VKH Adores: The Letter I

Ice Cream!

Who doesn’t like a refreshing ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day?  Indulge your guests with mini or full sized treats to help them cool off during the cocktail hour or as part of the dessert course.  Be sure to offer sorbets for those less tolerant of the dairy treat and match the flavors you love to the colors of your special day.  We know no one will leave disappointed.


(Photo courtesy Belle the Magazine)


Illusion Necklines

Like a strapless dress, but feel too exposed?  Choosing an illusion neckline can keep you comfortable and demurely sexy on your big day.  We love the dresses made by Pure Magnolia Couture.  This charmer we found on their etsy store is custom made to fit your body and makes the perfect statement for a brunch or day-time event.  The price tag simply can’t be beat for custom work and the result is simply gorgeous.


(Photo Copywright Peter Holst and Courtesy: PureMagnolia’s etsy store)



Your invitations and the paper goods that will help your guests at every stage, can single-handedly set the tone for your event and link all the elements together from bachelorette parties and save the dates through programs and table numbers.  A lot of work and talent can go into these little details so, if you can, hook up with a local designer through referrals or online through etsy.  VKH just adores the designs by BeaconLane designer Jessica.  Beacon Lane’s gorgeous work covers the uber romantic aesthetic all the way to the super clean and modern.  Check her work out for yourself – we know you’ll agree her art could really make your day special.


(Photo courtesy: BeaconLane’s etsy store)



Now now now, before you get all up in arms about how we didn’t “Adore” Alabama or Hawaii or (insert home state here) in our previous posts, just remember: VKH calls Chicago home.  We are partial and we are proud.  Keep in mind our fair state as a possible destination for your wedding – it might not be conventional to host a destination wedding in the Midwest, but we can’t think of a lovelier area.  From Lincoln’s Presidential Library in the capital, Springfield, to The Bean in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Illinois offers beauty and charm like no other.  While you’re here, say Hi to the people that you meet.  You might just be blown away by that famous Midwestern friendliness.


(A summery set up in the Lincoln Museum and Presidential Library in Springfield.  Photo courtesy: Wedwire.com)


(A couple poses in from of The Bean on Chicago’s Lakefront Millennium Park.  Photo courtesy: Kevin Weinstein and One Wed)


Iced Tea Bars

With the recently departed warm days of spring (where did you go?!) comes a longing for all things summer, so we’ll cap today’s Adores post with something else that hints at warmer says – Iced Tea Bars.  We like to think VKH started this trend (let us live with our delusions, okay?) when we offered a selection of herb and fruit infused iced teas for our first “parent” shower event.  Host and guests alike enjoyed trying the different tastes and subtleties of infused teas.  For a traditional flair toss some raspberries and mint (organic, if you please) in a typical sun tea or, for a different take, spike your regular brew with lavender or thyme.  Show it off in a glass beverage dispenser and serve in vintage tea cups or juice glasses purchased hodge-podge at a local thrift store.


(Photo Courtesy:VKH Events.com – look in Portfolio, Special Eventsfor the fill “parent” shower)


Beautiful and tasteful doesn’t always mean expensive

Hello there! Zac here, one of VKH’s staff members and a numbers man, who found this interesting article a few days back:


Good news for the economy and Obama’s reelection chances. Astonishing & scary news for any couple who’s thinking about getting married soon.

How do you ever afford to make your dream wedding come true, especially when, as the article tells us, 75% of couples have paid for at least part of their own wedding?  That’s where establishing at the very beginning of wedding planning a list of “first tier” and “second tier” wants & needs of both the bride and the groom. That should be paired with the formulation of a realistic budget so that there’s a plan in place before thinking about yummy cakes, beautiful dresses, fancy venues and the such.

We’ve found through our work with clients that once needs & wants are established, there’s a phase of wedding planning where those needs & wants can be thought through from different viewpoints so that arriving at the final solution can be cost-conscious and fully realized.

