July 11, 2017

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Inspiration/Aspects/Special Touches We wanted to ensure our wedding was a reflection of the things that are most important to us – family, friends, food and fun. Because we’re a little older, we’ve been to quite a few big weddings, and unfortunately the little details get lost and forgotten about over time. To make our day memorable, we wanted an environment that was casual yet unique. Ovation was the only venue we even visited; Spencer sold us within the first five minutes with his calm demeanor, professionalism and genuine interest in our individual tastes. Additionally, the venue provided us the flexibility in catering and vendors that we wanted to create our own vision.  Noah from Style Matters (also aligned with Ovation) met with us the week before the wedding to review the song questionnaire we’d filled out months prior. His warm and professional approach to customizing our playlist made us feel at ease; music can make or break the mood, and we wanted our guests up and dancing the entire night. The vibe was a perfect blend of party tunes, old school hip hop and songs personal to us that our friends and family couldn’t get enough of, and people were still dancing even as the lights came up.

I come from a family of eaters, and I’m not keen on traditional wedding food, so we opted for upscale BBQ from Blackwood. They were a dream to work with, and developed a personalized menu for our reception, including custom appetizers. They also went way beyond the typical responsibilities of a caterer, and helped our coordinator with several of the day-of details. People are still talking about the food (many went up for seconds!), so we can’t thank Bob, Jess and the staff at Blackwood enough. Blackwood makes the most amazing homemade pickles and we really wanted to include them in the food lineup. As an homage to my late grandmother, we lined the tables with mini mason jars filled with the pickles, just like she used to can in my childhood. We’re also not big cake eaters, so Blackwood took it upon themselves to store and distribute the It’s It ice cream sandwiches we had shipped overnight from San Francisco. Given we had no leftovers, we assume everyone (including the staff) thoroughly enjoyed them 🙂

Chicago Vintage Weddings was originally only supposed to provide rentals, but I was in awe of Kate’s coordination abilities right away and knew we would need help on the day of. I’m partial to vintage, and her mismatched tableware was the perfect complement to the rustic, industrial feel of Ovation. The coupe champagne glasses were my favorite touch.

Several friends recommended Beata and Dahlia Blooms for floral arrangements. Flowers were not a top priority for me or JT, so Beata crafted a wonderful alternative of table runners filled with greenery that added a freshness to the venue and table settings, offset with soft tea lights.

Most Memorable Moments Notre Dame de Chicago was the only ceremony site we ever considered; JT’s family has longstanding ties with the church, and the historical significance and beauty of the building is unmatched. Our coordinator had asked me prior if I wanted to have a grand entrance where the doors to the church would open as my father and I walked down the aisle. I’m not really one for drama, but we are in agreement that this was the most memorable moment, locking eyes after such a stark entrance. I don’t remember even walking down the aisle after that.

Favorite Part About Planning process? JT gave me creative freedom on planning, and I love a good project management challenge. The best part was I’m sure a bit cliche, but seeing it all come together 15 months after the initial process began. Hearing our guests continually rave about the food, the venue and our DJ Noah reaffirmed all the long hours stressing throughout the year.

Advice for those planning now? Get a coordinator, even if it’s just Day Of. Kate and CVW was the best decision JT and I made; having her team handle the details took the stress off of us and pressure off of our family to be responsible. We wanted everyone to enjoy the day, not worry about whether the vendors showed up on time. Kate was a consummate professional, never showed any stress, kept the wedding party in check and put us at ease. Worth every penny. Do what you want to make it your day – don’t get sucked into Pinterest. Don’t worry about what the blogs or websites say is appropriate for anything, including all the hoopla leading up to the wedding. Make it about you and your partner.



Processional – Cannon in D

Recessional – At Last, Etta James

First Dance – Tennessee Whiskey, Chris Stapleton


How was your experience working with The DeLauras? Because we have a personal connection, I was so happy to have a familiar face directing our shots throughout the day. The couple traveled all the way from LA just for our wedding, so we knew they were committed to the highest quality shots, from the morning sprinkles to the afternoon heat in the zoo. Kendal and Anthony are newlyweds themselves, and they were happy to provide guidance and reassurance to make us more comfortable, especially with the touchy-feely photos (we’re not good at being serious). We were so happy to have 2 photographers capturing our day. Knowing now how hectic our schedule was the morning of, we definitely appreciated having them both present to babysit the boys and help the bridal party get dressed. Our bridal party as well as a ton of weddings guests commented on how hard Kendal and Anthony were working throughout the day and at the reception, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have them capture the day. We can’t wait to share the pictures with all our family and friends!

ceremony NOTRE DAME DE CHICAGO  | reception OVATION CHICAGOevent planner KATE LERMAN, CHICAGO VINTAGE WEDDINGS | floral design DAHLIA BLOOMS CHICAGO |wedding dress BHLDN   | hair & makeup SWERVE SALON | bridesmaid dresses SHOW ME YOUR MUMU | groom suit Jos A BANKS | rentals CHICAGO VINTAGE RENTALS | catering BLACKWOOD BBQ | cake SWEET MANDY B’S | ice cream sandwiches IT’S IT ICECREAM SANFRANSISCO | transportation CHICAGO TROLLEY  INFINITY TRANSPORTATION |  officiant  Rev. Monsignor Patrick Pollard, Notre Dame de Chicago | dj STYLE MATTERS | paper goods MINTED |

the experience