Wednesday, July 31, 2013

From Our Print Issue
Save-the-Date Cards

All the answers to your questions about this important piece of stationery

Everyone loves a bit of advance notice, whether it’s for an impending thunderstorm or an upcoming event. Save-the-date cards are a great way to give guests advance warning of your celebration, and provide them with plenty of time to make arrangements to attend. And though the concept isn’t new, many brides still have questions about save-the-dates. Here’s a rundown of the most common questions, along with detailed answers on how to give your guests plenty of advance notice.

Who receives word?

You should send a save-the-date card to everyone on your guest list, including your attendants and their guests. If it isn’t in your budget to send a save-the-date to absolutely everyone, send only to those attending who will arrive from out-of-town. Be careful that your guest list is final before you send your save-the-dates; everyone that receives this informal card should receive a formal invitation the requisite 6-8 weeks before the wedding.

What should be included?
Save-the-dates can include as much or as little information as you would like your guests to have in advance of your celebration. Your card can be as simple as a postcard that gives your names and wedding date; however most couples take this opportunity to include information that etiquette states should not be included in a formal invitation. Everything from lodging arrangements, transportation information, requested attire, and a schedule of events can be incorporated in a save-the-date. Others share general information on tourist attractions for those who plan to tour the area along with restaurant and nightlife recommendations. The more knowledge you share with your guests in advance, the more comfortable they’ll feel traveling to different city.

When should you send them?
The school of thought on when save-the-date cards should be sent varies. Many believe that cards should be sent out as soon as the date and location have been confirmed. This works best in cases when the wedding is scheduled to take place within the year. But as more and more couples take at least a year, and sometimes even two to plan their weddings, too much advance notice can backfire. As a general rule, save-the-dates are sent around six months in advance of the wedding date. That amount of time should give your out-of-town guests ample time to make transportation and lodging arrangements, along with providing ample notice to their employers in case they’ll need time off to attend.

How formal or informal should they be?
The great thing about save-the-date cards is they can be whatever you want them to be. Anything from a simple magnet that gives your names and the date, to a small booklet that gives a play-by-play description of your event is acceptable. But most couples try to have fun with their save-the-date cards, creating them to complement the theme of the wedding. Since the sky’s the limit here and you don’t have to worry about etiquette getting in the way, be creative! Planning a seaside ceremony? Send a message in a bottle, complete with a cork on the end and a few shells inside the bottle along with a note. How about an Asian inspired affair? Your save-the-dates could be created to look like oriental fans. A celebration with an Parisian theme would garner excitement with Paris postcards as save-the-dates. Even a formal celebration can have a creative save-the-date card; have labels created with all the necessary information for the front of a split of wine and send one along to each of your guests. Now that’s a save-the-date that makes a statement!

What’s the bottom line?
The bottom line with save-the-date cards is that they’re just an extra bit of paperwork to help your guests prepare for your wedding. Though save-the-dates aren’t a required item for all weddings, they do provide a great service to guests and give you a break from answering the same lodging question 250 times.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Kathyrn’s Bridal is Now Official Elite Retailer of Jovani

Jovani is a designer long associated with glamour and high style. Miranda Lambert, Paris Hilton, Carrie Underwood, Ashanti and many more celebrities have worn Jovani’s dresses to events worldwide. Kathryn’s Bridal in McHenry, Illinois is proud to be an authorized and official Elite Retailer of Jovani. 

Recently, Jovani has streamlined its retail clients and is now only affiliated with businesses that add great value to the Jovani brand. High caliber boutiques like Kathryn’s Bridal have met the strict criteria to be associated with this limited group of Jovani retailers. As an authorized retailer, Jovani has chosen specific styles that can only be purchased in brick and mortar stores, like Kathryn’s. These exclusive dresses cannot be displayed or sold on any Jovani online retailer’s website. In addition, Jovani has implemented a new anti-counterfeiting initiative to protect consumers from being scammed by unauthorized websites selling cheap knock-off imitations. There is now a link on the Jovani website to confirm if a retailer is authentic. You also should look for an individual Jovani Authenticity Code (“JAC ID”) displayed on the shop’s plaque to verify you are purchasing from a reputable retailer as shown below.


