Sometimes we feel the need to pinch ourselves when we realize how lucky we are to get to do what we do — and working with Valerie and Brian was no exception! Helping a couple of people who are so clearly in love with each other and giddy with excitement for their wedding is such a treat. We started working with Valerie and Brian about a year and a half out from their date, and helped them find a venue and design team who could bring their vision to life. While lots of time passed between our first meeting and the couple of months where we focused on the details, their excitement and dedication to hosting the best party they could imagine never wavered.
When wedding day finally arrived, Valerie and her bridesmaids gathered in the Sky Suite at The Blackstone Hotel for hair and makeup by the talented Kayla VanAlstyne and Makeup by Jacquee. The suite has incredible views of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park, and the unique window shapes made for some fun photo opportunities. Bethany of Maypole Studios is always amazing behind the camera, and we love working with her!
Let’s not forget to take a moment to admire the bride’s creativity — she personally designed all the print pieces for her wedding! I’m sure their guests knew they were in for a fun night when they received these in the mail.
While Valerie and the ladies were getting all dolled up for the big day, Brian and his groomsmen were hanging out in the lobby of The Blackstone playing cards and billiards until it was time to get the show on the road. We’re such big fans of The Blackstone — a great spot for your hotel block and getting ready for Chicago weddings!
For the first look, Maypole Studios led Valerie and Brian to a private spot in the park across from the hotel. Their excitement was palpable, and the looks on their faces showed just how much they were anticipating this moment.
Their wedding party soon joined in for some group photos (including a few quick rounds of Tug o’ War!) before the rain rolled in, sending them back to the hotel. Luckily, between The Blackstone Hotel and Venue Six10 (site of the ceremony and reception), there were tons of places to get some amazing portraits and wedding party photos while keeping dry.
The floral and decor was expertly handled by Phil of Kehoe Designs; he incorporated Valerie and Brian’s favorite colors while also adding in touches of whimsy to highlight their wedding’s game theme.
Valerie and Brian’s ceremony was personal, thoughtful, and of course, a little playful. They incorporated bright colors and fun props to their ceremony with Kehoe’s eye for design and detail, and were completely in tune with each other throughout the ceremony.
Valerie’s family is close friends with an incredibly talented musical artist, Joan Collaso, who performed music for the ceremony and postlude. Cocktail hour was a blast, as of course Valerie and Brian made sure there was plenty for their guests to do! They had a giant Jenga set, bags boards, and access to the gorgeous terrace overlooking Michigan Avenue, Lake Michigan, and the park. Not to mention the delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails by Blue Plate!
Style Matters‘ DJ Noah took over on the musical front, and helped us get the wedding party ready for their introductions and toasts.
After dinner, guests were able to hit up the dessert table filled with goodies from Morsels Patisserie and Blue Plate, which were as delicious as they were beautiful! The music was a hit, and everyone — young and old — couldn’t help but bust a move on the dance floor! Style Matters never fails to make every party a dance party. For guests who needed to take a short break from dancing, Valerie and Brian also hired ShutterBooth to capture even more fun memories as part of their guest book (guests were also able to sign the Jenga pieces after cocktail hour, making for an interactive way for Valerie and Brian to remember their wedding day for years to come!).
Special thanks to RoboToaster for this great video recap — it perfectly captures all the joy and happiness present at Valerie and Brian’s wedding!
Valerie and Brian, we are oh-so-happy for the two of you, and wish you years of fun and games to come! Thank you for letting Five Grain Events be a part of your special day.