Monday, March 31, 2008

Event: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Come join Scarlet Designs & Erin Gallagher jewelry for a Breakfast at Tiffany's - themed event with proceeds and donations benefiting the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.

Saturday, April 5th
10 AM – 1 PM
Erin Gallagher Jewelry
1017 W. Lake St.

The first 50 people to RSVP and come in the door, will receive a fabulous swag bag stuffed full of not-to-be-missed gifts. Scarlet Designs and Erin Gallagher jewelry, with the help of All She Wrote, Gerber + Scarpelli photographers, Kiki Reef Events, Special Occasion Separates by Scarlet Designs, and Toast & Jam DJs, host a Breakfast at Tiffany's - themed open house filled with everything a bride-to-be needs: jewelry, fashion, flowers, food, music, and, of course, mimosas! One lucky bride will win a FREE WEDDING including MORE than $10,000 worth of goods and services.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Recently, I was at Carnivale for the shooting of segment for The Smart Bride. I spoke with the events manager, who said they have held many receptions as well as ceremony.

Carnivale would be the perfect location for a couple that wants a city wedding but without the formality of a hotel or museum. I think that staircase would leave for a dramatic entrance for the bride during the ceremony.
While getting married at restaurants has gained popularity in NYC and LA, it really hasn't caught on here as much. If I was getting married in a restaurant, this would definitely be a top pick of mine!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One of my favorite charities

Dear Readers,

I received an email from one of my favorite volunteers. Would you be able to help them out? Glass Slipper.

Thank you!

Honey Bee Weddings

Dear Volunteers,

We REALLY need your help.

While donations are still coming in, this first set-up brought to our attention that we dressed quite a few girls last year and our inventory for 2008 is in desperate need of quite a few items.

We are asking everyone to help us get out the word so that we can help make prom dreams come true for 1800 girls. We are in desperate need of:

  • Dress SHOES (especially black shoes)

  • Mascara

  • Large Shopping bags

  • Purses of all colors

  • Plus size dresses (16 & up)

  • Sparkly Jewelry

  • Monetary Donations

  • Garment Bags

Donations can be brought to Farren School, 5055 S. State during the week from 7:00am - 2:00pm or they can be brought at the second set-up, Saturday 29th from 9:00-5:00.Let's make this another successful year!

Questions? Check out our website.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bridal Event-- Jason Kaczorowski Photography opening

Jason Kaczorowski Photography is hosting a Grand Opening celebration for his new studio. Located on Chicago's north side in Ravenswood, in the former Bull Dog Lock Company building. Jason has started a blog.

There will be live music, food and spirits. Sign the guest registry and receive valuable money saving offers!!!

Jason Kaczorowski Photography

4636 N. Ravenswood Studio 106

Chicago, IL 60640

Friday, March 28th, 2008


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bridal Event- Left Bank Trunk Shows

March 29-30

"Veils & Cocktails"

Toronto Canada designer Laura Patterson returns again! Laura creates luxurious veilsincluding her signature wisps of Italian Tulle veiling. View her entiretrousseau of stunning headpieces, jewelry and new collection of silk fleurs and feathers.

1155 W. Webster Avenue


Saturday, March 22, 2008


The botanical fashion show of the century treats guests to a variety of artistic floral interpretations in wraps and clothing, hats, parasols, corsages and more, all made from flowers, plants and leaves.

The runway soiree is a collaborative event between the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance and Chicago-area florists, and students from the Millinery Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Stunning floral arrays in Horticulture Hall, beautiful lighting, music, refreshments and professional photographers make it an affair to remember.

Friday, March 28
7-10 p.m.
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue, at Fulton Boulevard

Tickets are $100 for general admission; $150 for runway seating. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 773-638-1766, extension 13.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Event Review- Chicago History Museum Event

Last week, I went to an event at the Chicago History Museum with a client, A, and her Maid of Honor, J. The event was co-hosted by Chicago Social Brides. One of my favorite museums in Chicago, I absolutely love this venue for a wedding.

While I forgot my camera, I did snap a few shots from my trusty Treo.

A Perfect Event, one of the premiere event design companies in Chicago, designed this table set-up. They incorporated bold black and white with light greens and silver. If I hadn’t seen it in person, I wouldn’t have thought that I would enjoy it so much!

