Facebook_icon   Twitter_icon

Chicago, IL, USA < change city >

CHICAGO
LOCAL RESOURCES LOCAL VENDORS PLANNING TOOLS Cross_promote_vendors Cross_promote_photos Cross_promote_website Cross_promote_map Cross_promote_guests
 

WEEKEND WEDDING

September, 2011 in Chicago

"Our wedding was fabulous! We were blessed with one of the most beautiful Saturdays we have had in a long time.
Having our ceremony and reception in the city--Chicago, wasn't as cost effective as having it at southwest side Polish hall (which are nice,too,with great food), but logistically with so many out of town guests, this made sense for us. And it was well worth it! Plus it was a little different than the usual my family is accustomed to.
It was nice to have a more laid back affair. We had time for pictures before the ceremony, the ceremony was at 5:30, so we had some time with family and friends beforehand, and the having it at the South Shore Cultural Center was magical! Not in a sappy or Disneyworld sort of way, but just plain giddy magical, if that makes sense.
I didn't have a wedding planner as I'm a planner at heart, plus a bit anal and a DIYer, besides, I rather use that money for something else. But I have to admit that the Wedding Mapper was a great resource to share with our guests, and for me as well. A friend turned me onto it as I was having trouble with another website, and their tech help took FOREVER to get back to a big dummy like me! Allison would get back to me the same day, if not within the hour! I used the floor plan to help with seating arrangements and to locate our vegetarian and kid meals. The offer a service to make a map for your invitations--well worth it, affordable for a custom looking map. We'd highly recommend using it!
PS Can you believe that our picture was taken in Chicago?! It's a the Osaka Garden in Hyde Park that we like to take a walk to and in. This is a Cage & Aquarium photo.
Also, all the restaurants and venues you see are what I was able to have for our hotel/out of towners to use while they were here for the weekend. The vendors I have listed are the ones we had contracted."

Pink_ask_a_question  

Ceremony: South Shore Cultural Center
Reception: South Shore Cultural Center

Vendors

Venues

Grey_corner_tlGrey_corner_trGrey_corner_blGrey_corner_br

Cakes/Candies Vendor:

Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Cafe

1114 W Belmont Ave # 8
Chicago, IL, United States

"They have two big books of cake designs. I came in with a random picture of a pink cake that I saw on some random wedding site. Can you do that in buttercream and not fondant? I don't like fondant. Yes, we can. Sold! Well, that was the first part, the second was the tasting! We chose lemon cake with lemon curd, white chocolate mousse, and raspberry puree--best wedding cake we ever had! And our guests thought so, too, as I heard about it for long after the wedding. They are a bit pricey, but if you're serving it as your dessert, make it a good one. I ordered small cake boxes for the cakes, as that's a Polish wedding tradition, to take home."

Caterer:

Food For Thought - Caterer - 7001 N. Ridgeway Ave., Lincolnwood, IL, 60712, USA

Food For Thought

7001 N. Ridgeway Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712, USA
847-982-2608

"Since we didn't do the traditional Polish wedding at a Polish hall, I was in for a bit of sticker shock. The food and liquor was actually quite reasonable, but it's EVERYTHING else that you have to rent, from flatware to kitchen 'caves', that really threw me for a loop. Anyhow, that cost is due to the fact we choose a venue that could accommodate a ceremony and wedding in the city, and the only thing they had were the dining room tables and 180 white folding chairs for the ceremony, so we knew we were in for it. Regardless, I'm still hearing from guests, and one that happens to co-own a family banquet hall, said that was one of the best wedding dinners that they have ever had. We were picky about the meal as I know what my Polish side likes and expects, and the American side is a little easier to please, so it wasn't so bad, but FFT made it really easy. I told Kevin, the salesperson/event manager that we worked with, that we wanted soup, salad, chicken/beef entree, and dessert. Couldn't believe the choices he gave us for the tasting! At least six salads, ten chicken dishes or so, and about six different beef dishes, oh, plus five or so vegetarian dishes! Amazing! If we couldn't pick something to please our guests, something was wrong with us. Then again, Kevin really listened to my concerns to satisfy everyone, or as much as I could, and made suggestions here and there along the way--not pushy, but more guidance. Needless to say, the food was amazing! I haven't heard one complaint yet, and for a Polish wedding, that is AMAZING!"

