Menu Inspiration

Thank you, Weddingbee, thank you! Long ago, when I first started this epic journey they call wedding planning, I came across a photo of escort cards in the form of little books... I thought to myself, I have to do this (considering our reception location is a LIBRARY)! Perfect, right? Then, I promptly lost the source, and pined over the memory of them for months! Then, today, Miss Hot Cocoa of the Weddingbees, posted a familiar photo of little books and boutonnieres. I recognized the source immediately, and the memories of the escort cards that could-have-been came flooding back! Rebecca Thuss, of course! Jeeez! How is it even possible to forget the magnificence of Rebecca Thuss!!!??!??? Regardless, feast your eyes on these little books that will become our menus (yes menus, as we have already committed to "escort candles"). I LOVE THEM?! Absolutely PERFECT!!!!

photo credit: Rebecca Thuss

Chicago Wedding Venue: Catholic Church

Typically I write about amazing (and somewhat affordable) reception venues in Chicago, because, let's face it, nearly every venue in and around this city, hotel or otherwise, is either way generic (can we say Double Tree on Skokie Blvd?) or so unique and amazing that it's nearly unaffordable for the everyday bride. (I say nearly because somehow we find a way to pay over 7k on a site fee, or meet a 20k food and beverage minimum...)

Don't worry; for now, I'll get off my soap box, because today I'm not talking about reception venues. Nay, today I'd like to show you one of the most beautiful ceremony venues in the city...Loyola University's Madonna della Strada! Granted, I hear it's a bit of a hassle to get married there because it's not part of the Archdiocese, and thus you have to do a bunch of paperwork and whatnot... But, it may be worth it to get married in this Art Deco restored masterpiece!

PS, the main doors open on to a patio overlooking the lake...seriously, it's breathtaking!

photo credit: Loyola University Chicago

candlelit ceremony

More inspiration for our candlelit ceremony... The aisle at Holy Family is like 150 feet long, so a candlelit aisle may be out of the question...but I love the idea of adorning the alter with candles!!! LOVE it!

photo credit: Mrs. Strawberry, Mrs. Strawberry, Artfool, indieoscar

yay for colorful bridal bouquets

For some reason, I’ve been mildly uneasy about my pomegranate and raspberry colored bridal bouquet. Maybe it’s because almost all of the most beautiful bouquets I’ve seen have been ivory/white, or maybe it’s because a big, bright bouquet against a soft ivory dress is just plain scary, or, maybe I’m afraid that I’ll be jealous of my bridesmaids ivory vendella rose, ivory peony tulips, and ivory dahlias… Whatever the reason may be, I’ve just been nervous about it…until now! This afternoon, I saw Darlene and Jeff’s beautiful wedding featured on The Bride’s Café. Darlene had the most vibrant raspberry colored bouquet I’ve ever seen, and her bridesmaids carried beautiful, delicate, white bouquets alongside her…and it looked AMAZING! My fears have been put to rest. Yaay for pomegranate and raspberry colored bridal bouquets!

photo credit: The Bride's Café

Eggplant and Pomegranate Dresses

Went on Ann Taylor this morning to look for a rehearsal dress, and I saw this - two dresses that match our colors nearly perfectly! Too little, too late, I suppose. However, I will say this: the dresses are not as cute as our Plum JCrew dresses and not nearly as re-wearable (which was huge for me, because I've been a bm 3 times now, and I've never been able to re-wear my dresses!). Nevertheless, I will admit, I'm a bit bummed that our "plum" isn't as perfect of a match as these Ann Taylor dresses - but, ehhh, what can you do?

DIY favors

I know I need another project like I need a hole in my head, but I seriously can't stop myself! The wedding is T-73 days away, and I think I've just added another favor! For the love of time, why, why???

Months ago I came across this amazing DIY Vinyl CD Project on the Almighty Style Me Pretty, and fell in love with it. Nathan and I love music, not to mention, a CD made to look like a record is the coolest play on vintage I've seen, like, ever!

However, I told myself that I would only move forward if, and only if, I stumbled upon a graphic that would capture the vintage vibe we're going for... (I wasn't going to actually spend time researching and editing graphics!) Well, lucky me...I stumbled upon a graphic that would be perfect! It's fun and kitschy! And, all I would have to do is change the background to Eggplant and Pomegranate - so to coordinate perfectly with our wedding...

Seriously, I wish I could turn my mind off! Seriously, I need to stop!

File number 1541138

photo credit: Styel Me Pretty, CreativeArchetype

Invitation Crisis Averted

If you had spoken to me last week, you would have heard me complaining about how much I HATED my invitation set. I received a sample in the mail (which I requested to merely double check ink colors), and I noticed the paper weight was about 1/2 the weight as it was advertised, the enclosure cards were cut unprofessionally, the return addresses were crooked, the matte color was PINK - not mauve, and the list goes on and on. It was bad!

