Best of Bridal Beauty’s Recap!

I have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to blog about this fabulous bridal event.  In April, I planned the Best of Bridal Beauty Event hosted by Nicole Pearl of The Beauty The event was held at The James and was filled with an evening full of pampering. Nicole wrote about the event here.

All photos credit: Galina Shishakova

The services were over the top amazing and included manicures, massages, facial treatments, dry blowouts, airbrush tanning, makeup trials, and eyelash bar.

There were gift bags full of goodies valued over $100!

But that is not where the fun stopped… The ladies that attended had a chance to win fantastic prizes in the raffle that included: 

It was a great event and I am so excited to have had the opportunity to meet such fantastic ladies and be a part of the day! 

Interview with Jenn Dias, owner of Golden Girl

We cannot wait for Jenn, the owner of Golden Girl Chicago, to come to the Best of Bridal Beauty event at The James! Jenn has been featured at Allure, Seventeen, Michigan Avenue, as well as Life and Style.  We sat down for a few minutes to chat to her about her and her business.

First off, we LOVE your name.  Give us the 411 on how Golden Girl got started. 

Awe thank you!  When I moved to Chicago from Florida I was a pro cheerleader and had to remain tan. Following an ACL surgery I was stuck at home pale and gaining weight. I needed someone to come to me for a tan and at the time that service wasn’t offered in Chicago, so I jumped into educating myself on the mobile sunless tanning. 
We’ve all heard the terrible stories and seen those awful tans, what sets Golden Girl tans apart from others? 
I think what really sets us apart is our insistence on a believable looking tan, and the constant education we give our clients on preparation and maintenance. It’s so key!
Can you give my readers some insight on the Golden Girl experience? 
I love our clients to feel super special and the we are keenly in tune to what their needs are. Glowing above and beyond with a cheerleader’s attitude is everything for me. I love touching every detail of the client experience from sound to scents to the studio aesthetic as well as the tanning application. 
What kinds of airbrush tans do you provide? 
Our signature tan has become our express glow where clients can shower within 3 hours they love it! 
How do you match colors for different skin types?
Matching color is a similar philosophy to picking out makeup you train your eye to know skin types and undertones. All Golden Girl technicians go through skincare fundamentals with me during their training process which can take months. 
What do you suggest brides to do to get that perfect glow on their wedding day? 
Brides should tan two days prior so the tan photographs perfectly for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding day. Brides should follow our preparation instructions to a tee.
Your list of tips on your website are amazing. Should brides set up a trial appointment before their wedding day? 
Thank you I’m passionate about my tips. We love a good trial to allow clients to be perfectly comfortable with the process prior to the big day. As a future bride myself I hear how little extra you want to worry about anything that day. 
Do you have any beauty tips for brides leading up to their big day?
During the summer season protect your skin with SPF also wear the same cut swimsuit to prevent correcting tan lines before the wedding. 
What is the most exciting subject for you in terms of beauty?
Soul surfing. The wave of women becoming super proactive about their inner happiness which is parlaying into healthy skin, hair and nails by reducing stress levels. I’m seeing so many women of all ages truly do work on life balance….they are glowing, literally. 
Are there any tools or specific products that you just can’t get enough of right now?
Amika dry shampoo is SO working for me, the smell and the feel are so lovely. 
Name three products that you cannot live without:
Amika dry shampoo, Simple face wipes, and our Stay Golden lotion, not just because it’s my line but because it’s awesome for the skin and smells fab.
If you are in a rush, what is the one thing you do before leaving the house? 
PS.  An Eventful Life is giving away a ticket to our event on their blog.  Be sure to enter!

Best of Bridal Beauty at the James

Every time I go to an event hosted by Nicole Pearl of, I always have such a delightful time!  The events are filled with incredible beauty services and make for such a fun night out. Therefore, I am thrilled to announce this upcoming event, The Best of Bridal Beauty, to be held on Thursday, April 10th at the James.

The event is going to have endless (if you have the time, I dare you to try them all) services:

manicures * massages * facial treatments * dry blowouts *
airbrush tanning * makeup trials* eyelash bar

Plus everyone goes home with a luxe gift bag with over $100+ of products and gift certificates!

