Archive of ‘LGBTQ’ category

On trend with spring bridal fashion!

Wedding day fashion is a big topic. It’s something most brides and grooms spend a lot of time thinking about. We featured a great piece on men’s fashion several weeks ago and now we are delighted to get the bridal trends, direct from market week in NYC, from our friend Beth Chapman from Beth Chapman Styling. Prepare to feast your eyes!


Having just left New York Bridal Fashion Week. I must say, it is a fabulous time to be a bride, as there are so many beautiful options. Here are the top trends straight from the catwalk! 

Peplums:  Many designers showed peplums this season. The peplum is a flirty feminine detail.  In most cases, it was detachable, so that the bride has one look for the ceremony and another for the reception.

Plunging Necklines: Designers are once again taking the plunge this season with necklines! This trend was represented in both ball gown and fitted silhouettes.

Romona Keveza Spring 2017

Romona Keveza Spring 2017

Romantic Appliqués: As a beautiful and feminine alternative to lace, designers were showing gowns with appliqués and jacquards. 

hayley_paige_blue_theknot_spring17

Hayley Paige Spring17

Marchesa Bridal Spring 2017

Marchesa Bridal Spring 2017

angel_sanchez_blue_appliques_the_knot_spring_2017

Angel Sanchez Spring 2017

Long Sleeves: Sleeves are in! Long sleeves graced virtually every runway. They were often shown with an extreme neckline line – either a high or plunging.  

high_neck_naeem_kahn_the_knot_spring_2017-greatest-expectations

Naeem Kahn Spring 2017

Marchesa Bridal Spring 2017

Marchesa Bridal Spring 2017

high_neck_long_sleeve_legends_romona_keveza_spring_2017_the_knot

Romona Keveza Spring 2017

hayley_paige_longsleeve_deep_v_the_knot_spring_2017

Hayley Paige Spring 2017

anne-barge-bridal-s17-long_sleeve_deepv-wwd

Anne Barge Spring 2017

High Low HemsFor spring there was a variation in hem length with the introduction of the high low hem. I love this silhouette for either an informal wedding or as a reception look. 

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring 2017

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring 2017

Anne-Barge-Bridal-Spring-2017

Anne Barge Bridal Spring 2017

high_low_hem_spring_2017_theknot_romona_keveza_legends- Greatest-expectations

Romona Keveza Spring 2017

Pants: Pants were shown by several designers. I think this is such a modern and sophisticated look perfect for a contemporary bride! (this is a personal favorite of the Greatest Expectations staffers as it offers options for so many brides!)

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring 2017

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring 2017

Lela_rose_pants_vogue-Greatest-expectations

Lela Rose Spring 2017

Carolina Herrera Bridal Spring 2017

Carolina Herrera Bridal Spring 2017

Beth Chapman is a stylist, author and owner of The White Dress by the shore, a quaint boutique in Connecticut that offers chic couture of brides, mothers and maids.  Beth’s styling work can be found on her website

7 Ways to SPRING into action for the big day and beyond!

If you want to spring into action and get yourself fit, emotionally and physically, for the big day — then you will not want to miss this blog post. I have had the pleasure of knowing our guest blogger, Chris Szabo, for nearly 15 years now and let me tell you, she is a total powerhouse! I asked Chris to write about ways to get “wedding day” ready and then keep those routines long after the wedding. I love her fitness motto: Train – Evolve – Achieve. Train for an Adventurous Life.


The Big Day is fast approaching and there is so much to do! How can working out be something besides just another task to check off the endless list? There are lots of ways to make it happen – here are some main concepts to guide you to success:

1. Prioritize. Remember we make time for the things we want to prioritize. Whether it’s conscious or not, ‘not having time’ is the number one reason clients give for not getting the workout in or the results they want. It helps to reframe this by realizing ‘I make time for’ or ‘I choose to.’ It helps to think of working out as non-negotiable as brushing your teeth. You just do it. It’s part of your day.

2. Start with something you know and LIKE to do. I can’t emphasize this enough. Exercise can be hard work and is challenging. To have staying power it’s got to be something that you find satisfaction in, intrinsically. Is this taking a class on a regular basis? Is this working out with a friend? Do you like to dance? Take a hip-hop class. Rather lift weights? How about cross-fit or a strength class?

3. Make it count. It’s not only what you do that matters, but HOW you do it. You will get much more out of 30 minutes where you try to jog or run versus walk. Exertion counts. Sweat! You need to challenge yourself to make changes and take your fitness to the next level. There’s a place for reading books and magazines but if you read them when working out, you’re not making much of a difference in your fitness.

4. Be Accountable. For many clients, having to answer to someone or something other than themselves creates more accountability and commitment. What motivates you? If signing up and paying for classes will get you to workout, great! Do you hate the gym? Find a group or trainer to work outdoors. Want to spend more time with your spouse-to be? Find a time to workout together, or at least at the same time.

5. Persistence wins the day. So maybe you missed a day this week because you had a work project to do, or you were feeling sick. Make sure to keep it in perspective. Life happens. Keep in mind that missing a day or two isn’t the problem, it’s when that becomes a pattern that you develop issues. You didn’t bring your regular intensity to spin class? That’s ok. You showed up. Take the long term approach.

6. Schedule it, write it down. It’s great to have ideas and goals. It’s more important to write them down. Make things happen by creating goals that are realistic, time-bound, and measurable. These things don’t happen in your head. You’ve got to make them actionable items. Spin class is on the calendar, like a business meeting. Aim to workout two to three times a week on alternate days, for a few weeks. If you stay consistent with that, add in another day. If you already workout, shoot for five days, a recovery day, and a complete day off.

7. Focus on the process. It’s easy to focus on what pounds are coming on or off, or how you will look on the Big Day. While these things may matter to you, it’s most important to focus on how you will feel on that day and beyond. If you stay in the moment and focus on the process, one workout at a time, the rest generally takes care of itself.

Now take time to reflect on your successes and hard work along the way! You deserve it. By the time your Big Day comes around, you will shine with pride and confidence knowing what you did to get there.


greatest-expectations-szabo-fittness-chrisChris Szabo – Szabo Fitness, owner

Chris is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Bootcamp & Strength Instructor and Cross Country Coach.  She promotes a love of lifelong fitness through unique and fun workouts.  She especially enjoys empowering clients by building a sense of community and using the outdoors as her fitness playground.

Certifications Held: ACE Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Instructor, TRX trainer, USA Track & Field

Specialties: Strength Training, Body Weight Training, Core Training, BootCamp, TRX, Middle Distance/Distance Running

If you are in the Worthington, Ohio area be sure to check out Chris’ classes!

Class Times: Pure Strength: Mondays 7-8pm

Total Body Bootcamp: Wednesdays 5:45-6:45pm & Saturday 8:30-9:30am. All at the Worthington Community Center.

The Groom’s New Clothes: Custom suits

We are very excited to bring you a series of posts on custom from Alexandra Cross at  Enzo Custom ClothiersEnzo does completely “custom” garments. Technically, there are four categories for suits: off-the-rack, made-to-measure, custom, and bespoke. Recently, the terms have become confused and interchangeable. But, as purists, Enzo has worked in the suiting business for a long time and want to properly educate people on the right term for each product. Made-to-measure garments work with an existing pattern, sometimes a very strict one, and make very limited adjustments to it. The difference with custom is that we actually build the garment, piece-by-piece, allowing for so many more changes both fit- and style-wise. What’s really remarkable about Enzo is that they are offering custom clothing at an incredible value for the detail that goes into it.

Alexandra will discuss women’s suits. We hope you will stay tuned!


The Grooms New Clothes

Deciding on the look for a groom and his wo/men for the big day can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to consider what the groom will be happy and most comfortable in, but you also have to account for the attendants’ individual tastes. The need to please everyone can sometimes overwhelm and confuse the issue. Before anything else, even before considering any of the following advice, remember to be true to your own image of the day. What you want sometimes means bending, or all-out breaking, the classic rules (and remember that Heather says there are no more rules!)  Regardless, here are some guidelines to help you navigate the process.

To begin, let’s think about style. Any suit or tuxedo should be reflective of the wearer’s personality, but also coordinate with the intended’s outfit, the rest of the party, and the overall tone of the wedding and formality of the venue. Remember, the wedding couple should be the best dressed in the room – it’s their special day! If the wedding is black-tie optional, I strongly suggest nothing less than a formal tuxedo. Then, in order from formal to casual, consider: a formal black suit, charcoal or navy solid suit, then patterned suits, tie/vest/pant no jacket, tie/shirt/pant no jacket, and finally shirt/pant. A vest always adds a punch of formality.

Enzo-Custom-Clothiers-Greatest-Expectations-made-measure

Then it’s the time to consider the rest of the party. You want everybody to coordinate, look good, and also be comfortable. It can be really difficult to decide what to ask your party to pay for and how much you’re willing to compromise to save money and headaches. Consider each person individually and how you can make sure everyone is happy and comfortable with the chosen clothing.

Every member of the wedding party need not wear the exact same thing. As long as everyone coordinates, you could do a combination of tuxedos and suits, vary the color palette, add a vest, or just switch up the ties, pocket squares, or boutonnieres. Look to your planner, stylist, or dressmaker for suggestions and ideas. This is where custom suits can really be a perfect fit.

Enzo-Custom-Clothiers-Greatest-Expectations-made-measure

Now is the time to think about the groom’s shape and preferred fit. This will give you an idea of how much time you’ll need to find the right suit. Go to a few places, set some appointments, just to consider fit. If you’ve gone shopping for suiting before, you might already have a good idea of how easy or difficult the body is to fit. This initial search can uncover unique attributes which could make a difference in the direction you take. Most people do not fit perfectly in a garment off the rack, so you can decide whether to rent a tuxedo or purchase off-the-rack and have the garment tailored as closely as possible, or whether to have the suit or tuxedo made through a custom program.

If you decide to rent or purchase off-the-rack, you should plan on a 4-6 week process at most based on the retailer and tailor. Add additional time to coordinate other members of the wedding party, and take anyone traveling into consideration. If you decide on a custom program, try to give yourself at least 6 weeks, with some programs at 10 weeks or more. Some companies do offer rushes. There are many different types of programs available, so make sure that the company you work with has the capability to fit your particular posture and style choices. Going custom is the best way to ensure you get the exact color, style, and fit that you want for the big day.

enzo-suits-greatest-expectations-made-measure


Enzo-Custom-Clothiers-Greatest-ExpectationsAlexandra Cross is the Executive Clothier and Showroom Manager at Enzo Custom Clothiers in Chicago, designing completely custom suits, shirts and topcoats for each client based on their unique set of measurements and style choices. Enzo prides itself on offering an unbeatable selection of fabrics and available style choices at an unparalleled value. Alexandra has worked alongside pattern makers, in-house tailors and seamstresses, fabric distributors and buyers, in both off-the-rack and custom clothing for over seven years, designing custom garments for over sixteen different programs, large and small. She is a native to Chicago, a Dearborn Park kid, and an unapologetic townie, immersing herself in all the sights and sounds the city has to offer.

Personalizing your wedding ceremony

It is such a delight to welcome Anita Vaughan from AnitaWeds as our guest blogger this week. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Anita for five years. We first met when she was producing Under a New Moon, where we celebrated the first legal day of civil unions in the state of Illinois. At midnight on June 1, 2011, we united the first six, same-sex couples, in the state. It was a tremendous occasion and one that I was honored to have been part of. Anita has such an easy way with couples and really makes every ceremony extra special. She helps people celebrate every other aspect of life, not just weddings and even performed the blessing ceremony for my youngest daughter. 

This post is full of useful information and is a must read for everyone planning a wedding ceremony. Anita is an expert on personalizing life’s special ceremonies. 

greatest-expectations-Under-a-New-Moon-AnitaWeds-Same-sex-wedding

Photo by JLP and Associates


The Perfect “I Do” for You- How to Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony

You’ve picked the flavors for your cake and the colors for the flowers. Your favorite foods will be served and the band leader has a list of your favorite songs. The reception has you written all over it.

But what about your ceremony? Shouldn’t that be a reflection of the two of you? Of course!

As a professional Life-Cycle Celebrant, my goal is to make my clients’ wedding ceremonies completely personalized. But, no matter who officiates your ceremony, there are many ways to add your personal touch to your wedding ceremony.

MUSIC Let’s start with the music. Who says you can’t walk down the aisle to Led Zepplin? Having officiated over 200 weddings, I’ve heard just about every type of processional and recessional song. Of course, many couples love the traditional “Wedding March.” But I’ve also heard some really unique choices, ranging from Kanye to Guns N Roses to the Beatles. And, yes, one of my brides walked in to an instrumental version of “Stairway to Heaven.”

Whether your music is being provided by a DJ, a string trio, or your Uncle Bob will be hitting “play” on your iPhone, look for music that suits your style. And the good news is that, if you’re worried about keeping Grandma happy, you’ll be able to find instrumental versions of many of your favorite tunes. She won’t even notice that you’re playing the Imperial March from Star Wars.

