Friday, May 29, 2009

JCrew’s Fall 2009 Preview!

JCrew Strikes Again…. I can barely contain my longing for some of these fabulous frocks! Bridesmaid or no bridesmaid, I would love to add these to my wardrobe (I would if I could… but I can’t). It looks like some dresses are already available, while others you may have to wait until the fall (hence, “Fall Preview”). Hrmm, and it looks like a few of these are mixed in from past seasons as well…

Here are some of the standouts!

image I <3 chiffon

image Perfect for a summer wedding!


image The subtle sweetheart neckline and seaming is lovely… and I’m really feeling that shade of green!


My absolute favorite, the pleating detail is just exquisite!

  image For the relaxed, beachy bride.

imageThat lace panel in the back is SO HOT, I could totally see this as a bride’s reception dress. And I love that this is also available in black!

*swoon* Click on over to JCrew to see the rest! Which is your favorite??

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Father of the Bride Woes

No surprise, I am a big fan of the Weddingbee message boards – they are chock full of interesting tidbits and provide a truly helpful network of readers. I recently caught a post where a reader shared her FATHER’S new blog that he recently started in order to document his own perspective during his daughter’s wedding planning process. The title of the blog is called, “Poor Wedding Dad”. No fancy-schmancy layout, no pretty pictures, this is the most basic of basic-looking blogs. And yet…


OMG, I really hope this dad continues to update, because this is definitely an untapped blog market! And it really works because he is such a witty writer. Check it out and show this dad some love!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are You Funky?

There are a ton of websites out there that let you manipulate your pictures, but I had some fun with this morning! Upload your fave picture, try out some of the effects, and then save the image. Just think of all the fun wedding-related uses for your new images! Save-the-date cards, on your wedding website, table numbers, thank-you cards… the list goes on!

Here is the original jpeg that I uploaded:



Sunburst Effect







What are some other cool websites like this? Have you tried the RATERBATER yet?! An oldie but a goodie… 

Monday, May 18, 2009

If I Could Do It Again: The Photographer

{Disclaimer: Being a wedding planner, I see so many options, ideas, venues, vendors, etc., that I never knew existed when I planned my own wedding a few years ago. So I’m going to have a little fun with a series called, “If I Could Do it Again” and plan my dream wedding… if I could do it again!}

Wonderful, I’ve got my dream venue! What’s next? Generally, I recommend to my clients that they start their photographer hunt as soon as they’ve secured their date and venue. I’ll follow my own advice :) Now personally, this is a toughie! There is a serious abundance of FANTASTIC photographers in the Chicago area. Yay for options! Yikes for decisions, decisions, decisions… (and I know there are a TON of amazing photographers all over the country, but gotta represent Chicago here!)

While I want a modern, chic, whimsical wedding, I want my pictures to be forever classic and utterly romantic. Enter - Dean Thorsen of Thorsen Photography. I don’t know how much more “classic” you can get. See for yourself:






Dean photographed the amazing wedding of my former clients, Natalie and Jake last September. Natalie is fellow Weddingbee blogger, Mrs. Peacock! This one below is probably one of my favorite pictures of all time!


image Perfection.

Ohhh, but do I have to pick just ONE photographer?! For my fantasy wedding, I’d like three, please!

Hellooo Olivia Leigh Photographie… so fresh and vibrant with a heavy dose of fun and a splash of vintage.








Now if you don’t mind, I’d also like a rock star at my wedding… Kenny Kim is a photography ROCK STAR! He is globetrotter these days, shooting high-profile and destination weddings galore; I just love the sophisticated and editorial look of his work! Check out the amazing photos from a wedding he recently shot – the groom is Yul Kwon, winner of Survivor: The Cook Islands!

image image



Now, if budget were no issue, who would YOU hire?!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Next: Google Has a Sense of Humor

{This is completely random, but it amused me to no end, so I just had to share! Has everyone else seen this already?}

Thanks to Nicole of Making it Lovely, I just discovered the niftiest function in Google Reader! When you install the “NEXT” bookmark, it allows you to read all of your subscribed blogs in their original format! And then as you keep clicking “next”, it takes you to the next unread post and marks them as read. BRILLIANT! Go to Google Reader –> Settings –> Goodies

But after I clicked through all of my unread posts, this is what Google told me:




Top 10 Reasons to Hire Sweetchic Events

10. At Sweetchic, we understand that STDs are a good thing.

9. Because the only chargers your fiancé knows attach to his cell phone.

8. We help keep the “party” in “bridal party.”

7. We’ll make your rehearsal run more smoothly than a George Clooney casino

6. When it comes to troubleshooting, we’re locked, loaded, and ready to fire.

5. Ivory and cream aren’t even in the same family. We get that.

4. We hold advanced degrees in aisle runner placement.

3. Your bustle, our hustle. It’s a match made in heaven!

2. “Details” is our middle name. (Yeah, we were teased a lot as kids.)

1. Spreadsheets make us hot.

{This is originally from my website, but I thought I’d put it here for those who haven’t seen it.}


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If I Could Do It Again: The Venue

Being a wedding planner, I see so many options, ideas, venues, vendors, etc., that I never knew existed when I planned my own wedding a few years ago. So I’m going to have a little fun with a series called, “If I Could Do it Again” and plan my dream wedding… if I could do it again! Not that my wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life – because it absolutely was! But knowing what I know now, I would plan a completely different affair. And keep in mind, this is with an imaginary budget of… oh wait, there IS NO budget, this is my new DREAM wedding so let’s go nuts! haha.  But I will do my best to keep this concentrated on mostly Chicago vendors since they are my bread and butter, despite the abundance of fabulous vendors from all over the country (have you checked out WeddingbeePRO lately?!)

