Monday, December 21, 2015

Real Wedding | Victoria & Joe

Couple | Victoria & Joe, 9-5-15
Ceremony & Reception | Prairie Production
Ceremony Officiate | Joel Skene, friend of the couple
Photographer | Hetler Photography
Caterer | Wanderlust Catering
Bartender | Spritzology
Disc Jockey | Toast & Jam
Personal Flowers | Posh Petals
Centerpiece FlowersHamilton Dahlia Farm
Linens | Special Occasions West
Cake | A Baker's Tale
Photobooth | Magbooth
Pearls Events Service | Planning, Design and Set Up

Victoria is my younger sister and assisting her with the planning, design and execution of her Chicago wedding day was something I had always assured her I'd do. It feels like Joe has always been a part of our large family (I'm the oldest of five kids), so when Labor Day weekend rolled around, and they made it official, we were all excited to celebrate with them in their hometown of Chicago.

The wedding weekend prep began early in the week for me. My mom and I cut over 200 dahlias at Hamilton Dahlia Farm, and my mom picked up all the linens from Special Occasions West. I also called in a few favors from my colleagues Michelle at Red Heels Events and Elizabeth at Posh Petals; Michelle let us borrow her chargers & candles, and Elizabeth hooked us up with all the vases for the reception.

Greg, my husband, and I met the rest of our family in Chicago on Friday afternoon and we had the ceremony rehearsal on the rooftop of Victoria and Joe's townhouse - it was perfect weather! Joe's parents treated everyone to a lovely rehearsal dinner at Goose Island Friday night, and Saturday morning arrived quickly after a good night's rest at the newly renovated Renaissance hotel.

Hair & makeup with the ladies happened in our parent's giant hotel suite, which always works out well for the getting ready portion of the day. Joe got ready at home before meeting Victoria at their wedding venue, Prairie Production, for their first look, couple photos, wedding party & family photos.

It was a hot day in September, but thankfully the outdoor ceremony space was in full shade by the time cocktail hour began. Victoria & Joe greeted their guests into cocktail hour, and then the wedding party walked down the aisle for a very casual, standing-only ceremony led by Joel Skene, a friend of the couple.

After the ceremony, guests made their way inside for dinner, dessert and dancing. It was a very fun day filled with great family & friends who made the trip to Chicago for the weekend!

I've shared a few of my favorite photos here, but Hetler Photography has MANY more on their blog post here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Real Wedding | Kate & David

Couple | Kate & David, 8-22-15
Ceremony Location St. Alphonsus Parish
Photographer | Kristy Berends Photography
Reception Location | Gull Lake Country Club
Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist | Cheeky Strut
Florist | Bloomers
Caterer | Steve & Rocky's
Wedding Cake | Nantucket Baking Company
Entertainment | Redline
Rentals | Canopeum
Transportation | Holiday Coach Company, Affordable Limousine
Rehearsal Dinner | Tre Cugini
Pearls Events Services | Event Design & Coordination

Kate & David contacted Pearls Events about a year ago and Leah B. spent nearly 8 months working very closely with both of them making sure every detail was absolutely perfect on their big day. The ceremony was held at St. Alphonsus Parish downtown Grand Rapids and their reception about an hour away at Gull Lake Country Club, so the Pearls Events team had to divide and conquer the day-of to make sure everything went according to plan.

Cheeky Strut met Kate and her ladies bright and early in Kate's bridal suite at the J.W. Mariott to start hair and makeup. I checked in with breakfast and coffee while Leah B. and Aletha began setting up at the country club. Once tables, chairs and linens were in place, Bloomers arrived with centerpieces and the tent began to transform making Kate & David's wedding dreams come true!

The bride & groom decided not to see each other before the ceremony which made Kate's grand entrance into St. Alphonsus Parish that much more special. After the ceremony, guests were transported to Gull Lake Country Club via charter bus while Kate & David stayed behind to take a few photos.

Cocktail hour began right on schedule and once the bride & groom arrived, guests were invited to find their seats. Kate & David cut their cake, speeches & toasts were made and dinner was served. After a few traditional dances between the bride & groom and their parents, Redline opened the dance floor to guests and they danced the night away!

Many thanks to Kristy of Kristy Berends Photography for the lovely images - Check out her blog if you'd like to see more!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Real Wedding | Jessica & Mike

Couple | Jessica & Mike, 8-1-15
Ceremony & Celebration | Private Residence
Ceremony Musicians | Simply Strings
Officiate | James Barber
Photographer | Couple of Dudes Photography
Caterer | Pit Stop Catering
Florist | CO-ED Flowers
Rentals  | Fancy Fray, Taylor Rental, Tablescapes
Entertainment | Speaker on a Stick
Pearls Events Services | Event Coordination

The Pearls Events team traveled to Sault Saint Marie (a first for us!) for Jessica & Mike's backyard barn wedding. The weather on their big day was nothing less than pure Northern Michigan perfection and the laid-back bride and groom were such a joy to work with!

The ceremony and celebration took place at Mike's family's farm. Pearls Events spent all morning setting tables, coordinating vendor arrivals and making sure every last detail was in place. Jessica & Mike decided to do a "First Look" with family photos immediately following. The whole day was stress-free and relaxing, just what Jessica & Mike wanted!

Guests arrived mid-afternoon and walked about a 1/4 mile down a grassy path to the ceremony site. The ceremony was short and sweet, officiated by a close friend of the couple. After Jessica & Mike said I do, guests made their way back toward the house to a tented reception complete with farm tables (thanks, Fancy Fray!), delicate string lighting and blue Spatterware mugs from Tablescapes at each place setting. The bride & groom enjoyed a casual BBQ meal and homemade pies with their closest family and friends before dancing the night away in the most perfect barn ever imagined!

Jessica & Mike - Thank-you for inviting us to be a part of your special day. You and your families were so welcoming and sweet! Wishing you lots of love and happiness! 

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