The Knot Goes Green

We are remembering a few of our favorite Knot moments of 2012 in celebration of The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2013 choosing Big City Bride on their Chicago wedding planner list. It has been an honor that for three years we’ve had the chance to plan with the wonderful women of The Knot to celebrate their Chicago wedding vendors with a fabulous networking event. This year we chose the Chicago wedding venue Greenhouse Lofts and filled it with a team of fabulous people. As a green themed Chicago event, the food and design were ethically and stylistically chosen, the music had people on the dance floor, and the vintage hat photo booth was always full!

A Night Out with The Knot, Chicago 2012

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Thank you to Michael Monar photography for documenting the event beautifully. Thank you to Pure Kitchen and Catering for the incredible food. Thank you to BBJ and Tablescapes for the linens and rentals that truly transformed the event. Big City Bride loves all the possibilities that lie within wedding rentals. Thank you to Stems for the amazing floral, to Sarah Drake for the fun print materials, and to Keith Christopher for the entertainment. We had so much fun pulling together a great event to celebrate The Knot!

Best Chicago Wedding Planners

What an honor and a joy to be named for the third year to the Knot’s “Best of Weddings” list. The Chicago wedding planners of Big City Bride continually admire The Knot. Publishing magazines nationwide and locally, The Knot is providing Chicago brides with local vendors, trends, and events. Their website is beloved by brides not only as a reliable resource of inspiration and vendors but also as a tool for their Chicago wedding planning.

Big City Bride is thrilled to be chosen as a Chicago wedding planner for their “2013 Best Of Weddings.” We are so blessed to have happy clients who have taken the time to share their experience with the Knot and brides in search of a reliable planner. It is these reviews that we value most – the experiences and the appreciation from past clients! To be acknowledged by the trusted site as well is an added perk!

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The official announcement will be on magazine stands soon. We will keep you posted as we’re looking forward to a Big City Bride wedding feature to be included. There might even be a page highlighting A Night Out With The Knot, Chicago 2012! We had so much fun planning the Knot’s Chicago party for the second year. We were able to work with wonderful Chicago wedding vendors and show off the new Chicago wedding venue, Greenhouse Lofts. It was a success! 2012 was a success and we know that this badge of honor will lead us into a wonderful 2013 as well.

First Kiss, Not A First Look

To see him or not to see him … that’s one of the first questions your Chicago wedding planner will ask you! As you think through your Chicago wedding day and plan out the memories … contemplate if your first look of each other needs to be as you walk down the aisle. Many couples decide to see each other before the Chicago wedding ceremony so they can spend the afternoon taking photos around the city with their Chicago wedding photographer. If you hope for guests to move immediately into cocktail hour after the ceremony, a first look is ideal.

Big City Bride’s bride and groom at Millennium Park didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony so we blocked the groom’s view. This is an adorable sequence from Robyn Rachel Photography of their intimate moment before the day started. A quick chat and a kiss, but not a sneak peak!

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Trolley Wedding Transportation

Trolley transportation is a unique, memorable way to transport your family and friends on your big day. Trolley transportation in Chicago offers a fun way to travel to your Chicago wedding. But before you book that trolley for your wedding… be sure to get the facts! Here is a little advice from a Chicago wedding planner who knows the pro’s & con’s and the in’s & the outs of everything Chicago:

Trolley Size: Chicago trolleys typically hold 25-35 people. This is great since you can fit your whole bridal party on board instead of having to split them up in limousines. They are spacious and offer the choice of standing or sitting for your Chicago Wedding.

Trolley Style: You can choose a more traditional trolley look with red or green or choose an ivory or white trolley. Chicago trolleys also have different formats for seating. Some Chicago trolleys offer row seating – so all guests face forward. Some Chicago trolleys offer “bench seating” where guest face each other.

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Cool Features: Some Chicago trolleys are air conditioned and others are not. Before booking your Chicago trolley, you should ask if the trolley has good, working air conditioning. Trust Big City Bride, there is nothing hotter than a wedding dress and a tuxedo! If your wedding is May – October, chances are, you are going to want climate control!

Booze Cruise? You also want to find out if your Chicago trolley allow beverages. It’s nice to have water, soda, champagne or a cold beer while cruising around town in your Chicago trolley. So make sure the vehicle you are booking allows refreshments if you plan to serve them! You also want to ask about clean up fees for empty cans, bottles or trash left on board – you don’t want to get stuck with any surprise charges following your Chicago wedding!

Music Matters: And, no Chicago trolley tour would be complete without music! So ask your Chicago trolley company if they have speakers, iPod connection or some way to crank up the tunes!

The Price is Right? Trolley prices range depending on the day and amount of time you want to rent them. Prices for Saturdays usually exceed a thousand dollars plus driver gratuity.

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Keep in mind if the Chicago trolley does not fit your wedding day style, you can consider using one for your Chicago bachelor or Chicago bachelorette party.

South Shore Cultural Center Wedding

Here is a couple we are so excited to share. Natalie and Chris hired Big City Bride to help guide them through their Chicago wedding planning leading up to their November nuptials. It was a perfect mix of Natalie and Chris’ personalities, politics, and preferences. They were an ideal bride and groom … making decisions based on instinct and humor rather than tradition. And yet, while including unexpected twists it remained an elegant and beautiful Chicago wedding.

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They chose the South Shore Cultural Center as their Chicago wedding venue. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan south of downtown, this old and historic building is owned by the Chicago Park District. The Solarium at the South Shore Cultural Center is where their ceremony took place, highlighted by an “At Last” solo by Natalie’s dear friend. It was a perfect moment and a meaningful ceremony.

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Having chosen a historic Chicago wedding venue, Natalie and Chris embraced the charm of the space with a nod towards vintage and eclectic in their decor and details. Guests found their seat by postcards made to replicate the vintage Chicago postcards set on each table. The “Chicagoan” coffee table book filled with notes from guests to make it a guest book that will always be cherished. The endless pie station was decorated with vintage needlepoints and pie racks. The tables were beautiful with eclectic floral in Natalie’s gathered collection of glassware. She added tasteful vintage wherever possible and matched the Chicago venue perfectly.

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Note: they served the most amazing gourmet fried chicken and collard greens with macaroni and cheese.

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Once the band began and the dance floor filled, Big City Bride set out Natalie’s collection of vintage political pins. With their Chicago wedding just days before the presidential election, the couple decided to have a little fun! Guests flooded the table to find their favorite pin.

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Missing their friendship through the fun planning. Wishing them all the best!

Thank you to Document the Day for photographing the celebration and all the vendors who made is so fun, so beautiful, and so delicious.

Mad Holidays – A Christmas Chicago Event

Big City Bride and Big City Events are excited to welcome in a new year, but not before acknowledging and remembering the many joys of 2012. Here is one of those very joyful successes of 2012 – the Mad Holidays Christmas party!

Each year we have the privilege of planning a Chicago charity event with Chicago’s very best Christmas host. Famous for his Chicago Christmas party, this gentleman hosts a festive party that draws a truck load of gifts for the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. This year, Big City Events thought it would be fun to plan a themed party to transport guests to the 1960’s for a swanky and sexy holiday soiree.

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We chose the Bridgeport Art Center as the Chicago venue for this event. The refined yet raw space became the backdrop for endless vignettes for our Mad Men theme. Guests were welcomed with champagne and a PanAm flight (often used as a freight elevator) to transport them to the 1960’s. Guests explored and played in the office, vintage living room, and the winter wonderland. Without much snow in the Chicago forecast we brought the magic of the first snow inside for an unbelievable affect. Under our Christmas light balls, the dance floor was full all night long to the sound of a full band. Photos can’t possibly tell the story of such a wonderful celebration…but hopefully it gives you a sneak peak into the creative fun we had in planning this Chicago Christmas party!

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This party was magical and we’re so thankful to have been a part of it. Big City Bride hopes everyone had a holiday season with a little bit of magic, a lot of love, and endless joy. May the year to come bring health, happiness, and fabulous events for all! Cheers!

 

Delicious Dessert, Easy as Pie

It’s that time of year when we gather with our families and friends and completely indulge on the sweets we love most. It’s the time of year for cookies, for fudge, and for pie. The colder months always ask for warmer desserts.
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As Chicago wedding planners we see a lot of desserts. Big City Bride loves unique options for all aspects of an event including your Chicago wedding dessert! Recently, Chris and Natalie embraced their fall wedding with a pie station from their favorite Chicago pie shop, First Slice Pie Cafe!
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To match their decor, Natalie collected pie racks, needlepoint, and vintage table clothes to make the pie station not only a delicious focal point, but also a visual one.
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It was a complete success. There was an endless line of guests enjoying piece after piece of delicious pie. If only our grandmas’ pie could be so endless.
 
Wishing you a delicious holiday,
xoxo Big City Bride
 

Happy Holidays!

Tonight is the night we look forward to all year long. The annual Christmas party we have the privilege to collaborate on and plan with our dear friend has arrived. Last year we made magic in a dirty car garage. This year we’re taking a trip back to the 1960’s to celebrate the holidays in Mad Men style.
 
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Needless to say … we’re excited! Stay tuned for our Christmas magic (it may be raining in Chicago today but I believe it’s snowing in the 1960’s!)

Twelve Steps of Planning

It’s 12/12/12 today…a repetitive date which will never occur again! It’s a once in a lifetime day, much like a Chicago wedding! So in honor of this special day … 12 days out from Christmas Eve … Big City Bride has attempted a parody to the “Twelve Days of Christmas”…here are the Twelve Steps of Planning by Chicago wedding planner Big City Bride.
In the first step of planning Big City Bride advised me…find a venue and set a date!
In the second step of planning, Big City Bride advised me…to set a realistic wedding budget of where to spend and save.
In the third step of planning Big City Bride advised me…choose a photographer I love to match my style and personality.
In the fourth step of planning Big City Bride advised me…to pick my entertainment – DJ, band, or string quartet?!
In the fifth step of planning Big City Bride advised me…gather inspiration and choose decor to make the vision come to life.
In the sixth step of planning Big City Bride advised me…send invitations so that loved ones join the day.
In the seventh step of planning Big City Bride advised me…to pick linens and chairs that compliment my decor.
In the eighth step of planning Big City Bride advised me…taste your food and dessert to create a menu perfect and unique.
In the ninth step of planning Big City Bride advised me…draw a floor plan that’s unexpected but flows.
In the tenth step of planning Big City Bride advised me…build a timeline with all the details of the day.
In the eleventh step of planning Big City Bride said to me…drop your stuff off with your planner and get ready to enjoy!
In the twelfth step of planning Big City Bride said to me…rehearse your ceremony and cheers with family and friends!