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CHI Bridal Shower Guide

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It’s that time of the year folks—wedding season is upon us! And as the spring blossoms come to life, we begin to see wedding vendors and bridal items pop up everywhere. I am fondly reminded of my own wedding which took place back in November. Although I got married abroad (Mexico anyone?!), I had eight months to plan my wedding here in Chicago, and had the help of both family and friends, and some wonderful vendors, who made the events leading up to my big day extra special.

While Chicago is a city that boasts a vast number of awesome wedding specialists, here are some of our favorite bridal brunch spots, wedding vendors, and confection creators all around Chicago. Also included? A few recommendations from your truly that might save you time, money, and stress!

Where to host your bridal shower in Chicago

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A Summertime Soiree

Summer House Santa Monica boasts a beautiful, well-lit, open space that is perfect for any bridal shower or luncheon. Summer House serves new American grub, tropical drinks, as well as an extensive wine list, in an airy, sunny space with an atrium.  The internal decor is so light and refreshing, it is the perfect space to host a large group of family and girlfriends.

Be sure to read our review of the restaurant here, but if you want to skip ahead to the good part, I can share that we adored fresh, made-from-scratch munchies, sweets that are the perfect complement to any bridal soiree.

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A Picturesque Party

We love the decor at Hampton Social so much, we would find just about any excuse to throw a party there. With an eastern shore board-inspired interior, this spot is the perfect place to host an afternoon bridal brunch come summer. The windows are retractable, allowing the restaurant to bring the beach breeze feel to Chicago. We love seafood items like the crab cakes and lobster deviled eggs. Read all about what we munched on when we brunched there in our review here.

A Rooftop Affair

Fig & Olive is the perennial hot spot in Chicago. With a gorgeous rooftop space, you simply cannot go wrong here. I hosted a bachelorette dinner at Fig & Olive, and it was delightful, but the restaurant is really perfect for celebrating at any time, brunch being no exception. Located in the heart of the Gold Coast, on a perfect spring or summer day you will feel elated hosting your brunch here, while loved ones shower you with gifts and well wishes.

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Nomi‘s rooftop space is so intimate and charming, it will make anyone feel like it is their own private terrace. Revel in city views, and take in a fresh breeze while being surrounded by the picturesque rooftop garden. Atop of Chicago’s Park Hyatt hotel, this is a sure spot for a memorable bridal brunch.

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What is not to love about Cindy’s Rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Hotel? The answer is not much. Cindy’s, located in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, overlooks Grant and Millennium Park. With a beautiful rooftop that is a host to skyline views of downtown, this place is perfect for a bridal luncheon. Plates are made to be shared, and the cocktails are perfectly girly libations that bridal dreams are made of; signature cocktail inspiration awaits. Read our full review here.

A Cozy, Country Chic Brunch

m.henry is a quaint restaurant that I absolutely adore. It is a charming restaurant in the heart of Edgewater. Using the freshest ingredients for a farm-to-table vibe, you can expect your guests to leave full and satiated with their brunch offerings. The cafe gives of a country-chic vibe, which means you wont have to worry about bringing in your own decorations or charms to sweeten up your surroundings— m.henry has you covered. Read our full review here.

A Formal Fete

Looking to host a unique bridal occasion in a formal setting? Le Colonial in the heart of the Gold Coast is an up-scale 1920’s French-Vietnamese restaurant which vividly recaptures the beauty, romance and spirit of French colonial Southeast Asia. The restaurant is located in a two-story vintage row house that is a beautiful backdrop for a group photo with your bridesmaids.  Le Colonial was my go-to spot after every bridal dress fitting; my dressmaker was right around the corner on Oak Street.

Bridal Tea Party

Host an upscale tea party with girlfriends at The Pavilion at the Langham Chicago. Host a bridal shower at the Pavilion and enjoy the the traditional tea service that first debuted at the Langham London in 1865 while melting into a plush, high-back club chair in the quiet and serene environment. Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood includes proprietary Langham teas, and an array of sweet and savory bites. All are served with traditional displays and flourish, accompanied by live music—blending together to create a relaxing and pampering afternoon diversion. To finish, order a glass of champagne and toast to the bride!

Hosting at Home

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Perfect Party Treats: I am absolutely in love with all of the treats from a new Chicago bake shop, By The Park. I was first introduced to this gem of a bakery by my sister, who had owner Isabel whip up some of her best confections for my bachelorette party. Her desserts include a caramel popcorn cookie, a birthday cake cookie, and delicious flavors of biscotti, the perfect post-brunch treat. Another treat? Her bakery is actually the most adorable and quaint cookie shop around. If you need a space to host your event, look no further, she is open to renting her park-themed space out.

Custom Cakes: Looking for a cute cake to complete your shower? Check out Elysia Root Cakes. These cakes are absolutely stunning—the perfect eye candy for any event, but especially a bridal shower. Work with her team to create a custom cake that sets the tone for your upcoming nuptials. Elysia specializes in creating exquisite and artisan sugar flower décor that results in an unforgettable keepsake, and great Instagram photos!

Catering: One of our favorite brunch spots, Kanela Breakfast Club, also caters (and hosts private events too!).  I recently attended a shower for my wedding planner and was pleasantly surprised to see that the food was from Kanela. Order party platters like fresh fruits, French toast, breakfast potatoes, and scrambled eggs, so that you can focus on being the center of attention, and not fretting over whats in the oven.

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Calligraphy: For my wedding, I really wanted personal and unique touches that would make my day extra special. While we had our wedding abroad, it was really lovely to work stateside with the incredible Cali of Cali O’Rourke Calligraphy. For months leading up to my big day, she worked with me to create some special pieces for the wedding. She designed original watercolor artwork for my menus, as well as some wonderful signage for our tequila and cigar bars.

Floral Design: Call me biased, but Marguerite Gardens is, hands down, the best floral shop in the city. While they have two stores, the lovely ladies at the Ukrainian Village location are dear to my heart. Every week they help me create a beautiful bouquet to brighten up a special event, or just add some color to my kitchen.  The folks at Marguerite know their stuff, and import some of the best flowers in the country to their little shop. With exciting flowers and unique buds, you are certain to create gorgeous and one-of-a-kind arrangements for your shower.

Presents and Pampering; Tips and Hints

Spa Services: Exhale Spa Chicago is the perfect place to host a pre-brunch pampering session with your girlfriends. Start your morning off with a intense bridal party workout class; a private barre class for you and your girlfriends to get you “shredding for the wedding.” Next, take time to indulge in one of the many spa services offered at Exhale Spa, like a manicure to get your nails primped and polished to perfection. Brides, check out their back + face therapy, where they exfoliate your back first, followed by a deep cleansing and hydrating facial. It is perfect to get your skin glowing for the wedding. I took advantage of this particular service and was so happy with how it made my skin feel.

Gift Bag Goodies: Looking for the perfect way to than your ladies for showering you with love? Check out the wonderful handmade beauty and spa products Mojo Spa has to offer. Every item is made in house at their Wicker Park store. They smell delicious, and look even more appetizing. The perfect way to say thank you to your ladies, and send them off with something sweet!

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Thankful gifts from the heart: Did your girlfriends do all of the work and throw you a bridal shower and all you had to do was show up? Or are you looking for the perfect gift for a bride?  Save time and money, but show your girlfriends appreciation with thoughtful and unique gifts from some great Chicago shops like P.O.S.H and The Fig Tree. Both have plenty of unique finds, perfect for every type of friend. Browse one-of-a-kind luxury flea market finds at P.O.S.H, or discover Chicago-centric memorable gifts, like hand towels and aprons at The Fig Tree. Both have gifts for every type of budget. My favorite? Neighborhood-inspired scented candles, from Ella B., found at The Fig Tree.

 

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