Bow|Tied

Behind the Scenes of Champagne & Canapes at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)

A Perfect Match - C+J

The Proposal…

After sightseeing all day in Paris, Christine and Jason had dinner one evening at Tour D’Argent at a window seat overlooking the Notre Dame Cathedral and the River Seine. Jason could not hold back his excitement and during the second course he got down on one knee, took out a beautiful engagement ring from his jacket and asked for Christine’s hand in marriage.  

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Why the Ritz….

The Ritz-Carlton was our wedding venue of choice because of its reputation for incredible food and service.  We were also looking for a location in Chicago where we could have beautiful views of the cityscape during our wedding reception.  The reception and venue exceeded all of our expectations, as did every member of the Ritz-Carlton team.   

Highlights from the big day…

Seeing each other for the first time as Christine walked down the aisle to Jason at the front of the church.

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Walking into the reception and seeing the beautiful setting created by the Ritz for our wedding party and guests. 

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Performing our much-practiced first dance and having no missteps.

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Eating – every bite from the appetizers to the cake to the late night snacks provided by the Ritz-Carlton were deliciously first-class.

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Having all those who we love there to support us during this magical day.

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Sharing laughs as we took pictures in the photo booth.image

Dancing until our feet hurt.

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Venue, Grand Ballroom at The Ritz Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)

Wedding Planning by Affairs with Linda

Floral by Stems

Wedding Cake by CAKE

Music by Peter Hennes Orchestra 

Photos Courtesy of Christi Rawsii

MEET OUR TEAM: Marc Kaufman

Meet the man behind the magic- our Director of Catering at The Ritz Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel). Get to know Marc through our Q&A Session below: 

Q: Name 3 adjectives to describe you?

A: Curious, Detailed (aka Neurotic), & Passionate

Q: Trends come & go - but what is one wedding trend that you think is here to stay?!

A: I think it is more important to listen and learn about your clients and their family and develop their trends…not general trends in the industry that we have seen from other weddings. 

Q: What celebrity bride wore it best?

A: To be honest….I have no idea…..Every Bride and Groom should be THE celebrity on their wedding day…that is part of the magic of the day

Q: Describe your ideal day in Chicago! 

A: Walking in one of our wonderful neighborhoods and taking in the culture of that particular area. Attending theatre, Chicago is one of the largest non profit theatre communities in the world and we are so fortunate to have so much diversity of theatre offerings.

Q: When you’re not planning or executing events, what do you do in your free time?

A: Dining Out, Working Out, Attending Theatre

Q: What is your favorite spot to visit in the city?

A: The south garden at the Art Institute of Chicago

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Photo Courtesy of Huge Galdones, GALDONES PHOTOGRAPHY

M & M

It was a pleasure to celebrate MK & Mike’s wedding this past weekend. With some of the best weather we have seen all year, MK & Mike were married at Holy Family Church Saturday afternoon. Partying well through the night, their guests were dazzled by our stunning Grand Ballroom, admired the beautiful décor by The English Garden Flower Shop, and danced the night away with Ken Arlen Orchestra. Best wishes to this wonderful couple in their new life together ~ Cheers! #weddingwednesday 

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Photos Courtesy of: Missy Kostovny, Catering Sales Manager, The Ritz Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)

Venue: The Ritz Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)

Cake: Cake Sweet Food Chicago

Music: Ken Arlen Orchestra 

Décor: The English Garden Flower Shop 

Make It Personal!

Last month on Good Morning America, our Director of Catering, Marc Kaufman of the Ritz Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) partnered with John Johnson, Executive Chef of Four Seasons New York to showcase Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts service and cuisine and how viewers could translate that to DIY entertaining in their own home for Mother’s Day.

Let’s take a look back at some of the special touches they incorporated:

Place Cards with a Personal Touch: A blank Thank You note served as the place card for each table setting. Guests would be prompted to write a personal note or thank you to Mom, which went on to serve as festive table top decor and sweet keepsake! Our fellow Chicagoan, Kara Gordon of Magnificent Milestones created the Radiant Orchid, Pantone Colour of the Year thank you notes for our Mother’s Day tabletop.

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Family Heirlooms and Favorites Spark A Story: Utilizing a family heirloom bowl or dish as the vessel for a centerpiece will spark conversation and family memories for all. At the Good Morning America showcase, we incorporated Ginger Zee’s Grandmother’s favorite floral - tulips and hydrangea. Our stunning centerpieces were provided by Floralies, one of New York’s leading Florists!

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Recipe’s with Family Roots: It’s all about the tradition, so John Johnson, Executive Chef at Four Seasons New York showcased Michigan Cherries as a nod to Ginger Zee’s family roots in Michigan. A delicious heart shaped cherry and cream cheese tart was the perfect sweet treat for this Mother’s Day Spread! 

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Photos Courtesy of Four Seasons New York

Red Carpet at the Monte Carlo Casino

This past weekend, we welcomed Alliance Francaise de Chicago for their “Red Carpet at the Monte Carlo Casino” Gala dinner. A special thanks to HMR Designs for transforming our ballroom into the perfect Monte Carlo Casino, LALIQUE & Pierre-Yves Rochon for designing a breathtaking VIP table and Stanley Paul Orchestra for keeping the crowd dancing all night long. 

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Photos Courtesy of:

Missy Kostovny, Catering Sales Manager at The Ritz Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)

MEET OUR TEAM: Amanda

Amanda has been with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago for 7 years now! She started as a Catering Sales Manager and due to her passion for events and positive response from all of her clients, Amanda was soon promoted to Assistant Director of Catering. Amanda’s client base ranges from corporate meetings and galas to the social market of weddings and special occasions. As Assistant Director of Catering, she thrives on overcoming challenges that clients present and looks to innovation and creativity to make each event unique, exciting and a positive experience!

Meet Amanda and get to know her through our Q & A Session below : 

Q: Name 3 adjectives to describe you?

A: Genuine, Creative, & Organized

Q: What celebrity bride wore it best?

A: Hands down my favorite “celeb” is Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in Sarah Burton for McQueen. Kate just exudes class, I think she is a great role model for young women on how to dress to get noticed, but in a refined way. I also love her mix of high and low pieces in her wardrobe. Does she ever wear anything that doesn’t look amazing?

Q: When you’re not planning or executing events, what do you do in your free time?

A: I love to dine out and try new places in Chicago as much as I can. I also enjoy running and participating in 5K and other races in Chicago that I can fit into my busy event schedule. I think I have grown to like running more to make up for my dining out hobby!

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Photo Courtesy of Huge Galdones, GALDONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Sip Into Spring!

Let the countdown begin….we are daydreaming of sunshine, spring weather & delicious dec Creations! 

Sip into Spring & Save the Date - May 12, 2014 kicks off rooftop season at THE dec

For semi-private & private event details, please contact the Ritz-Carlton Chicago Catering Team (312) 573-5180.

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Photo Courtesy of Kelsey Zimmerman, Catering Sales Manager

Magnificent Milestones

Magnificent Milestones is the go-to for custom invitations, perfect paper products and anything for print in Chicago!

Kara Gordon, Owner and Visionary, combined her passion for paper and love of planning to launch Magnificent Milestones in 2007. 

Our team has had the pleasure of getting to know Kara and the MM team over the past few years and we’re not only smitten with this bunch, but are also head over heels for their personalized paper creations!

Stop in to swoon over the MM team and their River North studio located at 472 West Erie Street!

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Photos Courtesy of Magnificent Milestones

Why Hire a Planner?

Recently the beautiful wedding of Sloane Baker and Aaron Wyler took place at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel).  The planner, Jan Ehrenberg of Parties, Events & More and our team started discussing the reasons why we believe it is crucial to hire a wedding planner.

So in response, here is what Jan had to say:  

The answer is simple. A wedding planner allows the client to be a guest at their own affair while knowing that someone will have their back and execute their dream come true.

As an event planner,  I believe that all of the behind the scene details are more important than what is actually happening at the moment! A well-executed wedding gives the client piece of mind and allows them to have a great time!

Yes, it can be expensive, but it will be the best money spent in the wedding budget. We take their ideas, give them options for vendors that we think will match their vision, and we as a team create their incredible wedding. For myself, I love the details and execution that it takes to create unbelievable once in a lifetime experiences. I enjoy getting to know my brides and grooms, as well as their families throughout the planning. I on their behalf become a friend, advisor, mediator and psychologist allowing them to continue on with their everyday life. Wedding Planning is a full time job and no bride or groom needs the stress of having two full time jobs!

Jan Ehrenberg

Parties, Events & More | 847-853-1573 | janlsje@aol.com

Photos Courtesy of: Nakai Photography

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Meet the Newest Members of the Catering Team

The Catering team is extremely excited to finally formally introduce our newest members! Missy & Kelsey both joined us last year and jumped right into our exciting schedule of weddings and events. Below is a little bio and a fun QA session for each of the girls.

Missy Kostovny
A proud Penn State Grad, Missy joins us from The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. After numerous operational roles at The Waldorf, Missy spent three years as an Event Manager; handling various markets from Social to Pharmaceutical. This summer, Missy was ready to jump into a more Catering focused roll and new atmosphere. NYC apartment in tow, Missy was off to the Windy City to start at The Ritz in September.

Q: Name 3 adjectives to describe you?
A: Driven, Reliable, & Vivacious

Q: Trends come & go - but what is one wedding trend that you think is here to stay?!
A: Mismatched bridesmaid dresses. I think it makes the bridal party feel more comfortable to be able to pick their style.

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Kelsey Zimmerman
Kelsey is no stranger to The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago and Four Seasons empire. Kelsey began her career with Four Seasons as an intern at our Chicago based World Wide Sales Office and progressed from there into Catering and Conference Services at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago. Kelsey’s passion for events led her to her current role as Catering Sales Manager. Her warmth and attention to detail ensure a personal and positive experience when working together. Want to get in good with her? – Mention the Purdue Boilermakers and you’ll have an instant lifelong bond!

Q: What celebrity bride wore it best?
A: Grace Kelly was the epitome of elegance and class on her wedding day in April 1956 to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. More recent brides such as Nicole Richie and The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton also were timeless brides wearing gowns featuring similar details and shapes to Grace Kelly’s dress - intricate lace, satin buttons and lush fabrics! A look that in my opinion will never go out of style!

Q: Describe your ideal day in Chicago!
A: Summer in Chicago is hands down the BEST……A morning kicked off with friends at brunch [Ever tried Jam ‘N Honey?!], later soaking up some sun on an outdoor patio or the beach and ending the evening outdoors on a rooftop would be a ultimate summer day!

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Photos Courtesy of: Huge Galdones