With all the focus on summer brides, autumn weddings can sometimes feel neglected or overlooked. As the smothering heat of summer begins to wane and cooler temperatures emerge, the foliage changes to a rainbow of warm, inviting hues in rich tones not seen any other time of the year. Autumn is the best time of year for Chicago weddings!
That’s why we want to pay homage to the fall season with its gorgeous palette of deep, luxurious colors. We are proud to share three spectacular autumn weddings from our partners at HMR Designs in Chicago and know that they will make you fall further in love with autumn weddings.
The historic Drake Hotel in Chicago is known for its stunning architecture, so the team at HMR Designs decided to compliment this fall Chicago wedding with intricate floral designs. Suspended candlelight glows softly against the sheen of magnolia leaves, highlighting the gilded accents that shine atop chocolate linens. The floral designs showcased traditional elements such as green and white hydrangeas, peach and coral spray roses, and hypericum berries against more unique flora such as Maggie Oui orchids, scabiosa pods, gold-dusted pears and artichokes. The result is a rich palette of warm, luxurious layers that resonate a more traditional sense of opulence.
The Radisson Blu Hotel is known more for its modern and sophisticated take on the Chicago wedding, so HMR Designs decided to juxtapose this against a more rustic style for this September soiree. An abundance of candlelight highlighted the deep coral, blood orange and soft yellow of the floral centerpieces, aisle swag, and ceremony canopy. Birch and curly willow branches added a rustic element to the arrangements while charcoal linens, layered crystal and golden candles on the tables added a luxe element. The dark backdrop and golden lighting really allowed the colors to pop, giving this autumn wedding a rustic design with a luxurious glow.
Fall seems like the only time of year where we can truly embrace one of our favorite colors for a Chicago wedding – deep crimson. Paired with a rich gold, this color palette creates fluid warmth to the reception and lounge areas of the prestigious University Club of Chicago. Baroque candlesticks were wrapped in lush red roses that complemented the crimson swathed iron chandeliers. Candlelight gleamed from every angle – ceiling, walls, tables – creating a warm radiance against gilded glass and golden chargers. For an autumn reception, only the power of crimson can hold court in such manner.
Strictly Weddings partner, Jordan Payne Events, specializes in planning and designing luxury weddings in Texas and around the world. Outgoing and passionate with all the charm of a true Southern belle, Jordan is known for her keen attention to detail and her out of this world wedding styling. Based in Dallas, Jordan and her team plan some of the area’s most stunning weddings, including those of high society clients, executives as well as celebrities. Today, we’ve asked Jordan to share with us her list of five ‘must-haves’ for a true luxury wedding, accompanied by gorgeous imagery from her past ultra lavish events.
1. Upgraded seating
Luxury chair treatments take ordinary chairs to exquisite! This can mean elegant fabric ties, custom covers that fit over the back of the chairs or a luxurious fabric for the seat covers.
2. BIG flowers
Nothing says luxury like big, lush, sprawling, over-the-top floral arrangements. What an amazing place to show your personality and style – think tall vessels and a mix of high, low, large and small flowers in all the right places.
3. Luxury linens
Opt for designs that have texture or a slight sheen to give an opulent feel. Another idea is to choose three monochromatic fabrics but in different styles (perhaps a damask, silk dupioni, sequin cameo or tori overlay) so that they flow in the room yet create lush textural layers, rather than a flat color across the venue.
4. Couture invitations
Gorgeous, custom-designed invitations set the tone of your wedding. This is your guests’ first glimpse into your big day, so attention to detail is key. Whether modern, art deco, beachy, or romantic, your custom invitations are both a beautiful keepsake and a wonderful way to share your signature style.
5. Fabulous flooring
Having custom flooring installed in a ballroom at a wedding, or any event, automatically adds a high-luxury feeling. All your guests will notice, and it’s a focal point as they walk in the room. Want to add even more drama? Suspending a large chandelier or custom shade adds incredible wow factor as well as serves to anchor the room.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief tour inside the mind of the extraordinary Jordan Payne! All of the images of luxury weddings in today’s feature were styled and planned by Jordan and her amazing team at Jordan Payne Events.
More Information on Jordan Payne Events
Don’t let the gorgeous journey into of the world of luxury wedding design end here! There is so much more beauty to behold on Jordan’s website, blog, and facebook! Interested in scheduling an appointment to discuss your big day with Dallas wedding maven? Contact Jordan Payne Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 214.577.5880.
When speaking to Pauline Parry, wedding catering guru of Good Gracious! Events and a Strictly Weddings Los Angeles partner, one cannot help but be stricken by her lovely air of sophistication and class. A native of England with thirty years experience in culinary arts and entertainment, her refined taste, mouthwatering menus, and gorgeous presentations have earned her an impressive list of accolades and A-list clients. As a premiere Strictly Weddings partner who has her finger on the pulse of West Coast food trends, we are so delighted to share Pauline’s wise words on wedding catering along with a healthy serving of culinary inspiration.
