Say Hello to Spring with 6 Fresh Cocktails

With it just starting to feel like spring around here we want to do everything we can to embrace the warm weather and springtime vibes. We can’t think of a better way to get in the spring spirit than with a refreshing cocktail. We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite fresh drinks infused with delicious combinations of floral, mint, fruit, and, of course, refreshing spirits.

Apple Bee’s Knees

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This classic gin cocktail with a honey-apple twist is perfect for those brisk spring afternoons. It’s th eperfect amount of tartness with the sweetness of honey and apple slices.

Ingredients

Honey Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 springs rosemary
Cocktail:
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • rosemary and/ or apple slices for garnish

The Bordello

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There’s nothing more refreshing thank coconut and lime, but cherry blossom syrup too? This will surely liven up your taste buds and put you in a refreshing, spring mood!

Ingredients

2 oz Vodka
7/8 oz Cherry blossom syrup
1 oz Lime juice
2 coins Cucumber
Cherry Blossom (garnish)

Cherry Blossom

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Maybe you love cherry blossom but cucumber isn’t your thing? Try this cherry blossom cocktail with sparkling lemonade, gin, and grenadine for a sweeter spring drink!

Ingredients

  • Cherry brandy (Kirsch)
  • Gin
  • Sparkling lemonade
  • Grenadine
  • Cherry or other edible (organic) blossom for decor

Peach & Mint Frappe

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Give us anything peach flavored and we’re in heaven. This peach and mint frozen cocktail is no exception! The mint lifts up the sweetness of the peach for a perfectly sweet, refreshing frozen drink.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces vodka, preferably Tito’s
  • 3 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1 pound ripe peaches, sliced and frozen, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peach nectar
  • 1 tablespoon packed mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving

Sparkling Pomegranate Mimosas

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Pomegranate isn’t only for fall/winter! Give this sparkling pomegranate cocktail and try if you want something a little deeper in flavor but lighter in liquor.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6-8 sprigs of rosemary
  • pomegranate juice
  • 1 bottle of champagne

 

Fresh Violet Cocktail

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We think it’s only fitting to include a violet cocktail as the color of the year is Ultra Violet! This cocktail’s beautiful color comes from fresh-picked violets so if you need us,  we’ll be out hunting for some gorgeous fresh violets. :)

Ingredients (makes 8 servings)

  • 1 cup fresh-picked violets, rinsed clean
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar (you can substitute honey or any sweetener of your choice)
  • Club soda
  • Vodka or gin

 

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1920’s Launch Party | The Justine at Room 1520

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

In February, we had the opportunity to help throw a one-of-a-kind launch party for Room 1520’s sister, The Justine! The goal was to transform the space into a 1920’s inspired paradise. From fire dancers to aerial acrobats and a fortune tellers, this party had everything! Seeking inspiration from the newest furniture additions at The Justine (those blue velvet couches & chairs—we’re in love!), we loaded the space up with palms and white blooms (shout out to Flowers for Dreams for providing the florals!) Take a look at all the excitement below, thanks to J Brown Photography for these lovely photos!

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

Guests were greeted into the space to these amazing, acrobatic ladies from Angela Eve and Eves Parlor Events, one of whom poured Champagne hanging upside down and handed it to guests!

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

We also called in these extremely talented fire dancers to perform outside the entrance as guests arrived. What an entrance!

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

Throughout the evening, guests listened to this fitting live jazz band. It really took the space to a new level and made the entire night seem like it was right out of the ’20s.

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

We can’t forget the fortune teller lounge we put together in the back office! Guest could enter to have their fortune read in a warm space masked with drapery from our favorites over at Art of Imagination.

© 2018 J. Brown Photography - jbrownphotography.com

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Vendors:
Event Design & Coordination: Jayne Weddings & Events
Photography: J Brown Photography
Flowers: Flowers for Dreams
Drapery: Art of Imagination
Talent: Angela Eve and Eves Parlor Events

Make Your Springtime in Chicago Count

Springtime in Chi is one of our favorite times as it’s packed full of fun activities and festivals to get us ready for the summertime weather. With that in mind, here’s a handful of amazing events you can attend this spring to get in that warm weather mood. We hope to see you at at least one!

