The Return of Rosé

The Return of Rosé

The Return of Rosé

If you’re a Bravo fan like us, when you think of rosé, you may think of Lisa Vanderpump walking around her perfectly manicured Beverly Hills estate with an oversized goblet of luxurious pink wine basking in the California sun.  But for the average wine drinker, rosé is still a bit of a mystery. Europeans have, for years, celebrated the blush beverage for its easy drinking qualities. It strikes the perfect balance between a crisp dry white and a light red (such as a pinot noir.) And when Springtime hits, and it may be time to lighten up your Cabernet drenched liquor cabinet, the choice is pretty clear.


The Return of RoséCourtesy of Greenberg PR

But for us Americans, we may have things a little confused when it comes to drinking “pink” wine.  Most of us are accustomed to a White zinfandel ( sometimes even found in a box) that has a vastly different taste and much less refinement. This wine is more geared towards the less serious wine drinker and due to its high sugar content and sweet, sweet flavor, is shunned by true rosé lovers and wine connoisseurs all together.


The Return of Rosé

We can’t help but be inspired by the gorgeous color of these French rosés, and think they might be the perfect selection or addition to your wedding drink menu.  We say French because typically minus the California wine region, many rosés are notorious for being made in the Provence or Rhone regions of France.  So when venturing out to buy your first rosé, look for a cote de rhone rosé, or a white pinot noir. Some of our favorites are the Provence Rosé by celebs Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt aptly named, Miraval, that was just rated one of the best in the world by wine magazine. And for $22 dollars a bottle ( a very beautiful bottle, we might add) it’s the perfect hostess gift or special bottle to bring for an occasion. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Bella Glos pinot noir blanc, which is exactly what it sound like, a nice crisp, white Pinot Noir. Another beautiful bottle and easy drinking choice.


The Return of Rosé

So whether you are full-on wine pairing with your menu, or simply want something light, fun and feminine for your pink themed shower, give rosés a try. You’ll be hooked!

Spring Wedding Trend - Pink

Spring Wedding Trend Pink

Spring Wedding Trend - PinkIf you have to describe this Spring’s biggest look in one word, well here it is: Pink. Light pink, hot pink, ombre pink, pink as a neutral ( what?!), you name it and it’s going to be everywhere. And with so many options, hues, prints, you really can’t go wrong with finding the perfect tone to compliment your skin.

Pink also isn’t just for blondes anymore.  You may be thinking of bubble gum pink on Barbie, or Julia Roberts’ wedding in Steel Magnolias where blush and bashful really translated into pink and more pink of the pepto bismol kind. But we have seen pink for weddings in the last few years in a variety of special ways. We adored Kaley Cuoco’s all pink custom Vera Wang gown, Jessica Biel is tiered pink Giambattista Valli for her wedding to Justin Timberlake, and who can forget the all-time pink dipped dyed favorite from Gwen Stefani’s John Galliano wedding gown. But it’s not just for the bride anymore- new details are cropping up all over the place that makes pink accessible for everyone and all types of weddings.

Pink for the boys: Southern weddings have been doing it for years. Sharp pink bowties or light suits with pink dress shirts. The looks is equally preppy as it is fun and photographs beautifully. PSpring Wedding Trend - Pinkink can be so subtle that is can also be in place of a neutral white. That’s why for guys, it’s the perfect way to add a hint of color and switch up the basic white shirt. It also looks fantastic against a white gown!

Pink décor: Pale pinks, peaches and blush are often much more elegant and subtle than a bold pop of pink. We have been covering the ombre effect for quite some time and no other color seems to compare to the beauty of using multiple shades of pink. Paired with vintage accents and gold flatware, the look is impossible to beat. We love seeing it for Spring with the freshest pink and white peonies.

Pink for the girls: So we know when it comes to colored wedding dress, pink is always the first choice. Brides for years, even before it became popular have opted for a pink gown or a light blush when they realize how insanely beautiful the color can be on so many skin tones. It’s almost impossible to say no for some brides. And even for Brides that go for all white in their dress, we LOVE the new hot pink gowns from BCBG and other designers showing the pop of color for bridesmaids who then carry all white flowers. You can even add them to a pretty neutral palette for that shock of bright color. We love the surprise element and the color looks great on most people! Spring Wedding Trend Pink.

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

one shoulder wedding dresses

One Shoulder Dresses Are Here to Stay!

One shoulder[pinit]When Oscar nominees Naomi Watts showed up on this past year’s red carpet in a custom Naeem Khan metallic creation I think she made one thing totally clear: the one shoulder “look” is here to stay. So it came as no surprise with Brides Magazine names the one shoulder dress the biggest thing in wedding dress fashion for the upcoming season. We shy away from calling it a trend at this point- it’s more like just another great option that might be the most flattering neckline for many brides- especially those trying to switch it up from strapless.  And let’s face it- it gives enough coverage for a Fall or Winter wedding while also being perfectly appropriate for a Spring or Summer wedding.  Could this be the most versatile wedding dress look yet?

While the look dates well back into ancient Greek and Roman times (think the movie Troy with style star Diane Kruger modeling the look almost exclusively)  it has made quite the resurgence in the last decade.  And while the 60’s saw Jackie O wear it and the 70’s were all about it with designers like Halston making slinky one shoulders a staple look, it seems to be a more permanent fixture nowadays, which makes it perfect for the Tradition dress seeker with modern taste.                       [pinit]one shoulder1

And this season is no exception, with several magazines calling for even more of the look! The bridal runways were filled with one straps of all kinds. Right now, we are especially loving the delicate late wrapped ones and the all beaded, blinged-out one shoulders. For a more feminine look, we think our Southern brides will absolutely love the flower embroidery and ruffled straps we are seeing with full skirts for the utmost in tradition. You really can’t go wrong with the look but here is the low down on the best bets on who is perfect for this kind of dress!

Bridal stylists everywhere agree that while once trendy, the one shoulder is actually extremely easy to wear for the majority of brides of all shapes and sizes.  The one shoulder strap or simply “one covered arm” look elongates the neckline and continues focus downward , which is perfect for accentuating a long torso. It also gives you a very statuesque look, again perfect for long and lean body who really wants to play it up but even better for a girl looking for a little heights. But what is really beautiful away the one shoulder is that is draws attention up to the face. You can play with your hair to sweep mot of it up and have pieces framing the face. Playing up the most important feature for the most important day of your life is always a plus!


one should montage

The Kentucky Derby Wedding

The Kentucky Derby Wedding

Derby ThemeThe Kentucky Derby Wedding. It’s off to the races! Or is it, a race to the altar? However you slice it,  The Kentucky Derby is chalk full of wedding inspiration.  Not only is it a spring right of passage for sporting fans, for us in the wedding biz, it’s the perfect time of year for the most gorgeous florals. From the signature cocktail (hello, mint julep!) to the special attire (ladies in hats and men opting for bow ties), it’s just enough theme without being overboard, and we have to say, we adore the look!

First, let’s consider the date. May is bustling with signs of summer, but also has a safe bet for temps staying comfortable for your guests. And while you always run the risk of rainy weather with a tent, we think an indoor venue with a vast veranda or terrace is perfect for echoing the same sentiment as Derby watching.  The event lends itself to plenty of other built-in musts like using silver plated mint julep cups for floral arrangements, choosing equestrian accents like horse figurines or even the quintessential sign of good luck, the Horseshoe for your escort cards. We also love the subtle homages to southern tradition that might be perfect for a preppy couple even if they aren’t from the julep

There’s a huge trend of turning to Southern traditions for weddings. For one, they really embrace the gala idea of several days of wedding festivities.  You can follow suit by adding a BBQ themed rehearsal dinner and opting for Southern style sides on your dinner menu as well. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love cornbread, mac n’ cheese and pecan pie? And no Southern Wedding would be complete without a grand red velvet cake!

One of our favorite blogs, Southern Weddings Magazine, is stocked with coverage of real weddings that embrace all of these terrific ideas. And show that is it completely possibly to try to theme out for an engagement party or bridal shower.  Some of our favorites we’ve seen so far? A bow tie bar for the guys and cigar rollers! Or maybe your guy would like a Kentucky bourbon bar for tasting.  We think the ideas are endless! And we are sure to see more of this trend in the year ahead!

Derby Cake

Honoring the Women in Your Family by SimplyBridal

Honoring the Women in Your Family by SimplyBridal

Creeping up this weekend is Mothers Day, and in honor of all the women in the world SimplyBridal has created a special infographic to help all the women at your wedding feel special. Of course the bride is the golden star on her wedding day, but the special union is special to all the members of both families. As the bride, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone is included, make sure that the sister of the groom is treated just as dearly as your own (because you are one big family now)! SimplyBridal has brainstormed a few ideas for each female member of both families.

Mothers Day Honoring the Women in Your Family at Your Wedding


Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Custom Paper Favor Bags.  We love when couples go the extra mile to integrate wedding favors into their big day.  The thought means a lot to guests, and it’s a great way to extend the memory, even once guests leave.  And because we love all things food related, we tend to be partial to yummy treats.  These personalized bags are the perfect vessel for a sweet or salty treat, great for guests to take home once the celebrations are over.  We can imagine popcorn, candy, or even freshly baked cookies tucked inside, though the possibilities are endless!

Peonies + Sunny Yellow Bouquet.  The Chicago temperatures have been teetering on the edge of spring lately, and the increased rays have left us wanting all things bright and cheery.  This wedding bouquet of white peonies is perfectly accented with pops of yellow floral, making the perfect statement for spring.  And the not-so-put-together bunch makes the look complete, finding a great balance between organic and polished, the perfect combination for spring.

Glass Ring Box.  Ring bearers tend to bring up images of small toddlers in suits, teetering down the aisle with a soft satin pillow, with three rings tucked in the center.  As much as we love that classic scene, we also love this more modern take on a transporting rings down the aisle.  The glass and metal combination keeps the box from looking too sweet, and the moss adds just the right amount of whimsy and nature.  Pretty rings and a pretty box, sounds like a winning combo to us!


