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Archive for October, 2011

Wedding To Do List: Thank You Notes

As any bride will tell you, wedding festivities and the wedding day come with lots of joy (but also lots of paperwork).  Contracts to review, guest lists to finalize and vows to write – but don’t forget about the thank you notes!

As Colin Cowie points out in his book, For The Bride, “Your wedding guests are your nearest and dearest friends and relatives-the most important people in the world to you as a couple.  You’ve chosen them above everyone else to share one of the most special days of your life. Some may have taken time off of work and traveled to be with you on top of putting time and thought into selecting a gift for you.  Letting your guests know how much you appreciate all that they have done to share in your special day takes just a few moments and means so much.”

So, grab your pen and get started!  There are lots of fun options…

And you can even match your wedding theme or colors…

Finally, 5 quick pointers to make the notes painless (c/o tresugar.com)…

  • 1) Divide the work.  Don’t let the task fall solely on one person. Split up the list or make it fun – bang them out over a long Sunday breakfast together one morning or sit in the sun writing them while you work on your tan.
  • 2) Say something specific. Describe the gift and add a bit of flair, such as “we’ll be sure to raise a toast to you with the beautiful glasses.” If it’s a gift card or money, say what you might spend it on.
  • 3) But don’t lie. Don’t say you love the gift if you don’t like it. Instead, focus on its unique attributes, the sentiment behind it, or something else entirely . . .
  • 4) Go beyond the gift. This is your chance to tell the givers how much you appreciate their being a part of your celebration.
  • 5) Send it ASAP. Experts disagree on the amount of time couples have to write thank-you notes, though within three months of getting a gift is a good rule of thumb. I say, do it as soon as possible, at least within a month. Your gracious guests won’t be left wondering if the gift arrived OK and doing the notes in smaller batches will save you some writer’s cramp.

So, go on and make Emily Post proud, I promise you won’t regret it!

Any questions re: thank you note etiquette? – feel free to ask

Photography By: shaunandrenee.com, weddingbee.com, newandblue.com and w-weddingplanner.com

Winter Wedding Idea: Specialty Cocktails

As the leaves continue to fall and the daylight hours seem to fade earlier and earlier, it’s hard not to think about winter.  When it comes to winter weddings and unique details, winter does not have to be outdone by spring, summer or fall!  To add some winter flare to your upcoming wedding try offering guests one of these fun specialty drinks.

Pomegranate Poinsettia


                                                       1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

1 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. Orange Juice

3 oz. Champagne

Instructions: Mix first three liquids in a tumbler of ice. Slowly add champagne stirring gently. Rim a flute glass with orange zest.  Strain into the champagne flute.

Source: Bar None Drinks

Peppermint Froth Cocktail

Photo Credit: © Grey Goose Vodkas


1 ½ parts Grey Goose Vodka

1 part peppermint schnapps

½ part simple syrup

½ part cream

candy cane or peppermint patty for garnish


Instructions:  Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosted.  Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with candy cane or peppermint patty.

Source: About.com Cocktails

Chicago Wedding Venue: Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is an excellent wedding venue in downtown Chicago. The hotel has a variety of ballrooms to offer which will accommodate every size wedding from 150 guests to 350 and up. Director of Catering, Wayne Harth, does a fabulous job and is extremely fun to work with.Check out some photos of weddings in the Moulin Rouge, International and Imperial Ballrooms below. Sheri Shepherd of The View recently had her wedding at this wonderful hotel in Chicago.

The Moulin Rouge (pictured left)  can hold up to 200 guests. The International Ballroom (pictured center) can hold up to 350 guests. The Imperial Ballroom (pictured right) can hold up to 750 guests.

To learn more about weddings at The Fairmont visit their wedding website and see more pictures.

Pictures by PJ Photography

Wish Upon a Wedding 2011 Blissful Wishes Ball in Chicago

The ladies at Elevage Events are all so excited to attend the Wish Upon a Wedding Blissful Wishes Ball which is taking place on Tuesday, November 1st at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. “Last year’s event was spectacular,” said chapter president Ali Phillips, owner of Engaging Events by Ali. “We’re looking forward to another beautiful evening and raising support for this very deserving cause.”

