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The Six Most Intriguing Trends for the 2017 Chicago Wedding Season

For over 90 years, the Marchetti family of Galleria Marchetti have been the prominent thought leaders in wedding experiences throughout the Chicago community and the Midwest. We are a traditional Italian wedding space proud of our accessibility and familial feel. Our concept of shareable space resonates well with an increasing client base of on-trend millennials who share the same values.

No one perhaps understands this better than Natalie Madonia, our Director of Wedding Event Sales & Catering. Natalie always knew she wanted to pursue event planning. After getting her certification at Lexington College, she broke into the industry by interning at Galleria Marchetti for six months until getting hired permanently in a wedding sales role. She would go on to assist the director before ultimately moving into the position herself. In June, she’ll have been with our team for five years. She has seen several trends emerge and dissipate over that time and remains ever mindful of what today’s Chicago couples truly want in a wedding experience.

Natalie recently shared her insights into some of the hottest trends emerging from Galleria Marchetti clients leading up to wedding season 2017.


The most prominent trend Natalie has observed involves clients looking for new and innovative ways to include their guests in producing the actual wedding experience. Interactive food stations (flaming donuts, pasta, sushi, antipasti, candy, brunch and bloody mary/mimosa bars) have been a huge hit. Our newly featured fire pits (used for such fun activities as making s’mores) have also been in high demand from clients. Interactivity for guests has even transcended into the digital world through social media engagement. Wedding hashtags for Instagram campaigns and photo spots (like an outdoor photo booth) are increasingly common among trendy and interactive wedding experiences.

Outdoor Fire Pit for S'mores
Christy Tyler Photography

Avant-Garde Visual Elements

Natalie notes how many clients are bringing new energy and new vision into the Galleria Marchetti space via their visual and design schemes. Clients seem intent on finding new ways to incorporate color, light, space and even typography into everything their guests see at weddings. Tiered displays with movement, welcome signs, stage décor, unique walls and place-card boards are a hit with a more design-conscious clientele. Natural tables are also becoming more popular and are one of many ways our space incorporates natural elements. Natalie attributes this trend to our space providing a phenomenal canvas for combining rustic simplicity with a more modern sophistication.

A Global Appeal

We have seen a sharp increase in out-of-state and international couples inquiring about our event spaces and the full-service experiences we offer. Our clients have a long history of singing their praises of our spaces via sharing word-of-mouth referrals. In a more globally accessible social economy, clients and guests alike have taken the liberty to amplify what makes Galleria Marchetti so special. Natalie mentions that we provide a very distinct experience in contrast to these international prospects’ other more local and familiar options. Consequently, we have seen an uptick in both virtual and personal tours to clients from all over the world.

Transparency in the Planning Process

Natalie explains that the demand for constant communication between planners/teams and clients has also been on the rise, and we’ve worked tirelessly to proactively meet the demand. We offer a guided walk-through of the event spaces beforehand (minimizing the effort clients expend to actually survey a space). With our personal and full-service approach, our wedding planning team makes it a priority to keep the lines of communication open from start to finish.

Flexible Experiences

Our clients want the perfect wedding. Part of that includes a built-in peace of mind that there is a contingency should something not go exactly according to plan. Natalie and our team have observed an increased demand for wedding agendas and venues that can adapt to unforeseen circumstances. For example, La Pergola features a motorized retractable roof that affords the flexibility to transform an outdoor space into an indoor space with the press of a button.

Retrackable Ceremony and Reception Space
Christopher|F Photography

A Departure From Tradition

Our clients have increasingly elected to do away with many of the most traditional wedding elements like palate cleansers, banquet chairs, swagged linens and linen skirting. The nostalgia afforded by our event spaces is seemingly enough homage to “the past,” and clients are eschewing tradition in an effort to make their weddings really stand out.

Traditional Reception at Galleria Marchetti

The Galleria Marchetti event spaces have recently undergone some astounding modern renovations. While we still promote an old-world aesthetic among the Chicago community, many clients are coming to us with new ideas and new energy. Natalie and our world-class wedding planning teams are taking our clients’ fresh new ideas and positioning us firmly at the forefront of the industry in 2017.

If you’re looking to start planning your dream 2017 wedding, contact Galleria Marchetti online or give us a call at (312)-563-0495.

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