Project 366: Day 65, 03-05 DIY Invites

Just finished up another DIY wedding project and so excited about them. Sheila and I are hosting a bridal shower for Cory’s cousin Brittney this summer. Her colors are pink, lime and orange, so I tried to incorporate within the invites.

I saw this amazing DIY chevron invitation suite on Wedding Chicks and thought it would be a great way to tie in Brittney’s colors in a trendy way. The suite is amazing because you can choose from great colors and customize your copy.

For Brittney’s invites, I edited the chevron stripes and then designed the invitation part with some free fonts online. I included a special surprise card for guests and used glassine envelopes and confetti that I had leftover from another DIY wedding project (thanks, Danice). To finish, I created some simple wrap address labels with the chevron design to tie things together.

What do you think?



Project 366: Day 16, 01-16 DIY M

We spray painted a gaudy deeeeeeeep gold M into a softer “Champagne Nouveau” gold for our entryway.

Krylon worked wonders! I want to spray paint everything now! What was the last thing you spray painted? Would love some ideas!

I wish I would have taken a “before” picture…


Wedding Wednesday: CS Brides Fall/Winter 2011

Last issue of CS Brides was one of my favorite flip-throughs of the winter season. But, the new Fall/Winter issue just topped the cake for several reasons.

  • Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of the editors and team members at CS Brides. They are so nice and extremely helpful.
  • Pure Kitchen Catering and Kitchen Chicago both got huge shout outs in this issue!
  • Your truly and a couple of our friends are featured in the “Hitched” section.

I haven’t seen a hard copy, but I’m SO excited to come across one. If you get to one before I do, tear out page 304. It’s a framer.

Pure Kitchen Catering
As many of you know, I’m good friends with Chef Derrick of Pure Kitchen Catering and have had the great opportunity to work with the team, coordinating weddings and managing PR efforts.

In January, we had an industry tasting with some of our wedding/event friends and CS Brides joined us. I had a chance to sit with both the publisher and editor, who are both incredibly sweet. We were so thankful to have them sample PKC’s food and event more appreciative of the amazing story they’ve featured in this new issue:

Kitchen Chicago
The team members at Kitchen Chicago have been so supportive of PKC and are truly advocates for the team. Kitchen Chicago is a shared space where vendors like Flirty Girl Cupcakes and tamale/taco trucks galore cook/bake. It’s also a unique event space that is open, airy and full of endless possibilities.

Art of Imagination created the beautiful decor and set-up a PKC tasting in January for one of Oprah’s brides. Hadassah Bullis of H|Photography shot the image included below and you can see more on PKC’s Facebook page.

Recognize some familiar faces? Congrats to Sara & Ari and Caroline & Al on their 2010 weddings!

What was your favorite wedding featured in the new issue of CS Brides? They are all so beautiful, but curious what your thoughts are! Also, any tips you enjoyed reading?

Wedding Wednesday: I Deal Eeee!

Thanks to my online shopaholic friend, Ingrid Gerdes, today’s Wedding Wednesday ties to Ideeli’s Ready, Set, Wed sales event! And, when they have wedding boutiques, I love looking and seeing what prices are – of course, because when you tack the word “bridal” to anything, the cost exponentially increases by a jillion percent and you need a little more than a piggy bank.

 I admit, I check discount shopping sites like Ideeli and Rue La La daily, too. Shopping on these sites gives you the thrill of scouring garage sales or flea markets. There’s so much out there, but what do you really need?

Well, after browsing through today’s Ideeli sale, I realized that with the right timing and theme, you can probably actually outfit yourself and a bridal party with some of the incredible deals available – if you’re flexible when it comes to a certain look/feel of your wedding.

Today, I’m going to a beachy destination wedding. Who’s with me?

Nicole Miller Ivory Silk One Shoulder Grecian Dress
Ideeli = $299; Retail = $880 

Badgley Mischka Dani Shoes
Ideeli = $99; Retail = $215

Cara Couture White Flower Hairpin with Feathers
Ideeli = $44; Retail = $110

Hair Piece OR… 
Cara Couture Pearl & Crystal Statement Drop Earrings
Ideeli =$39; Retail = $90

Ravon Grey Long Convertible Dress
Ideeli = $69; Retail = $198 (There’s also a giveaway on the site for Ravon dresses!)
So, what do you think? Have you or would you ever buy your wedding gear from a one-day online sale?

Oh, and if you need an invitation to any of these types of sites, let me know!

Wedding Wednesday: Lovey Dovey Details

I’m not one for girly hearts, bows or ribbons, but since Valentine’s Day is coming up, today’s #WW is dedicated to some beautifully romantic lovey dovey details.

Paloma’s Nest
Home of the Original Ring Bearer Bowl and modern heirlooms

Michelle & Dent

Australian stationary designers (Photos from Oh So Beautiful)

Heart-shaped macaroons

Ashley Meaders
Homemade cake topper (Photos by Meagan Gibson on Once Wed)

Lauren Elise Crafted
DIY candy striped heart photo booth props (Photo by Lauren Donaldson on Emmaline Brides)

Vivienne Westwood
Anglomania Melissa Lady Dragon shoes (Photos by Max Wanger on FashionBinge)

Bragging Bags
Rustic Wood Heart Just Married” Sign (Photo by Morgan Trinker)

Brendan + Jennifer
Australian wedding (Photos by Jonathan Ong on Once Wed)

How adorable is that Australian couple? Breaks my heart how cute that is (pun intended)! I don’t totally agree with the balloon release since it’s not at all environmentally-friendly, but the photo fits perfectly into today’s theme.

