Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quick Tip: At The End of the Day

You've spent tons of time planning for the Big Day to make sure everything goes smoothly; don't forget to plan for what happens once the party is over. 

Simply put - there is a lot of stuff to take home at the end of a wedding! You'll have gifts, the guestbook, leftover favors, leftover programs, the top tier of the cake, any DIY decor that you provided, your bouquet, and possibly even centerpieces. It's best to designate a friend or family member in advance to be responsible for taking these items home for you. Your designated person should know ahead of time that they are appointed for this task, and they should be aware that this responsibility requires that they stay until the very end of the wedding. Also, these items don't easily fit in the hotel shuttle or a cab, so be sure that the designated person will have her own transportation after the reception.

If your plan is to pick up these items at a later time, just be sure to clear this with your venue in advance. Some venues expect everything to be removed after an event while others may store items for you until the next day. But be sure you know your venue's policy before making your plans.

Lastly, don't forget about the rentals! You may have centerpiece vases or cake stands that are rentals from your vendors. Make sure you are aware of the plan for removal of these items. Check your contract to see if you are responsible for the return of these items. If so, these items will need to go with your designated person. But if the vendors will be returning to collect these rented items after the wedding, you will need to inform them of the venue's policy on when they must come. Again, some venues will not store items after the wedding, so the vendors will need to know that they must come immediately after the reception ends. But if the venue will store the items, the vendors can arrange for pickup at a later time.

Some simple coordination in advance will help avoid confusion at the end of the Big Day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Meagan & Jason: Sparkling Heart and Soul

Every time I met with our blonde bombshell bride, Meagan, her warmth and infectious excitement were overflowing. The wedding was a true reflection of those qualities -- glamorous yet full of warmth for family and friends. While the reception decor was dripping in diamond accents, personal homemade touches created a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. Check out the beautiful photos by Studio Rebekah Photography:

Our fashionista bride insisted the menfolk wear real bow ties.  It was hilarious to find them hovering around a cell phone You Tube video trying to figure out how to tie them. Gotta love technology!

With one coordinator on bow tie duty and one on boutonniere duty, the guys came out dashing and on time!

Jumping for Joy

Drum Roll.....The Bride

The Ceremony

Husband and Wife

The Crew

Photo by Camille Victoria Weddings LLC
The escort cards were placed on a bed of baby's breath.

Photo by Camille Victoria Weddings LLC
Family photos lined the console table, giving the cocktail space a homey feel.

But upon entering the reception room, the bling abounded.
The table decor was comprised of two different looks.

Photo by Camille Victoria Weddings LLC

Photo by Camille Victoria Weddings LLC
Each tablescape was complete with a unique, hand-picked frame for the table sign 
and a dinner menu placed in a diamond-shaped holder.

Each napkin held a cake pop favor, personally made by the bride.

The late-night dessert bar was stocked with homemade goodies on a variety of platters and trays.

Congratulations Meagan and Jason!

Reception Venue: Oak Park Country Club
Florist: Forget Me Knodt

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jaclyn & Joseph: A Day Full of Surprises

After all the planning that goes into a wedding, every bride thinks she knows exactly how the big day will go. But this playful groom had some surprises in store for his beautiful bride. Check out the awesome photos by Colin Lyons Photography:

You don't see it often anymore, but we did a traditional rice toss. 
Not to worry - I did my research and it's a myth that rice is bad for the birds!

The groom's surprise display of some of the couple's favorite memories.

Recognize our special surprise guest? It's Elvis! 

Famed Elvis tribute artist, Rick Saucedo, serenaded the bride and groom during the cocktail hour.

The Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook.

Late Night Snack

Congratulations Jaclyn & Joe!

Reception Venue: Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook
Cake: Lezza
Wedding Coordination: Camille Victoria Weddings LLC

Friday, October 5, 2012

Amy & Eddie: A Fairytale Dream

The setting, the beautiful bride, and the classic details made for a wedding that could have come right out of a storybook. Check out the fabulous photos by Allure Photo:

A little rain on wedding day is good luck! The weather cleared up for a surprising grand exit and gorgeous outdoor cocktail hour.

The groom and I plotted for this surprise butterfly release during the grand exit! I love that this photo captures the bride's reaction. I actually learned a lot too, as I tended to the butterflies the night before so they would stay cool and ready to fly!

The bride and groom rode in style in this vintage Bentley.

The reception room showcased a Tiffany blue and pink color palate.  The stargazer lilies in the centerpieces and bouquets were a symbolic tribute to the groom and the bride's new last name! 

Guests had a blast during the cocktail hour creating photo scenes with two large, ornate frames.

Some quick shots by me:

A mix of high and low centerpieces gives texture and visual interest to the room.

Weave design elements throughout your wedding to create a consistent theme and look. We used this border on the invitations, menu cards, programs, and escort cards.  The couple's monogram was also on the programs, menu cards, and light display.

Don't forget a cake stand! It adds a little touch of extra elegance and height!