Want that perfect garden setting at the local botanical gardens but the price is too high?  Maybe a private garden of a friend or family member or after-hours wedding at a nursery would be just as beautiful at a fraction of the cost.

Are lots of flowers and plants a must at the ceremony and reception, but a florist busting the budget?  Select a few trusted friends and family members to come in a day early and travel to local farmer’s markets, nurseries and groceries to find cheap and in-season flowers. They can even arrange – it makes them feel like they’re contributing and you will have one-of-a-kind flower arrangements while helping the environment.

These type of cost-effective solutions can be found for every part of the wedding and reception – either with research on DIY or working with a planner who has seen how & when & why & what for many different weddings.

VKH Adores:

Happy Friday everyone and welcome back to our VKH Adores posts! We are so thrilled to be once again be bringing our knowledge and networking to you in the interest of supporting local artists and sustainable communities! This week it’s heartwarming stories, handy recycled pieces and heritage (to name a few) that grace the list. Have a look!



Chicago Bridal Hair and Make Up: Holly Kasprisin has made a career for herself as a hair stylist, and makeup artist for over 20 years. Her work has been published in magazines such as The Knot, CS Brides, Chicago Wedding, Modern Salon, Rolling Stone as well as many others. Most recently she was recognized in Chicago Magazine as one of Chicago’s best on-call hairstylists. Holly’s approach to makeup and hair is one that is classic and natural and her airbrush technique is different from most.  http://chicagobridalhairandmakeup.com/



Hand Held Bouquets

The classic tradition of hand held bridal bouquets have never gone out of style! It is said that this custom stems from the golden apple of discord theory in Greek mythology, where the goddess Eris tossed a bouquet into the crowd causing a heated argument between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite ….eventually leading to the Trojan War.

Well, true story  or not, I can tell you that the flowers done by Nadine from Fragrant Design, will sure to make your guest green with envy. Her thoughtful and fresh style with delicate sophistication and a commitment to providing service that exceeds your highest expectations is apparent in every way. http://fragrantdesign.com/



Handmade Invites

Shabby Scrap is a great independent, online store that makes invites with a unique yet vintage touch. The owner, Marlene, says: I make handmade journals, albums, and art. I love having beautiful, interesting, quirky places to hold my thoughts and pictures. My favorite is to do a custom piece so I know the special story behind it and who is going to be using it. In fact, that is how I started. As gifts I would give my friend’s handmade pieces such as a journal, photo album or a painting that represented them. http://www.etsy.com/people/ShabbyScrap





This gorgeous tradition is one we envy! The application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration in India, is called Mehndi. The occasion of Mehndi ceremony is often one of the most important pre-wedding rituals especially for the bride. It is a fun filled ritual, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family. Different regions of the country celebrate the ritual in a different way according to their own marriage customs, rituals, and culture. Mehndi ceremonies take place outside India amongst the Indian community and places like Birmingham in the UK are such known hotspots for lavish Mehndi celebrations.





Chicago company, Plume Textiles, makes handmade, organic, herringbone napkins! Oh how we swooned over these! I think they may be gracing our dining room tables…event or no. http://www.plumetextiles.com/#!






The Chicago Honey Co-op is amazing! Their product is amazing; their mission statement is amazing and their philanthropic project is amazing.

In the winter of 2004, three urban beekeepers conceived and created Chicago Honey Co-op. While their original mission was as a job training program, their focus has evolved over time into a long term relationship within the community with emphasis on education, healthy eating and awareness of the natural environment.

In addition to their work in the community, they teach beekeeping classes and host a community farm where neighbors can grow their own food. With education becoming more and more a part of their work, they made the decision last year to start a 501c3 partner organization called Chicago Honey Co-op Training Center. http://www.chicagohoneycoop.com/





Nothing adds a touch of class like indoor furniture pieces brought outdoors. One of my all-time favorites is the use of hutches to display items from pictures to flowers to desserts! This can be a great DIY addition to your reception! To find a gently used hutch that you can add your own personal touch to, check out Brown Elephant Resale Shop in Chicago.  The revenue generated by donations and purchases at the Brown Elephant Shops help fund services for the more than 50% of Howard Brown Health Center clients who are under- or uninsured.


