CSW Designer Challenge Vendor Spotlight: Gromeza Floral Design Studio

On the blog today, we have our partner in crime Gromeza Floral Design Studio with whom we collaborated closely with on this challenge. Check them out and learn more about Ozzie and his fabulous business and about the challenges we both faced in this project. Also, if you missed last week's post on our venue partner, the Chicago History Museum, you can click here. If you want to see more behind the scenes snippets, then click here. Also, voting is closing June 30th so please vote for us! To vote, click here.  

Tell me a little about Gromeza. 

Founded in 2014, gromeza floral is a boutique studio specializing in floral styling. Created by designer Ozzie Gromada Meza, and based in the neighborhood of Lakeview in Chicago, IL, gromeza embraces the challenge of making events unique and unforgettable through flower and textures. 

Picture provided by: Gromeza Floral Design Studio 

Picture provided by: Gromeza Floral Design Studio 

How did you get started?

My story is pretty simple. I went to college. Studied to be a corporate librarian. Turned into a marketer. Got married. Opened a design studio. That is simple, right? In all seriousness, I was inspired to create the design studio while planning for my wedding. The floral world truly intrigued. It's beauty. The idea of creating with my hands.  I truly never imagined I would become the owner and creative designer of a floral studio. NEVER, but here we are approaching three years of being in business.

Floral Provided by: Gromeza Floral Design Studio 

Floral Provided by: Gromeza Floral Design Studio 

How did you like collaborating with another designer (vision of elegance) on this project? 

We truly lived the motto "Community Over Competition".  Going into this collaboration, we both new we had different aesthetics and techniques and this project became a huge learning experience for both of us.  We figured out our strength and weaknesses early on in the project making it a stress-free partnership.

What was your biggest takeaway form this project?

First of all, we quickly learned saying "I want to do a hanging installing" is way easier than making it actually happen.  It took us several months of research and calling our floral mentors to learn how to execute this design!  Surprisingly, the biggest takeaway was not learning how to do a hanging installation, but the benefit of being insanely organized.  We had a limited number of work hours to make it all happen!

What inspired the design you and Vision of Elegance came up with?

Participating in styled shoots are a perfect way to try something new, test out an idea or just have fun.  This project did all of that. We wanted to execute an idea that was on trend and challenging to both of us. Inspired by all of our favorite designers including Holly Chapple and Karen Tran, we combined a softness using soft blush and pinks color palette and luxury with hanging floral and oversized statement pieces. 

What does winning mean to you and your company?

Winning this recognition validates all the hard work and determination of this project.  It allows our studio to show potential clients our ability to create amazing visual effects using floral and other details. 

What my 3 year old daughter has taught me about my business.

Just like that, I am now a mother of a three year old or, as I like to say, a three-nager. 

One June 4th, we celebrated my daughter Layla's third birthday with family.  My daughter is in the princess stage and, fittingly enough, loves (loves, loves) Belle from Beauty and the Beast. So I thought it would be fitting to make her a princess for the day on her birthday and throw her a Beauty and the Beast / princess birthday party. 

Bittersweet [Pastries] made our cake and we absolutely loved it! They totally nailed the design and look I was going for. The cake also tasted AMAZING!!! The cookies were also by them and we loved the Mrs. Potts ones as that is one of Layla's favorite characters from the movie, besides Belle. 

Cake and Cookies by: Bitter Sweet Pastry 

Cake and Cookies by: Bitter Sweet Pastry 

Created by: Vision of Elegance

Created by: Vision of Elegance

Around my Layla's first birthday, I did a post on "What my 1 year old daughter has taught me about my business." You can view that by clicking here. So I thought it would be fitting to revisit that post and think about what has my 3 year old taught me about my business, and reflect on what has changed and what has remained the same. 

1. I have learned to give myself a lot of grace. 

2. She still is the boss. Or so she thinks..haha

3. Working into the late evenings and some weekends are just how it is and that is ok, if it means quality time with the kids and my husband during the day. 

4. Being a mom and business owner is possible. Even with multiple children. 

5. Saying no to certain projects or opportunities is not always a bad thing. 

6. Family dinners are essential.

7. Delegating work and outsourcing is great to get more quality family time. 

8. Enjoy the moments because these kids they grow up so darn fast. It feels like yesterday I was bring her home from the hospital.

9.  My favorite one and still true:  I’m not only a mom and a business owner, but a role model to my children. I have to become the person that I want my daughter (and now also my son) to see me as.

I would love to know if you have kids and how your running your business. How has life changed for you? What have your kids taught you about yourself and your business. Please comment below.  

CSW Designer Challenge: Vendor Spotlight: Chicago History Museum

Happy Thursday Friends!

