Anytime a wedding begins with a pair of sparkly Badgley Mischkas, I know we’re in for something GOOD. Just take this ballroom affair from Lauren Wakefield, for example. It’s oozing with elegance from beginning to end – not to mention beautiful blooms by McKinley Park Events – and you pin to your heart’s content right over here.
From the Bride… Steve and I were so excited to celebrate with our family and friends, we really wanted to create a warm, welcoming and fun weekend for the people we love the most. We also wanted a timeless look and feel, which is why we chose a historic hotel – The Pere Marquette – as our setting. It had everything we were looking for, tons of charm and also convenience for our guests.
Friday evening, after everyone got into town, Steve’s parents hosted a beautiful rehearsal party at the Peoria Zoo. Guests were greeted with live steel drum music, cocktails and appetizers on the Giraffe Overlook Deck, before we went into the Zambezi Lodge for dinner, toasts, and a slideshow created by our siblings. It was a wonderful start to a wonderful weekend.
Saturday the girls gathered in the Presidential Suite, at the hotel, for hair, make-up, brunch and mimosas; and the guys gathered in another suite for brunch, bloody marys, and Tecmo Bowl. Steve and I decided to meet before the ceremony for our “first look” and photos. A little nontraditional, but we didn’t want to miss a minute of the party!
Saturday’s events at The Pere Marquette were hosted by my parents… The ceremony began at 5pm in the Cotillion Ballroom – a beautiful ballroom with a hand painted mural and intricate woodwork. Our wedding coordinator decorated the space with gold chivari chairs, white flowers and baby’s breath. A string quartet played as the guests and our parents were seated and as our bridal party came down the aisle. After the ceremony, guests were escorted out and were greeted by butlered trays of our featured drink – a “Flirtini”. Singer/songwriter musician, David McDonald, played as the guests mingled around the Cheminee Ballroom and were served appetizers, a sushi bar and cocktails, of course.
From cocktail hour, guests were then escorted into the Marquette Ballroom for dinner. Throughout dinner, guests listened to live piano music and emceeing provided by our band, The Mix, as my father, my two sisters, and Steve’s three brothers, as well as one of his best friends, gave toasts. Our wedding cake was a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The room was decorated with gold and ivory damask table linens, gold chargers, roses/hydrangeas/baby’s breath and succulents.
After dinner and the speeches concluded, guests were them ushered into the final ballroom (a return, next door, to the Cotillion Ballroom, which was converted into a lounge/dance space during cocktails). The room had soft uplighting, a white dance floor, and white sofas and lounge furniture around the perimeter of the floor. Our amazing band kept the entire room on their feet, even causing the crowd to chant “one more song!” at the end of the night. It was an amazing and memorable weekend for Steve and I, as well as for our families.
We absolutely cannot thank Beth Maxwell and the McKinley Park Events team, Lauren Wakefield, The Mix Band, David McDonald, The River City String Quartet, Nikki Pulfur at Pomp & Polish, Loft Bridal, Jason Groh at Lexoria, Cracked Pepper Catering, Steely Pan, Phil Hoskins, The Peoria Zoo, and of course, Chris Welch and his team at The Hotel Pere Marquette Marriott enough!
We left for our honeymoon two days later for a ten night stay in the Greek Islands, and we still couldn’t stop talking about the wedding eleven days later! It was an amazing way to begin our lives together – we’re so lucky!
Ceremony Music: The River City String Quartet | Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo | Bridal Veil: Erin Lindsay Designs | Cocktail Hour Music: David McDonald: Academy of Fretted Instruments | Dinner And Reception Music: The Mix | Hair & Make-Up: Loft Bridal | Photography: Lauren Wakefield: Lauren Wakefield Photography | Rehearsal Dinner Caterer: Cracked Pepper Catering | Rehearsal Dinner Event Branding: Sara E. Designs | Rehearsal Dinner Music: Steely Pan | Save The Dates/Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Phil Hoskins | The Rehearsal Dinner: The Peoria Zoo | The Wedding Ceremony And Reception: The Hotel Pere Marquette | Videography: Jason Groh: Lexoria Wedding Films | Wedding Coordination/Floral & Décor Design: Beth Maxwell: McKinley Park Events | Wedding Stationary/Event Branding: Nikki Pulfur: Pomp & Polish