Photo: Pen Carlson
While you may be marrying your best friend, when you're engaged and planning a wedding, that slot is going to be filled by your wedding planner. Luckily, Chicago's top coordinators and event designers are not only talent but pretty cool as well. Definite BFF material.
This premier event design firm handles everything from fabrics and furniture to lighting and décor out of its 100,000-square-foot warehouse. Its reputation precedes, though, when it comes to floral design — think custom botanical walls and floral centerpieces large enough to transform a ballroom into a lush garden space. Creative Director Bill Heffernan and his team of designers have worked in nearly every venue in the city, and his status as an industry vet means this firm can handle any request to make bridal wishes come true. Read real brides' reviews here!
A Perfect Event
We're smitten with owner Debi Lilly. The Oprah Winfrey Show vet — who styled on-set florals and décor, as well as planned the TV legend's live 50th birthday celebration — is a nationally recognized entertaining expert with an amazing eye for design to elevate any event. Most recently, she shared her decades of experience in her book, A Perfect Event, launched an affordable collection of décor items available at Safeway, and debuted her own Parisian-inspired event space, DL Loft. To boot, she's a lovely person — it's hard to ask for much more! Read real brides' reviews here!
Bliss Weddings & Events
You know those people who can juggle a hundred tasks, execute them to perfection and do it all with a great sense of humor? That's the crew at Bliss. Owner Renny Pedersen and her team will conceptualize and plan your wedding down to every small detail, and they're exactly the kind of fun people you'd want around on your big day. Didn't budget for a full wedding coordinator? This June, Bliss is launching a new division called Wrap It Up Parties of à la carte party planning services. Read real brides' reviews here!
Birch Design Studio
Since founding her own boutique event firm more than a decade ago, Marina Birch has become one of the city's go-to planners to design and orchestrate weddings. What keeps her on our radar is her creative, trendsetting eye and discerning taste in the luxury market.
President Tom Kehoe is a leader in the field—and at the top of every bride's wish list—when it comes to designing a truly experiential event. From traditional elements like floral tablescapes, lighting, and furniture arrangements to the truly unexpected, guests will be wowed and everyone will be in the mood to celebrate. Read real brides' reviews here!
Taylor & Co. Events
Whether you're in the market for complete wedding design, day-of execution or styling services, this contemporary event design firm offers a variety of services to meet differing needs and budgets. Derrick Taylor is the one to call if you're feeling like you need a partner in planning, because let's face it, your real partner just doesn't see the difference between blush and pink peonies.
This full-service event production firm is prepared to handle any request — from custom décor built by in-house craftsmen to graphic design and video elements. We hear senior event designer Jeffrey Foster begins with the basics, devoting time to listen to clients, understand their vision and make the execution process an enjoyable one. After all, this is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. Read real brides' reviews here!
Michelle Durpetti Events
We love how this event planner customizes services for each bride and groom. The endless amount of decisions can break the most seasoned Type As, so even if you're handling the task yourself, consider her option for month-of services a wedding gift to yourself. Plus, as managing partner at legendary steakhouse Gene & Georgetti and its new venue opening this summer, The Estate by Gene & Georgetti, her family has more than seven decades of hospitality and service expertise, which translates to her discerning clientele. Read real brides' reviews here!
Helmed by Justin Jacobson, who got his start producing events in Miami, this full-service firm delivers sophisticated wedding and event design with a fun, nightlife vibe. Plus, in true South Beach-meets-Chicago style, their DJs know how to pack a dance floor, so your guests better bring their A-game: No bunny hopping allowed!