Century Memorial Chapel, a historic, nondenominational chapel on the grounds of Naper Settlement, is the highlight of the 2014 Bridal Showcase, which features more than 50 exhibitors.
The day for all things wedding will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Admission is free.
“I am excited about our biggest show yet,” said Becca Atkins, coordinator. “Brides will have a large selection of vendors to choose from to get all of their planning complete at this year’s showcase.”
Century Memorial Chapel was the perfect place for Kate Houlihan and Carl Schultz’s wedding ceremony on Sept. 7. Kate is a community relations specialist for the city of Naperville, and Carl is the operations supervisor for Naperville Community Television, Channel 17. The two had their first conversation at the first City Council meeting of the year in January 2009. When they were considering ceremony venues, they wanted to exchange vows in the city where their relationship started.
“We knew right away that Century Memorial Chapel was the right place for us. We wanted a smaller, more intimate setting for our ceremony,” Kate Schultz said. “We love and appreciate history, and we wanted our ceremony location to reflect that. We also loved that the chapel was right across the street from where we met. Being able to exchange vows, and start our lives together in the shadow of where we first exchanged ‘hellos’ was truly special to us.”
Schultz said she highly recommends that brides take a look at the chapel and see it firsthand.
“One of the best parts about the settlement is how helpful the staff is,” she said.
The Naperville Bridal Pavilion, sponsored by the Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau, will bring a little bit of the Riverwalk indoors to the showcase for the second year. Hotels and restaurants include the Chicago Marriott Naperville, Courtyard by Marriott Naperville, Country Inn and Suites by Carlson, Best Western, NIU Conference Center, Hotel Arista, Maggiano’s and Meson Sabika.
“The Naper Settlement Bridal Showcase is by far our favorite show because we love the unique and intimate setting that allows us to spend quality time with each bride and her bridal party,” said Carmia Stanovich, director of sales for the bureau. “The Naperville Bridal Pavilion is a one-stop shop for all wedding needs.”
The bureau offers free services such as a welcome letter that is sent to out-of-town wedding guests, along with the Naperville Visitor Guide. Guests receive “goodie” bags if they stay at one of the 17 Naperville hotels. The NCVB also handles all the leg work for brides looking for a place to hold their reception or overnight accommodations in Naperville.
Showcase exhibitor Ken Overbey, owner of Sounds Abound, a Naperville-based DJ/entertainment company, said the latest trend is that couples are having their ceremonies and receptions in unique locations.
“We are seeing couples spending more on decor to make their wedding reception different by utilizing lighting and fabric to customize the room to their tastes,” Overbey said.
Photo booths are also a popular trend. Overbey said that families like the idea that their guests can take home a photo booth strip as a party favor and a visual remembrance of the day.
Carol Sawka, owner of O’Cie Florals and a Bridal Showcase exhibitor, said the key to planning a successful event is working with professionals who appreciate you and with whom you feel comfortable.
Sawka said that trends in wedding flowers are always evolving. She foresees that one of next year’s most popular colors will be coral paired with complementary colors like navy, mint and gray or with softer hues in a similar color palette such as pink or peach.
“Bride’s bouquets are still round, but cascades are starting to come back in a more natural form,” she said. “Shabby chic is changing, but the vintage look continues to be popular and bling is still big.”
She has this timeless advice for brides, “Enjoy the process of planning your wedding, because your wedding day goes by so quickly.”
To learn more about the showcase, call 630-420-6010 or visit www.napersettlement.com/weddings.
Courtesy of Naper Settlement.