Sounds amazing?  Well, the raffle prizes are the icing on the cake!  We’ve put together some amazing raffle prizes including:

Please click here for tickets!

The Bridal Lounge at The James

I am so thrilled to finally share the photos from the bridal event at The James Hotel earlier this month! The night was filled with so many wonderful brides-to-be and amazing wedding experts. The atmosphere was stylish and fun, the perfect combination. Re-live the night with me, in the images below!

Florist: Larkspur
Hair & Makeup: Asha Salon
Cake: Flour
Photographer: Dennis Lee Photography 

The James was the ideal location for this bridal event 

Courtney Callahan showcased her beautiful wedding invitations.

Guests could not stop raving at the cake from Flour Bakery.  It was beyond delicious!

Cage & Aquarium could do no wrong! Kevin kept the party bumpin’ with a perfect playlist mash-up of decades and genres.


Honey Bee Wedding all smiles meeting so many fabulous Chicago brides 

Dennis Lee Photography team captured all the images of the night while he met with the brides.

Some of our wonderful brides showing off their ring finger bling! 

Larkspur Floral Designs created stunning arrangements for the event.

The Bridal Lounge was made possible by the James Hotel and their wonderful event space.  It was such a great night at such a fabulous venue.

Glazed & Infused brought their A-game with their personalized donuts.
Truth be told, it took so much self-control to have just one.

Asha Salon had plenty of advice to create your own perfect wedding day beauty look.

The James had such a comfortable feel, guests kicking back and enjoying each others company. 

The James Lounge room was set as for the after party.  Guests could catch a movie, enjoy a glass of drink, or indulge in a late night snack that included truffled popcorn!

The goodie bags for every bride!

Weddings at the James

I am so excited for the Bridal Lounge at the James.  To show you WHY, I am sharing three of our past weddings that were held at the James.  

Melissa and Anthony were married in the Spring and had both their ceremony and reception in the Great Room.   Melissa chose hot pinks, bold reds and touches of green grass to highlight the James chocolate brown palette.  To see more photos from their wedding, click here and here.

Amy and Gary had a winter wedding with an icy blue and chocolate brown color palette.  Amy’s favorite flowers, hydrangeas, were used everywhere! To see more, click here and here.

Irene and Josh reception was full of fun touches.  Irene chose a mix of her two favorite colors, bright pink and purple, that complimented the Great Room. For more photos, click here and here.

Bridal Lounge at the James

I have been so anxious to share this exciting news with you. If you are in the Chicago area, mark your calendars for Thursday, January 17th! The James will be hosting a bridal event with an amazing group of wedding experts.

I would love to meet some of my fun + fabulous readers! xo

Irene + Joshua’s city chic reception

My last post focused on Irene and Joshua’s ceremony. Today’s post is all about their gorgeous reception.
All photos by Amanda Hein.

What an elegant shot of Irene’s fabulous shoe.

Irene made these fabulous escort cards herself!

The tall centerpieces were full and luscious.

The one of a kind cake was designed by the amazing bakery, Flour.

A close-up photo of the pink and purple color scheme.

The table lay-out at the James. I love bright colors against the chocolate brown.

Details on the gift table.

One of my favorite sweetheart tables of all time!

The James ballroom is perfect for the modern bride.

All catering is done by David Burke. It’s delicious!

Irene and Joshua agreed to keep the chalk drawing displayed for the reception.

Dancing the night away!

Did someone say dessert?

The couple had an extensive dessert table.

Since most guests were full after the cake, the couple had to go containers to take home some treats from the dessert table.

I had such a great time working with Irene and Joshua. I wish the both of you a lifetime of happiness!

Irene + Joshua’s city chic wedding

DJ: MDM Entertainment
Cake: Flour
Church: Old St. Pat’s
Florist: Wishing Well
Hair: Sharon Daniel Salon
Hotel: James Hotel
Make-up: Sonia Roselli
Photographer: Amanda Hein
Reception: James Hotel

All photos by Amanda Hein.

Irene and Joshua are a really fun couple. They really planned the wedding together. Joshua made it to every meeting, which is quite impressive. I miss our meetings because I always loved checking out Irene’s latest handbag. The girl has quite the collection!

The day began (and ended) at the James Hotel.

