Monday, March 31, 2014

"Come Home” was the message on the final card. Stefanie Glickman had been receiving bouquets of purple roses all day at work. They were from her boyfriend Jordan Stein, and each one included a special note. The last one simply asked her to leave work early; when she did, she found a surprise she wasn’t expecting. “We live in a four-story townhome and as I followed the stairs up each level, candles spelled out ‘Will,’ then ‘You,’ and lastly, ‘Marry Me.’” On the rooftop, Jordan was waiting to propose.

But the surprises didn’t stop there. Jordan had arranged both families and friends to meet the couple for a celebration that day. Family and friends also had a big part in their wedding day months later, including Jordan’s sister, Lindsay Stein Cohen of Designer Event Chicago, who served as the planner. “I had a clear vision of how I wanted our wedding to be, and Lindsay was able to make my dream a reality,” said Stefanie. That included matching illuminated aisles to the gorgeous round white chuppah at the conservative Jewish ceremony and finding an orchestra who could play acoustic versions of modern music like Pearl Jam and the Dave Matthews Band. It was also important to include their loved ones during the ceremony, including appointing the Rabbi who officiated Jordan’s bar mitzvah and embedding handkerchiefs from each of their grandmothers into the bouquet. “It was incredible that almost every single person who had an important role in our lives was present in the same room.”


Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Designer Event Chicago

A L’Amour

Belle Vie Bridal Couture


Kehoe Designs


Bradley Young Entertainment

This Real ChicagoStyle Wedding was featured in our 2013/2014 issue! See it on pages 338-339, "A Family Affair".

Friday, March 28, 2014

Kenmare Catering and Events is a new boutique caterer that places the greatest value on attention to the clients’ and guests’ wants and desires. They produce only a few events at a time to insure that no detail is missed. Named after the town of Kenmare, Ireland, the warm Irish hospitality and magical scenery serve to inspire them as they bring a bit of old country to Chicago.

Kenmare Catering is also the exclusive caterer for Germania Place. Set in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast, Germania Place endures as one of Chicago’s most famous and significant historical landmark buildings. Designed in 1888, by the architectural firm Addison & Fielder and listed with the National Registry of Historic Buildings, Germania Place boasts two palatial ballrooms with vast 35 foot ceilings, immense inset gilded domes, original crystal chandeliers, fully draped 20 foot arched windows and an ornate Victorian architecture. With two spacious ballrooms and a large balcony, Germania Place offers the flexibility to host all types of events, including seated affairs from 50 to 400 guests, as well as cocktail receptions from 100 to 1000 guests.

In this video, Kenmare's owners Katie and Reid describe the philosophy behind their edible art!


It's become standard practice to hire professional makeup artists and hair stylists for your wedding day, and with good reason--it will likely be the most photographed day of your life. Many brides also love the opportunity to relax, and find the preparation aspect of their wedding day a special time spent "getting glam" with their family and close friends. But why limit that relaxing, fun time to your big day? In this series, Tricia Clarke, a freelance makeup artist based in Chicago, will share ideas for how to incorporate special beauty rituals into a number of events surrounding your wedding.

Photo source: Pix by Shannon

Bachelorette Party

Your "last night out" with your bridesmaids and close friends is often the epitome of fun, girly excess. Why not kick off the evening by having a makeup artist come to your hotel or home and providing onsite makeovers? Everyone gets to enjoy the chance to try a new look, and this guarantees that everyone looks amazing in the pictures that are sure to wind up on Facebook and Instagram. It can also be a great time for your bridesmaids to experience airbrush makeup for the first time, or test drive faux lashes if they've never worn them before and are considering them for your wedding day. Additionally, many artists will offer deals if you book a wedding and bachelorette party together, or will allow for fun customizable options if your guests don't want a full-on makeover. You can let them choose from "smoky eyes", "pop of color" or a quick lesson in contouring and highlighting for a "girly glow".

