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  • Writer's pictureBeth Boelter

Creating A Vintage "Restoration Hardware" aesthetic for your Chicago NYE Wedding!

2021 ended with a beautiful wedding celebration at Wildman BT, in the West Loop, Chicago, on New Year's Eve. Olivia and Matt brought in the new year surrounded by family and friends, in an historic and recently renovated venue, formerly a Boiler and Tank Factory built in 1914.

Just how do you plan a NYE wedding, with a glam twist, in the heart of Chicago? Olivia shared a few of the details of their design vision, and why Wildman BT was the perfect backdrop to complete that vision.

bride and groom pose outside their venue door at midnight, NYE

Olivia and Matt best described their ideal design as "Vintage Restoration Hardware," and Wildman BT provided the total package with beautiful exposed brick, cement floors, wood ceiling with exposed trusses, while adding modern and sleek chandeliers, velvet curtains and a media wall. Due to the incredible beauty already present in the venue, Olivia felt that all it needed was decor pieces to accent that beauty. Olivia wanted a moody, dramatic aesthetic, so lighting was extra important, hence the lights were dimmed and candles were styled en masse. Hundreds of pillar candles in clear cylinders lined the aisle, the dinner tables, the bar, and the restrooms, and they clearly brought the moody vibe that Olivia and Matt were hoping for.

ceremony aisle is lined with cylinders, yards of baby's breath, and baby's breath sphere's accented with roses

Florals focused on the color white, including baby's breath, roses, and orchids, accented with moss. Being in the midst of winter in Chicago, Olivia wanted to bring some color, and added 7 ft. trees in cement pots that were used as a room divider during the ceremony, and then were moved to some of the dinner tables, adding a romantic garden contrast to the cold Chicago winter.

reception decor included potted trees with sparkling lights

Mixed metals in gold, silver, and brass were woven throughout the tables in the form of tealights, votives, and vintage silver 4-arm candelabra from Elements Preserved. We also brought vintage silver champagne buckets which held white orchid arrangements with the base covered in moss, and these were styled on the remaining dinner tables.

vintage silver champagne buckets held floral displays

Why Specialty Rentals Were Important!

When asked what enticed Olivia to consider using specialty rentals for their wedding day, she answered decisively. "From day one, decor was a huge priority for me while wedding planning. I love that you can completely transform a space by bringing in different decor elements and wanted to make sure our wedding reflected not only Matt and my styles but also the time of year, and history of our wedding venue." "We wanted our guests to feel like they were at an old-Chicago glam event in modern day, so we knew we wanted to mix old, vintage items with new, modern elements. Working with Elements Preserved allowed us to do just that!"

"To give that old-Chicago glam feel, we included various mixed metals throughout, many of these rented form Elements Preserved! Gorgeous vintage champagne buckets, ornate silver trays, gold brushed shelving units behind the bar, and vintage silver 4-arm (3 ft) silver candelabra that we added white orchid floral arrangements to are a few items we rented from Elements Preserved. We were BEYOND happy with how everything turned out and so grateful to have met Beth, as her items were the exact accents we needed!"

"Instead of having to purchase tons of antiques and then not know what to do with the inventory after the wedding, working with Beth was the perfect solution, because not only could we just rent pieces for the day of, but Beth's design services and creative ideas were a perfect compliment to our vision. All it took was sharing my Pinterest inspiration board with Beth, and she immediately was on the same page and pulled pieces that were exactly what we needed." "Although I had a vision for the decor we wanted, something I never thought of was the decor set up and breakdown. I hadn't thought about how it gets there or what happens at the end of the night." "Beth and her team took away that entire concern, by providing white-glove set up and breakdown, leaving my husband and I with nothing to worry about!"

How To Create Your Vision On A Budget!

When asked about suggestions they would share with other couples looking to create a beautiful design, while staying within a given budget, Olivia had specific key points, which I'll share with you here.

"First and foremost, you need to have a general idea of what you want/can afford to spend on your wedding, but I would suggest finalizing your budget AFTER you decide where you're having your wedding. Choosing to get married downtown, on a holiday, was unrealistic with the budget we had set, and created some added stress."

Olivia suggested a few ways to be budget-friendly in your wedding design, and still have the look you want:

First, she suggested renting decor pieces instead of buying new; not only are you saving money, but saving the stress of figuring out where the pieces will be stored before and after the wedding.

Secondly, Olivia suggested crafting some of the things yourself (party hats, sparkler sticks, etc.) But, since wedding planning in itself can be stressful, Olivia suggests that you be realistic in how much DIY you take on. She also chose vendors, i.e. catering company, that provided risers and displays that made escort card and NYE party favor display more interesting.

Lastly, a huge saver was reusing decor items and floral by repurposing it to other areas in the space after the ceremony. For instance, the candle lined aisles were broken down and moved to the dining tables providing an even more enchanting feel throughout the space. Florals from the aisle were moved to each of the dining tables as centerpieces! Everything from the ceremony side was repurposed to the dining side!

We hope this concise and very thought-out synopsis of Olivia and Matt's wedding planning, execution, and final thoughts will be helpful to you, as well. We love the opportunity to provide the unordinary, the unique, the extra, to your event, and to make your day special by creating new memories with pieces of the past.

Confetti flies at the drop of midnight, NYE!

Happy 1st Anniversary, Olivia and Matt! And, here's to many more NYE's celebrating your love!


Venue: Wildman BT

Floral: personal friend

Hair and Makeup: Pin Me Up Chicago

Catering and Desserts: Catered by Design

Dress: Sophia Tolli

Earrings: Amelie George

Shoes: Amina Muaddi

Rental Decor/Styling: Elements Preserved

Rentals included:

Silver Trays for serving appetizers and champagne toast

Silver Champagne Buckets

Silver Champagne Coupes

Large Standing Urn

Gold Brushed Shelving Units

Square Topped Vintage Pillars

4-arm Vintage Silver Candleabras

Day Of Styling and Design, and Breakdown


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