A Seat at My Table: October Edition

Halloween week is upon us and we have some seriously spooky inspiration in our latest installment of A Seat at my Table! We brought a great team of creative ladies together once again and created some magic. I have just two words: SMOKE MACHINE.

All photos are thanks to my wonderfully talented friend, Belen of Gerber & Scarpelli!

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration

West Elm Chicago and Pottery Barn Chicago helped us fill this table with so much texture and layers, not to mention all of the fun props that made their way into our shoot. Lindsay and Charlotte came along from the West Elm shop to help style the table and their eye for design was so crucial!

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with two new #ladybosses on this shoot as well! Jenna from Shop Vagabond created the striking floral pieces both on the table and on the mantel. It was so much fun to watch her draw inspiration from the pieces we had from West Elm and conceive of these beautiful centerpieces!

We have to talk about the jaw-dropping cake that came from Bon Vivant Cakes. The owner, Emily, took our inspiration and truly ran with it! Her design couldn’t have been more perfectly fit for the overall look of the shoot. Everything except the flowers on the top of the cake were completely edible and, bonus (!), the top tier was a real cake and you better believe we dug into that as a post-photo shoot treat!

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Clover Events-Event Design-Design Inspiration

Thanks again to our awesome team:


Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
West Elm Chicago
Shop Vagabond
Bon Vivant Cakes

Real Chicago Wedding: Jessica & Alex, LondonHouse Chicago

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since Jess and Alex’s lovely LondonHouse Chicago wedding. 10/14/17 was one of those days you ask any Chicago wedding professional about and we go immediately to the weather - it was a complete wash-out! It rained all day, and I mean poured. Jess and Alex were so great about it though, and didn’t want to change any of their plans that day. It was so amazing to see them enjoy every second of their wedding day and not let the weather dampen (hah!) their spirits. They had some really great moments and fun details, all perfectly captured by Ed & Aileen Photography. Enjoy!

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The LondonHouse was the perfect setting for their quintessential Chicago wedding - breathtaking views of the city, stunning architecture and just a short walk to many of the best Chicago landmarks. The ladies spent the morning in the bridal suite getting beautified by the team at Bianca Sansosti Artistry, while the guys cleaned up and got ready just down the hall.

Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography

One of the best features of the the LondonHouse is, of course, the stunning cupola on the top floor of the building - this is where you get the best views of our gorgeous city. Naturally, Jess and Alex decided to have their first look up there and we dodged some major raindrops to get them out there. I’d say it was worth it for these EPIC photos!

Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography

After that stunner of a first look, Jess and Alex met up with their wedding party to head up to Lakeview for photos outside Wrigley Field. Did we mention they’re Cubs superfans?! They even got an interview with WGN!

Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography

Perhaps one of the most memorable moments the entire day was when Alex surprised Jess with a visit from their beloved puppy, Wrigley. (Remember, they’re super fans!) He arranged for their dog walker to meet them across the street from the hotel on the riverwalk and got her over there under the guise of taking more photos. The rain and nearly 2 hours of photos were starting to get to Jess, but that all changed when she saw Wrigley walking towards her. We’re so in love with these photos of her reaction!

Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography

After everyone came in and dried off, we got ready to send this lovely couple down the aisle. Jason and his team at Flowers for Dreams created the most beautiful chuppah to honor Alex’s Jewish heritage, including his family’s tallit that was strung from the top. The bold paper elements were provided by Magnificent Milestones, who always does such a wonderful job executing our clients’ visions!

Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a delicious and festive cocktail hour just outside the ballroom while the amazing teams at LondonHouse and Flowers for Dreams transformed the ballroom from ceremony to reception. The centerpieces from Flowers for Dreams were beautiful and understated and the long head table was just stunning! Jess and Alex’s guests grooved all night long to the sounds of Bluewater Kings Band. They had the dance floor packed all night long!

Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography
Chicago wedding-Chicago wedding planner-Chicago hotel wedding-Clover Events-Clover Events Chicago-Ed and Aileen Photography

A Seat at My Table: September Edition

Fall! Oh how I love fall - it might even be my most favorite season. I love the crisp temperatures, the ever-changing colors, and the feelings of being reinvigorated that come with a changing season.

I love soaking up those last few warm nights, even as the sun sets a little earlier each day, by dining outside with friends while our kids run around the yard. For our September table, we were inspired by those meals al fresco! We brought back the amazing team from our August shoot (read it here if you haven’t done that already) and put together an inviting, colorful table worthy of any gathering!

I love how the orange and yellow hues play off of the natural greenery in the background. This color palette feels like the perfect bridge from summer to fall. Of course, you see that fantastic blue and white combo again as well - such a perfect compliment to the bright citrus!

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events

Our incredible team of creative ladies knocked it out of the park yet again on this design. Staci from Flowers for Dreams filled our table with so much color and texture. Did you notice the sweet little clementines tucked into the large centerpiece?! I love the concept of incorporating food into a tablescape, so was thrilled with her idea to use oranges as the base for the place cards. So festive and fun!

Lindsay from West Elm Chicago brought so many beautiful pieces to add to the table. I love the simplicity of the china, glasses and flatware - they really allowed the natural elements to shine. We couldn’t help ourselves and had to use those incredible Constellation plates again!

We got to see more creativity from Emily with La Vaca Design House with the menu cards and bar cart sign. She created them to look like clear boxes, which we filled with greenery that tied into our centerpieces. Obsessed!

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Month-of Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Inspiration-Clover Events

Thanks again to our awesome team:


Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
West Elm Chicago
La Vaca Design House
Flowers for Dreams

Real Chicago Wedding: Aubyn & Danny, Kimpton Gray Hotel

Aubyn and Danny were married on a beautiful day in late June at the stunning Kimpton Gray Hotel, using both their ballroom and restaurant. Niki coordinated this wedding and formed a wonderful bond with the couple right away, working closely with them to make sure all the final wedding details came together with ease. It was such a pleasure to work on this wedding with the fantastic team at The Gray and such an extra bonus to walk away with awesome new friends!

All of these gorgeous photos are courtesy of Peter Gubernat Photography.

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events

Aubyn has a booming personality and Danny has a very chill demeanor – they both are hysterical and SO in love with one another! Their love for each other was so evident all throughout their wedding day.

They held their wedding ceremony in the stunning ballroom in The Gray. We can’t get enough of the modern chandeliers in there! After the ceremony, guests proceeded literally down the hall into the hotel’s restaurant, Boleo. This space is edgy, modern and moody - perfect for a knockout dance party. Maybe the most interesting thing about this venue is its fully retractable roof, bringing a bit of the outside in! Guests danced the night away under the stars.

