VKH Adores: The Letter O

O is for:

Oh-S**t Kit

(Photo courtesy of OffbeatBride.com)

Aptly named, there’s really no better term for this indispensible wedding day standard, because inevitably someone is going to say “Oh s**t” about something that is unexpected (e.g. stain, rip, act of God, etc.)  It is almost as much of a tradition as is having a veil.  Some people view the OSK as a bad omen – by having it, something will SURELY go wrong.  We disagree with those people, and remind them mercilessly that they should have listened to what we had to say.  You can find many OSK lists online, and everyone’s mother, aunt, sister, sister-in-law, and gay best friend will undoubtedly have a version that is better than a previous one.  Depending on the wedding theme your coordinator or maid of honor should accommodate.  Below is the basic contents of our VKH kit:

MendingSewing kit (hand needle, white and black thread and thread in the colors of the bridal party clothes, scissors, various sizes of safety pins) – Krazy Glue – Metal brads (these can serve as makeshift shirt studs or cufflinks!) – Duct tape – Black magic marker – Baking soda (green, eco-option for A) dry-cleanable clothing – Some dry-clean-only items can be cleaned with a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda in cold water; and for B) cleaning without water – to remove a grease spot in polyester fabrics, rub dry baking soda into the fabric, brush the solution off, and the stain should be gone.) – Clear nail polish

Grooming Bobby pins &Hair ties – Brush & Comb – Hair spray – Tweezers – Fingernail/toenail clippers – Nail file – Small mirror – Breath spray/mints – Tooth brush & Tooth paste – Lint brush – Deodorant – Q-Tips – Tampons – Tissues

Safety – Johnson & Johnson First Aid to Go (can heal everything from bee-stings to boo-boo’s to migraines) – Suntan lotion – Advil/I-Buprofen/Alieve/Tylenol

Other – 2 or 3 lighters

You will also want some sort of bag or box in which to store these items.  It’s just good insurance to keep a kit like this on hand, if for no other reason than to avoid becoming these people:

Oleinik Photography

Ann and Kamran the Chicago-based husband and wife photographer team, love working with creative people.  They were recently voted Best of Weddings 2012 on theknot.com.  Their images are fresh, modern, and totally unique.  They promise that at times you won’t even know they’re around, but they will be there capturing the personalities, expressions, and emotions that make your wedding day so important to you through a combination of ninja-like candid photography and inspired, creative portraiture.  Check out their website, and blog!

Orange

(Photo courtesy of WeddingAces)

We know what you’re thinking – only for Halloween, traffic cones, and Tibetan monks.  Well there’s nothing wrong with this wise and happy color (or any of those orange references.)  Orange can be paired with greens, browns, blues, whites, pinks and purples to create an energizing and joyous atmosphere at a wedding. Classic or modern, vibrant or subdued, incorporating orange in your wedding decor will guarantee an ovation from your guests.

(Photo courtesy of bridesmaid.com)

(Photo courtesy of CharlotteGeary.com)

(Photo courtesy of WeddingAces.)

But do not just stop with the color – using this citrus fruit in your decorating will add interest and a natural zest to your wedding.

Photo courtesy of Object Splendor)

(Photo courtesy of Yifat Oren)

If you’re going to use this Vitamin-C loaded fruit in your decorating, shop local and organic at Green Grocer Chicago.  Green Grocer is an intimate, neighborhood market that features organically grown, locally produced food products and specialty items located at 1402 W Grand.  And to make sure there is no waste AFTER the wedding, give the centerpieces out as gifts for the wedding party, or donate them to local nursing homes or assisted living communities.  Discover more opportunities at the I Do Foundation website!

Organic Salon

Being green on your wedding day does not HAVE to mean that you and your wedding party have to forego things like salon-styled makeup, nails, and hair.  While VKH staff are in favor of DIY, money-saving, eco-conscious options, we are NOT in favor of you looking like you rolled out of bed, took a vinegar bath, parted your morning-sweaty hair down the middle, and braided a twig that “chose to fall to the ground” in one side.  Natural is one thing – unkempt, smelly bog-dweller is entirely another.

Weddings are sacred events, regardless of your religious beliefs, and should blend  individuality, creativity, and fun with grace, decorum, and polish.  But where can you go to find eco-friendly, good-quality hair, makeup, and nail services to keep you looking lovely on your wedding day?  In the heart of Chicago, there is such a place – Natural Elements Salon.  All products we use have been carefully chosen for consistent quality and performance. They are mostly naturally derived, good for you, and good for the environment.   They can accommodate wedding parties with all their spa-like services in the lower-level private VIP area (more info here.)

