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3.09.2012

Our Wedding Video


Video
If you take one piece of advice from this entire blog, let it be this: GET A VIDEOGRAPHER. This is something that I am sincerely begging of you. After all of the money and time you’ve spent working on this very important event, and after all of the hype and excitement on the big day, you will treasure having a video. Similarly to photos, the video is something that will be around long after the day itself.

I didn’t even know I wanted a video. In fact, I would have opted out, but my lovely sister-in-law and her boyfriend are theater/video/tv graduates that wanted to start getting into wedding videography here in Chicago. This was their fabulous wedding gift to us. They did such a wonderful job and didn’t bother me at all with their set up or with any details at all. They took care of it and let me handle all of my other worries (ice! bottle opener! etc). When they were finished editing it and we threw a viewing party, I CRIED. I mean, I cried at the ceremony too (I’m like that), but this was so touching. It added a whole new angle to the day for me. Not only did I get to relive it a bit, but I got to see it from a different perspective. It’s like watching your favorite characters get married on tv – except it’s you. And that is way more awesome.

I wish I had our whole video hosted online somewhere to show you, but I don’t. What I DO have, however, is the wedding reel the videographers have created from my wedding and another couple’s. The reel is a bit outdated in that he has updated his equipment to provide for better lighting and audio equipment (the latter of which doesn’t apply to this reel necessarily). My wedding starts around minute 3:50.


Wedding Reel from Glen Means on Vimeo.

The video consisted of a full version of the ceremony and 3 video montages of dancing with speeches shown in full (because those are important!). We didn’t have them filming as we were getting ready, but I kind of regret that a little. Anyways, please get a videographer for your big day or hire a service that will mix your personal videos and pictures into a nicely edited show that you can watch every year on your anniversary and show your family (Storymix Media does this well and cost effectively). I treasure my video and can’t imagine not having it to look back on.

To inquire about my videographer’s very affordable event packages and/or to see more of his work, please email me (crystal@budgetbrideschicago.com) or the videographer himself at gcmvideoservices@gmail.com.

Happy almost spring, Chicago!

11.02.2011

Our Wedding: Photographer


In our original wedding budget, we had about $350 set aside for photography and hadn’t even considered a videographer. Today, almost six months after our wedding, those two aspects are the most important to me. In retrospect, I would have cut our guest list in half to take the photography and videography seriously in our budget. Luckily, we have amazing friends and family that came to the rescue to give us these treasured mementos.

*I’d like to note that none of my vendor write-ups come with any perks for me. I write it like I see it and my praises and complaints are genuine.*

Photography
I blogged about losing our photography “friendor” and about how my brother-in-law offered to take her place. When I found out 3 days before the wedding that my brother-in-law would probably get called into work and wouldn’t be able to make it, I was almost not surprised. I mean, I think I probably cried about it eventually when the panic really set in, but at first, I just sat there. I was in a “wedding zen” mode those last few days and the news just kind of glided right over me. I think it took until later that night or the next morning for me to realize, “Sh**. I need a photographer. And I need one this weekend.”

At our place of work, we have a creative department. In that department is a man who is indeed creative. He’s great at his job as a graphic and web designer/user interface expert and is also a musician and photographer on the side (and probably has other talents of which I am not aware). He had done some photography for a client at work and I remembered thinking how great of a job he did. So naturally, I thought to ask him to please, please, please be our photographer. Please. In 3 days. Of course, I had no backup plan if he happened to have plans for the weekend already. It was a shot in the dark but the only thing I could think of as a viable alternative.

I lucked out. He made himself available on EXTREMELY short notice and gave us an amazing price for shooting the whole day. It was definitely an unexpected cost in our budget, but ended up being well worth it. (You can’t plan for everything, right?) He stuck it out through the wind and annoying mist/rain that we had going on that morning and managed to get some great shots through all of our heavy squinting and visible hostility towards Mother Nature.
We had to get at least one at "our spot" - Adler Planetarium.
And now my hair is ruined. Awesome.
We had two “photo locations” lists titled: “Nice Weather” and “:(”. We had to use the latter. We stopped by Union Station and the Cultural Center. We stopped by the Rookery, but there was a private wedding in there already (lucky kids). The photos turned out great even though we had to work through the less-than-desirable lighting in those buildings and dreary weather.
Checking our lists.
Some of his great work:


(In our office, where we met.)

