Meghan & Connor’s Wedding Day with a Twist

summer weddingWhen we heard that Meghan and Connor were planning their June 9th wedding around the blooming season of Meghan’s favorite flower, we understood. Everyone loves perfectly pink peonies, right? But there was a deeper meaning. The peonies Meghan had in mind were growing in both grandmas’ gardens in Green Bay! And so, two days before the wedding the blooms were cut and escorted to Green Bay florist, Divine Nature, to be arranged in textured golden vessels. Meghan and her family drove the precious peonies to Chicago and on June 9th the grandmas’ garden-grown peonies took pride of place as centerpieces and floral toppers on the geometric patterned wedding cake. And here’s the other twist, this was no ordinary wedding cake but also a birthday cake! Meghan was a bride and birthday girl all in one day. After making their grand entrance and blowing out the birthday candles, the newlyweds joined friends and family for dinner served by Jewell Events Catering. As special dances got under way, guests were invited to enjoy the delicious doughnut display. Congratulations Meghan and Connor … and to the Grandmas on their beautiful peonies!Bride grand entrancesummer wedding summer wedding summer wedding summer wedding summer wedding summer wedding summer wedding summer weddingPolaroid Guest bookpeony centerpiece birthday cake with peoniesBride blowing out candles summer wedding summer weddingPhotography: Courtney Cimo Photo + Film | Catering: Jewell Events Catering | Floral Arrangements: Peonies – Divine Nature, Bouquets – The Petal, Vow-inscribed canvas backdrop – Stephanie Fiore.

The Top Wedding Dress Stores In Chicago

Alice In IvoryThis collection of top wedding dress stores in Chicago has something for every personality. Whether you’re searching for a feminine silhouette layered in lace, a trendy wedding cape, or something architectural and avant garde, this list has you covered.

Alice in Ivory

A bridal boutique catering for the modern romantic woman, Alice In Ivory carries 150 gowns from designers like Theia, Hayley Paige, and Rue De Seine. The store interior, decorated with crystal chandeliers and ornate gilded mirrors, has all the feel of a romantic Parisian boutique.

1117 W Armitage Ave | Lincoln Park | 312.533.9326 | aliceinivory.com


Sarah Seven

This Lincoln Park boutique offers two distinct lines for two distinct brides, Sarah Seven and Bride by Sarah Seven. The Sarah Seven collection gowns are sleek and simple with understated architectural details. The Bride by Sarah Seven collection is full of flowing chiffon and detailed, ultra-feminine lace gowns designed for a bold bride ready to make a statement. The bright and airy Chicago flagship boutique reflects the design of both collections, pairing sleek gown displays with original detailing of the vintage space.

532 W Arlington Pl | Lincoln Park | 773.270.5939 | sarahseven.com


Ultimate Bride

Nestled on Chicago’s prestigious Oak Street, this appointment-only boutique carries designers from all over the world such as Berta, Peter Langner, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. The light-filled, all-white interior provides the perfect backdrop for their collections of luxury gowns.

106 E Oak St | Gold Coast | 312.337.6300 | ultimatebride.com

 

Mignonette Bridal Mignonette Bridal

Providing heirloom gowns and bespoke designs for modern brides, Mignontte Bridal, is situated in the heart of Lakeview. Over 15 years ago, owner and designer Kpoene Kofi-Nicklin started out selling her handmade gowns on Etsy. Great demand for her designs led to the opening of Mignonette Bridal. Gowns range in price from $2,500-$4,500.

1747 W. Belmont Ave | Lakeview | 773.880.9141 | mignonettebridal.com


Vera Wang

The sleek Vera Wang flagship salon sits at the corner of Rush St and Oak St in the prestigious Gold Coast. The salon carries some of Wang’s iconic bridal gowns in addition to the newest bridal collections and accessories. Vera Wang’s latest bridal collection embraces contemporary forms and delicate fabrics for a romantic, avant-garde vibe.

945 N. Rush St | Gold Coast | 312.379.5355 | verawang.com


Glamour Closet

This River North store offers an elegant boutique environment with outlet store prices. Brides can select from a collection of designer gowns, all off the rack, for 25 – 75% off retail prices. Walk-ins are welcomed, walk out with your gown same-day!

