Louisa + Jeff’s wedding at Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago was nothing short of 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.
Katie + Bobby were married in May of this year at St. Mary of the Angels church and had their reception at the ever-popular Architectural Artifacts. They were such an easy couple to work with, so laid back and calm and everything went right on schedule. Katie’s dad walking her down the aisle could not have been sweeter and the amount of toasts from siblings and friends was a true testament to how many people love these two. (And also perhaps that they had been waiting for this day for awhile?!) Dan, a friend of the couple and of Broadway fame, sang while Bobby and his mom danced and then the entire guest list tore the dance floor up all night long. A lovely night filled with the most lovely people at one of the most fun venues in the city (we love a good Architectural Artifacts wedding!).
For the win? Indeed. For the win.
*all photos courtesy of the ubiquitous Megan of Megan Bearder Photography
Katie + Bobby’s Vendors
Ceremony: St. Mary of the Angels
Reception: Architectural Artifacts
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering + Cake: Froggy’s Catering
Photography: Megan Bearder Photography
Florist: Ashland Addison Florist
DJ: Cross Fader King
Lighting: Chicago Lighting Design
Hair + Make-up: Francesca at Thomas West Salon
Transportation: Windy City Limo + Second City Trolley
Ceremony Musicians: Stephen Noon, David Jonies + Dave Johnson from Chicago Bagpipers
My new favorite pictures are these amazing bridal portraits I keep seeing. First this one, and now the gorgeous Christine. Brett married this lovely lady in July at Holy Family Parish in Chicago. Their wedding fell on the last day of a historic heat wave that hit Chicago with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees for days in a row. You’ll see in the pictures below how absolutely stunning Holy Family is, however, one thing gorgeous, old churches tend not to have is air-conditioning. After fighting rush hour traffic on Friday and the serious risk of melting in church, I made sure we did the worlds fastest rehearsal (seriously, blink and you missed it) and got them out into the (basically non-existent breeze) ASAP. Saturday we caught a break and hit a high of only 98 degrees but what a difference it made. In the end, the heat didn’t matter: these two art teachers put so much work and love into their day, they were all smiles all day long and most definitely ready to party by the time the reception rolled around. Not to mention we found out the American Idols were touring in Chicago and staying at the hotel.
Let’s get to the incredible details shall we? I mentioned they are both art teachers right? Holy moly did they kill it in that department. I’ve included some shots instagrammed by yours truly because I was loving it. So many colors and so much personality in all of their details. They handmade all of the table cards and holders that went with them, had a candy bar, a chocolate fountain AND a cotton candy machine. Amazing. In the cocktail area they put up a bunch of their engagement pictures in which a chalk fight was captured on film. (Why wasn’t I invited? So fun…) In addition, some original artwork they created was displayed and of course a fabulously colorful twist on announcing the bridal party: light sabers, which caused epileptic shock in the absolute best way possible.
Congrats love birds. I have no doubt the amazing amount of color that will be brought into the world because of the two of you. Thanks for letting Phillip Phillips and I both be a part of your big day.
*all photos by the lovely Luis + Clarissa of I Luv Photo
Christine + Brett’s Vendors
Ceremony: Holy Family Parish
Reception + Catering: Intercontinental O’Hare
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
DJ: Annalise (DJ Lion Tamer) of Fig Media
Photography: I Luv Photo
Florist + Rentals: M & M Special Events
Videography: Delack Media Group
Make-up: Stephanie Negrete
Photobooth: Shutterbooth Photo Booth
Cake: Take the Cake
Transportation: The Trolley Car & Bus Co.
Lighting: PSAV Lighting
There are times in life when things line up. When what’s meant to be is. When magic happens. My sisters’ bachelorette party was one of these times. There were times during her planning where I had to put a lot of thought into things: writing a toast for the reception, how was I going to be a maid-of-honor AND wedding coordinator, if I should get chicken or fish, but choosing a theme for her bachelorette party was not one of those times. Hence, Saradashian’s Last Stand was born.
I designed and printed the invites (front to back) complete with photshopping my sister in with the Kardashians, tied them up with ribbon and stuffed each envelope with feathers and sequins. The liners were custom made because really, when other time am I going to get to do something like this? When you’re talking about the Kardashian’s, it’s got to be over the top. Bible.
I didn’t tell her anything about the party other than what the invitation gave away which was to meet at a hotel downtown at 5:30. At 4:30 I had an SUV (just like Kim Kardashian gets driven around in) pick Sarah and her bridesmaid Shannon up at her house and when they got in the car Shannon gave her a card I had had my parents write her (likely ending with, “be safe!”) Then they stopped to pick up two more bridesmaids and she got a card that I had my brother write (surprisingly sentimental). One final stop to pick up the last bridesmaid Molly, and Molly gave her a card I had written her (recounting some of our drunken escapades together to ger her in the mood to party!) I was so happy Shannon send me these pictures as a play-by-play!
So in this case, I had the party in a hotel room. This makes things difficult for a myriad of reasons: no access to your dishes, kitchen utensils or dishwasher, having just a tiny fridge and a microwave etc. Even though we used a lot of things that could be thrown away at the end of the party, I still wanted to make it special. Everyone got two glasses, one for champagne and one for kahlua and creams (my sister’s favorite) adorned with the Kardashian of their choice.
I made the kahlua and creams by freezing the cream in ice cube trays and pouring kahlua over them. A bathtub full of beer, and the party was on! As for food, choose lots of things that are easy to eat on your lap and don’t take a lot of prep. I did sushi, chips and dips, fruit and dip in individual cups and individual popcorn boxes. Mini cheesecakes and cupcakes for desserts, topped with engagement rings, perfect for taking to the bar afterwards to fend off any unwanted advances. Oh and candy. I just filled a bunch of patterened cupcake liners with all of Sarah’s favorite candy. She is ridiculous and eats it for nearly every meal yet still somehow manages to be as thin as a rail and never has any cavities.
You know I splurged and bought a life-size cardboard cutout of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe to greet guests. Much to her fiance’s chagrin, the girls are living in their basement, watching over the laundry pile, naturally.
Goody bags for the girls were in little felt buckets I found at Target and I created tags for each using a heart-shaped punch and ribbon. Easy-peasy. Included in each was a mini can of Sophia champagne (mini, pink straw included!), a mini-bottle of Kim Kardashian’s perfume, individual packs of Advil, a couple of blow-pops and a ring pop, a pack of Starburst and a pack of Skittles (see: candy obsession above) and then a few things to take to the bar: a stick on mustache, glow-stick jewelry, pixie sticks and mardi-gras beads. Sarah got a homemade veil and light up diamond to ensure everyone knew who the star of the party was. Classy, simple and accentuated her outfit. Seriously, how long did your sister/best friend/future-in-law spend picking out an outfit for her bachelorette party? Don’t ruin it!
Timeline wise, for a shower or bachelorette party I like to welcome guests with a drink as they are arriving, let them eat and chat for a bit, play a game, open gifts and call it a day. At a shower, people can stay and mingle, at the bachelorette party we keep drinking and told some hilarious Sarah stories. I really hate forced bachelorette party games, but think they can be a good ice-breaker when people don’t know each other well. I created a “Kardashian Kuiz” full of questions about the infamous family (which my sister promptly won) and then took a bag full of props out to the bar with us. And obviously the penis straws and Scott Disick. Did you think he was going to let us go without him? Not a chance, doll.
I thought I blew it with Anni + Ross the first time we met. I was definitely a creepy wedding planner. We were chatting about their Salvage One wedding of course and I was gushing over their vendors and venue because they were all amazing. I’m probably the only wedding planner on the face of the earth that won’t throw a complete and total fit about a bride telling me she’s going to do her own flowers, I could just tell Anni could handle it. They were just. so. chill. So as we were wrapping up I asked if they were taking a honeymoon after the wedding and they said yes, they were going to Palm Springs. Without thinking I asked, “oh, are you staying at the Ace Hotel?” The answer was yes, which I am sure creeped them both out a little bit, but I just knew. They are exactly cool enough to stay there and fit right in. Luckily, they saw past my bizarreness and hired Anticipation Events anyway!
Aimee, our super-duper wedding coordinator actually coordinated their wedding and I can’t tell you how jealous I was. I kept trying to find ways to sneak in to see it. But alas, Aimee killed it and didn’t need me at all.
The best news is that Anni was in the process of starting her own photography company and she is currently rocking it all over the city. I can’t wait until we get to do our first wedding together as vendors!
*all photos by the mayo-hating, photo-taking queen: Olivia Leigh Photographie
Anni + Ross’s Vendors
Ceremony + Reception: Salvage One
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
DJ: Style Matters
Catering: Food for Thought
Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Florist: bride & bridesmaids via the farmer’s market
Officiant: Bruce Falk
Bride’s hair + make-up: Salon Soca
Anni’s dress: Sarah Seven
My shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids’ dresses: their choice, mostly Zara and Nordstrom
Ross and the guys’ suits: Formally Modern
Ross’s tie: J. Crew