The Cotillion

Hello, local Chicago area brides! We are featuring a reception venue that some of you may have already scouted out. The Cotillion in Palatine, IL is a fantastic place for your reception. The outside is lavish and elegant with white pillars and inside does not disappoint either. We love the huge spaces in this banquet hall. You have three room options depending on the size of your wedding. The meal plans here are excellent and affordable as well!

First room option is the Ballroom which is the best choice if your wedding is very large. This room can fit up to 900 people.  The second room is the Crown room which is better suited for mid sized gatherings. The third room is the Tiara room and is again great for mid sized weddings. The final room is the Regal room which can be combined with the Tiara room for extra space. We love the options at The Cotillion and the even staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. Each room comes with a lovely dance floor for your guests to be out partying and having lots of fun!

For the menu The Cotillion offers a complete seven course meal, four hours of open bar, complimentary champagne toasts for honors table, unlimited wine with dinner for your guests, wedding cake, hors d’Oeuvres for cocktail hour and many other options you get to pick and choose. We are a fan of their cream of chicken soup and the broiled filet mignon! The tasting is all part of the fun and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in their offerings.

As always it’s a good idea to call ahead and book a time to sit down with their coordinator to see if you like the venue. The opulent chandeliers and wall decor give each room a unique and glitzy flare. If you want elegance and sparkle then The Cotillion is for you! The spacious layout of The Cotillion is great for guests to move around and we like the space set up for a DJ or live band. If you’re looking for a venue that is all in one then try The Cotillion. It is located at:

360 S Creekside Drive
Palatine, IL 60074
(847) 934-5500

 

 

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Hello brides of fall! You’ve planned everything down to the last detail but life never fails to impress and something can and will go wrong. That’s where your wedding day emergency kit comes in handy. This little tool kit for you and your bridesmaids might not be needed but it’s nice to have just in case.

What should you put in this wedding day emergency kit? We have some suggestions. First, you will need to decide if you want to make your own or buy one. The kits are not expensive on sites like amazon. If you are more DIY then we’ve got some essentials you need.

  • Breath mints
  • Tweezers
  • Clear Polish
  • Lipstick and other make up fixes like remover, concealer, eye liner and small samples of the eye shadow you’re using
  • Face mist to set all that make up so it stays on
  • Perfume
  • Stain remover
  • Sewing kit
  • Fashion tape
  • Aspirin or Ibuprofen
  • Snacks
  • Glue
  • Band aids
  • Sunblock if you’ll be out doors

We recommend putting this all together in one glittery bag! It’s fun to buy new make up bags and most importantly it’ll be easy to carry around.

If you want to be generous you can make or buy a wedding day emergency kit for your bridesmaids too. The bag will have similar items like floss, breath mints and fashion tape.  And if you put in different items into the bags you’ll have all your bases covered if your master wedding day emergency kit doesn’t fulfill all your needs. We also recommend a few extra goodies to make them feel special and taken care of:

  • Tampons because you never want to be without one
  • Favorite snacks that could be individualized to each girl
  • Baby powder
  • Bag of each maid’s favorite color
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Pen and Paper if your girls need to send messages to your groom or other bridal party guests
  • White duct tape just in case
  • Small bottles of alcohol because they may need a little liquid courage or they will need to give it to you!

No matter which kit or what you put into it, it’s a great idea to have them around just in case!

Surprises before the Wedding

You think you’ve prepared everything – the catering, DJ, guest list, venue, dress, bridal party and even a plan B if the weather is bad. But there are some surprises before the wedding that you may not have thought about. Let’s take a look at a few of them so you can be as prepared as possible!

  1. One of the surprises before the wedding is that the ten minutes before the ceremony are the most nerve wracking. You have spent so much time getting ready, having a few drinks (or not) and having a lot of fun with your bridesmaids. It’s easy to forget sometimes that now you have to walk down the aisle in front of family and friends! But, not to worry, just remember your better half is waiting for you and this is a day to celebrate. You might be anxious you’ll step on your dress or say the wrong thing but those are what make ceremonies memorable and personal.

