Tradition, Love and Family

March 13th, 2012

Eleana and David got married on October 14, 2011 at The Columbus Park Refectory in Chicago.  Their wedding date wasn’t just a random October day, it held special meaning to the bride and her family.  Her parents got married on October 15th, her grandparents got married on October 16th and her great-grandparents got married on October 17th.  Since it was such a special date the entire wedding was really focused on love, family and tradition, it was all very romantic. 


Their wedding day was a windy, chilly, Chicago day and yet everything went off without a hitch.  Every detail and every moment was memorable and special.  They held their ceremony outside in the pavilion attached to the main refectory building which had a great view of trees and nature. They had a live quartet provided by Quartet Parapluie which really helped set the tone for the ceremony.  Right before the ceremony started we sprinkled rose petals down the aisle, we were worried they were going to be blown away but they held out long enough for Eleana to make it down the aisle to her handsome groom who was dressed in his Marine Corps uniform. 

After the ceremony, the guests came inside for a beautiful sit down dinner provided by Phil Stefani Catering.  The guests were treated to an amazing menu of chicken ricotta and braised short ribs.  After dinner the guests were spoiled with endless sweet treats of brownie sundaes, mini molten lava cakes and chocolate ravioli all provided by Phil Stefani Catering.  Their stunning and elegant wedding cake was designed and provided by Sarah’s Pastries and Candies. 

Asrai Garden enhanced the space with rich, bold, autumn colored flowers that were so fresh.  Since family and tradition was such an important aspect to the Bride and Groom on their big day, they had family wedding pictures as part of their center pieces with flowers flanked on either side.  It was a very sweet, special touch. 

Eleana and David spent the rest of the night dancing and celebrating together and with their friends and family.  It was a very joyous occasion filled with love and romance.  Clementine was honored to have gotten to know such a wonderful couple and family! 

Special thanks to Erica Rose Photography for providing us with such lovely photographs. 

Additional vendors that helped make their day special:

DJ Sasha Savic

Turning Point Video Production

5 Star Valet


Family Tree Guest Book

June 21st, 2011

I just love this guest book idea.  I’ve seen something similar before but I really like how the guests made their own leaf.  Everyone really got into it, by the end of the night the tree was very full with lush multi-colored leaves.  Now the bride and groom have a custom canvas for their home. 

My client, Kate, found this great idea on Chicks n Hens (Where Happy Brides Gather) on 

Jeremy Lawson Photography provided these great pictures.

Little Bit of NOLA at a Chicago Landmark

June 1st, 2011

I was beyond thrilled to work with Leyla and Charlie for their May 21st wedding at The Rookery in Chicago.  They have such fun, creative personalities which really added a lot of personal touches to their fantastic wedding.  The wonderful and talented Laurie Peacock Photography captured all the special moments and details. 

They became husband and wife at Assumption Church in Chicago.  They couldn’t have asked for a nicer morning, especially since May was such a rainy month in Chicago this year. 

The reception was filled with little details that are special to the bride and groom.  New Orleans was the un-offical “theme” of the event and the bold colors really looked fantastic in The Rookery.  It was a nice contrast having the bold style of New Orleans alongside a Burnham built building that has intricate gold stenciling by non other than Frank Lloyd Wright! 

These gorgeous centerpieces were created by Blumgarten and they captured the brides vision perfectly.  They gave away chocolates in the shape of the fleur-di-lis which is a French symbol associated with New Orleans.   

The dinner menu was even NOLA inspired with beef tenderloin and BBQ shrimp with creole ssauce served over creamy stone ground grits.  The talented chefs at Jewell Events Catering did a great job, the entree was fantastic and a big hit among the guests. 


Take the Cake designed the beautiful and elegant wedding cake.  The design reflected the style of the bride’s wedding gown and it was just stunning.  Guests exclaimed it was the best wedding cake they’d ever tasted! 

Please view this awesome video filmed by Kinema Group Films - they edited it during the reception and surprised everyone with a quick show and the bride, groom and guests had many tears.

Tuesday Tip: Alexander & Co. Custom Posters

March 15th, 2011

I first noticed the fabulous works of Alexander Doll from Alexander and Company at a wedding in December 2010.  It was a special gift to the bride and groom.  I was lucky enough to meet the artist himself, as he was a guest at the wedding.  I told him I wanted one even though I got married in 2008, and I meant it! 

Soon after seeing his work at a wedding, I saw his posters at Magnificent Milestones and realized that Alexander was running quite the successful business.  I’ve seen his work featured in CS Brides as well.  I thought I’d share his awesome idea to all my clients. 

The artwork is exquisite, creative and fun.  What a great way to remember your wedding day.  The quality of the artwork is so fantastic this is something you would truly want to keep up in your home for years and years.  My client chose to have all their guests sign the matting around the poster as a guest book & keepsake. 

I’d strongly suggest checking out his 2010-2011catalog to check out some great ideas.  He also can create a custom poster for a baby’s room.  They are seriously so adorable and make fantastic gifts.