Sweet sign of Spring

Spring has sprung!  And whether it’s Easter, impending wedding season or just a celebratory mood that this time of year finds us in (having survived yet another Chicago winter) we have sweets on the mind!


We’re always on the look out for new and exciting desserts and alternative wedding cakes and while we have touched on some of those new trends, we are in awe of an up and coming idea that has us literally salivating and running for Fannie May. That’s right, artisan chocolates are all the rage and we can’t think of a fancier occasion than a wedding to bust out the finest chocolates around for you and your sweetie (and guests, of course!)


Not to be confused with candy bars (a la the super chic Amy Atlas), artisan chocolates can be individually served on trays after dinner or placed on the reception tables with small signage designating each flavor. What’s more, they can even be perfectly paired with a wine or after dinner cordial to make their intense flavor even more delectable. Here’s where things can get extra creative; like pairing a dark chocolate orange peel with a simple splash of Grand Marnier or a Bailey’s Irish cream with an espresso bean truffle-this need trend takes a deeper look into the likes of foodies and their guests on the most important day of their lives.


Here in Chicago, we turned to Katherine Anne Confections in Logan Square and her inventive flavors and concepts for further inspiration. Brides have long been using her services for gift bags and welcome treats and now are following this new trend all the way to lavish trays of passed chocolates and towering displays of what else, CHOCOLATES! The confectioner is even holding special classes in March where students can create their own truffle flavors and leave with bags full of goodies.  All we can say is: sign us up!

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Mason Jar InvitesEtsy has quickly become one of our favorite wedding resources.  Not only does it showcase great handmade products, but it also allows couples the chance to connect with beautiful artists all over the world.  Wedding invitations are one of our favorite things to browse on Etsy, and these beauties caught our eye this week.  They set the tone for an elegant and classic wedding, with touches of rustic simplicity.  Both the color and font create a relaxed, yet special feel, preparing guests for a one-of-a-kind celebration.  If you’re looking for that extra special touch when it comes to your invitations, may we suggest Etsy as delightful resource.

Mason Jar

DIY Silk Hairpin.  Do it yourself projects have been taking the blog world by storm lately, with more and more people embracing their inner artist and giving handmade creations a chance.  DIY in the wedding world is of course a longtime favorite, but with easy-to-follow tutorials and great resources, they’re becoming easier than ever.  This silk hairpin tutorial is a simple project, perfect for the bride who wants to add an extra something to her wedding day hair.  This would be perfect with an updo or loose curls, and may also be something to make for bridesmaids on the big day.

Flower Tray Centerpiece. As winter continues to wrap most of the country, we can’t help but look forward to spring and the warmth it brings.  (It’s probably not a coincidence that most of our recent pins involve bright sunlight, glorious florals, and grassy outdoor spaces!)  So of course, we loved this simple yet cheerful wedding centerpiece, made easy with classic florals and a wooden tray.  This could also be recreated with wooden drawers, mismatched in size and color.  This pin is proof centerpieces don’t need to be over-the-top to make a statement!


Amelia Johnson Photography

Wedding Menu for Every Season

Wedding Menu Ideas for Every Season

Let your wedding catering take a cue from the seasons with menu ideas for every season…

Spring Wedding Menu Ideas

Summon the taste of spring with light flavors and delicate textures…

  • In Season – serve a main dish featuring ham or lamb
  • Fresh produce – round out the meal with a bounty of fresh fruits and young vegetables like baby carrots, baby asparagus and new potatoes
  • Elegant sides – serve mini quiches or update traditional deviled eggs by adding salmon or crabmeat
  • Bar favorites – a spring menu seems to call for champagne.  Mix up a batch of mimosas for a morning wedding, or create a festive champagne cocktail.

Summer Wedding Menu Ideas

Use your summer menu to invoke warmth, sunshine and fun…

  • Serve lighter fare – think fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables like berries, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, and corn, seafood and lean poultry like chicken.  Between courses, serve a light sorbet.
  • Spark up the grill – serve traditional picnic and grill fare like barbeque, burgers and potato salad
  • Head to the tropics – feature tropical signature cocktails like margaritas, sangria, or mojitos.

Fall Wedding Menu Ideas

Bring out the rich and comforting tastes of autumn…

  • Traditional favorites – you cannot go wrong with seasonal standbys: turkey, red potatoes, corn bread dressing, green beans, and honey glazed carrots.
  • Family style – re-create a traditional thanksgiving feast by incorporating your family recipes into your wedding menu and serving the meal family style (if your guest list is small).
  • Hearty proteins – Choose a hearty meat that will pair with heavier side dishes – turkey, roasted quail, rib roast
  • Keep it elegant – you can serve traditional fare in sophisticated, creative ways – present soup or veggie puree in mini shot classes or hallowed out gourds, or warm apple cider in glass mugs with cinnamon sticks.

Winter Wedding Menu Ideas

Warm up to a decadent winter menu with these cool ideas to reflect the season…

  • Hearty dishes – serve heartier fare in sophisticated, creative ways – such as colorful butternut squash puree or warm pumpkin soup in ramekins or shot glasses.
  • Wintery beverages – warm guests with eggnog, spiced wine or mixed coffee drinks.