ben·ga·line (bngg-ln) n. A fabric having a crosswise ribbed effect made of silk, wool, or synthetic fibers.
ben·ga·line (bngg-ln) n. A fabric having a crosswise ribbed effect made of silk, wool, or synthetic fibers.
Aeleise was one of the sweet brides to join us for our Virtual Soiree last year. Her ideas were beautiful, and the planners that attended the soiree were all impressed with her style and grace. Everything about Aeleise’s wedding– from the intricate details to the unique venue that had exposed brick and huge scenic windows, had us all eager to see how her event turned out. She was wonderful enough to share her pictures with us as well as give us a closer look into her planning and special day.
I loved all of the emotion (and attitude!) from their special day. It was like being there and enjoying the party along with them.
And wait until you hear about the menu! The ladies spared no expense– it was like reading something out of Top Chef!
How did you choose your venue?
When we decided to have the ceremony in Chicago we knew we wanted something that reflected our urban South Side Chicago roots. Before we told many people about the ceremony, a friend of Joy’s mom told us about a party she went to in this loft space and we thought it might be cool to check out. The minute we walked into the space that was it. We just knew that this was the place we would be getting married. It fit our style and budget perfectly and they were used to throwing music industry parties not weddings, which was great because we wanted it to be a great big party, not a stuffy conventional wedding.
I know you loved the food at your wedding, can you share your menu?
Guacamole con Totopos
Avocado puree with chile serrano, cilantro, tomatoes and crispy tortilla chips
Camarón en Jicama
Shrimp wrapped with sliced jícama and Mexican cocktail sauce
Empanadas stuffed with asadero cheese and fresco cheese, corn, poblano rajas; chile de árbol-tomatillo salsa
Salbutes de Pollo
“Little tostadas” topped with achiote marinated chicken, pickled purple onions, black beans and sour cream
Crispy taquitos stuffed with potato mash, asadero cheese, tomato sofrito; chipotle salsa and fresco cheese
What was the hardest part of planning?
Not having a planner! We discussed having a day of coordinator but Joy was not too keen on that idea and our budget was limited. I work part time and Joy works beyond full time so I put my time and previous event experience to work. It was so hard because getting married is one of the most emotional times in a persons life. Add those emotions to the stress of vendor research, selection, negotiating, decor design, and trying not to loose my mind at the same time. Then December was a busy month for me as a makeup artist so I only had 4 days off that month before the rehearsal. I was a basket case with the tendency to not show my emotions so by the day of I had a permanent stress ball in the middle of my back and an ugly case of hives on my face. Thank goodness Joy’s mom took over the rehearsal dinner responsibilities and my corporate event planner mother handled the day of. Without our mothers, Joy’s loving encouragement, and my best friends/attendants antics I would have made Bridezilla look like a CareBear.
What was your favorite part of the day?
I had the most insane day! It was 63 degrees in December in Chicago, my hairstylist got stuck in 0% visibility fog, I had hives completely covering my face, and I couldn’t remember my vows. The best part though, was the ceremony. The moment I fell in love with Joy last February, she could read every thought and emotion on my face and a few weeks before that she predicted we would get married. Our vows recaptured and enhanced those moments one hundred fold and created an incredible bond before God between us.
You must dish about the honeymoon!
Ooooooh, New Orleans was just fat! The whole honeymoon was centered around food and liquor. Nothing beats the 25 cent martinis and turtle soup for lunch at Commander’s Palace and Cafe Adelaide. Our hotel was in the Warehouse Arts district, so as an artist I was in heaven and loved visiting all of the galleries with Joy. Emeril’s was a block away and somehow I had the best pad thai in the place that created Creole food, go figure. We watched the New Years fireworks from our hotel window with a half bottle of Moet and got to experience the French Quarter the night before the Sugar Bowl which was totally bananas!
We wish we had made it to the Ninth Ward more, but we got to see the Lower 9th ward leg of the citywide Prospect.1 art exhibition. It is amazing and disheartening to see that although much of the rest of the city was thriving but the Lower 9th is still reeling from Katrina. Houses still had the markers from the first days after Katrina and many were in varied states of disrepair and the residents, artists, and musicians are still scattered.
New Orleans just has this great vibe to it and we’re toying with the ideas of moving there in a few years.
We are doing it again!
With the gracious help of Jenny from Turner Classic Weddings, we have added two new videos to our website. Please take a moment and check them out, as well as the wonderful, creative work from Turner Classic Weddings. Jenny and Ryan are always a joy to shoot with and create spectacular results.
:: photos by scarlett lillian ::
I promise, this will only take a minute of your time! If you wouldn’t mind, please click on the link below and answer 9 quick, easy questions about different design aspects of wedding vendor’s websites.
We won’t record anything about you other than what state or country you are from – we don’t even ask for your email address so no spam or anything like that.
You will likely see this link on lots of other blogs and sites – this survey is being shared all over the blog-o-sphere so please take the survey only once.
Kudos to Emilie Duncan for getting this started!
I am a paperphile.
When I saw Luscious Verde online, I was so impressed with the designs and concepts of their invitations. When i was blessed enough to receive samples, well, it was pretty much over for me. I am in love with Luscious Verde’s work! Just look at the name—that in itself is pure fabulousness.