(Photo courtesy of city-data.com)

Orrington Hotel

(Photo courtesy of Hilton.)

Planning a wedding a in the Chicago and NorthShore areas can be overwhelming, especially with a lot of out-of-town guests.  Fortunately, finding a place for your guests to dream does not have to be a nightmare, and VKH Adores the Hilton-Orrington Hotel in Evanston.  Open since 1925, The Orrington is a gracious place to relax.  Guests are located near Chicago public transportation and Pace Suburban Transport (30 minutes to downtown Chicago, 15 minutes to Skokie), the Metra Union Pacific North Line, and lots of shopping and dining.  If guests are unable to leave their furry friends at home, The Orrington can accommodate – pets are welcome and will be treated with equally welcoming respect.  And if you’re looking for one-stop-marrying, The Orrington has over five different locations within its landmark walls to choose for your ceremony, and several parlors and reception areas!

 

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VKH Adores: The Letter N

Nest

We coordinated & designed a wedding last year where VKH’s owner Vanessa had an inspired notion to bring nature inside for the reception, all the way down to two little cardinals in a nest.  We love taking inspiration from the natural environment – it makes the quest to be green and sustainable that much easier!

VKH photo by Denita Linnertz

We’ve also fallen for Etsy designer Starry Designs and their wonderful birds’ nests rings, pendants and earrings.  An inexpensive option to a unique look for the bridal party?  We think so!

Photo courtesy Starry Designs

New York & New Hampshire

But not for the reason you might think (although from beautiful upstate rural wedding settings to urban big city soirees, they’re pretty great locations).  In light of recent events, we at VKH applaud, as of July 24, 2011 & January 1, 2010 respectively, their inclusion of gay marriage on the law books. It’s not a privilege, it’s a human right.  They’re in good company with Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Connecticut and starting June 7, 2012 Washington state.

Nails

It’s a must on the big day to have the fingers and toes all done up. But what about this?  Head 2 Toe Mobile Spa based in Chicago – they’ll come to your wedding venue to do you and your wedding party up right. Plus they have a green beauty component with all-natural ingredients like the vegan Cahh-Fee Talk, a renewal manicure with brown sugar, organic espresso and sunflower oil. Their mission? To educate consumers on the importance of chemical-free beauty, developing a more sustainable community [to] create a more beautiful world.  We can get behind that!

Notecards

They’re important for save-the-date & rsvp return before the wedding and the important thank you’s after the wedding.  We love recycled and DIY notecards, both for the green component and because it’s more fun and unique.  VKH staffer Zac was recently invited to a wedding that included an rsvp return vintage postcard.  The couple had been collecting them for months and months from antique stores & ebay.  They plan on making a collage with the returned ones as a special memento and new wall art!

We also found this amazing DIY best-of list inclusion from Flax & Twine blog. Their notecard project takes needlepoint to a beautiful next level. You can see the full best-of DIY notecards & stationery list here at Design Sponge.

Photos courtesy Flax & Twine

VKH Adores: The Letter M

Music

Music can and should be a wonderful addition to your special day.  Whether you’re hosting a simple dinner party or a wedding, the right music can set the tone and make everything seem that much brighter.  VKH staffer Deborah’s wedding reception used a friend who played music through a computer and speakers using Rhapsody.  When we host dinner parties or small scale events in private homes we use online music program Pandora to set the mood – sometimes to match the food we’ll be serving. VKH is in the process of planning a wedding where a local band will be playing.  Whatever your budget and whatever your needs, the possibilities for music are astounding.  Here are some of our favorites:

Swing Gitan – We can’t help but promote this fantastic Chicago gypsy swing band.  If you’re in the area, check them out on Wednesday nights at the Green Mill.  You can also see if they’re available to play your special event!   Image

Pandora – Just plug in the name of a band or genre and their system plays a radio channel of similar kinds of music for you.  Fantastic.  Pandora still offers free memberships as well as expanded memberships for a small fee.

String Quartets – This staple of wedding ceremonies really does add so much to a beautiful service.  Sacred or secular, it doesn’t matter what’s being played – it always sounds beautiful.  Search through local universities to see if they offer a gig placement service for their music students.  All the talent at a potentially discounted rate.

