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Blissful News
Chicago Social Brides - Cover

Magazine Features

City Delights

Sure, Chicago has its fair share of clean-slate warehouses and bare-bones lofts ripe for wedding receptions. But when it comes to top-of-the-line amenities and on-site wedding services beyond your wildest dreams, our city’s host of chic hotels are the way to go. Afraid your vision will get lost in the architecture? There of our metropolis’ most innovative event designers prove that hotel affairs have endless possibilities.

Public Chicago

Styling by Bliss Weddings & Events No one does pretty partyscapes quite like Bliss Weddings & Events, the planning outfit that set this darling table on the Ava Terrace ar Ian Scrager’s Gold Coast hotel. So did juxtaposing our skyline and the hotel’s new cutting-edge design with this precious-inpinks (and peaches) vision prove challenging? “Nor at all. That’s the fun part,” says Bliss proprietor Renny Pedersen. “The classic charm from the original 1926 building still exists. Our romantic reception setting was a flawless fit.” And now, thanks to a merger earlier this year with Dettagli Weddings, couples can expect even chicer things from the creative minds at Bliss moving forward. “We’re getting ready to launch Bliss Parries, an onl ine boutique where couples can shop for all the darling deta ils they need for events big and small.” 312.927.6090, blissweddingsandevents.com Flora Is, tabletop decor, linens, table and chairs from Event Creative, China. glassware, stemware and napkin rings from Small Masterpiece. Menu cards. invites, signage, place mats and dessert tags by Elizabeth Grace Bar carl and bar accessories from The Painted Lady. French pastries by Vanille Patisserie. Monogrammed napkins by So Cute & Cozy. (Read More)

Sarah Trees & Jonathan Bliley: Regal & Romantic University Club of Chicago Wedding - Cover

Regal and Romantic University Club of Chicago Wedding

THE COUPLE Scattered showers couldn’t put a damper on Sarah and Jon’s big day. The groom arranged for a five-umbrella escort for his bride to the church. THE DETAILS Bliss Weddings & Events orchestrated a regal and romantic setting in Cathedral Hall for the affair {think layered linens, vintage-inspired china and candelabras). The couple cur their cake to “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” by James Taylor. THE PARTY After dinner, guests imbibed at “his and hers” bars: a martini and Champagne bar outfitted with antiqued mirrors and a beer bar that boasted Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Style. – Elise Hofer (Read More)

Jen Belbis Asian with a Modern twist at the River East Art Center - Cover

Asian with a Modern Twist at the River East Art Center

We traveling in Japan, Jen Belbis (now 30 and a senior brand analyst) and Eric Bassik (also 30 and an account executive) took a trip to the island of Miyajima. When they got off the ferry, they were greeted (literally!) by wild deer. Feeling a bit nervous by all the animals around them, the pair tried to slip away to a quiet spot. “When we had a spare moment, Eric sensed an opportune time and got all sentimental and sweet. But then more deer would come to steal our food,” recalls Jen. They finally found a quiet bench. “He popped the question, we shared many tears and laughs…then, in a final attempt to scare us away, the deer came and ate our map and the rest of our food!” Soon after, Jen, a Chicago native, started planning a wedding in the Windy City. —Jill Baughman (Read More)

Lorie Jozwiak Classic Chicago Drake Hotel Wedding - Cover

Classic Chicago Drake Hotel Wedding

It didn’t take long for Lorie (Mischa) Jozwiak and Jacob DeHart to figure out that they were meant to be. Jacob (now a 25-year-old website cofounder) and Mischa (now a 23-year-old grad student) met through mutual friends and spent their first date enjoying dinner, drinks, and a walk by the historic Chicago Water Tower. It was there that the couple shared their first kiss. About five months later the pair returned to the Water Tower after a romantic dinner, and in front of a small audience of bystanders, Jacob proposed. Having grown up around Chicago, it was Mischa’s childhood dream to have her wedding at The Drake Hotel—that became a reality when the couple planned their classic reception in the hotel’s French Room. —M.S. (Read More)

Brides Chicago - How to transform a raw space - Cover

How to Transform a Raw Space by Renny Pedersen

Tents and lofts are “blank canvas” spaces that can be tailored to any wedding style. However, booking one of these raw spaces also means you’ll have to decorate it from scratch. “The sky’s the limit, but it’s helpful when a couple has a clear idea of the look and feel they’re trying to achieve,” says Renny Pedersen, owner of Bliss Weddings & Events. Here, she points out the elements that helped transform a plain, white tent into a chic event. (Read More)

The Veteran - Renny Pedersen Chicago Top Wedding Planner

Chicago Top Wedding Planner – Renny Pedersen with Bliss Weddings & Events

If anyone understands all the moving pieces involved in planning a large scale event, it’s Renny Pedersen, the owner of Bliss Weddings & Events. Pedersen, 36, received a degree in hospitality management, attended culinary school, and spent four years working in catering and seven in event planning, all before launching her own business in wedding planning in 2001. Now her reputation and Website attract clients who hire her over the phone and led to an invitation to participate in Mark Burnett’s new TNT reality show Wedding Day (in which a deserving couple are surprised with the wedding of their dreams) (Read More)

Antique Chic Table Bride and Bloom - Cover
Antique Chic Table Bride and Bloom
Country Club Charmer at the Hinsdale Golf Club

Country Club Charmer at the Hinsdale Golf Club

“Our wedding took place on the grounds of the charming and beautiful country club where my family had been members for years, Hinsdale Golf Club. The ceremony was initially intended to be set in the gorgeous manicured gardens, however, in an unsurprisingly Chicago turn of events…weather forced us inside for the ceremony and cocktail hour. A second chuppah was created out of the fabric backdrop behind the band in a mere 20 minutes as guests were arriving.