TIP: Be sure to visit Vitamin String Quartet’s website for tons of instrumental options.

Another way to personalize your ceremony and make it memorable is to include your friends and family. You invited your loved ones because they’re important to you, so let them be more than just witnesses – get them involved.

SAY THANKS Have your officiant thank your guests. This can be a very simple “thanks for being here,” or you can choose to mention special people by name. A shout-out to the friend who introduced the two of you would be a great way to open the ceremony. Acknowledging people who’ve traveled from out of town for your big day would make them feel pretty special. And a few words of gratitude for parents, grandparents, or other important people in your life would add a warm, heartfelt touch to the ceremony.

greatest-expectations-anitaweds

Photo by Chad Husar

INVOLVE YOUR GUESTS There are also great ways to include the whole crowd, such as asking the guests to bless your marriage with a community vow of support. Another idea is to include a ring blessing. Before you exchange your wedding rings, they are passed among the guests (either in a box or a pouch) so each person has a chance to hold them while making a wish or saying a prayer. Typically, two people are designated as being in charge of passing the rings, which gives you the opportunity to give two more people a role in your ceremony!

UNIQUE RITUALS Another way to personalize your ceremony is to think about the activities you and your future spouse enjoy doing together. Do you share an interest in history and ancient traditions? Try a handfasting ritual. Are you into gardening? Consider a planting ritual. Do you enjoy brewing your own beer? Then a beer tasting ritual might be perfect for you. Do the two of you cook dinner together? A food sharing could be a nice element for you. Love making things with building blocks? You can have a unity ritual with Legos!

TIP: Have fun! One of my couples got engaged at the Shedd Aquarium. In honor of that surprise proposal, the ring bearer (as carefully orchestrated by the groom) had a surprise delivery of the rings – they were presented by a helium shark! I’ve also had clients that met in a bar, create a custom cocktail during their ceremony and then have their attendants pass it out to all of the guests.

READINGS One more way to get creative and show your personal style is with your choice of readings.  There are countless sources for great wedding readings, including children’s books, song lyrics, and classic literature.

Are you a dog lover? Look up a poem called, “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali. Math nerd? I would suggest you find a poem called “The Square Root of 3” by Dave Feinberg. Music fan? Look into a letter written by Johnny Cash to his wife, June Carter Cash – it is truly lovely.

greatest-expectations-anitaweds

Photo by Chad Husar

As you can see, there are many ways to personalize your wedding ceremony. So, don’t be afraid to get creative. And, most importantly, make it true to YOU.


anita-vaughn-angel-eyes-photographyAnita Vaughan is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and owner of AnitaWeds. In addition to creating wedding ceremonies, Anita also works with clients to celebrate other life events, such as baby welcoming ceremonies. She works closely with other Celebrants as the Facilitator for the Illinois Celebrant Association and serves as faculty for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute. When she’s not officiating a ceremony or teaching future Celebrants, she enjoys baking cupcakes, reading graphic novels, and listening to 80’s music. Anita can also be found rescuing animals with her children and being obsessed with octopuses. Photo by Angel Eyes Photography

Engagement photos: how to do them right!

Last week we shared some fantastic tips on how to propose.  Today we have some great tips from Husar Photography on engagement photos.  

Engagement photos are really important. This is not just because you need cute photos to put on your save-the-date cards or your custom guest book (although that is a fun byproduct). This is an important step because it allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera and get to know your wedding photographer.  I promise, you do not want your wedding day to be the first time you have a photographer capturing your every move. Other than your wedding planner, your photographer is the vendor you will be spending the most time with on your wedding day. Being comfortable around them and making sure they know your personalities and how you interact as a couple, is absolutely imperative. 

We were so enamored with our clients, Caitlin and Melissa’s, engagement photos that we simply had to share them with you. We also asked Chad to share his tips on making the most of your engagement shoot.  

Lesbian engagement photo's Chicago

Let’s talk engagement photos! When choosing locations for your engagement photos we encourage you to select spots that are truly special or meaningful to you. If you don’t have any specific spots in mind give your photographer some general guidance about things you like to do as a couple, favorite places to visit, restaurant’s you enjoy etc… Let your photographer know what you love about Chicago (or whatever city you are doing the shoot in). Is it the neighborhood you live in? Being downtown? The grittiness of the city? The skyline, or maybe the parks? Allow your photographer to be your expert guide; they know all of the hidden gems in the area and can take you to places you never even knew existed.

