Archive | Real Weddings

Pink Bling

It is not everyday that a bride requests all things pink and sparkly! But it’s not everyday that you meet a bride like Dawn. Dawn and Chris have actually been married 25 years to the day when they celebrated their anniversary in style. Dawn and Chris eloped the first time around, but this time Dawn wanted the full shebang!

I had the amazing pleasure of helping Dawn create the vision she had in her mind for her fun, high energy, very pink, and very blinged out wedding day! Dawn and Chris renewed their vows in the Chapel at Dinolfo’s in Homer Glen. The bride searched high and low for her classic strapless satin rhinestone encrusted gown. She accessorized with fabulous pink heels, a rhinestone tiara, and a cascading veil. She looked stunning as she walked down the aisle to meet her groom.

The couple’s sons were also a part of the beautiful ceremony, each pouring sand into a single vase symbolizing the family unity. After the “I Dos”, outstanding photographer Robb Davidson snagged a few shots of the couple and their VIPs before heading inside to get the party started! The ballroom at Dinolfo’s is striking. The guests entered through twin staircases under sparkling chandeliers.

In the center of the dance floor stands the piece de resistance: a stunning three tier cake trimmed with rhinestones and surrounded by custom monogramed and blinged out petit fours created by Amy Beck Cakes.  The bride and groom take their seats at a raised sweetheart table with the same lovely pink backdrop dripping in crystals and pomanders accents that was used as the altar backdrop. Flowers by Steen also created the breathtaking lush centerpieces.  

Because the bride wanted the full bridal experience, they were sure to fit in a bouquet and garter toss. The evening was capped off with delicious late night pizza! I think it is safe to say this bride got her day!

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Venue & Catering: Dinolfo’s | DJ: Okyne Media Lab | Officiant: Pastor Joe | Florist: Flowers by Steen | Photography: Robb Davidson Photography | Videography: Just Hitched | Bakery: Amy Beck Cakes | Makeup/Hair: Appease | Transportation: Classic Wedding Cars | Wedding Now Coordinator: Allie House


Beyond Glamorous at Galleria Marchetti

Jillian and Gary could not be a more down to earth couple. They like to spend weekends playing vintage video games and hanging out at home. When it came to their wedding day they most definitely kicked it up a notch or two.

Glamour, twinkle, and shine radiated throughout all of the wedding day details. Yet, the day still felt relaxed because Jillian and Gary were still being their authentic selves. Both the ceremony and reception were held at Galleria Marchetti. The iron gate leading into the courtyard greeted guests with a vintage welcome mirror. As they approached their seats for the ceremony they passed by a polaroid photo booth which also acted as a guestbook for the couple. Once guests took their selfies they continued on to where the seating cards were strung in front of the ivy wall. They took their name cards and replaced them with a photo for the couple.

The bride walked down the aisle in a stunning fit and flare gown with a long sleeved lace overlay. She carried a lush romantic bouquet with seeded eucalyptus, dahlias, and roses in shades of blush, ivory and soft pink. She met her groom at the altar under a twinkling chandelier. The chandelier, along with the vintage furniture, only upped the glamour of the night. The chaise lounge was a favorite of the couple as well as guests for photo opportunities.

After the ceremony, the party got started right away with passed pink bubbly. As the guests entered the reception they saw large contemporary chandeliers hanging from the soft fabric draped peaks of the all season pavilion. They were treated with lovely floral details by A Stem Above. Lush garland draped across the head table and gracefully hung down the backdrop framing the wedding party.

The guests’ tables were adorned with wood cut out table numbers bedazzled with glitter. The sparkle continued to the cake table swathed with gold sequins. Even the cake was glamorous with a soft pink ruffled tier and a tier covered with edible sequins!

Being a part of Jillian and Gary’s wedding day was incredible. From helping ensure all of the glamour of the day was showcased to recommending A+ vendors, it was our pleasure!


