A Year in Pictures

2010 was a fabulous year for Golden Chic.  Not only did we have wonderful brides and grooms to work with (and other charity clients too!) but we got to work with the coolest, most exciting venues and vendors in Wisconsin along the way.  It was always an adventure – finding certain services out of state, or the perfect table setting from Chicago, or matching the right linens to the floral.  I have to say that while the adventures can sometimes seem a bit crazy from the beginning, they end up being perfect as the wedding nears.  Plus, I come away with loads of memories from dinner parties pre-and post-wedding with the couples and their families, gorgeous photos, and friends for life.  What’s not to love about that?

So, here’s some of my favorite images from 2010 (though I’m still waiting for my December ’10 wedding images from Front Room Photography).  I’ve decided to go all out and make ‘em nice and big so you all can enjoy the visual lusciousness that was 2010!  Thanks to:  Sugar Leaf Photography, Craig John, Jennifer Johnson Photography, Jennifer Brindley PhotographyBeau Peterson Photography & Artist Group.

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Jenna & Sam: New Beginnings on New Year’s Eve

The planning for this wedding started in late summer 2009, and it was amazing to finally see it come together.  Jenna and Sam tossed around several gorgeous Milwaukee locations to hold both their ceremony and reception and ended up at the Grain Exchange, which fulfilled their hopes for a dramatic, traditional and elegant event.

Jenna wanted to make her wedding really celebrate the new year, so silver, gold and ivory were the staple colors with a dash of fresh green.  She and her bridesmaids wore amazing gowns from Priscilla of Boston, and Sam got dashing tuxes for the men from Suitors.

We began with the linens and flowers after picking the location, and BBJ Linen provided some lovely Ivory Deauville brocade linens for the guest tables, which spun together golds and silvers in delicate patterns, giving us a beautiful textural base.  Taupe, ivory, and silvery shimmery linens rounded out the look, and chair ties were spun into tight rosettes to give glamour to the ceremony and reception. La Tulipe came in with great ideas, and we collaborated to create tall centerpieces filled with roses and hydrangea and stephonatis and snapdragons.  Lower centerpieces were oodles of floating candles surrounded by a wreath of ivory blooms.  But the creme de la creme was the head table, where tall silver pieces filled with white flowers and silver branches were linked together by a sea of multiple different white blossoms in multiple vases and silver mercury candle holders.  Topped off with amazing paper pieces from Centennial Press Designs, every table was an elegant and chic affair in it’s own right  (invites themselves were out of this world gorgeous, with calligraphy from The Blooming Quill topping it off!).

We worked extensively with ACME, who lit the whole room with a warm golden glow, and provided huge white panels, which were uplit for the ceremony and as a backdrop for the band.  La Tulipe attached glittering crystal garlands to the panels which gave it just the right touch.  ACA Entertainment helped us coordinate with the fabulous North Coast Orchestra, who played a brass quartet for the ceremony, light jazz for cocktails and then full music for dinner and dancing.

The ceremony went off without a hitch; Rev. Jeff Best gave a very moving old fashioned hand fasting, and everyone immediately moved down for cocktails.  People mingled happily – we had guests who flew in from Egypt, London, Belgium, Canada and all over the United States.

That night, the dance floor was graced with a delicious and decadent cake from The Cake Lady, and Jenna and Sam enjoyed photography time with Front Room Photography throughout the evening (I can’t wait to see the photos!).  The food from the Bartolotta kitchen was of course out of this world – steak, chicken, ravioli and the fine touches of each dish made the guests gush.

As the band counted down to midnight, we handed out hand streamers, hats, horns and tiaras, and the packed dance floor continued to dance and wait expectantly for the new year, which then came with a bang and aud lang syne as all the golden streamers were released from the balcony over the dance floor amid cheers and loads of champagne.  It was a sight to behold!  The bride and groom then departed privately on a trolley, which then shuttled the rest of the guests later back to their hotel.

This was an especially fun wedding for me, as Jenna and Sam are so in love, so obviously happy to be together and start a life together – plus we all are Marquette grads, which makes it so much more personal.  Their families were a dream to work with, and I was thrilled with how elegantly the entire wedding looked in the end.  All the little touches and the sophistication of Jenna’s style were perfect; it was the best way to end 2010!

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Rebecca & Patrick: Christmastime is Here!

When I met Rebecca and Patrick in June, they had their reception hall (the Pfister) and their church (St John Vianney in Brookfield) and knew that they wanted to incorporate Christmas into their December 18 wedding…and that was about it.  Talk about a fabulous, glorious time to start from the the beginning!!  And through it all, they were absolutely fantastic to work with, very easy going, and made decisions so easily, I was amazed!

