The First Chicago NotWedding | Recap

The NotWedding
Photo by Megan Saul Photography
Photo by Booth Photographics

Photos by Booth Photographics, John Dart Photography, and Megan Saul Photography

Since 2008, Callie Murray’s The NotWedding has been providing the affianced with a truly unique alternative to the conventions & commonalities of a typical bridal show. Rather than being accosted by competing vendors all vying for your commitment to their respective services, The NotWedding simulates a staged wedding in a mock-matrimonial fashion as each participating vendor demonstrates their serviceability by performing their function precisely as they would on wedding day. And while the ceremony is fake, the brides- and grooms-to-be enjoy the real benefit of dining, drinking, and dancing their way into a perfect fit. The NotWedding’s enormous success in Murray’s native Atlanta has inspired national demand for the event and, on August 14th, City View Loft saw the Chicago debut of the quasi-nuptial occasion. The “big, fake wedding” featured a variety of honorable vendors from the crafty confections of Courageous Bakery to the floral adornments of The Bread & Butterfly, all of which were merrily indulged against the backdrop of Chicago’s glimmering skyline.

The NotWedding
Photo by Megan Saul Photography
Not wedding expo
Photo by John Dart Photography

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JK Photoworks: Wedding Photography with a Personal Touch

JK Photoworks

Photos by James Kittendorf

The man behind Chicago studio JK Photoworks, James Kittendorf is a Lincoln Park-based wedding and portrait photographer whose breathtaking pictures capture everything from the formal ceremony to the reception and all of the candid, personality-drenched moments that happen in between. Modern Weddings sat down with the photographer to talk about his beginnings in the field, avoiding ‘fake’ smiles, and how to take a picture that will be treasured for years.

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The NotWedding Comes to Chicago


The NotWedding Charleston - Lime Green Photography

Photos by Elle Golden Photgraphy, Hike Photography, and Lime Green Photography

There’s often a disconnect between the bridal show and the wedding ceremony: couples are bombarded by different cakes and catering companies but, until the big day arrives, they have no idea how these vendors will translate to the wedding itself. That’s exactly the problem Callie Murray wanted to address when she founded The NotWedding, a fake, large-scale wedding that gives couples an edgy alternative to the traditional show.

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Especially Heartfelt

Jodi & Matt


Jodi always wanted a fall-themed wedding. She loved the idea of transforming seasonal warmth and a bold palette into an atmosphere of ease and familiarity. Antonia Christianson of Antonia Christianson Events supplied the means to this end, creating an energetic autumn occasion for Jodi and Matt that exuded Southern charm and style. A rich atmosphere emerged from vibrant orange and jewel-toned linens and the stunning floral accents that were embellished with seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Handmade, farm-style tables were interspersed throughout the historic Chrysler Museum event space to foster casual mingling through the night. Guests dined on the heirloom China of both families and drank from Waterford crystal goblets—the perfect combination of style and practiced comfort. “Our favorite detail of the evening was the hand-carved Waterford-style vase that Matt recreated from the first day they met,” Christianson says. “Everything in the particulars was sentimental, making for a fun and heartfelt event.”


Daevid’s Flowers and Décor has specialized in designing for brides and special events for more than 20 years. Although the company works with Antonia Christianson Events about twice each year, Jodi and Matt’s wedding was particularly memorable because all of the floral components were kept a complete surprise from the bride and groom.






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