If I could pick any decade for a party, I wouldn’t have to think twice. The 1920s had my kind of style and Jay Gatsby has my heart. So when this wedding combined classic 1920s touches with whimsy and glamour, I was sucked right in. Soirée Weddings & Events brought the couple’s fantastic vision to life and Cristina G caught every roaring detail. So kick up your shoes and join me in the full gallery here.
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From Soirée Weddings & Events… Aileen and Kevin had a specific vision in mind when we first met with them. Aileen envisioned a classic elegance and vintage romance.
We looked at many venues in Chicago, but there was always one that stood out. At each venue we looked at, they kept comparing them all to this “one.” It was newly renovated tented space, Galleria Marchetti. A lush English garden tucked away in the middle of Chicago’s skyscrapers and L trains, the whimsical grounds offered the perfect setting for Aileen and Kevin’s nuptials. So finally after looking at several other venues, I said asked the question they were both thinking “Why are we looking at anything else? Nothing is going to compare to Galleria Marchetti, right?”.
They went home to discuss it, and later that night I got the green light from them. “Let the fun begin!” The garden and tent’s new oversized orb-like crystal chandeliers were what hinged much of the design. We wanted their guests to feel like they were transported into the pages of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, escorted to a lavish party suitable for the company of Daisy, Jay, Nick and Jordan. We wanted the guests to have that feeling, without going overboard or being literal with the theme.
The bride then found the perfect gown. A simple sweetheart strapless gown, with an attachable peplum that she added for the reception. The Bride had her heart set on a vintage car. A vintage Bentley picked up the couple after their first look and chauffeured them around Chicago for photos before dropping them off to Galleria Marchetti for the ceremony.
Aileen loved picking out the flowers. A former Cali girl, she admired all the natural floral scents that graced her California home. She very much wanted to bring some of those flowers and scents into her wedding day. We knew that flowering Jasmine Vine must be represented in her bouquet – a little piece of Cali and a piece of her heart. Aileen’s Irish roots also played a big role as well. We wanted to honor her heritage and also her grandmother who couldn’t come to the US for the wedding; what better way than with gorgeous monochromatic centerpieces made up of lush green Bells of Ireland? They were hosted in a metallic trumpet vase and served as the lovely elevated floral arrangements that complimented the height of the tent.
Kevin loves magic and magic tricks, so the couple sourced some vintage playing cards – which happen to be Chicago World’s Fair souvenirs that donned images of Chicago landmarks – to use as the place cards. The mother of the bride hand wrote each guests name on a playing card; the card number indicated what table number they were seated at, and the color (red or black) indicated their meal choice. So clever! A sign directed guests to “Pick a Card, Any Card – Just make sure it has your name on it. Go to the table that matches your number and set the card down by your glass. Your meal will magically appear!” It also served as fun keepsake for the guests. The guest book was a collection of vintage Chicago postcards; guests were asked to write out a card for the bride and groom and drop in inside a wire birdcage.
The couple had many talented friends, many of which were musicians. They had their friends take part in the wedding by playing music through the cocktail reception. They also thoughtfully curated the music for the wedding by creating a playlist of not only their favorites for the ceremony, first dances and parents dances, but they had a playlist that took their guests though each decade. Starting with the 20′s and finishing the night with music from the 80′s, 90′s, 2000′s and today. Another friend emceed the event while one of the groomsmen DJ’d the later part of the evening.
The day turned into night, the dance floor was packed and Aileen and Kevin hugged all their guests as they left. “The best night of their lives” was written all over their faces, and it was. One of our favorite weddings with one of our favorite couples!
From The Bride… Despite sharing our junior high school years living less than one mile apart in Colorado Springs, we didn’t meet until college, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. When fate decided we were ready, we met and became fast friends, sharing many hours onstage performing in various Colorado-based West African bands; most notably the University of Colorado’s West African Highlife Ensemble. I was an amazing dancer, and Kevin did his best to figure out the tricky trumpet parts.
Romance wasn’t in the cards until after college, when we both ended up in Chicago. I was busy getting my Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology and Kevin messing with pop-psychology as a Madmen-in-training at Leo Burnett. During our late 20s our deep friendship evolved into something more, and the “L” word (i.e. “Love”) was in play just before I embarked on my California adventure to complete my internship and post-doctoral studies at the West LA VA Hospital and UCLA, respectively. Just four short (i.e. LONG!) years later (FOUR YEARS OF LONG DISTANCE!) we reunited back in Chicago, and were soon to be engaged!
Photography: Cristina G Photography | Wedding Planner: Soiree Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Vale Of Enna | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design | Stationery: Nellie & Co | Ceremony Venue: Galleria Marchetti | Reception Venue: Galleria Marchetti | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Hair & Makeup: Kate Johnson Artistry | Transportation: M&M Limousine Service