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Archive for May, 2014

Beautiful Birds of Paradise for your Wedding Florals


 Being the top day-of planners in Chicago, our work takes us all over the world. A common choice for destination weddings, the Bird of Paradise, or Crane Flower, is one of the prettiest, most vibrant exotic flowers in the world. Look closely, and you will see the flower resembles a bird’s beak with feathers atop its head. With its unique shape and dazzling colors, it’s no wonder this tropical flower is one of the most popular choices for destination wedding arrangements. Due to its size and long stem, Birds of Paradise need to be tied together or supported with a tall vase to avoid drooping. This stunning flower native to South Africa is also available year round, so if you are looking for an interesting, colorful bloom that truly symbolizes “paradise”, the Bird of Paradise may be for you!

 For more great bouquet ideas, check out our Pinterest board, Beautiful Bouquets.



Inspiring Words from Maya Angelou

Legendary author and poet Maya Angelou passed away today at the age of 86. In her honor, we share one of our favorite wedding readings:

Touched By an Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives

and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure

ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity

In the flush of love’s light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see

that love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free.

Maya Angelou


Amazing Anemones for your Wedding Florals




As Chicago’s expert day-of planners, we see a wide variety of floral arrangements with all kinds of pretty blooms. Spring has FINALLY sprung, and with all the flowers finally blooming back to life, I love imagining all sorts of fun bouquet combinations for the ever-approaching wedding season. To kick off my Floral Alphabet series, I’ll start with one of my all-time favorite flowers: the Anemone. Blooming in 11 colors from classic white to purples, pinks, blue, red, and black, this flower gives any bouquet a pop of texture and unique charm. One of my favorite arrangements is an all-anemone bouquet- the epitome of eye-catching, old Hollywood glam! Your eyes are drawn right to the center of the flower, with its unique ring of seedlings in equally stunning colors such as black, yellow, navy, and pale green! Anemones are late winter/ spring flowers, available only from December through April. This means they are more expensive in the winter, and moderately less come springtime. Although short-lived, Anemones make a beautiful addition to any bouquet or centerpiece looking for style and sophistication!



For more bouquet ideas, check out our Pinterest board, Beautiful Bouquets.

Vendor Spotlight: Kelly Allison Photography

imageAt Elevage Events, our goal is to provide our clients with wedding vendors that are the best of the best for your special day. Kelly Allison Photography is a phenomenal photographer who seeks to tell your unique love story through her photos. Five years ago, Kelly Allison left her fabulous career as Visual Director for Paper Source to spend more time with her kids and focus on her true love: photography. “Photography is not just my art, or my vocation, it is my passion. It is a passion that derives energy from your love story, your life story. I count it a great honor to participate in such an important engagement–the union of two families, the public profession of love, the initiation of a lifetime together, the writing of a new chapter. I work to capture the energy and essence of a moment, and the memory of the day. I am a storyteller. The camera is my pen, and your love is my muse.” Now a commercial photographer based out of Glen Ellyn, she shoots weddings in the city, suburbs, and beyond on weekends and also offers engagement and boudoir sessions.



For More Information

Email: info@kellyallisonweddings.com

Twitter: @kallisonphoto

Instagram: @kallisonphoto


Why Should You Hire a Day-Of Wedding Planner?


Pissed BrideCrazy GroomCrazy Flower Girl

As Chicago’s leading day-of coordination experts, we see so many engaged couples insist they can do it all when it comes to their wedding- the planning, production, and most importantly, handling everything on the big day. Even if you are the most organized, detail-oriented person in the world, do you really want to be the one with the clipboard on your wedding day, or actually experiencing it? Do you really want to be the one calling the limo company when it hasn’t shown up 30 minutes late, running a bridesmaid’s dress to the tailor when a zipper rips, or confirming Aunt Susie brought the Flowers for Mary? When it comes to your vision for your wedding, who will you trust to ensure your detailed plans come to life? When you have a once-in-a lifetime occasion as important and special as your wedding, wouldn’t you want to protect all the time, effort, and especially money you put into creating your fabulous event? Think of it this way- when you want to invest your hard-earned money, you visit a certified financial planner and trust they will do everything to protect your investment and increase it. You wouldn’t hand over your account information to your aunt’s sister’s best friend, right? The same goes for your wedding. To protect your “investment”, you need a professional wedding planner, not an amateur.

