Kassandra and I are former colleagues from my non-profit days, although we didn’t know each other well then. Because of that history, I felt an instant connection with Kassandra and Brian. The planning process was such a joy and I was honored to be involved!
The day started off for the girls in Kassandra’s suite at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. With Kassandra’s eight bridesmaids, family, and friends, the suite was buzzing with laughter and activity. The amazing Nika Vaughn and her team were there to help get the ladies gussied up. While the girls were getting ready in Kassandra’s suite, the guys started off a little more relaxed with a clean shave before getting dressed. After everyone was finished with hair and makeup, it was time for Kassandra to step into her gown. Her dress was absolutely breathtaking and her accessories were just as gorgeous. The teams from Jaclyn Simpson Photography and Smiling Toad Productions were there to document all of the fun.
Windy City Trolley arrived to transport the guys to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church before circling back for the girls. The church was unbelievably beautiful and made the perfect setting for Kassandra and Brian’s traditional greek orthodox ceremony.
After the ceremony, the bridal party headed out on the trolley for some photos around the city while the Five Grain Events team headed to the Art Institute to check in on the setup. Kassandra’s bridesmaids each wore dresses that were a different color of the rainbow and Natural Beauties Floral did an amazing job of incorporating the brilliant colors in the bouquets.
Kassandra and Brian’s cocktail hour was in the Art Institute’s Millennium Park Room which offered beautiful Chicago views, while the reception was held in the striking Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room. When we arrived, all of the vendors were busy making everything look fabulous. The linens from BBJ were the perfect canvas for the stunning floral arrangements from Natural Beauties Floral. The lighting from MDM Entertainment made a huge impact on the room.
Prior to joining their guests for cocktails, Kassandra and Brain went off to take pictures next to some works of art in the Art Institute‘s collection. The bride and groom are both musicians, which means they have lots of talented musician friends! Cocktail hour was one big jam session, with guests taking turns performing. While they were being serenaded, guests were able to view a slideshow featuring Kassandra and Brian’s past and present, thanks to some equipment from MDM Entertainment.
Soon guests made their way into the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room for the reception. The evening started with a short dance set, followed by the bridal party announcements and Kassandra and Brian’s first dance. The Chris Sarlas Orchestra, who acted as the DJ and Band for the evening, invited everyone back on the dance floor for another short set before dinner was served.
Brian and Kassandra cut their stunning cake from Cake Chicago. After the cake cutting and special dances, the guests were invited back onto the dance floor for a salsa dance set, which was incredible to watch! They were some seriously talented dancers present that evening.
After the salsa set, guests took their seats and entrees were served. Kassandra’s brother, Ted, who acted as the “koumbaro” during the ceremony, the Best Man, and Maid of Honor gave heartfelt toasts that moved the crowd.
After toasts, cake was served! While the guests were being served the wedding cake, Kassandra arranged a special treat for her dad from Cake. His birthday was a few days after the wedding, so Kassandra had a special birthday cake made for him as a surprise and Chris Sarlas led the guests in a rousing “Happy Birthday.”
Once people had eaten their fill of cake, the party was taken to the next level. The Chris Sarlas Orchestra got the whole crowd on their feet for the first Greek dance set and guests helped themselves to the luscious dessert table filled with Garrett Popcorn, Greek desserts and kringles from Wisconsin. Guests danced to a mix of Greek and American music throughout the night. When they wanted to take a break from the dancing, they were able to tour one of the Art Institute Gallery exhibits.
Smiling Toad Productions put together this lovely video short which truly demonstrates what a wonderful day it was.
Kassandra and Brian, you are incredibly special and I wish you the best as you embark on this next phase of life together.
Kassandra and Brian’s wedding was also featured on The Knot Real Weddings. Check that out below: