Wednesday, July 27, 2016



Your wedding cake is one of the most iconic symbols of your special day, a completely custom design tailored to the bride and groom. Wedding cakes provide a rare opportunity as you can go as crazy and unique or as classic and understated as you want. It’s tough to decide!

Hannah Bunbury of the Warwick Allerton Chicago works with brides and grooms at the Warwick Allerton Chicago in creating their perfect wedding day. Here are a few of the wedding cake trends she expects to see throughout the rest of 2016.

Buttercream is Back
Fondant cakes can be molded into just about any size or shape, but nothing beats the creamy taste of a classic buttercream cake. Brides and grooms are opting for this simple vanilla frosting in a smooth finish to give their wedding cake a relaxed, rustic vibe. Finish your creation with a whimsical topper to tie it all together.

Combine Cake and Florals
A simple yet elegant way to make your wedding cake pop is to add bright florals throughout each tier. This works especially well if you can use the same flowers in your centerpieces or bouquets. Try a monochromatic design with sprigs of color or tone down a bold pattern with simple white buds.

Shine on with Metallics
Golds and silvers have appeared on runways over the past several years, and now they’ve made their way into wedding day delicacies. Even if flash and bling isn’t your style, adding some shine to one tier or the whole cake will give your celebration a true wow factor.

Go Bold with Black
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box by choosing a black wedding cake. Matte tiers and intricate designs will give your cake a new level of style. Red roses will create an old Hollywood glamour moment, while metallic accents or toppers make it a modern affair.

Once you have your style picked out, you get to schedule one of the most beloved steps in wedding planning: cake tasting!  

For more tips on cakes & sweets, visit!

Monday, July 25, 2016

"We met through my college volleyball teammate and roommate who happened to marry Mark’s brother. So, we get to be sister-in-laws! We both love volleyball and played in many leagues together around the city. We would go to many music/food concerts and festivals and all around just enjoy Chicago and all it has to offer. In the fall of 2014, Mark went with me to the Netherlands to visit my family and we decided to stay longer to check out Brussels and Paris as well. Mark proposed to me in Paris during a dinner cruise along the Seine with the Eiffel tower light up behind us.  It was just perfect!

"Our vision for the wedding was a great concert, and what better venue than where it all began -- at Lincoln Hall. It was the location of our second date, and sister venue to Schuba’s Tavern where we had our first date. We even named our new puppy, Schuba. The band, The Big League Boys, is an up and coming Chicago band we wanted to support and thought would be perfect for the task. We opted for caricature artists instead of a photo booth to not only support local artists, but to also give people a fun favor to take home. Since we both don't like cake, we found this amazing toffee from a local guy name Dr. Ray's Toffee at a wine shop on Broadway called wineHouse. We reached out to Dr. Ray to see if he could make a toffee tower fit for a wedding, and he was able to do it! Since we lived in Lakeview right off Belmont and Clark we would come home from concerts and festivals late at night craving a bite to eat and we would make it a tradition to always go to Cheesie's Pub and Grub to end our nights. So we thought what better way to end our wedding night by having the Cheesie's food truck come out and feed all of our guests some grilled cheese goodness?

"While Mark wanted the event to be an epic concert, I wanted to make sure it was still classy and romantic. We added little touches here and there to make it feel like A Midsummer Night's Dream with fresh flowers and candles everywhere. I felt like I was married in Narnia.  

"Mark's grand idea was the Cube. One day he said, 'Wouldn't it be great if we had a giant cube hung like a diamond in the middle of the dance floor where we can project awesome videos and pictures on throughout our wedding?'  Well he made it happen and it was a great success, adding another fun interactive element to the event." --Dimphy

Ceremony + Reception Site: Lincoln Hall // Photography: Wasio Photography // Videography: Old North Film Company // Officiant: Rev. Dominic Barrett // Bride's Gown: House of Brides // Hair + Makeup: Style Onsite // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bride to Be Couture // Formalwear: Formally Modern Tuxedo // Stationery: Minted // Flowers: Blossom & Branch Designs // Catering: Schubas Tavern // Entertainment: Big League Boys // Sweets: Dr. Ray’s Toffee // Transportation: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company // Food Truck: Cheesie’s Pub and Grub // Caricature Artist: Chuck Senties Productions 

For more Real ChicagoStyle Weddings, visit

Friday, July 22, 2016

Written by Kelsey O'Shaughnessy

Katie O'Reilly was at the ripe old age of four when her parents bought a farm in Wisconsin. She would spend time with her family in their garden, harvesting fresh herbs, tomatoes, and squash, and then using those ingredients to make truly farm-to-table creations. Katie says, "From an early age, I just got it. Food spoke to me." Katie is a true artist -- and her medium is food.

