Thursday, June 22, 2017

 Jewell Events Catering stopped by to discuss their amazing 50-year milestone and share what they've learned from working in Chicago's catering industry for over half a century. All photos by SYPhotography.
A glowing couple enjoys Jewell's signature small bites and delicious drinks.

What makes your catering service unique?

At Jewell Events Catering, we have a team specifically dedicated to weddings. There’s nothing like a Jewell wedding and this specialized team goes above and beyond to make each couple's day perfect. We believe in teamwork, both internally and externally, and partnering with our talented vendor friends makes us a part of that bigger team that makes an event magical.


What does Jewell like best about catering for weddings?There is something so special about playing a role in one of the best days of a couple’s life. It’s an exciting time and being able to share our enthusiasm in their event is very fulfilling. Seeing couples and the love they share celebrated by their closest friends and family members is one of life’s greatest gifts.



Why do you love working in the culinary world?
There are so many ways to personalize a wedding and food is absolutely one of those ways! From exploring different cuisines to recreating old favorites in a new and exciting way, we’re in love with the challenge of helping create a menu to reflect the personality of our clients. Food should be both beautiful and delicious and “typical wedding food” is something with which we are not familiar. 

How has Jewell kept up with catering trends but still remained loyal to their roots?

Trends are cyclical and what was once old and outdated can always be reinvented. Traditional dishes and preparations become trendy with a different culinary approach and deconstructed dishes and presentations are making old favorites new again. Our chefs are fundamentally trained, but encouraged to embrace their creativity. Our talented team is constantly coming up with new ideas that pay attention to trends without sacrificing culinary basics.


What are some of the most memorable weddings that Jewell has catered for?
We were hosting a tasting for a client and through conversations discovered that we had catered not only their parents’ wedding, but also their grandparents’ wedding! It was so much fun to provide a Jewell Wedding for three generations of this wonderful family.

Another memorable happened a few years back.
On one of the busiest wedding days of the year, we discovered at 3PM that the venue for one of our clients had been double booked with a different reception starting at 6PM. Another catering company with an earlier report time had already arrived at the venue and was setting up for the other event. Our executive team immediately jumped in and started making calls to find a new location, additional equipment, and vendors. Multiple teams came together with a camaraderie like we had never seen. By the time guests arrived from the ceremony two and a half hours later, our teams had re-created the wedding at a venue down the street and our team was re-directing guests to the new location. Despite what could have been a disastrous situation, a flawless evening of celebration came to life thanks to everyone’s hard work and dedication.



Does Jewell do any post-wedding work with couples? 
Absolutely! We create anniversary cakes for many of our clients and we’ve also hosted anniversary dinners with the dishes that were served on their wedding day. We do have a lot of referrals from former clients and it’s so fun to see these happy couples celebrating at another Jewell Wedding. We also have the opportunity to help our clients celebrate personal milestones such as baby showers, birthday parties, and so on.

What tips does Jewell have for couples who are just starting to plan their Chicago wedding? 
Wedding planning can be an overwhelming experience and one of the most surprising elements is the cost. We always recommend doing your research prior to booking vendors so that you have an idea of costs associated. We also recommend giving yourselves plenty of time throughout the planning to make sure that you’re enjoying the process. For example, booking your vendors early can greatly help to alleviate stress! This is one of the most exciting times in your life and you want to enjoy it!


Jewell Events Catering Owner, George Jewell, poses with members of the Wedding Team. Photo: Olujr Photography. 
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Beginning with Mr. Jewell’s first “catered” party in Chicago, a tray of hors d’oeuvres that he prepared and delivered himself to a socialite’s home, Jewell Events Catering has grown into one of Chicago’s premiere catering companies. Fifty years later, we still understand that entertaining at home is one of life’s true pleasures. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mayfield Flowers brought warmth to Julie and Michael's chilly March wedding day with beautiful greenery, fragrant white blooms, and wood accents. All photos by Shutterwinks Photography.
Julie and Mike, on meeting each other and falling in love...
"We met our freshman year of college at Northern Illinois University.  We actually lived on the same dorm room floor and became friends pretty quickly. Our relationship developed over time and as we got to knew each other, we realized that we had so many things in common and didn’t want to share any of life’s adventure without each other."
 
Julie and Mike, on why they chose to get married in Chicago... 
"We grew up in the suburbs of Chicago just 20 minutes away from each other and couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Most of our family and friends live in the area and it just made the most sense to get married in the place where we feel the most at home."
Julie and Mike, on their favorite moment from their wedding...
"We had so many amazing memories, but our first look was by far our favorite. We honestly didn’t expect to get emotional, but seeing each other for the first time was pretty special. It was such a sweet and private moment, just between the two of us in all the excitement that surrounds a wedding."
Julie and Mike, on their wedding day...
"Our ceremony was incredibly unique and we wanted it to feel like it was a blend of the two of us. We wanted to have our marriage officiated by someone that is close to us and important in our lives. We asked Michael’s father to officiate our wedding and we are so glad he accepted. It made our ceremony really personal."
"Our ceremony had aspects of our religious and cultural background. Julie is Cambodian and wanted to include an element from a traditional Cambodian ceremony, which included a string tying blessing from both our parents. We also included aspects of Michael’s Jewish background, which included a ceremony under a Chuppah and the breaking of the glass."
"We wanted our wedding day to be a true reflection of who we are from the ceremony, to the food, to our décor. We got married in March in Chicago, which is still pretty cold out, so our vision was to bring in elements of nature in our décor."
"There were lots of wood accents, white flowers, and lush greenery. We lit up the rooms with candles to make the space feel warm and cozy. Our vision could not have come true without our florists, Mayfield Flowers. To this day, we’re still so thankful that they helped turn our vision into reality!"