My girls wore adorable party dresses from JCrew and carried bold magenta peonies {number one favs of my mother and I!}, accented with charming dusty miller and camellia. Our custom letterpress invitations were produced by the lovely Jenna from Clementine ink + paper.

My mother in law and I surprised my husband {and our guests} with a serenade by the Cubs Dixieland Band for the duration of the cocktail hour.

Dinner and dancing took place in an elegant {and massive!} white tent set in the middle of the golf course – guests arrived via chauffeured golf cart and open air trolley.

Petite cabaret tables were positioned on the lawn outside of the tent where we had croquet and cigars available for guests, once the weather cooperated. These cocktail tables were dressed in yellow linens and surrounded by white chiavari chairs with custom black and white striped cushions. (Read More)

Amanda Loyd Crisp and Contemporary at the River East Art Center Chicago - Cover

Crisp and Contemporary at the River East Art Center, Chicago

THE VENUE With a little help from Bliss Weddings & Events, the River East Art Center was transformed into a crisp teal and apple green wonderland for the couple’s contemporary summer wedding. THE DETAILS There was a Piña Colada bar for the bride and a brew pub for the groom, complete with a beer expert and 20 tastings from around the world! THE PARTY After dining on scrumptious fare from Blue Plate Catering (think fresh summer salads followed by an herb-crusted filet and pesto chicken duet), the guests filled the dance floor to celebrate to tunes performed live by the Rendezvous Band. –Jenny Seyfried (Read More)

Erin Chapman Vintage Indian Wedding at the Glen Club in Glenview IL

Vintage Indian Wedding at the Glen Club in Glenview, IL

THE COUPLE: Erin Chapman (freelance arts administrator) and Derrick ! Thadani (consultant for Laz Chapman Inc.) THE VENUE: The Glen Club, Glenview. THE DETAILS: Bliss Weddings and Events created a “vintage Indian”-themed wedding for the couple, incorporating rich berry colors and bold fl orals. Antique gold lanterns laced with orchids and rainbow parasols peppering the ceiling brightened cocktail hour, which was held inside a grand white tent. THE PARTY: For the reception, guests plucked their names from a wheat grass-accented, place-card table before heading inside the dramatic ballroom. Filled with tables dressed in eggplant-hued linens and topped with vintage glass vases and votives, revelers dined and later danced on the gobo-flanked dance floor. –KIM PEIFFER (Read More)

Lauren Petersen Modern and Rustic at the Chicago Cultural Center - Cover

Modern and Rustic at the Chicago Cultural Center

THE VENUE: From its doric columns and coffered ceiling to the mosaics and ornate bronze balusters, the Chicago Landmark building proved to be the perfect setting for Lauren and Trent’s spring “I do’s.” THE DETAILS: Bliss Weddings and Events planned the pretty party for 225 guests. Peony, China berry and hydrangea arrangements by Botanicals spruced up the iconic venue with green, lavender and white hues. THE PARTY: After getting their fill of strawberry salad and king salmon courtesy of Entertaining Company, guests sipped South African wines and danced to the sounds of the Stu Hirsch Orchestra. –E.H. (Read More)

The Knot Katie and Cherian Elegant Indian wedding at the Drake Hotel - Cover

Elegant Indian wedding at the Drake Hotel

Katie and Cherian wanted to combine Indian and American cultures for their wedding, and they pulled it off with a stationery motif inspired by Onam, the South Indian harvest festival. As for décor, they balanced The Drake’s classic elegance with exotic details and Katie’s favorite colors: deep purple and green. (Read More)

Danielle and Eric Vibrant Rustic Tent Wedding on Lake Michigan - Cover

Vibrant Rustic Tent Wedding on Lake Michigan

After the Chicago hotels and museums they toured just didn’t feel right, Danielle McCumber (29 and a marketing manager for Vertical Web Media) and Eric McLimore (31 and an attorney with Baker & McKenzie) unexpectedly found the perfect venue: a family friend’s Evanston home on Lake Michigan. The pretty outdoor setting inspired a prairiechic theme and lots of natural wood décor, while a bold royalblue, orange and gray color palette helped take the look from rustic and neutral to totally vibrant. —Vi-An Nguyen The place settings Elegant glass chargers next to moss table runners struck a chic balance between glam and rustic. the couple’s look Danielle’s lace-appliqué halter dress and Eric’s relaxed khaki suit exuded a luxe, yet laid-back style. the reception de cor The couple brought in bare wood tables and topped them with organic floral arrangements to match the casual backyard venue. the boutonniere Eric’s simple white freesia boutonniere, accented with just a few greens, went perfectly with his minimal look. the centerpieces Textural hydrangeas, thistle and pincushion proteas dressed up the tables, which were named after the couple’s pets, past and present. the bridesmaid looks Danielle’s bridesmaids picked their own dresses—their only requirement was to choose one in a rich-blue jewel tone. (Read More)

