A Chic Vintage Wedding at Room 1520 in Chicago, Illinois

Annie Polack (33 and Virtuoso Performing Arts co-owner) and Matt Conway (33 and a music instructor) pulled off an elegant vintage-inspired affair with a chic urban edge for their mid-October nuptials in Chicago, Ill. The airy, historical loft spaces at Room 1520 played host to the celebration, providing a unique backdrop for the event. “Matt learned of Room 1520 through the owners themselves, who happened to be the parents of one of Matt’s piano students,” says Annie. “It presented a clean, urban, elegant space, and one that was a blank slate on which we could create our own design.”

The couple made the most of the venue’s many event spaces, holding each part of the evening in a different room or floor to create a distinct vibe. The ceremony took place on Room 1520’s first floor and started the day off with a bang. A stunning canopy of textured fabric panels in varying blush hues stood at the center of the room, a crystal chandelier hanging from its center where it cast a warm ambient light over the couple as they exchanged vows. “Before we said our vows, we performed a ring ceremony, which ended up being my favorite part of the day,” says Annie. “We tucked our rings inside a small lace pouch and all of our dearest family and friends circled around us and passed the rings from person to person, warming them with a silent prayer or wish.”

Cocktail hour followed in the adjoining room, where Annie and Matt surprised guests with delicious food and drink pairings and whimsical displays. “One particular standout hors d’oeuvre was a mini pint glass filled with Guinness (a favorite among Matt’s family) and a pork slider resting on top.” Dinner was just as enticing with dishes like an apple and brie salad, red wine braised beef short ribs and grilled butterfish with curried peach relish pleasing even the pickiest of palettes. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting, with lace table runners, mercury glass candles, gilded accents and petite bouquets of white hydrangeas and pink roses dotting long wooden farm tables. Mismatched china heightened the charm of the vintage-inspired display while flickering candlelight exuded romance.

Music was an important component of the event, and the couple ensured that live performances were incorporated into each part of the festivities. An Irish trio provided a unique ambience during the ceremony and cocktail hour, while a jazz trio filled the air with smooth tunes during dinner. “For dancing, the incomparable Bumpus played their original songs interspersed with hits from Michael Jackson, James Brown, Prince and more,” says Annie.

A tip for the taking from Annie: “Do a first look! This was so special for us and it allowed us to be alone and check in for a moment before all the craziness ensued. Also, it meant that we were able to do photos before the ceremony, which allowed us to attend our own cocktail party. That and our guests didn’t have any type of awkward lull before the reception. Flow is everything. And consideration for your guests — logistically speaking — goes a long way towards ensuring you can sit back and enjoy your own party!”