Yearly Archives: 2011

destination vintage vineyard wedding in michigan

Melissa and Pete were married in June at a vineyard in Michigan.  They live in Chicago and wanted to have a mini-destination for their friends and family that were coming from all over the country.  Melissa is a graphic designer and spent so much time on the paper and graphic elements of the day which were amazing.  Melissa got ready in the bridal cottage with her mom and two bridesmaids and got a lift to the top of the aisle in a rolls royce.

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Even though the night before it was raining, they were married in front of their family and friends with not a drop of rain in sight.  After the “i do’s” the took a stroll through the vineyard and grape vines with Sarah & Kevin.

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In the spirit of the winery, Melissa and Pete made place cards from wine corks, table numbers and adorable mini-wine bottle favors for their guests to take home at the end of the night.  From the lace motif Melissa created for the invites and paper goods to the lace wrapped votives, rustic bird house card box and antique framed signage, everything perfectly fit into their vintage vineyard theme.

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Congrats Melissa and Pete on a beautiful day and many fantastic years to come!

Photography courtesy of the lovely and talented Sarah Anna Photography

DIY sugar and spiced themed destination bridal shower

Last weekend I headed out on the road again to put together a bridal shower for one of my dear friends, Melissa.  We hosted it at Amy’s house and ran with a sugar and spice theme.  Melissa’s wedding colors are red and pink so we used those along with some teal to create a lot of sweetness.  I made the invites and it’s sort of where the theme began. I drew three kitchen canisters labeled sugar, spice and nice so when you opened the envelope, this is what you saw:

A red envelope lined with pink and white striped vintage wallpaper (which I bought at a thrift store at least a year ago and just KNEW it would come in handy some day. I was right. Also, Melissa hates thrift stores and I love them so HA my friend.)

I printed the details in “empty” canisters on a separate sheet of paper and cut it down to size.  I sewed a blank sheet to the canisters and stuck the info in the pocket…and viola!  All the necessary info. is tucked inside the canisters for safe keeping.

I even rigged up my sewing machine using a popsicle stick so I would get straight lines, genius!  My OCD would not have handled that well otherwise. I was pretty proud that I got all the lines to line up perfectly — small victories my friends.

At the shower we served sweet and spicy foods and I made signage with our little logo on it with teal card stock and more wallpaper. 

DIY bridal showerIt was a brunch shower and I just could not resist the cereal bar pun.  I cut them into heart shapes and dipped them in white chocolate with pink sprinkles.  Why the heck not, I say.  I used light pink, dark pink and red ribbon to make a super simple table runner down the middle of the table…

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Inspiration comes from my clients all the time!  I had recently done a wedding where we hung up paper lanterns in the tent and it inspired me to create a red and teal and pink filly lantern for this shower.  Cheap paper lanterns, tissue paper, a circle punch and my trusty glue gun was all it took! 

Every shower needs a fabulous cocktail so for brunch drinks I made a “Bride to be-llini” which was a pomegranate bellini garnished with fresh blueberries and watermelon cubes and a “Mis-mosa” (her nickname is Missy and you wouldn’t have been able to resist that either.)DIY bridal showerI haven’t done a candy bar in a long time and realize they are sometimes overdone, but when you have a sweet and spicy theme, it just works.  I gocco’ed these little bags for guests to fill up on their way out.DIY bridal showerThe bride got some candy to go for herself and the Mr.!DIY bridal showerAmy made an awesome game of the “spice” variety and Melissa even got a few gifts to boot!DIY bridal shower

Three weeks until the big day and all they have to do is move into a new house in the meantime!

vintage wedding at architectural artifacts

Working with Eli and David was great.  Both were so involved in making their wedding day special and uniquely them. From the mason jar wine glasses for each person, the vegan meal served for dinner and the homemade jam jars for favors (Eli is a natural foods chef!) to the carbon offsets, ‘no cut flowers’ mantra and a first dance set to salsa music, the day was completely of coordinator checklist

