Best mani + pedi in Chicago…forreal forreal!

If I have a bride that wants to take her maids out to get their nails done, I always recommend ZaZaZoo.  Ever since my first manicure a little over a year and a half ago (thanks Lindsay), I have been hooked.  The Bucktown shop is so pretty that it makes the experience a nice treat than the nail shop around the corner.  And of course, I wouldn’t come back unless they do good work and leave my nails chip-free.  

Imagine my delight when I woke up to find out about the Gilt Groupe Chicago deal! They are offering a spa manicure and pedicure for $30!  I checked with Gilt and as long as there is space available, they will accept the deal for a group of girls.  ZaZaZoo takes reservations in advance so hopefully, you can take advantage of this offer.  Seriously girls, I haven’t had a better manicure/pedicure in the city.  They really do a fantastic job.

If you haven’t joined Gilt Groupe, you are, ahem, behind the times.  Join.  Immediately.  Click here for an invitation.

Kristi + David, the reception

Yesterday, I posted about Kristi and David’s ceremony. It was a relatively calm day… until the reception. Held at the gorgeous Cultural Center, the reception turned into quite the party. The couple were so perfectly relaxed and happy. It was a wonderful day and I was so happy that I was able to spend their day with them.

All photos by Paul Huynh.

The room, as always, looked absolutely stunning.
The couple brought in gorgeous wooden chivari chairs and green linens that made the room look even more beautiful!

The couple chose Chicago landmarks for their table numbers. The centerpieces included an array of flowers that were very colorful. I’m glad that Kristi didn’t keep with the “typical” neutral October palette!

The couple hired us to bring in a gobo with their monogram, that included highlighting their city, Chicago!
The monogram was discretly positioned throughout the room.

Another view of the table top.
The place cards, table number and menu all had the deep chocolate brown border, creating a cohesive look.

A view of the room during the dinner. I chose the picture because the detail on the walls is esquisite.
If I was to have a 200 person wedding in Chicago, I would have picked the Cultural Center.

What says Chicago more than a popcorn buffet?
The couple offered an array of flavors and cute little take home containers for the guests that opted not to indulge during the reception!

Nothing gets a party going like a band! David Rothstein packed the dance floor.

What else gets your guests out on the dance floor? A bride and groom that are dancing!

The couple says thank you with DIY custom water bottles.

Yum! As you can tell, the night was quite the party. Guests always love a snack right before the end of the night. Keeping with the other Chicago touches, Berghoff Catering brought on mini hot dogs the last hour of the reception.

Kristi and David, Congratulations! I hope that you are enjoying this first year of marriage!

New Chicago Wedding Planning Website

The Knot has launched a new website, Chicago Weddings. The website focuses on all things Chicago– vendors, real weddings, and message boards. It’s a fantastic resource for all Chicago brides.

I am so thrilled to be asked to be apart of their website! I will be writing a blog on the website with bi-weekly posts. Check it out!

New Chicago Venue– The Ivy Room

The newest venue in Chicago is take your breath away beautiful.

There aren’t many spaces in Chicago the include indoor and outdoor space. At The Ivy Room, you can have your cake and eat it too. The space can be configurable for both an indoor or outdoor ceremony. Located at 12 E. Ohio Street, The Ivy Room will certainly become the next in demand wedding venue.

If I was to get married here, I would first have my cocktail hour, then a sunset ceremony outdoors, followed by a boisterous reception.

Photography by Chris Guillen.

Interior Design for a Ballroom

What do you think about these designs?

For the swatch board, the top left 3 are the proposed colors of the draperies. The blue will be on the outside and the goldish tones will be on the inside.

The top right wood colored is to be restored to the color to a true walnut.

The two carpet swatches and the sample diagram demonstrates what the carpet will look like. The blue/chocolate brown swatch will be where the blue is on the diagram. The other swatch will be the on the beige portion of the diagram.

The chair is the proposed chair for right now. The color is to the right, although that is not definite yet.

Below are pictures of how the venue looks now:

A great room shot

The drapes that are being replaced.

The ceiling will stay the exact same.

The current carpet. I love it! When photographed in black and white, it looks very old school.

Wedding of Nicole & John

My friends, Nicole and Jon were married this summer at the Nature Museum. The wedding was lovely. Nicole had her friend from college, Maribeth Romslo, as her photographer. I thought Maribeth did a stunning job! Here are some pictures:

I love this photo but it really captures the ambiance of the Nature Musuem. You’re surrounded by nature but there are urban touches.

I love this parasol with Nicole in her gorgeous J.Crew gown. The gown is very Nicole- simple, chic, and romantic.

In lieu of floral centerpieces, there was a cake on each table!

Here is a great picture of the set-up of the room. The linens were gorgeous!

I love this picture of me and Denton during the cocktail hour.

Such a gorgeous picture! It is very romantic– and reminds me of Nicole.

The couple chose to sit with their family instead of at a head table.

During the toasts, the photographer caught me winking at Denton. I do it all of the time so it is sort of special that she caught it! It’s Denton’s favorite picture of all time.

Venue Search– In Progress

After helping plan many brides, I was ready to begin to plan my own. There is just one major difference: I (along with my dear FI) get to make all of the decisions. Um, yeah, that is one major difference. I may be the only knottie that loves to plan a wedding … as long as it is not my own!

With my initial criteria of a downtown Chicago venue that will host both the ceremony and reception for 100 guests to a sit down dinner, I narrowed the list down to 35. Once I called to find out availability and pricing, the list narrowed down to 19. After realizing that gratuity and tax was going to cost a whopping 33%, I narrowed the list down to 14.

Through some sort of spreadsheet magic, I’ve narrowed my list down to 7. Today, my dear FI and I went to see two venues. Although there was close to a $30 per person price difference, we found the venues to be comparable. No decisions have been made yet… but we are on our way!