Rachel & Mike’s Blush & Gold Chez Wedding

On a beautiful summer day last June Rachel and Mike were joined by family and friends for their wedding ceremony and reception at Chez. Prior to the ceremony, the couple had their first look at the rooftop of the Ivy Hotel, and then headed off to Promontory Point and Kinzie St Bridge with their wedding party and photographer Megan Saul.

Back at Chez, event designer, Christine Janda was busy putting the finishing touches on floral arrangements and the unique blush and gold wedding design. After the wedding ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a cheese bar by Limelight Catering and relaxed in the custom lounge with all-white furnishings.

Once the room flip was complete, guests were invited to take their seats. Long feasting tables, covered with blush linens and lined with mirage ghost chairs, created a unique arrangement so every guest was sure of a view of the happy couple. The stage was set for a wonderful evening of celebration. Event designer, Christine Janda’s delicate floral arrangements looked beautiful set in gold and clear containers of varying shapes and sizes. A collection votive candle holders and pillar candles stands completed the design.

After cake cutting, first dance, speeches and dinner the newlyweds and their guests danced the night away to music by Cage and Aquarium before being treated to a late night snack of “Insomnia Cookies” that the couple enjoyed on their very first date! Congratulations Rachel and Mike!
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Photography: Megan Saul Photography | Bride’s Dress: San Patrick from Dimitra’s Bridal | Maids’ dresses: House of Brides | Groom’s suit: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Groomsmens’ suits: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Floral, Design, Planning: Christine Janda Design & Events | Caterer: Limelight Catering | Cake: Alliance Bakery | Music: Cage + Aquarium | Menus & escort cards: LBrown Design & Paperie | Lounge groupings & Chandeliers: Modern Event Rental | Linens: Windy City Linen

Chez Wedding Pop-Up 2016

The February 27 Chez Wedding Pop-Up offered brides, grooms, and wedding professionals a day of indulgence and inspiration in our contemporary, light-filled loft space. The ladies from LK Events and Big City Bride offered wedding planning advice and created beautiful tablescapes to showcase their design talents alongside the Chez ghost mirage chairs. Guests sampled delicious bites from the 5 Chez catering partners; Blue Plate, Entertaining Company, Jewell Events Catering, Food For Thought, and Limelight. Vanille Chicago offered sweet bites and macarons while Black Dog Gelato brought along their very trendy gelato cart for root beer floats! The teams from Tablescapes and Windy City Linen kindly provided all of the rentals for the event. Tablescapes brought along their display tower and their new bar with a boxwood front. White sequin linens were custom made for the event by Windy City Linens.

Guests were pampered with a braid and lash bar from the talented team of Kate Johnson Artistry. DJs Brent Rolland of Fig Weddings and Tyler Huffman of Cage + Aquarium brought their musical talents and energy. Photographer Genevieve Lauren offered advice on wedding day shot lists while taking photos of each beautiful vendor station. Joshua Jones of Kehoe Designs and the team from Art of Imagination created two incredibly unique wedding décor designs. It was a day filled with inspiration, laughter, pampering, and fun. We can’t wait to do it all again. Thank you so much to all of the attendees and each wedding professional that made the event a success.

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Images by Genevieve Lauren Photography

Bond-Themed 40th Birthday Bash

We were thrilled when event planner and décor specialist Akeshi Akinseye selected Chez for husband Akin’s 40th birthday bash. We expected an incredibly glamorous celebration and Akeshi did not disappoint!

The Bond-themed, black tie celebration was impeccably detailed from start to finish. As guests arrived at Chez they were greeted by feathered showgirls before stopping for a photo on the red carpet. Inside the space, over-sized arrangements of roses and hydrangea decorated the all-white lounge groupings. The monogrammed bar staged a “0040” ice sculpture, by Johnson Studio Ice Sculptures, and offered three signature cocktails, appropriately named “The Secret Agent”, “The Vesper” and “The Akin 0040”.

Aerial performers from The Runaway Circus amazed the crowd while SWAY Chicago performed James Bond themed tunes that kept the dance floor full all night long. Guests enjoyed gaming at black jack tables, a cigar bar, an Aston Martin birthday cake by Elysia Root Cakes, and delicious cuisine from Entertaining Company. Congratulations Akeshi and all of the team at Kesh Events and Kesh Designs on a successful and beautiful secret birthday mission!