Lesbian engagement photo's Chicago

When preparing for your engagement photo shoot we suggest you take the opportunity to buy new clothes. New clothes. Putting on a new outfit makes you feel awesome. A little pop of color looks really nice in photos. Try to coordinate with your partner – but don’t match!

We shoot full-length shots, so your shoes matter. There are a lot of things you can put on your feet that aren’t flattering. Flip flops are the most comfortable thing in the world, and I actually recommend you bring them because we’ll be doing a lot of walking during your shoot. But don’t wear them in the photos. Bring a few pairs of shoes. The newer, cooler and fancier they are, the better.

Lesbian engagement photo's Chicago

A lot of people get really nervous because they think they have to be something they’re not. They see other engagement photos and think, “I have to be like that, but I’m not like that.” We hear you and rest assured, you don’t need to worry about it. You don’t have to practice weird poses in the mirror before your shoot, because a photographer’s job isn’t just to take photos: it is to put you at ease and guide you in the moment, get you in the right spot, and in the most flattering light. Besides, it’s just you and the person you love the most having a good time together. There just so happens to be a photographer there to capture it. This will make you a lot more comfortable on your wedding day and will ensure we get the best photographs possible.

Remember, you’re getting married because you’re in love. Just be yourselves and have a great time – that is your job. I’m going to make you both look adorable – that’s my job!

Lesbian engagement photo's Chicago

 

Chad Husar

CHADhr

Over the past decade, Husar Photography founder Chad Husar has photographed more than 300 weddings following a simple philosophy: the pictures should capture not just how the wedding looked, but how it felt. The result is thoughtful, artful and imaginative photography that reflects the candid personalities of his clients

Chad knew in high school that he wanted to be a photographer and began his career working on editorial and fashion shoots. After working in such diverse cities as L.A. and Milwaukee, in 2004 Chad rooted himself in his favorite city of all, Chicago!  He especially fell in love with wedding photography, because it allowed him to build relationships with real people and help tell the stories of their most special moments.

 

So you’re ready to propose …

This is it. You have met “the one” and you are ready to propose. Wait. Whoa.  This is a really big deal!

Let’s all start by taking a deep breath.

Proposing can be nerve-wracking! You want it to be “just right.” You want your partner to be blown away.  After years of helping clients plan the perfect proposal, we thought it would be a good idea to provide a few helpful hints when planning an unforgettable proposal.

Type in “proposal” on Pinterest and you are bound to discover hundreds of posts about “the most creative proposals.” While we love the idea of getting creative (and we hope you will allow us to help plan this momentous occasion with you) there are things to consider.

First, lets consider your partner. Are they sentimental? Do they have champagne taste? Would they be considered “traditional”? Do they love crowds (or hate them)?

IMG_5324

For those that are more sentimental we might suggest proposing where you had your first date or the street corner where you realized they were “the one.” Now, if your significant other has more extravagant taste, we suggest taking them to the restaurant that is the hottest ticket in town followed by a walk at exactly the same time the fireworks on Navy Pier are going off. Buying out the skybox at the Willis Tower could also be a big hit for your extravagant partner.

It is important to really know your Forever Human well enough to decide if a public proposal would thrill them or horrify them. Remember, this moment needs to be about rocking their world, not necessarily what you would want if the situation was reversed.

engagement-photos-greatest-expectations-chad-husar

We find that many people want to have a photographer document their proposal. We highly support this idea as it makes for really beautiful memories.

But let’s discuss a few very important and often-overlooked factors when having a professional photograph your well planned and extremely special proposal.

1. No one likes an under lit photograph, especially a photographer. If the lighting is poor, the photographer cannot properly capture this momentous occasion. So be sure to consider the lighting when selecting your venue. Are you proposing at nighttime? Will there need to be additional lighting? How can one make the additional lighting relatively hidden (you should count on your proposal planner or photographer to help you with this one)?

2. How can the photographer capture the moment without giving anything away? Often a professional photographer will have a decoy situation set up that would prevent your special someone from suspecting a thing. However, at a private dinner and in smaller venues,  a photographer holding an unusually large camera is more noticeable. Talk through these details before the big day so that everything goes smoothly.

3. This one would seem obvious, but we have to say it: hire a professional photographer! Do not hire your friend with a “nice” camera. There is no guarantee that your photographs will turn out the way you want them to. You also run the risk of spoiling the surprise when your partner sees a friend of yours with a camera strapped around their neck.

engagement-photos-greatest-expectations-chicago-cubs

Finally, lets talk friends and family. This is when you really need to know your future spouse. Often, after a proposal a couple wants to do one of two things: spend as much one on one time together as possible or shout “I’M ENGAGED” from the rooftops with forty of their closest friends and family members. If you think your partner would prefer the latter then invite away! We suggest renting a private room at a restaurant or planning a party at a spot close to where you’ll propose. For those partners that would rather spend a romantic night one on one, rent a room at a hotel for a special getaway evening or plan your proposal over a vacation (and yes, those professional photographers and proposal planners will travel to your destination with you!).

One thing is for sure: no matter what you do or who is there your partner will have eyes only for you. The funny thing about love is that it can make you feel like you’re the only two people in the whole world, even if everyone’s watching.

engagement-photos-greatest-expectations-kevin-weinstein

 

Julie + Laura: super epic funtimes wedding (to quote the brides)

Happy Brides

Sometimes couples walk in the door that we just know are meant for us.  That was the case when we first met Julie and Laura.  These brides had a flair for the creative. We knew the moment Laura insisted we hold all meetings in a bar that their fun and very big personalities would make the wedding planning process full of laughter and such a complete delight.  We were not disappointed. Even their first glance was full of fun and laughter.

First Glance

First Glance

First Glance

We not only had the opportunity to work closely with the brides but also their amazing families.  This wedding was truly a family affair.  Getting to know entire families and feeling like we were welcomed into the fold is one aspect of our jobs that is so unique and truly adds to the enjoyment of the process on our end. We also loved the “Party People” which is what the brides affectionately called their wedding party. We even had a Ring Bear (ala How I Met Your Mother, but this little guy was adorable and refused to wear the entire bear costume).

Wedding party fun!

Wedding Party Fun

Ring "Bear"

Invitations set the precedent for all things awesome.  In this case Courtney Callahan Designs created the perfect invitation set to capture the look and feel for the event but also truly managed to embody the spirit of the brides. The event was also peppered with fantastic signage throughout, including “thoughts to consider” on each table.

Custom Wedding Invitation Suite

Custom Wedding Invitations

Welcome to the party!

Custom Table Assignment Display

Menu Cards

Wedding Program

Speciality Cocktails

The perfect location for the big day was Ignite Glass Studios.  This little gem of a venue is nestled in the heart of the city and has a gorgeous roof top deck, perfect for a ceremony with a view of the city.  The cocktail hour was held in their courtyard which is a little bit like a secret garden.  Inside we decided to leave the garage door up, revealing the glass blowing studio beyond the band. We also added some really cool lighting from Chicago Lighting Design behind the band and cafe lights strung throughout the room.

Ignite Glass Studios

Outdoor Ceremony

Back down the aisle

Just Married!

Because the brides wanted to really warm up the otherwise very urban space, we used wooden farm tables and French industrial chairs (from Tablescapes), chevron table runners (from BBJ Linen) and warm floral. One of the biggest challenges we had during planning was Laura’s severe allergies.  We worked with the ever talented Kelly from Fleur to create the most stunning centerpieces that would really represent their style but not cause Laura to be miserable.  What Kelly created was perfectly breathtaking.

Brides sweetheart tableCenterpiecesIgnite Glass Studios evening view from courtyardTable DisplayIgnite reception at night

Dining Brides

When a super foodie couple walks in the doors it is always fun to work with a speciality catering company.  In this case, Boutique Bites really pulled out all of the stops. The attention to detail is outstanding, the food is unbelievably delicious, the bespoke cocktails were insane (the “Sofa King Good Whiskey Cocktail” and “Hakuna Some Vodka”), and the s’mores station was a massive hit.

s'mores station

S'more!

Speciality Cocktails

Everyone danced the night away to the sounds of Matt Lewis and The Union.  We knew this was a special bond when the brides first met Matt before a gig at The Green Mill while he was dressed as Doc from Back to The Future for a Halloween event. Matt was instructed to have the band dress in their most fun attire and bring their sense of humor.

View from behind the band

Dancing!

Brides dancing

Glow sticks, wine from a family winery and candles handmade by Julie capped off the night.

