestimate the power of good lighting).

wedding day itself.

you are actually clear on what that

Plus, you would be surprised how many

budget is – and how much you’re will-

of those engagement photos might actu-

ing to budge for your dream photos.

ally become your faves.

This is another item that you might be

When you meet with photographers,

8. BE CLEAR ON WHO WILL ACTUALLY BE TAKING THE PHOTOS. would anyone but the photographer you

like an engagement photo session, getting

7. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT MOMENTS YOU WANT CAPTURED.

digitals of all your photos, or any framing

If there are any photographs you know

viewed, and ultimately hired be the person

services they might offer as well.

you’re going to want captured on your

taking your photos? But many wedding

make sure to ask about everything, from hourly rates to added costs for things

354

ately obvious to your photographer

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This might sound crazy, I know – why spent weeks researching, then inter-


wedding album and any other extras)?

one photographer on staff; and often,

9. ASK FOR THE FINE PRINT UP FRONT.

that’s to your benefit. If your photographer

We all know there is a chance of some-

who want to order a few photos of their

works with a partner or a team, that

thing going awry on your wedding day,

own? Will there be an online photo

means while they’re snapping photos of

make sure you ask the hard questions

album available for sharing? What’s your

you and your newly-wedded on the

and get the fine print up front. Ask ques-

photographer’s policy on posting his or

dance floor, their partner is capturing the

tions like: What happens if your photog-

her images to social media, etc? There

What options are available for guests

faces of your guests who are looking on.

rapher becomes suddenly and violently

are no stupid questions when it comes

If your chosen studio offers this, make

ill on your wedding day? What does a

to finding the perfect wedding photogra-

sure you give them a heads up about the

post-production timeline look like (how

pher, promise.

number of guests in attendance

a

long will it take to get those proofs

To find the perfect photographer or

larger wedding naturally lends itself to

back, how many photos can you expect,

videographer for your Big Day, visit

more photographers.

when can you anticipate receiving your

chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

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phoTo & vIdeo

photography studios have more than

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Picture Perfect Engagements

Y

ou have said “Yes, I will!” to your beloved, and now it is time to photograph this extraordinary chapter of your life. If there was any time in your life to document – it is now. Trust us, you will want to have this time forever preserved so you can reflect on this amazing moment in the future. Engagement photos are the perfect opportunity to get started! You will get to

know your photographer better and have an opportunity to get comfortable in front of a camera. We are not all models and this session will help you feel more comfortable on your wedding day. It is very likely you will get some great photos of you as a couple and then those photos can be used in a variety of ways, including in your save-the-date stationery.

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2

1 3

5

4 1. Rick Aguilar Studios, rickaguilar.com 2. Furla Studio, furlastudio.com 3. Ashley Galminas Photography, ashleygalminas.com 4. Duron Studio, duronstudio.com 5. Collin Pierson Photography, collinpierson.com

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These Magic Moments WRITTEN BY Christina Oddo PHOTOGRAPHY BY Erin Hoyt Photography


bittersweet, and many couples express

better remember your wedding day, but

share on their wedding day,

that if they could get a wedding day do-

will also ease your nerves and keep you

there’s one observation that we

over, they would try to slow things down

grounded and centered amidst all the

see time and time again: Our wedding

and be more present in the moment.

happy chaos.

just flew by so fast – the entire day hap-

While your photographer and videographer

pened in the blink of an eye! It’s no mys-

will no doubt do an amazing job capturing

tery as to why your wedding day happens

your celebration, it’s just as important

in a flash. Between the excitement, the

for you to pause every so often to take

nerves, and the sheer joy of what you’re

mental snapshots of your wedding day.

celebrating, it makes sense that the hap-

You don’t need to memorize every single

phoTo & vIdeo

O

f all the feedback that couples

When you decide to stop and take those pictures is entirely up to you, but there are a few moments that we feel definitely deserve a spot in your mental scrapbook.

piest day of your life would be one that

detail of the excitement around you, but

WHEN YOU FINISH GETTING READY.

feels like it’s happening in fast-forward.

taking a moment to stop and check in

For most brides, getting your hair and

The hurried nature of your wedding is

with yourself will not only help you to

makeup professionally done is something

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phOTO & vIdeO

that happens once in a blue moon.

put on your dress, stop and take a good

and that’s a beautiful thing. After you

Receiving the beauty star-treatment on

look in the mirror. If admiring yourself is

have finished checking yourself out, smile

your wedding day means that you will be

a no-brainer, more power to you! If it’s

and breathe deeply. Focusing on one

looking your absolute best, and while a

not something you do very often, it might

single, slow breath will help settle your

wedding is certainly meant to be about

feel a little funny. Be your own best

pre-wedding jitters.

the love you have for your fiancé, we

friend and appreciate how beautiful you

highly recommend taking a timeout after

look in your gown and veil because if

your glam squad leaves to appreciate

things go according to plan, this is the

yourself. Once you’re all dolled up and

one and only time you’ll ever be a bride,

WHEN YOUR PARENTS SEE YOU IN YOUR GOWN. They’ve spent their entire lives raising you to be an amazing woman, and seeing the product of all their hard work standing in front of them in a wedding dress is bound to be an emotional moment. Brides doing a first look with their fathers is a trend that we have been seeing more and more of lately, and it’s one that we absolutely love. If your mom has spent the morning getting ready alongside you, consider pulling her off to a corner or a separate room and spend a moment just basking in the excitement of what’s about to happen. Weddings aren’t just a public declaration of love between you and your partner. They’re an opportunity to thank all the special people who have helped you get to where you are today, and your parents are among the most important of the bunch.

WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR FIRST LOOK. Whether it happens as you’re coming down the aisle or in a private moment before the ceremony, your first look is one of the most meaningful moments of your entire wedding day. There’s a 99.9% chance that your partner will never have seen you looking so amazing before, and the expression of shock and awe on their face is something you will want to remember forever. Focus on how you feel just before you tap them on the shoulder, or right when you lock eyes with them standing at the altar. The explosion of butterflies in your stomach, the nervous goosebumps on your arms, the uncontrollable smile…your reaction to the first look 360

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a mental snapshot.

