A Luxury Vision: Weddings at The Peninsula Chicago with Jennifer Clarke, Director of Weddings

By Jennifer Clarke By Jennifer Clarke | January 31, 2023

Jennifer_Clark_0035-0001.jpg

Tell us what makes your business different from other wedding companies.

The Peninsula Chicago strives to differentiate ourselves based on the attention to detail that we provide, as well as the ways that we can customize our wedding couples’ special day. Our legendary Peninsula service is the main reason why couples choose to have their wedding at The Peninsula Chicago. The majority of our staff has been at the hotel for 10+ years and have truly come to know our guests. It feels to many of our guests that they are ‘coming home,’ when they come back to stay at the hotel. We strive to personalize guests’ stays and we love helping to create memorable moments that last a lifetime.

With over 11,000 square feet of meeting space and over 300 sleeping rooms and suites, we are honored to be able to offer one location for all of your wedding events, such as the rehearsal, ceremony, reception, after-party, post-wedding brunch, bridal shower, and more.

Our wedding couples also receive a complimentary overnight suite accommodation on the night of their wedding, as well as access to the hotel’s 1946 vintage Packard automobile for wedding photos and short rides to and from the ceremony. Couples are also invited back on their one-year wedding anniversary for a complimentary overnight stay to celebrate the occasion.

What is your best advice for engaged couples?

I always tell engaged couples to let go and enjoy their wedding day. The day goes by far too quickly. Find moments where you can enjoy time together. I suggest having private time at the beginning of cocktail hour for just the two of you to enjoy a Champagne toast and have something to eat while you reflect after the ceremony. As much as you can, be in the moment and let the wedding professionals take on the worry about timing and the small details.

What is your favorite trend for weddings currently?

I love the new “foodie” trends that are being incorporated into weddings! We’ve helped to create weddings with expansive dessert bars in addition to a traditional wedding cake, including beignet stations, ice cream sundae bars, and cookie stations. More is more when it comes to desserts! Serving Espresso Martinis has also been a big trend recently – not just at the bar but being passed to guests later in the evening as a celebratory surprise.

first_image.png

What is one of the most unique elements you have seen in a wedding?

We hosted a wedding where a groomsman lived overseas and unfortunately could not be in attendance. In order for the groomsman to still be involved, the couple had a WiFi-enabled mobile robot in the room during the reception. This robot was equipped with a screen for the groomsman to be on a video call. He was able to give a speech through the screen on the robot as it moved around from table to table. The robot even danced!

Do you do anything that is signature to your brand?

At The Peninsula Chicago, we describe our service approach as ‘Midwestern Hospitality combined with Far Eastern Graciousness,’ which is defined by the warm, genuine, caring nature one would find in people from the Midwest together with the reserved, discreet, refined type of service one would find in Asia. The Peninsula Hotels are based in Asia, so you will find a number of Asian influences throughout the hotel. Some of these touches can be incorporated into weddings with Asian influences in our food, such as our specialty dim sum during cocktail hour as an example.

What do you think is essential for any wedding?

It is essential to include special touches that are meaningful to you during your wedding day. For example, if you love French fries, have a French fry bar for a late-night snack. Or if you and your fiancé shared a certain cocktail during your first date, make sure that special cocktail is available to guests.

Chicago_Exterior_Dusk-0001.JPG

How far in advance should couples book your business?

Couples normally book about a year in advance. However, sometimes there are dates that become available closer in! We will try our best to work with your ideal timeline.

Contact Info:
Jennifer Clarke, Director of Weddings
[email protected]
312-573-6701

ML_Weddings_Q_A-0001.png



Photography by: