Vendor Spotlight: Sharokina Pazand of Citygirl Events

City Girl Events, chicago wedding planner

Name: Sharokina Pazand

Title/Position: Founder & Event Director at Citygirl Weddings & Events

Specialty: Weddings, Corporate, Social, Non-Profit Events, and Marriage Proposals

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
S.P.: I established the company in 2009.

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
S.P.: We are passionate about creating events that encompass the five senses.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
S.P.: We believe that planning and design go hand-in-hand. A well-coordinated event is only amazing if the design – the true feeling of an event – can match in excellence.  We create a complete event environment by using intuitive design to create from within – making each and every event truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events? 
S.P.: It unexpectedly began to rain about 10 minutes before an outdoor ceremony. This was a beautiful wedding and all of the paper goods and furniture were set outdoors. Our team worked diligently to route the guests early to their cocktail hour while we waited for the rain to settle. We made sure the bride and groom had drinks and food  and the music was playing. We then made sure to reset the outside ceremony and had the bride and groom blissfully on their way to “I Do” in no time!

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
S.P.: Dessert stations instead of traditional wedding cake. Late night bites. Entertainment during dinner. Unique wedding invitations with fun fonts and hand drawn illustrations.

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
S.P.: We had a client that wanted to hire a helicopter and photographer to capture their wedding ceremony that was taking place at the Willis Tower. We coordinated with the helicopter team to ensure we were able to coordinate the start time of the ceremony with the time the helicopter would hover near the window to get the perfect coverage!  We had to make sure to work with the Willis Tower events team to get security clearance. It was pretty cool and the guests were surprised. It was absolutely a memorable wedding!

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
S.P.: I start with walking in with my coffee, wedding padfolio, game plan, and my radio and headset and I’m ready for the day! I field up to 10 questions at any given time. I make sure I’m thinking 3-5 steps ahead of everything to make sure my next move is as intentional as possible. Consultant, therapist, cheerleader, life coach, friend, and safety pin guru are just a few of my job titles that day. Making sure everyone is where they need to be ahead of time, have what they need, following/adjusting the timeline and making sure all of the beautiful design is in place are my ultimate goals. From making sure hair and makeup runs on time, transportation arrives, any pivotal moments coordinated, music is playing, cocktails are flowing, and the timeline is being followed – well, it’s just a basic overview of what I do on any given event day.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
S.P.: Coffee. Netflix. Hot Cheetos.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you.
S.P.: I had my first small business for a short time in grammar school where I’d buy warheads and sell them in the lunchroom. I sang in the choir in high school and college as an alto. English is the third language I learned.

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
S.P.: Let the professionals know what you love and want to see and leave the rest to them.  You’ve hired the best – now let them show you the possibilities!

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
S.P.: I love that it is a clean canvas. Each event there looks completely different – making the event completely customizable.

Thank you Sharokina! We look forward to many successful events together in 2017.

Photography by Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Sarah & Christian’s Romantic October Wedding

On October 15th, 2016 Sarah and Christian were joined by their loved ones for their ceremony and reception at Chez. Their day began at the W Hotel Lakeshore for their first look, and then headed to Lake Michigan with their wedding party and photographer, Louie A Weddings.

Every detail of the day was planned by Linsday Gaeta of Storybook Weddings. While the wedding party took photos, Phil Cooper and the team of Kehoe Designs were putting the final touches on floral arrangements and each romantic detail for the ceremony. The mood for the ceremony was set by Bill Pollack String Quartet. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Jewell Events Catering.

Once the ceremony space was flipped for the reception, guests were invited back in to take their seats. Tables were covered with sequined linen and lined with Chez’s mirage ghost chairs creating a charming atmosphere. Kehoe Designs made sure every table was impeccable with elegant floral arrangements set in various gold and glass vessels. The tables were completed with custom escort cards by Minted.

After cutting the cake, the couple and their guests danced and enjoyed music from Style Matters. Congratulations Sarah & Christian!

