It was wonderful getting to know Jamie and Mark (and their adorable pooch, Harley!) throughout the entire planning process. When they got in touch with me, it was clear that they had a very specific vision of the day’s activities and we were more than happy to assist!
Getting ready activities took place at the phenomenal Palmer House Hilton located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Elana, Gina, Kelly, and Lauren from the Elana Darrus Hair & Makeup team started the group bright and early getting hair and makeup done. The groomsmen were also gathering at the hotel for a nice breakfast from the in-house catering team at the Palmer House. Our photographer Agnes from R.E.M. Photography and videographer Robert from R.E.M. Video joined us around 11 am to start snapping photos and video for the day. Personal flowers were delivered to both the bride and the grooms’ room thanks to Steve’s Flower Market and the day was off to a wonderful start!
As the women were putting on their dresses, there was a small army downstairs turning the empty ballroom into an incredible reception space. Five Grain was in charge of making sure everything was perfect for the celebration later that evening. The room was transforming before our very eyes thanks to the decor from Steve’s Flower Market, draping and lighting from Absolute Productions, and the Palmer House’s elite team. Meanwhile, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on the south side of the city, our stellar assistant Jesseca was making sure everything was ceremony-ready at the church.
R.E.M. Video and Photography
Around 2 pm, everyone began loading into their respective vehicles from the hotel. Our Groom, his Groomsmen, and his Ring Bearer all loaded into a decked-out stretch Hummer from Way to Go Limo. To ensure that Mark and Jamie wouldn’t see each other, the ladies stayed back for a couple pictures at the hotel before heading to the ceremony. Our lovely bride and her father were lucky enough to share their own vehicle for some alone time in an incredible vehicle from Chicago Classic Wedding Cars.
The ceremony was perfect with music courtesy of a close family friend of the bride’s, Ann Bourjaily-Maney, beautiful readings from family and friends, and a riveting sermon from Father Scanlan. We really love the way the R.E.M. team captured all of the precious moments from the church. After the ceremony, family members stuck around for a couple pictures. Then, guests loaded into two school buses (how fun!) back to the hotel while the members of the wedding party loaded into their separate vehicles to snap a few photos in the wintry white weather.
Cocktail hour began as soon as everyone arrived back at the hotel. There were so many incredible details throughout the night, our favorite included a rosé escort card display, where guests could find their name and enjoy their first glass of bubbly the moment they walked in the door. Cocktail party music was provided by Arlen Music Productions, who played soft piano and violin. Jamie and Mark were able to have a sneak peak of the dinner setup from the balcony and they were ecstatic — the room looked incredible. Arlen Music Productions also provided their band Indigo who emceed the night’s festivities. After cocktail hour, we opened the drapes in the State Ballroom to reveal an impressive dinner setup in the Grand Ballroom. The band invited all guests to be seated for dinner while our wedding party members lined up for their formal announcements.
After announcements, Jamie and Mark (who passed Harley off to be returned to her room) went into their first dance which was the apropo song “Rose of my Heart” by Johnny Cash and June Carter. Everyone then sat down for some amazing speeches by loved ones and delicious food from the Palmer House. We loved the coordinated dance Jamie and her father shared to Natalie Merchant’s “Kind and Generous” before the dance floor opened up for the evening. Indigo really knows how to keep a good dance floor going; guests were up on their feet grooving til the end of the night!
Jamie and Mark, we really enjoyed working with you and loved seeing the happy, smiling faces on each of your guests faces throughout the entire day. You have a wonderful support system and are lucky to have one another for this next phase of “wedded bliss” in your lives. Thank you so much for including the Five Grain team on such a momentous occasion in your lives.