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events

Aubyn and Danny met when they were in a band many years ago, called Farraday. Aubyn is still one of the singers in the very popular Chicago band, Gold Coast Allstars, so as you can imagine, having one of its band members get married, the band played a little “EXTRA” at Aubyn and Danny’s Chicago wedding! As you will notice in the amazing photos, their wedding was quite the party!

Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events
Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Wedding Planner-Month-of Coordination-Clover Events

Vendor Team:

Photographer: Peter Gubernat Photography
Video: Fox + Ivory
Floral: Redberry Floral
Venue: Kimpton Gray Hotel
Music: Gold Coast Allstars
Hair & Makeup: Pin Me Up

A Seat at my Table: August Edition

It's hard to believe summer is starting to wind down already - kids are going back to school, nights are getting cooler, days are getting shorter and wedding season is really picking up in Chicago as fall approaches. We couldn't let summer come and go without a little backyard pool party and who better to do that with than our friends at minnidip?!

I've known Emily Vaca, the incredibly creative boss lady behind La Vaca and minnidip, for a few years and I am constantly inspired by her. This year I was so proud to watch her take the jump into full-time entrepreneurship and now she's killing it (hello, Target)! Her line of luxury inflatables is so fun and unique, and makes for a stylish, colorful addition to any backyard, balcony or roof deck!

For this month's tablescape shoot, we used the minnidip "Splash Outside the Lines" as our palette inspiration. I love the bold blue and white pattern - this is a trend I'm seeing everywhere from home design to wedding tablescapes. We were lucky enough to work with West Elm Chicago for this shoot as well - their bright textiles were the perfect addition! One of my favorite elements of this entire setting was the Constellation plate with bits of gold and sparkle. They're almost too pretty to eat off...almost.

My boys invited a friend over and got to splashing outside the lines!

All photos thanks to the wonderful Belen Aquino.

Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party
Chicago Wedding Planner-Day-of Coordinator-Wedding Coordinator-Summertime-Pool Party

Thanks again to our awesome team:


Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
West Elm Chicago
La Vaca Design House

Chicago Engagement Session and How to Prepare

Engagement session - many couples hear that term and have a million questions.

What is it?
Do we need it?
Do we really have to be in front of a camera more than just the wedding day?


In a word, YES. Yes, you do need it and yes, you do need to be in front of your photographer's camera before your wedding day. Most couples haven't spent much time with a professional photographer, so it's a great opportunity to get comfortable before you put on your wedding dress and tux. It's also a great way for your photographer to get to know you! The more they understand what works and doesn't work, the better off you'll all be on the big day.

I also hear a lot of couples say they don't think they'll ever use the photos, but I beg to differ. My favorite engagement sessions are those done in the couple's home, their favorite coffee shop or restaurant or with their pets. Use this opportunity to get some photos in a place that's special to you that won't necessarily be a part of your wedding day. And anyway, trust me, you will love these photos 10-15 years down the road. I can just hear you saying, "Remember when..."

  Photo courtesy of  Ashley Bosnick Photography

Photo courtesy of Ashley Bosnick Photography

I'll get off my soap box now and let the experts step in.

So excited to get some insight on how best to prepare for your engagement photo session from our friends over at Gerber & Scarpelli Photography. They've been at this for years and certainly know how to get couples in the right frame of mind to have some fun!

  Photos courtesy of  Emilia Jane Photography

Photos courtesy of Emilia Jane Photography

Engagement Photos-Chicago Engagement Session-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Emilia Jane Photography

We get it!  Not everyone enjoys being in front of the camera.  For many couples, Engagement Sessions seem like an overwhelming and unnecessary part of wedding prep.  For us, an engagement session is a great opportunity to meet our clients, learn your dynamic as a couple, and see how natural you are at posing and being photographed.  We love the opportunity to spend some time with you and get all the photo-related butterflies and awkwardness out of the way long before your wedding day!

Here are a few ideas to help you prepare and get in the mood to look and feel your best during your engagement shoot:


Eat well and hydrate!  Drink plenty of water in the days before your shoot to make sure your skin looks its best.  Try to avoid salt, lots of sugar, and alcohol the day before your session.

Get a full night's sleep!  Easier said than done, we know.  The more sleep you get before your shoot, the more relaxed and rested you'll feel.

Choose your clothing carefully!  We advise clients to avoid clothing that has a certain time or style specific quality.  Just look at a photo of your parents in bell bottoms and polyester, and you'll know what we're trying to avoid.  Solid colors, classic styles, and the occasional pattern are safe ways to go.  Make sure to coordinate your outfits as a couple so you don't end up wearing conflicting colors or patterns.

Embrace movement!  Ladies, flowing dresses, scarves, or tops are a great way to guarantee some dynamic movement in your photos.  You'll look and feel like a movie star when the wind starts to blow.

Get a little crazy!  We've met enough couples over the years to know all couples are weird in their own way.  Show off your particular brand of weird by getting a little crazy with the one you love.  We love a couple with a sense of humor and we promise your photos will be unforgettable.

Get ready for some close ups!  Ladies, try to get your engagement ring professionally cleaned before the session and make sure those nails are camera ready!  You'll be glad you did when you're showing off your bling!

Don't be afraid of early evening or winter sessions!  We don't need warmth and sunshine to make beautiful pictures.  We love a dramatic shot framed by Chicago at night.  Fall leaves or winter snow can be fun and beautiful settings for your shoot.  Grab a stylish coat and let's take some photos!

  Photo courtesy of  Gerber & Scarpelli Photography

We want you to look like you!  You don't need to wear tons of makeup to look great in your photos.  Choose colors and styles that feel comfortable and normal for you.  If you choose to wear a darker shade of lipstick, make sure it won't rub off when you kiss!

Bring along your fur babies!  We get it, pups are family.  Not only will they help make your photos feel more special, but they'll help you relax and have more fun in front of the camera!

Highlight special locations!  When we're scheduling your shoot, make sure you let us know if there are any significant places you want to visit to help make your images even more meaningful!

We love a costume change!  For more variety in your photographs, consider preparing two outfits each.  Try switching out a formal look for a casual one.  Need advice on what to wear?  Feel free to ask us!

Brush your teeth right before the session!  Everyone looks and feels better with some fresh pearly whites!

Relax and be in love!  We're all here to capture your love and your story.  Try to forget the camera is there and enjoy some time to snuggle up with your honey in a beautiful location!

  Photo courtesy of  Sarah Postma Photography

Photo courtesy of Sarah Postma Photography

A Seat at my Table: July Edition

Happy Fourth of July, my lovely readers!

This is one of those days I look forward to all year: we have very special family traditions that we have kept for most of my life and it's so much fun seeing my boys get to take part in them now, too! We love to watch our local fireworks show on July 3rd with a huge group of family and close friends. We've been gathering together since I was a child and now we're sharing this special night with our own kids. On the 4th, we typically take in a parade and spend the rest of the day relaxing in our backyard, and this year will be no different! How do you typically spend this patriotic holiday?!