Thanks, Jon! We love our photos! (visit him here!)

I will post our video information tomorrow - this post got long fast. Cheers!

9.28.2011

One of my favorite things: Clothes


On your wedding day, you want to look your absolute best. It’s probably the one day in your life that you will have the most photos taken of you ever. Not only do you (usually) hire a person (or two) specifically for the job of taking photo records of the day but your guests will be clicking away too. For this reason, it’s easy to justify spending WAY too much on a dress you will wear for one day (albeit, a very special day) and shoes that you will end up taking off after an hour or two. The following are my suggestions to look your very best and save as many budget dollars as possible.

The Groom
I think I only need a few sentences about the Groom, really. And I’m not going to go into the personal style of it – wear a top hat, chain, penguin suit, etc if you so choose. As far as the budget goes, I obviously advocate wearing a suit/tux you already own if you have one. Take it to the tailor to get fine-tuning if you need it and buy a new tie or vest if you need to spice it up or match wedding colors.
My handsome Groom in his rental and Chucks (looking a little too serious).
A fitting gift from his best friend.
If you don’t already own a suitable… err, suit, then renting is probably the way to go for you. My Groom rented his from Mens Wearhouse (cute play on words there that I didn’t realize until wedding planning). The total for everything – including tie, jacket, vest, and pants – was $154.94. The Groom bought a brand new pair of Chuck Taylors that he needed anyways to feel comfortable and match his style.
Taken in Mens Wearhouse.
The Bride
To read about my wedding dress saga, see this post. However, since then, I have discovered that the awesome shop has closed down! Sad sad me. That shop was a treasure chest of awesome vintage wedding gowns at Budget Bride prices. After you take your moment of silence for the loss of a bridal gem, join me in exploring these other budget-friendly options.
That's me! The Bride!

David’s Bridal
I’ve said it once (or twice) and I’ll say it again: David’s Bridal is your friend. For some reason unbeknownst to me, DB has gotten a bad reputation in the wedding world. It’s synonymous with “cheap” or somehow “not chic”. Well, my DB naysayers, I couldn’t disagree with you more.

In the beginning stages of dress hunting, David’s Bridal is your best friend. Make an appointment well before you intend to buy just to try on different styles to see what looks good on your body. Is it strapless? Cap-sleeved? Long-sleeved (a la Kate Middleton)? Sweetheart? Empire waist? Grecian? So many styles to choose from!! You may think you know what looks best, but wait until you try on others before you settle on a style. David’s Bridal is the best place to do this, in my opinion. I definitely prefer them to the stuffy, pressure-filled high-end boutiques.
Look familiar? The Kate Middleton replica at DB for $849.00.
Once you’ve narrowed down your styles, you can either take that information to the web (outlined below), to other boutiques, OR you might find that you absolutely love one of the DB dresses you tried on. Their new Vera Wang line is absolutely gorgeous and I am still grieving their poor timing on its release (that is, AFTER I purchased my own wedding gown). Warning: Most of the Vera dresses are still pricey according to my standards. But boy oh boy, how prettiful. See some of the less costly ones...
Vera Wang at David's Bridal. $400.00
Another Vera at DB. $500.00. Swoon.

