Weddings Planners In Blue

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 2, 2012

Contact: Rita Rich, info@ritarichmedia.net 301.404.9609

Wedding Planners in Blue

Meet Bill Malone and Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques and Culebra

Vieques, Puerto Rico-March 2, 2012 — Sandy, a former Wall Street Journal writer, fell in love with this Puerto Rican jewel of an island when she was a media consultant for the Government of Puerto Rico during its effort to kick the U.S. Navy off the island back in the 1990s. When her job was finished, she continued to visit the island, located seven miles off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, as frequently as possible.

In 2004, she got married on Vieques and found that wedding planning on an island located seven miles off the coast of another island called for her to use her skills as a seasoned event manager in Washington, DC. The San Juan wedding planner she hired and fired delivered nothing of what she promised, and Sandy and her then-fiancé Bill (a SWAT team commander in Washington, DC) ended up doing all of the work themselves.

Now with almost five years and 400 weddings and commitment ceremonies under her belt, Sandy has become quite an expert on Caribbean destination wedding planning, budgeting, and guest management.

“Not many wedding planners ask their brides if their grooms are going to be carrying when attend  their destination wedding. I do. I’ve been there,” Sandy says.

Bill, a firearms instructor for 25 years, says, “My former gun range bag is now the “Wedding in Vieques Official Bridal Emergency Bag, because Sandy says it’s got so many pockets, it’s perfect for all the curling irons, brushes, etc. that a bride needs.”

Sandy explains that police families are special. “The experiences of loving a policeman or woman are those that their significant others may find difficult sharing with other wedding planners. But, I get what goes on in the minds and hearts of the extended family of those who put on the uniform, and strap on the belt, everyday. Not every wedding planner is going to be able to offer practical advice about safely, and legally travelling with a side-arm packed in ones luggage. Not everybody gets why bringing that weapon to one’s own wedding isn’t unusual or unique. I get it.”

Bill and Sandy got married in Vieques on Labor Day weekend, 2004. After he retired from the Metro Transit Police Department, in Washington, D.C. they decided to live on Vieques full time. They are frequent visitors to Washington and its suburbs. The two have family and friendships that bring them back here numerous times a year. One of those times is next week, between March 7th and the 11th. Please consider an interview with Bill and Sandy Malone, of Weddings In Vieques when they are next “home” and can meet with your Washington based correspondent. Or, please schedule an over-the-phone interview with them.

Find out why having a cop’s wife help you plan your wedding is an ideal situation. And, of course, remember, there would be no wedding planning company without the retired man in blue, Bill Malone.

For more information please see: www.weddingsinvieques.com

Hear Sandy Malone in Jim Bohannon’s Off-Beat report by copy-pasting the URL below in your browser or clicking below:

www.ritarichmedia.net/mp3/Vieques.mp3

See Sandy on Channel 9, Washington, DC here:

http://jchayward.com/2012/02/14/vieques-is-for-weddings/

Read Sandy’s blogs on the Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sandy-malone

Contact: Rita Rich, info@ritarichmedia.net or, 301.404.9609

Weddy, steady, wow

From show-stopper gowns to honeymoon destination ideas – the Sharjah wedding show promises to make your D-day perfect

The booming wedding industry in the region is embracing innovative ideas in order to cater to the ever-changing requirements of the new generation youth.

Industry experts point out that while the youth are rooted in their respective cultures, they are willing to go to any extent to make their wedding day as distinctive as possible and at the same time appeal to one and all.

“Better education and employment opportunities and higher disposable incomes have encouraged today’s youth to think out of the box. They have seen the world, have friends all over the world and will settle only for an out-of-the world experience when it comes to the most important day in their lives,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre, Sharjah.

Midfa was speaking ahead of the Perfect Wedding Show, which will be held at Expo Centre from March 7-10.

Dress up

Right from wedding invitations to bridal attire and catering to honeymoon destinations, the demands from the youth in the region are as diverse as their upbringing.

Bridal attire is their first and foremost concern. For those who are looking for that perfect dress which is stylish and fashion-forward, some of the new western trends one needs to consider include laces, colours, two-tiered skirts, illusion necklines, extreme textures and embroidered florals, among others. Leading regional designers have been lined up to dazzle the visitors by presenting the latest in Western and Arabian bridal wear, including lavish wedding gowns by Amato, Sposa Haute Couture Lecci Fashions, intricate abayas by Hanayen and many more.

