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Archive for the ‘Katie’ Category

Bold and Beautiful 2014 Wedding Colors

After a long cold and gray winter, it is so nice to see some color in 2014 weddings! Let’s get HOT HOT HOT! Cayenne, HOT! Cayenne, one of the new pantone colors of 2014, is showing up everywhere in weddings this year.



You can add a nice pop of color by mixing it with some blush and white tones in the centerpieces.

If you are worried about adding too much color for group photos, try mixing and matching your bridesmaids in different shades.   Dessy Collection is a great bridesmaids dress line and offers so many options.







Best wishes 2014 brides!  Let’s get excited for a bold and beautiful wedding season.

Wedding Budgets: Do you feel like an ATM?

You are engaged! You are caught up in the moment and start brainstorming plans for your big day.  Maybe a big city wedding with floor to ceiling windows and tables draped in peonies. AND THEN…. reality sets in and the budget discussion and compromises begin.

According to Splendid Insights, “66% of engaged couples in the Western United States say staying on budget for their wedding is very important to them and 28% say it matters but isn’t a priority.”

When creating a wedding budget, I find that many people underestimate the costs.  A wedding planner may only be focused on the big ticket budget items: vendors, decor, invitations, guest favors and possibly your dress.  However, when you consider all of the additional costs below, you may find that your budget is exceeded by as much as 10%!

photo credit: brownphotographic via photopin cc

photo credit: brownphotographic via photopin cc

Stationary — paper is expensive!

  • Save the date cards
  • Rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Thank you notes (for shower and wedding gifts!)
  • Calligraphy costs for wedding envelopes
  • Postage!   For save the dates, thank you notes, rehearsal dinner & wedding invitations and response cards! — And don’t forget many wedding invitations require extra postage.  Assuming a 150 person wedding and 1 card per couple — that could be $200 in postage!


  • Hostess gifts for your showers
  • Gifts for your husband-to-be, wedding party and/or parents
  • Your wedding bands — are you including these in your budget?
  • Gratuity!  While not required, if you choose to tip your vendors, these costs add up!


  • Are you taking dance lessons?
  • Slideshow? Are you paying someone to put one together or do you have to scan old photos?!
  • Photographer and/or decor for the rehearsal dinner?
  • Dress alterations – can cost upwards of $500!
  • Wedding shoes and other accessories (veil, underwear, jewelry)
  • Ceremony requirements?  The catholic church classes for Pre Cana and FOCCUS can cost $300!
  • Is your hotel room cost included the night of your rehearsal? Does the hotel charge you for a getting ready room for the groomsmen?
  • Are you parking a car at your reception site? Many hotels charge upwards of $20 per day!

I have found the best way to avoid a price shock at the end of of planning is to consider all the factors and when you come up with a final number, decrease your buckets by 5 to 10% so that you can use that money to cover the miscellaneous unexpected costs. Or if you have the luxury, expect to exceed your budget by 5 to 10%!

Your Wedding Vision.

When drafting a wedding schedule, I am sure to ask how the bride and groom envision their wedding day. Many describe a theme or decor and others add family traditions to make their day special. While in South Africa with my husband, I discovered a unique wedding tradition, The Legend of the Warwick Wedding Cup.

Princess Kunigunde’s hand had been promised in marriage to a Prince from a faraway kingdom. However, she was in love with a handsome and ambitious Silversmith of whom her father, the King, did not approve. The King threw the Silversmith into the deepest darkest dungeon. As a result of the separation, the princess went into a deep depression. The King finally offered this proposal of which he assumed could not be accomplished “If your Silversmith can make a chalice from which two people can drink at the same time without spilling one single drop, I will free him and you shall become his bride”.

Inspired by love and with skillful hands, the Silversmith sculpted a girl with a smile as beautiful as his own true love`s. Her skirt was hollowed to serve as a cup. Her raised arms held a chalice that swivels so that it could be filled and then swung towards another. The challenge was met!

The Silversmith and the Princess joined hands in marriage and with the bridal cup set forth a romantic and memorable tradition as charming today as it was originally hundreds of years ago. To this day and to many couples the chalice remains a symbol of their love. Happiness and good fortune await the couple who drink from this cup.

Here is a photo of Ken and I drinking from the cup — notice I am not using my hands!  However you envision your day, just be sure to cherish every moment!  Happy wedding planning:)

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 5.02.05 PM

Legend courtesy of Warwick Wine.

Wedding Planners: Personality Matters!

According to Splendid Insights, 95% of engaged couples in the Western United States say that personality matters when deciding which wedding professionals to hire.

