When it comes to wedding receptions, there are a few ways to go about serving dinner. Whether you want to get creative with your meal- or want to go the more traditional route- is up to you. Emily Yao of Paramount Events is here to help you decide what type of dinner service you should have at your reception. 

Seated Dinner

A seated dinner is your usual wedding service where all the guests are formally seated and served a pre-plated meal consisting of greens, a protein and sometimes a dessert. Something to consider: How many options do you want to serve?  The most common thing we see are two proteins: a chicken and a beef, or a beef and a fish. A vegetarian is also usually included as an option. You’re definitely not limited to these options as some couples want to serve lamb, pork, or a shellfish. I even had a bride last year serve variations of Paella!

Julia Franzosa Photography

Julia Franzosa Photography

Dinner Stations or Buffets

Dinner stations allow for your guests to be seated formally or informally, and tend to the station at their leisure. This is nice when you want to give your guests many different options for food.  Something to consider: Do you want fun themed stations, or do you like a classic style buffet where the elements of a plated entrée are deconstructed and put onto a station? A themed station could be a Mexican station consisting of tacos and empanadas or a Chicago style station with Chicago Hot Dogs and Italian Beef. A classic style buffet usually consists of two proteins (chicken and a beef, etc), a starch (potatoes, barley, rice, etc), vegetables, a salad, and bread. Remember: you can always ask for variations of stations. Also, keep in mind that this option is usually more expensive since caterer has to bring in 20-30% more food to ensure they don’t run out!

Cocktail Style

Lastly, a cocktail style reception is a casual style of service usually consisting of passed hors d’oeuvres and smaller bite stations. Most of the time, cocktail style receptions don’t have full seating for everyone and work more on a flow basis. Servers will pass appetizers all night while attending to stations that have mini pizzas, mini burgers, and mini fries. Almost anything can be made mini, so don’t be afraid to ask! Are passed hors d’oeuvres your favorite part of a wedding? If yes, then this might be the style of reception for you. 

Abbey Moore Photography

What’s the best choice?

It’s really up to you and your fiancé. If you want more of a party/celebration feel – a cocktail style reception might be best or if you like the traditional plated salad followed by speeches followed by a dinner and more speeches, then a seated dinner might be best for you. Keep in mind, this is your wedding – so plan it how you want. For any wedding, social or catering questions – please reach out to Emily at eyao@paramounteventschicago.com. Happy Planning!

Last winter, we helped our client- Anita- throw the cutest baby shower at the Hotel Chicago. The shower was planned for her daughter-in-law, Heather, who was pregnant with a baby girl. Anita envisioned throwing a sophisticated shower with a more posh-feeling theme – and what’s more posh than shopping in Paris?

Anita made sure to plan a very interactive shower, so not only were there your standard baby shower games (bingo, don’t say “baby”, and a raffle) but there were a couple other super cute activities that stayed perfectly on theme as well. The first unique idea was to have an eco-friendly and all-natural make-your-own-perfume station. Guests grabbed a mini-perfume bottle, and mixed essential oils to create their own scent. Some guests chose from the pre-established perfume menu, which listed the ingredients for scents such as “Montamerte”, “Chateau de Versailles”, and “La Sene”.  The elegant perfume station was done with the help from Jenny of Noktivo (an eco-friendly salon). The second activity, which we think gave the shower the most unique flare, was the “shopping” aspect. Typically when a guest attends a baby shower, they walk away with one little favor. But at this party, guests were encouraged to “shop” at the Parisian boutique! Guests took a pink “shopping bag” and hand-selected their cute, artisan favors: nail polish, lovely soaps and perfume sachets, pashminas, and Eiffel Tower mirrors. Little chandeliers hung above the “shop”, that really set the tone for an upscale shopping experience!

The sweets table was in front of a lovely, red velvet curtain backdrop and displayed adorable “Bebe” balloons. The sweets (which included macarons, other sweets, and cookies by Scafuri Bakery) sat on adorable platters – some in the shape of mini Eiffel Towers. A savory lunch was offered as well – including a beautiful cheese tray, delicious croissant sandwiches, and a refreshing salad (all provided by FIG Catering). The mimosa bar was also a lot of fun – we included some mocktail ingredients for the mom-to-be to enjoy as well. All of the paper goods were designed by Carlene, the lovely event planner, and designed to go perfectly with the theme. Take a look at these amazing photos by Ed & Aileen Photography!


