Union Station Wedding – Incredible Indian Fusion Flair

It’s amazing to transform a space and Union Station is one of the hardest Chicago wedding venues  to do so. It’s a gorgeous Grand Hall with tall cielings and more space than most people know what to do with. It takes an experienced Chicago wedding planner to transform the space into something unique and special and we’re excited to share these wedding photos of a recent Big City Bride wedding where we did just that. 

Amazing linens. Beautiful table decor. Creative floor plan. Incredible lighting!

Ombre placecards. Subtle peacock feather details. Gold and purple and fuscia. Gem tones!

The best part of the event was a happy bride and groom! Just days after they said “I Do” Sonya and Silas found a moment to write a Yelp review about their Big City Bride Chicago wedding planning experience. We’re honored to share their kind and insightful words:

We just had our wedding this past weekend at Union Station in Chicago. Our wedding planner was Chrissy and honestly, looking back we can’t even begin to imagine what our wedding would have been without her. I agree with one of the past YELP reviews listed below- at first, justifying a wedding planner is a difficult thing to do because a wedding costs so much to begin with–an added cost just seems ridiculous. However, with my husband and my crazy schedule, we knew there would be no way to plan a wedding by ourselves. From the beginning, Chrissy was so organized- she gave us a timeline, updated budgets and gave us weekly “to dos”–all things that made having a large wedding completely manageable. Although we used Big City Bride’s preferred vendors for the majority of our wedding, we did explore some options outside of the preferred vendor list for photography and paper goods. Chrissy never made us feel bad about this choice and went above and beyond to reach out to the vendors she didn’t know in order for the day to run smoothly. So all of the planning leading up to the wedding was uneventful and organized because of her. We had conference calls with our DJ, and photographer before the wedding to make sure we were all on the same page with our timeline. The day of the wedding came and could not have been any better. I was not stressed a single second on my wedding day because I knew Chrissy had everything covered. She was one step ahead of me the entire day…. Examples include, making sure that 2 of my bridesmaids who flew in the day of the wedding had their jewelry (wedding gifts I had given out the day before) before I even thought about it (I realized as we were walking down the aisle they all had their jewelry on and I had totally forgotten) and bringing over my cowboy boots to change into during dinner for my surprise Daddy/daughter dance (I am from Georgia and we did some line dancing) when I thought I had left them in the hotel. The wedding was like a dream- it was so beautiful, more than I could ever ask for. Although I could go on and on about how much I owe Chrissy and how amazing my wedding day was–I think the thing I am most thankful for is that I really appreciated every second of my day. Chrissy took my husband and I aside multiple times in the night to really be able to stop for a second and look around. While people were in cocktail hour and just as the main room had been turned over from the ceremony to dinner, Chrissy took us aside and showed us a sneak peak of the room for the first time. We were able to do our first dance in the beautiful room with our photographer without anyone else in the room. She took us aside after the ceremony and we were able to enjoy some treats from cocktail hour in a room by ourselves and spend the first few minutes alone as husband and wife. I could go on forever about how amazing our wedding was but I guess I’ll end by saying this. Although a wedding planner seems like an added expense when first looking at your wedding budget, I have to say that it was the best money we spent. We could not have gotten through our wedding without Chrissy and we will be forever grateful for the success and memories of the greatest day of our lives. Thank you Chrissy!

The Stanley Cup & Other Cups

Chicago Blackhawks WIN! Stanley Cup champions in the Windy City! The streets filled with fans and the skies filled with fireworks. Honking. Hooting. Hollering. Happiness. FUN FUN FUN.

Today the Blackhawks players celebrate in Chicago and the Stanley Cup travels the city visiting bars and extatic Blackhawk fans. Big City Bride isn’t exactly the #cuptracker but we may be a cup trend tracker in our own right. Why not take some inspiration from the one and only Stanley Cup to share Big City Bride’s favorite specialty glassware (cups) used for events? Just the simple addition of a colorful and bold glass can step up your wedding design from great to unforgettable. Here are a few of our favorite Chicago weddings which used specialty wedding glassware to add a pop to the table setting.

Wedding Dresses from Bella Bianca Bridal Couture

Calling all brides-to-be!  Bella Bianca Bridal Couture is holding a number of trunk shows this summer to fulfill all of your wedding dress needs!  Bella Bianca, one of our favorite bridal boutiques, never ceases to provide their clients with gorgeous gowns and accessories: both for brides and bridesmaids.  Their stores, located both in downtown Chicago and Oakbrook, provide a fun and vibrant atmosphere for wedding dress shopping.  Be sure to make your appointment now to attend one of the following Bella Bianca summer trade shows:  

JULY
July 11th-13th: Hayley Paige (Oakbrook)
July 18th-20th: Simone Carvalli (Chicago)
July 25th-27th: Lazaro (Oakbrook, with designer Lazaro Perez attending)
July 25th-27th: Judd Waddell (Chicago)

AUGUST
August 1st-3th: Ines Di Santo Luxe (Chicago)
August 8th-10th: Rivini (Oakbrook)
August 15th-17th: Alvina Valenta (Oakbrook)

These trunk shows are an awesome way to find the perfect wedding dress while also saving money.  When you find the dress for you, you will receive a trunk show discount in addition to any complimentary designer customizations that are offered at the event.  And be sure to talk to Big City Bride before your appointment for more special wedding dress deals! 

A Magical Event at River East Art Center

This Chicago wedding was wonderful; so full of family, love, and playful fun. Big City Bride helped to coordinate what was important to the couple and bring to life their romantic garden vision at River East Art Center. This Chicago wedding venue is beloved for its tall ceilings and modern feel but feared for its columns and challenging floor plan. Luckily Big City Bride knows how it’s done and we’re so excited to share a few photos from Jennifer and Kevin’s wedding. It was full of subtle romance with flowers from Kehoe Designs and details that really popped. Below you’ll see their River East Art Center ceremony and the gorgeous table decor. Long tables accentuate the layout of the room beautifully (captured beautifully by Robyn Rachel Photography!) 

We all know a wedding is so much more than the food and flowers. A wedding is a day when two people commit to oneanother in front of all of their loved ones. It’s a day about emotion and joy. A Chicago wedding videographer can capture these heartfelt moments and the quiver in your voice. Highway 61 films put together this sneak peak of their day:

We also know that a wedding is the coming together of families and the celebration of the love and support around the couple. Kevin’s sons were an important and unforgettable part of their Chicago wedding. Jennifer and Kevin chose to let their boys shine- as the center of their family and their dinner entertainment. The boys surprised guests with a magic show with asssistance from Mom and Dad. We absolutely loved seeing them light up and have their special moment of the big day. How cute are they!? 

It truly was a magical wedding! We are so honored to have been a part of it.

Big Voices, Big Impact – Gospel Music for Wedding Ceremonies

 

It’s about time we share one of our best kept secrets: Gospel choirs and wedding ceremonies go together like brides and grooms! They are an amazing duo and we love to work with them. Some of our Big City Brides have chosen to incorporate Gospel choirs in their wedding, and it has been a huge success! Gospel choirs have the ability to enhance the wedding music experience by making it have a fuller, ‘meatier’, sound. They can take the music and transform it into a beautiful, bright sound that can rarely be found outside a choir.
 
It’s definitely not an easy thing to pull off and if you’re going to do it, do it right! That said … Big City Bride has become quite the pro wedding planner when it comes to bringing together the talent, the logistics, and the magic.
  • If you want something special, be sure to hire an authentic Gospel choir that is comprised of a church choir because they are used to singing together in a group.
  • Most choirs do not sing acapella and need supporting instruments when they sing, so plan on having a few musicians to accompany them.
  • Make sure you discuss the song selection months in advance because most popular love songs that are not Gospel choir friendly so they need ample time to practice and make the song their own!
  • Gospel choirs usually do not have their own robes, so plan accordingly by finding colored robes that you like.
  • We highly suggest plotting where the choir will be placed during the ceremony, along with how they will enter and how they will leave. Most choirs have 10 or more people in them, which means planning their entrances and when they stand/sit is an absolute must!  
  • There are not many Gospel choirs in the Chicago area that cater to weddings, so if you are interested in having one at your wedding the best option is to hire a professional (like Big City Bride) and a music producer or company that has experience with hiring one.
  • And lastly, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! The choir can make tempo’s faster and slower to your liking, especially for the processional, recessional, and other choreographed numbers so that everything is perfect! Rehearsals are a must in order for the choir to understand everything that you want for your wedding day! 
 
Last December we planned an incredible Chicago wedding at the Chicago Cultural Center. The ceremony was flawless and incredibly powerful … thanks to a lot of rehearsing that morning. Check out this video for a little sneak into what a Gospel choir could add to your Chicago wedding ceremony! 

Another Exciting New Venue from Bridgeport Art Center!

Just when you thought you’ve heard all there is to hear about the amazing venues at Bridgeport Art Center…there’s more!  The first floor of the center has been transformed into a completely new venue perfect for art enthusiasts and Chicago lovers alike. And when we say new, we mean new! This venue is hot on the scene and ready for some of its first big events. 

The Sculpture Garden Gallery, located in Chicago’s Bridgeport area, is found in the former Spiegel Catalog 1911 warehouse which now houses art studios and gallery spaces. Reclaimed wood and raw exposed brick line the walls and floors of the gorgeous indoor venue space that can fit anywhere between 50 to 600 guests.  The soaring wood beamed ceilings and raw urban interior provide an ideal setting for the wedding ceremony and reception.  And this is not to mention the adjoining sculpture garden! The garden, an ideal spot for your cocktail hour, is dotted with sculptures from the Bridgeport Art Center and would be the perfect backdrop to your Chicago wedding.

New Chicago Wedding Venue: Skyline Loft

The planners at Big City Bride have set their sights on another amazing venue fit for any unique Chicago bash! The Skyline Loft is located on the fifth floor of the Bridgeport Art Center, a historic 1911 warehouse just five minutes from Cellular Field.  The building, in addition to this gorgeous venue space, holds numerous art and design studios and galleries; it even contains an outdoor sculpture garden, which would be a fun space for wedding photographs.  What better place to get married than at the home of incredible art!

The brick walls, high wood beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, expansive skylights, and sweeping views of the Chicago skyline of this space would be an amazing setting for any urban Chicago event.  This venue is completely transformable to personalize any event exactly to your liking.  The spacious loft can comfortably hold anywhere from 100-600 people, with room for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.  Be sure to check out Bridgeport Art Center’s Skyline Loft when planning for your next unforgettable celebration!

 

Flowers For Friday

Beautiful flowers for you today. Celebrate the coming weekend and appreciate the beauty of this time of year in Chicago. Before the heat settles in and you quickly forget to enjoy the amazing green everywhere and the bright blooms scattered around….be sure to love it. Notice the little flowers tucked into gardens or on restaurant tables. Pick a few (if they are yours) and make them a home in your favorite vase. Treat yourself to something beautiful. Treat yourself to something fresh and fun.
Everyone deserves a perfect bouquet just like this. 
Soft and romantic. Whimsical and fun. 

Flowers for Friday.

We adore ranunculus flowers and rarely see a full ranunculus bouquet like this. The collection of pinks and whites matched Dani’s pink ombre wedding perfectly and was photographed beautifully by Caroline Dixey. 

 

A Signature Soiree!

Cocktail Hour is the start to your reception celebration and it is a chance for your guests to enjoy a drink, relax, and socialize. There are many was to personalize your wedding with fun touches! Adding a signature drink to is one of the many exiciting and special items to have at your wedding! Signature cocktails add some flaire to your wedding and a personalized touch! To give you some inspiration, here are a few recipies of delicious signature cocktails we have seen in the past!

Vodka, Cucumber Lemonade & Mint

Champagne, St. Germaine, Grapefruit Juice with a Gold Dusted Rim

Pimm’s, Citadelle Gin, Chase Elderflower, Mint and Fresh Lime

Blanco Tequilla, Kahlua, Horchata and Cinnamon Stick Garnish

Fifty Pounds Gin, St-Germaine, apricot, Cocchi Americano, lime

Chardonnay, Gin, Cinnamon Stick Syrup and a Cinnamon Stick Garnish

Absolute Peach, Mixed Berry Cordial and Champagne

Incorporating a customized drink is a fun way to put a unique spin on the start of your evening. You can match the color of your drink to the dcor theme and even concoct a witty name! Some of our favorites from past Big City Bride Weddings include: “The Happy Champer,” “Blushing Bride”,  “Honeymooners.” or “Cinnamon Stick it in My Hand”. Add a personalized mixer stick or a beautiful monogrammed cocktail napkin, and you are set all for a one of a kind, customized evening!  These are great to have at cocktail hour or share them with guests the entire night!

Kay & Gearin Chicago Wedding Photo Slideshow

Kay and Gearin had a beautiful wedding day! From the amazing outdoor ceremony at Tiffany Celebration Garden to the cocktails, dinner and dancing at the Swissotel with stunning views from the 43rd floor.

Buckingham Fountain makes a picture perfect backdrop for their Chicago wedding ceremony. A Stem Above, captured the room with striking centerpieces full of rich purple tones while Monastero Entertainment filled the room with perfect dinner music followed by a great dance party!

Gerber + Scarpellii captured all of the great moments on this special day! This photo slideshow is something that can’t be missed.

Kay & Gearin from Gerber&Scarpelli Photography on Vimeo.

Your favorite Chicago wedding planner was so happy to be a part of this special day! Kay and Gearin’s family and friends were full of love and joy that shows in these photos.