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Wedding Planning

1 In Events/ The Bride/ The Groom/ Wedding Planning

Surviving a Bridal Show – Tips for Attending Indie Wed

If you are the midst of planning and have decided to attend a bridal show, know that all shows are not created equal.  What appeals to some may not appeal to others.  It used to be that the only real shows were held in big hotel ballrooms or convention halls but within recent years, smaller or independent shows (like Indie Wed) have begun popping up all over.  Some shows can be large and give you a lot to look over but some find these shows overwhelming.  More intimate shows give you that one on one face time with vendors but often these shows aren’t as diverse and only highlight a few select vendors.

Photo by Jeremy Lawson Photography

If you have the opportunity I would suggest attending at lease one large and one small show in your area.  Of course my ultimate suggestion would be to attend Indie Wed!  While it is a larger show with over 100 vendors, it isn’t your typical ballroom show.  Vendors are juried through an application process (unlike other large shows which will take anyone who pays a high fee) to ensure that we have a diverse group (with style, price range, etc) of small, independent artists and wedding pros.  Many of our vendors don’t participate in any other wedding shows because they understand the uniqueness of Indie Wed and the wonderful group of attendees it attracts.

Photo by Studio Starling

If you are attending Indie Wed (or any other wedding shows), you need to arrive prepared so that you can make the most of your time there.  Here are some helpful tips.

  1. Bring a bag or tote – Vendors will have plenty of handouts and giveaways so bring something you can put everything in.
  2. Bring a bottle of water – While food and drinks will be available, it might be nice to have a bottle tucked in your bag.  Staying hydrated will keep you refreshed.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes – As someone who can attest to spending the day running up and down between all the floors, leave the heels at home and opt for something more comfortable.
  4. Contact info labels – Preprinted labels with your name, address, & email will save you from having to fill out mailing lists multiple times.  Some people even opt to open a P.O. box or get a special email address just for wedding planning.
  5. Know your budget – Having your budget in mind will help you focus on vendors who fit the bill (literally)
  6. Bring your checkbook / credit card – Many vendors will be taking deposits and this is a great way to make sure you snag that vendor for your big day before anyone else does (TIP: because of high banking fees, many small vendors prefer checks over credit cards.  In fact, some vendors don’t accept credit cards at all.  Make sure you ask ahead of time)
  7. Walk down every aisle on all floors – Indie Wed is large with vendors on two floors.  Make sure you go down every aisle so you don’t miss that hidden gem (Programs with maps are available at the registration table)
  8. Bring swatches of fabrics, colors etc with you – When talking to vendors, having something to show them may be helpful.  If you use Pinterest to save inspirational images, having their app on your smart phone may also allow you to show vendors what you have in mind.
  9. Have your calendar handy – bring your datebook or calendar with you as this is a perfect time to set up future appointments with vendors.
  10. Enjoy

Have any other good tips? Leave them in the comments section below.

0 In Flowers/ Inspiration/ Photography/ Website/ Wedding Planning

Another Gift for the Season

So Christmas is coming a little late in the Reenie Rose camp.  It’s the holiday season, so why not extend gift giving a little bit longer than December 25th.

First off, I have to introduce you to the photographer behind the camera that captured Sarah and Ernest’s wedding day this past October.  A new find for me, Jaclyn Simpson is a photographer that I can’t wait to get to know better.  We already have so much in common….good food, traveling, and art!

1.  How long have you been in  business?  
Four years (give or take)

2.   Toot your own horn….what’s your specialty?  
Weddings and Portraits

3.  Who or what are your  favorite subjects to photograph….your dream photo session? 
I love to photograph people. I also really enjoy photographing great details and styled photo shoots.

4.  What do you like about working in the  wedding industry?  
I love that I am able to be a part of one of the happiest days in my clients’ lives. I also love the community of  professionals and vendors in the wedding industry.

5.  When  you are not working, what are you up to?
Enjoying good food and friends in Chicago or traveling.

6.  Anything new and exciting  coming up that we should know about? (either professionally or personally)   
I am in the process of starting a completely separate  and exciting new brand just for portraits.

Definitely pay Jaclyn a little visit at


And now for the big unveiling…here is Sarah and Ernest’s painting….completed!!!

There wasn’t anyone out there willing to take a bold stab at the hour count on this one, so I’ll give in…..a whopping 63 hours!!!  I couldn’t believe it either!  Quality takes time.

Speaking of time, don’t forget that you have until December 31, 2011 to book a painting at the 2011 prices.  Paintings will be going up next year, so don’t wait…treat yourself to a late Christmas gift!  You know you deserve it!



0 In Eco-Friendly/ Wedding Planning

Meet Naturally Your Events!

A little bit about my company: Naturally Yours Events is an eco-chic wedding and event planning company committed to planning events that are unique, stress free, and absolutely fun. No matter what your style or budget or where you are in the planning process, we will take the time to get to know you to ensure your special day is everything you’ve dreamed of.

A little bit about me: I started planning events at a very young age, with most of them being birthday parties and huge trips to the theater. In college, my love and talent for planning landed me a job at a photography studio in Michigan where I was their Day of Coordinator. After planning many weddings in Michigan, I am thrilled to be off on my own here in Chicago. Being a part of Indie Wed this year is so exciting for me. In fact, my first taste of Chicago’s wedding industry was at Indie Wed. I found the experience to be fantastic fun and a ton of inspiration. Can’t wait to see you all at the show!

