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.

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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!

chicago loft wedding at prairie production

Dannalynn + Pablo were married in January 2014 at the Prairie Production. I absolutely love these two and have been so lucky to get to see them a ton post-wedding day.  They went for a chic and glamorous wedding and they knocked it out of the park.wedding planning ideas

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The snow fell just the right amount to be the most beautiful backdrop to the ceremony and the whole wedding party was dressed to impress. After some photos around the city we sent them down the aisle to begin the next chapter of their love story!

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LACE BRIDAL GLOVES! SEQUIN LINENS! SAMBA DANCERS!  KEGS OF PUNCH! I don’t really think anything else needs to be said about how wonderfully unique and FUN this wedding was. I think the only thing better is knowing that these two are expecting a baby girl in just a few short months. I lost my mind a little bit when they told me and we couldn’t have been happier to be a small part of their wedding day magic.

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*eye candy courtesy of the sharpest shooter in town, Megan Bearder Photography!

Ceremony + Reception: Prairie Production
Catering: Calihan Catering 
Ceremony Musicians: JD Music Chicago 
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Band: Non-Stop Entertainment 
Cake: Bittersweet Bakery
Photography: Megan Bearder Photography
Hotel: Public Hotel
Florist: Asrai Garden
Make-up: Kat DeJesus
Hair: Haley Meinke/ Salon Blonde 
Cocktail Hour Musician: Mark Colby

#sabrintern

A little heartbroken over here these days.  Our beloved #Sabrintern packed up her downtown abode and headed back to Ohio for her senior year of college. It physically pained me to write that, how absolutely amazing does that sound?  One more senior year for me would be a dream come true.  I went all “it goes by so fast” and “cherish every moment” and “seriously, never leave” on her at our last meeting, maybe sounding a little desperate after a 17 day stint with no days off and 14 hour work days.  It’s all good Sabrina, just like you.  As my last demand (nope just kidding, she’s still finishing a few things for me before school starts next week) I asked her to write a blog post on being our first ever intern.

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The one question every single 21 year-old college senior dreads to hear is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  As always my response is, “I’m actually not sure yet.”  Which usually is conveniently followed by, “Well what do you truly enjoy doing?”  No matter who you are or what profession you are currently in, you have had the same conversation at least once in your lifetime.

Before this summer in Chicago I’d always jokingly told people, “I want to find a profession that involves attending parties and being surrounded by enormous groups of people I’ve never met.”  This “joke response” actually became a reality when I was given the opportunity to intern at a wonderful event planning company known as, Anticipation Events.  [Editor's note: it was an unpaid internship, I didn't pay her to say that.]  I know what you are thinking, how glamorous it must be to be an event planner!  Event planning definitely does have its glamorous moments, but those usually come after hard work and very long days.

One month in and five events down, I already knew I had found something I truly enjoyed doing.  Yes, I did have to put beautifully packaged chocolates in front of each place setting (I mean someone’s got to do it), but I was also able to see how to interact with a client, and ultimately how to produce a smooth run of show.

After the first few weeks, I was able to not only observe every aspect of event coordination, but also participate in it.  Every single day as an intern consisted of something new.  I was given the major task of reconstructing and organizing the company website, as well as updating social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.  Within the fast-paced world of the event planning industry, I’ve learned how to manage multiple projects at once, which has taught me to always be raring and ready to go!  Being able to gallivant throughout the wonderful city of Chicago to various venues has definitely been the most rewarding part.  It’s very rare to see how all of your hard work pays off in the end, and attending events is the most fulfilling feeling.  Above all, I was able to grasp the wide range of skills you have to possess in order to succeed in this industry.

As you sit and read this post, maybe you’re wondering why I took the time to write this?  I wrote all of this to say one simple thing: If you live in Chicago (or actually, even if you don’t…I’m from Michigan) and you want an incredible internship experience working under people who, not only hold their company’s integrity as a high priority, but are deeply interested in your own success, then Anticipation Events is THE place to go!

-Sabrina (AKA Sabrintern)

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COME BACK!  We miss you already!  And we realized we can’t live without a #sabrintern.  If you’re looking for a fall event planning internship, give us a shout.  We can’t replace her and there are some big shoes to fill, but we’re looking for another perfect match. Send your resume, favorite candy and a little about yourself to elizabeth (at) anticipationevents (dot) com. We pay in Nutella coffee from Ipsento, lots of real life event experience and hugs.

Happy Anniversary, Anticipation Events!

Julia here, taking over the blog to wish Anticipation Events a very happy five year anniversary!

Five years ago, my wedding was one of Elizabeth’s first with Anticipation Events.  She was caught in several photos, always with a big smile on her face.  (Despite my being “one of the craftiest brides [she] has ever met.”) She was amazing then, and has kept that same great attitude even while juggling multiple weddings in a weekend.

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Over the last several years Anticipation Events has grown considerably thanks to the wonderful couples who have made us a part of their weddings.  Several coordinators have joined the party, and one already-missed summer intern.  We’re a diverse little group, with one big thing in common – we all really really wanted to work with Elizabeth.  She’s a fantastic wedding boss and a pretty amazing #girlboss!

Congratulations, Elizabeth!  You’ve done an impressive job turning your hard work and unfailing positivity into happiness for so many other people.  We think you’re the best, and can’t wait to see what you do with the next five years!

tented destination wedding in iowa

Britta + Ty were married in September 2013 at a private residence in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Some family friends live on a gorgeous piece of property that seems otherworldly, like you stepped into a magazine.  With Britta’s great style (she owns Faithful Roots) a gorgeous setting and a wild and crazy bridal party, this was one of my most memorable weddings from 2013!indie wedding

 Britta’s flowers and dress were exquisite and sweet touches really made the day their own.  They rented vintage furniture from Covington & Co., we decorated their ceremony arch with tons of lush florals and set up paper cones of dried lavender that guests tossed after they said “i do!”

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Tons of personal touches make everything that day so special, Britta’s brother played guitar as she walked down the aisle, their friend officiated the ceremony and Ty’s brothers gave the craziest yet heartfelt toast I’ve seen (let’s just say they pulled up to said toast on a John Deere.)

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We hung a chandelier on a tree over the couples sweetheart table and set up a vintage desk for their friends and family to write their well wishes to the couple at, complete with a framed email that was their first correspondence. (Ty was obviously in need of a BUNCH of vintage furniture and lighting!)  Dessert in the sunroom, portraits by Alexandra Steele Photography on vintage sofas and plenty of dancing, drinks and debauchery make for a wedding day to be reminisced about by friends and family for years to come!

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*eye candy courtesy of one of the sweetest ladies in Chicago, Alexandra Steele Photography

Britta + Ty’s Vendors
Ceremony + Reception: Private Residence
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering: Braise Catering
DJ: Kory Bassett (friend of the couple)
Ceremony Musician: Evan Schneider (brother of the bride)
Cake: Jules Bakery
Hotel: Hilton Doubletree
Photography: Alexandra Steele Photography
Videography: Cashew Productions
Florist: Julie’s Fountain of Flowers
Hair: Nadia’s Salon & Spa
Officiant: Walker Fletcher (friend of the couple)
Vintage Furniture Rental: Covington & Co.
Rehearsal Dinner: Private Residence