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Venue: Galleria Marchetti | Photographer: Maria Harte Photography | Officiant: Chuck Bono | Rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings | Transportation: Bus Bank | Florist: A Stem Above | Video: Shutter and Sound | Bakery: Amy Beck Cake, Vanille Patisserie | DJ: Okyne Media Lab | Hairstylist: Christine DeMark | Bride’s Hairstylist: Lindsey Olsen | Makeup: Tamara


Rustic Romance

Whitney and Tom brought a little bit of country to the country club! Both the bride and groom started the day getting ready at the Eaglewood Resort and Spa. The couple chose not to see each other before they walked down the aisle. This allowed for them to make the most of their fantastic day of transportation, the Barrel Run bus! This unique vehicle really helped set the tone for the day. You know you are going to have a great time when your ride is a gigantic wine barrel!

Once everyone arrives at St. Isidore, the bride is escorted down the aisle in her dazzling lace appliquéd ball gown with a beige sash.  To complete her look, the bride wore cowgirl boots! Complementing the bride’s look were her lovely bridesmaids. They wore one shoulder gowns with a lace bodice overlay and clutched hand tied bouquets of white roses and lamb’s-ear. The bride’s bouquet echoed the bridesmaids dresses deep jewel tone.

After the first kiss, the couple was joined by their wedding party for some scenic shots on the golf course at Eaglewood Resort. Their guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the rooftop before heading down to the reception portion of the evening which was held in the fabric draped pavilion. The guests’ tables were accented with burlap table runners. Centerpieces alternated between small floral wooden flower boxes and tall manzanita branches with hanging candles which were each designed by the talented Abby Flowers.  

Hand painted wood table numbers and sweetheart table sign stating, “you’re my favorite”, continued the rustic style throughout the room. A fun blue mason jar displayed the brides bouquet for the remainder of the evening. Whitney and Tom enjoyed each moment together.

It was our pleasure to ensure that the night was fun, exciting and enjoyable. We are thrilled to be a part of making their wedding day the best day ever!

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Ceremony Venue: St. Isidore | Officiant: Joe Hlubik | Ceremony Music: BSCE | Reception Venue: Eaglewood Resort and Spa | Florist: Abby Flowers | Cake: Oak Mill Bakery | DJ: Dustin Harris | Photo Booth: Timothy Whaley and Associates | Photographer: Jorge Medina Photography | Videographer: Brides Day Video | Lighting: Elegant Lighting | Transportation: Barrel Run, First Student Buses | Hair & Makeup: Pin Me Up Chicago | Wedding Now Coordinator: Allie House


The Red Lacquer Room

Ever since seeing the Red Lacquer Room, just one of the Palmer House’s majestic ballrooms, a number of years ago while touring venues I have been obsessed! So I was over the moon when Anna and Brian asked me to coordinate their wedding there.

As stunning as these pictures are, you have got to see the Red Lacquer Room in person to behold all of its awe-inspiring beauty. Just as the name suggests, the rooms’ walls are a deep merlot shade of red from floor to ceiling. Gold accents draw your eyes up to the ballroom’s high ceilings which host a number of crystal strewn chandeliers. Each one adorned with ruby red crystal teardrops to tie into the rooms theme.

Anna and Brian kept tradition and the bride and groom did not see each other until she walked down the candlelit aisle. The bride carried a bouquet of solely red roses. Her attendants bouquets were smaller versions of the bride’s only with both red and cream colored roses. These were among the only flowers of the day, less a few boutonnieres and corsages for honored guests.

At the altar the couple stood next to two large wine barrels that displayed the brides’ DIY decor. Anna paid homage to the bygone era of speakeasies and glamour with her arrangements. In addition to anchoring the altar each table at the reception had a personally curated collection of decanters, pearls, and wine corks displayed in vases and stemware.

The wine barrels used during the ceremony were became the couples “guestbook.” After mingling at cocktail hour the guests returned to the ballroom and signed their well wishes directly on them! Anna and Brian plan on uses the barrels as a base for a bar in their home.

Anna and Brian wanted to share with all of their guests some background details on their wedding party to let everyone know how much they mean to them. For each person during the bridal party introductions DJ Peter Merkle of Chicago Wedding DJ’s read short stories the couple had composed about their friends. It was a huge hit. Right before the cake cutting the DJ melding together another story. This time it was the love story of Anna and Brian. This unique detail was prepared with questions and tidbits of information Peter got from an interview with the couple. Their superb cake was designed by Cake Chicago. It was absolutely stunning!