The first trip was to Stone Manor Bridal, where Rebecca found this floating, gauzy tulle bridal gown with lovely rosettes over the bodice in about an hour.  We added a cathedral length veil edged completely in rhinestones for a final effect, and a single shoulder strap made of tulle and we had the wedding design coming.

Since Rebecca and Patrick wanted their wedding to feel like a modern take on the traditional Christmas, we dove in with merlot red as the base color for table linens and bridesmaid dresses, but added lots of different greens and textures to create a really unique vibe everywhere you looked.

The aisle was hung with evergreens and red roses, and the bride carried a huge bouquet of red roses and calla lilies, with rhinestones peppered throughout to match her rosette bodice.  Bridesmaids carried long white calla lilies over their arms, wrapped in green velvet ribbon, and the altar was decorated with red poinsettas so  Rebecca’s white dress really stood out during vows.

After the ceremony, guests went to the Pfister, where La Tulipe, Sound by Design, and The Cake Lady had done their magic and set off the linens from BBJ; red uplighting around the perimeter of the room set off the white chair covers and napkins on the red table cloths.  Chairs were tied with either hunter, emerald or apple green satin ties to give dimension, while three different kinds of centerpieces were used as well – tall green topiary trees, soaring bunches of calla lilies, or low clusters of green orchids, leaves, poms, mums, and the like.  In the middle of the dance floor stood the gorgeous red velvet cake with a cute cake topper of a bride and groom holding a frame as they kiss.  Gum paste red calla lilies on the cake reminded one of the bride’s bouquet.

Lovely paper products from Centennial Press added the final touch, with Front Room Photography and Special Event Video capturing all the details.

As the wedding party took glamour shots around the Pfister, guests came up to start cocktails, finding their red, calligraphed escort cards on a table with a huge arrangement of calla lilies in the middle, with evergreens spread in a circle over green velvet linen.  It was very dramatic and rich.

The speeches that night were incredibly heartfelt, and the music during the divine and delicious dinner was Christmasy to perfection.  Rebecca and Patrick were just so happy to be married, and to have a wonderful party to boot, that they were walking on air and dancing the entire night.  Energy kept up as a Christmas Candy Buffet was brought out later – with loads of different kinds of seasonal treats – from old fashioned ribbon candy to Christmas candy corn, were displayed in an array of unique boxes and bags for guests to take home or eat to keep dancing!

Now that Rebecca and Patrick are married, it’s off to finish med school for both of them…but at least they’ll be together to do so, and together this Christmas as man and wife for the first time!

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Amy & John: Love Around the World

When I first received the email from Amy in Fall of ’09, I was like, “no way is a bride emailing me from Dubai.”  But I dutifully emailed her back, and within a few minutes, my phone was ringing, and Amy was on the other line, chatting in her sweet voice and gushing about all things wedding that she’d been dreaming about as she, her fiance, and her fiance’s parents began to trace out the steps for their nuptials in Milwaukee.

Needless to say, this became the most long-distance planning I’ve ever done.  Dubai is 9 time zones ahead of Milwaukee, so when it was 9am here, it was 6pm in Dubai.  On top of that, both Amy and John are crazy jet setters, and nearly every month, their fabulously glamourous traveling style went like this:  Amy went from Milan to Paris to London to New York, back to Dubai.  John would head to Tanzania, Cypress, New York, L.A. and then back to Dubai.  In the meantime, they’d meet family in Taiwan and Laos or take a side trip to Lake Como, Italy.  John’s mother, who was my planning partner on the ground here in Milwaukee, was often just as traveling – off to Italy, Australia, and Louisiana and more.  It was a whirlwind of planning to be sure between everyone’s schedules.

But what made it nice and easy was that Amy had a very specific look for her day; she wanted eggplant and navy, with accents of fuschia – a very unique and dark color palette that was both challenging and gorgeous at once.  We looked to BBJ Linen for all the fabric accessories, and Canopies for chair rentals.  La Tulipe made the entire day simply breathtaking with statuesque floral pieces, and ACME lit the walls of the Milwaukee Art Museum for dinner and dancing.

The ceremony took place on October 9 in Gesu, and we had three different trolleys from both Badger Trolley and Lamers rotating to take all 140 guests around town, to their hotels and to the museum.  Amy’s beautiful Carolina Herrera gown set the tone for a formal wedding and a formal reception.  The weather was just lovely as well, so cocktails were outside by the Museum overlooking the lake.

