Michele & Nick: Romanian Orthodox Wedding – Glenview Illinois

Glenview Wedding Photography Valley Lo Club Ariel Chapman

“In a sea of people, my eyes will always search for you” – unknown

Michele and Nick got married on August 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois in a traditional Romanian Orthodox ceremony. I had the distinct pleasure to be, not only a guest at their beautiful wedding, but also their planner. Blush, Burgundy and dusty rose set the color pallet for their late summer wedding. Out of all aspects of the wedding, family was by far the most important and their wedding day was no exception. For that reason, the morning began with Michele getting ready in her parent’s home surrounded by her Grandmother, Mom, sisters and bridesmaids. Their family dog was also a huge part of their wedding celebrations. Sadly, Michele’s dog passed away two weeks after her wedding. Therefore, these images serve as a very emotional reminder of the love between an owner and fur baby.

Glenview Wedding Dog Bride Illinois
Glenview Illinois Wedding Valley Lo Club

Similarly, Nick was able to spend the morning hanging out with the groomsmen and his family. I always feel that the groom gets left out of so much preparation, but Michele made sure Nick was close by and his out-of-state family was welcomed at her home to kick off the day.
Chicago Suburb Wedding Glenview Illinois

Ceremony

Michele comes from a large Romanian Orthodox family. As a result, there is a lot of tradition and culture interwoven throughout their day. Special dances, songs, ceremonies and foods are apart of every Romanian celebration. If you have ever seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” that is a pretty accurate interpretation of an Orthodox ceremony. In an Orthodox ceremony, the bride and groom wear crowns symbolizing that they are the King and Queen of their household. I wish everyone got to wear a crown for a day! Their ceremony was beautiful and full of rich history and tradition.
Orthodox Ceremony Chicago Romanian Wedding
Outdoor Wedding Photos Chicago Glenview Illinois

Reception

Michele and Nick chose to have their intimate reception (of 200) at the Valley Lo Club in Glenview, IL. Valley Lo, is a wedding venue tucked inside a private residential golf and swimming community. Michele’s aunt owns Truffles Cake & Pastry Shoppe, a bakery located in Michigan City, Indiana. Because of this, she wanted to use her special talents and gift them a stunning desert display. She painstakingly made each and every dessert and drove them to the reception. It took her several hours to build the stunning dessert display. Most importantly, they tasted better than the looked; and they looked amazing.
Reception Valley Lo Club Glenview Illinois
Daddy Daughter Mother Son Dance First Dance Glenview Illinois

Above all, as Michele and Nick settle into married life, I wanted to thank them for allowing me to be apart of their special day. It is a unique position to be in, both the planner and a guest. Ashley Nicole Events had a great team in place where I could actually step back and enjoy the wedding as a guest. I even got to have a cocktail – or two! Congratulations on your marriage and I wish you nothing but a lifetime of love and happiness!
Lakefront Wedding Glenview Illinois Valley Lo Club Dark Moody Photography Vendor Love:

Planning: Ashley Nicole Events Inc
Photography: Ariel Chapman Photography
Videography: Juan Alvarado Photography
Ceremony Venue: Holy Nativity Romanian Orthodox Church – Chicago, IL
Reception Venue: Valley Lo Club – Glenview, IL
DJ: Fig Media
Floral: SaniMar Decor Studio
Cake & Sweets: Truffles Cake & Pastry Shoppe
Transportation: VIP Express Limousine Inc.
Lodging: Sheraton Northbrook
Invitations: Paula Kolar
Hair: Hair By Julia
Makeup: Makeup By Sarah B

Friends are God’s Apology for Family

This is quite possibly the best quote when it comes to dealing with family drama at a wedding. Our friends are chosen, we have the ability to find people who are compatible with our personalities. This isn’t always the case with families, seeing as there are all types of personalities among family. We rely on our friends for a lot, something we can’t always do with our family members.

 Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co
Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co

While we love our family, everyone can admit that they drive us crazy at times. There’s not a single family that doesn’t have drama, but there are ways to keep that drama away from your wedding day. Following these tips will increase your odds of a family drama-free wedding.

  1. Keep yourself with immediate family and the bridal party prior to the ceremony. This will allow you to dodge any unnecessary family drama. During the reception, there are so many people to mingle with that there won’t be very much time to worry about the family that tends to cause issues.

