Monday, February 20, 2017

"Josh and I met in our high school Chemistry class. We were just friends and on the last day of school before the summer break started, he asked me for a hug. It seemed silly and innocent at the time, but I am glad he worked up the courage to ask me because after that we exchanged numbers and became Facebook friends. He wanted to pick me up and hang out, but had to meet my mom first. I was only sixteen so my mom wanted to make sure he was safe to be around. He came to the local laundry mat to meet my mom and after realizing he was as sweet as can be, she let me go to his house. That day, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, and that day changed my life forever. 

He and I graduated high school, attended college and moved out together. On my 20th birthday, I said that nothing exciting happened for your 20th birthday. I guess that sparked something in him to make it special. He planned a scavenger hunt, sending me all around town, to my favorite places and with my favorite people. Each new place I went there was a clue with a cute poem and a gift. At the end of the day, I got to finally have dinner with him and then I had one more stop before I got to go home. When I got home, I was thinking “Great, no more surprises. I can go home now and rest.” I walked through the door to our apartment and my entire family was there. Yes, 25-30 people crammed into our small apartment. Turns out he was throwing a surprise party for me as well. I was happy to be around all my closest family and to be done with surprises for the day. Well, the last present I opened was an empty ring box and then all of a sudden Josh is in front of me, proposing. 

We have been engaged for two years now and cannot wait to get married. We have been together for going on 6 years and have watched each other grow from young high school kids into adults. I never thought I would meet the love of my life in high school, but we got lucky. In the future, we plan to buy a house close to home and start a family together. There is nothing I want more than to be a mother, and I know Josh will make an amazing father. 


Our wedding in June is quickly approaching and we are so excited to finally call each other ‘husband and wife’!"

Want to see what else ChicagoStyle Weddings is giving away? Head over to chicagostyleweddings.com and check out our latest contest!

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Warwick Allerton Chicago swung by the blog to discuss the place setting trends that are going to take 2017 by storm.

The theme or color palette you choose for your wedding day should resonate in every detail at your reception, especially when it comes to styling each guest’s place settings. Derrick Valenti of Warwick Allerton Chicago has shared the latest styles in memorable place settings to help guide you through your design process.

Pop of Color
Surprise your guests with a splash of color or a unique print for your table design. If you already have an excessive amount of pastel on the table, consider adding a bright, bold-colored item like a charger or plate that will complement muted tones. A vivid blue goes well with a soft pink, or a striking red with a pale beige.

Metallics
Most couples find that translating their wedding’s theme or color palette into place settings can be difficult. Luckily, metallics work with almost any type of decor. Use gold-rimmed glasses or flatware to create a stylish table design. You should avoid mixing metallic hues, otherwise your table design could end up looking tacky.
Blush Tones
For those who like to keep things simple, blush tones are the way to go. This “barely there” color palette is a classic and can add elegance to almost any theme. You can pair it with black or cream for a sophisticated look, or use white to keep it modern and fresh-looking.
Vintage Glassware
If you want to turn the classiness-level up a notch, vintage glassware makes for a timeless design. Vintage champagne saucers, specifically, are very on-trend. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The ladies of Moi Soli stopped by the blog to discuss finding the perfect lingerie for your wedding night and beyond.

After the DJ stops playing tunes and your guests filter out of the reception venue, it's time for the cherry on top: your wedding night. An occasion as special as this one deserves special lingerie, but choosing the right look can be just as tricky as choosing your dress. Do you want lingerie that's sweet and romantic, or sexy and sultry? The experts at Moi Soli came up with a list of incredible options that's sure to contain the perfect match for almost any bride. Click on the heading to view more images of the products!

1. Ivory Lace Mini Robe
This sheer mini robe with its burgundy statement belt is elegance incarnate.  Crafted from soft mesh and trimmed with fine French lace, this robe perfectly complements almost any lingerie set or mini chemise. Pair it with high-waist velvet briefs, or order the robe in a custom color to go along with the theme of your wedding- the perfect final touch of the evening. 

Decorated with exquisite ivory lace trimming, this classy piece is not only an amazing wedding night look, but an adaptable piece that can be worn with almost any other item in your lingerie collection. Whether it's with rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, or simple colored threads, get your name or "bride" custom embroidered on the back to give the robe some extra wedding night flair.

3. Double Lace Silk Nightdress
Contrasting powder-colored lace and an airy silhouette are what make this gorgeous silk and floral lace nightdress the perfect compliment for your curves. Finish the look with matching high heels or a robe and prepare for a wedding night that's simply divine.

4. Lace & Chiffon Ruffle Nightdress
The ivory chiffon nightdress and its sweet lace ruffles are the perfect, romantic option for your special evening. The nightdress's airy cut and silk statement bow add an extra feminine twist, and the thin straps create an enticingly fragile effect.

