Kathryn and John’s glam disco meets garden-inspired wedding checks all the boxes… and I mean all. Whimsical femme fashion? Check. Die-cut paperie? Check. A decked out grazing table? You know it! This is what happens when a wedding planner gets married! Kathryn is the face behind Chicago Vintage Weddings, and it was her limitless creativity that brought this unique vision with layers of personal details to life (with the help of her powerhouse team, of course!). Splendor of Eden riffed on the garden theme with wild and whimsical blooms climbing the walls, seating, photo backdrop… everything! And it was True Grace Photography behind the lens, documenting every fantastical detail from the ballroom ceremony for 7 of K+J’s closest friends and family to the playful portraits alongside their trusty Saint Bernard pups wearing the cutest ruffled collars. Make like Aerosmith and brace yourself for magic in the garden-inspired wedding gallery that follows ’cause you won’t wanna miss a thing.
From the Bride & Planner, Kathryn of Chicago Vintage Weddings: John and I got engaged on a trip to Japan and decided to pull the whole thing together in two months. With me being in the wedding industry, we had concerns about being able to have large events later in 2020 because of COVID, and we also wanted to beat the wedding season rush.
It was easy to bring it all together quickly because I already had a vendor dream team in mind. Plus, I did a lot of projects myself! My planning team supported me for execution and, with the reception being in my own venue, I had a lot of flexibility. I designed the paper goods myself and had my favorite local letterpress studio print them, and my good friend Emily of Emily Rose Ink did the calligraphy. One thing I did that is a little unusual compared to many of my clients is that I went with pure white for everything rather than ivory: my dress, paper goods and other details were bright winter white to go with the season.
For the gown, I had thought I would go in a totally different direction but ended up going with a modern-meets-whimsical gown by Israeli designer Neta Dover, and Mira Couture added custom organza bows and a detachable train to make it perfect. I topped it off with a floral headpiece by Lena Rom, taupe Jimmy Choos that I’ve been able to wear again (yay!), and DIY tulle anklets to match the shoes. I matched the shoes with ruffled DIY collars for my dogs too!
For floral, Splendor of Eden knocked it out of the park. She went with a more traditional style than usual and blended some of her classic boho touches in the decor, particularly the seating area vignette with the wallpaper that I designed. I brought in some taxidermy from a local shop–I’ve always loved taxidermy because of my natural history background–and blended that with the traditional floral and disco balls to have all of the fun elements we wanted to make it a cool, interesting experience when our guests arrived. I loved the moody, full grazing table and the fun passed options like to-go potsticker and fried rice boxes. We had a ton of vegetarian and vegan options for guests too.
My favorite food was the cake. Flourish Cake Design created an elaborate cake with sugar flowers pulled from our floral design, architectural details from our ceremony venue (complete with actual moving sugar tassels!) and the birds from the invitation. With all of those different elements already in the mix, we made the entire cake white so it wouldn’t be too busy. I chose a lychee green tea flavor and my husband got his favorite: carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I had to admit it, but the carrot cake was more popular!
Our ceremony was very intimate, with only 7 guests including my brother, who officiated. We hosted it at the South Shore Cultural Center (my mom loved that it’s where the Obamas were married) and had a chance to walk out onto the beach because the weather wasn’t too cold. From there, we moved to my venue and had a chance to relax and take portraits with our dogs before our cocktail format event started and guests arrived.
We skipped a lot of traditions that weren’t important to us, like a bouquet toss and introductions, and we didn’t bother having a DJ or live music because we already had such a good Sporify playlist. If one of my clients tried to do that I would advise against it, but it worked for us and the whole reception was a complete dream! About 60 guests joined us and it couldn’t have been better. We loved being able to visit with every single person who came and really have a chance to connect with them and let them know how much it meant to us that they could be there. I loved how nontraditional and “us” it was, and I’m so glad we could create these happy memories while it was still possible.
Planning, Design, Rentals and Reception Venue: Chicago Vintage Weddings
Photography: True Grace Photography
Florist: Splendor of Eden
Lighting: Atmosphere Events Group
Cake: Flourish Cake Design
Catering: Northern Fork
Ceremony Venue: South Shore Cultural Center
Hair: Renee Feldman of Renee Feldman Salon
Makeup: Shannon O’Brien
Gown Designer: Neta Dover
Gown Shop: Mira Couture
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Headpiece: Lena Rom
Rings: Brilliant Earth
Other accessories: vintage and borrowed
Tux: Formally Modern Tuxedo
Printing: Steracle Press
Calligraphy: Emily Rose Ink