Tag Archives: 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….day of wedding coordinator

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

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.day of wedding coordinator

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

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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…

day of wedding coordinatorday of wedding coordinatorBack at A New Leaf things were ready to go and a bridal party was demanding to be photographed!

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Mike and Elizabeth had one last quiet moment together alone…

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It was time…

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and just like that, they did it!day of wedding coordinator

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

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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.

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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.)

day of wedding coordinator 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.day of wedding coordinator

 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.day of wedding coordinator

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.day of wedding coordinator

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.day of wedding coordinator

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!

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.

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Oh yes, and then the party begins:day of wedding coordinator

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.

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…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:day of wedding coordinator

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:day of wedding coordinator

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!

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!

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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.

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

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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:

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 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.

day of wedding coordinatorAnd of course, a little thank you banner for their thank you notes.

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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.

urban wedding at chicago history museum

It’s true: it was an enormous party, filled with massive amounts of dancing and lots and lots of revelry. Maureen and Bill were married in September at Holy Name Cathedral and the giant party ensued at the Chicago History Museum. It was pretty hilarious to hear the catering team talk about the massive amounts of booze this party drank. You know when you can shock a catering staff that does an event every single night with the magnitude with which you ccan party, you are doing pretty well.

Maureen has an extremely intense job and yet, managed to put together this wedding at the same time. She told that she and Bill were some of the firsts in their group of friends to marry, so she really had to do a ton of research on her own. 

wedding styling Yes, those are her wedding shoes. I hope they are her New Year’s Eve shoes too. Hopefully you just zoomed in on them to try and make out the writing on the bottom– if so you were totally satisfied to see Mr. Jimmy Choo was with Maureen as she walked down the aisle to Bill.

Hi, Bill!

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This is secretly going to be one of my favorite wedding pictures of all time. Weird, right? Not so much. Bill is on the phone with me in this picture. It was five ’til one o’clock on their wedding day and I was just finishing up packing up the car to head over to the Chicago History Museum. The time line stated that the trolley would be picking up the guys at their condo at 1:00 PM. My cell phone rings. Bill and I exchange pleasantries and he asks me if I have safety pins in my emergency kit (I surely do). I say yes and ask what for. (Yes, I am nosy like that.) “Well, my tux pants are not really staying up and I wanted to pin them or something before the ceremony.” Bill is calm and nonchalant about the fact that his tux pants are literally falling off of him when he walks. Not a good thing to happen in front of 200 friends and family at the alter of a cathedral. After figuring out that they really weren’t going to stay up I told him I was not going to let him safety pin his pants up on his wedding day I ran over to the tux rental place and got a size down. The relief on Bill’s face (not to mention ALL of the groomsman’s faces) when we met at the church for the exchange was amazing. You’ll never have a more grateful groom than you do when you arrive bearing pants that fit. **Also, a genius groom who called the planner and NOT THE BRIDE with this issue. Amazing! A++ work Bill!

Maureen and Bill did a “first look” before the ceremony so they would have more time to bop around town and take pictures with their bridal party. A great idea for those who don’t want to miss their cocktail hour!

After seeing each other the whole bridal party played paparazzi with Mike in the city and through the park! Behold:

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Maureen’s dad did the honor of walking Maureen down the aisle.wedding styling

Holy Name Cathedral is pretty incredible. And by pretty incredible, I mean stinking amazing.

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A few of the pretty details at the reception: wedding styling

And of course, their insanely amazing dance party. wedding styling

I realize that being at Maureen & Bill’s wedding was my job and that there are plenty of people who don’t have fun at their jobs. But I do, and I definitely did on this night. Maureen and Bill: thanks so much for letting me be a part of this one, very special day. What a pleasure it was to witness what an amazing amount of love surrounds you and will continue to surround you for every day after this.wedding styling

*all photos in this post are courtesy of the kind and generous Mike at Gerber & Scarpelli.

Maureen + Bill’s Vendors
Ceremony: Holy Name Cathedral
Reception: The Chicago History Museum
Catering: Berghoff Catering
Band: Ken Arlen Orchestra
Photography: Gerber Scarpelli Photography
Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films
Lighting: Frost Lighting Chicago
Florist: Scarlet Petal
Hair: Livia Caporale
Make-up: Sonia Roselli
Transportation: Chicago Trolley
After Party: Luxbar
Day of Coordination: Anticipation Events

barn wedding featured on green wedding shoes

Also, I failed to mention that Annie and Jared’s wedding was made famous by the gorgeous blog, Green Wedding Shoes. Check it out!