Real Weddings

A Classic Chicago Wedding With A Modern Edge

A Classic Chicago Wedding With A Modern Edge

Starting off with a full Catholic mass, we really thought we could predict what would happen next at this Chicago wedding day. And then we saw the reception. Not only was the location fabulously industrial in just the right way, but the way they used the space was genius! No need for two locations for your cocktail hour and your reception. Nope, just spring for billowy curtains and you've got a killer partition that adds great accents to your space!

Keep scrolling to see more of Colleen and Joe's big day, and as always be sure to visit the full gallery of photos provided to us by the talented Peter Wynn Thompson.

blush watercolor wedding invitation suite

wedding shoesChicago

groom and his men in classic tuxedos

wedding couple in Chicago

formal wedding party

goofy candid wedding photos

From JPB Designs

When I first met with Colleen and Joe, they were overwhelmed with the entire planning process. Both of them work demanding jobs and neither had time to navigate even the beginnings of planning a wedding. Once we started working together, we found Venue West, a huge industrial space located in Chicago. Colleen and Joe wanted their wedding to feel "chic and elegant, relaxed and comfortable, classic and romantic." We quickly realized my job was to turn this large, empty space into a warm, elegant, classic environment. With a little help from our favorite vendors, we did just that! 

tying the knot

cathedral weddingCatholic wedding ceremony

wedding exit

just married

The "I Do"s

Knowing Colleen and Joe wanted a traditional Catholic wedding, we secured St. Michael's of Old Town, a beautiful Catholic Church on the north side of the city. We planned the day so that the couple got ready at the Wyndham Grand hotel and had their first look up in the penthouse, which overlooks the Chicago River. 

Following the first look, the wedding party hopped on a trolley and headed over to St. Michael's of Old Town for a full Catholic mass wedding. In the two hours between ceremony and reception, guests checked into their hotel rooms, and the wedding party traveled around Chicago with the photographer for photos. 

here comes the newlyweds

wedding couple in lovewedding kiss

just marriedChicago garden wedding photos

bridesmaids in subtle blush dresses

The Reception

When guests entered the reception space at Venue West, they walked in to see a welcome sign, created by one of the bridesmaids that we repurposed from the church and two wreaths which were also repurposed from the church's front doors. Guests walked down a long hallway and passed three screens up on the wall. With the help of the photographer and venue's AV, we added a few same-day photos to those screens. It was such a great surprise for the guests to see an image of Colleen and Joe outside of the church! 

Then, the doors opened up into the cocktail space. One of my favorite parts about the cocktail area is that we took a huge gold chandelier and placed it in the middle of the area. Underneath, the florist created a beautiful floral arrangement on a 72" round so we could place the escort cards around it. My other favorite part was the three-sided white bar! We put shelving in the middle and adorned the shelving with a green garland. The whole thing made quite an impact for guests! 

wedding welcome sign

simple bud vase decorescort card table decorwatercolor place cards

wood block table number and floral centerpiece

dramatically lit receptionpink and white wedding floral centerpiece

candle lit wedding party table

industrial romantic venue

The Decor

Once it was time, we opened the drapes between cocktail and reception. Guests walked into a soft, elegant dining space. In order to soften that area, we added chandeliers sporadically placed around the dining area, fabric that billowed from the ceiling and down the walls, and uprights on the brick walls. 

Placing the head table against the brick, unlighted wall and under two chandeliers, we created a warm, inviting space for the wedding party. Guests enjoyed funny, memorable toasts and a delicious dinner before moving back to the other side of the drapes for a night of dancing under the big gold chandelier.

partitioned wedding spacewedding bar

simple white wedding cake with floral accents

The Budget Breakdown

Ceremony | $2,500
Reception Space | $8,000
Caterer | $40,000
Photography | $5,000
DJ | $3,500
Florist | $12,000
Rentals | $4,000
Lighting & Drapery | $3,000
Cake | $1,600
Beauty | $500

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Event Planning & Designjpb designs@jpbdesigns
Lighting, Entertainment & Photo BoothDJ Matt Roan@mattroan
PhotographersPeter Wynn Thompson Photography@peterwynnthompson
Cakes & CateringCake-Chicago@cake_chicago
CateringJ & L Catering@jandlcatering
FlowersGromeza House of Design@gromezadesigns
Groom & His MenFormally Modern@formallymodern
Hair, Makeup & BeautyTamara Makeup + Hair Artistry@tamaramakeup
HotelWyndham Grand@wyndhamgrandchi
Lighting, Entertainment & Photo BoothLuxe Productions@luxeproevents
RentalsMarquee Rentals@marqueerentalschicago
Travel & TransportationBig Bus Tours@bigbustours
VenuesVenue West@venuewestchicago
Wedding DressesCasablanca@casablancabridal