Elise & Mike’s Wedding–the Prep

I’ve been out of touch the past few days because David and I went to Chicago for my middle sister’s wedding; it feels so odd that my little sister is married!  Elise and I have always been close and I think her husband, Mike, is just great, so it was really exciting that they were tying the knot.  The wedding was absolutely “her” and we loved it.  We had a full schedule, but loved seeing so many friends & family, old & new. 

I’m going to have to split the wedding into a few posts because there’s a lot to cover!  We arrived with my little sister (also from Texas), Gilli, on Thursday morning and went straight to the venue to help Elise & Mike set up for a couple hours.  The wedding was going to be at Kitchen Chicago, a shared-use kitchen that had a large event space on the west side of town – kind of like a warehouse district.  When we first arrived at the building our taxi driver said “a wedding?!  here?!” because it’s next to a bunch of junk yards and industrial buildings, but luckily once we ventured inside we realized why she picked such a hip, unique space.

Elise had really envisioned the wedding and had done a lot of prep work so we could easily take everything out of boxes and get it set up.  She had made a ribbon wall divider to separate the ceremony and dinner area.


These were the funniest.  Yes, that’s my dad holding my husband up by his rear as he climbs up the beam to hang the ribbon wall – boys!


After setting up for a few hours, we made our way back to our hotel and changed for the rehearsal dinner at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba – don’t you love the name?  It was a tapas bar with a set menu, and lots of bottomless Sangria!  I really enjoyed the white sangria.  The private room was lovely and warm; it was fun to meet the families and celebrate.


The food was amazing – we joked that we were carb-loading for the wedding with all the potato dishes.  Like so many aspects of the wedding, Elise had taken the time to make cute schedules for the family.  No details spared!  She majored in graphic communications, so she had some great cards, invites, etc.


With full bellies we made it back to our hotel to get some rest for the big day ahead!

On Friday morning David and I joined Elise & my parents for the remaining set-up at the wedding.  The tables were to arrive, as well as flowers and a few other rentals.  We had 3 jam-packed hours of running around, but it all came together.  I was amazed at Elise keeping calm and staying until the last minute getting everything organized.


Here’s the final product – first the ceremony space, complete with packets of confetti for the guests to throw as well as instructions to add #bernswedding to any photos they post on instagram (great idea!).


The dining area came together well too.


And lastly there was an upstairs event area complete with DIY photo booth and corn hole.  Yes, Elise is talented – who makes a DIY photo booth?!


Around noon we grabbed a cab to a boutique hotel room where we’d do makeup and where Elise & Mike would stay that night.  My sister, Gillian, and I were bridesmaids, and my mom was getting her hair done there as well.  The other Chicago-based bridesmaids were getting their hair done by their stylists.


The hair/make-up process always takes longer than you think; after a couple hours Elise whizzed off to get pre-ceremony pictures with Mike, then we taxied over later to join her for bridal party pictures.


#Selfie – actually I cut my mom out because she would not have liked the picture of her.

Next up – the main event!

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