Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This week during the #MonthOfLove Vanessa LeWinter with Liven It Up Events and Regan Tate with Entertaining Company put their thoughts together on how to create a Modern Chic Wedding. You might ask, what is the definition of a Modern Chic wedding? Vanessa and Regan consider a Modern Wedding to be linear, white, smooth, airy, and hip.

Some of the favorite venues that lend themselves to the Modern Chic Style Wedding are~ Chicago Illumination Company, Chez, Morgan Manufacturing, Hellenic Museum, Room 1520, Ignite Glass Studios and Greenhouse Loft. In order to create this wedding, lets talk about how to build this wedding from the ground up!

Color Palette

Mostly white, some black or charcoal grey with metallics and a pop of color and as much lucite and white lacquer as possible!

Dress the Table

For the Modern Chic Wedding, table set ups are clean and minimal. Square tables or white lacquered long tables or mirrored table tops are recommended. Ghost chairs, Lucite chivari chairs or white laquered benches are fantastic. An after dinner lounge is often set up in white with bright colored and textured accents including leather and sequins. Modern flatware, stemless glassware, if you use a charger, it should be clear glass and a clean white or black napkin.

Floral and Decor

Keep it minimal and clean. Using floating candles in various height cylinder vases, with submerged floral elements. Minimal colors in any of the flowers, white would be preferred and more candles, the better.

Presentation of Food: Embracing Your Inner Foodie, Light and Bright

Hors d’oeuvres: Arctic Char with Dill Aioli on Pumpernickel Cracker, Shrimp Shumei, Scallion Crepe with Tofu

Dinner Service: Seated Plated

First Course: Salad with Cheese Terrine with Bruschetta “Cracker”, no bread basket

Entree: Black Salt Crusted Steakhouse Steak or Seabass Wrapped in Banana leaf


Think outside the box, How about musicians from a local Arts School?

Ceremony: A DJ can live spin while you walk down a runway inspired aisle or have a string quartet play rap songs or current pop hits.

Cocktails: Hire a violinist to play alongside a DJ for cocktail hour.

Reception: A local celebrity DJ like DJ Rock City or a band that gives you a modern take on the traditional wedding band like The Chicago Players or Greenlight!


Clean lines and simple calligraphy or go Modern Sustainable with Paperless Post

Escort cards: Use technology instead – text seat assignments directly to guests enroute or have screens to indicate guest seating


Gown: short dresses, unique styles, or bright colors can all work. Traditional designers like Monique Lhuillier or Vera Wang design dresses in most colors and shorten them. Shopping for designer gowns in non bridal stores like Alice & Olivia are possible for this style.

Tuxedo: Burberry Suits in Grey, Black, or Navy or get a custom Tux made by Trunk Club and get to pick all of your details. Bridesmaids; Floor Length Dresses, all the same style from a bridesmaid dress line or Rent the Runway

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Plan a Classic Formal Wedding in Chicago During the #MonthOfLove

Wendy Pashman from Entertaining Company and I got together and one of the top styles that our brides seem to gravitate to is what we are calling “Classic Formal”.  You might ask, what is the definition to a Classic Formal wedding?

Elegantly styled and seamlessly polished in the style of Jackie O and Grace Kelly!.

Some of Wendy and my favorite venues that lend themselves to the Classic Formal style wedding are~

Chicago Cultural Center, Harold Washington Library, Café Brauer, The Ivy Room, Newberry Library, Ida Noyes, and Danada House.

In order to create this style wedding, let’s talk about how to build this wedding from the ground up!

Color Palette
I recommend White, Ivory, Khaki, Taupe, Champagne, Sandalwood, with accents of Gold, Apple Green, Dusty Rose, Dove Grey, Charcoal, Navy

Dress the Table
Round Tables, Chivari or Versaille Chairs in Mahogany, Gold, White, or Black.  Table linens in lamour or pintuck with hemstitch napkins. Table is set with Monochromatic White Round China, Bread and Butter Plate and knife, classic silver flatware, stemmed glassware, either plain or with a gold rim or cut crystal  for water, choice of wine and champagne flutes.  All of the place settings would match, nothing to mismatch and all china is consistent from one course to the next.

Floral Arrangements:  Can be a combination of elevated pieces and lower arrangements.  Florals should include classic flowers such as roses, hydrangeas, peonies, calla lilies, spray roses, tulips, lily of the valley, bells or Ireland, stock, and greenery.  The elevated arrangements can be based on a clear glass cylinder or trumpet vase, candelabra, or pedestal stand.  The lower arrangements can be in pedestal bowls, clear glass round containers, and both arrangement should be constructed to be in the round and tightly put together, rather than loosely arranged. An assortment of votive candles in clear glass round vessels or silver or gold solid vessels complete the tabletop.

Presentation of food : Elegantly Polished, Professional and Seamless.

Cocktail Hour with Waiter Passed Champagne from Silver Trays, White Linen Hemstitched Cocktail Napkins or Imprinted Monogrammed Disposable Cocktail Napkins

Full Service Bar, His and Her Cocktails (for summer, “Her’s” a cool G and T with Striped Straw and “His” a Classic Manhattan mixed up in Glass Pitchers).  For Autumn Winter Weddings…Hot Toddy Station with Cinnamon Sticks

Cocktail Buffet Station might have All White Cruditee or perhaps stylized cruditee placed and presented in silver julep cups.

Menu Selections for Dinner: American Classics, American Regional, Seasonal and Local

First Courses include Lemon Chive Crabcake with Bacon Relish, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese and  Apple wood Bacon Spinach Salad.

Featured Classic and Formal Style Entrées include Grilled Steakhouse Tournedo of Beef, All Natural Pan Seared Amish Chicken Breast, Pan Seared Salmon with Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce, Chive Whipped Potatoes and Wild Mushroom Ragout.

For dessert, a tiered vanilla wedding cake with strawberry filling or on a more whimsical All American note: Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate buttermilk Filling, Profiteroles, Petit Fours, Mini Tartlets

Having an 8- 12 piece band play music from the 40's for cocktails and dinner to music from the 70's to present for dancing.

Menu cards are a must and should be in the same formal theme as your invitations that should have been properly addressed by a calligrapher with a coordinating stamp. 

For the ladies attending, an elegant cocktail dress is appropriate and black tie for the men.  The bride will be resplendent in a classic ball gown with or without lace details.