Visit Kathryn’s Bridal & Dress Shop to see an extensive collection of prestigious Jovani gowns.

Kathryn’s Bridal & Dress Shop
3807 West Elm Street
McHenry, IL 60050
(815) 385.7330
Special Offer
A La Moda Offers Affordable Month-of Wedding Services

You’ve done all the planning, now allow yourself and your bridal party the time to enjoy your big day. The Finishing Touches is A La Moda’s month-of wedding coordination service that provides the final preparations for your wedding day so you have peace of mind and assurance that your plans will go on without a hitch on your wedding day.

The process begins with an initial meeting six weeks before your wedding day to discuss your plans and vision in detail, work with your selected vendors and distribute schedules to ensure a smooth day without any last-minute worries. The cost of the service is $1,000 and can be scheduled for any wedding date prior to November 24, 2013.

Month-of wedding coordination service pricing is based on wedding size and location. Weddings at venues beyond a 50-mile radius may incur travel and expense fees.

For availability and a complimentary consultation, call 312.470.6076 or visit

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kayla Selsky & Scott Payne, Onion Pub & Brewery

These gorgeous photos showcase the July wedding of Kayla Selsky & Scott Payne. The celebration was held at the Onion Pub & Brewery in Barrington, Illinois. Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery and Garden Center in Crystal Lake provided the lush arrangements. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The James Chicago Offers Customized Catering with Exclusive Incentives

Book The James Chicago’s summer offer and receive exclusive upgrades and inclusions to make your occasion even more memorable. From the distinctive Library to a finely appointed private dining room and the new Burke’s Dining Room, there are a range of customizable possibilities to enjoy Chef David Burke’s modern American steakhouse cuisine.

Host your next event in any of these distinctive spaces prior to September 2, 2013 and choose two of the following special incentives:
-$50 gift certificate to award-winning restaurant, David Burke’s Primehouse
-Complimentary selection of hot or cold passed hors d’oeuvres during your reception
-Complimentary upgrade to top shelf beverage options
-Complimentary Cheesecake Lollipop Tree and Cake in a Can*
-Complimentary champagne toast

Reserve now and receive 10,000 STASH Hotel Rewards bonus points—enjoy all the perks and points of a big hotel chain rewards program but with a network of exclusive, high-end boutiques.

To book, please contact Maya Dykema at or call (312) 660.7157

Terms and Conditions: Applicable to parties of 15 or more.  New bookings only. 1 Cheesecake Lollipop Tree and 1 Cake in a Can per 10 people. Based on availability and subject to blackout dates. For private events held before September 2nd, 2013.

Days Inn Chicago Unveils New Café & Lounge

Have out-of-town guests for your wedding and need a private function space or hospitality suite? Find everything you need under one roof at the Days Inn Chicago. The hotel just unveiled a remodeled and spacious café and lounge that offers complimentary deluxe continental breakfast as well as rentable private function space. The room holds up to 50 people and groups are welcome to bring their own food.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jaya Subramanian & Luke Lizalde, Café Brauer

Luke Lizalde, an illustrator, was born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego but moved back to Los Angeles when he decided to attend the University of Southern California. Jaya Subramanian was born and raised in Chicago and attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. After graduating, Jaya pursued theatre in Chicago before relocating to Los Angeles to continue her acting career. Oddly enough, it was The Second City that brought this couple together when they met at an improv class at the institution’s L.A. location. The two quickly became friends, but during a show, sparks flew and an onscreen kiss led to an off-screen romance.

In April of 2011, Luke proposed to Jaya. The illustrator added a personal touch by designing a comic book background and producing a personalized comic to assist in his proposal. After a full day of trumping Luke's every attempt to propose, Jaya said yes at the doorstep of their home.

From the Bride…
“Our wedding and reception was a cultural extravaganza. Being half Indian and Irish, we were interested in having a traditional wedding with an Indian influence throughout, including bridesmaids’ dresses that were varied with bright shades of pink and purple made from Sari Fabric. The bridesmaids also wore Mehndi on their hands and Indian jewelry to compliment the fabric.”