 

getting readychicago wedding wedding accessorieschicago wedding first look wedding photos wedding photos wedding photos wedding photos escort cards wedding ceremony romantic wedding ceremony romantic cocktail hour romantic wedding reception wedding reception cutting the cake

Photography: Louie A Weddings | Bride’s Dress: Sarah Seven | Maids’ dresses: J. Crew | Groom’s Suit: Mens Warehouse | Groomsmens’ Suits: Mens Warehouse | Planning: Lindsay Gaeta of Storybook Weddings & Events | Floral & Design: Phil Cooper of Kehoe Designs | Caterer & Cake: Jewell Events Catering | Ceremony Music: Bill Pollack String Quartet | Reception Music: Style Matters | Menu & Program: AJ Powills | Escort Cards: Minted

Chicago’s Top Locations For Wedding Photos

The Lakefront
If you’re getting married in Chicago you can’t miss the opportunity for wedding day photo on the lakefront. There are numerous places along the Lake Michigan shore that are ideal for capturing your wedding day with the beauty of nature and the Chicago skyline as your backdrop. North Avenue Beach, Olive Park, The Adler Planetarium, and Promontory Point are some of the favorites of Chez couples and their photographers.

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Michigan Avenue
The Mag Mile sits just two blocks west of Chez so many of our brides and grooms make it their last stop on the way to Chez for their wedding ceremony. The Wrigley Building and the Michigan Avenue median are ideal if you’re looking to feature Chicago architecture in your wedding day photos.
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La Salle Street & The Board of Trade
The iconic Board of Trade building offers a breathtaking backdrop for urban wedding photos. Just watch out for traffic whizzing by!

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Chicago’s Murals
Add some color and texture to your wedding album by posing in front of one of the many murals that appear throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. One such mural is located just outside Chez. The mural featuring Jimmy Durante and the Chez Paree adorables is a nod to the incredible history of Chez and The Chez Paree super club.
05213-amy-colin-4nights-710x473View More: http://christytylerphotography.pass.us/kelly-dave080815_1116-blogThe Chicago Riverwalk
Just a few blocks from Chez, the Chicago River walk is a the perfect location to capture a first look moment.
kellydave-wed-144-blogChicago’s Bridges
With dozens of bridges crossing the Chicago river it’s easy to add this shot to your wedding day photography schedule. La Salle St. bridge, Kinzie St. bridge, and State St. bridge seem to be the most popular.

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Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is the ideal spot for wedding couples looking for a more natural backdrop for their wedding photos.
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Industrial Chicago
You can go in search of an abandoned warehouse or pose in an alley or loading dock. The striking contrast of a perfectly manicured couple against the grittiness of the city is still a popular look for wedding day photographs.

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Photography by (in order of appearance): G Reyes Photography, JPP Studios, Tim Tab Studios, G Reyes Photography, Megan Saul Photography, Colin Lyons Photography, Esenam Photography, Ed & Aileen Photography, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Ed & Aileen Photography, Michelle Lytle Photography, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Tim Tab Studios, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Colin Lyons Photography, Christy Tyler Photography, Allison Williams Photography, Christy Tyler Photography, Tim Tab Studios, Amanda Megan Miller Photography, Tim Tab Studios, David Turner Photography, Michelle Lytle Photography, Michelle Lytle Photography, Michelle Lytle Photography, Elite Visions Photography, Amanda Megan Miller Photography, Elite Visions Photography, Amanda Megan Miller Photography.

Vendor Spotlight: Joshua Jones of Kehoe Designs

Joshua Jones, Kehoe Designs, event design, vendor spotlight

Name: Joshua Jones

Title/Position: Event Producer at Kehoe Designs

Specialty: As a company, we have a diverse team of designers, technicians, and artisans that have allowed us to specialize in many different arenas. Personally, my passion lies in creative conceptualization and building relationships with my clients – helping them curate a striking event concept that represents who they are. Whether it’s a beautiful wedding, a high-concept social event, or a branded corporate environment, I have a passion for telling the client’s story through the makings of a living, breathing event.

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
J.J.: I have always been fascinated with design and transforming spaces. As a kid, I was obsessed with rearranging vignettes in my grandparent’s furniture store and getting so excited about lighting the taper candles during family dinners (I was an odd kid! Haha). As a teenager, I set up events in the hospitality industry and organically got my foot in the design door through the catering side where I realized how much I loved working with clients, while also understanding flow and process. Transforming spaces became my passion, and my education and experience in interiors was where I learned the art of environmental storytelling. Of course, event design was a natural progression from the interior design world as I am always fascinated with the next big creative challenge and the immense conceptualization that brings an event to life. Today, I am blessed to be a part of a team that creates such incredible set designs for our clients.