Macy’s Flower Show

Starting off with one of our very favorites as we designed and installed an amazing backdrop for a special photo-op with a mermaid! The flower show ends this weekend so be sure to stop by sometime this week. If you want to sit with and have a photo taken with the mermaid she will be at Macy’s on State St. on Friday from 12pm-2pm.

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Chicago Food Truck Festival (it’s free!)

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Chicagoans love their food truck and if you’re included in that group this event is for you. This festival will be packed full with 20 amazing food truck, live music, and a Sangria garden!  It takes place on April 21, will we see you there? Tickets are free so there’s no reason not to!

Cinco de Mayo Parade

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Happening on the lower west side, this parade is held to remember the victory the Mexican forces had over the invading French army in the Battle of Puebla on 5 May, 1862. This family-friendly parade is full of food, beverages, crafts, and more! This year the parade is actually being on Sunday, May 6th.

Chicago Beer Classic

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Chicago Beer Classic

If you’re a beer drinker this event is definitely up your alley. Complete with tailgate activities, master brewers, informative beer trivia, build your own pretzel necklace (you’ll find us here crafting our perfect new accessory) and you can even vote for your favorite brew! Tickets are on sale now but the even is on May 5th.

Lincoln Square Wine Stroll

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Maybe beer isn’t your thing and that’s ok because Chicago has something special for all your wine drinkers out there as well. The Lincoln Square Wine Stroll is the perfect opportunity to visit some of your favorites and learn about new local businesses too! With over 40 businesses participating, this event is huge and has multiple route options from Lincoln Square to Ravenswood. Tickets available now for this April 26th event.

Should We Have a First Look?

Whether you and your future spouse decide to have a First Look or not is entirely up to you, but we wanted to share a few key reasons why we love them that we’ve learned throughout the years of seeing them first-hand. While the obvious reason is of course to have the opportunity to capture those gorgeous photos, we think there are a few other pros to First Looks that may help tip the scale if you’re on the fence.

Blake + Nicole | Janelle Elise Photo

It’s a beautiful, intimate moment between you both.

With all the moving pieces and craziness that comes with your wedding day, you’ll want to embrace any moment you can sneak away and just be together. The First Look is the perfect opportunity to do just that! Once the ceremony starts, the rest of the night will likely be spent running around for photos, socializing with your guests, or dancing so there’s not much time to be alone together once the day gets going.

Nicole + Richie | Codrean Photography

It will calm your nerves.

With all the planning and preparing for this day, your nerves can really start to show themselves the day-of. One way to help counteract them is to have a First Look and shake out all the nervousness of seeing your future hubby for the first time in front of all of your guests. Instead, you’ll be able to have a quiet moment together to collect your thoughts and get ready for this next big step you’re taking together!

Jess + Brandon | Amanda Naylor Photo

The photos are priceless.

Some of our favorite pictures of our couples have been during their First Look. After your wedding day is over you’ll be so happy you took every opportunity for more photos and trust us, the First Look is full of emotions (and sometimes tears!) and it really is so touching to look back on.

Allison + Dave | Pen Carlson Photography

It’s better for the timeline.

If you’re still on the fence about doing a First Look, maybe we can help sway you by letting you know that couples who do a First Look are much less pressed for time between the ceremony and reception. Usually this time is used for couples photos, bridal party photos, family photos, etc. This can all add up into a lot of time and cause a bit of rushing around on the photographers part. If you do a First Look before the ceremony, that time can also be used for photos together or with your bridal party. Not to mention, the more time spent with your photographer, the more creative they get to be with their shots.

Sarah + George | Let’s Frolic Together

 

 

 

Brunch, Anyone? | Our Fave Brunch Spots in Chicago

There’s nothing better than Sunday brunch, especially in the winter time! It really helps you forget how long and arduous this Chicago winter has been. You may be thinking “But there are so many restaurants, how do I know where to go??” Luckily for you, Team Jayne is in full brunch mode all the time and we’re here to share some of our favorite spots in the city with you.

Lula Cafe 

Located in the heart of Logan Square, this eccentric cafe is a go-to brunch spot for many, Team Jayne included. Their menu is full of creative takes on a variety of American dishes and are one of the first to hone the concept of ‘farm-to-table’.

M. Henry

Let’s start with an old favorite: M. Henry will always be one of our top picks. They menu is packed with a variety of comfort foods and anything you choose is likely to brighten your day! Just be ready to get there early—this place gets packed quick, especially on a Sunday!

The Delta

For a more unconventional brunch spot, The Delta is known for their tamales and cocktails, but the brunch doesn’t stop there! Their ‘Chick N’ Waffle’ is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and  their Fried Green Tomato Sandwich is to die for. Not to mention this place is seriously cute (are we’re total suckers for cute!)

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One of the best (and cutest!) brunch spots to hit has to be Tweet. Not only do they offer the most delicious comfort food but they are known for their incredible gluten-free options! Though it is cash-only, this actually gives it even more charm. They also hook you up with treats the moment you sit down, and have many fancy brunchy cocktails, so even if you have to wait for a little, its still fun!

Mott Street

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Another gluten-free fave! Seriously, this is our go-to spot for pancakes in the city but you honestly can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Most of the items are so far out of the breakfast box, but then you order them, love them and think – “WHY ISNT THIS WHAT IM EATING EVERYDAY?!” Also they have something called the “bowl of awesome” just order that, trust us.

Big Jones

Another classic—and perfect if you’re looking for some seriously hearty southern cuisine. From Shrimp & Grits to Peach French Toast to Popovers, Big Jones will surely fill your brunch appetite and leave you wanting more of their coastal-inspired plates.

 

Longman & Eagle

Taking it up a notch with another Logan Square favorite: Longman & Eagle. Not only is the food totally incredible, but the lively, hip atmosphere has us coming back time and time again. Don’t let it’s Michelin Star rating deter you, this is actually one of the more casual restaurants with a star rating.

 

Team Jayne’s Top Picks for Wedding Sweets & Desserts

We’re always looking for ways to incorporate new ideas, creations, and styles into our events and desserts are no different! We absolutely love a classic, gorgeous wedding cake, but sometimes we opt for something a little bit different. From cupcakes to pastries to popsicles, we’ve seen quite a wide variety of sweets and we’d love to share a few of our favorites with you!

Pies

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Instead of cake, many couples are opting for pies instead! You can cater to many more guests tastes by offering multiple flavors and some people even prefer pie to cake! We rented some gorgeous white and gold pie stand to dress up the table a bit and added some air plants to tie into the rest of the decor.

Amy + Ben | Bang Bang Pie | Christian Gideon Photography

Cupcakes + Cake Toppers

Another great option that also allows for multiple flavors is mini cupcakes! Since they’re mini cupcakes guests feel like they can try more than one flavor. You can always include a smaller cake for the cake cutting like we’ve done with Kara + Tommy. Also, how amazing are those cake toppers? The bride, Kara Burke, is an extremely talented designer and created them herself.

Kara + Tommy | Kara Burke | The Colagrossis

Donuts

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We’ve been dying to spell out a word with donuts for a long time and we finally had the space to do so! Donut walls are one of our favorite dessert displays. They’re an adorable photo backdrop and allow your guests to have a wide variety of flavor choices. We topped with a luscious brand of greenery and blooms to dress it up and tie it into the rest of their decor.

Jess + Brandon | Maple Donuts | Amanda Naylor Photo

If you’re not able to pull off a donut wall, try donut holes on cake stands with an adorable couple’s cake on top like we used for Marissa + Will! The groom actually handmade those cake toppers, we’re totally impressed!

Marissa + Will |West Town Bakery | Christian Wilson

Mini Waffle Parfaits

These mini waffle parfaits were the perfect choice for this carnival-themed wedding at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Their entire dessert setup screamed upscale fair sweets! Everything is miniature, which allows for your guests to have a little bit of everything.

Shelly + DJ | Crystal Gardens | Jeremy Lawson Photography

Popsicles/Ice Cream Cart

If you’re having a summer wedding and looking for a unique, quirky idea you should consider having a popsicle/ice cream cart (see above) or truck (see below).

Sara + Martin | Pen Carlson

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Not only is it fairly cost effective but your guests will get to choose their favorite treat! Not to mention you get some adorable pics with your icy treats.

Katie + Jordan |  Joey Kennedy Photography

Nicole + Richie | A Truly Romantic Affair

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We’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to share a very special wedding with you all.
One of our very own (Nicole!) got married this past fall and we couldn’t be happier that she’s found her person. We have watched her grow for the last six years, not only from intern to lead but from girl to boss lady. Nicole may be off doing incredible things apart from Team Jayne now but we are so thrilled to have been included in her special day. Nicole & Richie share the kind of unconditional love you hope for in your marriage and thanks to the amazing Codrean Photography, you see that love captured beautifully throughout the entire day.

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We are totally loving these groomsmen socks from a local favorite: The Tie Bar – Chicago.

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All the floral for the day was provided by Nicole’s super talented sister, Dolores, owner of Luminous Blooms.

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At this point, Nicole was crying, Richie was crying, I was crying, everyone was crying. It was an extremely beautiful and moving ceremony.

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We of course had to call in one of our favorite pie vendors: Bang Bang Pie. It was the perfect accompaniment to Nicole & Richie’s wedding cake by Rosanna Talpos.

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Event Coordination/Design: Jayne Weddings & Events
Photographer: Codrean Photography
Reception/Catering: Mission Hills Country Club
Transportation: Executive Transport Solutions
Cake/Dessert: Bang Bang Pie & Rosanna Talpos
Hair/Makeup: Rosanna Talpos
Music: Karla & Gabe
Photobooth: Insta Celfie
Florist: Luminous Blooms
Other Decor: Doolins

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

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One of Team Jayne’s favorite things about the wedding industry is that it’s so full of love. We live to help our very special couples express their true love to the person of their dreams. We think the world needs more love these days and with Valentine’s Day coming up, we want to take advantage of it! Team Jayne is looking for a handful of happy couples to send some super exciting Valentine’s Day treats to. No matter if you’re engaged, married, dating, or maybe just BFFS, we want to hear from everyone! How did you meet? What’s your love story? How did you know they were the one? Tell us a funny story about how you fell in love! Oh, and we LOVE photos of couples in love so feel free to share your favorite pic of you and your boo.

Ready to share your story?

Send an email to info@jayneweddings.com with the following info:

  • What are your names?
  • Where are you from?
  • How did you meet?
  • What’s your love story?
  • Your favorite photo together
  • Please make the subject read “Spread a little love”

Stay Warm With Our Top 7 Hot Winter Cocktails

If you’re anything like us, with the Chicago winter in full force, you’ve been curled up under a blanket wondering when the sunny rays of summer will show themselves again. As we’ve got a bit more of wintertime to get through, we wanted to share a handful of our favorite hot cocktails that get us through those frigid winter nights.

Chai Hot Toddy

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Brit + Co

Starting off by giving our classic chai tea a makeover by adding a few special ingredients.  Spiced rum and cinnamon give this classic a kick that will warm you all the way through to the last sip. Oh, and you can even add a shot of espresso if you need an extra boost!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 chai tea bags (make your own or use a high quality brand of black tea and spices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a bit more for sprinkling on top
  • 6-8 ounces spiced rum (more or less according to your taste)

Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider

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Vindulge
Another favorite with an exciting twist! Spike your hot apple cider with bourbon, finish it off with a cinnamon stick and orange juice for the perfectly spiced, perfectly spiked, warm apple cider.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • Bourbon (recommend Bulleit or Basil Hayden’s)

Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate

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Sugar and Soul

Been looking for a way to step up your hot chocolate game? We may have the answer: Black Cherry bourbon! The deep, oaky bourbon paired with black cherry give this hot chocolate a vibrant flavor that’ll leave your craving this treat every winter.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 5 tbsp Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix Or mix of your choice
  • 2 oz. Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam
  • Whipped Cream I like homemade
  • Chocolate Shavings

Hot Ward 8 Cocktail

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Serious Eats

If you’ve never had a classic Ward 8 cocktail, just know that it is full of deep notes of pomegranate and a citrus-y after taste. This recipe has everything that’s great about the classic Ward 8 with the twist of making it warm—the perfect end to a day in the cold.

  • 8 ounces (235ml) boiling water, plus more for preheating thermos
  • 16 ounces (475ml) rye whiskey, such as Bulleit 95
  • 4 ounces (120ml) unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces (60ml) dry orange curaçao, such as Pierre Ferrand
  • 8 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 lemon zest strips, for garnish (optional)

 

Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine

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Kitchen Treaty

Mulled Wine will always be a favorite of ours as it’s just so smooth and drinkable. Did we mention it’s also super easy to make? Throw it all in a slow cooker and forget about it until you’re ready to enjoy your delicious, warm winter treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Merlot or another fruity (but not too sweet!) red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups orange juice (I either like squeezing my own or buying a 100% pure fresh-squeezed version)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 medium orange (I like to use an organic orange for recipes like this because it will be soaking in the beverage, peel and all)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Garnishes, if desired: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick

Spiked Coconut Vanilla Steamer

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Sugar and Soul
This steamer is very similar to a latte but with spiced rum in place of espresso. Imagine being curled up under a blanket with a good book on a snowy afternoon. We can’t think of anything better!
Ingredients
  • 3 oz. Spiced rum
  • 1 1/2 whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
  • You will also need a frother.

Spiced Vanilla Pear Apple Cider

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My Baking Addiction

Yes, another apple cider! We just couldn’t resist this lovely take on the classic. Pear AND Vanilla? We’re sold. The sweetness from the vanilla and pear make it seem like you’re having dessert. To make this a bit stronger (like for a cocktail party), just add a shot of Rum or Bourbon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts fresh apple cider
  • 2 quarts pear juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • Rum or Bourbon (optional)

Alex + Ryan | A Love-Filled Chicago Wedding

One of the sweetest couples deserves the sweetest weddings and that’s exactly what Team Jayne set out to create when Alex + Ryan hired Jayne Weddings for the design and coordination of their special day. The bride, Alex, wore the most beautiful vintage-inspired dress with a one-of-a-kind hairpiece tucked into her classic up-do. While Ryan kept it simple and stylish with an all black tux and white patterned tie.

Though it did end up raining, that didn’t deter these two from getting some amazing shots around the city (those umbrella pics are to die for!) This couple is seriously so in love and loved by many! We were blown away by how many people contributed to make Alex & Ryan’s day something really special. Alex’s cousin stepped up as the officiant, Ryan’s boss provided the florals, and Ryan’s brother painted a gorgeous (check out the photos below!) mural of the couple that was hung in the ceremony/reception space. Alex’s sister also surprised the couple with a hot dog cart late night snack.

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We are so in love with this hand-painted 6ftx6ft canvas painting done by the groom’s brother (and brother’s girlfriend). How amazing are those colors!?

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One of our favorite design elements had to be these long floral centerpieces (from Italian Court Flowers, Inc.) that were placed on each table. The darker colors and and different use of flowers really worked well in the room to give it an enchanting feel.

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Vendors:
Event Design & Coordination: Jayne Weddings & Events
Photography: Iron + Honey
Florist: Flowers for Dreams & Italian Court Flowers Inc.
Music: Chicago Grove Collective
Venue: Prairie Production
Catering: Fig Catering
Transportation: Windy City Limos
Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design
Beverages: Prestige Liquors
Hair/Makeup: Arch Apothecary