Archive for August, 2010

August 9, 2010

Even Sue the dinosaur attended

Just as I was about to finish up for the night, I checked my Google reader to find that Dennis of Dennis Lee Photography had posted photos from the biggest wedding of the summer. Chris and Bri were married at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and held their World’s Fair-themed reception at the Field Museum. But even with a guest list of 200+ and a zoo of transportation details, it’s hard to be stressed with a bride who is smiling this much on the morning of her wedding.

I can not say enough about this wedding. It was colorful, it was wild, even the speeches just about brought me to tears (happy tears, of course) and yes, even Sue the dinosaur was hanging out at the reception.

Like I said, the transportation was a zoo. There was a trolley for the wedding party of 38(!!!!) and two busses transporting guests from Hotel 71 to the church, then back to Hotel 71, and then to the Field Museum. And not only that, the busses had to make their way through traffic at Soldier Field. Not only were the Eagles there, but also Keith Urban and the Dixie Chicks. To quote Dennis from his blog, though, “the best advice I can give couples for great wedding day pictures is to just laugh and smile and revel in the emotions of the day.  Bri and Chris were doing just that.” Seriously, I don’t think anything could have stopped these two from smiling ear to ear.

As I believe I’ve said before, I was not a part of any of the planning process for these weddings since they all began at least a year in advance and I just came on with Dettagli this past summer. I do know that while Chris and Bri were planning their wedding with Katie at Dettagli, Bri was teaching, getting her masters degree, and converting to Catholicism!

I would love to post all of Dennis’ photos from this wedding, but then it would just be too much. If you want to see more, check out the slideshow he put together. I love the journalistic feel to his photography and all of the emotion that he captures.

Tags: ,
August 9, 2010

The DIY Bride

I think everyone can agree that couples like putting little personal touches to their wedding. It can be anything really. Some make homemade baked goodies as favors for the guests or even useful memoirs that brings back an important memory of the couples (like a bottle of olive oil with the couples monogram on it. Everyone can use some olive oil and it was a hit at one of the weddings this summer!).

One bride really blew me away, though. My boss at Dettagli, Katie, just took on this particular wedding as a day-of client. This bride was so extremely DIY, I have no idea how she had the time to do this. The personal touches like the African CD they put together for all their guests, their programs made to look like passports, the handmade centerpieces, and even the grass the bride’s mother grew in lieu of flowers at the ceremony was just so incredible!!! And I don’t even know how time consuming.

Sidenote: I have to give it up for the venue as well. It’s a beautiful building with a great view and even a classic car showroom on the first floor that they rent out for events. The second and third floor are both beautiful, but also just low key enough for the client to really make it their own space. It was definitely one of my favorite venues to work at this summer. Check out their website at

The bride is a contributor over at Elizabeth Anne Designs and blogged all about her planning process and even a few step-by-step instructions on how she did a few of her amazing DIY projects. I highly recommend taking a look at her blog. My two favorite posts are about her DIY grapewood and grass centerpieces and her DIY z-fold wedding invitations (which actually inspired me to design and put together my own graduation announcements). Kasia is a bride to take inspiration from.

Tags: ,
August 9, 2010

Despite the fiasco earlier in the day, once we got to Cafe Brauer, everything went over just fine! The ceremony and reception were both so beautiful. Us girls with Dettagli were able to sit up on a balcony overlooking the ceremony and I actually had to hold back a few happy tears. That’s when I knew I had to keep doing weddings. No matter what happens in the planning process or even hours before the wedding, the end result is so amazing to see!

All photos were taken by Brett and Kiri with Pen Carlson Photography.

Tags: ,
August 6, 2010

First wedding : First fiasco

It has been a wild summer! In between interning for Dettagli Weddings, a summer class, and bartending, oh and then moving, I haven’t had much time to myself at all. Now that’s all winding down, I finally have time to write about it.

I worked at plenty of weddings this summer. My first one was quite an interesting experience! I arrived at Hotel 71 (where I would soon be spending a lot of my Saturdays) to meet with Katie, the owner of Dettagli Weddings. Just a few days before, I had been sent the schedule for the day and me, Katie, and the other two assistants had a conference call so I felt pretty confident in how the day would go.

But I forgot that not everything goes directly to schedule.

For the beginning of the day, I would be in charge of transportation from the hotel to the ceremony and reception at Cafe Brauer. There were two busses; Bus #1 was solely for the wedding party while Bus #2 would make two trips to take guests to the venue. After meeting the bride and groom (separately; they hadn’t seen each other yet), Katie and I went down to meet the bus drivers, get their numbers, and go over the schedule with them. It all seemed to be going just fine. Katie then left to the venue.

And then the stress began. The wedding party went off just fine. The first round of guests left for the venue just fine. Katie calls me to tell me that Bus #2 hit two cabs and for me to call him and make sure everything was still on time. While on the phone with me, he locked himself out of his bus!!! What a fiasco. He finally made it and picked up the second round of guests as well as me.

Then things with Bus #2 just went from chaos to unprofessional. We needed to go to a second hotel to pick up more guests (which we talked about earlier in the day with Katie). While in front of guests, he started giving me a hard time and telling me that he didn’t know how to get there and had me on my phone mapping out driving directions before he finally decided to tell me that he was just messing with me. Then he ran a bunch of red lights. Then gave me more hard time when we finally got to the second hotel.

I kept my cool. I smiled. I made it through my first fiasco. We finally made it to Cafe Brauer. I’ll have to tell you about all the good stuff in my next post, though.

As a side note, to anyone planning on doing a hotel room block in the Chicago area. I highly recommend Hotel 71. As I said, I spent many of my Saturdays there and I never had a bad experience. The staff were always so helpful, the rooms are beautiful, the prices are reasonable.. The hotel is just all around great.

Tags: ,