WICKER PARK — A new shop-local expo for weddings offers just about anything one thinks would be needed to tie the knot right: from cakes to flowers, jewelry, DJ services, catering and venue rentals.
And, something most people might not have thought of: a premarital counselor.
Produced by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Special Service Area taxing district, the first ever Wed Local Expo is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The idea, organizers say, is to connect neighborhood couples with nearly three dozen local experts, including Cynthia Bassuk, a licensed counselor who offers couples counseling and premarital coaching services out of Artemis Counseling's Milwaukee Avenue storefront.
"Happily ever after is a myth. You are better off having the right tools so you can have a strong marriage," said Bassuk.
Bassuk said she has a large number of clients in Wicker Park and Bucktown, many of whom are from diverse backgrounds.
"If she's Catholic and he's Jewish, or he's an atheist and she's Hindu, it might be hard to find a place to go for counseling," Bassuk said.
Bassuk described her counseling as "similar to a pre-Cana nondenominational prep for marriage," referring to the Catholic church's required course for couples planning to be married.
Bassuk said her counseling services help people to prepare for managing "the ups and down of marriage" with communication tools, sometimes as simple as reminding couples that "love can be sealed with favors" as simple as washing the dishes.
Wed Local Expo is geared toward people looking to "find creative wedding solutions that support the local business community and do not compromise on quality," organizers say.
Tickets to Wed Local Expo are $10 when purchased in advance online, or $15 at the door, while capacity permits. Goody bags will be available to guests while supplies last along with complimentary drinks for patrons over age 21.
Clover Morell, special events coordinator for the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, said about 100 tickets have been sold so far, with more folks expected to arrive on the day of the expo.
A full list of vendors and descriptions is available on the chamber's website, as well as an artfully-designed 13-page downloadable "Lookbook" style guide loaded with 55 local vendors offering wedding-related businesses and services "from tuxedos to tiaras, vows to veils, or buttercream to marzipan," according to a news release.
The pages of the Lookbook feature lovebirds bedecking themselves in locally-sourced jewelry and accessories such as wooden watches and bow-ties from The Silver Room and popping in at The Violet Hour for a speakeasy style pre-wedding cocktail reception.
To add to the party atmosphere and since the expo is taking place at Double Door, an iconic music venue, local DJs will be spinning throughout the event, too.
Wed Local Expo Exhibitors Include:
Alliance Bakery / alliance-bakery.com
Anticipation Events / anticipationevents.com
Artemis Counseling, PC / artemiscounseling.com
Atomic Arts Studio / atomicartsstudio.com
Bachelor's Button Vintage
Big Star / bigstarchicago.com
Bonobos / bonobos.com
Chicago Vintage Weddings / chicagovintageweddings.com
The Dailey Method / thedailymethod.com/chicago
Elevenzees / Elevenzees.com
Fotio / fotio.co
Geno Images / genoimages.smugmug.com
Jane's Restaurant / janesrestaurant.com
JGM Makeup / JMGmakeup.com
Maypole Studios Photography / maypolestudios.com
Momoko Photography / momokophotography.com
Naturally Yours Events / naturallyyoursevents.com
Paper Cinemas / papercinemas.com
Pistill & Vine / http://pistilandvine.com
Radiancefinejewelry / radiancefinejewelry.com
Red Door / reddoorchicago.com
Salon Blonde / salonblonde.com
Sarah Scott Photography / sarahscottphotography.com
The Savory / savoychicago.com
Spilled Ink Press / spilledinkpress.com
Steracle / Steracle.com
Steve Quick Jeweler / stevequickjeweler.com
Studio Starling / studiostarling.com
Toast & Jam DJs / toastandjamdj.com
The Traveling Photo Booth / thetravelingphotobooth.com
Tweedle Press / tweedlepress.com
For more information, go to wickerparkbucktown.com, or call 773-384-2672.