Craig John Photography took shots throughout the day, and One Fine Day was videotaping it all as well.  (I can’t wait to see final product!)

As the evening started, the North Coast Orchestra started up the music and there were people on the dance floor all night long.  Shully’s Cuisine served an AMAZING meal, and Delicately Delicious created a lovely cupcake tower made of four different cupcakes.  A candy buffet was brought out later at night to help ease the sweet tooths as well.  And when the night at the museum finished up, everyone took the trolleys (which were available as transportation all night for guests) to Lucille’s Piano Bar to rock out the rest of the night in fun and style!

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Sarah & Frank: A Night at the Movies

When Sarah and Frank began working with Golden Chic Events back in June of 2009, they already had a distinct vision and theme for their dream wedding.  Sarah wanted chic and timeless with touches of high fashion and Frank was all about capturing the timelessness of romantic movies and the classic style of the world in Sinatra’s 1940′s.

The two of them were meshing their ideas perfectly and for the next 16 months, it was a meticulous careful project that meant every detail of the day was detailed and discussed until it was perfect.  They became more than clients, but friends as well, and Golden Chic looked forward to tackling what was sure to be one of the most taxing and dramatic reception transformations in the company’s history.

On October 2, Sarah and Frank were married in a very traditional Catholic ceremony in the bride’s hometown of Antigo, WI.  It was perfect Fall weather, a touch of chill and all the fall trees in full stunning color.  Golden Chic drove up with a staff of ten, and prepared to transform the small old-fashioned dining room of the one country club in the area into a fantasy wedding reception.

Below is what the hall of Bass Lake Country Club looked like before it was transformed:

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Once arriving on-site in the early morning, we were immediately at work, laying down a black and white dance floor from Party Floor in Chicago, and hanging yards and yards of white paper on the walls, which were then layered with ivory gossamer, including the entire ceiling.  Lights from ACME were lined up against the wall, to be white during dinner, and then later were turned to a deep red for dancing – a fabulous transformation that changed the entire atmosphere halfway through the night.

As the reception set-up got underway, the ceremony was prepared.  A red carpet from Elegant Touch in Cedarburg was brought up to line the aisle in lieu of the traditional runner, while huge glass cylinders filled with loads of crystals, water and floating candles lined the aisle of St Mary & Hyacinth Catholic Church.  Huge 6 foot trees in black vases graced the front of church, which were laden with red orchids, rose pendants and huge glass crystals.  It was beautiful.

Sarah was a gorgeous bride; with a custom designer dress and long veil, Jimmy Choos and the class to carry it all off.  The men wore classic tuxes with pocket scarves in the Sinatra fold as opposed to boutonnieres.  With a traditional ceremony to boot – the wedding was carried off in style!

Back at the reception, textured linens had been put on all the guest tables, chair covers tied with ivory satin ribbon, and the centerpieces, provided by Muscari, were placed.  Each table was filled with pave roses, black taper candles, and acrylic connectors that let the red votives look like they were floating in the air between flowers.  Tall black vases filled with red roses reached to the ceiling, while about 100 rose pendants ending in crystals graced the ceiling.  Escort cards that looked like movie tickets were out, and nearby was a huge wishing tree.

The walls were covered in huge posters, where Sarah and Frank had created to emulate the most romantic movies of each era.  The couple was shown as the main characters in such film posters as Grease, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Titanic and several others. The red carpet was brought out to the entry way so guests would feel welcomed as they arrived.  The signature cocktails were out, and a paparazzi photobooth with loads of props and a live photographer were in the cocktail lounge.

After dinner, Dueling Pianos played, as movie theater style popcorn and candy were put out as guest treats, and a DJ later played out the night as guests made the whole day last even longer for Sarah and Frank.  It was most definitely a night to remember – and Sarah and Frank kicked off their wonderful married life with style, class, and a definite sense of who they are and what they want out of life: which is the best place to be!

An additional thanks to Beau Peterson Photography and Jamie Honce Videography for their talents throughout the day: can’t wait to see the finished products!

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Bundle of Amazement

You may be wondering why blog posts have suddenly become few and far between.  It’s not for lack of material (we’ve got loads stored up) or lack of desire (I have gorgeous weddings that are in desperate need of posting!) but for the very exciting and time consuming fact that I had a baby exactly 1 month and 1 day ago now!  William Rhys was born on September 11, 2010 at 9:04am and he’s so fascinating, fabulous and fun that it’s hard to focus on work right now.

Having a baby was almost more romantic than getting married four years ago; the intimacy, excitement and anxiety that John and I shared as we geared up to become parents was unbelievable, and created this cozy cocoon around our home life for the months leading up to Will’s birth.  It has been a wonderful, amazing experience at the very least – and is sure to be an adventure every day from now on!

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Swathi & Adam: A Platinum Marriage of Heritage

Hard to believe all the planning that went into this wedding is over!  This was Golden Chic’s first Indian wedding, and it was definitely a crazy whirlwind of details.  In the middle of it all, the bride was taking her bars for law school, and I had serious language barriers trying to find a mandap!  Both Swathi and Adam were incredibly involved in planning their wedding day and did a ton of DIY projects that amazed even me – hand-embossed napkins, little candies with their monogram, and going around Chicago taking photos of their favorite haunts to act as table numbers.  And that’s just a few of the projects!

What was so amazing about this event was not only the attention to detail, but the overall branding and look that we pulled together.  Swathi was determined to have a one-of-a-kind event, and we definitely styled the luncheon at the Bartolotta tent and dinner at Renaissance Place to be more modern and not at all with the usual color scheme of Indian weddings.  The couple had a very distinct idea of what they wanted, what they liked and how they wanted things done, which is always great, because it removes all ambiguity during planning.  But even the most articulate planning can have its starts and stops.

For instance, 8 days before the wedding, our Maharaja horse, which Adam was riding in on for part of the ceremony at Pier Wisconsin, died in the field!!  Where could we find a trained horse in a few days?!  Thankfully, Golden Chic was able to work with the horse owner and find a replacement – though not as white as we had originally planned – but how many times do you call a bride and say, “Um.  The horse is dead”?  Not a usual conversation! :)  Swathi had gorgeous saris and ceremonial jewelry throughout the day, and the mandap set up, for all the searching of finding one, was out of this world gorgeous, thanks to Poonam Creations.

Floral was crazy gorgeous – pale pink orchids and luscious roses, manzanita branches and huddled groups of pave roses under six-foot tall centerpieces with hand-sewn vase covers from La Tulipe.  And we actually had chivari chairs with seriously comfortable pillows, thanks to the chair and linen rentals of Elegant Touch.  We lit the walls with pink lighting from ACME, and Brian Redd of ACA Entertainment played a mix of Indian songs with popular current dance hits – and the dance floor was packed immediately – all night!!  There were a lot of sweets – starting with customized favors from Indulgence Chocolatiers that were custom flavors plus imprinted with the monogram – just like the fancy chocolates at Godiva.  We got the cake from Sweetness by Alice (who did a marvelous vegan groom’s cake that also was a great hit) which got devoured just as fast as the sweets table, which had a huge line from the beginning.  Shutterbooth did a lovely photobooth that finished with a thick scrapbook of memories for Swathi and Adam, and thanks to Bartenders on the Go for amazing staff and Classic Party Rentals for all the lovely cutlery, and we had ourselves a prime platinum event.

Of course there was oodles more – from a harpist during cocktails, to the talents of JBe Photography and Park Hill Video.  Ceremony musicians were brought in from Canada, and Swathi herself was brought into the ceremony on a doli carried by four strapping men.

Through it all…I could not have done it without all of my Golden Chic girls there on hand from 7am to 1am!

Most finally – this was a wonderful wedding because it was so obvious that Swathi and Adam are going to be happy for always – they are this perfect personality blend, plus this great melding of cultures and heritage.  They were so amazing to work with and we are so grateful for this chance to pull off a glorious Indian wedding for them – it was a fabulous day from start to finish!


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BED 2010

It’s a little belated in coming out, but I do have to brag a little about our gigantically fabulous and wildly successful BED event weekend in July, which benefited Pathfinders.  The weather was opposite of last year: hot, spicy and perfect for the beach.  We started off the weekend with a big bonfire on the beach on Friday night, complete with great acts from the small to the large, and ending with Eddie Butts.  Divine!  S’mores could be made, dancing in the sand was a must, and we had a whole Dinghy Brigade show up and storm the beach at 8PM, fresh from the yachts in the marina.

Saturday brought more amazing weather and a great turnout for the beach volleyball tournament.  While that was happening, we had different radio stations and news channels stopping by for snippets of coverage as loads of young, strong and amazingly helpful volunteers helped drag oodles of pallets, mattresses and sheets to the 30 cabanas for the evening’s bash.  Chandeliers were hung from the ceiling, thanks to Exciting Events, and Steve White of UW-M fame hooked up the rest of the LEDS everywhere.  Party Floor came in from Chicago and put together a gleaming white dance floor, as a DJ spun music the entire time.

Thanks to Bartenders on the Go, we had great staff setting up the numerous lit bars, a martini bar from Great Lakes Distillery and a mojito bar, care of Ward’s House of Prime were also available.  By the time the big Mr. Lucky band came, we had Elegant Touch’s linens on, luminaria candles lit, and hordes of volunteers dressed in their outfits.

As cabanas filled, champagne was poured, and people strolled the beach, dropping off their shoes at the Shoe Check, getting a massage, or lounging in the swank furniture provided by CORT, the music was happening, and the guests were enjoying taking a plop on the Princess and the Pea bed, or relaxing in their cabanas.

By the end of the night, the charity had made great money during the raffle and live auctions, which featured a ridiculously awesome line-up of great trips and Milwaukee treats.  Couldn’t have done it without my husband, my staff, the amazing board members of Pathfinders, and the charity itself.  It’s always a ton of work, but the end result is worth it!  Come on down next year!

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Tricia & Rick: Sultry City Club

Tricia and Rick and I started out working together over several martinis and good laughs.  From there, it was a fabulous, easy-going process that generally included plans for the future when we would all get together and party.  We have lots of double dates coming up!  They loved the idea of doing a clubby, city wedding that was anything but uber traditional, and we completely hit the nail on the head.

After choosing the InterContinental Hotel’s Lobby Salon, with its chocolate suede walls and modern lighting, for the reception cocktails and all-night appetizers, we decided to keep it all contained and set the ceremony for the Art Gallery, also located in the InterContinental.  This wedding was set to be smoking fun and unusual!!  Tricia chose a very posh and polished palette – champagne and gunmetal silver – which fit perfectly with the oodles of white orchids we used for all the tables – all floral brought in by La Tulipe.

From the ceremony onward, nothing was expected.  Down an aisle lined with candles, Tricia’s sweet little girls walked (or ran!), with just a bridesmaid and groomsmen (Tricia’s brother and sister-in-law) as witnesses.  Tricia and Rick themselves walked the processional together, holding hands, while Beyonce’s Ave Maria was sung by Tricia’s sister.

Cocktails and appetizers were immediately ready twenty minutes later, in a room decked out to look and feel exactly like a hot and funky club – complete with light-up dance floor, lounge furniture from CORT, mini “restaurant” seating, and wall lighting prepped by Sound by Design (who also, once again, provided freaking awesome music!).  The whole day and night was captured by Beau Peterson (of BP Photography) and Capture Studios out of Minneapolis.

The party didn’t end at midnight, nor did it end at 1AM…as Golden Chic took down the crystals hanging from the lights, and the guests polished off the last of the milkshakes, cake by The Cake Lady, and mini hot dogs, everyone headed to Zen Den in the hotel to complete the night with a few more drinks and laughs before Tricia and Rick jetted off to Hawaii.

All in all – a fabulous night at the club of love!  It was so incredible to work with Tricia and Rick; they deserve all the happiness and love that’s coming their way!!

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Jamie & Adam; Classically Contemporary

This wedding comes with a story; we had to make a call at 10AM whether to hold the ceremony outside, at the War Memorial in Milwaukee, overlooking Lake Michigan on the patio.  Gorgeous setting, perfect photographs, and the day, while a 30% chance of thundershowers after 6PM, was a beautiful hot one.  Why worry?

Halfway through the 20 minute ceremony, the reverend made the decision to move the crowd under the overhang just before the first big drops of rain began to hit.  Perfect timing!  So not only did the couple get fabulous ceremony photos with wild clouds and lighting, but they have a great story for their kids.

Thankfully, Golden Chic had made the decision to move the bars inside for the cocktail party well before the ceremony, so the rest of the rain was watched from behind safe glass and with delicious drinks.  Jamie and Adam are so practical, laid back, and fabulous that they took all the changes in stride, and with grace, filling their wedding day with the feel of poise, joy, and laughter.

Jamie knew right from the start that she wanted to take care of a lot of the little crafty projects herself, and the invitations, ceremony programs, escort cards and chair ties were a testament to her clean style and classic palette of navy, white and lime – fresh, creative, and timeless.  Not only were both Jamie and Adam a fabulous couple to work with, but their simple elegant style definitely came through on their wedding day.

Thanks both to the delicious food from Zilli’s Catering and divine cake from The Cake Lady, the day was carried off splendidly by Chic Blossoms and SugarLeaf Photography, who supplied an interactive photobooth later in the night.  We really were thrilled with the dynamic duo of Sound by Design who kept the dance floor packed all night!

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