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Drape Kings

Guest Blogger: Whitney Taylor from Drape Kings

Similar to lighting, unique and carefully thought out draping can elevate an event to the next level. We sat down with Whitney Taylor from Drape Kings to get her thoughts on draping.

About Whitney Taylor:
The Arts & Entertainment umbrella is where my passion and career have lived for over a decade. I have a background of special event and staff management, business development, marketing, and arts administration. I’m currently the Business Development Manager for Drape Kings Chicago, where I’ve happily been almost 5 years.

Why did you choose to work in the event industry?

I love every component that goes into the making of an EVENT: how a cavernous space can transform into a rock concert, large conference, anything imaginable. Road cases, truss, motors, drape, everything rolling onto a show floor is very exciting. I also find the ephemeral nature of events fascinating. The event itself is such a fleeting moment, compared to the monumental planning and logistical efforts pre-and post-event. But, the magic in that moment makes it all worth it.

Name one of your most memorable events and why is it so special to you?

Our first year in Chicago we did over a mile of drape for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign at McCormick Place. Being new to my job, and the event drape world, it was a fascinating event to be a part of, especially one of such monumental scale. Working with secret service, on the nuances of what’s needed for POTUS is a fascinating and quickly-changing experience.

Why do you belong to NACE?

It allows for deep connections to be made to industry colleagues which I can’t create elsewhere. Getting to work with fellow members as complete equals – on committees and our board is invaluable. Within the organization, the ‘professional hierarchy’ doesn’t exist; prospective clients, fellow vendors, business owners, industry icons, students – all are viewed at the same level, with great respect and admiration. Working together to create events, alongside role models and new industry professionals alike is an amazing experience. And… you always have an ear to the ground on the latest Chicago industry happenings!

If you were not draping at beautiful events, what would you be doing?

Walking my Min Pin Merlin by the beach, looking at art, gardening in WI, or spending time with my family.

What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago?

Probably my kitchen! I love restaurants, and each’s diverse ambiance, but I really enjoy being creative preparing my own dishes (which don’t involve following recipes most of the time!) and just enjoying being at home.

Photos: Provided by Drape Kings

Elysia Root Cakes

elysia-root-cakes-lk-events-guest-blogger-chicago-cake-maker_0389 Guest Blogger: Elysia Root of Elysia Root Cakes

Some of the team members at LK Events have quite a sweet tooth, so we sat down with the hottest cake designer in Chicago to get her thoughts on wedding cakes.

Do most of your clients have a clear vision on what they want their wedding cake to look like and to taste like?

I would say about half of our clients know exactly what they want and come into our consultation and tasting appointment with a clear vision. And the other 50 percent have little to no idea of what they want or have almost too many ideas and are having difficulty narrowing things down. It’s ok to be in either camp when meeting with us, because our job is to listen and provide ideas and suggestions.

I personally like to hear about the overall wedding look and feel and hear about the other design decisions that have been made to get a sense of how the wedding cake might fit into that overall vision. Even if you know exactly what you want for the cake, perhaps I could offer a suggestion as to how to personalize the cake or make it even more special.

And if you have too many ideas, that’s ok as well – I like to have each couple walk me through what they like about the different cake photos they bring in, so I get a better sense of their aesthetic in order to create a custom design that reflects the couple’s particular wedding.

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Is there a piece of advice you would give couples as they are looking to finalize their wedding cake?

Before the cake appointment, set aside at least 10-15 minutes to talk to each other first to make sure you both are on the same page regarding the wedding cake. It always makes for a smoother cake consultation appointment when the couple is aligned on what they want in general for the wedding cake.

By no means does this mean that you need to know exactly what you want design-wise or flavor-wise, but things to ask each other before the appointment include:

“What shape of cake do you like for the wedding cake? Round, square, or other?”

“How do you envision cake service? Plated and served tableside for each guest or as part of a dessert station or cake and coffee station?”

“Are there design elements on the cake that are “must-haves” for each person?”

