We had such a great experience working with Robynn and Matt for their November wedding in Chicago! They were NYC based; and felt it would be helpful to have a local team to assist with final vendor decisions and helping with the set-up crew (in this case, friends and family!) on wedding day. Five Grain Events works with out-of-town clients quite a bit, and our team loves being able to help couples who aren’t as familiar with the local market find a vendor group just right for them!
These two were ORGANIZED. They came to us with so many of their details meticulously planned and thoughtfully considered. We knew that this would be a special weekend, as they had put serious effort into the experience as a whole — not just for the two of them, but for their friends and family members who were local and traveling from out out of town to celebrate with them.
One of the best decisions they made, in my humble opinion, was choosing Villa d’Citta as “base camp” for their stay in Chicago. They were able to host several of their guests in the various rooms throughout the Villa, had an intimate-yet-regal room for themselves (hello, fireplace!), and were able to hold several ancillary events at the Villa — including their ceremony rehearsal, Chinese Tea Ceremony, and welcome party for nearly all their 160 guests! Plus, as a true bed and breakfast, the Villa had a delicious spread prepared for them each morning. Last but not least, it was but a hop-skip-and-a-jump from their wedding venue, Galleria Marchetti.
On the morning of the wedding day, Robynn seemed calm and collected as her cousin Vanessa did her makeup, and Katie of Pin Me Up did her hair. This was our first time working with the husband-and-wife photography duo Two Birds Photography, and we couldn’t have enjoyed the process more. They were organized, timely, communicative, and took beautiful photos!
One of the other perks of Villa d’Citta was this adorable courtyard that was a great spot for getting some portraits and family photos taken care of before the couple took to the city with their photographers. Robynn’s bouquet and Matt’s boutonniere were made by Steve’s Flower Market.
Robynn and Matt chose Vanilla Video for videography — a great option for budgets of all sizes, especially when you only want a few key moments of footage, rather than a full day. The videographer joined us at the venue shortly before the ceremony to ensure the Groom and officiant were “mic’d up” and to capture the arrival of guests and set-up details. Our clients have been so happy with the final product, which makes us happy!
Friends and family came together to bring the couple’s vision to reality — Robynn enlisted a “decorations committee” to help with creating the table arrangements and ceremony floral, as well as setting up the decorations on day-of at Galleria Marchetti. Five Grain Events was present at Galleria Marchetti to help make the set-ups went smoothly and to the bride’s specifications. This allowed for Robynn and Matt — and the group of friends and family who helped set up — arrive to the wedding without duties, so they could enjoy as hosts and guests!
When the decor was all set, and hair and makeup complete, it was time for the wedding to officially begin! Guests started arriving and were graced with the sounds of a folk trio led by Keith Baumann of Old Town School of Folk Music. We loved hearing their rendition of Canon in D!
The officiant (who also acted as emcee) was a dear friend of the couple. He was equal parts hilarious, charming, and incredibly helpful. We were so lucky to have such a great team player as part of this special weekend!
As the ceremony concluded and the trio scooted into the next room for cocktails, family photos got well underway. When big families are involved, it’s so important to have an assertive photographer and an organized list of must-get photos. We came prepared and had an FGE team member standing by to help collect people for the photos so Robynn and Matt could get done as quickly as possible to join their cocktail hour.
The escort card set-up for Robynn and Matt was one of our all-time favorites. It was so cute, colorful, and creative! Oranges bring good luck in Chinese culture, so Robynn wanted to give a nod to that by using mandarins w/ sage-green leaves that had each guest’s name. We helped her source both the printing and die-cutting of the leaves (Thank you, PaperSource in Evanston!) and the mandarins (Costco, for the win).
Decor at cocktail hour also included a beautiful family photo display with Chinese decorations, including the tea set used for the traditional Tea Ceremony. The couple also brought a cigar box and personal collection of coasters for guests to sign, as well as a “guest log” — an actual cut of a log!
It was soon time for guests to make their way into The Pavilion, where they found their seats thanks to DIY table numbers, set in growlers collected over the years by Matt and Robynn. The tables were also adorned with blue and white mugs decorated with Chinese landscapes, and filled with beautiful white and red flowers, thoughtfully arranged by Robynn’s dear friend and purchased at Mariano’s. Paper flowers in autumnal hues and some votive candles completed the look, and we’re sure the guests appreciated all the hard work that went into the personal touches!
The speeches were so personal and fun; the couple was thrilled to hear from Joe (officiant-turned-emcee), the bride’s sister, and the groom’s brother.
Max Davis of Style Matters was the DJ — and he couldn’t have done a better job! He had the dance floor grooving with hit after hit.
No one could risk going hungry with all the delicious appetizers, fabulous dinner, and delectable sweets station courtesy of Bittersweet and Galleria Marchetti — not to mention a Garrett’s Popcorn bar AND late night pizza!
Robynn and Matt, we wish you two many years of happiness and hope you have taken some time off to enjoy the fruits of your detailed organization! It was such a pleasure working with you both!