(Closed) Our Chicago Weddings and Vendors

posted 11 years ago in Chicago
Post # 62
5 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

Bump! great thread!

Post # 63
5 posts
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’ve seen this thread floating around for awhile, but I thought I’d wait until I was done with everything and could properly comment on how things went.  So, without futher ado:


Our wedding checklist:


  • Wedding Date:  12/17/2011
  • Location:  Chicago, Illinois
  • Number of guests:  about 40
  • Reception Venue:  Prairie Avenue Gallery – Beautiful historic home/mansion where they rent out the first floor for events.  Marcy, the owner, was awesome to work with.  She made great recommendations for other vendors and she had so many good ideas that she was almost like a wedding planner.  Not a gripe at all, but the venue is smaller, so probably for a wedding may not be able to accomodate more than 75.
  • Caterer:  Maison Cuisine – I am a vegetarian.  Danielle, the owner and chef is a vegetarian.  The food was wonderful and I actually had people raving over the main course of butternut squash instead of complaining about the lack of meat.  Maison also serves meat dishes but I have no idea what they taste like.
  • Photographer:  Maggie Rife.  Maggie was great.  She put up with my in-laws constant requests for posed pictures, she took pictures of us in the cold and the pictures look wonderful.  She captured so many moments, big and small, as well as some details that I think I missed, and I was there!  I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and I wish I had more special occassions that she could take pictures of us at!
  • Videographer:  A friend of one of the best men videotaped the ceremony.
  • Cake:  Amy Beck’s.  Yummy.
  • DJ/Music:  One of the best men (groom’s brother) did the emceeing and we had an ipod playlist
  • Florist:  Flowers Flowers in Evanston.  I went to a couple of places, but Joanne was great to work with and she listened to me when I said that fragrance was important to me in flowers.  Another place just told me that most flowers don’t have smells.
  • Stationery:  Minted.com for invitations and RSVPs.  Programs and placecards and thank you cards were DIYs
  • Officiant:  Father Richard Sparks at Old St. Mary’s
  • Ceremony and Cocktail Musician:  The music director at church played throughout the ceremony, accompanied by two of our closest friends doing guitar and vocals.
  • Hair:  Black Hearts Hair House.  Very reasonably priced.  My stylist, Kat, was also a cool person to talk to and she got along well with my flower girl.  My only comment would be that I would have used a stronger hairspray or sprayed my hair again when I got home.  Then again, I was taking pictures in the wind for an hour after the ceremony…
  • Makeup:  Esther Soto. Friend of a friend who works at the MAC counter at Macy’s.  Did a great job, everyone looked beautiful.  More than getting it done at Black Hearts, but less than if we had gone with some of the professional services I’ve seen in the Bridal Magazines.
  • Dress: My Ceremony and beginning of the reception dress was an Allure Bridal dress, which I loved.  I changed into a vintage David’s Bridal dress midway through the reception.   I inherited it from a friend and it was much easier to move in.
  • Shoes:  Franco Sarto strappy blue heels I found on clearance.
  • Bridesmaids:  I had two Maids of Honor and the both wore David’s Bridal
  • Rehearsal Dinner:  Held in our building’s party room with food by Maggiano’s and Cafe Bionda
  • Groom’s Attire:  The Groom and the Best Men rented tuxes from Formally Modern Men’s wear.  They were happy with them and looked pretty dapper.


  • Any Other Vendors:  Schaefer’s Wine, Food and Spirits.  Probably the only suggestion that I wish I hadn’t taken from Marcy.  She recommended Shaefer’s because they buy back some of their unopened liquor and because they take back their dirty glasses.  However, we had a horrible time dealing with them.  My friend, who is a stay at home mom and was my unofficial coordinator, tried to call them to get us a quote, but they wouldn’t deal with her.  When I called, they made it seem like they were too busy to deal with me and that Chicago was too far for them to deliver to (they are based in Skokie).  Finally were able to set up a meeting with them, which was also unpleasant (we know what kind of beer our friends and family drink) but never received a quote.   Marcy called and yelled at them for us.  It turned out that the party coordinator had supposedly written down my husband’s email wrong.  Finally got everything taken care of, but for such a hassle, I wished we had gone with someone else.


Otherwise, I’m thrilled with my vendors. 

Post # 64
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

If anyone needs any info about any of my vendors, feel free to message me!

