Today our review jumps into realms unexplored – a wedding and reception. The reason it qualifies for our blog is that it was a brunch wedding. Could it get any better? You (and we) are about to find out. Since our destination was in River West right off of Halsted Street, we decided to take the #8 all the way south. In contrast to our usual attire, since this was a wedding, we had to ditch the sweats (for now at least) and get a little more glammed-up. The wedding was set to begin at 10am, so we hopped on the bus a little after 9am, knowing the traffic might be slow with Lollapalooza in town.
Setting the Scene
It was a gorgeous early August day – perfect for an outdoor wedding. Since it was a brunch wedding, the events of the day began relatively early. We arrived to the wedding venue, Galleria Marchetti, in plenty of time to check out the scene and were surprised with pre-ceremony mimosas. After several years of working with Becky, Catie (and Eric) knew the way to our hearts (and livers)!
Amenities and Accessibility
The remodeled century-old warehouse has a sloping sidewalk entrance and single-level building design was easy to access, as was the restroom. There is a second level, which we think can be reached by an elevator. Even though we were outside, the “patio” had a retractable roof (mimicking the industrial bow truss interior), which provided some much-needed shade during the ceremony. Fancy clothes are not that breathable, apparently.
Food and Drink
As we mentioned, waiters were circulating with trays of mimosas as the guests arrived and mingled in the open air. Once the ceremony had completed (and Jodie had recovered from an attack of The Feelings), we retired to the bar area, next to the open-air kitchen, for cocktails. The fully stocked open bar had all of the standard offerings, but mimosas and bloodies were in high demand.
Staff was on hand with trays of canapés, of which there were two varieties. The first was a delightful mini-slider, with medium-rare meat, tomato, crisped buns, gooey cheese, lettuce and some kind of balsamic reduction. Jodie enjoyed these little bites immensely.
The second amuse-bouche was a whipped brie creation, served in a phyllo dough cup and topped with a slice of Granny Smith apple. The airy bite of the brie was not anything we were expecting, but it seemed to need a hint more sweetness (a honey drizzle? candied walnut?) to truly pull it together.
Once the patio had been reset for the reception, we were greeted by a sumptuous repast and a literal tower of donuts. The buffet included everything: pasta with multiple sauces (presumably for the kiddos in attendance), chicken and waffles, eggs, hash browns, bacon (of course), fruit with fresh whipped cream, several salads, and a whole table for desserts. There was also a section for bagels, replete with lox and all the fixings.
We, sadly, forgot to take pictures of our plates (bad bloggers!) because we were so busy chatting and socializing with our table companions. Mea culpa to our readers.
From what she remembers, Jodie had the fried chicken, pasta with red sauce (which she managed to get on both herself and her table mate), both salads (shared with Becky), fruit, and a few of the desserts, including a delightful cheesecake bite, which she recalls with fondness.
Becky enjoyed the salads, eggs, and mini-bagels with lox and the attendant accessories. To be honest, she doesn’t remember much about the food, because this brunch was all about the people and the experience. All in all, the food was solid, the presentation excellent, and the service was exceptional.
Our gracious and thoughtful hosts. This day was theirs, but they made us feel so very included and welcome. We wish them all goodness and happiness on their journey together. Catie and Eric 4 Eva!
The RSVP Mad Lib responses and Polaroid station. Ingenious.
Dance floor shenanigans, including an unexpected solo routine by your very own Brunch Baes. Minds were blown, video was taken (no, it’s not going on YouTube), and sweatpants were nearly ruined by an epic knee slide across the dance floor. But, we think that most in attendance knew we were trouble when we walked in…
The after party and a school bus to take us there! The bride and groom wanted the fun to continue for the adventurous folks in the party, so they arranged for a bus to pick us up and take us a couple miles to the southwest, to a bar called Kaiser Tiger. It had a great patio, stellar beer selection, and bocce courts in back! They also serve brunch, so it’s another possible destination for a review in the future. Jodie also enjoyed their impeccable décor.
This was a relatively tame brunch for us, given most of our experiences. While the food and drink were provided, our outfit preparation was the most expensive part. This may come as a shock to you, dear reader, but we don’t have much in the way of wedding-appropriate clothing. It took some work – a full day of shopping for Becky.
This may have been one of the most fun weddings that we’ve ever attended. The venue, the food, the company, the hospitality, and the brunch timeline all contributed to our enjoyment. Catie and Eric, you dears get a knee-sliding, death-dropping 9 out of 10 for your brunch nuptial extravaganza.
Pro Tips – Optimize Your Experience
- Have awesome friends who invite you to their brunch wedding.
- Bring a change of clothing. But wait for the bride to change into her after-wedding outfit. It’s only polite.
- As is true with any buffet, choose small portions and go for your favorites first. You can always go back for more!
- In an open bar, as with all-you-can-drink deals, pace yourself. It’s someone’s special day, and an opportunity to celebrate them, not to make an ass of yourself. On the same note, be sure to have ample cash to tip your bartenders for their service. Match generosity with generosity.
- If there’s an after-party, then it is even more imperative to pace yourself. You’ll get to take advantage of the more casual atmosphere to enjoy yourself and the company of the newlyweds and those closest to them.