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Real Wedding: Anne + Jeremy

Some couples, when you meet them, just have “it.” They have that level of comfort, that certainty that everything is going to be okay because they have one another. Anne and Jeremy are one of these couples. When they first came to us in 2014, both were busy professionals living in Chicago. They had inspiration for their dream wedding day but no plan for how to pull it off, especially with such tight schedules and a move out of state looming ahead. We started talking with them about their priorities–an outdoor spring ceremony, comfort food, local craft beer, elegant vintage touches, a rocking dance party–and realized that just like these two were a great match for each other, we were a great match as their wedding planner. Thankfully, they felt the same way.

A few months later, our plan was coming together. We locked in an amazing industrial-chic venue in South Bend, Indiana and a nearby botanic garden, Fernwood, to host their ceremony. After getting lucky enough to secure the couple’s dream date (someone else wanted it!) and making sure that a fantastic band and photographer were available, we started on the really fun part: tasting the food. Enter Smoke Daddy, a Wicker Park barbecue restaurant that is so worth the out of state delivery fee! Between their hearty fare, assorted desserts from another local Chicago vendor, A Baker’s Tale, and The Brick’s seamless bar service, this wedding plan was on track.

Now, what about decor? This is where Anne’s vision really flourished. South Bend florist MichaelAngelo’s created a lush peony bouquet that still makes us swoon. Their tabletop floral arrangements were a perfect complement for our vintage rentals and decor. We designed a sweet little sweetheart table and some paper goods, and set the tablescapes off with vintage sheet music as a little nod to Anne + Jeremy’s Anne + Jeremy’s excellent musical taste. We made sure to cover all the little details too, from providing extra candlelight to plying accent tables with lace to complete the look. Overall, it was a perfect combination of vintage + industrial chic in a venue that we only wish could be located closer to home! Funk Harmony Park, a band the couple already knew, did an incredible job playing every genre imaginable late into the night.

At the end of it all, we said goodbye to the couple, their wedding party and their families and returned to Chicago feeling excited for them and just a little disappointed that, with our planning complete, we would no longer be working together. Thankfully, Anne + Jeremy have kept in touch and recently shared exciting news: they are expecting a baby! By the end of this month, these two fantastic people will be proud first time parents; they are going to be amazing at it. Congratulations on your growing family, Anne + Jeremy, and thank you for letting us share in your excitement!

Ceremony venue: Fernwood Botanical Garden // Reception venue + bar: The Brick // Photographer: Rotarski Photography // Planner + vintage rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings // Catering: Smoke Daddy // Sweets: A Baker’s Tale // Band: Funk Harmony Park // Florist: MichaelAngelo’s // Transportation: Royal Excursion // Wedding party hair: Angie Cave // Bridal hair: Tim Toth of Lather Chicago // Makeup: Makeup by Morgan

Real Wedding: Stephanie + Michael

We work with lots of cute couples, so saying that Stephanie + Michael are one of the cutest ever really means something. Being part of this fun-loving pair’s wedding day was an absolute joy! Even with the weather being less than cooperative in late November, warmth filled every element of the day; we think that shows in these amazing images from Jason Brown of J Brown Photography. We’re obsessed with the Art Institute of Chicago portraits!

Stephanie had an elegant vision for event decor and Art of Imagination executed it beautifully. As with every wedding we’ve ever planned at Bridgeport Art Center, every detail was lovely. Sarah and her team at Berghoff knocked catering out of the park, Dominic Wayne served up the tunes, and the Venue Logic team helped everything come together seamlessly. Our own Elizabeth meticulously arranged each hand-lettered escort card because we know it’s those little details that make a big difference!

This wedding was so fun and cozy–even on a snowy day–because of all the love in the room. We had a blast working with Stephanie + Michael as well as their families and wedding party, and are so happy that they tied the knot (and picked us to help it all come together)! Congratulations to these two darlings!