So, what do think?

  • Valentine’s Day weddings, save the date or pick a new one? 
  • Heart-shaped details, classic or cheesy?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! XOXO…

Project 365: Day 27 – 01.27

Union Station was beautifully transformed for its Artic Summer 2011 Open House. Several caterers and vendors entertained a guest list of more than 1,500! It was gorgeous and I had a blast meeting a few new folks and getting to know a few new friends.

Wedding Wednesday: Mani, I Do!

So, as I was thinking about what today’s #WW should be, I looked down at my wintery dry hands, crunchy cuticles and bare nails on my keyboard and realized that the last time my nails got some tender lovin’ was the week of my wedding.

I’d probably have better #WW ideas if I had some color on these nails, right? Maybe I’ll save you all the suffering of a lame post next week, take one for the team and have a blog brainstorm session while getting a mani. Sounds like a plan to me!

‘Til then, guess you’re stuck with some ring-worthy (and not-so-worthy) wedding hands:

Mani, I Do!

Mani, I Don’t…

I wore a one-two punch of Bubble Bath + Pop Art Pink on the ol’ wedding day, but I’m curious what everyone else wore?

Wedding Wednesday: $$$ Saving Sites

Most brides know if you want to spend a $5,000+ on your wedding dress, you know where to go to “Say Yes to the Dress,” Kleinfield (or like stores). To create your dream fairytale day, you hire a celeb planner like David Tutera and have Jeff Leatham do your florals.

Well, girls, turn off the TV, Platinum Weddings is not reality for most.

According to The Knot, the average cost of weddings in America is $27,800 – which is still quite the chunk of change. It’s down payment on a home, a new car, or annual tuition at some universities! It seems like you add the word “wedding” or “bridal” to anything, and your costs increase by at least 15 percent.

Now more than ever, couples are either helping their parents with the financial responsibilities of hosting a wedding and reception and some pay for everything! Budgets are tighter and brides and grooms are getting more creative. For those who are looking for more alternative wedding options, check out a few great resources below:

Call it Etsy gone wedding, “Wedzu is all about weddings. Especially indie, handmade, awesome weddings.” And just like Etsy, you can browse the site for days and still not see all the items listed. Check it out for apparel, accessories, decor, paper goods and even honeymoon deals! Here are some items that caught my eye:

Viola Rhinestone and Pearl Headband by Bethany Lorelle.
Price: $39.99

Printable Vintage Telegram Save the Date by “I Do” It Yourself.
Price: $18

Ethereal Light Baroque Wrap in Ivory by Bonzie
Price: $69.99

The Aisle New York
Wedzu = Wedding Etsy; The Aisle New York = Wedding Gilt Groupe. Check out the site if you’re looking for “Once in a lifetime prices for once in a lifetime moments.” It’s pretty fun to gush over the items by Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier, Amsale, etc., but most are still quite pricey – despite the discounts. Like most of the fashion discount sites, it’s “invite only.” Let me know if you want some eye candy, and I’ll share an invitation with you!

To continue with our theme, Wedobo = Wedding Groupon. Similarly, Wedobo offers local deals but you usually have a week to cash in. I’ve seen specials on photography, catering, invitations, etc.

Buy on BLOGS!
Two of my favorite wedding blogs, 100 Layer Cake and Once Wed also have “markets” where brides can both search and sell items for/from their weddings. On 100 Laker Cake, you can find the cutest vintage “catering supplies” like teacups and saucers, mason jars galore and cute accessories. On Once Wed, browse the amazing collection of used dresses with prices starting as low as $200!

Available on 100 Layer Cake:
Vintage style tea cups sold by ourdayinapril
Price: $26

Available on Once Wed:
Used Reem Acra Moonlight dress in Ivory
Price: $2,800, original price $4,000

What are some of your cost-saving secrets when planning your wedding?

Wedding Wednesday: Step Right Up to Real Simple Weddings

Sorry for the late night post, everyone. It’s been a crazy day, but I’ve been looking forward to this post since I started this blog, so I didn’t want to skip.

As you read in last week’s #WW post, wedding magazines are my favorite reads. Finally, IT is OUT! Hit the newstands, guys…I’m signing autographs and if you’re lucky, I can maybe even get the bride and groom to write a personal note for you. Without further ado, check out Erin and Brent’s AMAZING carnival-inspired wedding featured in this year’s Real Simple Wedding magazine!

Click on the images for larger views.

Erin and Brent’s Nuptial Spectacular was the most creative wedding I’ve ever been to. Not only did we get front row tickets to a flame blower show, unlimited fried pickles and costumes galore, I was lucky enough to a part their big day as a bridesmaid (and sign holder!). Erin and Brent’s families poured their hearts, souls and ribs into customizing every detail, big or small. It was a production, it was a feat and it was magical.

Stay tuned for more coming soon on Erin Pot Pie!

Project 365: Day 11 – 01.11

Check out this beautiful view from the Holiday Inn at the Merchandise Mart this evening. A fresh blanket of snow is one of the city’s prettiest accessories. I was there for the ChicagoStyle Weddings Spring magazine launch party and had a great time meeting planners and vendors.