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!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Wedding planner Derrick Valenti from the Warwick Allerton Chicago Hotel stopped by the blog to discuss the hottest trends from the past year.

Best Color: Rose Gold
From silverware to bridesmaid dresses, rose gold took over the wedding scene this year. It’s the perfect balance of vintage glamour and modern-day glitz.

Best Food: Late-Night Bites
Sliders and tacos and fries... oh my! Couples have been embracing comfort-style food, but keeping presentation in mind (i.e. monogrammed bags for fries, customized grill marks on burger buns, etc).

Best Song: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
According to Spotify‘s “Top 10 Songs for First Dance”, Ed Sheeran’s swoon-worthy song topped the list, followed by Etta James's "At Last" in second.

Best Wedding Dress Style: Cropped Separates
What started as a street-style trend made its way to the wedding aisle. Perfect for fashion-forward brides or those wanting a comfortable, casual look. This style is equal parts chic, edgy and romantic.
Best Theme: Greenery
Flowers have always been center stage at weddings, but recently couples have been opting for lush foliage and greenery. Not only does greenery make for a beautiful backdrop or centerpiece, it’s also a much more affordable alternative to flowers.

Best Drink: Craft Beer
Craft beer-themed bars were huge this year! Especially, when you live in a beer-centric city like Chicago, your options are endless. Another plus is that craft beer can be less expensive than liquor.

Best Dessert: Sweets on a Stick
Since antiquity, it has been customary to have cake at a wedding. While most couples continue this tradition, they are also bringing other sweets into the mix. A popular trend is putting sweet treats on a stick, including pies, donuts or ice cream sandwiches.

Interested in learning more about the Warwick Allerton Chicago Hotel? Swing by their website discover how this venue could be the perfect host for your dream wedding.

For insider tips, check out the Art Institute of Chicago's guide to caterer tastings, or head over to our website at chicagostyleweddings.com.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cheyanne Jackson, Event Producer for Bon Appetit at the Art Institute of Chicago, swung by the blog to give couples the inside scoop on what to expect when their potential caterer holds a tasting. 

Are tastings something I have to pay extra for?

No. Once you book your wedding date, tastings are complimentary for you and your partner. Parents, friends, and wedding planners are welcome to attend, there is an additional cost.

Is there anything I should do to prepare for the tasting?

Once your space is booked, we begin reviewing wedding packages that best fit you as a couple. To ensure the tasting menu is a good representation of what will be served on your wedding day we recommend scheduling your tasting 6-10 weeks prior to the big day.  Having your tasting closer to the actual date enables our Chef and culinary team to utilize the freshest ingredients available that are seasonally appropriate. The tasting menu includes a selection of hors d’oeuvres, first course, and entrée options from the selected wedding package.

Should I bring anything with me?

Your appetite! Our focus is to make the tasting day an enjoyable part of the wedding experience. It’s an afternoon of tasting delicious food paired with great wines while discussing details about your wedding.

From start to finish, what happens at the tasting?

As we welcome our happy couples into the museum, we start with a walk-through of the contracted event spaces and discuss floorplan options to match what you both envision for your big day. We then head to our onsite restaurant, Terzo Piano, located on the third floor of the Modern Wing, where we enjoy a tasting in our semi-private space. Welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine, we transition into the house wine selections while Chef presents tasting portions of hors d’oeuvres, first course, and entrée options. A display plate of each menu item will be provided as a visual of what to expect on your wedding day.

Additional menu enhancements are available to taste such as late night bites, reception displays, and miniature desserts. While we enjoy the food and wine, we will discuss event details such as your décor, vendors, and timeline. This is a great opportunity to get to know you both better as a couple and chat about how we can help bring your vision to life!

What should I do if I'm not a fan of the food?

Our Chef and culinary team are passionate about their craft and want guests to enjoy their food. Should the menu not be a good fit, Chef will be available to discuss alternative menu options and answer any questions you might have. 

What if I start feeling overwhelmed at the tasting? 

No decisions need to be made immediately; there is plenty of time to discuss your final selections with your partner and let us know what you decide. As you begin pulling all your details together, we always recommend a professional wedding planner to ensure the process remains stress free. 

 If I like the caterer, what's the next step?

As the exclusive caterer for The Art Institute, we will then work together to finalize day of menu selections.

What advice does Bon Appetit have for couples who are in the middle of the wedding planning process?

When selecting your wedding menu consider if there are menu items that speak to you as a couple. Don’t put too much focus on meeting all of the needs and wants of your guest’s, instead make decisions together about what the two of you want on your wedding day! Have fun, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and do your best to enjoy each phase—it really does go by quickly!

Interested in hosting your wedding at the Art Institute of Chicago? Direct all your questions about catering and more to Nicole.Nicolas@cafebonappetit.com

Want more tips from our amazing team of vendors? Head over to chicagtostyleweddings.com to browse our collection of expert advice!