For the next installment of our tablescape series, we decided to really lean into the red, white and blue palette we see on July 4th and we went all out! Honestly, it was when I came across the two napkin options from BBJ Linen that I knew we had to go that direction. I mean, how amazing is that star spangled napkin?! Lots of stars and stripes in this one!

Hope you enjoy these super fun images from Belen Aquino Perfilio!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding

Flowers for Dreams is at it again with the show-stopping flowers! I am obsessed with the large centerpiece held in the galvanized bucket - so perfect for this occasion. There was so much texture and color in the floral palette, without going overboard - it's summery and fun! The fluffy hydrangea act as the perfect backdrop to help the other, punchier flowers really shine. Can you even with those red anemones?

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding

Amanda with Gather Vintage Tablescapes really had some fun putting the dishes together for this shoot. How often do you get to use a light blue plate and red bowl in the same stack? The gold-edged plates were the perfect addition and tied in so nicely with the hammered gold flatware. I think one of my most favorite things about this shoot is that the plate stack looks like a star from above. Perfect!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding

For this shoot inspiration, I asked Jeannie from Simply Scripted Ink to give us something that was simple, but had big impact and I think she did just that!  The place cards wrapped around the votive candles remind me of fireworks and added just a little extra glow to the table. 

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Planner-Fourth of July-Summer Wedding

Wishing you a safe, happy and enjoyable holiday filled with fireworks, BBQs and lots of time outside enjoying the summertime weather! I hope this fun tablescape gives you some inspiration when designing your table!

Thanks again to our awesome team:


Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
Simply Scripted Ink
Flowers for Dreams
Gather Vintage Tablescapes
BBJ Linen
Hall's Rental

A Seat at my Table: June Edition

I don't know about all of you, but this year is just whizzing past me! We're fully embracing summer and the warmer temps in our part of the world, and we have some super fun summery inspiration headed your way! Hope you'll stay tuned!

For our June tablescape, we decided to use the ever-present bridal shower as inspiration. After all, who doesn't love getting dressed up in your favorite sun dress to attend a fun ladies' luncheon?! We see so many showers being thrown for our clients over the summer as they prepare for their weddings later in the year, and it makes so much sense - the temps are perfect, we have so many seasonal flowers and produce to choose from and everyone is feeling so ready to get out of the house! I love the idea of gathering an intimate group of your best girl pals around a beautiful table to celebrate this very important occasion in your life.

For our table this month, we wanted it to be delicate and feminine, without going overboard with too much pink. I think the final outcome evokes all of that perfectly, with a modern and approachable touch. Hope you're as inspired as I am by this gorgeous tablescape!

All images are courtesy of the one and only Belen Aquino Perfilio, my fantastic partner-in-crime on this picturesque journey!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding

We worked with our friends at Flowers for Dreams on this table, and boy, did they wow us! They created a perfect palette of soft whites, creams and pinks balanced by punches of green. We were able to create a stunning centerpiece by combining multiple vessels and vases filled with different combinations of blooms and greens. I'm obsessed with the marbled pieces!

Total side note: If you aren't familiar with what the lovely folks at Flowers for Dreams are doing, you must click here to read more! Each month they feature a different local charity or cause and donate a quarter of their profits to it. Amazing! Beautiful flowers with a charitable mission - LOVE.

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding

Jeannie from Simply Scripted knocked us off our feet again this month! Those menus and place cards are hand-drawn in the most delicate pink and light gray - the perfect finishing touch on our table! The personalized champagne bottles make for super fun favors or could serve as place cards instead as well!

BBJ Linen provided the beautiful linens, which added so much texture and dimension. The gray on the table helped the beautiful floral pop, and the pattern on the pink brocade napkins was one of my favorite things about this setting!

I can't get enough of the rose gold flatware and white "O" chairs from Hall's Rental!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Bridal Shower-Summer Wedding

Thanks again to our awesome team:


Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
Simply Scripted Ink
Flowers for Dreams
BBJ Linen
Hall's Rental

Real Chicago Wedding: Tess & Mike, South Shore Cultural Center

Today this lovely couple celebrates their second anniversary, so I thought it would be fun to revisit their beautiful wedding day! Tess and Mike were married on a {very hot} Saturday in early June at the historic South Shore Cultural Center. We were lucky enough to have the very talented Amanda Hein Photography there with us to capture all of the wonderful moments!

This venue holds a particularly special place in my heart, as it is where my grandparents were married in the 1940's when it was a private country club. I'm always struck by this feeling of being connected to them when I walk through the doors and I just love that! It's incredible to think that much of it hasn't changed in all of those decades - one of the many things I love about working in a city so full of history.

But, I digress - back to this stunner of a wedding!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

Tess spent the morning with her mother and bridesmaids at her parents' GORGEOUS Victorian home in suburban Riverside. The ladies were so relaxed as they got their hair and makeup done by stylists and artists from Solo Salon. Amanda snapped photos of Tess and the ladies on the lush green grounds of their house - it made for the most perfect backdrop!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

While the ladies were busy getting beautiful, the guys were across town getting ready at the University Club. This was an impressive group of groomsmen, who all looked so dapper in classic black tuxes.

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

The couple's first look and ceremony both took place in the Dining Room - this room is just stunning with its floor to ceiling windows, black and white checkered floor and hand-painted details.

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

Following their sweet first look, Tess, Mike and their wedding party and parents went outside for some fun, sun-filled photos because...lakefront! One of the many perks of the Cultural Center is its proximity to our beautiful Lake Michigan and they really took advantage of it!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
 Obsessed with Tess's all-peony bouquet from Violet Flower Shop!

Obsessed with Tess's all-peony bouquet from Violet Flower Shop!

Tess and Mike's ceremony was definitely one to remember. It was heartfelt and so full of emotion and don't even get me started on those darling ring bearers!!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

From the ceremony, guests moved into the Solarium for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. For the escort card table, we used their personal collection of silver platters, milk glass and vintage cake stands. It was such a playful way to display the cards and loose greens were the perfect addition!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
 Such fun guest favors!

Such fun guest favors!

For this wedding, it was so great to get to use all 3 spaces in the South Shore Cultural Center - we moved from the Solarium to the Theater for dinner and dancing and this was when things really got fun!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
 Their favorite limoncello cheesecake was handmade by Tess's mother!

Their favorite limoncello cheesecake was handmade by Tess's mother!