Happy new year, ladies and gents! With every new year comes a clean slate and endless possibilities. Wedding season has not yet begun, but we have a feeling of what 2017 has to offer. Here are some wedding trends that we think will really take off this year.

 

Non-Diamond Engagement Rings

Marilyn Monroe once said “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, but she was definitely generalizing. Not all girls love diamonds – some prefer sapphires, emeralds, or opals and these make great engagement rings. Non-diamond heirloom pieces are also being repurposed and given as engagement rings. We love this trend, because there are so many beautiful stones to signify love – not just plain old diamonds!

Photo by True Grace Photography

 

Bold Fashion

Fifty years ago, brides didn’t have to think twice about what they were going to wear for their big day. They basically had no other option than to wear a white gown with a veil to match. They didn’t even realize their lack of options – it was just assumed that’s just what brides wore. Luckily, these days (and now more than ever), brides have unlimited options of what they’d like to wear for their wedding. While soft colors like champagne and blush are very popular, bold colors like green, black, maroon and even pink are trending – and we’re so glad they are! This same idea applies to grooms, too. Gone are the days when grooms were implored to wear a tux- now we’re seeing grooms choose bolder patterns and brighter colors. This year, we think more couples will express themselves with their wedding attire by choosing more unconventional wedding outfits.

Photo by Soda Fountain Photography

 

Intimate Weddings

More and more couples are choosing to scale down their guest list, and celebrating their wedding with only their dearest friends and family. This comes as no surprise, considering how pricey large weddings can be. But aside from price, couples are realizing that their wedding day might be more fun and meaningful if only shared with their closest friends. Intimate weddings mean a higher concentration of love! Some couples who have a hard time eliminating people from their guest list even choose to have a destination wedding, so that guests can opt out themselves. It’s brilliant.

Photo by Lamb & Lark Photography

 

Cocktail Style Receptions

Weddings these days are stemming away from your typical timeline: ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing. We’re starting to see more weddings mix the order of events to make them happen simultaneously – and we love it. Cocktail style receptions are fun and energetic, allowing guests to mingle and enjoy themselves in an interactive experience. Instead of guests sitting down for an hour eating their coursed meal, they can eat, drink and chat at their leisure. This style of reception also encourages a more creative food experience. Couples can have fun food stations, focusing on small bites with big flavor. It’s perfect for the foodies.

Photo by Thistle and Twine Atelier

 

Repurposing Decor Elements

Our favorite trend gaining popularity is not only cost-friendly, but also eco-friendly. Couples are becoming more conscious of the amount of waste that is produced in the wedding industry, and are finding ways to reduce it. Why spend a ton of money on ceremony flowers for just forty minutes of use? That’s just silly. More and more, we’re seeing decor elements being used creatively throughout the entire event: like ceremony backdrops becoming the sweets table backdrop, or bridesmaids’ bouquets getting incorporated into the escort card table decor. We love incorporating green strategies into events, so we hope we see lots more of this in 2017. 

Photo by Tuan B & Co

 

There are so many exciting trends that are bound to make the 2017 wedding season great. We’re booking up fast, so contact Naturally Yours Events today to ask about our wedding planning and coordinating services!

Another great year for Naturally Yours Events has come to a close! 2016 was filled with tons of super fun weddings, a few dinner parties, a couple boozy wedding expos, and a handful of adorable baby showers. We can’t wait to party with you in 2017!

Here’s a peek at what Naturally Yours Events was up to in 2016:

Shopping in Paris, Heather’s Baby Shower

Photo by Ed and Aileen Photography
 

Wedding at Cheney Mansion, Alyssa and Jonathan

Photo by Ryan Moore Photography
 

Art Institute Wedding, Lauren and David

Photo by Peter Wynn Thompson
 

Wedding at The Columbus Park Refectory, Sam and David

Photo by Soda Fountain Photography Co.
 

