Tionna Van Gundy is a Chicago-based wedding and event planner. The owner of Wedicity, Wedding & Event Detailing she has been in the events and hospitality industry for over 12 years. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, where she became a certified wedding professional in 2004 - Tionna moved to Chicago in 2010 and worked her way through the event industry! With an array of event experience in venue operations, destination management, food/beverage service and hotel operations, Tionna has expanded into the destination wedding market but still has a big heart for all things urban style weddings! And that’s what we are talking to her about - CITY WEDDINGS. Logistics, city pride, and how to create lasting urban memories. Enjoy!
We are here for Twitter complaints! First thing up in this episode, we answer a tweeter’s question about how the heck he’s supposed to afford a videographer. Should you just have some friends hold phones up during toasts and worry about ‘editing’ them all together later? No! Do your research - see if you can find a videographer that is really new to the business and negotiate! See if your photographer or DJ if they have recommendations - you’re more likely to get a deal if the vendor knows they were personally referred.
In a busy, famously photographed city like Chicago, there are a list of ‘musts’ when it comes to your wedding party photos. (Hello, Bean!) Tionna tells us that on a popular May Saturday, it’s not uncommon to see 7 groups of bridesmaids all waiting patiently to take photos at the same landmark hotspot. What?!
Chicago weddings right now are all about old-meets-new. There are several awesome old, historic, luxe hotels that host weddings every weekend, and now there are warehouse and art spaces popping up, upcycled and ready to party. Wedding parties can take photos all over the city before retreating to their chosen venue, getting the most of the urban architecture, style and bustling city energy.
How are guests getting to and from weddings? Uber and Lyft. Valet (meh), shuttles. Walking from the designated hotel. But Chicago wedding planners are always trying to avoid a parking/traffic clusterfuck - city weddings all have this in common.
Tax in the City. Tionna tells us that you’ll be spending about 30% of your wedding budget on taxes alone. Yikes! That’s a lot more expensive than other places!
The weather is a big factor for Chicago weddings. Tionna tells us about how people can get blown across the street and it’s miserable and cold in winter, but that the city transforms and comes alive in the other 7 months of the year. The most popular time for weddings is September, as summer softens into Fall. Make sure you check the convention calendar before you start making big wedding plans!
“There are vendors for a wedding that you MUST have, and then there are vendors that are not a priority. We get it. We did it too!” - Christy
“Chicagoans are definitely very prideful. We love it. We actually tighten our bonds living here January through March. You trudge through the snow together and then you all get beers at a brewery.” - Tionna, on Chicago pride
“Literally from where I’m sitting right now in the West Loop, I can walk to thirty venues. It’s insane. There are SO many venues here.” - Tionna, on Chicago’s venue overkill. Choices!
“The Chicago Experience is great food, fantastic skyline, amazing views.” - Tionna
“Parking is always going to be one of those elements that is a nightmare for us. That’s across the board for the city.” - Tionna
“The day before, I’ve seen a lot of coordinated events. Like architecture tours down the river, or segway tours, a speakeasy bar hang out.” - Tionna
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