“Would you want a groom’s cake?”

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What trends are you seeing for Fall/Winter wedding cakes?

For Fall, richer jewel tone color palettes are trending in both the cake and sugar flowers we are producing. Gold accents on the cake are also very popular with both Fall and Winter wedding cakes.

The “semi-naked” cake (where there is a thin layer of buttercream on the cake that is scrapped thin to reveal the cake underneath) has been especially popular for our Fall couples.

For Winter, we’re seeing lots of texture as far as ruffles and sparkle to give cakes a fun Winter Wonderland feel.

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Where do you find inspiration for your creativity?

Inspiration is literally everywhere, whether it is a pattern or detail on the wedding invitation, a china pattern, Chicago’s beautiful architecture, the latest fashion trends, or fresh flowers – I see things that I think would look amazing on a cake! It’s always fun to be given free reign to let the creative process flow.

When you’re not wearing your pink chef’s coat, what do you like to do for fun in Chicago?

I have two fun loving and energetic Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers at home, so I love taking the dogs on long walks and exploring the city and we live close to the 606 trail, so that always makes for a nice afternoon walk. I’m also a bit of a foodie and love to go out to eat with my husband to check out the new restaurants in the city and of course, dessert is always my favorite course!

Elysia Root Cakes is a Chicago based designer of beautiful bespoke wedding and special occasion cakes.  Every cake created by the Elysia Root Cakes team is always couture, always custom and always uniquely you.  From modern and contemporary to sophisticated and elegant, Elysia Root Cakes can create the wedding cake of your dreams.

Before launching Elysia Root Cakes, Elysia who has her B.S. in Business from the University of Illinois and a M.B.A. in Strategic Management and Marketing Management from the University of Chicago, worked in the Insurance industry for 10 years in various roles. Cake decorating began as a fun hobby for Elysia in 2010. Before long, Elysia left her corporate job and completed her formal training in the pastry arts at The French Pastry School in Chicago and launched her eponymous business after graduation in 2011.

Photo Credit: Bodas Modernas Photography, Coach House Pictures, Tamara Gruner PhotographyTimTab StudiosAvery HouseElena Banzini PhotographyKent Drake Photography

Toast Points

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Guest Blogger: Emily Vandevender from Toast Points

Points About Toast Points:

Your words at a special event should be just as important as any major project.  And like any project, it never hurts to have another set of eyes to make this your finest work.  You look your best, shouldn’t it be just as important to sound your best?

Like most aspects of an event, professionals are hired for most if not all of the moving parts and pieces.  Don’t let this be a piece that slips through the crack!

Why do some couples have a difficulty writing their vows?

Speech writing and public speaking are not everyone’s forte. Now add to that the trepidation and anxiety due to the importance and sentiment of the occasion. But remember, no one is judging. Be thoughtful, sincere and yourself.

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Is there an optimal length of time that a toast should last?

Approximately 3-4 minutes. While it really is an honor to be asked to speak and the couple would not have asked if they didn’t want you to, it really is very important- there is also quite a bit of additional programming as well (ie. cake cutting, first dance, etc) and you are standing between guests and their entrees and the bar re-opening.

Are there any differences between toasts at a Rehearsal Dinner vs at the Wedding Reception?

It can be a regional tradition for “off the cuff” celebratory toasts, where guests can toast the couple without necessarily being asked to speak. This is a much more relaxed and less formal setting than that of the wedding. I would suggest asking the couple prior, but here’s your opportunity for a little harmless and preferably “PG” roasting.

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What do you do to overcome writer’s block?

I walk away from the screen. Press save, make a cup of coffee and come back with fresh eyes. I always suggest giving yourself plenty of time so that you can come back if you need to.

What is your summertime activity in Chicago?

Is sitting on a patio considered a summertime “activity”? There is nothing I love more than Chips, Salsa and a Margarita on a sidewalk patio on a beautiful weekend.

