Kate & Chris “Laid Back Elegance”

You would be hard pressed to find two nicer and more laid back people than Kate and Chris.  Working with them was such a pleasure!  I think my favorite moment was after the ceremony when they were about to enter the cocktail hour.  They had just come back inside from taking pictures with the talented Rob Warner from Warner Foto when Chris turned and pulled me into a great big bear hug and whispered “thank you, thank you for everything you are amazing and this is exceptional.  I can’t even believe it”  What a great pay off, and from the Groom to boot!

Kate was referred to me by one of my all time favorite brides, Amy Barnes Gollan, which is always a great way to meet a new client. I had an extra good time at this wedding because  I got to catch up with the Barnes family (I have done a couple of events with them).  We also had an outstanding crew of vendors on this event which always makes the day more fun!

The ceremony and reception were held at The School of The Art Institute Ballroom.  The space is majestic and beautiful and the perfect backdrop for such a special occasion.  Kate walked down the aisle to the delightful sounds of Amarante Ensembles  and they were married by a family friend. Having a personal connection with your wedding officiant is wonderful and really makes the experience more personal for the couple as well as their guests.

Cocktails were held on the upper level of the ballroom with an extra cool musical mix the groom put together.  As the guests enjoyed their drinks, we performed a little magic on the main floor and turned the ceremony space into an elegant reception area with a twist.  Fleur, Inc. designed contemporary and elegant centerpieces in all white aglow with massive amounts of candle light. Kate and Chris really wanted the evening to be relaxed and unique so we decided to do food stations.  Weddings by Blue Plate treated us to retro foods and mashed potatoes in martini glasses (white and sweet!) with all the toppings, just to name a few.  Then the dessert station turned everyone into a sweet craving frenzy!   I even got an early sample of my all time favorite, the “horizontal tart” thanks to Ken, Sales Manager extraordinaire (I included a picture below, how could I not).  The totally yummy wedding cake was made by The Swedish Bakery, one of my favorite old bakeries (nothing beats wonderful tasting cake at an excellent price). All the while guests danced the night away thanks to the very cool and super skilled Rolland from The Sound Lounge.

Thank you Kate and Chris, for allowing Greatest Expectations to play such a special role in this extraordinary day.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day, enjoy!

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Pamela & Rich “Dancing with the Sharks”

They say rain on your wedding day means good luck.  If so, then there’s nothing but blue skies ahead for Pamela and Rich!

The day was stacked with two amazingly beautiful locations starting with the ceremony at the newly renovated Madonna Della Strada Chapel. This chapel is truly outstanding and the location could not be more perfect as it is set on the edge of Lake Michigan.  Honestly, I think every couple should stop by for pictures on their big day, the view of the city from the North Side cannot be beat.  

Everyone managed to stay dry entering the chapel and they even braved a few outdoor shots because, well let’s be honest, how could you pass this up!  Then they were off to the  Shedd Aquarium for the reception.

The Oceanarium was already under renovation by the time our event happened (although the new plans look amazing and I cannot wait to get another couple in there!) so cocktails were in the extremely cool Wild Reef, which happens to be a space not normally available for private event rental.  This was a wonderful twist of fate for Pamela and Rich as they are really into Sharks and this is where they swim!

Because this was an intimate affair at just under 100 guests, everyone was seated around the Caribbean Reef and the Rotunda (you know the beautiful room you buy your tickets in when you visit the Shedd) was used for the coffee and sweets station as well as dancing.  It was a really fun twist on the way the space is normally laid out and everyone enjoyed dining next to the exotic fish.

To add to the creative and fun style of this event we served cupcakes from Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique and yes, they cut a cupcake instead of the traditional wedding cake.  Guests were treated to over 400 miniature cupcakes in yummy flavors such as Vanilla Vanilla, Black and White, Chocolate Butterscotch, Cinnamon Carrot, Lemon Drop and Orange Creamsicle.  It is worth noting that they left out the Red Velvet which is hands down the best flavor they offer (I may be a little biased, but lets not worry about that).  Sugar Bliss has a fantastic little shop open on Wabash, I would waste no time stopping in to tantalize your taste buds by these tiny treats!

