Chicago Wedding Venue: Fabulous and Eclectic

“We salvage. We recycle. We save architectural elements from the wrecking ball. We work to preserve and pass on our history. We have been helping our customers breathe new life into salvaged materials for nearly 30 years.”

Salvage One is a super amazing (and super expensive) architectural thrift shop*. It really does have some pretty amazing stuff. But, more importantly, it has a pretty amazing event space! You and your guests party among the menagerie of recovered architectural elements. It’s so eye catching, I can hardly stand it!

As it turns out, the site fee is 5K, which is at the top of my site fee scale. But, this space is absolutely fabulous, the perfect locatoin for an artistic, urban fête. So if you're down, I am too.

*by my thrift shop, I mean, not-so-thrifty-shop

photo credit: Salvage One Events

Inspirational DIY Stationery

I've been doing my research on as many DIY Save the Dates and Invitations that I can get my hands on... It's amazing how crafty some of you are. For instance, Mrs. Daffodil not only to created the most b-e-a-utiful invite, but she wasted, like, NO paper whatsoever. Seriously, nearly every strip of paper was put to use! And, she was even kind enough to create a complete set of instructions.

Amber from My Aim Is True created the MOST AMAZING photostrip Save the Date I've ever seen. So amazing, in fact, that my fiancé and I created our Save the Dates a la Amber's... Ours aren't nearly as amazing, but they're pretty close. I'll post them once they're back from our printer (Print Xpress, $25.00 for ALL of the printing and cutting).

Lastly, Ms. Cupcake totally inspired me to layer, layer, layer, use bold colors...oh, and round my corners! I am totally confident that our Eggplant and Pomegranate color scheme will read as well as her tartan and chartreuse color scheme. AMAZING!

clip art, what?

I was so happy when my fiancé opened the mailbox yesterday evening and said, "oh great, another wedding magazine..." I promptly snatched it out of his hands and said, "another wedding magazine, another wedding magazine…really? This is Martha Stewart!” Of course, I proceeded to spend the rest of the evening reading the mag from cover to cover…

I hate to say it, but there were only a couple of articles that really caught my eye. There was one in particular that I may even use in my own wedding. In the article,
Click, Print, Fete, Martha somehow managed to make even clip art, yes clip art, unique and attractive! And, what’s more, some of the clip art designs go with our Vintage Chicago theme!!! I particularly liked the place card designs…super vintagey swirls…I love it!

We’ll see if I actually use it, but for now, it’s stored in my google docs…for safe keeping (read: our laptop pooped out a couple of weeks ago, and all of my files, yes, ALL of my files went with it…unless we want to pay the Geek Squad $250 - $1,699 to do some serious data recovery…and there’s no guarantee that they will even be able to do it!!!)

Anyhow, I'm a fan of Martha's clip art...what about you?

10% off at The Bleeding Heart Bakery

The Bleeding Heart Bakery, Chicago's premier organic bakery, has a 10% off flyer expiring on July 30, 2008. I’m not sure if it applies to everyone, or just the people in my office building, but give them a call and make reference to “code: 311”. 773-327-6934, The Bleeding Heart Bakery.

Pictured to the left is a chocolate smores cupcake! YUM!

photo credit: The Bleeding Heart Bakery

Blow Out Sample Sale

June 27, 2008 - Priscilla Blowout Sample Sale

Priscilla of Boston - Chicago Area
17W170 22nd St Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone: 630.833.5000

If you're a bride on a budget, then a sample sale may be the best way to go. Of course, there's always
Wedding Belles, or, both of which have an amazing array of choices.

My Vera Wang dress is preowned, and I LOVE IT! I knew that my budget might only allow for a synthetic material, poorly constructed, super generic dress, so I went the sample dress/preowned route, and I got the most bang for my budget buck!

Chicago Wedding Venue: Library

Finally, the unveiling of our wedding venue! Feast your eyes on this unknown masterpiece they call The Library!!!! It's a law library, but the firm has long since moved out of the building, so its library has been converted in to an event space!

It is the most charming, well maintained library I've ever seen! With exposed stacks, wrought iron spiral stairs, and views of the Board of Trade, the Sears Tower, and the lake, it is A-MAZ-ING! Three words, that's how amazing it is!

I can not explain how excited I am about our venue! Seriously, after 6 weeks of looking for unique venues, crying over site fees, putting deposits on two different venues and then cancelling, we finally arrived at The Library...almost entirely by accident! One thing that I must mention, however, is the site fee; it's HUGE ($4,000)! Thankfully, I was able to call in a favor and get the "tenant rate" ($1,200), but unless we had gotten that rate, I don't know if we would have gone with it.

Anyway, here is the only picture I have of The Library. When I get more, I will post them.

i love iStock!!!