Florist:

Carriage Flowers (Oak Park)

124 North Marion Street
Oak Park, IL, USA

"Sarah, was a delight to work with! She looked at the various picture I had and that I wanted shades of pink, not fushia. My flowers were white and blush pink with greens, the bridesmaids and groomsmen had a brighter pink, and then the corsages and boutonnieres for parents, uncles and aunts were yet another shade of pink. The centerpieces were dreamy! Not too formal, but elegant and she was able to do it in a plastic, silver vase that looked like silver! Guests were taking them from other tables! They were perfect and the price was reasonable! BTW, there was a snafu with the times as we needed some at the hotel, but there was a two hour lag time for the ceremony/reception. One phone call, less than half an hour later we had our bouquets and boutonnieres! They even called while we were in the limo taking pictures to ensure everything was okay. Nice touch!"

Photo Booth Vendor:

DJs Are Us - PhotoBooths & DJ Services

Chicago, IL, USA

"After much comparison shopping, this was the best booth and the best price. Tons of great pictures, I just wish the attendants were a bit more active in getting guests that were walking by to take pictures as not all my guests didn't partake, which I sort of expected at a half Polish wedding, but the guys were Polish, so there was no communication barrier there. It was a nice set up, the helped the guests with putting the pictures into the album, and your guests can take as many pictures as they want, it's unlimited. As the bride and groom, you get a flash drive of all the pictures mailed to you home, and your guest can go to their website and order more. I found these great magnetic frames to use as another favor for our guests and inserted a DIY bookmark to match our invites to remind our guests to take pictures in the booth. Worth the money, and so much better than a guest book!"

Photographer:

Cage & Aquarium

1803 West Byron Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"I looked at lots of photographers, some recommended, some found on line. The really good ones, and some of the really not so good ones, start at around $2000+. We knew this was going to be expensive, but photography is one thing, like food and music, we didn't want to be overly frugal on. We were thinking about C&A for our music, I took a look at their photography. The main photographer is Shelley, who happens to be the owner with her husband, the dj, Tyler. That's the first good sign. The second good sign were the photographs. Journalist, some posed like group shots, but a healthy mix. Third, we meet Shelley, and she is so unlike me, very laid back, but I could tell she was a stickler in what she does. Fourth, we got a second photographer for the same price others were charging for one! Most others were charging $1000+ for an extra person. Fifth, the price includes engagement pictures, that you can use for your save the dates. Do you really need more reasons? We're waiting for our pictures as it takes six weeks,we got married 17 Sept 11, but that's pretty standard. She sent me a couple of photos so that I could use them for our thank you cards, and they are great!"

Videographer:

Upriver Productions - Videographer - 2719 s. emerald ave., chicago, illinois, 60616, US

UpRiver Productions

2719 s. emerald ave.
chicago, illinois 60616, US
773-606-1592

"What two great guys! They were like spies, we barely knew that they were there. The biggest plus was they knew exactly what I wanted in regard to a highlight video. I don't want to sit through two hours of even my own wedding! Compared to some of the other 'wedding' videographers I looked at, they were not nearly as pricey, almost half, and they just don't do wedding (short films, commercials, etc) so they are truly professionals and on their toes. We don't have the video yet since we're freshly married, but as soon as I do, I'll update my review."

Waitstaff Services Vendor:

Food For Thought - Waitstaff Services Vendor - 7001 N. Ridgeway Ave., Lincolnwood, IL, 60712, USA

Food For Thought

7001 N. Ridgeway Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712, USA
847-982-2608

"We've gotten a lot of feedback on how friendly, nice, unassuming our servers and bartenders were, something people rarely comment on. Again, this is something that the caterer, FFT, arranged."

Wedding Fashion Vendor:

Pani Danusia

Chicago, IL, USA

"I lucked out! I saw a dress on some random website one late night. It's the style I usually wear, feel comfortable, and flatters me best. My seamstress was able to make a short party dress with a light pink chiffon skirt, so I could take off the gown part. But you know what, I LOVED that gown! Unbelievable! It fit me like a glove, yes, I know, she pinned while I had it on, but my seamstress, Pani Danusia, is the BEST!!! She had great suggestions, worked with my ideas, or didn't if it didn't flatter me (I'm not a size 6, do I was concerned about looking like Marshmallow Fluff girl). It was amazing! Just a little bling, so comfortable, not heavy at all, and everyone loved it! Best of all, I didn't feel like I was lugging a heavy weight all day long, nor was it difficult to move around in. She also made the bridesmaids dresses as my two bridesmaids have different body shapes and I wanted silver, not gunmetal, not gray. They were the perfect, flirty, cocktail-y dresses ever! My bridesmaids looked great!"