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Event Décor & Floral: Kesh Designs Inc.| Planning: Kesh Events Inc. | Photography: Gold Grid Studios |  Cake: Elysia Root Cakes | Catering: Entertaining Company | Calligraphy & Signage: CT-Designs | Electric Violin & Saxophone: SWAY Chicago | DJ’s: SWAY Chicago & D.I.S Entertainment | Blackjack: GSH Group | Showgirls: Angela Eve and Eve’s Parlor Cabaret | Aerialists: The Runaway Circus | Dance Floor Lighting: A Posh Production | Rentals: Tablescapes | Ice Sculpture: Johnson Studios Ice Sculptures

 

 

Sharon and Jeff’s Picture-Perfect Chez Wedding

We are completely in awe of our lovely bride, Sharon, who designed every detail of this glamorous wedding and gathered together a team of talented vendors to help produce the wedding of her dreams! And boy, it was dreamy, and glamorous, and sophisticated, and picture-perfect! A few of our favorite details to note are the mixture of table shapes and textured specialty linens, the lucite candelabras, and the spectacular cake table. We’ll let the photos speak for themselves! Every detail was absolute perfection! Congratulations Sharon and Jeff.blog1 blog3blog7blog6 blog11 blog14 blog19 blog20blog98blog30blog57 blog26blog101 blog28blog32blog99 blog39 blog38 blog52blog72blog67 blog63blog81blog100 blog84blog95 blog97blog92 blog94

Photography | Tim Tab Studios
Bride’s Dress | Keaton by Hayley Paige
Maid’s Dresses | Noir by Lazaro
Groom’s Suit | Custom made by Formally Modern Tuxedo
Groomsmen’s suits | Formally Modern Tuxedo
Makeup and Hair | Makeup by Jaycie
Pre-Wedding Preparation and First Look| Ivy Hotel
Invitations and Ceremony booklet: Design by Sharon, graphics by a friend of the bride, printed by Smart Press
Mirror Seating Chart: Design by Sharon, graphics by a friend of the bride, vinyl application by MI-TE Prints
Linens | WedSource  for specialty linen, M&M Rental for all other linen
Cakes | Bittersweet
Floral and Décor | Stemline Creative
Lighting and Décor | Art of Imagination
Bar and Back Bar Furniture | M&M Rental
Music | Parkwest String Quartet & DJ Chicago
Day of Coordinator | Weddings 826
Caterer | Wolfgang Puck Catering

Mary and Javier’s Rustic-Chic Chez Wedding

After a church ceremony in River Forest last June, Mary and Javier made their way to Chez to celebrate their marriage with family and friends. Guests were treated to specialty drinks during cocktail hour, while entertainment was provided by a mariachi band stationed on the mezzanine level.

Robust, wood farmhouse tables and playfully arranged, colorful florals stood out against the all-white background at Chez. After dinner, speeches, and an incredible a capella performance by Mary and her family, the team from Calihan Catering created a beautiful dessert display for guests to enjoy before hitting the dance floor to music by Cage + Acquarium. Congratulations Mary and Javier! caili-helsper-photo-1blog2

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Photography | Caili Helsper Photography
Wedding Planner | City Girl
Catering | Calihan Catering
Ceremony location | St. Luke Church, River Forest, IL
Floral | Pollen Floral Design
Mariachi Band | First In Flight Entertainment
DJ | Cage + Acquarium
Mary’s dress | White by Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
Maids’ dresses | David’s Bridal
Javier’s suit | Men’s Wearhouse
Groomsmens’ suits | Men’s Wearhouse
Hair | Carol Wood-Lone
Makeup | Danielle Tinebro

Conor and Ian’s Glamorous Chez Wedding

Conor and Ian worked with the talented teams from Revel Decor and Limelight Catering to create their glamorous wedding vision. Lucite chiavari chairs lined robust, white feasting tables which were decorated with floating candles, mirrored votives, and delicate floral arrangements. Conor and Ian said an emotional “I do” before friends and family before retreating to the Chez private suite for a private moment together. The newlyweds made their grand entrance on our glass staircase before sitting down to dinner by Limelight. After dinner and speeches, Conor and Ian had their first dance beneath crystal chandeliers. Friends and family joined in and partied into the night until it was time for the sparkler send-off; the perfect end to a glamorous day filled with love and excitement. Congratulations Conor and Ian!

Photohraphy | Allison Williams Photography

Event Design | Revel Decor

Floral | Kathi Woods (Conor’s Mother)

Music | Cage + Aquarium

Catering | Limelight

Suits | Alton Lane

5 Table Number Ideas For Every Kind of Wedding

It is always interesting to see how each Chez couple transforms Chez to realize their unique wedding vision. We’re always seeing new and creative wedding decor ideas at Chez and love to share them. We’ve gathered a collection of table number ideas that Chez couples have come up with in the last few months. There’s something for every kind of wedding, be it contemporary, rustic, or somewhere in between.
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Photo credit in order that images appear | Allison Williams Photography, Caili Helsper Photography, David Turner Photography, Esenam Photography, G Reyes Photography

Anita and Brad’s Elegant Loft Wedding

On a sunny August day, Anita and Brad were joined by family and friends for an elegant loft wedding at Chez.  The couple had their first look on the rooftop of the Ivy Boutique Hotel, located just two doors down from Chez. Taking advantage of Chez’s close proximity to the lakefront, Anita and Brad took a short drive down Lake Shore Drive where photographer, Ryan Moore, captured beautiful images of the couple with Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline in the background.