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As Catering Manager for the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Senior Wedding and Social Event Manager for the Art Institute of Chicago, nine years of event planning and over 500 executed weddings and special events, Emily Vandevender has heard her fair share of toasts and (unintentional) roasts. With a degree in Communications, extensive public speaking and lecturing experience and as a published writer, she founded Toast Points in 2015 to assist with your ghost writing and toast whispering needs.

Photo Credit: averyhouse, Peter Thompson Photography, Colin Lyons Photography, Tuan B & CoBen Elsass Photography

Event Accents with Revel Decor

Guest Bloggers: Erin & Carolyn from Revel Decor

Holiday Party season is upon us, what is the hottest trend for Holiday Parties?

Our clients this year are embracing classic holiday elements with customized details, and finding ways to elevate the guest experience at their events. We are seeing a lot of traditional winter greens and beautiful white and peach amaryllis, along with metallic touches in gold and copper. This traditional landscape offers so many opportunities for customizing your event based on elements such as venue, color palette, and budget.

What is your favorite flower and why?

My favorite flowers change with the seasons! I look forward to the winter months and enjoying the beautiful bulb flowers in their prime: amaryllis, tulips, and hyacinth are among my favorites. Moving into the spring blooming lilacs and lily of the valley take center stage, until the summer bounty rolls in with peonies and stunning dahlias. The fall brings its own floral show with hydrangea taking a turn towards antiquing and using rich autumnal foliage like oak leaves and bittersweet vine. It’s far too hard to pick just one!

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Pinspotting centerpieces – why is this a must-have for your clients?

“Lighting changes everything” is such bold statement, but it is so true. Although our clients don’t often have the opportunity to be in the room before we “flip the switch” there is no change that is more dramatic than when the house lights go down, the designed lighting is focused and the sun is setting. Pin spotting in particular takes a beautiful centerpiece design and amplifies and enhances it while the ambient light changes throughout the evening. Pin spotting allows your guests to enjoy the intricate personality in the centerpieces you have selected and the blooms within. Lastly, it adds depth and texture to the room so when your fabulous photographer captures the “room shot” it doesn’t fall flat.

What colors, themes, textures are popping for a 2016 Winter or Spring wedding?

We are seeing a lot of garden-inspired, foliage filled designs for the spring, and we could not be more excited about it! The designs we are working on have so much personality and movement, and give an opportunity for the floral elements to be a bold highlight between the beautiful green foliage.

What is your favorite tourist attraction in Chicago?

Anytime a friend comes to Chicago for the first time I take them on an architectural boat tour. I learn something new every time, and there’s no better way to see so much of the city in such a short time.

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Linens and Tabletop Rentals with Brooke from BBJ Linen

Guest Blogger: Brooke from BBJ Linen

What colors or textures are popping for a 2016 Winter or Spring wedding?

With so many weddings happening every year I find clients desiring to “being different” – So we focus on the DETAILS. Many of the new details include layering linen and adding dimension to create a tablescape versus just covering a naked table. Whether that means taking beloved “traditional” colors and making the tabletop literally pop with three-dimensional embellishing Charger plates, or experimenting with runners and overlays.

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj

We think chair covers for weddings are a thing of the past, do you agree? What is on the horizon for fabrics at events (both weddings and corporate)?

As long as there are typical stackable Ballroom Chairs, there will always be chair covers. Chair covers have migrated from being on trend to now being functional. But why not have fun with function and rent a Spandex cover in a brilliant color to enhance the Corporate branding of your client or an even funky pattern? With so many chair options available for rent, our designers are creating amazing accents for any occasion including chair backs, ribbon tie accents, chair jackets, or even cascading ruffles. The possibilities are endless, which is what makes our job as BBJ designers so fun! We have the capability to design, create and implement the clients vision.

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj

What was your favorite theme event and what role did BBJ Linen have in it?

