An Afternoon of Bridal Luxury: The Wedding Walk
by Franklin J., Event Planner at Kensington Florals & Events
One of the most wonderful things about living in one of the greatest cities in the world (Chicago, of course!) is being able to get married in a town with so much history, culture and diversity. The home of the Blackhawks, deep dish pizza and Cloud Gate has become an epicenter for Midwest brides and grooms, becoming a source of inspiration and a leader in modern luxury. As a Chicago bride or groom, there are so many resources here in the city and surrounding suburbs that are available to you to make your wedding day as special and as magical as you dreamed it to be.

On Sunday, October 26th, I had the pleasure to experience a bridal expo like no other: Oak Street’s 8th Annual Charitable Wedding Walk sponsored by Modern Luxury Brides. Now when I first heard of the event, I had no idea what to expect. Was this a standard wedding expo but disguised the name to make it more appealing? Was this a walkathon on Lake Shore Drive? Am I wearing the right shoes to be doing all of this walking? Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience…

I hopped in a cab and arrived at 980 N Michigan Ave, arriving at Spiaggia Private Events. When we arrived (I dragged a skeptical friend along for the mysterious ride, why go down the rabbit hole alone?) the CS team checked us in, and from the next room over we could hear a string quartet still playing as other staff members began to tear down the space. We arrived a little late for the festivities there, but the CS team assured us we still have plenty of time to see and experience the rest of the Wedding Walk. We were handed a “treasure map” with stores and businesses along Oak Street and the surrounding streets that were participating, what we were to see and experience before our final destination. We grabbed our complimentary tote and off on our journey down Oak Street; Chicago’s own 5th Avenue, we went.

We arrived at our first destination, Lanvin, and as soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the wonderful Lanvin team as well as treats from Vanille Patisserie. We blinked and next thing we knew we were on an elevator to the 3rd floor to see the spring 2015 bridal couture collection by the brand. And that’s when it hit me… I am experiencing Chicago bridal luxury at its very finest! (Eat your heart out Carrie Bradshaw!!) From there we continued on our journey, enjoying the Indian summer weather, skipping from Jewelry stores Lester Lampert and Buccellati, stopping by the Perfect Setting for some entertaining ideas, and peeking at the stylish collections of Carolina Herrera and Kate Spade. Each stop we were greeted by brand experts who provided extraordinary service, providing a one on one experience like no other. Each retail store had some of Chicago’s top bakeries providing samples of their work, including Elysia Root Cakes and Toni Patisserie and Café. Other locations provided champagne and hors d’oeuvres to the guests journeying on this wedding walk. We were running out of time so we did skip a few spots, however we made sure to stop by The Thompson Hotel and Gibson’s Steakhouse, checking out spaces to host smaller, intimate functions such as a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower.

And of course they save the best stop for last. We arrived at a modern luxury hotel like no other… The Waldorf Astoria Chicago. As we turned the corner, we knew we were exactly where thousands of other brides dreamed of being. We arrived to the 3rd floor ballrooms where we met with other vendors Elizabeth Grace (one of my favorites!), David Rothstein Music, Bella Bridesmaids, Spin-Spun and BBJ Linens. And we received our “Swag Bag”, which officially puts any other bag that I have ever received in the past to shame. From treats to discounts to special offers this bag had EXACTLY everything a Chicago luxury bride or groom needed to plan and execute their perfect day.

As an up-and-coming Wedding and Event Planner here in the city with Kensington Florals & Events, I highly recommend this experience to any Bride or Groom looking for a different experience. You get exposed to the higher end of the wedding industry, get one-on-one service at your own pace, and really control who and what you want to see! This is also great for brides who might not have a luxury budget, but can come to this event for inspiration, and really see what the city of Chicago has to offer. Would I go next year? Of course! Maybe I can bring a few more of you brides and grooms down the rabbit hole with me…