Wedding Sweet Treats!

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

Advertisements

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.

FullSizeRender 35

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!

cake-pops-candies-chocolate-food-37537

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!

pexels-photo-48664

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!

pexels-photo-205961

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!

pexels-photo-104987

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!

A Magical Five Years: Our Vow Renewal!

HI Birdies! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I’m super excited for this post! Today is the day that I share with you all about my vow renewal! For those of you who missed my anniversary post last year, my husband and i decided that we wanted to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary with a vow renewal with our friends and family. We wanted to do this because when we got married, we had a city hall ceremony, which was perfect for us. What was missing was the vows. I had written personal vows and inadvertently left them behind and Luis, well I don’t really know what happened with the vows on his end. Needless to say we did not exchange personal vows, not to mention there were people that missed the ceremony that we would’ve liked to be there. So it was decided! We would renew our vows and recommit our love to one another with all of the most important people in our lives in attendance. The process took a little over a year to plan with venue and vendor hunting. There were definitely some bumps in the road along the way, but the end result was perfect.

First we had to pick a place! Luis is a pretty easy going guy so it was mostly up to me to narrow down places that would be suitable. I really wanted something glamorous. We looked at restaurants, venues, and boutique hotels, and decided on the Ivy Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was intimate, but modern and perfect. After finding the venue all of the other vendors fell into place: DJ, Planner, Photographer, etc.

Sometimes when you’re planning a wedding, shit happens. Our “shit” was that I had experienced a job change where i took a minimal pay-cut to be somewhere where i would be happier and have more growth. Unfortunately the “minimal pay-cut” added up to the point where when crunching the numbers we could no longer afford all that we wanted to do. Devastated, we had to cancel the venue and the few vendors that we booked. I even considered returning my dress. I’ll admit, there were tears. Luckily I have the best husband in the world, who assured me that everything would work out.

After drying my tears, and pulling up my big girl pants (sweat pants, ha!) I was struck with the determination to find a place within our new means. Just when I was about to throw my hands up in defeat, I decide to reach out to one of our favorite restaurants, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park. I was thinking to myself, “There’s no chance in hell that this amazing restaurant is going to open before regular business hours for a private group, especially not for less than thousands of dollars”. To my surprise, not only did they do private events, but at a price that we could actually afford! After that, everything fell into place for us. We did super fun custom invites,  confirmed our photographers and coasted through the rest of the process. Everything certainly happens for a reason and we ended up having the perfect day! See some stunning photos from our anniversary shoot with Elena Bazini a week before our anniversary and photos from our actual renewal event with Severin Weddings!

Anniversary Shots Courtesy of Elena Bazini Photography

Location: Winnemac Park

alysonluis_0098

Custom Designed Invitations Courtesy of The Art In Tara

IMG_1811

Vow Renewal Photography Courtesy of Severin Weddings

Location: Wicker Park

web-2016-aug-alyson-luis_mg_6696

web-2016-aug-alyson-luisimg_6912

Thank you to all of the industry professionals that helped make the day spectacular!

Venue: Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Neighborhood: Wicker Park

Catering: Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Dress: BHLDN Chicago

Veil and Alterations: Mignonette Bridal

Shoes: The Left Bank

Hair: Robert Jeffrey Hair Studio – Andersonville

Tuxedo: Men’s Warehouse

Flowers: Pistil and Vine

Invitations: The Art In Tara

Anniversary Photography: Elena Bazini

Vow Renewal Photography: Severin Photography

Accommodations: Godfrey Hotel Chicago

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!

img_1880

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!

img_0186

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!

img_4720img_2027

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!

img_1122

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!

img_4710img_2049

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!

img_0528

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)!

4eff0e1d1309d7a911fc77f301d9f0fd

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!

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)!

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 11.19.21 PM
Templates on theknot.com

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 11.26.08 PM
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!

Last Chance: Win Bridal Expo Tickets!!

Hi birdies! Don’t forget today Is your last day for a chance to win a ticket to the Luxury Bridal Expo (Chicago and Milwaukee, WI)! I’m partnering with the lovely Severin Photography to give away three Admit One” expo tickets to brides and grooms to be! All you have to do is like Birdcage and Blushers and Severin Weddings on Faceebook and comment “blushing bride to be!” 0n either page. The winner will be selected this evening!