Personalizing the Guest Experience

One huge trend for weddings in 2018 is emphasizing the guest experience at your wedding. While guests have always been invited to participate in games for the newlyweds, many people look to have an unforgettable experience at a wedding now.

Here are a couple of ways I thought would be a great way to enhance the guest experience:

A Not-So-Traditional Guest Book
Guestbooks have typically been used to send the newlyweds good wishes for their marriage. Though traditional guestbooks ask for guests to physically write something down with pen and paper, think about changing it up. Have guests take individual Poloroid shots to scrapbook themselves. Or have them record videos to compile later into a larger guest-video.

Inside Weddings
Poppy Shoppe Productions

Food
It’s no surprise that food is always a big part of weddings. Change things up from the usual seated dinner with an interactive buffet, like a build-your-own bruschetta or sundae station. Or incorporate some local favorites so that out-of-town guests can appreciate their travel time. You can even make the food Insta-worthy (Coffee in a cone, anyone?).

Mazel Moments

Culinary Envy

Social Media Engagement
Wedding hashtags are so… 2016. While it’s still fun and convenient to incorporate a wedding hashtag to easily find your guests pictures on social media, there is now an emphasis to create Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. So nix the photo booth and create a profile picture-worthy background instead. Floral walls have been around for a while, so add a sign to make it more personalized.

Pinterest

Wedding Weekly

2018 South Asian Wedding Trends

Anybody who knows me knows that I love South Asian weddings. Bright and colorful, South Asian weddings often occur over multiple days filled with numerous events.

2018 is gearing up for some major new trends when it comes to South Asian weddings. Here are just some of my favorites: 

Lounge Area
From the sangeet to the reception, weddings guests enjoy talking to one another. A lounge allows your guests to relax while doing what they love the best! Make it more memorable by incorporating South Asian Decor. Plus, it doubles as a photo opportunity!


Maharani Brides
South Asian Bride Magazine


Floral Mandaps
While previous years have been dominated bright and colorful fabric mandaps, this year sees a different version of traditional canopy structure. Now, mandaps can be constructed with gorgeous floral designs and more simple fabrics. 

South Asian Bride Magazine


Maharani Brides

Intricate cakes decorations
Whether floral or mendhi-inspired, 2018 is going to see the rise of intricate, yet elegant, cake designs take the center floor. 

South Asian Bride Magazine
Maharani Brides

Are there any South Asian wedding trends that you’ve noticed? Let me know! 

The Atelier, a Boudoir studio in Chicago

Happy Valentine’s Day! While others may be thinking of roses or chocolates, why not come up with something a little bit more personal?

The term “boudoir” actually means a women’s private sitting room or salon.  Photography, however, has given boudoir a whole new meaning. Boudoir photography started as early as the 1920s, featuring female powerhouses such as Clara Bow, Mae West, and Jean Harlow.


Modern boudoir photography features intimate and sensual photos. These photos make a great gift for your partner: on your the wedding day, the first anniversary (can you think of a better paper gift?), or for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day!

The Atelier 

The Atelier in Chicago is a wonderful studio that specializes in boudoir photography. Not only is professional hair and make-up included in their Experience package, they have a fantastic staff on-hand to answer any questions or concerns. The end result is gorgeous!



The Atelier

Create meaningful moments with Tribute!

Guestbooks have become a staple within the wedding industry. But sometimes, it’s difficult to write down everything someone wants to say about a couple on the wedding day — there are just all the memories, the nostalgia, and the feelings! 


Tribute allows for couples to create video guestbooks to remember and keep for a lifetime, all while giving their guests ample time to say everything they want to say. With a quick and easy set-up, Tribute sends out links to guests for them to upload personalized tribute videos specifically about the couple. The videos then get compiled for the ultimate personalized gift for the couple-to-be! 


Tribute can also send out Tribute booths to weddings, an update on the classic photo booth that records videos of their guests’ tributes to compile for a post-wedding treat. 


Check out a sample here. Visit here to get $19 off your first Tribute video. 

Julie + Frank’s Salvage One Wedding

Bright, bold and beautiful, Julie and Frank’s W Chicago wedding featured some of 2018’s biggest upcoming trends. This fun-loving couple incorporated set their summer ceremony and their reception with a great positive vibes

Photographer: Steve Koo Photography 
Videographer: Amor in Motion 
Reception: Salvage One 














After the ceremony, the couple moved to Salvage one for their reception. The decor featured a bold palette with simple decor, juxtaposing the two in order to create a bright and fun atmosphere. 










Julie and Frank’s wedding was a beautiful celebration of a wonderful couple. I was so glad to be chosen to help make their dreams a reality. 

