Back in June, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing an idea I had come to life in the most incredible way. From the moment I discussed this event with Amy at Modern Luxury Weddings, I was really excited. Originally we were thinking of hosting a planner driven event at our venue The Estate, in Rosemont, IL to introduce the space to fellow planners who had not seen it or experienced the amazing food and service. The gorgeous ballroom can seat up to 265 with a dance floor, and offers couples a really chic option for a wedding, engagement party, or even outside of weddings for private, social and corporate events. Once we started talking though, I realized there was a much bigger opportunity right at my fingertips but it was going to require a seriously beautiful event to wow the senses in order to pull it off.
Cue my very first conversation with Smitten Boutique. Erin is one of the most fun people to work with ever (they actually did some amazing things for my own wedding, this is how much I love them!). She is creative, fast, dependable and always solution oriented. Favorite traits for a fellow creative partner, especially when working weddings. I knew they would be a great fit!
So for the last several years, I have been obsessed with a runway presentation that Dolce & Gabbana did down in Capri. They had modest stroll down to the sea wearing these amazing colors, with texture and pattern and it was dazzling to me. It felt like what the inside of my brain might look like, and I knew that one day I would want to create an event with that. And that was what started it all!
The invitation to the event was simply spectacular, and really set the tone for what was to come. Complete with Oscar De La Renta stamps and a wax seal, it was amazing.
Once I knew that Capri was where we were headed, I knew we needed some really strong talent to bring something truly beautiful to life. I also know that as a vendor, there are many requests for things in trade and requests for sponsorships so I had an idea instead of going to four amazing designers, so that they could each have one beautiful table. It allows for creativity and collaboration while not breaking the bank, which is something I always try to be wary of when doing events like this.
I was THRILLED when my dear friends and fellow creatives Exquisite Designs Chicago, Kesh Designs, Erin McDonald Co, and Northern Greenhouses all came on board and were excited about bringing Capri to life!
After that, Windy City Linen and Hall's rental graciously came on board to provide linen and rentals and then I really started getting excited! After that, I knew that we needed some really cool entertainment and I was dying to bring in a mandolin so it would feel like the kind of lunch you can grab in Capri right by the water and hear music playing from somewhere. You know that feeling if you have been to Italy. That warm, sun filled and joyful feeling on your skin as you smell amazing foods and see gorgeous views?? THAT is what I wanted to bring in to the Estate. Thankfully, Becca Kaufman and Beatmix came right in.
Aries charter helped us create a "spritz shuttle" that could transport guests from the city out to our ballroom. We had the pickup at our original Chicago location in River North, also allowing guests to see each of our concepts currently in the world!
Food was up next, and that was such fun! The Estate team created something so amazing with Chef Luis that started with stuffed calamari, and floated over to gorgeous insalata caprese with locally sourced heirloom tomatoes and bufala mozzarella that was to die for. We paired both of these dishes with a Lambrusco, and that light, bubbly aided red was the perfect compliment to the antipasto and primo. After that, we had a family style fusilli with pomodoro e basilico, because we were trying to stay very true to a Caprian menu - and those ingredients are essentially olive oil, tomatoes, a little sea salt, fresh sea food, and lemon. Which is a pretty delightful base from which to build a menu! The past was paired with an amazing alta mora that I could not stop enjoying! And then finally, after the chef made a home made blood orange intermezzo, we had the entree - which was branzino aqua pizza. Aqua pizza is a traditional Italian dish, it is poached white fish and boy, is it delicious!
Home made biscotti and lemon cookies on platters came after lunch, and on the way out of the ballroom guests were able to take gelato home with them thanks to Frost Gelato! That was SUCH fun!
Special thanks to Automated Lighting Design for including our gorgeous turnkey logo on the dancefloor!
Before we began lunch I had a chance to talk about Turnkey Hospitality and how this hospitality group is going to take out brand into a new era! I was so excited to talk about our new concept, Bar Ida. Named after my grandmother and created in the vein of an authentic Italian bar, this is going to be the place for your morning coffee, and then the kind of place you can get a fantastic, quick lunch, an amazing happy hour cocktail or a great dinner with loved ones. Locally sourced ingredients, family recipes, a lot of love and a some serious style. Bar Ida will be coming to you this fall and I cannot Wait!
Please enjoy a few teaser photos from Kent Drake Photography who was kind enough to come on board and give us some seriously beautiful photos!
Media: Modern Luxury Weddings // Photography: Kent Drake Photography // Floral // Design: Erin Mcdonald Design // Floral Design: Kesh Designs, Inc // Floral Design: Exquisite Designs Chicago // Floral Design: Northern Greenhouses // Linens: Windy City Linen // Rentals: Hall's Rental Service // Invitations, Menus & Placecards: Smitten Boutique // Mandolin Player: Beatmix Music // Gelato: Frost Gelato // Dance Floor: ALD Lighting // Living Statue & Italian Style Gown: ZZAZZ Productions // Transportation: Aries Charter Transportation, Inc // Planning & Styling: Michelle Durpetti Events // Location & Catering: The Estate