Friday, March 29, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Stan Mansion Gives An Inside Look In New Video

Logan Square’s gorgeous Stan Mansion gives you an inside look into the history of the building and its personalized capabilities for weddings. Learn more from the owner Sarah Stan and Kevin Hjellum, assistant director of events, in this brand-new video.




Vendor Spotlight
Gerber + Scarpelli Do More Than Wedding Photography

One of the valued clients of ChicagoStyle Weddings, we were touched by the new project of wedding photographers Gerber + Scarpelli—they have produced a film documenting the lives and struggles of Iraq war veterans who have returned home.

From founder Kurt Gerber:
“A year and a half ago my son and I started down a path that changed our lives. As a country we had just learned there was going to be an end to Combat Operations in Iraq, but there was a lesser-reported story emerging: Veterans were starting to die by their own hands at home, at a higher rate than on the battlefield. We decided then that we were going to meet the men and women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, document our experience and talk about how we as Americans can serve those who served us. We've created a film about it.”





Learn more about Operation Route 66 here and help fund the project at the group’s Kickstarter page.


You’re Invited!
Bella Bleu’s Haute Bride Trunk Show, April 12-13

Haute Bride has the perfect accessories to get you red carpet and white aisle ready! Based in Los Gatos, California, Haute Bride creates couture jewelry, headpieces and sashes sure to capture the heart of any accessory and fashion lover! At this special trunk show, headpieces, jewelry and veils from the all-time best-selling and 2013 collections will be featured. Appointments are preferred but walk ins are also welcome. Enjoy 10% off all orders placed at the show.

Sip wine, enjoy delicious sweets and shop the Haute Bride Collection!

April 12 & 13
143 N. Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Please call (847) 696.7152 for an appointment



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wedding Announcement
Win A Special Gift from ChicagoStyle Weddings courtesy of Razny Jewelers

ChicagoStyle Weddings is happy to announce a special contest with a great prize from Razny Jewelers (Highland Park, Addison and Hinsdale). Brides and grooms can now enter to win an A. Jaffe Stackable Eternity Band. Click here to see a list of our previous winners!


From the Print Issue
Modern Menus: Experts Share Catering Trends You Don’t Want To Miss

Chicken, beef, or fish? No, thanks! The modern menu is here, and it’s jazzing things up in the catering business. While tradition hasn’t been forgotten (not entirely, at least), couples are embracing the latest and greatest when it comes to the cocktail hour, dinner, and dessert for their big day. Local caterers clue ChicagoStyle Weddings in on what area couples are selecting for their big-day menus.

SMALL IS BIG
Never before have brides been so obsessed with size—the size of their food, that is! Whether it’s appetizers, late-night snacks, or desserts, caterers are shrinking things down to miniature size, and the guests are lovin’ it. “People seem to really like those one bites,” says Jeremiah Green of Cork Catering. “We shrink it down to a one- to two-bite-sized item so that you can have a couple different types of selections to try.”

Sometimes, this type of menu is referred to as “tapas-style,” and it’s not limited to just appetizers and desserts. Host a cocktail-style reception, and you can serve your guests a whole menu filled with bite-sized appetizers, as long as your caterer serves enough to keep guests satisfied. In fact, cocktail receptions are a big trend all on their own, as couples want their reception to feel more like a big party than a typical wedding.

Cocktail receptions have other perks, too. It can sometimes be a bit more cost-effective than a seated dinner, says Dana Konya of Jewell Events Catering, because a full-place setting is not necessary. Cocktail receptions also create a “more social and party atmosphere,” Konya says.

At least one catering professional sees it differently, though. “I think that brides now are recognizing the importance of their guests being waited on,” says Mary Bauer of Bauer’s Catering, Inc. Because of this, she is seeing a return to the seated dinner with guests given a dual entree on the plate.

INNOVATIVE MENUS
Couples are tired of eating the same thing over and over again at wedding receptions. Caterers know this, and they’re coming up with fresh, new menus at the same price points as more traditional dinners.

“We often hear couples say they want something different than what they have seen at previous weddings—no dry chicken,” Konya says. “Recently for a ‘Wine Country”-styled wedding, we created a menu of gourmet Angus and Portobello burgers with melted sharp cheddar cheese, arugula, tomato, and dill pickle chips on a homemade sesame brioche bun.”