Marigolds

These beautiful and full petaled flowers bloom in summer and fall in our neck of the woods (Midwest) and are a perfect adornment to a bright table or bouquet.  Typically found in Yellow, Orange and Red (and combinations thereof) these stunners could even be a lovely addition to your hair – just be sure you wait to the last minute to set it in your coif!

  Image   Image

 

Macaroons

Whether talking about the French kind (colorful almond flour sandwich cookies) or the coconut kind (always white and coco-nutty) these are a delish little treat to cap an event.   Either one is the perfect accompaniment for that meal-ending cup of coffee or tea and are sure to please everyone.  Check you local bakeries for prices or (gasp) try your hand at making them yourselves.  Just be sure that if you’re serving the French kind you alert your guests to potential nut allergies.

 Image   Photo courtesy IKM Macaroons (Check out the “How To Make” video too!)

ImagePhoto courtesy Freeds Bakery 

 Mustard

We here at VKH have a serious love affair with the color mustard.  (This often also relates to our love of the food mustard!)  Mustard yellow, blue, and grey or white make a lovely event color palate (as the folks at magnoliarouge.com prove with the board pictured below).  Honestly, mustard as a color is one of the more versatile around adding depth but not distraction.  And while we’re at it, why not host a fun Oktoberfest Party featuring brats and pretzels with a variety of mustard to taste?  There’s a stunning array of heats and flavors out there to satisfy most any guest.  (Just don’t forget the beer!)

    Image  Image                                                                                                                                       (Photos Courtesy Magnolia Rouge)

Malachite

Just because diamonds have become the standard gem in engagement rings, doesn’t mean you can’t entertain other possibilities. We think malachite is a charming gem to use in special jewelry (Mother’s Day is coming up, kids – hint, hint) and even an engagement ring.  This malachite, diamond and rose gold ring we found on Rubylane.com is just one example of how a non traditional stone like malachite can be quite the stunner!  Find a local artisan jeweler to help you plot out how to highlight your stone’s individual beauty best.  Very often you’ll find the price point more in line with a budget as well.  Even more reason to look into this lovely gem stone.

 ImagePhoto courtesy Years After Antique Jewelry

VKH Adores: The Letter L

L is for:

Lace

We VKH kids are not simply eco-friendly, but classy as well.  And what better way to say “class” than with a touch of lace?  Paper or fabric – for invitations, bouquets, centerpieces, wedding dresses – lace is a simple and elegant way to add some glamour to your special day.

(Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart.)

In Chicago, we adore Vogue Fabrics for their selection of lace and bulk fabrics, with locations in Evanston, Chicago, and Lansing – all easily accessible by public transit, vehicle, or walking if you want to be really green and “ambitious.”  Visit their website at www.voguefabricstore.com.

Bolero jackets are trending, as are shawls.  The bolero-style is a dramatic, couture addition to any bridal gown, serving as an accessory without adding the weight of jewelry. Shawls are quite feminine and can serve a functional and fashionable purpose for Autumn or outdoor weddings, and can be used after your wedding day for both casual and dressy occasions!

(Photo courtesy of AlexBridal on Etsy.)

(Photo courtesy of WindyCityKnits on Etsy.)

(Photo courtesy of AmandaArcher on Etsy.)

Lavender & Lemons

Oh yes, please!  The marriage of an Herbes de Provence staple and a refreshing mediterranean citrus fruit results in a partnership that will last happily ever after!  Perfect for a spring or early summer wedding, lavender and lemon are two colors – and flavors – that are sure to make your wedding a memorable, zesty success!  You can often find lavender at local farmers markets, and lemons can be purchased as bulk items from co-ops and grocery stores (of course if you have your own lemon tree, then you have no excuse NOT to make use of its fruits!)  The scents are aroma-therapeutic allowing your guests to be happy and relaxed through your reception.  VKH happily gives its stamp of approval to this more than beautiful inspiration.

(Photos courtesy of WeddingColors.com)

(Photo courtesy of PassionateAboutBaking.)

LEED-Certified Venues (like the Greenhouse Loft)

VKH is committed to Eco-conscious event planning, looking for green & sustainable options every step of the way when planning and implementing an event.  One way to help identify the right venue option is to look for a LEED designation.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and consists of a rating system to designate buildings, homes and neighborhoods eco-friendly.  As Wikipedia states “LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.”

One of our more exciting recent venue finds is the Greenhouse Loft, located in our own hometown of Chicago, IL.  They claim to be “the country’s premier sustainable event venue” and indeed they’ve earned the highest LEED designation of Platinum, fulfilling nearly all of the possible criteria measured in the LEED system.  You can see the incredible list of sustainable building details on their website. The space is flooded with natural light and feels clean, simple and open with a rooftop “sky” garden for additional space. Plus with fairly reasonable rates, finding a reception space that’s earth-friendly doesn’t have to break the bank!