Having the same makeup artist or hair stylist you've chosen for your wedding day be a part of your bachelorette night has the added bonus of allowing your bridesmaids to meet and work with her prior to your big day. After all, on your wedding day, the people you choose to help you prepare can play a big part in setting the tone of your morning. Wouldn't it be great to kick things off without having to introduce everyone or worry about breaking the ice?

If your idea of a bachelorette party isn't a night of excess, you can still involve your bridesmaids in your beauty preparations. Consider booking a spa day for everyone 2-3 weeks before the wedding and letting everyone indulge in facials or massages. By that point in the planning, you will enjoy a chance to relax and take a deep breath before the final countdown begins!

However you choose to celebrate your "last night of freedom" (even if that means a daytime event!) consider incorporating some pampering experiences--you'll make great memories with the girls you're closest to, and everyone appreciates a chance to feel beautiful.

For more amazing beauty advice, check out Tricia Clarke Makeup on Facebook. To chat with Tricia about a beauty question or to schedule an appointment for your big day(s), email

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My fiancé Dimitri and I actually first met when he was 10 and I was 13, when we both joined a Greek dance troupe. After two years of dancing I decided to leave the troupe while he continued on, but we remained friendly. For the next 12 years, we would occasionally cross paths and would say our hellos and made a bit of small talk. Although it was never anything more, I always loved running into him. 

On June 13th, 2009 we both attended a mutual friends wedding where we ended up dancing the night away, not leaving each other's side. Since that day we have been inseparable and truly are each others best friend and admirer, which is the most important thing in our relationship. While dating, we graduated college at the same time and found our career paths. I ended up rejoining the dancing world, this time in Dimitri's own dance troupe, which he began with his family! 

Three years into our relationship, Dimitri took me to the Art Institute where he dropped down on one knee in the falling snow and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. It was a night I will never forget. I was clueless, and thought we were going ice skating with the new skates he bought me for Christmas. And after he put my beautiful ring on my finger I was still in a state of confusion, asking, "So wait, are we going ice-skating?" Our siblings were there, in full paparazzi mode, taking photos across Michigan Avenue, while the security guards stood and began clapping along with people passing by. It could not have been a more perfect moment. We then went back to both our family's homes where bottles of champagne were popped and two families celebrated becoming one.

We will be married on July 26th, 2014 in the village that my grandmother is from in Greece, on the beach of the Aegean seas. We cannot wait to share our special day with our family and friends!

Congrats to Vicki and Dimitri! Such a lovely story...please take us with you to Greece. 
All our best wishes for your marriage!

On #weddingwednesdays, we're featuring one bride's story in her own words! If you're interested in being a Bride of the Week, email with your love story and a picture! Don't forget to add the subject line "Bride of the Week"!
Many newlyweds talk of when Cupid first hit them, but for Katie Cihak and Jimmy Urso, love arrows took the form of laser beams during a laser tag party in high school. Years later Katie was with Jimmy at her parents’ house when he briefly left the room only to come back with a proposal and a ring. “The first thing I asked was if he had permission from my father,” said Katie. Luckily, he was in the next room.

The couple hired the Elizabeth Wray Design team, who helped with everything in the planning process, even assisting Katie’s mother in throwing the perfect bridal shower. The team designed a personalized logo for Katie and Jimmy, which was used cohesively on all the paper materials and party favors. Bright colors such as raspberry and hot pink (as well as contrasting dark greys) were incorporated into details such as the bridesmaids’ bouquets and floral arrangements. This included three types of centerpieces in varying glass vases, which were uplit and surrounded by candlesticks and votives. Katie and Jimmy made their special day as much about their relationship as it was about celebrating family. Katie’s favorite memory of the day was presenting her parents with a mini replica of their wedding cake for their well-timed 30th anniversary and dancing with her husband to her parent’s first dance song from years ago. “I had kept this a secret from them and was so happy to finally see the surprise and happiness in their faces.”


