Friday, February 28, 2014


Engagement pictures filled social media sites over the holiday season, and that means one thing – wedding season is just around the corner. For brides-to-be embarking or professional wedding planners, staying up to date on the latest trends is a must. To assist with the overwhelming process, Gibsons Restaurant Group Catering is giving an inside look into some of the most requested food crazes they’re seeing at weddings.

“From customizable dessert bars to creative cocktails named after the bride and groom, we’ve seen it all. The food and beverage portion of weddings allows for multiple opportunities to personalize their day and thank guests for celebrating with them,” says Lynette Velez McHugh, Director of Sales at Gibsons Restaurant Group. “Our tailored menu design packages allow planners to mix and match menu items from any of our restaurants, so nothing is off limits creativity wise. And everything is prepared on-site to guarantee the freshest food experience possible.”

Create the ultimate wedding menu with the following suggestions:
  • Indulge Guests: Why force guests to choose from one entrée option when they can have smaller bites of everything? Consider a tasting menu or a main dish that features two or three mini servings of different entrées on a single plate. Waiters can serve guests from a selection that has been wheeled out on a cart. The personalized service adds a gourmet touch with VIP flair to wow guests. 
  • Include Late Night Nibbles: Guests get hungry after a night filled with dancing! Surprise wedding attendees with sliders, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, cups of fries or other handheld snacks towards the end of the night. And don’t forget the sweets!
  • Personalize the Bar: Adding specialty cocktails that the bride and groom selects provides a touch of personalization to the reception. Feature their favorite cocktails or something that plays off of their names for a creative touch. 
  • Go Mini for Dessert: From Cronuts to the cupcake trend, it’s tough to keep up with the always changing world of desserts. A dessert bar with bite sized options allows guests to select which sweet treats they’d prefer to indulge in. In addition, by featuring a DIY ice cream sandwich or sundae bar, guests can interact and customize their choices. And for those who do not wish to forego the cake cutting ceremony opt for a small cake mainly reserved for the bride and groom. 
  • Cater to Everyone: With gluten-free and vegan diets becoming more popular make sure there are options available for everyone. No one likes a cocktail hour or dinner menu filled with food that looks amazing, but doesn’t adhere to their dietary restrictions. For passed appetizers, consider choosing one or two options that are herbivore friendly and always have a section for dietary restrictions on the RSVP.

Thanks so much to Randy Waidner, Corporate Chef for Gibsons Restaurant Group! Visit any of their locations, including Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, LUXBAR, Quartino and its namesake, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse for fabulous award-winning fare! To learn about their wedding options, click here or call  312-587-0508.
The Downtown Geneva Wedding Walk is the perfect time to see all Geneva has to offer to plan your unique wedding. 

You will have a chance to meet with venues and boutique shops, and visit some of the top wedding businesses in Chicagoland. Each bride that registers to attend the Geneva Wedding Walk will receive fabulous ideas, goodies and giveaways!

One lucky bride will win a 5 night all inclusive resort stay to Dreams Villamagna Resort Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico provided by Travel Leaders. To be eligible to win, your ticket must be signed by each vendor. Winners will be drawn after the event, and you do not need to be present to win. The winners will be announced the week after the event.

Here are the details:
Date: Join us Sunday, March 2nd, 2014
Time: 11:00 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Check in at the The Herrington Inn & Spa, 15 S. River Lane, Geneva, IL

Tickets may be purchased in advance online for $25 for the bride & 2 guests.
Click here to register!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Real ChicagoStyle Wedding was featured in our 2013/2014 issue! See it on pages 412-413, "A Celebration of Tradition".

Introduced through a mutual friend in college, Victoria Arvanitis and John Logothetis found friendship before romance. Soon though the friendship grew into a relationship and led to a proposal – and on September 15, 2012, a wedding turned into a marriage.

The couple’s traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago where both sets of parents had also been married. Throughout the day, tradition became the theme of their celebration. “It’s tradition to write the bridesmaids’ names on the bottom of the bride’s shoe,” said Victoria. “The first name to rub off the sole is the next to get married. Unfortunately for my friends, all of the names remained intact!” Ivory chiffon and pink roses draped the pews where the bride’s 3-year-old cousin (and flower girl) picked up her tossed petals to rethrow at the reception. As well, a custom, hand-painted, monogrammed runner lined the aisle where John saw Victoria for the first time. Although the ceremony was traditional, Victoria and John wanted the aesthetic of the reception to exude modern fun. Red and pink lighting and funky lounge furniture surrounded a monogrammed dance floor, which became a central focus of the evening. Victoria and John surprised guests during their first dance with a Rhumba to Michael Buble’s cover of the classic song, “Save the Last Dance.” Family members joined in traditional Greek dancing around the bride and groom, while throwing money in the air to toast to a rich future for the happy couple.

Frank and I first met back in high school and we couldn't have been more different from each other. He was very outgoing and knew everyone in town. I was quiet and had a few close friends. Naturally, I never thought a guy like him would be interested in someone like me, but I was wrong!

Over the course of the time we dated, we had our ups and downs. We went through a lot of things that would normally pull people apart, but through out it all not being together was never an option for us. He always supported me in whatever I did and really helped me get through tough times. I knew that the Air Force was something he wanted to do and even though I didn't want him to leave, I wanted to be supportive and encourage him to purse his goals. When he left it was really hard. After a while I got used to it, but I miss him like crazy everyday.

I went down to Texas on June 28, 2013 to go visit him and he was to meet me at my hotel once he was released from his duties. When I heard him knock on my door I felt weak in the knees. I rushed to the door! When he came inside the room he seemed a little nervous. He told me he had something for me and made me close my eyes and turn around. He told me he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. When I turned back around he was on one knee with a ring and asked me to marry him! It was amazing and I could imagine a better man to spend the rest if my life with than him!

Congratulations to Vanessa and Frank! We wish you all the best for your big day and a truly happy marriage! 

On #weddingwednesdays, we're featuring one bride's story in her own words! If you're interested in being a Bride of the Week, email with your love story and a picture! Don't forget to add the subject line "Bride of the Week"!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Idlewild Country Club believes you deserve the best on your special day...from the venue to the vendor...that's why they've brought it all together in one place for you to meet, greet and explore
all the endless possibilities that await you while you sip champagne and enjoy hors d'oeuvres!

March 2, 2014

-Pre-register for $10 and receive one complimentary admission at the door 
    (please bring your paper receipt with you)
-$15 at the door

Florists, bakeries, salons, event decor, DJ's, photo booths, photographers, videographers, raffles and more!
Participating vendors include:
The Music Pros, Thomas Photographic, Leesons Bakery, Walton Weddings, Sharon's Custom Cakes, Marc Alan Salon & Day Spa, Garrett Design Group, Expressions in Hair, Karen Scobbie Cake Design, Essence Photography, Wingate Hotel, John McLean Videography, Photos by Rick, Rolling Sounds, Flowers & Stones, Diamond Point Travel, Dejane Events, Distinctive Jewelers, The Center for Dental Excellence & Lisa Grant Orthodontics, Homewood Florist, Chiro One Wellness, Hofmann Florist

Waterford Crystal Champagne Toasting Goblets
Swarovski Pearl Bracelet
Gift Certificate for $40 Off a Wedding Ceremony
Panasonic Tabletop Blu-Ray Player
Bride's Day at the Salon: Bridal Style with Veil Attached, Makeup, Mani & Pedi
Gift Certificate for $100 Off your Honeymoon

Through the duration of our short interview, Sarah Mandel's passion for classic cars became more and more apparent. She even mentioned, "When my husband picked me up for our first date in a vintage Mercedes, I fell in love with the car first and then found a soul mate to share my love of vintage cars." Because of her love and passion for classic vehicles, Sarah knew opening her own vintage transportation company was the right thing to do. With over 25 years of experience, Classic Wedding Car offers couples unique options for transportation on their wedding day. 

To be honest, picking transportation can be a more complicated process than couples might think. Suddenly you're faced with questions like, "What kind of car?" or "How many people?" or "How long do I get it?" Classic Wedding Car prides itself on being a one stop shop. When you call, Sarah answers the phone, helps you determine which car will fit your needs, personalizes your package and says goodbye for now. After that, the real work begins - and you don't have to do any of it. Pretty nice, right? She keeps you in the loop the whole time, without asking you to figure out any of the logistics. 

One of the major questions we get about transportation is about the time minimums. There seems to be a standard three hour minimum wedding package in the industry. We asked Sarah why couples have to book three hours or more. She explained that a lot more goes into the transportation that people think, and it's not hard to hit that three hour period. She went on to explain how a wedding day package might look and what goes into the car prep. 