  2. If you know that certain family members don’t get along, whether it be the bride’s family or the groom’s family, try to keep them at different ends of the room when arranging a seating chart. Although they may encounter each other on the dance floor, the music, dancing and other guests will be such a distraction that they won’t have an opportunity to make it all about them and their drama.

  3. Acknowledge that family isn’t perfect. If the drama is too much, simply don’t invite these people. If they have to be invited, prepare for the unexpected, but don’t dwell on it. You have friends and family who love you and will always have your back – no matter what. In the end, you are marrying your best friend, that’s all that matters. Thanksgiving dinner is another story!

2017 In Review

Each holiday season, I do my absolute best to stop, look around and and truly reflect on what this past year has brought me, this year was no exception! I was incredibly blessed this year and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for me, my family and Ashley Nicole Events Inc.

In 2017, I have been able to serve wonderful clients and turn their wedding dreams into a reality. I began working more regularly with The Haight, one of the hottest venues in Chicagoland, as a part-time venue manager (the venue is literally booked until 2019…they are that busy folks!) I was able to travel to a business conference to sharpen my craft and I even snuck a way for a few days to see some close friends. While I help my clients spend time making memories with their families, it is always a special treat to make memories with my own family.

Here is a look back at 2017

Leslie and Dave celebrated their love surrounded by friends and family. I was so excited for Leslie & Dave when they told me a few weeks into their wedding planning that they were also expecting a little bundle of joy. So much love radiated on their wedding day. Stay tuned for their full feature later in 2018! Photo credit: Crane’s Photography

I am so excited for Leslie and Dave to welcome into the very FIRST ANE BABY!!! Just look at that adorable little bundle of Christmas joy! 

The 15th Annual Paramount Theatre’s “Under the Stars” Gala in Aurora, Illinois was an exceptional evening filled with dinner, entertainment, raffles and auctions, with all proceeds benefiting the Broadway Series and the stars of our future: Children. Last year alone, the Dreams Do Come True program brought more than 3,500 underprivileged children and families to see a show at the theatre for free. I was honored to be able to brighten the lives of children from disadvantaged homes, low income schools and special needs organizations. 

C&C’s wedding was a breathtaking wedding celebration. When you mesh Greek and Italian you are sure to get some high fashion, great food and stunning decor…and A LOT OF PASSION. For security purposes, for the groom, I am not able to show more, but let me tell you, this wedding was certainly on the top of my list…of all time!

Kayla and Kyle were such a joy to work with. They were BOTH so giddy with excitement all day! Kyle is not shy about his feelings for Kayla and their summer wedding filled with bright, bold colors was nothing short of exhilarating. Stay tuned for their full feature later in 2018! Photo credit: Love & Ink Photography

Kylie and Brian got married on a beautiful September day. It was a family tradition in Kylie’s family to have her father sing. Her dad jumped at the opportunity to perform for her daughter and new family at her wedding and there was not a dry eye in the house. Stay tuned for her full feature later this year.  Photo credit: Mary Rose Photography

Wes and Gus have a once in a lifetime kind of love. They knew that being present in the moment was their top priority and threw tradition to the wind. Stay tuned for their romantic, fun, energetic and magical wedding feature later this year! Photo Credit: Wynn Wiley

Ioana came to me wanting to surprise her husband, Ovi for his 40th birthday. When it comes to planning a milestone event, just like a wedding, honing in on their likes and priorities truly make the party come to life! Photo Credit: Snap Happy Pics

This year, in addition to providing planning services, I was able to provide beautiful rental pieces such as this arbor, to clients across Chicagoland which enhanced their ceremony spaces. Flower credit: Town and Country Gardens

Anna and Joey wrapped up the 2017 Wedding Season and we could not have ended on a higher note. Having fought bad weather all day, we were able to sneak in this *very important* shot for the bride and groom. Stay tuned for their stunning wedding later this year! Photo Credit: Dave Pavlina

This year, I had the pleasure of creating a stunning Thanksgiving tables cape for a private residence. Ashley Nicole Events can not only handle weddings, birthday parties and corporate events, but private dinner parties as well! Photo Credit: Ashley Hamm Photography

For the first time, I was able to attend the Wedding MBA, a business conference that provides continuing education for all aspects of business and the wedding industry. I was able to attend with my business bestie (aka mom) and connect with many amazing friends and vendors from he Chicago region. Below are a few photos from the conference!  The rock statues are the 7 Magic Mountains, located outside of Las Vegas. My friend Joy, humored me enough to sneak away to capture these literal magic mountains! 