The flowers from Botanicals blew me away. Fuchsia, Black , and White. What is not to love? I love the powerfulness of the d├ęcor. It was absolutely beautiful…. And something that I thought that would look great with my future weddings plans, as long as they were tweaked.

Crazy bride that I am, I decided to change elements of my event design weeks before my wedding. I may live to regret this…but right now, I’m enjoying living on the edge.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Event Review- Paper Source Event

Recently, I attended the Paper Source Wedding event held in their Evanston location. It was a lot of fun and I really did get inspired. I participated in the interactive workshop where we made and decorated favor containers. While my favors are too large for the containers, I decided to take the idea and incorporate it into my wedding plans.

Here is a picture of the favor container that I made.

Also present at the event were a select number of vendors. One cute idea was cookies pre-printed with a personalized message. I was surprised at the price-- it was very affordable!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Venue Remodel

My wedding venue, Hotel Allegro, has reopened their doors! Half of te rooms are still being finished but they have already held two weddings. Here are the pictures from a recent visit. Ironically, we knew the couple, A+K that was getting married there! A used to work with both my fiance and I at a consulting firm.
It was very fun to run into her and K between their ceremony and reception. A was very unhappy with the drapes. Unfortunately, I have to concur.

Music Room
It's the foyer immediately outside of the Walnut Ballroom. They've added a lot of really modern black and white touches. We'll be holding our cocktail hour there.

I love the paintings that flank the doors to the Ballroom.
The furniture will be removed for the cocktail hour.

Very cool black and white credenza.
We'll be using this for the guest book and the In Memory candles.

The other black and white credenza on the other side of the bar.

The Music Room has two grand staircases that lead to the cocktail hour.

Back Lobby

This is my favorite part of the remodel. We decided to take pictures over here with the bridal party.

We're taking pictures before the ceremony. Since we both want to have our first meeting together special, this is where we decided to meet!

Walnut Room
This is the ballroom!

Room view in the process of being set up for a reception

We will be getting married facing the mirror.

Does anyone find anything redeeming about these drapes?

Overall, I am happy with the remodeling of the ballroom. It's a risky decision to pick a venue that is going over a remodel. In our case, the remodeling to the reception space was minimal: new drapes, new carpet, and a fresh coat on the wood walls.

If you find a venue that you love, I'd say go for it! Just be prepared to not like some of the changes. In our case, it is the hideous drapes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boo To Zazzle

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my satisfaction with Zazzle. Well, things have unfortunately changed. When we received our stamps, there was a letter stating that Zazzle has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

We used 5 different pictures for our stamps. Two pictures that were less than stellar. The first picture is of us from the moment we got engaged. Taken with my camera, it was a little fuzzy on the stamp. Since I was exchanging those two sheets, I decided to swap out athe second picture because it had too much greenery and didn’t look as good.

I emailed Zazzle to inquire into the details of the exchange policy. The customer service representative emailed me back saying, "Thanks for your e-mail. We are more than willing to exchange the product you received for a replacement."

A few weeks later, I had a credit on my account. I emailed Zazzle again. I was told that they do not do replacements on photo stamps. I emailed them back with the original email that stated they would replace the stamps. When I finally heard back after two inquiries, I was told that they would do nothing.

Unfortunately, I have to pull my review of this online vendor. I think it is horrible customer service to offer one thing and then do something entirely different.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm a Winner!

After attending the Wedding Chicago Bridal Brunch & Fashion Show, I received an email that I won a prize of $150 from Jenny Yoo. At first, I was a little worried that I would need to meet some sort of minimum. Nope! I can use the money to buy any dress.

I love Jenny Yoo. Her styles are very original and not bridesmaid-y at all. I considered using her for my bridesmaids but we opted for a classic black dress from Ann Taylor.

Life is a little hectic right now but I have until June to use the gift certificate. After the wedding, I plan to go on my shopping spree. However, I couldn't resist looking at some of the dresses on the website.

Worn in any color, this would be an amazing summer dress.

It's a little formal but not quite stuffy. In black, I think it would be tres chic.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My new favorite blog

My new favorite blog is the The Bride's Cafe. As an industry insider, Janie Medley from Flora Designs finds the best stuff for her blog. I've already found some great ideas to steal.
Here are some of my favorites:

What a beautiful vessel to keep your guests wishes!

While I'll be using a photo cardbox, I think this is much more visually stunning! Even if your floral budget is small, this would be a relatively inexpensive way to have a huge impact for all of your guests.

I might have to use this for my own wedding! I really want pretty labels for the candy buffet. This is the neatest label that I've seen.

If we had kept with Plan #569 of having an Indian influenced wedding, I would have loved this as a Groom's Cake. My fiance double majored in college- religious studies and computer science- so I think he would have enjoyed the Buddha. Besides, it would remind us of our trip to Thailand.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Inspiration Board

The multi-talented Kristen Henschen of Kio Kreations created this fabulous inspiration board for me. Thank you Kristen!

Using some of the pictures that I had saved, she complimented the idea with some other awesome pictures. Check out these links to her Floral Portfolio as well as her Product Design Portfolio.

It is amazing to be able to see my monochromatic plans reinterpreted by someone else. Kristen is a true gem!

Kristen is going to be sending us some other inspiration boards in the next few weeks.

If you want a board created, please post a comment and let us know.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My completely unusable shower thank you cards

Engraved Silhouette Shower Thank you cards

Supplies for Lining Envelopes

Hours Spent Lining Envelopes

Realizing that the silhouette includes a woman's nipple

How did I miss that?!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lining Envelopes

As I have stated in previous posts, DIY craftiness is not a skill of mine. However, I decided that if there was one task that I could handle, I could line envelopes! Here are the steps:

  1. I made a trip to Paper Source, picked out a paper that would compliment my cards as well as a glue stick.

  2. While the magazine suggested unassembling an envelope to create a template, I decided to trace the outside of the envelope and then cut 1/2 inch smaller all the way around. Being an avid recycler, I created my template out of an old postcard.

  3. I use the template to trace the envelope lining onto the sheet of paper.

  4. Then, I diligently cut out the paper.

  5. I smeared glue around the lid as well as a bit to the top and the bottom of the envelope.

  6. Once the lining was inside the envelope, I folded the envelope over to create a crease in the paper.

Ultimately, I am not going to be able to use my much cherished silhouette cards as my shower thank you cards.

Why not? More on that tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Second Wedding Gift really just for me.

That's ok, the first gift was really meant for my fiance. His friends, whom we affectionately refer to as J&J, bought us a wrought iron skillet. Denton is quite pleased with his gift. I was told under no circumstances may I touch said skillet.

My best friend slash Maid of Honor, Nichole, has been there for me, through thick and thin, for the past 18 years. I couldn't imagine my life without Nichole. She and I have grown into two different personalities but she is the only one that I could image standing their by my side on my wedding day.

While one never expects a gift, I knew that in my heart of hearts that my best friend would give me a gift and that it wasn't going to give me cash or something off the registery. It just isn't her style nor would it reflect our relationship. With the expense of throwing me a shower and a bachelorette party, I didn't think she would spoil least not like this!

When we found my dress, we found small drop earrings that looked perfect on me. Not wanting to rush, I didn't purchase them on the spot. I saw some earrings on White Aisle and showed them to her. Nichole told me NOT to get them. Why is that?

It is because my best friend bought me the most beautiful diamond earrings. She told me that they can be past down to my daughter or son's wife. Here are some pictures of the absolutely fabulous earrings. I absolutely love them!

Diamonds are really hard to photograph!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

I am very thrilled to be featured in Today's Chicago Woman magazine. Follow the link to read the full article!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Day in the Life

What did I do 70 days before my wedding day?
  • Met with my best friend/ Maid of Honor and received our second wedding present!
  • Gave my faux Greek family wedding stuff for us to store.
  • Ring Shopping with no success.
  • Booked our Rehearsal Dinner venue.
  • Visited the hotel to look over the remodeling.
  • Met with our photographer to go over must take photos and the day of timeline.
  • Had my first set of alterations.
  • Collapsed.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Children at Weddings

Are you having children at your wedding? We are not. Our ceremony begins at 6:30PM, which is immediately followed by a cocktail hour. With an after party in place, I don't think our night is child friendly.
However, I am not totally against having children at weddings. I think it really depends on the time, formality, etc. I thought this New York Times article was very interesting read on the topic.