St. James Chapel of Quigley Pastoral Center

Café Brauer

Lindsay Miller Consulting

Monique Lhuillier

RS Hair Group

Men’s Warehouse

Ashland Addison Florist

Todd James Photography

Dan Hayes Orchestra

Chicago Trolley Co.

LaLaLi Bakery

Friday, July 19, 2013

You’re Invited!
Enchanted Atelier Couture Accessories Trunk Show at Bella Bleu

The Spring/Summer 2014 collection is inspired by the effortlessly chic bride with memorable, vintage-inspired accessories and a little bit of ‘20s glam for good measure. View all the “Enchanted Atelier for Claire Pettibone” favorites from the collection during Bella Bleu’s special trunk show July 26 & 27. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are also welcome. Special incentives will be offered for all orders placed at the show.

Enchanted Atelier Couture Accessories Trunk Show
Friday, July 26 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 27 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Bella Bleu
143 N Northwest Hwy
Park Ridge, IL 60068
(847) 696.7152

From Our Print Issue:
Drink Trends


By April Miller

Before you decide what to serve, you’ll need to determine what type of bar to offer. A cash bar is often considered impolite and tacky, yet for those who don’t want to go with an open bar (guests can order anything imaginable and the costs can quickly add up) a limited bar is a great option. With this style of bar service, you choose the selection of drinks to be offered and can limit the amount of time the bar is open. Perhaps you wish to offer only beer, wine and champagne during cocktail hour, then switch to simply beer and wine for dinner. Or opt for an open bar during cocktail hour with limited service the rest of the evening.

Whatever you decide, here are several beverage trends to keep in mind as you plan what spirits to serve.

Offering a signature cocktail is a great way for you and your groom to put your special mark on the festivities. And, if you’ve opted for limited bar service, including a signature cocktail in the mix adds an air of sophistication. So, how to choose your special libation? Consider basing the drink off your predominant wedding theme; your favorite color; you or your groom’s favorite liquor (one that your guests will like too); a cherished locale; or even perhaps a cocktail you enjoyed on your first date.

Your signature drink can be a classic concoction with a fun name or a custom drink developed just for your day. Hire an independent or special event mixologist to craft a cocktail or talk to the bartenders at your venue. Many couples choose to offer their signature drink during cocktail hour only and then serve just beer and wine with dinner. Whenever it’s served, have fun. Play up the signature drink with a decorative recipe sign at the bar or print the recipe on coasters or napkins.

Culinary art and cocktail culture has combined to create a demand for fresher, higher-quality drinks. Artificial and sugary spirits are out, in are fresh, seasonal, local and natural ingredients. Using these, bartenders are now creating fabulous seasonal cocktails, so why not add these to your special day. Herbal and botanical ingredients such as spearmint, rosemary, tarragon, sage, roses and lavender are being used to update traditional drinks or to create tasty new ones. Flavor-infused liquors—fresh and light, not sweet and syrupy—are also popular. Think cucumber-infused vodkas or ginger-infused rums. Fresh ingredients allow for contrasting flavors and aromas and a proper balance of taste; sweet, salty and spicy such as a mango margarita with cayenne salt rim.

Fresh fruit, herbs and flowers are not only kicking cocktails up a notch, but make for a pleasing presentation, either floating in the drinks or used as garnishment.

With a renewed interest in the craftsmanship of cocktails, the classics are making a comeback. Fresh ingredients are being used, giving a modern twist to the libations of yesterday. Talk to your bartenders about serving up some of the following: mint juleps, sidecars, sazeracs, manhattans, martinis, bellinis or a Tom Collins.

This is your special day so don’t just offer guests any old beer, especially when there’s so much going on with the beverage. Thanks to a growing industry of microbreweries (breweries that produce fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer per year) and brewpubs (an establishment that brews its own beer on the premises) there is a growing craft industry and appreciation for homemade and specialty beers. With attention to quality ingredients and detail, smaller batches tend to result in more interesting, tastier beers. What better way to put a personal stamp on your reception then to offer up a locally brewed beer or a regional specialty? Consider adding three to five artisanal brews or one dark and one pale ale to your mix. Guests will appreciate the selection.