Photography by Gerber Scarpelli Weddings

With sold out attendance, the 2010 Blissful Wishes Ball raised $25,000 toward Wish Upon a Wedding.

About Wish Upon a Wedding

Wish Upon a Wedding, a 501c3, is the world’s first nonprofit wish granting organization providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and seriously life-altering circumstances regardless of sexual orientation. By celebrating the courage & spirit of these couples, we help create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come. It is our hope that others facing similar situations will find hope, strength, and the promise of eternal love.

Our Mission: Wish Upon a Wedding is the world’s first nonprofit wish granting organization providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances regardless of sexual orientation.

So buy your tickets today and we look forward to seeing you there! 

Current Sponsors are:

Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago

The Meetinghouse Companies, Inc.

Becca Kaufman Orchestra

Classic Party Rentals

Frost Lighting 

Shutterbooth Chicago

CS Brides 

Gerber Scarpelli Weddings

Erickson Design 

I Do Films

Windy City Linen

Rosemary Fanti

Record a Hit

Bull and The Bear-hosts of the After Party

Leap Weddings

Heres Chicago 

If you are interested in sponsorship or have any questions please contact:

Alison Phillips at 773-777-2299 or chicagopresident@wishuponawedding.org

If you have items for our auction or want to join our fundraising team please contact:

David Halsey at 217-254-7686 or dhalsey@meetinghouse.com




Pumpkin Place Card Holders for your Wedding

When choosing décor for your wedding there are many things to consider, such as the time of year. I almost chose an October wedding, well because I adore Fall, but so I could have these adorable pumpkin place card holders. You could find fake pumpkins at hobby lobby, or real little pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch, like the ones featured in this picture from theknot.com. You also don’t have to be too crafty to assemble these. I love it because it really enhances the season, and goes with Fall colors so well.

Picture by

Erin Hearts Court, Pasadena from Theknot.com 




Engagement Photos: www.papthequestion.com

Happy Monday, I love this idea! Saw it on the Today show last week and had to write about it.

The company www.papthequestion.com leverages the experience of former paparazzi photographers to capture all the surprise, love and joy that goes into a planned proposal.  The company works with the ‘proposer’ to learn the details of the proposal and in turn knows exactly where to wait (with camera ready) for the excitement to begin.

As the site says, “With cameras snapping we will record the reaction and the “YES”! As you take time to put the ring on their finger we will capture this special moment for you and your partner to look back in years to come and smile.”

“Then, as you walk away smiling and looking at the ring we will take some after shots again all of the this is done without any knowledge of us being there.”

The site offers three main packages (all of which include editing and sending prints and/or DVD of images so you can share the moment with your friends and family).

So…what do you all think??  Pretty awesome, right?

Photography by: www.papthequestion.com

Wine Party! Shower or Engagement Party Idea

Part of the fun of a wedding is all of the excitement leading up to the big day! Your friends and family get to be involved in any engagement party or shower you may have, but why not take their involvement even further? Consider having a wedding wine tasting party for an engagement party or shower idea. Invite friends, family, couples, etc. to sample different red and white wines  and even champagne at the party and rank them on a scale or in order of their favorites. Announce the wine winners at the end of the evening and then serve that wine at your wedding! Guests will love having contributed to a decision they can experience again on the wedding day!


Wedding Favors

A big trend is donating to a charity in lieu of favors. However, favors can be fabulous if done right. I don’t think you can go wrong with something edible. And to tie meaning on something edible is perfect. Jordan Almonds have history with several different cultures and are a famous tradition. My mother is Italian, so I will share the Italian background with you. Five almonds signify wishes for the bride and groom; Health, Wealth, Happiness, Fertility and Longevity. Traditionally, these almonds were tucked in tulle bags called “bomboniere”, but any kind of personalized packaging would be beautiful. The almonds come in several different colors to correspond to your wedding palette. There you have it; tradition, history and taste! Perfect favor!

Picture from Theknot.com

Real Weddings by Elevage Events: Michele & Trent

Elevage Events has been busy this Summer and Fall! This evening we’re posting some real wedding inspiration courtesy of Elevage Events (Emily McNeive was the day-of planner) and Michele & Trent Jurewicz.