WHEN YOU’RE ABOUT TO KISS.

before you lean in. Savoring the last few

your guests and the perfectly decorated

seconds of your engagement before you

reception space will have nothing on the

officially blossom into the next phase of

giddy smiles you and your new partner

your lives is sure to be something you

will be wearing. This “oh-my-goodness-

remember for the rest of your lives.

we-did-it!” moment might just be our

and the big kiss is a moment we recom-

WHEN YOU’RE FORMALLY ANNOUNCED.

huge step together and we suggest

mend slowing down for. If you can’t con-

For many couples, waltzing into your

as possible.

“You may now kiss the bride” is arguably the pinnacle of the entire wedding day,

tain yourselves and end up leaping at

reception and being announced for the

each other in all of the excitement, then

very first time as the new couple is when

phoTo & vIdeo

certainly makes this moment worthy of

favorite of the bunch. You’ve taken a basking in that initial glow for as long

so be it! If you’re able to remember

it finally sinks in that you have tied the

WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR FIRST DANCE.

though, take a good look at your partner

knot. The enthusiastic applause from

It should feel like you are in your own

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pHOTO & vIDEO

little world. Everything else will fade away. Even all of your guests somehow

WHEN YOU’RE DANCING WITH YOUR GUESTS.

just disappear for the duration of the

Once the drinks have been flowing and

song. Despite the crowd, there’s no

your DJ or band has hit their stride, the

denying that your first dance is one of

dance floor will transform into a giant

the most intimate parts of your wedding

sea of friends and family having the time

day. As you sway together in the center

of their lives. In between getting your

of the room, allow yourself to get com-

groove on and bopping around from

pletely lost in the moment. What does

one guest to the next, consider step-

it feel like to have his arms around you

ping out of the crowd and soaking it

while everyone looks on? What does his

all in. The sight of all your loved ones in

cologne smell like? What memory does

the same place at the same time is one

the song bring you back to? In the end,

of the most impactful visuals you could

there’s a good chance that your first

ask for, and your wedding day is one

dance will end up being more of a mental

of the only times that you’ll have every-

video than a mental picture. But before

body together.

we stray too far into the intricacies of imaginary photography and videography, we will wrap this detail up with a friendly

WHEN YOU SAY FAREWELL.

reminder that it is perfectly okay to be a

Your wedding day is one that you will

little selfish and pick an long song for

never want to end but unfortunately, like

your first dance.

all good things, it eventually must come to a close. Some couples stay at their reception until they’re the last two people in the room while others depart early in a theatrical exit (horse and carriage, vintage hot rod, sparklers, whatever floats your boat). But no matter when you leave your wedding, those final minutes in the spotlight are some of the most rewarding. The sheer length and hustle of your wedding day will no doubt have caught up with you by this time, so unless you are Wonder Woman, you’ll be fatigued beyond belief. Regardless, do your best to take one final snapshot as you head off into your “Happily Ever After”. Saying goodbye to your wedding day is undeniably bittersweet and we don’t blame you for being sad that it’s all over in under 24 hours but trust us on this: the happiness you feel on your wedding day is just the tip of the iceberg. After your celebration is when your adventure together truly begins. To find the perfect photographer for your Big Day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

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The city of Chicago is one of the most

PhoTo & vIDeo

Get the Picture

A good place to start is with Logan Square’s “Greetings from Chicago” mural. Wall murals along with the many interesting sculptures throughout the city make it a breeze to add an artistic flair to

beautiful places to get married, it creates

your wedding photography. The infusion

jaw-dropping pictures with it’s gorgeous

of color and excitement are sure to

scenery and backgrounds. As much as

create photos that’ll be cherished for

we love the classic photos, we also want

years to come.

to help you capture that perfect moment that’ll have your Instagram followers double-tapping every time.

INDUSTRIAL Creating an industrial ambiance to your

NATURE

pictures is among the easiest on this

Chicago may not be known for its beautiful

list. With locations such as right outside

nature-scapes, but hidden around our

the Wrigley building, you can capture

city are some gorgeous, unique opportu-

Chicago’s brilliant architecture while

nities to incorporate Mother Nature. Find-

incorporating the Chicago River into the

ing a hidden gem like Montrose Point

background. But if you are looking for

Bird Sanctuary will transport you from

something more rough-hewn, try using

Chicago’s busy streets to lush greenery

the many abandoned warehouses that

and wildlife, all while keeping the Chicago

are scattered throughout the city, or areas

Skyline in the background. If you and

below Chicago’s iconic “L” tracks.

your partner have a special connection to an outdoor location, make sure you snap a memorable picture as a keepsake at that spot.

WATERFRONT Lake Michigan creates a beautiful backdrop for any special pictures you have in mind for your Big Day. But don’t forget places like the Chicago River, with its many bridges, creating a wonderful opportunity to show off not only Chicago’s picturesque waterfronts, but its gorgeous architecture within the same photograph. With so many access points throughout the city for these two bodies of water, it can seem like your pictures were worlds apart even though they were all within a few miles of each other.

ARTISTIC While out and about in the city of Chicago, it’s hard to miss the colorful street art on bridges, stairwells, and buildings. With so much unique, local street art on display, there’s sure to be a mural for every emotion and every couple! C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Thanks for the Memories The ins-and-ouTs of making The mosT of your wedding phoTos

WRITTEN BY Micaela Fischer PHOTOGRAPHY BY Valen Studios


a physical photo album will never go out

spouse, decide on all the important hall-

the insanity of planning a wed-

of style. It’s a beloved, traditional heirloom

marks of your wedding that you want

ding, it may be hard to believe

to be passed down by your family for

highlighted in your album. On that list,

that your Big Day will eventually come

generations to come. But no pressure,

you’ll definitely want to include all your

and go. When the dust of your wedding

right? Out of hundreds of photos, some-

big “firsts”. Think: first-look, first-kiss,

finally settles, you will be left with photos

how you will have to narrow it down to

first-dance. Along with your significant

filled with precious memories and magical

just your favorites. Your wedding album

milestones, you will also want a smattering

moments to reminisce over for years to

will only have so much room. We can

of images of your full bridal party and fun

come. But rather than just letting them

already hear your sighs of protest: but

dancing shots of your guests to tie everything together.

collect digital dust on your computer,

they’re all my favorites! Not to worry,

you might wonder how you can get the

here are some general rules of thumb to

most mileage out of your gorgeous

guide you through this tough decision.

Your Heart Will Lead The Way.

album to the personalized gifts for the

Let Your Album Tell a Story.

tures, go for the emotional impact. Pick

special people in your life, there are

More than just a collection of your favorite

the photos you think accurately capture

plenty of ways to make use of your wed-

images, the photos in your wedding

how you both felt that day. That way,

album should weave together the story

each time you flip through your album, it

of the day. This means the layout of the

will be like reliving those moments all

images. From the perfectly crafted photo

ding photos.

CRAFTING THE PERFECT ALBUM.

PhOTO & vIDeO

W

ith your life so consumed by

When it comes time to choose the pic-

album should follow some sort of logical

over again. Don’t think that you and your

organization. The easiest choice is for

spouse have to be the focal points of

Although digital images take center stage

your album to be chronological, but that

every picture, either. It’s true that your

in our high-tech world, the joy of holding

doesn’t have to be the case. With your

wedding album is an anthology of your

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

365


PhOTO & vIdeO

love story but if your photographer cap-

stylized, consider that certain designs,

albums with thick, sturdy pages mounted

tured the sweetest smile of your flower

fonts, or borders might look dated a few

on cardboard are also a popular option.

girl, or caught your mom in a tender,

years from now. Sticking with a simple

If you’re still unsure, you can always ask

tearful moment – don’t hesitate to put

layout will give your album a classic,

your wedding photographer for their rec-

those precious snapshots in your album.

timeless look.

ommendations about building your perfect

Those are the memories you’ll never regret preserving.

wedding photo album.

Pick Your Binding and Material: The sky is the limit with the types of

Time to Get Technical:

paper, binding, and covers available

Once you finally trim your photos down

for your photo album. Leather or canvas

to a reasonable number, pat yourself on

are great choices for covers that draw

the back because you deserve it. But

on time-honored binding techniques to

hang tight, you are not out of the woods

give a classic look to your album. But

quite yet. It’s time to think about your

many couples also go for photo-covers

album layout and design. These days,

with one of their favorite pictures cover-

less is more. Brides have been favoring

ing the surface area of the front, back,

sleek and simple designs for a clean,

and spine.

minimalist look. This is a great choice

Do Some Fieldwork: To get your creative juices flowing, turn to other wedding albums for inspiration. Ask your married friends and relatives to see their albums to get an idea of how you might want your album to look. Pinterest is also a treasure trove of album inspiration. This may feel like cheating, but it is the best way to get an idea for what you like without fully committing. Your photographer will also be a valuable

Lay-flat pages allow images to extend

wealth of knowledge at this point. As the

for themselves without unnecessary text

seamlessly across a two-page spread

expert, he or she can make sure that the

and

lend a dramatic, panoramic effect to

layout of your photos flows seamlessly

wedding albums. Flush-mount wedding

from one page to the next.

because it allows your pictures to speak embellishments

cluttering

the

pages. If you opt for something more

Albums Make Great Gifts: While you will obviously want to create a larger album for yourselves, you may consider creating smaller, more customized album to give as gifts. Maybe surprise your bridal party with a nostalgic memento or a brag book for your parents to display proudly on their coffee table. The people who played a special part in your wedding day deserve a little something extra and they are sure to appreciate the thoughtful gift.

DECIDING WHAT GETS FRAMED. Along with building your stunning wedding album, you’re probably stressing over which pictures you want to be framed. This task may be even harder because you’ll have to narrow your favorites down even further (unless you give in to the temptation of covering every square inch of your house with your wedding pictures). At the same time, getting pictures framed can give you a surprising amount of 366

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


giving them as gifts.

If You Like It, Put a Frame on It: So, what goes in a frame? The heartmelters, the tear-jerkers, and above all, the memory-makers. If the picture puts a lump in your throat, you know you have a winner. Unlike your album, these pictures will be on full display in your house every

a keepsake from your special day and

that digital just can’t compete with. No

it’ll let them enjoy a small taste of the

matter what design choices you make or

magic they missed.

who you gift your photos to, they embody

Although digital images make sharing wedding photos with family and friends extraordinarily convenient, there are plenty

PHoTo & VIDeo

freedom, particularly when it comes to

the happiest moments of your life and should reflect exactly how you felt on the day you said “I do”.

of other ways you can use your pictures.

To find the perfect photographer or

Hard-copy albums and printed photo-

videographer for your Big Day, visit

graphs carry a special sentimental weight

chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

day. They’re the images that will adorn your walls, your bedside table, living room, you name it. Ideally, you want to choose the pictures that make you remember how in love you were on your wedding day.

Pay Homage to Your Loved Ones: Along with romantic pictures of you and your new spouse, you might consider allotting one or two frames for your maid of honor and best man. These are the real MVPs in your life, and just as you reserved a special place for them at your wedding, they deserve a spot immortalized next to you on the mantle. Having framed pictures of elderly grandparents and young children is also a great idea. Those memories will become so much more precious as time goes by!

Seeing Double: As you choose which pictures to get framed, you might notice that some of them also appear in your wedding album. Don’t sweat the duplicates. Some overlap is totally fine – encouraged, even! You’ll probably end up wanting multiple copies of your favorite pictures anyway.

SMALL GESTURES GO A LONG WAY. Framed wedding photographs make simple, yet impactful gifts for your faraway friends and family relatives. It’s a nice gesture, especially for those few who missed out on your wedding day for one reason or another (hey, life happens). They will be thrilled to receive C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Chicago’s

Newest Newlyweds 1

2

4

5

3

1. Tara & Meredith, Timothy Whaley Photographic Artists 2. Shenesia & Stephen, Olu Jr. Photographer 3. Kayla & Omar, Duron Studio 4. Travis & Megan, Johna R. Bradley Photography 5. Kelly & Brian, Dan Voss Photography

368

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7

6

8

9

10

6. Sami & Nick, ojo Creative 7. Carmella & Andy, Ocken Photography 8. Jenna & Nate, Valen Studios 9. Dani & Andrew, Tamara Jaros Photography 10. Pam & Andrew, Kristin Bernice Photography

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Hit the Right Note M

usic has a powerful way of conveying feelings and emotions. You know that one song – yeah, that song – that comes on the radio and you

have to stop everything and belt out the lyrics reliving your college glory days? Well, now it’s time to think about what song you will want to turn on to take you back in time to your first dance with your new spouse. This significant moment, among many others, will stand out to you as you look back on your Big Day. For this reason, you will want to carefully consider what you want your song choices to convey. Overall most of the songs you select will be ones that you can envision you and your guests boogying to while you all celebrate your nuptials.

WRITTEN BY Emma Sarran Webster PHOTOGRAPHY BY Erin Hoyt Photography C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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lIve MusIC, DJs & DAnCIng

But, don’t forget about those moments

trio of string instruments playing quietly

that warrant a bit more thought when it

is a great option. A pre-recorded selection

comes to song selection. By working

of your favorite love songs may be more

closely with the musicians or DJ that you

your style. As you are picking these ele-

have chosen, you can craft the perfect

ments, remember the prelude music will

soundtrack showcasing your special day

be among the first details to set the

from the prelude at the ceremony to the

mood and tone of your Big Day.

last dance at the reception.

PRELUDE

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WEDDING PARTY PROCESSIONAL

Think of it as welcoming music. This is

This processional is when members of

the music that is played as your guests

your wedding party and certain family

arrive to the ceremony and find their

members like parents and grandparents

seats. You should plan for about 30 min-

walk down the aisle. The processional

utes of prelude music to be playing in

music not only helps build anticipation

the background before the first person

and excitement for the bride or second

walks down the aisle. Choose arrange-

partner’s entrance, but also sets the

ments that reflect your personal style as

tone for the entire ceremony. To a certain

a couple. Many couples choose selections

extent, it also represents the people who

that incorporate harmonious music, instru-

are walking down the aisle when it’s

mental tracks, and soft acoustic songs.

playing. A classical song like “Jesu, Joy

If you are planning to hire musicians, a

of Man’s Desiring,” for example, will set


lIve musIC, Djs & DAnCIng

the stage for a traditional Christian ceremony. If you’re planning an upbeat, unconventional ceremony, you can go the route of a modern pop song to let your guests know this wedding will be a more contemporary celebration from start to finish. Of course, you can also land somewhere in the middle, picking a song that holds meaning for you and your loved ones like a mellow, contemporary ballad. Try to make sure whatever you pick is different enough from the prelude music (which plays when guests are filtering in) so that everyone knows it’s officially time to start.

BRIDAL PROCESSIONAL The moment the bride walks down the aisle is an immense one, and music plays a big part in conveying the emotion that comes with it. A selection like “Canon in D” beautifully communicates a feeling of romance for both traditional and more contemporary ceremonies. But if you want to personalize this moment even more, you can choose a tune that holds personal significance to you, like the first song you ever danced to as a couple or one with lyrics that really speak to your relationship. The bride’s processional music does not have to be different from the wedding party’s processional. If there is one song that speaks to you for both, feel free to stick with it but consider pinpointing a spot within the music (such as a big crescendo or a key change) that adds an extra “oomph” to your entrance. If it is too hard to identify that timing, you can ask your musicians to add a bit of volume or breadth to the song by adding another instrument when you begin your processional. If you use a song with lyrics, make sure you closely review what they are ahead of time. Plenty of breakup songs are set to beautiful melodies, but that’s not exactly something you will want at your wedding. C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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LIvE MuSIC, DjS & DAnCIng

RECESSIONAL

Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” is one

The recessional song, which begins

of the most traditional tunes for this

American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life”

when you and your new spouse walk

moment as it conveys the importance

is perfect for the couple who loves a

back down the aisle, tends to be more

of the moment with powerful musical

contemporary twist.

celebratory and upbeat than the proces-

beats. Although, there are plenty of

sionals. It’s the score behind the first

other directions you can take depend-

steps you will take as a newly married

ing on your personalities and the style

couple and it begins the transition

of your wedding. For example, The

from your ceremony to your reception.

Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” is a less

emphatic but equally joyful tune, and

RECEPTION ENTRANCE Your first official introduction to your guests as a newly married couple was during your recessional, but your entrance to the reception heralds the true start of the celebration. The music that plays when you and your new spouse walk into the room and join your waiting guests sets the tone for the rest of the reception. If you want a high-energy reception with nonstop fun and dancing, choose a song that will get everyone’s blood pumping, even if they’re sitting down at their tables. For the rest of the night, your guests will take their cues from you so if you are sending a message that says, “let’s party and have fun!” they will heed it and join right in.

FIRST DANCE Of all the musical moments throughout your wedding day, your first dance is perhaps the one that most clearly conveys who you are as a couple. All eyes will be on you, and while your dance moves play a part in showing your guests your style, it’s the music that you are dancing to that really sends the message. Each aspect of the song – such as the tempo, the style, and the lyrics – works to communicate your personalities, style, and relationship. An upbeat ‘90s classic, for example, can symbolize your quirkiness and lightheartedness while an emotional ballad might represent your enduring love through good times and bad. Of course, choosing an upbeat song doesn’t mean you don’t have enduring love and vice versa. If you are having trouble deciding on a song, consider the overall vibe of your wedding and which of your top choices may fit that best. 374

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


they may carry the feeling of that song

note with a high-energy song such as

with them as one of the strongest mem-

“Shout” by The Isley Brothers to get

Just as your first dance with your spouse

ories of your reception. As with the other

everyone on the dance floor one last

conveys who you are as a couple, the

song selections, consider your personal-

time, or you can have the most of both

father-daughter dance gives guests a

ities and the overall wedding vibe. You

worlds with a cheeky classic such as

glimpse into that relationship (whether

can choose to end the night on a romantic

“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill

it’s with your biological father, grandfather,

note with a sentimental ballad such as

Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Have fun

adoptive father, or another father figure

“At Last” by Etta James to represent

with this one, pick something that will

in your life). If there’s a song that holds

your love. You can end on a celebratory

send you and your guests off smiling.

