wedding planner press

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Magical ceremony in an urban Chicago space. Credit: Olivia Leigh Photographie

I have been a wedding planner for over a decade. {Side note: counting things in “decades” rather than simply “years” is a fast way to make you feel old!} I’ve been immersed in the world of events since before my career officially began and I don’t think I would feel like myself if it weren’t such a major part of my life. There was a time when I thought about changing the course of my career path, but ultimately, I love what I do and it has this pull on me. I’ve planned over 150 weddings and I have stories for days. Split a bottle of wine with me and I’ll dish on moments like when the cake table collapsed right as the bride and groom were about to cut the cake!!

Wedding planning can definitely be very demanding, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. Hearing a couple tell you about their dream wedding and then bringing it to life with them is like living in a fairytale. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all glamorous! There are moments of glamour and beauty, but there are also countless hours of grunt work. We are project managers, schleppers, researchers, schmoozers, therapists, troubleshooters, designers, accountants, dream makers and more.

It’s always fun to see the result of months and months of planning in the pages of a glossy or featured by tastemakers online. Several of the weddings I’ve done have been featured in local Chicago bridal magazines and major wedding websites, but for the first time in my career, one of my weddings has been featured in a NATIONAL magazine!! Slide1

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Brides national feature – December 2015/January 2016 issue

The December 2015/January 2016 issue of Brides featured a stunning winter wedding that I did last February. I just love this couple and had so much fun planning a day with them that was full of so many breathtaking details!

Hand calligraphed place cards on ribbons, draped across each place setting. Escort cards threaded through satin ribbons and suspended from above, as guests entered the space. Warm, glowy candlelight and magical cherry blossoms created a dreamy urban winter wonderland. Sequin table runners. Lucite ghost chairs. Cut crystal and mercury glass. Playful touches like a slo-mo booth. Thoughtful and fun cuisine, in a true representation of the neighborhood where the wedding took place and that the couple calls home. A food truck, serving artisanal donuts, greeted guests as they entered the after party space. Every little detail was touched by the bride and groom’s vision.

I worked with such a talented team to bring the event to life. HMR Designs, Magnificent Milestones, Olivia Leigh Photographie, Blue Plate Catering, The Party Faithful, Poetic Productions, Morgan MFG, Donut Vault. I really do have my dream job with Bliss and being a wedding planner is so much a part of who I am, that most days, it doesn’t feel like a job at all.

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Cherry blossoms transition to stunning tabletop decor for the reception. Credit: Olivia Leigh Photographie

mother, wife, wedding planner…

It’s been fun watching how social media has evolved over the years and how it has changed the way that we communicate and connect. For what it is now, I most appreciate how social media can change my perspective or inspire me to look at life through a different lens and to find the beauty in a dull moment.

I guess I’m taking it a step further by jumping into the world of blogging. My vision for this project is that it will fuel the inspiration in my life, while sharing that inspiration and experience with others. We all post the best of our best moments online and it can create a dreamy Instagram feed, but life is not just the highlight reel. Days are full of chaos and life is messy, complicated and beautiful at the same time.

There is plenty of chaos in my world: I am a mama to two sweet and energetic little boys; a wife with a hubby who has a long daily commute and a dry sense of humor; a wedding planner, surrounded by dreams and pretty things; and a homeowner with a 1965 house that’s a work in progress but full of warm and fuzzies.

After almost a decade living in Chicago, my hubs and I took the leap out to the far western suburbs. It’s about an hour from our house to downtown, but we’re constantly working on our balancing act to blend our love of the city and our charming little small town suburb. I’m learning that life is just one big balancing act and it can get overwhelming.

Regardless of how overwhelming it may get, I remind myself to appreciate the sweetness of life, even when it’s chaotic and messy. To find the sweet spot.