The Knot NM  Enchanted Forest at the Chicago History Museum - Cover

Enchanted Forest at the Chicago History Museum

Natasha Desai (34 and a public health programs manager) and Matthew Solomon (34 and a physician) first met through Matthew’s roommate. Natasha would walk her dog, Boris, around Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles with Matthew’s roommate, and eventually Matthew joined in on the walks. The two hit it off and began dating. Four years later, Matthew picked up Natasha at the bus stop after a long day at grad school. She was starving and wanted to rush home to eat. As he opened the door to her home. she found lit candles, flowers, dinner, champagne and an engagement ring. The couple began planning their dream wedding at the Chicago History Museum. – TA (Read More)

A Cozy Autumn Palette in Old Town Chicago - Cover

Blog Features

A Cozy Autumn Palette in Old Town Chicago

Dee Dee and Peter were married before 105 guests at St. Luke Church in River Forest. The couple chose St. Luke’s becuase it was the parish where the groom grew up and his two daughters currently attend elementary school. Dee Dee wore a silk organza Lazaro gown with a pleated tulle and lace skirt, from Bridal and Formal. “The dress was romantic yet alluring,” she says. The letterpress-printed invitations were mailed to guests in fabric sleeves fashioned from varying textiles in autumn hues; the design was by Bird and Banner. The beribboned ceremony programs were by Fitzgerald’s Fine Stationery. The wedding reception was held in Old Town at A New Leaf, a modern event space and floral boutique; the venue also provided the wedding’s fall-inspired floral arrangements. Escort cards were tied to candy apples that doubled as favors. “We wanted the reception to feel like an intimate dinner party with our closest friends and family,” says Dee Dee. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with mugs of warm apple cider, followed by an assortment of passed hors d’oeurves, including Maryland crab cakes and tomato soup served in sake cups with mini grilled cheese sandwiches. Dinner featured multiple food stations that “added an upbeat, social vibe to the evening,” says Dee Dee. All catering was by Limelight. The couple also worked with Katie Kozlowski of Dettagli Weddings on the event details. The design of the wedding cake was inspired by Dee Dee’s gown—the top tier resembled the dress’s scalloped lace bodice, and the bottom tier was modeled after the tulle and lace skirt. For their first dance, Dee Dee and Peter chose “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” by Mel Carter. Guests joined them on the dance floor as DJs from Toast & Jam spun tunes. (Read More)
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Our Big Fat Polish Wedding Ceremony - Cover

Our Big Fat Polish Wedding Ceremony

My bridesmaids and I arrived at the church at 2:30pm, thirty minutes before our ceremony was to start, greeted by hundreds of people lingering around from the previous 1pm wedding (to my great dismay). My DOC, Katie from Dettagli Weddings (fantastic, by the way), quickly ushered me inside to the bridal suite where I passed the just-married bride along the way. Minutes before I walked down the aisle, my uber-talented florist Jozef Cross presented us with our bouquets and the flowergirls crowns at which point I literally cried because they were EXACTLY as I had envisioned them. (Read More)
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Our Intimate Feast - Cover

Our Intimate Feast

One of the few trends I was adamant on having at our wedding were long tables, also known as “feasting” or “kings” tables. It was one of the first trends I came across online soon after I got engaged; one I fell hopelessly in love with, and one I could NOT live without. Pardon the oxymoron, but I dreamed of having an intimate dinner party with 200 guests, and feasting tables were a way to make it feel that way. Although my wedding venue coordinator had placed only round tables in the dinner loft until that point, she worked magic and came up with a floorplan to make the feasting tables work. To ensure the feeling of a great, grand, intimate dinner party, we sat all our guests with their dates and their friends, including our bridesmaids and groomsmen. So the wedding party was split up at separate tables, depending on their social circle. Moreover, my husband and I did not want a head table nor did we want to sit at the head of a table. We were already the center of attention and wanted to feel comfortable and at ease while enjoying our dinner and toasts. So we were seating at a random table, next to our maids of honor, best men and their guests in addition to other friends. As I entered the dinner loft for the first time, I gasped with glee as I saw my vision come to fruition. The wheatgrass centerpieces my mother planted highlighted the season of life, Spring, and the grapewood candelabras I made glistened romantically as dusk set. Both centerpieces were intentionally low to make the ceiling seem higher and for guests to be able to hold conversations across the tables. We literally laughed and cried all dinner long (well, that had to do more with the ridiculously amazing toasts). Being surrounded by all of our unbelievable family and friends in what felt like a big dinner party was an incredible feeling. (Read More)
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We Had our Cake and Ate it Too - Cover

