Monthly Archives: December 2010

intimate chicago wedding at a new leaf

So you already know that Elizabeth & Mike got married.  And that it was glorious.  But you need details!  And pictures!  And fluffy clouds and rainbows!  So here you go….

It all started with a little yellow pair of shoes at The Sofitel downtown. 

Elizabeth got a finishing touch on her veil before seeing her groom for the first time while Mike got all spruced up and ready for his bride.
They waited for the bus, but it never came.  Typical, CTA, typical. 

So Elizabeth picked up that gorgeous train and hailed a cab instead.

A photo shoot downtown occurred, until that pesky “day-of” time line insisted that they stop and come get married already!  So they walked away until these guys insisted on one more song…

Back at A New Leaf things were ready to go and a bridal party was demanding to be photographed!

Mike and Elizabeth had one last quiet moment together alone…

It was time…

and just like that, they did it!

Elizabeth’s sister (and Maid of Honor) Katie, gave a hilarious toast to the newlyweds.

They shared some cake, a dance and some quiet time in the ribbon room before the party ended and they jetted off to Italy for their honeymoon.

It just could not have been easier or more fun working with these two incredible people.  To Mike & Elizabeth, I loved being “the other Elizabeth” in your lives during the ups and downs of wedding planning. Seeing it all come together for you on this day was beyond rewarding.  While my in-box felt strangely empty after it was all over, I am so grateful to know that I will be seeing you again at another Lindner extravaganza in 2011!  In the meantime, may your sandwiches never have mayo, your stockings be full of sauerkraut and your glasses full of mojito! (You truly won’t regret it.)

Elizabeth + Mike’s vendors:
Ceremony & Reception: A New Leaf
Catering: Food Evolution
Guest Accommodations: Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Rehearsal Dinner: Gino’s East
Photography: Michael Rastall Photography
Florist: Rachelle with A New Leaf
Wedding Style: Anticipation Events
DJ: Kristin with Toast & Jam
Ceremony Music: Panache Entertainment
Hair: Sine Qua Non
Make-up: MAC
Cake: made by family members!
Alcohol: Binny’s Beverage Depot
Wedding Planning: Anticipation Events

outdoor wedding at garfield park conservatory

Jim and Lise tied the knot in September of 2010 at Garfield Park Conservatory

 Aren’t they so sweet?  I actually knew both of them before they hired me to coordinate their day.  They both work at Shedd Aquarium and in my former life I occasionally had the pleasure of working with them.  Mostly I would be asking them to disrupt the animals schedules by keeping the lights on or taking guests behind the scenes for a party I was planning. Oops. Sorry guys!  Also, an aside: Lise takes care of all the sharks at Shedd. Pretty amazing right?  Now you know why Jim had to lock that down asap!  Needless to say, I was thrilled and flattered when she reached out to me to ask me to coordinate.

We set up the conservatory for the reception while the wind howled on the patio where the ceremony was to take place.  Jim and Lise took the weather in stride and got some pictures out of the way before the ceremony started.

Their wedding was on a Friday night and it was, without question, one of the windiest days of the year.  Since half of their guest list was coming from the south loop we decided to wait a few more minutes to start the ceremony.  Guests were seated on the patio and six raindrops fell (literally, just a few drops) and it was a game-time decision.  If we didn’t have the ceremony outside, we would have had to move the guests into the reception room and have them sit at their tables.  All along, they REALLY wanted the ceremony on the patio.  This moment will be etched into me for a long time: I looked at Lise and said it was now or never, she said let’s do it and so we did.  I think because she takes care of sharks and is therefore, a bad*ss bride, she didn’t care.  She was getting married outside. 
I ran to cue the music, the bridal party lined up, and they walked a little faster than maybe we had originally intended.  As soon as everyone was down the aisle I ran for umbrellas: I was worried about her hair.
Lise’s man-of-honor Jim walked her down the aisle.  Not to be confused with her husband, also Jim :)  Lise and Jim asked their friend and colleague Dr. Lisa (yes, everyone must have nearly the same name to be in this wedding!) to marry them.  She did an amazing job coping with the weather and the wind and a unity candle that just wouldn’t stay lit. 

Come wind, or rain, or an aisle runner that just wouldn’t stay put (we tried SO HARD) it didn’t matter.  They were married and it was beautiful!

Oh yes, and then the party begins:

Man-of-Honor-Jim introduced a dinner club where course after course of the most amazing food you can imagine is prepared and served to his friends at his house.  The ticket to get in door?  A bottle of Veuve Clicquot.  Needless to say, Groom-Jim and Lise are now hooked and had to toast with it on their wedding night.  I highly doubt you can go back to Chandon after you know the glory of the Veuve.

A little cake cutting and delicious cupcakes for dessert compliments of Sensational Bites. Lise and Jim live in the Southport neighborhood of Chicago and did an INCREDIBLE job of hiring a lot of small, local shops to take part in their wedding.  The results were amazing and it was such a fantastic way to support their ‘hood.