Custom Menus | Make it Personal
As you celebrate your love and zest for life with all your closest family and friends, why not embrace your story with a personalized menu? “More and more couples want to share food with their guests that represent something special to them,” says Pauline. “It could be a cajun spiced southern feast evoking memories of a romantic getaway to New Orleans or perhaps a succulent crab and avocado slider bringing elegance to a favorite comfort food,” she adds. With less emphasis on formality, even the most luxury weddings have gotten more playful with their menus and ingredients. “Signature cocktails are also still big on the wedding scene,” Pauline continues. “We’ll often set-up a station featuring a delicious speciality beverage such as a classic Hurricane (for our New Orleans lovers) or a refreshing citrus martini for an outdoors, summer cocktail reception.”
Select Offerings | Keep it Simple
One of the recurring themes in our discussion with Pauline was the importance of streamlining the menu. “Too often couples stress about having something for everyone. Rather than thinking of how to accommodate every guest as a restaurant would, think of yourselves as the hosts of a large yet intimate dinner party,” explains Pauline. To better ensure each dish is beautifully prepared and that service runs smoothly, Pauline recommends all guests receive the same first course, such as a gorgeous mixed green salad, followed by just two or three irresistible main course options. “If serving a cheese course, choose only two, a hard and a soft, selecting the crème de la crème so that each bite is equally delightful,” she adds. In curating a menu edited down to a few of your absolute favorite dishes and flavor profiles, your guests not only get a delicious meal, they get to experience YOU.
Quality Ingredients | Focus on Delicious
Farm fresh, quality ingredients continue to be a priority for good reason. Food sourced locally, especially fruits and vegetables, have superior flavor because they are picked when perfectly ripe and are on your plate just days after harvest. “As culinary artists, one of our favorite things to do is to go out and do research. This might include a trip to a local creamery or cheesemaker in search of the the most exquisite ingredients for our menus,” says Pauline. In addition to the farm fresh movement, West Coast food continues to favor lighter, less fussy dishes that allow the ingredients to shine through. “One of our client favorites is a bruschetta station (see below) where a few beautiful ingredients combine to create amazing flavor,” says Pauline. The same concept holds true for their famous chocolate dipped pretzels. The secret is in the quality of the star ingredient: deluxe milk, dark, and white Belgian chocolate! The point is, keep it focused and simple sourcing the most beautiful ingredients at your disposable.
Good Gracious! Bruschetta Bar
- Yarra Valley Farm Feta, heirloom corn succotash fava bean, baby kale, shaved brussels sprouts
- Shaved gold and orange beets
- Medley of heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil
- Carved razor thin serrano ham
Presentation | Embrace the Artistry
We all know that presentation is just as important as the delicious factor when catering a wedding. The Good Gracious! team works closely with the couple to make certain both food and presentation blend beautifully with the theme. “We love to infuse mood in every detail. There is so much, for example, that can be said with just a serving spoon. Ornate gold, modern platinum, or rustic wood; even your serving utensils tell a story,” explains Pauline. Another area Pauline is adamant about is the presentation of her buffets. “I love a really clean buffet. With fewer items, the food looks more exciting and appetizing and your beautiful florals or focal piece get more attention,” she adds.
Service | Establish Preferences
Last but not least, Pauline talked to us about the importance of service in wedding catering. “A top notch catering team will think of themselves as clones of the bride and groom,” explains Pauline. Whether it’s clearing empty dishes, offering to refresh Aunt Ellis’ champagne, or noticing an elderly couple who might prefer coffee with their meal, the Good Gracious! team make certain their guests want for nothing. As a bonus to our readers, Pauline was kind enough to share a list of service questions that couples might consider along with her expert suggestions.
Water Service? Rather than heavily iced water (to keep water cold longer), GG! recommends serving chilled water to avoid the nuisance of a sweaty glass.
Bread & Butter? GG! strongly recommends eliminating bread & butter service altogether. “Why battle with smashed butter and endless crumbs on your gorgeous tabletop?” says Pauline. To compensate, GG! makes sure a hearty selection of tastes are served during the cocktail hour and will perhaps incorporate a bread as part of a first course… a twisted bread stick or a massive heart shaped crouton, for example.
Who should be served first at the table? While some continue to hold on to the tradition that ladies should be served first, GG! advises to let the catering team select a point person (perhaps an elderly guest) and serve clockwise around the table to get plates down as efficiently as possible.
How to serve? GG! always serves right-right, meaning beverages and plates are served to the right of the guest. Clearing is done to the left of the guest. “Sticking to this rule greatly eliminates the dodging of heads as you serve,” explains Pauline.
When to clear? Certain restaurants might consider it offensive to pull a plate before all guests have finished the course. “With large groups, especially big celebrations, its important to keep pace for the entire party. That is why we we begin to clear when half of the guests at a table have finished,” concludes Pauline.
For More Information: Planning a wedding in beautiful southern California and looking for ‘best in class’ wedding catering? Contact the Good Gracious! team by calling or writing them at: 323.954.2277 | email@example.com
We would like to thank the following incredibly talented wedding photographers for the gorgeous captures included in today’s feature: Jasmine Star featured in Brides.com | Brilliant Studios | Callaway Gable | Claire Barrett | Marianne Lozano