Friday, February 27, 2009

DIYers: Here is a contest for you!

Calling all DIYers!  Project Wedding is hosting a DIY contest with some fantastic prizes.  The contest ends on March 10th.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wedding Insurance?

No one wants to think about what can wrong on their wedding day.  It's understandable.  Unfortunately, things CAN go wrong.  Last year, I wrote about the importance of Wedding Insurance.

After spending a small fortune, I knew that I had to go out to get insurance.  My mine would not rest otherwise.  Ultimately, we chose Wed Safe.  They were able to offer us the best pricing.  Luckily, we never ended up needing it.  

Recently, I heard about a bride that had her caterer go out of business.  She lost her deposit and is having to work with the credit card companies to get reimbursed. This unfortunate situation reminded me to a second post.

If you look at the comments in the first post, there was a Bride that posted about her reasons that she wished she had insurance.

Please keep it in mind!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Real Wedding: Julia + Brandon: Details

Julia and Brandon's wedding was featured yesterday. Today’s post is all about the unique details.

All photos by Kelli Ward.

Julia wore two gardenias in her hair.

The bride’s family provided the cross, cup and plate used during the wedding ceremony.

Julia’s calla lily bouquet was simple yet stunning. It really complemented her dramatic gown. All flowers by Julia Rosa.

Julia designed elegant programs in the navy and dark pink color scheme.

The bridesmaids’ bouquets were made of green hypericum berries, steel grass, ti leaves and an artichoke.

Julia and Brandon gave Garrett's Popcorn, a Chicago favorite, to guests. They created coordinating labels thanking everyone for coming.

The reception at Hotel Sax. The centerpiece includes moss, ti leaves and raspberry orchids. I love how the candlelight creates such an intimate feel to the space.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Real Wedding: Julia and Brandon

Julia and Brandon were married in August 2008 at the New Life Community Church in Lincoln Park. They held their reception at the Hotel Sax.

Julia’s mom, Barb, actually hired me as the coordinator. The bride and groom now live in Chicago and had a significant number of out of town guests. Barb and Julia were both very organized but were looking for someone to handle any last-minute details on the day of the wedding.

All photos by Kelli Ward.

Julia and Brandon shared a private moment before guests began arriving. Here they are seeing one another for the first time in the chapel.

This may be my favorite shot of the whole day. I love how it looks as if they are on the front steps of their new home, ready to start their life together.

Julia and her mom just before walking down the aisle. Mom was such a sweetheart!

The church was beautifully lit by the stained glass on a sunny day.

The beaming bridal party departing on a classic trolley.

Dancing to street musicians on Michigan Avenue.
Looks like they are having a great time!

Sharing their first dance as husband and wife to "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

Look for another post tomorrow highlighting personal touches.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bridal Events: Tabula Tua

Tabula Tua Registry Event
Sunday, March 8th
To RSVP, email

Tabula Tua, known for beautiful housewares, is hosting a bridal event with Belle Vie Bridal Couture, Maria Pinto, and other wonderful bridal events.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bridal Events: Trunk Shows + Trunks Shows

Elizabeth Fillmore Trunk Show
February 27 – 28th
Belle Vie Bridal Couture
34 E. Oak St.
To make an appointment, call 12.751.2222


Preview Elizabeth Fillmore’s fall 2009 collection of modern and sophisticated gowns. Receive 10% off bridal gowns, 25% off accessories and 15% off attendant’s gowns when purchased at your appointment.


Amy Michelson Trunk Show
February 27 – 28th
Dimitra’s Couture
1011 N. Rush St. #3
To make an appointment, call 312.787.0920


For a individualistic bride, Amy Michelson has the most amazing gowns. 


Tejani Bridal Collection
February 27th & 28th March 1st
The Peninsula Hotel
108 East Superior
To schedule an appointment, click here.


Visit the Peninsula Hotel to view Tejani's exquisite bridal jewelry collection.
15% when purchased at your appointment.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DIY: Heat Embossing

I heard about heat embossing through various forms of wedding media.  This is the type of DIY task that I could handle! I made a trip to Stamp On In in Lincoln Park and bought my supplies:

  • heat gun

  • embossing powder

  • ink pad

  • stamps

The manager was kind enough to show me how to heat emboss. My husband and I practiced later that week. It really is pretty simple.

  1. Wet your stamp with the ink pad.
  2. Stamp the item.
  3. Pour embossing powder over the item.
  4. Shake off excess powder.
  5. Apply heat from heat gun to powder.
  6. Admire your crafty self!

My first adventure in embossing was our candy buffet. A bride gave me her 40 leftover white chinese boxes. I also had about some glassine envelopes that were sold along with the candy buffet. Since that wasn’t enough containers, I bought 40 petite red chinese boxes.

Heat Embossed chinese cartons
Since I did red on red, it doesn't photograph as well but looks cool in person. 

The finished product!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bridal Events: Haute Bride + Anne Barge Trunk Shows

February 20-22th
The Left Bank
1155 W. Webster
To make an appointment, please email

One of my favorite wedding accessory designers, Haute Bride is coming to Chicago.  There will be a champagne & chocolate bar by Vanille.

Anne Barge Trunk Shows
Thursday, February 19th
6 PM - 7PM
Belle Vie Bridal Couture
34 E. Oak Street
To make an appointment, call 312.751.2222

Meet the fabulous wedding gown designer Anne Barge. Limited discounts will be available. There will be trunk shows on February 20-21st as well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bridal Event: Out of the Box

The perfect alternative to those obnoxious Bridal Expos.  Out of the Box is a great group that puts on a stress free bridal event.

Thursday, February 19th
6 - 9 PM
MCA Chicago
220 E. Chicago
To RSVP, click here

Please come for an evening of complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beverages to taste and a chance to win a Wii game system, plus entertainment that will actually help with your planning! Try out a wedding coif and groove to a DJ’s tunes. Bedeck yourself with bridal jewels and examine an assortment of wedding fashions. Gather ideas on the practical aspects of married life (finances, mortgages, and all the rest) or just fantasize about your honeymoon with a travel advisor. Best of all, mix and mingle with an intimate assortment of the hippest wedding vendors—without fighting a crowd of thousands and admission is always free!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feeling the Love

The Everyday Bride wrote a wonderful post about Honey Bee Weddings.  Read all about it here!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Real Wedding: Valerie + Jay: The Details

Yesterday, I posted about Valerie and Jay's wedding. Today, it is all about the details!

All photos by Brian Kinyon.

Valerie's lush red bouquet. Her bridesmaids' bouquets featured the same shades of deep red plus a pop of green orchids. Flowers by G-n-G Designs.

The fan programs were designed to hang off the back of each chivari chair during the ceremony.

The decor of the room perfectly coordinated with the black, white and red color scheme. I loved the vintage looking floral linens.

Valerie and Jay opted to order personalized napkins which were placed throughout the cocktail and reception spaces.

The bride loved the tiered look of the centerpieces.

Chic black and white lounge furniture was set up near one of the bars. Valerie bought a variety of books including "How to Make Love: Secrets of Wooing From the 1930s". They were a huge hit among the guests!

Their cake was topped with deep red roses and a crystal letter "E".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Real Wedding: Valerie + Jay

Valerie and Jay were married in June 2008 at Grand Piazza at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago. I first met with Valerie about a month before the wedding. She was looking for someone to take over the details on the wedding day, as well as handle logistics such as taking the gifts off-site after the wedding.

All photos by Brian Kinyon.

Valerie and her bridesmaids got ready at the Hotel Monaco. I love this shot of the bride and her sister, Erica, striking a pose.

The bride and groom took most of their photos before the ceremony. They even ventured into the Taste of Chicago!

At North Avenue Beach. I think this is such a sweet picture.

Each of Valerie's bridesmaids selected their own unique black cocktail dress. Her sister, and maid of honor, wore a white sash. I love the coordinated-but-not-matching look. This was taken at the Cancer Survivor's Garden.

Though the sky looks so blue here, we nearly had to move the ceremony inside due to rain. It cleared up just in time! Check out the amazing view of the skyline.

The newly married couple posing on Grand Piazza's beautiful, dramatic staircase.

Valerie and Jay cut their cake to "Grow Old With You".

I heart a classic dip on the dance floor.

Look for more pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Welcome Marilyn!

Marilyn has been a wedding coordinator at Honey Bee Weddings for almost a year. However, today is her first blog post.  Marilyn will be blogging about her client's weddings under the tag Real Wedding.

The author's name will appear at the bottom of each post. 

Cut Favors?

Last week, there was an article in the Chicago Tribune about the things to cut from your wedding. The list of things to cut included: 
  • Ceremony d├ęcor
  • Two dresses
  • Late-night snack
  • Personalized napkins
  • Elaborate centerpieces
  • Engraved Stationary/save-the-date cards
I don't agree!  I think that even a budget conscious wedding should stick out in some way.  If you cut out all of the fun stuff, like personalized napkins, then the wedding seems like every other wedding.  

Instead, I would focus on one thing: either a late night snack, a candy buffet, or a photobooth.  If you love paper (like me), than I would have some pretty menus and escort cards for the day.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Venue Search

Chicago is a great city for planning your wedding.  You have the choice of hundreds of venues, florists, and other vendors.  The flipside is that it is overwhelming.

There are some things to consider:
  • guest count
  • budget
  • proximity to hotels
  • proximity to church/ceremony location
  • personal constraints (outside space, bring in your own alcohol, etc.)
  • style
Style is important.  You want the day to reflect your personality.

However, some brides are still overwhelmed.  That said, you might want to consider hiring a wedding coordinator to help you find your venue.  Often listed as an a la carte service, a wedding coordinator can find a venue.

Last year, I had a Boston based bride that wanted to have a Saturday night wedding.  She wanted the ceremony and reception in the same venue.  It needed to be near a hotel since 98% of the guests were from out of town.  She wanted a modern feel that highlighted the city that she loved.  After going through her options, she fell in love with the Met Club in the Sears Tower. It was a perfect match!

If you are interested in our venue search services, please contact Misse or Marilyn.  We would love to help you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bridal Event: To Have or To Hub

Sunday, February 15th
12- 3 PM
HUB 51
51 W. Hubbard
RSVP here

Complimentary admission and valet provided.


At Lettuce Entertain You's 1st Annual Bridal Fair, looking for venues has never been easier. Guests can peruse venues for wedding events including rehearsal dinners, receptions, showers, brunches & more--all brought together for you in one room.


Sample cocktails & cuisine from 20 restaurants, and find the latest in wedding gowns, music, floral, invitations, hair, makeup & more.

Fashion will be provided by Ultimate Bride and Jenny Yoo.

Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier and Lettuce Entertain You Beverage Director, will dispense wine advice for guests. Not sure what to pour on the big day? Join us and get one-on-one advice from Alpana.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Blogger: Wed in the White City!

There is another Chicago blogger!  Nicole from Wed in the White City has been writing since late December 2008.  She is currently looking for the perfect venue for her upcoming nuptials. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Your Wedding Vision

If you aren't exactly sure what you want your wedding, I suggest you go through this little exercise.  Have you and your fiance come up with six word to describe your dream wedding.  

My husband said, "elegant, personal, unique, classy, beautiful, emotional".
I said, "elegant, urban, chic, swank, intimate, fun".

It sounds a little silly but it really helped with us.  Whenever we weren't sure if we wanted to do something, we just went back to these words.  

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