209 E. Illinois St | River North | 312.245.2790 | glamourcloset.com


Viero Bridal

Inspired by the latest European fashion trends, this Ukrainian Village boutique carries a collection of gowns for the bride seeking elegance and grace, clean lines, style, and individuality. Their 2018 Dolce Vita collection features lace detailing, beading, separates, and a balance of classic and contemporary silhouettes.

2236 W. Chicago Ave | Ukrainian Village | 872.802.4415 | vieroweddingdresses.com

 

RELATED – STUNNING WEDDING DECOR INSPIRATION


BHLDN

A bridal store by Anthropologie, BHLDN (pronounced Be-Hold-En) offers vintage-inspired, beautifully crafted wedding attire, décor and gifts. Situated at 8 East Walton St, in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, the BHLDN boutique was designed with the urban bride and party-goer in mind – offering brides and their wedding party the opportunity to experiment with headpieces and jewels in the accessories salon, as well as explore their assortment of wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses.

8 E. Walton St | Gold Coast | 312.573.2573 | bhldn.com


Lovely Bride

Hailing from New York City, Lovely sees itself as the original indie bridal shop for cool brides. Lovely offers cutting-edge wedding gowns from emerging designers. Appointments available Wednesday – Sunday. Dresses range from $2,000 – $7,000.

1657 N. Wells St | Old Town | 312.285.2990 | lovelybride.com


Bella Bianca

This luxe Gold Coast boutique is home to a collection of gowns from some of the most sought after domestic and international designers such as Lazaro, Ines Di Santo, and Ramona Keveza. Owners Melissa Russell and Natalie Bauer pride themselves on the Bella Bianca philosophy – to deliver the finest couture bridal fashion while creating a once-in-a-lifetime moment for their brides.

12 W. Maple St | Gold Coast | 312.787.2377 | bellabianca.com


Honey Bridal

Located in Andersonville, Honey Bridal stocks handcrafted dresses and separates from independent designers. Styles range from understated jumpsuits to full-on ball gowns. Owners and sisters, Dana Karlow and Hallie Borden, see Honey as a fresh take on bridal in Chicago – relaxed, inclusive, and a little bit irreverent, serving up cocktails and good music for each appointment.

5135 N. Clark St | Andersonville | 773.809.3382 | honey-bridal.com

 

Alyssa-KristinAlyssa Kristin

Founded by designer Alyssa Kahle, Alyssa Kristin’s collections are designed and created right here in Chicago. The gowns are thoughtfully designed so that each piece features a distinctive element – a dramatic train, a unique neckline, a removable skirt. Alyssa Kristin offers low-cost customizations on all of their gowns, encouraging their brides to have fun – mix & match tops and skirts, add a sleeve, lower the back or add some train.

505 N. LaSalle Dr., #575 | Gold Coast | 773.887.2812 | alyssakristin.com


Dimitra’s Bridal Couture

Touting a fashion-focused approach, Dimitras Bridal Couture, carries a coveted selection of couture wedding gowns by designers such as J’Aton Couture, Reem Acra, and Marchesa. Bridal consultants meet one-on-one with each bride to discuss the wedding vision before pulling bridal silhouettes and styles that are best suited for the bride and her wedding.

1009 N. Rush St | 312.787.0920 | dimitrasbridal.com


VWIDON

Designers Hwang and Kenneth Park are the husband-and-wife team behind VWIDON and VWIDON Atelier. Having launched their first bridal collection in 2001 Hwang and Park continue to design contemporary wedding gowns for fashion-forward brides. All VWIDON gowns are designed and made in right here in Chicago.

740 N. Franklin St., Suite 11 | River North | 312.654.9078 | vwidon.com


Jenny Yoo

The Jenny Yoo collections incorporate rich and luxurious fabrics to create elegant, feminine, refined looks for brides and bridesmaids. Attention to detail, cut, proportion ensures each dress receives the most feminine and flattering fit for the modern bride or bridesmaid. Jenny Yoo’s new Superior St showroom is outfitted with pink tufted seating and warn brass elements that embody the feminine brand.

311 W Superior St., Suite 404 | River North | 312.642.2327 | jennyyoo.com

 

RELATED – CHICAGO’S TOP 7 WEDDING PHOTO LOCATIONS

 


Luxe Bridal Rack

At Luxe Bridal Rack you’ll find hundreds of high-end gowns for a fraction of retail prices. New to the Chicago bridal market in 2017, this Logan Square boutique, is committed to providing a shopping service that is truly special.