The Web
Simplybridal.com - After you’ve chosen the best dress style for you (and reviewed the photos of yourself in it 100 times), one amazingly affordable option is to take that information straight over to simplybridal.com. This website allows you to choose the elements that look best on you and get a gown CUSTOM made for you. Browse through the A-line gowns to find your favorite or check out the organza options then take your measurements and find the right size for you. The prices on these dresses are seriously jaw-droppingly reasonable. They make the gown AFTER you purchase it (so it’s not just a stock dress), they ship it for free, and I couldn’t even find one for over $400.00. Most are in the $200 and $300 range and not pre-worn, pre-owned or even pre-made.
The Penelope Gown at simplybridal.com - $379.99
So, before I decided to recommend them on my blog, I thought what you’re thinking, “...but what if I don’t like it ON and it’s not THE DRESS?” A little digging showed that the dresses are 100% refundable within 10 days. If you try it on and don’t love it, return it! And get this, they will even reimburse up to $75 worth of alterations if they didn’t get it quite right. How is it that I find out about these things AFTER my wedding? ::sigh::
The Charlotte Gown at simplybridal.com - $279.99
Etsy.comI’m an Etsy fan. I totally dig trying to support the individual artists in their crafts and Etsy is one of the easiest places to do so. They are generally a little pricier than the options above but I still found plenty of drool-worthy options for under $800. And if you don’t find your gown here, check back for accessories and even wedding rings!
A fabulous Etsy find - $600. ktjean.etsy.com (accessories from mignonnehandmade.etsy.com)
RecycledBride.com – If you have no aversion to wearing a pre-owned or pre-worn gown, this is a great site to find designer dresses at a fraction of even the sample cost. You can be in contact with the seller directly and they are usually pretty quick to answer questions (in my experience). Each seller will have his/her own return policy and it’s probably not very flexible, but find a gown at the right price and “splurge” on the alterations. This is also a great way to be environmentally friendly and reduce the footprint of your event! Find decorations, shoes, veils, wedding rings and more on this “green” site.
Oleg Cassini on RecycledBride.com - $300
Last but not least, Oncewed.com – Among many other resources, this website offers a huge inventory pre-owned and pre-worn dresses. It has a similar set-up as Recycled Bride above where it’s kind of a “craigslist” for wedding gowns. There are some real steals on here with Jcrew, Vera Wang, and Jessica McClintock dresses for $100 in some cases. Be sure not to get a size TOO big otherwise you’ll be stuck with a huge alterations bill and you might lose some of the structural integrity of the dress. If you stay within 3 or 4 sizes though, you should be ok. Ask your seamstress what she recommends!
This GORGEOUS Vera Wang dress on OnceWed for $99.00!
JCrew dress on OnceWed for $99.00. I love the back of this one!

My Costs
As noted in previous posts, I got my pre-worn dress at a designer consignment shop for $250.00. It was $200.00 for alterations, making my dress grand total $450.00. I bought a simple veil from a craft store for about $25.00, my black necklace from an ADORABLE boutique (francescascollections.com) for $30.00 and my “glass slipper” shoes from Aldo for $45.00. My diamond earrings were borrowed from my sister and I wore a black sweater over my dress while I was outside in the nasty weather that was also from Francesca’s. My total look cost $550.00. Right on budget.

8.19.2011

I Did It!!! (Part 2)


One of the things about me that changed the most during wedding planning was my opinion on the importance of the ceremony. Since neither my husband nor I had any religious customs that we wanted to include, the ceremony was just a legal formality at the beginning. Once I came to this point in my planning, however, my whole outlook changed.
My awesome cousin stepping up to help with the aisle runner.
Our Ceremony
If you start Googling (really, Blogger? You red squiggly “Googling?”) “ceremony scripts” or “ceremony wording,” the vast majority of your results will conform to the layout of a religious ceremony. Don’t get me wrong, every wedding I’ve been to has used one of these layouts and has resulted in a beautiful and moving ceremony. But for us, these didn’t work. And to be frank, I didn’t really care all that much what the Officiate even said.

That is, until I realized that he had to say something and that that something was going to have the attention of everybody in the room and, in a way, define our marriage for us and to our family and friends. It was our one chance to let everybody in on how we felt about what we were doing that day and how we felt about one another. All of a sudden, VERY important. And since Google was not able to produce the perfect ceremony for us, we had to start from scratch.
My flowergirl nieces in the yellow dresses they picked out and pink Chucks.
Choosing the Wording
Our extremely awesome Officiate, Reverend Adam Robersmith from Second Unitarian Church in Chicago (where I started attending shortly after our engagement), met with us to talk about our relationship and get to know us a bit as a couple. At our consultation, he gave us some example scripts from couples that had similar feelings about marriage as we did/do and they all sounded great, but they just weren’t…. us. What we did get from these examples, however, was a solid outline of the points that are typically included in wedding ceremonies regardless of religious affiliation. A starting point = progress!
Our ring bearer and nephew. Quite possibly the cutest kids I've ever seen... and, rightfully, the show stealer.
For those of you going through the ceremony writing process yourselves, here is the rough outline of key elements that we worked with:

I.                   Introduction
a.       Opening words
b.      Moment of silence
II.                Readings
III.             Message from the Reverend
IV.             Vows
a.       Meaning of vows
b.      Exchange of vows
c.       Affirmation of Intentions
V.                Exchange of Rings
VI.             Declaration of Marriage

Short, sweet, and to the point!

