Partner Spotlight: Shannon Gail Weddings & Events by Ryan Turner

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Shannon Gail Weddings & Events

Partner Spotlight

How did Shannon Gail Weddings & Events get it's start?

I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I come from a family of business owners and went to school for Finance, so it was always a matter of what type of company I would start, not who I would go to work for. I originally thought it would be some sort of financial advisory, but when I noticed that couples were often spending $100,000+ for their weddings in Chicago without any formal financial advice, I quickly realized there was a niche for me in the market. My family manages a golf course and event venue, and I worked in various wedding- related jobs when I was younger, so the blend of background and opportunity helped me make the decision to start SG when I was still just a senior in college.

Shannon Gail, Owner

Shannon Gail, Owner

What has been your favorite wedding you've planned so far?

It would be incredibly hard for me to select one specific favorite wedding. For me, what makes an amazing planning experience is the couple, and the people that I've really connected with have left a lasting impression on me. It's not about my favorite aesthetic or venue, but the relationships I build. I have one client who lost her Mom during the planning, and another who got pregnant and we planned the entire wedding in just months. These experiences and times when people have really opened up their lives to me are what make them most memorable.

When discussing floral and decor with clients, how do you approach the conversation?

We love to know where floral and decor falls on the client's spectrum of priorities along with their budget first and foremost. From there, we discuss the client's overall vision for the day and even touch on things like their home decor aesthetic and fashion taste. Some clients have a well-developed picture in their mind of their wedding decor whereas others can only describe a general feel, so we like to start off with that foundation and facilitate questions to continue the development.

What has been your favorite floral or decor trend this year?

This year, we are finally seeing less distinguishable color palettes, and more of a focus on building layers and depth for a more unique aesthetic. Gone are the days of being able to rattle off your wedding colors quickly. You may easily see 10-15 various tones and colors in a wedding's floral to achieve a classic, romantic look, and we are loving every bit of it!

What trends do you see fading? What trends do you see emerging?

For years, the more traditional tall, domed centerpieces have been showing up less and less and we've been seeing low, lush arrangements, asymmetric pieces, and elongated vessels as the kings table, or rectangular table trend emerged. Now, we see that being taken even further with the use of different vessels to house plants and floral, whether it be geometric steel pieces, wooden platforms, or terrariums.

What is your biggest floral and decor faux pas?

I would say that, though it's not our personal biggest miss, the most widespread faux pas we see is clients trying to do too much in terms of decor on their own. It is absolutely paramount to hire a decor professional for your wedding day. Those clients who we see try to "save" by doing things on their own almost always end up running into issues of spending too much, not having the right pieces, poor product quality, etc.

What is the biggest tip you could give a client when beginning the planning process for their event or wedding?

It's extremely important to take the time to really comprise a solid plan before diving in to finding vendors and making decisions. Whether it be a wedding or other type of event, jot down your top few priorities as you see them in the moment. This could be anything from food to music to your outfit for the day! Whatever comes to mind, write it down. As you move through the stages of the planning process, always make sure to reference that list and give more weight (time, finances, etc.) to those elements. Don't be afraid to give less resources to items not on your list.

Loft. Camera. Wedding. by Ryan Turner

Bridgeport Art Center - Skyline Loft Wedding - 04.22.17

Incredible Venue. Romantic Floral. Seamless Execution.

Chicago is home to the best unique wedding venues in the nation. For contemporary brides and grooms lofty venues with wooden beams, exposed duct work, and worn hardwood floors create a beautiful backdrop for their special day. 

We had the pleasure of partnering with Amanda & Ben for their wedding this past April at Chicago's Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft. Five stories high, this loft venue boasts incredible views of the Chicago Skyline and ample space for a sizable wedding. For Amanda and Ben, they knew they wanted a space that could host both the ceremony and reception so that guests did not have to move from one location to another. 

Combining Vintage and Natural with Industrial and Exposed

Combining a variety of textures, a hint of romanticism, and organic greenery, the venue was transformed from a raw wooden space to a beautifully juxtaposed environment of soft and hard textures. Varied glass vessels added a slight vintage flair, while seasonal white stock and garden roses filled the space with a warm and spicy scent. 

Accolades

Amanda and Ben could not have been any more incredible to work with, and the line up of vendors they put together made the evening a breeze to execute. Huge shout out to Dabble Me This Photography for capturing the evening so well. You can see more pictures of the day HERE

Ceremony + Reception: Bridgeport Art Center | Wedding Coordinator + Paper Goods: Lindsay Green Weddings & Events | Photographer: Dabble Me This | Second Shooter: Nikole | Videographer: JV Studios Videography | Catering: Jewell Events Catering | Florist: StemLine Creative | Lighting: FROST Chicago Lighting | DJ: Toast & Jam | Makeup Artist: ShannonO’Brien | Hair Stylist: Erin Kerr | Wedding Dress Store: Bella Bianca | Wedding Dress Designer: Hayley Paige | Bridesmaid Dress Store + Designer: Weddington Way | Groom + Groomsmen Tux Store + Designer: The Black Tux | Transportation: VIP Valet Services | Officiant: Lee Kolquist

Wedding Trends: Garland by Ryan Turner

Gaga for Garland

It was a few years back that we started to notice brides (and grooms) were exploring beyond round tables with a mix of tall and short centerpieces, and while there will always be a place for the more traditional approach, the advent of "feasting tables" has caused couples to ditch the linen, embrace the rustic, and experiment with a variety of different centerpieces. 

photo credit: Megan Robinson

photo credit: Megan Robinson

Now a few years into the trend, there has been an evolution of the centerpiece to include a dramatic and eye catching design: the table garland. Now before your mind jumps immediately to the holiday season with pine trees, pine cones, and red and gold ribbon, that's not what we are talking about.

What is Garland

Garland can be created from most anything and tends to be a completely natural woven display of greens and floral. From lush ivy and seeded eucalyptus, to more ornate floral garlands, there is no limit to the what can be included. 

forist: compass floral

forist: compass floral

How Garland is used

The reason the trend has been gaining popularity, is because garlands work best on long feasting tables, or a sweetheart table (a head table that consists of only the bride and groom). Think of a long 8 foot by 4 foot table. A typical setting (flatware, china, stemware) takes up 1 foot, so if you have two people sitting across from each other, there is still 2 feet in the center of the table to fill with decor. That's a lot of space! Garland is a great way to add lush and low textures that can spill over the table an help draw guest's eyes from the floor upwards to the table.

 

Garland Caveat

Depending on the amount of tables you have, and what the garland is going to consist of, it is easy for garland to get pricy quickly. But there is a great middle ground of incorporating garland on the head table, sweetheart table, or as one of two feasting table looks to save a bit on cost. Choosing greens over flowers will also help, but it may not be the look you are going for. 

Go for Garland

florist: botanica international design studio photographer: kristen weaer photography

florist: botanica international design studio
photographer: kristen weaer photography

Garlands work well with tables dressed with linen or raw and rustic tables, and can be designed to be any length. From traditional to contemporary, big budget or small, garland is an impressive way to create a trendy statement that enhances your reception setting, and leaves your guests with a lasting impression.