Irene splurged on these lovelies.

A soft and gorgeous bouquet to compliment the dress!

Isn’t this gorgeous?

The bride pinned it on her bouquet.

Irene seriously contemplated if she should wear a birdcage veil. I am so glad that she did.

Those rosettes make my heart swoon.

Irene picked a stunning palette for her wedding day.

After a morning of getting ready, we headed to Old St. Pat’s.

The details in the church are amazing.

Irene made these marvelous programs herself!

The bride walking down the aisle…

I just love when a photographer catches the couple talking during the ceremony.

The ceremony

One of my favorite alter shots of all time!

After the ceremony, the bridal party went around the city to take photos.

Irene posed with her lovely ladies.

And this photo captures Irene and Joshua. Always smiling.

I will have the second post tomorrow!

Amy + Gary, The Ceremony + Reception

Yesterday, I posted about Amy + Gary’s wedding day. Today, I am going to post about the actual ceremony and reception.

All photos by Life on Prints.

All of the gorgeous paper items were designed by Gourmet Invitations.

For the ceremony, the room was set up in a semi-circle so that there were guests surrounding the couple.

The Bride and her Father process into the ballroom.

The couple under their DIY huppah.

Amy + Gary saying their vows. I love the lighting at the James!

The first kiss!

Gourmet Invitations made the escort cards.

In the foyer, the bride displayed wedding photos of parents and grandparents.

The gorgeous cake made by Cake Girls.

Esther from Scarlet Petal designed the centerpieces.

Tifany also designed the table numbers slash menus.

The Cake Girls also made the groom’s cake that reflected Gary’s poker hobby.
Amy ordered custom cocktail napkins from For Your Party.
The Father of the Bride made the audience laugh and the Bride blush.
The Maid of Honor gave the most lovely, heartfelt toast to the Bride.
If you look at the background, you’ll see that the amazing chalk drawing of the city.

Amy during the first dance, “My Love is You Love” by Whitney Houston.
The couple snuck out for some gorgeous evening photos.
The best part of getting married in the winter: the lights on the trees.

Amy + Gary, The Beginning

With some of my clients, we become friends. The friendship varies greatly on scale greatly. Sometimes, we become Facebook friends and keep in touch on occasion. I hear about their vacations and plans to buy a home. Occasionally, the friendship includes emails every few months so we can talk about their married life, work, babies, etc. And then there is Amy.
The day we met, our friendship was sealed within minutes.
Amy: “I love your shoes.”
Me: “Thank you. They’re Lacroix.”
Amy (raises eyebrow): “Lacroix dah-lingggg?”
Me (realizing that I found one of my people): “Lacroix, dahling, Lacroix.”

Now if you have never seen the British show, Absolutely Fabulous, then you have no idea what we are talking about. The show is about two friends that drink far too much champagne and adore fashion. That’s Amy and me.
But this post is about Amy + Gary… so without further ado, here are first 2009 wedding blog post!

All photos by Life on Prints.

Cake: Cake Girls

Ceremony + Reception: James Hotel
DJ: Toast and Jam
Florist: Scarlet Petal
Hair: Mario Tricocci
Hotel: James Hotel
Make-up: Rachel Reiman
Officiant: Rabbi Evan Moffic from Chicago Sinai
Photographer: Life on Prints
Videographer: Pat Percino

The groom, Gary, is from NYC. This photo was a must!

While getting ready, Amy would randomly jump up and down, “I’m getting married!”

Amy is getting dressed with help from her Maid of Honor, Jessica, before meeting her groom.

The pearl necklace is very Amy: classic with a modern edge. Jewelry is by Dabby Reid.

You would have no idea it is only 10 degrees out by the look on their faces.
Amy is heading outside for their First Meeting.

The couple heads back in doors to exchange gifts.
Amy was delighted by her Speedy bag.

the bride + groom

Amy took some amazing portraits. Her dress is by Val Stefani.

The James allows for some amazing backdrops.

Amy with her maids. The dresses were by Mori Lee.

Gary and the groomsmen wore Chuck Taylors.


After photos, the group met up in the Library for drinks before the ketubah signing and the ceremony.

Amy primps with her bestie, Jessica.

Ketubah signing in a private room before the ceremony.