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
J.J.: Kehoe Designs is an innovative, full-service event décor and design company specializing in luxury weddings, corporate, experiential and social events.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
J.J.: Kehoe Designs at its core is about loyalty and trust. We have high standard of character and it shows in our talented team and in our work. Our strong culture allows us to design with courage, and by that, I mean we take our creative challenges very seriously; we believe original design is the solution our clients are always looking for.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?
J.J.: Emotional reactions tend to stick with me; my heart melted recently when our bride cried tears of joy when she walked into our design/floral mockup (and that was just the mockup!). I find the most satisfaction in bringing an abstract concept into vivid reality and blowing past our client’s wildest expectations.

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
J.J.: Metallics! Warm mixed metals, whether vintage brass, champagne, coppery warmth or soft rose golds, are all the rage right now and have inspired entire tabletop collections, light fixtures, and furniture. Furniture! Event design is beginning to meld the worlds of the temporary space with the customization and thoughtfulness found in high-end interior design. We love introducing beautiful dining tables (wooden, mirrored, or even acrylic) that act as jewel-pieces that stand apart from the standard table and linen. Personalization! Our clients aren’t afraid to step outside the box (or at least don’t mind us helping them) from standard traditions. Whether unique textural floral, cocktail bars with personalized backdrops, or customized furniture to fit the mood of the event, I enjoy seeing our clients inject their personal brand into the creation of their one-of-a-kind events.

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
J.J.: One of our corporate clients throws a huge Halloween party each year, this past year, I was asked to create a boxwood maze representative of scenes from the movie, The Shining. We get many unique requests every day, and that’s what I love about our team of in-house crafters, builders, and artisans…we can create anything and every day is a brand new adventure!

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
J.J.: The months and weeks leading up to a big event are full of checklists and major preparation, the day of the event is where it all comes together. Once our trucks are loaded up in the early morning and hit the road for the venue, the real fun begins. On a typical day on an event setup, our talented team hits the ground running with the styling of gorgeous floral creations, implementation of beautiful textiles and furnishings, and overall space planning. You’ll see us hanging intricate ceiling treatments, constructing art installations, and rigging staging and custom dance floor designs. As a final layer, we weave in ambient and functional lighting designs to bring the spaces to life through color and texture. After we light hundreds of twinkling candles as a small finishing touch, we patiently await our client’s arrival and watch their eyes light up with excitement as they walk into the room!

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
J.J.: Besides my family and friends who give my life meaning, three playful things that bring a smile to my face are: 1. A pair of antique brass cobra candlesticks that I purchased online. 2. My Kevin Murphy paste to keep my coif in check!  3. A fragrant bundle of Hermione peonies freshly arranged on my coffee table.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you:
J.J.: 1. I’m a native southerner from Northwest Arkansas where I learned the true meaning of graciousness and southern hospitality, however, I’ve always loved the energy of a big city (I guess I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll). 2. My partner and I met at the ripe old age of 20 years old, and we’ll have been on our shared adventure for 13+ years in April of 2017. 3. I’m the proud father of a needy and loveable multi-toed Hemingway cat who, in her spare time, enjoys a relaxing hand (mitten) massage.

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
J.J.: Hire a well-respected design professional that can take the load of event creation off of your hands. You’ll be happy you delegated the task to capable hands that will allow you to enjoy your event (not work it), your pocketbook will be thrilled that you invested wisely, and your guests will be excited to experience an event that was put together with a creative team of talented artists who elevated your personal brand and overall experience.

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
J.J.: Chez is one of my absolute favorite venues. Not only do I adore the lovely team who really care about their clients and community, but from a historical viewpoint, the space has a sparkling past that vibrates through the walls. The physical space is the perfect white palette for layering décor elements…an event designer’s dream. The exposed painted brick, modern light fixtures, and gorgeous glass staircase intermix the perfect blend of vintage nostalgia with contemporary sophistication.

Thank you Joshua! We can’t wait to see what beautiful designs you create for your next event at Chez.