It's important to start the day with a private car. When the car picks up a bride or groom before taking her or him to the ceremony site, there is a moment of reflection. The privacy of the car allows you to just sit, relax and "take time to think of the day ahead," said Sarah.

During the ceremony, Sarah's team is hard at work decorating the car and setting up a champagne toast, so before guests head to the reception, they can watch the newlyweds "toast to the future in front of a beautiful car. It's a great picture opportunity," said Sara. And quite a sentimental moment! Talk about making an exit. 

At this point there's time to head around town and use the car to take all those fabulous, Pinterest-worthy photos you're dying to post. Picture it - you're standing in front of an iconic bit of Chicago with a fabulous black and red Rolls Royce behind you, capturing that rich Gatsby look you've always dreamed of. All you need is Leo as the groom and you're all set. 

While you're flying around town taking pictures like the model you are, Classic Wedding Car can also provide limos for the bridal party and parents or buses to transport guest from ceremony to reception to hotel. And after the party, rest assured that every vehicle is cleaned to sparkling perfection inside and out.

Sarah told us their most popular vehicle is definitely the white 1962 Rolls Royce limo. It's most often used in magazine ads, but is consistently taken for a spin during weddings. "Brides grew up with the 'white car' wedding ideal," explained Sarah. "It's just something that sticks with them." Followed closely in popularity is the white 1939 Packard Limo. 

While Classic Wedding Car offers a variety of makes, models and years, if they don't have what you're looking for, don't worry! They network with lots of providers to make sure they always have the car you want for the price you need. Remember that one stop shop deal? No need to travel far and wide to get the car you want. Sarah can help. 

One of the coolest things Sarah and I talked about were her drivers. These drivers aren't just people who needed a job - oh no. These drivers WANT to be there. They drive for your wedding simply for the enjoyment of rolling around in a Rolls. "I've been told many times that our drivers are fun, courteous and always relax their brides," mentions Sarah. It's obvious she's proud of the people she works with and their amazing skills and professionalism.

Check out some amazing pictures of Classic Wedding Car's vehicles:

If you're interested in working with Classic Wedding Car for your wedding, visit their website. For more information, email Sarah Mandel at or call 847.301.7656.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Laurie Fulton and Lisa Fulton, Owners of Events by L, are sisters and business partners. This planning duo presents a fabulous team effort on every occasion. We caught up with them a while ago to chat about their philosophies on wedding planning and a few tips for how newly engaged couples can start the planning process!

CSW: So, you two are sisters! How did you end up going into business together?
L&L: We have always loved throwing parties and have experience in everything from corporate events to helping plan weddings for our friends. We were encouraged by our friends and family to start a business to be able to provide guidance to those in need of professional event planning. We are truly lucky to be able to do what we love!

CSW: What is your philosophy when it comes to wedding planning?
L&L: Our philosophy is simple - We are professional, but not stuffy. Our clients have expressed their surprise at how easy going we are. We are not the stereotypical 'stuffy, rigid event planners'. We love what we do and it shows in our interactions with our clients and vendors.

CSW: What are the first three things a couple should go over with their planner?
L&L: 1. Their vision - It is important to convey through pictures and Pinterest (which we love) the overall look and feel they are trying to achieve.

2. Their budget - We work with budget brides as well as brides who have no spending limit. It's important to communicate and be open about what financially they are able to afford for their big day.

3. Their story - It's important for us to get a feel for the couple. We want to get to know them - their likes, dislikes, how they met. It really helps us to create the overall vision best when we have a sense of them individually and as a couple.

CSW: Give us the adorable details on one of your favorite weddings.
We had a lovely bride and groom who met through a dating site online. They had a long distance relationship for many years and were able to make it work. (That in itself is worth celebrating!) They came from different ethnic backgrounds and religions. Their wedding incorporated both religions and ethnicities in very exciting ways. It was truly a wonderful love story shared with their friends and relatives. We are so happy to have been part of it. They are currently expecting and we are so excited they have booked us for their baby shower!

CSW: What will your weddings look like?
Laurie - With all of the various styles available, that is a tough one. I think my wedding will definitely be a small destination wedding. On a beach, very intimate, romantic and elegant.

Lisa - I really struggle with this question. There are just so many options out there it is really tough to narrow it down. I think it will be classical,  small, cozy and warm with neutral tones throughout. There will be candles and glass and metal pillars and votives everywhere. The tables may have a mirrored Plexiglas on top to bounce the candle light off of as well. My dress however, I envision more of a vintage style. Lace, long sleeves, very form fitting. It would be a very warm and romantic day filled with the most important people in my and my fiancé's lives.

CSW: What is your number one piece of advice for newly engaged couples who are beginning to plan their wedding?
L&L: Know your budget and be realistic. This is the foundation for every decision you will make. From dress to venue to catering and flowers. Your budget will dictate it all. Okay, we have two pieces...don't be afraid to incorporate elements of your personalities into your day! This is after all, YOUR day! :)

Thank you so much to Laurie and Lisa for their sage advice! Like them on Facebook, check out their Pinterest page, and visit their website for more information! These ladies are seriously great!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Duron Shem Tov of Duron Studio Photography captured the essence of the night, as guests gazed at the latest trends and couture in the Chicago wedding industry last week at the second annual ROOF Runway Wedding Edition fashion event at ROOF on theWit. Gowns were provided by Macy's Bridal Salon on State Street and featured designers like Lazaro, Tara Keely, Augusta Jones, Watters and Demetrios. Hair and makeup was fashioned by Kiva Salon and Pure Beauty.

Here are some of Duron's favorite photos from the event:

ROOF on theWit

Duron Studio Photography

Nell Oz, Director of Catering at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, gave us some details on the gorgeous hotel and it's recent renovations!

"The Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile just went under a 25 million dollar renovation. Over 400 guestrooms and 20,000 sq ft of meeting space located one block off the magnificent mile makes this property a great location for weddings, social event and meetings.

"The old Wyndham Chicago was converted to Hyatt Chicago Magnificent mile on June 04,2012. Under the new owners, the hotel went under a major transformation. The grand staircase was removed and we moved to a more open concept. When you come to the second floor, you'll see the front desk and a modern seating area that opens to the bar and restaurant. These beautiful renovations were completed June 17,2013 and we do not foresee any further renovations.

"This sophisticated boutique hotel located in the heart of the city is the ideal location for modern couples looking for the perfect wedding venue in Chicago. It is chic, elegant, modern and stylish!"

For more information about the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, please visit their website or call 312-787-1234.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Over at CSW, we LOVE Valentine's Day. We hope yours was fabulous this year! We know lots of couples become engaged on that most loving of days each year, and it's also a huge day for weddings! 

If you're planning your wedding for next Valentine's Day, take a look at this adorable map by Carol Sullivan of CW Designs! It marks all the most romantic spots in Chicago, so your guests can enjoy the scenery of the city while you get those glamour shots between the ceremony and reception. If guests are staying more than one day, this map makes a great gift to help them tour like a native before catching their planes. Plus, this baby can be completely customized to fit the theme and colors of your wedding! 

Enjoy this romantic walking tour for two or twenty by CW Designs and celebrate the "city of love" on your big day! 

Check out more of Carol's work by visiting the CW Designs website. Email for more information about developing your custom map!
Our friends over at NIU Naperville wanted to offer their top 3 stellar ways to make your big day stress-free and fun from some of their favorite weddings! 

1. Your wedding is a time to celebrate so grab some flip flops and be prepared to dance the night away. Make it easy for your guests to relax and really kick up their heels by letting them kick off their heels.

Here’s a wonderful idea that came from a wedding at NIU Naperville: get some flip flops and leave them out for your guests to wear. It’s fun and easy, and an excellent idea. Even brides can take off their gorgeous heels and be ready for a good time in comfort. So don’t flip over how you’re going to enjoy your special day, because with these flip flops you’ll be able to have a worry-free night, and your feet will thank you later!

2. We have a bride in July that is offering a S'more bar on our outside patio after dinner! Chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers will be available for guests to warm up and melt. It's really a fun and delicious treat for guests. The patio is lit with Italian lights and overlooks a pond with a fountain. 

3. More and more brides are looking to customize their weddings and put a personal stamp on their special day by choosing a unique venue! We are finding our brides want to bring the outside in with natural lighting. Our floor to ceiling windows bring nature inside - without having to think of a "plan b" if it rains. Also, brides our want to make sure their day is truly special and unique by having the whole venue just for their wedding. By being the only wedding at our venue, couples will have the full attention of our staff and won't have to share their day with another set of newlyweds.

