CSW Designer Challenge Vendor Spotlight: Gold Grid Studios

For the Designer Challenge, Rebecca and her team at Gold Grid Studios were tasked with photographing each of the designs put together by the teams participating in the Designer Challenge.  We loved having Rebecca as a part of our team and absolutely loved the images she captured of our work! Check her out on the blog today and learn a little more about Gold Grid Studios and how she got started. Also, if you missed any of our spotlights on our vendor team they are up on the blog so please check them out. Also, voting is closing June 30th so please vote for us today! You can do so by clicking here. 

Tell me little about Gold Grid Studios. 
Gold Grid Studios is a wedding photography team with a focus on collaboration. We allow our photographers the freedom to take beautiful photos, while our studio strives for excellent communication and organization with the creative team of each event.

How did you get started?
After owning my own personal photography company for 5 years, Gold Grid Studios was born out of the desire to create a team environment – a way to provide our amazing couples with better support for their big day while furthering the creative life of the great photographers in Chicago. Gone are the days of the one-woman-show who miraculously completed everything alone. Gone are the days of worrying about what you’ll do if your photographer gets sick on your wedding day. Say hello to the team approach that gives photographers the time to become better, while brides and grooms benefit from that amazing talent.

Photo by: Gold Grid Studios 

Photo by: Gold Grid Studios 



What is something couples should consider when hiring a photographer for their wedding?Always ask your photographer how many weddings they shoot per year.
Weddings take a lot out of you. It can be a long, physically tiring day for both the photographer and for the entire wedding party. You want a photographer who has the experience, stamina, and positivity to not only make it through the day, but to excel in the environment. On the flip-side, you don’t want someone who spreads themselves too thin. T
he answer to this question is usually a key into the quality of service you'll receive throughout the process!


You shot all the Design Teams. Without playing favorites, how did you like the process and being involved in so many different visions? 

What is so unique about shoots like this is that the team of professionals involved are getting to show off their own specific visions without anyone else's input. We all of course love the work we create for our couples, but that inherently must be their vision and not our own (after all it's their wedding!). Looking at shoots like the Designer's Challenge really shows who loves to create something that's full of color or who loves working with neutrals, who loves a timeless look and who is more trendy, etc. 

What was your biggest takeaway from the designers challenge as a whole? 

Being involved in the Designer's Challenge really was a way to see what unique aesthetics each of the teams bring to the table and really thrive within. I think that all couples should choose a team of creative professionals that naturally are in alignment aesthetically with their own vision. There are seemingly endless options out there for couples to choose from for their wedding day, so focusing on what type of day they want and then choosing someone who equally loves their style preferences is a way to make the working relationship between professional and couple run that much more smoothly. 


What makes one team stand out from another in your opinion?

think success is achieved when you can't tell whether there was a team leader, when all of the elements come together so perfectly that you can't decipher which came first. Part of achieving that goal comes from the team working well together. Harmonious teamwork leads to a harmonious design. 

 

 

CSW Designer Challenge Vendor Spotlight: Amy Beck Cakes

On the blog today, we check out Amy Becks Cakes with whom we collaborated on our Designer Challenge photo shoot. Amy and her team worked with us to come up with the perfect cake to go along with our overall theme and we think they absolutely nailed it! It was so gorgeous and the attention to detail was on point. Check out today's blog post to learn more about Amy - did you know she just celebrated her 10 year anniversary? Congratulations! Also, if you missed our post on our partner in crime, Gromeza Floral Design Studio, you can click here. If you want to see how things went down behind the scenes, click here. Also, voting closes June 30th so please don't forget to vote for us! You can do so by clicking here. 

Tell me a little about Amy Becks Cakes. 

I love making cakes, it is one of my favorite things to do!! I think that is why we have been continually asked to be a part of Magazine Editorials. We believe all cakes should look beautiful and taste delicious. That is the key to all of my cakes!

Photo provided by: Amy Becks Cakes

Photo provided by: Amy Becks Cakes

You are celebrating your 10 year anniversary. How did you get started? 

I started in 4H when I was 10 years old. I never stopped making cakes!! I always knew I wanted to own a cake shop and make gorgeous cakes. And, after 10 years of making cakes, it is still one of my favorite things to do

Photo provided by: Amy Becks Cakes 

Photo provided by: Amy Becks Cakes 

How did you like collaborating with everyone on this project? 

Well, first off, 13 years ago, I got married at the Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum so it is always great to be back where my husband, Dave and I got married. I think it all started with your gorgeous mood board including the very opulent and luxurious. The color palate of blush, ivory, rose gold and gold is exactly what I used to design our wedding cake. I mimicked the soft gorgeous flowers at the bottom of our cake. 

 What inspired your design? 

The beautiful flowers from Gromeza floral design and Vision of Elegance. They were so lush and just a gorgeous color.

What was your biggest takeaway from this project? 

I love the process of collaborating with other talented vendors. A Designer’s Challenge is really similar to our couples wedding day. They give their idea to a wedding planner and the entire team works together to pull it off. I believe that when you let the artists create, you ultimately get more. That would be one piece of advice I give to couples is to let go of every detail. Let your vendors really show you their stuff.  

What would winning mean to you and your company? I am a person who really loves to get “a good job”, “loved, loved, loved my cake”, or “truly enjoyed working with you”. I truly work for praise. Winning the Designer’s Challenge means that the people that voted really respected our work as a team and loved the final creation. That is what this industry is all about.

What do you think makes us stand out from the completion?

We had such a soft romantic feel that most brides want. I feel that it is important to capture the romance of the evening. However, this is not super traditional, the rentals are gorgeous and modern. The mirrored tables are perfect for any wedding cake and I love the luxurious high chairs.

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!