The below are the bride’s own words…

“Michele Kravetz & Trent Jurewicz (us!) were married on 09.10.11 at The Elysian hotel in Chicago, IL with 80 adult and 12 children guests in attendance. There were 5 rooms available for use – and we utilized every square inch: One room for ceremony, two for cocktail hour, one for the kids dinner and one for the main celebration (dinner & dancing).

The theme of our special celebration was Prohibition, which was centered around the dress. When I found my dress on The Aisle, it was four sizes smaller than my typical size. Davis Imperial Cleaners in Chicago converted the dress to a perfect, glamorous fit. The decor, theme and overall vibe of the event was really wrapped around this dress which completely lived up to all expectations.

Our celebration was a beautiful love-fest filled with surprises. From the rehearsal dinner to the big day, each and every guest has commented on the emotion they felt with each turn, never knowing they could feel this way at a wedding that was not their own. We are blessed to have very thoughtful family and friends; each of which contributed in their own way to making the day personal and loving. Some key moments of surprise that stole the show were:

  • Food & Drink were the most important element for us – The Elysian did not disappoint – guests were wowed with a stunning array of passed hors d’oeuvres including Truffle Mushroom Risotto Bites, Smoked Chicken Croquettes, Lobster Tarragon Salad, Sweet Onion with Goat Cheese Tarts, Tarte Flambes and Oysters
  • Guests arrived at 5PM expecting a ceremony, but were led to a cocktail hour where they were greeted with a specialty cocktail in coupe glasses named The White City – Lillet, Gin & Lemon, glass has an absinthe wash
  • The children enjoyed an early dinner with staffed babysitting services – and were treated to several activities including cookie decorating!
  • We served an adult dinner (a selection of Maple Glazed Pork Chop or Pan Seared Skatewing, which followed a smoked tomato soup/baby arugula with oven drived tomato combo) before the ceremony, which then began at 9PM
  • Guests were handed fairy berries (light-up glowing 1-inch balls) as they entered the ceremony room, spreading intermittent light throughout the space
  • Our 7 year old nephew sang ‘All You Need is Love’ at the Ceremony
  • The kids in our family are a huge part of our happiness & laughter; and we were blown away by a surprise that was planned for us! The Groom’s sister coordinated a gifting from all 12 children to the Bride – each child had a crystal heart they handed to her during the ceremony, symbolizing them looking to her as an Aunt from now on
  • The first dance began immediately following the ceremony – right in the middle of the gathered guests
  • The groom called for a group hug after dipping his new wife at the end of dancing to Adele’s Crazy For You
  • The cake was cut at 10PM, two delicious flavors were served: chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate ganache and lemon curd AND white chiffon cake with bavarian cream and raspberry preserves
  • Later in the evening, a special English Brown Ale was presented to the guests – brewed by a dear friend of the Bride & Groom

On the back of every placecard was this quote, which we think is a  great quote to know, understand and live by:

‘If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.’- J. R. R. Tolkien
British scholar & fantasy novelist (1892 – 1973)

Congratulations Michele and Trent! It was wonderful working with you!!


Photography By: Cali Fagan, Kari Cremascoli and Miles Cremascoli

Additional Vendor list: The Elysian (Venue, Food & Drink), Toast and Jam (DJ), Leap Weddings (Video) and Davis Imperial Cleaners (Dress Alterations)

Chicago Wedding Venue: Germania Place

Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast, Germania Place offers a unique architectural setting for weddings of all sizes.  This historic Chicago landmark building was first designed in 1888 and fully restored in 1994.  With thirty-five foot ceilings and hardwood floors, creating a one of a kind wedding in this elegant space is easy to do.

Germania Place offers two ballrooms.  The Royal Ballroom seats up to 230 guests and the Grand Ballroom can seat up to 400 guests.  The nice thing about these two unique rooms is that they can be combined via a set of double doors.  A great way to incorporate both is to use the Royal Ballroom for cocktails and appetizers and the Grand Ballroom for dinner and dancing.  For smaller weddings, a balcony which overlooks the Grand Ballroom can accommodate 175 guests for cocktails. 

Grand Ballroom
Royal Ballroom

To learn more about this venue visit http://www.germaniaplace.com/