Carlene Smith, Owner and Event Planner, Naturally Yours Events

Email: carlene[at]
Phone: 312-752-5890

0 In Flowers/ Inspiration/ Website/ Wedding Planning

A Painting with a Plan

There are so many great people that go into making a bouquet painting, and Sarah and Ernest’s is no exception.  Even though I am the only one creating the actual painting, there is a whole team responsible for what comes out on the canvas.  The most important part in Sarah and Ernest’s creation is the gracious referral from team leader Hilary Schwartz of Estera Events.

If there’s any part of a wedding that I recommend the most (besides a fabulous florist), it is hiring a planner.  I can’t imagine relying on a family friend or, heaven forbid, my mom, to make sure everything is in tip top shape the day of my hypothetical wedding.  Put it all in the hands of the professional and let the guests enjoy.  I’ve played the part of the consultant before, and there is nothing like the joy you feel when you bring complete calm and assurance over what can be the most important and stressful day in a couple’s life.  Hilary is one of those people that easily makes you feel this peace when you are in her presence….imagine what she could do for your wedding day!


1.  How long have you been in business?

I started Estera Events in February of 2010, after working the previous 9 years as both an Interior Designer and Floral Designer.

2.  Toot your own horn….what’s your specialty?

Given my background, I love to help my clients create a conceptual direction for their event that suits their personalities and budget. We are involved in every single element to ensure a cohesive vision. We also design and produce details for the bride such as personalized Welcome Bags for the guests, innovative Escort Card displays and unique Place Setting embellishments at the table.

3.  What would be your dream event creation?

My dream isn’t so much for a particular event; rather, I am excited about fulfilling my dream of increasing Estera Events’ presence on the West Coast. Ultimately, I’d also like to do more exotic destination weddings–especially during Chicago winters!

4.  Wedding trend you love and one you’d like to see disappear?

I love the return to traditional details such as the ‘send off’ at the end of the evening. As far as a trend I’d like to see disappear–well, I have an aversion to tented escort cards. We always try to push the boundaries and make things a bit more interesting for our couples.

5.  Craziest request you’ve had?

We’re currently working with a bride who has requested a ‘Tennessee Circus, Betty Paige meets Mumford and Sons’ theme for her wedding next year. Sounds crazy – but we love it!!

6.  What do you like about working in the wedding industry?

Aside from designing and creating the quintessential wedding day for a couple, I really appreciate the camaraderie among the vendors in this industry. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by so many talented and supportive individuals.

7.   When you are not working, what are you up to?

When am I not working! I have to admit, I love my job and don’t feel like it’s all work! When I do take time off, however, I enjoy traveling – particularly to the Bed and Breakfast owned by my family in Missouri (Inn at Clover Hill).

8.  Anything new and exciting coming up that we should know about? (either professionally or personally)

Stay tuned for a Valentine’s Day event in late January, an exclusive dinner party in February, and not to mention all of our fabulous 2012 weddings!

 Thank you so much Hilary!!!  Eeee!  I can’t wait to see what Estera Events has in store for 2012!  Be sure to visit her at

And now for the painting update….

There are more to come…..


0 In Catering/ Chicago/ Events/ Food/ Sweets & Treats/ Wedding Planning

Craving A Sweet Table

Having A Sweet Table at a wedding is a simple and lovely way to add vintage inspired romance to the event, but many brides just don’t know where to start.


At a A Sweet Table, we have a huge collection of vintage cakes stands, antique silver trays, colored glass bowls and delicate china dessert plates. The best part is, we also bake everything and make it look and taste as good as the table that it all sits on.

We are in love with baking cakes and cookies and nothing makes us happier than thinking of the perfect details that can set your event apart from the rest. From bit size items to beautiful layer cakes, we can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth.

So if your dreaming of A Sweet Table at your wedding, leave all the preparations to us!

Post by: A Sweet Table

0 In Destination Weddings/ Wedding Planning

A destination wedding?! Hmm, OK!

Hi! I’m Tasha Mueller founder of Sweet Escapes Destination Wedding Planning.  I’m dedicated to help couples out there tap into their personal style and make their wedding about them & the celebration of their love.  Sweet Escapes is all about making your day (or week!) personal, intimate & memorable.  Yes, we focus on flowers, food & table linens, but our overall focus is about the “feel.”  Have you ever walked into a room and felt the ‘energy’ of the place & people?  That’s our point, I want your guests to walk away from your wedding full of love, laughter, and memories.

Just imagine taking your favorite people to an amazing location, experiencing some of the sights and adventures together, then sharing in your most special of days.  All of your family & friends will leave as one big ‘family’, always having your wedding to thank for the new friendships made.  Everyone becomes Facebook friends, invites each other out for dinner, and if we do our part, will want a reunion each year in the amazing place you got married.

I’m not saying Destination Weddings are better than a traditional one day hurrah, but think about it… what are you and your fiancee really wanting from your wedding?  If its quality time with each of your favorite people, a relaxed environment in a beautiful location, and a wedding week full of laughter and fond memories, you can’t beat a Destination Wedding.  Only a Destination Wedding can provide a true union of two families and two people in love.

 Hugs,  Tasha