Afton Events got its name from its founder, but it takes a village to bring a wedding to life! The team is made up of women with extensive event experience from various backgrounds, each bringing their own unique skill set to the table.

Meet everyone below, and we'll meet for drinks later!

Afton Vangsness Wedding Planner

meet afton

Afton Vangsness, Owner and Lead Planner

Hi, I'm Afton - the lead wedding and event planner around here, and your new fangirl! I am a Type A personality - organized, detail-oriented, and bossy, with a Type B mindset - creative and free-spirited. Combining these traits with my years of experience in the events industry, led me to launch Afton Events, a Chicago wedding and event planning company. I am a firm believer that every wedding and event should be a direct representation of the client and an expression of who you are. I LOVE all of the pretty things involved with weddings, but I also LIVE for a detailed timeline and all of the little logistical details. I specialize in making the process FUN and a constant celebration. My favorite part about being a planner is taking the stress off of others so they can truly enjoy their day!

I live in downtown Chicago with my husband and dog (see more on him below). In my spare time, I love experiencing all of the Chicago restaurants, watching all of the reality TV shows, and I am ALWAYS down to grab a drink!

Chicago Wedding Planner - Afton Vangsness


Mary is a confident leader who is a true lover of love! Her smiling face and bubbly personality put everyone at ease. With ten years of experience in the wedding industry, she knows what she is doing! Mary has a background in catering, corporate event planning, and wedding coordination.


In her spare time, she loves reading a good book, cooking, and hosting all of her family and friends!

Chicago Wedding Coordinator - Mary Bona
Chicago Wedding Coordinator - Leighann Cardosi

meet leighann

Leighann is always on top of her game, and style is where she shines! With a true eye for design, she always makes sure every wedding detail is picture perfect, ensuring your day is everything you envisioned and more. Leighann has a background in graphic design and large-scale events (including the Super Bowl!).


In her spare time, she loves doing yoga, traveling, and meeting new people!


Monster is Afton's right-hand man who is always by her side acting as her assistant, security guard, and really boosting office morale. He unfortunately is not available for onsite support at events (due to his Chihuahua attitude), but rest assured he is working hard behind the scenes.

In his spare time, he enjoys eating treats (Greenies are his favorite), barking at dogs, and sleeping pretty much all of the time.

Afton Events Wedding Planner