(Photos courtesy of Greenhouse Loft.)

Linens

There are plenty of ways to dress a table for a wedding.  Depending on your theme/concept, tablecloths can be a pricey necessity, for both rental and DIY solutions.  And the debate between which is a better investment is just as tricky. On the one hand, renting guarantees you a good and service for 1 day from a source that is not decreasing crops of hemp, cotton, or bamboo; but it’s a large chunk of change to spend on something you can’t keep, and there is no guarantee that the company you rent from uses naturally occurring bleaches and dyes in their linens.  On the other hand, using organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo fabric supports free trade, is a renewable resource, and can be kept for life to be reused as is, recycled, up-cycled, and repurposed, AND it’s compostable.  Rental linen costs can start at $7 and go up to $50, and mostly come in package deals you cannot control.  Organic fabric can be purchased by the yard or wholesale, and has an average cost of $14-$16/yard.  If at last 70% of your wedding is in support of our planet – its people, flora and fauna – then choose your linens accordingly, with regard to your budget, time, and available resources.  Ideally, it’s a good thing  to use compostable, recycled and recyclable options rather than decorations you use once and toss or have to give back.

Organic burlap table runner collection

(Photo courtesy of BebeBumbleStudio on Etsy.)

Online Sellers of organic fabrics and linens include Bambeco, Eco Sleep Shop, Hemp Emporium, The Bamboo Fabric Store, BuyCheaper, and Pristine Planet.

Lawn

(Photo courtesy of UniqueEventDesign.)

Lawn weddings and receptions can be some of the loveliest events in the world.  Natural lighting can save equipment expenses, naturally occurring flora and fauna can serve as decor,  and the overall mood of you and your guests can be assuredly joyful.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Well – L is for the laundry list of do’s, don’ts, hints and tips when planning a lawn wedding. The reality behind this lovely, natural, joyful, and simple wedding option is much more complicated than you might think.  Don’t let that scare you – an informed bride is a wise, calm, and happy bride.

Location: The size of the lawn must comfortably accommodate your guests for the ceremony and reception, if desired, with sufficient nearby parking for all guests.  Guests will need to use the restrooms as well so make sure there are adequate, covered structures accessible.  If the lawn is located in a locally or nationally sanctioned park,  don’t forget to contact the appropriate parks department to get a permit for an outdoor wedding.  Choosing a park’s lawn as the site of your wedding or reception requires LONG-LEAD TIME, sometimes up to 6 months in advance for reservation. Be sure to ask about rules concerning trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and wedding photography.  Can everybody hear? When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you’re probably not hearing the roaring of the waves, the rushing wind, or the locals running and screaming around you (oh yes, kids AND adults do this).  Look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom and officiant. Your DJ or band may be able to arrange this for you if necessary.  And as for those pesky flying things, be sure to include citronella candles or eco bug repellents  so that your guests won’t spend the whole ceremony swatting at the air, especially if you’re near a wooded or low-lying water area.

Libations & Larder: Make things tasty outside.  Does your caterer have experience planning an outdoor wedding menu?  Make sure they’re planning things that will keep well outdoors in the heat or cold.  For warm weather conditions, avoid things like mayonnaise salads or dishes which must be served cold unless you/they have the proper storage for those items.  Since alcohol is dehydrating, consider serving a variety of lemonades, teas and punches.  Likewise in cooler weather conditions, stay away from cooler dishes, and maybe consider serving warming beverages like hot chocolate, tea, coffee, or brandy and whiskey!

Local Weather: Think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year.  Sunny and hot?  Don’t leave your guests uncomfortably melting – have on hand ice-cold bottles of water, fans (handheld paper or electric/solar-powered), sunscreen, or a shaded area.   If it will be cold and damp, make sure you tell guests that so they can wear extra layer, or provide umbrellas and lap blankets just in case.  The ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting just in case. Many brides and grooms opt to have their ceremony outside and reception inside. In a pinch, the tables can be scooted to the back of the room during the ceremony.  A tent is another option, but only for light to moderate rain storms.  A heavy rain will soak the ground underneath, leaving guests with soggy and muddy shoes.  Make sure any tent you rent is sturdy so it won’t flip over, and that it has thick and weighted sides.  Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions.  Avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid dresses.  Tell your hairstylist that you’ll be having an outdoor wedding so she/he can plan a style that won’t leave you with Fraggle hair!  Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling products.  Tell your guests in a printed insert so that they can plan accordingly, and ALWAYS have a back-up location.