When the sun went down, the lights went up. We had Tiffany blue uplighting, two large monogram lights flanking the head table, and pattern gobo lights on the ceiling to create a dramatic evening look. 

More gorgeous photos by Allure Photo:

The gardens at Cuneo Mansion make for a variety of beautiful backdrops.

Congratulations to Amy & Eddie!

Reception Venue: Cuneo Mansion
Photographer: Allure Photo
Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films
Transportation: A Dynasty Limousine
Full Service Wedding Planner: Camille Victoria Weddings LLC

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Wedding for Any Season

After getting engaged, the next step is picking a date.  In thinking about your wedding date, first consider which season is perfect for your style.


Colors: A fall wedding can take advantage of rich tones. Rather than choosing a color duo, you can combine a full fall color palate. Popular colors include: chocolate, red, orange, eggplant, rust, olive, mocha, and golden yellow.

Décor: Fall decorations can vary from luxurious satins to rustic antique themes. There are an abundance of pumpkins, berries, and leaves this time of year that add a unique touch.

Fashion: Ivory and gold bridal gowns are popular in fall. Be sure to take into consideration the weather change that occurs and dress appropriately for either a warm or cooler day.

Flowers: Gerbera Daisies, Dahlias, Yellow Calla Lilies, Sunflowers, and Euphorbia are stunning fall flowers. Adding autumn leaves to a bouquet or floral arrangement is a great way to bring in the atmosphere of the season.

Seasonal Idea: Spend quality time with your future husband or wife by decorating pumpkins together. Carve your names and wedding date in pumpkins that can be used as decor for a buffet or gift table.


Colors: All white weddings are classic for Winter. Light blue and silver create a winter wonderland. Deep reds can be a dramatic accent.

Décor: Chandeliers, silver china, and crystals are glamorous touches. You can also add height and texture with bare trees and branches.

Fashion: Ever since the Royal Wedding, sleeves have made a comeback and are great for winter.  If you want more versatility, a lace jacket can be worn for the ceremony and then taken off for the reception. A wrap or stole is perfect to keep you warm for some beautiful outside photos.

Flowers: Roses are classic but you can incorporate white camellias, orchids, and lilies. Accent the flowers with greenery and ivy.

Seasonal Idea: Create personal ornaments you can hang throughout your venue, use as escort cards, or give out as favors.


Colors: Pastels are always popular for Spring, including pinks, lavenders, light blues, and greens.

Décor: Fill lanterns with a plethora of flowers spilling out. Decorate your cake with flowers between each layer.

Fashion: Add spring details, such as floral accent in your hair.

Flowers: A huge variety of flowers are in season. Spring flowers include: tulips, hyacinths, gardenias, ranunculus, stargazer lilies, peonies, and roses.

Seasonal Idea: Wheatgrass is an inexpensive tool to incorporate into a spring wedding. Use this fresh base for an escort card or favor display.


Colors: Summer is all about bright colors. Popular combinations include: pink and lime green, orange and yellow, blue and white, and coral and grey.

Décor: Use sheer fabrics to add an airy feel and soften the vibrant color choices.

Fashion: Keeping cool is important in the hot summer weather. Consider dresses with light materials, such as chiffon or organza.

Flowers: Bring in warm tones such as pink, orange, and yellow. Popular choices are Gerbera Daisies, Hibiscus, Roses, Gardenia, Alstroemeria, Carnations, Lilies, and Sunflowers. Alchemilla is a nice filler alternative to baby’s breath during the summer. If you want to a show stopper, add Heliconia, Liatrus, Bird of Paradise, Amaranthus, and Allium to any floral arrangement.

Seasonal Idea: Pick out a variety of tea sets and fill with flowers to use as your centerpieces.

There are tons of ideas for every season. But don't be afraid to simply create the seasonal look you want - any time of year! You can certainly create a festive fall look in the middle of Spring.  Or make a winter wonderland in July. Your wedding should display your personal taste, no matter what time of year it is!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Ultimate Wedding Day Packing List

Packing for your wedding day can be mind-boggling. No matter how much you put in that bag, it always feels like you're missing something that you may need.

Follow this quick and easy guide to help your wedding day be stress-free!

For the Bride: 

_____ Wedding Dress
_____ Veil/ headpiece
_____ Pre-wedding clothes (simple outfit, sweats, and robe)
_____ Purse or clutch
_____ Shoes
_____ Undergarments
_____ Keepsake Garter/Toss Garter
_____ Second Outfit, if changing
_____ Hosiery Personal
_____ Jewelry/Accessories
_____ Sunglasses
_____ Wedding Vows
_____ Groom Gift/Card
_____ Parents Gift/Card
_____ Wedding Band/Engagement Ring
_____ Honeymoon/Overnight Bag
_____ Cell Phone/Charger
_____ Songs/Music
_____ Camera Toiletries/ Beauty
 _____ Toothbrush/Toothpaste
_____ Contacts/Glasses
_____ Hairbrush
 _____ Makeup with Brushes
 _____ Prescription Medication
_____ Over-the-Counter Medicine
 _____ Deodorant
_____ Lotion/Oil
_____ Perfume

Don’t forget your something old, new, borrowed, and blue!