NIU Naperville Center can help you create the perfect event no matter what your wedding style, theme or budget, from ceremony to reception. To start planning your dream wedding at NIU Naperville, contact Gina Kenyon, Wedding Planner at 815-752-8990 or, and visit our website at

Friday, February 14, 2014

See parts onetwo, three and four of Kate's Wedding Beauty Inspiration series for more ideas on how to find the perfect look for your big day!

Whether your inspiration comes from Austin Powers' fabulous Heather Graham or just about every woman in "Mad Men", the 1960s was a time to break free from the restraints of the post-war era and bring in a newer, bolder fashion statement. The “Mod” woman took a lot of time on her hair and makeup, and made sure she stood out with pops of bright color and bold eyeliner

So if you're inspired by the Mod woman, let's make some new bold choices with your makeup and hair!


1. Pick a pastel shadow (pink, purple, blue, even white) and nicely pack it on from the lashline to the crease

2. Use black eyeliner in a thick cat eye

3. Apply TONS of mascara and make sure you curl your lashes beforehand! 

4. Pick only very soft neutrals for your lips and cheeks


1. Structure is key!

2. Lots of top knots or bouffants are perfect for the mod look

3. Deep side swept bangs. You can fake this if you don’t have bangs! Ask your stylist to do this for you.

This look can be fun and is perfect for that alternative bride who is looking to make a beautiful and bold statement. 

For more information about Kate Johnson Artistry or for a consultation, email Kate at!

Josh and I met at a Cinco de Mayo “Guac Off” party in 2011. In addition to fabulous guacamole, the highlight of the night was when a friend introduced me to Josh. Thankfully he asked for my phone number before leaving the party.

Following the party, Josh and I began seeing each other regularly. We found that among many things, we shared a love for cooking, sports, and dogs. A year later, Josh and I moved in together. In November 2013, after two years and six months of dating, Josh proposed to me over a romantic dinner.

Josh and I will be getting married September 27, 2014 at the Quincy Country Club in Quincy, IL -- my parents’ hometown! I am fortunate to still have all four of my grandparents in my life, so it was important to me that they were able to be part of our special day. Our wedding planning is going well so far and it became “real” to me when I recently found the perfect wedding dress. We hope our wedding will be classic and elegant, yet a fun night of dancing that we will all remember for years to come.

Josh and I look forward to celebrating with our family and friends and officially starting our life together.

Jessica and Josh will be honeymooning in the beautiful Riviera Maya complements of El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels, provided by Island Getaways. Enter to win one of ChicagoStyle Weddings' next contests here!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

We received and awesome email from Eat, Drink & Buy Local about some truly great ways to celebrate Valentine's Day and support your local community. Here's what they had to say: 

Be A Local Lover!
Valentine’s Day is a great time to shop locally! Get your Valentine a truly unique gift and support your local community at the same time. Local florists, jewelers, candy stores, gift shops, stationary stores and restaurants are all great options. Visit the Eat, Drink & Buy Local website to learn more.

Check out our sampling of Valentine's Day events and promotions around the city below.

Sustainable Valentine’s Day
The Rebuilding Exchange is hosting exciting options for couples and singles to celebrate during the week of Valentine’s Day. Come on down for some hands-on fun in our BYOB Scraptacular classes. Attendees will create free-style sculptures or wall hangings from recycled materials and unique scrap wood. For the wood aficionados, we also have a woodshop class to make a cutting board from locally reclaimed Ash with one bottle of wine courtesy of Candid Wines included in class registration. Make it a sustainable Valentine’s Day this year at Rebuilding Exchange! To register, click here.

When: Couples’ Scraptacular: Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Valentine’s Wood and Wine Make It Take It for Couples: Friday, February 14, 2014 from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Single Mingle Scraptacular: Saturday, February 15, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Where: Rebuilding Exchange, 1740 West Webster, Chicago

Andersonville Loves Local
Join Andersonville for a weekend of shopping, dining and spreading the local love! Many of your favorite Andersonville businesses are participating by offering deals, events & entertainment, free refreshments and more. It’s a perfect time to explore the neighborhood and shop local boutiques for Valentine’s Day gifts and/or outfits, indulge yourself (or your loved one) in a spa package, or share a delicious meal! Click here for a list of all participating businesses, deals, and events.

