Wedding Planning in Chicago

Caterers, Cakes, Cosmetics, Photographers, and More for Your Big Day

camp wandawega chicago weddings!

There’s a chill in the air, but you don’t feel it — you’re distracted by self-induced hot flashes from wedding planning. To help cool you down, we scoured the city for ideas to make your process a wee bit easier. Now you can weather any storm.

Set the Scene
Your wedding will be as sweet as apple pie at County Line Orchard in Northwest Indiana, whether you tie the knot in the rustic barn or the great outdoors. Or get campy — literally — at Camp Wandawega, 90 miles outside the city. Chicago couple Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez completely refurbished the former Latvian summer camp and resort into a laid-back escape. Say “I do” in an open-air chapel overlooking the lake, then party on the 25-acre property, complete with rope swings, canoes, and a trilevel tree house.

cracked designs chicago weddings!

Stamp of Approval
Milwaukee-based Cracked Designs is our favorite new find. Its up-close-and-personal design process results in inventive invites (inspired by the bride’s wedding dress; using details from the couple’s first date) that have mega personality with a vintage twist.

Pull Some Strings
Big bands are nice, but a one-man show takes the cake. Classically trained guitarist Neil Dixon Smith specializes in Latin American folk and popular tunes. He’s got a full wedding repertoire and will happily learn any song you choose.

You Gotta Eat
Chew on this: James Beard-adored chef Shin Thompson of Chicago’s Bonsoirée will cater your wedding. His inspired eats have a Japanese bent (Key lime chicken salad, rare Mandarin beef on wonton spoons, tarragon-pear compote), and are sure to please the hungry hordes.

sweet table chicago weddings!

How Sweet It Is
Sweet Table, a just-launched custom dessert table design company, is a family affair. Sisters/designers Kathleen Olsen and Lauren Meranda will work with you to create sleek, contemporary tables that blend personality and elegance. They team up with some of the top vendors in the city to provide everything from cake pops to macarons to pies and more, so everything will taste as amazing as it looks.

Just Press Play
You never knew how badly you needed a videographer. Until now. I Do Films makes the sweetest, neatest vintage wedding videos we’ve seen yet, using everything from Super 8 to folksy tunes to stylize. You’ll fall so hard for owners Matt Buckman and Lori Roche and their team that you’ll want to pull a runaway bride. (Please don’t.)

stephanie bassos chicago wedding photography!

Aw, Snap
Who better to document your wedding day than a husband and wife? AveryHouse is Matt and Stevi Savage, two Chicago photogs who make their living shooting nuptials (and also collaborate with I Do Films). Trust us — they’re tops. Stephanie Bassos is the real deal. She shoots mostly candids, peppering in a few poses for good measure. She’s true to her subjects, and doesn’t rely on Photoshop (read: You’ll look like yourself).

Saving Face
Before you kiss, make sure you make up. Get help from cosmetics guru Carley Martin. Sweet as candy, the Sephora- and Aveda Institute-trained Martin’s got an eye for enhancing your best features, ensuring you look flawless on the big day.

pollen chicago wedding florist!

April Showers Bring Ecofriendly Flowers
If your husband-to-be is married to the environment, win his heart with flowers from Pollen. The ecofriendly bloom company uses sustainably grown flowers (local whenever possible) and will customize to suit your needs, from bridal bouquets to boutonnieres to delicate, colorful centerpieces.

Photos: Courtesy of Camp Wandawega; Courtesy of Cracked Designs; Lauren Meranda / Courtesy of Sweet Table; Stephanie Bassos; Courtesy of Pollen

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