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!

Boo to Rolf’s

We are so disappointed.

We had our cake tasting at Rolf’s. Our cake is, in a sense, complimentary, as it is included in our hotel package. Here’s what happened:

Despite having an appointment, arriving at the proper time and being quickly attended to, we spent most of the time at Rolf’s by ourselves and away from any employee and unable to ask questions.

We were quickly seated and shown a book of cake designs. None of the designs really struck our fancy, so we started to inquire about custom cake designs. Most of our questions were greeted with a response of “no”. After much prying, Rolf’s reluctantly acknowledged they might be able to create a custom cake; it seemed they really had no desire to help us get the cake we really wanted.

After our lackluster “design session”, our consultant, Joanne, left to get cake and filling samples for us. She dropped off the samples and quickly explained the four cake flavors in front of us. She mentioned that we had the choice of several more flavors, but that these are not available for tasting. We both found this very upsetting. If they only wanted to prepare four types of cake, shouldn’t we at least be able to choose the flavors? It’s impossible to choose the flavor of cake you want if you are unable to try it. It’s also hard to ask questions when no one is there to ask.

Then, Joanne left the room for several minutes to get us our beverages. While she was gone, we started tasting. We were trying to find our preferred combination of cake and filling flavor. When Joanne returned, she was upset we had started on fillings without deciding on cake. We were quite surprised to be chastised for mixing and matching. How were we supposed to decide what we wanted if we couldn’t mix them? Regardless of Joanne’s opinion of how a cake tasting should be run– which is different from any cake tasting that we have ever been to– we are the customers. We should be able to mix the frosting and fillings with the cake.

After explaining that they prefer to separate the two, Joanne explained the filling and frosting options and quickly left. Again, she was unavailable for questions. After several minutes, Joanne returned to record our selections and to wrap up the tasting.

All in all, we spent about 20 cold minutes at Rolf’s. After spending one and half hours with the baker when doing the tasting for our groom’s cake, we found this extremely disappointing. The reluctance to help us customize the cake, the lack of cake flavors at the tasting, the lack of availability for questioning and the generally rude demeanor of our consultant really left us with no confidence in Rolf’s. In addition, the cake and frosting were mediocre. We are really disappointed with the experience.

In fact, we’re torn with what to do next. Rolf’s is the Allegro’s preferred vendor, but we have little to no confidence in them and are having trouble booking anything with them. However, to go another route would see the wedding cake part of our package with the Allegro go unused.

What would you do?

a) Suck it up and use Rolf’s. It’s free.

b) Find a new fabulous bakery and bring in our own cake.