If you missed last week's article on our behind the scenes of the Chicago Style Weddings Designer Challenge "For the Love of Roses" photo shoot, you can view it here.  Voting closes on June 30th so please do not forget to cast your vote. You can do so by clicking here.  Today, we are excited to be featuring one of our team members that collaborated with us on the challenge, the Chicago History Museum. We chose this location as it offered a beautiful, elegant back drop for our shoot. We loved the natural light and the overall ambience of the room. Check out out our interview with them below!

Photo from Chicago History Museum

Photo from Chicago History Museum

Tell me a little about Chicago History Museum (current info and history as well).

As the city’s oldest cultural institution, the Chicago History Museum is uniquely Chicago.  The museum creatively tells the story of the city’s vast & colorful past.  Overlooking scenic Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast skyline, the Chicago Room creates an ideal setting for any type of event with spectacular views and traditional Georgian-style elegance. 

Photo from Chicago History Museum

Photo from Chicago History Museum

What should a potential client know about booking their wedding with you?

With both indoor & outdoor spaces, the museum has many options for making your wedding unique. 

Photo from Chicago History Museum

Photo from Chicago History Museum

How did you like collaborating on this project? 

We loved being a part of this project – getting to hear Kristina’s idea and see her take it all the way to it’s beautiful conclusion was really incredible.

What was your biggest takeaway from the project?

It was great to work with such amazing designers and vendors and see them really strut their stuff. 

What would winning mean to you? What do you think makes us stand out from the completion?

I always like to say that CHM is a little hidden gem in the city.  The people who know us, understand our beautiful space and exhibits.  I would hope that winning would bring even more attention to the work that the museum does to share Chicago’s amazing stories.  I think we stand out from the competition by showcasing that over-the-top dynamic and cooperation that the City of Big Shoulders has always been known for.

Chicago Style Wedding Designer Challenge: Behind the Scenes

 Every year, ChicagoStyle Weddings Magazine selects 4  local wedding designers to create unique tablescapes and designs to be featured in the magazine. Those designers are then teamed up with a wonderful team of wedding professionals handpicked by the magazine to implement the design. For the 2016-2017 Designer Challenge, Vision of Elegance Events was selected as a contestant and our entry was called "For the Love of Roses". We selected that name as we chose a floral heavy design concept and, true to the name, used a ton of roses.

We also want to give a big shout out to our collaborative partner that was an extremely integral part the entire process and our design, Gromeza Floral Design. Ozzie Gromeza and I first sat down in November of 2015 and started to hammer out the details of the shoot and to discuss logistics. We hammered out every detail over the weeks and months, working with our team members and spending countless hours brainstorming and revising our visions. 

I  thought it would be fun to give you a behind the scenes look at what it took us, Gromeza Floral Design and the rest of our amazing team to pull off this shoot. The labor and physical design process started at 6am two days before the shoot with an early morning pick up out at the O´Hare for our flowers. We then spent two days processing and designing the floral centerpieces that were going to be used for the shoot. The day of the shoot we started at 8am and assembled our teams and we were off to work. It took 8 hours for us to set up the tablescape and design and I speak for us both we could not have done it without our amazing crew from both Vision of Elegance and Gromeza Floral Design. 

 

Voting closes June 30th so please vote on the link below.

 chicagostyleweddings.com/vote

Thank you again to our amazing team of vendors!!

 

 

The Amazing Team:
Planner/Designer/ Planner: Vision of Elegance
Floral: gromeza floral design studio & Vision of Elegance
Venue: Chicago History Museum
Sweets: Amy Beck Cake Design, LLC
Rentals: Luxe Event Rentals
Pipe and Drape Rentals: Quest Premium Event Drape
Photography: Gold Grid Studios
Stationary: Dear Emily 

Factors to Consider when Hiring your Wedding Photographer

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Can you believe it's already the middle of the week? Today on the blog we have Jennifer Kathryn, owner of Jennifer Kathryn Photography, talking about a couple of things you should consider before hiring a photographer that is going to capture your big day. She has some great tips that you do not want to miss out on. Please check her out below!

 

Finding a photographer for your wedding can be one of the more daunting tasks on your planning list. We’re surrounded with so many beautiful magazines, wedding blogs, and perfectly curated instagram feeds that it can be overwhelming! Not to mention that it’s a pretty significant investment and likely in the top 3-5 priorities for your big day.

 

The more you refine what it is that you like and want, the better you'll be able to determine which photographer is the right fit for you and your partner. It requires some work on the front end, but if you take some time to answer these questions, you'll be more confident in your decision.

 

I like to think of four main categories you’ll want to pay attention to as you narrow down your search for a photographer.

 

1. Photos

  • What do you like best from the photography you've seen online and in albums? Do you like more traditional photos, very artistic ones, or a combination of both? Do you like romantic, emotional photos, or playful photos? Can you picture yourself in the images the photographer shows in his/her albums and website? Do they feel like "you"?

  • Are the poses natural and relaxed or do the couples in the photos feel stiff? Are the colors true to life, or have they applied a vintage wash or filter to a lot of their photos? While the vintage effect is trendy now, in 20-30 years, you’ll want photos that are natural.

