Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ayelet and Aaron's Romantic Wedding at the Chicago Cultural Center 10.10.10

Ayelet and Aaron booked Five Grain Events well in advance of their October wedding, but with good reason!  Their selected date, 10.10.10 was not only a very popular wedding date, but it was the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend as well as the day of the Chicago Marathon.  There were certainly some interesting logistical issues, but luckily everything turned out beautifully for their fall-toned celebration.

It was wonderful to spend the day with two very talented photographers:  Lisa Green and her assistant, Meg.  All photos below should be credited to Stephen Green Photography

The ladies started the day with hair and makeup in a huge suite at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Hair and makeup were provided by Ginger Damato and Cynde Hoffman respectively.  It was so much fun to see each bridesmaid transformed.  As it turned out, the hairstyle Ayelet chose to wear for the day looked very similar to the way her mom wore her hair on her wedding day!

Stephen Green Photography
After Ayelet and Aaron shared their First Look in a quiet corner of the Hard Rock Hotel, the bridal party walked over to Millennium Park for some photos.  With all the leftover marathon spectators on top of the fact that it was an unseasonably warm day I don't think I've ever heard so many hoots and hollers congratulating the bridal party :).  The golden fall foliage was the perfect color compliment to the pumpkin-colored bridesmaid dresses and beautiful bouquets created by Fleur.

Stephen Green Photography
The Bedecken and Ketubah Signing were held in the presence of Ayelet and Aaron's families.  Ayelt and Aaron had their Ketubah created during a trip they took to Israel and it was signed by the Rabbi and witnesses from Aaron and Ayelet's family.  The Bedecken is a ritual based on a Jewish tradition which requires that the groom see the bride before the ceremony and cover her face with the veil. This custom dates back to the Biblical episode in which Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah instead of his chosen bride, Rachel, because she was hidden behind the veil.  Aaron did the honors just before the bridal party lined up for the processional.

Stephen Green Photography
 Finally it was time for the ceremony to begin.  Both the ceremony and reception were held in the Chicago Cultural Center's GAR Hall.  It is an incredibly grand room with ornate ceilings and huge picture windows overlooking Michigan Avenue.  The aisle was lined with candles and Art of Imagination created the fabric chuppah and all the draping, giving the space a very romantic feel.

Stephen Green Photography
After a big "Mazel Tov!" guests headed out to the Rotunda for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while GAR Hall was changed over for dinner.  The delicious food was created by Shallots Bistro Catering and I just have to point out the beautiful arrangement Fleur made for the place card table featuring branches, leaves, and even pomegranates and grapes!

Stephen Green Photography
When everyone re-entered, GAR Hall had been transformed!  Candles illuminated every corner of the room and Entourage was already playing up a storm.  The dance floor was quickly filled and continued to be throughout the night as guests sat down to enjoy each course and returned immediately for more dancing.  Instead of a traditional head table, Ayelet and Aaron hosted their immediate family and their significant others at a Feast Table.  The rest of their guests sat at tables named after places they've traveled together!

Stephen Green Photography
 An extra special part of this wedding was that I've known the bride's sister, Sharon, since I was in high school.  So hearing the speech she and Ayelet's other sister, Karen, gave was especially touching.

One of the most fun traditions of a Jewish wedding is the dancing of the Hora, and this may well have been the best one I've seen.  I don't think ANYONE sat out!  It was amazing.  When the bride and groom were lifted onto the chairs, Ayelet looked like she was having the time of her life, while Aaron appeared terrified.  Hopefully he's recovered since then ;).

Stephen Green Photography
The party continued until the clock struck midnight.  Everyone left with a smile on their face (and maybe a cupcake to go!).  Ayelet and Aaron, thank you so much for including me on your special day.  It was a joy to see how wonderfully you compliment one another.  I wish all the best to you for the future.  Mazel Tov!

Stephen Green Photography
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cool People (Places) Volume XV: Architectural Artifacts

It seems like many couples these days are looking for an alternative event space for their wedding.  Even though banquet halls, hotels, and country clubs will always be popular given their convenience, I find that many clients come to me looking for that je ne sais quoi that will make their wedding an unforgettable experience.

On the north side of the city exists such a venue.  Architectural Artifacts is, by day, an architectural salvage store--you can find all kinds of furniture, artwork, and interesting lighting fixtures there! By night (or shall I say by weekend), the Atrium at Architectural Artifacts hosts fantastic weddings and other events.  I had the opportunity to meet with their venue coordinator, Marie, a few months ago and she showed me around the space.

If you are looking for an interesting backdrop to your outdoor ceremony, this is the place...behind the building is this gorgeous courtyard with columns and light posts galore!

Olivia Leigh Photographie

After the ceremony, bring your guests inside among various unique objets d'art (I don't know what is with my French kick today!) for an incredible multi-level party atmosphere.

Bella Pictures

Jeremy Lawson Photography
 What I especially love about the space are all the nooks and crannies your guests will be able to explore!  Check out Atrium Events if you're in the market for a very cool venue--and tell Marie I sent you. :)
Cool People (Places) Volume XV: Architectural ArtifactsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kristen and Joe's Urban Wedding at A New Leaf 9.17.10

When Kristen and Joe contacted me early this summer about coordinating their wedding, I couldn't have been more excited!  They were planning a beautiful mid-September wedding with 100 of their nearest and dearest at one of the most dramatic Catholic Churches in the city followed by a reception at the oh-so-hip A New Leaf.  I waited on pins and needles after our meeting hoping they would hire me, and to my great joy they did!

I'm so pleased to show you some photos from their wonderful aubergine and apple (dontcha just love the names of linens?) colored wedding.  All photos courtesy of Colin Lyons Photography.

The ladies got ready in a sun-soaked suite at the vintage Belden-Stratford Hotel.  Rochelle and Rebecca from Sonia Roselli worked hard all morning on the ladies' hair and makeup.  I have to say that Kristen looked ABSOLUTELY stunning--the best version of herself!

Colin Lyons Photography

 Kristen and Joe elected to do a First Look in Lincoln Park, just across the street from the hotel. They took advantage of the hours prior to the ceremony to take photos with the whole bridal party.  The weather was perfect, though I think some of my favorite shots were the ones taken inside at the Art Institute!

Colin Lyons Photography

Kristen and Joe were married at St. Michael's of Old Town, a stunning and historic Catholic Church just a few blocks from A New Leaf.  Since there was virtually no travel time required, they invited their guests to spend the "Catholic Wedding Gap" following the ceremony at Perennial, a clean and modern restaurant across the street from the reception.  They had reserved a trolley to shuttle guests to and from the ceremony, but the weather was so beautiful that many chose to walk!

Colin Lyons Photography

While their guests were mingling across the street, the bridal party took the opportunity to grab some photos in all of A New Leaf's different and interesting spaces.  PLUS, Kristen and Joe had an amazing Photo Wall* made for their reception so of course they had to get the first crack at that!

Colin Lyons Photography
*Shameless plug:  Five Grain Events is now the proud owner of that photo wall, so if you are interested in renting it for your wedding or event contact me here or here

Once their friends and relatives arrived the party began!  As they walked in they were greeted by passed hors d'oeuvres and Kristen and Joe's signature cocktail (the Bollini-tini--too cute, right??) catered by Food for Thought and music by Toast and Jam.  A New Leaf's unique layout allowed for guests to flow freely between the two floors and the charming courtyard.

Dinner was served at stations while Kristen and Joe's honor attendants and Joe's dad made speeches.  No offense intended toward Paul or Richard, but Shieva's Maid of Honor speech was one of the best I've EVER heard...and in my business you get to hear a lot of these :)

Colin Lyons Photography

The rest of the evening was spent dancing, eating cupcakes from Molly's (yum!), drinking, and just having an overall great time.  Kristen and Joe did have an AMAZING Tipsy Cake creation to represent Joe's Alma Mater, Notre Dame but wedding guests didn't get to sample that until the following day when Kristen and Joe hosted a Notre Dame football game party and served it to those present.

Colin Lyons Photography

Kristen and Joe, I wish you all the happiness in the world.  So many congratulations and thanks for allowing me to be a part of your day!

Colin Lyons Photography
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