VENDORS:

Shutterwinks Photography (photography), Events at Independence Grove (ceremony/reception/catering), Tom Colwell (officiant), Mayfield Flowers (floral), Oak Mill Bakery (wedding cake), David's Bridal (bride's gown), Lake Zurich House of Hair (bride's hair/makeup), Bill Levkoff (bridesmaids' dresses), The Black Tux (formalwear), Cards & Pockets (stationery), Show on the Road (entertainment)

Can't get enough of Mayfield Flowers? Check out the beautiful, summery arrangements they made for Ellen+Bryan

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Gilded Aisle's elegant, Parisian-tinged styled shoot at The Landing 1841 featured romantic floral arrangements, meticulously painted table numbers, and breathtaking details. All photos by Lisa Kathan Photography.
Once part of the Underground Railroad, The Landing 1841 draws its name from the year it was built and its location alongside the banks of the White River. This rustic barn recently-turned-wedding-venue, also served as a studio to renowned artist Matt Lamb who used it as one of eight ateliers he had scattered throughout the world. Drawing on the venue’s legacy and the year 1841 – the same year famous French impressionist painter Renoir was born – this inspired shoot evoked a bit of the “Parisian artist” influence.
Thoughtful touches are in abundance -- from an oil painting portrait of the Liancarlo wedding gown used in the photo shoot to the French heraldic wax seal and vintage French postage stamps gracing the hand-wrought invitations. Even the address on the invitation envelope, beautifully nibbed by bien fait calligraphy, gives nod to the Paris arrondissement that was once home to some of the world’s most famous painters.
 Lisa Kathan Photography eloquently captured the drama and artistic romance of the day: from the exquisite wedding gown, to bridal portraits that echoed an artist’s muse posing for a painting.  Table names -- the artist's signature -- corresponded with miniature masterpieces and paintbrushes imprinted with the guests' names and seating assignments. 
 Alison Buck Floral Design’s centerpiece combined fruits and florals reminiscent of a still-life, and her gorgeous cascading bridal bouquet was properly accented with antique French velvet ribbon. Dreamy candlelight, luxury tablesettings from Tablescapes and an exquisite, edible organic and locally sourced gold-flecked wedding cake, designed by Cacao Sweets & Treats, perfected the details for this artist-inspired shoot.

 VENDORS:

The Gilded Aisle (planner), The Landing 1841 (venue), Lisa Kathan Photography (photos), Alison Buck Floral Design (floral), bien fait calligraphy (stationery/calligraphy), The Festive Frog (rentals), Tablescapes (Tabletop rentals), Windy City Linen (linens), Cacoa Sweets & Treats (cake), Bella Graphia (placecards), Bianca Sansosti Artistry (hair/makeup), Liancarlo via Ultimate Bride (gown), Stuart Weitzman (shoes), The Mrs. Box (ring box), Saint Signora (heirlooms), Jocelyn Levin via Lily's Talent (model)

Want more wedding inspiration? Check out this dreamy styled shoot at Acquaviva Winery or head over chicagostyleweddings.com and explore what Chicagoland's best wedding vendors have to offer.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

All photos by Riverbend Studio.
Amanda, on how she and Steve met...
"My best friend from high school is married to one of Steve’s best friends from college, and we were both in their wedding here in Chicago. Even though we’d met before, I thought Steve looked especially handsome in his tux that evening, and we danced the night away! I was living in Columbus, Ohio, at the time, and came back to Chicago a few months later for a visit..."
"...Steve was part of the weekend’s fun festivities, and over breakfast with a friend on Sunday, shortly before leaving to drive back to Ohio, I got a Facebook message from Steve wishing my dog and I a safe trip home. I read the message aloud to my friend, and she said, jokingly, “he is so sweet! You should marry him”. The rest is history!"
Amanda and Steve, on why they chose to get married in Chicago...
"We met and dated in Chicago! Even though we’re both from Ohio, we didn’t know each other there. It felt right to seal the deal in the city where it all started. "
Amanda, on putting together her wedding day...
"We wanted our wedding to have an elegant, dinner party in the garden feel.  Keeping with this vibe, we only invited 120 people, chose the Chicago Illuminating Company for its intimate size and indoor/outdoor (beautiful courtyard!) option, and elected not to have a formal bridal party. Steve has two brothers and I have two sisters so we had them by our side on the big day."
Amanda, on her favorite memory from her wedding day...
"My favorite memory is walking into the reception before all of the guests got there and seeing my vision come to life! All our personal touches, like the matches printed with a silhouette of our dog, Maizey, the customized menus, and Steve’s grandfather’s China displayed at the head able really stood out. It literally took my breath away. It’s pretty cool to be able to say the prettiest wedding you’ve ever been to is your own.  Also, walking into the reception with Steve, being announced as husband & wife for the first time, was amazing."
Amanda and Steve, on choosing the Chicago Illuminating Company...
"The indoor/outdoor option really gave guests the opportunity to choose how they wanted to enjoy the evening – inside on the dance floor, or outside at one of the cozy lounge pods, catching up with loved ones." 
VENDORS:
 Riverbend Studio (photography), Assumption Catholic Church (ceremony), Chicago Illuminating Company (reception), Father Joseph Chambain (officiant), Big City Bride (wedding consultant), Atelier Pronovias via Mira Couture (bride's gown), Jimmy Choo (bride's shoes), Luxe Hair Lounge (bride's hair), Juli Valdez (bride's makeup), Dessy (bridesmaid's dress), Rent the Runway (bridesmaid's dress), Zeglio CustomClothiers (formalwear), Lola Bean (stationery), MM Ink Calligraphy (calligraphy), K.LA Designs (floral), Blue Plate Catering (catering), Shout Out (entertainment), Oak Mill Bakery (wedding cake)