Today last year, two Californian love birds decided to tie the knot in our beautiful city of Chicago. Jessica and Chris chose the Windy City as the location of their destination wedding for many different reasons, but mainly because of it’s accessibility and centralized location. Their guests came in from a variety of locations- everyone gathered in the heart of the US to celebrate Jessica and Chris’ union. The exquisite photos of their wedding day were taken by Z+V Photography. Take a look:





Being from California, it was very important to Jessica and Chris to get married by the water. This made Promontory Point an ideal venue for them. The backdrop of their wedding was a shimmering Chicago skyline sitting on the gorgeous and vast Lake Michigan.


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Jarrod from Rev It Up! was the officiant who helped the couple add so many personal touches to their ceremony. It was a wine ceremony in which the couple placed a special bottle of wine and two glasses, along with notes of love, to be opened together at a later time.




Repurposed farm wood tables held eclectic milk glass vases filled with lovely flowers from Fab Flora. The color concepts were soft pinks, pops of blues and sage, and purple. The centerpieces were held in lovely turquoise mason jars. There was also a travel theme incorporated into the decor- paper cranes folded from maps- sat on each place setting with guests’ name on them. Bar napkins as well as a variety of different bar coasters (all from bars they love) added a more casual touch to the place settings.




The couple liked the idea of getting married in a very “foodie” city. Foodies themselves, they just loved getting to know all the amazing restaurants when they came to visit Chicago. Their favorite kind of style of tourism is to go restaurant hopping-  ordering an appetizer and a drink at each place and moving on to the next.  They came to Chicago to eat and drink well – and they definitely did. It was really important to Jessica and Chris to foster a sense of family and community at the wedding, so they served all of the food family style.





Happy one year anniversary, Jessica and Chris!

Your big day is nearing closer and details are being finalized. One daunting remaining task may be creating the seating chart. Fear not! We’ve put together some helpful tips that will make the process go a little bit smoother than you might have expected.

Our favorite method for composing a seating chart requires some scissors, sticky notes, a pen, index cards or a poster board. First, cut up sticky notes in strips of four (with sticky side at the top) and write each guest’s name on the strip. Then, take some paper or index cards and write the table numbers down. Proceed to place strips around the table numbers until everyone has a seat and the tables are filled. Two great things about this method is that it’s easy to modify, and it allows you to actually visualize what the tables will look like. After hours of staring at an excel spreadsheet, this will mix things up and make things a little more interesting.

Table arrangmentss

Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings.


There are a couple of different ways you can organize your guests and the seating chart. The first option is that you can integrate both the groom’s and bride’s guests together, and seat them at mixed tables. This will encourage guests to mingle and get to know both sides. Just make sure everyone has at least one person at their table they already know or would enjoy chatting with. The second option is to have tables made up of people you already know will be comfortable with one another (example: bride’s extended family all at one table, groom’s at another).

Feel free to ask your closest friends and family members for their input. You may be surprised to learn that your siblings would rather sit with the cousins, or something of the like.

Of course, always make sure to seat married couples at the same table. Younger children should be seated with their parents, or at a designated kid’s table. This could be a good idea if more than a few younger children will be in attendance to your wedding.


Some more random tips:

– Say you have a large group of friends, and they can’t all fit at a single table. Split the group down the middle and fill the other spots with other people (you don’t want to leave out one or two friends from the group).

– Be conscious of where you plan to seat single friends – don’t stick them in a table full of couples and one other random single person. That could make them feel awkward.

– Try to avoid tables of all strangers.

– You may want to seat younger, more lively people near the DJ/live music. Grandma and Grandpa probably don’t want to be right in front of the racket!



Just remember – don’t stress! This is your day and it’s going to be amazing no matter where you seat your guests. Happy planning!

There are plenty of perks that come with working in the wedding industry. One is having the opportunity to listen to great jams into the late hours of the night. Luckily for us, we get to work with DJs that truly know how to keep the good tunes comin’. Gold Noise DJs is one of our personal favorites. Not only does she have a vibrant and charismatic MC persona, but she definitely knows how to choose tunes that will keep wedding guests tearin’ up a rug all night. Get to know Jena Nixon – the hip and gorgeous gal behind Gold Noise DJs!

Jena DJ Headshot - Gold Noise

Photo taken by Tuan H. Bui, Photographer. 

NYE: Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in?

Jena: My business is Gold Noise DJs, and we have quite a few specialties–proms, gyms, bars/clubs, etc.– but weddings are a personal favorite.

NYE: How did you get started, what inspired you?

Jena: Well, this month actually marks my ten year anniversary as a DJ. Before I started, I loved playing DJ by making mix tapes for friends and driving around aimlessly together, music blaring. I was a car stereo control freak, haha. I officially started DJing in 2005, entirely inspired by the musicians whose music I play. Pretty soon I realized that with my broad taste I had a real knack for curating the perfect playlist for all different kinds of events…especially when there’s a dance floor involved. So I started taking it more seriously, and really honed my skills and built my music collection. And continually build it. I worked for a couple of awesome DJ companies in New York and Chicago, but I knew I wanted to start my own business. So a couple years ago I finally did, and it’s been amazing.

Jena DJ 3 recolored crop

NYE: What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?

Jena: The love and happiness is contagious! It’s like everyone forgets all their stress for one night, and people really let loose and have a genuinely good time.

NYE: How would you describe your business’ style?

Jena: Trendy and fun without pretension. We try to avoid playing cliche wedding music, but we aren’t music snobs either. We have an appreciation for all genres, and everything from underground music to guilty pleasure radio hits. But first and foremost, we tailor to our clients’ taste. It’s what they envision for their wedding that we care about. Oh, and it’s not our style to be tacky on the microphone like, “Get your booty on the dance floor, Grandma Nancy!” Haha, we keep it short and enthusiastic without being embarrassing like that.

NYE: How far in advance should clients book your services?

Jena: I can’t believe it, but I’ve already started booking Summer of 2016 events! So the earlier the better. I still have availability between now and then, and sometimes just a few months in advance is all you need.

NYE: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Jena: Karaoke, writing, Netflix, eating(!!!), going to see live comedy shows and concerts, hanging out with my dog Luke (The Gold Noise Mascot, lol)!


DJ Lukey flyer

NYE: What is some advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing?

Jena: Hmmm, let’s see…On your invitation or in an email or Facebook group chat, ask your guests what songs would get them dancing. Send the list to your DJ as suggestions! It’s also a good idea to provide a basket of flip flops so that your female guests can take off those lovely yet cumbersome heals and really dance!

NYE: Do you have a favorite moment from a wedding that you can share?

Jena: Oh I have too many great memories to name just one. Lots of them involving the Hora. Or the last song of the night, because once I announce that there’s only a couple songs left people really make it count. They sing along, they sway back and forth, they dance like they’ll never be able to dance again, and there’s just so much love.

NYE: How can clients connect with you?