I’m not going to lie, as I write this new post I’m under a lot of covers!  I hate being cold in the winter.  I was just catching up on my daily wedding reading when this “real wedding” from Martha Stewart Weddings, really caught my eye. 

 

The bride and groom served hot chocolate and hot apple cider as the guests arrived for the ceremony.  Each cup was customized special for their wedding. 

I think these place cards are so cute and go perfectly with the winter, rustic theme.  Using large, sturdy branches to hold the place cards  is an easy and cost effective idea. 

These mini cupcakes look fantastic in this branch cupcake stand.  The bare branches really set the tone and fit in with the rest of the wedding decor. 

The bride and groom gave all the male guests antique flasks and all the female guests soft, warm, winter boots (found at Target).  If you can’t afford to give all the guests such items, these are great ideas for the bridal party gifts.  The girls would look so cute in their wedding dresses and boots! 

These centerpieces are certainly perfect for a winter wedding.  I really love the use of fresh floral and the deep blue linens. It helps to create a fresh and bright looking table, even on a cold, snowy day.

I have to admit, I do feel much warmer after talking about all these great ideas!  Now all I need is some cozy winter boots and a cup of hot chocolate and I’d  be good to go!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

I am so excited for Indie Wed.  It’s the first of its kind in the midwest and it is totally my cup of tea!  So many awesome, unique vendors to check out.  I’ll be there walking around and enjoying everything.  Here is all the info you need. 

Saturday, January 30th, 2010
from 11am-5pm
at the Showroom at the Ravenswood Event Center
4025 N. Ravenswood Ave
Chicago Illinois

Indie Wed will feature:

*54 amazing vendors from the Midwest and beyond
*musical performances and fashion shows
*swag bags for the first 50 pre-sale ticket-purchasers (sold out)
*swag bags for the first 25 people in line
*and much more

click here to buy your tickets – only $10 each or $15 for two. 

I hope this great event fits in your busy schedule this weekend!  If you do go…place a comment to this post and let everyone know how it was!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Year Round Nature

January 21, 2010

Venues with a view are in high demand.  So many of my client’s put windows at the top of their venue wish list.  Fortunately Chicago has many fantastic venues with a great view and The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is one of my favorites.  

 The Nature Museum has many great features including indoor and outdoor access.  The ravine (top left photo) is stunning and perfect for an outdoor ceremony or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  The ravine has nice shade so your guests will not get too hot. 

 

The Nature Museum also has a huge terrace on the 2nd floor that can be 100% open air and can seat up to 200 guests.   You can also tent the terrace  for year round events.  When the terrace is tented you can seat up to 300 guests.  (This photo was taken by Sarah Alair) 

   

The South Gallery has floor to ceiling windows and is spectaular year round.  In the summer and fall the surrounding trees are in bloom and rich with colors.  In the winter the branches from the trees and snow on the ground create a very cool, romantic look.  Pair it with branches for your floral and you have an instant theme.  (This photo was taken by Becky Hill

 

The Nature Museum has breathtaking views of Lincoln Park and North Pond.  The museum also features  the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven; which your guests are able to enjoy during cocktail hour.  Consider this unique venue for your wedding ceremony and reception or your next social/corporate event! 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Congratulations to Kim and Zach!!!  Not only for recently getting married but also for creating the perfect combination of traditional and modern style.  Their traditional wedding really had a lot of great modern features. 

To start, the couple chose a fantastic venue.  The Grand Ballroom at the Joliet Union Station is a National Historic building and perfect for your wedding or corporate event.  The Grand Ballroom can hold up to 350 guests and features amazing architecture, marble staircases and beautiful 45 foot ceilings with chandeliers. 

The couple chose a really refreshing color palate of black, white and light blue with accents of bright green.  It all pulled together beautifully.  My favorite aspect of this wedding is the use of the modern black and white pattern that was showcased within many of the details from invitations, ceremony programs, linens and the wedding cake display.  As you know, I LOVE patterns and texture.  Kim and Zach’s eye for style really helped create a modern look yet they were able to keep the wedding traditional. 

The bridal party looked sharp, sophisticated and perfect for summer.  I love how the bridesmaids stand out in their blue dresses and yet the reception decor really focuses more on the black, white and green.  Kim didn’t go overboard with the blue and it really worked well to incorporate more than just two colors. 

This picture of the bride with her sister/Matron of Honor and her mom is so beautiful.    Even the mother of the bride fits into the overall style of the wedding in her fantastic black and white dress (very chic). 

If you find that you have always wanted a traditional wedding but you are more of a modern girl, use some of Kim’s ideas to create the best of both worlds.  Have fun with your style and you’ll discover the perfect look for your big day!

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

There are many important elements that go into the perfect wedding reception.  Of course you want the decor to be fabulous and the menu to be delicious but don’t forget about the music!  The right music can make or break a party.  Hiring the right DJ is extremely important for the life of your party.  You want to make sure the dance floor is packed and all your guests are having the time of their lives.

I’ve heard this comment a few times in the past couple of years “I’m just going to plug in my Ipod.” This is not a good idea and here are a few quick reasons why.  1) Your Ipod can’t make simple introductions and announcements the way your DJ can.  2) Your Ipod can’t feel the energy of the crowd and play appropriate songs accordingly and 3) Your Ipod can’t take requests. 

When I say “Listen to Your Own Style” I mean figure out your music style before signing up with your music vendor.  Many companies will of course give you lists of songs they have but they may not have some of your all time favorite songs that you love.  Not all companies are flexible with adding your songs to their list but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Toast and Jam is extremely flexible and knowledgeable about music and will guide you in the right direction.  They will also add any songs you want that they might not have within their collection. 

   

  

These DJ’s are all from Toast and Jam and they seriously get the dance floor going.  No cheesy tux wearing MC here!

Customizing the music to fit your style is just another fantastic way to personalize your event.  You don’t have to only play the Rat Pack all night long…..get creative and have your DJ mix in your style along with the all time faves (Shout anyone?)

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Cupcake Stands

January 10, 2010

Cupcakes have become a very popular dessert.  Cupcakes are super cute, trendy and perfect for any occasion.  Chicago is extremely fortunate to have so many amazing bakeries that specialize in cupcakes.  Some bakeries do not provide cupcake stands; many of my clients have asked me where they can get one or how they can make one.

Raise the Cake specializes in unique cake stands including cup cake stands.  You can even custom create one to match your personal style or event colors.  The two examples below are from www.raisethecake.com

I love the freedom to create the prefect stand for every event.  Raise the Cake has all kinds of color and pattern options; great for weddings, birthday parties, anniversary parties etc…

Many bakeries do provide cupcake stands but keep Raise the Cake in mind if you would like to design something special.  They can be simple, elegant or modern; whatever you want!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

The holiday season is also high engagement season….if you’ve just gotten engaged and you haven’t finalized your bridal party yet you might want to consider having a smaller group stand up. 

It is a wonderful feeling to have a large bridal party (like the picture below) but it can also really add up financially too.  A lot of brides don’t realize the additional cost for having so many bridesmaids.  Each bridesmaid will need a bouquet which will range anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00 each.  Plus you’ll of course want to give each bridesmaid a nice gift to thank them for standing up on your special day.   It is up to the bride how much you would like to spend on bridal party gifts but typically they are about $50 – $150 each.  As you can see this is already starting to add up. 

It can be difficult to choose your attendants; especially if you have a large family.  However, it is a lot more cost-effective to have a smaller bridal party (as in the picture below).  It can also be extremely special  having an intimate group of just your family or your very best friends.   There is no right or wrong way to go about your bridal party – you’ll know exactly who must be in the party!  I would suggest really thinking about who to invite.  There are many other ways to honor special people in your life.  You can ask some to perform a reading during the ceremony or give a special toast. 

Don’t forget about all the groomsmen and ushers.  They will all need a boutonniere ($15.00 – $30.00) and bridal party gifts as well. 

Also, the more members of the bridal party you have the larger the mode of transportation needed.  It is a lot more cost-effective to have one limo instead of two limos or a trolley. 

Having a smaller group can really help you stay on budget.  If you really can’t get away with a small party – just be sure to include all the above costs within your budget so you aren’t thrown off with some additional expenses in the end.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine