FRIDAY GIVEAWAY: Evening of Bridal Luxury Event in Chicago!

Enter for a chance to win TWO complimentary passes to Modern Luxury Wedding Chicago’s Evening of Bridal Luxury Event!

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Happy Friday Birdies! I have a fun giveaway for my lovey brides to be!!! Make sure you subscribe to Birdcage and Blushers and you’re automatically entered into a drawing for TWO complimentary passes ($75 value) to attend Modern Luxury Weddings’ Evening of Bridal Luxury event. Join them for bites and bubbly and check out Vera Wang’s Fall 2017 bridal collection and the latest collection of sparkles from Harry Winston! Its definitely an evening you won’t want to miss!

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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

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!

‘Tis The Season: Winter Weddings

Let it snow, let it snow! Today we’re talking about the fun of winter weddings!

Every wedding season, traditionally summer and early fall months are the most coveted months to get married. However, a lot of couples do get married in the winter time, whether its to save money or because they love the idea of a winter wonderland on their wedding day. Either way, winter weddings can be really fun and really beautiful. Here are a few ways to celebrate the season on your big day!

Pretty lights!

 

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You can think of winter season without thinking about twinkle lights! Tiny white or amber twinkle lights is an elegant way to give your wedding a seasonal feel and you can incorporate them anywhere from the centerpieces, to the tables, and around the venue. Pier 1 Imports has very affordable LED string lights in a few different colors.

Seasonal Center Pieces

When I think winter I think holiday season, white, sparkle, red, pine, etc. You can give your wedding a winter feel by incorporating seasonal centerpieces. Notice how I say seasonal as opposed to Christmas. It’s your wedding day, so you want your wedding to be timeless and classy. Instead of Santa and Reindeer, stick to more classic themes. Your wedding will still look like a wedding and be timeless in photographs.

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Signature Flavors

Winter is such a cozy time of year! Incorporate flavors into your day that makes your guests warm and fuzzy. One great way to do that is in a signature beverage! A fun cocktail with cranberries, boozy hot cider, or mulled wine, are a few of my wintertime favorites. Why not incorporate a hot chocolate bar into your dessert service or sweets table!

Escort Cards

Ok…as much as i lean toward classic traditional notes, I love to see unique, out-of-the-box escort cards. I think its one of the areas of your wedding where you can get truly creative! Christmas Gift Boxes, Mini Ornaments, Snowflakes…so many options. I really adore these pine cone escort cards! Simple and seasonal. Spray a little sparkly, fake snow and you’re good to go!

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Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle!

I love seeing winter weddings with sparkle and there’s a way to incorporate sparkle without it being overwhelming. I’m a huge fan of glitter table runners, and overlays. A lot of linen companies have sparkle linen you can rent in a variety of colors like black, gold, silver, white, and fun colors like blue!

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And then of course, you can always wish for snow….and get shots like this.

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You can see more stunning photos from the winter wedding above here, courtesy of Chicago wedding photographer Elena Bazini!

Happy Planning!

 

Wedding Sweet Treats!

Not really feeling the traditional wedding cake? Here are a few nontraditional sweets for your big day!

Hi Birdies! I hope everyone had a wonderful T-giving and enjoying the holiday season! I was enjoying a cozy day inside, which resulted in a sweets craving (as usual)! At weddings, aside from the first dance and the speeches, dessert is something that I can look forward to. Nowadays, a lot of brides are opting out of doing a traditional wedding cake and choosing more non-traditional desserts.

The options are practically endless! Let’s start with a little spin on your traditional teared wedding cake! Cake designers are SO incredibly talented these days, that you can make a tiered wedding cake look unique and fun. You can play with different textures, colors and flavors each tier of the cake! One wedding cake secret is you can still have multiple tiers of cake….but don’t have them stacked. It actually costs more to stack the tiers because of all the labor that goes into. Having individual round cakes will not only save you a few bucks, but it can add a bit of whimsy cake three or four individual round cakes that has its own look.

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Wanna have your cake and eat it too? Cake pops are another fun way to have cake in nontraditional way! You can do multiple flavors and decorations, and they look cute! You guests can appreciate having cake they can easily “pop” in their mouth!

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Cupcakes, are always a good time. You can do full-sized or mini cupcakes. I’ve seen couples do  small cake to cut atop a tower of cupcakes for you guests. You can make it fun by adding fillings of fruit or ganache for a little surprise in each bite!

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Doughnuts are very “in” right now. There’s been this new phenomenon of gourmet doughnuts and I am HERE FOR IT! The wonderful thing is that many of the places will do catering and bulk orders. Like cupcakes, you can do full size of minis. I’ve also seen a doughnut bar where you can have assorted doughnut holes and your guess can dip in their choice of glazes and toppings. Some popular doughnut establishments in Chicago: Glazed and Infused, Firecakes, The Doughnut Vault, and Stan’s just to name a few!

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Pies, pies and more pies! Not only do they look cute, they taste delicious! This is great for fall or winter weddings too. You can do a full spread of pies, or have individual mini pies served to the tables! Bang Bang Pies and First Slice are two of my favorite pie places!

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Dont be afraid to think outside of the box on your wedding day! If it’s yummy, your guests will love it!

Happy planning!

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!

Veil, Hair, and Accessories!

Happy Sunday Funday! I hope everyone’s weekend was wonderful! I wanted to take a second to share with you a tidbit of what’s going on with my own personal planning! With my vow renewal a short three weeks away, I finally took home my dress and veil! I was having a dilemma, like most brides do, about what to do with my hair: Up? Down? Straight? Curly? Veil or no veil? At the end, I decided to go with a veil, since i did a birdcage veil when i first gor married. As far as my tresses, I want to look beautiful but I want my hair to be as low maintenance as possible. In other words, I wanted a style that 1) I could do myself and 2) I could do in 20 minutes or less. I decided on a simple blow out with two braids pinned back on either side. Quick, simple, and pretty!

Veil: Elbow length veil from Mignonette Bridal

Headband: Yasmine Leaf Headband (in gold) from Francesca’s

What’s The Deal With: Wedding Websites!

I always find it fascinating how wedding trends come and go. It’s particularly interesting how those trends change along with the advancement in tech. Wedding Websites are very “in” right now. I love them! Wedding websites are a wonderful way for the couple to share their story, like how you met, first date, the proposal, etc. They are great for giving details to your guests about the itinerary for your wedding weekend, especially if you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town. You can include info for events like wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, welcome party, ceremony, and reception of course. You can also include gift and registry info on your site. You can also keep track of RSVPs on your wedding website as well! Just don’t forget to send paper RSVPs to your not so tech savvy family members!

If you want to do a wedding website of your own, you don’t have be a web designer. You can find super cute (and free) templates online. WordPress.com is free and has free templates that are user friendly. The Knot and Minted both have free wedding website templates as well (see below)!

 

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Templates on theknot.com

 

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Templates on Minted.com

Here is an example of simple but adorable wedding website to give you an idea! The most important thing is to make it your own. Happy planning!

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!