MIX AND MATCH
If you happen to like the traditional dinner menus that have reigned supreme at weddings in the past, then there’s no need to get rid of them entirely. Green suggests “mixing and matching” classic cuisine with innovative appetizers, which can also help lower the cost. Serve a classic chicken or fish dinner, which might cost less than more unique items, but let the caterer dream up eclectic hors d’ouerves to serve at the cocktail hour. “At the end of the day, hors d’ouerves aren’t a very expensive item,” Green says.

Couples are also looking for lower-priced substitutes for traditional ingredients. “Short ribs are the new filet,” says Jennifer Monti of Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants. “They are trendy, delicious, and cost as much as poultry, so you get beef for the price of chicken.”

GOING GREEN, GOING VEGETARIAN
Both caterers and couples are taking the initiative to make their meals Earth-friendly. Ways to do this include serving seasonal ingredients from local farmers, as well as reducing the amount of meat served throughout the night. “We will receive inquiries from “green couples” every once in a while, more concerned with our green initiative, which is to source as often as possible from local and sustainable markets, including the Green City Market,” says Emily Vandevender of Jewell Events Catering.

Despite this trend, price still rules over “green” items. “We are very proud of the fact that we offer local produce when possible, and I know my bride and grooms appreciate it,” Monti says. “However, I don’t really see a lot of requests for organic or sustainable ingredients, mainly because they cost more.” The easiest way to keep your wedding menu green is to work with your caterer to select seasonal ingredients. In winter, stick to root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash, while in the summer months, serve fresh produce such as tomatoes, zucchini, and watermelon. “We have always tried to use local food sources and seasonal selections with our menus,” Bauer says. “Only a handful of brides really ever address or make this request—I believe because they assume that we are already doing that!”

Some couples want to share their lifestyle with their guests and serve entirely vegetarian or vegan meals. A flexible caterer can make this happen. For example, Cork Catering has a popular appetizer that starts with a sweet potato pancake topped with cider-braised pork belly. “If they say, we like that, but we need it vegetarian,” Green says. ‘OK, we’ll pull off the pork belly and replace it with something that’s non-meat-oriented.” Be aware that not all guests will share in your enthusiasm for a meat-free wedding. However, if you serve hearty fare such as pasta or risotto, with vegetables that mimic the texture of meat, like eggplant or mushrooms, you just might be able to convert a carnivore.

Whether being green, creative or cost conscious is most important to you, one of these catering trends is bound to take your meal from standard to amazing.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Wedding Announcement
The Latest Edition of ChicagoStyle Weddings is Now Online!

Planning on the go? ChicagoStyle Weddings has you covered. With our latest edition now online, you can flip through all 451 pages anywhere, anytime on your smart or mobile device. Get the same in-depth wedding coverage you expect from the print version in a convenient format that lets you click through directly to vendor websites. Get started now!


Wedding Announcement
Makray Memorial Golf Club Has Opening on August 17

If August 17 is the wedding date you had in mind—Makray Memorial Golf Club has great news for you! The scenic, Barrington-based ceremony and reception venue just had a cancellation for Saturday, August 17 that they are now offering to interested brides and grooms. Indoors or out, the majestic ballroom and lush fairways envelop your day in romance. And a dedicated staff can help you customize your day for up to 250 guests. Interested parties, contact Laurie Hudak at (847) 381.6501, extension 104.




Friday, March 22, 2013

Vendor Spotlight Mallory Musante Designs’ One-of-Kind Shoes for One-of-a-Kind Brides

Show off your unique flair from head to toe with a customized pair of heels! Mallory Musante Designs  offers a line of hand-painted women’s shoes that are completely customizable. Each shoe is embellished with a non-chip leather paint in the style you choose; provide your own heels or use one of Mallory’s designs. See the beautiful Peach Lace and Purple Bows designs here for some of our favorites!




Vendor Spotlight eShakti Offers Customizable Bridesmaid Dresses

Finding the perfect look for each of your bridesmaids is often a challenge since every woman is different in size, shape, height and style preference. But you’re in luck thanks to a new customizable dress line from eShakti that lets you pick your palette but offer your bridal party the freedom to choose their style and fit.

With eShakti’s easy web interface, you choose your preferred color palette, while your bridesmaids select the size (including custom-size), dress style and pattern that best suits her body type. Bridesmaids can freely opt to alter a neckline, shorten the length or even change a sleeve style. Plus, at-home measuring tools and made-to-order processing ensure that no additional alterations will be needed along the way.

More than 30 distinctive feminine, romantic and retro-inspired styles are available in a variety of sizes (0-36 W) and fabric options including solid and print poplin, eyelet, lace and silk. In addition to classic colors such as black, navy, crimson and royal blue, eShakti is introducing a variety of fresh spring colors including emerald, mint, pewter, lavender gray, spring green and watermelon. Even better, everyone gets the dress they wanted within two weeks of ordering.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vendor Spotlight Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago Receives 5-Star Rating

One hotel is “trumping” the competition with a five-star rating from the esteemed Forbes Travel Guide. Trump International Hotel & Tower recently announced the honor, in the guide’s 2013 edition, which recognizes the property’s unparalleled service and amenities. Also awarded the recognition is the tower’s Sixteen Restaurant, which makes Trump the only Midwest property with five-star ratings for both its hotel and restaurant.

Adding to the excitement? The five-star award comes on the heels of the venue’s fifth anniversary. Trump Chicago welcomed its first hotel guests in January 2008. The hotel features 339 luxuriously appointed guestrooms including one-, two- and three-bedroom suites; Sixteen, a Michelin-rated restaurant; The Spa at Trump® with 53 specially appointed spa guest rooms; the Trump Health Club; Rebar, a chic cocktail lounge; The Terrace at Trump and more.




Monday, March 18, 2013

Real Wedding Erin and Peter Stach, Metropolitan Club

“I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. In the summer of 2009, I was an intern at a Chicago law firm; Peter worked at the same firm as a project assistant. We e-mailed each other numerous times throughout that summer because Peter was assisting me on a project, but we never met face to face. I often saw a handsome blonde guy at the building’s fitness center, at the time not realizing it was Peter.
As the summer ended, and the school year at Northwestern University School of Law began, I was stunned to see the same blonde guy working out at the gym near the law school. I thought to myself, ‘This guy is gym stalking me!’ We officially met through Northwestern’s Social Committee, where we realized who each other was. A few weeks later, Peter came to a party that I invited him to, and we have been an item ever since.
Peter proposed on the Kinzie Bridge with a gorgeous view of the Willis Tower in the background. We both love Chicago and wanted it to be a very important guest at our wedding! Our cocktail hour and reception were held in the Willis Tower with stunning views of the city from breathtaking heights. Guests enjoyed signature cocktails such as ‘Chicago River’ and ‘In the Loop’ and dined upon wedding cake with a Chicago skyline design. Table markers were various Chicago landmarks, and instead of a traditional guestbook, we had a custom-made poster with the Willis Tower on it that guests could sign.  
We wanted our guests to feel pampered and special.  We provided transportation from our ceremony location to our reception location, and the shuttle drivers took guests on a tour of Chicago, complete with DIY itineraries made by Peter! Our wedding day was truly one of the best days of my life.  I love Peter so much, and I'm thrilled that our friends and family loved our classic Chicago wedding.”











VENDORS
Ceremony Location
Alice Millar Chapel

Reception Location
Metropolitan Club

Dress
Ultimate Bride

Bridesmaid Dresses
Dessy

Hair and Makeup
Diem Angie Nguyen

Formalwear
Hugo Boss

Flowers
Flor del Monte

Invitations
Erickson Design

Lighting
Non-Stop Entertainment

Music
Non-Stop Entertainment

Planner
Just Say Yes Events

Photography
Cristina G Photography

Videography
Non-Stop Entertainment

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wedding Announcement
Vote in ChicagoStyle Weddings’ Designers' Challenge!

We turn to you readers to help us to decide who the winner is of our next issue’s designer challenge! Will it be Wine in the Wilderness, Victorian Steampunk, Refreshingly Simple, A Lakeside Affair, Chic in the City or Modern Illumination? You get to pick who will be featured in our July issue. Check out all the great designs and vote for your choice.


Tips from the Pro
The Net Worth of Invitations

By Jackie Szymanski, owner of All Things Paper

You have the groom, the venue, the date is set and the only thing missing is the wedding invitation. The hunt now begins. In an attempt to save money, you head for “the net” where you can sit at your convenience and peruse a large variety of stationery. You look at all the sites, play with fonts and colors but nothing seems to be working. Why is this happening when it should be so simple to “log on” and create perfection? The answer is in the process of ordering on “the net.”