For The Groom: 

_____ Tux or Suit
_____ Pre-wedding clothes
_____ Socks
_____ Underwear
_____ White Shirt
_____ Tie
_____ Shoes
_____ Handkerchief
_____ Belt
_____ Suspenders, if wearing

 _____ Sunglasses
_____ Watch
_____ Cufflinks
_____ Bride Gift/Card
_____ Parents Gift/Card
_____ Travel Bag
_____ Wedding Band
_____ Wedding Vows
_____ Honeymoon/Overnight Bag
_____ Cell Phone/Charger
_____ Songs/Music
_____ Camera Toiletries/Beauty
_____ Toothbrush/Toothpaste
_____ Contacts/Glasses
_____ Comb
_____ Prescription Medication
_____ Over-the-Counter Medicine
_____ Deodorant
_____ Lotion
_____ Cologne
_____ Razor/Shaver

For Both: 

_____ Marriage License
_____ Tips for Vendors
_____ Ceremony Items if Haven't Already Given to Wedding Coordinator (programs, unity candle, etc.)
_____ Airline Tickets
_____ Car Keys
_____ Driver’s License
_____ Passport
_____ Copies of Confirmation Codes and Reservations
_____ Insurance Card

At Camille Victoria Weddings, we bring to every wedding our Wedding Day Emergency Kit, filled with Band-Aids, needle and thread, tissues, safety pins, bobby pins, hairspray, and much more.  So you can focus on packing for yourself, and we will pack for those unexpected moments!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vote for Best Chicago Wedding Planner

I'm super excited that Camille Victoria Weddings LLC has been nominated as one of Chicago's best wedding planners by Wedding Industry Experts! But now it's up to you! So please vote for me to win the 2012 Wedding Industry Experts Awards:

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Entertain Guests During Wedding Photos

Photography has become a huge component of wedding day. Here in Chicago, with the beautiful parks, lakefront, and urban architecture that the city has to offer, it's no wonder that brides today want to do extended photo sessions with their new hubby and bridal party after the ceremony. But while the bride is with her entourage snapping photos around town, what are the guests to do? Here are some ideas for keeping guests entertained during the downtime.

If possible, try to limit your post-ceremony photo session to an hour. That way, guests can go directly to the cocktail hour to enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and conversation while you enjoy being the apple of the camera's eye. Don't worry about missing out on the cocktail hour food. Your wedding coordinator or caterer can set aside a plate of hors d'oeuvres for you and the groom to sample when you arrive.

If that hour simply won't cut it for your big photo plans, then arrange an activity for your guests.  A trolley or bus tour is a fun way to keep guests together, show them the city sights, while allowing them to save their feet for a night of dancing!

Many wedding venues are museums or historic sights, where guests can go on self-guided tours before the cocktail hour.  Or, maybe there is a museum or attraction nearby.  You can arrange to get a block of tickets for your group of guests.

If your guests don't mind a little action, send them on a photo scavenger hunt! Or, at an outdoor venue, set up lawn games!

A smooth flow from one wedding activity to the next will make your wedding day a more fun and enjoyable experience for your guests.  So, don't leave 'em hanging during your photo time, get planning!

What ideas do you have to keep your guests entertained?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Whitney & Andrew: Antique Sophistication

Whitney & Andrew's wedding was filled with antique accents and personalized details. The reception took place at Architectural Artifacts, where you can incorporate the shop's antiques into your decor! Check out the beautiful photos from Clary Photo:

Right before the processional, the bow on the bride's shoe decided to unstick itself! That's exactly where my overly stuffed emergency kit comes in handy. I simply grabbed the super glue and voila - all fixed. No sweat! Of course, Clary caught the photo. :) Moral of the story is make sure you or your wedding planner has a wedding day emergency kit for those unexpected moments!

I always love the shots of the grand exit. Pure joy!

Photo by Camille McLamb
We scoured the bins at Architectural Artifacts to find these vintage letters of the happy couple's initials.

I snapped this photo of the escort card table. Interspersed among the cards are crystals from old chandeliers that we hand-selected from Architectural Artifacts' massive collection.

Another quick shot by me. One of the gorgeous centerpieces by StemLine Creative.

Each table featured a vintage treasure, hand-selected by the bride and groom. Notice the spool of thread? 

Beautiful shot of the cake by Clary. Quick tip: Specify to your caterer to have a plate and two forks on the cake table.  Seems obvious but it's often forgotten! Your day-of-coordinator can give a reminder and ensure it's there for the cake cutting.

Props to the father of the bride who strung up additional lights to make his daughter's wedding day extra bright.

Congratulations to Whitney & Andrew!

Photographer - Clary Photo
Ceremony Musicians - Quartet Parapluie
Wedding Coordinator - Camille Victoria Weddings LLC

For more photos of this wedding, see the feature on Style Me Pretty!