2 . A second thing to consider as surprises before the wedding is that you may want some time alone. You’d think that this day is meant to be shared with everyone and you are obligated to greet and thank all your guests. That’s not wrong but you also might want to carve out just a few minutes for you and your new partner. You both have made a serious, life long commitment and it can be nice to just be alone for a moment.

3. Lastly, something that you already know but we want to mention is that it will never go exactly as planned. You can prepare for all contingencies but life is unexpected and chaotic. That’s what makes it beautiful too! So, if you embrace it and go with the flow we promise you’ll be happier. Ask yourself, is can this be solved easily? Does this affect my guests? Am I still having fun? If the answers are pretty to fix then just go ahead and enjoy your big day!

 

Fall Wedding

It’s that amazing time of year again – Fall! A fall wedding can be perfect for those brides who love rich color palettes and crisp air. We have several great ideas for you to try!

  1. Instead of confetti, bubbles or rice, have guests throw leaves instead! You and your groom will be showered with beautiful, vibrant foliage that will look amazing in pictures. You can even make your own leaves if you don’t want what mother nature has to offer. Many craft stores will sell paper leave that mimic the real ones!

2. For your fall wedding you might be worried about getting cold. We love a fall blazer over a wedding gown! It keeps the glam but also gives you a great sense of style. It’s edgy and unconventional but you’ll make a great statement!

3.  Fall wedding food is the best! You can play around with favorites like apple pie or pumpkin pie. They can be served in a variety of forms like apple pie pops or have a pie dessert bar. The options for these comfort foods will keep guests full and warm.

4. What fall wedding would be complete without table decor? We love the floating branches with candles look. Even if you’re not going for a rustic wedding this elegant piece still gives your tables the romantic light you want!

5. If you are a bride who wants the more rustic chic feel then we recommend hosting your reception at least half way outside. That way you can have bonfires! Especially if your wedding is kid friendly because who wouldn’t want to roast marshmellows and make s’mores? Of course, you need a venue that will allow for an open fire. We think you’ll love the added excitement and great smell to your reception!

Wedding Bonfire

5 Ways to Decorate Tables

Hello Brides! We have 5 ways to decorate tables this week. Tables at your reception leave an impression and will be where your guests reside for a lot of the evening. You want to make sure to decorate tables in the style you want but that is also fun.

  1. If you’re a Disney aficionado why not try to decorate tables with some Mickey Mouse ears or fairy tale items!You can have each guests name on the hats or items as well to make it another way to personalize the tables. It’s a fun way to give your guests both a table place holder and something to take home.

    2. Mirrored glass vases. We love to decorate tables with mirrored glass vases because they’re elegant and also create the illusion of more space. The mirrors catch the light in a romantic way and you can put candles in the vases for even more light. Or you can put flowers and greenery in the vases.

     

    3.  Speaking of lighting we love the decoration scheme using three forms of light. You can use the table center pieces, floor lights and chandeliers from the ceiling to create the ambiance you want. The cool thing about floor lights is you can usually choose the color and have it change periodically!

     

    4. You can decorate tables with cute menu bags as well. The bag can contain a baguette or chocolate and on the bag you can put the menu for the reception or a beloved recipe! Guests will love having the course menu as well as the treat inside.

     

    5.  Lastly, we love to decorate tables with two tier pieces. They are grand and elegant but are also elevated enough that guests won’t have to try to look at each other through the center pieces. No one wants to constantly be shifting the table decor.

     

     

Winter Wedding

A winter wedding isn’t what most brides think of as ideal but we have a few ideas that might change your mind! Or perhaps you are a bride who loves the cold weather, the boots, jackets and best of all snow. There’s no working around super hot and sticky weather and you can get gorgeous pictures in winter time too.

