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Black + Gold Wedding | Chicago Cultural Center

Black + Gold Wedding | Chicago Cultural Center

Jennifer and Steven were married in July, Downtown Chicago. They came to me almost 2 1/2 years ago to help manage their time and the planning process. The bride is a nurse at a local hospital and the groom worked 2 jobs, so they needed some help. They were married at St. Alphonsus Church in Chicago, IL with 130 friends and family. The bride arrived with her Father and Mother in a 1962 Rolls Royce and later got to take advantage of some great photo opportunites. Afterwards there was a formal dinner and reception held at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue. Thanks to all the vendors: Ceremony | St. Alphonsus Roman Church, Chicago, IL Reception | Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL Caterer | Jewell Catering Photography | Wilde Sparrow Photography Videography | Gravity Weddings DJ | Spin Productions Florist | Prairie Basket Ceremony Music | Belle Music Classic Car | Classic Wedding Cars Transportation | Emperor Limousine Hair + Makeup | Pin Me Up Chicago Photo Booth | Admit One...
In 2017 I Will…

In 2017 I Will…

Well, the new year is here and everyone has and or is making their New Years resolutions.  The problem (for me at least) is that goals are just that, goals.  They do not hold me accountable just help me aim for higher.  So I have decided to create a “I WILL” list that will turn those goals into must do’s.  It is much easier to fail at something that I tell myself I will try to do than it is to fail at something I have already said I WILL DO.  So, I have laid it all out there, here are my personal and business I WILL’S for 2017.   IN 2017 FOR CREATIVELY YOURS I WILL… Attend an industry class/seminar Get 2 weddings published Become a preferred vendor for 3 other venues/vendors Do my first styled shoot Stop working at night when my family is awake IN 2017 FOR MYSELF I WILL… Stop telling my kids to wait/hang on.  They come first!! Embrace my relationship with my Husband Save $25 each week for Christmas 2017 Take 3 deep breaths when I get mad so I do not yell Eat cleaner So now you know what I plan to do for 2017.  I would love to hear what you “WILL DO” in 2017.  Please leave me a comment below.  I look forward to reading them. CHEERS TO A NEW YEAR AND YOUR “I WILL” LIST!...
The Chocolate Wine Ceremony

The Chocolate Wine Ceremony

Marriage is ROMANTIC, FUN, SWEET and  A LOT OF HARD WORK.  The Chocolate Wine Ceremony represents just that, the bittersweet of marriage.  This can be added into your ceremony just before your vows. What you will need: Two pieces of dark chocolate on a plate – THE BITTER Two glasses of red wine – THE SWEET What the Officiant will say: ________&________, life is filled with great sweetness and days of bitter sorrow.  There are celebrations, and there are tears.  There are triumphs, and there are tragedies.  Life holds indescribable happiness for you both and unavoidable pain.  And so to symbolize this acceptance of this reality, today you will share the bitter and the sweet together, just as you have shared them in the past and will share them in the years to come. Both of you take and eat this bitter, dark chocolate.  Taste in it the dark days which that have and will rock your marriage and test its strength.  It represents dissapointment, illness, grief.  Know that these hard times will come, and with them, the opportunity to deepen your bond.  Now take and drink this sweet red wine.  Taste in it the sweetness and light that fills tyour marriage with joy.  Savor the fruits of this wine, just as you savor the happiness your beloved brings you.  It represents shared laughter, your children’s sucesses and your anniversary.  Delight in it as you delight in each other.  Combined these items are representational of what you experience in life, and just like today, you will share them and experience them togheter for all the days to...
On The Inside With Candy | Prairie Basket Floral Design

On The Inside With Candy | Prairie Basket Floral Design

I would like to introduce Candy, the owner of Prairie Basket Floral Design in Barrington, IL. I had the pleasure of meeting Candy over a year ago when we started working together on a backyard wedding for Samantha and Max.  This was a very low key wedding and so Candy said to me, “with such a limited budget for flowers I was surprised they hired a coordinator.”  I LOVED this question as it gave me the chance to explain how important it is to have at least a “stage manager” for the day so the couple and family wont have to orchestrate anything, no matter what their wedding budget is. We are currently working on Downtown Chicago wedding that will have over 25 corsages and boutonnieres.  My hands already hurt for her. It was wonderful chatting with Candy over some coffee as I learned that she started her home based business over 25 years ago with the same thing in mind as myself.  She wanted to be home with her children and be apart of their childhood events growing up.  She never took on too much as her family always came first, but once her 3 children were able to tackle the driving world she put them to work handling the deliveries. She truly enjoys taking the flowers and matching them up with each bride uniquely.  She also carries this into her arrangements.  She does not try to transform a room with overly grand centerpieces.  Instead, she likes to bring detailed designs into smaller arrangements that can be viewed by the guests with the same dramatic effect. What was your...
A Barn Wedding | Burlington, WI

A Barn Wedding | Burlington, WI

I do not do winter weddings, but this early October one sure made us feel like it was December!  Stephanie and Michael had a barn wedding up in Burlington, WI on October 2nd, 2015.  In the days leading up to the wedding we all  kept an ear to the weather and were all very shocked to hear we were going to need our winter coats!  46 degrees, blankets, coats nor heaters stopped this group from enjoying the tunes from a live band and helping themselves to the self made bar. All those involved: The Rustic Barn at Prairie Gardens Artisan Events Photography Old New Borrowed Blue Cinema Zilli Hospitality Group Catering Blue Water Kings Band Mia Faccia Salon Jones Travel Creatively Yours Wedding & Event Planning Best wishes Stephanie &...

