A Visual Guide To Black Tie Attire For Beaus by Bows-N-Ties

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Thanks to the Bows-N-Ties Team for this fun and inventive post!

Attire For Beaus and that's simplicity + tradition + personal taste = Perfection. We have created a visual guide for you to follow, guaranteeing you to look chic, coiffed and nothing like the wait staff. Dressing for black tie requires a tuxedo, a dress shirt, a bow tie, a pocket square, cuff links and patent leather formal shoes.

The trick is to choose accessories that convey your personal taste without eclipsing the classic style of the tuxedo. And accessories are our specialty. We recommend opting for a formal ribbed self tie bow tie rather than a satin finished black bow tie. The subtle texture makes a world of difference and everyone else will covet your originality. Purchase a few white pocket squares and have them monogrammed with your initials, catch phrase or something uniquely you. Cufflinks complete the look and allow for the most room for expression. It's tradition to wear gold cufflinks but that doesn't mean you can't get creative with the designs. Always find a way to personalize your black tie attire in one way or another.

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Tuxedo Shirt


Ribbed Bow Tie

Pocket Square

For more from the Bows-N-Ties team, you can visit them on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr!


Time for a Getaway!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you live in Chicago, chances are you are thinking the same thing we are – it’s time for a getaway. Somewhere warm, and soon! This is the perfect time to take a break from planning your wedding or just beat the winter (spring!) blues. While taking a full week for an impromptu tropical vacay might not be very practical, a long weekend is certainly not out of reach. Personally, I am headed to Napa Valley in a couple of weeks and can’t wait enjoy the California sunshine! We love northern California in general, but there’s something about wine country that has me already in a relaxed state of mind just thinking about it. Thinking about what to pack, on the other hand, is not a zen-like experience. Finding those perfect items that will travel well, be interchangeable and practical, all while looking put together, can be a daunting task! I put together a little go to short list of weekend getaway necessities to share with you. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="5853" img_size="full" alignment="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

My go-to wine tasting ensemble will definitely be a maxi dress. Layering is a must, so I’ll be sure to bring my denim jacket and this springy scarf from Kate Spade. When out and about at wineries, a cross body handbag is a must, so your hands are free for the important task ahead! These comfy wedges from J. Crew will be ideal for a stroll through the vineyards. After a day of wine tasting, you’ll surely have picked up a few favorite bottles along the way. Pack these shatterproof stemless wine glasses from Go Vino and a wine key (in your checked luggage, of course) so you can head to a park where you can enjoy your winery finds el fresco with some artisan cheese or chocolates. Take time to reconnect with your sweetie and hopefully by the time we all get back from our long weekends, spring will finally be upon us in Chicago!




Real Wedding Teaser - Inspiration Board


One of our favorite clients of all time was married this past fall.

The wedding ceremony took place at the super-charming St. Chrysostom’s church, nestled on a residential street in the Gold Coast.  And the reception?  Bliss fave - Chicago History Museum.

JEH had a personal style meant for us.  Layers of J. Crew and accents of Kate Spade – modern updates of classic styles.  When she said she was toying with a color palette of Navy, Fuchsia, Kelly Green and Glittery Gold we thought we would die!

We would be honoured to help bring THAT vision to life!

As a little teaser, we would like to share the inspiration board we created in the early stages of our planning process.  This visual, conceptual tool was used as inspiration for everything from attire to stationary to florals and linens.


Stay tuned to see how the inspiration board came to life this past October!

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Real Wedding & One Heck of a Year!


It was one year ago this week that a favorite Bliss Client married the man of her dreams (truly – they are mad about one another!).

It was a beautiful winter - not exactly wintry - wedding.  And since their big day, Maggie and Tony have already been blessed with a (ridiculously gorgeous) baby girl, Avery.  Because of this, I thought I’d share a few photos from the most glamorous day of their lives.

Maggie and her gaggle of girls dressed at the Ritz Carlton Chicago (also the location of the reception).  Everyone wore coordinating monogrammed button-downs, gifted by the bride, as a comfortable and practical way to relax during the hours of hair and make-up!

Maggie’s beautiful custom dress was designed in collaboration with Mira Couture and featured the bride’s new monogram embroidered in blue.

The ceremony was held at Old St. Pat’s (the oldest standing church in the City – it survived the Chicago fire!) and could easily accommodate the couple’s 300+ besties. The chalice that was used for communion is a special family heirloom given to the bride’s grandparents in Ireland.

The bride wore her great grandmother’s dreamy mink stole to ward off the January breezes.

As the cocktail hour came to an end, The Shannon Rovers lead guests to the ballroom for dinner with a heck-of-a-dramatic parade of drums and bagpipes.

The muted palette of creams, champagnes and mixed metallics provided the perfect wintry setting for Maggie, Tony and their guests.  A combination of linens were used alternately around the room:  rose gold sequins, silver silks as well as silver sequins.  Icy acrylic chairs allowed the special linens do all the talking.

Floral and décor was designed by our very own Jesse Deckard (back in his Event Creative Days).  Going for a snowy-mounded effect, Jesse used monofloral bundles and clouds of gypsophelia (ok, ok, babies breath), Dutch hydrangea and velvety dusty miller foliage.  He also used various crystal and metallic containers and votive cups paired with raw, natural peeling birch bark trunks.

The couple danced to Keith Urban’s You’re Everything, performed by Larry King Orchestra.   Lifesize birch trees were strung with crystals and suspended candles and cornered off the (massive) dance floor (that was packed in mere moments!)

The evening was filled with some seriously sentimental touches ....A truly beautiful and heart-melting toast by the brides other –and original- favorite man: her father, as well as a surprise toast given by the bride’s 27 cousins!

And although Maggie and Tony had visions of fluffy snowflakes creating a swirling snow-globe setting for their January winter wedding, Mother Nature keeps us Chicagoans on our toes and, instead, delivered a few days of unexpected warmth leading up to their celebration.  Instead of snow-boots, the couple’s most necessary accessory ended up being the oversized umbrellas that allowed them to sneak out of their reception for just a few kisses under the twinkling streetlights of Michigan Avenue.

I was so truly and completely honoured to have been a part of this special couple’s planning journey – and I so appreciated witnessing the love, admiration and adoration among their close-knit families as well as one another.  Bliss wishes them the happiest of anniversaries!

Xx Kara

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Ceremony Venue: Old St. Pat's

Reception Venue: Ritz-Carlton

Event Design: Jesse Deckard through Event Creative

Dress: Custom Mira Couture

Irish Pipe Band: The Shannon Rovers

Photographer: Gerber Scarpelli


Tis The Season with Bliss!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Happy Holidays to everyone! We wish you all Peace, Joy and Happiness this beautiful time of year.  We can hardly wait for 2014!!!

xoxoxx, Renny, Jesse, Kara, Katie, Liza and Beth

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Bridal Trend We Are Loving

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While enjoying the latest issue of Town & Country Weddings alongside a cozy blanket and a glass of wine the other night, we found we were particularly drawn to one of the fashion pages.  We always enjoy a good round up of new bridal trends and we are especially loving the new take on the peplum trend of last year- the exaggerated peplum or the "long peplum" as T&C Weddings is calling it.  This shape has a sense of drama about it while not being too over the top or fussy.  It is a modern nod to a more classic shape in daywear and we think it has an undeniable glamour to it.   We cannot wait to see this shape of dress pop up at a real wedding this season!  For a few more bridal trends check out Town & Country's website right here.  


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Ring Bearer Style

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of our favorite parts of a wedding ceremony is watching the adorable ring bearer & flower girl make their way down the aisle. It's usually a fun moment that delights guests, gives everyone a little chuckle and definitely a big smile - plus usually calms down any nerves the groom might be feeling up until that moment. Flower Girls can be so much fun to shop for, (we even put together a fun inspiration board for them here) but ring bearers can prove to be just as fun especially if you step outside the box a little bit. Here's some inspiration for the youngsters in your bridal party:  [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="7138" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Destination Wedding: Guest Style


Katie and Jesse are currently down in the sunny Caribbean putting together all the fabulous details for one of our lucky couples' wedding weekend including a welcome party, ceremony/reception and day after brunch- (we promise to share all the amazing photos from this event just as soon as we have them!).  In honor of this destination wedding in Anguilla at the gorgeous Viceroy Resort, we thought it would be fun to put together a little outfit inspiration for the travelling wedding guest


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welcome party dress by Halston Heritage

wedding ceremony/reception dress by David Miester

day after brunch dress by Karina Grimaldi


What To Wear: Black Tie Wedding Guest Outfit Inspiration

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If your social calendar looks anything like ours, it is FILLED with weddings this season!!! Don't wait til the last minute to dash to Neiman's or overnight yourself something from Shopbop.  Scoop up that great dress when you see it so you don't have one of those hour long moments in front of your closet searching for something to wear for a wedding. Here is a little inspiration for those black tie affairs headed your way:



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classic:  dress  |  shoes  |  clutch

glam:  dress  |  shoes  |  clutch

edgy:  dress  |  shoes  |  clutch

 Happy Shopping!


INSPIRED BY: Met Gala Glamour

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While getting wedding inspiration from magazines, blogs and pinterest are the main go to sources for every bride, we hope you dont forget to turn to a more star studded inspiration: the red carpets!  We have been loving seeing all the bold choices the celebrities, fashion stars and models chose to don for this year's Met Gala which took place a few nights ago.  Even though most red carpet dresses would not be fit to walk down the aisle, there is a lot of inspiration to be had in the way of accessories, beauty and hair!   Here is a little board we put together inspired by the glamour of the Met Gala red carpet:  [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="6484" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

INSPIRED BY: Kate Moss' Boho Flower Girls

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We are still swooning over the images of Kate Moss' romantic bohemian English countryside nuptials.  When a wedding is that beautiful and perfectly executed it's hard to get it out of your head!  We were recently reminded of Kate's entourage of impeccably styled boho flower girls when we opened the most recent email from BHLDN announcing their new Flower Girl dresses.   It is hard to go wrong when selecting a pint-size outfit for your flower girls since they tend to steal to the show at the ceremony (right up until the bride appears of course!), but we suggest going with the timeless ease of a bohemian flowing dress in shades of off white or ivory accessorized by a floral halo crown of course!  [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][vc_single_image image="5923" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Belle Vie Bridal Couture Fashion Show & Planner's Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We hope your curiosity was peaked last week when we showed you the inspiration image behind the decor and design created by Jesse for the planner's dinner hosted by the Waldorf Astoria. Here are the beautiful images of how that inspiration image came to life captured by Fig Weddings.  

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And here are a few glimpses at some of the beautiful dresses featured by Belle Vie Bridal Couture during the runway presentation earlier in the evening.  We were definitely swooning over more than a few of these!

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Real Wedding: Kristen & Charlie

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Being in this business, we get the true honor of getting to work with gorgeous decor, 5-star cuisine, dreamy details and, most importantly, we get to meet so many amazing people. And wow... does this wedding capture all of these honors and so much more. Kristen and Charlie look straight out of Hollywood... Kristen's a stunning, tall blonde with the most infectious smile and impeccable style. Charlie is dapper and dashing and loves Kristen (and golf!) in the ways that you see in the movies. But on top of it all, they are a thoughtful, incredibly fun couple who wanted their wedding weekend to celebrate their families coming together in a chic and personal manor. Kristen and Charlie were married at Kenilworth Union Church - a church that was a big part of both of their childhood's, followed by drinks, feasting and a wild dance party at the {gorgeous!} Peninsula Hotel. The inspiration for the day was elegant but cozy and the palette of ivory, cream and gold complemented the perfect fall day. To celebrate Charlie's love of golf, we (Jesse Deckard and the Event Creative team) transformed the cocktail party in to a smart little golf party - with a custom mini-golf set up and personalized golf balls, golf-flag drink stirrers and green and white custom fabrics for the pillows. The playful golf details were left behind as guests entered the ballroom for dinner {to the incredibly talented and lively tunes from Colby Bessera!} where white orchids draped down long feasting tables, thoughtful details by Cheree Berry Paper graced the tables and thousands of candles flickered around the room. After a surf and turf dinner, guests twirled on the dance floor, enjoyed the terrace at the Peninsula (where we arranged for a cigar bar in light of Kristen's dad's love for them!) and even enjoyed a surprise performance from the groom's brother. It was a night of beauty and love and we were honored to be a part of it all!



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A Little Bliss Belle Holiday Outfit Inspiration


Now that we have decadently dined ourselves through Thanksgiving and given our credit cards a nice little

work out on black Friday, it is time to start looking ahead to all the holiday parties dotting our social agenda in the coming month!

 Here is a little black tie appropriate holiday party inspiration to get you in the spirit!




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1. Issa Jadeite dress- the color of this dress is picture perfect for the holidays and the simple silhouette is to die for!

2. We love the vintage yet glamorous feel of these Lulu Frost for J. Crew earrings.

3. This chic little Christian Louboutin purse was made to be taken to a holiday party- it's even tied with a luxe velet bow on top!

4. We are swooning over these modern Nicholas Kirkwood gold bow slingbacks.


Wedding Dress Codes

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]That tiny little dress code detail usually at the end of the invitation always has guests scrambling for some answers as to what is appropriate. Bliss is here to break down the etiquette on wedding guest attire with this handy dandy cheat sheet.


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For more etiquette questions we love referencing the etiquette maven, Emily Post.


Our Mommy-to-be Model!