St. Peter Catholic Church of Geneva, IL

Hotel Arista

Father Mike Chernetzki

Elizabeth Wray Design

Priscilla of Boston


Hotel Arista

Backthird Entertainment

This Real ChicagoStyle Wedding was featured in our 2013/2014 issue! See it on pages 268-269, "A Family Celebration".

Monday, March 24, 2014


Wedding planning will wear you out, especially if you're taking on all the duties yourself. You don't want to be the bride who falls asleep at her own reception. Yes, it does happen and at least one bride has been caught snoozing in her own wedding video, according to the Planners Lounge. You'll rest easy during the planning stage and be more relaxed on the big day if you take advantage of the newest gadgets and apps available. That way, you can strap a couple of GoPro cameras to the flower girl and ring bearer, and be confident that your wedding video won't reveal you slumped and snoring softly at the head table.

Have the Best Registry Ever
Registries can be a hassle for the couple-to-be and their guests. If you would rather give than get, registering for charity donations is a great way to show how thankful you are for your good fortune. ZankYou is an online wedding registry organizer that lets you create a charity wedding registry that's fun and easy to use. Your guests can contribute directly through the site to the charities you post, or they can make a cash contribution directly to you that you can contribute to the philanthropic cause of your choice. You will be updated when contributions are made. ZankYou has an app version that lets you track contributions, view messages from guests and lets you send thank you messages.

Charge It!
No, not the wardrobe for the entire wedding party. We're talking devices and gadgets here. Between frequent calls to your mom, your groom, your maid of honor and every vendor involved in your wedding, you'll be using the heck out of your mobile phone. It's not always convenient to have it anchored to a wall outlet for charging, though. A wireless charger, available from retailers like T-Mobile, is super cool and convenient because you don't need to plug it in. Just set your phone on the charger and easily pick it back up to make or receive a call.

Make the Wedding a Party
Having guests snap pics at your reception is a terrific way for everyone to participate in creating memories, but distributing disposable cameras is tacky. Instead, use the Wedding Party app to allow your guests to take pictures on their mobile phones and share them through the app's website. Tech Crunch reveals that brides and grooms enjoy preserving everythingfrom their wedding for posterity, including cake tastings, rehearsal dinners and even dress fittings, so you'll want to download early. It doesn't matter whether you have an Apple device or an Android. Wedding Party is free and available for both.

Don't forget to check out the ChicagoStyle Weddings mobile site for more help planning on the go! 

Friday, March 21, 2014


To Lash or not to lash that is the question… Well, its not that serious is it? But it really can change the look on your big day.

Of course there are tons of choices! Though, as a bride, you may never know the difference or realize you have a choice! Makeup artists use different lashes for different things. So here are the options and my recommendation for the best wedding day lash look!

Semi-Permanent - This can be a really good look! The problem is that application can be tricky and the wrong person could do a lot of damage. Many people use the lashes you can get at any local drugstore and use nail glue to attach them. This is incredibly dangerous and damaging to your lashes. It also usually looks terrible. I had it done once and I looked like I belonged on stage in Pricilla Queen of the Desert.

Individual Lashes (One Day Wear) - This is something that your makeup artist does the day of the wedding. This technique looks good, but takes forever to put on. I also find that most of the time (at some point during the wedding) one or two come off and you have this little lash hanging out on your cheek.

Strip Lashes - This is part of my favorite. I'm sure your thinking, "WHAT?"  But let me explain... At KJA, we use strip lashes that we cut into sections to make them fit more like an individual but don’t take as long to apply and stay on better. The key to our success? REAL HAIR LASHES!  Please, please, please only use real hair lashes for your wedding! They actually look like your lashes and come in a variety of full textures to give you that flirty action you love.