This season, it’s all about woodland motifs, natural fibers, creatively displays and tons of metallic accents. My favorite twist on that (so far) has been A Fire and Ice Wedding designed by Monica Richards of Mon Amie Events in Indianapolis. Working together with Monica and The Alexander Hotel, we created guest experience that began with a HOT Cocktail reception of all Crimson linen and lighting, complete with a Glass Blowing Artist to entertain. We chose monochromatic linen of all different textures to elevate experience and create visual texture as exciting as the entertainment.
The Ballroom at the Alexander was transformed into an Ice Palace fitting for Princess Elsa. The cool tones of blue lighting enhanced the alternating metallic Silver Birch and textured Nile Sonnet Linens, converging on the dance floor to create an icy flowing sea. The Turquoise Luxe Metallic Charger plates were the jewels that completed the experience.

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj

When you have a day off in Chicago, what is your favorite thing to do, see, or eat?

Since moving to the “Country” two years ago, I love to play tourist whenever in the city. A perfect day would be an Architectural Boat Tour, followed by cocktails on the Trump Terrace. Then off to Bella Note on Grand Avenue for our traditional family dinner with my 89 year old Mother in Law, my favorite Chicago resident. And topping off the perfect day, on to the UC for a Blackhawks game! AND If I am still dreaming, seats on the glass, please…..

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj
View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/forbrookebbj

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Since 1983, BBJ has been the leader and pioneer in linen rental for the event industry. BBJ established the linen rental sector of the special event industry and continually strives to bring our clients the best products available nationwide. With an eye always to the future, we expand our product line to offer our clients the very best, the very unique, the very memorable in table fashion and décor. For more information, visit www.bbjlinen.com

Getting Around Town on Your Wedding Day

Guest Blogger: V.I.P. Valet Services

When do you recommend that couples reach out to you to book transportation for their wedding day?

When thinking about a time line for wedding transportation, you can never reach out to early. While VIP Services utilizes a real time network of different types of equipment, ranging from: coach buses with on-board restrooms, to mini-and party buses, trollies, stretch limos and sedans, the amount of capacity is unfortunately not infinite. The last thing anyone wants to do is try and “squeeze in” a wedding on an already busy day.

The perfect time to reserve your transportation is once you have an selected your date, have an idea of the venue and where out of town guests are staying, Then the logistics map can then begin to be created. The processes involves estimating and accounting for guests, accommodating special needs that may result from complicated family dynamics, and refining an accurate number of attendees that will ultimately rely on the transportation the coupleis offering for their guests. All of those details are then melded with a refined timeline of ceremony, picture tour, and reception times. Getting an early start insures that you can reserve the type of equipment that best fits your event. While the actual wedding day is the most important day, bachelor and bachelorette parties can also be elevated when the party is able to leave the driving to someone else.

Specialty cars such as an antique Silver Cloud Rolls Royce’s or an iconic 1935 Auburn book up well in advance for popular dates! Additionally from time to time the particular type of vehicle may need to be sourced from outside the Chicago Market, so additional delivery times and costs can apply.

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What is the #1 mistake that couples make when booking transportation?

The wedding day is very busy and there is a lot going on, not only with the wedding party but sometimes within the city. What often should be a quick 10 minute jaunt to the church can turn into a nail bitter when the city plays host to large street festivals and concerts. Be early and allow enough time, so you’re not dealing with added stress from being stuck in traffic.

Another key component is to hash out the photographer’s shot list well in advance, like many artists they often like to use their creative inspiration to drive a photo shoot, but when you have several moving pieces and tight timelines, an advance plan keeps the transportation running smoothly. Some photographers like to travel independently using their own car, some utilize the wedding party transportation, making sure there is adequate room for both passengers and gear is critical.

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What Chicago venues or transportation routes are more logistically challenging for valet and bus transportation?

Many of the most popular venues are challenged by limitations of space and loading areas. Additionally there are ordinances in Chicago that prevent diesel idling in certain areas, if it’s cold in the winter or hot in the summer, the bus may need to park some distance away in order to stay running and keep the climate in the coach perfect for guests.
Hotels like the Palmer House Hilton only allow transportation to load on their Wabash entrance and The Hyatt on Wacker has a special loading zone that is one floor below ground level.
Making sure that the pick-up and drop off location is made aware to all guests can ensure things run smoothly.