We Had our Cake and Ate it Too

Upon entering the atrium after dinner, my husband and I (tried to) cut our cake. Since we were already serving a vast selection of decadent pastries, our cake was simple and sweet (and delicious, of course). It was decorated with silver frosting and adorned with a small brass African (Dogon) couple statue that we bought near Timbuktu, Mali. Not only did we buy the statue just days before my husband proposed to me in Africa, but the Dogon tribe of Mali assume similar responsibilities to both men and women, hence most of their depictions of couples are near symmetrical. Using it as our cake-topper was therefore very apropos. One thing that I recommend doing before your wedding is learning how to cut your cake. When we were handed the knife, neither of us knew what to do, which tier to cut, and looked at each other blankly in front of 200 people, until our DOC whispered instructions in my ear. Despite this, we completely butchered the cake; clearly my husband didn’t marry me for my domestic abilities. After delicately feeding one another our first bites, we proceeded to dance to our song, an Afro-Haitian tune that is very dear to us both, as we discussed it in depth on our first date. Our uber-talented and dedicated DJ, Mark Mikowski of EMM Entertainment, not only found this song to add to his repertoire, but also an obscure Polish song my dad chose for daddy-daughter dance, among many other foreign requests. I kept my cathedral veil on through our first dance. My alterations consultant insisted I do so and taught me how to roll it over my arm. Nicole Kidman convinced me though. Although I had a birdcage veil waiting for me to put on in the bridal suite, I either forgot or didn’t think it was necessary. I was just having too much fun to distract myself by putting on another veil. (Read More)
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Real Weddings: Chelsea + Adam

Real Weddings: Chelsea + Adam

On this frozen Chicago morning, it brightens my day to share a wedding in the warm and sunny summer, with light and airy pink florals and the gorgeous setting of the ballroom at Hinsdale Golf Club. It’s beautifully romantic and traditional, while also being tailored and chic! Chelsea and Adam’s wedding was shared by my delightful friend Becky Hill, and Kara Superfine of Bliss Weddings and Events worked with the couple to bring their vision to reality. Chelsea walked down the aisle with a gift from her aunt, a bonnet she wore at her christening that had been saved and her turned into a handkerchief.
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With a Kiss: Amanda + Bill Get Married - Cover

With a Kiss: Amanda + Bill Get Married

Every area of the world has its draws and I love Chicago for its urban chic, pseudo industrial, artsy vibe. Some of the best vendors are located in the Windy City and Amanda and Bill pulled out all the stops … especially with those amazing Manolos. While I am not normally a fan of teal, the way it was used as an accent adds a real punch to this lively affair. I hope it brightens your day, as much as it has brightened mine. Amanda Lloyd and Bill Burns met when they were only about 16 years old at a leadership seminar held at North Park University in Chicago that they were chosen to attend by their respective high schools. “We ended up in the same small group for the entire weekend,” remembers Amanda, pointing out that Bill was the only male in the group. “We girls did serenade him one night before he headed off to the boys dorm; it was quite fun,” smiles Amanda. From there they stayed friends, calling each other every few months and getting together when their high schools played against one another in sports. Finally, one night, “we met up to see a movie,” says Amanda. It was something they’d done many times, “but it ended a bit differently this time: with a kiss.” They went away to college as a couple and did the long distance thing until Bill proposed shortly after graduation. “When we thought about the wedding, we knew we wanted to get married in the summer,” explains Amanda. “We were most excited to simply have the people that loved and cared for us and that we love and care for around us.” (Read More)
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Magazines and Tissues - Cover

Magazines and Tissues

Speaking of magazines, the current issue of CS Brides has an ad I put together for Bliss Weddings and Events. Which reminded me of another promotional project I worked on last year featuring Bliss: an entry for AdPack USA’s annual tissue pack contest, in which copywriter Diane Landsman and I won the top prize: $6,000, which was not too shabby. AdPack USA manufactures pocket-sized tissue packs printed with your company’s graphics. Super popular in Japan, they’re starting to catch on in the U.S. as a creative way to get your name into the hands of potential customers. Maybe your business could benefit from this new medium? To read more about the campaign we designed, go to AdPack USA, choose Applications, and then click the Contest link. And if you’re in need of an outstanding event planner, check out Bliss and get inspired by Renny Pedersen’s gorgeous work.

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Chicago Wedding from Bliss Weddings and Events - Cover

Chicago Wedding from Bliss Weddings & Events

LOVE. Love, love this Chicago wedding seen through the lens of Olivia Leigh Photographie. Somehow, this classic American affair with touches of Indian tradition has taken full advantage of all Chicago has to offer. I squeal, you squeal, we all squeal for the beach of Lake Michigan, the skyscrapers on Michigan Avenue, the fabulous Indian couple. And for the wedding. A perfect 10 from Bliss Weddings & Events, we just can’t get enough of this one. Good thing there is more over at Bliss’ blog! After a year and a half of being friends, both of us fell in love. Not wanting to upset the family friendship in any way, we kept it a little secret until we knew it was serious. We dated for just under a year when Cherian proposed on July 3rd in the Signature Room on the 96th floor of the John Hancock skyscraper with a clear view of the spectacular fireworks. I was in absolute shock, but completely thrilled and of course replied with a yes! As we are both from South Indian families, we wanted to incorporate traditional elements into an American wedding. The church ceremony incorporated two specific ceremonies. The most memorable part was that both my father’s childhood priest and the priest that married Cherian’s parents performed the Indian ceremonies. The Mathrakodi or “Presentation of the Sari” is usually rich silk and brocaded with silver and gold thread. It is a gift from the groom to the bride and is the symbolism that the husband will shelter and care for his wife. Being in the design field, I have always loved the traditional and intricate Indian floral designs. Along with the help of my best friend and graphic designer, Carmen, we created the pookalam that would be the theme for the wedding. (Read More)
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Solage Calistoga – Engagement Shoot From Jeffrey and Julia Woods - Cover

Solage Calistoga – Engagement Shoot From Jeffrey & Julia Woods

Jeff and Julia Woods have shared many of their gorgeous weddings with us, and today we’re seriously delighted to show you this dreamy engagement shoot! Jeff wanted to be sure that all of you are aware of this relatively new spot ~ Solage Calistoga. The Solage website refers to it as a refreshing twist to the Napa lifestyle … loft-inspired, green by design, rustic roots with a nod to urban sophistication. Sounds like the kind of place pretty much anyone would love! Corinne, the bride-to-be, confessed to being an avid SMP fan. Yay! We asked her to share a little bit about Chuck’s proposal. So, here’s their story … Chuck and I met in 2005 in Orlando on a semi-blind date. Once we met, we started our “whirl-wind” romance. I call it whirlwind since we have since moved all over the place for Chuck’s career! First from Orlando, FL to Hickory, NC, then to Charlotte, NC, then to the San Francisco Bay Area, and most recently to Birmingham, Alabama! We have been all over the place and have truly created the strongest relationship and friendship because of it. Since we move so often, We have had trouble cultivating new friendships and it’s been tough being so far from our families. During these past 4 years we’ve definitely become each others best friend. Last Christmas, Chuck and I flew to the Carolinas (where both of our families spend the holidays) and decided to just do Christmas stockings in order to “cut back”. Chuck gave me new PJs, perfume, a pair of earrings, and finally a stack of papers that read “New Years Eve”. Hmmm… As I opened it, I realized he was taking me on a drool-worthy trip to Napa Valley for our New Year’s celebration. [Just a quick note … we had been ring shopping for the past year, so almost every day for the past 6 months, I was sure he was going to propose.] (Read More)

Modern Chicago Wedding by Dettagli Weddings Erin Hears Court Hello Darling - Cover

Modern Chicago Wedding by Dettagli Weddings Erin Hears Court Hello Darling

Good morning you darlings of wedding goodness. We have such a treat for all of you modern brides out there that are desperate for a little modern inspiration. And it comes to us in the form of what just might be the most beautiful wedding on earth. Fully aware that I am like the girl that cried wedding when I say things like that but this time…it’s so true. Designed by Chicago based Dettagli Weddings, with photographs by the beloved Erin Hearts Court and styling by the fab Hello Darling, this wedding is everything. So in the words of one of our loyal readers…”stick me with a fork because I am done!!” See it all here. From Dettagli Weddings…Gabrielle and Nick are the quintessential Chicago couple, with roots planted in the city from childhood (they actually met in high school!), but have since traveled the globe, lived from coast to coast (NYC, San Francisco!) and managed to bring a little bit of all of their history to their stunning Art Institute of Chicago wedding. The venue was a no-brainer: Gabby studied art history and worked at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC, and the modern wing reflected the contemporary style of both their family homes. From there, it was honing in on the incredibly thoughtful and sweet details that they wanted to incorporate, along with styling their event to reflect their modern style, which we coined “simple and hip.” (Read More)

Chicago Botanic Gardens Styled Engagement Party by averyhouse Bliss Weddings and Events - Cover

Chicago Botanic Gardens Styled Engagement Party by averyhouse + Bliss Weddings & Events

Prepare yourselves for the Grandaddy of inspiration (emphasis on Grand) captured by averyhouse who partnered up with Bliss Weddings & Events for an all you can dream of Engagement party extravaganza. We want to throw on our Wellies and cozy on up to the fire for some S’mores roasting and golden apple bobbing. Doesn’t that sound fab? It’s taking the token bonfire to a whole new level of cozy cool. We’re talking a muddling bar (pure genius), a S’mores roasting station as well as a tablescape that stopped us dead. in. our. tracks. There is many a great idea tucked away in the details of this inspiration shoot that are ripe for the picking. Whether you want an engagement bash just like this one or see some great details that you want to incorporate into your upcoming wedding, it’s all easily translated into each and every wedding related fête. Be sure to stop by the gallery for so much more. From Stevi of averyhouse… With the idea of producing a fanciful collection of parties that follow the progression of wedding-related celebrations a couple encounters throughout their engagement, Renny Pedersen and Kara Superfine of Bliss Weddings and Events are taking readers on a year-long journey with our dreamy faux couple, Charlotte and William, joining them from fabulous féte to féte. We start with the engagement party, thrown by the couple’s best friends. After getting engaged at the tail end of summer, this casual party was hosted on a chilly autumn day in the newly unveiled Pullman Barn on the grounds of the Chicago Botanic Gardens. (Read More)
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Bloomington Wedding by Avery House

