indie wed 2014 at ravenswood event center

The only wedding show we ever participate in rolled around last winter and we (per usual) stayed up all night putting the finishing touches on our booth. Indie Wed is one of our favorite times of the year because we get to see so many of our very favorite vendors in one place and get the chance to be creative with only the dimensions of our booth to confine us.

Laura saved the day when I was setting up and my giant, golden “P” popped.  Let’s face it, “Let’s Arty” just doesn’t have the same ring as “Let’s Party!”

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Eye Candy by yours truly as well as the uber talented Tuan Bui Photography.

best thing we saw today: pressed bouquet flowers

Lucy had a brilliant idea to preserve her wedding bouquet in a gorgeous, modern way.

lucy bouquet

After her wedding she disassembled the bouquet, pressed the flowers (along with one her husband picked on their honeymoon!) and placed them between glass frames.

lucy bouquet pressed flowers in glass frameThis is such a beautiful reminder of her beautiful day – and one I plan to copy just as soon as I can!

Ceremony photos by Rob Wilkinson Photography, pressed flower photo by the very creative Lucy.

behind the scenes with siobhan + nate

papel picado banquet tables wedding

Elizabeth stopped by Siobhan + Nate’s wedding just as Laura finished putting the final touches on their papel picado banners and clusters of flowers in milk glass vases.  Rain moved the ceremony indoors at the last minute, but the happy decorations kept things bright and cheerful!

destination wedding at st. john ultimate villas

Katie + Ryan were married in March 2014 at St. John Ultimate Villas.  They belong in a magazine, no? (Don’t worry I’m working on that.)  Katie, Ryan and about 50 of their friends and families hopped a plane in the middle of the Polar Vortex and then caught the ferry to St. John. Twist my dang arm.destination wedding planner

Katie and Ryan got married at the Annaberg Ruins, a sugar plantation named by the Dutchman who acquired it in 1758.  For the reception, they rented a house called Villa Kalorama which means “Beautiful View” and it was the perfect setting for their modern beach shindig.

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The truth is, I adore this gal.  Way back in the day when I planned events at Shedd Aquarium Katie was the first person I ever managed.  I must have been 24 years old, and Katie right out of college when we stole her away to the events department.  She and Ryan were dating when I met her so it was only a matter of time before this day arrived.

When I left Shedd to travel and then started Anticipation Events, Katie was the first person I called when I realized I had enough clients to bring on a coordinator.  She is responsible for introducing me to at least three of the people who coordinate on our team now and at she sends more clients my way than anyone.

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As any good planner would, Katie realized her want to take over and direct all weekend long so she brought me on to do that for her.  Katie’s a modern gal and she absolutely did not want a seashell and sand themed wedding so I brought the hammer and made sure she had an elegant, cohesive look to the day without going overboard.  I mean look at these surroundings.

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A million years of happiness, vacations to the island, and frozen painkillers at Beach Bar for the two of you!

*eye candy courtesy of the one, the only Ryan Moore Photography

Ceremony + Reception: St. John Ultimate Villas.
Catering: St. John Catering
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Cake: VI Desserts
Photography: Ryan Moore Photography
Hotel: The Westin St. John Resort
Make-up/Hair: Sugar and Spice Spa
Rehearsal Dinner: Joe’s Rum Hut

behind the scenes with anissa + graham

With each wedding we see things the guests and couple might not – here’s what was happening while you were getting married!

Anissa’s mom was instrumental in planning this red-white-and-blue Independence Day celebration.  She arrived for a walkthrough carrying her notes, her car full of fun things.  We toured the event spaces at the Newberry Library together, catching a peek at the reception hall being set up for that day’s wedding.

newberry library reception

Wedding day brought the nicest weather in weeks, but the wedding prep was just getting started!  We picked up various things from the ceremony site in Washington Park: newspapers, clothing, plastic bags.  That cleanup is just a fact of ceremonies in public spaces, especially in nice weather.

washington square park chicago

One of the fun things about a Newberry/Washington Square wedding is that your processional will stop traffic.  Even buses and cabs will wait for a chuppah and some gorgeous bouquets.

carrying dress train

The guests stopped for a group photo on the steps while the catering staff waited inside with drinks and appetizers at the ready.

appetizer cocktail presentation

Meanwhile, Anissa was more and more uncomfortable in her dress.  We shifted the lacing, pinned the bustle to shorten the back, and after some serious talk we (gasp) took scissors to the hem.

cutting the dress

That helped, but not enough to get this bride comfortable enough to rock her reception.  So we jetted over to her hotel and scooped up a party dress for a quick change.  After that she danced and danced, right up to the sparkler send-off in the park.

sparkler sendoff

Congrats Anissa and Graham!  We were thrilled to be part of your day and can’t wait to post the professional pictures!