Planning: Money Saving Tips!

Every bride has a budget! Here are some great tips on how to save while planning the perfect wedding day.

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Happy Saturday everyone! It’s the weekend, which means brides are in the throws of venue hunting, wedding dress shopping, and other details!

Here are some great ways to save brought to you by Vouchercloud.com all about the little ways you can save.

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You can check out the full post here! Happy planning!

Upcoming Event: 3Larks Bridal Pop-up

15540750_1824830864455061_7196962430697055225_oHi Birdies! Its almost the weekend! If you don’t have any plans, definitely check out 3Larks Bridal Pop-up Shop this Saturday! 3Larks does bridal pop ups, offering once-wed and designer sample gowns at discounted prices! Sounds like a bride’s dream right? The upcoming pop-up will be taking place this Saturday at Naturally Yours Events studio. It is by appointment only so make sure you email to register. You can find additional details here. Just like any other dress hunt, don’t forget to come prepared with all the necessities when trying on wedding gowns! Check out my list of dress shopping essentials here !

Happy hunting and I hope you find the dress of your dreams!

XOXO

Birdcage and Blushers Event Calendar

pexels-photo-196650Hi Birdies! I just wanted to update you all and let you know that i have updated the Upcoming Events Calendar on the page. Use the calendar to keep track of the wedding events going on in the Chicagoland area. The calendar includes bridal shows and expos, trunk shows for wedding dresses and more! You can find the link to the calendar here

Enjoy!

XOXO

Quick Tip: Wedding Email

If you don’t have an email account just for wedding, you should. Here’s why!

pexels-photo-211856Happy Wednesday! We’ve made it half way through the week Birdies! I was at my desk this week, halfway through drafting an email when i realized the bride had a wedding email address. Yes, an email address just for her big day. Truth? It’s something that i wish i would’ve done while I was planning. If you already have one, you’re on the right track. If not, do it because it’ll make your life a little easier.

Think about all of the email you get in a day. Now think about how many emails you’re going to be receiving during the planning process: responses to your inquires, emails from your planner, the venue, the DJ, the caterer and pretty much any other vendors you’ll need.

The good news is, an email account is free and only takes five minutes to set up. It’s a great way to keep you organized and not let any important emails fall through the cracks. Another great tool to utilize is the calendar. With your wedding email account, use the associated calendar tool to keep track of your deadlines and appointments. You’ll have everything you need in one place.

Hope you enjoyed the quick tip! As always, make sure you subscribe to keep up with all the latest B and B updates!

Happy Planning!

Happy New Year and Happy Planning!

Happy New Year and congratulations to the newly engaged! Here’s your planning starter kit to help you on the right track to planning the big day!

I can’t believe its 2017! Seems as if 2016 came and went so quickly. But the new year is about fresh starts and new beginnings. There’s nothing I love more than a wedding engagement during the holiday season. It’s said that the most engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Years. So heres to a fresh stat and congratulations to all of the newly engaged couples out there! img_4556

Below you’ll find post to help you get started with your planning, the Wedding Planning Starter Pack. These five posts have very helpful tips to get you started on the path to planning your big day!

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now what?

Friday Quick Tips and Tricks: Venue Hunting

Wedding Planners 101: To Hire or Not To Hire, That Is The Question

Wedding Planner Match Making!

Friday Tips and Tricks: Budgeting

Be sure to keep up with Birdcage and Blushers on Facebook and Instagram for all of my latest tips and wedding obsessions.

Congratulations again and happy planning! XOXO!

Favorite Wedding Movies!

Happy Sunday! There’s nothing like curling up on the couch and having a movie day on a Sunday.  Wedding movies are awesome for getting excited about your own big day, or if you’re just looking to take a break from all the planning.

I don’t know about you, but wedding movies are some of my favorite! Some of my go-to wedding movies include: Bridesmaids (of course!), My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Best Man, Sex and the City, The Wedding Planner, and Bride Wars just to name a few.

As important as it is to get all your nuptial ducks in a row, it’s also just as important to take a break every now and again! Check out these list via Buzzfeed and Vogue.com for list of some great wedding movies!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a wonderful week!

B & B Does Wedtoberfest 2016!

Hi Birdies! It’s been a while but I hope all of you are enjoying the crisp fall weather that has finally rested on Chicago!

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Perfect for kicking off the fall season , I attended a super fun and appropriately named Wedtoberfest. Brought to you by the ladies behind IndieWed, Wedtoberfest is a fun wedding show combining wonderfully unique local wedding industry vendors with equally unique beer from Breweries in and around the Chicagoland area. The show took place at the lofty Artifact Events venue and was laid out perfectly. There were things to see in every area, with vendors on both the first and second levels, as well as the outdoor courtyard. Below are some of the wonderful professionals that i saw!

Molly’s Cupcakes

Molly’s Cupcakes is a Chicago staple and house-hold name when it comes to cupcakes. Known for a wide range of flavors, Molly’s is a great choice for cupcakes, other sweets (like rice crispy treats – yum!) and wedding cakes!

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http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/chicago/home.aspx

Regina Jules Bridal

One of the most exciting and eye catching components of the bridal planning process is obviously the wedding dresses! I was fortunate enough to meet Julia Tiedt, the creative, and fashionable mastermind behind Regina Jules Bridal. She specializes in custom, handcrafted bridal gowns and the fun part is that the bride is involved every step of the way! Just from clicking through her online gallery, the dresses that she designs vary in pattern, silhouette, texture, and style. I was lucky enough to get a shot of one for her stunning designs!

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http://reginajulesbridal.squarespace.com/#our-story

Bottles & Cans

Bottles & Cans is a lovely shop that specializes in unique beers, wines, and spirits. Why showcase at Wedtoberfest, you ask? Bottles and Cans is great for couples who have particular tastes in beer, wine, and spirits. They work with couples to customize a liquor package that meets their needs and reflects their taste. The cool thing about them is that they have a liquor license so they can come on-site and handle the bar portion of your wedding (if your venue allows). They are located right in the heart of Chicago’s North Center so definitely check it out!

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http://bottlesandcanschicago.com

3Larks Bridal Boutique

3Larks is such a cute concept! It’s a bridal pop-up shop that specializes in “once wed and designer sample gowns”. You’ll find in their inventory many of the bridal couture favorites like Maggie Soterro and Vera Wang, all at discounted prices. Keep up with 3Larks on Facebook to see their next pop-up! Below is a stunning gown from their inventory by Romona Keveza!

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http://www.facebook.com/3Larks/ 


Atmosphere Events Group

This was a lovely, rustic-glam display courtesy of Atmosphere Events Group that specializes, in floral, lighting, and other event design!

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http://aegproduction.com


Jazi Photo (Photo Booth)

The Jazi Photo Booth was by far one of the coolest things I saw. Not only is it a Photo Booth but it’s a cute little trailer retrofitted with a Photo Booth inside. It’s the cutest photo trailer ever, where your guests can actually step into the trailer and have fun photo sessions. This is an absolutely perfect option for someone having a wedding that has some sort of outside space or cool loft space where you can fit the trailer. Below are photos from the Jazi Photo website (my pics don’t do it justice-in my defense it was dark)!

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http://jaziphoto.com

I hope you enjoyed the recap of Wedtoberfest and the featured vendors! Keep an eye out on the B & B Event calendar for other fun wedding events and shows going on around the city and Chicagoland area!

Happy Planning!

Stitch and Fix: Alterations 101

 

Congratulations! After trying on tons of dresses, you’ve finally found the perfect wedding dress to walk down the aisle! But…what do you do next? FullSizeRender 23Unless you’re really lucky, your wedding dress isn’t going to fit you perfectly right off the rack. Like most brides, you’ll likely need some kind of alterations to your gown to make sure that it fits your beautiful bridal curves like a glove. Here are a few tips and notes to keep in mind:

  1. Order UP! Once you’ve found THE dress, you want to make sure you get the right size. Some brides make plans to get fit leading up to the big day. If you plan on dropping a few pounds between the time you buy your dress and the time you walk down the aisle, you don’t want to order your dress too small. It’s always easier to take make a dress smaller, than to make a dress bigger. Definitely consult with your seamstress on the best course of action for ordering the appropriate size.
  2. Finding a Seamstress. Every bridal salon operates a little differently. Some bridal boutiques have their own in-house alterations departments, while others have recommended seamstresses. If your choice boutique does not have a seamstress in-house, you definitely want to go with a place that they recommend. Wedding dresses are made with a lot of detail and delicate materials and you’ll want to leave your dress in the hands of a place that is experienced with such alterations.
  3. Cost? Average alterations cost can start at around $275 and go up from there. The cost of alterations varies. The more detailed or delicate you dress, the more expensive it’s likely to be. Materials like delicate lace, or beading can make the alterations a little more as well. Another thing that can affect the cost is adding things like buttons, a bustle, bra cups (get them!!!!), straps, sleeves, etc. Make sure you budget accordingly.
  4. When to go? Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither are dress alterations. Expect to have at least two fittings before the wedding. You’ll want to give yourself, and the seamstress time to do the work so that you’ll have your dress on time. Its recommend you schedule your first fitting at least 6 to 8 months prior to the month of your wedding. Your first visit is the first consultation where your dress gets fitted, pinned etc. Depending on how detailed your dress is, it may take a little longer for the initial alterations to be done. Your second fitting will be to try on the dress with the first round of alterations. Your dress may fit perfect at that point, in which case you can take the dress with or leave it at the seamstress for a later pick-up. Otherwise, your seamstress will make minor adjustments, where you’ll have to go back again for another fitting.
  5. What to bring? When you go for your first fitting, it helps to bring the things you’ll actually be wearing on the day. At the very least, bring your shoes. If you haven’t decided on shoes yet, bring a pair that has the same heel height you plan to wear on the big say. This is key for length. If you have a belt, bring that too. If you have a veil at the time of your fitting. definitely bring it along, especially if you plan on having a floor length or cathedral veil. You’ll want to make sure the length of the dress coordinates with the length of the veil. Don’t forget your undergarments! Whatever undies or bras, shape-ware, make sure you have those on hand.
  6. Entourage or nah? For a first fitting you don’t need to bring an entire crew, like you would when you’re dress shopping. One or two people, whose eyes and opinion you trust should suffice.

Whether you found your dress or not, at least you’ll be prepared when you do!

Let’s Talk Stationery!

What’s the deal with invites? B&B breaks down the topic of paper goods for the big day!

Hi Birdies! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer, whether you’re planning or just weeks away from the big day! Today we’re talking about pretty paper goods. That’s right: stationery! Stationery is a great way to set the tone of your wedding and add elegant touches to your day. But there are so many options! How do you know what you’ll need? How do you choose? Where do you go? First let’s go over the basics!

  • Save-The-Dates: Save-the-dates have become increasingly common nowadays. It’s a great way to give people the heads up that 1) you want them to come and 2) to plan their schedules accordingly. You’ll want to get those out 6 to 8 months prior to your selected date, 8 months if you’re planning a destination wedding, for sure! Save-the-dates shouldn’t have any other info besides the date. Maybe a link to your wedding website if you decide to have one. Other than that, leave all other details of the big day for the actual invitation.
  • The invitation: The actual wedding invite is the most important piece of stationery, as it will have all the need-to-knows. Your wedding invitation will include, the location(s), date, and time, at the very least. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Its common now for your invitation to have at least two components: the invite and an RSVP card. The RSVP card is for your guests to send back to you letting you know that they either will or will not be able to attend, and their meal selections (if applicable). **Two seconds on RSVPS: 1) strongly suggested 2) put a stamp on them for your guests so they don’t have to pay for postage when sending them back.** In addition, you can have a details card with additional info i.e. hotel details, transportation, and registry info. If the reception is taking place a good distance away from the ceremony location, a map or direction card is helpful as well.

Once you have the two major pieces crossed off your list, you can get a little more creative with your stationery and paper goods. The possibilities are endless. You can also have:

  • Menu cards
  • wedding programs-great if your ceremony includes special readings, prayers, or other rituals before or after the actual nuptials.
  • table numbers
  • gift tags-for favors, or welcome bags/boxes
  • place cards/escort cards

When selecting designs for your wedding stationery, it can be overwhelming because there are so many options! If your wedding has a certain theme, color scheme, or tone that’s a great place to start. Choose something that best reflects you are your partner in crime, because, after all, its your wedding day!

You can get invitations from many different places. You can find wonderful options online at places like Minted.com or Etsy. You can also find templates to print your own at home. There are also places that specialize in crafts and paper goods that you can physically go visit, places like Papyrus or Paper Source. Here they have lots of templates to choose from in their invitation books. At Paper Source they have materials like card stock, envelopes, stamps, and more, if you’re interested in being creative and making your own invitations.

Another option (and my personal favorite) is finding a person who can create custom designed invites for you! If you’re not really seeing anything that fits your vision and you don’t want to make your own, you may like the idea of sitting down with someone and telling them exactly what you want. I am a big advocate for supporting your local vendors, and Chicago has some very talented folks who custom design paper goods!

  • Elizabeth Grace– Located in Lincoln Park, Elizabeth Grace can meet all of your stationery needs and has an adorable boutique with lovely stationery, cards, and gifts! The tags on these gift boxes were done by Elizabeth Grace.IMG_2677
  • The Art In Tara-Tara Inge, the lady behind The Art In Tara, is an artist (check out her work on her site)! Her skills as an artist, allow her to create amazing designs. From invites to save-the-dates, she’s got you covered! You want to have hand written signage on a mirror for you big day? She can do that too! I’ve seen her do it, it was amazing! I worked with Tara for the invites for my vow renewal (my husband and i are a quirky couple) and she did an awesome job!IMG_1811
  • Penelope’s Press-I learned about Penelope’s Press at Indie Wed this past year. I loved the letter-pressed style with the hand drawn designs! FullSizeRender 18

Best of luck with finding your perfect source of stationary for your wedding needs! As always, comments and questions are welcome. Until next time!