Beth + Eric were married this spring at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. It was through Beth + Eric that I met these lovebirds and was lucky enough to work at the Blackstone twice this year! Beth and Eric are both super busy lawyers and were planning their wedding from Washington DC. They both envisioned something clean, elegant, classy with maybe just a little hint of preppy. The architecture at the Blackstone is no joke and was the perfect backdrop to their white, navy and pop of pink party. Eric’s sister designed the wedding stationery, Beth’s mom scoured the town for flip-flops, ribbons and containers for months and Eric’s mom baked more cookies that I have ever seen in my entire life for their hospitality suite. It was a constant show of support for this couple and a constant parade of so many handy talents!
I love this first look sequence.
Beth + Eric’s wedding will forever hold a special place in my heart and was the place where my 2012 “memory of the year” happened. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you this story. It was unseasonably hot in May and once Colby Bessera and the Party Faithful started playing the dance floor was packed. For hours. After an hour or so, Beth was hot. I told her if her crinoline wasn’t attached, perhaps we could take that off and it would be a lot more comfortable underneath all of that dress. We headed into the bathroom only to be disappointed by the fact that it was not detachable. She was desperate and overheated and said “what else can we do?”
“Well, I could cut it off?”
(I said pretty quietly hoping she wouldn’t think I was completely insane.) She said, “Seriously? You can do that?” (Whew!) She was ecstatic, I was relieved and I snipped that crinoline right off of her wedding dress. Beth was totally realistic about the fact that if she has a daughter one day, she’s probably not going to want to wear it. Even if she does, it’s easy to add a couple layers of crinoline as a removable layer. I was also super happy that some nice guests happened to be in the ladies room with us and snapped this picture. You know, for posterity’s sake.
My brides are the coolest.
*eye candy courtesy of the kind and talented Jen at JWiley Photography (unless obviously instagrammed by me or my friends in the bathroom)
Beth + Eric’s Vendors
Ceremony+ Reception: Blackstone Hotel
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Style: Anticipation Events
Catering: Blackstone Hotel
Cake: Take the Cake
Photography: JWiley Photography
Florist + Lighting: Kehoe Designs
Ceremony + Reception Band: Colby Bessera and the Party Faithful
Hair: Ginger DeMateo
Make-up: Cynde Cosmetics
Guest Hotel: Blackstone Hotel
Eric + Mike were married at Public Chicago
in Chicago in October. Full disclosure: Eric and Mike live in Omaha and own an amazing hair salon there. Eric has been my hair stylist since I was 15 years old. He loves to tell the story of me running into the salon after a soccer game with a towel twisting up my still wet hair an hour before the Homecoming dance. So obviously this man can work miracles. Which obviously this means I love him.
When they told me they were getting married in Chicago I insisted I would coordinate, mostly because I wanted to attend. I regret nothing. They flew 20 of their closest family and friends to Chicago and spent the weekend enjoying their company before getting hitched on Sunday. It was an exquisite event to say the least. Take a peek.
My buddy! I love how Pen/Carlson snapped this photo of me seeing Eric for the first time. It was both odd and so amazing to see him outside of the salon. Now if I can just convince them to hurry up and move to Chicago (at least part-time!?)
Eric’s vows made Mike cry and Eric was so proud of himself. Love it! Since they had just 20 guests at the wedding, they threw a dinner party to end all dinner parties. Seriously. It was at least six courses and the Dom was flowing nonstop. Everyone sat at one amazing table and after dinner they enjoyed the terrace, more drinks and a second helping of dessert. There’s something to be said for a small and intimate wedding, and this one was quite lovely.
*all photos courtesy of the kind and talented Kiri & Brett of Pen/Carlson
Eric + Mike’s Vendors
Ceremony + Reception: Public Chicago
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering + Dessert Table: Public Chicago
Florist: Botanicals Chicago
Officiant: Chicago Wedding Judge
Rachel + Joe got married in August in Wisconsin at a lake house that has been in Rachel’s family for years. Rachel and her family spent summers there and her aunt (who currently lives there) was kind enough to let us absolutely take over the place for the weekend. It was a serious team effort: Rachel’s family planted and gardened all summer, her neighbors cleared an enormous field so that we could put a tent up, and all of the vendors pulled together to create this amazing wedding in a spot that a wedding was not intended to be had. The results were absolutely stunning (if I do say so myself.)
