favorite wedding websites

Favorite Wedding Websites

Favorite Wedding Websites

Wedding inspiration seems to be all around us, and it’s no surprise that the Internet is full of sources of inspiration, no matter what your style, date, or budget.  However, sometimes it can be difficult to know just where to start, as there are just SO many great websites out there.  Here we have outlined several of our favorites, as well as sites that we often hear couples mention to us.  Happy browsing!

Style Me Pretty: This is without a doubt probably the most popular wedding blog out there.  SMP features some pretty incredible weddings of all different styles, offering great inspiration for couples everywhere.  They also feature some great DIY projects!

Wedding Chicks: Again, this is a great overall resource, with gorgeous inspiration.  Pay special attention to the tabs for “DIY projects” and “free printables”.  They have some great printables!

once wedOnce Wed: This site is similar to the two above, with a great DIY section.  Their “wedding ideas” tab also offers some great inspiration photos, easily pinnable on Pinterest.

Ruffled: We really love this blog.  They have great inspiration and some really good DIYs.  We also love their “local blogs” section, where you can search weddings they have featured by state.  This is cool because you can also get ideas for vendors, locations, and seasonal favorites.  (Yes, there are several weddings from Illinois!)  The “recycle your wedding” section also offers a cool place to sell and buy wedding goodies if you are are interested in going that route.

100 Layer Cake: This site has some nice DIYs, all with a similar vibe and feel: a combination of feminine + whimsical + dainty + a little earthy.  So if that’s close to your vibe, check it out.

Green Wedding Shoes: This has a similar feel to several of the other sites, with several DIY projects.  Many of the DIYs are fairly common, but they also have a few DIYs that we haven’t seen.  We’re currently crushing skull escort cards; they’re so rustic chic!)

Intimate Weddings: This site features smaller and as the name implies, more intimate weddings.  This is particularly nice for couples who know they want to go this route, as the site can be a reminder that you don’t have to host a 400 guest party to have a memorable celebration.


Vendor Spotlight Rosemary Fanti

Vendor Spotlight Rosemary Fanti

Vendor Spotlight Rosemary FantiVendor Spotlight Rosemary Fanti
Rosemary Fanti is a nationally recognized and published fashion, wedding and event illustrator whose work speaks for itself when it comes to capturing the most important moments in one’s life.  Her perfectly detailed work can be the ultimate keepsake and even double as a timeless piece of art to display in your married home. The portraits are impeccable and the idea of having an artist on-hand at your wedding to create a live illustration perhaps of a moment you may have even missed, is also just about the most romantic thing we can think of!

And the options are pretty great. Ms. Fanti will create a live version or will book a sitting for after the wedding sessions for a more intimate experience.  And how about this for Grooms looking for a perfect gift for their new bride? A custom illustration of her in her dress- now that’s a surprise of a lifetime!

Each piece is hand signed by the artist and the ideas for gifts don’t stop at weddings. Rosemary creates classic sketches for new moms and their babies, couples celebrating a milestone anniversary and capturing major events like birthdays and family celebrations.  It’s a whole new take on portraiture but it’s also a complete ad total homage to classic illustration and we love it!

Rosemary Fanti has now become a Chicago institution and will dream up something incredible for any special occasion or even not so special occasion. Her website features people and pets, celeb sketches, and classic family pieces that delight clients for years. But for our purposes we really can’t think of a better way to document the big day than with an original piece of art you’ll have forever!

Contact Rosemary Fonti
Vendor Spotlight Rosemary Fanti

Vendor Spotlight Rosemary Fanti

vendor spotlight rosemary fonti

vendor spotlight rosemary fonti Vendor Spotlight Rosemary Fanti


spin spun

Spin Spun Cotton Candy Chicago

Spin Spun Cotton Candy ChicagoWe recently saw an amazing photo on a food blog of said blogger being presented with a gorgeous mound of fluffy pink cotton candy dressed with edible gold glitter and donning a birthday candle. Now that is what we call an upgrade on the typical free piece of cake on your birthday.  After doing a little research on how to make my own, and by that we mean BUY my own and sprinkle it with sparkles, we came across this adorable ( and local!) vendor, Spin Spun.

Spin Spun prides itself on being all-natural, gluten- free, nut- free, kosher, and containing as little as 100 calories per serving. It’s fun and super health conscious- 2 things we love! The sugar is even organic and to top it all off, they are serving up sweetness with a conscience- they are even fair trade certified!