Decorated with a taffeta bow, this deep-décolleté, slim-waist robe is prepared to shine on your wedding night. Wear it over your favorite lingerie separates or show it off as an unforgettable, standalone piece

Falling in love with these beautiful pieces? We don't blame you. Whether it's one of the pieces above or any other incredible Moi Soli product, picking out wedding night lingerie is a gift that keeps on giving. Head over to Moi Soli's website and browse their full collection of lingerie, robes, and other evening wear. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Faranda's Wedding Expo was a smashing success. Soon-to-be brides and grooms spent five hours enjoying appetizers, sipping drinks, winning prizes, and mingling with the very best of Chicagoland's wedding vendors. 
The expo allowed couples to chat with potential vendors in an easygoing, laidback atmosphere that enabled them to have fun and truly enjoy their wedding planning. The expo showcased everything from floral and fashion to sweets and photography, giving couples a truly immersive wedding experience.



Interested in hosting your own event at Faranda's? Head over to their website and start planning today!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Gold Grid Studios swung by the blog to talk choosing a wedding photographer, and questions all couples should ask before making a decision.
As soon as you get engaged, you’ll find that everyone has an opinion! There are unlimited resources about how to organize and prioritize your planning. With all of the blogs and tips out there, we want you to have a bit of insight from the Gold Grid Studios team. Below are 5 questions you should ask every photographer.  These are basic questions that will help you get a feel for the photographer’s experience and professionalism, as well as guide your expectations for before and after the wedding. Your wedding day is too important for you to have to say “Well, I wish I’d asked…” afterward. We encourage you to never stop asking questions!

1) How many weddings do you shoot per year?

Why to ask it: Weddings take a lot out of you. It can be a long, physically tiring day for both the photographer and for the entire wedding party. You want a photographer who has the experience, stamina, and positivity to not only make it through the day, but to excel in the environment. On the flip-side, you don’t want someone who spreads themselves too thin. For example, if your wedding is on a Sunday, and your photographer already shot a Friday and a Saturday wedding, you may find yourself with a photographer running on fumes…or a Trente triple-shot coffee!
Our answer: 20-25. It means we are active throughout the year, constantly shooting at new venues and meeting amazing new couples.  It also means that we are not shooting 3 weddings per weekend. This ensures we have time to give each couple the focus and energy they deserve.

2) Do you have a business license and insurance?

Why to ask it: There is currently no barrier to entry into the field of photography, which makes it hard to figure out who is an official business. You want to make sure you are protected & the photography company is legitimate.
Our answer: Yes.

3) When will we see our photos? 

Why to ask it: There are so many horror stories about couples having to wait months (or even years) for their photos, or concerns about not being able contact the photographer after the wedding. It is important to have an idea of when you will receive your photos, so that you can plan accordingly. And the more specific the photographer can be, the better! There are too many variables in hearing “within a few months.”
Our answer: We set the exact date before the wedding even happens (usually 4 weeks after the wedding). We host an ordering party for you, where you come into our studio to view your photos for the first time. We celebrate your day with a grand unveiling, and help you figure out how to best utilize your photos.

4) How do you back-up the photos and keep them safe?

Why to ask it: Any tech person would agree that when it comes to technology, something always happens. It’s not a matter of IF it will crash or break, it’s a matter of WHEN. There’s no need to take a risk with something as priceless as your wedding photos.
Our answer: From the moment a memory is being captured, we are taking precautions. We always write to 2 memory cards in camera. Then, once downloaded to the studio, images are stored on 2 different external hard drives (along with 1 off site hard drive and 2 cloud based services). Once editing is complete and you have all of the photos, they are permanently stored on a separate hard drive dedicated to the year you got married only. We’ll keep them there for you forever. The JPEGS are also backed up in a cloud-based system forever.
Bonus tip: This is why tangible artwork is the best!!! It’s never going to “crash” or be unusable because you updated your operating system.

5) We don't know all the specifics of our day. Can we change our collection after booking? 

Why to ask it: How overwhelming is trying to make decisions on things you’ve never done before? You’ve decided what photographer you want to work with but then they have all of these different packages with number of hours on the wedding day and different size albums and canvases and… We haven’t even taken any pictures yet! Your wedding is 9 months away, how are you supposed to already know the entire timeline?! You just want to know you have your favorite photographer for your date. Can’t we just figure out everything later?!
Our answer: Of course! You should only make informed decisions. We set up our collections in such a way that we can continue to customize for you after booking. You can always add hours or even upgrade to a full day of coverage. We allow you to make that change in a few months when you actually know your timeline (and we can help you build that timeline too!). We also offer album credits. This way, you know you have money set aside for an album, but the details of it – how many pages, what size, what kind of cover, etc etc – can actually be decided once you have your photos.

Interested in learning more about Gold Grid Studios? Send your questions to hello@goldgridstudios.com -we'd love to hear from you!

Want more tips from our amazing team of vendors? Check out What to Do at a Tasting, or head over to chicagtostyleweddings.com to browse our collection of expert advice!