Tuesday Tip: Check out “I Do: Chicago Ties the Knot” at the Chicago History Museum

June 8th, 2010

You must go and check out this fantastic new exhibit at the Chicago History Museum!  I had the pleasure of attending an industry opening last week and had a wonderful time.  The exhibit reminded me a lot of “Chic Chicago”  if you had a chance to view that fantastic exhibit last year. 

“I Do! Chicago Ties the Knot”, is really a wonderful collection of fashions, stories and accessories from weddings throughout time.  The Chicago History Museum has an incredible collection of wedding gowns, suits and accessories dating back to the 1720′s.  It’s  so interesting to learn about past traditions and how they’ve changed over years.  Some of the traditions have even stayed the same!  Many of the old-fashioned styles have influenced the way brides celebrate today.   

It would be really fun to take your bridesmaids to The History Museum before or after a bridal brunch, maybe you’ll get some new ideas for your own big day!  The exhibition run through January 3, 2011.

Tuesday Tip: Family Pictures

April 27th, 2010

A great way to add a personal touch to your wedding is to include pictures of your family members on their wedding day.  Guests love to look at the old pictures and see how much the times have changed.  It’s also really romantic to see a wedding picture from a couple that has been married for 25 or 50 years.  I think it helps create a sense of reality to what exactly marriage means.  It’s very easy for the guest to get caught up in the food, drinks and music and forget about the real reason they are celebrating. 

Here are some clever ways to display your family pictures.  The picture below includes little tags with the couples names, their relation to the couple and the year they were married. 

This beautiful table was located right as guests entered the reception.  As the guests were signing the guest book they could enjoy all these fantastic pictures of happy couples from both sides of the family.  They also included two great shots from their engagement session. 

This unique display is a really rustic, modern take on displaying family photos.  I love how all the pictures are hung up with pins and how the colors of the wood and wire match the black/white photos for a really great historic look. 

I love how this couple chose to display a series of photos on this wrought iron folding “fence.”  This idea is perfect for a walk way as the guests are entering a cocktail hour.  I also really like how it is displayed outside.  The pictures are nice and big and easy to view. 

I’m always encourageing my clients about incorporating personal history.  Showcasing  family photos is yet another great way to feature your family members.  It’s also a wonderful way to honor them and respect their life long commitment as a married couple.  I think it’s just a lovely personal touch that everyone can enjoy.

Beautiful Rainy Day

November 15th, 2009

Brides and grooms always want a perfect sunny day so they can take pictures outside…..well Becky and Ryan had a rainy day and look how fantastic these pictures turned out!  Instead of shying away from outdoor pictures the bride and groom embraced the weather on their special day!  I have to say, it turned out ultra romantic!!!

The bride wore cowboy boots so she could walk thru the amazing, colorful, autumn leaves and not ruin her wedding shoes (or sink into the very wet ground).  A brilliant idea!

The bride chose rich, deep, colors for her floral bouquets – which matched the outdoor atmosphere perfectly! 

Each bridesmaid carried a different bouquet of autumn colored flowers.  The bride’s bouquet had a combination of all their flowers plus some mango calla lily which is the same flower as the groomsmen boutonnieres.  A very creative concept. 

The bride chose to wear black accessories, not only did she match the wedding party but she wanted to be sure she could wear her wedding day shoes and accessories again someday! 

The ceremony and reception was held at Geneva National, in Lake Geneva.  A lovely venue with views of Lake Como!  The groom’s family had spent many summers in Lake Geneva when he was growing up.  The bride always dreamed of a destination wedding.  It was the perfect fit to tie together the groom’s family history and the bride’s dream of getting married in a romantic destination.  Even better that is wasn’t too far from the big city of Chicago. 

As I mentioned in a previous post about destination weddings, accommodations are everything to the guests.  One big reason they chose Geneva National (besides how beautiful it is) is because they had really unique accommodations.  Everyone was able to stay together in little houses just steps away from all the wedding activity.  The couple really loved how much quality time they got to spend with all their guests all weekend!  

I just LOVE this photo and had to include it.  The fantastic photographer who captured all these amazing shots is Matt Mason from Ideal Impressions. Matt has recently launched his own company called Matt Mason Photography

Incorporating Personal History

September 28th, 2009

I am a huge fan of incorporating details that reflect the couple’s history together.   I have seen so many cute ideas revolving around the couple’s first vacation or the location for their honeymoon and I think it is such a nice way to add a personal touch to their special day. 

This might be one of the most unique ways to reflect a first date that I’ve ever seen!  The couple met at a concert through mutual friends and instantly hit it off. 

Their ceremony programs looked like concert fliers.  What a great way to have fun with the memories from the day they first met.  The program included all the needed information including the names of the bridal party!

They also had fun concert signs posted along the walk way to the ceremony. 

The place cards resembled concert ticket stubs!

To bring all the fun colors together the couple chose multi-colored flowers to give the fun theme a polished look.