Photographer: J Brown Photography // Planner: Chicago Vintage Weddings // Venue: Bridgeport Art Center Sculpture Garden // Event Decor: Art of Imagination // Caterer: Berghoff Catering // DJ: Dominic Wayne // Photo Booth: Photo Booth of the Stars // Salon: Maxine Salon // Transportation: Windy City Limo // Hotel: The James

2016: Get It Before It’s Gone

chicago popular wedding planner vintage rentals

Next year is looking bright! We’re thrilled that so many of you are interested in our planning + vintage rental services, especially with some major announcements on the horizon that we can’t wait to share! (Hint: wayyyy more gorgeous finds for you to rent.)

As a boutique company that places a high value on the quality of our service, the events we take on are limited. Many weekends in 2016 are already booking out, especially in June, July and September. If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet reached out to reserve your 2016 rental or planning service, now is the time to do it, especially if your date falls between March and October. Don’t miss out on getting exactly what you want!

Wedding Planning vs. Wedding Coordination

One question we are asked rather frequently is whether to book a wedding planning service or a wedding coordination service. Even couples who come to us with a notion of which one they would prefer sometimes end up choosing a different service following a consultation about their needs. Making the smart choice early on is important for a few reasons. Most notably, a wedding planner should usually be the first vendor you hire because the planner will be able to assist you with all other vendor selections. If you start the planning process on your own only to realize later on that you would like to hire a planner, you may be missing out on valuable services and doing more work than you need to do! It is also important to know whether you will be hiring a coordinator–even if you will be doing so later on–because budgeting for a coordinator from the beginning is far preferable to a last-minute scramble when the wedding is close and you realize you need to hire someone.

On the flip side, not everyone needs or wants full wedding planning. While we always recommend at least considering a full or partial planner for reasons you may not have considered (great vendor recommendations, money-saving tips, countless hours saved), there are plenty of couples who go through the planning process without a professional consultant. These couples often turn to a coordinator to handle the details of the final weeks and days of planning, as well as all day-of management.

So, what does a coordinator do that is different from a planner? Usually the same person can provide either of these services, but planning is much more comprehensive. It varies based on how involved a particular planning service is (full or partial) but planning generally includes many more hours of service, thorough advice and vendor referrals, meetings with other vendors, contract review and negotiation, budget management, design consultations, and quite a bit more. Coordination, on the other hand, usually starts only a few weeks before the wedding. Coordinators do not assist in booking vendors or in coming up with plans for decor or for most other event details. Coordinators save the day by catching potential disasters before they strike, creating a workable timeline, and communicating thoroughly with vendors and with the wedding party, but they are mostly there to execute plans that the couple and their chosen vendors have already made.

Now that you know the basics, which service is right for you? Do you feel confident in your ability to narrow down your vendor options and to choose the most reputable, competitively priced services? Are you eager to navigate the wedding planning seas or would you prefer a compass? Are you more of a pushover or are you able to put your foot down when you need to?

Fear not, we’ve created a handy little graphic to get you started thinking about all of this. Take a look below and consider which of these sounds more like you. Be honest with yourself! This is an important decision but it shouldn’t be a hard one. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to a planner (you can contact us here) and ask. Good planners know what it takes to put a wedding together and will have a sense of what you need. Chicago Vintage Weddings is proud of our ability to discern which services would best suit each couple. We are equally proud to only recommend services that we feel are needed–not simply ones that will cost you more–and we aren’t in the business of pressuring inquiring clients. You found the right match in your partner and we are here to help you find the right match for your wedding!

Wedding planning vs wedding coordination

Chicago Destination Weddings

Recently we’ve been receiving a lot of attention from clients who want to use Chicago and surrounding areas as a destination wedding location. We couldn’t be more thrilled! Chicago is a phenomenal destination for all kinds of travelers, from shoppers to adventure-seekers to outdoorsy types. There truly is something for everyone here.

Some of our destination clients live in Chicago but most of their guests are traveling from overseas. Others used to live in the area but currently live across the country. Still others live here or elsewhere and wish to plan a wedding several hours outside the city of Chicago, maybe even in Wisconsin, Indiana, or Michigan.

That’s the great thing about being a wedding planner in Chicago. No matter what type of client or what type of event, we have so many options at our fingertips to create something amazing. It is such a joy to know that we are helping couples and their beloved guests create memories that will last forever. If the thought of planning a wedding in Chicago has crossed your mind, don’t hesitate to get in touch! You have nothing to lose and the experience of a lifetime to gain.