Bridal Event: Evening of Bridal Luxury



Modern Luxury Weddings Chicago
12th Annual Evening of Bridal Luxury
Sunday, March 4 3pm-6pm
Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Join Modern Luxury Weddings to preview the upcoming designs of wedding dresses, featuring the unveiling of Vera Wang’s Fall 2018 bridal collection. The event will also feature culinary creations from Chef Baasim Zafar of the Ritz Carlton, event décor by HMR Designs, and photography by Fig Weddings

Brides-to-be, don’t forget to grab a luxury “Oscar-style” goodie bag on your way out!

Tickets are $65 for a bride and a guest. For additional guests, tickets are $25. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Bright Pink.

Honey Bee Weddings will be doing a social media giveaway for a pair of tickets! Details will be announced on our Instagram account.

Bridal Event: Veils, Vows, and Valentines at The Blackstone

Veils, Vows and Valentines will feature specialty Blackstone cocktails, small bites, and dancing! Join in on a group dance lesson led by a guest instructor from Fred Astaire Dancing. Whether you’re preparing for the first dance or you’re on your thirtieth dance, visit The Blackstone Crystal Ballroom for a night of drinks, dancing and fun. 

Mention Honey Bee Weddings to get your RSVP at info@theblackstonehotel.com


Veils, Vows, and Valentines  
February 9th – Reception at 5:30pm, Dance Lesson at 7:00pm
The Blackstone Crystal Ballroom




Christa + Nicholas’ University Club Wedding

Christa and Nicholas had a beautiful summer wedding that incorporated many of the best parts of the city. From their gorgeous ceremony to the lively reception at the University Club of Chicago, every part of the day showcased their love for each other. Their elegant celebration was full of fun and personal touches, all captured beautifully by Kassia Phoy Photography. 

Photographer: Kassia Phoy Photography 
Hair and Makeup: Pin Me Up Chicago
Lighting: Frost Lighting

I had such a wonderful time working with this lovely couple and am so happy that I was able to be a part of planning their special day. 

Chicago Restaurant Week 2018

It’s Restaurant Week in Chicago! As a fellow foodie,  I just know that Chicago has a ton of delicious food and drinks. With set menus that offer tastings, Restauarant Week is definitely

More than that, however, it’s a great way to find out your next wedding venue. Enjoy the restaurant’s highlights as you scope out a venue for your big day, whether it’s for the engagement party, the reception, or everything in between.

Here are some of my favorite restaurants that double as beautiful venues that have offerings during Restaurant Week:

Booth One – Used to be called the Pump Room, Booth One has been reinvented to feature new decor, lighting, and a revamped menu. With a dining area and a bar area, emphasized by neutral colors and tones, this place would be a wonderful place for a small, intimate gathering.

Booth One’s renovated bar area

Cafe des Architectes – While the food is devine, Cafe des Architectes doesn’t necessarily host receptions. It is, however, located in Hotel Sofitel, a hotel right of the Magnificent Mile that has a great view of the skyline. Mariana and Matt held their reception in the Sofitel Hotel and they came with gorgeous photos.

Sofitel Hotel

Carnivale – A bright, fun spot in West Loop, Carnivale can host anything from the bachelorette party to the reception. With a rather large space, colorful wall decorations, and a staircase for the perfect dramatic entrance, Carnivale could be a perfect backdrop for a classic or a uniquely extraordinary wedding venue for dancing the night away.

Carnivale 

The Lobby at the Peninsula Hotel: While the restaurant itself doesn’t necessarily act as venue, The Lobby is situated right within the Peninsula Hotel, a venue that I’ve frequented many times myself. Enjoy yourself a nice lunch, then walk through the hotel to find the gorgeous spots perfect for formal photos, ceremonies, and receptions. Check out Kathy and Jason’s wedding that was held at the Peninsula Hotel.

The Lobby at Peninsula Hotel

Quartino’s – A classic Italian restaurant with two-stories, Quartino’s is a Chicago favorite located right off Michigan Avenue. While the space not quite large enough for a full reception, Quartino’s can provide the meeting area for the smaller, more intimate wedding-related events, from the engagement party to the welcome dinner to the bachelorette party.

Quartino’s Dining Hall

ZED 451 – With a sophisticated atmosphere and nearly 18,000 square feet to offer, ZED 451 can accommodate up to 500 seated guests for any type of intimate affair. The private dining room comes with a round table bar and modern decor for the loveliest wedding receptions and events. Susan and Conrad held their reception here and the photos are stunning.

Happy eating and venue hunting!