Friday, April 29, 2011

Obsessed with Photos

Before getting engaged, I would spend hours looking over wedding photography blogs and admiring all of the beautiful pictures. So once I was engaged, finding a photographer was at the top of my list. I wanted a photojournalist that could capture the special moments throughout the day. I searched a lot of websites and narrowed it down to 3 different photographers that were in our budget. After interviewing them, we decided to go with Steve Koo Photography! We are very excited and can't wait to shoot our engagement pictures. He also happens to be married to another Honey Bee Wedding Day-of-Coordinator. :)

Below are a few of my favorite pictures that I found on WPJA, which is a great website for photography inspiration!

I love the lighting and cute moment captured in this engagement picture!

One of the reasons I wanted a second photographer was to have photographs of my fiance and his groomsman getting ready like the photo above.

These make me so excited to have a winter wedding. I hope the weather is as beautiful as it is in these pictures!

I can't wait to blog about our engagement pictures. We are hoping to shoot them in May!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Watching the Royal Wedding

If you are interested in getting up very very early to watch the royal wedding, click here for a website that will be streaming live. Are you getting up to watch the royal wedding? I'm not sure if I'll be able to wake-up in time. I do have a fond memory of watching Princess Diana when I was a little girl. I remember being so impressed with the size of her wedding gown.

Either way, there will be lots to talk about tomorrow!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saying Yes to the Dress

I made my dress shopping experience into a weekend extravaganza. My mother flew in from Columbus OH, my sister/MOH drove up from Indianapolis, and best friend/Matron of Honor drove from Fort Wayne. I made 3 appointments on Saturday all at bridal boutiques that specialized in sample sales. I had a budget that I needed to stay under including alterations and accessories, so I thought sample sale would be a good first try, and it was!

I found my dress on the first day of shopping and am in love!

I was not a bride who knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted, but instead I knew what I did not want. Princess gowns, lace, and tulle were out. I am very petite and did not want to be swimming in fabric. I wanted a mix between a mermaid dress and a full skirt that started at a natural waste, which after a long day of dress shopping I found the perfect mix a fit-n-flare.

My first stop was Wedding Belles. I tried on about 8 dresses but there was one I couldn’t stop looking at myself in and it took my breath away. However, it was at the top of my budget, so with accessories and alterations I would have gone over. Its like the picture below minus the one shoulder strap and sash. Besides the price, it was perfect! But I knew I had 2 other appointments so we moved on.

Next stop, Weddings 826. I only liked 1 dress and it definitely competed with the first one. I loved the top of the 2nd dress but the skirt of the first dress. The top was like the one in the picture below; it had a dramatic sweetheart cut. I wanted to put the two dress together to make my perfect dress, but I couldn't. So I took pictures and moved on to White Chicago.

At this point, it was 5pm and we were all a bit tired. After pulling the gowns off the rack, I was convinced my dress wasn’t there. I tried on five dress and the very last one was it. It was the perfect fitted top that was tight all the to my hips, but then had a full skirt with a long train. There are buttons all the way down the back and on the skirt. And…it was WAY under my budget. I know have a lot more money to work with to buy great shoes, jewelry and a veil. The best picture I could fine without posting me in the dress is the one below. I am SO excited and can't wait to wear it!

Is it December 16th yet??

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Giveaway Winner is...

Last week, I blogged about a giveaway with Slim-Fast + Filene's Basement. The winner is...Catie! Catie just won $100 gift card to Filene's Basement and a Slim-Fast product bundle.

Catie, send me an email so that I can get you your prize!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sharon + Carlos: The Details

Yesterday, I showed some photos from Carlos and Sharon's wedding. Here are some details from their big day.

All photos by Jeremy Lawson.

I thought their wedding invitation was formal but a little edgy.

The unity candle for their ceremony.

Ceremony programs. The chandelier motif was featured on many of their paper items.

Sharon made these signs. What a cute way to thank your guests!

Bird cages of different sizes held cards from guests.

Favors provided guests with a treat and an invitation to take some silly pictures in the photo booth.

A sweet take on a rings photo. Even the candy matched the color scheme!

Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day! Congratulations!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sharon + Carlos

Sharon and Carlos were planning an elegant and sophisticated wedding, but they definitely wanted to have fun, too! Their wedding was a perfect blend of both - the dance floor was packed all night.

Band Latin Street Dancing
Cake Rolf's Patisserie
Ceremony St. Ita's
DJ ETV Productions
Florist Vale of Enna
Hair Alice Salazar
Makeup Nika Vaughan
Photo Booth The Traveling Photo Booth
Photographer Jeremy Lawson Photography
Reception Chicago Marriott O'Hare
Transportation The Trolley Car & Bus Company
Videographer Ben Mahoney Productions

All photographs by Jeremy Lawson.

All the girls got ready at the couple's home. The lighting was perfect - a sunny day always helps get everyone excited!

The beautiful church where the ceremony was held.

Sharon and Carlos incorporated their Filipino and Cuban traditions into the ceremony.
After, they stopped at one of their favorite restaurants, 90 Miles, for a quick spin.

Jeremy always captures unusual and fun photos!

The Best Man signs the photo mat during cocktail hour. This is always a great keepsake for the bride and groom.

Sharing a slice of yummy cake.

Carlos and Sharon thanked all of their guests who traveled from all over the country, and kicked off the party.

Though many of my brides no longer toss the bouquet, I think it can be a lot of fun with the right crowd. Sharon seems to agree!

Leading the way onto the dance floor!

Tomorrow, I'll feature some of the details from their wedding.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Finding the Perfect Venue

After creating our guests lists and finalizing our budget, venue selection was next on my list. I wanted to get married in a venue that was modern, but classic and offered our guests a unique Chicago experience. I didn’t want a traditional ballroom, but also didn’t want a super trendy loft. However, Kyle is a foodie and loves wine so that meant we needed to find a place that allowed an over the top caterer or a venue that would not serve average meals.

So through lots of searching we chose…..SPIAGGIA! We are so excited! Here are some pictures below of their private dining where they hold events and weddings.

Once we walked in, we immediately loved the elegance of the lobby where the cocktail hour will be held. They also can open up a part of their main room to offer our guests a lounge like experience.

Then, when you walk into the dining room you look right out onto Lake Michigan, which is a beautiful view! We can not wait for our guests to arrive and be blown away. The wedding coordinator in me immediately noticed the aesthetics and chairs. The walls are a lavender, shimmery silver which fits perfectly for our theme and the chairs are perfect as they are. Even though I love chivarli chairs, this was a huge bonus not having to pay extra for them.

Kyle fell in love with the ambiance and of course, the food. He can not wait until our tasting!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gilt Groupe Wedding Sale

Gilt Groupe is having a day dedicated to wedding. There are tuxes for the gents, jewels for the ladies, and gorgeous baubles for the day.

Need an invitation? Click here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reem Acra Trunk Show

Reem Acra gowns make swoon with delight. Every single dress is beyond gorgeous! Belle Vie Bridal Couture will be hosting a trunk show at the end of the month.

Reem Acra Trunk Show
Belle Vie Bridal Couture
34 East Oak Street
To make an appointment, call 312.751.2222

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fun Giveaway!

Although Filene's Basement Running of the Brides sale is over, I am not yet done tweeting or blogging because I have an fun giveaway sponsored by Slim-Fast, an official partner of ROTB.

While I'm not trying to lose weight for my wedding, I am trying to lose the last of my baby weight. Yesterday, I posted 3 tips to success at Running of the Brides. Today, I am posting 3 tips for success in weight loss.

1- Always have healthy snacks on hand.
If you are running from bridal appointments, it probably makes sense to have some healthy to eat. I try to eat something with protein and carbs with a tiny bit of fat. Bars are great but there are some other healthy combos like pretzels with low-fat peanut butter.

2- Water is your best friend.
Drink loads of water. My obsession with sparking water led me to buy a Soda Stream for the home so that I can drink some bubbles during the day, and bottled water while I'm out at appointments and errands.

3- Keep a food journal.
Can't figure out why the weight isn't coming off? If you are honest about every single bite, the journal will help you understand.

Want to win a $100 gift card to Filene's Basement and a Slim-Fast product bundle to jumpstart to a healthy you?

To enter the contest, leave a comment below with your favorite product from the Slim-Fast 3-2-1 Plan. A winner will be selected at random on Monday, April 18th. Good luck!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Running of the Brides Tips

I had such a fun time at Filene's Basement Running of the Brides. It was an absolute blast. I have to give a lot of credit to all of the brides (and their entourages) that waited in line overnight in the rain. What an experience!

Tents were up for those that braved the weather overnight!

If you were unable to attend but are getting married, you *may* be in luck. Filene's Basement might have the sale again in the late summer/early fall. If you do go to the sale, I hope that these tips help.

Tip #1: Bring a sign so that you can trade.
The dressers are in the racks in no particular order. The first girls in line grab dozens of dresses resulting in a trading process. Having a sign (and a friend with a loud voice) will help you trade.

Tip #2 - Bring snacks.
Even if you don't camp out over night, you are going to need some snacks and water. Dress shopping is a long and emotional process. You will want to make sure that you have the energy to keep going strong.

Tip #3 - Bring a stylist.
Slim-Fast brought in celebrity stylist June Ambrose to help brides select their gowns. Since that isn't an option, I'd bring the one person who will give you the best opinion. That person may be your Maid of Honor or Mother, but make sure that you have someone who will tell you honestly if the dress looks stunning.

I'm going to post an amazing giveaway tomorrow.

Friday, April 8, 2011


As a DOC for Honey Bee Weddings, I have posted on our blog often. This time it is not information about a bridal event or the latest Vera Wang dress. It's a post about MY wedding. I am engaged!!! It’s surreal and even though I’ve been engaged for a little over 2 months, I am still on cloud nine. I am excited to share my wedding planning with you!

The Proposal.

I had always wanted to visit New York City during the winter, so in September 2010 my fiancĂ©, Kyle, booked our trip to celebrate New Years Eve in New York City. We were there from December 29-January 1st and had a booked schedule. The 29th was his birthday, so I had made previous arrangements, the 30th we had a lunch date and tickets to The Phantom of the Opera, and the 31st we obviously were going to celebrate New Years Eve. However, Kyle was very adamant about trying a coffee shop called Joe and taking a walk through Central Park (Kyle and I have traveled a lot together and parks have always been some of our favorite places), which became our Thursday morning plans. Ironically, we were dressed up to go to the theater and New York City had just received 3 feet of snow so it wasn’t as peaceful of walk as we were hoping.

He had researched a small area called Shakespeare’s Garden that he thought would be perfect, since I had made it very clear that I did not want a public engagement! I am not one to want an entire restaurant staring at me after a proposal, so a park was perfect! Once we reached the park, he started describing how wonderful our relationship was and how much I meant to him, which was a speech he had prepared but to me it is such a blur because in that moment I knew what was coming. He got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him! All I remember is staring at the ring thinking, OMG! I even had to ask him later that day if I even said yes! It was the most perfect moment!

That night we went to dinner at Aureole to celebrate, which was extremely delicious and was a perfect conclusion to our night!

Let the planning begin!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Running of the Brides

Filene's Basement annual event, Running of the Brides, has been moved up from July to April this year. It is THIS FRIDAY, April 8th at the State Street location! Doors open at 8AM. I have written about the fun of this event in the past. The sale has some amazing gowns for a fraction of the cost.

Honey Bee Weddings will be attending the event along with Slim-Fast.

For more information, go to Filene's Basement or You Tube.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Miranda + Rich: Part Two

In my last post, I shared Miranda and Rich getting ready and taking pictures around the city. Now it's time for their fabulous ceremony and reception!

All photos by Jeremy Lawson Photography.

I love this picture of Rich as Miranda is walking down the aisle.

And, even better is Miranda's expression when she's standing next to Rich!

As a part of the ceremony, Miranda and Rich incorporated a Chinese ceremony where two wine glasses are joined by a red string. I love helping to set up these little details.

The Newberry Library's space is just gorgeous for an intimate ceremony.

With a kiss, Rich and Miranda were husband and wife!

While Miranda changed into her dancing shoes and everyone enjoyed cocktail hour, we flipped the room from ceremony to reception!

The couple chose to have a sweetheart table during dinner. While the best man was giving a toast, Rich had no clue what surprise Miranda had in store!

It was a Chinese lion dance! The "lion" is accompanied by very loud drumming, which definitely caught the attention of everyone in the room. Before the dance I had discreetly given guests oranges and lettuce. The lion went around the room and "ate" these items.

Rich was obviously very surprised by the dancers! I was relieved that everything happened perfectly and right on time.

It was finally time for Miranda and Rich to cut their awesome cake from Luscious Layers.

Since their cake had black and white anemones on top, the couple had this adorable "cake topper" that was placed on their card box instead of on the cake.

It was time for their first dance as a married couple and then we opened up the dance floor.

And, as always, the photo booth was a huge hit with everyone!

Everyone danced the night away...

...and Miranda gave everything a big thumbs up!

Thank you Miranda and Rich for being so wonderful to work with and letting me be a part of your day!
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