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Anita and Shalkal’s Jamaican Wedding

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Anita and Shalkal had a very sweet wedding day at the Oakbrook Bath & Tennis Club. This venue was an instant favorite for us. The outdoor ceremony by the pond was warm and expansive yet felt so intimate. Their indoor reception had an outdoor feel due to the natural light pouring through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Once dinner wrapped up, everyone stepped back outside for the couple’s first dance. Tom then danced with his mother. Dana’s father up in heaven got to see everyone partake in his favorite wedding tradition, the chicken dance! What a great day, congratulations you two!

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Bernice y Aldo Historia de Amor

imageWith her infectious laugh, its hard not to get wrapped into the “love story” of this God fearing couple. Bernice and Aldo have a love built from their shared mutual respect and love for each other and their diverse cultural backgrounds. Bernice, a beautiful dark-skinned Ghanaian woman met Aldo, a shy, soft spoken Mexican through an online dating service several years ago. And after a positive first meeting, once at each other’s respective homes, the two continued their conversation for several more hours on the telephone. Bernice and Aldo settled on a traditional Catholic wedding with full service mass to signify their deeply rooted love for Christ. With just over 100 close family and friends in attendance, the couple choose wedding colors of deep oranges, yellows, and greens.

Ceremony: St. Mary Immaculate Parish | Reception Venue: Prairie Bluff Golf Club | Wedding Day Photography: Cloud Foto | Floral Design: Avery Willow Designs | Cake: Cathy’s Sweet Creations | Event Planner: Abenafit | Ceremony/Reception Stationary: Abenafit | Blog Photos: Abenafit

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Nicole and Derrick’s Wedding

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They say it takes a village, and though the expression is supposed to be about raising a child, it could just as easily apply to the way family and friends came to witness the union between Nicole and Derrick last fall for their beautiful big day, October 3, 2015 at the Hotel Arista located in Naperville, Illinois; just 30 minutes outside of Chicago.

As a nod to the groom’s Ghanaian heritage, kente cloth (the traditional garment worn by Ashanti royalty) was used to blindfold Derrick as he and Nicole met before their modern ceremony.  With details of gray and marine blue; the wedding’s color palete was beautifully incorporated in the ceremony florals, bridesmaids’ dresses, wedding stationary, and lighting; among all things.  And as the ceremony came to an end, the couple were bound (at the wrists) by another piece of kente; signifying their “tying the knot”.

During the reception, the couple treated the guests with a traditional “adowa” tribal dance by Ghanaian dancers as they re-entered in traditional Ghanaian attire. No doubt that this wedding was beautiful, but even more so? It’s filled with meaning. Nicole and her father put a spin to the traditional father/daughter dance and had guests on their feet as they broke into popular dances such as the “dougie” and the “harlem shake”.  All night long, DJ Bonsu kept the reception lively with a mix of tunes.

Nicole and Derrick, happy anniversary and may your days be filled with as much love and happiness as this beautiful day one year ago.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hotel Arista | Photography & Videography: Andrew Thomas Clifton  | Floral Design: Avery Willow Designs | Cake: The Cakery |   Saxophonist: Traysee J. Leonard | Hair: Kelly Abston (maid of honor | Makeup: Devon | Men’s Suits: Black Tie Formal Wear | DJ: DJ Bonsu | Invitations: Ijorere | Event Planner: Abenafit | Ceremony/Reception Stationary: Abenafit

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Melissa and Laurence’s Wedding

For this bride and groom, creating a memorable experience for their family and friends was a big priority. Big on the idea of  sharing all of their favorites, Melissa and Laurence pulled all the stops in hosting first, a traditional brunch reception at a popular urban restaurant, The Promontory.  A nightlife inspired after-party at the trendy art gallery, Lacuna Lofts followed that evening, which included sizzling hot pizzas from Chicago classic Home Run Inn, savory and sweet donuts from local favorite Sweet Mandy Bs, and Marvel decorated cakes featuring Green Lantern and Hulk. Incorporating rustic bohemian and modern swag, Melissa and Laurence executed their blended styles to perfection.

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Claudette and Jerry’s Kente Affair Wedding

 

FiveBridgeInnClaudetteJerryWeddingPetronellaPhotography-425Boy oh boy, are Jerry and Claudette a happy couple! They are always smiling; 100 watt smiles! And they love to laugh! They are just an infectious couple exuding intense love for one another. Every moment with these two; one cannot help but smile and laugh in pure joy of the moment. Their July wedding was set at Five Bridge Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast property nestled in the woods of Rehoboth, Massachusettes. The day was sunny and perfect. Claudette and Jerry selected an intense and bold color yellow as the central color for this wedding with a kente-affair theme.  Kente, a type of interwoven cloth of their native country of Ghana, was worn by many of the guests and family members after the ceremony.  Additional african cloth was used as the men’s bow-ties, on the floral bouquets, and at the guest book tables. Petronella Photography captured what can be described as simply stunning! See the gallery of photos below.
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Kimberly and Felipe’s Garden Wedding

Earth tone colors in October like olive and peach make my heart happy, especially with the backdrop of Blumen Gardens, the rustic garden and event center in northern Illinois. Megan Saul Photography captured the latest chapter of Kimberly and Felipe’s love story. It is pure gorgeousness; a mash up of vintage charm and organic opulence.  Don’t miss out on this gallery of romance!

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Photography: Megan Saul Photography | Wedding Gown: Alyne Bridal | Cake: Cakefections | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Weddington Way | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Blumen Gardens | Harpist: Tina Barber | Florist : Kar-Fre Florist | DJ: The Record Shop | Caterer: South Moon BBQ | Officiant: Felipe’s Uncle, Luis Gonzalez | Wedding Coordinator, Ceremony Programs, and Event Signage: Abenafit Weddings & Events

 

A GQ Birthday Celebration

What’s a birthday without a few gifts? For guest of honor, Patrick, turning 30 marked a day of celebrating with less frenzy and more classy. The GQ inspired fete was held at the new art gallery of Gallery Guichard in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood.  Guests dressed in swanky suits and evening dresses celebrated over Moscow Mule, the signature drink for the night, and the sounds of urban R&B classics, spun by a private disc jockey.  And then the night took a surprising turn after the champagne toast; Patrick took the mic and got down on bended knee. And popped the question… YES, the question; to his dazzling girlfriend Annette, who that night became his fiancé!

The experience for me as a planner was extremely heartfelt. Both Patrick and Annette are passionate people dedicated to making one another happy and I learned a lot from them during the planning of Patrick’s 30th birthday celebration. Congratulations!

Photos by Pascale Cindy Photography

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L’Rae and Craig’s Jamaican Wedding

This Jamaican destination wedding is the kind of wedding that deserves to be celebrated with a cocktail. “Rum Punch” to be specific. Because when you take a look at these stunning photos from Tim Hines Photography, you’ll want to order your drink and join the celebration of L’Rae and Craig.

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Ceremony/Reception Site: Royal Palladium Jamaica | Bride’s Dress: Lis Simon | Bride’s Jewerly: D’Haute | DJ: DJ Kollege | Wedding Program: Abenafit Weddings & Events | Wedding Planner: Abenafit Weddings & Events | Photography: Tim Hines Photography

 

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