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Archive for the ‘Wedding Advice’ Category

Real Weddings: Emma & Curt


Emma and Curt kicked off their wedding weekend right: by treating their family and friends to the ultimate wedding rehearsal and dinner at none other than Wrigley Field! Since the majority of their guests were from out of town, the couple really wanted to give their guests a taste of their beloved city. Emma and Curt planned fun city activities including a pizza party, a picnic in Millenium Park and welcome cocktails at Goose Island Brewery in Wrigleyville!  Emma and Curt officially tied the knot during their Jewish ceremony on a gorgeous Sunday at the Art Institute Modern Wing.  That morning, Curt got ready at his parents’ home in Lakeview while Emma, her bridesmaids, and both moms relaxed at the University Club, sipping yummy mimosas while Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry took care of their hair and makeup. Matt from Averyhouse Photography and Zander Nunnelly (video) arrived just before Emma got into her gown to capture a few silly candids. After taking some photos around the University Club, the ladies walked across the street to the Art Institute Gardens, where Emma and Curt shared their First Look. Later that afternoon in the Art Institute Nichols Trustee Suite, Emma, Curt, and their families took part in signing the Ketubah before their ceremony. After their sweet ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails outside in the Pritzker Garden or strolled through the third floor galleries during Cocktail Hour. Guests then made their way upstairs to Terzo Piano for a delectable dinner including watermelon tomato salad, grilled hanger steak, and housemade gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, parmesan reggiano, and tomato basil sauce. Hello Darling created modern, ingenious florals and decor for the bouquets and reception, with arrangements wrapped in birch wood that included artichokes! Stitely Entertainment kept the dance floor jam-packed, starting the reception off with “Uptown Funk”, Curt’s son Micah’s favorite song! My favorite detail? Emma and Curt don’t like cake, so they decided to cut something they both loved: cheese! Their three-tier cake was composed entirely of different types of Brie! And the final Chicago-themed detail? Frango Mint favors!

Congratulations again Mr. & Mrs. Weiss!! We loved every single minute of your special day!








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Magnolias For Your Wedding Flowers


 Sticking with a classic white color palette but want to utilize flowers that are a little more unique and striking? Then the Magnolia may be for you! Traditionally used in Southern weddings since Magnolia trees are most commonly found in the south, Magnolias generally represent “love of nature”, but each of the 80 varieties holds a different meaning. Available in many shades including white, red, yellow, pink, and purple, white Magnolias symbolize purity, while pink Magnolias represent innocence, purple represents health and green represents good fortune and happiness.  Magnolias bloom in the spring and summer, and although they are unquestionably beautiful, they are quite expensive. Sweetly fragrant and exuding elegance and femininity, these large blooms are notoriously fragile, so in addition to their high cost your arrangements will wilt rather quickly post-wedding. Too costly for your floral budget? Consider adding sugar Magnolias to your cake, utilizing their shape in your wedding invitations or simply wearing a single Magnolia bloom in your hair for your big day!


For more fun and fabulous floral ideas, visit our Pinterest board, Beautiful Bouquets.


Irises for your Wedding Florals

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Want to feel like royalty on your wedding day? Add some irises to your floral arrangements! For hundreds of years, the iris has been a symbol of monarchs and the royal family. In fact, the famous French Fleur de Lis actually depicts an iris. Blooming in May and June but available year-round in a variety of colors such as white, pink, yellow, orange, blue, purple, the name is fitting since Iris was the Greek goddess of the rainbow. If you are looking for flowers with a symbolic meaning, the iris represents passion, wisdom, and fidelity. Irises will undoubtedly add elegance and flair to your wedding flowers, no matter what colors you choose.

For more fun floral ideas, visit our Pinterest board Beautiful Bouquets.



