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Vendors I recommend:

Glenview Park District - The Grove
The Grove is a lovely location with a historic house and five acres of grounds. The rental rates are reasonable due to its inclusion in the Glenview Park District. They have a long list of recommended caterers and no longer permit you to use an outside caterer. The space is flexible and the Park District is easy to work with, making this one of my all-time favorite venues. Best for smaller parties indoors or larger ones using the outdoor grounds.

The Adler Planetarium
Sure, you went there with your elementary school class, but the Adler has grown up, too. There are two lovely spaces available for rent, one with actual skyline views and the other with virtual skyline views. The events and catering staff are extremely helpful, and they really know how to throw a party.

Atrium Events/Architectural Artifacts
Atrium Events is an unusual space--in a good way. It is large enough to accommodate a lot of guests and has for decor substantially all of the treasures of the architecture store. There is also an outdoor courtyard available. The staff there is also terrific, making it a great place to throw a party. There is only one drawback: The space is not air conditioned. But you can get a discount on the space if you rent it during the hottest months of the year. Just remember to rent lots and lots of fans.

Pazzo's Restaurant
Pazzo's is an elegant downtown venue at a reasonable downtown price. The atrium is a gorgeous location for a wedding or party; Pazzo's food is high quality; and their personal service is outstanding. For a modern, stylish location and good Italian/Mediterranean food, I recommend this place.

Davis St. Fishmarket
Even if you don't care for seafood, this is a superb restaurant for a small private event. Although there is no longer a party room separate from the rest of the restaurant, the managers will work with you to come up with a menu to satisfy all your guests—and your budget. The food and service are top-notch.

Prairie Moon
For a casual event in an unusual space, Prairie Moon is a great choice.

Dave's Specialty Foods
Dave is my favorite caterer. His food belongs to a higher class than your average caterer. A year after an event he catered, the guests were still raving about the food. He is also great to work with: easy-going, flexible, and fun.

Food For Thought
I've worked with FFT more than once recently and I've always been impressed with their food and service.

Sweet Mandy B's
Rich cakes and buttery cookies. Also a treat to work with. But they don't deliver.

North Shore Bakery
This is the place to go for kosher pastry.

Bittersweet Pastry Shop
Bittersweet is a reliable, high-quality bakery. Particularly if you like wedding cake with some flavor and texture, you can get one here.

Oak Mill Bakery
Oak Mill is a good, old-fashioned bakery, providing everything from wedding cake to cookies. Their sweet tables are original, beautiful, and very tasty.

Swedish Bakery
For the best European buttercream frosting, try Swedish Bakery.

Not only does Pollen do sustainable floral design, they also have creative ideas and are a joy to work with.

Anna Held Flower Shop
For flowers a cut above your neighborhood FTD florist, try Anna Held Flower Shop. The prices are higher than your local shop, but you get quality and service for your money.

Modal Music, Inc.
Here is a band which does world music--the whole world. I am particularly fond of their Klezmer, Eastern European, and Balkan music and dance instruction. They also do Scandinavian, Flamenco, Dixieland, and many other styles you wouldn't expect to come from one group of musicians. Versatile is the least of it. And they are fun to work with.

Wellington String Ensembles
You can hire the lush sounds of a string quartet (which can also be augmented with other instruments) at a reasonable price by hiring the strings of the Wellington String Ensembles. These young musicians are professional, reliable, hard-working, and talented. Nothing says "classy" like a string ensemble.

Stitely Entertainment
For one-stop shopping for event entertainment, start with Jeff Stitely's ensembles. They can provide everything from a DJ to a full dance band, and everything in between--even ceremony musicians.

Carasco Photo
Carasco offers artsy, individual, beautiful photographs with tons of style. They do portraits and photojournalistic-style pictures. And they couldn't be nicer to work with.

MWD Photography
For traditional wedding photography (portraits, photos of guests, etc.) with a very pleasant, easy-going attitude, try MWD Photography.

Agnes Malorny Photography
Agnes takes both portraits and photojournalistic photos with an unassuming style and beautiful results.

Artisan Events
If you want to spend top dollar for high-quality, artistic photos, including photojournalistic-style pictures, consider Artisan Events.

My Chauffeur
My Chauffeur delivers standard limo service at reasonable prices. Their customer service is outstanding.

AAA Rental System
A very reliable rental house with top-quality goods and services. They don't rent dishes, but are terrific for large events.


"I would wholeheartedly recommend Lisa Gordon's party planning services" Abigail L., recent satisfied client

See more reviews.

Elegant place setting
Photo by Carasco Photography

Contact Lisa for a free consultation.

Bridal bouquet
Photo by Magical Moments Photography

String quartet at a wedding
Photo by Carasco Photography

Birthday party buffet

Non-traditional wedding cake
Photo courtesy of Artisan Events, Inc.

Sweet table
Photo by Carasco Photography

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