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How to Have the Perfect extravagant Wedding

Cost: More than $70,000

Hire a wedding planner to handle every last detail: making sure vendors are paid, keeping on schedule, spotting problems before they come up, and troubleshooting when they do. She’ll also choose and oversee a dresser, a photographer, and other pros. Find a good one by asking trusted friends, and expect to spend at least $10,000.

On her See “Dress” below. Maria Elena crystal and rhodium-plated headpiece, $1,320, Bella Bianca.   Photo: T. Harrison Hillman

Where to Party



980 N. Michigan Ave., spiaggiarestaurant.com
Capacity 150
Cost $150 per person, all-inclusive
Sarah Miller, event director at Paulette Wolf Events, recommends this Italian mainstay—rated three and a half stars by Chicago’s critics—for Tony Mantuano’s reliably stellar food.


Griffin Court,
Art Institute of Chicago

159 E. Monroe St., artic.edu
Capacity 400 seated
Cost $10,000 rental fee
For a stunning backdrop, it’s hard to beat this Renzo Piano–designed space. You’ll be well fed by the folks who run Terzo Piano, which Chicago named one of the city’s best new restaurants in 2010.


Millennium Park

201 E. Randolph St., 312-744-2219
Capacity 1,000 for the North or South Promenade
Cost $20,000 rental fee
A wedding here is as glamorous as it gets. Lovebird Events owner Meghan Andalman calls its caterer, Blue Plate, the “best in the city.”


Elysia Root Cakes

1939 W. Fulton St., elysiarootcakes.com
Cost From $500
Root, an MBA-turned-baker (she studied at the French Pastry School and under master pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel), is relatively new to the game. But she’s already the smart set’s most in-demand cake boss.


See “Where to Party”, above


Ultimate Bride

106 E. Oak St., ultimatebride.com
Cost From $3,500
This elegant shop is the only one in Chicago to carry such A-list designers as Carolina Herrera and Marchesa.
Monique Lhuillier embellished tulle dress, $13,000


Kehoe Designs

2555 S. Leavitt St., kehoedesigns.com
Cost Around $25,000
Tom Kehoe’s lavish creations are sought by Oprah and Obama (to name two).


The Gold Coast All Stars

Cost From $15,000
Bandleader Danny Chaimson has played keyboard with George Clinton, Solange Knowles, and O.A.R. Want something grander than his standard 18-piece band? He’ll add a gospel choir.



Couples looking for a remote escape head to these islands in the Indian Ocean, Andalman says, because of their privacy and luxurious five-star hotels. North Island has just 11 villas, which rent for about $6,600 a night. (George and Amal honeymooned here.)

Stylist: Patric Chauvez Hair: Lyneé Ruiz with Ford Artists using Oribe Makeup: Darcy McGrath with Ford Artists using Chanel Cosmetics Models: Matt Brewer, Anastasia LUPU, and Dustin BLAINE with Ford Artists; Maggie LI WITH Stewart Talent
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