We Are Back

After a 4 month pause, VKH is back! Thank you for bearing with us through some major life changes that have caused some much needed time away. Starting this Friday 3/30/2012, we will resume the VKH Adores posts. We are looking forward to it and hope you are too!

In light of those circumstances, I would like to share some thoughts from a spiritual guide and trusted teacher, Betty Lue Lieber, on life, how precious it is and how making a commitment to a person as your life partner is just a reflection of how sacred it all is.

Love is the way we live in gratitude.
Love is as Love does.
Love seeks only to give.
Love is who we are here to be.
Loving you is loving me.
Love lives and gives endlessly.
The only mistake we ever make is when we forget to Love.
Never quit on Love, for it is Who You Are.

Have you ever questioned what is “luck”?
Have you wondered what is a curse?
Have you considered karma?
Have you been willing to free yourself from superstition?

Consider that we participate in the outcome of our actions and experiences.
Consider that when we feel guilt, we expect and even call for punishment.
Consider that when we condemn or curse anyone, we are condemning ourselves.
Consider that when we forgive, we offer our blessings of healing and love.

Do not curse for any reason.
Always bless and you will heal.
Do not withhold love or wish ill.
Always extend peace to one and all.

Life is for giving.
You are the gift.
When you give yourself freely, you realize the gift You Are.
Your gifts of blessings and love are so needed right now.

Be good to each other and live each day with love,


VKH Adores:

Hi again!!! This week we are bringing you gobs and gobs of great stuff with our G inspired blog post!


Glamour: If you are a glamour girl, let that be the driving force behind your look for your big day! Besides, you should be an exaggerated form of yourself-you’re the star of the show! Glamour is found in the details…fabrics, beading, feathers, color, opulence, ornamentation!

Grey: Grey is a classy, powerful neutral that can work in any season and with any “theme” or feel of the day.  For the spring, try grey and blush; for summer, try grey and yellow; for fall try grey, rust and orchid; and for winter try grey and ice blue or grey and white.  For a twist on a classic dress, try a grey wedding gown like this Enzoani stunner!

Goatmilk Caramels: Big Picture Farm is committed to making the finest, most delicious caramel in the world using fresh goat milk from their own herd. Their mission is to integrate agriculture and narrative in a fresh way that properly evokes the place, animals, and work in order to bring to life the exciting and unpredictable evolution of their products, farm, and lives. Their experience of taste is heightened and deepened by the knowledge of their food’s production and provenance. A unique agricultural product that uses only the highest quality ingredients and is guided by compassionate and sensitive husbandry deserves to be presented to the public with its narrative intact. Big Picture Farm aims to highlight the “art” in artisanal http://www.bigpicturefarm.com/.

Green Getaways/Greenmoons: Roberto Fernandez, owner of The Pacuare Lodge, created a place where people could enjoy nature while respecting and protecting the environment. From day one, his goal was to have a positive impact on the lodge’s surroundings and neighbors while providing guests with an educational, exciting and sublimely natural experience. The Pacuare Lodge’s eco-friendly bungalows are surrounded by exuberant tropical foliage, nestled between the river and our private nature reserve, which conserves 300 hectares (740 acres) of primary rainforest. The buildings are made of wood from tree farms and palm thatch collected in the rainforest by their Cabecar Indian neighbors. Each bungalow combines sustainable practices such as solar-heated water and low-impact septic systems with comforts such as orthopedic mattresses and spacious bathrooms. http://www.pacuarelodge.com/php/honeymoons.php

Garters: The Garter Girl by Julianne Smith features the first and only collection of stylish, environmentally friendly wedding garters. Made in mix and match colors from recycled plastic bottles, these garters are the epitome of eco-chic. http://www.thegartergirl.com/shop/category/eco-friendly/.

Gluten Free Menus: Blind Faith Catering delivers innovative vegetarian cuisine to homes and businesses on the North Shore. Whether you are planning an intimate dinner party or a wedding for hundreds, they can meet all your catering needs. Their creative staff will tailor a unique event to your individual tastes. Their Catering Chef will help you create the perfect menu for any occasion. Fresh natural food is their passion, and their catering service reflects their commitment to exceptional fare and outstanding service. Their knowledge and experience enable them to expertly assist you with every facet of your order. http://www.blindfaithcafe.com/catering_home.html.

Giving: Of course we support this-it’s a cornerstone of our business! It doesn’t matter what charity you give to as long as it’s something you hold dear. Giving will ALWAYS come back 3 fold-in ways you would have never guessed. It’s also been proven to stimulate the brain as much as sex and chocolate…so give for your pleasure too!

Goddess dresses: Move over Athena! The goddess wearing this dress designed by Manuel Mota for Pronovias, would leave any Greek hero gasping for his breath!     


Great Gatsby Inspired Weddings: The romance and undying hope of love that shrouds the F Scott Fitzgerald novel creates a perfect backdrop for a chic, playful wedding. Have fun putting together a Gatsby inspiration board to organize your day-of desires!

VKH Adores:

Hello VKHers! We are back this week with some fabulous finds! From feathers to figs, our F-blog will leave you feeling fabulous!

Feathers– This gorgeous feather clutch by MiaVonMink is a great day-of purse or alternative for bridesmaid bouquets! The approaching winter weather compliments these down handbags. http://www.etsy.com/listing/74606875/cream-starlet-feather-and-rhinestone?ref=cat1_gallery.

Faux Fur Capes– Glamorous, lush, faux fur capes like the one below designed by Bridal Couture Girls, are amazing winter wedding dress accents!  http://www.etsy.com/listing/77240985/couture-fur-bridal-bolero-shrug-ella-is?ref=cat1_gallery_2.

Filigree-Gorgeous detailing to your jewelry will add a bit of extra “wow” to your engagement and or wedding rings. Filigree is very popular in antiques settings and gives you a plethora of options to choose from.

Fireplaces– The romance of a roaring fire on a cold day can translate to you wedding day! Set your ceremony under or in front of a glorious fire.

Flamenco Weddings-Firey reds, fans and florals create a stunning picture. Complete this look with a flamenco guitar player to bring your guests a little taste of Spain! Local Spanish and flamenco guitar player Carlo Basile, who has been contracted to compose and perform Spanish guitar pieces for the new Looking Glass Theatre production of Cascabel featuring Chef Rick Bayless, can be hired for your special event. Please contact Carlos directly at www.theguitarsofspain.com or 312-969-6987 for more information!

Carlo Basile

Flats– Ladies, we LOVE heels just as much as the next girl, but this is a long day and we suggest you bring flats to change into at very least! These vegan flats from The Generation are handmade from cotton canvas and hemp, combining traditional shoe making craftsmanship. The soles are formed from more than 25 layers of sustainable fabrics and hemp thread; they’re flexible yet durable. 0% of chemical adhesives are used. Special attention to the insole liners adds good support to arch & heel, leaving you comfy and relaxed on your wedding day http://www.etsy.com/listing/61136949/eco-chic-handmade-vegan-bridal-ballet.

Flatware– Flatware made from recycled materials is another way to help the planet…one bite at a time http://www.bambeco.com/Flatware-and-Cutlery/Yamazaki-Cable-Flatware-and-Serving-Collection.asp.

Felt Flowers-These felt flowers are so classy and reusable!  http://www.etsy.com/listing/80141083/blooming-white-gardenia-wool-felt-flower?ref=sr_gallery_13&ga_ref=auto&ga_search_query=felt&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmad

Figs– Fig dishes for the fall and winter are spectacular ways to delight your guests’ pallets. These 3 recipes are a classy choice for your cold weather fare! Please remember to shop local, sustainable and organic!

