Tips on writing the perfect Thank You Note

How to write a Thank You note

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Those amazing gifts are pilling up after your shower, birthday, ,anniversary or wedding. Now what? Time to write the perfect Thank you note to show your appreciation for your new loot.

Our friends from giftsin24.com  have some of the best advice around. Brew up a big pot of coffee or even better, pop a bottle (or two) of champagne and get writing, addressing and stamping.


  • Stationary

    Make sure you order GORGEOUS thank you stationary when you place your order for your invitations. We love all printables to match and you finally get to use your official monogram (SWOON), but if your suite doesn’t have a matching option, then order something comparable. This is also a way to announce a new address if you wish. Always fun to print on the back if your printer allows. Always make sure and order 5-15 extra envelopes for any addressing mistakes and use a great pen!


  • Recipient List

    Make sure you keep an organized and updated list of who attended and record what gift you received as they came in. Keep all this information in the same excel spreadsheet you used for your wedding guest list.


  • Value

    Know the value of a handwritten card. It is standard etiquette and must more sincere and MUCH more appreciated than an email or text. When your guests receive your handwritten note in the mail, they will know you value their gift.


  • Inclusions

    Make sure you include a kind and thoughtful message that isn’t generic. Really reflect on how you plan on using the gift and how much you appreciate receiving the gift.

    • Greet the recipients by name

    • Thank them for the gift

    • Say something you like about the gift or how you plan on using it in your new home together

    • Close by thanking them again

    • Sign your names


  • Time frame

    When it comes to thank you cards, the sooner the better is our advice. They come across more genuine when they are prompt. But, you do officially have 3 months to send after your honeymoon. Try not to go past that point if possible.


Now, Get to it and have fun! XO, BLISS









The Best Milestone Birthday Planning and Design Tips

milestone party planning tips

You don’t need a reason to throw a party in our book, we love any and all “just because” reasons to celebrate practically anything. But, if you happen to have a Milestone Celebration around the corner then by all means, you MUST celebrate and plan a fabulous party! Here are our tips to planning a successful, well orchestrated and memorable event.

Hire an event planner! A great event planner will make sure you and everyone else has the best planning experience possible. They will handle all the details so you can relax and enjoy every last second. They will also help shape the overall look and feel of your event and design custom details and moments while hiring the right vendors they have spent years vetting on your behalf. Their number one priority is to have your best interests at heart and make sure your vision is realized and expectations are exceeded.

Decide on the number of guests you would like to invite and create a spreadsheet. This is incredibly important as it will help determine the perfect location and a planning budget.

Location, Location, Location. Your event planner will help you source the perfect venue that will have everything you are looking for. Maybe you want it outdoors on a rooftop, or at your favorite neighborhood restaurant, a tent on your estate, or a space that can accommodate a lot of entertainment. Your planner will narrow down choices and take you to see a select number of options, so you aren’t spending a lot of unnecessary time researching on your own.

Determine a theme and decor. We are devoted to making sure each one of our events are truly customized to our clients personality and tell a story. It is so important you establish an overall feel and direction to help shape other decisions. We had one client who loved Aba, and was celebrating his 80th Birthday. We sourced and brought in the best Aba cover band from Sweden. They were a huge hit and the birthday boy danced all night with his guests. We have also created a custom Bourbon bar for another client celebrating a big Milestone event. He loved all types of Whiskey and Bourbon so we brought in all his favorites and hired a Whiskey expert to provide tastings to guests. We planned and designed a Toga Party where they met 25 years previous. We asked every guest to dress in white and gold and of course in Toga. We brought in Otis Day and the Knights to perform on a Roman inspired stage and had “living” statues in an Ivy filled garden.

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To learn more about how we can help plan your next big soiree, please click on the event gallery page. We can’t wait to plan your next Milestone. XO





Difference between a Wedding Planner, Event Designer and Wedding Coordinator


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There are a lot of words thrown around on blogs, websites and instagram posts relating to planning your wedding. Seems like everyone is a designer, planner, coordinator, consultant, associate planner, senior planner, event specialist, etc. The list seemingly goes on and on. Unless you are in the industry, it seems as if it would be really hard to navigate through all these different skill sets, titles and meanings.

We have both experienced planners and designers at Bliss Weddings & Events. Since we focus on full-service events, all our planners need to have a certain number of years experience and training before they work with clients. Jesse our Designer, has over 18 years of extensive training in floral and event design by working with the biggest event design companies in Chicago. He is also an artist in the way he designs. He specializes in highly technical logistics and imaginative details including tented estate weddings and highly specialized requests. Renny is a planner with over 25 years experience. Molly and Jordyn are planners with over 10 years experience.. They focus on full-service weddings and events and plan all the logistics, hire all the vendors and coordinate all the details.

Some planners may say they are “designers” but unfortunately unless they have the trained background, they are not. However they may have great taste and can certainly help with color stories and personalized details.

Our friends at Brides wrote a VERY helpful article explaining the differences. Below is a snipit from the article written by our friends at Brides - Jaimie Mackey and Lauren Matthews. For the full article please click here or read below.

wedding planner

What Does a Wedding Planner (a.k.a. full service) Do?

Wedding planners are all about the logistics, from vendor referrals and contract negotiation to day-of execution of your vision. "Planners take the guesswork out of the process, making planning a wedding as seamless and smooth as possible," says Renny Pedersen, owner and creative director of Bliss Weddings & Events. "A planner will keep track of your budget and handle the logistics. This is a skill that many can learn, but only the best planners have the years of experience and credentials that sets them above the rest." Some planners also provide design or styling services, helping with the creative specifics of your wedding day, while others opt to leave those details to a wedding designer — which means you'll need to hire two professionals to create the day you've dreamed of. Be sure to discuss whether your planner offers design services, or else read on...

Wedding Planner Duties

1. Puts in 80 to 250 hours. ( We put in at least 450 hours per client)

2. Provides vendor referrals and negotiates contracts; schedules and attends all vendor meetings.

3. Creates detailed timelines and floor plans (and renderings if necessary)

4. Helps determine and manage your budget.

5. Attends site tours and menu tastings.

6. Brainstorms style ideas and coordinates design details.

7. Coordinates hotel room blocks and transportation.

8. Manages the rehearsal.

9. Oversees everything on the wedding day (makes sure everyone adheres to the timeline, handles snafus, manages vendors, and executes your vision on-site).

Plus MANY more tasks…

Hire a Wedding Planner If...

1. You have the budget for it.

2. You want the least possible amount of wedding-related stress.

3. You have no free time because of a demanding job.

4. You have no clue where to start when it comes to planning, and your organizational skills aren't the greatest.

5. You have a very short time frame for planning.

6. You're throwing a destination wedding and/or a wedding weekend involving multiple events.

7. You're hosting your wedding in an unusual space (read: not a hotel, restaurant, or banquet hall).

wedding designer

What Does a Wedding Designer (a.k.a Wedding Designer or Wedding Architect) Do?

A wedding designer's role is purely aesthetic, and doesn't include things like contract negotiations or attending appointments alongside the bride. "We specialize in design, consulting on everything from floor plans and lighting design to the flowers, furniture, linens, and attire," says Tracy Taylor Ward, President and Principal Designer of Tracy Taylor Ward Design. "We help with the decisions that will give your event a cohesive, stylish and sophisticated look." The ability to design an event and create an atmosphere is a unique and rare talent. "It's more than choosing linens and chairs," says Pedersen. "A designer has an artistic eye that allows them to conceptualize the whole event and truly transform a space."

Wedding Designer Duties

1. Puts in up to 40 hours. (we put in close to 100 hours +)

2. Creates the wedding's design concept.

3. Provides color palette guidance.

4. Oversees the decor budget and vendors (florist, rentals, lighting, stationer).

5. Sources special props and equipment.

6. Attends a site visit to visualize where you want everything to go, devise a layout, and identify potential problems.

7. Creates detailed floor plans.

8. Ensures all of the decor elements are in place on-site at the wedding.

Hire a Wedding Designer If ...

1. The decor is the most important element of the wedding for you.

2. You're confident in your organizational and logistical skills, but your creative skills are lacking.

3. You're trying to pull off a very specific theme or you have a million wedding style ideas that you can't narrow down.

wedding coordinator

What Does a Wedding Coordinator (a.k.a month-of or day-of coordinator) Do?

A wedding coordinator is logistically focused, but on a shorter timeline than a planner. They usually begin helping you prepare a month before the wedding and function as the point person on the wedding day. They will confirm vendor contracts and create a day-of timeline, as well as make sure things like payments and guest counts are in order, but won't be involved in the earlier planning phases or keeping track of your budget. "Part of their job is to coordinate everything involved on the day of the event, from load-in and load-out to ensuring that everyone is on schedule," says Pedersen.

Coordinators make sure everything you've done up until they take over is in good shape. "Hiring a coordinator to take over the month before your wedding gives them time to tweak any details and follow up on loose ends," says Andie Cuttiford of Wrap It Up, the coordination arm of Bliss Weddings & Events. Everything is in order, nothing is forgotten, and you're free to enjoy your wedding day!

Wedding Coordinator Duties

1. Puts in at approximately 25 hours.

2. Meets with you four to eight weeks before the wedding to get a handle on what you've planned thus far.

3. Checks in with your vendors to review the signed contracts and confirm logistics.

4. Creates detailed timelines and floor plans.

5. Completes a final walk-through of the ceremony and reception sites.

6. Addresses any overlooked details (such as forgetting to hire a coat check attendant).

7. Manages the rehearsal.

8. Oversees everything on the wedding day.

Hire a Wedding Coordinator If ...

1. You want to play an active role in planning your wedding but would like someone to take care of the last-minute details and make sure you haven't missed anything.

2. You're extremely organized and detail-oriented.

3. You don't have the budget for a full-service wedding planner.

a few key things to keep in mind

1. Book Ahead of Time

Whether you're hiring a wedding planner, wedding designer or wedding consultant, it's best to secure him or her as soon as you know your wedding date—even if he or she isn't getting involved until the month before. This tactic also can help you get the most for your money. "If a couple books us early, we're happy to provide them with our list of performance-driven vendor recommendations," says Anna Leath of Just About Married in New York City.

2. Consider the Cost

Planners tell us that for the most part, full-service wedding production and design runs approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost, depending on the planner's experience, what region of the U.S. he or she is based in, and how much time your wedding demands. A wedding coordinator (day-of or month-of) generally will cost at least 25 percent of what a full-service planner would charge (so if the total package is $10,000, you can expect to pay $2,500 for a limited-service package). You probably can expect to pay between $2,000 and $6,000 for a qualified wedding coordinator and $8,000 and $30,000 for a wedding planner or designer.

3. Vet Your Pros

There's no license or certification required to practice wedding planning — and while belonging to an organization like the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC), or the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA) is an indicator of experience, it's not the only one. Talent speaks for itself via photos on the planner's company website or blog. And, of course, as with all pros you might hire, always read reviews and politely ask for references from other vendors and couples.

4. If You're Going Without a Professional, Still Put Someone in Charge of Day-Of Tasks

Someone—not you—needs to make sure the wedding day itself runs smoothly and that everything you've planned is executed properly. But what if a professional wedding planner is not in your budget? While most venue coordinators and catering managers are happy to handle basic on-site logistics and simple setups—like arranging escort cards on a table or placing menu cards on each plate—keep in mind that their allegiance ultimately is to their employer, not you (meaning they're making sure the food is served on time, not that the DJ is playing the right songs or that there are enough pens for the guest book).