After looking at many venues to find one that suited them, we landed at Architectural Artifacts a fantastically eclectic venue.  One of the best things about Architectural Artifacts is that they let you use all of their inventory at your wedding.  I designed Eli and David’s centerpieces using globes, springs, milk jugs, books and boxes.  We brought in orchids and other flowering plants and I covered them in burlap so that we still had gorgeous pops of color but no flowers were harmed and everything could be replanted.  Guests loved taking them home at the end of the night.  Eli’s brother grew microgreens for some of the tables and we even found a couple of bicycles we used in the centerpieces (David’s other true love!) from fair trade company Ten Thousand Villages.  Eli and David sourced soy candles, their friend made pickles and Eli even whipped up truffles the week of the wedding to complete the tablescape.

We used an old metal locker to hang table cards using twine and clothespins that were made from leftover paper they used to create their invitations.  Chalkboards were consistent throughout on the mason jars, table numbers, glass pick-up station and other various signage throughout the day.  Every detail was well thought out and Eli and David’s wedding came together in an amazing way.  A million moving parts converged into a day full of love and laughter that left no trace– other than thousands of memories, some pretty fabulous pictures and a beautiful beginning for Eli and David.  Prepare yourselves for the fantastic-ness that follows!

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Eli & David’s Vendors

Venue: Architectural Artifacts
Photography: Lark Photography
Planning and Styling: Anticipation Events
Videography: I Do Films
Band: Stu Hirsch Orchestra
Catering: Karyn’s
Ice Cream: George’s Ice Cream and Sweets
Service Staff: Service Is Us


wine and coffee themed shower + bachelorette party

So you’ve already seen the invites and read about the inspiration for the coffee and wine themed shower and bachelorette party.  Here’s how it all came together.

best chicago wedding plannerI decorated using the brown and pink scheme from the invites and made deceptively simple but pretty stinking awesome coffee filter poofs.  Whitney’s sweet mom kept calling them peony’s which just made my crafty heart sing.  (When in doubt always bring a mom to the party—they are the best at gushing over the details!)  I hung clusters of them over the kitchen table and island where most of the food action was happening.

best chicago wedding plannerWe served lots of delicious brunch fare: french toast casserole, egg bakes, croissants with apple butter, honey and jam, coffee cake muffins and fresh fruit skewers!

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Lots of mimosas to wash it all down and an artsy shot of the glasses by one of the bridesmaids, Megan.

We (of course) put together a hard-core coffee bar that included hot and iced coffee, vanilla and caramel syrup, soy milk, skim milk, half and half and some homemade vanilla whipped cream.

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Each guest picked up their own personal coffee cup for the morning which doubled as their favor.  Each coffee mug had a picture of the guest with Whitney and Whitney got a special little one with a picture of her and John!  I used a special paper to transfer the images to the cups and baked them on so they’d be permanent. (I also made her three extra so she would have a set of four: one of the two of them, one of Whitney, one of John and one of their dog Duke. Awesome.)

best chicago wedding plannerWe set them up on the kitchen table with bowls of chocolate-covered espresso beans to munch on and extra coasters for people to use during the party.

Whitney hates to be the center of attention so we just played a few games that wouldn’t embarrass her.  The ever-popular guessing game, this time using coffee beans and a coffee filter for holding guesses.

best chicago wedding plannerAnd then while she opened her presents guests participated in a homemade BING-O game dubbed “WHIT-O” that really took a lot of the attention off of staring at Whitney opening gifts.  Plus, Whitney’s future sister-in-law won and could not have been more ecstatic. Both of the game winners won coffee mugs filled with flavored coffee samples and iced coffee blends.

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I’m just getting over my caffeine buzz now.  Less than a month to go until their big day.  We can’t wait to celebrate your love again in June!

city wedding at the tasting room

Traci and Luke were married at Old St. Pat’s in March.  Their reception was held at The Tasting Room and what a party they had!  Check out some eye candy from the day and of the handsome newlyweds!

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