Ceremony & Reception:

South Shore Cultural Center - Ceremony & Reception - 7059 S South Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, United States

South Shore Cultural Center

7059 S South Shore Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"Really like this old, beautiful, grand place. Couple of things, it is a Park District venue, so I had to ask to see if the bathrooms would be attended to during the night, parking is not free, but cheaper to hire two kids to pass out the parking passes from the kiosk than to pay $3300 for parking in back, which cost about $300. Plus, I had some friends go there during set-up, and they told me that they had to request the widows, the ones at eye level to be cleaned and corners of the floors in the dining room needed to be mopped. Regardless of these minor things, the Solarium was breathtaking! We had the florist make an 'arch/chupah/canopy', I made rose balls and had big bows for the end chairs, and the background through the windows--AMAZING! The dining room, as I walked there with our guests from the ceremony, took my breath away. I saw the room several times, empty and with a party set up, but gosh, never though it could look so magical. I'm not a romantic or sappy, but it definitely put a smile on my lips! Guests are still talking about how beautiful and magical it was. BTW, the rental fee for SSCC was the lowest for any city venue we checked out, and even though we paid for our guest parking--you don't make Polish guests pay for parking--it was the best value for the buck, especially since we did both ceremony and reception there. It was perfect for us."

Hotel:

Hyatt Regency Chicago

151 E Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"Extremely accommodating, flexible, and good value. I was able to get the rooms for $150/night for a double. For Michigan and Wacker that is amazing for September during convention time. Our out of town guests loved it, and it was convenient for those that flew in earlier to enjoy the city."

Restaurant:

Cafe Iberico

737 N Lasalle Blvd
Chicago, IL, United States

Restaurant:

Chicago Cut Steakhouse

300 North Lasalle
Chicago, IL, United States

"One of the newest, and best, Chicago-owned steak houses. The principals left the renown Rosebud family and started this little place."

Restaurant:

Emerald Loop

E Wacker Dr & N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60601

"Sunday morning buffet breakfast for our hotel guests from 8:30am until 11:00am. It's approximately two blocks west of the Hyatt Regency."

Restaurant:

Emilio's Sol Y Nieve

215 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL, United States

Restaurant:

Giordano's

130 E Randolph St # Ground
Chicago, IL, United States

"Chicago Style Deep Dish and Thin Crust Pizza"

Restaurant:

Girl and Goat

809 W randolph st
Chicago, IL, United States

""Top Chef" winner's restaurant."

Restaurant:

Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse

33 West Kinzie Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"If you want some chops at a Chicago icon's place. Nice place, good food."

Restaurant:

Henri Restaurant

18 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

Restaurant:

Indian Garden

247 East Ontario St # 2
Chicago, IL, United States

"Try the Murg Madras and Chicken Korma."

Restaurant:

Keefer's Restaurant

20 West Kinzie Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Good for steaks!"

Restaurant:

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - River North

439 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Original Chicago Deep Dish. Some love it, some not so much. It's the crust, for me. Pizzeria Une or Due, they were original, but are now owned by some Boston firm. I'm just sayin'."

Restaurant:

Morton's The Steakhouse - Chicago (Wacker Place)

65 East Wacker Place
Chicago, IL, United States

"One of the original Chicago Steakhouses."

Restaurant:

Nacional 27

325 W. Huron
Chicago, IL, United States

Restaurant:

Park Grill

11 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Is 'underneath' Millenium Park, this is okay, the fare outside, not so much."

Restaurant:

Purple Pig

500 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

""Cheese, wine, and swine.""

Restaurant:

Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse

318 North State Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Great seafood and steaks!"

Entertainment:

10PIN Bowling Lounge

330 North State Street
Chicago, IL, United States

Entertainment:

Division Avenue Bars

W Division St & N State St
Chicago, IL

"Gold Coast Bar scene starts at State/Rush on Division, goes west."

Entertainment:

Elephant & Castle

185 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60601

"Good beer and wine selections."

Entertainment:

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

230 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"The champagne bottle building! Old Carbide building. China Grill and bar located here."

Entertainment:

Hub 51

51 West Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Chicago Athletes are known to stop in frequently as well of those of opposing teams."

Entertainment:

Lucky Strike Lanes

322 E. Illinois Street
Chicago, IL, United States

Entertainment:

Second City

1616 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Also, Second City ETC. They perform sketch shows on two stages."

Entertainment:

Tilted Kilt Pub

17 N Wabash Ave # 620
Chicago, IL, United States

"Where Mary and Kevin first met, July 10, 2009. ;-)"

Entertainment:

Wrigleyville!