LIvE MuSIc, dJS & dAncIng

FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE

special significance for the two of you, dance to that and create a memorable moment. Or, select a song that represents something the two of you have always bonded over, such as a tune by The Beach Boys to symbolize your shared love of the beach. That said, the selection doesn’t have to be so specific. Think more broadly about the vibe. If the two of you love to goof off and have a silly relationship, consider dancing to a fastpaced, lighthearted song. If you are more of the sentimental types, pick something a bit slower and more emotional like the popular choice “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

MOTHER-SON DANCE The mother-son dance largely sends the same message as the father-daughter dance, but with, well, a mother (or a mother figure). Let the relationship between the groom and his mom guide the selection of this tune. Something like “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders conveys a sentimental vibe and represents the everlasting strength of the mother-son relationship, while “Mom” by Meghan Trainor conveys the gratitude the groom has for his mom in a fun, celebratory manner.

FINAL SONG After many emotional and joyful hours, your wedding day is finally coming to a close. Just as the first song sets the tone for the reception, the last song punctuates that feeling upon your exit. It’s the last thing your guests will hear (and dance to!) before they leave and C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

375


Make Your Wedding Day Ride Memorable We’re going to let you in on a little wed-

really get going. Consider whether you

sunset? Consider renting a bike taxi and taking turns in the driver’s seat.

ding day secret – one that might totally

want to take the trip alone with your

shock you. Wedding day transportation

spouse, with your entire bridal party, or

(yup, that ride from the ceremony to the

with some select friends and family

reception) can unexpectedly become

members you might not get to spend

many newlyweds’ favorite highlight of

much quality time with later in the

the day.

evening. (Who is included will obviously

We know what you’re probably thinking, “Can a ride in a limo, party bus, or rickshaw possibly compare to some of the iconic wedding traditions like reciting your vows, sharing your first dance, or tossing the bouquet?” While it might sound crazy now, we’re telling you with just a little bit of planning, the answer is yes. You can transform your routine wedding day ride into a VIP event (one with

depend on the mode of transportation you choose as well, but more on that later). If you are eager for some peace, quiet, and uninterrupted wedding day snuggles, don’t be afraid to tuck yourselves into the back of a limousine and ride solo.

CHOOSE YOUR VIBE WISELY.

a much smaller guest list).

Your wedding day ride should say as

There are many ways to make your wed-

your Big Day as everything else you have

much about the theme and energy of

Whether your wedding ride is hosting your entire wedding party or you are using those moments to bask in some quiet, newlywedded bliss, snacks and a bubbly beverage (or two) are never a bad idea. Make sure someone — your driver, a member of your wedding party, or a eager-to-help guest — has stocked your ride with everything you’ll want as you make your way from reception to ceremony. Be sure to have something bubbly to toast with and some of your favorite guilty pleasure snacks.

MAKE A PLAYLIST (OR TWO).

ding day ride as fun as possible — both

spent so much time planning. Consider

If you know that you are going to use

for you and any guests who might be

the type of transportation that will best

your wedding transportation as a pre-

riding along, too. Here are some tips

speak to your wedding. Does the day

game party for the reception, make sure

and tricks for planning unforgettable

have an overall vintage feel? Then a

you have a playlist that sets the tone.

wedding day transportation.

classic car or motorcycle and snazzy

Choose anything that’ll get folks grooving

sidecar might be just the vibe you’re

in their seats and raising their hands in

CONSIDER THE GUESTLIST.

looking for. Are you eager to start the

the air. If your bridal party is joining you

dance party early? An open-air trolley

on the trip, consider what tunes will get

While you may not realize it now, you

(weather permitting) is perfect for getting

everyone pumped up to make their grand

and your spouse might be eager to

you from point A to point B, with plenty

entrance into the reception in a few

enjoy some time away from the spot-

of room for busting a move at every

moments. On the other hand, if you’re

light — because even though the formal

stoplight. Have you been dreaming of

looking for a calm respite in between the

ceremony is over, your wedding day is

your very own Cinderella moment? In

main events, put together a playlist that’s

still only just beginning. Your ceremony-

that case, you shouldn’t pass up the

both romantic and soothing. We recom-

to-reception ride is a great way to take

opportunity to enjoy your own horse and

mend having both prepped just in case

a breather (and maybe take off those

carriage fairy tale ride. Are you looking

the vibe you expected to be feeling isn’t

shoes) before the wedding festivities

for an eco-friendly way to ride into the

the one you’re rocking on the Big Day.

WRITTEN BY E. Ce. Miller 376

MAKE SURE SOMEONE (ELSE) IS ON SNACK DUTY.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


DON’T FORGET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER.

for freshening up, everything you need

Stretch your wedding day ride out for as

Unless you’re really looking for time to

if there’s that one bobby pin that’s

long as possible, especially if you need

be completely alone with your new

been driving you crazy all morning), a

to give your guests time to get themselves

spouse, be sure to keep your photogra-

small sewing kit for any wardrobe emer-

to the reception before you — by taking

pher in the loop about any wedding

gencies, over-the-counter painkillers if

the scenic route. If you are getting

transportation plans. The wedding ride

you’re still rocking a hangover from the

married in your favorite city or hometown,

is a great time for capturing one-of-a-

rehearsal dinner, mini bottles of water,

consider popping into a couple of your

kind candid pics of you and everyone

even a couple tennis balls for quick

most-loved spots (or at least doing a

else who might be riding along. Pro tip:

DIY lower back or foot massages (seri-

quick drive-by). Is there an iconic land-

Don’t forget to ask for photographs both

ously, you’ll be so glad you did). The

mark, tourist attraction, skyline, or land-

inside and outside your transportation,

ride from ceremony to reception is a

for any quick hair alterations (especially

scape you can snap a few one-of-a-kind

especially if you’re riding in something

great time to crack this baby open and

photos at along the way? Circle that

like a classic car, a horse drawn carriage,

dive in — just be sure the same person

spot where you first met, the place where

or a party trolley.

in charge of snacks tucks your survival kit into your ride as well. This way, you

you had your first date, or where you got

point A to point B has to offer, and don’t

USE THIS TIME TO DIP INTO YOUR “WEDDING SURVIVAL KIT”.

be afraid to trek a little out of the way.