Glowing Bride

Glow Sticks

Family winery

Handmade candles

A giant thank you to Steve Koo Photography for making magic happen with his camera. Steve’s photographs show the extreme joy, happiness, love and over all insanely fun day.

I will bring this little love fest of a blog post to an end with the video from Smiling Toad Productions. They did an outstanding job.  Truly outstanding.

Laura and Julie from Smiling Toad Productions on Vimeo.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Julie, Laura and their families for allowing us to plan their super epic funtimes wedding with them.  It was one of the most fun events we have ever had the pleasure of planning.

Laura’s bespoke suit was made by Boris Powell and Julie’s beautiful dress was by Jesús Peiró.

Brides

Love is Love – Celebrating 1 Year of Marriage Equality in Illinois

Love is Love Logo

Last month we worked with an outstanding group of Chicago wedding vendors to plan and produce Love is Love, a celebration of 1 year of marriage equality in Illinois.  We had hundreds of people in attendance and it was quite the celebration!  It was such a delight being part of this event and we were thrilled to see many of our past and current same-sex clients in attendance as well.

That night, we all talked about how proud we were of Illinois and how awesome it was to see equal rights for all couples in love in our home state of Illinois.  Finally, we can say the same thing for the entire country!  We have celebrated and rejoiced for over a week now that the SCOTUS ruled in favor of marriage equality! We are seeing same-sex weddings happen all over the country, in cities and counties that some of us never dreamed would be a reality.  As a wedding planner who works with a lot of LGBT clients, my heart is overjoyed to see this wave of love wash over our nation.  This Independence Day we have something extra to celebrate.  While we know there is still a lot of work ahead for equality across races, religions, gender and sexuality, it is important to still take a moment to be thankful and celebrate our victories.  They may come slowly, but they are coming.  Our hard work and dedication to equality makes changes day by day, one step at a time.

I am delighted to share this beautiful video from my friend Keith at Poetic Productions.  He did a beautiful job capturing the Love is Love celebration for same-sex marriage.  We also have a really fun stop motion video from Doug and Doug McGoldrick Weddings.  It is a pleasure to share these beautiful pieces of art with you all.

love is from doug mcgoldrick on Vimeo.

I giant thank you to all of the outstanding vendors who came together to make Love is Love such an exceptional celebration.  Everyone at Greatest Expectations is thrilled and honored to work with each and every one of you!

Amy Beck Cake Design

Limelight Catering

J & L Catering

Entertaining Company 

Wolfgang Puck Catering

Modern Luxury Brides Chicago

ChicagoStyle Weddings Magazine

Lincoln Park Zoo

Halls Rentals

BBJ Linen

Revel Decor

Sound Investment

Greatest Expectations

SQN Special Events

Liven It Up Events

Emily Wheeler Custom Cakes

Rick Aguilar Studios

Doug McGoldrick Photography

Lofty Wedding Photography and Videography

Sprung Photo

Hendzel Productions

Poetic Productions

Beatmix Music

Okyne Medialab

Shutter Booth Chicago

KGA Garret Associates

Loft on Lake

Stand Up – Wedding Professional for Marriage Equality Chicago

All proceeds for Love is Love benefited Equality Illinois.

One Love Wedding Event

One Love Flyer

Everyone at Greatest Expectations is proud to be collaborating with the Chicago History Museum on the One Love Wedding Event being held on Thursday, April 10th . This one of a kind event is geared towards the LGBTQ community and features an extensive list of LGBTQ friendly wedding vendors including Egalitè Wines and Halsted Vodka who give 15% of their proceeds to the LGBTQ community.

Please join us for what promises to be an upscale, elegant and unique wedding event! Attendance is free but registration is required and space is filling up fast.  Please click here to register.

Thank you to all of the wonderful vendors participating in this exceptional wedding event.

Amy Beck Cake Design, Andie Cumber Make Up, Anita Weds, Berghoff Catering, Berghoff Beer, Blue Plate, Carmel Entertainment, Egalitè Wines, Flower Firm, Food for Thought, Fragrant Designs,  Glazed and Infused,  Greatest Expectations, Halls Rentals, Halsted VodkaIntercontinental ChicagoJewell Events, Julia Franzosa Photography, Katherine Anne Confections, Livia Caporale, Magnificent Milestones, Mini Cooper, Platinum Events, Poetic Productions, Private Label Linen, Revel Decor, Shutterbooth Chicago, Stemline Creative.

The event has been featured on WGN Midday News  and OUT CHICAGO.