So, naturally, I got right down to the business of finding new invitations, and expected that I was going to eat the cost of the crappy invites (after all, I contracted this lady on Etsy, and I kind of thought it was my own damn fault for not ordering a sample from the get go!)!!!

Then, Saturday afternoon rolled around and a package arrived. I ripped open the box and started riffling through it. It was our completed invitations. I must admit...I was pleasantly surprised. The paper was back to the 80lb weight that was advertised, the cuts were straight...etc. They still didn't look as good as they had on Etsy, but they were not NEARLY as bad as the sample. Not nearly.

So, now I'm attempting to find a new matte color (because rosey-pink is SO NOT what I wanted), and making them just plain "prettier". I'm definitely going with Ruby Stardream for the 5 x 7 matte. As for liners, I'm considering the same envelope liner (which comes pre-cut and pre-creased). But, I've also look through the dozens of specialty papers at Paper Source and Paper Mojo (thanks Ami @ EAD!). I'm not sure what I'll ultimately go with, but I know I've got quite a bit of DIY to do from this point. The next two weeks are going to SUCK.

Lesson learned: not everything needs to be budget friendly... If I had just gone to a god damn stationery store I would have avoided this entire situation!

tulip love

Calling all Fall brides-to-be... Check out these Double Late & Fringed Edge Tulips! Do they remind you of Peonies, or what!? I don't know what kind of prices we're talking about, but you better believe I'm bringing this inspiration board to my next florist meeing...

anemone love

Our "flower budget" took a big hit when I realized I didn't add in tax and gratuities in our overall budget (the first of my many wedding mistakes). Even though I can't afford the good stuff, I've been torturing myself with photos of beautiful (read: expensive) bouquets! Feast your eyes on these GORGEOUS anemone bouquets! So vintage, no?

photo credit: blushalicious

our everyday glassware!

I know this is relatively unrelated to wedding news, but I've finally found everyday glassware that I LOVE! World Market carries official Duralex Bistro Glasses, which I've been looking everywhere for! I drove myself out to Winnetka over the weekend to get them from the only Chicagoland store that had them in stock! I am one happy camper!!!!

the everyday wedding dress

So I was just on JCrew looking for a little party dress when I stumbled upon the most perfect, simple, everyday wedding dress! If I didn't already have a dress, I might have gone for this one!! And...wait for's only $395.00! You can't even make this stuff up!

guest book...check

Our guest book came in! Woohoo! Enji Beck Handmade Books and Invitations is the mastermind behind this bound creative masterpiece. The pages are removable (typical post bound), which was important, as I will be printing 2 photo strip borders and text lines on each page... I like things to be neat and in order, and I couldn't stand the thought of my grandmother's well-wishes being written on a slant! Ha, just kidding...I have my quirks...but I'm not that bad.

The photo below is a bit deceiving. Our book has the same aubergine katazome print and eggplant linen, but it's 9.25" x 10.5" (so long, not tall), and it has "hidden" posts.

Anyhow, I would totally recommend Enji Beck - she is professional, quick, and perfect!

Chicago Wedding Venue: Indoor/Outdoor & Beach

You'd think I was a Southsider by these last two venue posts - but I just couldn't pass up promoting this beautiful outdoor/beach venue! It, too, is a Chicago Park District location, albeit pricier than the last venue.

I pulled these shots of The 63rd Street Beach House from wikipedia of all places! These were really the only ones that show its colossal size! Seriously, it's HUGE!

Below are a couple shots from; Shannon and Bobby had a beautiful, seemingly intimate, wedding. This is quite an accomplishment when you consider the size (Promenade alone equalling nearly 12,000 sq ft!).

M-Thu $1,200Fri-Sun $2,800

Fountain Courtyard
M-Thu $1,200Fri-Sun $1,800

Serenity Courtyard
M-Thu $1,200Fri-Sun $1,800

Entire site
M-Thu $4,000Fri-Sun $5,000

candle escort cards

Candle light is an ongoing theme in our wedding... From our nuptials to our reception, we hope the warm glow of golden flecks create a romantic and enchanting atmosphere. With that said, I'm trying to find ways to incorporate candlelight in less traditional ways - such as our escort cards. I don't love the images that I've come across - with the dollar tree votives and vellum print outs - but I'm not quite sure if there's any other way to do it. What do you think?

photo credit:

lollapalooza love

Or not... Surprise out-of-town guests are never a good thing...especially when you just had planned out-of-town guests the weekend before! Lollapalooza is the devil that brought this band of unwelcome misfits (read: my music loving cousins) to our doorstep! We're recovering from 3 days/nights of post-palooza entertaining.

I need sleep....