When I meet with my potential brides, this is one of the first things I tell them.  Hiring a wedding planner is a lot like dating.  Personality matters!  Your wedding coordinator is going to be with you and your family on one of the most important days of your life — your wedding day!

At Elevage Events, we like to think of ourselves as a group of well rounded, smart and professional women with great personalities.  But please decide for yourselves!  Check out our profiles on our webpage or give us a call.  We would love to help you with your day-of-wedding coordination needs and believe that meeting in person prior to hiring is very important!

Photo courtesy of Sonia Roselli

Photo courtesy of Sonia Roselli

New Wedding Salon! Chicago loves dresses

Every time I window shop in Chicago, I find myself passing by and ogling at least one wedding dress salon.  A girl can’t have enough options when it comes to trying on gowns!  Be sure to check out Bella Bianca’s new salon in 2 locations — Chicago and Oakbrook. As a reminder, be sure to book any dress appointments early, especially for those weekend appointments as time slots fill up!

Bachelorette No More!

My favorite time of the year is here —  ENGAGEMENT season!  For those of you looking for some wedding planning inspiration, look no further than ABC on December 16th.  Ashley of The Bachelorette will wed her final rose recipient, J.P., in a nationally televised event.  Rumored details include a custom designer gown, three wedding cakes (one with a bachelorette themed cake topper!) and meetings with their wedding coordinator to ensure a perfectly orchestrated event!  We are giddy with excitement to see all of the details come together. Be sure to let us know what you think!

Wedding Jewelry Trunk Show This Weekend

One of the best parts about being a bride is being able to outfit yourself with new and fun jewelry. Meg Jewelry is having a trunk show at one of our favorite bridal shops in Chicago, The Left Bank. This Thursday thru Sunday you can stop in and try on a lot of fun jewelry, and maybe even pick something up for your lovely bridesmaids.

The Left Bank is located at 1155 Webster Street in Chicago, Illinois. Their hours are

Don’t forget to stop for our FAVORITE cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B’s if you need a little sugar pick me up. Jewelry and cupcakes, sounds like a fun day out!


The Engagement Honeymoon

Most engagement periods start off in the honeymoon phase. Once the wedding planning starts, man couples have their share of disagreements.  Take a break this weekend head to the movies.  Share in the ups and downs, laughs and frustrations of the Tom and Violet in the movie The Five-Year Engagement.

Be sure to report back and share your review of the movie and comments on their wedding planning experiences! And don’t forget to add a day-of wedding coordinator to your checklist so you can be sure to enjoy to the fullest all the hard work you put into your wedding day!

Roses, Calla Lilies and Orchids Oh My!

There are so many beautiful flowers! How are you deciding which flowers to use in your wedding decor?  Do you have favorites?  Or are you one of those people (like me!) and didn’t even know the names of the all different types of flowers?!  If that is the case, head on down to Macy’s on State Street for some inspiration and tutorials.  Now through April 7, Macy’s is hosting their annual Flower Show.  What better way to see work created by Chicago’s leading flower designers! This year’s theme is Brasil: Gardens in Paradise.

TimeOut Chicago

Check out Macy’s website for more details and events. Including tours and cooking demos! If that is a little to exotic for your tastes, don’t forget about a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden or Garfield Park Conservatory!

Garfield Park Conservatory

Excerpt from Macy’s website:

Macy’s Flower Show® will flourish with fresh one-of-kind floral- themed masterpieces from the city’s top floral artists and featured as the show’s Bouquet of the Day from March 25 to April 7 on the first floor of Macy’s on State Street. These extravagant bouquets – created by Chicago’s leading floral designers – will reflect the personal style of each florist and take inspiration from this year’s theme, Brasil: Gardens in Paradise. Floral artists featured in this year’s Bouquet of the Day include: H.BLOOM, Hello Darling, Larkspur and Sweet Petal. Each display will rotate every three to four days throughout the duration of the Flower Show. The Bouquet of the Day can be viewed in the main aisle in the Cosmetics department.


Turn April Showers into Great Wedding Photos!

Spring has come early for Chicago — Yippee!  But that also means there is an increased chance for those April Showers.  Many say rain is good luck on your wedding day.  While I agree, I also think rain creates amazing photos opportunities!  Not only is the lighting great for photos, but the reflection from water on the ground and spring flowers can create great backgrounds.   And what a fun way to add a prop into your photos — umbrellas! Check out some of these fun umbrellas.

Maybe an umbrella in your wedding colors:


Or your favorite sports team:



The M Den

The M Den

Or lacy and delicate:

Bella Umbrella

Bella Umbrella

If you are on a budget or the rain surprises you, ask the hotel for umbrellas. Many times they have nice umbrellas that will look great in photos!

Happy Spring!