Back at Chez, the team from Art of Imagination was busy installing dozens of white paper lanterns and putting the finishing touches on Anita and Brad’s wedding vision. The couple chose an elegant, all-white palette with hints of pale blush and silver. A centerpiece of white and pink roses was placed on each table, while the bride and groom’s chairs were adorned with delicate baby’s breath bouquets.Photography | Ryan Moore Photography
Decor | Art of Imagination
Catering | Food For Thought
Hotel | Ivy Boutique Hotel

Rustic-Chic Inspiration at Chez

The talented Tiffany Siladke partnered with photographer Angela Shae and a team of specialty vendors for this gorgeous photo shoot at Chez.  They started the day with a sunrise shoot along Michigan Avenue and then arrived at Chez just in time to capture the beautiful afternoon light.  Keeping the color palette soft and neutral, the creative team layered vintage table settings over a robust farmhouse table. Romantic floral arrangements and silver candle sticks added some height to the design. We love the juxtaposition of the warm wood table and ornate tablescape with the polished concrete floors and textured white brick. What wonderful rustic-chic decor inspiration!






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Photography | Angela Shae 
Photography assistant and videography | Daniel Usenko
Planning/Design/Florals | A Splendid Occasion
Model | Catherine M
Dress | Nearly Newlywed
Jewelry | Erin Gallagher Jewelry
Hair/Makeup | Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists (Nora-makeup and Xotchilt-hair)
Table | Chicago Farm Tables
Place Settings/Napkins | Vintage Place Settings
Cake | Lovely Bake Shop
Stationary/Calligraphy | Graceline Art

Directing Modern Meetings and Elegant Events at Chez

New-addition-to-team-ChezLauren Smith recently joined Chez as Director of Sales and Marketing. We sat down with Lauren to discuss her passion for the events industry. 

Tell us about your career path and how you got your start in the meetings and events industry.

After I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in marketing and advertising, I joined Catalyst Ranch, a meeting and event space in the West Loop. It quickly became obvious that hospitality was the perfect blend of my natural ability to engage people, my interests in marketing, and my flair for creativity. Figuring out what makes a client tick, how I can better serve his or her needs, what makes them want to work with me and the company I represent ¬– these are challenges that make me jump out of bed each day. It is also very rewarding to see an event come to life under my direction and guidance.

Business development is my newest passion. I enjoy making connections with people and learning more about their companies and how they fit into the marketplace. With an extensive network, I have a huge variety of resources to help my clients create memorable meetings and events.

In the events industry, the possibilities are endless. I can’t count the number of times I have seen a whisper of an idea turn into a successful business or new event series or marketing initiative. An event can always be bigger and better, but it takes a keen attention to a client’s goals to know how to pull back and keep an event under creative control.

What was your most memorable event experience from your career?

here have been so many! I will never forget a June 1, 2011 event called Under A New Moon. This grand celebration of gay marriage rights started as a tiny seedling of an idea. Anita Vaughn, a celebrant and industry friend, wanted to find a way to celebrate the date when civil unions became legal for same-sex couples. As a vocal supporter for the LGBT community, I jumped at the opportunity and, of course, so did Catalyst Ranch. Our little seed grew and grew over the few short weeks of planning Under A New Moon. Over 20 vendors helped sponsor the event and pulled together a mini wedding ceremony and reception for 6 fantastic couples. At the stroke of midnight, literally the first moment these unions became legal, we began the ceremony and ended the evening with a big party. I was overwhelmed by the love and support this event received, especially from the industry vendors that heard about the celebration and asked to participate in the historic occasion. The national news coverage and my appearance on 190 North were amazing added bonuses.

What are your interests outside of work?

I enjoy a unique blend of hobbies and tastes apart from my professional interests and behaviors. Chances are if there is a heavy metal show in town, I will be there. I also have a love of video games and have gotten lost in the world of Destiny, Assassin’s Creed or Fallout for hours at a time. But I have a crafty side too and make big statement jewelry pieces from unusual objects such as computer parts, ornate furniture hardware, pistachio shells or whatever else has an interesting shape that sparks my creativity.

The best part about this industry is the camaraderie and support that so characteristic of the Chicago meetings and events community. I have made lifelong friends over the years and helped create some friendships for others as well. Work and play share a grey area in my life which helps me to love my job.

What are your plans for the future of Chez?

I look forward to bringing corporate meeting business to this beautiful venue. The 17 foot ceilings, glass staircase and white walls are a great canvas for an enormous variety of event themes. Corporate clients and experiential marketing events can easily brand the space with their company identities and logos. It will be a pleasure to introduce my network to this new venue and I am excited to bring creative and unique event experiences to Chez.

Why did Chez choose you to direct its sales and marketing?

Chez was looking for an experienced, networked professional with many years of experience in the events and catering industry. I offer that experience and network, as well as a graphic design background and a particular niche in planning corporate events and bar and bat mitzvahs. I think Chez’s management was also drawn to my organizational skills and obvious passion for the industry.

Bar and bat mitzvah celebrations, weddings, focus groups, conferences, innovation sessions, fundraisers, experiential marketing events – I am experienced working with all of these types of events and understand how to help clients realize their visions. My former clients include national magazines, trade groups, radio stations, non-profit and government entities, and leaders in the pharmaceutical, health insurance, and beverage industries.