We’re fortunate to be in a city with so many great wedding vendor options but the downside of this is that there’s so many great wedding vendors it can be hard to choose!

Here’s our list of companies/people/places/things that we’ve head the pleasure of working with and would highly recommend (in alphabetical order by category):

Bands:

Becca Kaufman
Becca Kaufman Orchestra
You will be so happy with Becca!  Her entire band is fun, experienced, and scalable (number of pieces). They also played at my (John’s) wedding!

Ken Arlen
Arlen Music Productions
This just might be Chicago’s most experienced event band.  I don’t think there’s a single Chicago venue at which they haven’t played!  Ken is great to work with and adaptable to your schedule, but also super busy (so check availability ASAP!)

Ceremony music/cocktail hour:

Neil Dixon Smith
Neil Dixon Smith
Whether its a black tie event at the Art Institute, or a small gathering in your parent’s back yard, Neil creates the perfect atmosphere to enhance your ceremony/reception.  He also plays at various venues around the city, (not just at weddings,) so make sure to check out his website to hear him live!

Catering:

Molly Schemper
Fig Catering
I’m not a “foodie” but I LOVE Fig’s creations – creative, delicious, and venue approved (on most venue’s VIP list).  Molly is very easy to work with and has an awesome team to back her up!

DJ’s:

Spencer
Style Matters DJ’s
Ovation
Pretty much anyone from Style Matters rocks, but Spencer happens to be our favorite.  His dance floors are always packed and he does a great job keeping things on schedule and well heard!  Style Matters also recently opened their own private venue space available for rent recently – Ovation – check it out if you’re looking for a cool new venue!

Floral:

Kelly Marie
Fleur Chicago
The amazing things Kelly and her team can do with floral design will blow you away!  We’ve worked with her a few times at Morton Arboretum and her works truly are beyond imagination!

Patty Kudlacz
Events by Fairy Godmothers
Being an “Oak Parker” myself I’m biased towards Patty’s services, but she really is capable of handling nearly all budgets/wedding sizes and is super experienced and informative in her abilities.

Invitations:

Emily Hartung
Carnelian Creative
Emily puts her heart and soul into her custom invitations making them intricate, personal, and truly one of a kind!  I believe she makes all her works by hand, so make sure to give her plenty of notice for your event needs!

Photography and Planning are ultra personalized and important categories so I’ll let their websites speak for themselves and urge you to choose accordingly.  The below list is prioritized by our recommendation, but, again, totally up to you!

Photography:

Colin Lyons
Colin Lyons Photography

Chris Ocken
Ocken Photography

Vanessa Wheeler
averyhouse photography

Others to check out:
http://www.ingridbonnephotography.com/
http://gntphoto.com/
http://stofferphotography.com/
http://www.mishamedia.com/
http://www.briankinyon.com/

Planners/Coordinators:

Lori Stephenson, Tara Moser, Kirstin Karklin, Kristy Diana
LOLA Event Productions
Reliable, detailed, vendor connector

Brooke Righeimer, Christine Stone, Anne Malcolm
Tying the Knot
Extraordinary, creative, transparent

Heather Lynne Vickery
Greatest Expectations
Timeless, stunning, connected

Beth Bernstein
SQN Events
Experienced, indispensable, connections

Others to check out:
http://www.clementinecustomevents.com/
http://livenitup.com/
http://www.jdetailedevents.com/
http://www.sweetchicevents.com/
http://naturallyyoursevents.com/
http://www.citygirlweddings.com/

Transportation:

Michael Yonk
Limo Tainment
The first time I had the opportunity to work with Michael on an event, I was blown away with his personal attention to his client’s schedule and priorities.  His knowledge of Chicago (and traffic patterns) makes him the perfect choice to round out your vendor team!