Vendor Spotlight: Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur

kelly marie thompson of Fleur
Name: Kelly Marie Thompson

Title/Position: Proprietor, Fleur Inc

Specialty: Soft and romantic, slightly overgrown floral design.

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
K.M.T.: I’ve owned the company for just shy of 15 years, and worked with flowers for four years prior to that. I can’t believe it’s been almost 20 years total!

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
K.M.T.: Using seasonal and plush blooms we create an inviting and elegant experience that simply makes the evening ethereal and beautiful.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
K.M.T.: With a background in art history and painting I look at flowers with a textured and painterly eye. I love mixing and contrasting colors and composition within floral design. This allows for unexpected pops and surprises within the arrangements.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?
K.M.T.: There are so many amazing memories, but the ones that stand out the most are when there is such a committed level of teamwork among not only the Fleur team, but all the vendors. I love seeing everything come together to create a truly wonderful experience for our clients. It’s beyond rewarding working on events with people who are so deeply in love.

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
K.M.T.: I’m pretty classic so I love all the calligraphy I see everywhere, and I’m happy to see the warmth of gold coming back into weddings. Color seems to be popping up again, which is so refreshing and happy! I’ll always get weak in the knees for the timeless green and white garden feel, but when we can add pops of bright yellow, apricot and warm watermelon colors I can’t help but smile.

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
K.M.T.: One of my favorites is when the father of a bride was an avid gardener. He asked me if he could personally grow a few varieties of flowers to add into his daughter’s bridal bouquet. There was a lot of love in that family and that wedding, and I will always remember them.

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
K.M.T.: First things first, coffee! We wake up quite early and head into the boutique to start adding in all the last trimmings and ribbons, and begin the process of delicately packing up all the floral design. One team heads out to deliver the personals (bouquets, boutonnieres) while the other starts to load up all our rentals and centerpieces. Upon arriving at the venue it’s a lot of hauling, running around, moving and placing. Sometimes we design on site if the client has requested a certain installation or hanging floral. Weddings days can be quite long, if we’re flipping the room following the ceremony, but once all the candles are lit & the flowers in their spot it’s beautiful and satisfying.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
K.M.T.: 1: Taking walks in nature is so important to me, for the beauty and the quiet time to reflect. I guess you could call it my meditation. 2: Chatueaneuf-du-pape. When I want a nice glass of red wine I can be a bit of a diva. 3: My David Bowie records.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you:
K.M.T.: 1: I love 70’s political thriller movies. 2: As much as I love lakes, I don’t like swimming in them because of seaweed. 3: I’m allergic to some flowers!!

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
K.M.T.: When things start to feel a little heavy or stressful, take a step back and remember why you’re planning your event. Follow your heart and gut and choose vendors whom you enjoy being around. It makes the planning experience equally as fun as the party itself!

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
K.M.T.: Calling Chez a blank palette wouldn’t be doing the space justice, because when I think of a blank palette I think of something kind of empty and boring. Chez has just enough sparkle and elegance to elevate the evening into something magical. It’s such a versatile room with a lot of options to allow creativity! Truly a unique space in Chicago!

Thanks Kelly Marie! We look forward to seeing your beautiful floral designs at Chez very soon.

Photography: (l) Clary Pfeiffer Photography (r) Tru Studio

Vendor Spotlight: Susan Cordogan of Big City Bride

susan cordogan big city bride tablescapeName: Susan Cordogan

Title/Position: Owner, Principal Big City Bride

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
S.C.: I’ve been in event industry for 18 years working double time….so doesn’t that count for 36 industry years?? LOL!

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
S.C.: We work with our clients to make event magic and provide experiential celebrations that are simply awesome.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
S.C.: Big City Bride is full of wonderful, experienced planners with broad shoulders and bright smiles. We are full-time event experts who work daily from our cozy Lincoln Park office. Our clients benefit from the experience, knowledge, resources and creativity of our entire team but enjoy the intimacy of working closely with their personal Big City Bride wedding planner or “wedding warrior”as some have called us.

CHEZ: Reason for Starting Big City Bride?
S.C.: I started Big City Bride because I felt there was a need in Chicago for a wedding firm that had a strong, professional, office environment. This environment allows for a team of professionals to individually cater to clients with the support of shared experience and knowledge to better our events.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?
S.C.: We had the extreme joy of hiring Lionel Richie and his band for a surprise concert to kick off a wedding reception. That man knows how to bring the party! It was an unforgettable event.

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
S.C.: With a background in TV production, I love surprise elements; champagne parades, event lighting, sparkler exits and confetti drops!

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
S.C.: We had a bride who wanted to close Michigan Avenue and hold her wedding ceremony & reception smack-dab in the middle of the Magnificent Mile. We (of course!) loved the idea, but the City of Chicago didn’t. So we found her an iconic location with all the views and wonder of the Mag Mile.

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
S.C.: Sixteen plus hours of go, go, go. On event days, we offer clients our unlimited time to be available to manage everything from start to finish and be available to handle anything they want or need.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
S.C.: 1. Google 2. My favorite weather app – for those wonderful outdoor weddings! 3. My iPhone camera – I love to capture and share those magic moments on the wedding day when no one else is around.

CHEZ: Name something people probably don’t know about you.
S.C.: I ALWAYS have a pen in my hair…ready to take down a note at any time!

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
S.C.: Of course, my most passionate advice is to invest in a professional planner. You don’t know what you don’t know….and a planner is here to guide you through the process and make sure every decision you make it the right one for you. By no means are you surrendering the fun part of planning…a planner should allow you to focus on your top priorities and enjoy not only the wedding, but the planning as well.

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
S.C.: I love that Chez is a blank canvas. A venue that has the possibility to be transformed allows you to let you imagination run wild! At the same time, it’s a beautiful clean slate that can be highlighted with minimal décor and subtle touches. So, whether you want a simple elegant affair or an incredible transformation, everything is possible at Chez!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Susan. We’re looking forward to working with you and the team at Big City Bride again very soon.

Photography by: (l) Genevieve Lauren Photography, (r) Robin Sloan of Riverbend Studio

Marian & Kiari’s Modernistic Wedding

Marian and Kiari collaborated with Kesh Events and Art of Imagination to create a modernistic design for their wedding at Chez. The couple stunned their guests with an all white ceremony and then transformed the space into a vibrant and lively reception. After a beautiful ceremony, the bride changed into her second dress of the evening and D’Absolute Events & Catering served a delicious meal before the guests took to the dance floor. Elite Visions Photography was there to capture every meaningful moment. Congratulations Marian and Kiari!

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Photography: Elite Visions Photography | Floral: Kesh Events | Design: Art of Imagination |Caterer: D’Absolute Events & Catering