So, now that we know that Spin Spun’s crazy cool concept works for just about every event and every palate, let’s get into the important details- the flavors! Although, the company claims this cute recipe is the secret to their one of a kind sugary magic ( see below), some of the innovative flavors include lemon coconut, salted caramel, and pistachio just to name a few!

Spin-Spun Cotton Candy Recipe (Same for each of our more than 25 flavors) :

1 Tablespoon of Inspiration

1/2 Cup of Passion

1 Tablespoon of Love

2 Teaspoons of Fun

1 Cup of Nature

2 cups of Awesomeness

And even CEO Seth Bankier can’t resist this old-time favorite. The idea originally came about while he was working in his office and suddenly had a craving for cotton candy. Simple as that, and about a million hours of research and development later ( tough gig, right?) Spin Spun was formed! The company is currently available for custom events and weddings and we can’t think of a more exciting surprise for wedding guests that grabbing a stick of cotton candy customized with your very own wedding colors! To check for availability or just to drool over the photos, here is all the info on Spin Spun!

Spin Spun Cotton Candy Chicago

Couples Choice Award 2014

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, is thrilled to announce that Music By Design has been selected as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014 for DJ Services in Chicago, IL.!

The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Music By Design’s selection as a Choice Awards™ 2014 winner was selected based on the positive experiences expressed by  past clients on WeddingWire, the world’s largest wedding review site with over one million reviews.  While many industry awards are given by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014 winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Music By Design.

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014 are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on professional achievements from the previous year. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.  As a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014 winner, Music By Design is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.

“Each year, WeddingWire looks forward to celebrating the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Now in its fifth year, the Couples’ Choice Awards™ program continues to recognize the elite wedding professionals who exemplify a commitment to quality, service and professionalism. These businesses were chosen by our bridal community for their responsiveness and dedication to their clients over the past year. We are honored to recognize Music By Design for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”

Music By Design is thrilled to be one of the top DJ Companies in the WeddingWire Network of sites, which include leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ for 2014.

For more information about Music By Design, click Chicago Wedding DJ.

To learn more about the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™, please visit WeddingWire.com.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire®, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only
online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For
engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding
vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite
of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge.
For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and
on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility,
manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on
WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE:
MSO), Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.

For the official press release: click here

the knot best of weddings

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2014

the knot best of weddingsMusic By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2014

Music By Design named winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2014

Chicago, IL (Januray 2, 2014) — Music By Design is pleased to announce they have been selected as a 2014 ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, a special section featured on TheKnot.com. TheKnot.com is the number-one wedding destination, most trusted by brides.

The Knot Best of Weddings 2014 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources. Whether they’re trying to find the wedding dress salon with the best service in Chicagoland, the most creative wedding photographers, top cake bakers or the hottest reception sites, engaged couples across the country want the inside scoop on the best from real brides.

Music By Design is also included in The Knot Hall of Fame. Comprised of winners of the annual Best of Weddings, a by-brides-for-brides guide to the top wedding vendors in 80-plus cities across the U.S., the Hall of Fame inducts wedding vendors who have won four or more Best of Weddings awards. This honorable list of 331 inductees includes less than 2 percent of wedding professionals.

knot best of weddings
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About XO Group Inc.
XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include WeddingChannel.com, The Nest, The Bump, TheBlush.com and Ijie.com. XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media – from the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video – and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing. The company is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (XOXO) and is headquartered in New York City. Follow XO Group on Twitter @xogroupinc.

For more information, please contact weddingreviews@theknot.com.

To view the official press release, click The Knot Best of Weddings 2014


Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2014


Chicago Spring Weddings On The Water

Chicago Spring Weddings On The Water

Chicago Spring Weddings On The Water.

Winter is upon us. For many, these months can bring about a hermit like attitude, but why fall into lethargy when you can look ahead and begin to plan your wedding day this spring?

