Where do I start on this dream wedding reception we had the wonderful opportunity to participate in during the early summer of 2018?! Our journey started with an email from Summer, the bride to be, who was living in CA, along with her fiancee, Craig. Summer inquired about a few specific pieces of our inventory for rental at her wedding reception, to be held in Chicago, nearly a year later!
As with most of our couples, I request any inspiration they have be sent to me, whether some general ideas, a Pinterest Board, or further inspiration. Summer had pinned many ideas for her upcoming wedding reception, and immediately upon looking, I felt like I had connected with an old friend who I’d known for a lifetime. I got her vision, and knew how we could make it come to life!
For nearly a year, we emailed each other with thoughts and ideas; Summer made several changes in the location of her reception, and the overall look, but nothing that we couldn’t easily work with, and bring about the classic, vintage look they wanted, with a touch of gold and geometrics!
We finally met in April, just prior to their elopement to Paris for their semi-secret wedding, when we had a walk-through at Row 24 Events in Chicago, organized by Event Planners of Naturally Yours Events. Immediately following their return to the U.S., their wedding reception was scheduled for the evening hours, so candlelight romance was definitely the overwhelming vibe felt in this beautiful venue!
It’s been very special to continue to stay in touch with Summer, following her wedding, and she was kind enough to share a little more of their love story with me. When you hear the saying, “Marry your best friend,” I think this truly applies to Summer and Craig. Having met at bar trivia, while visiting a friend in San Francisco, and reconnecting a few months later when she moved to the Bay area, their story is magical. Their connection was like none other, and they both felt it from day one! A whirlwind of a few years together, and what began as another weekend spent working together on their home ended by them talking about marriage, and according to Summer, they pretty much proposed to each other! The next day they shopped for a ring together, and that weekend ended by Craig giving her the beautiful engagement ring they had picked out, as they spent the evening at the place they had met.
Summer knew from the beginning stages of wedding planning, however, that she did not want a big wedding! They eloped too Paris with their two best friends as witnesses, and were married under the Sacre Coeur on the best, beautiful, sunny day Paris could give them!
Upon returning from their honeymoon, they traveled back to Chicago where most of Craig’s family and friends were from, deciding this would be the best location for an intimate reception. Upon finding photos of Row 24, with it’s exposed bricks, mezzanine, and enormous chandelier, Summer knew she had found the perfect venue. Knowing she wanted to incorporate vintage elements into the decor, she found Elements Preserved, and our journey of styling began!
When asked if she had any suggestions for those planning a wedding or special event, and the importance of including special touches of your personalities into the decor, she stated: “I would say to focus on what really matters to you, and leave the rest to the pros. The most important part of it all is to have an experienced crew running the show, so that you don’t have to. Hire a coordinator or planner, get tasty food, and good music. The rest will work itself out. (Oh, and hire Elements Preserved, of course.)” Thanks Summer!
We asked Summer to share anything else she thought could be beneficial about her experience with Elements Preserved, and she stated: “Despite my wedding being over six months ago, I still keep in touch with Beth; that’s how much I enjoyed working with her. Yes, you could hire those big name rental companies to rent from, but if you want personal attention and a special touch, you go to Elements Preserved. It’s a completely different experience.”
What a special evening Summer and Craig’s wedding reception was. We felt their thanks and acknowledgement from the beginning of the evening, and we so happy to have played a little part in their families celebrating their love and marriage, while incorporating touches of travel and France into the decor. It is a joy when we see our couples truly in awe of their surroundings, the special personal touches we’ve created, and they feel it all was just perfect!
We created a beautiful Lounge area using our Red leather Chesterfield sofa, brown leather club chairs, and our vintage railroad cart as a coffee table, which we filled with old leather suitcases, tall candles, a vintage radio, and benches surrounding the lounge area. We were told that someone was using the Lounge seating all night. As the candlelight flickered and the dancefloor was filled, the Lounge created a beautiful spot to take it all in, with the Boxwood backdrop from Row 24 in lights, “It was all a dream.”
As guests stepped inside, we created a sign-in table, with a small vintage sideboard, stacked with vintage books, wicker-wrapped vintage wine bottles, a small leather suitcase, and a guest book. Touches of dried flowers punctuated every vase and surface, including small bunches of eucalyptus that were scattered on each of the high boys and bistro tables. We also used vintage-inspired gold mercury glass votive holders at each table, along with gold geometric bud vases filled with whisps of dried flowers.
Summer wanted a special table just for their beautiful wedding cake. We used out gold cakeplate, and the Sugarfixe cake was perfect for these two. At the top were little figures of Summer and Craig and each of their doggies, while gold dripped casually down the sides of the cake! Simply stunning!
Wood-fired pizzas were served by Wooden Paddle, and our Dessert Table package completed the food service area. We used our vintage Post Office Table, styled with numerous white cake stands and Milk Glass service platters, filled with desserts from Bang Bang Pies, and Donut Vault. We scattered eucalyptus throughout the table top, and punctuated it with touches of gold from our geometric candle holders.
On the center stage, we used one of our large area rugs for the band to be set up, and they provided music throughout the evening. Photographer, Mari Trancoso captured the love that night, by everyone, but especially that of Summer and Craig! It was truly magical.
Our suggestion for couples looking at adding their personal touch to their wedding and reception is just this: remember the feel you’re wanting to create, and choose a couple of statement pieces that represent that look, and fill in the rest with smaller props and accents. If your budget allows, rent a Lounge seating area, fully styled, which allows your guests an area to linger without standing, and most assuredly will be used the whole night! Those extra touches are remembered by everyone who attends, and your wedding or special event becomes your own, your style, and all about you and the memories you make with your guests. But, most of all, be sure to carry out the same theme and feel throughout. Whether rustic, or elegant chic, or whatever style you choose, your stylist should be sure the theme carries throughout every aspect of your wedding and reception.
With engagement season upon us, we’re anxious to schedule your consultation, and hear all about your wedding and reception dreams. We’d love to be considered as your source for the details that makes your wedding yours alone, incorporating rentals and styling, and most of all, getting to know you so that we can truly bring your personality into every aspect of your best day ever.