You can even go so far as to ask your caterer or bartender to do food and beer pairings for the meal. Perhaps start light with a pilsner, wheat or fruit beer and move toward a full-flavored chocolate porter or rich stout.

Don’t let those guests who don’t imbibe feel left out. If you have a signature cocktail, definitely offer a non-alcoholic version. Other great options are alcohol-removed wines and champagnes, sparkling fruit juice, soda, sparkling water, flavored teas, regular and decaf coffee and sparkling cider.

Whether it’s a classic cocktail, your signature drink or a non-alcoholic “mocktail,” presentation counts. There are many festive and fun ways to garnish a drink glass. You can work with your catering staff to create that wow factor and the only rule to follow is match the garnish with the flavor of the drink. In addition to fresh fruits, herbs and flowers, you’ll also find candies, chocolate, cinnamon sticks, vegetables and spices topping stemware. More drinks these days are also seeing their glasses rimmed and it’s not just with salt. Consider a cocktail rimmed with colored sugar, powdered chocolates, crushed nuts or chopped coconut. Non-edible garnishments, like swizzle sticks, umbrellas, flags, even glow-in-the-dark drink stirrers—can add a bit of festive flair.

Poor service can ruin even the best-planned receptions. Make sure your venue will be staffed properly for the number of guests, so that guests are not forced to wait in long lines for their first drink. To help alleviate any lines that may form at the bar (especially during cocktail hour or the beginning of the reception) have waiters walking around with trays of wine, simple cocktails, beer and sparkling water.

Charismatic bartenders can also leave a lasting impression with guests and keep the evening entertaining. Ask to meet with your bartenders and wait staff ahead of time and don’t hesitate to ask for a tasting of the drinks that are going to be served, especially if you are going to offer a custom cocktail. If you’re considering asking a friend or relative to bartend as a way to cut costs, it is highly recommended not to do so. You want prompt, professional and personable bartenders. Hiring an experienced bartender will provide you and guests a higher level of quality service and save you from any potential stress during the reception. A professional bartender also has the experience of tracking guests’ drinking and can find ways to tactfully slow an individual’s consumption when one has overindulged.

To make your final beverage selections, consider the type, style, theme and location of your wedding; your guests (how many are coming? Are they a bunch who likes to imbibe?); the time of year; and the types of food that will be served at your reception. Find ways to mix the latest trends with the tastes of you and your groom for a truly personal, memorable and spirited affair.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vendor Spotlight:
Island Getaways Can Be Romantic, Exhilarating, Relaxing and All-Inclusive!

Planning your dream destination wedding, honeymoon or exotic getaway can oftentimes be more stressful than it’s worth. You’ll spend hours researching where the wedding is going to take place, where the reception is going to be, comparing prices, talking to wedding planners and dealing with agencies that end up charging you for information you already have. Now there’s an easier way with Island Getaways, the premier agency for your destination wedding, honeymoon or vacation.

You always want to get the most for your money and even more so in today’s economy. And if you’re currently researching your wedding, you’ll realize that the average wedding in the States costs about $29,000, and that price doesn’t include your honeymoon. With Island Getaways, Full Wedding Packages start at $4,000 and that includes your honeymoon. Instead of one day, why not have an entire week for your wedding and honeymoon with many more memories and no worries? A destination wedding is smaller, easier, more intimate, more personal and of course more romantic. 

Island Getaways has carefully selected each resort partner for specific reasons. They don’t just sell the packages—representatives have traveled to each resort, stayed in them and experienced all the resort has to offer so that they can give you a complete picture as to what your trip will entail. Island Getaways is directly connected with resort management and staff to attend to every detail and aspect of your dream day. This will result in far less stress and more time with your guests.

Island Getaways offers a personal price match guarantee ensuring that you are not undersold by some other agency. Island Getaways also does not charge any consultation or booking fees. They take pride in clearly presenting their pricing and standing by it.