The modern elegance is a breath fo fresh air to some of the constantly overplayed designs that have saturated the stationery market as of late. The heavy stock, classic designs, and handcrafted touches make you feel like you are holding a work of art instead of a mere wedding invitation. They are all so refined—perfect for the couple who wants their personality to shine through. Luckily for you, they are carried in several retail outlets across the country for you to see these gorgeous invites in person. But definitely take a moment to get to know the wonderful ladies at LV. As a mom, I loved their story, as well as the way they give back each month to the community. Moreover, in addition to their recycling and giving back efforts, they have developed HOOT—which creates the most dynamic designs with post-consumer waste paper, which is better for the environment (learn more about HOOT)
They were even sweet enough to send me some handcrafted thank you cards—and a pirate notepad that my little ones have confiscated to leave random ransom demands in my work tote… all signed “Captin Jack Sparro”
Thank you again, Luscious Verde team for sharing your wonderful designs with me and I can’t wait to share them with our brides!
Look for places that will require minimum expense. While you want to preserve the solmenity of the ceremony itslef, also recognize that this is where a maximum of 45 minutes will be spent of the entire day. Of course talk to your pastor or administrator at your place of worship. They may be able to give you a deal that is within your budget. Research places owned by your county, city or state. Depending on your area, you can get a very nice site without breaking the bank. As your officiant’s fee also has to come out of this section, you may be best suited in finding free locations. Think of public parks with scenic fountains or nooks; you could also try for beaches or municipal buildings. Consider cutting the time of your prelude—you won’t be having that many guests (remember, we agreed on a small number) and it will help cut down on the time of your rental.
Whatever you do, don’t think you’re going to go to any location and accidentally on purpose get married. It does happen, and those couples do get kicked out. Don’t think you can just show up at a private location (hotel lobby, for example) and get married with your guests in tow. Some locations require a permit, so be sure to take this into account when budgeting. If you decide to use a justice of the peace, they too, can offer suggestions in your area for low-cost, but meaningful locations.
For your reception, look for a private room at an exclusive restaurant. The ambiance is already there, it may need just a little extra—like candles, linens or flowers. Depending on whom you choose, some of these may be made available to you. You will find the service personalized and the setting extremely private and intimate. Most will have a minimum of $2000 in order to take your event, but with your current budget, it is doable. Since we are looking to accommodate a max of 50 people, we will be able to do more for them than 100+ family and friends at the VFW.
Look to negotiate your hours; with minimal people in your party, try to roll in the pricing for alcohol. Pay by the drink if you do not have heavy drinkers, otherwise, negotiate one drink per person that is served with dinner (if they ask for additional libation, instruct your servers to announce that “Unfortunately, the bar is closed”). Another option to handling the alcohol issue is to print up menus (the cost of these can be rolled into your dinner or into your miscellaneous budget). Some restaurants are happy to do this gratis, so be sure to ask. Of course, you can save even more by eliminating alcohol altogether. To avoid any confusion with food choices or extra expenditures, your menu should list the items you have chosen for the meal. Consider if you would like to offer a dessert after your dinner or just use your cake instead.
Let’s total it out for a dinner offering no dessert or alcohol(note these are prices averaged from different establishments that offer private dining):
Soup or Salad– $4.95
Total(including a tax rate of 6% and gratuity of 30%) : $40.32 per person
$40.32 per guest @ 50 guests: $2015.88
You still have some money to play with (almost $5 per person) to upgrade something on your menu.
Next week, we’ll talk flowers!
When I met Mona and Brad, I instantly loved them. Everything about them just made me feel like we were old friends. We met when they were considering Jekyll Island for their ceremony and reception. Unfortunately, due to the strict rules of having events on the beach, they decided to move their wedding to South Carolina. Even though we did not work together on their wedding, Mona promised to keep in touch.
Mona is one of those women that is stunningly gorgeous…well no. Ridiculously gorgeous, and has the best personality (after all, like attracts like LOL!). So it was a real treat to get her wedding pictures in our email and see all of the wonderful things she and Brad had planned. She even shared some of her thoughts on her planning process and the wedding with us.
Check out the rehearsal dinner, which was a costume party (I told you, they are awesome!):
Gorgeous shots from the wedding:
I loved all of the fun and emotions at the party as well:
C+D: What did you find was the hardest and easiest part of planning?
M: The hardest part – was defining the thin line between people "helping you" and "asking nicely" what they want!!
I had individuals on the day before and day of my wedding asking me to include this and amend that… it was very disappointing.
The easy part – was saying "NO" to those who thought they were "helping" or "asking nicely"…(LOL)
C+D: How did you choose your venue?
M: From day one – my husband and I knew we wanted a beach wedding in a town/place that was easily accessible for all guests.
C+D: Your concept for the rehearsal dinner was genius, what made you come up with it?
M: A few things –
1.) Who doesn’t like Halloween?
2 ) I had to bring together two families who were different in race, religion, culture, living habits, etc – what better way to break the ice than to be in costume with a few cocktails!!!
3) It was the right thing to do – with so many people coming to support us. The least I could do was have a nice social.
C+D: If you could relive one moment of your wedding, what would it be?
M: Ahhh one moment – there were so many moments – but the best moment was walking down the aisle and realizing that my world and my life, would ultimately sky-rocket into eternally happiness, by marrying the my best friend and my partner for life.
Thank you Mona and Brad for allowing me to show off your stellar taste and incomparable love for each other. And a very special thank you to Gene Ho, and the talented Nadean Bruehlman of Gene Ho Photography who did the photography.