Photography by Averyhouse (L), and Kehoe Designs (R)

 

 

Vendor Spotlight: Kent Drake Morien of Kent Drake Photography

kent drake photographyName: Kent Drake Morien / Kent Drake Photography

Title/Position: Owner/Photographer

Specialty: Wedding & Decor Photography

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
K.D.M: I photographed my first wedding in 2009 for a friend out of state, and basically came home and started my business. It was a slow and organic building process from the beginning, as I had only lived in the city for a year at that point and was taking my hobby and creating a profession out of it. So much has happened in the last 7 years, and it’s all built on a solid and evolving portfolio combined with amazing vendor relationships.

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
K.D.M: Create timeless photography and bespoke experiences for people in love.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
K.D.M: I was fortunate to stumble across a natural photographic ability only after spending my educational years focused on business and working exclusively in the service industry to that point. Only after circumstance did I pick up a camera, and a hobby was born. When I look at how I was able to marry all three of these elements into my own business with the driving force coming from multiple angles, my desire to provide impeccable service is paramount. The art my couples receive is personalized and unique to their experience, and my attention to them on a service level will never go unnoticed. Trust is built from day one through dependency and a strong rapport, which allows me to be creative when it matters most.
Lastly, I’ve specialized in shooting decor photography for the last five years. I’ve been able to shoot nearly 150 custom and often lavish designs, mastering my approach and technical ability in a wide variety of venues and conditions. Floral and decor is a huge part of a wedding budget, and I love being able to capture a room with incredible accuracy and detail. I take great pride in providing superior portfolio material for some the cities leading designers, venues and planners.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?
K.D.M: Two part answer.
Part One: I started shooting exclusively for friends, but over time as my business grew that faded away. This last April I was able to photograph for my most longstanding friend in the industry, who opened so many doors for me as we grew in this city. I was able to photograph her proposal, engagement and wedding in just over a year’s time, and it felt like this incredible culmination to spend the entire day with together and see her beautiful design concepts come to life. Brittanie Navarro of HMR Designs, thank you for letting me be a part of your story.

Part Two: This is strictly personal and much more broad in concept. I remember for the first few years of shooting weddings, moments between the parents & newlyweds, were just another element of the day. However, when shortly after having my daughter and 1st child 3.5 years ago, these father/daughter dances and toasts suddenly felt personal. I now saw myself in their shoes, seeing some of the deepest human emotions on display time and time again. I now share moments with fathers and explain that I picture myself in their shoes, and they always come back with “life goes by too fast.” Having children in general has changed my thought process about life, of course, but what these days mean to everyone involved. It’s so much work raising children, you literally live for these milestones. It is an absolute privilege to jump into the lives of strangers for such momentous occasions, it truly is a constant reward system that will never grow old.

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?
K.D.M: To be honest, in this city, it is the incredible diversity in venues and spaces. I look at Chez, which offers this incredibly clean and modern concept, but right down the road we have some of the most historic and ornate buildings in American history right there for the taking. Push a little further, and you have amazing repurposed buildings that provide when you put it all together offers this incredible eclectic variety that lets events continue to be creative and unique. I truly see the birth of new spaces as a driving force for personalized events that need not be “trendy.”

If you want to speak to trends on a fashion level, I love seeing guys taking bold steps in their formal attire. Whether it’s a vibrant dinner jacket, shawl or peaked lapels, double breasted or even just wearing a midnight blue tuxedo. Anything a guy can do to stand out from his groomsman that isn’t just in the tie and pocket square, is a trend I can get behind.

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?
K.D.M: You know, it’s odd, but for the life of me I can’t think of anything! Boring answer alert…

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
K.D.M: Focusing, walking, talking, posing, smiling, laughing, reflecting and never sitting unless I’m eating, which I may or may not do.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!)
K.D.M: Photographically: 1: My main camera body: 170,000 photos to date with that one alone. 2: My 2nd shooter: Invaluable to have help throughout the day. 3: My Suit & shoe collection: Look good, feel good, simple as that. Professionally: 1: Planners. 2: Catering & Venue Directors. 3: Cell Phones.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you.
K.D.M: 1: I’m a stay at home dad of two (3.5 & 1.5), and have built this business while raising them both. It truly is a gift to have the time with them and a thriving professional life at the same time. 2: I lived in Japan for two years before Chicago, which is where my passion for photography developed and I learned it was the one thing that came most naturally to me in my life. 3: At this point, my wife and I have been together for over half of our lives, 16 years from 16 years old!