A little dancing…
…and a little Cubs rounds out the night!  Groom-Jim loves the Cubs.  He didn’t put it on until later in the night, but a little Cubs love had to be included on their wedding.

Congrats Lise and Jim!  May everyday be as much of an adventure as your wedding day was and may every night end with a bottle of Veuve!

*Pictures in this post are courtesy of another Shedd Aquarium alumni (why yes, we are everywhere!): Ed Lines Photography

Lise + Jim’s vendors:
Ceremony & Reception: Garfield Park Conservatory
Catering: Phil Stephani Signature Events
Cupcakes: Sensational Bites
DJ: Beep Media
Hair & Make-up: The Bridal Beauty Salon
Photography: Ed Lines Photography
Florist: Southport Blooms
Transportation: Elite Chicago Limo
Day of Coordination: Anticipation Events

chicago flower-filled wedding at a new leaf

Well hello there. Meet Mike and Elizabeth:

 Amazing. They are amazing. Their families and friends are amazing. Their wedding was amazing. Want to see more?? I knew it! Their fabulous photographer Michael Rastall captured their wedding and reception that was held in late August at A New Leaf in Chicago. I’m going to break this up into two posts and first show you all of the things I made for their day. Elizabeth and Mike were planning from Washington DC and Elizabeth basically said, “here’s what we want, I trust you, go for it.” Music to my ears. Angels singing, birds chirping. I had the pleasure of doing their save-the-dates and invitations so I had a pretty good handle on their style, which is sophisticated and classic, a little preppy, urban/modern and so much fun. They let me get a little cheeky as well, which you know I love. Behold:

The save-the-dates were done in their wedding colors of black, white, yellow and gray. Each card had a calendar of August with their wedding date hand-stamped and embossed with a yellow heart. There was also a small tag attached with yellow and white baker’s twine that had the hotel accommodation information on it so guests could start booking right away. We used a gray envelope that I lined with yellow and white striped paper to mail them.

The invitation came in another gray envelope and was lined with floral wallpaper from Anthropologie that gave a subtle nod to the floral element of their venue. The invitation was an accordion fold tied up with a yellow grosgrain ribbon. I drew a line drawing of the Chicago skyline that went across the entire invite so when it was opened all the way the whole skyline was visible. The last panel of the invitation was and RSVP postcard that was perforated so that guests could fill out their RSVP, rip it off and drop it in the mail. Easy-peasy!


We also included a mini-accordion with the line up of events that Elizabeth & Mike had planned for their guests. Because many of them were from out of town they were kind enough to invite everyone to dinner on Thursday night to welcome them to Chicago and then hosted a bon voyage brunch on Saturday morning after the wedding! It was an easy way to get all the information to everyone without another envelope or stamp. And a tiny slice of pizza, what’s not to love?
I also created programs for the ceremony. I used black linen cover stock to make a little cover for them and punched a heart shape from the wallpaper we used for the invitation liners for the front (we used this everywhere, wait and see!) Simple, classic, effective. The two page program was printed on white linen paper and affixed inside of the cover for guests to look over before the ceremony began.

I made their card box out of paper-mache (I don’t know, it just came to me) and created two little buildings to play off of the skyline on the invite. I painted them gray and cut black paper squares out for windows. A hole in the top of one of the buildings for cards to slide right into and viola!


I also made a little sign that sat on top of the second building just in case anyone was confused (it happens, a lot).  They loved the idea of the thumbprint tree for a guest book so I drew one for them. Fingerprints abound!


Using scrap paper from all of the various paper projects I worked on for them, I created a backdrop for their ceremony space. It turned out to be one of my very favorite things. The pictures Rastall took aren’t too shabby either!

Their signature drink was a mojito so I made these signs to go at each bar. I thrifted old frames and painted them yellow, black and gray and then used more of the leftover paper to create signage for the dinner buffet, bar, guest book and card box.

This kissing ball was put to excellent use by their adorable flower girl—yellow flowers and a gray satin ribbon.


To welcome guests (and let them know they were in the right place, since it is a flower shop and not a traditional wedding venue) I made little signs out of chalkboards and ribbon:


For their favors, Mike and Elizabeth wanted to give their guests a little “taste of Chicago” so they got bags of Garrett’s “Chicago Mix” popcorn. Heaven! I created little thank you tags for them out of them with a thank you message from Mike and Elizabeth on each. I backed them with the wallpaper, tied them with the twine from the save-the-date and embossed a yellow heart on each, just so we could all come full circle.


And of course, a little thank you banner for their thank you notes.  
What a lovely day for an incredibly lovely couple! More to come soon!

*All good photos were taken by the outstandingly talented Michael Rastall Photography. Simply amazing he is!  All crappy photos are my own.  Le sigh.