Out of Town Gift Bags

As the wedding season approches, I wanted to re-post my OOT gift bag.  Here is a link to the wedding packet.  Here is a link to our gift bag.
OOT gift bags aka Out of Town Gift Bags are never mandatory.  They are a very nice courtesy to guests that are travelling in to attend your wedding.  There is nothing better than getting out of a car (or off a plane) and to arrive at the hotel with a bag full of treats.

Ask the Bee: Reception Only Invitation

Do you have any suggested wording on an invitation to a reception for a couple who both have been married previously and are getting married in a private ceremony that will take place about a month before the reception?

The invitation should highlight that it is an invitation to a wedding reception, not a wedding. See below for some sample text!
Sheila Amy Stephens 
Gary Brian Pierce 
request the pleasure of your company 
at their wedding reception  
Saturday, the seventeenth of May 
two thousand and eight 
at half after six o’clock in the evening  
Hotel Allegro 

If you have a wedding related question, Ask the Bee!!

Real Weddings: Dina + Derek The Details

Yesterday, I posted about Dina and Derek’s wedding. Now on to my favorite part, the details!

Dennis Lee, the couple’s photographer, also featured the couple on his blog.

Dina had a dress patch sown into her dress as her “Something Blue”.
The rings before the ceremony.
The beautiful programs that the Bride made herself!
The front of the church was decorated with the couples initials.

The escort cards were hung from branches provided by the florist.  
The Bride made the escort cards herself.
The cake table was adorned with the couple’s initials.
Each menu, designed by the Bride, was folded into a napkin.
The paper had a beautiful scroll design.
The couple named each of the tables after Chicago Landmarks.

The table top had very clean lines.
During dinner, I brought out the Candy Buffet.  Dina made signs that said “Love Sweet Love”.
Guests piled into the photobooth.  I have never seen a photobooth go ignored!
The photobooth printed out duplicates of each photo so that guests could use the images for when they signed the guestbook.

Real Weddings: Dina + Derek

Dina hired me about about a year before her wedding.  Her fiance, Derek, came to the consultation as well.  I could tell that the both of them cared deeply about every wedding decision. Dina mentioned that she had experience is design.  I had no idea how talented she was!  Her DIY projects are some of the best work I have ever seen.  

Dennis Lee, the couple’s photographer, also featured the couple on his blog.

Chair CoversElegant Presentations
FloristAnna Held
Make-upSonia Roselli
PhotographerDennis Lee
Rehearsal DinnerSopranos Restaurant

Dina was done with hair and make-up.  She hung her dress above the bed, which made for a gorgeous photo.
When Dennis arrived, Dina was just hanging out in the room with me. There was no entourage. He looked around, a bit incredulous. Dina was the epitome of a relaxed and low-key bride.
Dina embellished her dress with a brooch inside the bow on her sash. I loved this look.
Dina inside the trolley. Most trolleys don’t offer such comfortable and photographic seating.

There was no need to calm down this bride.  
Right before she is to walk down the aisle, she breaks into laughter.

I am often asked the appropriate age of a Flower Girl or Ring Bearer.  At 14 months, she made it down the aisle like a Professional without any tears or drama!

Dina is escorted down the aisle by her Father.

The couple stand before their family and friends.

The First Kiss, while they are holding hands.

The couple are greeted by guests blowing bubbles.

This is why October is the most popular month to get married in Chicago. The photos look amazing!

It’s nice to have a Bridal Party portrait where everyone isn’t lined up in a row.

Fall is my least favorite season but this picture is gorgeous.


It’s a great idea to drop off your Bridal Party and take a few photos with just the two of you.


When the couple headed to Art Institute, the party was already in full swing.


I think the banquettes in the balcony are lovely.


Nothing beats a first dance than on a classic black and white dance floor.


The couple opted to have a coffee and dessert station so that guests could choose the type of cake.  The menu is one of the many DIY projects by Dina.


Check back tomorrow for photos of the details!

Being Green

Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.  

Try to be Green while being a Bride.  In honor of Mama Earth, I have come up with three suggestions.

  1. Share the wealth. One of my favorite charities is the Glass Slipper Project.  The organization gives dresses to students that might not be able to afford to go Prom.  The group REALLY needs shoes, jewelry, accessories, and unworn make-up.  If you are interested, please email me at misse@honeybeewedidngs.com or check out their website.
  2. Sell your wedding goodies. Once the wedding is over, sell all of your wedding goodies.  I sold my card box, picture frames, vases, etc.  Other brides might be willing to part with their veil or even their dress.  It is a great way to make some money (who doesn’t need that these days!) as well as purge your home from the wedding madness.  Here is a link to my post about Selling Your Dress.  If you want to sell your wedding items, try Craig’s List or on the boards of Chicago Weddings.
  3. Don’t take all the free stuff if you don’t want it.  At many bridal events (especially those awful expos), you are bombarded with wedding stuff.  Flyers, free pencils, etc.  Do you really want it?  If not, politely decline.  Since you are reading my blog, I am sure that you are internet savvy.  Ask for a business card and get their information electronically.

DIY Flowers + Pastries

Planning to arrange your own flowers?  Or, maybe you need to make dessert for a friend’s shower. Head to Hotel Sofitel for a class to learn how to out-Martha everyone else.

Flower Arranging + Pastry Class

Saturday, April 25th

10 – 2:30PM

Hotel Sofitel


To RSVP, call 312.324.4000


Allow Sofitel’s resident floral designer, Colin Collette, to walk you through the methods and techniques that consistently help him create the renowned arrangements that adorn the hotel’s lobby.  After a delectable lunch in Le Bar, the afternoon will include a hands-on experience with Executive Pastry Chef Suzanne Imaz as you learn how to create pastries that thrill the taste buds.  She will demonstrate how to create her famous chocolate ginger soufflé with lemongrass ice cream.


10:00 am       Flower Arranging Class with Colin Collette

11:30 am       Prix fixe lunch

1:00 pm         Pastry class with Executive Pastry Chef Suzanne Imaz