"It would be unfair to expect your vendors to handle tasks they weren't hired for, but it's helpful to tell them that you don't have a planner and won't be securing one," says Joyce Scardina Becker of Events of Distinction in San Francisco. "The most professional people certainly will do as much as they can for you." The best option is to ask a responsible, trusted friend to handle a few important tasks, like managing the timeline or handling any snafus that arise with vendors, and then to thank the person with a gift card to a store he or she likes. "But you have to be really understanding that this is not the person's profession—don't expect everything to be 'perfect,'" says Leath.

XO, Bliss

Pre-Wedding Beauty Sleep Tips

wedding beauty sleep tips


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Menus, guest lists, seating arrangements – the details of wedding planning are enough to leave even an organized couple sleepless. But, you need that sleep, a full seven to nine hours, in fact, to look and feel your best. We have a few tips to help you get the rest you need despite wedding jitters and stress.

go to bed early

It may be tempting to check your guest list or gift registry one more time before going to bed. And, there are hundreds of other reasons you may stay up late and not all of them are wedding related. However, going to bed late doesn't give your body the time it needs to recover and recuperate from a day’s worth of activity.  

Decide on a reasonable bedtime then stick to it. Consistency establishes and supports your body's natural circadian rhythms, which control your sleep cycle. You might have to call it a night before the party's over or commit to watching one less episode of your favorite Netflix crush. But the extra hour(s) of sleep will show. After all, sleep reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improves the skin’s healing ability.

meditation

The physical and emotional benefits of meditation will help you get better sleep, leaving you with a healthy glow. Methods like mindfulness meditation train your mind to stay in the present moment, away from thoughts of a certain stressful future event. With practice, this ability to stay in the present causes a drop in heart rate and blood pressure, both of which can help you fall asleep faster. The best part—you can do meditation while lying in bed.

yoga

Sometimes stress manifests itself as muscle tension and fatigue. If that’s you, yoga could be the perfect addition to your ‘beauty’ routine. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress-related inflammation while improving mood and increasing energy. While you don’t want an energy burst before bed, poses that stretch tight muscles and use deep breathing might be just what you need before hitting the pillow. There are even yoga poses you can do while in bed to lull yourself to sleep.

sleep-friendly snacking

Heavy, high-fat meals do not encourage good sleep. Try to keep your dinner light and eat it early in the evening. If hunger pains keep you awake, try snacking on foods that support sleep. Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk have the calcium that contributes to the production of the primary sleep hormone melatonin. Munch on nuts like almonds and walnuts that, like dairy products, contain nutrients that are eventually used to make sleep hormones. For a natural source of melatonin, try sour cherries.

pamper yourself

If you really want your beauty sleep, everything about your bedroom should support your slumber, starting with:

  • A mattress that conforms to your preferred sleep position

  • Blackout curtains, heavy drapes, or a therapeutic sleep mask to keep out light (sunlight suppresses sleep hormones)

  • A room temperature between 60 to 68 degrees to maintain a lower body temperature

  • As little sound as possible

Preparing for a wedding might be stressful, but you can keep that stress in check by making sleep a priority. Your emotions will be less chaotic, your thinking will be clear, and your beauty will radiate from the inside out. Better sleep will help you look and feel your best so you can enjoy the fruits of your months of planning. More importantly, you can enjoy the beginning of a new life with your best friend. XO, Bliss




Modern Wing Chicago Wedding

modern green & white wedding at the art institute of chicago

We loved working with this beautiful, sweet, & art-loving couple, to create the wedding of their dreams! Flawlessly planned and executed by our Bliss Belle, Jordyn. A big thanks to our rockstar team of vendors!

Planning: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photography: Cristina G Photography | Venue: Art Institute of Chicago | Catering: BonAppetit | Floral & Decor: Revel Decor | Entertainment: BKO | Invitations & Paper: EJD Design | Cake: Bittersweet | Hair: Jessica McDonald | Make Up: Make Up by Rosie

Gorgeous Winter Wedding At Morgan Manufacturing

Glow Glow Glow! Grand candelabras, trendy tapers, glamorous chandeliers- could this winter wedding be anymore dreamy?! This beautiful day was planned & designed by our uber talented Bliss Beau. Thank you to our fun-loving couple and amazing team of vendors!