After a night of reminiscing, celebrating, and dancing, Anna and Brian made a grand exit through a human tunnel of family and friends. At the end of the evening each guests left with a either a miniature bottle of wine or bourbon echoing back to the overall theme of the wedding.

It was a great joy to be a part of such a amazing day. I’m so happy we were able to help ensure the success of Anna and Brian’s day by coordinating all aspects from vendor set up to late night bite services for them. It was evident that they were able to have a fantastic time and enjoy each moment without concern.

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Venue: The Palmer House Hilton – Red Lacquer Room | Catering & Rentals: The Palmer House Hilton | Photographer: Michael Paul Photographers | Flowers: Mariano’s | Officiant: Pastor Scott Oberle | Ceremony/Cocktail Music: David Rotchford | Reception Entertainment: Chicago Wedding DJ’s | Cake: Cake Chicago | Hair & Makeup: Paige Balash | Wedding Now Coordinator: Allie House



River Roast Wedding for a Cool Couple

Sarah and Mike have this spark between them that is rare. Each of them radiates energy, joy, and kindness which is only compounded when they are together. Their wedding was exactly that.

Sarah started her day getting in the comfort of her condo surrounded by her family and bridesmaids as well as the couple’s beloved dog, Zoey. On this tremendous occasion, it was a priority for the couple to get a few pics with their pup after they had officially tied the knot.

Sarah and Mike chose to not see each other before walking down the aisle. Old St. Pats set a breathtaking scene with its vaulted sanctuary and gentle glow of the sun streaming through its stained glass windows. The bride carried a lush bouquet of ivory and blush roses. Sarah wore a timeless fit and flare strapless gown with a ruched wrap bodice. Her groom stunned in a great navy tuxedo.

The Bride’s mother actually designed all of the centerpieces for the reception. The tall eiffel tower vases topped with white lily arrangement shined in the industrial chic space of River Roast. The guests enjoyed a lively performance by the Blue Water Kings Band. The groom even jumped on stage with the band for a special serenade to his bride.

One personal touch that was especially fun was Sarah and Mike’s wedding cake. Instead of a traditional tiered confection they had West Town Bakery reproduce the Stanley Cup in cake form. On top a custom cake topper made in the likeness of the couple wearing Chicago Blackhawk Jerseys.

As a wedding planner, it is days like this one that stand out. Helping such a wonderful couple feel like there isn’t a care in the world on their wedding day is our greatest pleasure. We were so fortunate that Sarah and Mike chose Wedding Now and included us in there vendor team for this amazing day.

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Ceremony: Old St.Pats | Reception Venue: River Roast | Photographer: Orange2 | Video: Poetic Productions |Band: Blue Water Kings Band | Florist: Steve’s Flower Market | Bakery: West Town Bakery | Makeup: Blend Beauty Studio | Transportation: Second City Trolley | Photo Booth: Shutterbooth Chicago  | Wedding Now Coordinator: Allie House


Sophisticated Style

Faith was an important part of Meghan and Tony’s wedding day. After getting ready at the breathtaking historic Palmer House Hotel, the couple saw each other for the first time as the bride walked down the aisle at Queen of Angels Church. She looked striking in her strapless gown, finished with a sparkling sash. The bride carried a stunning deep red bouquet filled with lush roses and calla lilies. Bridesmaids were dressed in matching satin navy dresses which let their red rose bouquets really pop.

When the ceremony ended the couple and their wedding party took off on a classic trolley from Second City Trolley for photos with their wedding party. The bride’s cathedral length veil made for some amazing compositions.

Meghan and Tony hosted a standout celebration at the School of Art Institute Ballroom. The feeling of grandeur was instantaneous as you walked into the room, which was entered from double spiral staircases. With crystal chandeliers, marbled pillars, gold molding, and stained glass two story windows, the ballroom is opulent from floor to ceiling. The guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the wraparound balcony which was perfect for getting a rare birds eye view of the sophisticated table settings and grand dance floor.

The tables were draped in a satin navy linen off set with red napkins for a truly striking look. Lush red rose centerpieces were surrounded by mercury glass votives. Even the gold silverware was coordinated beautifully with the table settings. The expansive dance floor was a classic black and white checkered pattern that by night’s end was filled with guests. Before dancing began, it was the ideal backdrop for Meghan and Tony’s traditional three tiered buttercream wedding cake.

I love how much joy is captured in the faces of the bride and groom in each photo. It was our pleasure to help ensure their wedding day was the amazing sophisticated affair they imagined!

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Venue: School of Art Institute Ballroom | Catering: School of Art Institute | DJ: Toast and Jam | Officiant: Queen of Angels Rev. Monsignor James Kaczorowski | Florist: Roscoe Blooms | Photographer: George Street Photo and Video | Bakery: Dinkels Bakery | Makeup: Appease – Milka | Transportation: Second City Trolley, M&M Limo | Wedding Now Coordinator: Allie House



Backyard Bliss

If you have ever envisioned your wedding day as personal, relaxed, and happy, then you will want to take notes. Liz and Dan were as easy going as a couple gets. Their low key but polished backyard wedding was on point with personalized vows, yard games, and Hoosier Mama Pies.

The day began at the Groom’s family home in Batavia, IL. Liz along with the VIP women of the day took over an upstairs room to get ready. Theodora Bourikas gave the bride her elegant hairstyle as well as the other members of the group. Natural yet professional makeup was precisely applied by the talented Jenessa Blaine. All of the ladies looked lovely.

As the ladies finished putting on their attire, the hustle and bustle of setup began. Blue Peak provided the picture perfect white tent that would house all 130 of the day’s guests. Clean, crisp linen adorned each table. However, the showstopper was the hand made rustic wood planters filled with herbs that the guests could take home and enjoy. They and groom put a lot of love into creating each centerpiece.

The fragrant herb centerpieces complimented the wonderful food catered by My Chef. In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Liz and Dan choose to provide Hoosier Mama Pies as dessert. The rustic pie bar was a huge hit. Liz and Dan kept their guests cool throughout the evening by setting up ‘misting stations’ where the bride place infused water in fine mist spray bottles. This was particularly helpful for when guests while playing on the backyard regulation bocce ball court, a project that Dan’s parents had the push to get done now with the wedding being held at their home.

Even if guests didn’t win at the yard games they were sure to enjoy the signature cocktails and live music. The bride’s father had once played in Four Man Band and stepped in for a few songs towards the end of the night. For those who didn’t want the party to stop, Spare Wheels transported the group to Gammon Coach House to draw out the night.

I love backyard weddings and as Liz and Dan’s day of coordinator, I was thrilled with all of the romantic and personal details they had put together. Often times backyard weddings come with their own challenges that you typically don’t worry about at more traditional venues. It was our pleasure to ensure the coordination of the layout, timing, and vendor set up all made sense to create a flawless day for the couple.

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Photographer: Shalena Eaton | Band: Four Man Band | Dessert: Hoosier Mama Pie | Officiant: Robert Selden | Transportation: Spare Wheels | Tent: Blue Peak Tent | Hair Stylist: Theodora Bourikas | Makeup Artist: Jenessa Rifkind | Caterer: MyChef Catering | Planner: Allie of Wedding Now


Eclectic & Colorful City Wedding

Staci and Gary’s high energy receptions was one of my favorites to plan start to finish. I loved that Staci and Gary had truly claimed this as ‘their wedding’. This celebration was designed to fit. This is not your typical wedding.

Staci and Gary’s family live on opposite sides of the country, so when they had the opportunity to have a formal affair on the West coast they jumped at the chance to make their Chicago fete’ as fun and laid back as possible. This way family and friends who couldn’t make the trip out to California would still be able to gather and celebrate the couple.

The jumping off point of our wedding planning centered around Staci’s favorite color palette, all shades of turquoise and aqua. They also knew what band they wanted to play, Mallrats. With this in knowledge in hand we set out to find the perfect venue that was bold enough to support their colorful taste and comfortable enough to embrace the “soundtrack of the 90’s” rock. For a touch of a mellow vibe Laura Joy of Belleisle was the ideal choice for the cocktail hour sound.

When Staci saw Catalyst Ranch for the first time she fell in love. The cool retro decor in bright hues fit right in with their own quirky sense of style and panache. With that component checked off our list, we began focusing on who would capture this fun event.

Kathy and Becky of K&B Photography were the dynamic duo that got the gig. With double the memory capturing power of a single photographer we knew that they would be able to capture every detail of the day.

One other highly important detail for the couple was that they wanted to include Mexican Cuisine. Both Staci and Gary have Mexican heritage and family. To get authentic Mexican food, La Cocina Fusion was the ideal choice for catering! They did such a wonderful job. Everything from the taco bar to the signature cocktail, Palomino, were huge hits. La Cocina Fusion even provided the lovely zarapes, mexican blankets, for the buffet which coordinated great with the venue decor and brought an additional personal touch. One special request from the bride was that she would be able to add Cozy Noodles crab rangoon to their cocktail hour menu. The caterers were happy to help coordinate this.

Vintage tables were set with alternating shades of turquoise napkins at each place setting along with personalized Chicago themed cookie favors by By the Park. The table number frames, a steal at $1 each from Ikea, matched the color theme like a dream. The table numbers themselves were designed and printed by Invitations Etc. Steve has a great attention to detail and insured us a beautiful color match.

Larger signs at the reception were also printed by Invitation Etc. but were designed by Etsy shop Jade Forest Design. Chicago framed guest book sketch was purchased from Near and Dear Designs, also found on Etsy.

One of the most unique request from the bride was that there would be no fresh flowers. We accomplished this with the help of Bloom by Tina and Dollie. They created wonderful planted succulent arrangements for each table and surrounded them with silver mercury glass votives to echo the vintage style of the room.

Sweet Mandy B’s made a delicious and fun cake featuring the Chicago skyline and the couple’s favorite graphic novel hero, Batman. Photobooth services were provided by The Booth Revolution. The glittery scrapbook was the perfect touch of fun and was designed by the Etsy boutique Pink Fish Shop. The night was just as the couple wanted. High energy, good food, and great friends.

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Catering: Cocina Fusion | Specialty Food: Cozy Noodles | Band: Mallrats | Florist: Blooms by Tina & Dollie | Favors: By The Park | Stationery: Invitations Etc. | Large Sign Design: Jade Forest Design | Photobooth: The Booth Revolution | Silk Flowers & Table Number Frames: IKEA | Photographer: K&B Photography | Bakery: Sweet Mandy B | Makeup: Elana Darrus | Wedding Now Planner: Allie House


Romance & Beauty, The Abbington

The Abbington is a suburban beauty. With it’s expansive ceilings and crystal chandeliers it was an obvious choice for Brittany and Eric to host their reception. Just entering the building you got a sense of grandeur and romance.  

As the bride prepped she enjoyed the company of her closest friends. We Only Do Pretty gave the bride her berry kissed lips and romantic ringlets as well as creating breathtaking looks for her bridesmaids. Both ladies and gents got ready at the Westin Lombard which boast a great view of Chicago, giving the couple a little bit of city chic with their hometown familiarity.

The couple wed at the bride’s family church, Faith Lutheran in Glen Ellyn. The striking stained glass display immediately gave the sanctuary feel of awe and wonder. Minimal pomander balls lined the aisle and were thoughtfully reused in the centerpieces at the Abbington. Complementing the ruffled poufs the bride carried a bouquet made up of roses, peonies and berries in blush and ivory shades. The bridesmaids wore a lush lavender shade which was highlighted with tuffs of periwinkle blooms mixed in their flowers. Atmosphere Event Group did a beautiful job tying in the designs from the ceremony to the centerpieces at the reception provided by Shamrock Gardens. They added the perfect touch of romance to a room that could have easily been over designed.

Some of my favorite pics from this wedding have to be of the bride and groom simply enjoying each others company in nature. The Morton Arboretum was the ideal stopping point for them to take a few minutes to take in the day with only each other. Laura Fisher Photography was truly able to capture the feeling of them being alone without missing a moment.