Look:  Flat, spacious lawns are best for parties. If the lawn is uneven, steeply sloped, or filled with obstacles, it can cause issues for you, your planner, and your guests.  Make arrangements for or confirm proper lawn care, particularly fertilization and weed control,  to keep the grass healthy; furthermore hedges, trees, and flower beds should be meticulously pruned and weeded.  Repair and clean fences, patios, decks, and the exteriors of all additional buildings on or near the lawn.

(Photo courtesy of Weddingom.com.)

VKH Adores: The Letter K

K is for…..

Kale

Not just for healthy living, kale is a lush addition to any wedding décor.  Whether in a bouquet, in a centerpiece, or anchoring either end of a festoon in the rafters, kale provides a fresh, natural, and elegant option in your decorating creativity.

Kale and White Rose Bouquet

(Photo courtesy of Flutter Glass Photography)

Kale, Green Chrisanthemum, and Berzillia Berries

(Photo courtesy of Modern Vintage Market.)

Keepsake Bouquets

For such a comparatively small part of a large tradition, the bouquet remains one of the priciest items for a wedding (up to $1000!)  There are so many flowers, prices, and opinions to sift through in order to find the best option that also reflects who you are.  The reality of a bouquet post-wedding is that it will either be kept in a fridge in between that last slice of wedding cake and a half-empty bottle of ketchup, destroyed by some renegade bridesmaid in the dash to obtain it at the reception, or by the end of the day it looks as tired as you feel.   Your wedding is an investment, and your bouquet does not have to be a beautiful-but-disposable item.  The possibilities are endless to create a bouquet that is creative, low cost, memorable, green, and totally you.  In an age of do-it-yourself chic, repurposed trends, and online how-to videos, creating your own is a great opportunity to involve help from friends, kids, and relatives, and it gives you something to do when planning for your wedding becomes overwhelming.   VKH would like to offer more than beautiful, affordable, and non-disposable options.

Paper Flower Bouquet – Paper flowers are becoming trendier and trendier.  Whether you purchase locally, or use donated or found paper, a paper flower bouquet can be just as stunning as living bouquets.  You can find acid-free, recycled, and handmade papers from online sellers like papermart.com, joann.com, and paper-source.com.

 (Photo courtesy of LivePlayLove: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LivePlayLove?ref=seller_info)

(Photo courtesy of KaprayShapray.blogspot.com)

Brooch Bouquet – Resale and antique stores carry selections of brooches and vintage jewelry items; garage sales and church bazaars are additional sources for inexpensive baubles and bangles.  This is a great opportunity to make use of the “something old, something new…” poem by checking-in with grandmothers, aunts, and mom to see if they have jewelry items to contribute.

(Photo courtesy of Parchmentbydami.com)

Fabric Flower Bouquet – Buy ready-made, or create your own.  Like knitting and scrap-booking, this is a fun afternoon activity while watching tv or relaxing with friends.  Materials could be purchased from fabric or craft stores, or repurposed found fabric items (ribbons, past bridesmaid dresses or clothing.)

(Photo courtesy of StudioDIY.com)

Kelp Designs

California-based Kelp Designs is an environmentally-friendly stationery company, specializing in green eco-friendly, note cards, invitations, with bold colors, classic patterns all on 100% recycled paper and envelopes with soy and vegetable-based inks (Kelpdesigns.com).  Their products can be found all over the U.S., and in Chicago you can stop by Greer Chicago (GreerChicago.com) at 1657 N Wells St.  Simple and elegant, and perfect for invitations or gift thank you’s!

(Photo courtesy of Kelpdesigns.com)

Koo, Steve

Based in Chicago, photographer Steve Koo seeks to provide fun, personal, and stunning visual memories on your special day.  Check out his website to read about his awards, and view his fantastic portfolio.  http://stevekoophotography.com/about/

(Photo courtesy of Steve Koo.)

Kumquats

Adding edibles to bouquets and décor is a beautiful way to inexpensively bring color, texture, and a fresh feel to weddings.  Often forgotten, the kumquat is one of nature’s citrus gems.  Its bright sweet and sour orange flavor is matched by its vibrant and festive color, perfect for Spring or Summer weddings.

 (Photo courtesy of Weddingchicks.com)

(Photo courtesy of Southern Accents Magazine.)