N Clark St & W Addison St
Chicago, IL

"If you can't find something to drink, eat, or entertain you in this very compact area, you're sleep walking. Oh, the big blue blob is Wrigley Field, the oldest standing baseball park."

Attraction:

Chicago Architecture Foundation

224 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

Attraction:

Chicago Children's Museum

700 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Lots of interactive exhibits."

Attraction:

Chicago City Hall

121 N La Salle St # 507
Chicago, IL, United States

Attraction:

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

800 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Attraction:

Chicago Tribune & Freedom Museum

435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Just beautiful!"

Attraction:

Harold Washington Library

"Cool place worth a look-see, especially the Winter Garden."

Attraction:

McCormick Place Convention Complex

2301 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"Mary was a show coordinator at McCormick for public and private conventions and expos. One could easily walk miles in one day!"

Attraction:

Medinah Temple

600 North Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"It is now home of Bloomingdale's Home Store, but still a beautiful building; it's occupies an entire city block, too!"

Attraction:

Michiagn Avenue! Just Lovely!

E Jackson Blvd & S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60604

"Whichever way you go, North or South, Michigan is a sight to behold! Mary's favorite view is facing North on the median at Jackson Avenue (the south end of the Art Institute--it's a breathtaking view of the city--a mountain of buildings! Amazing!"

Attraction:

Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, Illinois, US

Attraction:

Ontario Tourist Heaven

W Ontario St & N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60654

"Starting at Dearborn, going West on Ontario are all things touristy: 24 Hour Hollywood McDonald's, Ed Debevic's, Hard Rock Cafe, Portabilo's, etc. You could do much better; please do as there's so much more to this delightful city."

Attraction:

Promontory Point Park

5491 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"Where Kevin took Mary on their first walk, and weather permitting, still does. Beautiful views all the way round especially of the skyline."

Attraction:

Rush Street begins

E Chicago Ave & N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

"You can find lots of great restaurants and shops in the "Viagra Triangle"."

Attraction:

Soldier's Field

1410 Museum Campus Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"Da Bears!"

Attraction:

State Street-That Great Street

S State St & E Madison St
Chicago, IL 60602

"This is where Chicago starts, at 0 North/East/South/West. The street is lined with shopping, restaurants, theaters, whatever you wish. Go North or South from this point and you have everything."

Attraction:

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Have to check out the Modern Wing! Nice! oh, and the Terrace Restaurant is nice, too! You can take the bridge from Millennium Park to the roof!"

Attraction:

Theater District

W Randolph St & N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL

"The Theater District/Broadway in Chicago is in this area. There are a few others theaters South, North, all over from this point. If you have a few days, check out the plays in the hundreds of local theater companies, large and small. A great source is www.TimeOutChicago.com."

Attraction:

Thompson Center/State of Illinois Building

100 W Randolph St
Chicago, Illinois, US

Attraction:

United Center

1901 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Where the world champion Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls frolic!"

Attraction:

Willis Tower Skydeck

233 S Wacker Dr # 3530
Chicago, IL, United States

"Mary still calls it Sears Tower!"

Attraction:

Wrigley Building

410 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
, United States

"Another gorgeous building! Great views of it can be had from Trump's 16 terrace one street over on Kinzie."

Attraction:

Zanies Comedy Clubs Inc

1548 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Here is where you'll get the newest stand-up acts."

Cafe/Coffee:

Cafe Descartes

327 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Coffe shop/cafe."

Cafe/Coffee:

Intelligentsia Coffee Bar

53 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"The BEST Chicago roasted and brewed coffee EVER! Black Cat espresso mixed in with a little regular in your coffee maker ROCKS! There's also a nice assortment of loose teas and pastries. It's just down the street from Millennium Park, so if you need a perk..."

Cafe/Coffee:

Sticky Fingers Gourmet Popcorn

174 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601

"It's actually Chicago owned! Garrett's is the most popular as it's the oldest, but no longer owned by Chicagoans."

Shopping:

900 Michigan Shopping

900 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois, US

"Bloomingdales is the anchor here."

Shopping:

Macy's State Street

111 North State Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"It's really not Macy's, not to a Chicagoan. It's Marshall Field's. If you stop in, you must check out possibly the largest Tiffany mosaic work ever."

Shopping:

Shops At North Bridge

520 N Michigan Ave # 1
Chicago, IL, United States

"Grand Lux Cafe--YUM!"

Shopping:

Water Tower Place

835 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

Tourist Spot:

Buckingham Fountain

500 South Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"One of the largest, and beautiful, fountains in the world!"

Tourist Spot:

Chicago History Museum

1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL, United States

Tourist Spot:

Chinatown!