What do you think? I'd be interested in my reader's opinions. Please take the poll to the right.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

James Ciccotti Grand Opening

Renowned luxury bridal shoe & accessories designer James Ciccotti celebrates the opening of his new salon in Lincoln Park.
James Ciccotti Grand Opening Event
Sunday, March 9
James Ciccotti Bridal Shoes & Accessories
2545 North Clark Street
RSVP 773.525.4280

Enjoy Champagne and chocolate treats provided by Take the Cake and receive a $25 gift certificate toward your purchase.Also, the first 50 brides receive a Swarovski Crystal"Something Blue" charm!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bah Humbug

Cook County taxes are increasing. What does that mean for you?

It means that your wedding may have gotten a bit more expensive. And Chicago now has the highest tax rate of any city in the US.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Simple Design, Big Impact

Heffernan Morgan is my favorite event design company in Chicago. There work is beautiful. Recently, I received a goodie bag from them. It is so simple yet so pretty that I had to share with you!

The bag is a plain white glossy bag. They folded a ribbon underneath a sticker with their logo. It just goes to show you-- simple can be fabulous.
I may use this idea for my gift bag to the out of town guests!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Incredibly Shrinking Bride

After my beauty post caused a minor uproar, I was interested in reading this Newsweek article. I walked away rolling my eyes.

After you read it for yourself, feel free to read my criticism:

  • The bride that was quoted for the article said that people are interested in how she is going to look on her wedding day. Really? I’ve gotten a few questions on the type of dress I’m wearing, hair style, etc. but no one has made me feel as though I needed to change the way that I look. If your friends and family are doing that, you have much bigger issues. Additionally, I find it curious that the article interviewed one bride. I am sure there are a few brides out there that feel this way but I highly doubt that they make up the majority, or even at the very least, a strong minority.

  • Brides ordering a dress that is 4-5 smaller than their current size. While silly, I would hardly call this life-threatening or even unhealthy.

  • Weight loss—While the article agrees that most brides-to-be used healthy methods, it mentions that up to 20% of brides use unhealthy methods. How is this different the general population?

  • Botox or Chemical Peels-- These treatments are safe if done correctly, he says, but there are a lot of people offering these services who have had very little training. Some have even used research-grade botulinum toxin in lieu of Botox, Again, how does this specifically target brides?

Overall, I feel this article is pure sensationalism. Slap the word “wedding” on an article and some people are going to read it. I did. My gut reaction was, Really? I mean really?? I worked in the bridal industry. While I’ve had a few brides want to lose 5 or 10 lbs, I haven’t had any do something where they no longer looked like themselves.

I still stand by my original post. On the day that I will be most photographed, I want to look my best. But I want to look like me. On some good days, my skin looks flawless. On some good days, I have a fantastic hair day. On some good days, I’m at my “happy weight”. On my wedding day, I want to make sure that I am having a really good day!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bloomingdale's Bridal Events

The "Pre-Wedding" Wedding Party
March 6, 2008
6pm - 8pm

The (VERY) Social Registry and Brides Magazine invite you to The "Pre-Wedding" Wedding Party. Join us to meet a gathering of the most sought after wedding pros around. From invitations to photographers, china patterns and luggage, Bloomingdale's is here to assist you with all your wedding details. To say I Do, please reply to 312.324.7651.

Sweet Spring Creations
March 8, 2008
2pm - 4pm

Meet the Executive Pastry Chef, Anthony Chavez, from Cafe des Architects at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, and see one of his stunning showpiece sugar creations. Learn from a master how to create your own French desserts and pastries. For more information, please 312.324.7678.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tricks of the Trade

If you want to go the DIY route but need a little help, why not learn from the experts? It's a great investment that will last long after your wedding.
Botanicals and Hello Darling!. Both offer classes in floral arrangement.

Gorgeous arrangements by Hello Darling!

Paper Source offers workshops in calligraphy as well as invitation making class. In addition, they have online videos to help with your crafting projects.

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