And if these little cuties are too yummy to ONLY look at, incorporate them into your reception fare!

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Candied Kumquats

(Photo courtesy of BonAppetite.com)

Kumquat Fennel Cornmeal Cake, Honey Mascarpone Icing & Almond Fennel Seed Brittle

(Photo courtesy of Tablefare.com)

We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of VKH Adores.  We would also like to remind you that Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day, celebrating 42 years of eco-consciousness and keeping the world a greener place.  VKH supports the Earth Day movement, and we encourage you to be more than beautiful by joining in the effort locally or globally!

VKH Adores: The Letter J

Jewelry (of course!)

The rings are the most important, but the bride wants to have the perfect jewelry to compliment the perfect dress.  Classic and understated is a great way to go.  We found some wonderful vintage and handmade one-of-kind items at Etsy.com. Like this lovely & affordable pearl necklace from Luxe Deluxe.

Image(Photo courtesy Luxe Deluxe)

Jamming at the Reception

After the ceremony, after dinner is served, after the cake is cut what’s left to do but celebrate?  The focus for some brides & grooms is on the dance party, where cutting loose and letting the hair down feels deserved and welcome after the hard work and stress of getting the big day put together.  Many are going with an iPod playlist for their music needs, but nothing beats a great DJ mixing the tunes and feeling the crowd’s energy throughout the reception.  Chicago-based theatrical sound designer Harrison Adams moonlights as a fantastic DJ for any event – calm, cool and collected – he knows how to keep the guests jamming.

Image

(Photo courtesy Harrison Adams)

We also found this extra cute sign, again on Etsy.com from Craft Mart Texas.  We’re loving the sentiment!

  Image(Photo courtesy Craft Mart Texas)

Jelly Beans

With Easter in the recent past we might want to take a break, but they’re so yummy!  And with their colorful, wide-range of hues and small size they can be used for more than just eating. Try a centerpiece or party favor at a shower or wedding!

Image   Image    Image

                              (Photo courtesy Baby Lifestyles)    (Photo courtesy ALL YOU Magazine)

Jones Soda

Speaking of wedding favors – you might have seen Jones Soda Co‘s custom made soda labels. For a keepsake or for consumption, it’s a cute idea that can make for a pretty decorative display in any of the colors of your wedding. Big Jones is a socially responsible, green company. And the soda is all-natural with no HFCS!

Image             Image

                                (Photos courtesy Jones Soda Co.)

“Just Married” decorating

You don’t need a classic car, but it can’t hurt.

Image

(Photo courtesy Eye On The Life Magazine)

And what about a gender-neutral honeymoon gift that’s Eco-conscious and fun?  Pick any color under the sun at Just Beach Towels.

Image

(Photo courtesy Just Beach Towels)

Last, but not least June Weddings

Any month of the year is a great month to get married.  There are a bunch of options any season you pick, but for some the only month to get married is June.  The weather is warm & sunny, the surroundings green & lush and with the perfect tent you can make magic happen under the stars.

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(Photo courtesy Party Time Productions Inc)

Meetings and Cafés

Deborah here.  Vanessa and I were out last night meeting with our latest clients to discuss their August wedding and I admit, I was shocked to find the time passing so quickly.

They’re a great couple, for one, so working with them is not going to be a hardship.  They’re fun, sweet, clear-headed and have a little (or a lot of) edge to them – perfect (I’m pretty stoked to show off some of the design elements once things are nailed down too, this is going to be a really cool wedding).

For second, it seems I enjoy this whole event planning thing (shocker!) and helping people find the best solutions for what they want and what obstacles they want to avoid.  It’s like a treasure hunt.  A treasure hunt of creative charmingnessmenting.

For third, we met the couple at Kopi Café in Andersonville.  Not only is Andersonville one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago, Kopi is one of my very favorite cafés.  Set up as a traverler’s oasis, there are maps and posters and art for sale on the walls, a small shop in the back with great little gifts, and an overall warmth that makes me feel at once at home and far away.   Their food is quite good and their drinks selection is nice and extensive.  And for those of you who like coffee And tea…try the dirty chai.   Next time you have to meet up with someone in Chicago, might I recommend good ole Kopi on Clark.

I didn’t set out to write a review of Kopi, so apologies if that’s what this has turned into.  More than anything I wanted to share that V and I had a great night last night sharing ideas with a new couple we’re excited to work with and we met in a nice setting.  So there.  Happy Deborah.

Photo courtesy: jaunted.com