“Calling All Men, This One’s For You—A Groom’s Perspective” is a deep dive into the heads of married men who have tried-and-true tips for making your wedding planning pitfalls a breeze.
We had a chance to pick the brains of two dapper newlywed grooms, Matt and Grant, who tied the knot in April 2018. Both gentlemen worked alongside Senior Designer Renee Price at Kehoe Designs and their friend Matt Morgan to bring their “elegant, but also masculine” vision to Theater On The Lake.
Get ready to take some notes!
1. Let’s kick it off: what was the most important part of the wedding process for you? It kind of all starts with the venue, so for us finding a place was really important. We started looking almost immediately after our engagement; Theater on the Lake had just finished a massive renovation, and the timing couldn’t have been better. We were so lucky, and it turned out to be an amazing location for us.
2. What was the best part of the process? Working with Senior Designer, Renee (Kehoe Designs) and our friend, Matt, was the most unique and fun part of the planning process. This was really where the vision started to take shape. We came in with some rough ideas but absolutely needed the professionals to help us develop and execute them.
3. What were you most excited about for your wedding day? Seeing all the planning come together and having all our favorite people in one room.
4. Did you have an opinion on the look and feel of the room/ceremony/reception? Certain style? We did—we wanted it to be elegant but also masculine. Neither of us wanted too much floral. We were open to a lot of different looks and Renee worked with us to get the right balance. It turned out amazing, and people are still talking about it.
5. Did you both come to any Kehoe Designs creative meetings?! If you were, what was the experience like? We did come to the office for a demo—basically a mini-version of our reception with options for centerpieces, linens, chairs, lighting fixtures, etc. It’s one thing to look at photos of this stuff, but quite another to have it all in front of you. A lot of ideas were finalized during that meeting, and it was amazing to see the Kehoe Designs’ creative minds at work!
6. Let’s talk booze. Any specialty cocktails? What had to be at the bar? The best advice we were given is to have plenty of bartenders so that no one must wait. People will drink whatever booze you have—just make sure they can get to it!
7. Food? Any advice for the tasting? Save room. You want to be able to try everything, and there’s a lot to get through!
8. How did you decide how many people to invite? We wanted it to be a big celebration, so we didn’t really hold back on invites and chose a venue that could accommodate a large group.
9. What did you wear? How did you choose?! We both had suits made by BALANI. This was the first time either of us had custom clothing made, and it was quite the experience. A family friend had recommended them, and we got to meet with a consultant and choose everything from fabric to the font on the monogramming. Grey and blue are colors we used throughout the wedding—invitations, website, linens—so it was a natural fit for us to do grey (Matt) and blue (Grant) suits. Matt always wanted a three-piece suit, and this seemed like a good occasion to get him one.
10. Had you seen your partner’s attire before THE DAY? Yeah—we didn’t really keep it a secret. Two grooms and all…
11. Band or DJ? Any special requests that had to be played? The Dan Hayes Band. They do everything and have tons of energy—our top requests were Motown hits that bridged the gap on the dance floor between our friends and our parents’ friends.
12. What would you tell other grooms to pay attention to in the wedding process? When you’re venue shopping, pay close attention to which vendors you can (and can’t) use. Reach out to those vendors before you commit to the venue to make sure you like them. Part of our decision to go with Theater on the Lake was that they had relationships with reputable vendors.
13. Do you have any MUST DOS before the I DO on your special day? Write out some thank you cards for your inner circle. You won’t get a free moment to properly thank everyone on your big day.
14. If you had to describe the feeling of your wedding/reception in 3 words—what would you say? So Much Love.
15. Would you have done anything differently? Our date was in late April, it was a sunny day, but spring hadn’t quite made it to Chicago yet. In hindsight, late spring/early summer may have been a bit warmer, but with a Chicago wedding, you are always rolling the dice on weather no matter what time of year it is.
WEDDING CREDITS: Photographer Melissa Diep, Design, Décor, Production by Kehoe Designs, Design by Matt Morgan, Lighting & Sound by BlackOak Technical Productions, Venue Theater on the Lake, Planning by EventsxGrace, Catering by Blue Plate Catering, Special thanks to Matt and Grant!
About to pop the question? Are you or a friend planning the big day? Contact us to begin your journey designing the ultimate high style dream wedding!
2555 South Leavitt Street
Chicago, IL 60608