Additionally, properly informing guests and bridal party of when the shuttles are leaving will help ensure all are aboard before it departs. We always recommend to pad the actual departure time by 10- 15 minutes.

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When you have a day off in Chicago, what is your favorite thing to do, see, or eat?

On the off chance VIP members have a day off, catching up with family, sports and friends are a must! If it gets to happen at home, by the lake, or anywhere in between – it’s perfect. But our customers come first, then ourselves.

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About the author:
VIP Services has been in business for 20 years and specializes in event services as they relate to valet parking, coat check, and transportation management. They have handled logistics for weddings as star studded as the George Lucas wedding at Promontory Point, and countless intimate receptions at private homes within the Tri-State area. They pride themselves on providing a service that is safe, professional and exceeds the customers’ expectations for what was originally thought feasible.

Lighting with Kyle from Event Brilliance

It finally feels like Spring in Chicago! The warmer temperatures, ample sunshine, and hints of tulips lining Michigan Avenue officially welcome Wedding Season for 2015! The LK Events team is so excited for these next months full of gorgeous weddings, happy couples in love, and proud families.

This time of year also means that many of our couples are putting the finishing touches on planning their weddings and social events! We asked our friend Kyle Waarich, who is the Lighting Specialist at Event Brilliance to make a guest appearance on our blog to talk about an often overlooked element of décor – Lighting!

LK Events: How did you get into the lighting industry?

Kyle Waarich: I’ve always been in the event industry. Server, bartender, captain, function director, etc. But my true passion has always been LIGHTING! I have a lot of experience in creating unique environments. The shapes, colors, and patterns make creativity limitless!

 

LK: Uplights, Pinspots, Washes, GoBo – there are so many lighting terms! What do couples need to know before they start talking to a lighting expert?

KW: Don’t worry about all the technical terms! They should bring a general direction towards the overall look and design. Your lighting designer will help highlight a specific plan to create your exact vision along with your floral designer. As far as all those terms that you might hear in your first meeting –

Up-lighting: Fixtures are placed on the ground to illuminate from floor to ceiling with any color of your choice. Color palettes can be customized to coordinate with linen, floral, bridesmaids dress, etc.

Pin-spots: A tight focused beam of light that shines directly onto an object, like a centerpiece or wedding cake as a highlighted effect.

Wall Wash: A wide blanket of colored light covering a wall, ceiling, or entire area.

Gobo: Is a stencil or template on a flat steel or glass disc which when placed in a lighting fixture projects the image that is on the gobo. Gobo’s can be customized to almost anything you can imagine like, monograms, scenic, portraits, patterns, etc. Gobo’s can also be in color!

 

LK: What is the best way to get a big lighting impact with a minimal budget?

KW: Up-lights are definitely the best bang for your buck! Up-lights will transform the entire feel of any space and can create that warm and romantic glow.

 

LK: What is your favorite lighting treatment you have done in the past year?

KW: At Pritzker Stage in Millennium Park, we did a STUNNING champagne VIP bubbly bar. It included artic blue wash fixtures, icy pinspots focused on bottles of sparkling wine, and a projected pattern spread across the floor.

 

LK: And finally, what is your favorite Chicago festival?

KW: Illumination-tree lights at Morton Arboretum. Amazing display of lighting!

The photos below are examples of stunning events with amazing lighting details courtesy of LK Events, multiple vendors and talented photographers. We hope you enjoy these prime examples of how lighting can affect your event.

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Custom Wedding Stationery with Greenstar Paperie {FREE Valentines Day Printable}

Guest Blogger: Lynda from Greenstar Paperie

Greetings LK Events blog fans!

Lynda here from Greenstar Paperie and today I’m going to tell you a bit about custom stationery, what that means and the process. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

Custom stationery means what exactly? This is a great question and definitely needs some clarification. Custom means from scratch, built from the ground up.  Most custom stationers have a background in graphic design, this means they’ve had years of experience with type, color and layout. They are also pros at formatting things that are going to be professionally printed and have a vast understanding of all the print methods available.