  • Wedding Date: 11/11/11
  • Location: Tinley Park, IL 
  • Number of guests: 182
  • Reception Venue: Odyssey Country Club
  • Caterer: Odyssey Country Club
  • Photographer: Megan Sullivan from Essence Photography
  • Videographer: groom’s uncle
  • Cake: Orland Park Bakery
  • DJ/Music: Steve from Operation Getdown DJ’s
  • Florist: Catherine’s Garden
  • Stationery: DYI
  • Officiant: Pastor Mike from Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Ceremony Musician: Celestial Strings-string trio  
  • Hair: Patricia Cerniuk-Vagabond’s Salon
  • Makeup:  Patricia Cerniuk-Vagabond’s Salon
  • Dress:  Winnie Coture Katarina 9102
  • Bridesmaids: Jordan 954 in black
  • Rehearsal Dinner: Papa Joe’s Restaurant
  • Photobooth: Windy City Photobooths

Post # 65
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Here are all my vendors.  Congrats 2012 brides!

  • Wedding Date: 09/01/12
  • Location:ChicagoWestern Suburbs
  • Number of guests: 450
  • Reception Venue: Westin – Lombard
  • Caterer: Westin – Lombard
  • Photographer: Jimmy Tan Photography
  • Videographer: Kinema Group
  • Cake: tbd
  • DJ/Music: Mix Media Group
  • Florist: Flowers by ColorChicago
  • Hair: Jennifer Galvin
  • Makeup: Dana DiGuilio
  • Dress: Netbride 
  • Bridesmaids: Netbride
  • Rehearsal Dinner: tbd
  • Any Other Vendors: MobileFlip Book Studio: http://www.papercinemas.com

Post # 66
4 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

  • Wedding Date: May 20, 2012


  • Location: Wilder Park Formal Gardens in Elmhurst


  • Number of guests: 110


  • Reception Venue: Tiki Terrace in Des Plaines


  • Caterer: see above


  • Photographer: Jolie Images


  • Videographer: friend


  • Cake: Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove


  • DJ/Music: DJ Sith


  • Florist: Dominicks


  • Stationery: DYI


  • Officiant: Pamela Klecker


  • Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: Ken Rothacker


  • Hair: Mario Tricocci


  • Makeup: Bobbi Brown or TBD


  • Dress: Private Label


  • Bridesmaids: 2 
  • Shoes: Pink from ShoeBuy.com

Post # 67
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Post # 68
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Date: August 18th, 2012

Location: Chicago

Ceremony: St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church (Lincoln Park)

# of guests: 303 invited

Reception venue: The Chicago History Museum

Photographer: Amanda Hein

Videographer: Shiloh Studio

Caterer: Food for Thought

Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s

Music: The High Society Orchestra

Florist: Petal Play Design (Lemont)

Stationary: Crane and Co. (ordered through paper source)

Officiant: Fr. Chris (from St. Vincent’s)

Hair/Makeup: Long time hairdresser Christina from Velvet Roar Salon and Julie Munn makeup artist

Dress: Custom Rivini gown (Rosalie & Tahlia)

Bridesmaids dresses: J. Crew

My shoes: J. Crew

Rehearsal Dinner: The University Club

DOC: Brooke from Tying the Knot (Hinsdale)

Transportation: Chicago Trolley Rentals


SO excited to see how all our vendors come together on our wedding day!

Post # 69
3767 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

I’m a long way off, but I’ve got quite a good chunk of vendors down now and I’m so excited to share!!

  • Wedding Date: August 17, 2013
  • General Area: Brookfield, IL
  • Number of guests: max of 130 (guest list of 150 tho..)
  • Ceremony Location: Brookfield Zoo, at the Roosevelt Fountain
  • Reception Venue: Brookfield Zoo, in the Bocaditos restaurant – cocktail hour also in the Great Bear Wilderness exhibit
  • Caterer: Brookfield Zoo
  • Photographer: Jordan Quinn Photography
  • Videographer: Blu Couture
  • Cake: not sure, but it’s through the Brookfield Zoo’s selection/contract
  • DJ/Music: Toast & Jam (Kristin Marks)
  • Florist: tbd
  • Stationery: planning to DIY invitations, possibly MagnetStreet for save the dates
  • Officiant: friend
  • Ceremony Musician(s): Toast & Jam
  • Cocktail Musician(s): Toast & Jam
  • Hair: tbd
  • Makeup: friend
  • Dress: Leanne Marshall
  • Bridesmaids: tbd
  • Rehearsal Dinner: tbd
  • Any Other Vendors: I Do…Photobooths

So far everyone has been wonderful!!