The detail that went into their day made it so personal and fantastic. The ceremony was held overlooking the lake. During the ceremony both sets of parents contributed their reflections on marriage, their friends provided music and the entire guest list joined in playing kazoos and singing “When I’m 64.” Immediately following, guests were invited to join in a champagne toast and tossed wildflower seeds into a new garden patch next to the lake. Hopefully they will be in full bloom for Rachel + Joe’s first anniversary.
For the centerpieces we used encyclopedias that Rachel + Joe thrifted, candles in mason jars they painted and vintage planters full of flowers that served a dual purpose as part of the meal to hold a fantastic cheese course featuring local cheese (hello, Wisconsin cheese, amen) and Door County cherries. While we’re on the subject of food, I’d like to note that their second course was cheese curds (YES!) followed by an array of salads, sausages, whitefish and farmer’s market grilled vegetables that was served family style. Everything was organic and sourced from local farms in the area.
After dinner Rachel and Joe shared their first dance, as did Rachel and her dad. Joe and his mom decided to sing a duet instead of dancing = AMAZING! Then THREE different bands, all made up of Rachel + Joe’s friends played sets until the wee hours of the morning. It was a gorgeous night filled with so many personal touches that made it worth all of the added items on the “to-do list.” A place that holds so many memories for this brand new family, I couldn’t have been happier to be a part of it!
*all photos courtesy of my buddy Michael of Michael Rastall Photography
Rachel + Joe’s Vendors
Ceremony+ Reception: private residence in Wisconsin
Planning + Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Styling: the couple + Anticipation Events
Catering: Not By Bread Alone
Pies: Not By Bread Alone Cakes: Friend of the couple
Photography: Michael Rastall Photography
Florist: Petal Pushers
Band(s): The Dads, The Sunbeams + Matty & James (all friends of the couple)
Rentals: Celebrations + Biebel‘s
Rachel + Benno were married in late August at the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago. Some of my sweetest clients to date, they threw a classic and super elegant party in one of the most historic hotels in the city. On the day of their wedding I was chatting with Rachel while she was getting her hair done. I asked if she was doing okay and how the rehearsal dinner had gone the night before and then asked how Benno was doing and if she had heard from him that morning. She told me that Benno said, “Rachel, Elizabeth is seriously my second favorite woman in the world, right after you.” Love that. Love when a groom sees the value in a planner and of course what a sweetheart he is to his bride. (Then Rachel told him I was her favorite, woop!)
Louisa + Jeff were married in September at the gorgeous Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago and the day was nothing short of that: simply gorgeous. Louisa and I worked together for over a year and it was such a pleasure to get to see how all of the planning came together on a perfect day for the happy couple.
I loved getting to know them over the year and meeting Louisa on her lunch break at work for a coffee, honestly, I say it all the time but I have the best clients ever. It’s also really fun for me when I love everything a bride picks. Her dress? Love. Those red shoes? To die for. And you know I’m a sucker for those map garlands. PLUS an entire room full of cacti?! Slay me. And also, I die.
The dream team of vendors that we put together, it didn’t hurt.The ethereal pictures from Laura at Lark Photography are show stopping. I was audibly ooh-ing and ahh-ing as I looked through them. She captured everything so ethereally. You look at the pictures and think, that was in Chicago!?
Louisa + Jeff really wanted to keep their love and appreciation of the natural world in the forefront which is not always an easy feat in a city wedding but Laura nailed it. And the flowers, oh the most lovely flowers. Janessa of Forget Me Knodt really knocked it out of the park with this one; so many of Laura and my favorite pictures featured her gorgeous creations.
Overwhelmingly, everything we did or element we included we tried to be very thoughtful about it. Louisa water-colored each individual invitation and all of the table numbers and we incorporated little packets of seeds for guests to take home and plant. There wasn’t a lot of “stuff” just for the sake of “stuff” and the whole event turned out so effortlessly chic, I think we were all a bit in awe as it came together that day.
*all photos courtesy of the lovely Laura of Lark Photography
Louisa + Jeff’s Vendors
Ceremony+ Reception: Garfield Park Conservatory
Planning + Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering + Cake: Limelight Catering
Photography: Lark Photography
Florist: Forget Me Knodt
DJ: Ruby with Toast & Jam
Transportation: M + M Limo
Ceremony Musicians: Neil Dixon Smith
Photo Booth: The Traveling Photo Booth
Guest Hotel: Hotel Burnham