Friday, June 23, 2017

Kimmi and Dmitriy's whimsical woodland wedding at The Armour House at Lake Forest Academy was full of magical details. All photos by Markit Photography.  
Kimmi, on how she and Dmitriy met...
"We attended Glenbrook North High School and shared some friends but didn't hang out much. I actually taught Dmitriy’s sister at an ice skating and dance camp. We both went on to the University of Illinois, Champaign and occasionally ran into one another. After college, I flew off to Germany and Dmitriy settled down in Chicago..."
"...Two years later, when I moved back to Chicago, our friendship was rekindled by a shared love of electronic music. We started spending time together on the weekends, joined a volleyball league, began dating in April 2012, and have been inseparable since."
Kimmi and Dmitriy, on choosing to get married in Chicago...
"Our families live in the Chicago area and we love our city, so wanted to have our wedding in a place where all of our loved ones could easily celebrate with us. Kimmi’s parents previously attended a holiday party at the Armour House and thought it would be a great venue for their future children to be married."
Kimmi and Dmitriy, on their wedding day...
"The day was absolutely perfect! It was a nice 75 degrees out in July and sunny. Archer our pup was running around to help us all get ready. The ceremony, under a birch tree chuppah, blended both of our families’ backgrounds of Judaism and Catholicism to honor and respect both to coexist in a loving union."

 Kimmi, on her reception decor...
"The wedding theme came from my love of animals and Dmitriy’s love of camping. The invitations featured a woodland setting, the centerpieces and table numbers included deers, squirrels and other forest animals. The chuppah was made of birch and had animals hidden throughout the flowers. The flowers were meant to be wild and of many different colors, including succulents, yellows, pinks, whites, blues to create  naturally beautiful look. The bridesmaids all wore gold  and the ring pillow was a birds nest."
"Dmitiry’s mom made a wonderful and funny storytelling video of the couple dancing and meeting and it was a perfect introduction to the couple’s first dance. To get the couple to kiss, the crowd could either cheer “Gorka” per the groom’s Russian culture, clink glasses per American tradition, or give the hula-hoop a twirl!"


Kristi Helm of Markit Photography (photography), The Amour House at Lake Forest Academy (ceremony/reception/catering), Rabbi Ari Moffic & Fr. Bob Heinz (officiants), Ashland Addison Florist (floral/decor), House of Brides (bride's gown), Livia Caporale (bride's hair), Laura Black Makeup (bride's makeup), Macy's (bride's headpiece), Marchesa (bride's earrings), Adrianna Papell, Jenny Yoo Collection, and BHLDN (bridesmaids' dresses), Men's Wearhouse (formalwear), Momental Designs (stationery), Dmitry Feldman of KGBeats (entertainment), Deerfield's Bakery (cake)

Can't get enough of our Real Weddings? Get inspired by Sammy+Jenny's Bottom Lounge bash and Ellen+Bryan's dreamy summer celebration.

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, Greg Jenkins - left, along with Founder, George Jewell - right,
pose with members of the Wedding Team. Photo: Olujr Photography. 

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!"


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.


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 and explore what Chicagoland's best wedding vendors have to offer.