For your color palette try not to over do the red and green or your winter wedding may end up more Holiday themed than you want. We love subtle accents of glitter like sliver and gold. You could do a white velvet runner up the aisle or satin is very elegant. Accents of plum and darker colors also really compliment a winter wedding theme. Your bridesmaids dresses don’t have to be heavy or covered up either – try having them wear cute mittens in the out doors photos or boots for snow!

For your winter wedding flowers you don’t need to stick the regular roses or calla lillies. Instead, try fuller flowers like hydrangeas or ranunculuses. They provide a still romantic feel but also add depth to your bouquet. These flowers are also perfect for dressing up with a simple white ribbon or greenery. You could try crystals as well for that frosted look.

Another thing to keep in mind for a winter wedding is the escort cards. If you’d rather not include holiday themes like sleighs or bells, try elegant hand calligraphed cards in silver or gold ink. You can decorate the entire table in glitter and snow accents to make them stand out! Also try hanging them from a crystal chandelier center piece.

A final great thing for a winter wedding is the cocktail hour! Instead of the usual foods you  think of like mini steaks or personalized drinks you can serve egg nog and white chocolate drinks. You can of course off the comfort drinks of warm apple cider and regular hot chocolate. Or why not have a hot chocolate drink bar so guests can make their own? If you’re a winter bride then don’t sweat the popularity of a June wedding – you get the amazing backdrop of snow and holiday magic!

 

Ceremony Backdrop

The ceremony backdrop is an often overlooked detail in planning a wedding! How do you envision yourself standing with your significant other? Are there flowers behind you, lights, fish tanks or arbor arches? The ceremony backdrop isn’t exactly the main thing brides need to focus on right away. First, you should pick out your venue where you’ll have the ceremony and go from there. If the space you chose allows props to be put up behind you that’s great! We have a few ideas that you might have thought of.

First, if you’re doing a winter wedding but don’t want the hassle of the cold try a projection of a winter wonderland behind you! It’s great for the ambiance of bare trees and snow.

You and your spouse might be travel enthusiasts and what better way to add that flare to your ceremony space with a world map? You can also add paper decorations like planes or cars. We love making a unique space that people haven’t seen before and that says something about you two as a couple.

Or, perhaps you are more of a fairy tale bride! A great ceremony back drop that adds great flare could be an open story book that starts with “once upon a time”. You can add greenery and glitter to make it sparkle.

Finally, maybe the ceremony backdrop is already gorgeous. Sometimes picking a venue is as much for space accommodation as it is aesthetics. If the space if gorgeous and already has the style you love then why change it? You could spice it up with ribbons and greenery if you want too but remember it’ll save you money if you don’t need to decorate the ceremony space and the reception space!

Do’s and Don’ts of Finding your Wedding Dress

The Do’s and Dont’s of finding your wedding dress can be daunting but we’ve narrowed it down to just a few! You might think you need to rush out and find that perfect dress but hold your horses. This should and can be a fun, exciting and glamorous adventure – not a crazy stressful situation.

The first Do’s and Don’ts of finding your wedding dress we want to share are the DO’s:

  1. Do take into consideration your body shape. We all would love to be a model with sky high legs and tiny waist but realistically if you don’t look like that now, you probably won’t on your wedding day. Take some time to really think about what flatters your body type like a well placed ruffle, silk, lace, what color of white or perhaps no white at all. The silhouette of the wedding dress should make you feel comfortable.
  2. Do bring your camera or phone to the dress appointment if the boutique allows them. This is because mirrors can’t capture all the angles and you want to look your best on the big day! That big bow on the back of your dress might look great from the side but from behind it might be atrocious. Feel free to call ahead at your planned venue and ask if they will allow a few snaps.
  3. Do try on as many dresses you feel the need. This is your wedding day not just a summer picnic. There’s no need to feel rushed or pressured to just try on a few. Dresses look different on the hangers than they will on your body. So, if you need to try on 30 dresses then that’s what it takes! On the other hand, you don’t need to be trying on dresses for “fun” that your cousin thinks are hilariously gaudy.

