Start with imagination

Katie & Greg, Ignite Studios Wedding

September 22nd, 2014

Katie and Greg have such an illuminating love! And, our job was to resinate that illumination and love with their guests for their late summer wedding this year.

In preparation, we visited Ignite Studios in Chicago’s West Loop with the couple and their wedding coordinator, Joan from Five Grain Events. The cool palette in the main room, the natural setting outdoors, the stunning rooftop view, the venue was the perfect choice accented by the most exquisite array of colorful blown glass artwork.

For the day-of design, Deborah and her team of creatives started by adding luminous strands of Italian globe lights angling down from the roof. To complete the enchanting look, the lights were set on dimmers for a romantic feel way into the evening.

The soft illumination of globe lighting continued inside, to add that extra softness and to lower the ceiling throughout the main room. White asian lanterns of various sizes were hung at different heights to give a whimsical and playful look.

As the guests entered the venue, they felt that illuminating love as they looked across the yard and saw the continuity of lights through the venue’s large window walls.

Vendors: Ignite Studios // Art of Imagination // Five Grain Events // Katie Kett Photography

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Posted in: All in the Details, Ignite Glass Studios, Real AOI Weddings, Wedding

Ignite Glass Studio Fall Festival

December 9th, 2013

So many of our events take place inside, yet it’s so much fun when we get to take our decor outside and enjoy nature.  To celebrate Fall, Ignite Glass Studio hosted a Fall Festival and it just happened to take place on the most perfect fall day. They featured many of their artisans and beautiful glass pumpkins. Kids had a blast making their very own glass sculptures as they enjoyed fabulous treats from local food trucks.

Our design team brought in comfortable outdoor furniture and provided spacial design to create a flow for the guests. With multiple vendor tables, live musicians, glass blowing workshops, and a rooftop beer garden, the entire event was a family affair celebrating the beauty of autumn. Here’s a couple of photos provided by Heather Ahrens.

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Posted in: All in the Details, Ignite Glass Studios

Friendsgiving Feast

November 27th, 2013

Over the years we develop friendships that are as strong as family ties. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday time, we often want to share it with our friends. Friendsgiving is the new term for this fun and festive dinner party. It’s a more casual environment, unlike the stereotypical family dinners that may be filled with a lot of emotions and stress.

Get creative with the table decor by combining vintage and modern plates with a few untailored DIY crafts. Use your Grandmother’s plates, that were handed down to you or even stop at at resale shop, like the Brown Elephant, and pick up some old vintage pieces where proceeds goes to a specific foundation. A table runner can easily be made from fabric remnants from your local fabric store. I selected a burlap fabric and just cut it down to size.

For the centerpiece, display a collection of pumpkins and branches with fall leaves that you can get from a local nursery or even your backyard. As a showstopper, I used hand-blown glass pumpkins that we made at a local glass blowing studio, Ignite Gallery….FUN! Then don’t forget candles, candles and more candles … your guests will love the intimate feel that they create.

On the buffet/beverage table I placed large tree branches in a glass vase. Paper leaf cutouts were available, and we asked each guest to write what they were grateful for this season. The cutouts were then tied onto the tree branches with raffa.

For the beverages, I went to a local brewery and selected some of the group’s favorite. If you are adventurous you can even brew your own. Have you friends bring their favorite side dishes that they love along with the recipes written on index cards. The turkey is key and the host(ess) of the dinner can create their own secret recipe especially with the stuffing. I love food network and always try new recipes…the question this year is to brine or not to the turkey.

It’s always fun to add some craft projects…I had soy, hand-poured candles that I picked up and went to a boutique paper store and purchased colored vellum, printed the letters T-H-A-N-K-S and cut it to size and tape to the cylinders….voila a nice centerpiece on my fireplace.

This photo shoot where we displayed ideas and suggestions for you was set at the beautiful urban venue Loft on Lake in the West Loop Chicago and all the photos taken by Steve Garrett from Lofty Weddings. Please see our list below for other vendors that helped put this look together with their special items.

Have a Great Friendsgiving and if you need any guidance or suggestion fell free to email us at and I would be happy to help.

Style and Design: Art of Imagination
Platters: Nimblewell
Plates, glassware & silverware: Vintage Rentals
Handblown pumpkins: Ignite Glass Studios
Tables & chairs: Tablescapes
Table linens: Private Label
Beautiful venue: Loft On Lake
Photography: Lofty Weddings

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Posted in: All in the Details, Ignite Glass Studios

West Loop Wedding Venues Roundup

January 3rd, 2013

The West Loop, as the name suggests, is located directly west of Chicago’s downtown core. Where once the area was home to an endless number of factories and warehouses, today the neighborhood is well-known for the way art galleries, some of the city’s top restaurants, such as Girl and the Goat and Publican and meat-packing plants all mix and mingle as more and more empty old brick buildings are converted into luxurious lofts. Less known is how the area is also home to a surprising number of wedding venues.

These West Loop wedding venues, listed in no particular order, are all a perfect match for urban couples looking for something unexpected or unconventional for their Special Day. Over the years we have worked with all of them and wanted to share with you all of these unique wedding venues.


Loft on Lake

This West Loop wedding venue is a great way to start our list – an elegant and refined space, it is distinctly warm thanks to it’s exposed brick and vintage timber beams. The venue’s centerpiece is a sweeping, 65′-long skylight that floods the Loft with light during the day and makes it an ideal choice for hosting a ceremony. Having hosted hundreds of events since it’s inception in 2009, Loft on Lake joined the Green Wedding Alliance, giving couples looking to “Green” their Special Day. Explore our work at this venue. Visit their website.

West Loop Wedding Venue

Room 1520

Just a little over a year ago, this West Loop wedding venue was a virtual unknown but in just a year, it’s modern and minimal aesthetic has charmed Chicago couples who have flocked to the venue to experience it’s clean lines, crisp white walls and a flair for the unexpected, as each couple tends to truly transform the space for their weddings. See more of our work at this venue. Visit their website.


Galleria Marchetti

This venue has been a well-known wedding and event venue for many years – even with the spate of recent venue options popping up in the West Loop, the Galleria has everged stronger than ever, hosting dozens of gorgeous weddings that give urban couples the best of both worlds: an urban setting, a lush outside area the flexibility of customizing their events as they see fit. See more images from the gorgeous purple-tinged reception at this space here.  Visit their website.

West Loop Wedding Venue - Salvage One

Salvage One

Among west loop wedding venues, Salvage One is perhaps most recognized – for years also functioning as a vibrant architectural artifact resale store – the lower level of the building supplies some of the city’s most stylish with unusual and historic elements from all around the world. The rambling setting plays host to wedding and receptions – with ceremonies in the fun outside fountain area and the receptions in the exposed and airy upstairs. Visit their website.

West Loop Wedding Venue - Ignite Glass

Ignite Glass Studio

Ignite Glass Studio is the newest addition to West Loop’s wedding venue scene – this recently opened space is a functioning glass and art factory, where dozens of artists create beautiful and intricate artworks. We hope future Chicago couples are inspired by the space’s creative pedigree and open & flexible layout for their events.

Kitchen Chicago - West Loop Venue

Kitchen Chicago

Kitchen Chicago may be, even among west loop wedding venues, a somewhat unexpected choice, considering it’s also a functioning shared kitchen space for a number of local bakeries and other businesses. With the right touches, however, the space is transformed into a warm and intimate space that is ideal for couples looking to have a really personal experience in a unique space, without breaking the bank. Visit their website.

Posted in: Ignite Glass Studios, Loft on Lake, Real AOI Weddings, Room 1520, Venue Partners, Venue Spotlight