Also all of our makeup applications come with lashes standard! It’s a rare occasion that you or your lovely maids don’t want lashes so why would we charge you more?  Beautiful real hair lashes that stay on all day and night. They look so real (because they are) that if anyone says to you, “ Are those your real lashes?” You can honestly say, “ Yes, yes they are!”  ( You do OWN them and they ARE real after all! )

Thank you so much to Kate Johnson for all this wonderful advice! Kate Johnson Artistry is here for all your beauty needs. Mobile – Makeup, Hair and Organic Spray Tanning. Call 847-401-7765 or email to book your complementary custom wedding beauty consultation.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nick and I met online. I registered for the site because I was tired of waiting around for “Mr. Right”. So I decided to find him! Nick registered on the site because of a bet with a friend to see who could get the most responses (I know, SO romantic). I was home one day on my lunch hour, logged on to the site and came across his profile. I thought he was pretty cute so marked him as a “favorite” to message him later. When I got home from work, I had a message from him in my inbox! To this day we still debate over who gets credit for finding the other! We exchanged numbers and text messaged each other for a day or two, I showed a picture to my sister who responded, “I know him! We worked at the hospital together!” I was so excited to hear that. (Yes! He IS a real person!) We made plans to go out to dinner that weekend. 

The night before our date, Nick was at a Sox game and I had my mom over. We were texting all night. I told him that I made a huge dinner. I knew Nick was Italian, he knew I was...I couldn’t tell him that I'd thrown a frozen pizza in the oven! Getting a little cocky, I told him that dinner was amazing and he’s more than welcome to come by for leftovers. He responded that the game was just ending and he’d love to! It was 9 pm suddenly I’m running to Super Target and rushing like crazy trying to prepare a huge dinner he thought I made hours ago! I was still finishing up when he said he was pulling up, so I gave him the impossible task of driving around my apartment community and guessing which balcony was mine -- that gave me another 20 minutes! When he arrived, he introduced himself and within seconds my puppy came running down the stairs. Nick stopped and pulled a treat out of his back pocket, he had stopped and bought treats before he arrived, knowing I had a dog! I knew this was it.

As for the proposal, it was our last day in Disney and our three year anniversary. Shortly after we got to the Magic Kingdom, Tropical Storm Andrea came in! It was POURING! After at least half an hour of standing under canopies for shelter we decided not to let the rain get us down. Around 5:45 he took my hand and led me to Cinderella's Castle, he was studying all the artwork really carefully then had me stand in front of “the one”. He made me close my eyes and he took a picture of me after he put something on my head and put something in my hands. He then had me look at the picture, I was holding a super cute Disney shirt and had Mickey ears on with a Diamond on top and a veil attached to the back. Within seconds he got down on one knee and asked, "Will you marry me?" I said, "Oh my God" at least 12 times then said yes! Everyone around us was going "!ww!" I was in complete shock, I grabbed the ring to put on, then literally (and accidentally) threw it back at him saying “Wait you need to put it on me!” The ring box flew up in the air! He scrambled to get it, and placed it on my finger. We kissed, then all of a sudden, totally not even planned, the Fairy Godmother showed up! She asked if we just got engaged then sprinkled this magical, glittery pixie dust on us with her magic wand and said "Bibbity boppity boo, may all your dreams come true!" It was the most magical moment of my life, a real fairy tale!

The date we selected is December 13, 2014. Not only will I be marrying the love of my life, but I'll also be getting married at the church where my grandma was married! My life since I met Nick has truly been a fairy tale, so much in fact that I’m now Miss Fairytale Bride!

Best wishes to Melissa and Nick for their fairy tale wedding and their happily ever after! 

On #weddingwednesdays, we're featuring one bride's story in her own words! If you're interested in being a Bride of the Week, email with your love story and a picture! Don't forget to add the subject line "Bride of the Week"!

Click the photo above to go to our ballot! 

If you're having issues with the link above, click here:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dreams of Paradise Productions is offering new clients the chance to have an intimate photo session for only $225!