Post # 70
2175 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Wedding Date: 11/17/2012

 Location: Sofitel Water Tower Place

 Number of guests: 65

 Reception Venue: Sofitel Water Tower Place

 Caterer: Sofitel Water Tower Place

 Photographer: Rachel G Photography

 Videographer: n/a

 Cake: Molly’s Cupcakes

 DJ/Music: Personal friend

 Florist: Asrai Garden

 Stationery: theamericanwedding.com

 Officiant: Personal friend

 Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: Student violinist

 Hair: Appease2You

 Makeup: Appease2You

 Dress: David’s Bridal

 Bridesmaids: David’s Bridal

 Rehearsal Dinner: Lou Malnati’s

 Any Other Vendors:

Post # 71
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I thought I would do a re-cap since I posted my info so long ago!

And to the brides using Kristin Marks from Toast and Jam….  Your party is going to be the best wedding anyone has every been to!  We had to SHUT our party down at 1am, the dancefloor was going strong.  She did an AMAZING job.  I would highly recommend them. ๐Ÿ™‚

We are a ways away.  I love to talk weddings but I want everyone to be surprised!  This board is my way to talk weddings without revealing too many details to my guests.  So here goes!


  • Wedding Date: Memorial Day Weekend – May 27, 2012


  • Location: Cancer Survivor’s Garden – Grant Park


  • Number of guests: 180


  • Reception Venue: Hard Rock Hotel in the gorgeous Carbide & Carbon Building – amazing service and gorgeous rooms, location was primo


  • Caterer: Hard Rock Hotel


  • Photographer: Ana Miyares


  • Videographer: Avelar Productions


  • Cake: Bittersweet: carrot cake or almond cake layered with creme brulee, raspberry coulis and fudge cake


  • DJ/Music: The awesome Kristin Marks from Toast and Jam!!


  • Florist: All me! and my mom. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Stationery: DIY, envelopes/lining Paper Source, was seal from waxseals.com, calligraphy by my sister, printing and monogram design my Cannone Design


  • Officiant: Reverend Joshua John of the Vine, Kenosha, Wisconsin


  • Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: My cousin, Aaron, on acoustic guitar, cocktail music was the house music played at Hard Rock Hotel
  •  Hair/Make-up: Crizen Hasegawa, highly recommend as everyone’s make-up survived temps in the 90s being outside for 6 hours!

  • Dress:  Amsale Elle and than I bought off the rack at David’s Bridal.  Amazing…


  • Bridesmaids: Lazaro LZ3032


  • Rehearsal Dinner: Banh Mi & Co catered


  • Any Other Vendors: we used Buddy’s Special Events for a hot dog cart late night snack, Windy City Novelties for light up ice cubes and star wands for the kids, The Trolley Car and Bus Company for transportation, Roger Rickshaw for our getaway vehicle, veil from A Joyful Occasion in Naperville, earrings, paper straws, cufflinks from Etsy, guy’s suits from makeyourownjeans.com, Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts from Marc Jacobs

Post # 75
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Recently engaged, so still have a lot to do.  Will update when we finalize more vendors.  I will also update with “RECOMMENDED” “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” and “AVOID” as appropriate, but some can’t be updated until after the event.  ๐Ÿ™‚

•Wedding Date: September 1, 2013
•Location: TBA
•Number of guests: 150-175
•Reception Venue: TBA
•Caterer: TBA
•Photographer: Paul at Yamashiro Studios http://www.yamashirostudio.com
•Videographer: TBA
•Cake: TBA
•DJ/Music: Roberto at Monastero Entertainment http://www.robertomonastero.com
•Florist: TBA
•Stationery: Myself
•Officiant: TBA
•Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: TBA
•Hair: TBA
•Makeup: TBA
•Dress: Kacie at Volle’s Bridal & Boutique, Lake Zurich, IL http://www.vollesbridal.com (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
•Bridesmaids: TBA
•Rehearsal Dinner: TBA
•Any Other Vendors: TBA

Post # 76
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I’m finally adding to this list… We were super happy with the entire wedding, but I’ve noted our superstar vendors below.  Feel free to contact me with questions about any of the following!

  • Wedding Date: April 28, 2012
  • Number of guests: approx. 115
  • Ceremony & Reception location: The Rookery (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
  • Caterer: Jewell Events Catering
  • Photographer: J Wiley Photography (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
  • Videographer: XO Pictures (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
  • Cake: Bittersweet Bakery
  • DJ/Music: Spin Productions
  • Florist: Vale of Enna (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
  • Stationery: Minted
  • Officiant: friend
  • Hair & make-up: Kim Piech
  • Dress: Watters Devenport
  • Bridesmaids: Monique Lhullier through Nordstrom’s (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
  • Rehearsal Dinner: The Whitehall Hotel
  • Wedding Planner: Sweetchic Events for 
  • Custom fortune cookies: Greenfire through Amazon (HIGHLY RECOMMEND)

Post # 77
23 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

Here our my wedding vendors with a brief review.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! I miss the wedding planning!