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
K.D.M: Hire a coordinator, especially in this city. Unless you plan events for a living, it is a task that you may not have a true grasp of until you really start digging in. Lean on the advice of those in the industry you trust, and they will do right by for sure. We are a wonderful community of vendors who just want to make our clients and couples happy.

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
K.D.M: Without a doubt, it’s the design. You can make the space whatever you want it to be. I said from the first second I walked in there, that I would move in if they’d let me!

Thank you Kent! We have thoroughly enjoyed working with you on the many events you’ve photographed at Chez and look forward to more upcoming events.

Photography by Michelle Weeks of Spoon Photo & Design (L), Kent Drake Photography (R)

Rachel & AJ’s Summer Wedding

Rachel & AJ began their beautiful summer wedding day getting ready at Loews Hotel and Pinstripes. As Rachel and her bridesmaids were pampered, AJ and his groomsmen headed to JP Burke’s to have a few drinks before heading over to the ceremony at St. Alphonsus. After an emotional ceremony and some photos around town, the couple and their guests headed to Chez to continue their celebration. The room was transformed with the help of Art of Imagination, Fleur du Jour, and Jewell Events Catering. Every second of the day was thoughtfully planned by Events by L, and each memory was captured by Michelle Lytle. Congratulations Rachel and AJ!
1blog2345689St. Alphonsus wedding ceremonywedding photoescort card tablewedding reception entrancechicago wedding receptionhead tablehead tablehead tabletablescape, chicago weddingwedding cakebridal suite, chez chicagogrand entrance, glass staircase, chez chicagogrand entrance, chicago wedding, chez chicagofirst dance, chicago weddingPhotography: Michelle Lytle | Floral: Fleur du Jour | Design: Art of Imagination | Caterer: Jewell Events Catering

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

Chez Vendor Spotlight: Kate Johnson of Kate Johnson Artistry

collection of makeupName: Kate Johnson

Title/Position: Owner, Kate Johnson Artistry

Specialty: Makeup and Hair for weddings, engagements, television and celebrity clientele.

CHEZ: How long have you been in the events industry?
K.J.: Full time for 6 years.

CHEZ: Describe what you/your company does in one sentence?
K.J.: Creating beautiful and unique looks based on the individual style of each bride, using only the best professional products on the market.

CHEZ: What sets you/your company apart from others?
K.J.: Almost all of our artists have a background in television and celebrity work so we understand that this is not about what our “style” is, but is about collaborating with our clients to bring out the most beautiful vision they have for themselves.

CHEZ: What is your most memorable moment from past events?         
K.J.: I was introduced to a couple getting married that loves Burning Man and all things creative/ music etc. I knew the wedding was going to be unique but I wasn’t expecting acrobatics from the ceiling and “flower girls” whose outfits lit up.

CHEZ: What event trends do you love right now?      
K.J.: I’m loving the veils that go under the hair and showcase the beautiful styles the bride has chosen as well as a bold lip that people are picking up.

CHEZ: What is the most unique request a client has ever had?        
K.J.: To take hair extensions and create a huge rose that would be placed on her head as her hair style.

CHEZ: What does a typical event day look like for you?
K.J.: Well if it’s a wedding we are the first to arrive so that means as a team we are up early, coffee drank and headed to the ready location first thing in the morning. We get to greet the beautiful bride and her entourage while they are fresh faced and wake them up with beautiful styling. My favorite part is that we get to see everyone so relaxed in the pajamas just as a group of ladies having fun before everyone else enters the scene. Its like a big pajama party.

CHEZ: Name three things you couldn’t live without (besides the obvious!) 
K.J.: Red Wine, My dog Honey and One Drop Wonder face oil… its amazing.

CHEZ: Name three things people probably don’t know about you.
K.J.: I moved to Chicago from So Cal to sing Jazz. I have a refurbished 1965 Mustang Convertible waiting for me in California to have a nice garage here.  I’m a brand ambassador to a professional cosmetics company so I get to teach people all over the country how to feel their best.

CHEZ: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event? 
K.J.: Plan early, communicate openly with/and also trust your vendors experience so it’s a true collaboration to bring your vision to reality.

CHEZ: What do you love about Chez?
K.J.: I love that it’s a blank space you can truly create your own vision in. And I absolutely love the natural light that pours in through the big windows.

Thanks Kate! You truly know how to make a bride look and feel her best.

Photography by Kate Johnston (L), Emma Meyer (R)