  • Make sure you see a combination of artistic photos as well as great portraits (couples and groups looking at the camera). The website will show the best of the best photos of couples, but when you look at an album, be sure you can see a representation of a few complete weddings from the beginning to end. Pay attention to the photos in each part of the day-- getting ready/prep time when bride puts on her dress, ceremony, couple photos, family photos, and reception. Any photographer can “get lucky” at a few great shots, but seeing a few albums of the whole day will give you confidence in their skill.

2. Business Practices

  • The level of experience a photographer has with weddings in particular is very important. The schedule and unexpected things that happen throughout the course of the day are tough to anticipate, and even the most talented photographer can be thrown off his/her game if they are not experienced with all the varying logistics of a wedding day. He or she should be able to anticipate, troubleshoot, and remain calm- as well as help you do so. Here are some helpful things to ask:

    • Do you help us plan the photo portion of the day in terms of timing and locations?

    • Do you allow enough margin in the schedule for photos of us, the bridal party and family in case things are running behind?

  • How many photographers will shoot the wedding? (I shot weddings for years without a second person, but I’ve discovered that having at least 2 photographers throughout the day is crucial to me doing my job excellently and capturing everything that is going on.)

  • Do you have backup equipment if something goes wrong? Are you insured for accidents, theft, and liability? (While these are things you don’t want to think about, but someone who is serious about running their business will have these systems in place.)

 

3. Personality

  • It's SO important you hire someone with whom you feel comfortable! Being in front of the camera can be really difficult, and you want someone who will help you feel relaxed and that you can have fun with, not a stranger with a camera in their hands the day of the wedding. This can be just as important as all the other logistics, so make sure you feel good about them and that you can trust them.

  • Make sure there is a good balance between friendly and professional. Someone who is so formal you can’t relax isn’t good, but neither is the photographer who wants to be your best friend but doesn’t have a strong presentation. A clearly directed meeting and a packet of materials to walk away with goes a long way.

 

4. Products & Experience

  • Do they offer an engagement session? Is this included with the package/collection? I HIGHLY recommend doing an e-session, even if you don’t love the idea of being in front of the camera. You will feel so much more comfortable the day of your wedding if you do, plus you’ll get some fun photos!

  • Do you have the option to obtain the high resolution files with usage rights? This will enable you to make your own prints and use images on Facebook or online.

  • Do you want an album? It's usually less expensive to order this before the wedding and you will definitely want this down the road! Even though it’s a digital era, you are not going to look at your hundreds of images every day or every week, and having an album will be the best way to showcase your favorite images from the wedding. So many couples think they will make their own album afterwards, but then realize they don’t have the time. And the quality of a professionally designed album really is worth the extra money.

 

The best news about working with a fabulous planner like Kristina is that she has already done a lot of this legwork. Part of her job is vetting wedding professionals for their level of experience, artistry, and expertise. And because her own values reflect a high level of integrity, she only refers photographers she trusts completely so you always know you’re in good hands. At this point it really comes down to personality and photography style to help you and your partner determine who will be the best fit to work together on your wedding.

 

Have more questions? I love helping couples hone in on what’s most important to you! Reach out to me or Kristina if you want to learn more. I wish you the very best in your planning!

xo

Jenn

All photos provided by: Jennifer Kathryn Photography 

Spring 2017 Stationary Trends

We are so excited to have Devika, owner and designer behind Pink Elephant, giving us all the ins and outs on what is trending in the world of paper goods. We are loving all the gold details! What about you? 

 

Hey hey all you trendsetting brides! I’m Devika, I’m the owner and designer behind Pink Elephant, located in the heart of Highland Park. We are a bespoke invitation studio, and using a marketing background, we specialize in event branding and graphic design to take your invitation suites and stationery to the next level. This year, we’re seeing some really fun trends in the paper world, and my brides have already been sending out super-trendy invites! 

1. Bespoke illustrations

So far this year, we are seeing a lot of bespoke illustrations. Brides are commissioning their artists friends and family members to paint watercolors of themselves, their dogs and their venue. What’s a better way to capture a couple’s story than including those pieces in their invitations and day of stationery?

Photo by: Studio 226 Media

Photo by: Studio 226 Media

Photo by: Pink Elephant

Photo by: Pink Elephant

2. Bright colors and white ink

White ink is the new trend this year. It’s not that common to find a printer who can print white ink, so when I did, I was pumped! It gives such a fresh new look when printing on bright, bold stocks. Are you ready to give it a try?

Photo by: Pink Elephant

Photo by: Pink Elephant

3. Gold

We have had a couple brides that are just loving adding a big pop of gold to their invitations this year! We offer gold digital printing, an affordable way to gain the metallic feel without breaking the budget. Imagine the statement this makes when your guest opens up your invitation. You want them to treasure it!