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So how does this whole process work and what should I expect? The process may vary from designer to designer, but most often will start with a consultation where you will be able to touch and feel actual samples that designer has produced. See the quality and crispness of the printing, decide on paper weights and colors that will match your vision and most importantly discuss the design elements that are most important to you. At this time I also like to look at inspiration the couple has brought to the consultation to better understand their vision. Pinterest is a great resource, but be careful there, you want to be inspired by what you see, not recreate a design that exists already.

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Next step is the proposal delivery and the beginning of the artwork. Here at Greenstar Paperie, we like to create 3 designs for initial review. This gets the ball rolling and the conversation started. The custom process is extremely collaborative, so we want to hear your true feedback. If helps immensely when the client pinpoints exactly what they like and don’t like. If a color seems off tell us, if you’re not crazy about the script monogram, please let us know so we can edit accordingly and deliver the next round of designs for review. Once the artwork has been buttoned up and everything looks absolutely beautiful it will be sent over as a final proof. This ensures that every little nook and cranny has been reviewed and looks fabulous. Once the proof is signed, production begins.

Production times vary for every designer and depends on the complexity of the order, the printing process chosen and if it requires any assembly. This entire timeline will be discussed during your initial consultation so you can rest easy that your paper beauties get dropped in the mail on time for your guests to receive.

Hiring a custom stationer is a big decision and you should feel confident in that designers portfolio of work. An experienced designer will listen to your vision and translate that into a design that perfectly represents your big day.  You’ll have some fun along the way and in the end you’ll be mailing a gorgeous little packet of goodness that your guests will treasure.

And because we believe in the power of sweet paper goodies we’ve designed a free set of downloadable valentines just for you! 3 card designs that you can give to your bestie or your boo! We’ve also created sets of tags that can be used to spruce up those little prezzies for the kids classroom or your cube mates! Print, cut and spread some love!

Lots of love and papery goodness, Lynda

Logo Greenstar Paperie was founded in 2005 by Lynda Junge. After a successful stint in corporate design she took the plunge, followed her paper loving heart and started Greenstar Paperie. With a focus on custom stationery, her design studio continues to thrive on custom print and branding projects. You can check out all of the pretty print work at www.GreenstarPaperie.com

Wedding Paper Trends from Magnificent Milestones

Guest Blogger: Kara Gordon, Magnificent Milestones

When it comes to wedding paper, the possibilities are truly endless! Every couple brings their own personal style to each meeting and it’s always fun to combine that with the newest trends in paper. Certain colors and designs can come and go with each season, but we’ve put together a list of the latest styles that would complement any wedding perfectly.

NEUTRAL COLOR PALETTE

Few things are as timeless as a beautiful wedding with soft, romantic colors. A palette of white, ivory, blush, gray and gold will always be a perfect backdrop to a bride in white and a groom in black! We’ve seen couples use charcoal and gold for invitations and then add a pop of pink in a pretty envelope liner or painted edge.

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FOIL

As soon as foil printing showed up on the first sample that came through our doors, we’ve been smitten. And that was three years ago! At first, foil printing was used with just metallic colors (silver, gold, bronze, copper), but now we see it in a whole rainbow of colors. Mint! Magenta! Purple! Foil has a way of adding just the right celebratory touch to any invitation, from black tie affairs to more informal barn weddings. We seriously hope this trend never goes away.

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MATCHING DAY-OF DETAILS

Nothing makes a wedding more Pinterest-worthy than those perfect little details! Items like napkins, stir sticks, toothpick flags, colored straws, and matchbooks tie together a bride’s vision perfectly. Even if it’s something as simple as the date written in the same font from the invitation or a 3 letter monogram printed on a few different pieces. Guests always appreciate that personal touch and we can tell you from experience that it makes the detail photos extra adorable!

