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!

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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!

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!

B & B Does Committed 2016!

Check out all the fun I had at The Green Wedding Alliance’s Annual “Committed” wedding event!

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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

Don’t Miss The “Committed” Wedding Event!

Recently engaged or in the throws of planning your big day? Don’t miss “Committed: An Avant-Garde Wedding Event”, brought to you by the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance this Sunday! At the lovely Greenhouse Loft, get a chance to meet fun, indie wedding professionals that can not only offer you services for your wedding, but help you to keep your wedding eco-friendly! Don’t miss a day full of cocktails, goodies, and bridal fashion. You may even see me floating around! Grab your tickets here, and I hope to see you there!

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Wedding Decor: Flowers 101: In Season

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Happy Sunday Birdies! I hope you’re all relaxing! As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m in the process of trying to find a florist for my big day! Because of this, I’ve become floral-obsessed! A lot of brides may think that flowers is a HUGE wedding day expense. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The first step is doing your research. One really great way to save but still have gorgeous flowers is choosing flowers that are in season! Here are some popular wedding flowers and when they are the cheapest!

  • Calla Lily
    • Calla Lilies are generally available year-round. Late winter to early spring is peak season.
  • Dahlia
    • Dahlias are so gorgeous and they come in varying shades. Purple Dahlias are my favorite! They are in season late summer through early fall.
  • Hydrangeas
    • I love Hydrangeas! I love them on their own, and I love using them as a base for arrangements. They come in so many lovely shades as well. They cost of Hydrangeas depends on the color, as the color is contingent upon the season. You’ll find these beauties most abundant July through November
  • Orchids
    • Orchids are gorgeous and so versatile. They aren’t super expensive either. They’re great because they come in varying shades and they are available all year round.
  • Peonies
    • Peonies are so stunning! They are one of my favorites. Peonies are usually mid range to higher end when it comes to cost. Getting them in season will keep the costs lower. They are in season in the springtime.

There are plenty of other flowers out there! My advice is to keep your options open. Planning my vow renewal, I wanted peonies everywhere! But they aren’t in season in August, so they’d be super expensive. So I kept my eyes open for other flowers that we more cost efficient and just as gorgeous! A good florist will be honest with you about what’s feasible in your budget, and suggests other ideas and options that are equally lovely. Check out a more extensive list of flowers and their seasons on the Knot (see link below).

Have a great week and happy planning!

Sources: The Knot Flower Guide

Pinterest Inspirations

Hi Birdies! It’s been a long week, but it’s finally the weekend! I just wanted to tell you about my latest update to my site! I’ve added a link to my Pinterest page so you can keep up with all of my latest inspirations for my vow renewal!

Here you can see all of my ideas and favorite looks! Maybe you’ll find some inspirations for your big day! Happy Pinning!

 

Flowers Flowers Flowers: To DIY or Not To DIY

Hello Birdies! Hope the week is going well! Just wanted to update you guys on my planning! The next vendor I need to check off my list is…florals! I love flowers and I definitely want beautiful flowers for the vow renewal. Wedding floral design usually start around $3,000 depending I the size of the wedding and what kind of design you’re envisioning. Budget aside, I can’t decide if I want to hire a florist or do it myself. Our party is so small, I could handle 6 center pieces, and it would be so fun to be hands on and play with flowers. At the same time, doing your one flowers is another thing is have to worry about and make extra time for. Decisions, decisions. Luckily, Chicago has so many options to choose from, all depending on the level of design you’re looking for. Here are just a few awesome florists in the city!

Steve’s Flower Market

I love the concept of Steve’s! They do event floral design but they are also a wholesale flower shop! So they’re a great place to start for brides who are kind of torn between doing their own flowers and having them done professionally (like me) 🙂 They even have items that you can rent like vases, votive candles and pedestals. They are located in the west loop.

Scarlet Petal

Located in the west loop, Scarlet Petal is awesome. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them and seeing their work in the industry! They can cater to any bride’s vision and isn’t wildly expensive. The consultations are wonderful, they really listen to your vision and are open to any ideas. My favorite set-up I saw was this beautiful wedding design that consisted of gold touches with white and blush flowers (see post from 11/30/14 on their blog). Scarlet Petal does a wonderful job of keeping you up to date on their work on their blog. Check it out here!

Juliet Tan Floral Design

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Juliet in action over the past couple of years. Her shop is also located in Chicago’s west loop. Juliet Tan’s work is always blows you away! First off, hope that you get to work with Juliet directly. She is a little ball of fire, very energetic and fun. I love Juliet because she has away of taking your vision to the next level. One of my favorite designs she did was a rustic wedding this past summer (July 18 Facebook uploads) She made the rustic theme come to life in very unique ways and it was so creative, yet still looked like a wedding! Check out her Facebook page here!

Marguerite Gardens

I absolutely love this place. They are right in  my neighborhood, and I can’t help but pop in every weekend to see what they have in stock for the week. The feel of the store is very calm and earthy, and the staff are so down to earth and helpful. I was so excited to find out that they do wedding flowers! They always have a wonderful variety of flowers, and awesome selection of succulent plants as well. I feel like they are perfect for a bride with a vintage or rustic vision, but they can do it all! They have two locations: one in (the one i frequent) Andersonville and the other in Ukrainian village. You can see the wide variety of work on their Facebook page!

Until next time and Happy Planning!

Happy Anniversary!

Hello loves! Happy Hump Day! Today marks a special day. Today my husband and I are celebrating our four year wedding anniversary!

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Four years ago today, I married my best friend. The person that makes me laugh until I have tears in my eyes, the person who is always down to snuggle, and the most loving, supportive man I’ve ever met. Marrying him was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. Here are some of the specs from our big day!1009671_10151773814173454_117958140_o

Date: Friday, August 26, 2011

Location: Chicago, IL

Ceremony: City Hall

Reception: Harry Caray’s

Dress, veil, and earrings: David’s Bridal

Shoes: The Left Bank

Cake: Bittersweet

We are very excited to be celebrating our anniversary next year by renewing our vows! We decided to celebrate our anniversary next year with a vow renewal because 1) i couldn’t wait 10 years haha 2) we didn’t have a traditional ceremony, so we wanted to express and recommit our love to one another in front of our closest friends and family. The really fun part for me, is that, from this point on, I’ll be sharing my planning experiences with you as I go along! Along the way, you’ll get all the goods like, what my dress looks like, our venue, our vendors, etc. It’s going to be so fun and I’m excited to share this experience with you all. Stay tuned ❤