South Archer Avenue & West Cermak Road
Chicago, IL, United States

"Archer Avenue and Cermak Road! It's not a huge Chinatown, but worth a stroll! Imperial Crown great for dim sum!"

Tourist Spot:

Consulate General of Poland

1530 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"Just a shout out to Mary's peeps! Also build by Marshall, who did the South Shore Cultural Center and the Drake Hotel."

Tourist Spot:

Greektown

S Halsted St & W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60661

"Still surviving after all these years! Some classic stand-bys to try or for a quick coffe and dessert or snack try Anthropolosis!"

Tourist Spot:

John Hancock Observatory

875 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Cheesecake Factory, too! Oh, but the view from the 95th floor restaurant and bar is just divine!"

Tourist Spot:

Museum Campus

1410 S Museum Campus Dr # 1
Chicago, IL, United States

"Great place to for a wonderful view of the most spectacular skyline in the world! Oh, yes, also you'll find the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium."

Tourist Spot:

Navy Pier

600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"Tons to do! Check out www.choosechicago.com for more info."

Tourist Spot:

Old Watertower

East Pearson Street
Chicago, IL, United States

Tourist Spot:

Ontario Street at Rush Street

E Ontario St & N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

"Huge tourist strip! Twenty-four Hollywood McDonald's, Ed Debevics, Hard Rock Cafe, etc. Best to avoid the touristy stops and go off to the side streets--much better food and architecture!"

Tourist Spot:

Water Work Visitor Center

163 East Pearson Street
Chicago, IL, United States

Park/Lakefront:

Grant Park

352 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Grant Park is many lovely parks/gardens within a park. Definitely a good stroll as it spans the lakefront from Roosevelt Avenue north to Monroe Avenue!"

Park/Lakefront:

Lincoln Park Conservatory

2391 North Stockton Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

"If you do go to the zoo, the conservatory is not a far walk."

Park/Lakefront:

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"One of the last free city zoos right off the lagoon!"

Park/Lakefront:

Millenium Park

Millenium Park, Chicago, IL 60601
Chicago, Illinois, US

"Millennium Park's area is South to Monroe, North to Randolph, West to Michigan, and East to Lake Shore Drive. It is home of Cloud Gate (the Bean), the Lurie Garden, Chase Collonade (sculpture showcase), Pritzker Pavillion (free/fee concerts, the CSO practices during lunch sometimes). There is also a bridge that spans Columbus Drive that takes you to Bicentennial Park where you may walk to the lake front and Navy Pier."

Park/Lakefront:

North Avenue Beach House

1600 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL, United States

Music/Dancing:

Blue Chicago

536 North Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Music/Dancing:

Blue Chicago On Clark

536 North Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Music/Dancing:

Buddy Guy's Legends

700 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

"If you're lucky, Buddy Guy himself just might get on stage to jam with the band."

Music/Dancing:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

220 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL, United States

Music/Dancing:

Excalibur

632 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Where Kevin honed his charm and dancing skills, so Mary has heard!"

Music/Dancing:

Green Mill

4802 North Broadway Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Chicago's premiere jazz lounge, same as it was in the '30's."

Music/Dancing:

House of Blues

329 N Dearborn st
Chicago, IL, United States

"Music, food, drinking, dancing,..."

Music/Dancing:

The Joynt

650 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL, United States

Music/Dancing:

The Redhead Piano Bar

16 W. Ontario Street
Chicago, IL, United States

"Stellar martinis and music is very eclectic and broad."

Brunch Venue:

Emerald Loop

216 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, Illinois, United States

"We didn't have a rehersal dinner as we had a small wedding party (five peeps) and so many people coming in from out of town, that it would have been difficult to coordinate, plus I was Martha Stewart on crack, so I was still cranking stuff out until the wee hours--procrastinating DIY girl--big time! Anyhow, we couldn't afford the Hyatt's breakfast buffet, and some places like Yolk, won't take reservations and are over-hyped. By chance, I called the Emerald Loop as I've been there for after work drinks. Eureka! Breakfast buffet for $10pp and $6 for kids! Omelet stations, various meats, waffles, pancakes, coffee, tea, toast, bagels, croissants, cereal, fruit, yogurt and pastries! Plus, since were were having over 20 people or so, they reserved the small private dining area for us--PERFECT! The food was good, the waitresses were very kind and accommodating, and our hotel guests were satisfied! It worked out great because it was an under ten minute walk from the hotel."

White_corner_trWhite_corner_blWhite_corner_br
White_corner_trWhite_corner_blWhite_corner_br


See More in Chicago