We highly recommend having a wedding

That way you’ll have a few unforgettable,

survival kit; a comfy change of shoes, a

To find the perfect transportation for your Big

and totally Instagrammable moments.

spare lipstick, facial moisturizing spray

Day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com/vendors.

engaged. Just give your driver a heads up. Think about what the route from

TrAnSPorTATIon

TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE.

don’t have to keep your guests waiting while you relax and freshen up upon arriving at the reception.

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

377


RUCKMAN STUDIOS

Packing Perfection Y o u r S T r e S S - F r e e H o N e Y m o o N PA C k I N G G u I D e If you have just finished the monumental

and romantic pieces (keeping it sultry

taking on the whole trip at once. Go

task of planning a wedding, the last

24/7 might seem like a good idea until

through a full day in your mind — from

thing you want to do is pack for your

you’re in 100-degree heat). Also, don’t

the moment you wake up until the

honeymoon. But trust us, it is much

forget a cozy airplane outfit and a ver-

moment you tuck yourself into that super-

easier than you think. Check out these

satile sweater for chilly evenings. The

soft hotel bed — and consider your

what’s, how’s, and when’s for packing.

exception to the over-packing rule is

must-have items. Plan to take inexpensive

shoes. They’re heavy and take up a lot

things you can leave behind: disposable

THE WHAT:

of space. Those strappy sandals are

toothbrushes, razors, etc. Discarding

The first items that should go into your

not worth honeymoon blisters, so grab

them before you head home will ensure

carry-on luggage are your important

activity-specific footwear (i.e. a pair

you have plenty of room for souvenirs.

travel documents. In a folder, store things

for the beach, a pair for nights out,

like IDs, passports, and visas; airline,

and a versatile spare). Above all, only

THE WHEN:

hotel, and excursion reservations; medi-

pack the items that make you feel and

cal information including prescriptions in

Before the last-minute wedding prep

look your best.

kicks into high gear, it’s time to start

Next, keep it simple when it comes to

packing. Aim for two-to-three weeks

your non-clothing items. If you are

before you’re set to walk down the aisle.

checking your luggage, there’s no

Plan on leaving for your honeymoon

their original bottles; and photocopies of all the above to store in your spouse’s carry-on just in case anything gets lost or damaged.

need to splurge on dozens of travel-

bright and early the morning after the

If there’s ever a time to over-pack (at

sized everything. Do not forget to store

wedding? We recommend packing a

least, slightly), it’s your honeymoon. Go

them in plastic bags in case one acci-

small overnight bag for the wedding

dentally opens.

night. Then, have your honeymoon lug-

swimsuit or three – just in case. When it

THE HOW:

by that will be easy for you to grab

comes to lingerie, include both practical

Pack for each day at a time instead of

before you fly off into the sunset.

ahead and pack those two extra dresses

gage waiting for you somewhere close

for fancy evenings out or an additional

WRITTEN BY E. Ce. Miller | PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy of Willow Design Lake Geneva LLC 378

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


TERESA & BOBBY How Bobby Knew He Had Found the One “I knew from the first moment I saw her that she was the woman I was going to marry. She’s always inspired me to be better and to strive for better. She’s encouraged me and believed in me in ways I did not believe in myself. I’m a better person because of her.”

Darling Details “Elle Salon set aside a private area upstairs in their salon that was beautiful and designated just for us to get ready in. It was so sweet and we felt so special. After the girls and I got our hair and makeup done, we all went to my parents’ house where we put our dresses on. Before I got ready, I read a letter Bobby had written for me to open on our wedding day. It was so beautiful and filled my heart with so much joy.”

Teresa’s Favorite Wedding Memory “Seeing Bobby’s face as I walked down the aisle. The entire ceremony was so beautiful, and seeing everyone we loved there to support us- family and friends from both near and far- was overwhelming. It all just felt like a dream.”

Tip for Engaged Couples “Enjoy every minute of the process with your fiancé. Make memories and don't get too stressed about the details because the day will be perfect!”

Number of Wedding Guests: 225

To see more photos from this Real Wedding, go to chicagostyleweddings.com/real-weddings.


Real Wedding Vendors CEREMONY: St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church | RECEptiON: Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante | phOtOgRaphY: Tamara Jaros Photography VidEOgRaphY: Native Creation Videography | ENgagEMENt RiNg: Razny Jewelers | WEddiNg RiNgs: Ed Schmelzle & Sons BRidE’s gOWN: Pronovias via Simply Luxe Bridal Boutique | haiR & MakEup: Elle Salon | BRidEsMaids’ dREssEs: Adrianna Papell FORMalWEaR: Burlington Flowers & Formalwear | FlORal & déCOR: Burlington Flowers & Formalwear | statiONERY: Shutterfly CatERiNg: Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante | CakE: The Baking Institute | sWEEts taBlE: Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante ENtERtaiNMENt: DJ Nino | tRaNspORtatiON: Elite Chicago Limo C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

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Grand Geneva Resort & Spa .............................217

Jenny Yoo Collection .........................................21

Chandler’s Weddings & Special Events ...............148

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa ............................207

Kathryn’s Bridal ................................................37

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel......................111

Grand Victoria Casino ......................................201

Luxe Bridal Rack ..............................................23

Chicago History Museum..................................114

Halim Time & Glass Museum ............................181

Valen Bridals ....................................................73

Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort ..................215

Hawk’s View Golf Club .....................................232

Veiled by Cha Cha Bridal Boutique.......................73

Chicago Marriott Naperville ...............................180

Heritage Ballroom at the Centre of Elgin .............158

Viero Bridal......................................................74

Chicago Marriott Southwest at Burr Ridge ...........209

Highland Park Country Club ..............................176

Wedding Dresser, The........................................57

Chicago Park District .......................................156

Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort ................116

White Dress Bridal Boutique ..........................16-17

Chicago Public Library –

Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn .................................229

Formalwear Formally Modern Tuxedo ....................................59

Harold Washington Library ..........................206 Cliffbreakers – Riverside Hotel &

Hilton Orrington/Evanston .................................177 Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North .........167

Conference Center.....................................251

Holiday Inn Countryside & William Tell Banquets ...231

Gown Preservation

Club Lucky ....................................................202

Holiday Inn Itasca............................................192

Austin Preservation..........................................330

Concorde Banquets.........................................191

Holiday Inn & Suites Joliet Southwest ...............242

Brushing Bride ...............................................315

Congress Plaza Hotel, The................................169

Hotel Arista ....................................................203

Cotillion Banquets ...........................................197

Hyatt Regency Chicago....................................149

Jewelery

Crowne Plaza Chicago Southwest at Burr Ridge ...209

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place .......................112

Benchmark ..........................................Back Cover

Crystal Ballroom & Lounge, The ........................179

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile............101

Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio ..............................75

D’Andrea Banquets ........................................210

Kimpton Gray Hotel + Boleo.............................143

Razny Jewelers ................................................43

Doubletree by Hilton Chicago Alsip.....................136

Kimpton Hotel Allegro .....................................113

Doubletree by Hilton Chicago North Shore ..........183

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago ........................147

Ceremony & Reception Location

Doubletree Suites by Hilton Chicago –

Knickerbocker Chicago, The ...............................99

Downers Grove .........................................126

La Villa Banquets ............................................210

Abbey Farms: The Emporium ............................128

Drake Oak Brook, The .....................................239

Lake Geneva Cruise Line .................................218

Abbington Distinctive Banquets..........................146

Drury Lane ....................................................138

Lake Lawn Resort ...........................................182

Allegra Banquets.............................................108

DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.................235

Landing 1841, The .........................................232

Jojayden Custom Clothier...................................58

382

Armour House Mansion & Gardens ....................144

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


W Chicago – Lakeshore ............Inside Front Cover -1

Floral Preservation

Wandering Tree Estate .....................................161

Austin Preservations ........................................330

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel ............................205

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago .........................129

Loft 21 .........................................................237

Westin Chicago Northwest, The .........................247

Gifts & Gift Registery

LondonHouse Chicago.....................................115

Winnetka Community House .............................185

Bloomingdale’s, The Registry..........Inside Back Cover

Loyola at Cuneo Mansion & Gardens .................214

Woodbine Bend Golf Course & Restaurant ..........238

Brushing Bride ...............................................315

Manzo’s Banquets...........................................243

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront ...................163

McHenry Country Club.....................................184 Metropolis Ballroom ........................................213

Culinary Services

Metropolitan, The ............................................117

cakes & sweets

Mid-America Club, The ....................................125

Amy Beck Cake Design ...................................347

Midwest Conference Center ..............................206

Bittersweet.....................................................343

Mirage Four Points Sheraton .............................164

Delish Cakes ..................................................346

Murphy Chicago, The.......................................131

Urban Icing ....................................................347

Mystic Blue Cruises .........................................110

Vanille Patisserie ......................................344-345

Naper Settlement ............................................226

catering

Naperville Park District .....................................226

Bauer’s Catering .............................................168

Oaks, The – at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse ..........133

BellaRu Catering .............................................334

Odyssey, The..................................................199

Jewell Events Catering .....................................335

Odyssey Chicago River ....................................110

Weber Grill Catering ........................................337

Odyssey Lake Michigan ...................................110

ice sculPting

Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel ............................119

Johnson Studios Ice Sculptures.........................336

Paramount’s Meyer Ballroom ............................194

Guest Accommodations Hotel room blocks Carleton of Oak Park, The ................................160 DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.................235 Guesthouse Hotel, The.....................................248 Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza .........................167 Hotel Versey...................................................248 Trump International Hotel & Tower ......................2-3

Health, Beauty & Fitness Appease, Inc. ...................................................85 Blushing Beauty................................................85 Bridal Brigade ..................................................89 Kate Johnson Artistry.........................................91 Lapiel Laser Center ...........................................90 Manifest Makeup LLC........................................91

Pazzo’s at 311 ...............................................159

Entertainment

Petterino’s Restaurant ......................................242

bands & orcHestras

Pinstripes ......................................................165

Bluewater Kings Band......................................372

Prairie Bluff Golf Club ......................................196

H.Y.P.E. Productions, Inc...................................373

Prairie Landing Golf Club..................................174

dJs

Ridge Hotel, The.............................................219

Chicago Wedding DJs .....................................372

River Roast ....................................................141

H.Y.P.E. Productions, Inc...................................374

Rolling Green Country Club...............................214

Midwest Event Solutions...................................375

Honeymoon & Travel

Seville, The .................................................10-11

Floral & Décor

Apple Vacations...........................................96-97

Signature Room at the 95th, The.......................135

Ashland Addison Florist Company ......................324

Pompano Beach Club ......................................379

Salvatore’s Ristorante ......................................103

2018 | 2019 advertisers index

Lehmann Mansion...........................................168 Loews Chicago Hotel.......................................137

