Black Tie Chicago Wedding at The Racquet Club :: Elise & Brandon

Elise and Brandon knew from the start they wanted an elegant, black tie wedding. Their evening ceremony, held at a stunning Catholic church, set the tone for the sophisticated and romantic reception. Thankfully, Clary Pfeiffer was there to photograph all of the gorgeous and dramatic details. This wedding is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff it all works out in the end. Try to enjoy the process because it all goes by very quickly.


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Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  My uncle provided an Irish blessing. My “something old” was my mother’s diamond earrings.


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Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We always wanted to get married in a Catholic Church and we attend St. Michael in Old Town.


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Elise’s amazing Monique Lhuillier gown defines elegance and sophistication. We love the dramatic sweeping train, which she wore down for the ceremony.


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Elise carried a bouquet filled with roses in soft, muted tones which coordinated perfectly with the color palette of their wedding.


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What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We wanted it to be very formal and elegant in aesthetic. The flowers and decor were predominantly neutral. We also knew from the start that we wanted it to be black tie.


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How did you go about planning your ceremony?  The team of organizers at the church assisted with most logistics. We selected the readings and song choices based on their selections and our personal favorites. As a surprise to Brandon, we had a full choir serenading the ceremony. It was a true highlight of the evening.


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The Ceremony

“The full choir was a definite highlight of the ceremony. It was incredibly moving especially closing with Handel’s Messiah.”


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Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, grand, romantic—it was an evening ceremony.


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What was your ceremony music? 
Wedding Party Processional: “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Wesley
Bride’s Processional: “I Was Glad” by Parry
Recessional: “Messiah” by Handel


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What were your ceremony readings?
First Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a: 8:6-7a
Second Reading: Romans 12:1-2, 9-18

What were your vows like?  We read traditional vows.


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The Reception

“As one of the first of our friends to be married, we were adamant to include as many peers as possible. It made the day that much more special to share it with all of them.”




Why did you choose this location for your reception? We always wanted to have our reception at The Racquet Club. We have been members for years, and already held special memories.


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What was the best advice you received as a bride? Take a moment during the ceremony to step back, watch the dance floor and reception and see how much fun everyone is having.


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How would you describe your reception? The Racquet Club is a private club in Chicago’s Gold Coast. The space is intimate with multiple rooms that broke up different portions of the evening.


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Did you have a signature cocktail? No signature cocktail, just a plethora of offerings!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Get a videographer. We opted out and wish we had video evidence of the reception shenanigans.


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What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a coconut cake to cut and then a huge table of Sprinkles Cupcakes.


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Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We had late night favors after midnight which included mini-Chicago style hot dogs, popcorn, malted mini-milkshakes and truffle french fries.


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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We were adamant about having a killer band at the reception. Dancing for hours with our family and friends was a definite highlight. The Racquet Club also has a vintage bowling alley which was the perfect way to close the party.

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First dance: “Leather & Lace” by Don Henley & Stevie Nicks
Father/daughter: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac sung by my sister
Mother/son: “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart


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Vendor Credits

Photography: Clary Pfeiffer  / Venue, Catering, Cake: The Racquet Club in Chicago, Illinois / Floral Design: Joseph Leigh Designs / Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Veil: Ultimate Bride Boutique Chicago / Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhuillier via Bella Bridesmaids / Suit, Shirt: Trunk Club / Tie: Paul Stuart / Shoes: Del Toro / Stationery, Calligraphy: Jane Weber Inc. / Hair: Reva Gorbaty, Salon Buzz / Makeup: Regina Sneor – D’ Works Inc. / Ceremony Music: St. Michael in Old Town Choir / Reception Music: High Society Orchestra


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