Let’s get started! We’ve set a date - May 15, 2010! Why May? Peonies! Ranunculous! Tulips! Need I say more? (I was super disappointed when my florist told me that I couldn’t get those for my REAL September wedding)

So for my first installment, I present to you, my dream venue:

Chicago Illuminating Company

So modern, so chic, so light and airy… the perfect space for my fake wedding of 150 guests. There are three distinct areas for 1) the ceremony 2) cocktail hour 3) dinner, as well a bit of outdoor space for those who need to take a little breather. When I went to visit the raw space for the first time the other day, I was blown away (I can’t wait to actually plan a wedding here!)

image An un-assuming building on the south-side of Chicago with endless possibilities on the inside! This building dates back the early 1900’s and was a power plant/warehouse in its former life.

image This is the middle room, perfect for cocktail hour.  Then we’ll transform the room during dinner hour with a white, glossy dance floor (hot!), lounge furniture and a new lighting scheme. Yes, you must bring in an additional dance floor despite the gorgeous hardwood floors…

image The HUGE built-in bar with marble subway tile. I especially love the drum lampshades overhead, so dramatic!

image The back room where guests will be seated for dinner. We’ll do a combination of square and long 8’ rectangular tables. Bring on the drama! (FYI Those back windows have recently been changed to a frosted glass so that you don’t look out onto industrial nothingness.)

image Don’t forget the upstairs nook… can we say, VIP room?!

Chicago Illuminating Company Rental Fee: $7500 for a Saturday evening) . All images from here.

Although I do have to mention my runner up venue:

The Chicago Botanic Gardens. I love love love flowers, and the thought of a spring wedding surrounded by flowers just makes me giddy.

image A unique ceremony set-up in the English Walled Garden.
(Rental fee: $2000 for a Saturday evening, May – Dec)



image A gorgeous evening reception at McGinley Pavillion
(Rental fee: $7000 for a Saturday evening, May – Dec)


A girl can dream, right? :) What is YOUR dream venue?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Keep Your Wedding Cake and Eat It Too!

On the topic of cake…

There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to what couples should do with the top tier of their wedding cake:

A) Freeze it! You should definitely (attempt) to eat it on your one-year anniversary!


B) Don’t bother… cut it and serve it to your guests. Why not get a fresh replica made for your anniversary from the same bakery?

I like to suggest an alternative to my couples… before you relegate your top tier to the depths of your freezer, cut it into 12 smaller slices and individually wrap and freeze them. That way you can take out a slice on each montha-versary (or whenever you feel like some cake!) and enjoy a sweet reminder from your wedding day.  If you can’t get 12 slices from your topper – no worries – eat a slice every other month! :)

How to handle your wedding cake:

1) If possible, have a trusted friend or family member take the tope tier of your cake home with them. Since hopefully, you will be on your honeymoon, it would be great if they could take of these next steps for you!
2) Remove any fresh flowers (call me Captain Obvious, but I’ve heard stories…)
3) Cut the cake into 12 yummy slices (or however many you can get out of the tier) 
4) Wrap each slice in three to four layers of plastic wrap. Top each piece off with a layer of foil for good measure.
5) Place the slices in a Ziploc freezer bag and into the freezer they go!
6) When you want to eat a slice, defrost at room temp and enjoy!

173 Our delicious cake from Rolf’s Patisserie in Lincolnwood.

Sweetchic Events Anniversary Wedding Cake What was left of our cake one year later (yeah, kinda mangled…).  Vanilla chiffon with raspberry mousse, cream cheese filling and butter cream frosting… It was SO good, even after one whole year!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bakery Spotlight: Luscious Layers

Some people are not big on cake… but in my opinion, no wedding is complete without CAKE! So I have made it my mission to scope out the best bakeries in Chicago… enter Luscious Layers, a new bakery that just opened in  Bucktown. The husband and wife team of Ashley and Kile, are adorable and SO passionate about what they do. Ashley is the baking brawn and Kile is the graphic mastermind (check out their awesome website!) I read about them in Daily Candy and immediately called to set up a tasting.

Their tastings are $25 (and so worth it), although if you book with them, that $25 goes towards the cost of your cake. You get to choose 4 delicious cake combos, and let me tell you they have some INSANELY unique flavors! How often can you find lavender, margarita, or pistachio cake? Or if you have a special flavor request, they can accommodate at no extra charge! Check out my goodies:

IMG_4088 Clockwise from top left: Coffee cake with mocha mousse, red velvet with cream cheese frosting, champagne cake with strawberries and whipped cream, and green tea cake with green tea whipped cream and cream cheese frosting.

The winner? Green tea cake! I LOVE green tea ice cream, and I LOVE cake, so hands down my fave. Yeaaap, wipe that drool, hehe. 

After the tasting, you get to talk about the design of the cake. That’s where Kile’s graphic design background comes into play – he comes up with “stencils”, which are essentially different mock-ups. He will work with you until the design is exactly as you imagine it to be! In my case, I requested an imaginary Eiffel Tower themed cake as my hubby and I got engaged there in 2006!


Go visit them at 2315 N. Damen. And better yet… pick up a cupcake for $1. Yes. ONE DOLLAR CUPCAKES! (only when you pick them up from the bakery case).


Friday, May 1, 2009

A Fun Photo for your Friday

Happy Friday! It has been a dreary week in Chicago, so to bring you some wedding-related cheer, here is a fun picture I just saw on Relentless Bride’s fab site that totally made me smile!


So brilliant! I’m sure this shot is deceptively simple… to capture this so perfectly is no easy feat!  That’s why they get paid the big bucks :)

Have a wonderful weekend!