And the best part: Everything is included in your trip. So sit back, take a deep breath, relax and call Island Getaways to book your wedding, honeymoon or next vacation. Leave your worries and wallet behind and spend your wedding and honeymoon dedicated to each other.

For More Information:
Call (262) 781.1748 or e-mail
Make sure to mention “ChicagoStyle Weddings” when you call or email.

You’re Invited!
Art of Seduction Hosts a Love Feast

This is a date night experience not to miss! Art of Seduction, one of Chicago’s premiere boudoir photography studios, is hosting Love Feast on Friday July 26. Open to all couples, this special event includes a cooking class that will produce a three-course meal, whiskey and wine tasting, a dance lesson from Chicago Style Steppin’, a photo of you and your significant other and entry into a special Art of Seduction raffle.

Love Feast
Friday, July 26
6:30 p.m.
Art of Seduction Studios
2250 W Grand Ave., Chicago, IL
Space is limited so register now!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sarah Bellino & Jeff Faber

Jeff and I met for the first time at a local bar in Glen Ellyn. My best friend and I were out having a drink when the guy sitting next to us tried to engage me in conversation. Because I am a friendly person, I played along; however, I wasn’t interested in meeting another guy at the bar, so our talk didn’t go far and we parted ways for the evening.

A few months later, my girlfriend invited me to hang out with some new people she met. Sure enough, who did I see but Jeff, the guy I brushed off at the bar months prior. Awkward! Neither of us mentioned our previous encounter, and we actually had a really great time getting to know each other that night. As time went by, we started getting together more and more and discovered how much we had in common, like our shared love for the band Deftones, among other things.

Jeff and I became very close friends, and soon he told me that his feelings towards me were stronger than buddies. At that time, I was not sure how to handle it. I didn’t want to ruin this awesome friendship that we built, and I also just started seeing someone else. Jeff came over to my house one night to have one of our famous ‘I can’t sleep’ late-night talks. He told me that he didn’t care if I was seeing someone else because he knew that his feelings towards me were real, and he would wait for me. It wasn’t until that night that I admitted to myself that he was the one. There was something about him that I was drawn to, and while I didn’t know what it was, I knew I wanted to be around him all the time.

He proposed to me six months after our official first date. We were headed to the city to see a band play at the Beat Kitchen — or so I thought. We arrived early and decided to spend some time walking around Millennium Park. I kept reminding him of the time, insisting that we were going to miss the band play. He finally lead me to the famous Bean at the park and said, “Don’t you worry about the band because we are not going to see them.” He knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was shocked, scared, happy and embarrassed because everyone in the park stopped and clapped! He informed me that he and my best friend had planned the whole surprise, and she was waiting at the Dana Hotel to celebrate the big news with us.

When we met a few years ago, we were just two people who shared similar interests. As time went on, we realized we were more than just friends and our feelings had turned into love. The great thing is that we will always be best friends, and I think that is the best relationship you can have with your significant other prior to getting married.

We will have a winter wedding on January 11, 2014. Our theme is glitter because it reminds me of how the snow looked the night he proposed to me. Our first dance will be to “No Ordinary Love,” a cover song by our favorite band the Deftones. We have both been so busy working and saving money for a house that we had no plans for a honeymoon, so this amazing gift is truly a blessing for us. Thank you so much ChicagoStyle Weddings!

Honeymoons consist of a 6 day / 5 night all-inclusive stay for two. Compliments of El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels provided by Island Getaways.

