Courtney + Erik: Part 2

In my last post, I shared the start of Courtney and Erik’s day, including their beautiful ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral. Now I’m excited to share the wedding party as they take photos around the city and their reception at the Chicago Cultural Center!

All photos by Danielle Aquiline.

The wedding party got some great shots on the steps of the MCA – always a great stop for pictures in the city!

They even popped inside the museum for a few pictures. I love this one of Courtney and Erik!

And, of course, you have to take pictures on one of Chicago’s fabulous bridges!

While the wedding party was out and about, I was at the Chicago Cultural Center making sure every detail was perfect.

Botanicals did a fantastic job with the flowers – this large display on the escort card table made an amazing first impression as guests arrived!

Courtney and Erik made sure their guests had plenty of sweets to choose from! Bittersweet created this large cupcake for the couple to use as their cutting cake.

They also made a life sized hockey stick and puck for the groom’s cake – so much fun!

And, to top everything off, Molly’s Cupcakes provided plenty of delicious cupcakes for guests to sample!

After all of the guests had been seated for dinner, it was time for introductions!

Courtney and Erik opted to do an East Coast style reception, which meant guests were encouraged to dance in between courses. They also enjoyed their first dance and dances with their parents in between courses.

Finally, it was time for the couple to cut their cake! Who wouldn’t want to cut right into a huge cupcake?

The Jeff Stitely Orchestra did an amazing job keeping the guests dancing throughout the night.

Courtney and Erik made sure they were on the dance floor as much as possible, which is also a great way to ensure your guests keep dancing. Guests want to be wherever the bride and groom are!

Courtney and Erik, your day was so much fun – thank you for letting me be a part of it!

Soniya + Erick, Part 6: The Details

Part of Soniya’s wedding day jewelry.

The beautiful henna designs from the Mehndi ceremony.

Close up shot of the bride’s two different gowns. The beadwork is so intricate.

Orchids rained down around a chandelier inside the mandap.

This statue of Ganesh was the focal point for the escort card table.
Seating assignments were nestled in small golden elephants.

The bride made the menus adorned with a peacock feather – so pretty and unique.

The delicately decorated cake was topped with crystals.
The sweetheart table in the background had an intimate feel in the large ballroom.

Favors were paper mache boxes hand made in India.
Guests loved choosing their favorite among the different designs and shapes.

Soniya + Erick, Part 5

Sharing their first dance: “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” by Dean Martin.

A custom-made gobo shines on the dance floor.

Cutting the cake which had chocolate and banana flavors.

I love the movement in this photo.

Erick took a moment to thank all their guests and gave the sweetest toast to his new bride.

The photographer had guests walk down a “runway”…

And as you can see, they loved it!

Did you notice the sleeping baby amid all the joyful dancing?!

My next post will be a final look at some of the fabulous details.

Soniya + Erick, Part 4

Both the bride and groom changed into different outfits for the reception.

Would you guess that this is the Magnificent Mile? Posing in front of the Tribune Building.

Finding a private moment before they rejoin their guests.

The tables varied in shape and were draped in merlot, silver and fire orange.

One of the centerpieces featured an ornately carved gilded box topped with deep plum carnations.

Photos honoring the couple’s relatives. I love juxtaposition of the formals with Soniya and Erick’s playful snapshots.

The next post will feature some highlights from the reception.

Soniya + Erick, Part 3

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her brother. Her father escorted Erick into the ceremony.

The bride and groom’s parents place a sacred thread around Soniya and Erick to bond them together.

Together, Soniya and Erick take seven steps symbolizing their vows to one another.

The couple receives blessings from a family member.

The mandap (ceremonial area) was draped in eggplant and fire orange linens and strands of orchids. A chandelier added dramatic lighting.

The bride and groom wore garlands made of red and white carnations and marigold blossoms.

Finally married! Guests threw orange rose petals as Soniya and Erick exited.

The bridesmaids wore matching orange and red sarees while the groomsmen wore kurtas with orange scarves.

Tomorrow: wardrobe change!!!

Soniya + Erick, Part 2

For the bharat, the groom arrived on a white horse. The group started on Grand Ave and turned onto Rush Street.

The horse was pretty used to bharats and even had her own outfit!

Erick’s friends and family sang and danced on the way to the venue.

Erick and his mom having a spin. Erick’s sister is applauding just behind him!

The groom’s family was then welcomed by the bride’s family during the milni ceremony.

In the soft candlelight, the room looked magical.
The wide gold and silver aisle was flanked by columns draped in eggplant linens.

My next post will feature their ceremony.

Soniya + Erick, Part 1

I met Soniya and Erick about 7 months before their wedding. They were planning a traditional Indian wedding here in Chicago and another wedding in Madison, Wisconsin. Planning two weddings is a fairly bold endeavor, coming from a wedding planner!

