Our office is filled with special delivery of Chicago Knot magazines! Flip to page 102 for a beautiful real Chicago wedding spread planned to perfection by Chicago wedding planner Claire Weller and the Big City Bride team. Rocio and Cyrus married at The Chicago Botanic Garden…their day was full of love and dreamy decor. See their featured below:
BRIDE Rocio Cifrian, 27, a trader. GROOM Cyrus Younessi, 28, a trader
HOW THEY MET At work
WEDDING STYLE Using a bold color palette of purple and blue, the couple put together a garden feet full of glam details.
It was all about the glamour for Rocio and Cyrus’s flower-filled, outdoor celebration. Light blue linens popped against mirrors that topped the reception tables, while crystal-draped centerpieces added an element of glitz. “I really love colors that contrast, so we included flowers in different shades of purple, blue, and red,” Rocio says of their punchy arrangement of roses, hydrangeas, and orchids.”
The couple’s unique, garden-inspired stationary was created using designs hand-painted by Rocio’s stepfather for a truly one-of-a-kind look. After guests received their escort cards from a ribbon and crystal display, they were encouraged to leave hand-written well wishes on the same black manzanita tree on which they found their seats.
BOLD COLORS created this unique look.
Yes…this is our VERY happy groom!!!!!!
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE Chicago Botanical Garden, Glencoe
PHOTOGRAPHY Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design
VIDEOGRAPHY Leap Weddings
CHICAGO WEDDING PLANNER Big City Bride, Claire Weller
FLOWERS Studio AG
OFFICIANT Rev. Gregory Zimmerman
GOWN Maggie Sottero, Elegance Wedding & Evening Wear, Highland, IN
HAIR Charles Lord III
MAKEUP Lisa Trunda
VEIL & HEADPIECE Cassandra Lynne
ENGAGEMENT & WEDDING RINGS Jean Dousset Diamonds
JEWLERY Cassandra Lynne
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Bill Levkoff, Elegance Wedding & Evening Wear, Highland, IN
FORMALWEAR Groom: Hugo Boss; Groomsmen: Formally Modern Tuxedo, Chicago
STATIONARY Kustom Kreations; programs: Uniquely Yours Paper Designs, Etsy.com
RENTALS Studio AG
CATERING Culinary Landscape
CAKE Amy Beck Cake Design
DESSERTS Vanille Patisserie
MUSIC Ceremony: Artstrings; cocktail hour & dinner: Diego Alonso; reception: Monastero Entertainment
ACCOMODATIONS Park Hyatt Chicago; Sofitel Chicago Water Tower; Trump Hotel Chicago
Two cultures blended together to create the most beautiful wedding day. Selena, a Chicagoan and Jaime, a New Yorker traveled to Israel and fell in love. Selena + Jamie celebrated their marriage at The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Wedding day brought on some unpredictable Chicago weather, however, our couple…so sweet and happy…took it like champs! They grabbed umberallas and hit the streets for their AMAZING Chicago photo tour led by Chicago wedding photographer Beth Laurren.
Guests showered the couple with their handheld confetti After the ceremony, guests showered the couple with confetti titled “MAZEL TOSS” …how cute!
Our worldly couple also made sure to incorporate culture in their wedding. Cocktail hour blended their religion and culture. Guests enjoyed the live entertainment of a mariachi band while sipping on “Mozel Tov Margaritas.” The night continued with food, family, friends and DANCING!
CHEERS to the new Mr. + Mrs.!!!!
Selena and Jaime- Big City Bride loved planning your wedding day. You both are such inspiring individuals and together you perfect love.
Coordinator: Susan Cordogan, Big City Bride
Photography: Beth Lauren Photography
Venue: Chicago Symphony Center
Videography: Lexoria Wedding Films
Floral: A Stem Above
Hair and Makeup by K Paige Salon
Wedding Cake: Alliance Bakery
Band: The Chicago Players
It was a VERY eventful wedding weekend for Big City Bride! We witnessed Ed Swiderski (former Bachelorette contestant) and Natalie Bomke (Chicago News Anchor) celebrate their love in a sunset ceremony attended by 100 guests on the open-air veranda of The Crown on the 25th floor of the iconic Tribune Tower. Susan Cordogan, Big City Bride Chicago wedding planner, told People “My favorite part of the ceremony,” says wedding planner Susan Cordogan, of Big City Bride, who helped the couple plan the event, “was a playful surprise by the groom, who presented each mother with a long-stem red rose and popped the famous Bachelor question, ‘Will you accept this rose?'” See the EXCLUSIVE video on our Instagram account: Username- @BigCityBride
This wedding has been featured on: People Magazine.com, BRIDES Magazine, E! Online and The Daily Mail.
People Magazine.com. See the full article here: http://www.people.com/article/former-bachelorette-contestant-ed-swiderski-marries-chicago-TV-anchor
Featured on E! Online. See Full Article here: http://www.eonline.com/news/680170/the-bachelorette-winner-ed-swiderski-gets-married-see-the-bride-and-groom-s-wedding-looks
Featured on Brides: See Full Article here: http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2015/07/bachelorette-winner-ed-swiderski-marries-chicago-tv-anchor.html
Featured on The Daily Mail. See full story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3174814/Former-Bachelorette-winner-Ed-Swiderski-marries-TV-anchor-Natalie-Bomke-five-years-breaking-engagement-Jillian-Harris.html
Your first dance on wedding day is a very special moment. So often we hear brides and grooms express anxiety toward this part of the day. The thought can be daunting, however with anything, you can overcome these jitters with just a little practice! We recommend trying out a dance lesson with our friends at Ballroom Dance Chicago!
Here is the scoop from our friends at Ballroom Dance Chicago:
Why Wedding Dance Lessons?
- If you’re going to have a traditional wedding reception (think dance party with a DJ or band and a dance floor) then you shouldn’t leave your first dance to chance. The first dance kicks off the party, sets the mood for your reception and offers you and your spouse an enjoyable moment alone together. We know your to-do list is a mile long and that you have to make all sorts of decisions about your budget, timeline, and schedules, but there is simply no way to look and feel good during your first dance without seeking help from a professional who specializes in first dance prep. As you’re planning your wedding and choosing the small details like the perfect color for your napkins and favors for your guests, make sure the first dance isn’t left out of the process.
- Dance lessons can also serve as a date night for the two of you and as an opportunity to reconnect in the stressful, busy weeks or months leading up to the big day. Through the hectic process of planning a wedding, it’s easy to lose the quality time you would normally spend enjoying your fiance’s company. But, imagine 1-3 hours every week dedicated to spending time together, embracing one another, and learning and connecting over a new activity. At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we recognize the value of this time spent together, so we’ve created a comfortable, beautiful, and welcoming learning environment that will help you kick up your feet and just enjoy it!
- While most dance studios would just teach you moves and “steps,” at Ballroom Dance Chicago our focus is the connection and communication between you and your partner. We realize that the ultimate goal is to have a fabulous first dance, and we understand that in order to have a fabulous first dance, you need to focus on more than fancy footwork. Regardless of whether you envision flashy spins and dips or something simple and romantic for your first dance, your guests will be looking for smiles, excitement and romance, not how perfectly you can perform steps and footwork. This is why our process is focused on enhancing the connection between you and your partner while also creating something special and unique for the two of you.
What to expect during the Dance Lesson?
- At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we only offer private lessons so that we can customize the learning process to best suit each couple’s goals, needs, and expectations. Each couple is unique, so it is no surprise that each of our lessons is unique, too. Most studios offer group classes or standard private lessons that cover the basics, but leave you hanging when it actually comes time to coordinate the steps to your song, incorporate movements that work best for you, or highlight who you are as a couple. Rather than offering the same standard moves to every student, we work with you one-on-one to make sure you are comfortable every step of the way so that you don’t waste time learning useless steps or unnecessary information. Though each lesson is just the two of you with one instructor, we all work as a team to craft each lesson, helping you to progress toward your goal and move together naturally.
- We also offer a large, beautiful space that’s so comfortable you’ll feel like you’re stopping by a friend’s house. The space was designed with a focus on creativity, learning and inspiration; no giant mirrors or gaudy rhinestones here – just a large dance floor so you’ll never feel crowded, a state of the art sound system so your teacher can play music from any location, and some local craft beer to sip while you dance.
- In each hour-long private lesson, you can expect to have a ton of fun together while gaining knowledge and understanding of how to better connect with one another through leading and following. You will also gain a better understanding of how to connect with the music you’ll be dancing to and what movements work best to compliment your song and style choice. If you’re interested in a fully choreographed dance, we encourage you to be involved in the creative process to ensure that the end result is unique, while also bringing our own ideas and expertise for a polished finished product.
What is the cost?
- The rate for one hour of instruction is $115, but we drop the rate significantly when multiple hours are purchased at a time (rates range from $80-$95 per hour). Once you purchase a package of hours, you can schedule them all at once or just one at a time, whatever is best for you.
How often in advance should this be scheduled?
- In preparation for your wedding, it’s important to start the learning process early. The body and brain process new habits and information over time, so just remember that learning something new takes time! If you want to feel confident and have a successful dance, give yourself as much time as you can to prepare and plan to practice between lessons to get the most out of each hour spent with your instructor. Typically, couples start at least three months, if not a whole year or more, in advance. However, that’s not to dissuade couples who have left this detail to the last minute. Though the more time you have, the better you will feel, even one hour of instruction is better than none. So, if you’re pressed for time, don’t write off the whole process. Everyone is capable of learning to dance and even an hour spent working together will give you greater insight into how to groove with your partner. At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we have also created a solution for couples who have less than a month to prepare, which expedites the learning process. Our “crash course” serves as a quick solution if you’ve forgotten to take dance lessons earlier or you’re strapped for time. Our crash course includes two instructors for each hour so that each individual can work one-on-one with a professional before dancing together. By first learning with a professional, each partner reaches a level of competency at an accelerated rate.
How many lessons do you recommend?
- Usually when people ask that question, they expect some kind of number as an answer: 5, 10, 50 lessons. The reality is that we don’t know. Unlike other items you purchase for your wedding, taking dance lessons isn’t a transaction; it’s a process that takes time and effort from you. When crafting a first dance, we are here to give you the tools you need to be successful and help you set the right expectations and goals, but you put in the time and effort to present a beautiful dance on your big day.
- Ideally, we see our students two to three hours per week; but we understand that isn’t necessarily possible for every student. Regardless of your time or budgetary restrictions, we recommend coming in on a regular basis and giving it the most time and attention that you can.
Locations: Lakeview (4039B N Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60613), West Loop (939 W Randolph #300 Chicago, IL 60607) and Streeterville (211 E Ohio Chicago, IL 60611).
Brad’s Deals just published, “Chicago Hacks: 50 Tips for Enjoying City Life on a Budget” which features a quote from Susan Cordogan regarding wedding budget tips!
Weddings on a Budget
According to a study by TheKnot.com, Chicago is the 5th most expensive place in the U.S. to get hitched. If you’re looking to tie the knot for less without leaving the city, try out this tip.
21. BYOB wedding venues will save you some serious cash.
Susan Cordogan of the blog Big City Bride says: “Best money-saving wedding hack is to book a wedding venue that allows you to “BYOB.” Yes! This really does exist! This means you can get your liquor from any source…Costco, Binny’s or even your favorite vineyard! Most liquor stores will deliver your order right to your wedding venue. They’ll also pick-up and credit you for any booze that is unopened. This wedding hack is not only good for those trying to cut costs, but it’s also a great way to serve your favorite brands of booze, beer, bubbles, etc!”
Every wedding is different and not every Chicago venue offers a BYOB option. So, BEFORE booking your venue, consult with your Chicago wedding planner and see if this is a possiblity. You will save A LOT of money and be much happier with your hand picked beverage options. Trust us!
So… have you ever envisioned your wedding to be waterfront? With just the right amount of sun and a light, perfect breeze? You know. One of those weddings you only see in magazines or on TV? Well, Megan + Tony’s Lake Geneva wedding was exactly that. Last year, Big City Bride spent the weekend with a family we hold so near and dear to our hearts. Susan and the BCB wedding planning team designed Megan and Tony’s lakefront day.
His & Hers Signature Cocktail! A Moscow Mule and a Watermelon Mojito … Sounds like a perfect pair!
Happy Anniversary weekend to our sweet couple, Megan + Tony!
Planning with your family is always a blast! We are always thinking of you and your family and wishing you a perfect weekend together. We hope you are celebrating and popping open one of your guestbook bottles!! XOXO SUSAN & The Big City Bride Team.
Thanks to the very talented friend Eric O’Connor of Allori Photography for capturing every wedding detail.
ChicagoStyle Weddings Magazine celebrated their new issue launch at the Trump last week! Big City Bride Chicago wedding planners Kayla, Mary Ellen and Nicole attended. With wedding season here, most weeknights are spent are committed to our wonderful brides and vendors. However, we were so thankful for the invitation and luckily half our team was able to make it! The new cover was revealed and the issue was passed out. Pick up your copy today-you might just find a really amazing wedding by Big City Bride in there!! AND, our new company photo!! We were completely in love with the spread displayed. THANK YOU ChicagoStyle Weddings Magazine for featuring all elements of wedding day.
The launch party was held in two out of the many event spaces Trump offers. Big City Bride explored both rooms filled with treats and cocktails. It was especially fun running into all our industry friends! As always, Trump did not disappoint with their service! Thanks for such a lovely evening ChicagoStyle!
Here a few pictures captured from our night:
Big City Bride Chicago Wedding Planner Featured in ChicagoStyle Magazine! THANK YOU for such a deatiled, beautiful spread.
Chicago Style Weddings Website and Magazine challenged six local Chicago event planners to a “Designers Challenge.” Big City Bride created a wedding fantasy with a the title of the theme, “Love Letters.” Love letters are a part of every romance and serve as the center of our fantasy wedding design. We blended bold colors with serious style to create a dramatic look that is both formal and fanciful. VOTE HERE: http://www.chicagostyleweddings.com/designer-challenge/vote.aspx (Click on the first design section, “Love Letters” and scroll to the bottom of the page to enter your information.)
As Chicago wedding planners we see every style of bride, from preppy to edgy to glamorous or rustic. Chicago never fails to keep us on our design toes! When we were designing this, we didn’t have a bride’s style to follow. We picked our theme and let the creativity run wild.
BIG thanks to our wonderful Chicago vendors for helping us create our vision:
- Floral Stems, Inc. stemschicago.com
- Studio M Creations studiomcreations.com
- Bombon Cake Gallery chicagobestcakes.com
- Cloth Connection clothconnection.com
- Private Label Linens privatelabellinens.com
- Frost frostchicago.com Rentals
- Tablescapes tablescapes.com
If you love this design, help Big City Bride Chicago wedding planner win the challenge and cast your vote: http://www.chicagostyleweddings.com/designer-challenge/vote.aspx
Last year, Big City Bride spent the weekend on the shores of Michigan celebrating the sweetest couple! It was a weekend packed with events, challenges and smiles. We built a tent right in our groom’s family home backyard…which happened to back up to Lake Michigan. It was a perfect wedding weekend thanks to our AMAZING team of Chicago wedding vendors. This wedding has been featured in notable publications and holds a very special place in our heart. Here are a few pictures from this beautiful event!
Chicago Wedding Planner, Claire Weller of Big City Bride smiling big!
Wishing everyone a magical holiday weekend. We hope you slow down this weekend, spend time with those you love, indulge in one too many sweets and feast your eyes on some of Chicago’s best fireworks – XOXO
Katie Ann Preston & Jason D Keck
Skyline Loft at The Bridgeport Art Center
The Couple: Although they were both taken when they met, Katie and Jason’s time eventually came, and they found themselves head over heels. After buying their first home together, Jason surprised Katie with a fairy-tale engagement, complete with rose petals and candles.
The Details: Before the ceremony at the Skyline Loft, Jason surprised Katie again during their first look when he handed her a mysterious card with only a username and password on it. She later found out it was for a secret email account he had been writing to for over two years. “Some of the emails simple said how much he loved me,” she says, “or had a link to a song that reminded him of me.”
The Party: Wedding planner Chrissy Magliano and the Big City Bride team transformed the industrial space into a fresh glowing reception area with a romantic palette of white, ivory and blush. After a dinner catered by Blue Plate, guests danced the night a way to songs from Larry King Orchestra and a DJ before indulging in Garrett’s popcorn and hazelnut cake. Then the couple dashed off to St. Lucia complete with private pool and butler service.
Big City Bride Chicago Wedding Planner featured in the latest issue of Modern Luxury Brides