After the photo session Windy City Limousine chauffeured them to the banquet hall. There they stepped into their grand ballroom to an applause of guests. Their wedding cake was stationed centerstage proclaiming, “Best Day Ever.” A very fitting statement.

Between the memorial photos, individual menus, monogrammed favors and all of the other small details it was our pleasure to be able to coordinate and set up each detail ensuring the couple was blown away when they entered the room.

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Photographer: Laura Fisher Photography | Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films | Reception Venue: Abbington Distinctive Banquets | Ceremony: Faith Lutheran Church | DJ: Essence Entertainment | Florist: Atmosphere Events Group | Venue Florist: Shamrock Garden | Cake: The Baking Institute | Transportation: Windy City Limousine | Stationery Lucky Invitations | Accommodations: Westin Lombard | Dress: Volle’s Bridal & Boutique | Hair & Makeup: We Only Do Pretty | Men’s Formal: Men’s Warehouse | Wedding Now Planner: Allie House


Chicago Glamour and Fun

Brigitte and John are the quintessential Chicago couple in so many ways. They are the couple that everyone wants to be friends with. They’re smart, sophisticated, and not afraid to get down and party! Brigitte’s effervescent personality compliments John’s “quiet” (until it’s not) presence.

Brigitte chose to get ready at the glamorous W City Center, with all nine of her bridesmaids by her side and they didn’t hesitate to start celebrating the day. Decked out in monogrammed robes, a gift from the bride, they had fun posing for pictures and showing off their glam style, courtesy of the brides long time personal stylist, Gina.

Brigitte and John chose Ping Tom Park as the sight of their wedding ceremony. Not only does this hidden gem boast stunning skyline views and a trendy industrial vibe, it is also a place that was already held near and dear to the couple. When they first started dating they both lived in the area and visited the park together. Signs adorned with gold and navy balloons directed guests to the right place. Chairs were set up theater style facing the altar area on top of a small hill. The perfect natural stage.

Florist, Peggy Garvin of Garvin Gardens, added just enough of a floral touch to set the stage in the already beautiful location. She placed two large urns atop of pillars that perfectly framed the couple during their vows. The bride carried a lovely bouquet that featured a variety of ivory roses. Then, to up the romance of the look, Peggy wrapped the flowers with a twisting vine of ivy. The groom’s boutonniere complemented Brigitte’s bouquet of flowers. It was also white with a cluster of ivy at the base.

Once guests arrived on location, they were welcomed with monogrammed glasses to enjoy the signature cocktail bar before finding their seat to relax in the warm autumn weather. The wedding party entered to the specially curated selection of music provided by DJ Nick Castle, who also spun at the reception.

Brigitte and John wanted to keep the upbeat vibe of pre-ceremony celebrations going and processed out through a human tunnel leading their guests to their special transportation to the reception. They had rented Chicago Water Taxi to cruise down the Chicago River and take them to the party destination, River Roast.

When they arrived to River Roast, Brigitte and John looked like a million bucks cruising in wearing their shades. The restaurant was perfectly suited for the couple’s chic style with its modern industrial decor of brick interior walls, casual enough to be fun, and cool enough not to be boring.

Photos of the couple and their families were peppered throughout the venue. Mercury glass candles gave a moody glow over the room. In lieu of a traditional guestbook there was a nod to the couple’s love of travel. A vintage suitcase was filled with well wishes written on postcards from places fond to Brigitte and John.

Instead of your ho-hum photo booth, Brigitte and John provided their guests with a portrait photographer from Fotio, a revival trend I’m thrilled to see coming back! This day had so many moving parts. It was a challenge to ensure everything flowed seamlessly. We were so happy that Brigitte and John entrusted Wedding Now to take on that task so they could be their fun, carefree selves on their wedding day.

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Florist: Peggy Garvin | Transportation: Chicago Water Taxi & Second City Trolley| Photo Booth: Fotio | Photography: Heather DeCamp | DJ: Nick Castles | Event Rentals: Classic Event and Tent Rentals | Hotel: The W City Center | Ceremony Location: Ping Tom Park | Reception Venue: River Roast | Wedding Now Planner: Allie House