Custom receptions add a touch of whimsy

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Creating themes: The DoubleTree by Hilton Alsip-Chicago offers many ways to customize a wedding, including through tablescapes, the menu and linens. | Supplied photo

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip

5000 W. 127th St., Alsip, can accommodate special events of all sizes from 50 to 450 people: showers, rehearsal dinners, overnight guestrooms and post-wedding brunches. For more information, contact sales & catering at (708) 272-4200, or visit

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Wedding venues are almost as varied as the couples getting married. With all the different options, however, many brides and grooms say their reception isn’t so much about the setting, but having the ability to customize and showcase their personal style.

Kelly Sujka, director of sales and marketing at DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip, has experienced myriad weddings throughout her seasoned tenure in the hotel industry.

“There have been so many styles that have come and gone — everything from fashion to flowers to traditional elements like the bouquet and garter tosses. One of the biggest things we’re seeing at DoubleTree is couples are pulling away from planning a cookie-cutter reception. They want their special day to not only be wonderful and beautiful, but one that will leave a lasting impression on their guests,” Sujka said.

Recent themes Sujka has seen are Chicago Cubs/Chicago White Sox, Caribbean and Candy (symbolizing the union as being the sweetness in their lives).

“Couples want enhancements that will tell their guests a story of who they are. Themes reflect who they were as individuals, as well as who they are as a couple. We get really involved in helping them, and we work with outside vendors who can provide the specific enhancements. One couple liked to travel and instead of using table numbers they organized the tables according to all the places they visited. It told the story of where they’ve been together.

“Another couple got married in Jamaica and they asked us to recreate the destination by having a Jamaica-themed reception. We can achieve any theme by incorporating elements such as up-lighting, photo booth, chair and furniture rentals, flat screen TVs, etc. There are so many ways to customize via tablescapes, the menu and linens. Anything is possible,” conceded Sujka.

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip has wedding specialists on staff to provide personalized attention to help couples create their vision from start to finish, while ensuring all the details are covered.

At the helm of catering is the executive chef of the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Allgauer’s. The chef works with couples on dining selections and can tailor any menu to one’s specific tastes or theme.

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip offers custom onsite wedding nuptials, wedding receptions, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, post-wedding brunches and other celebrations.

“We’ve had families who have had three or four children host their wedding with us and they are always astounded by how unique and special each event is,” Sujka said. “That’s because when it comes down to it, a ballroom is just four walls. It’s how you make it your own that matters and makes it special. It’s an honor to be part of a couple’s special day and work with them in creating an event that reflects who they are. That’s the most rewarding part of our jobs.”