Did anyone catch our very own senior weddings & event design consultant, Katie Kozlowski, on Good Day Chicago today? Katie, who is due this New Year's Eve, modeled for FOX Chicago's segment with Bravo TV Star, Designer & Author, Rosie Pope.Chicago News and Weather | FOX Chicago News

Rosie Pope is the complete "Maternity Guru". She is the mom of three, star of Bravo's Pregnant in Heels, has a full clothing line for pregnant fashionistas with two store locations (New York & Santa Monica), and now the release of her new book Mommy IQ. So naturally, Katie didn't hesitate at the chance to not only meet Rosie but to wear one of Rosie's designs! Katie's first look was the Stella Dress, a black cocktail dress with removable sparkle belt,  and with Bliss' "uniform" being classy black attire when working our events, this look couldn't have been more fitting. Katie's second look was a sporty look for the mom-to-be in a 3/4 Sleeve Boat Neck top from A Pea in the Pod. This might have been the first time I have EVER seen Katie in a pair of sneakers, it counts even if it was through the TV, right?  Katie was all smiles and looked STUNNING! We can't wait to get the behind the scenes scoop from her!

You can meet Rosie too! She will be at A Pea in the Pod at the Water Tower Place this evening from 5 to 7pm signing her Mommy IQ book. Don't miss it!

Congrats to our already fashionable mom-to-be Katie!!

The 2012 Olympic Games


You know we love a good theme party. Especially, when the chance to celebrate comes along only once every four years. The 2012 Olympic's Opening Ceremony begins tomorrow at 6:30pm and we are already excited to suck up the hat hair from our berets and cheer on all the athletes. Whether your attending or hosting a party we've got your Olympic look all planned out for you! Throwing a party? The Today Show has got you covered with how to throw an Olympic theme party!  Go Team USA!!

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What you will need to steal the show: Women- The most talked about piece of this year's Olympic Collection, a beret. A navy blazer. A red, white and blue scarf (pick one color if too hard to find). A white skirt, socks and tennies! Add in anything with a pony on it for extra points! Men- Man up with a beret. A white collared shirt, an all American tie, preppy belt, and khakis. Again, work in the pony anywhere you can! Get a little creative with sporting metallic nails ladies, preferably gold of course! Butter London has an adorable limited edition right now!

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Katie Says...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]"Pick a special wedding perfume so when you wear it years later it reminds you (and your hubby) of how you smelled that day” - Katie Kozlowski, Senior Weddings & Events Design Consultant Katie is on to something and there are plenty of scientific studies that reveal the power of smell (just check out the genius's over at ELLE). Scent has the overwhelming capability of instantly transporting you back to a specific time and place, even surprising you at times. What better day to be transported back to than your wedding day? While a sprtiz of perfume may be the last touch you think of while dashing out of your Bridal Suite, think about Katie's advice and all those studies by those in lab coats. Indulge a little and pick a scent that you will forever cherish!

We've gathered a few of our most favorite...

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1. Miss Dior // 2. Falling in Love //3. Flower Bomb //4. Chanel Number 5 // 5. Tocca // 6. Twirl // 7. Flora


Feature: Danielle on The Knot Live

The love between "The Knot" and Danielle & Eric's backyard tent wedding in Evanston, IL grows even more strong with Danielle's segment on "The Knot Live". Who can blame them? Their wedding was already featured in The Knot, Special Chicago Guide with a fancy three-page spread and now they are back for more darling details of their rustic chic tent wedding. Watch Danielle as she talks about how she was able to incorporate several personal and meaningful details into her big day, details on the bridal party's attire, her AMAZING gown, the color story and a certain piece of advice that has us blushing! (Pressed for time? Skip to Danielle's segment at 21:15)

Wonderful Whites


Our Brides are no strangers when it comes to wearing white on their big day, but with Memorial Day next week we are anxiously awaiting to shimmy on our white jeans! Whether you follow the ancient white rule that allows the oxy cleaned pieces their short life span between Memorial Day and Labor Day or not, you will love the white inspiration we pulled!

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We encourage you to channel your inner P.Diddy and host a white dinner party with these key tabletop pieces. Start with a classic white tablecloth, add these vases from westelm, fill with various white flowers of all different heights, place a simple, white plate at each spot, chill your beverages in this Anthropologie Ice Bucket, add a chic vintage pitcher,  put on your white duds and voilà!

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  1. Pure White Ceramic Vases, west elm // 2. Opalescent Tumbler, Anthropologie // 3. Bernardaud Louvre Dinnerware, Williams Sonoma // 4. Sierra Pitcher, Anthropologie // 5. Melted Edges Ice Bucket, Anthropologie