Photos by: Pink Elephant

What to wear to your Engagement Party

Spring is finally here and maybe you or someone you know have recently gotten engaged and are planning their party. Alyssa Doorhy, Owner and Stylist at CoChic Styling and our "what to wear expert",  is back today breaking down all you need to know about what to wear to your engagement party. Check it out. 

So, you’re engaged! Congratulations! You are about to embark on one of the most exciting, whirlwind times of your life. As you probably already know, there are lots of decisions to be made between now and your wedding day, and it can be overwhelming. One of the first decisions will be what to wear to your engagement party. Obviously, you want to look your very best, so I’m sharing some tips to make this decision less stressful for you.

Consider styles that you’re comfortable wearing

Don’t choose one of your wedding events to step too far outside your comfort zone because you will be the center of attention and will want to be 100% confident in what you’re wearing. For instance, if you’re someone who never wears dresses, there are plenty of alternative options out there for you. In fact, you’ll be totally on-trend in a jumpsuit or fun palazzo pants. If you love dresses, consider styles that you’re comfortable in, that suit your body type. 

Images from left to right c/o Nordstrom, Asos, Nordstrom

Images from left to right c/o Nordstrom, Asos, Nordstrom

Think about the location of the party

Like your bridal gown, you will need to think about where the engagement party will be held to help determine what you’re going to wear. For instance, is the party at a friend’s house? Or is it at a fancy restaurant? If it’s a more casual affair, you can get away with wearing a more casual outfit. But you are the bride-to-be, so it’s your time to shine! If you want to wear a cocktail dress, go for it! 

Image c/o 25karats.com

Image c/o 25karats.com

Decide if you want to wear white

Some brides-to-be fully embrace wearing the color white, or a varying shade of white, throughout their entire engagement. You only get married once, right? And since wearing white as a guest is a faux pas for other people’s bridal events, it’s fun to take advantage of the opportunity to wear it. 

If you’re not into white, wear whatever color suits you! Consider the time of year to guide you with your color choice. For instance, burgundy and other jewel tones are beautiful in the fall, and pastels are pretty for spring.

Images from left to right c/o Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Bloomingdales

Images from left to right c/o Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Bloomingdales

Have fun with accessories

Don’t leave shoes and accessories ‘til the last minute! Plan your outfit ahead of time so that you have a cohesive look. If you’re a “shoe person”, you could even create your whole outfit around your shoes! As far as accessories go, this is the time to wear the bling-y bridal jewelry you’ve been ogling over, or go the sentimental route with your mother’s strand of pearls. 

  Images c/o Polyvore  

 

Images c/o Polyvore

 

SHOP Engagement Party Looks Here

About the author: Alyssa Doorhy is the owner of Chicago-based wardrobe styling company CoChic Styling. CoChic Styling helps people find their personal style through personal shopping, closet clean outs and wedding wardrobe styling. Alyssa loves to help people feel like the best version of themselves, from every day to their wedding day.

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Vendor Spotlight: CoChic Styling

Hey Friends, 

Now that we are all packing away our winter clothes and thinking about the warm weather ahead, I was wondering what I should be adding to my wardrobe for this spring season since I just had a baby and I am in need of some fresh pieces.  I reached out to a friend of mine, Alyssa Doorhy, who is the owner and stylist of CoChic Styling.  In additional to her styling services, Alyssa also works with brides and grooms to punch up their wardrobe to make sure they are looking their finest for all wedding related events and after. I spoke to her recently and she had some amazing advice. I hope you enjoy. 

1. Tell me about CoChic Styling

CoChic Styling helps men and women find their personal style and become more comfortable and confident in what they're wearing, from everyday to their wedding day. CoChic Styling services include personal shopping and styling, closet clean outs, and wedding fashion styling. We are based in Chicago, IL, but offer virtual styling internationally. 

Photo by: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Photo by: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

2.How did you get started?

I owned a women's clothing boutique for four years with my mom and sister before starting CoChic Styling. Owning the boutique taught me how to run a business, gave me the opportunity to meet tons of awesome clothing and jewelry designers and vendors, and helped me understand fit, fabrics and quality. I also got to meet amazing customers who would come in to shop and get my styling help. Sometimes customers would even bring in an outfit from home and ask me how to style it. Although I loved the boutique, this got me thinking that I might be able to make a career out of my favorite aspect of owning the boutique: styling. We ended up closing the shop, giving me the opportunity to hit the ground running with CoChic Styling.

3. Tell me about your services

CoChic Styling Personal Shopping and Styling services involve shopping for clients at a few locations, depending on the client's budget, style and size, and then bringing everything to the client's home. It's like a curated boutique right in your living room! This service really differentiates us, as many stylists will meet their clients at stores. I believe going into client's homes is a huge value because it's more comfortable for the clients, and much easier for them to make buying decisions. Plus, it is convenient and saves them tons of time. 

Closet Clean Outs include helping clients edit their wardrobe, getting rid of items they no longer need or no longer fit, and providing a list of recommended items to add to the closet. 

CoChic Stling offers several Wedding Fashion Styling services, as well. Bridal Styling involves assisting the bride choose her bridal gown and accessories for her big day. There are SO many choices out there; we help narrow it down for brides and also work with bridal boutiques to make the shopping experience extra personal and stress-free. Wedding Party Styling involves assisting with choosing and shopping for, the wedding party's attire and accessories. Wedding Event Styling is a service where we help shop for event surrounding the wedding, such as engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. Day-Of Styling Assistance involves a stylist being on hand on the wedding day, to assist with dressing the bride, groom and bridal party, making sure everyone looks perfect. This includes steaming, ironing, tying bow ties, helping with convertible dresses, etc.

Photo by: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Photo by: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

4. Tell me how you help Brides and Grooms on our before the wedding day?

I touched on that above, but we help brides and grooms narrow down all the options out there for wedding attire, we schedule and attend appointments at bridal boutiques, and help make sure everyone's look is cohesive and goes with the theme or overall feel of the wedding. We also can help with the wedding party's attire, also helping to maintain cohesion and handling all the logistics of appointments, suit and dress pick ups, etc. On the wedding day, we help everyone get ready, and assist with everything from steaming bridesmaids dresses to tying the groomsmen's bow ties..

5.What is your favorite part of your job?

I love working one-on-one with people and seeing their face when we've found something for them to wear that makes them feel 100% confident, like they are ready to take on the world.

6. Who is your ideal client?

Since I offer several different services, my ideal client varies, but overall I love working with people who see the value in paying attention to, and embracing, one's personal style, and realize that we are all judged by first impressions, and our clothing and the way we carry ourselves is a big part of that. It's unfortunate but it's reality. I also like working with clients who don't necessarily want to follow all the trends but want to finesse their own personal style. My ultimate goal is to help people feel great about themselves.

7. What would you say is your personal style

I'd say my style is "comfortably chic" like my brand. (CoChic stands for comfortably chic.) I love fashion, but I only wear what I'm comfortable in. I remember embracing stilettos in high school, and being uncomfortable all day. Those days are long gone! I also have a pretty neutral wardrobe. I'm much more minimalist than I used to be.

8.What are some good go to staple pieces for your closet?

Well-fitting jeans, a crisp white button down, comfortable ankle boots/booties, and a beautiful blazer.

9. What is Hot and new in terms of everyday clothing for the spring

My favorite trends for spring are stripes and bell sleeves, but I recommend saving money on trendy pieces and splurging on staples that you'll wear over and over again!

 

2017 Spring Bridesmaid Dress Trends

On the blog today we've got bridesmaid trends and what to be on the  look out for this spring. The wonderful Cassidy from Brideside Chicago shared with us what she is seeing her brides loving. . If you missed our last blog, check it out as we discussed Bridal trends for Spring 2017.  

 

Hello to all my fashion-forward brides! My name is Cassidy, and I’m a full-time style consultant at Brideside Chicago. As a tech savy start-up, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop for all things bridesmaid, and are constantly updating our inventory to reflect industry trends.

This spring, bridesmaid dresses are following closely behind the nontraditional bridal trend.  Say goodbye to the uncomfortable, formal gown that most maids dread buying. This season is all about re-wearability- featuring styles that mix and match to compliment a variety of body types, personalities and dance moves alike.

 

1. Separates

These on trend pieces are perfect for the modern bride, who is looking to incorporate a variety of textures, colors and styles that will flatter all of her maids.  This spring we are seeing the addition of gorgeous, sequin floor-length skirts take a walk down the aisle.

Image c/o Watters & Watters 2017 Spring Collection

 

2. Floral Print and Embroidery

Embroidered, tulle dresses and flowing floral prints add a pop of color to any bridal party. Perfect for showcasing a maid of honor, and a great way to tie in a diverse color palette, these prints are a great contribution to any garden wedding.

Image c/o @jennyoonyc photograph by @thismodernromance

Image c/o @jennyoonyc photograph by @thismodernromance

3.  Sleek Silhouettes

Fit and flare styles are taking the place of the traditional ruched waistline, and pleaded bodice. We are seeing bridesmaid dresses evolve into flat shaped skirts and halter, spaghetti-strapped necklines.

Image c/o Brideside.com Designers from left: Dessy, After Six

4. Off the shoulder neckline

The bohemian bridesmaid is making an appearance, and it’s no coincidence she’s dressed in hues of blue. We are seeing bare necks and flouncy, off the shoulder styles grow in popularity, as shades of blue continue on trend.

Image c/o @joannaagust

Image c/o @joannaagust

Are you interested in hearing more about Brideside and their services? Email me at cassidy@brideside.com or visit brideside.com/cassidy for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Family of Four

Happy Monday Friends,

Wow, time seems to be flying by! We have officially been a family of four for almost 7 weeks now. It amazes me how our little boy has grown so much in such a short amount of time. To be exact, the boy has put on 2.5 pounds since his two week check up where he was 8 lb 6oz. He now weighs in at 10lb 12oz. He is a big boy!  He is changing and looking different every day. I am loving all the baby snuggles and the time I have given myself to just enjoy him. He will only be "little" for so long.

Transitioning from having just a toddler to now having a toddler and a newborn has come with some challenges. I think multi-tasking times 3 has become a go to for me. I have to be honest I forgot what it was like to have a newborn. Yes, they don't do much but sleep, eat, and get their diapers changed but they are constantly eating! I like to say I am officially the on-demand feeding machine for Jonas. This guy's is also a night-owl so the time when his father and I want to sleep he wants to be up and making noise. His sister has been great with him. We both were a little nervous on how she was going to be and if she would be jealous of the shift in attention. She has been an angel and is very curious and concerned for her brothers well being. Any time he cries she says "its ok brother" - it is the cutest thing to watch my little girl caring for her little brother. Let's hope this continues. 

Last week Liz from Elizabeth Nord photography spent the afternoon with us capturing our little family. I had originally wanted photos of the kids and us as a family sooner but timing and scheduling didn't make that easy. Also a note about this shoot: patience and timing are every thing. Between feedings and little meltdowns, we got some great shots. Thanks my lady Liz for being patient with us!

Below are a few of our favorites and I cannot wait to order prints and hang them up in our home and add them to the newborn album I am creating for Jonas with artifact uprising

ENP_1860.jpg
This one is my absolute favorite photo of the kids. My heart could explode!!

This one is my absolute favorite photo of the kids. My heart could explode!!

Look how big he is!!

Look how big he is!!

We just had to put him in this outfit as it was hand made by my grandmother(far-mor) and my father wore it when he was little. The outfit is over 60 years old and it is extremely special to my family as my grandmother is no longer with us. To have my son wear it and to have photos taken of is something I will cherish for ever. 

Spring 2017 Bridal Trends

Happy March 1st Friends! 

We are so excited to have the wonderful Alyssa Doorhy, a fashion expert and the owner of CoChic Styling, a Chicago-based wardrobe styling company, on the blog today giving us a look at what to expect in terms of Spring 2017 bridal trends. My favorite is definitely the cape dresses. 

CoChic Styling helps people find their personal style through personal shopping, closet clean outs and wedding wardrobe styling. Alyssa loves to help people feel like the best version of themselves, from every day to their wedding day.

If you love a non-traditional bridal gown look, this spring 2017’s bridal trends are for you! Even if you tend to lean more traditional, some of this spring’s trends can be easily incorporated into your bridal look. Here are my top four favorites of the season:

Feathers

When you hear feathers, you might be a little hesitant, but we’re not talking 1920’s feather boas or anything. Designers have done a beautiful job tastefully incorporating wispy feathers, to add texture and whimsy to their bridal designs for spring. You might consider feathers if you’re getting married in a sleek, modern venue. 

 

Image c/o The Knot | Designers from left: Oscar de la Renta, Anne Barge, Berta  

Image c/o The Knot | Designers from left: Oscar de la Renta, Anne Barge, Berta

 

Capes

You’ve probably seen that capes have had a resurgence in ready-to-wear, and now they’re popping up in bridal! Bridal designers have incorporated delicate bridal capes in their spring gown designs for some added drama. Why not feel like a superhero on your wedding day?

Designers left to right: Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Ramona Kevesa Collection  

Designers left to right: Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Ramona Kevesa Collection

 

Pastel Colors

The past couple of years we’ve seen bridal gowns in blush and nude shades, but this spring, we’re seeing even more beautiful colors for brides. Various shades of green, blue and pink were most prevalent on the runways. Consider a colored gown if you are a non-traditional bride who wants something unique.

Designers from left: J. Mendel, Marchesa, Jenny Packha

Designers from left: J. Mendel, Marchesa, Jenny Packha

Pants

That’s right, fancy pants are making their way into the bridal scene. Whether you want to go with a jumpsuit or a pantsuit, designers have made them available to you. This trend is perfect for a bride who never wears dresses, and never wants to, or for an unexpected “wow” factor for guests.

Designers from left: Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab, Monique Lhuillier

Designers from left: Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab, Monique Lhuillier

What’s your favorite spring 2017 bridal trend? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Jonas Ryan Ferris

I am so excited to finally announce the arrival of our son and Layla's little brother and the new addition to the Vision of Elegance family. 

Jonas Ryan Ferris was born on Tuesday January 24th at 12:32pm. Weighing in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and measuring around 22 inches long.  Once we were a family of three and overnight we became a family of four. Our hearts are so full and overjoyed with the new addition. In the past month, we have spent a lot of quality family time together and have had the pleasure of having both my parents and in-laws spend time with us and help us out and we cannot thank them enough. Adjusting to sleepless nights and an on-demand feeding schedule has been rough but we are finally getting into a good rhythm. Ryan and I can not believe he is already a month old. Wow how time flies! Thank you for all the prayers, well wishes, cards and gifts! We are so grateful for each one of you. 

Now, excuse me while I go back for more baby snuggles. 

xoxoxo

~Kristina~

Photo by Bella Life Photography. Jonas was 2 days old here. 

Downtown Chicago Planner Dinner

In March we partnered with Brix Catering and The Guest House Hotel to plan a decant event for our fellow Chicago event/wedding planners. Brix created an amazing menu for the evening that was absolutely delicious and Molly Dooker Wines was so nice to sponsor the event and provide a three course wine pairing. If you have not checked out this wine from Australia you are missing out. We of course could not have put together this event without the gracious sponsorship from Halls Rental, for providing all the rentals for the event. Nuage Designs for providing the linens for the evening, we just love the sequins linens! Vanilla Patisserie for providing us with the delicious desserts and providing each of our guests with macarons in their gift bags. Sylvia Stremming Design for designing the evenings invitation and menu card and Chicago Style Wedding Magazine for being our media sponsor and providing all attendees with a magazine. A special thank you to Ozzie at Gromeza Floral Design for helping us with the floral for the event and for being a great collaborating partner.

For the design I really wanted to play of the charm that the hotel already offers with sliding wood doors and the gorgeous chandelier we decided to use a cooper sequins linen and pair it with a  navy blue napkin and seat cover, and the room just popped and came to life. The greenery being elevated above, as if it was free floating was the perfect touch. Taper candles and fur on the back of the chairs was the perfect touches to give this room a glamours feel. This room at The Guest House is great for a small intimate wedding or even a private dinner.

A special thank you to Roots of Life photography for capturing it all for us. 

Aisle Society Editorial Shoot featuring #AlterEgo Dress Line by BrideSide and Kelly Faetanini

At the end of last year we partnered with Aisle Society which, is a collective of over 30 wedding bloggers across the world who have come together to create a new place on the web for wedding inspiration.   Aisle Society was working along side Bride Side to create amarketing campaign photo shoot for the new #AlterEgo exclusive collection with Kelly Fattenin which features convertible mix -and-match dresses that will help bridesmaid dress picking become that much easier. Check out our blog with Bride Side where we sit down and discuss the line in great detail. You are not going to want to miss this. We will even share our favorites.

We are so excited to share with you our two table designs and the bouquets we did for this shoot. You can see a more detailed look of the shoot by visiting our gallery here. A special Thank You to Emilia Jane Photography for capturing all these beautiful images. 

Also don't forget to check out Friday's blog for a detailed look at the #AlterEgo Line with BrideSides very own,  Mary Kate and we share our favorite.

This shoot could not have been possible with out this amazing team: Event Design – Elizabeth Anne Designs and Pretty Pear Bride for Aisle Society | Bridesmaids Dresses: Brideside | Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Planning, Tabletop, and Floral: Vision of Elegance Events | Venue: The Bank on Broadway | Hair: Hollibeauty | Makeup: Joanna B. Artistry | Stationery: Sylvia Stremming Designs | Cake: Sugar Fixe | Rentals: Tablescapes | Gown: Alyssa Kristin | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Jewelry: Susie Saltzman | Vintage Rentals: Nimblewell | Ribbon + Fabric: Silk & Willow | Models: Willow StarTara RoxanaLauren Rebecca RothLauren Bourdages

Downtown Chicago Photography Workshop Recap

Elizabeth Nord has been a professional wedding photographers for over 5 years and loves it more and more each day. She originally started her business in Tennessee and moved from Tennessee to Florida and now calls Chicago home. At the beginning of 2016, Liz approached us about partnering with her and helping her with floral and design for her first workshop "Love in the City." We were thrilled excited to take part! The overall look and feel Liz wanted was elegant and simple with a southern charm meets city feel, which I believe represents her perfectly. 

The Workshop-Shoot took place at Chez which is very much a contemporary loft space that is perfect for any event and was an excellent backdrop for this shoot.

We sat down with Liz and went over the color palette and look and feel the she wanted and we came up with this simple but very elegant tablescape. A gorgeous navy blue linen was paired with grey napkins and a lush green garland with white roses mixed throughout. We also added floating candles for an extra romantic touch. Who doesn't love candles?

Emily Wheeler Custom Cakes provided a gorgeous three tiered white cake that served as a great centerpiece and which we decorated with greenery and floral accents. 

These chic place-settings were provided by Vintage Place Settings and the beautiful menus and paper goods done by  Emily Rose Ink.