Tess's family has a long-standing tradition of surprising the happy couple with a group Irish dance and this one did not disappoint! When Tess and Mike were introduced into the reception, we ushered them right up on to the stage where they watched about 80 of their closest family and friends perform the Siege of Ennis, a very intricate Irish line dance. It was the most amazing thing to watch and Tess and Mike couldn't believe their eyes! The photos of their reactions are some of my favorite of the whole day!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

After the excitement of that performance, guests were treated to a delicious spread from Wishbone Catering and the most incredible sweets display from Bittersweet Bakery. They danced the night away to the sounds of the Chicago Groove Collective, but not before we had some very special dances. Tess and Mike danced for the first time to a song beautifully performed by their friend, Lily and Tess performed a traditional Irish dance with her father. Everyone loved it! 

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding

This day was so full of special, personal touches, which is what we strive for for all of our clients' weddings! It was a wedding we won't soon forget! Hope you enjoyed the beautiful photos from Amanda Hein!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-South Shore Cultural Center-Summer Wedding
 How gorgeous is Tess's pink sapphire ring?!

How gorgeous is Tess's pink sapphire ring?!

 Guests had so much fun in photo booth from the Traveling Photo Booth!

Guests had so much fun in photo booth from the Traveling Photo Booth!

CREATIVE TEAM


Venue: South Shore Cultural Center
Photographer: Amanda Hein Photography
Floral & Decor: Violet Flower Shop
Catering: Wishbone Catering
Dessert: Bittersweet Bakery
Cocktail Music: Mike Knauf Music
Band: Chicago Groove Collective
Hair & Makeup: Solo Salon
Linens: Windy City Linen
Photobooth: Traveling Photo Booth
Transportation: M&M Limousine Service

Dressing for the Occasion: Advice from a Chicago Wedding Planner

With wedding season descending upon us (and the weather getting a little warmer), it’s a great reminder to start thinking about dress code options for your own special day. This may be one aspect you didn’t think you had to plan, but no one wants Uncle Jim to show up to your glamorous Art Deco wedding in blue jeans and Converse. When it comes to wedding dress codes, we think it is to keep it cohesive! You want it to make sense in the context of the overall style of the party and that means taking all aspects of your day into account - from your wedding venue, the type of menu you serve your guests, and the look and feel of your event design and decor. 

Dress codes for you, your wedding party and your guests should feel like they fit with the rest of the party. For example, if have chosen to serve a 5-course meal at an elegant downtown hotel, you will likely want to see your guests in formal attire (think tuxes and floor-length gowns). On the flipside, if you’re planning an outdoor, beachside wedding, more casual attire may be appropriate and more comfortable (think linen suits and sundresses). We’ve broken down dress code options down from the most casual to the most formal!

  Photo courtesy of  Emilia Jane Photography

Photo courtesy of Emilia Jane Photography

Casual
What it means: Anything goes!
Play it safe: Summer dresses for ladies, dress pants and polos for the gentlemen.
Where we see it: Parks, community halls, backyard gatherings, low key events.
Where we shouldn’t see it: Hotels, golf clubs, historic venues.

Cocktail (also known as semi-formal and dressy casual)
What it means: A safe zone right in the middle of casual and formal.
Play it safe: Ladies break out those mid-thigh to mid-calf length party dresses. Gentlemen go for the suit and tie (no tux!).
Where we see it: Restaurants, hotels, golf clubs, historic venues, anywhere!
Where we shouldn’t see it: Luxury hotels.

Island/Beach
What it means: It’s warm and tropical and you don’t want your guests to melt!
Play it safe: Ladies go for the flats and sandals paired with a gauzy and breathable fabrics (bright colors a plus). Gentleman grab your boat shoes or loafers and pair that with a lightweight suit without a tie.
Where we see it: Tropical destinations.
Where we shouldn’t see it: everywhere but the beach

Formal (or Black Tie Optional)
What it means: It is an elegant affair, but you don’t expect everyone to have a tux and a ballgown. Elevated but contemporary.
Play it safe: Ladies mid-length cocktail dress or evening gown (avoid heavily sequined or elaborate). Gentleman can break out their tux but can absolutely wear a tailored dark suit and tie.
Where we see it: Hotels, historic venues, luxury venues.
Where we shouldn’t see it: backyards, beaches, parks.

Black Tie
What it means: A formal evening event.
Play it safe: Ladies should wear embellished mid-length cocktail dresses or full length evening gowns. Gentleman should wear a tuxedo with tails, white vest, and white bowtie.
Where we see it: Hotels, historic venues, luxury venues.
Where we shouldn’t see it: Backyards, beaches, parks.

White Tie
What it means:
The most formal of formal events. Expect to see someone famous. 
Play it safe: Ladies should wear full length evening gowns. Gentlemen, break out the tuxedo, black bow-tie, and vest!
Where we see it: Hotels, historic venues, luxury venues.
Where we shouldn’t see it: Backyards, beaches, parks.

  Photo Courtesy of  Perregeaux Photo

Photo Courtesy of Perregeaux Photo

No matter the direction you go, it is super important to communicate the suggested dress code to your wedding guests.  Weddings are an opportunity for people to celebrate and not everyone dresses the same for a celebration. You’d be surprised about who shows up in jeans and a t-shirt, and who wears a dress fit for the club. Communicating this to your guests can be done very literally on your invitation or your wedding website, but it can also be communicated through the style of your invite.

If you want to help guests understand what that guest code means, feel free to send them to this post!

A Seat at my Table: April Edition

Well, it seems Spring has finally decided to join us and maybe even stay this time! I don't think anyone in the Midwest would deny that it has certainly felt like the never-ending winter, what with 3 snowy days in April. That must be a record! It feels so good to see gardens and grassy areas starting to show signs of life. Personally, I can't wait for my lilac bushes to bloom!

For our April tablescape, I'm going back into my archives to share photos from a beautiful photoshoot I did last Spring with some very talented ladies. We called it "Easter in Paris," and I think the soft pastel color palette, overcast skies and the French macarons illustrate that theme to perfection. The greenhouse on the grounds of the historic Cheney Mansion was the perfect setting to transport us to the French countryside. It's the perfect space for an intimate birthday party or bridal shower! 

This was one of the those days where everything comes together more perfectly than I could have imagined and makes me so grateful to be surrounded by such creative professionals.

I hope you enjoy these dreamy photos from Kristin La Voie Photography!

Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinatior-Cheney-Mansion

The gorgeous floral was done by Casey of La Rue Floral. Since this shoot, she has moved her business to Denver, so if there are any couples looking for an amazing florist in Colorado, Casey is your girl! We were so sad to lose her in Chicago, though!!

One of the first things Casey and I talked about when conceptualizing the decor for this shoot was adding a suspended floral element. I love the idea of filling the space on the table from the top and bottom - I think it makes for a cozier and lusher feel! She knocked me off my feet with this stunning hanging piece! I love the texture and dimension in the centerpiece as well. The colors were so perfectly springy in peaches, lilacs and baby blues.