Problem #1 – Most web companies offer designs that are “stock items.” Stock items are graphics, fonts and layouts with limited variation. For example, if you saw an invitation that showcased a red rose and you wanted the rose in yellow, you will have to purchase the invite with the red rose. Color change is usually not allowed as this is the graphic they have “in stock.” The same thing applies to fonts. You have limited font choices and colors.  Most companies will not use a font or color of your choice if it isn’t on their stock list.

Layouts also carry the same restrictions. Several layouts will be presented but there is little variation on these as well. By using stock graphics, font, layouts and colors the person who is doing the “designing” doesn’t have to do much thinking and can produce your invitation quickly and efficiently, which is why net companies can produce your invitation in 5-6 business days. They are literally “filling in the blanks.”

Problem #2 – Paper is a big issue when it comes to buying on “the net.” In order to sell invitations at a lower price, the net companies must cut costs somewhere, and paper is a good place to start. One quality of a good invitation is the stock on which it is printed. Quality paper should be sturdy, the color should go all the way through, it should not fade and it should have a rich feel to it. The paper I have seen from some companies is very light weight and almost resembles a slightly heavier computer paper—definitely not an elegant statement!

Problem #3 – Do you know from whom you are ordering? The net is not regulated. Anyone can create an invitation company and claim they are a business. Because there is no face-to-face contact, you have no idea with whom you are dealing. I have seen some sites where there is no phone number and an e-mail address is the only form of communication.

Problem #4 – If there is a problem, who is going to help you solve it? Most “net” companies have employees who may or may not be acquainted with your order nor are they necessarily designers, therefore, how can they provide quality customer service that is design related?

Problem #5 – Where is the advice on etiquette? When I work with brides there are usually many questions regarding wording for unique family situations. Most online companies will not take the time to advise you on these very important issues. You are left to stumble through their site and hope you find the answer to your questions. Help in this area is usually minimal.

Because your wedding is judged by the invitation, serious thought should be given to its creation. Based on this one piece of paper, three decisions will be made by your guests – the women will decide whether to buy a new dress, the guest will decide what type of gift (and if it is monetary, how much to gift) and the last, and perhaps most important decision will be, “do I even want to attend.”

Furthermore, your invitation is the only aspect of your wedding that is held by your guests for 6-8 weeks. They show it to friends and talk to other guests about the upcoming event. It becomes a show piece for the celebration. When the wedding has ended, there are only three mementos you will keep: Your dress, your photos and the invitation.
So when it comes to ordering, consider the “net worth” of what you are buying.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilled execution. 



All Things Paper has been in business since 1998 with a 1,600 square foot design studio. Their goal is to provide customers with a wide variety of quality custom invitations from the thousands of papers at their disposable. Hours are by appointment only.

All Things Paper
1161 Tower Road
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
(847) 882.8142

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Jazzy Flowers

Jazzy Flowers has been the West Loop’s go-to event florist for the past seven years.  Specializing in contemporary designs, their florals are sure to add style and flair to your event’s atmosphere. Every wedding is unique and Jazzy Flowers’ designers find inspiration from each couple to achieve their vision and much more. Stop by to see their impressive bouquets and designs.

Jazzy Flowers
35 S. Racine Ave.
Chicago, IL  60607
Vendor Spotlight
Ron McKinney Photography

Brides and grooms often compliment Ron McKinney Photography on their vast portfolio of photojournalistic pictures—the ones no one expected or posed for; the pictures they took while no one was looking. While Ron McKinney has a lot of fun creating magical, posed and composed portraits for couples and their families, some of their perennial favorites are the shots of teary-eyed parents, dancing partygoers, friends toasting and everyone laughing. Take a look at their stunning shots from the last year. To setup your consultation, call (847) 989.2782 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Special Offer
Bedhead Boudoir Photography’s Gorgeous Gal Package

Get gorgeous in a stunning boudoir photo session from Bedhead. Based in Winnetka, this private studio owned by photographer Angela Keefe is now offering a special deal to new clients: a one-hour session with professional airbrushed makeup and false lashes courtesy of City Lights Makeup, unlimited outfit changes, a password-protected gallery to see your photos, 8x8 leather keepsake album and champagne during your shoot! To learn more about this offer or reserve your time, e-mail info@bedheadphotography.com or call (312) 907.6214.


