Starting in January, I am going to send out a newsletter for Chicago Brides. The newsletter is going to list upcoming events, sales, as well as tips and tricks. If you are interested in receiving the weekly newsletter, please send me an email at

Until the New Year, I am going to be taking a break with posting. Here’s what I will be doing:

  • Finding Ceremony Musicians
  • Finding a Pianist for the Cocktail Hour
  • Celebrating our 3 year anniversary
  • Celebrating the New Year
  • Updating my website
  • Working on the newsletter format

My Wedding Stuff

In this world, there are savers and pitchers. I’m a pitcher. I’ve been able to condense my entire childhood down to one legal box. I’m quite proud of this fact.

But then, there is the wedding stuff. I can’t seem to throw away any of it. We haven’t even had our showers yet and already I have loads of stuff that I want to save and cherish forever. Does anyone else feel this way?

As a big believer in organization, I find that The Container Store is my best friend. I’m became a convert after installing the Elfa system in our tiny 750 sq. foot home. Anyhoo, I found this lovely container to keep all of my paper goods. For everything else, I might invest in this trunk. I like the idea of an old fashioned trunk but I realize that it isn’t practical.

Do any brides have some ideas for organizing all of their stuff?

Bridal Events

Sunday, January 6th

A L’Amour will showcase beautiful fashions for the entire bridal party at the Marriott Schaumburg at the 1st big bridal event of the season. We have a limited number of free tickets available. If you or someone you know might be interested in attending please call your consultant at 847-381-5858 and we will arrange to provide tickets while supplies last. The event begins at 11 and the fashion show is scheduled for 2pm. For additional information visit

Sunday, January 13th

Our biggest sample sale of the year! The fabulous collections of A L’Amour’s top designers will be on sale for 1 day only. Appointments are filling fast–schedule now. This is the opportunity to put “Dreams Within Your Reach.” The dress you felt was unaffordable could be yours. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Wednesday, January 16th

Plan a “Girl’s Night Out” with friends, bridesmaids, and moms to get tips on Planning Your Wedding. No matter where you are in the process of planning, this event is not to be missed. For those newly engaged we will answer questions you haven’t even thought to ask. For those further along in the process we will have hair designers who will give tips on hairstyles, we will have a veil and headpiece trunk show so that you can work directly with the national sales rep to pick the “perfect” compliment to your gown, we will have a bridal accessory trunk show so that you can pick the perfect guest book, pen, etc. to fit your theme. We will have informal modeling of our newest selections for brides, mothers, and maids. We will provide food, fun, and a “goodie bag”. Enjoy the fun and go home with helpful hints to bring your wedding details together.

For more information on these events, go to

Out of Town Gift Bags

Gable boxes are a popular choice for out of town gift bags. While I find them stylish, I dislike their impracticality. When I am a wedding guest, I prefer to receive a gift bag that I can re-use. Knottie chitowndcbride – Tiffany- totally raised the bar by getting actual fabric tote bags for her wedding guests.

Tiffany purchased the tote bags and basic iron-ons. She filled the bags full of Chicago goodies as well as some personalized water bottles.

Water Bottle Label

I think these are some fantastic examples of adding a personalized touch to your wedding without breaking the bank!

DIY Gift Cardbox

The photo gift card box is a long time favorite of Chicago brides. Here are the DIY instructions for any interested brides.

Estimated Cost and Supplies:

  • $44 for 4 picture frames- 14 x 20 (or something close to that) with an 8 x 10 picture.
  • $3 for fabric – 1 yard
  • $2 for poster board
  • $10 for lazy susan
  • $20 base and supplies:1/4 to 1/2inch thick plywood base, 8 ft. of plastic
    “L” shaped molding, staples, Velcro.
  • A wood base
  • Lots of staples and staple gun (heavy duty)
  • Xtra thick poster board
  • Duct tape


  1. Cut the plastic L shaped molding into 12 equal sizes. This will be used in the corners, base, and top of the box.
  2. Insert pictures in frames before assembling. Staple a bracket on the inside of 2 frames to create a corner, then the next frame until you have a square. I let the inside frame corners touch and created a indented outside corner rather than overlaping the frame edges.
  3. Cut the wood base the same size as the inside bottom edge of the assembled picture frames, so it will not be seen when you look at the disply.
  4. Insert the base into the bottom of the picture frame box and staple 4 plastic strips into where the bottom and frames meet.

Getting Away

Sometimes, you simply must stop talking about your wedding.


Denton and I agreed that at the six month mark (six months engaged; six months to the wedding), we would spend an entire weekend not talking about the wedding. We decided to “get away” by staying at the James Hotel in downtown Chicago.

We had a wonderful time! I started the weekend off by getting a massage. While I was getting pampered, Denton checked us in to our room. After meeting up, we shopped around Michigan Ave. Denton bought a fitted black cashmere sweater at Bloomie’s. Then, we totally splurged by having a Peppermint Mocha in the late afternoon. We relaxed in our room for a few hours wearing the comfy robe and slippers. We went to dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s. It’s such a man’s restaurant but I love it there! When we got back to the James, we had a few drinks at the J Bar.

We started off Sunday late in the morning with room service and reading various newspapers. After a little more browsing, we went to the movies to see American Gangster! It was awesome.

The icing on the cake? We were able to maintain our wedding budget by spending gift certificates the entire weekend! I have loads of gift cards that I have stockpiled from the past year. Our goal was to see how many we could use in just one weekend!

Welcome to my new Blog!

Blogspot is my new home!

I moved my blog over here to Blogspot from the Knot. To be honest, I was a little frustrated by the limitations of knot blogs.

Unfortunately, my pictures did not transfer over so well. Some of the images cut off and aren’t formatted properly. To fix all of the posts, I would need to spend hours. While I’m a dedicated blogger, I simply don’t have the time.

If there is an image you would like to see better, let me know.

Tipping Vendors

Tipping is a sensitive subject. However, couples should include tips as part of their wedding budget so that they may plan accordingly. The list below was compiled from Brides magazine as well as Emily Post.


Ceremony Musicians
$15-20 per person

Delivery & Set up Staff$5-10 per person



Hair Stylist & Make-up Artist


Photographer/ Videographer$50-200 per person

Reception Musicians
$20-25 per musician

Reception Staff
If gratuity is not included:
15-20% of food and drink bill
$200-300 for maitre d
$20-25 per bartender
$1 per guest for parking attendant

If gratuity is included:
On Site Coordinator/ Catering Manager
$100-200 optional

15% if not included as part of the package

Wedding Planner/ Coordinator

Bella Jewels Trunk Show at Left Bank

MEG & Bella Jewels Trunk Show
December 22 & 23, 2007

The Left Bank welcomes jewelry designer

Meg Lammers of Bella Jewels

Contemporary & Classic Modern Gems

Cash & Carry & Custom ~ Perfect Gifts

Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday 11-5pm

(Hours as of Monday, December 17th)
Sunday Noon – 4:00P
Monday Noon – 7:00P
Tuesday thru Friday Noon – 9:00P
Saturday 11A – 6:00P

~Christmas Eve~ 11 – 3:30P
~Christmas Day~ Closed