Downtown Chicago Wedding | Black + White Modern Glam at Blackstone Hotel

Amanda and her Mother came to me recommended by a Bride that I was currently working with and I was more than happy to help them pull together all of their hard work.  Amanda and David had a downtown Chicago wedding at The Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Ave.  About a few months prior to the actual day, I discovered the Chicago Marathon was on the same weekend.  We were in for some chaos.  I saw so many neon running shoes and tight fitted workout gear, but that didn’t stop us from our job at hand.  Here is a recap of their gorgeous day. Vendors: Creatively Yours Wedding & Event Planning The Blackstone Hotel M&M Events REM Video Z&V Photography Sweet Mandy B’s Glazed and Infused Style Matters DJ NV Salon &...
How To Get Him Involved

How To Get Him Involved

Weddings are a MILTI-BILLION dollar industry and even with the many cultural changes it still points to the bride.  We see so many articles, ads and photos that bring our attention to the dress, the flowers, the décor and all the “pretty things”, but how can you get him involved? ASK HIM WHAT HE CARES ABOUT.  Knowing what each others cares are will help you with your budget.  Knowing what to spend more on and what you can save on. PUT HIM IN CHARGE.  This is usually the budget, entertainment, contracts and tipping the vendors.  Taking his interests into consideration you should assign him at least 3-5 things off your never ending to-do-list.  ASK ABOUT THE HONEYMOON.  Where does he want to go?  Have him take care of booking your flights, hotel and any other details. ASK FOR HELP WITH THE REGISTRY.  Set sometime aside to talk about what thing you could use to get started.  If you are pretty well set in that department you can go for more some more non-traditional registry ideas like funds toward to honeymoon or help building  your wine collection. LET HIM ENTERTAIN.  Include him in on the fun stuff like the bar, music, late night snacks or even a cigar bar.  He will enjoy the fun things so much more than your centerpieces or the cake design. DON’T OVER DO THE WEDDING TALK!  Constant wedding talk can overwhelm your partner and even get him going in the opposite direction.  During your planning stages I recommend planning a weekly date night to talk about anything BUT the wedding.  This helps keep you in touch with why you...
A Candlelight Ceremony After Your Dinner

A Candlelight Ceremony After Your Dinner

There is a “uniformed” expectation of how weddings should be, BUT, why should you follow everyone else?  A wedding should be a reflection of you and your fiancé and if you want a candlelight ceremony then go ahead and have it!  The typical wedding events run like this… Ceremony Cocktail Hour Dinner Cake Dancing But if you want to have a candlelight ceremony, just having hundreds of candles placed around is not going to give you that warm glow of lights.  Instead, start the party first and have guests join you outside later for a night ceremony.  Here is what your timeline would look like… Cocktail Hour Dinner Ceremony Cake Dancing Not only are the photos going to be nothing less than fabulous, but your guests will enjoy the change up of the common wedding event order.  You can even do a sparkler receiving line.  So go ahead…GET LIT!...
A Casual Backyard Wedding in McHenry, IL

A Casual Backyard Wedding in McHenry, IL

Back in May I received a phone call from a familiar voice.  It was a neighbor I have know for about 8 years.  Her question to me was “Are you still planning weddings?”  A week later I had a contract to plan my first Bride and Bride wedding.  It was on, we had 4 months to plan their backyard wedding in September.  Knowing that Amanda had hosted several catered dinner parties before I had to make sure she got to enjoy this party hands off.  Well, she did build the beer tap…  I truly enjoyed my time with this couple guiding them through each step of the planning process.   Who wouldn’t enjoy a food tasting with 2 bottles of Orin Swift wine?!  In 10 years I have never had someone bring wine to their tasting but my expectations have now been raised, LOL.  Check out the photos taken from their backyard wedding. Best wishes Amanda & Lori! VENDOR CREDITS Catered Productions Jolie Images Music in Motion Trellis Flowers Riverside Bakery Reclaimed With Love Rentals Lakes Area Rentals McHenry Limousine Elite Mini...
A Boho Chic Wedding at the Byron Colby Barn, IL

A Boho Chic Wedding at the Byron Colby Barn, IL

CORY + MICHAEL October 17th, 2015 I first met Cory and Michael at a Starbucks that ended up being in a train station…lesson learned: check to see if the Starbucks is a free standing building before setting up a consultation. They informed me of their love for archery and how causal they intend the wedding to be.  They expected around 75 guests and the most important thing to them was their photos.  I then met with the couple and Cory’s parents a month before the wedding and she was a little flustered by all of the questions and forms she had to complete for other vendors.  I assured her I would take care of it all as the timeline we create in the weeks leading up to the wedding day answer most vendor questions.  The joy in her face to hear she could hand over all final details to me was most rewarding. As most of you know I have now been helping couples with their wedding day for 10 years and I am always quick to tell my clients that I am not insurance to a hiccup free day, however we have the knowledge and experience to handle these situations when THEY DO arise so the couple can continue enjoying their day as hoped.  I can honestly say that this one was my first and probably only wedding where we DID NOT have any hiccups to address!  Here are some of my favorite highlights from Cory + Michael’s wedding. VENDOR CREDITS: Venue: The Byron Colby Barn Caterer: Dave’s Specialty Foods Photography: Eric Gee Photography Music: Just Press Play Hair...