The rest of the night went by in a dancing blur thanks to the now famous (at least on this blog) Rolland from The Sound Lounge (can you tell I’m a fan?) and the entire event was documented by the very talented Kelly Moore from KMO Photo. Kelly is an outstanding photographer and is a joy to work with onsite.  Below are just a few of my favorite shots.  Personally, I think the silver lining to the rainy day is the amazing photographs you can get.

Speaking of Kelly’s, the floral was done by none other than Kelly Uss from Fleur, Inc. and everything was perfect, as usual.

It is also worth mentioning that this was an extra fun event for me because one of the brides maids was a previous client.  Alyssa was the one who suggested Greatest Expectations to Pamela and for that I am very grateful. It was so much fun to work with these wonderful friends as they planned their weddings together in the same year.

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Shelley & Mike “Tropic in the City”

Labor Day Weekend 2008

Aaaahhhhh … Shelley and Mike.  They just make me smile.  I smile so big it hurts.

These are two of the sweetest and funniest people I have ever worked with.  Shelley found us through our ad on mychicagowedding.com (always great to know what advertising is paying off!) and contacted us at the beginning of her planning process.  She and Mike had both lived in Chicago but were currently living in LA. You can see why a wedding planner would be needed here.

Shelley was … Well, how should I say this … a “nervous” bride.  Yes, I think that is the word we will use, nervous.  In our first meeting she exclaimed that I may have to grab her by the shoulders on her wedding day, shake her really well and say “Snap out of it!”.  Thank goodness that did not happen!  She managed to stay calm, radiant and totally thrilled the entire day. She and Mike were both a complete joy to work with and their great big smiles showed it!

The ceremony was held outside at The Adler Planetarium.  The backdrop, our beautiful city and the gorgeous Lake Michigan.  It was important to Shelley and Mike to have a “tropical/beach” feel to their wedding so we went with a flowing white alter, sand, river rocks and loads of petals.  Kelly from Fleur out did herself here, everything was beautiful and tropical. The ceremony musicians, Amarante Ensembles and Celebrant, Toni Hassett just served as the cherry upon this wonderful Sunday (and yes, the wedding was on a Sunday).

After the ceremony the guests enjoyed the caribbean sounds of steel drums from Steel Express and sipped on the “Bomb Shell” (vodka, cranberry, orange, splash of pineapple and 7-UP garnished with a pineapple wedge) and some “Moose Juice” (rum, triple sec, pineapple and lime juice garnished with a lime) and taste buds were tantalized by treats from Food For Thought.

After much debate, the couple decided not to enter their reception via a Conga Line but that does not mean there was any lack of spice.  With everything from the place cards in sand, personalized M&M’s, the coolest cake on the planet (designed by Alliance Bakery), tables named after the couples favorite bars, limes in the centerpieces, and hand embossed menu cards (specific to each table with an explanation of the “bar” they were sitting at) … nothing was left unpersonalized.  This event was just fun from start to finish (if you don’t believe me check out the picture below of Shelley rocking out to tunes spun by the talented Rolland from The Sound Lounge) and even included fire works courtesy of The City of Chicago.

I could honestly go on for days talking about this super fun wedding but I know what you really want are some pictures. Below you will see the greatness of Belen from Orange 2.  I can honestly tell you that picking just a few images to show has been torture.  That said, there may be one or two more than “a few” but I can promise you will not be disappointed!

 

Sheila & Pete

Sheila and Pete were such a fun couple.  They had an amazing ceremony at Holy Ghost Church  complete with an 18 person bridal party and 500 guests!

Their bridal party was a riot.  You could just tell that everyone was having such a great time.  The balloon release after the ceremony was stunning and the flower girl and ring bearer had a ball trying to catch them!

The very cool (and very large) reception was held at The Belvedere in Elk Grove Village was the perfect location for Sheila and Pete’s contemporary wedding reception.  There was some serious added value in the venue because it included the coolest furniture!  Everyone had a great time and their pictures from  Forever Images prove it! Some of our staff favorites are below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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