Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Liven It Up Events Turns 8!

A Message from Anthony Navarro, Founder of Liven It Up Events
8 years
Eight years ago, on a cold February day, I was in my apartment, working from home that day, when I had the television on the background.  I had The Oprah Winfrey Show on, and those who know me, know that was a regular watch in my home.  That day, Suzie Orman was on and talking about how important it was to take control of your destiny and do what you love to do.  To make a long story short, that day I began to map out what I was passionate about and how could I take control of my destiny.... 8 years later, here we are!
What is most important to me as we celebrate 8 years of business to to give my thanks and gratitude to those who most deserve it, the clients, the event professionals, and the team at Liven It Up!
To the couples and clients that work with us especially those who gave me a shot, just starting out. For whatever they saw in me, to hire the new guy, stills keeps me in awe that they trusted me to take on their important day.   The reason I wanted to continue my work in the wedding industry was, and still is, I truly felt that working with someone to create their wedding was truly a gift.  I have always felt that the work that I get to do every weekend is truly magical. To be able to make something out of nothing and create a life time of memories in just one day – that is pretty powerful. Thank you for trusting me to take us on that journey.
To my colleagues and friends in the industry.  If I were to list everyone here by name, the list would go on for days.  I am so blessed to have met some of the most giving people on the planet.  People who work in the wedding industry do for others, at times bend over backwards, to make things happen.  I can think of different times when working with people that some how makes what would be the impossible happen for the client.  I truly believe that those moments are learning lessons and bond us together for life.
To the team at Liven It Up Events, both past and present.  When I began this journey, I never imagined that the team would grow much larger than me.  And now, I look and see that between Planners, Event Producers and Interns, over 20 people have come through these past 8 years to help make these magical days come to life.  You ARE the hardest working, loving, caring, dedicated and passionate people in the biz. I am so blessed to have you with me. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the work and our clients.
Liven It Up Events
It has been an amazing road through the years in the events industry.  When I began my career, I was still in college, and my first job was a catering sales assistant.  Back in those days, I did not have an email address, I was faxing clients menus and contracts.  Things have sure changed.  Like the first time I ever worked with a same sex couple on their commitment ceremony, the first ever at the hotel I worked at.  I had to fight just to get it approved to be on premise.  And from there, the couples I worked with on their commitment ceremonies, to their civil unions and finally to their weddings!  I never imagined that we would come this far.  It has been an honor to be a part of the movement and the journey.
marriage equaity
It has been a journey.  With so many couples, from all walks of life, with celebrity guests at our weddings to family members from all over the world.  From all sorts of venues, hotels, photography studios, barns, art galleries, country clubs, mansions, historic sites, and more.  As we enter Season 8, I prepare to continue to create memories for all of those out there.  I thank those who choose to work with us, I am gracious for the opportunity to keep doing what I do, and appreciate the love and the support from all.  Here's to 8 years of memories and so many more to come!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wedding Planning RECAP @ Cafe Brauer

To all of those who follow us, you can see that that the team at Liven It Up Events had quite a few weddings last year (and every year!) at Cafe Brauer at The Lincoln Park Zoo.  This wedding was quite special for an intimate group of guests for a lovely couple.  
When we started the process of planning this wedding, there were two things that were really important to the couple.  The first being food!  After a careful proposal review of a couple of caterers, the couple decided to work with Paramount Events who did a delightful job on the food!
The second piece that was important was to create an outdoor feel inside the Great Hall.  As the couple lived in California, surrounded by nature, they wanted to bring the outdoors in.  Impossible?  Not at all when you have Erin and Randy with Revel Decor coming on board.  The first thing we had to do was create a woodsy ceremony.  The Revel Team actually created and built the trees from scratch, lining the aisle with wooden pedestals and candles, finishing the look with a patterned wash on the floor.
Cafe Brauer 1
Then we took The Great Hall and transformed it with a few hanging pieces that were over the guest tables as well as surrounding the entire room with the trees from the ceremony aisle.  It truly felt as those the guests were seated in a forest, under the stars!
Cafe Brauer 3
Part of the look of the design was washing the room in a leaf/branch pattern which helped create this romantic wedding reception!
Cafe Brauer 4
Part of this look, was keeping what was on the guest tables more minimal and rustic and having the "wow" being in the suspended pieces!
Cafe Brauer 7
To help finish the look, Bittersweet Bakery made sure to create a custom wedding cake that would sit on wooden logs created by the Bride's father that just went so well with the room.
Cafe Brauer 5
And the sweet heart table for the couple was a wooden farm table, with a custom table top decor, seating being that of a sofa, framed with two giant trees and a suspended piece over them.  With some candles, lanterns and wooden boxes in front of the table, it completed this rustic look!
Cafe Brauer 6
The thing to remember is when looking for a wedding venue, with the right team, you can create any look!  If you love trees, you do not need a venue with trees as they can be brought in for a full transformation!  Thanks to our team and our partnerships, we were able to do just that!
Until next time... happy planning!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wedding Planning RECAP @ Cafe Brauer

Here we are again, posting another RECAP at Cafe Brauer!  This was such a fun wedding.  We had almost perfect weather that day were photos and family photos were able to take place in the park!  It just turned out to be a perfect day!
When the guests entered, they were greeted with a flavored water station to help them cool down and stay hydrated as the ceremony was taking place outdoors.
Once we were ready to move the guests onto the loggia for the ceremony, we moved them upstairs and outside for this short, yet meaningful ceremony.  The bride's vision was to hang all sorts of florals in mason jars and a variety of vessels over their heads as they were married.  The team at Kloeckner's Flowers did just that!

What was fun about this couple is they loved the idea of playing with natural elements, silver, and blue!  And thanks again to the team at Kloeckner's and Sue with Food Evolution, we were able to make this style and look come to life on the dinner tables!
Just a few more fun elements at this wedding were after dinner, we had a Gelato Bar, an Espresso Bar and a dessert station filled with all sorts of Italian pastries!  And, if you saw in our last RECAP @ Cafe Brauer, this couple also decided that in lieu of favors, would make a donation to PAWS Animal Shelter!
And there you have it!  Another Wedding RECAP at Cafe Brauer from your wedding planning experts at Liven It Up Events!