Contact My Island Getaways at 262.781-1748,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Special Offer
Paradise Boudoir by Imely Offers $100 Packages for July

Boudoir photography is classic and sultry, and the perfect gift for your fiance before the wedding or your new groom on your honeymoon. For the month of July, Paradise Boudoir by Imely is offering new clients the chance to have an intimate photo session for only $100 (a $225 value). Clients can opt to be photographed in their own home in a private session with just a photographer present. This package includes:

* 1 to 1-1/2 hours in a private photo session
* No limit on number of photos taken
* Lots of creative posing
* As many sets/costumes as possible in the allowed time
* Quick turnaround on proofs, usually within 5 - 7 business days of the photo shoot
* Two 5 x 7 photos and two 8 x 10 photos
* All edited photos on a DVD

Reserve your session with Paradise Boudoir by Imely
(773) 744.7586

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Mirar Productions Shows How Wedding Documentaries are Done Right

Beth and Dan were happily married at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chicago, and Mirar Productions was there to capture every happy moment, from the bridal prep at The W Hotel to the photo session at Olive Park and reception at Galleria Marchetti. In this beautiful preview video, Mirar shows their skill in developing heartfelt wedding documentaries that will let you relive your day for years to come.

Beth + Dan's wedding recap from Mirar Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography is hosting TWO big party's this weekend in celebration for hitting 10K fans on Facebook and giving away 10 sessions which are going to be PERFECT for wedding season!

Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography - "Facebook 10K Party" in NAPERVILLE
Friday, July 12, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)
619 S Washington St
Naperville, IL 60540

Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography - "Facebook 10K Party" in CHICAGO
Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)
2232 North Clybourn Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60614


Vendor Spotlight
Tru Fragrance Blooms in Chicago with Exclusive Fragrance Collection

This partnership smells sweet! Working with the City of Chicago and local community organizations, the boutique fragrance development company Tru Fragrance will bring back its successful Tru Blooms program this year. The initiative transforms local gardens and green spaces into growing areas for flowers that will be harvested and bottled into limited-edition perfumes. But even more than that, Tru Blooms encourages sustainability, urban beautification and economic development.

This year, 27 green spaces are being harvested around the city that will grow rose geranium, patchouli, rose and lavender. Locations include Grant Park, Whitney Young High School, Cantigny Park, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Uncommon Ground. The gardens are being cultivated by volunteers and farmers employed by local nonprofit organizations.

The bottle, packaging and scent will be designed, created and produced by Tru Fragrance based in Willowbrook. Tru Blooms Second Harvest Eau de Parfum will be available in two sizes – 50 ml ($42) and 15 ml ($20) at select retail locations and online beginning in November. Pre-orders for the limited edition fragrance will begin online on October 14.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Studio M Creations Goes Old School with Chalkboard Invitations

Poster-inspired, chalkboard art is all the rage right now in advertisements, home décor and even stationery. Studio M Creations has followed the trend with their latest invitation design. This vintage, charming feel is perfect for any event and can be matched with coordinating table menus, ceremony programs, place cards and more.

Prices start at $8.25 for a set of 100+ invitations, which includes the invite and response postcard printed on 80lb white cardstock with matching white mailing envelope.

If you order before August 31, you’ll receive 10% off your set!

Call today to inquire or set up an appointment to look at all the great custom designs.
(312) 650.9314

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wedding Snapshots
Lori Sommers & Fredrick Ballstaedt, McHenry Country Club

These gorgeous photos showcase the June wedding of Lori Sommers and Fredrick Ballstaedt. The celebration was held at the McHenry Country Club in McHenry, Illinois. Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery and Garden Center in Crystal Lake provided the lush arrangements.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Real Wedding
Ashley Cohen-Lewe & Brandon Shain, Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago

“Brandon and I were engaged after only a month of dating. My mom and I were walking past a jewelry store and went in (something we always do). I saw a ring that I fell in love with, and I told my mom that was the ring I wanted when I got engaged. She said it was way too early to show Brandon, but when the time came, she would point it out to him.

Just a few days later Brandon and I happened to pass the same store, and he suggested we go in. I showed him the ring, and he loved it. We wound up trying it on and inquiring about it.

A few days later, Brandon and I were getting dinner ready and when I turned around, Brandon got down on one knee and proposed. Our parents were thrilled, and shocked, since it was so soon. Although my parents were out of town at the time, Brandon still wanted to ask for my dad's permission, and when he did, my parents were thrilled because they were already in love with him, too.”


Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago

Belle Vie


Jos. A. Bank

Onstage Salon

Anthony Gowder

Furla Studios

Music By Design

The Baking Institute