From the Print Issue:
Registry Checklist

Use this helpful guide when you are setting up your bridal registry. Download our registry checklist in a pdf format


For the Kitchen
_1 toaster
_1 blender
_1 standing mixer
_1 food processor
_1 coffee maker
_1 knife set
_1 cutting board
_1 10-inch skillet
_1 12-inch skillet
_1 2-quart saucepan
_1 6-quart stockpot
_1 large multi-use stockpot
_1 Dutch oven
_1 set of measuring spoons
_1 set of measuring cups
_1 set of mixing bowls
_1 set of serving spoons
_2 wooden spoons
_1 rubber spatula
_1 whisk
_1 set of cooking utensils
_2 baking sheets
_1 round cake pan
_1 rectangle-baking pan
_1 round pie pan
_2 oven mitts
For the Bedroom
_1 mattress pad
_2 to 4 pillows
_2 to 4 sets of pillow shams
_2 sets of pillow cases
_2 sets of sheets
_1 bedskirt
_1 duvet or comforter
_2 cotton or wool blankets

For the Dining Room
_8-12 place settings (formal, casual or both)
_8-12 cups and saucers
_8-12 drinking glasses
_8-12 wine glasses
_8-12 sets of silverware
_8-12 steak knives
_1 set of serving utensils
_1 large salad bowl and servers
_8-12 cloth napkins
_8-12 napkin rings
_8-12 placemats
_1 tablecloth
_1 set of salt and pepper shakers
_1 set of serving plates and bowls
_1 set of covered dishes or bowls
_2 serving platters


For the Bathroom
_4-6 bath towels
_4-6 hand towels
_4-6 wash cloths
_2 bath sheets
_1 bath mat
_2 bathrobes
_1 shower curtain and liner
_1 wastebasket
_1 hamper
_1 toothbrush holder
_1 soap dish
Miscellaneous
_2 22-inch wheeled upright suitcases
_2 26-inch wheeled upright suitcases
_2 50-inch wheeled garment bags
_2 small duffels
_2-4 vases
_2 decorative bowls
_2-6 candlesticks
_4-10 picture frames
_2-4 lamps

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Wolfgang’s Vault Offers Unique Groomsmen Gifts

Your groomsmen will thank you for being asked to stand up on your day when you give them these unique gifts from Wolfgang’s Vault. This incredible collection of memorabilia items features mint condition Jimi Hendrix posters and concert photos, vintage Led Zeppelin T-shirts, and salvaged Grateful Dead backstage passes and concert tickets that let recipients relive some of the best moments and concerts in music history. Tell your groomsmen they rock with one of these collector items!


Vendor Spotlight
Tanee Pen Keeps You Glowing All Day

Even with a bridal glow, unwanted tan lines can ruin any bride’s flawless look. The Tanee pen can help. With its no-mess applicator, the specially formulated Tanee pen instantly disguises any tan lines, streaks and spots, leaving your skin sun-kissed and flawless. Unlike self-tanning lotions, Tanee covers even the biggest tanning blunders while keeping hands both mess-free and stain-free. Not to mention, the all-natural formula lasts about a week, fading simultaneously with your existing tan.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of beautiful white wedding dresses getting ruined after a run-in with self-tanners or bronzers. With Tanee’s advanced formula, this go-to beauty weapon won’t rub off, even when getting down on the dance floor! And it’s perfect for the whole bridal party as the universal pen can be applied to all skin tones. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vendor Spotlight
Mirar Productions

Mirar Productions understands that love, like hope, is a good thing. The greatest of things. And no good thing deserves to die. That’s why they want your story! They capture your memories into a beautiful memento you will want to relive over and over again.

Get a sample of all Mirar can do with this video montage, which showcases Claire and Jaime’s wedding in San Francisco.


Claire & Jamie | Fairmont Hotel San Francisco from Mirar Productions on Vimeo.


Receive $250 off photography and videography packages when booking before March 15! Call (650) 333.4227 to get started.


Vendor Spotlight
Studio M Invitations

If you’re looking for invitations that go beyond what traditional stores offer, and want to be included in the design process, look no further than Studio M Creations. You’ll meet with a personal invitation consultant that will help you choose the right design or custom template to create a truly one-of-a-kind announcement. Here, Studio M provides examples of going beyond paper and incorporating fabric into an invitation ensemble and matching stationery.

GOLD AND IVORY INVITATION

A three-layer invitation starts with a custom-covered board wrapped in a cream and gold foil brocade, fabric-like paper. The top two layers are pop-mounted on top to give a three–dimensional feel. The invitation is printed on a shimmery metallic ivory paper and layered with brushed gold foil cardstock. To continue with the fabric theme, our favorite part is the unique real satin outer envelope. Your guests will be impressed the second they open the mailbox as these ‘gems’ (available in 11 different colors) truly shine next to ordinary paper envelopes. Custom address labels were created and adhered to the envelope.

VINTAGE LACE WITH A TOUCH OF BLING

This monochromatic white and ivory wedding brought in style with a touch of bling and an antique Victorian feel. The invitation started with a custom backing board that was wrapped in metallic diamond white linen paper; a horizontal band of delicate white Chantilly lace accents the board. The top layer of the invitation is printed on shimmery metallic white cardstock in a “hand calligraphy” font, which the bride requested to carry through the Victorian theme. And, let’s not forget the bling...the small accent layer that frames the invitation is a high quality, sparkle cardstock that shimmers in every light. An enchanting contrast to the delicate lace! Also included was a fun extra that the couple placed in the hotel welcome bags: a custom “Do Not Disturb” sign for the hotel guests.



Monday, March 4, 2013

You’re Invited! Brides Against Breast Cancer Wedding Gown Sale

ChicagoStyle Weddings is proud to be the exclusive sponsor for the Chicago BridesAgainst Breast Cancer wedding gown event. On March 8-9 at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, you can find the perfect dress and support the fight against breast cancer at the same time.





Brides Against Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization that travels nationwide selling new and gently used designer and couture gowns at a substantial discount, up to 85 percent off. Proceeds from each event go to help those affected by cancer. Choose from hundreds of gowns, many from top designers from 2009 to today. Prices range from $99 to $4,000 with sizes available from 0-30.

You must register—choose from the VIP preview on March 8 or the general admission ticket for March 9. You can bring additional guests by purchasing extra tickets, with everything going to fund a great cause!

VIP “Unveiling of the Gowns” Reception
(with giveaways, entertainment and refreshments)
Friday March 8, 2013
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

General Admission Day
Saturday March 9, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.



Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel
163 East Walton Place, Chicago 60611
Art Institute of Chicago Open House

Café Bon Appétit presents an exclusive look at the Art Institute of Chicago. Brides can explore all the unique event spaces in both the historic building and the modern wing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
6:00 p.m.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60603



Tips from the Pro
When You Fail to Plan, the Plan will Fail

By Sharon Ringiér

I truly believe, at least for most brides, that we are programmed with the genetic DNA to start planning our weddings from birth. Then with the help of society, we start to become conditioned. It begins as little girls when we see images of princesses thanks to characters like Cinderella, Snow White and The Little Mermaid. As young women, the box office works on us with films like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “The Wedding Planner.” It’s no wonder we are so consumed with the perfect wedding and knowing exactly what we want right down to the last detail.

A great celebrity planner, Diann Valentine once said, “Weddings reflect the greatest celebration in a woman’s life, and we believe that on this day a reflection of our own personal style is the only right choice.” That is the true essence of a wedding!

So many brides feel they can save money by planning their own wedding because there are plenty of magazines, books, DIY websites and well-meaning church coordinators, moms, and aunts to help with the execution. It is possible to accomplish. But the question is, at what cost? What happens in between the engagement and the wedding? Shouldn’t the process of creating this momentous day be joyful? What causes the average bride to become over-whelmed, extremely stressed, and even disappointed with the outcome of planning her own wedding? Brides tend to devalue the need to have a good plan or shall I say… planner.

The expression “time is money” is so pertinent when it comes to hiring a planner. It is reported that it takes about 400 hours (or ten 40-hour work weeks) to plan a wedding. Realistically, who has that kind of time? All too often, brides find themselves in over their heads—so by the time the blessed day is here, they’re just happy to have gotten through it. Hiring a wedding planner is one of the best investments that can be made.

