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Real Wedding: Katy + Jon

Having strong relationships with our clients is the most important thing to us as wedding planners. The connections we build and trust with develop allows us to develop and execute creative, personal events that are unique to every couple. When Katy + Jon came to us, they were living out of state and caught up in work schedules that did not allow them to spend much time planning their wedding day. Getting married was the priority–not planning the details or thinking about design–so we stepped in to help.

One major question mark when we were booked was decor. As a no-fuss bride, Katy wanted something special without all the frills. We decided on a clean, modern vibe with masculine touches to fit the feel of Morgan’s on Fulton‘s sleek urban setting. Florist Beth of Larkspur created lush, green-filled arrangements including a minimalist ceremony arch and tabletop arrangements in our vintage mixed metal vases. Berries in moody tones contrasted beautifully against a palette of deep reds, blues and grays.

Graphic design by Amanda at The Early Word was the perfect complement for the event’s look. Katy gave us license to make interesting choices, so we went with pared-down graphics and stark contrast. Seating was assigned using a large chart with individual envelopes for each guest. Menus at each place setting and clear acrylic menus at the bar set the luxe-yet-simple mood for a stylishly catered meal by Hearty Boys. Vintage glassware rented from us was a hit with guests as well!

Quite possibly our favorite part of the day was pulling off Katy’s surprise for Jon. As an amateur photographer, he has built an impressive portfolio of images featuring Chicago sights. We curated eight of these photos and had them blown up to create a gallery for guests to enjoy when they arrived. It was such a thoughtful touch and now the couple has a gallery collection to display for years to come!

Katy + Jon are the kind of people you want to be friends with. They are the kind whose ceremony moves you to tears because you can feel the love between them. We are honored to have been trusted with the details of their day and feel so lucky to have gotten to know them. Congratulations, you two! We cannot wait to see the amazing things you accomplish in your life together.


Planning + vintage rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings // Photography: Nicodem Creative // Catering: Hearty Boys // Florist: Larkspur // Graphic design: The Early Word // Venue: Morgan’s on Fulton // String music + DJ: Backthird // Officiant: Walton Weddings // Transportation: Windy City Limo // Hair: Sine Qua Non Salon – Lakeview // Makeup: Nika Vaughan Makeup Artistry // Cake: Oak Mill Bakery // Donuts: Stan’s Donuts

Real Wedding: Lauren + Jason

With our wedding season starting earlier each year, we find ourselves spending more time on events and less time on the blog. Once spring begins the most reliable place to view our real events will on Facebook and Instagram, with added inspiration bonus on our Pinterest page. By the way, have you followed us yet? Go do it! Some of our 2015 weddings are also making their way to your favorite wedding publications and we will share those as soon as they debut!

Meanwhile, before this blog gets quiet so that we can focus on creating beautiful weddings for our couples, Lauren + Jason’s wedding decor is just too pretty to keep to ourselves. Lauren began working with us in 2014 to bring to life her vision of an urban, feminine affair at Room 1520. The venue was the perfect blank slate, brimming with white and gray tones throughout, crystal chandeliers, in-house specialty lighting, and a vintage mirrored bar that makes a big statement.

We paired Lauren with some of the most talented decor vendors in the city and partnered with them to build a cohesive style that would come in right on budget; if there’s one thing you can say about Kate, it’s that she is very dedicated to keeping couples on track with smart spending! Well, that and she loves producing beautiful events to showcase every couple’s personality. And she loves her lists and timelines. Okay, there are a lot of things you can say about Kate.

With a vendor dream team of Field & Florist for local, breathtaking floral design, Dashwood Shop for hand lettered signage, and the Chicago Vintage Weddings team (plus some of our fab vintage rentals and candle treatments) on site to manage set up of the ceremony and reception with Food For Thought Catering, this was one special day. Building a relationship with Lauren meant to much to the process because we were able to get to know her and develop a seamless design concept over time. With any team of creative professionals working together, nothing is more valuable than having a strong connection to the client as well as to one another. We are incredibly thankful to have been trusted with the details of such a special day and are very happy for Lauren + Jason as they continue to grow together!

Venue: Room 1520 // Photographer: We Laugh We Love // Event Design + Vintage Rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings // Florist: Field & Florist // Caterer: Food For Thought // Calligrapher: Dashwood Shop

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

Top 2016 Wedding Trends

It’s that time of year again! Of course we mean that the holidays are here, but we also mean it’s engagement season. Anyone with a Facebook feed knows that the time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s day is full of posts from happy, newly engaged couples. For those of us who are lucky enough to be able to share in this joy as part of our work, we think of engagement season as the time to look forward to the coming year, when weddings will abound during the warmer months.

What does all this mean for you? It means we’ve used our insider knowledge to forecast the top wedding trends for 2016. Remember when we predicted that bright botanicals would be all the rage and then you started seeing them everywhere? Trust us, babies, we don’t take these predictions lightly! Think of this as Fashion Week for the bridal set: what you see here now will be what you see in real weddings sooner than you think. If you’re feeling especially daring, maybe you will even go for some of these options for your own wedding!

With so many exciting new choices popping up in our world, we can’t limit ourselves to just one post. The second installment of our trendspotting series will be making its way to you in December. Meanwhile, enjoy these first four winners and, as always, happy planning!

Top 2016 wedding cake | Drip icing

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These cakes are literally dripping in ooey-gooey goodness. Icing dripping down the edge of a simple cake makes a statement that this dessert is meant to be enjoyed in all its sweet and sticky glory. We love our ornate cakes too, but this simple look is so fun and inviting, and we anticipate seeing a lot more of it in 2016. For an extra trendy style, layer this over 2015’s top cake–naked or seminaked–to change up the look. Guests will be watering at the mouth to try this one!

Top 2016 bridal accessory | Crown

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We know it’s bold, but hear us out. Crowns have been all over the 2016 bridal fashion runways. Flower crowns were all the rage in 2014 and 2015, and of course we expect that they will stay popular in the coming year. A real crown, though, makes such a statement. It’s regal, it’s commanding, it might even be a little intimidating. There are so many ways to wear this look, whether it’s shimmering with crystals, under a veil, or completely over-the-top. Crowns can be goth, Deco, feminine and everything in between. If you’re not so sure about pulling this off on your wedding day, try the look for your engagement shoot instead.

Top 2016 catering fare | Fresh, earthy eats

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If there’s one thing we are so glad to see coming into style, it’s fresh, sustainable food. The benefits are endless! Many of these dishes are already vegetarian and can be easily adapted to specialized diets such as vegan or allergy-friendly. The quality of farm-to-table food can’t be beat and the environmental impact is well worth the investment. As more caterers begin to focus on local fare for events, some are even opening their own gardens to give you the freshest and most colorful seasonal eats available–we love seeing floral garnishes direct from the urban farm. Plus, why not give your guests a little healthy food to balance out all that indulging at the sweets table and the bar?

Top 2016 tabletop look | Black matte stoneware

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You thought it would be gold flatware? Think again. Black, matte plates are going to be all the rage in 2016. Obviously these can be part of a moody tablescape or one for the colder months, but with a little creativity (hey, that’s why you hired us to plan your wedding!) they can also be incorporated into a chic design to fit any style. Mixing them with our mismatched china is a unique stylistic choice that can pack a punch, especially when we help you pair the plates with fabulous glassware, flatware, florals and paper goods to complete your look!

That wraps it up for our first installment of the top 2016 wedding trends. Check back in December for more winners and, of course, don’t forget to contact us about your date!

Real Wedding: Allison + Neil

We connected with Allison and Neil when Allison visited our pop-up shop during September’s Design Harvest street festival. She had the best style and we could tell right away that her wedding was going to be just gorgeous. That was, of course, confirmed on January 3 when we coordinated and provided rentals for her and Neil’s wedding at Prairie Production Studios.

This couple couldn’t be more darling. Their deep love for each other and their spirituality shone through beautifully in the ceremony, during which they broke bread with loved ones and shared a laying on of hands with guests. Their artistic sides were evident as well, with Allison’s handmade touches throughout and inspired floral design by Samantha Margerum. Big Star, never failing to impress, catered the affair with a handmade tortilla station and to-die-for tacos. Desserts came from Lovely: A Bake Shop, and we just couldn’t get over the gold-accented miniature donuts. This was truly an indie, local affair, with nearly all vendors coming from the West Loop, West Town, and Logan Square neighborhoods.

The couple’s closest friends rocked it out with live music and a song written just for them. Zoe Prinds of Flash Photography and assistant Crystal Liepa captured every sweet moment on film, which you can take a peek at below.

 Congratulations, Allison + Neil!

Venue: Prairie Production // Coordination + vintage rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings // Photography: Zoe Prinds-Flash Photography + Crystal Liepa Photography // Florist: Samantha Margerum // Caterer: Big Star // Standard rentals: Tablescapes // Sweets: Lovely: A Bake Shop

Real Wedding: Carolyn + George

Carolyn and George have Chicago in their blood, so it only makes sense that they would want the city to play a role in their wedding. From the industrial, rooftop skyline backdrop of their photos to the Bears-themed groomsmen, no detail was left out. Each table was named after a location of particular importance to the couple and even the beer selection was a who’s-who of top local flavors.

In true Chicago fashion, these two weren’t afraid to break a sweat! Carolyn, owner of The Bread and Butterfly, arranged all of the flowers herself. This is something we normally ask brides not to do (the last thing a girl needs on her wedding day is to stress out), but this talented florist was certainly an exception to the rule. She blew everyone away with her colorful, textured designs.

Also keeping with what it really means to live in Chicago, the weather was less than cooperative. Even so, the entire wedding party braved a cold and windy October afternoon to pose and play on the Ignite Art Glass Studios rooftop. Seriously, how cute is the couple and their wedding party?

Fun was an integral part of the big day. The bride walked down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song and yes, it was as amazing as you think. Post-ceremony, guests were treated to a live glass-blowing demonstration in the venue’s working art glass studio. DJ Kate of Toast & Jam cranked out the tunes all night, leading to some seriously impressive sing-alongs.  Even the cake-cutting was quirky and personal, with an adorable superhero cake from Luscious Layers.

We are so in love with Carolyn and George and were honored to help coordinate their wedding. These two are amazing, kind individuals who are clearly so in love that the good vibes are infectious. Thanks, you two, for trusting us  with your big day. It was a blast and your photos are just perfect!

Chicago couple

DJ: Toast & Jam

Venue: Ignite Art Glass Studio

Photographer: Chrystl Roberge Photography

Florals and design: The Bread and Butterfly

Coordination and vintage rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings

Cake: Luscious Layers Bakery

Wedding Trends at Indie Wed

Indie Wed 2015 was a rip-roaring success! We had a wonderful time meeting hundreds of couples and visiting with some of our favorite Chicago wedding vendors. Our display was a hit, especially the wedding trends voting station. Over 100 of your cast your votes for your favorite wedding trends, including top cake flavors, honeymoon destinations and more. The results are in and we’re excited to share them with you (drumroll, please)…

Top honeymoon destination: European getaway. Tropical escape was a close second, trailing by only 3 votes.

Yummiest cake flavor: Red velvet with cream cheese frosting lost a tight race to chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting. We’re glad you picked because we had trouble making up our minds on this one–both are so delicious!

Drink of choice: Good old wine won this round, beating out local beer and the Old Fashioned for the top spot.

Most exciting engagement moment: The proposal won by a landslide! About a third of you said that telling people was your favorite part, and several others were most excited about the night before the wedding.

2015 wedding trends

Thanks to everyone who came out and participated. We’re looking forward to bringing back our voting station at the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance’s wedding show, Committed, on February 22. Interested? Get tickets here.

Thank You!

How exciting, we have won the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award for 2015! This award is given to the top 5% of wedding professionals around the nation. Thank you to all of our past clients who have left us rave reviews; your patronage and your kind words already mean so much to us. We are incredibly grateful and honored to receive this award to look forward to exceeding expectations in the coming year!

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Real Weddings: Jill + Johnny

Jill and Johnny are a couple after our hearts. Jill discovered our vintage rentals at the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance annual eco-wedding fair, Committed, way back in February and since then we’ve had a blast coming up with creative vintage rental plans for this past weekend’s wedding at the lofty Chicago Urban Art Society.

According to composting guru Mary Beth Schaye of Collective Resource, these two threw the most sustainable wedding she has ever seen. Composting? Check. Reusable, rented decor? You bet. Recycling? Yep. Vegan fare? Of course! The list could keep going on but we think you get the picture. It was an incredibly stylish, fun, sustainable affair!

Here is just a small peek at some of the day’s vintage design elements. The couple chose a Chicago theme with colors of the Chicago flag throughout. Florist Forget Me Knodt incorporated these colors into her floral choice for an incredibly sophisticated, bright palette. We designed a custom sweet table and appetizer table, and we provided cafe lights, lanterns, champagne glasses, chairs, a lounge area and more for rent. It was certainly an affair to remember–congratulations, Jill and Johnny!