During the off season, I was able to spend a little quality time with my husband, Adrian and take a class in outdoor floral design. It was such a fun day! The photos below are highlights out of my personal life from doing fall activities, attending my Godson’s baptism, celebrating my other Godson’s 6 birthday, making and donating 145 dog toys to a local shelter and spending time with family. 2017 was a great year and I can not wait to see what 2018 has in store for both me personally and my family! 

 Photo credit: Mary Rose Photography Venue: The Haight, Elgin, Illinois 
Photo credit: Mary Rose Photography Venue: The Haight, Elgin, Illinois 

Thank you for all of your support this past year. I could not have done it without each and every one of you. Without all of your love, support, guidance, friendship and faith, Ashley Nicole Events would not be looking back at another successful year, and certainly not looking to a brighter future. May your new year be filled with love, faith, family and friends! Cheers to 2018! 

Series Finale: Part 3 of Ask A Wedding Planner Anything!

During the past three weeks, we have walked this path together while I have been answering all of your burning questions about wedding planning. We are in the home stretch and I am so happy to have taken this journey with you. My goal is to set your mind at ease during this crazy busy time in your life. Let’s get to it, shall we? 

Q. How do you handle difficult family members?

A. Unfortunately, we live in a world of divorce, remarriage and lifestyles that not everyone agrees with. I would hope that for one day, people could put their differences aside. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. If it is two parents who are divorced and do not get along, it could be as simple as placing them at separate tables. Each situation is different and I am happy to listen and work together to find a mutually agreeable conclusion for all parties involved. I have dealt with every situation imaginable and am happy to offer suggestions on a case by case basis.

 Weddings bring family dynamics to a whole new level! Photo Credit: Wyn Wiley 
Weddings bring family dynamics to a whole new level! Photo Credit: Wyn Wiley 

Q. How do you deal with difficult vendors?

A. This generally does not happen if my client has selected someone off of my preferred vendor list. I reserve the right to remove any vendor off of my list at any time for actions that do not best represent me or my brand. If there is a specific situation, I work it out with that vendor individually. If and only if the client needs to become involved would that conversation happen. Most of the time, it was all based off of a simple misunderstanding and all can be resolved to provide you, the client, with the best service possible.

Q. What happens if the wedding gets cancelled or we have a change of heart?

A. It would break my heart to see you cancel your wedding for any number of reasons. I understand sometimes, things happen and you might no longer need my services. I do require a non-refundable deposit upon signing the contract, which guarantees you are my only client on the date of your wedding. This ensures that I begin working right away and do not book another client for the same day. Depending on the payment structure you have chosen and when the wedding has been cancelled, would determine if you owe any additional money beyond the deposit.

 Look at that happy couple! I would have been so sad if they changed their minds! Credit: Wynn WIley
Look at that happy couple! I would have been so sad if they changed their minds! Credit: Wynn WIley

Q. What happens if my planner is unavailable?

A. This is a great question! You are hiring me to do a job for you and I will in good faith be there to accomplish the vision we have created together. If for some reason beyond my control, I am unable to attend to the duties set before me, three things would happen. First, I would reach out to you and let you know the situation. Second, just like the relationships I have created with vendors, I have the same relationships with other event planners. At any given time, I have 6 planners I can call who would step in for me during an emergency. Third, I would connect you to the planner and you would approve the change.

Q. What happens if something goes wrong on my wedding day?

A. If we have had clear and constant, open communication throughout the planning process, this generally does not happen. People are human and make mistakes, such is life. It is my job to divert any issues that might arise before you ever knew there was a situation to begin with. This is why you hired me to be your planner and not your Mom/sister/friend/aunt.  For example, if by mistake, your caterer ordered the wrong number of chairs and you were 10 chairs short you would never know I had to do an emergency chair order. I wouldn’t bother you with the little, but necessary details unless it was a dire emergency.  I offer a debriefing after each event with my client to go over all of the details of the wedding. This allows for open and honest communication between myself and my client. I am always looking for ways to improve and it is only through client feedback I am able to improve my service.

Whew, that was a lot of really great questions! I am so glad you stuck it through until the end. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to ask. I absolutely love making sure you are comfortable in this process. Weddings are tricky, but they don’t have to be. 

 Thanks for coming on this journey! Catch ya on the flip side. Photo Credit: K+B Photo 
Thanks for coming on this journey! Catch ya on the flip side. Photo Credit: K+B Photo