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CALLIGRAPHY

Even though the idea of using calligraphy artwork on invitations has been around for years and years, we’re still obsessed! There’s something so unique and personal about having your wording written out by hand. We work with a number of amazing calligraphers who offer elegant, timeless styles along with more modern or whimsical options with a fresh feel. We love them all! And then when the wedding is over, couples can use the calligraphy for coordinating stationery, which we adore!

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No matter what kind of fabulous wedding you’re putting together, there is sure to be an equally fabulous paper style to go along with it! Wedding invitations and day of items set the tone for the big day and we love getting creative with all of our wonderful clients!

**Photos provided by Amanda Hein Photography**

Guest Blogger: Kara Gordon, Magnificent Milestones

Magnificent Milestones designs custom invitations for your special moment. They launched in 2007 to show brides, grooms, wedding parties and event planners alike to fall in love with our inspiration: the power of the written word. Whether you’re preparing to walk down the aisle or celebrating a new addition to the family, rejoice in gorgeous paper, clever wording and unique embellishments to commemorate any occasion.

Magnificent Milestones proudly carries exceptional creations, hand-picked from the most talented designers. Each product line offers hundreds of variations in texture, color and other finishing details that blend in brilliance to produce a truly custom suite.

Mistakes to Avoid for Your Wedding Entertainment

Guest Blogger: Becca Kaufman & Claire Bao, BeatMix Music

The search begins. Amidst the wardrobe and venue, between the invitations and appetizers, weddings are a series of decisions. Each one leads to the day you’ve dreamed of, and the celebration culminates with your reception. Here are a few pointers on how to make the RIGHT choices when it comes to your wedding entertainment.

1. Hire the Right Band/DJ

First impressions go a long way.The most important part of the hiring process is connection. You have to have confidence that he/she is the right person for your party and understands your vision. One way to check compatibility is to see if the song list reflects your tastes. Another is in response time. Is s/he easy to reach? Open communication is key to making sure you stay on the same page. Feeling comfortable with and trusting your band leader or DJ will provide ease of mind at your reception.

2. Song Selection

Weddings are unique in how diverse the attendees can be. Music can bridge generational and cultural gaps, catering to a broad audience. When it comes to song selection, pick songs from different decades that will appeal to the majority of your guests. Too many obscure picks can be harmful to the party by alienating your audience. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to customize music selection because your tastes reflect you and your lifestyle. So personalize your list, but be aware of including songs your guests will recognize. Your band leader or DJ will help find the right balance.

3. Keeping Feet on the Dance Floor

Depending on the layout of your venue, there are certain decisions you can make to keep people on the dance floor. Namely, make sure the bar is in the same room as the entertainment. If you can, keep the sweet table and photobooth in there too, so people aren’t constantly wandering off for another drink or cookie. Also, as the guests of honor, you ARE the party. By staying on the dance floor, your guests will gravitate there too.

4. So Let’s Raise Our Glass…

Weddings are a special night. But with an excessive number of “special treats” and “special songs”, the novelty wears off. Receptions can get bogged down with too many interruptions. Not everyone in your extended family needs to prepare a toast. For a party to have a smooth flow, keep the “special treats” and toasts to a minimum to keep the celebration moving. Trust the people you’ve hired. Together, your entire vending team from consultant to band leader will work with you to create the party you’ve envisioned.

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Have more questions?

Becca Kaufman is the founder and owner of BeatMix Music, providing entertainment for weddings and special events. Moreover, she is also the band leader/ vocalist for Becca Kaufman Orchestra. Following a long career in music including performances with multiple Chicago society bands and her own radio show, Becca is excited to share her expertise about wedding entertainment with Bouquet Catcher.

Claire Bao is a recent addition to BeatMix Music and Becca Kaufman Orchestra from the logistical end. In addition to BeatMix, she works at Concord Music Hall as the box office coordinator and marketing assistant. Her growing knowledge on the wedding entertainment industry is based off Becca’s guidance and her own experience at being the most fun at receptions.