book signing at 900 north michigan

To all my Chicago girls, I just received an invite from Williams-Sonoma for a sweet book signing with Anna Post... See below.

Per Williams-Sonoma email at 900 North Michigan:

"Join us for an exclusive book signing and wedding etiquette event with special guest Anna Post, author and spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute and great-great-granddaughter of renowned etiquette expert Emily Post. Enjoy cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres as Anna answers your questions, shares wedding etiquette advice and signs copies of her book, Emily Post's Wedding Parties.

Special Offer: Create your Williams-Sonoma gift registry on the evening of the event, and you'll receive a complimentary copy of the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook.
Space is limited! Call today to pre-order your book and save yourself a spot at the event. To place your book order and/or RSVP,call 312-587-8080."

program inspiration

Programs, programs, programs... I can't tell you how obsessed I've been with finding program inspiration. I really want to do something with a bow closure - like the ones below - but, would that just create more work for me? Any thoughts would be super helpful...

Coffee Table Books at a Wedding?

Our reception site has 6 built-in seating nooks. I call them "built-in" because the areas are repurposed stacks, minus the stacks (see below)! These little seating nooks were one of the reasons we chose the space, as they offer refuge for those who don't dance. And, let's face it, nearly everyone at our wedding (except for me) would rather not dance!

So, aside from candles and/or some sort of "centerpiece" for each nook, I really wanted to do something to make them look purposeful... And then it hit me like a ton of bricks; what better way to dress up each coffee table than with coffee table books! Nathan and I already have several "History of Chicago" (read: Vintage Chicago!) coffee table books, and tomorrow, I'll hit up Barnes and Noble/Borders sale tables for a few more.

Yay for personal touches!

photo booth love

I love photo booths!

PhotoWorks Interactive has this great Model 12 "vintage looking" digital photo booth! (Digital is important to me because I want the images for our Blurb Wedding Book...) The price is a bit higher than I had hoped, but I figure that after watching every cent, we can splurge on a couple of thing (catering and a photo booth!)!!!

I'll keep you posted!

photo credit: photoworks interactive

Wedding Jealousy

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that as the weeks and months have gone by, I have become increasingly pessimistic… (I’m really quite a happy person, just not lately.)

For instance, today I actually thought to myself…"I hate my wedding". Mind you, up until today, I’ve loved every detail of our “Vintage Chicago” theme, which has been carefully cultivated over the last 8 months, with every detail being hand-picked or DIY. I have no wedding planner, my mother passed away years ago, my sister is absolutely horrible at party planning, half of my friends are far more like (i love pink) Elle Woods than I’d like to admit, and the other half of my friends are the anti-establishment anti-bride, so this entire event was born from my imagination…(and countless wedding blog rip offs, of course!)...

But today, after seeing the photos of a friend of a friend’s wedding, I actually sat back in my chair, sighed and said, “I hate my wedding”.

Who says that after thousands of dollars and an comparable number of hours have been spent on countless details!? Who says that?! Well, I’ll tell you who; someone who has champagne taste on a beer budget. Even though I’ve been masquerading as Chicago’s version of The Practical Wedding, I’m really a Ritzy Bee girl at heart. Well, sort of. Ok, not really at all. I’m actually exceedingly practical, but it’s so hard not to ooze with jealousy when I see a $200,000 wedding when operating on less than a tenth of that budget!

I need to snap out of it...

Candle Ceremony Supplies

I've started to gather all of our candle ceremony supplies: our tapers, our drip catchers, our monogram rubber stamp (to decorate the drip catchers, and later to monogram and emboss our programs), and the dark wicker-ish baskets that will hold everything. Nathan and I are working with our priest to personalize the candle ceremony, and I can't wait see how it turns out!

photo credit: The New Liturgical Movement - found via google images

rain rain go away

It's been raining nonstop for 3 days now and my weekend is shot! I can't run half the errands I needed to, and I must admit, I'm seriously affected by lack of sunshine... Come back, sun, come back!!!

...and shoes to match...

Update II: JCrew cancelled my order...insufficient stock... Back to the drawing board...
Update: I bit the bullet and bought the shoes! Yay for colorful bridal shoes!!!

To coordinate or not to coordinate…that is the question. I’ve been torturing myself with these plum peep-toe sling-back JCrew shoes that are so ridiculously overpriced ($235.00 before tax – but JCrew’s 20% off private sale, CODE: PRIVATESALE, makes them only $188). I can’t stop thinking about how cute it would be to have shoes that actually go with my bm’s dresses! But I can't get past the price! Can I just get an AMEN to how ridiculously overpriced JCrew shoes are?? I mean really, this isn’t Neiman Marcus! Oh, what to do, what to do…

Delayed Bridesmaid Dress Update: so remember when I told you about my coordinating bridesmaid dresses? Well, wouldn't you know it, all of the girls picked the same dress! After hearing the news, my sister, my MOH, decided to go ahead and pick a different dress. How funny is that? You don't give them a choice, and all they want is a different dress; you give them lots of choices, and they all pick the same one! Ha!

photo credit:

Honoring Our Family & Friends I

Nathan and I are both extremely family oriented; our friends and family are, really, the most important things in our lives - except for each other, of course! With that said, we're trying to find ways to honor our friends and family, both in our ceremony (i.e., the candle ceremony) and throughout our reception.