For those of you hoping to plan your special day this spring, it’s important to begin your planning process as soon as possible. Although in a perfect world a wedding would just fall into place beautifully, sadly, that’s not the case, and action must be taken to ensure your vision can become an admirable reality. Anyone looking for a unique wedding day with traditional flares, as well as extra special memories should consider the advantages of holding your marriage ceremony on the Valara VI luxury yacht out of Chicago. While miniscule details can be pushed off to a date closer to the ceremony, the following things are necessary to set in stone now:

  1. Wedding Date – What date and day of the week would you like to have your wedding date. Take into consideration your loved one’s work schedules and lifestyle.
  2. Time of Day –  Are you looking for a sunset ceremony or something earlier in the day? Each time of day has it’s pro’s and con’s, and only you can make the decision!
  3. Guest List  – Who’s getting invited to your wedding? Family only? The entire family? Some family and some friends? All of your friends and some family? Although this part of the planning process may seem easy, choosing your guest list can often be the hardest, especially when considering other people’s feelings.

Think a Chicago spring wedding on the water is the right for you? Head on over to Valara to view options and see what other people have to say about their experiences aboard the Yacht!
Chicago Spring Weddings On The Water

Isle Media

Isle Media

This past weekend we did an event at Heritage Prairie Farms in Elburn. Sometimes you work with a wedding vendor who is head and shoulders above the rest. Isle Media is one of those vendors and their work is displayed in the video below. Enjoy!

Liz and Skyler Same-Day-Edit (Chicago, Illinois) from Isle Media on Vimeo.

summer wedding

Midwest Destinations: Summer Edition

Midwest Destinations: Summer Edition. Summer vacation season is in full swing and as Chicagoans, most of us have a more local spot that we have been frequenting for years or just recently discovered. It’s easy to forget that even though we live in or around one of the greatest, most dynamic cities in the world, we are also surrounded by stellar beauty and summer is the time to highlight some of the most gorgeous spots around. And if you are anything like us, every time you hear Tim Allen’s voice urging you to check out the many tourist spots in Pure Michigan, you almost can’t believe someplace so close could be so incredibly beautiful. So we’ve singled out some of our favorite spots for girl’s getaways, local destination wedding locales, and daytrips!


New Buffalo Michigan:  Just about an hour and a half outside of Chicago, this is the go-to vacation spot for so many life-long Chicagoans. Perfectly perched on a grand strip of Lake Michigan, this harbor town in known for its gorgeous waterside properties, quintessential shops, and delicious hotspots for everything from ice cream to burgers and high-end seafood fare. And for those of you who are full-time city dwellers, when we say Lake Michigan, you might as well forget everything you know about our idea of the “Lakefront.”  Although we love our city water feature, this water is much more beach friendly and seemingly more accessible. This could be THE spot for a scenic semi-destination wedding or a perfect firl’s getaway bachelorette party weekend! Our friends over at Glossed and Found recently feature New Buffalo in their annual vacation issue and listed the following as must-see, must-try and must-stay picks!

Stay: Grand Marina Resort (wow!)

Eat: Redamak’s, Bentwood Tavern, Oink’s


Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: Ahh, The Hamptons of the Midwest, right? Well, maybe not quite as pretentious, but all the same this place is gorgeous! So what’s new in LG, since this spot has long been touted as the place just north of the border and again, about an hour and a half from the city? How about the amazing Livingsocial deals from the iconic Abbey Inn and Spa? A steal for those of us who know how ideal the setting of the Inn is located right on the water and full of charm and a top notch spa. They also are no stranger to hosting super chic weddings. This is a perennial go-to for wedding venue shopping and we must say, we wouldn’t mind being a guest and forcing ourselves to take a nice long weekend vacation!

Stay: Grand Geneva or The Abbey

Eat: Fontana Grill, Ristorante Brissago, Hunt Club



Types of Wedding Photographers By SimplyBridal

Last week SimplyBridal created a list of the shots you much have, this week they’ve (we’ve) broken it down for you a little differently. Based on the certain level of experience and postproduction work you require for your photographs, and your personal budget there are a variety of options for you to choose from. Also, were you ever curious as to how your wedding photographer/photography team spends their day?

TypesOfWeddingPhotography V1.0

Wedding Photography Style by SimplyBridal

Every couple goes into their wedding day with a different idea of the special moments they want captured by their photographer. Whether you’re looking for a photojournalistic, artistic/editorial, or classic photography style SimplyBridal has helped you create a list of the must-have shots with the gown, the couple, the kiss, the bridemaids, and the cake. Make sure you study this infographic so you can get all your critical photos!

hair-styles V1.0