  • Wedding Date: 9/1/2012
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Number of guests: 175
  • Reception & Ceremony Venue: The School of the Art Institute (4.5 out of 5 stars).  Air conditioning is horrible, but it is a BEAUTIFUL space
  • Caterer: Kenmare Catering. (3 out of 5 until we get our refund check…) You don’t have a choice with this venue. Food was good. Customer service is lacking.
  • Photographer: Misha Media (5 out of 5 stars). Pictures turned out beautiful. We used the Misha Media Bench Mob, which is their associate photographers.
  • Cake: Alliance Bakery- (3 out of 5). Cake was good, but they forgot to delivery my sheet cake, so half my guests didn’t get cake!
  • Band: Hello Nuvo- (5 out of 5 stars) just amazing. Best band out there. Had the time of my life because of them
  • Florist: Fleur du Jour (5 out of 5 stars) HUGE arrangements. Reasonably priced. Kate is awesome.
  • Officiant: Rev Thomas Perrucci (5 out of 5 stars) Really good ceremony. Got compliments on how good he was all night!
  • Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: Harpist Keelin Schneider (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Hair: JD Michael Studio (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Makeup: Sonia Roselli (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Dress:  House of Brides (3.5 out of 5 stars)- Schaumburg location. Its just gross and dirty.  Their alterations department is impossble to get a hold of. Loved my dress and it turned out good.
  • Bridesmaids: Bella Bianca (5 out of 5 stars) I wish I got my dress from here! Loved their shop and selection
  • Rehearsal Dinner: Carnivale (5 out of 5 stars) Food was great- space is fun.
  • Chairs: Prestige Wedding Décor (5 out of 5 stars) Cheapest chiavari chairs in chicagoland!

Post # 78
1892 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Hopefully this helps some future Chicago brides!!  Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about my vendors ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wedding Date: July 14, 2012
  • General Area: western suburbs
  • Number of guests: 215 invited, 185 attended
  • Ceremony Location: Bird Haven Greenhouse, Joliet
  • Reception Venue: Carriage Greens Country Club
  • Caterer: Carriage Greens
  • Photographer: Redwall Photography
  • Videographer: None
  • Cake: friend
  • DJ/Music: Essence Entertainment (Rich Bednara)
  • Florist: DLN Floral
  • Stationery: DIY, catprint.com
  • Officiant: friend
  • Ceremony Musician(s): Cousin
  • Cocktail Musician(s): Essence Entertainment
  • Hair: Hairspray Revolution
  • Makeup: DIY
  • Dress: Ebay
  • Bridesmaids: Davids Bridal & House of Brides
  • Rehearsal Dinner: Kerry Piper
  • Any Other Vendors: 

Post # 79
24 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

  • Wedding Date: 8/31/2013
  • Location: St Anne’s Chapel, Barrington
  • Number of guests: 200-220
  • Reception Venue: Kemper Lakes Golf Club
  • Caterer: Kemper Lakes
  • Photographer: Kristin La Voie (came highly recommended, engagement photo’s were amazing)
  • Videographer: Lexoria (recommended by Kristin)
  • Cake: Bodi Bakery
  • DJ/Music: Keith Christopher Entertainment (using KC)
  • Florist: Kio Kreations (came highly recommended)
  • Stationery: DBY Creations. (save the dates were great)
  • Officiant: Father Jack
  • Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: KC will provide
  • Hair: Using a friend of a friend.
  • Makeup: Using a friend of a friend.
  • Dress: Bought from Dimitri’s in Chicago…AMAZING. I had given up on the type of dress I wanted after going to Vanessa’s in AH and A L’Amour in Barrington. Dimitri’s (NOT Dimitra’s) listened to what I wanted, I tried on about 5 dresses there and could have picked any of them. Highly recommend!!
  • Bridesmaids: Jasmine (appointment is in a few weeks)
  • Rehearsal Dinner: McGonigals in Barrington
  • Any Other Vendors: using Yellow Diamond Events for Day of Co-Ordination. Eugenya is just starting out, is VERY reasonable and easy to work with. Using Black Tie for the tux’s.

That’s it so far. Happy Planning!

The topic ‘Our Chicago Weddings and Vendors’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors