Happy weekend Birdies! I’m so excited about today’s post. One of my favorite things to do is meet lovely human beings in the wedding industry who are offering unique and fantastic services to brides. This week, I attended a launch party for Carried Jewels, an online jewelry boutique specializing in engagement and bridal jewelry for the modern day bride. Why do i love them? Not only is the business run by the two most fantastically refreshing women, but the pieces are affordable, nontraditional, and just stunning. No two rings are alike and they’re all made to order. As someone that keeps my eyes open to bridal trends, I find that most of the big box jewelers carry the same styles of rings. It’s so refreshing to find Carried Jewels that really cares about catering to brides that aren’t looking for rings that all the other brides have. I was fortunate enough to see (and try on) some of their beautiful wares in person at the launch party hosted by Honey Bridal . Such a fun way to spend a Thursday evening: sipping cocktails courtesy of Crafthouse Cocktails , indulging in sweet treats by Altissima Cake Co. , and trying on sparkly jewelry! Each ring has it’s own personality, and you can even, layer, stack, and mix and match your favorites for the perfect bridal set! If you’re in the market for a ring, whether its for the ceremony or an anniversary, Carried Jewels is definitely the place to look. You can see their full collection online here
Happy Monday birdies! Its finally June, peak wedding season where brides are planning their big day, getting married and writing sweet vows to their beloved! Its a wonderful time of year. One of the best parts of planning is finding the perfect gown. I love wedding downs, so many styles, so many fabrics and so many bridal shops to choose from. I am super excited about a new bridal boutique that opened up this month called Honey Bridal in Andersonville. Brought to you by the lovely ladies behind the Milk Handmade shop right next door, Honey Bridal is a place where a bride-to-be can be whatever kind of bride she wants. Honey carries so many different styles of gowns and separates, and is brimming with sparkly accessories for the perfect bridal look. The store is adorable and they only take one bride at a time for the best and most personal experience. If you’re looking for a place where they make your bridal dreams come true, look no further than Honey! See some captured moments from the opening and click here to learn more about Honey!
Hi 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!
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!
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)!
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!
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:
wedding programs-great if your ceremony includes special readings, prayers, or other rituals before or after the actual nuptials.
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.
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!
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!
Best of luck with finding your perfect source of stationary for your wedding needs! As always, comments and questions are welcome. Until next time!
Hello Birdies! It’s officially spring time and that means the beginning of weddings season! Everyone where from Brides in the last few weeks or months before the wedding, to brides early in the planning process. And as always, B & B is here as a resource for all brides planing weddings in Chicago.
This week, we’re highlighting a fabulous venue in heart of Chicago’s South Loop: 19 East. I had the pleasure of corresponding with the lovely ladies of Food For Thought, Kendall Tuite, Catering manager, and Anna Boltz, Assistant Venue Manager, to hear more about 19 East!
B & B: Chicago is a big city. How should a bride go about navigate finding a venue?
KT: I think the most important factor in locating a venue is figuring out guest count. Once you have that nailed down it will be easier to filter through the many different venues in the city as your guest count will determine whether or not you can fit everyone into the venue. Next, narrow down by style. There are so many unique venues in this city!
AB: The internet is going to be your very best friend! There are so many different and unique spaces in Chicago and it can be overwhelming at times to navigate. Details such as guest count and style will help immensely in narrowing your search.
B & B: Can you give us a brief history of 19 East?
KT: 19 East is a flexible event space located in the South Loop. The venue boasts an urban, contemporary flair. The building has a rich history that dates back to the 1800’s when it belonged to the Chicago Illuminating Company, a predecessor of ComEd. Prior to being a ComEd run facility, it housed a shooting range for the infamous Al Capone.
It was recently acquired by Food For Thought, a premiere catering and events company who’s been helping clients create unforgettable moments for over 30 years.
B & B: What sets 19 East apart from other venues in the city?
KT: The versatility! There is so much wonderful built-in architectural adornment. This allows the space to stand alone without having to bring in too many extra garnishes to enhance the space. On the other hand, the built in pieces are neutral enough that it is still very much a blank canvas. Therefore, those looking to transform a space into their own unique vision have the perfect stage here at 19 East.
AB: 19 East has so many unique features from the built-in bars to mosaic tiles that sets it apart from other similar venues. The size and setup of the space really lends to the ability to bring in a variety of different events as unique as the space itself!
B & B: What type of bride do you find is attracted to 19 East?
KT: 19 East attracts the modern-day couple. This couple is looking to provide an urban and exciting experience for their guests. Each room has its own unique characteristics that lend to the ambience of the space. It is inviting and warm, while still offering that industrial look that is so on trend right now.
B & B: The space is gorgeous on its own as a blank slate. What is one of standout features of the space?
KT: The alley! I love it when clients choose to dress it up and make use of it. From lounge groupings to sprawling palms, it is a dramatic way to tie in the urban flair to the space. I also absolutely love the beautiful view we have in the Hideaway space. You get the entire cityscape with the bonus of an El that zips by just a mere few feet from our building.
AB: The shelving units in Commonwealth! It is always so neat to see what clients will put up there next. From simple yet beautiful votive candles to full-scale canvas paintings, product placement and more. The sky is the limit on how you dress up the shelves!
B & B: What is one of your favorite wedding set-ups that you’ve seen in the space so far?
KT: Each set-up is unique in its own way, but I think my favorite is when we utilize a mix of different table shapes. Rounds, rectangles and squares all add so much texture to the room. A unique space should have a unique set up!
AB: I would have to agree with Kendall! I think the mix of different shaped tables is my absolute favorite. It adds so much to the dimension and overall look of the room. I really love when different chairs are used at the different tables too.
B & B: Where did the gorgeous paintings throughout the space come from?
KT: There are two paintings on site from Chicago Native Susan M. Olmetti. The larger paintings in the main spaces are by Indiana artist David Randall.
B & B: In your time with Food For Thought, you’ve obviously seen lots of weddings so I have to ask: What’s your Favorite wedding treat?
KT: I am a big fan of anything that has a personal touch that reflects the couple. When we have the opportunity to recreate a family recipe or come up with a specialty cocktail that is personal to the couple, it is so exciting to me!
AB: Anything the represents the couple or their families! I love when cultural or family treats are tied into their day. The personal nature of it is just so special and adds a huge layer to the day.
B & B: What’s your favorite part of a wedding?
KT: At 19 East we are lucky enough to be able to host ceremonies in addition to the reception. My favorite moment of the entire day is right after the ceremony. This is the moment in which we whisk the couple away from the crowd to have a moment to themselves in the wedding suite located upstairs in the Hideaway. During this time, I have the opportunity to send them food and beverages while they bask in their first few minutes together as a married couple. There is no greater feeling in knowing we made those first few moments together a little bit more special with treats made especially for them.
B & B: Your favorite color palette?
KT: I love the look of mixed metals in this space. Coppers, silvers, golds, rose golds, gun metals and etc. all really play up the industrial accents. I absolutely love soft greys, crisp whites and lush greenery.
AB: I’m really loving jewel tones right now! I’ve seen so many beautiful arrangements utilizing them and I can’t get enough. They work really nice in the space too because of the natural palette the white walls offer.
B & B: When you’re on-site for an event, what is one thing that you always have with you?
KT: A watch! During events it is very important that I am aware of the time. As a caterer it is important that we are sticking to a timeline as closely as possible. While I do always have my phone (I love taking photos) I think it is important to also have a watch during those times when it might not be appropriate to check the time on your phone.
AB: My phone for sure! Whether it’s keeping track of the time, weather forecast, in touch with other vendors or taking photos of the space all set up, I will always have my phone with me. It’s so crucial to be easy to get ahold of during an event!
B & B: Fun Fact about yourself!
KT: I went to culinary school! I absolutely love food and working with it. While I no longer work in the back of house I do try to cook any chance I get. I learned so much in Culinary school that has been so beneficial to me in my catering career. Writing new menus for client’s is one of my favorite activities. I am so lucky to have found a profession in which I can express my culinary creativity, while still being able to connect with my clients on a personal level.
AB: I used to be a ballet dancer! I grew up dancing and actually majored in dance in college. In the dance and arts world, I was a part of and attended many events growing up. Working in events felt like a natural progression because I was around them my whole life. Events themselves are very similar to a performance in the sense that there is a lot of practice and time spent leading up to them. Each event is another performance to me!
Hi Birdies! I Hope your week is off to a fantastic start! I had an extra bounce in my step going into the week, having just attended The Green Wedding Alliance’s “Committed” event this past Sunday at the lovely Greenhouse Loft in Chicago with my friend and colleague Paul (click for a link to his fantastic blog!) For those of you that are unfamiliar, the Green Wedding Alliance is a community of event vendors that are environmentally conscious and catering to “green” consumers. The Alliance has over 50 vendors as members, and I got a chance to chat with some of them on Sunday! It was a day full of tasty bites, pretty things, and blushing brides (and grooms)! See below some of the lovely people that I had the pleasure of meeting.
First, we had to stop by and say hello to our friends at Food For Though! Food For Thought is one of the best caterers in the city, and they love to do weddings! FFT had vegan and vegetarian bites to taste! On the left, their roasted vegetable napoleon with beet-strained Israeli couscous. On the right, mushroom quinoa crisps. I caught up with the lovely Dana, and it was a perfect (and healthy) way to start the day, as I had not eaten breakfast yet!
We found these gorgeous china displays courtesy of Vintage Place Settings, who specializes in gorgeous vintage china, glassware and place settings. I died over those pink water and wine glasses!
I am a sucker for gorgeous blooms and I was mesmerized by the display courtesy of the lovely Fab Flora. I had a chance to chat with the lovely owner and head designer Jori, where we chatted about our love for pretty flowers (Ranunculus is my favorite!), and my dream of retiring and growing my own flowers one day. You can check out some of her beautiful designs in her online gallery, and if you’re ever in Logan Square, make sure to stop by her shop!