Planning & Design: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photographer: Adonye Jaja Photography | Venue: Morgan Manufacturing | Catering: Food For Thought | Decor: Exquisite Designs | Lighting: Frost | Linens: Tailored Elements | Band: RendezVous | Videographer: Hannah Schweiss | Hair: Ramsay Marston Hair | Make Up: Shannon O’Brien | Shuttles: VIP Valet

Gorgeous & Glam Indian Fusion Wedding

Double the ceremonies double the glamour! The vibrant Indian ceremony, the modern Western ceremony, and the oh-so-romantic reception- all STUNNING elements that made up this magical day. Our Bliss Beau planned, designed, and produced an incredibly special wedding for an incredibly special couple. 

Planning, Design, & Decor: Bliss Weddings & Events | Venue: 19 East | Photography: Burtco Weddings | Videography: Wholehearted | Catering: Food For Thought | Custom Linens: Tailored Elements | Lighting: Frost Lighting | Entertainment: Ruki Dole | Entertainment: Fig Media | Hair: Ramsay Marston | Make Up: Shannon O'Brien | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's

Classic White & Green Summer Wedding

This classic white and green wedding is just picture perfect! It had it all- gorgeous summer day, lake-side reception, and fresh decor. A big thank you to the sweetest couple and an amazing team of vendors!

Planning & Design: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photography: Kina Wicks | Decor: HMR Designs | Venue: Shoreacres Country Club | Linens: Tailored Elements | Lighting: Frost | Paper Gods: Magnificent Milestones | Band: True Blue Band | Tenting: HDO Partytime Productions 

Modern Marble Wedding at Revel Motor Row

We are over-the-moon that this gorgeous wedding was featured on Carats & Cake this week! The sleek white and marble decor reflected the bride and groom's amazing modern style. From the ceremony backdrop to the marble escort card wall, from the chic white chairs to the lush floral table garlands, every aspect of this wedding was jaw-droopingly beautiful!

Take a look at the Carats & Cake feature here...

Planner: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photography: Studio This Is | Venue: Revel Motor Row | Ceremony Floral & Decor: Revel Decor | Reception Decor: Bliss Weddings  | Catering: Limelight | Band: Arlen Music | Cake: Urban Icing | Videography: Wholehearted | Beauty: Abby Speaks Hair

Outdoor Wedding Brunch on Kiawah Island

Spending our Monday reminiscing on this dreamy post wedding brunch on Kiawah Island! Designed & produced by our Bliss Beau, Jesse Deckard, who took the couple's preppy style and created the perfect Sunday brunch. Highlights include custom seersucker linens, mini pedestals of blushing blooms, and the prettiest outdoor setting. Towering palm trees and an immaculate golf course- could there be a better backdrop?! We hope you enjoy scrolling through the photos as much as we do. 

Planning, Design, & Production: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photography: Studio This Is

Wedding Finds! Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Confession- we CANNOT resist the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! We love to stock up on old faves and collect new pieces. And it's the perfect time for Bride's to do a little shopping too! Here are our top wedding picks-

Pretty Pastels & Boho Chic

This beautiful spring wedding left guests (and the Bliss team) in awe! Pastel shades, gold prism accents, and garden details set a beautiful boho setting. And designer eats, a champagne tower, and a tented reception made for one memorable reception! 

Planning: Bliss Weddings & Events, Inc. |Photography: Bonphotage | Floral: Life in Bloom | Venue: Chicago Illuminating Company | Catering: Boutique Bites 

Rustic Glam Wedding at Morgan Manufacturing

This glamorous wedding was an absolute vision! The sunny rooftop ceremony and cocktail hour were followed by a dreamy drapery-filled reception. What a perfect day!