1)Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Balsamic-Fig-Basil Sauce http://allrecipes.com/recipe/stuffed-leg-of-lamb-with-balsamic-fig-basil-sauce/detail.aspx

2) Fig Spice Cake http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fig-spice-cake/detail.aspx

3) Vanilla Port Poached Figs with Honey Cream http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vanilla-port-poached-figs-with-honey-cream/detail.aspx

VKH Adores:

This week’s post was exciting for us with all of it’s endless possibilities. The letter E gave us numerous eco-friendly options to pass on. We hope you enjoy!

Elemental Threads: Elemental Threads creates bags that are durable, stylish and made to your order.  Design your own bag in three simple steps -just choose the type of bag, fabric and hardware!  All bags are lovingly made to order in their Boston, MA studio by an enthusiastic team of seamstresses. Elemental Threads was founded with the idea of giving back.  They believe in preserving the rights of people and the planet.  They use eco-friendly fabrics, recycled packaging, participate in a carbon offset program, donate to charitable organizations and produce all goods in the USA.  The more success Elemental Threads achieves, the more they can give back, and this drives them everyday. Right up our alley!  http://www.elementalthreads.com/#/repurpose/



Eco-etiquette: The Huffington Post gives sound eco advise when it comes to green etiquette; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-grayson/your-eco-etiquette-cheat_b_873669.html.


Eco-lixers: Butterfly Social Club, makes eco-consciousness and healthful living as easy as ordering a drink. Located next door to the diverse, socially conscious nightlife mainstay Funky Buddha Lounge, Butterfly offers an array of alcohol, juices and tonics that are either certified organic or grown and produced in an eco-friendly environment.

A few options to replace your stand-by sipper. Butterfly currently charges $5 for beer, non-alcoholic and small drinks, and $10 for large drinks.

Ditch: vodka and Red Bull
Do: Rain vodka, made from organic Midwestern grains, and Steaz certified organic energy drink; or Chopin vodka, from organic Polish potatoes, and Butterfly’s housemade energy drink, made with spring water, and rainforest-sustaining roots, herbs and teas

Ditch: draft cider
Do: certified organic, unpasteurized Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie (Butterfly carries this cider to support the family that’s been producing it for hundreds of years)

Ditch: Captain and Coke
Do: Navan cognac, which features natural black vanilla from Madagascar, and Steaz organic root beer

Ditch: Bud
Do: Wild Hop Lager and Stone Mill, Anheuser-Busch’s beers made with certified organic barley malt; for a more enzymatic, organic option, try Wiesen Edel-Weisse, which ferments in the bottle up until you crack it open

Ditch: supermarket chardonnay
Do: organic and biodynamic wine from Frey vineyards (These grapes are grown in “awesome soil”)


Eco and Elsie:

Writer and creator, Jennifer created this blog in 2007 as a companion to her previous venture, Earthly Affair, an online shop specializing in eco-friendly invitations. While Earthly Affair was her first baby she now solely focuses on blogging. She concentrates on pretty things, wedding things, healthy things, fashion-y things, etc… that all bring a bit of eco-friendly joy to the earth and those who live here. http://www.ecoandelsie.com/


Electronic Invitations: Paperless post provides a very green and less expensive way to send out save the dates, wedding invitations and thank yous-and they have a gorgeous selection! http://www.paperlesspost.com/


Egg Stations: Early morning weddings and brunch receptions are a common trend now a day and should have just as much attention devoted to the detail in morning fare as it does for five course dinners. Chicago catering company, Sunday Dinner, uses 90-100% organic and local food to design an amazing array of signature culinary dishes.  They strive to create the same connection with the people who eat their food as the people who grow it. http://www.sundaydinnerchicago.com/.