Still not sure? Why do you hire a professional photographer? You want professional pictures to cherish for a lifetime. Your cake is ordered from the best pastry shop in town. Why? Because you want a cake that not only tastes great, but one that you will remember forever. Why not hire a wedding planner to ensure your wedding day is as elegant, well organized, and executed with precision? When you consider hiring a wedding planner, you not only hire a professional; you hire an artist and designer that can capture your vision, a personal assistant that can buffer the issues that arise, but most of all you gain a friend that wants your day to be as special as you are.

About Sharon Ringiér

While she's been married for 26 years, Sharon has renewed her own wedding vows three times since her first wedding in October 1985. Falling in love with the planning and production of her own wedding, she decided to pursue a career as a wedding planner, and in March1997, received her certification from the Association of Certified Professional Consultants of San Jose, California. She is also the Chapter President of The Event Planners Association (EPA). Her gift and enthusiasm aids her clients to visualize and personalize their event from start to finish and have landed her in the celebrity scene planning the fabulous wedding of the world-renowned blues artist Shemekia Copeland!

Sharon has been nominated for BizBash 2012 Readers Choice Award’s Best Event Designer Finalist, 2012 Wedding Industry Experts Best Event Designer Finalist, 2012 Wedding Industry Experts Best Wedding Planner Finalist and 2011 & 2012 WeddingWire’s Brides Choice Award. In December 2012, she became Co- author of her newest venture, Socially Smart & Savvy where she talks about being the gracious hostess.



Friday, March 1, 2013

Wedding Announcements
Essentials for Your Clutch

You’ve got your dress, the perfect shoes and accessories—but what about the other essential items you’ll need on your big day? Lucky for you, we have a roundup of the perfectly sized quick fixes that fit right in your clutch for any wedding day problems that could arise, from runny makeup to PMS bloat to the sniffles.

(This list comes courtesy of 5W Public Relations)

Cut Out Cramps: One thing we look forward to at weddings is dancing with our friends and family to the awesome band or DJ. Menstrual cramps don’t need to make you a wallflower this wedding season. Girl Uninterrupted, is a fresh, new and all-natural approach to PMS relief composed of an all-natural blend of essential amino acids and herbs that have been specifically formulated to directly address the more common symptoms of PMS, such as nausea, headaches, cramps, and bloating. It also comes with a mirrored compact to check your makeup while carrying your hot pink vitamins.

Cure the Wedding “Fever”: Whether the loud music has you screaming all night or you’re fighting off the sniffles, Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy Oral Spray will make you feel better. The spray is formulated with zinc gluconate, the same effective active ingredient found in the best-selling, clinically proven and #1 pharmacist recommended Cold-EEZE lozenges. The effective proprietary formula reduces the duration of the common cold. Available at major retailers.

Photo-Ready Skin: Warm weather produces excess sweat and oil. Keep your skin photo-ready with jane iredale THE SKINCARE MAKEUP® Facial Blotting Papers. These all-natural blotting papers are made from organic flax seed, which is more absorbent than rice and linen. Carry this elegant gold metal case wherever you go to rid your skin of excess oil throughout the day. These blotting papers are soft and suitable for all skin types.

The Perfect Smoky Eye: Whether you tear up during the “I Do’s” or you’ve been out in the sun for hours, Merle Norman’s Pro Pen Eyeliner will keep your smoky eye intact! From thick to thin, from swirls to swoops, this easy-to-use liquid liner pen makes lining your eyes as simple as signing your name. Its slim felt-tipped applicator acts like a fine-point marker while its ergonomic grip lets you control the effect. The harder you press, the bolder the line it creates. Best yet, its long-wearing formula won’t smudge or budge for up to 14 hours!

Picture-Perfect Pout: Smiling for the camera for hours can dry out and crack your lips. suki® Lip Repair Butter is a unique long-wear lip-saving balm that effectively helps to prevent and heal chapping, leaving lips soothed, soft and sensuous all year long. With its delicious grapefruit scent, this clinically-proven emollient blend of jojoba oil, calendula, chamomile and waxes is a silky smooth formula that repairs and quenches dry, cracked lips, while protecting against future dehydration. Unlike many other lip products that seem to be “eaten or licked off” in a matter of minutes, lip repair butter is remarkably long-lasting, providing a moisture-packed matte finish throughout the day.