Paul and I love snacks, so we were excited to see another caterer, Big Delicious Planet, who you’ll find on catering lists for many lovely venues throughout Chicago. BDP is a wonderfully unique concept. Not only do they do event catering, but in the front of their kitchen is their Canteen where they serve breakfast and lunch (yum!!). They also have an urban farm where they grow their own herbs and veggies. The tuna tar tar that they had at the event was fresh, tasty, and delicious!
As I attend these fun events, I start to see familiar faces. Imagine my excitement when I saw that my lovely friends from Chicago Vintage Weddings was in attendance. Always with a gorgeous display, they showcased some of their vintage furniture and other fun pieces, including amazing blue velvet chairs that the owner Kate had mentioned in our most recent interview! If you’re looking for vintage rentals, this is definitely a one stop shop. If you think their display is pretty, their West Loop storefront is a vintage wonderland!
Even though I’m already married, I can never get enough of gorgeous bridal couture! This lovely display was courtesy of the lovely ladies of Mignonette Bridal! I love Mignonette Bridal because they offer stunningly beautiful dresses for brides that are looking for something that’s a step outside of the bridal box. From dresses to lovely accessories, they’ve got all you need to make your bridal look truly your own. One of the most fun pieces that they have are bridal separates, where you can create an awesomely unique look for your big day, including the lovey ensemble in the photo above. Stay tuned for a later post where I’ll talk about my own personal (wonderful) bridal experience at Mignonette!
Cage and Aquarium is definitely not a newcomer to the wedding industry. They are one of the most popular DJ companies in the city. Cage and Aquarium was a name I was very familiar with, but I had never had the pleasure of hearing them spin! With the cool turn tables and actual records (definitely a plus if you’re a musical purists), they did an amazing job of setting the tone throughout the day with upbeat tunes. Every time I’d stop for a second, I’d find myself jamming a bit. They were great and I can only imagine how awesome they’d be at a wedding reception!
What better way to end the day than with cake? And not just any cake. Elysia Root cakes! Now, if you’ve been following along with me, you’ll know that this isn’t the first time I’ve featured Elysia Root Cakes. The difference between now and then is that I actually had the pleasure of meeting Elysia, the woman behind the cakes! And I must say, she is just a sweet as her confections! I’m not embarrassed to say I tried one of each of the cake samples (so good!) and of course I had to capture the beauty above: a gorgeous five tier cake with delicate floral details. Elysia Root Cakes never fails to impress your eye and you taste buds!
My first Committed event was so much fun and I encourage you not to miss The Green Wedding Alliance’s next event! Next month, don’t miss The Great Wedding Recyclery, where many a newly wed Mrs come to sell items from their wedding day, from decor, tabletop decor, dresses, accessories and more! If you’re planning you’re big day and need a few finishing touches, this event will be a super fun place to find many unique items under one roof. Who knows, maybe you’ll see me there! You can find more details for this event and the Green Wedding Alliance Here here. Until next time Birdies!
Hi Birdies! I sincerely hope you’ve been enjoying the new Facebook and Instagram pages! I’ve been working on a little project. I’m proud to release the first ever recorded interview! I sat down with Kate Lerman, the mastermind behind Chicago Vintage Weddings to get the rundown on how to navigate the world of equipment rentals for your wedding day.
Located in Chicago’s West Loop, I sat down with Kate in her shop full beautiful vintage furniture, tea cups, and many other pretty pieces, all selected by Kate. Inspired by an early love of thrifting for vintage things, Kate saw a need for a place where brides could find unique vintage pieces for their wedding day! She met that need by creating Chicago Vintage Weddings, a one stop shop with a wide variety of one of kind items for brides to rent, coupled with wedding planning services. Check out the photos blow and listen in as Kate talks about Chicago Vintage Weddings, vintage rentals, and other valuable advice!
The ceiling is covered in lovely old sheet music!
My favorite item in the shop: A hand painted birdcage full of books!
Barrels form the local Koval Distillery
This gorgeous chair and table are also available for rent!
Stunning vintage teacups!
This is one of Kate’s favorite pieces: a dusty rose vintage chair
Every year, I look forward to attending The Wedding Guide’s annual WEDBash, and this year they did not disappoint! Every year, WEDBash showcases some of the best people in the wedding industry. This year, it was hosted at the Swissotel in downtown Chicago! The ballroom was decked out from ceiling to floor with gorgeous decor courtesy of Taylor&Co.. There were sweet and savory bites provided by Elysia Root Cakes, Vanilla Patisserie, Entertainment Company, and more! Of course my favorite part was the bridal couture fashion show, highlighting gorgeous wedding gowns that reflect the hottest bridal trends. It was a fabulous evening of food, fashion, and fun and I can’t wait to attend again next year!