2167 N. Milwaukee Ave | Logan Square | 773.917.5893 | luxebridalrack.com


Mira Couture

Another significant player in the Gold Coast Bridal District, Mira Couture, has been marrying brides with couture gowns for nearly 50 years. Equal parts bridal boutique and couture atelier, brides can peruse the selection of luxury gowns or work with in-house dress makers and designers to create a bespoke piece. Mira Couture also carries a selection of evening gowns and cocktail attire.

1 E. Delaware Pl | Gold Coast | 312.255.1699 | miracouture.com

 

Image credits in order of appearance: 1: Alice in Ivory gown at Chez. Photo by Christy Tyler Photography. 2: Mignonette Bridal Two Piece. Photo by Studio 29 Photography. 3: Models wearing Alyssa Kristin gowns. Photo by Erin Stubblefield Photography.

Alexis & Corey’s Stylish Moody Wedding

bride-and-groom-say-i-doOn a blue sky day in early June, Alexis and Corey said their wedding vows at Chez, beneath a dramatic canopy of florals and crystal chandeliers. Ghost chairs were arranged in the round, creating an intimate ceremony setting that allowed friends and family to surround the couple. With the team from Kehoe Designs at the helm, every decor detail was carefully considered. The design intermixed a unique palette of textures and styles that ranged from vintage gold metallics and rustic wood to classic crystal and ethereal chiffon. Organically styled floral, such as garden roses, peonies, and burgundy clematis were tied-in with garden-like elements of smokebush, seeded eucalyptus and privet berries.  Dozens of towering candles were placed on dining tables and beneath the glass staircase offering a romantic back drop for the mirrored head table. After their first dance and cake cutting, Alexis and Corey joined their guests for dinner by Jewell Events Catering. Flow Entertainment provided the entertainment for the night as guests danced and enjoyed a sweet smore station late into the night. What a day! Congratulations Alexis and Corey. chez weddingfirst-look-bride-groomchez weddingbride groom chez paree muralwedding ceremony decor chezfloral-wedding-chandeliersbride and groom say i dochez weddingnaked wedding cake chez wedding chez wedding chez wedding chez wedding

Photography: Moonhouse Productions | Caterer: Jewell Events Catering | Design & Floral: Kehoe Designs | Entertainment: Flow Entertainment

Vendor Spotlight: Ramsey Jay Prince of Ashland Addison

Wedding FloristName: Ramsey Jay Prince
Title/Position: Senior Event Designer/ Business Development Specialist at Ashland Addison
Specialty: Creating a immersive environment with flowers, textiles and furnishings

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
R.J.P.: 20 years

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
R.J.P.: Ashland Addison creates an environment, with gorgeous flowers of course but we strive to provide a full service décor experience.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
R.J.P.: Our diverse staff and 100 year roots in the floral industry. We can boast having both seasoned designers and delivery personnel, as well as fresh new talent.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?
R.J.P.: Being asked to join one of my bride’s family for Thanksgiving dinner at their home a few months after their wedding.

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
R.J.P.: I love the use of exotic foliages in conjunction with and in lieu of floral blooming.

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
R.J.P.: For a native of France, I constructed vintage linen flowers, hand-calligraphed love poems on each petal in French, and mixed them in with wild and fresh floral in the table arrangements.

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
R.J.P.: Wake up early, have coffee and a snack with my crew then off to event venue to monitor load in, then construct any larger scale floral installations on site, do a final check and then the reveal to the bride/client.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
R.J.P.: Amazon, house music, carrot cake.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you.
R.J.P.: I am also a fashion and costume designer, I have a degree in Biology, I have a background in performance and cabaret.

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
R.J.P.: Trust the industry professionals and let them use there past experience to guide you in achieving the perfect outcome. We do know what we are doing so let us help and give you realistic guidance.

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
R.J.P.: Chez is a blank canvas for a designer it is beautiful in its simplicity but also refined, it can host all or nothing so to speak. You can fill the venue and create a new environment or utilize its clean stark atmosphere to host a sleek contemporary event.

