I Did It!!! (Part 1)

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for an unforgivably long time… I was starting to feel just a tad overwhelmed with work, wedding planning, and guest preparations. I’m sure some of you can relate. But worry not! I made it through alive and am now a happily married lady that is ready to get back to blogging for all of you who are just trying to have a wedding in the city without putting yourself (even further) in debt.

Since it has been so long, I don’t even know the best way to cover everything so I’m going to break this up into multiple posts for the next couple weeks. I’ll start with pictures of our wedding venue though because I have received emails and comments from some folks that are dying to know what Kitchen Chicago ended up looking like! So to get this party started, I give you a set-up/decoration post. I hope you all like it! Leave me some comments if you have any questions about anything!

The Venue – Kitchen Chicago
Kitchen Chicago filled with our guests (100 of them) and a whole lot of love.

 I’d like to start this section by giving a huge shout-out and “thank you” to Alexis and Nicolle from Kitchen Chicago for being so helpful and accommodating with my non-traditional wedding. Every request and inquiry was given a response quickly and I don’t believe there were any requests that were denied. (Of course, I only asked things within reason…)

A nice view of the ceremony setup before people took their seats.

When the rentals arrived before I got there, Alexis was able to buzz them right in and oversee the drop off (along with the fabulous Charlene from Sweetchic Events, but that’s a-whole-nother post). When the chairs were dirty (again, this deserves another post as well), Alexis was right there to help me and my friend find some rags and cleaner and wipe them all down. When the night was over and some decorations were still lingering, they found a welcome home in the closet until she had another event scheduled. The rentals couldn’t be picked up until Monday and guess what? She let me leave them there! (Originally, there was an event scheduled for the next day but the solution was to house them in the garage until pick up! How accommodating!) I have to say that when you are down to the wire in planning, a vendor that is willing to work WITH you instead of against you is so very helpful and much appreciated.

You can see our bar table set up in the left corner.
Beautiful details like this keep decorating to a minimum.
 My Flowers
I love flowers very very much. They are nice to look at, brighten a room, smell nice, and generally make me smile. But when it came to choosing flowers for my wedding, well, I was stumped. I had a very small budget for these pretty things and I put them near the bottom of my List of Things to Worry About. I did, however, know that my bouquet, along with boutonnieres and corsages for our parents and grandparents, were a necessity. The decorative ones took a backseat. After doing some very complicated and intricate investigating (read: Yelp searching), I found a place near-ish to Kitchen Chicago called Adams and Son Gardens on Western. 
With my Mom, sister and hydrangea bouquet after our First Look.
I went on location to scope it out and was greeted with friendly, smiling faces and a ton of beautiful options to choose from. The lady there that does the arrangements (forgive me as I forget her name!) was actually already booked for my wedding day – May 7. After explaining that I didn’t need arrangements for the whole place, just the bouquet, 3 pin corsages and 3 boutonnieres, she said she thought she could squeeze it in for me. Yaaay! I was so excited! I requested a hydrangea bridal bouquet (cheap!) and anything yellow for the rest that would fit in my budget. She made them all up for me well within my budget for a grand total of $143.33. My (now) sister-in-law graciously picked them all up for me to save delivery charges and dropped them off at my sister’s where I was getting ready on the day-of.
Walking down the isle with my dad and his boutonniere.
While I was setting up the space on Friday before the rehearsal with my dear friend, Michelle, and amazing coordinator, Hollie, I realized that there was something missing. By the way, not a great thing to think the day before your wedding. Michelle foolishly asked me before we headed out to our rehearsal dinner, “Is there anything else I can do at all?” to which I replied in a last-minute decision, “I think I need flowers.” Eeek! Now, Michelle has a degree in Interior Design so she knows a thing or two about color and form and I trust her style completely. This, however, does not mean she is a florist. Instead of protesting, she kindly accepted with a smile, asked me what “feel” I wanted and said “I’ll take care of it.” What a friend, huh? My clumsy description of what I wanted was something along the lines of: wild flowers, yellow, rustic, pretty. Ha! How “bride” of me. Anyways, this is what I got:
Exactly what I was hoping for!
She went out the next morning to begin her search and ended up hitting the jackpot at Whole Foods. For $160.00 she was able to give me an arrangement for every guest table and for the food, cupcake, and welcome tables!!!! The Ball jars were lent to me mostly by Hollie (some were Michelle’s) and made the whole thing come together.
Welcome Table
As a Welcome/Guestbook/Gift Table, I used one of the big, beautiful wooden tables that Alexis has in the event space. She helped carry it out of the doors to the hallway with the elevators. There is a nice little alcove there before the doors to the event space that was a perfect spot to keep large gifts and a greeter if you have one. On the table, I also set up a dedication section with photos of our parents and grandparents at their weddings. All 6 of those couples are either still together or were together until death, which was really inspiring for us on our wedding day and something special that I think is pretty rare these days.
Welcome Table – that’s my maternal Grandma’s wedding book!
I also purchased a plain white, wooden cutout “G” from the craft section of Joann Fabrics (for our last name) and a wooden planter box to use as a card box (with plastic lining removed and turned around to hide the “Fleurs” lettering on one side). Total for those items was about $10. The photo prints were about $15-$20 and the frames were $1 each from the Dollar Store. 
Other Decorations
Hollie from Sweetchic was absolutely fantastic with helping keep my decoration costs down by lending me her Ball jars (used for flowers), Christmas lights (for the banister and staircase, seen below), and the cupcake stands and platters (also below). At the suggestion of Hollie and Charlene, I bought 72 candles and holders from Quick Candles to place on tables and around the event space to create a mood and make the place look more “decorated.” This cost me a total of $50 after shipping and was well worth it. I also had a banner made to put above the cupcake table that read “Love is Sweet.” That was a gift from my friend Cathy that was made by her disgustingly talented sister. She also threw in some cupcake flags she made that matched the banner which were supplemented by my mother-in-law with wedding ring toppers and Martha Stewart food picks from Joann Fabrics.
Borrowed holiday lights.
Borrowed cupcake stands, homemade and store bought flags.
So you can see our layout.
We had the above setup for the ceremony and with the help of Hollie and some willing guests, the chairs were moved around and tables (high and low – 36″) were brought out from the area through that door to the right in the photo above to look like this for the reception:
Chairs around the low tables and cloth to the floor on the highboys.
I think that covers everything for the decorations! I had some balloons tied to the gate outside to mark the location since it’s tucked away a bit from the street and put up a sign that said “Gomez Wedding” on the door. I think it turned out great and ended up looking just decorated enough but not overdone to compete with the beauty of the space. A post about our rentals (tables, chairs, and tablecloths) is on it’s way.
Let me know what you think in the comments! And if you have any suggestions for other readers or questions, post those too! Can’t wait to fill you in on more of our budget wedding!