Bloomington Wedding by averyhouse

Isn’t it amazing how a wedding can completely transform your day? One minute you are lost in emails and working away… and the next moment a plethora of gorgeous details, fabulous inspiration and sweet, sweet love is filling every inch of your computer screen. Yep… Instant. Happiness. Even better, when that bundle of wedding goodness comes courtesy of a pretty Bloomington soiree by averyhouse and is bursting with lovely traditional touches and magical moments planned by Bliss Weddings and Events… well, there isn’t a second of your day that you won’t spend just smiling away. And how’s that for a fabulous Thursday?!? Click here for more. From the Bride… The style for our wedding can be described as “sophisticated, elegant and charming with threads of subtle preppy whimsy woven throughout.” Our day was intimate and warm and most importantly, Dan and I both wanted to take care of our guests and make sure that they knew how grateful we were to have them be part of this important day. Our ceremony was held at my childhood parish, a traditional Catholic church where many of my family members and friends had been married previously. Cocktail hour was held out on the terrace underneath a white pole tent featuring tailored fabric treatment and scalloped draping along the perimeter. Once guests were inside the tent (after being escorted by country club staff with coordinating navy and white stripe umbrellas), the space included white lounge furniture, high gold chivari chairs, two bars, cabaret tables and high boys scattered throughout. (Read More)
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Antique Chic Table Settings - Cover

Antique Chic Table Settings

First, let me start by saying, I loooooove today’s post! Renny Pedersen, of Bliss Weddings and Events in Chicago, emailed me some photos from a recent photo shoot collaboration with Hello Darling Events, for Bride and Bloom Magazine…she coined this look “Antique Chic” with a color palette of Cerise Pinks, Lemon Yellows and Metallic Gold… How much do you love this table? It’s so dreamy and feminine…so ethereal and romantic. I think that the infusion of gold into the palette creates such a rich, warm look and yet the whole style still seems youthful and fun. You can click on the photo to see the detail in each shot. From the floral chandelier to the perfectly arranged table…every detail seems thoughtful and unique. Thank you so much to Bliss Weddings and Hello Darling Events for sharing this with us!

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Manitowish Waters Wedding by yazy jo - Cover

Manitowish Waters Wedding by yazy jo

I am full on, head over heels in love with this wedding. When I laid eyes on this beauty captured to perfection by yazy jo and planned down to the very last detail by Bliss Weddings and Events my heart started to pitter patter and the butterflies in my stomach began to flutter like never before. It’s outdoor elegance perfectly executed – with a boat transfer to the reception, an evening under a gorgeous Sperry Tent and a drop dead gorgeous, couldn’t be more in love duo – if all that doesn’t make your heart do a leap or two, the full gallery of gorgeous most definitely will! From Katie Kozlowski of Bliss Weddings and Events… Donley and Jeff met as swimmers at Emory University and began a 10-year path to their spectacular wedding weekend. With family and friends spanning the globe, they wanted to pick a wedding venue that was personal, meaningful and an opportunity for a reunion. It wasn’t long until they found the perfect spot: The Northwoods of Wisconsin. Donley’s family had gathered here for more than 60 years, on a picturesque beachfront on Adler Lake. Adler Lake connects to a chain of 10 lakes, which prompted the wedding to have a progressive theme… Donley and Jeff were married at Donley’s grandparents home, Deer Haven. A custom chuppah made of local Aspen saplings by the bride’s aunt and uncle and benches carved from local wood adorned the great lawn, overlooking the lake. After the “I Do’s” and a group champagne toast, dozens of pontoon boats pulled up to the ceremony site to transport guests to the next venue: Chippewa Resort, for cocktails. (Read More)
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Modern Chicago Wedding by I Do Films - Cover

Modern Chicago Wedding by I Do Films

It wasn’t long ago that we spent an entire day obsessing over every last ounce of this stunning Chicago soiree, so it pretty much goes without saying that we were ECSTATIC to spend even more time wrapped up in this wonderful affair. Yep, thanks to the geniuses at I Do Films, we’re devoting our Friday to all things modern, all things stylish and all things fabulous. And with 4 minutes and 23 seconds of contemporary goodness jumping from our computer screens, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Enjoy! From Lori of I Do Films… Gabrielle and Nick started dating in high school, but actually first met on the playground just outside each of their Chicago residences. After spending a number of years in San Francisco together, they came back to Chicago, to live and marry in the city that had first brought them together many years earlier. Appropriately, they had their first look overlooking the Chicago skyline. They were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Art Institute of Chicago. From their days on the playground, to the high school prom, and finally to their wedding ceremony, you get a sense that Nick and Gabby have always had a fun and playful relationship.
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Favorite Illinois Weddings Round-Up - Cover

Favorite Illinois Weddings Round-Up

We are known for bringing it in a big way but today we are going huge with a heavy duty dose of inspiration. We searched high and low on the main page to bring you our favorite Illinois weddings and, boy oh boy, did we find some good ones. We headed over to the Little Black Book for this gorgeous inspiration shoot by Nakai Photography. The look is vibrant, modern and bursting with so many steal-worthy details!
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Galleria Marchetti Wedding by Jeffrey and Julia Woods - Cover