This package includes:

* Hair and Make-up

* 1 to 1-1/2 hours in a private photo session

* No limit on number of photos taken 

* Lots of creative posing

* Two 5 x 7 photos and two 8 x 10 photos (includes 4 different poses)

* All edited photos on a DVD

* Quick turnaround on proofs, usually within 5 - 7 business days of the photo shoot 

* As many sets/costumes as possible in the allowed time . I bring along my own bag of sexy and provocative outfits for you to wear if desired.

* A sexy gift bag with treats to spice up your romantic evening (Bag includes: One Sheet Spray, one Lotion d'Amour and a Bullet compliments of Desire Pleasure Exotic Toys)

Reserve your session with Imely, Owner and Female Photographer, today by calling (773) 744.7586 and be sure to check out their website at

Check out these wild wedding stories from Dare to Look!, the new book from Ripley's Believe It or Not! The book is a collection of bizarre, fun and totally true stories from around the world!

Bargain Rate - Isidore and Joan Schwartz stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, on their wedding night in 1952. When they returned in 2012 for their 60th wedding anniversary, they paid the same price as their first visit--$16.80, even though rooms at the hotel now start at $319 a night.

Wedding-Day Fall - Derek and Cassy McBride of Erie, Pennsylvania, were married in a hospital chapel after the groom suffered a collapsed lung and broke three ribs when he fell down a flight of stairs earlier on the day of their wedding.

Mountaintop Ceremony - Avid climbers Bob Ewing and his bride Antonie Hodge Ewing got married on the narrow summit of a 900-ft-high (274-m) mountain in West Virgnia. The groom made the sheer ascent of Seneca Rocks in a tuxedo while the bride accessorized her mother's wedding gown with a helmet and hiking shoes. Her mother Evangeline, a novice climber, also made it to the top to witness the happy event.

Flying Visit - Adventure enthusiasts Grant Engler and Amanda Volf made a spectacular entrance to their beach wedding at Newport Beach, California, by flying into the ceremony wearing water-powered jet packs, each connected by a 30-ft (9-m) hose to a boat. The bride landed on the beach aisle wearing a surfing vest, shorts and a veil, while the groom wore a white bow tie over a black wet suit. After exchanging their vows, the couple performed the traditional first dance in midair above the ocean.

Delayed Pictures - A centenarian couple from Nanchong, China, finally posed for their wedding photos in 2012 - 88 years after getting married. When Wu Conghan, 101, and his wife Wu Songshi, 103, married back in 1924, they did not have the option of wedding photos.

Oldest Newlyweds - After dating for 18 years, of which 15 had been spent living together, 95-year-old Lillian Hartley and 98-year-old Allan Marks finally married in 2012 near their home in Palm Springs, California, to become the world's oldest bride and groom with a combined age of 193 years.

What's your crazy wedding story? Let us know in the comments!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

What bride doesn't wants to look back at her wedding day photos and say, “Wow, I looked fantastic?” Wedding dresses and corsets can cover or hide most of our “less-flattering” features. However, arms are one of the hardest things to mask, as most dresses are strapless or short sleeved. Getting those guns in shape for your wedding day isn't as difficult as you might think. Betty Herberger from The Biggest Loser Resort Chicago has a few tips. Try these simple exercises that will have your wedding guests saying, “WOW” for years to come.

Do 15 repetitions of each workout below three times. Take a 20 second rest in between each workout.

Push Ups (Wide hands)
Target area: Chest

Push Ups (Close hands)
Target area: Triceps

Tricep Dips (Use a chair, couch, or any low, stable surface as a base)
Target area: Triceps

Lateral Row
Target area: Back

Bicep Curls With A Squat 
Target area: Biceps, Glutes, Thighs

Plank With A Row 
Target area: Core and Upper Back

Please consult with a doctor before beginning any workout regimen. Be healthy! 

After asking Susie’s father for permission and letting her twin sister approve the ring, Adam was ready to propose to his girlfriend. He suggested that the two of them have a dinner date at the romantic Geja’s Café in Lincoln Park. When the first fondue pot was brought to the table, Adam asked the waiter to take their picture — but instead of capturing a still moment, the waiter proceeded to film Susie finding an engagement ring and Adam asking her to be his wife.