  1. Melissa says:

    Hello! I’ve been so stressed out lately trying to fit a wedding into a (what I think is big, but the wedding world things it small) budget. Haha. I still haven’t booked Kitchen Chicago yet, because I’m trying to find the vendors for tables and chairs. Who did you get and how many high and low tables did you get?

  2. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Hey Melissa! I feel you on the “small” budget. Ours was the most I’ve ever paid for anything (excluding our condo)! Wedding world budgets are unrealistic and impractical. But I could go on forever… We used Abbott Party Rental for our tables, chairs, & tablecloths. HOWEVER, I do not necessarily recommend them. The chairs arrived dirty. 110 chairs that looked like they had all just gotten back from the farm. It set my decorating/set-up back by over an hour trying to clean them all. They also didn’t give us instructions on how to unlock the big rope things they have holding the stacked chairs together and my dad nearly pinched his thumb off trying to help. As an alternative I would recommend Party Central (partycentral.org). They have extremely competitive pricing and very friendly customer service. I ended up ordering 10 low tables and 12 high tables for 100 people (36″ round).

  3. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much!
    I did look up Party Central and they are cheaper. The linen there is more expensive then other places. I am thinking about just buying it. It is going to come out cheaper that way, and my mom can use it for her church. I am not sure yet. I’m still in the beginning stages where everything is a little bit stressful!
    Thank you again for your help! You’ve helped out at least one stressful bride-to-be! haha

  4. KB says:

    Hi, there. We just checked out the space today for a fall 2012 wedding. I’m curious. What did you do with the guests in the transition from ceremony to reception?


  5. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Did I not respond to this?! I’m so sorry! Congratulations on your engagement! During the room transition, the groom and I went outside to take family photos and then we opened up the bar. We designated a couple guests to get in line to give everybody the cue that it was ok to get themselves a beverage and everyone was busy mingling and greeting each other. It worked really well actually. Our day-of coordinator was helpful in guiding the transition, but the guests caught on and were busy talking to each other.

    I hope this answered that… feel free to send me an email (budgetbrideschi@gmail.com) if you have any more questions or just need to talk out the details. 🙂


  6. Meg says:

    Hi Crystal!
    I’m looking seriously at this space, but am hesitant as the room feels a little small. Did they have any information for you on how many it could fit for a seated dinner reception?

    • Le Sorelle Weddings says:

      Hey Meg,
      Kitchen Chicago can fit 150 for a seated dinner. That is really their maximum although I believe they have done 200. If you are doing a cocktail reception you could probably get 200. I’m a wedding planner /designer. My sister and I focus on helping brides have a Chicago wedding without blowing their budget. Kitchen Chicago is a great space. If you are looking for something a little bigger there are a couple other places in Chicago that are BYOB without restrictive catering lists. If you need any help or a day of coordinator, we would love to help. Check out our facebook page: http://www.ittybittyurl.com/hwe

Leave a Reply