My prayers have been answered! After weeks of losing sleep over our invitation design, I have come across Royalty-free vintage graphics galore! Creating our invites has just actually become an option. And, I don't have to worry about them looking "homemade" (i.e., BAD) anymore. This designer has a huge selection of vintage graphics (scrolls, corner swirls, lace-inspired medallions, etc.) I'll be sure to post a couple of examples of our invites in a bit.

Speaking of DIY stationery - I just found this AMAZING spin on a Save the Date. Apparently the couple took this picture at the cafe (and at the very table) they first met, and they photoshopped themselves (and their kitten) into it! So inspirational! I think I've been inspired to do something cool like this for our STD's!

photo credit: A Practical Wedding

Getting in Chicago

Flirty Girl Fitness is one of the "cutest" gyms in the world! With classes on Pole Dancing, Chair Dancing, Hottie Body Boxing and Video Vixen, I can see why someone would run in the opposite direction, but not me! I finally understand what Kathy and Melissa (from Eric and Kathy's morning show) are talking about!

The classes are somewhat affordable:

5 classes - $100
10 classes - $180
20 classes - $300

The space is adorable; with chandeliers and bistro chairs dotting the 7,500 sq foot space, it's hard not to smile (or puke, depending on who you are) when you walk in!1325 West Randolph (off of Randolph and Ada)

Inspiration II: Fruit or Flowers

Fruit, flowers, or plants...that is the question. Gorgeous, elaborate flower arrangements have always been a staple in "beautiful" weddings. And, they are beautiful, to be sure. But, what about using fruit (or just plants!) as centerpieces? I'm not talking about throwing some oranges in a bowl and calling it a day. Rather, what about mixing succulents with fruit (or, even certain vegetables!)? I haven't found too many examples of such centerpieces, but the photos I have come across are GORGEOUS! What do you think?

(note: I have NO idea where I came across the top two photos (thus is the life of a serial blogger), so if they are yours, please, please email me and you will get proper credit. The bottom two photos are from Namrita and Roman's beautiful, wedding featured on The Bride's Cafe.)

Chicago Knottie Bios

I know I'm not the only one who has a hard time navigating the knottie bios page. I mean, really?! Would it kill them to make it a little bit more user-friendly?

While googleing Chicago Knottie Bios, I came across this magical page...a page dedicated completely to Chicago brides on theknot! Woooo-Hoooooooo! But, to my dismay, I discovered that the vast majority of the featured wedding s-u-c-k-e-d, sucked! Out of over 20 bios, only a handful are good; but the ones that are good, are GOOD. I'll let you be the judge. Feast your eyes on this!

If you're looking for some non-Chicago amazing inspiration, check out Mrs. Anayisnin, JSue, djrs, or cnickler. It's all in the details, and these knottie brides have proven that!

Stationery Drama

I consider myself a DIY kind of a girl. If I can do it myself, then why wouldn't I, right? However, this is proving to be more of a problem than I ever imagined. For instance, our Save the Dates and Invitations should be a total synch on Publisher or Photoshop, right? Not so much. I can't find a single graphic that I like enough to print out and distribute to 80+ people... The stationery sets the tone for the wedding; it's the very first thing people will see...and that's a lot of pressure! For now, I'm going to continue browsing different stationery options, and see if I can find something good... I'm off to Paper Source this weekend. Hopefully it will be a successful trip.

Inspiration I

I came across this photo and I fell in love with the idea of miniature trees. I'm sure that the colors conveniently matching our colors (eggplant and pomegranate) played a part in my loving it... I'm not sure if we'll actually use this idea, but I've done some research and I found a few wholesalers, one in particular which seems to be relatively budget-friendly. Of course, this would be a serious DIY project, similar to this one on Style Me Pretty.

Chicago Wedding Venue: Fabulous but Expensive

The newest, most amazing wedding venue in Chicago has got to be The Ivy Room at Tree none! Venue-wise, it's Chicago's best kept secret; but not for long. I've recently seen it advertised on and in a number of Chicago wedding mags.

Nestled between Chicago's famed Medina Temple, the once-shady Artist Quarters, and River North's new-ish State Street shops, you'll find the gem they call the The Ivy Room at Tree Studios. Its courtyard (see above) sets this space apart from nearly every other venue in the city (other than A New Leaf, of course)! The site fee runs upwards of 9k on a Saturday night, and if we were having a 100k wedding, I could attempt to justify spending nearly 10% of my budget on a site fee - a site fee; but alas, I cannot.

If you'd like to drool over more photos of this magnificent venue go to The Ivy Room at Tree Studios. Enjoy.

Welcome, come on in!

Welcome, everyone, to The Everyday Bride - the bloggings of another Chicago bride. I hope to successfully chronicle my wedding planning process, and give Chicago brides-in-waiting a personal guide to all things budget-friendly, stylish and Chicago. I am a complete amateur so please forgive me if I seem to not know blog-speak/etiquette. In the mean while, grab a cup of coffee, sit back in your most comfortable living room chair, put your laptop on your lap, and enjoy!