Planner: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photographer: Studio This Is | Floral & Decor: Kehoe Designs | Paper/Stationary: Magnificent Milestones | Catering: Food For Though | Venue: Morgan Manufacturing

Creative Bridal Party Gifts with Warby Parker

Your bridal party is made up of some of the most important people in your life; college friends, childhood friends, siblings, cousins, and so many more. They’ve been there from the beginning- sending invites, planning showers, organizing events, with you every step of the way! So how do you thank them? Here we suggest several sweet and budget-friendly ways to let your bridal party know how much they mean to you!

Give the gift of spirit! Your sister’s favorite wine, your best friend’s bubbly of choice, or a cute little cocktail kit. This gift is sure to be enjoyed!

Everyone’s favorite gift; gift cards. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative here- set your friends up with spa services, dining experiences, or a shopping excursion! Stores like Warby Parker offer a bulk order option where you are able to put in an order for a larger group of people. This service includes gift cards, non-prescription sunglasses, and other fun gifts. 

As you know wedding costs add up, even for the bridal party members. Paying for your bridal party’s hair or make up services is a thoughtful gift that your friends are sure to appreciate!

Custom gift boxes are a trendy and luxurious gift option. You can customize them to fit the personality of your bridal party or even the colors of your wedding. We love Teak & Twine and Fox Blossom. Your friends will feel so pampered receiving these beautiful boxes!

Getting-ready goodies are a classic option. Beautiful robes, fun pj’s, or comfy slippers make for great gifts and adorable photo-opps! We always think BHLDN has such pretty options.

Any of these gift ideas would be huge hits with your friends and family. Make sure to include a handwritten note or letter- get a little sentimental and sappy! Write down a favorite moment you’ve had with a certain person, reminisce on how you met, and include why they have meant so much to you throughout the wedding process.

Happy gift giving! xoxo

Bliss Team + Warby Parker

Romantic Garden Wedding in Door County

This gorgeous backyard wedding was full of vintage touches. Candlesticks, glass goblets, and beautiful china made for picture-perfect tablescapes. And a red and pink color scheme completed the romantic affair!

Destination Planning: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photography: BonPhotage Photography

 

 

Glamorous Navy & White Wedding at The Field Museum

The Field Museum is such a grand and glamorous space to hold a wedding! All the history in the museum mixed with beautiful floral and decor makes for a memorable affair. And when the weather cooperates it’s even better! Ceremony and cocktail hour on the museum’s terrace- so dreamy.

Planning: Bliss Weddings & Events, Inc. | Photography: Studio This Is | Venue: The Field Museum | Decor: HMR Designs | Catering: Food for Thought | Lighting: Frost Lighting | Flooring: HDO Productions | Paper: Cheree Berry Designs

Midsummer Night's Dream, Industrial Wedding

Bliss Weddings & Events had the absolute privilege of assisting the bride and groom with making their wedding day vision come to life! The couple had visions of a Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired wedding inside their industrial venue. Flowing greenery, lush flowers, glowing candles, rustic lanterns, and metal chairs combined to create a gorgeous room.

Planning: Bliss Weddings & Events | Photography: Heather DeCamp | Floral & Decor: Flowers for Dreams | Venue: Architectural Artifacts | Catering: Paramount Events

Fall Wedding Perfection at the Palmer House!

A little (a lot!) of pretty for your Friday! The photography, the colors, the ballroom, the dress- we can't pick a favorite! Enjoy photos from this gorgeous fall wedding at The Palmer House Hotel. 

Planning: Bliss Weddings & Designs | Photography: Image Is Found | Floral & Decor: Fleur Inc | Venue: Palmer House

Happy National Donut Day!

Happy National Donut day! We love how the donut trend has extended into weddings. It's a fun alternative to cake or a memorable late night snack. After all, all you need is love...and donuts!

Row 1: Olivia Leigh Photography, Donut Vault Donuts | Row 2: Christian Oth Photography & Dennis Lee Photo, Glazed & Infused | Row 3: Jody Savage Photography, Galleria Marchetti flaming donuts