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!

South Loop Sophistication: 19 East

Join me on my behind the scenes tour of the coolest new venue in the Chicago’s South Loop!

 

 

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Roni Rose Photography

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.

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Roni Rose Photography

 

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.

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Roni Rose Photography

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!

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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.

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Cristina G Photography

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.

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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!

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Cristina G Photography

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.

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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.

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Roni Rose Photography

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!

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Roni Rose Photography

Venue: 19 East

Venue Manager and Caterer: Food For Thought

Featured Photographers: Cristina G Photography, Roni Rose Photography, Avery House

Pretty Table Top Florals

Feature Table Top Florals courtesy of Zuzu’s Petals!

You know I’m a sucker for pretty blooms! Last week, I attended a super fun networking event for wedding and event professionals; and the floral centerpeices were created by Zuzu’s Petals! Flowers and candles are always gorgeous together (and can save you money in your flower budget)! See below!


  

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

Friday Quick Tips and Tricks: Venue Hunting

Hello all and Happy Friday! The weekend is usually peek venue hunting time. So for all of my newly engaged brides that are starting out on the path for the perfect wedding venue, here are some tips to make your weekend of venues a little less stressful.

  • Get organized.
    • Before you set out, make a list of the places that you’re seeing that day with your point of contact. At a certain point you may want to reach back out to the venue rep later so you’ll want to have that somewhere.
    • Make sure you get a confirmation for your visit. If you don’t get one, don’t be afraid to reach out the day before to confirm. Venue reps see a lot of brides everyday so you want to make sure your appointment didn’t fall through the cracks.
    • Have a list of questions ready so you don’t forget what to ask. You can find examples of this on a lot of wedding sites. I really love Here Comes The Guide’s list because it’s a little more thorough 🙂
  • Take notes
    • Once you’re in the door, make sure you take some notes about each venue. Take a little note book with you so you can keep track of all of the details during the tour. It’ll make it a lot easier for you when you sit down at the end of the day to go over everything. Make a note of pros, cons, capacity, etc.
  • Take a break.
    • Venue hunting can be exhausting! Make sure you take time to stop and grab a snack. Coffee at least!
  • If you can, keep your group small.
    • Choosing a wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for the big day. Try to keep your group as small as possible, like just you, your fiance and your parents, or you two and your best friend. That way, the MOST important people are involved but you won’t be overwhelmed with 10 people’s opinions. It’s also your prerogative to keep the venue hunting strictly between the two of you. Some of my past brides decided to do the preliminary searching just them and their fiance and didn’t get other people involved until they narrowed it down to their top options.
  • Got with your gut.
    • You’re probably tired of me saying that, but I can’t stress it enough! Seriously. Follow your instincts. No one knows your vision better than you two. So if you walk into a place that you liked online and it doesn’t ring your bell in person, that’s more than okay. Don’t force yourself to like something that may not be your taste. Just cross it off the list and keep on rolling baby!

I hope you find this useful. As always, feel free to leave comments or questions, or send me a message! Until next time!!