Marina and Ken were married in an interfaith Jewish and Catholic ceremony on Labor Day weekend at NOAH’S Event Venue in Naperville. While Marina got her hair and makeup done in the bridal suite early that afternoon, Ken and his groomsmen played billiards and watched sports in the groom’s room, before getting dressed (even donning adorable gray and pink argyle socks!). Michael Carr, assisted by Josh Ohms, snapped some photos of Marina’s gorgeous gown, her jewelry, and pretty pink heels while Amor In Motion captured a few goofy moments between the groom and his guys. SaniMar Decor brought NOAH’S to life with gorgeous blush and ivory florals and a stunning draped chuppah. After their intimate ceremony, Marina and Ken had a special ribbon exit surrounded by their family and friends before taking some family photos while their guests enjoyed yummy appetizers and cocktails from Chef By Request Catering. The bridal party then sipped some champagne and hopped on the Emperor Limousine party bus on their way to Cantigny to take some BREATHTAKING photos around the park. Once the bridal party returned, they made their grand entrance into the ballroom, with Music By Design getting the party started as Marina and Ken walked in to Avicci’s “Fade Into Darkness”. After cutting their three-tier, vanilla and chocolate cake filled with strawberries (their anniversary tier was carrot cake!), Marina and Ken listened to hysterical speeches from the matron of honor and best man before enjoying dinner. Their menu included a garden salad, filet of beef and petite chicken piccata, fingerling potatoes, steamed asparagus with roasted red peppers, as well as a sweets table that featured cream puffs, eclairs, napoleons, tiramisu squares, chocolate covered strawberries, mini trifles and tarts, fresh fruit, and cake pops- Marina and Ken did not want their guests to go hungry! And on top of all that, they served the ultimate late-night food: slices of Lou Malnati pizza!! Moments In Time Photo Booth was a huge hit, always full of guests donning hysterical props and signs! After the dance party, Marina and Ken headed back to the Courtyard Marriott Chicago Naperville to rest up before jet setting off to the Hawaiian islands for their honeymoon.
Mazel Tov and congratulations again, Mr. & Mrs. Kunesh!!
Kathleen and Joe’s August wedding was very special for me because Kathleen (better known as “Huds”) and I played on the Illinois Women’s Volleyball Club together at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Kathleen and Joe, high school sweethearts, celebrated their wedding at their families’ church, St. James Parish, with their reception at the Metropolis Ballroom, both in Arlington Heights. That morning, Kathleen, her mom, and bridesmaids got ready at the Renaissance Schaumburg, with their makeup done by Angela Makeup Chicago and their hair done at Salon 117 & Essence Day Spa. Essence Photo and Video captured a few silly photos of the ladies before heading to St. James in an American Coach Limousine. Cindy Platt from Brackett & Company created stunning bouquets with white garden roses, hydrangeas, sand and Elise peach spray roses, and one of my favorites: succulents! Surrounded by family and friends, Kathleen and Joe were married by their family pastor, Father Tim, before departing the church for their Chicago Trolley with an exciting sparkler exit. Then the real fun began: Kathleen, Joe, and their bridal party partied over to the Circa ’57 Diner on the first floor of the Metropolis Ballroom building for some fun retro photos, complete with milk shakes, Marilyn, and chrome furniture! Signature Transportation shuttled guests to an adorable cocktail hour at Metropolis, where the groom himself brewed over 200 beers (and root beers for those under 21) for dual-duty escort cards and favors! Tony from Spinnin’ Discs kicked off a lively dinner and reception with “Come On Eileen”, before the bride and groom ran off to the bar across the street where Chicago Blackhawks President/CEO John McDonough of the Chicago Blackhawks had his day with Lord Stanley himself- Joe even got to wear his playoff ring! Hard to top that! After a delicious dinner of homemade Italian stuffed eggplant, strawberry spinach salad, lemon sorbet, tenderloin béarnaise or macadamia halibut mango chutney, potatoes, and vegetables, Mr. and Mrs. Colmone cut their pretty layered cake and danced the night away. Guests were even treated to late night sliders and french fries before calling it a night and continuing the after-party. Congratulations Huds & Joe!! Thank you for being amazing clients and even more amazing friends!
