Cory & Packy 2.28.2014

Talk about a wedding that I LOVED working on!  This wedding is a perfect example of a wedding being a work in progress and teamwork.  The three of us worked together from the beginning with a few simple goals: have a great time and don’t spend more than needed.  Easy enough, right?  They had already selected the church and had an idea of the date:  St. Rita of Cascia in Chicago and a Friday night in February.  When you want to be budget minded a Friday night in the “off season” is a great start. adventure sign

“The Adventure Begins”

We started looking at reception sites.  After online research, we decided to spend a day looking at various sites.  On my way to meet them, I passed Georgio’s Banquets in Orland Park.  I had suggested it earlier but they weren’t interested.  At the end of our day out, nothing seemed to click.  I suggested they give Georgio’s a try – what did we have to lose?  After a full tour, talking with a catering manager and looking through a menu with pricing…they had a different opinion.  “Pleasantly surprised?” I asked and they both nodded.  We did our due diligence and filled out a full spreadsheet to compare all of the places we looked at, got rid of what they just didn’t like and decided that Georgio’s was the best value.

Cory was lucky and didn’t have to shop around much for her dress.  She found it at a great bridal salon and on a trip to another salon found it for much less – awesome win!  If you like the service or something about a particular salon but their price is higher than someone else – always ask if they’ll price match!  She bought her dress at Eva’s Bridal on LaGrange Road in Orland Park.

The color Cory wanted was Emerald (to go with her beautiful emerald engagement ring!).  A little trickier to find that color than we had thought.  She ended up finding the girls dresses online at:  While it wasn’t the exact Emerald color, the tones and materials worked out great.  Each bridesmaid got to pick her own style so they were all comfortable for the day.


One of the few “must have” items of the day was a string quartet for the ceremony.  Dolce Strings did a beautiful job and were so nice to work with! (Dolce Strings setting up for ceremony)


The details that went into this wedding are really what made the difference.  It was personal – incorporating everything Cory & Packy loved in a unique way.  How would we incorporate their love of video games, sci fi, legos, travel, music, etc. into one cohesive theme?  It was definitely an ongoing process.  Then one day Cory had a thought that put everything together: Adventure.  An adventure theme for a geek chic wedding encompassed everything!

The invitations set the stage for the entire event. Their own crest, footprints, childhood homes…just look!   These amazing invitations were done by Melissa Filipiak.

invite2 invite3 invite8

These invitations inspired the ceremony programs, menu cards and escort cards:

menu card placecard program

Upon seeing the entry to the church, I knew we needed something to mark the entry.  Arrangements on either side of the door greeted guests and let them know where to enter.  Inspired by the invitations, the signs read, “The Adventure Begins” and “Corinne & Patrick February 28, 2014” in Elvin font of course.  The aunt of the groom graciously made the signs out of the sides of an old drawer.

c&p sign adventure signrita outside

Because St. Rita is part of a school and not part of a parish, it is considered a “chapel”.  It’s huge!  And gorgeous!  The ceilings soar and you can’t help but let your eyes go all the way up.  Then there are the beautiful stained glass windows!  I knew we’d have to encourage eyes to come back down.  We asked the permission of the powers that be and were permitted to do some elaborate aisle decor as long as we cleaned it all up.  The pews are very modern and don’t have a good place to hang bows or anything else.  We were able to use small clear Command hooks on every 3rd pew.  (We tried one well in advance to make sure it wouldn’t take the finish off.)  The aisle is about 100′.  We draped tulle down both sides of the aisles hanging it at the Command hooks with a white silk pomander.  We also continued the tulle across the back of the last pews. Down both sides of the aisle we did a line of rose petals.  It took around 500 roses to get the look you see in the pictures.  Notes: I don’t recommend doing aisle runners on tile floors or petals down the middle of a tile floor – both are tripping/slipping hazards.  Also, the guests were seated from the sides.  The first 4 pews were not draped with tulle to allow the bridal party and parents to come down the center aisle and sit.  The center aisle was blocked with a piece of tulle to prevent guests from walking down before the ceremony started.

aisle3 back of churchaisle1

I worked with Allium Floral Designs for a lot of this wedding and they did an amazing job!  Of course I forgot to take pictures of all of the bouquets individually but I’m sure Chris at Timothy Whaley got them!  For now, here’s great pictures of all of the bouquets and the unity candle.

bouquets1 unity

Hiccups – there will be something that happens to throw your day a little off track.  And that’s OK!  It will be the funny story you tell everyone for years to come.  In this case the trolley driver got lost on his way to pick up the groomsmen (ask your transportation if they have a gps).  The ceremony ended up starting 20 minutes late.  It did mean that some pictures got cut (not much sun at that point) and the bridal party got to the reception after cocktail hour started.  Also there was supposed to be Dusty Miller in just about all of the flower arrangements and despite our best efforts, it just died.  We took the best of it and used it for Cory’s bouquet and Packy’s boutonniere.  I think I was the most disappointed by this!  I always say at the end of the day if you’re married, the day is a success!  The rest is just details.

down the aisle1 mr & mrs

The Reception!  I think we took Geek Chic and DIY to another level.  Again, using the adventure theme as inspiration we had a lot of fun.  Originally we talked about doing terrariums for centerpieces – each with the theme of something Cory and Packy enjoyed.  While the idea was fun, it was proving expensive.  Scrolling through Pinterest one night, I saw a backlit silhouette and thought, hmmm could that work somehow?  A couple of samples later, we were on to something!

star wars

The sets of 3 cylinders were rented from Allium, the images and quotes were printed on vellum and then taped onto the vases.  A votive candle was placed inside to backlight.  Cory and Packy found an image and romantic quote from many of the things they loved and we had our tables.  (Some of the themes included: Star Wars, Serenity, The Princess Bride, Legend of Zelda and Indiana Jones).  On the tables the cylinders were set with the taped edges in, in a triangular shape giving an all around centerpiece.  We added petals around the base and…


Six of the tables also had an eiffel tower style vase (tall, clear, skinny) with an arrangement of White Dendrobium Orchids on top to give the room some visual height.  The parents tables had picture frame boxes with a floral arrangement in the middle.  parents frame

Where else did we go DIY crazy?

The “CARDIS” made by the bride out of foam board and felt!


Mr. & Mrs. Pacman on the headtable.  Each bridesmaid place had a green ghost with a silver hair bow and each groomsman had a green ghost with a silver bow tie.

head table

Close up view…

pac details

Basket for the flower girl – simple white wicker basket, silk hydrangea hot glued on with sheer green bows.  Extra silk hydrangea was taped to bobby pins for her hair.

flower basket

Then, of course, are the details that few people see.  Like the custom coloring books for the kids table.

coloring book1coloring book2coloring book3coloring book4coloring book5coloring book6coloring book7coloring book8

A few more fun details to leave you with.  I know this has been a very long post but it really was a great wedding!

Signs from the ceremony moved to the reception “The Adventure Begins” was flipped to “The Adventure Continues”.

reception entry

The bride’s bouquet had a picture charm of all 4 grandmothers and was wrapped with the grooms grandmothers hankie – all of the women in their family have carried it down the aisle, what a great tradition!

handle detail

At the end of the day an adorable couple that met dressed as characters from “Serenity” at a Halloween party and bonded over videogames and legos had a beautiful wedding that respected their budget and let their personalities shine through.

Vendors Involved:

Ceremony-St. Rita of Cascia in Chicago,

Reception/Room Block – Georgio’s Banquets in Orland Park, IL

Photography – Timothey Whaley & Assoc. 

Airbrush Makeup –  Total Image Bridal  

Floral –  Allium Floral and Jennifer Sutton Events collaboration

Dresses – Cory: Eva’s Bridal on LaGrange Road in Orland Park


Quartet – Dolce Strings

DJ and uplighting – Tone Productions

Photobooth – Georgio’s Banquets

Invitations – Melissa Filipiak


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