Rare Bird Beauties ............................................82 SLT Makeup Artistry ..........................................90 Visage Joli Makeup & Hair Chicago .....................82 Zazú Salon .....................................................83

medical sPa Lapiel Laser Center ...........................................90

Silver Lake Country Club ..................................211

Avant Gardenia ...............................................322

Skydeck Chicago ............................................127

Divine Designs & Events ..................................325

Invitations & Stationery

Spiaggia Private Events ....................................155

Festive Frog, The ............................................330

DBY invitations ...............................................317

Spirit of Chicago .............................................110

Johnson Studios Ice Sculptures.........................336

Double Trip Press............................................313

St. Jane Chicago ............................................145

Kensington Florals & Events..............................327

G Marie Design Group .....................................314

Stan Mansion .................................................139

Mayfield Flowers .............................................327

Invitations by Design........................................313

Swissôtel Chicago........................................12-13

Northern Greenhouses Floral & Event Design .......329

Maxe Designs ................................................315

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago ..........2-3

Willow Design Lake Geneva LLC .......................328

Too Chic Little Shab ........................................314

Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante ..........................4-5

Yanni Design Studio ........................................323

artwork & Framing

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar .................................202

dance Floor design

Austin Preservations ........................................330

W Chicago – City Center ...........Inside Front Cover -1

Yanni Design Studio ........................................323

Brushing Bride ...............................................315 C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M

383


2018 | 2019 advertisers index

Photography

Galleria Marchetti – La Pergola .........................271

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar .................................276

AirBooth Social...............................................366

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Chicago ................271

W Chicago – City Center..................................277

Ashley Galminas Photography ...........................366

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Rosemont .............278

W Chicago – Lakeshore ..................................277

Collin Pierson Photography ...............................353

Gibsons Italia..................................................271

Wandering Tree Estate .....................................279

Dan Voss Photography .....................................367

Gino’s East – Barrington ..................................278

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago .........................277

Duron Studio..................................................360

Gino’s East – Chicago .....................................272

Weber Grill Restaurants....................................277

Erin Hoyt Photography .....................................363

Gino’s East – Wheaton ....................................281

Whitney’s.......................................................280

Furla Studio ...................................................355

Grand Victoria Casino ......................................278

Windsor, The ..................................................277

Jasko Omerovic Photography............................362

Guesthouse Hotel, The.....................................272

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront ...................277

Johna R. Bradley Photography ..........................367

Highland Park Country Club ..............................279

Kristin Bernice Photography ..............................360

Hilton Orrington/ Evanston ................................279

Ocken Photography.........................................354

Hofbrähouse ..................................................279

ojo Creative ...................................................362

Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North .........272

Olu Jr. Photographer .......................................362

Holiday Inn Countryside & William Tell Banquets ...280

Rick Aguilar Studios ........................................361

Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House ..........................272

SYPhotography...............................................359

Hyatt Regency Chicago....................................272

Tamara Jaros Photography ...............................363

Kimpton Gray Hotel + Boleo.............................272

Transportation

Timothy Whaley Photographic Artists ..................352

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago ........................273

Classic Wedding Car........................................377

Valen Studios .................................................365

Knickerbocker Chicago, The..............................273

Photo BoothS AirBooth Social...............................................366 Instant Party Photo Booth .................................361

Blue Peak Tents..............................................331 Festive Frog, The ............................................330 Marquee Event Group ......................................328 Midwest Event Solutions...................................375 Step It Up Rental ............................................328

Lockwood Restaurant & Bar .............................273

Videography

LUXBAR........................................................273

ojo Creative ...................................................362

Metropolitan, The ............................................273

Timothy Whaley Photographic Artists ..................352

Mid-America Club, The ....................................273 Murphy Chicago, The.......................................274

Wedding Services

Naper Settlement ............................................281

StyliSt

312 Chicago..................................................270

Oaks, The – at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse ..........281

Wedding Dresser, The........................................57

Arrowhead Golf Club .......................................280

Odyssey Chicago River ....................................274

Wedding ConSultantS

Art Institute Of Chicago, The .............................270

Orso’s Restaurant............................................274

Bethany Moore Events .....................................307

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano – Algonquin...............278

Paris312 .......................................................274

Big City Bride .................................................299

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano – Deer Park ..............278

Pazzo’s at 311 ...............................................274

Creatively Inspired Weddings & Events................311

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano – Naperville...............280

Pinstripes – Chicago .......................................274

Effortless Events .............................................305

Carleton of Oak Park, The ................................280

Pinstripes – Northbrook ...................................279

Exceptional Events by Shuki Moran ....................306

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel......................270

Pinstripes – Oak Brook ....................................281

Gilded Aisle, The .............................................309

Club Lucky ....................................................270

Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar .........................275

Lillian Rose Events ..........................................302

Coco Pazzo ...................................................270

Remington’s...................................................275

LOLA Event Productions...................................298

Coco Pazzo Café ............................................270

River Roast ....................................................275

Nouvelle Events ..............................................310

Congress Plaza Hotel, The................................270

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery ...................275

Sarah Kathleen Events .....................................310

Crystal Ballroom & Lounge, The ........................279

Ronero..........................................................275

Simply Elegant Group, The................................301

D.O.C. Wine Bar – Chicago...............................271

Salvatore’s Ristorante ......................................275

Soirée Weddings & Events................................300

D.O.C. Wine Bar – Lombard..............................280

Shula’s Steak House .......................................276

Wedicity Wedding & Event Detailing ..................298

Drake Oak Brook, The .....................................281

Spiaggia Private Events ....................................276

Windermere Elegant Weddings ..........................302

DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.................235

St. Jane Chicago ............................................276

You Name It Events .........................................311

Eaglewood Resort & Spa .................................278

Terrace 16.....................................................276

Wedding eventS

Erie Café .......................................................271

Tuco & Blondie...............................................276

Complete Wedding Expo, The............................284

Fig & Olive – Chicago .....................................271

Venuti’s Banquets & Ristorante..........................281

Illinois Bridal & Wedding Expo ...........................285

Rehearsal Dinner & Pre-Wedding Celebrations

384

Rentals

C H I CAG O ST Y L E W E D D I N G S . C O M


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