Galleria Marchetti Wedding by Jeffrey and Julia Woods

We’re totally loving the bits of vintage chic mixed with a dash of whimsy that give this floral filled fete such a unique look. The ladies at Bliss Weddings and Events truly outdid themselves with the design and planning and we can’t get enough of the ribbon-tied balloons and pretty mercury glass candlesticks. Each and every detail was snapped to perfection by Jeffrey and Julia Woods and if you want to see more, just click right here. From the bride… I have dreamed of my wedding day since I was a little girl; and I can say without hesitation that it was the most beautiful day of my life! September 17, 2011 began with as an unseasonably warm, sunny Chicago day, which kick started the festivities and eased my anxiety for our garden wedding. I was surrounded by my best friends and my mother, laughing and enjoying the primping process and each other! As my mom helped me into my dress and veil, I knew that this moment had become a reality, and I couldn’t wait to see my groom. I met my fiancé Anthony in high school. I was a timid 14-year-old, and he was an overly-confident and very talkative upperclassman. We would cross paths socially for the next ten-plus years until finally the stars aligned, and we began to date! We were virtually inseparable and once our girls (Violet the basset hound and Whiskey the basenji mix) became friends, we knew that our lives were moving forward … together. Anthony proposed to me at Culver Academies where we first met, and I had no idea! (Read More)
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Chicago Wedding by I Do Films

Chicago Wedding by I Do Films, Video

Remember this lovely little fete? We certainly haven’t forgotten it and loved it so much we just had to share this sweet, little film by I Do Films, that totally completes the picture of this classic soiree. I Do Films has captured the feel of Chicago and the meaningfulness of this sweet couple’s special day.

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The Raquet Club of Chicago Wedding by Studio This Is Bliss Weddings Events Event Creative

The Raquet Club of Chicago Wedding by Studio This Is + Bliss Weddings & Events + Event Creative

My head is all a flutter at the moment because I just don’t know where to begin with seriously stylish New Year’s Eve affair captured by StudioThisIs and designed by Bliss Weddings and Events. There is just so much goodness! But I just have to say something about that gown – oh em gee. That Vera Wang gown is what my dreams are made of. And that reception design? No words. It’s just elegant perfection. It’s all just fairytale, and you can get lost in all the pretty in the full gallery of images! From StudioThisIs…Emma & Thomas met in college, there the groom was overseas on a golf scholarship. With his most charming English accent, Tom asked Emma for a proper date over tea… Emma swooned. The couple, although young recent grads, knew immediately that there was something incredibly special and unique about their easy relationship. They both found they had the same core values, enjoyed a healthy, active lifestyle, enjoyed shopping, fashion, and sports. Once the couple was officially engaged, they decided to plan their wedding to be a New Year’s Eve celebration so the Groom’s family could easily travel from his native Nottingham, England. The couple hired Kara Superfine of Bliss Weddings & Events to coordinate and design the details from the beginning. Emma and Thomas had yet to attend many weddings and needed much help shaping their vision. Kara was inspired by their early ideas and had a blast presenting them with the ideas that would fit their festive, formal, wintery Chicago wedding. The wedding and ceremony were held at The Racquet Club of Chicago – an intimate and charm-laden setting that felt more like someone’s home rather than an impersonal ballroom. (Read More)
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Barrington Wedding by Fandl Photography - Cover

Barrington Wedding by Fandl Photography

If you ever found yourself scratching your head wondering what in the world “garden party glam” might mean – well this my friends is your answer wrapped up in a pretty little bow. You can thank Event Creative and Bliss Weddings and Events for the tutorial. Overflowing with florals and style, the picture perfect soiree allowed Fandl Photography to capture LOADS of pretty. See for yourself in the full gallery of images! From the Bride… Brian and I wanted a feeling of comfortable elegance to permeate throughout our wedding, so there was never any doubt that we would be married in my parent’s garden. Their house is nestled amongst the woods with grand old oak and maple trees surrounding the property. With the backdrop of lush green trees and blooming flowers, it was important that the beauty of our venue be the focal point of our day. We started the theme on the invitations which were adorned with beautifully simple purple and green flowers. Devon at Cheree Berry Paper created the perfect prelude to our wedding day. On May 21, in the late afternoon sun, my father walked me down the aisle of our ceremony tent which was decorated beautifully in shades of green and white to mimic our natural setting. Jesse at Event Creative was the mastermind behind all of our decor. He captured the mood Brian and I wanted to convey to our guests, and he seemed to do it with great ease and precision. Jesse incorporated our natural surroundings into the event while keeping it comfortable and elegant. Brian and I were married under a fairytale like mahogany arbor that Jesse had decorated with flowers of white and green, including hydrangeas, grapevines, and viburnum. With birds chirping in the background, it was perfect. (Read More)
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Chicago Wedding by Artisan Events Inc  Bliss Weddings and Events