The French country chairs and linens were provided by Classic Party Rentals. We chose an Ivory Imperial Stripe linen and went bold with the bright peach napkin to contrast the other more muted colors on the table. I think it was the perfect punch of brightness the table needed!

Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion

I was lucky enough to team up with my dear friends Amanda of Gather Vintage Tablescapes and Jeannie of Simply Scripted Ink on the table settings and paper products. You've seen their names before in all of our other monthly tablescape shoots!

The light blue plate stack paired perfectly with the paper, flawlessly hand scripted by Jeannie. The silver flatware and crystal glassware added just the right amount of elegance to the table. Can I just say I'm obsessed with the tiny, blue rim footed dishes? They were splendid!

Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion

I can't end this post without talking about the incredible sweets Sugar Fixe whipped up. The gold foil drip cakes are so on trend right now and there was no way we were going to have a Paris-inspired shoot without macarons! The cake stands and flowers were the perfect addition to bring it all together!

Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion

Kristin snapped a few behind-the-scenes photos of us while we were setting up, and I thought it might be fun to share them. It's so rare to see what goes in to a gorgeous, stylized shoot like this - I can't tell you what a labor of love they are! That's why a team that's willing to collaborate together is so important! I definitely could not have pulled this off by myself!

Until next month...

Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion
Clover Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-Coordinator-Day-of Coordinator-Cheney-Mansion

Ten Fun Facts About Niki!

Last week I shared some fun facts about myself, and now it's our Associate Planner, Niki's turn! Niki has been with Clover Events for over a year now and brings so much to the team! She's cool as a cucumber on wedding days and always has a smile on her face. You can often find her in the back of the room grooving to the music while the couple dances with their guests!

Before she took the jump into planning weddings and events, she had a flourishing makeup business. In Niki's words, "My other love (makeup) took me into the wedding industry. Many times I've experienced brides without a Wedding Coordinator and unhelpful family/friends and I wanted to be there to help her with more than just makeup. The idea of wedding planning had always been a lingering idea and I put the idea into motion after meeting a wonderful mentor in the industry. I have really enjoyed being a part of the other side of the wedding day and having the opportunity to get to know clients on a deeper level. It has brought me so many new and rewarding experiences that continue to excite me for future events to come."

  Photo courtesy of  Peter Gubernat Photography

Photo courtesy of Peter Gubernat Photography

Ok, on with the fun facts about Niki!

ONE: I have done bridal makeup professionally for 10 years. (I was always good at art and painting and discovered at a young age that I was very good at painting faces, too!) 

TWO: I never, ever liked working out, but discovered Barre last year and look forward to it every week.

THREE: I am "double-jointed." I can twist both arms around in almost a complete circle. (It's my party trick!) 

FOUR: My sister and I are the first in our family to be born in the US (in New Jersey to be exact).

  Photo courtesy of  Ed & Aileen Photography

Photo courtesy of Ed & Aileen Photography

FIVE: I was in a Macedonian Folklore dance group until I was 15 and traveled the US performing.

SIX: I taught gymnastics to kindergartners when I was in grade school. 

SEVEN: I am fascinated by horoscope readings and psychic abilities. (I'm a Cancer and we are known to be highly imaginative, sympathetic, & persuasive. I agree!)

EIGHT: I need everything in my living space to always be clean, orderly and symmetrical (a crooked picture will drive me nuts!)

  Photo courtesy of  Peter Gubernat Photography

Photo courtesy of Peter Gubernat Photography

NINE: My happy place is drinking coffee at an eclectic cafe or beautiful outdoor patio.

TEN: I would eat Mediterranean-type food everyday if I could (just no seafood!)

  LOVE this photo of Niki and her adorable boys!

LOVE this photo of Niki and her adorable boys!

  Niki and her lovely husband, Peter

Niki and her lovely husband, Peter

So there you have it! If you haven't had the opportunity to meet Niki at an event, I hope you get the chance soon! I just know you'll adore her as much as I do.

I'm super excited to announce that she will be taking over the Clover Events Instagram account for the next week! Hope you enjoy hearing about the events we've done from her perspective!

Ten Fun Facts About Katherine!

Let's take a break from our regularly-scheduled pretty and spend a little time getting to know me, Katherine, the fearless leader behind Clover Events.  I thought it would be fun to hit you with 10 fun facts you might not know about me!  Here goes...

  Photo Courtesy of  Emilia Jane Photography

Photo Courtesy of Emilia Jane Photography

ONE: I'm a leftie and I'm proud of it!  I love when I notice other lefties "in the wild" - I feel like we're connected on some level.

TWO: Family is everything to me.  I'm lucky enough to have 4 younger siblings (and an enormous extended family) and I can't imagine my life without them.  One of my brothers and one of my sisters are both getting married this year, which is super exciting!  I love being a #boymama and my guys (Adam, Orrin & Emmet) make my world go round.

  Photos Courtesy of  Metts Photo

Photos Courtesy of Metts Photo

HealyFamily-40.jpg

THREE: I went into college planning to be an interior designer, but ended up graduating with a degree in psychology and social work.  I like to think my job is an interesting combination of both of those fields!  Being a wedding planner is really part designer and part therapist!

FOUR: In addition to wedding planning, I also plan corporate meetings as well.  For the last 9 years, I've helped to plan a large international conference and I've been lucky enough to visit 9 different countries in 4 continents.  Surprise, surprise my favorite city was Dublin!

FIVE: I love to cook - it's my favorite thing to do on weekends when I'm not working. 

  Photo Courtesy of  Jennifer Kathryn Branding

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Kathryn Branding

SIX: One of my biggest accomplishments in my life is that I have completed 2 half marathons.  Before I started training for my first one, I had never run more than half a mile at one time.  It was not easy, but it felt so amazing to cross those finish lines!

SEVEN: My first job was scooping ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins when I was 15.  

EIGHT: I had a few [hilarious and irrational] fears when I was a small child that may or may not have included ants, my shadow and car washes.  Clearly I've gotten over all of them as an adult, except for car washes.  Still terrified of those.

NINE: I love listening to podcasts, especially when I'm driving (which is always).  I'm really loving NPR's How I Built This - it's chock full of entrepreneurial inspiration!

TEN: Once a month I co-host an amazing wedding industry networking event, called Thursday Therapy with 2 other fantastic business owners, Jen Henderson and Bethany Fritz.  I've been doing it for a little over a year and it's been such an incredible way to get to know my industry even better!  If you're in the wedding industry and I haven't seen you at one of our events, you better get to the next one.  They're so much fun!

  Photos Courtesy of  Ashley Hamm Photography

Photos Courtesy of Ashley Hamm Photography

January 2018 TT

A Seat at my Table: March Edition

So here we are in March, the month of St. Patrick's Day and our namesake holiday!  When new acquaintances find out the name of my business, they often ask me how I came up with the name.  I knew I wanted to give a nod to my Irish heritage in some way and wanted to incorporate green (my favorite color), but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the perfect name.  We had just moved into a new house (a very old, new house) and I was just beginning to notice all the quirks and details that came along with our new home.  I was walking in the back door one evening and happened to look down and lock eyes on a glass clover ornament that was set in concrete on our stoop.  In the four or so months we’d lived there, I swear I had never noticed it before!  Right then and there, it popped in my head: Clover Events!  It was simple, it was Irish and it was green – checked all the boxes.  I bounced it around for a couple days with my husband and a few close friends and it seemed to be the perfect fit.  I still love it!

It will come as no surprise that, for our March tablescape, we're embracing all that is St. Patrick's Day!  Instead of going full on clovers and leprechauns, we decided to keep our palette and design subtle by using rich textures (I'm looking at you, velvet linen) and incorporating many shades of green.  I couldn't be more pleased with the way it all came together!  Once again, Belen from Gerber & Scarpelli knocked me off my feet with these gorgeous photos!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day

Lovely from May Floral designed a beautiful footed compote filled with the most gorgeous white blooms!  Since there was so much color elsewhere on the table, it was key to keep our floral neutral and light.  I'm just obsessed with those lush garden roses!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day

One of my most favorite parts of this tablescape was the green glasses Amanda from Gather Vintage Tablescapes brought for us to use!  They're so feminine and elegant.  We did a bit of an unconventional plate stack here - incorporating different colors, sizes and shapes.  I love a little unexpected surprise on a table!  The gold flatware was the perfect compliment to the white and green china!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day

Once again, Jeannie from Simply Scripted Ink helped us finish off the tablescape with the perfect paper complement!  The gold-edged, hand-lettered place cards were nestled in adorable wooden blocks to give them some height.  I can't get over how simple and modern the lucite table number looks as well - such a unique touch!

The gorgeous, rich evergreen velvet linen from BBJ Linen added so much texture and dimension to the table.  We couldn't help but pet it as we were setting the table!  We went simple and neutral with the napkins, in a beautiful Bone color.

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago Day-of Coordinator-Clover Events-Green and gold wedding-Wedding Inspiration-St Patricks Day

On St. Patrick's Day, may you have
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire

Thank you again to my incredible team of collaborators on this shoot!

Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
Gather Vintage Tablescapes
May Floral
Simply Scripted Ink
BBJ Linen

Real Chicago Wedding: Nida & Aamer, Zhou B Art Center

I have such a soft spot for weddings steeped in culture and tradition, and particularly ones that are so different from my own heritage. It's such a cool perk of the job - getting to learn about other cultures through their wedding traditions. Nida and Aamer's families are from Pakistan, and so they chose to include many traditional elements in their wedding day, while also blending in some of their own personalities. It made for a very unique wedding experience for their guests!

These beautiful photos are courtesy of Kat Hartigan of Kat/Eye Studios

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

Aamer wore pieces that belonged to his grandfather, including his watch. His beautiful headpiece was hand-carried from Pakistan, in pieces, by a family member and reassembled that morning. It was incredibly heavy!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

After getting ready at the Fairmont Hotel, Nida and Aamer had their first look at the beautiful, lush Lakeshore East Park, just behind the hotel. It was the perfect backdrop and the weather could not have been more delightful!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

In Pakistani tradition, it is customary for the groom to travel to the wedding accompanied by his family members, in a processional called a Baraat. Following their first look, the couple parted ways so that Aamer could have a traditional Baraat with his family and friends. When they arrived at Zhou B Art Center, Aamer and his party were escorted up to the entrance by a dhol drummer and flautist, where they were greeted by Nida's parents and escorted inside. This was one of the most magical parts of the day; to see the two families come together with such joy and anticipation was so memorable. I especially love the photo below where Nida and Aamer's mothers are embracing - so beautiful!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

Nida and Aamer were very clear in their design direction from the very beginning; they wanted it to be contemporary and modern with elements of warmth and approachability. Sophia and her team at Kehoe Designs executed this design so flawlessly.

The ceremony decor was incredibly breathtaking! I even heard a few wedding guests literally gasp as they walked into the space! The gorgeous drapery was the perfect backdrop for their ceremony, and the lighting overhead and down the aisle made the space feel so magical.

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

Following the ceremony, guests were greeted with refreshing mocktails and delicious hors d'oeuvres from LM Catering. While they sipped on their drinks, guests perused the massive seating chart, that was hand-drawn by Reenie Rose, on a beautifully ornate mirror. 

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

It was so much fun working with Nida, Aamer and Kehoe Designs to design their dinner and dancing space. Zhou B Art Center is such a blank slate with plenty of concrete, pillars, raw ceilings and so much natural light! Aamer spent much of his childhood in Hong Kong, so one of the things he knew he wanted to incorporate was an assortment of Chinese lanterns. We opted to suspend them from the ceiling, which really made the space feel so full and brought your eyes up the moment you stepped into the room! Nida and Aamer knew they didn't want to overdo it with floral, so the blooms they did include had sentimental value for them, which was so special. Their unique table numbers, designed by Magnificent Milestones, were such a fun illustration of the cities where they were born, Chicago and Lahore, in Pakistan.

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

Guests were really ready to party once dinner was over! We kicked dancing off with a beautiful medley of songs performed by Nida's siblings and nephews, and a few heartfelt toasts given by some of their dearest friends. DJ Damaniac from DesiBel Entertainment and his talented musicians kept Nida, Aamer and their guests dancing for hours - even Aamer got in on the fun!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

We ended this incredible day with a sparkler exit and a quick outfit change for Nida! So much fun!!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

Before we go, I have to share a few more great photos of Nida and Aamer. Kat from Kat/Eye Studios captured their dynamic personalities so perfectly!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Zhou B Art Center-KatEye Studios

CREATIVE TEAM


Venue: Zhou B Art Center
Hotel: Fairmont Chicago
Photographer: Kat/Eye Studios
Videographer: Smiling Toad Productions
Floral & Decor: Kehoe Designs
Catering: LM Catering
DJ: DesiBel Entertainment
Hair & Makeup: Bianca Sansosti Artistry
Invitations & Day-of Papers: Magnificent Milestones
Seating Mirror: Reenie Rose
Linens: Windy City Linen
Photobooth: Shutterbooth Chicago
Transportation: M&M Limousine Service

A Seat at my Table: February Edition

With less than a week to go until Valentine's Day, we're coming at you today with fun and colorful tablescape inspiration in the form of a romantic, fireside proposal!  While Valentine's Day is certainly one of the most romantic days of the year to pop the question, it doesn't have to be all about hearts and kisses.  Just ask my darling husband - we got engaged on Valentine's Day {cough cough} 10 years ago.  He planned the sweetest, low-key proposal that I will never forget! 

We thought it would be fun to set the scene of a cozy afternoon by the fire with some delicious treats and, of course, champagne, in a more subtle nod to our favorite holiday of love!   I love the idea of being in the comfort of your home and celebrating this momentous occasion in an intimate and private setting.  The bright colors of the baked treats and berries really pop off of the neutral backdrop.  How dreamy are the rosy pink dishes from Gather Vintage Tablescapes?  Just perfect for this occasion!

Cozy up and enjoy!

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo
Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Chicago day-of coordinator-Clover Events-Valentines Day-Tablescape Inspo

2018 West Loop Wedding Walk

Written by Niki Gubernat

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever West Loop Wedding Walk and it was such a delight! The concept behind this fun event was: 11 West Loop venues opened up their doors for the afternoon. You hopped on a luxury bus or trolley that waited for you outside each venue, ready to take you to the next destination. At each venue, you found a handful of Chicago wedding vendors set up and ready to talk to you and hand out their information. We even got to sample some amazing food and drinks while listening to great music!

My tour started off at Loft Lucia. Once those elevator doors open up, you walk right into a sunlight filled open space! Beautiful bar on one side of the room and a wall full of glass doors on the other side of the room - those doors take you out to a huge terrace. I could see that terrace space filled with people for a cocktail hour on a warm, Chicago summer night. Back inside, just a few steps down, takes you to an even bigger open space. The smell of fresh wood fills the room – the wide-plank wood floors all polished and inviting. The exposed metal ceiling, marble-faced bar, modern drum lighting and brick walls give this loft a true industrial, city feel. 

We hopped on a XL Transportation luxury bus right outside of Loft Lucia and headed off to our next stop, The Lakewood. Let’s talk about that bus for a second: a sleek, black Mercedes Sprinter, black leather seats, TV, WI-FI, bar and a restroom in the back! Got to love that for those groups stuck in some Chicago traffic!

As you walk into The Lakewood, the elegance of the all-white room & the high, exposed-beam ceilings grabs your attention! The grey-washed cement floor (which matches the grey exterior of the building), adds a nice touch of contrast to the space. Large, square windows all around, brings in just the right amount of natural lighting, but doesn’t take away from the glow of the romantic spherical chandeliers. There is definitely a lot of chic that happens there!

Next stop, The Publishing House, you little gem, YOU! I actually had a hard time leaving here. I couldn’t get enough of their eclectic décor, done so fabulously that it can inspire every type of taste. The Publishing House has three floors, 11 bedrooms, a library, a fireplace and grand piano in an open seated area. There is a media room, and they offer a cooked-to-order breakfast every morning in their kitchen, which is also located in their main area. In need of some wine & cheese? The Press Room (on the 1st floor) has got you covered. Oh, need some beautifying? Solo Salon is located just next door and has an extensive list of services they offer! Don’t feel like going there? They can come up to you! My mind was spinning at how perfect this place is for a bridal party to stay and get ready on the wedding day. You could even have the rehearsal dinner here the night before! So many options! I can’t wait to book a night at this place and just have a Chicago stay-cation!

Up next, Ovation! The owners here did some serious thinking about what a space needs for a great party! The sound system at this venue will knock your socks off. They even have a movable DJ booth – they did not mess around when it came to making sure the music will be heard clearly throughout their huge space. Still looking up at those speakers? You won’t miss the huge fans either! Another well thought-out aspect for when the room fills up with major body heat, from all that dancing! The exposed brick walls and ceiling beams, along with the wood-faced bar, brings a rustic feel though out the space and I’m just loving it!!

The last venue I had a chance to visit was Ignite Glass Studios. This is an art-lover’s dream right here! You first walk into a showroom filled with beautiful glass art and can also head around back to the “Hot Shop” for glassblowing demonstrations – I love when a venue has something extra for guests. You have the option to head up to the rooftop, hang out in the main event space, or enjoy their urban garden. Yes, a beautiful grassy area, in the middle of the city, with awesome city views. The perfectly strung café lights give a soft glow to the event space and the urban garden. You will also notice their unique glass sconces amongst the all-white backdrop in the main event space. (Shout-out to Jordan’s Food of Distinction that was set-up there, providing the most light and refreshing lavender-infused vodka cocktails! Amazing!)

Since I had a hard time leaving the venues I did visit, it didn’t leave me enough time to visit the rest of the venues that took part in the West Loop Wedding Walk: Great Central Brewing Co, Room 1520, Moonlight Studios, Loft on Lake, Prairie Production, and Morgan’s on Fulton. I am coming for you next year!!

This was the first official West Loop Wedding Walk and they are already starting to plan the next one. You HAVE TO experience this in 2019!

Chicago is full of wedding events to attend every month – various venues will hold wedding shows where you can find everything you will need for your wedding all in one room, but what if you don’t have the venue yet? Reach out to us at Clover Events and we'll help you find the perfect venue for your big day!

Make the Most of your Wedding Day:
Hair & Makeup

Planning a wedding can get overwhelming very quickly. One of the best things a wedding planner can offer engaged couples is clarity when it comes to hiring the right vendors. With so many (fantastic) potential vendors out there, it can be so beneficial to work with a professional to help you assemble a great team!

So, we've asked a few of our most favorite vendors to give you a little behind-the-scenes look at what goes into working with their clients. We're starting with the wonderful Bianca of Bianca Sansosti Artistry, a collective of hairstylists and makeup artists who specialize in on-location services for weddings and events. She's here today to talk about the hair and makeup trial: what is it and why is it important?

Take it away, Bianca!

 Photo courtesy of  Bella-Hill Wedding House

Photo courtesy of Bella-Hill Wedding House

The Importance of a Hair and Makeup Trial


With all the different services that a couple experiences during wedding planning and on the wedding day, none is a more personal experience than hair and makeup. How you look translates to how you feel so we, as professional hairstylists and makeup artists, want to ensure that you look (and feel) absolutely amazing that day.

In almost ten years of working in the beauty industry, I have had my fair share of clients who were apprehensive about having their hair and makeup professionally done, and rightfully so! Some have had bad experiences in the past, some have never had services done at all, and many were nervous to have someone do their hair who is not their regular stylist; mostly they were afraid that they weren’t going to look like themselves. We want you to look like you, the best, most enhanced version of you. 

This can mean different things for different people, so having a hair and makeup trial is such an important step in the process. I like to say that the trial is more important for us than the actual wedding day – that’s because on the wedding day, we already know what to do because of the trial! We want you to look back at your photos 25 years later and still love how you looked and felt that day! 

 Photos courtesy of  Emilia Jane Photography

Photos courtesy of Emilia Jane Photography

Chicago Wedding Planner-Chicago Wedding Coordinator-Clover Events-Chicago History Museum

What should I expect at a trial?


Your hair and makeup trial is an extended appointment time, where you practice the styles and looks you want for the wedding day, and then make adjustments and tweaks until it’s perfect. It’s so helpful to use inspiration photos since clients often can’t tell us, in hair and makeup terms, what they are envisioning. 

During initial calls with clients, I ask a lot of questions, including some that are not necessarily beauty-related. The answers provide a sense of overall style and vision, providing the opportunity to provide our professional advice and recommendations as to whether or not those styles and looks will work for features, such as eye shape, hair texture and hair length. Our goal is for longevity and performance on the wedding day, using the best style to complement features. 

From there, it’s styling time! We will pin your hair different ways, try a couple lip colors and determine your final look. At the end of the trial, it’s important to provide additional do’s and don’ts for hair and/or skin leading up to the wedding for best results and staying power.

 Photo courtesy of  Alaina Bos Photography

Photo courtesy of Alaina Bos Photography

Tips & Recommendations for Successful Hair & Makeup Trials


So how can you make sure your hair and makeup experience is top-notch and delivers flawless results on the big day? 

  1. Communication is key! Let your artist and stylist know how you’re feeling about everything, both what you love and what you want to do differently. 
     
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for adjustments. You’re not going to hurt our feelings; this is our job, and we want you to be HAPPY! 
     
  3. Tell us your normal hair and skin care routines - we may have additional recommendations for you! Let us know (especially your makeup artist) if you have any allergies or skin conditions we need to be aware of.
     
  4. Your inspiration photos are just that – inspiration. It’s important to be realistic, and be aware that your final look may not look exactly like the photos. Most of the time, photos that are sent to us are from Pinterest and are heavily retouched. That gorgeous, super textured, low bun that is the perfect balance between messy and polished? That’s not actually going to hold for an 8+ hour wedding day.
     
  5. Keep your hair color in mind when looking for inspiration, making sure to look for photos with similar hair coloring. Blonde and highlighted hair is going to show off more texture and depth than dark hair or hair that is one overall color, so if you have dark hair and your inspiration photo was a blonde, the hairstyle is going to look a little different on you. 
     
  6. The same goes for makeup – look for photos of models with similar skin and eye color, to have a realistic idea of how that will look on you.
     
  7. Don’t change your haircut or hair color drastically after your hair and makeup trial, because your new look may not work anymore for the new style. Instead, tell us your plans so we can give you recommendations, and show your regular stylist photos from your trial.
     
  8. Don’t schedule your hair and makeup trial for other events, like engagement photos or bridal showers. Most times, your wedding look isn’t appropriate for those events, since there is not as much formality. If possible, try to schedule a dress fitting the afternoon or evening of your trial, so you can see your whole look, head to toe. Such a fun way to experience it before the big day!
 Photo courtesy of  Kat/Eye Studios

Photo courtesy of Kat/Eye Studios

Was that informative or what?! Thank you so much to Bianca Sansosti for the inside look at hair and makeup trials. Our clients love working with you and your incredible team! We want you to make the most of your wedding day, so let us know if you're feeling overwhelmed by the planning process - we're here for you! Send us an email and we'll work through it!

A Seat at my Table: January Edition

One of my favorite details of a wedding has always been the tablescape—I find it really sets the tone for the event.  Do you want it to be casual or formal?  Colorful or monochromatic?  Elaborate or simple?  Your linens, china, flatware, glassware and floral can help you make the style statement you want to make with your tables.  Even something as simple as upgrading your chairs can really elevate a wedding!

Long before I decided to start blogging, I had the idea to create a monthly tablescape series to feature a beautiful table reflective of the season, holiday or even a special occasion; I tabled the idea (pun definitely intended) because I didn't feel like I had a way to share it that would do it justice.  At the end of last year, when I committed to the idea of blogging, the first thing I knew I wanted to feature was this tablescape series!  I am obsessed with interior design and the way colors work together in a space—and this project has been such a fun way for me to flex those creative muscles.  I knew my dear friend, Belen Aquino Perfilio of Gerber & Scarpelli would be the perfect photographer for this series.  (Seriously, you guys have to follow her on Instagram if you aren't already!)  She's kind of killing it right now with her photos of interiors!

For the January table, I was inspired by new beginnings that come with the start of another year.  I had been working for a few months on updates to my logo and brand, so using my new logo as inspiration felt right!  I got right to work on putting a creative team together and searching high and low for images that were inspiring.

With this inaugural shoot, I knew I wanted to incorporate loose greens set among a neutral palette: romantic and airy, with a modern touch.  I couldn't be more pleased with the final product! 

So please, come and have a seat at my table...

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding

The beautiful place settings were really a team effort: we started with flatware and glassware from Gather Vintage Tablescapes and a two-toned charger from BBJ Linen, adding my own wedding china (such a fun reason to bring it out!) with a menu card and a place card from Simply Scripted Ink (more on these later!), all topped off with a little fern sprig from May Floral.  I absolutely love the mixture of metals, textures and colors!

We used a linen from BBJ, from their Faille line, in Bone for the base table cloth and napkins and layered a Jute runner in Sand. 

Pro-tip: Layering linens is a perfect way to add texture and dimension to your table!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding

Jeannie from Simply Scripted Ink really knocked it out of the park with the paper products for this table.  The menu cards and table number are the perfect combination of watercolor and type, completely embracing the look and feel from my logo.  For the place cards, she used sheets of small hexagon tiles from the local builders-supply shop, removed the tiles from the backing and hand drew the names in gold paint! 

Pro-tip: Use something unexpected as the medium for your place cards.  In this case, we used small marble tiles, but you could use anything from napkin rings to ribbon to greenery.  This could also serve as a fun favor for your guests to take home!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding
 
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding

Lovely from May Floral got exactly what we were going for with loose and airy greens!  Combined with a few larger ivory blooms, this low and lush arrangement was the perfect addition to our table; I love bringing the floral out of the centerpiece and onto the rest of the table, so we added ferns to each place setting.

Pro-tip: Adorn your place settings with floral such as fresh herbs or a single delicate bloom.  Your guests will love it!

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding

Also, are we just dying over this etched crystal from Gather Vintage Tablescape?!  It's so elegant and such a great way to elevate your place settings.

Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding
Clover Events-Chicago Wedding Planner-Day of Coordinator-Event Design-Green Wedding

I hope you enjoyed the fruits of our labor for this inspiration shoot!  Stay tuned each month for a new tablescape-centric post!  Thank you times a million to the team of wonderfully creative people who came together to make this happen!

Belen Aquino Perfilio, Gerber & Scarpelli
Gather Vintage Tablescapes
May Floral
Simply Scripted Ink
BBJ Linen