The Who’s Who: 

The night before the Martha Stewart Wedding Party show, the planners, Claudia Hanlin of The Wedding Library, and Meghan Andalman of Lovebird Wedding & Event Styling, hosted a vendor “sips and snacks” reception so we could meet and network with vendors before the show. We connected with Daniel Lichty of Elan Artists. Elan had an amazing band play during the show on Sunday, and I can’t wait to recommend them to clients. They are based out of Minnesota, but often travel to other states for weddings.

The morning of the show kicked off with a seminar from Darcy Miller, the Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, Alaina Kaczmarski of The Everygirl, and Jenny Bernheim of Margo & Me, showing us pictures of their weddings, along with tips of how to personalize every detail.

The Bartolotta Booth:

Directly after the presentations, the ballroom doors were opened to allow the guests to visit the vendors. Our booth was front and center as guests  entered the room, and we greeted them with our chef’s delicious Duck Ragout over polenta with a blackberry gastrique, Chicken Liver Mousse with apricot, and Triple Chocolate Tarts.

We had a small army of staff to set up and tear down our booth and were lucky to have the assistance of our co-owner/Chef Paul Bartolotta along with Ted Anderson, Maria Bartolotta of the Grain Exchange’s husband, to help!

We used white carpet from the Drape Kings located in Chicago and furniture provided by Cort. Impressions, a Milwaukee vendor provided the beautiful floral centerpieces and backdrop as well as white lights in our booth from ACME. The overall presentation turned out perfectly.

Tips & Trends: 

As the day progressed, we took the opportunity to walk around the show, network with vendors, and see what the latest trends are for this year.

We tried some delicious organic, freshly made cotton candy, from Spin-Spun  our favorites were jalapeno cornbread and lemongrass, and they even lit up, which would be perfect for any evening event!

Another tasty dessert we sampled was a hot chocolate bar, which had delicious caramelized marshmallows from Katherine Anne Confections.

An innovative Chicago caterer that we were able to sample was Feast & Imbibe, and their tuna lollipops were very unique!

Beyond the vendors that participated in the show, we were also able to connect with a handful of Chicago-area planners and magazines, which we look forward to turning into strong partnerships for the future.

With such a fun, exciting, successful event we look forward to roaring past our record wedding season we had last year!

About The Author:

A native of Edgerton, Wisconsin, Julie Gerber started working in restaurants at age 14.  After graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Waukesha County Technical College, Julie joined the The Bartolotta Restaurants in 2002 as a server at Lake Park Bistro. After a variety of roles at both Lake Park Bistro and Ristorante Bartolotta on Downer Avenue, Julie moved to Discovery World in 2006 to assist with its opening. She advanced quickly to become Sales and Catering Manager, which is the title she holds today where she oversees events both large and small, from weddings to corporate events.

Julie also enjoys giving back to the community as a board member for Care-a-lotta, the charitable arm of The Bartolotta Restaurants, and as the Volunteer Chair for Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin. She is also a member of NACE (National Association of Catering & Events).
In her free time, Julie enjoys dining out, baking and spending time with her family, which includes her husband, Matt, their two young children, Emily and Evan, and their spunky Boston terrier, Marty.