Chicago Wedding by Artisan Events, Inc + Bliss Weddings & Events

There’s just something about a traditional wedding, with the grand dress and the ballroom reception, that sends my heart all a flutter. And this Chicago stunner by Artisan Events, Inc. is the kind of soiree that sends my heart racing AND leaves me completely speechless. It’s true. From the beautiful ceremony and reception locations to the fabulous florals and lighting by Kehoe Designs to those sweet as can be flower girls, these nuptials are as fairytale-esque as they come. All planned to complete perfection by Bliss Weddings and Events, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that we have an entire afternoon to bask in all of this gorgeous. Join me in the gallery for all of the pretty! From the Bride… Because we did most of our planning from abroad, I relied heavily on my wedding planner Renny from Bliss Weddings and Events. We made important decisions from the reception venue to the band to the photographer strictly from looking at their websites. Our full trust was given to Renny and boy did she nail it. We absolutely loved all of our vendors. The style of our wedding was a romantic, grand, old elegance feel with a touch of our world travels. I enjoy soft colors and romantic flowers like peonies, along with soft draping and uplighting to attain that elegant feel. Cornflower blue with hints of soft pink coupled with shades of ivory and champagne was the color scheme. Because we met and fell in love in Chicago, we both knew we wanted an urban wedding. An outdoor element was also desired. (Read More)
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Hiring our Day of Coordinator - Katie

Hiring our Day of Coordinator

My parents are generously paying for most of our wedding. The amount they are donating seems so great to us (albeit reasonable for Chicago) that we truly are grateful and don’t feel comfortable with them paying a cent more, despite their offers – we are employed after all. So when no fairy godmother showed up to save the day, we decided it was up to us to pay the rest. Needless to say, we scrutinize every expense. So when I brought up my desire to hire a Day of Coordinator (DOC), my fiance seemed skeptical, smirking, “Do we really need a manager for a party?” A party! A party! As if. THE party, get it right beau. :) Of course, I knew it was necessary. Our venue is a loft where one must hire rentals, buy your own liquor, decorate our own tables – on top of that all, it is on two floors which makes the party a little more complicated. There was no question in my mind that needed a DOC, it was just up to convincing the beau as well. As the mother said in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants. I didn’t have to do much. I got him to meet with Katie, from Detaggli Weddings, in Chicago, and she did the rest just by being herself. Originally I found Katie by reading other Chicago wedding bloggers who insisted she was better than gold. But I knew she was the One when I asked our venue manager with whom he worked with best and recognized her name as soon as he said it. The next day I called her up to set up a meeting. (Read More)
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Chicago Wedding at The Ivy Room by Bliss Weddings and Events

Chicago Wedding at The Ivy Room by Bliss Weddings & Events

This Chicago wedding by Bliss Weddings & Events is the perfect pairing of preppy meets elegant. All the little details that were included into the day, the moss initals, fun chalkboard signs and adorable drink stirrers, make this classic celebration feel intimate, personal and oh-so pretty. Dennis Lee Photography captured the sweetest moments and loveliest details. See them all in the full gallery! From Katie Kozlowski of Bliss Weddings & Events… Whitney and Rob are fun, friendly, family-oriented and have impeccable taste. They wanted to bring special touches of their personality to their inspired Chicago wedding at St. James and the Ivy Room, all while keeping the wedding comfortable, elegant and special. We wanted it to feel as though Whitney and Rob had invited all of their closest family and friends to their home away from home for a special celebration. Using the preppy palette of navy, ivory, pink and natural greens, we complemented the dreamy Ivy Room courtyard with moss-letters in their initials, delicate blooms and cutie details, like stir sticks for the bars with the couples’ monogram and a hand-written dinner menu on a chalkboard (Whitney’s a teacher!). Once guests got inside for dinner, polished tables with mismatched china, tiny lapel wax blooms on each plate, and different centerpieces on each table set the stage. We used a variety of candlesticks, vases and blooms, as well as soft pin-spotting, up-lighting and drapes to welcome guests to dinner.
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Fun Gifts Your Wedding Party Will Love - Cover

Fun Gifts Your Wedding Party Will Love

Show your gratitude with these great wedding party gifts Throughout your wedding planning process, it’s so important that you’re able to appropriately show your gratitude and respectfully honor those who have gone above and beyond. When it comes to saying thank you, I often approach gift giving as a challenge. I love to surprise my recipients with something more than the generic, expected presents by seeking out gifts I would lust after for myself, but pass up because they’re not a necessity. Gift giving can be fun, even frivolous! Here are a few of my favorite gift ideas for those who have been beyond generous. Bridesmaids Forget the jewelry designated wedding day wear-only.

Get them something fab and individually selected from one of my favorite affordable stores:
• Stella and Dot Jewelry’s version of Mary Kay (PS: celebs love their designs, too!)
• Kate Spade Always love a little bit of girlie glitz!
• Local Designer Erin Gallagher From pre-designed pieces to custom creations, EG is hot, hot, hot! If your wedding or bachelorette party is a destination, consider selecting a beautiful cashmere throw. It’s a great way to fend off the stale airplane chill and looks gorgeous tossed on the sofa when not in transit! I like William Sonoma Home’s in neutral Oatmeal. (Read More)
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NBC Wedding Segment from Bliss Weddings and Events

Videos

NBC Wedding Segment from Bliss Weddings & Events

Reveal “The Fairytale”

Fairytale

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