Martha’s Vineyard Baby Shower, Kaustuhb and Sushma

Photo by Ha! Photography
 

County Line Orchard Wedding, Diana and Drew

Photo by Photographe Images
 

Wedding at A New Leaf, Michael and Michelle

Photo by Mark Federighi Photography
 

Acorn Theatre Wedding, Lindsay and Paul

Photo by Ryan Moore Photography
 

Adler Planetarium Wedding, Marguarette and Andie

Photo by Ann & Kam Photography
 

Nature Museum Wedding, Yeon Young and Sae Jun

Photo by Matushek Photography
 

Wedding at Greenhouse Loft, Sisi and Chen

Photo by Allison Williams Photography
 

Columbia Yacht Club Wedding, Andrea and Lee

Photo by Rivets and Roses
 

Wedding at P Productions, Andrew and Emily

Photo by Josh Ohms Photography
 

Wedding at Meridian Banquets, Sylwia and Paul

Photo by Pick a Pose Photography
 

Starved Rock Wedding, Danielle and Bob

<3

Photo by HK Photography
 

Wedding at Honky Tonk Secret Garden, Nick and Norma

Photo by Compean Photography
 

DANK Haus Wedding, Candice and Mike

Photo by BethLaurren Photography
 

Wedding at Danada House, Lisa and Lew

Photo by Lilly Photography
 

Germania Place Wedding, Jen and Blair

Photo by Tennile Sunday Photography
 

Greenhouse Loft Wedding, Michelle and Mike

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photo
 

Wedding at Bottom Lounge, Shannon and Liz

Photo by Zachera Wollenberg Photography
 

Wedding at Noah’s of Lincolnshire, Alison and Cliff

Photo by Chris Kim Photography
 

City View Loft Wedding, Francesca and Fumi

Photo by Tuan B & CO
 

Wedding at Artango, Sally and Jack

Photo by Studio Finch Photography
 

Room 1520 Wedding, Mallory and Jimmy

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography
 

Nature Museum Wedding, Natalia and Eric

Photo by Coach House Pictures
 

Wedding at Morgan Manufacturing, Sarah and Eric

Photo by Ryan Moore Photography
 

DANK Haus Wedding, Tina and Bill

Photo by Indigo Foto
 

Museum of Contemporary Art Wedding, Katie and Frantz

Photo by Andrew Stott Photography
 

Wedding at the Cultural Center, Katie and Jeff

Photo by Christy Tyler Photography
 

A New Leaf Wedding, Andrea and Paul

Photo by Angela Renee Photography
 

Wedding at City Winery, Brittany and Ben

Photo by Thara Photo
 

Wedding at Elawa Farm, Lydia and Brian

Photo by Thistle + Twine Atelier
 

Promontory Point Wedding, Mikki and Mari

Photo by Studio Rebekah 
 

Wedding at Hotel Palomar, Lisa and Kevin

Photo by J. Brown Photography
 

Entertainment Cruises Wedding, Jen and Dan

Photo by Cage and Aquarium
 

Wedding at the Abbey, Rebecca and David

Photo by Rebecca Borg Photography
 

Ignite Studios Wedding, Jennifer and Nick

Photo by Caili Helsper Photography
 

Wedding at Greenhouse Loft, Tracy and Ryan

Photo by New Vintage Photography
 

Woman’s Club of Evanston Wedding, Emily and Sean

Photo by J. Brown Photography
 

Honky Tonk Secret Garden Wedding, Stephanie and Justin

Photo by Lamb and Lark Photography
 

Wedding at Ovation, Rikki and Dan

Photo by Spoon Photo & Design
 

Riverside Receptions Wedding, Hailey and Jay

Photo by Studio Finch Photography
 

Wedding at The Ivy Room, Alison and Kevin

Photo by Rebecca Marie Photography
 

Studio Manarchy Wedding, Zachariah and Andra

<3

Photo by Megan Saul Photography
 

DANK Haus Wedding, Nina and Jordan

Photo by Tuan B & CO
 

Boho Boy Baby Shower, Dhruv and Vandana

 

Bridgeport Art Center Wedding, Brian and Deena

Photo by Ed and Aileen Photography
 

Camp Wokanda Wedding, Kristi and Nathan

Photo by Love is a Big Deal
 

Wedding at Cafe Brauer, Lisa and Dave

Photo by Steve Koo Photography

Happy anniversary to Alexis and Brian! One year ago today, these two tied the knot at St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church and celebrated afterward at the Adler Planetarium. Natural Beauties Floral provided the beautiful flowers, and Larry King Orchestra played amazing live music all night. Their yummy dessert was created by Sweet Mandy B’s. Thanks to Old North Film Company for capturing their big day through video, and to CiCi Pictures for taking charge of their photography. Have a look at the photos by Cici Pictures below to relive their big day!

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