Monthly Archives: September 2012

Wedding Recap @ The Crystal Gardens
September 27, 2012

One of the weddings we had this year was custom built for this couple.  We had everything from the lamp & candelabra centerpieces made to the linens.   Take a look at how Stefani’s Catering, Jesse with Event Creative, Maggie Speaks, Sarah & Ryan with Miller + Miller Photography and everyone else that made this wedding possible! 

This was also the last wedding I worked with my friend and colleague Sheree Figler with Tablescapes.  Sheree was a gift to the Chicago Wedding Industry, a talented designer, and a perfectionist.  I miss her and am thankful we had the opportunity to go out with a bang.  She had the linens custom made for this wedding because she knew it was necessary!

Tuesday’s Tip: Professional Wedding Photographers Know How to Bare the Elements
September 25, 2012

In Chicago, for those of you who know this, the weather is always unpredictable.  Last week, one of the weddings we had was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, or the MCA.  The day before, we had the rehearsal and we were outside in the sculpture garden.  It was gorgeous outside.  The wedding day, it was 57, damp, and raining.  

There are a couple of lessons here….

1.  There was a back up plan that the bride and groom were happy with!

2.  The bride and groom did not get their hopes set on having the wedding indoors or outdoors.  They were happy to have space with their family and friends to get married!

3.  Having a photographer who can quickly change the plan from going on location to outdoor locations to indoor locations.

We were lucky to have Matt Haas & Sarah Olsen with Matt Haas Photography be the photographers for the day, making sure that the bride and groom were still getting all of the shots that they wanted and dealing with the rain coming on and off. 

TIP:  Have a rain plan on the day of for your wedding photographs and work with a photograph who knows how to be flexible on the day of!

Wedding Recap @ The Chicago Botanic Gardens
September 20, 2012

This wedding recap is from one of the weddings we planned at The Chicago Botanic Gardens. This is a great venue nestled in the heart of The Gold Coast.  It happens to be one our preferred places to work.  The team at The Newberry is great to work with!

The team that day consisted of Sally & Anthony from Liven It Up Events as the planner, Jesse with Event Creative, Misty Winter & her photography team with Misty Winter Photography, and Fig Media as the deejay.  This turned out to be a beautiful wedding even though the rain eventually came, by that point the cake was cut, the toasts were given and we were all under the tent! Take a look a just a couple shots Anthony & Sally got from the evening!

 Place Card Board!
 Dinner Reception
 Cake!  Those butterflies were placed on the cake by Anthony & Sally! 
From afar, the tent had a glow to it after the dinner was underway!

Just A Thought: A Hug
September 19, 2012

There is something to be said about a hug.  As a planner, I am used to hugging all the time, vendors, clients, friends, families, maids of honor, brides, grooms, sometimes, even the father of the bride!  I had one mother of the bride give me a run for more money this year on a hug.  

After the first meeting with the bride and her mother, I went to give the bride a hug and then here mother.  Her mother stopped me and said, “Anthony, I will only hug you if the wedding goes flawlessly.”  Talk about pressure… all for a hug.

 The wedding day came and at the beginning of the day, I said to the mother of the bride, “I’m getting my hug tonight.”  She sharply said, “We’ll see.”  The wedding day went as smooth as any wedding I have ever done.  The weather was perfect, we were a head of schedule, no vendor hiccups, it was perfect!

This particular evening, I had stayed with the couple all the way to the end of the night.  I was helping the mother of the bride into the car, she went to get in, then got out and asked me, “Where’s my hug?”  I responded, “Right here!”  It took 12 months and 14 days to get that hug, but I did it!

Give a person what she or he wants and they will reward you, even if the reward is a hug… just a thought.

Anthony Navarro, Liven It Up Events

Tuesday’s Tip – The Royals Have Made Trees at Weddings All the Rage!
September 18, 2012
Thanks to The Royal Wedding last year, we have seen a trend pop up, more and more.  Utilizing trees!  Now, in other markets, it’s pretty common to use trees, but here in Chicago, it has not been so common until this year!  Take a look at some of the weddings we have produced where we use trees to accentuate the spaces!

Wedding was in The Great Hall at Cafe Brauer, Catering was Blue Plate Catering, and Decor was provided by Scarlet Petal.
Same wedding as above, just after the room flip!
Here was another wedding at Cafe Brauer, ceremony on the Loggia, Catering by Entertaining Company & Decor by Scarlet Petal.

This Civil Union took place at The Ivy Room, catering by Food for Thought & Decor by Scarlet Petal.

Equality Friday’s, Become a Member of STAND UP
September 14, 2012

If you have not already heard, we are huge advocates of the new organization, STAND UP, Business Professionals for Marriage Equality.  Yes we know in part it’s because I, Anthony, am the Co-Founder of the movement, but I will tell you, I had my entire team of planners right there supporting me through the creation of this organization.  
We are wedding planners.  We help couples from all over the country get married about 40 weekends a year.  At Liven It Up Events, we believe that no matter who you are or who you love, you should have the RIGHT to be wed.  That is why not only am I dedicated to this cause, but so are the planners at Liven It Up!
The organization is for business professionals who want to put their business on trend with supporting marriage equality.  The huge out pour of support we have had already is astonishing.  It’s so easy to become a member that will receive to show your alignment with the cause.  
Visit today and join the MOVEMENT for only $50 per year or watch this video to learn how you can STAND UP today! 


Wedding Recap @ The Newberry Library
September 13, 2012

Our first wedding recap for the year is going to be one of the weddings we planned at The Newberry Library.  This is a great venue nestled in the heart of The Gold Coast.  It happens to be one our preferred places to work.  The team at The Newberry is great to work with!

The team that day consisted of Anthony from Liven It Up Events as the planner, Gerard from Occasions Catering, Nadine with Fragrant Design, Jeremy with Jeremy Lawson Photography, Style Matters Deejays, Leap Weddings, and the Swedish Bakery.  This was a true team of professionals where everyone worked together to make this a memorable day for this awesome couple that we had the privledge of working with!  Take a look a just a couple shots from the evening!

Just A Thought: The Four Mothers
September 12, 2012

It’s not best photograph that I have ever take, I will admit that.  But, when I saw this unfold, I could not resist taking this photo.  At this wedding, both the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents were divorced and remarried.  That can easily lead to disaster, feelings hurt, or some super drama at the wedding.  Well, in this case, it was nothing like that.

What you see above are “The Four Mothers” as I had the privilege of getting to know.  This was the bride’s mother & step-mother, and the groom’s mother & step-mother.  Something unique about them too is both of the biological mothers have the same first name and both of the step-mothers have the same first name.  Kinda cool! 

Well, this photo shows all “Four Mothers” getting up, and giving the welcome and first toast to the bride and groom.  This touched me so much, I had tears in my eyes when it happened.  This couple is lucky to have some amazing moms.  

Pick up the phone and give your mother a call today…. just a thought!

Tuesday’s Tip – Lighting Can Transform any Space for A Wedding
September 11, 2012

When you look at the venues that are available out there, sometimes, you see a space that you really love, but it is either dated or not formal enough for a wedding.  Well let me tell you.  All you need is a little lighting that can help transform that space for drab to fab!   Check out this transformation we did for a client.


This wedding was in collaboration with Deborah Weisenhaus with Art of Imagination!  We did bring in chairs, upgraded linen, and fresh floral centerpieces that helped enhance the room and give the couple more of what they were looking for in the venue.  Here are a few more shots from this wedding!

WEDDING PLANNER TIP:  By Anthony Navarro, Liven It Up Events

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