Honeymoon in Iceland

Icelandic Ponies

Northern LightsBlue Lagoon Iceland

Most couples envision a honeymoon destination that’s south of the border with azure waters and endless umbrella drinks. But for those adventurous few looking for somewhere unique yet equally picturesque, Iceland may be the place for you. While most of us look at the country’s name and assume it to be a merciless, frozen tundra, it has so much more to offer. Travel Consultant Jill Kelm of At Your Service Travel in Wheaton recently went to Iceland and shared her trip with me: 

Iceland is the perfect honeymoon destination for what kind of couple?

“More adventuresome people who like to try new things and new destinations.  Iceland isn’t for everyone, especially in the winter because although it’s usually in the 30s during the winter, when you get away from Reykjavik, it’s cold and snowy and quite removed from civilization.  People who like active travel because you can ski and snowshoe and view the scenery in Super Jeeps.  I was there in winter but everyone says that in the summer it’s very green and full of grasses and flowers, but in the winter it is very stark and everything is in shades of black, gray, white and green.” 

What are Iceland’s top attractions? Which was your favorite?

“The top attractions would be the Blue Lagoon, which almost everyone visits either at the beginning of their visit or at the end because it is close to the airport and convenient to do in the beginning or before you catch your flight back home.  It’s a huge, steamy pool where you stand around and visit, enjoy drinks from the in-pool bar, take a mud treatment, or enjoy the waterfalls.  So many people rave about this and, of course, I tried it, but probably isn’t my favorite thing to do, standing in hot steamy water!  The volcanoes are a big draw as are the geysers.  The city of Reykjavik is a typical European city with a lot of hotels, restaurants, and shops.  Waterfalls are all over the country and many take a trek behind the falls. My favorite was traveling out to the glaciers in the middle of the country because it was so wild and riding in the Super Jeeps up and down the mountains and crevasses was exciting and pretty daring for me.  Many people come to view the Northern Lights, whether by boat or just traveling away from the city so the city lighting doesn’t interfere.  I went twice to view them and was hampered by the weather (clouds and rain), but several of my traveling companions tried and succeeded in seeing them the third time and couldn’t say enough about how exciting it was and beautiful to see.”

How expensive is a honeymoon in Iceland versus traditional honeymoon spots such as Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, etc.?

“The expense is actually probably about the same because with the all-inclusive resorts you’re paying a little more because your drinks and food are included, whereas in Iceland you’ll of course pay for each meal and hotel night.  However, the way that many people visit Iceland is as a stopover on the way to Europe.  It’s almost like getting two trips in one because you fly to Iceland, spend a few days there, and then fly on to England or Ireland or any country in Europe.  Right now Icelandair, the main supplier of air to the country, is running a lot of good specials to Iceland so a package includes airfare, three or four nights in a hotel, a tour or two, and sometimes a meal credit.  Prices run anywhere from $900 to $2000 per person, depending on when you travel and how long you stay.”

 Why is Iceland becoming one of the most popular honeymoon destinations?

“Iceland is said to be the newest up and coming destination because it’s different than any other location on earth.  People who like to try something new and are always looking for a place to go that is off the beaten track are the ones who will enjoy Iceland.”

What are the native Icelanders like?

“The Icelanders are happy and helpful and very easy to deal with.  I didn’t meet anyone there who wasn’t happy and helpful.”

How’s the food?

“All of the food was good but I didn’t think outstanding.  They eat a lot of lamb, fish, and vegetables.  Supposedly their food is much better than it used to be and they highlight the fresh grown produce and locally raised meat.  Wherever you travel, you see greenhouses that are powered by steam because of the underground steam, whether they raise vegetables or fruits year round.”

What activities are there to do in Iceland?

“Whale watching on the northern coast, brewery tours, volcano and waterfall tours, Northern Lights viewing, greenhouse and botanical garden tours, hiking, historical tours, museums, beaches, horseback riding, seeing the miniature ponies native to Iceland, biking, even surfing on the southern black sand beaches.”

Whale Watch Iceland