Emma and Curt kicked off their wedding weekend right: by treating their family and friends to the ultimate wedding rehearsal and dinner at none other than Wrigley Field! Since the majority of their guests were from out of town, the couple really wanted to give their guests a taste of their beloved city. Emma and Curt planned fun city activities including a pizza party, a picnic in Millenium Park and welcome cocktails at Goose Island Brewery in Wrigleyville! Emma and Curt officially tied the knot during their Jewish ceremony on a gorgeous Sunday at the Art Institute Modern Wing. That morning, Curt got ready at his parents’ home in Lakeview while Emma, her bridesmaids, and both moms relaxed at the University Club, sipping yummy mimosas while Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry took care of their hair and makeup. Matt from Averyhouse Photography and Zander Nunnelly (video) arrived just before Emma got into her gown to capture a few silly candids. After taking some photos around the University Club, the ladies walked across the street to the Art Institute Gardens, where Emma and Curt shared their First Look. Later that afternoon in the Art Institute Nichols Trustee Suite, Emma, Curt, and their families took part in signing the Ketubah before their ceremony. After their sweet ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails outside in the Pritzker Garden or strolled through the third floor galleries during Cocktail Hour. Guests then made their way upstairs to Terzo Piano for a delectable dinner including watermelon tomato salad, grilled hanger steak, and housemade gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, parmesan reggiano, and tomato basil sauce. Hello Darling created modern, ingenious florals and decor for the bouquets and reception, with arrangements wrapped in birch wood that included artichokes! Stitely Entertainment kept the dance floor jam-packed, starting the reception off with “Uptown Funk”, Curt’s son Micah’s favorite song! My favorite detail? Emma and Curt don’t like cake, so they decided to cut something they both loved: cheese! Their three-tier cake was composed entirely of different types of Brie! And the final Chicago-themed detail? Frango Mint favors!
Congratulations again Mr. & Mrs. Weiss!! We loved every single minute of your special day!
Ashley and Greg got married on a beautiful Saturday in May at Galleria Marchetti. Beginning their special day at the the Renaissance Chicago, the ladies got their hair and makeup done by Pin Me Up Chicago while the guys relaxed and the groom surprised his groomsmen and ushers with personalized bottles of liquor, matching purple ties and purple argyle socks! Ashley gifted her lovely bridesmaids with stunning grey pashminas and sparkly earrings. After sharing a sweet First Look at the Riverwalk off Wacker Drive, Ashley and Greg met their bridal party and walked along the waterfront with Gilbert Africa from Abiana Photography for some quick shots before cruising around the city with Second City Trolley, stopping at Lakeshore East Park, Maggie Daley Pergola, and the classic Kinzie Street Bridge. Ashley and Greg were then married by Ashley’s uncle in front of close family and friends in Galleria Marchetti’s outdoor courtyard, under the ceremony arch decorated with beautiful greenery and florals by The Green Branch . Cocktails were served in the Galleria Room, where guests found their escort cards on mini bottles of Limoncello favors. Once everyone was invited inside the beautiful Pavilion for dinner and dancing, Al Okyne of Okyne Medialab started the party off right by introducing the bridal party to “Feel So Close” and “Shut Up and Dance” before the couple shared their First Dance to the heartfelt tune “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor and John Legend. After the new Mr. and Mrs. cut their Chicago skyline cake from Bittersweet Bakery, guests were served a delicious dinner of tender medallions of beef, parmesan crusted tilapia, and eggplant parmesan. After funny and heartfelt speeches from the Father of the Bride, Best Man and Maid of Honor, Ashley danced with her father and Greg danced with his mother before opening the dance floor. A little later in the night, Ashley and Greg treated their guests to delicious late night food including beef sliders, margarita pizza, prosciutto and mozzarella paninis, sweet potato french fries, cookies, and mini milkshake shooters before all too long, the reception was over and guests headed back to the Renaissance to keep the party going!
Congratulations again, Ashley & Greg!! We were so incredibly honored to be a part of your wedding day!!
On a gorgeous Saturday in June, Christina and Mike became Mr. and Mrs. Procaccio during their sweet ceremony at Notre Dame Parish in Clarendon Hills, and celebrated at their fun-filled reception at the stunning Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus. Saturday morning, the lovely ladies had their hair and makeup done by Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry, and Town & Country Gardens delivered their dazzling bouquets. After taking a few separate portrait shots with Misha Media, Christina and Mike shared an emotional First Look outside the hotel in their beautiful gardens. A Touch of Class Limousine brought the bridal party to Notre Dame Parish, and after their traditional ceremony, the bride and groom sped away in the groom’s dad’s red Jaguar before Jimmy John’s delivered sandwiches for the bridal party for the ride back. Back at the Hyatt Lodge, MDM Entertainment provided draping behind the royal table, as well as pretty pink uplighting, a photobooth, and, of course, fabulous DJ services. Cocktail hour followed the ceremony in the Prairie Foyer, before guests were invited in to the Grand Prairie Ballroom for dinner and dancing. After a rowdy reception introduction to “Turn Down For What”, Mr. and Mrs. Procaccio cut their awesome blue ombrè cake together. The bride and groom then listened to heartfelt toasts from both sets of parents, the sister of the groom, and the groom’s best friend. The theme of this wedding reception was undoubtedly “no one goes home hungry”- Christina and Mike enjoyed a magnificent dinner of grilled filet mignon with caramelized cipollinis and Sauce Perigourdine, pan roasted Amish chicken breast with tomatoes, basil, Fontina cheese and pesto cream, filet of salmon with oven roasted tomatoes and capers, and, of course, family-style pasta! For dessert, guests were served cake and ice cream, AND offered a delectable sweets buffet including Italian pastries, biscottis, chocolate covered strawberries, and lemon ricotta cookies! But that wasn’t all- Christina and Mike also surprised their guests with late night McDonald’s in between packing the dance floor with a wide range of music from classic slow oldies to bass- thumping hip hop.
Congratulations again, Christina & Mike!! We had so much fun being a part of your special day!!
Claire and John tied the knot at Greenhouse Loft on her grandpa’s favorite holiday: July 4th! On the same weekend the Grateful Dead rocked the city of Chicago, Claire and John celebrated their wedding, and even got to see fireworks! The morning of the wedding, Claire and her bridesmaids got their hair and makeup done at her parent’s condo, courtesy of Magnificent Bride Chicago and Makeup By Jaycie. Claire and John shared their First Look at the LaSalle Street Bank where they first met with Christy and James Tyler, the dynamic husband and wife duo behind Christy Tyler Photography, before an Ideal Charter bus brought the rest of the bridal party to meet them. Claire, John, and their bridal party ventured around Chicago, where they stopped at the Board of Trade and Kinzie Street Bridge for some fun photos. At Greenhouse Loft, Fab Flora placed beautiful blooms all around the naturally lit space, while the Artistrings string quartet prepared for the indoor ceremony. Surrounded by family and friends, Claire and John were married by Judge Tom Hogan in a sweet and heartfelt ceremony before enjoying the gorgeous weather in the outdoor courtyard. Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers from Hearty Boys Catering and sipped on Claire and John’s signature drinks, the South Side and Whiskey Buck. In lieu of a traditional guest book, Claire and John asked guests to sign vintage records they would hang in their home. For dinner, Hearty Boys served a DELICIOUS buffet for dinner, complete with buttermilk lavender fried chicken, Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Jail Island Salmon, and Sliced Mustard and Chili Grilled Flank Steak, to start! Alli Klein from Toast & Jam got the party started with classic dance jams while the Fotio photobooth was a huge hit for guests, especially with the American flag backdrop! After dancing the night away, the new Mr. and Mrs. headed back downtown with their guests to the Hyatt Place Chicago River North.
Congratulations Claire and John! We had a BLAST working with you on your wedding day and wish you all the best!
Cayla and Sean tied the knot Memorial Day weekend at the illustrious and charming Cafe Brauer in Lincoln Park! On their big day, Sean and his groomsmen relaxed at their apartment while Cayla, her bridesmaids, and the moms got their hair and makeup done by Diem Angie Nguyen and her team at the Courtyard Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile. After the ladies rode in style over to Cafe Brauer with M&M Limousine, they ventured out into Lincoln Park to take some fun shots with Chris from studioCRAFT Design, who took AMAZING photos of the gorgeous day! Kloeckner Preferred Flowers brought Cayla’s stunning color palette to life, with blue, blush, and ivory blooms in the girls’ bouquets and centerpieces. When it finally came time for the ceremony, Cayla walked down the aisle with her father to beautiful music from TVK Orchestra. The wonderful Father Jef Johnson officiated their sweet ceremony, and after Cayla and Sean officially became Mr. and Mrs., Jewell Events Catering served delicious cocktails and appetizers for Cocktail Hour, complete with a fun photobooth from Magbooth out on the North Loggia. After a delicious dinner of grilled marinated whitefish or panko crusted chicken, Cayla surprised her hubby with a Detroit Lions groom’s cake, since the groom is originally from Detroit. DJ Risky Bizness kept everyone out on the dance floor all night with classic ’90s hip hop jams. Before sending their guests off, Cayla and Sean treated everyone to a Chicago classic: Garrett’s Popcorn! Congratulations Cayla and Sean!! We are beyond happy for you and can’t wait to see what married life has in store for you!
Ever since she was a little girl dreaming about her wedding day, Sara wanted to host her wedding in her parents’ backyard in St. Charles. After meeting the man of her dreams, Matt, at the University of Iowa, and getting engaged, they decided to turn her dreams into reality. Sara and Matt got married on an absolutely beautiful Saturday in June at Sara’s childhood church in St. Charles, Congregational United Church of Christ. In the morning, after Sara and her bridesmaids became picture-perfect with a little help from All About You Hair and Makeup , Catie Scott Photography took some fun pictures of Sara and her ladies in their cute monogrammed button-up shirts before Sara shared a beautiful and emotional First Look with her dad! After their sweet ceremony, Sara and Matt got to take her dad’s Cadillac for a spin around the block before taking family photos in the church. A Touch of Class Limousine then whisked away the bridal party to the Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve, where Sara and Matt took their engagement photos. Affordable Party Tent Rentals provided four tents for dinner and cocktails, with linens provided by Grand Rental Station. Upper Crust Catering kept the drinks flowing for Cocktail Hour as the sun set, and then served a DELICIOUS family style dinner before the bride and groom’s friends and family shared some heartfelt and hilarious toasts. Premier Entertainment started the party off right by officiating Sara and Matt’s Shoe Game, before the couple cut their adorable almond (yum!) flavored cake from Smallcakes, who also provided mini cupcakes for their guests with flavors ranging from coconut to oreo to extreme chocolate! After dancing the night away, Sara and Matt spent their wedding night at the classic Hotel Baker. Congratulations again Sara and Matt! We were so honored to be part of your special day!
23 December 2014
Posted By: Sarah Deeke
Filed In: Sarah
Comments Off on Holiday Happiness: The BEST Hot Chocolate Recipe
We are taking a little break from wedding planning in Chicago this week to enjoy time with our family. We hope that you have a safe and lovely holiday with your family. We can’t wait for our Chicago weddings in 2015!
The holidays are all about sweets, and the most essential ingredient? Chocolate. I am a chocoholic. I love chocolate in each and every one of its forms: candies, truffles, brownies, cookies, pies, hot fudge, even syrup. But nothing is as enjoyable during the holiday season as a delicious cup of hot chocolate. I have searched the globe high and low for the best hot chocolate recipe, and this one has Swiss Miss beat, hands down. Your guests are guaranteed to leave your holiday party raving about your insane cooking skills and begging you for this recipe.
Hot Chocolate Crave
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
6 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
In a large, heavy bottom sauce pan combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir constantly until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add whipping cream, milk, and vanilla, whisking everything together until smooth and completely combined. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Party Tip: If you are making this for a get-together, keep the mixture in a large crockpot 3-4 hours before serving time, stirring hourly. Include whipped cream, marshmallows, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and other fun toppings for a cute hot chocolate bar!