Their Chicago wedding took place at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, where I had my own reception two years earlier. The hotel has done some major redecorating since then but despite looking different, it was really cool to be back in the same space.

This was my first Indian wedding and I was fascinated with so many of the elements, especially all the bold colors. So this is going to be an unusually long series of posts – I hope you enjoy it!

Venue: Chicago Marriott Downtown on the Magnificent Mile – Kristina Capozzoli
Hair: Perfect Hair Anywhere – Jillian Strong
Makeup: Andie Cumber
Floral and Event Design: Botanicals
Linens: BBJ Linens
Ceremony Musicians: Malhar Orchestra
DJ and Dhol Player: DJ Raja
Photographer: Angela Swan
Videographer: Rusty Dog Films
Bharat Horse: A Zoo to You

All photos by Angela Swan.

The Sangeet ceremony took place the night before the wedding. The groom’s cake was a replica of the groom’s favorite books.

Traditional Indian sweets (called ladoos) were given to guests at the Sangeet.

Dramatic sky with a view overlooking the lake on the morning of the wedding. Luckily, the weather held out all day.

Soniya putting on some of her wedding jewelry.

A closeup of Soniya’s wedding outfit (called a lehnga), bracelets, and her bridal mendhi (henna designs).

The bride’s shoes – in gold, of course.

Finishing touches before the ceremony.

Tomorrow: something I had never seen on Rush Street before!

Real Wedding: Cindy + Matt: The Ceremony + Reception

Yesterday, I posted about Cindy and Matt’s wedding day. Today’s post is about the ceremony and reception at Gallery 1028.

All photos by Jai Girard.

The ceremony immediately preceded the reception at Gallery 1028. Having the ceremony and reception in the same space is convenient for guests. It is also amazing at what can be done to transform the space. Look a few photos down at the reception…
Mazel Tov!

The escort card table was designed by Botanicals while the cards were from White Aisle. The bride’s design included autumn influences without being too theme-y or over powering.

The escort cards were purchased from White Aisle. The calligraphy was done by Marilyn from Honey Bee Weddings.

The warm yet modern space, Gallery 1028.

Apple cone with creme fraiche and caviar hors d’oeuvres. Visually stunning and delicious!

I love that Jai was able to capture the couple in a moment, that isn’t contrived.

The couple’s first dance was “Just like Heaven” covered by Katie Melua.

The photographer caught this amazing moment where the bride is looking over at the groom, at the beginning of the Hora. I love this photo. The look on the brides face says it all.

It was a fabulous night!

Real Wedding: Cindy + Matt

Marilyn and I met Cindy on a cold evening at Cafe de Lucca in Bucktown. Cindy talked about her upcoming October wedding: no fuss, just great food and a wonderful time. She opted for a non-traditional venue, Gallery 1028. Located in Goose Island, very near Wicker Park. The venue is a gorgeous raw, loft space.

All photos by Jai Girard.

Caterer: Calihan Catering
DJ Small Change
Studio 110
Westin River North
Make-up: Nicole Jacob
Officiant: Rabbi Stanley Halpern
Bus Bank
Ceremony + Reception Venue:
Gallery 1028

Cindy and her maids got ready at the Westin with hair and make-up on site.

Cindy’s gorgeous gown was designed by local designer Palazzo.

The girls had a toast before heading to meet her groom.

The fabulous bow on the back of her gown. I adore it!

The bride and groom took photos in the city before the ceremony.

The couple headed downtown to take some photos along the riverfront.

Gallery 1028 is perfect for the couple that loathe the idea of a traditional banquet space. Owned by Calihan Catering, any event there is guaranteed to have excellent food.

The couple outside the back of the building.

I swear, October allows for some of the best lighting. Cindy looks stunning!

The Ketubah was designed by Kara Superfine from Botanicals.

Both the programs and the escort cards came from White Aisle.

Gallery 1028 set up for the ceremony.

Check back tomorrow part II of the photos.

Bridal Event: Crosell and Co

and CS Brides invite you to spend an evening with 


Thursday, September 18th

6 – 8PM 

Crosell & Co.

1922 N Damen Avenue 

To RSVP, call 773.252.9010

Meet esteemed bridal guru Samantha Goldberg from Style Network’s “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” and Chicago’s own Casey Cooper, owner of Botanicals and celebrated author, at Crosell & Co.

Have your questions answered while Samantha dishes on her favorite bridal trends and how to best plan your real wedding. Casey will be glad to personalize a copy of her book, “What’s Your Bridal Style” and present examples and ideas. View the latest in dinnerware, glassware, serving pieces, and home decor showcased at Crosell & Co. while enjoying delicious savories and refreshments. Plus, enter a drawing for several prizes including a floral arrangement in a Juliska vase!