Photography: Amy Aiello Photography

Trends For An Unforgettable 2017 Holiday Party

2017 holiday trendsFollow these guidelines from Chicago event experts for an unforgettable 2017 holiday party. We reached out to industry pros to learn what they’re hearing and seeing on trends for the upcoming holiday season.

1. Consider a January Holiday Party
With December dates booking up fast for venues and social calendars, it makes sense to look towards non-traditional, January dates for your company holiday party. Your team will thank you! “Companies are having their holiday parties later in January instead of during the usual holiday season” — Beth Bracco, VP of Business Development at Blue Plate.

2. Make Your Holiday Party Interactive
An engaging experience makes for a more memorable celebration. “Most of our clients are looking for fun, interaction and engagement rather than a traditional sit-down dinner. Incorporating buffet stations that integrate action and engagement provides an experience that expands the food ‘memory’ of what they actually eat or drink. Mixology stations where guests get to learn how the make their own holiday cocktail, wine tastings or even dumpling stuffing and rolling!” — John Rudy, VP of Catering at Food For Thought.


Related – Holiday Decor Inspiration

 

3. Add a Twist on Traditional Holiday Flavors
Jewell Events Catering’s Executive Chef, Ben Holt, is taking traditional winter flavors like cranberry and rosemary and giving them a unique twist. Imagine a rosemary biscuit topped with gingered cranberry relish, smoked turkey and aged white cheddar – the flavors of a traditional holiday dinner in a one-bite canapé.

4. Make Your Holiday Event Shine with Metallics
According to event design experts at Revel Décor, the days of flat color are gone. Metallics are the new neutrals — subtle, yet iconic. These alloys convey glamour and dimension with their texture and add artful appeal to food presentation and venue decor.

Are there any trends that you’re excited to see this holiday season? Leave us a note in the comments below.

Photo: Amanda Hein Photography

Amy & Colin’s Colorful Chez Wedding

It is always an honor when an industry friend selects Chez for their own wedding, so we were delighted to host Chicago wedding photographer, Colin Lyons, and wife Amy for their wedding reception last summer. Following a church ceremony, the newlyweds arrived at Chez to celebrate with family and friends. Colorful decor and a whimsical groom’s cake set the tone for the fun-filled reception. An elaborate paper flower wall provided a beautiful photo booth backdrop. Guests enjoyed dinner by Jewell Events Catering and danced to music by DJ Jennefa before a dramatic sparkler send off – the grand finale the the perfect day. Congratulations Amy and Colin!

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Photography: Colin Lyons Wedding Photography | Wedding Planner: An Affair to Remember | Caterer: Jewell Events Catering | Florist: May Floral | DJ: DJ Jennefa

Connie’s Luxurious 60th Birthday Celebration

With a milestone birthday approaching, Connie and her husband turned to Desiree Moore Dent of Dejanae Events to plan a birthday celebration like no other. Desiree gathered a team of Chicago’s top event professionals to produce the luxury soiree. Known for their opulent floral displays, Kesh Events designed magnificent floral arrangements with dozens of ivory, cream, and yellow roses. The white and yellow theme was carried through to the custom floral bar facade where bartenders served Connie’s signature cocktails decorated with edible yellow pansies. DJ Vince Adams entertained guests as they enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations by Jewell Events Catering. A sculptural birthday cake, created by Delish Cakes, seemed to float in mid-air as it was suspended beneath the glass staircase. Congratulations on your milestone birthday Connie!Chez Event SpaceChez Event SpaceChez Event SpaceChez Event SpaceChez Event SpaceChez Event SpaceChez Event Space

Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Event Planner: Dejanae Events | Event Design + Floral: Kesh Designs | Caterer: Jewell Events Catering | Cake: Delish Cakes | DJ: DJ Vince Adams | Valet: 5 Star Valet | Stationary: Invitation Architects

Kristin & Dino’s Lush Spring Wedding

After their first look on the rooftop of the Dana Hotel, Kristin and Dino made the short trip to LaSalle Street Bridge and Michigan Avenue to capture some urban wedding day photos with Cattura Weddings. Back at Chez, the teams from Food For Thought and XO Design Co. were busy preparing for guests to arrive. The aisle was lined with towering floral arrangements that would later become centerpieces. All eyes were on Kristin as she made her grand entrance on the glass staircase wearing an intricate sequin gown from Allure Bridal. After an emotional ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and dinner, served by Food For Thought, before dancing the night away to music provided by Black Third Entertainment. Congratulations Kristin and Dino!Chez Event Space First Lookmichigan ave wedding photo Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Chicago Wedding Bride and GroomPhotography: Cattura Weddings|  Floral & Decor: XO Design Co. | Catering: Food For Thought | Month of Coordinator: Michelle Ganti Events | Entertainment: Back Third Events |Bride’s Gown: Allure Bridals |Maid’s Dress: Monique Lhullier | Grooms Suit: Hugo Boss | Make-up: Nancy Jackson and Anna DiStaola | Hair: Marlene Hosepian |First look location: Dana Hotel and Spa

Vendor Spotlight: Vince Hart of Kehoe Designs

Kehoe Designs

Name: Vince Hart
Title/Position: V.P. Sales at Kehoe Designs
Specialty: Social, Weddings, and Bar-Bat Mitzvahs

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
V.H.: 30 Years in November

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
V.H.: We bring people’s dreams to reality.

CHEZ: What sets you apart from others?
V.H.: I’m always two steps ahead of the trends and fashion curve. Every aspect of my designs are intentional, and reflect the freshest ideas in the industry. As a visionary, everyone aspires to be like me.

Holiday PartyCHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?
V.H.: I’m a huge Cubs fan, and I had the chance to design a baseball-themed Mitzvah for a family that has been close to my heart for 15 years. One of my favorite memories was getting a text from the client at 12:30 am after her son’s party that said, “Vince – no words can describe what an amazing job you did! It was such an incredible room filled with all of your magical touches!!!”

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
V.H.: Boho Glam for weddings and “Return of 90s” design and colors for my Bar and Bat Mitzvah clients. To them, the 90s are retro!

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
V.H.: “I need you to build the inside of an airplane, complete with windows that look out to moving cloud images,” requested by the client. The goal was not simply to create a plane, but to evoke the client’s personal memories within this event at The Geraghty. With a talented team, vast resources and “anything is possible” attitudes, we can – and will – execute anything.
Holiday Party CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
V.H.:  My job is 24–7. At Kehoe Designs, we’re always thinking, dreaming and planning the next party. I don’t really put a time limit on myself because my mind is constantly churning out ideas.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
V.H.: 1. Fashion and Design Magazines — I still tear out pages for inspiration. 2. My Trainer — the only person I let boss me around. 3. My Clients — they allow me to do what I do, and the satisfaction of executing their dream makes for a great life.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you.
V.H.: I am a news junkie, I could care less about pretentious food and wish I could just wear Lululemon every day!
Chair chandelier CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
V.H.: After 30 years in this industry, I can problem-solve anything thrown my way. If you hire me, you trust me. I never fail a client.

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
V.H.: I love that the space is a blank slate, I have done so many different looks for clients. From French Country, Art Décor, Sleek Modern. They all work because they chose to keep the finishes to a minimum and let the clean lines of the space speak for them self.

Floral

Photography:  Kehoe Designs | Event Planning: Jennifer Anderson Events

Auction of Promises for SOS Children’s Villages

For the 3rd Annual Auction of Promises Event, Specialist Staffing Group, worked with Calihan Catering and Kehoe Designs to produce a successful fundraiser benefiting SOS Children’s Villages Illinois.  A very worthy cause, SOS Children’s Villages provides a safe and healing place for children whose world has been shattered by abuse, neglect, or abandonment. During the event, raffle tickets were sold for the chance to win an ipad mini andpersonal training sessions, while a live auction was conducted from the balcony level. The team from Kehoe Designs styled VIP lounges with all-white furnishings and colorful floral.  Staff from Calihan Catering served champagne and bite sized hors d’oeuvres, and attendees enjoyed music by nationally renowned DJ Zeke Thomas. Congratulations to all involved. non profit, live auction, fundraiserchez event spacenon profit, live auction, fundraisernon profit, live auction, fundraisernon profit event chez non profit, live auction, fundraisernon profit, live auction, fundraiser non profit, live auction, fundraisernon profit, live auction, fundraiser

Photography: Cute as a Button Photography | Caterer: Calihan Catering | Decor: Kehoe Designs | DJ: Zeke Thomas | Hosted by: Specialist Staffing Group, Huxley, Real, Computer Futures