The Do’s and Don’ts of finding your wedding dress won’t be complete without some Don’ts:

  1. Don’t forget the top of your wedding dress. Many people forget about this and see only the fantastic hemline or giant skirt. The top of your dress will be in the most photographs so be conscious of what it looks like and what shape it gives you. You can also accessorize the top line of the dress to make it pop even more.
  2. Don’t schedule your dress appointment later in the day. The earlier the better! You’ll get fresh staff who haven’t had hours of dealing with picky brides. And, their merchandise won’t be as picked over. You are more likely to get the full attention of staffers and be less rushed earlier in the day. There is no certain weekday or weekend day that’s ideal but a random Tuesday morning versus a Saturday morning might be your best bet!
  3. Don’t try on too many dresses. We don’t want to be confusing here but you can suffer from wedding dress overload! It’s tempting to try on just one more to make sure you’ve picked the “right one”. The truth is, most brides find their perfect wedding dress in the first five they try on. They just need to make sure it’s the perfect one. There’s a fine line between picky and indecisive.

Alaskan Wedding

For you unusual, nature loving and perhaps a bit daring brides we love the Alaskan Wedding! The heat is boiling right now so why not think about a cool getaway? If snow and mountains are your thing then consider a destination to Alaska.

Alaska has been nicknamed the last frontier and it’s one of the last places you can truly get the rustic/nature experience. An Alaskan Wedding can be for those native to the area or if you simply have fallen in love with the mountain peaks and lakes. Wedding venues can be elaborate as huge log cabins with giant fireplaces and views of the mountains or a more simple outdoor setting.

You can embrace the ancient traditions of the Alaskan people as well which is a fun way to deviate from the normal traditional wedding! A lot of brides like to arrive to the ceremony in a kayak or boat rather than walking down an aisle. Additionally, you may want to opt for a ceremony in a large hut with a bonfire or outdoor venue. What’s more romantic than a fire and lanterns? An Alaskan wedding wouldn’t be complete without the stunning scenery. We are loving the unusual backdrop that you can find in Alaska. Many retreats or lodges offer great venues for both the ceremony and reception. We can’t think of anything more amazing than getting wedding photos under the Aurora Borealis.

For the fashion conscious bride strapless dresses are probably not a great option in an Alaskan Wedding. But never fear, there are plenty of great warm couture pieces to help with the cold. It will depend on the time of year you go to Alaska but most of the year prepare for colder than average temperatures. If you want a strapless dress then you can pick out a fabulous wrap or faux fur shrug to go over your shoulders. Even ankle boots are perfectly acceptable at an Alaskan wedding!

 

 

Bridal Makeup

Hello Brides! There’s nothing more important than your dress and groom but let’s not forget about your bridal makeup look. Makeup can be a scary world with so many products to choose from. There are thousands of make up artists as well that are out for your business. So how do you choose?

If you’re a low maintenance kind of bride you may want to do your own make up. There are a lot of great products on the market that you can use that are reputable for long lasting. Look for Laura Mercier, MAC or even some drug store brands like Maybelline or Cover Girl. If you’re on a budget the cheaper make up can be made to last long if you use a primer under it and a pore eraser. We love Maybelline’s Baby Skin Pore Eraser. The pore eraser will smooth out your skin so the foundation and powder will give you a flawless, hours of wear look!

 

A big make up trend we’re seeing this year is the pink eye shadow and monochromatic bridal makeup. By matching your eye lids and lips color you are creating a soft, romantic look. Try letting your eye brows grow in to complete the look – bold brows and glowing skin are always in!

You don’t have to do monochromatic. If you’re a bold statement bride and want your bridal makeup to be colorful then try a red lip! We love orange undertones and a matte lip for this bridal makeup look. It depends on your skin tone but most of the orangey reds are going to compliment you.

Why not try these bridal makeup trends on your own first? If you decide you’re not up for the task then there are plenty of makeup artists who are! It’s also just a fun way to experiment with your look. Get a few of your bridesmaids for a makeup play day and vote on which palettes you love most.