I have known Emily for five years now, so when she asked me to coordinate her wedding, I couldn’t have been happier! Not only is she one of my dearest friends, but she is also one of the family: Emily has been working with Five Grain Events for a few years now, so I knew this wedding had to be perfect!
The morning started out with hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids at the fabulous Black Hearts Hair House. After everyone was all dolled up, they headed to the J. W. Marriott to finish getting ready. While the ladies were putting on their finishing touches, Bud and the groomsmen were hanging out and getting dressed. Jaclyn Simpson Photography was there to photograph the whole thing.
After Emily put on her dress, her father and brothers came in to get their “first looks” and steal a moment with the bride before the day got going. Flor del Monte delivered the personal flowers to Emily’s suite, and they were gorgeous! The yellow flowers really popped against the ladies’ blue dresses.
After the first look, the bridal party loaded up in a trolley from Windy City Trolley and headed out for pictures.
While the bridal party was off posing for the camera, setup was underway at ARTrevolution. Bud and Emily had so many personal touches, so there was a lot to do! The ceremony and cocktail-hour decorations were DIY. Bud found a few old doors and fashioned them to be room dividers, while Emily and her bridesmaids made paper flower garlands and small paper flowers for the chairs. The FGE team worked hard to execute their vision.
Emily and Bud’s guests got to travel to the wedding in style! Bud and Emily arranged two Chicago Water Taxis to take their guests to Ping Tom Park, where a Windy City Trolley met them to take them the rest of the way.
After pictures were complete, the bridal party arrived at ARTrevolution for family photos before the ceremony began. The bridal party were ushered down the aisle by some of Bud and Emily’s favorite songs, played by the wonderful Toast & Jam. The ceremony was officiated by a close friend and mentor, who made their ceremony very personal. A friend read a poem she wrote specifically for the day, and Bud’s niece read a Shel Silverstein poem. Emily and Bud wrote their own vows and spoke from the heart.
After the ceremony was over, cocktails began! Delicious hors d’oeuvres were served by Twisted Oak Catering while guests mingled. Meanwhile, Twisted Oak and the FGE staff were busy putting the final touches downstairs. Emily and Bud’s colors were yellow and grey, and those colors were seen throughout. Emily made her own centerpieces, which were accented by burlap table runners. Every detail of the reception decor was well-thought-out, from the chalkboard table numbers, to the yellow straws at the bar, to the place card tags hanging on a window painted with chalkboard paint.
After cocktails, guests headed to downstairs for dinner. Bud and Emily were announced into the room and went straight into their first dance. Twisted Oak Catering provided a delicious family style dinner, which was a hit with all of the guests. While guests were dining, the Best Man and Matron of Honor toasted the bride and groom. Instead of a traditional cake, Bud and Emily chose to have a small cutting cake and a cupcake bar, specially made by Azucar Rococco and boy were they delicious!
Following dinner, Bud and Emily toasted their guests, danced with their parents, and then the party really got started. Late-night snacks of Chicago-Style hotdogs were served to the guests to keep their energy up for dancing. Bud made giant Jenga set and a set of bag boards with their wedding logo to keep guests having fun all night. He also made a photo booth to help capture some of those special moments. Toast & Jam kept the party on the dance floor going until the very last song. Some of the guests accompanied the bride and groom to an after party, while Emily’s parents rode safely back to the hotel in a car from Windy City Limo.
It was a fabulous event–and this recap video from Smiling Toad Productions really captured the essence of Bud and Emily’s big day:
Bud and Emily, you are a truly special couple. It is an honor to know you, and it was even more of an honor to be a part of your special day. May your memories always be sacred!
Congratulations from the entire Five Grain Events team!