So...we've asked our guests to send us their First Dance Song, in hopes that each of the slow dances played at our reception will be one of their First Dance Songs! So far we've only received a few responses, so I'm not sure how successful it will be...but if we could pull it off, it may end up being one of my favorite details of the evening. I know; I'm so sappy!

photo credit: sakura photography

Candle Ceremony Revisited

So our Priest approved our Candle Ceremony!!! Wooohoooo! I can't tell you how happy I am about this, beacuse the Catholic Church is kind of nutty about non-cathoic things...and if our priest were any less progressive, I'm not sure if we could have had it!

So, I've been getting down to the business of ordering supplies: candles (72 for only $36), and paper bobeches (100 for $5). I've also been scouring the internet for variations on candle ceremonies... FYI - there's, like, nothing out there... So, I've been considering a cross between Mrs. Anayisnin's extended Unity Candle Ceremony:

We lit our unity candles and then the officiant said a few words about how everyone in the room helped us as a couple become who we are and helped us to the point we were at that day and we wanted to honor that in sharing the flame of our unity candle. Brett and I then lit a long fireplace match from the candle and together lit each person on the end in the front row's candles. They then shared it backwards from there. To conserve time, the ushers also lit up the aisle. They only had them lit through our vows and then we did rings and kissed and blew them out after the recessional...
and, Mrs. Lovebug's group blessing:

"Each of you are here today because you bring something special to the lives of M. and D. Some of you have known one or both of them for years - and some of you are meeting one of them for the very first time today. But whether you’re an old friend or a newly acquired relation, you have a special place in their hearts. Likewise, you have a special purpose. As beloved family and friends, it is you to whom they’ll turn in the coming years, whether in joy or in sorrow. It is you with whom they’ll share their happiness, and you to whom they’ll bring their pain. You will watch their marriage mature; you will watch their children grow.And when hard times come, and the loving support of friends and family is needed, M. and D. hope to be able to turn to you, just as they will turn to each other.

And so they ask that you commit to them, as they are committing to one another. That just as they pledge to support and protect the other, you pledge to support and protect their relationship, today and always.

When prompted, please answer “We do”.

They ask: Do you offer this man and woman your blessing as husband and wife?

Please say, we do.
(We do.)

And do you offer their marriage your support, as loving friends and family?

Please say, we do.
(We do.)

What do you think???
photo credit: perfect bound

bridal shower...

So let me start by saying that I was wholly against having a bridal shower. This was mostly because 85% of our wedding guests are coming from out of town, and our little weekend celebration could run a family of four over $2,500... That's cause enough for some serious wedding guilt. Add to that a second trip to Chicago just to give me presents, and it put me over the edge. I put my foot down and said, NO shower, period.

Wouldn't you know, shortly after I made my feelings crystal clear, I received an invitation to my out of town, family wedding shower... Those sneaky aunts of mine! Because my sister and I were the only ones who would be traveling, and because the presents would almost have to be small due to my needing to pack them in my suitcase, I felt much better about the situation...

I was banished to my bedroom on the morning of the shower, as they needed to "set up". (I didn't think there would be much to "set up"; I honestly thought that we would have the shower in the dining room and then open presents on my grandmother's beautiful back porch...) But, when I came downstairs and looked in the back yard, I WAS BLOWN AWAY! My wonderful aunts and sister had created the most beautiful, late-summer, Anthropology-inspired fĂȘte!


Our Second Reception

I know, with only 52 days to go, I have NO BUSINESS thinking about our Second Reception, but I just can't help myself...

Because we’re having a really small/intimate wedding (60-70 people), we’re going down south to have a second reception with those from Nathan’s family who couldn’t make it and ALL of his parents' friends (THEY HAVE A TON!)… It’s going to be in a barn (once operational, but now it’s just for show), in the middle of April, and we’re going for a spring, twigs, birds, newly-wed love kind of a vibe! Other than the newly-wed love, it couldn’t be more different from our autumn, urban, vintage, library vibe. It’s going to be so much fun planning it! But for now, I will resist the urge to procrastinate the rest of my DIY projects…

Here's some inspiration:

photo credit: wedding paper divas, Alison & Eric's real wedding via Snippet & Ink

cover me...

There's something so perfect, so elegant, so bridal-modest about a little bolero. I have done my damnedest to find an "affordable" lace bolero, but to no avail.

I started at Ultimate Bride, because that is where my most favorite lace-bolero-wearing bride, HNN, purchased hers. Big mistake. Not only was the bolero a Monique Lhuillier (thus making it, literally, $2,000), but the sales people were totally uncool - I'll leave it at that.

I've looked at Jenny Yoo's Bianca Bolero ($110), but I wasn't the biggest fan of its nearly-frayed appearance, and Modern Trouseau's Grace Bolero ($500), but I wasn't a fan of the price... I was about to give up when I stumbled upon stock bridal lace, specifically, Amy's Rose Alencon Lace. What if I had a bolero custom made??? Not like "custom, custom", I just mean, what if I purchased the lace and had my seamstress make a basic bolero??? Hmmm, maybe...

photo credit: HNN, Baltazor Fabric Boutique

OOT bags

I've been trying to find a unique, vintage, not-highly-personalized graphic to add to the front of our OOT bags... Right now, I'm leaning toward an iron-on vintage Chicago postcard. I was on the Chicago Postcard Museum (who new such a site existed?), and came across several fun postcards.

shower teaser...

Hey everyone! I've been out of town for nearly a week enjoying my family and my SHOWER!!! I am putting together a post so to show you all of the details from the stylish event. It was ladies only (my grandmother, all of my aunts, all of the girl cousins, and my sister), but it turned in to an all out party once my uncles and Nathan returned from a day of golf. I'll have more for you soon. For now, here's a shot of Nathan and I - post shower - you can still see the remnants of the shower festivities in the background...