Fabulous Chicago-Themed Favors for your Wedding

Garrett's Popcorn OberweisNuts On Clark

 Whether you’re a native Chicagoan or life brought you and your fiancé to the best city in the world, when planning a wedding centered around the Windy City, don’t forget to consider favors that stick with your theme. Offering your guests delicious local favors and flavors they won’t forget or absentmindedly toss in the trash is a small little detail that can have a major impact. I believe edible favors work are the most successful, and thankfully Chicago is home to some of the best food in the world! Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Garrett Popcorn

Since 1949 Garrett Popcorn has created arguaby the best handcrafted gourmet popcorn Chicago has to offer. With eight traditional flavors including Cheesecorn, Buttery, and even Macadamia CaramelCrisp, what could be better than offering a light late night snack for guests to take home? Garrett also offers seasonal recipes such as Pumpkin Spice CaramelCrisp, perfect for a fall wedding! Order Garrett’s “Create Your Own Favor Bag” for your wedding, where guests can scoop their favorite flavors into adorable favor bags!

Frango Mints

One of the oldest Chicago delicacies, Frango Mints from the State Street Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s) are a sweet surprise your guests will rave about for the rest of the weekend. Originally served in the classic Walnut Room at Marshall Field’s since 1929, Frango Mint truffles have remained a staple in the true Chicagoan’s diet. Prominently sold around Christmastime, you can find little square favor boxes in a variety of colors from Party City which will fit four chocolates per box.

Eli’s Cheesecake

What better way to give guests a taste of Chicago than a slice of Eli’s Cheesecake? Perhaps you’re not satisfied with just cheescake- Eli’s also offers amazing cakes and tarts such as Bavarian Apple, Limoncello, and Moscato Berry Tiramisu! Having a fall or holiday wedding? You can count on guests loving the Pumpkin or Salted Caramel Cheescake. Plus, if you’re not a fan of the traditional cake cutting, why not cut a slice of cheesecake with your hubby and send guests home with a slice of heaven?

Oberweis Ice Cream

Gelato bars were all the rage this wedding season, so why not offer guests the best ice cream Chicagoland has to offer? Whether coming from near or far, your guests will satisfy their sweet tooth with over 16 premium Oberweis ice cream flavors to choose from (plus seasonal favorites such as Pumpkin, Brandy, Egg Nog, and Peppermint). Choose two to five flavors for the big day complete with toppings and to-go cups, and your sundae bar is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

Affy Tapples

A Chicagoland favorite since 1948, Affy Tapple is the quintessential fall favor. Whether you’re going for the classic peanut covered apple or looking to mix things up with M&Ms or even Oreos, guests will be delighted when they realize they actually get to take home the original caramel apple at the end of the night! Order the apples in bulk from the factory store in Niles, wrap them in cellophane bags and finish it off with pretty ribbon and customized tag celebrating you and your new hubby.

Nuts On Clark

Two blocks north of Wrigley Field (GO CUBS!), Nuts On Clark is mostly known for its popcorn, but also offers nuts, candy, and dried fruits. Famous for their Caramelcorn and Cheesecorn, you can also give guests a variety of Giant Colossal Pistachios, Jumbo Cashews, Dark Chocolate Almonds, and Honey Roasted or Double Dip Chocolate Peanuts. Or give your family and friends the best of both worlds with both popcorn and nut combo! Nuts On Clark takes care of all the prep work for your favors and provides individually wrapped bags with your choice of popcorn and/or fresh roasted, mixed gourmet nuts for those late night cravings.


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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.

Why Should You Hire a Day-Of Wedding Planner?


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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.

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%!

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

Wedding Shoes for your Wedding Day

Yes, the wedding dress is one of the most exciting purchases in your life, but what about the Shoes??? A website we love and recommend often to our clients is My Glass Slipper. They offer a variety of wedding shoe designers, including one of our favorites, Badgley Mischka and Kate Spade. And looking for something a little more fun? They have a colored wedding shoes section where you can custom die shoes to match your wedding colors or just browse the existing selection they have.  And if you order $10 worth of foot cushions (much needed on a long wedding day) they will ship your order for free.

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!