Once we got started with what we wanted to say, the exact words were very difficult to find. It got us thinking about what our relationship really did mean to us and what the point of us getting married was. Big picture things.
We chose not to have my dad officially "give me away" as I am not property, but we did have him...drop me off. :)
The meaning behind what a wedding and marriage is varies for each couple, I’m sure. But for us, there was one glaringly obvious point that was being missed in all of these talks: if you are discussing what to put in your ceremony, you are among the group of couples allowed to have a recognized ceremony. Some couples with feelings like ours don’t have the right to fulfill these feelings through a lifelong marriage! We were going to invite guests to our wedding that weren’t able to have a wedding of their own?! That’s a bit of a slap in the face, no? It has become a touchy subject in our nation – what is marriage and who is allowed to enter into one – and, being the outspoken individuals my husband and I are, we decided to put in our two cents with our ceremony. Putting ourselves in the shoes of those that can't get married helped us realize the "why" that is so hard to put into words.

So, here you have it; our millionth revision after searching and searching for the absolute best words to describe our feelings towards each other, about marriage, and about love in general.

I think we nailed it.

Wedding Ceremony of Crystal and Rafael
6:30 pm, Saturday, May 7, 2011; Chicago, Illinois
Rev. Adam Robersmith, Officiate
Introduction

Family, friends: we have gathered here today to celebrate the union of Crystal and Rafael. For them, this marriage is the pinnacle act of their adoration of one another. It is both the ultimate expression of their love and commitment, and their public pledge of a love that will endure their lifetimes.


Love is what unites us on this day. It fills the seats in this room. A wedding is a day-long celebration of love. A marriage is the lifelong commitment to it and to each other. This commitment joins more than hearts. It unites everything that was solely his or hers before -including the families that raised them.


Mark Twain once said that "a marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living.”


I invite you to simply breathe for a moment, so that, as we gather to witness and celebrate, we may all be completely present to the commitment which Crystal and Rafael make today.

Reading

Crystal and Rafael have chosen a passage as inspiration for their love on this day. This passage, read by Susan C., is taken from the Majority Opinion of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling in the historic case of Goodridge vs. The Dept of Public Health in which the court held that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was in direct conflict with the Constitution of Massachusetts’s promises of due process and equal protection to all residents. This reading displays Crystal and Rafael’s awareness and gratitude of the privilege they have to choose one another today...


Susan:
"The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. Marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family...The right to marry means little if it does not include the right to marry the person of one's choice. Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."


On Love – by Rev. Adam
A union of love is one of the most remarkable, most courageous, most daring and hopeful human acts: the promise to share life together on all levels – physical, economic, spiritual – a promise made in the face of the certainty of death, the certainty of change, and the uncertainty of everything else.


For those of you gathered here today, family and friends, I ask that you continue to show your support to Crystal and Rafael as they begin their life together. No marriage exists in isolation. In moments of happiness and achievement and celebration, rejoice with these two as you do today. Stay a part of their lives. Call, email, visit. When you see them lose track of their best natures, remind them of this moment and of the best you know in them. Remind them of the promises you witnessed today and of their tenderness and of their declaration of love. By being here today, you are part of the community that will enable their marriage to thrive and be a source of delight and strength to them and to you.
Feast with them, celebrate with them, and thank them often for being who they are. You are part of this covenant, these promises, too, and I ask you to take up your part with joy and love. 


Vows

To say what we feel most deeply to our partners, in front of the people who love us, makes our feelings tangible. By making vows, we are changed.


In this moment, you will be transformed by offering your truths, dreams, and promises to each other. What was once held in private, will be known by friends and family. You will give yourselves to each other in a way that cannot be forgotten, cannot be mistaken. In this moment, through your love and your willingness to speak it aloud, your lives change through your commitment to each other.


Let us all take a moment in stillness, as a time to cherish the love we have experienced, the love and commitment which is shared here today.


[Moment of Silence]


Now, I invite you, Rafael, and you, Crystal, to exchange your vows.


[Groom] - I, Rafael, choose you Crystal, to be my best friend, my partner, and my wife. I promise to love you from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.


[Bride] - I, Crystal, choose you Rafael, to be my best friend, my partner, and my husband. I promise to love you from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.


Affirmation of Intentions

Officiant - Do you, Rafael, take Crystal to be your lawfully wedded wife?
[Groom] - I do.


Officiant - Do you, Crystal, take Rafael to be your lawfully wedded husband?
[Bride] - I do.


The Exchange of Rings

These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.

[Groom] - This ring symbolizes my commitment to you from this day forward.
[Bride] - This ring symbolizes my commitment to you from this day forward.


Declaration of Marriage

May the love and affection you have for each other on this day, sustain you both today, at the start of your new life, and throughout your journey together. Share with each other the laughter and adversity that comes your way. May your lifetimes be filled with love and joy.


Rafael and Crystal, having witnessed your vows for marriage with all who are assembled here with you, I announce with great joy that you are from this time on, husband and wife.


You may now kiss the bride!

::Cue “You’re My Best Friend” by Weezer:: We did it!

We also affirmed our commitment to the rights of the LGBTQ community by making a donation to the Human Rights Campaign on behalf of our wedding guests in lieu of wedding favors. The announcement was printed on the back of our programs.
Mr. & Mrs.!!!
We learned a lot about our relationship and the meaning of what we were doing on our wedding day. Our ceremony ended up saying exactly what we wanted it to in exactly the right way and went from being just a formality to the most important and memorable part of the day. It is the one part that we each contributed to equally, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

8.16.2011

Vendor Review: Kitchen Chicago


I’ve been married for over 90 days now, friends! An annulment is now officially not an option. He’s stuck with me unless he wants to file for divorce. ;) (Can you even joke like that on a wedding blog?) Anyways, married life is totally rockin, and I’m heading back to school to finish up my degree in Justice Studies from Northeastern Illinois University. It’s been 6 years in the making so I’m very excited to graduate next year! Wish me luck!
Ringing in our 3-month mark at a Lollapalooza after party at The W.

I am also taking on my first two day-of coordination “jobs” in October. The first one will be at a beautiful downtown location right on the river and is complete with trolley service from ceremony to reception - fancy! I’m so excited for these two lovebirds and I can’t wait to help keep the day running smoothly! For the second one, the Bride and Groom are planning their reception in an awesome pavilion in Barrington Park District’s Citizen’s Park. It will feature a DIY photobooth and outdoor s’more station! The couple has DIY’d many elements of their wedding and I’m so excited to be there to make sure the day goes exactly how they imagine it! It’s really neat to see each couple’s style reflected in their wedding day choices.

With all of that business, I give you my vendor review for our venue, Kitchen Chicago. It’s not a secret that I’m a Kitchen Chicago fan. They are located in the “Fulton Market” district on the west side of Chicago. It’s an industrial area that has become a haven for artists because the lofts and studios are fairly reasonably priced and always HUGE. I get quite a few inquiries on my experience with this space, so please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or email me for more info. I’m happy to help!

Kitchen Chicago - Booking
I chronicled our venue selection experience in previous posts, but I’ll give a quick recap for those that missed it. I found Kitchen Chicago while searching the interwebs for a non-conventional, barn-like space within Chicago city limits. We love us some Chicago and we couldn’t bring ourselves to turn our back on the city for the biggest day of our lives. This is where we met, this is where we live, and this is where we wanted to get married. So, with a large dose of determination and some razor-sharp Google skillz, I found a short list of venues that fit the criteria and an even shorter list that fit the budget.

After visiting a couple of other similarly priced venues with a similar feel, we settled on Kitchen Chicago. Our interactions with Alexis at KC (if you don’t mind the abbreviation) were relaxed and professional. I really like what she does there with the industrial kitchen space and I think her heart and mind are in the right place. She’s sincere and her main focus is not to try to screw me over on prices and “extras.” The contract is very straightforward and protects both parties from bearing undue burdens if the other messes up. Nothing more, nothing less.
Exposed beams, beautiful lighting, exposed brick. Yes please!
When we visited the space, it was like a dream come true. We knew that this was the space. The only hiccup we had with the booking was that we needed to get event insurance. Since the space is BYO everything and we were not using any one caterer per say, we had to protect her and ourselves with basic low-cost event insurance to cover incidentals that are normally covered in a certified catering contract. We got this insurance from theeventhelper.com for a total of $130.37.

The Day Before
When it was finally time to see the space come to life for our wedding, the Kitchen folks were very helpful. When my rental furniture arrived before the time I was technically allowed (per the contract) to use the space, Alexis kindly let them (and the gracious Charlene from Sweetchic Events) in so that I could have my tables and chairs! What would I have done if they would have left?!

When setting up shop, Alexis helped my friend Michelle move some of their beautiful wooden tables around for me so that I wouldn’t risk hurting myself the day before my wedding. (Good thing too because Michelle had bruises the next day!) When the rental chairs arrived dirty, Alexis tracked down some cleaner and rags for us to wipe them off so that we didn’t have to waste time running out for cleaning supplies! Since all of this ran so late, she was very accommodating in allowing my coordinator to stay to decorate past the time outlined in the contract. I don’t want to say that you should always expect this type of bend in the contract because I don’t want her to get taken advantage of, but I do want to stress that she was flexible and accommodating to the unpredictable schedule changes that arose for our event. She won’t try to nickel and dime you for your time!
Love the industrial details
My only issue with setup was that the floors were not cleaned yet when we started our set up of the chairs for the ceremony. This may have been a miscommunication or something else on the back end, but I wasn’t too terribly concerned about the cleanliness of the floors – I wanted a barn, didn’t I?

Wedding Day!
It’s a tiny bit difficult for me to review the management of the space on the wedding day since my wonderful coordinator took care of everything that day. I do know that there was a person staffed for the evening, Nicolle, and that she helped the coordinator and bartender make the day go as smoothly as possible.

Decor
The space itself looked pretty spectacular on my wedding day thanks to the help of my coordinator and amazing friend Michelle. Like I’ve said before, the space is simply beautiful and I didn’t want to take away from the organic prettiness that already existed. See this post for more details on the decor.

Accessibility
Since KC is a bit difficult to find hidden in a tall building set off from the street, I had my parents pick up some yellow and silver balloons along with balloon wedding bells to tie to the fence at street level. I also had directional signs made up to get to the second floor where KC is located but these got lost in the day-of shenanigans. Everybody found their way in regardless. We also kept the bottom door propped open and manned while guests were arriving. I wouldn’t recommend leaving the door propped, as I’m not sure the building’s rules on this. Check with Alexis to figure out the best way to handle accessibility for the stragglers that are running late.

I get a lot of questions about parking at this place too. All of our guests found street parking within short walking distance with no problems. During the weekend, this industrial area is pretty much a ghost town so all of the street parking is wide open. There are no permits necessary on most of the streets here either. We even had more than a few guests park where it was clearly marked “No Parking” and they drove away ticketless (phew!). Obviously, follow all posted signage to be sure but just note that it’s not a difficult parking area and there are no meters or fees to deal with. Win!

For those concerned with guests being physically unable to make it to the second floor, there is a fully accessible, albeit slow, elevator that will drop you off right into Kitchen Chicago. For those that are able, there is a staircase that will get you there much faster.

After the Party
Aside from my coordinator being the best lady in all the land, Kitchen Chicago really rocked it out for me post-wedding. They let in the rental company to pick up the furniture on Monday, and this went so well that I’m not even sure how it happened - I was getting my tan on in the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon. Thank you to the people behind the scenes on that one!
Relaxing on the beach while our stuff is patiently waiting for us in the closets of KC.
In addition to housing those rentals for me over two nights, KC also let my coordinator stash the leftover decorations, wine, and other randomness in the closet of the event space until we got back from our honeymoon. Can you believe that?! Alexis contacted me via email on our last night in the DR to ask about picking up the things in the closet because they had another event that weekend. I had no idea there were things in the closet and I quickly arranged for my (new) sister-in-law to pick them up for me. But how nice was that? It was a relief to work with this venue to say the least.

My Suggestions
Kitchen Chicago is a beautiful spot for a slightly off-beat wedding or for other events. The management is easy to work with, the paperwork is straightforward, and you won’t end up with surprise expenses. It’s also extremely flexible with no restrictions on catering or rentals. This can help keep costs down and allow a wide variety vendors to choose from. My total for the rental space for a cumulative total of 12 hours (over Friday & Saturday) was $1,500.

I would suggest for any event space that doesn’t include clean-up after the event to hire a cleaning crew to come in and mop the floors (sticky beer!), take out the trash, and stack your rental furniture for you. Our two-man crew was $135.00 and helped make sure that we got our full deposit back from Kitchen Chicago. A sound investment, in my opinion.


I have some other venues hidden up my sleeve that I can’t wait to post about! I’m glad so many of you have found your venue with Kitchen Chicago and I hope my other gems prove to be just as awesome… but I’ll be relying on all of you for reviews on those! Good luck in your search!

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