The next spring, the two were married in Susie’s hometown of St. Charles. “I had managed not to cry all day, but the second I saw Adam waiting for me at the altar my lips began quivering. I was able to take a few deep breaths and save my mascara,” joked Susie of her wedding day. The reception followed at the picturesque St. Charles Country Club where the couple fell in love with the “old school charm meets sophisticated décor.” Adding to the ambiance, Debi’s Designs created lush floral arrangements and the couple hung tea lanterns on the club’s outdoor wraparound patio. “It added the perfect romantic touch without detracting from the already picturesque setting,” said Susie. As the reception came to an end, a White family tradition ensued — one where the guests encircle the bride and groom and serenade them with Billie Joel’s “Piano Man.” “During the last few verses, everyone swoops in and picks up the bride and groom,” noted Susie of the tradition. “It was so memorable!”


Bethlehem Lutheran Church of St. Charles

St. Charles Country Club

Vera Wang

Jenny Yoo

Joseph Abboud

A Class Act DJ Service

Herb’s Bakery

A-1 Limousine

This Real ChicagoStyle Wedding was featured in our 2013/2014 issue! See it on pages 188-189, "Always Memorable".

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When my 7 year anniversary approached with Daniel Gore, a girl could only wish for one thing, but I didn't want to get any hopes up.

A week before our anniversary, I asked Daniel "Are we doing anything?" He replied very nonchalantly. He told me yes and to "be ready", but wouldn't tell me for what. I went throughout the week wondering why he was so secretive, but he has never gotten any secrets past me, so I just KNEW it couldn't be a proposal. Throughout the week he would tell me he is going to go watch football with friends, going to church with his family, and going to school. It seemed like a fairly normal week.

On the day of our anniversary, he told me he was going to be at school late and to just take a nap. He would let me know when he would be on his way to get me. I immediately thought that this day must not be as important to him. Why was he still at school?

He showed up at my place and told me, "You better hurry up and get ready, there people are on their way!" At that point I was getting really curious. Why were people coming to our anniversary? And what are we doing?!

Two of our really good friends showed up and I found out that we were going to a concert. I was so excited and shocked! This is why he was secretive! He planned us an evening of fun with one of my favorite music artist and our friends...or so I thought. The concert was awesome and as soon as it was over we all decided to go to our favorite 24-hour taco spot. At this point, I believed that the evening was wrapping up. We got to the cashier at the taco spot and there was a box of ring pops. Daniel purchased a ring pop. In college, Daniel would also joke that whenever he would give me a ring it, would be a ring pop. I would always say "No, it better be diamonds!" When he bought the ring pop I immediately thought of those college discussions.

Daniel opens the ring pop and got down on one knee and asked, "Would you take my ring pop?" I was in shock. "Are you serious?" I asked. "Yes, would you take my ring pop?" Daniel replied. I said sure and grabbed the ring pop to eat it. Staying down on one knee, he slowly reached in his back pocket and pulled out a box. I was so surprised that I was able to keep the ring pop in my hand. My heart was racing so fast. He opened the box and asked, "Would you be my wife?" I could not believe that he was able to surprise me like this!

I later found out that he never had to work at school late, he was just stalling to keep me waiting. Throughout the week he really wasn't going to go watch football, he went to visit my dad and ask for my hand in marriage. He even had a secret instagram account where he posted pictures of going to search for the ring five months before the proposal. He planned it out so well! As I look though his process it constantly amazes me! 

That night I said yes to the ring pop and yes to the ring!

Congratulations to Ayanna and Daniel! They will be married on August 1, 2014! All the best wishes for your marriage and may you enjoy many ring pops in your future!

On #weddingwednesdays, we're featuring one bride's story in her own words! If you're interested in being a Bride of the Week, email with your love story and a picture! Don't forget to add the subject line "Bride of the Week"!