When: February 8 - 9, 2014
Where: Andersonville, Clark and Berwyn, Chicago, Illinois 60640

Sweets for Your Sweet
Candyality has what you need for Valentine’s Day. Try the Chicago Celebrity Truffles - delicious chocolate treasures that pay homage to some great Chicagoans who have shaped the "Windy City" - $25 a box or $1 Each. Click Here to Order Now! Just in time for Valentines Day, we can now offer on demand delivery to make sure your sweets get to you or yours! Please call (773) 472-7800 to place an order for local delivery. Does your sweetheart live afar? We also ship in the USA!

Where: Candyality Locations - Lakeview - 3425 N. Southport | The Shops at North Bridge - 520 N. Michigan Ave | Water Tower Place - 835 N. Michigan Ave

The Romance of Cheese
The Great American Cheese Collection is opening its warehouse for a Cheese Market. Pick out something special for the one you love. Celebrate Valentine's Day early with a romantic trip to a cheese shop! Admission is Complimentary.

When: Saturday, February 8th, 2014 11am to 3pm
Where: 4727 S Talman Ave Chicago, IL 60632

Have Local Delivered to Your Door
Looking for a unique gift for your Valentine? Order some delicious local, artisanal treats from Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks and have them delivered directly to your home. Why run around town picking up gifts when you'll save time and headaches by having everything delivered!

Special for Valentine's Day we have Katherine Anne Confections Truffle Medleys. Their focus on local & organic ingredients creates the tastiest truffles. We also have Chocolate & Caramel Bars from Chicago's own Vosges. Looking for something besides chocolates? You can't go wrong with Delightful Pastries' Cookies or Hungry Monkey's Brownies or Sweet Breads. Head over to to get your order in today!

Share Fair Trade Love for Valentine’s Day
Join Chicago Fair Trade on February 10th to buy your Valentine's Day gifts and to hear from Rob Behnke, the co-founder of Fair Indigo, a fair trade apparel company in Madison, WI. Fair Indigo sources both fair trade and U.S. made garments. Learn about their producers and their journey as a business.

When: February 10, 2014 at 6:00pm
Where: Chicago Fair Trade, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60605

Whole Lot of Love from The Bookie's Paperbacks & More
The Bookie's has great deals on romance novels during the whole month of February. Buy One, Get One Free on a vast selection of new and used romance. Harlequin, Silhouette, Inspirational Romance 5 for $1. Sale Ends Feb. 28th. Stop in today.

Where: The Bookie's Paperbacks & More, 2419 W 103rd, Chicago, IL 60655

Make Chicago French Market Your Valentine's Gift Central
Something for everyone on your Valentine's gift list can be found at Chicago French Market this February. Thirty-two unique vendors offer everything to set the stage for a perfect Valentine's weekend, from foods to desserts and gifts, you'll be able to find something that's unique and in your price range. Don't forget to place orders early. Also this February, the Market introduces Saturday Specials. Many vendors are offering incentives. Learn more here.

Where: 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago
Paula Olivos thought Matthew T. Aiyash was heading to the store to buy a new washer and dryer because that’s what he told her. The truth? Instead of sparkling clean clothes, he surprised her with a different kind of sparkler — an engagement ring. Matthew made the purchase overnight on Black Friday, which happened to be Paula’s birthday. He intended to surprise Paula when she woke up, but he fell asleep. Later when she woke him up and asked if he got the washer and dryer, Matthew replied, “No, I’m sorry,” but he then pulled out the ring and said, “But I got you one of these!” Matthew proposed on bended knee and Paula said, “Yes, Yes, Yes!”

The couple planned their 450-person wedding in only five months. They wrote their own vows for the interfaith ceremony, which was officiated by Shando Valdez and featured quotes by Chilean Noble Prize Winner Pablo Neruda. Even though Paula “misplaced her vows,” she was saved by technology and retrieved them from her cell phone. “It was a traditional wedding with a Palestinian-Chilean twist,” says Paula. “The cultures were successfully brought together, and we rocked the house.” Reception entertainment included TVK Orchestra, an Arabic band and belly dancers. Paula says, “There was such energy in the room that you could actually feel it, and everyone had so much fun and danced all night long.”


Pazzo’s at 311

By The Barkers

Shando Valdez

Tinamarie Possidoni Salon

Adla Askar

Bridal Mansion of Lisle

Louis For Men

Pazzo’s at 311

TVK Orchestra

Oak Mill Bakery

Big Z Limo Services

This Real ChicagoStyle Wedding was featured in our 2013/2014 issue! See it on pages 422-423, "Interfaith I Do's".