Adding to that early appreciation for food, Katie was brought along as her parents explored Chicago's blossoming culinary scene. They would enjoy a particularly delectable meal, then return home to try to emulate the recipe. In high school, Katie entertained friends with her cooking. "It relaxed me," she explains.

Fast-forward to modern day, where Katie's professional career as a caterer and culinary artist has garnered much attention -- and appreciation -- from locals, as well as some well-known Food Network big-wigs. Katie spends her days experimenting in the kitchen, writing recipes, and working with her team of top-notch chefs to master beautiful new creations.

"I love to work with fresh herbs," Katie explains. "Any time you can use fresh herbs, you can make a dish really sing." She plays off any environment she's in, looking for local, seasonal products to inspire her creations. One of her most inspirational locales to explore is her home in Kenmare, Ireland. With little-to-no technology, it's a great place to ground herself, spend time with family, and really dig for new inspiration.

With her catering company, Katie sits down with her clients during their tasting to ensure she's optimizing their menu to really meet their needs. On a radio interview with WGN radio's Steve Bertand, she explained, "I’ll design a tasting menu that maybe has four times the amount of food they’ll actually select...Then they’ll get to custom design, because I listen to what their palettes are actually saying. It doesn’t matter to me if I change the ingredients." To Katie, it's more important to "create it your way."

When both her friends and fans started asking for more, Katie decided to launch a blog called Katie O's Food Carnival, in which she delves into how people experience and interact with food. "There are no rights or wrongs," she says. "There is only how you relate to and experience food."

Katie's blog follows her observations as she experiments in the kitchen, attends tastings with her clients and friends, talks to other food aficionados, and so much more. "People teach me. I like to learn, and I love the feedback." Her goal is to explore food together with her audience and show how it relates to the spirit.

Katie O's Food Carnival was recently picked up by an online all-women's network. Her universal, half-hour show has something for everyone. With a consistent format, she entertains with her food exploration, tasting segments, and guest interviews to "learn how people taste differently." Stay tuned for episodes airing in August!

For those new to her blog and show, Katie suggests imagining yourself at the top of a ferris wheel. "Everything below looks fun -- each ride is different and exciting. It's the same with food. It's an experience. At a carnival, everything is a little bit crazy, but fun. There's lots of laughter, it's colorful and bright -- and you get to be yourself. When it comes to food, take your hands off the safety bar and let yourself have the exciting experience of trying something new."

Join Katie O's Food Carnival as she explores new food experiences every Wednesday on her blog and online TV show (coming soon). Also, check out her radio interview with Chicago's own Steve Bertrand, of WGN radio for more about her passion!

A special thanks to Katie O'Reilly, President of Katie O's Food Carnival, and Culinary Artist and Co-President of Kenmare Catering.

For more catering and culinary ideas, visit!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

When it comes to wedding planning, nothing trumps finding the perfect gown! Check out a few of our favorite new trends and styles for 2016/2017! 

1. Poufy Perfection
Allure Couture gown available at Bri'Zan Couture

2. Lace Love
Val Stefani Vega gown available at Eva's Bridal of Chicago

3. Statement Back
Jasmine Bridal Collection gown available at Jasmine Galleria

4. Decorative D├ęcolletage
Badgley Mischka Eleanor gown available at Kathryn's Bridal and Dress Shop

5. Overskirt Glamour
Crystal Design Sidney gown available at Laurel Bridal

6. Sexy Silhouettes
Ivoire by Kitty Chen Marissa gown available at Reddington Bridal

7. Simple Elegance
Essence of Australia gown available at Revolution Bridal and Haute & Co. Bridal Boutique

8. Vintage Romance
Wtoo Betty gown available at Bijou Bridal and Special Occasion

9. Boho Bride
Jenny Yoo Collection Sawyer gown available at Jenny Yoo Collection Chicago

10. Urban Chic
Sarah Seven Orleans gown available at Sarah Seven Chicago

11. Ethereal Bride
Watters gown available at The Crystal Bride

12. Understated Sophistication
Paloma Blanca gown available at White Dress Bridal Boutique

Which looks are your favorites? Let us know in the comments! 

For more fierce fashion inspiration, visit