 The female model,  Lauren Dod, wore a beautiful gown made by Lee-Lim. Her make up and hair were done by the ever so talented Kate Johnson Artistry and her jewelry and accessories were provided by Left Bank Jewelry. The suit worn by the male model, Jordan Woods, was provided by ESQ.

To see more beautiful photos by Elizabeth Nord Photography of our work from this shoot, please visit our gallery here. 

Liz has a passion and drive for photography and really wants to educate, mentor and ultimately help other photographers reach their full potential as new business owners. She is now planning her 2nd workshop along side Shaunea Teske. It is called "Gracefully Wed" and will be held at the Villa Terrace in Wisconsin on October 24th and 25th. Registration is now open. 

We sat down with Liz and asked her a few questions about her new workshop and what attendees can expect. 

1. Give us some background on you as a photographer: 

I graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a degree in economics and also took courses at night to strengthen my photography knowledge. I continue to grow and learn every year by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops. I began teaching my own workshops in February 2016 and also offer mentoring sessions for those needing a more one-on-one or personalized learning experience.

2. How did you connect with Shaunae Teske?

Shaunae and I first met through the Rising Tide Society. We are both leaders in our cities (Chicago, Illinois and Green Bay, Wisconsin) and met in person at the first annual leaders retreat in Charleston, SC. We became instant friends and have been dreaming big dreams together ever since! 

3. Who is this workshop best suited for and  what do you hope attendees will get out of your workshop?  

This two day intensive workshop is geared towards photographers that are either interested in getting into wedding photography, that are experienced with weddings but want to strengthen or streamline their skills, looking to build their portfolio with a beautiful engagement and wedding styled shoot, and/or anyone wanting to take their business to the next level! This workshop will cover everything from attracting your ideal, creative a productive workflow, networking, mastering the client experience, curating a powerful online presence, blogging, and so much more!

Liz left us with these closing thoughts: 

Tired of feeling like you’re not busy enough? Not good enough? Not keeping up with social media or your blog? Are you tired of working for hours, days, or even years on end and still not feeling like your successful? Are you in love with photography but you just don’t know how to turn your passion into a profitable, life-sustaining business? Are you ready to take the leap and quit your 9-5 job and be your own boss? Are you ready to go full time but you just can’t figure out how to make it happen? If you answered YES to ANY of those questions, this workshop is for YOU!

The Day I Said I do To My Best Friend.

Wow! Has it really been three years since I said, "I do," to my husband, Ryan? Time flies!

I thought, in honor of our anniversary, I would take a look back and share some photos of the day we vowed  each other's lives to one another

For those that do not know, Ryan and I got married where the two of us met and our love story unfolded, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Thank you so much, Kristen Taylor Photography, for capturing the day.

So I always carry him with me. 

So I always carry him with me. 

Ryan and I decided not to see each other before the ceremony so this was our "first look" 

Ryan and I decided not to see each other before the ceremony so this was our "first look" 

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The house where I met him. He proposed to me and we had our first wedding day photos at. 

The house where I met him. He proposed to me and we had our first wedding day photos at. 

Fearless

At the beginning of 2016, I sat down with a coffee cup in one hand and a pencil in the other and Lara Casey's PowerSheets in front of me. I then turned the pages and started writing down all my hopes and dreams for the year and years ahead. I came upon a page in the PowerSheets tilted “My Why”, where I was supposed to outline my purpose for the year. At the bottom of that page was an entry called “My Word For This Year”. I thought long and hard about that and I played around with several words. Like “intentional” and “joy” but something about those words didn't work for me. Then it hit me. FEARLESS would be my word of the year  - FEARLESS. I was ready to start my 2016 no longer being afraid and ready to start living the life I was meant to live and run the business I was meant to run. 

Fast forward four months to today - have I been living my 2016 being fearless in my life and in my business? I think the first big change is that I've been able to make decisions more wholeheartedly and be okay no matter what the outcome. I am able to more decisively choose what opportunities I want to take on and which ones I don´t. When I started my business, it was so easy to say yes to everything and then overwhelm myself. I had this fear that I would miss out on an opportunity that I would not get the chance at again. What happened was that I ended up hitting a big gigantic wall. The passion and the fire that was once had was starting to sputter. Also, I was a new mom with a business and I was overwhelmed and not sure what do do next. Choosing the word fearless has given me new focus. It's a new way of living for me. Now don´t get me wrong, I'm not exactly ready to go sky-diving tomorrow but I think I am more open to the idea of it then I was, say, 4 months ago. When you take away fear in your life, it really allows you to live life to the fullest and with purpose. Fear is one of those things that can be so debilitating and can really hold you back. I chose to live 2016 being fearless which has resulted in much more happiness, accomplishments, pride in my work, and pride in my business. If all this happened in the first 4 months of 2016, what could happen in the first 6 or even 9 months? I don´t know about you but I'm fearless about it and I hope you follow me on this journey over the next year. 

 

So what if one word could change your life? What would it be? Why did you choose it? Please share with me below.