For those from the Indian sub-continent, the bridal wear may include lots of A-line styles, volume and intricate embroidery in lehengas. Colours are taking a more sophisticated turn towards light neutrals, pastels and deeper shades. There will be more silver as against gold threading, with an emphasis on the natural beauty of the fabrics. Rivaage Collage, both leading multi designer boutiques based in Dubai, will be showcasing the latest in traditional Asian bridal wear by some of the most sought after designers form India and Pakistan at the venue.

Since the Perfect Wedding Show hosts leading designers from all over the world, visitors will have access to bridal attire comprising a wide range.

Accessorise right

“The wedding dress might be a showstopper, but it is the right accessories that really complete the bride’s wedding garb. Whether it is jewellery or hair accessories, the latest trends are all about creating a one-of-a-kind look,” said Iman Abdallah, Asst.Group Project Manager, Expo Centre Sharjah.

The hottest word in bridal accessories is colour. Right from footwear to jewellery, a fantastic array of colours will add a strong element of personality, fun, and a modern twist to the traditional bridal ensemble. Also in demand are unusual necklaces and other accessories.

“Couples can enhance the entertainment quotient by adding a few simple, elegant options. They can also go for over-the-top arrangements for a lasting impact. For example, hiring a band to play at your wedding, though a bit on the expensive side, certainly does wonders for the overall atmosphere of the event. Playing pre-recorded music will be an extremely inexpensive option, but with its own downsides,” said Iman.

Food for thought

Catering options are paramount in a place like the UAE. As with the multitude of nationalities working and living here, their choice of food could be as diverse as their cultural backgrounds. In such a scenario, deciding on the menu and laying out an appealing fare could be quite challenging.

The UAE also has one of the finest hospitality sectors in the world, which can cater to every aspect of weddings these days. Its exotic beaches, deserts and islands are a perfect complement to top-rated hotels and resorts. Be it a traditional wedding or a one-of-its-kind ceremony, the UAE has what it takes to make the dream come true for every couple.

Offering glimpses into these new trends and concepts in weddings, and comprehensive solutions that facilitate hassle-free arrangements, the curtains are set to go up on the forthcoming Perfect Wedding Show at Expo Centre Sharjah.

It will showcase cultural parades, live demonstrations of hair-styling and make-up, apart from a wide range of perfumes, ouds, cosmetics, jewellery, gifts and accessories, health and beauty products, cards and stationery and related materials and services.

Designers, couturiers, décor specialists, wedding planners and caterers will offer their services, while there will be a host of options regarding wedding and reception venues, photography, entertainment options and honeymoon destinations.

Leading local and regional designers will present their creations, while fashion shows featuring leading designers will give visitors a peak into traditional and trendy bridal wear and wedding accessories. The event will feature glittering fashion shows presented by leading international and regional designers with special bridal couture shows.

 

Palm Trees and White Sand … in Philadelphia?

If you are looking for palm trees and white sand to escape the remnants of winter, look no farther than Philadelphia.

Visitors to the city’s International Flower Show can wander through a tropical paradise of sorts thanks to this year’s theme, “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha.” The weeklong horticultural extravaganza opens Sunday.

Exhibits include a fantasy surf shack, a beach wedding, a 25-foot-tall waterfall and a tribute to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire. Hula dancers and musicians from the Aloha State will perform, and contestants will vie for prizes in daily floral arranging competitions modeled after the “Iron Chef” TV show.

And, of course, there will be flowers. Thousands upon thousands of orchids, anthurium and other blooms commonly associated with the Hawaiian isles will be spread throughout 10 acres of fragrant displays.

“If you’re an orchid lover, this is the place to be,” said Drew Becher, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which sponsors the show.

About 250,000 people are expected at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the event, which is billed as the world’s largest indoor flower show. It’s also one of the oldest, dating back to 1829.

The grand entrance installation combines flowers with video and special effects of crashing breakers to create an “orchid wave.” The sloped roof of a thatched hut will double as a projection screen, where an image of Pele will talk about Hawaiian culture.

Show designer Sam Lemheney said it’s important to bring the exhibits to life with integrated technology. The show is not a flower museum, he said, and it’s not enough just to have “a screen built into a planted set.” Exhibitors were allowed to use flat screens for the first time last year.

“This has to be entertaining and it has to be interactive. That’s what people expect,” Lemheney said.

A beach wedding scene dreamed up by Robertson’s Flowers of Philadelphia uses mostly flowers flown in from Hawaii, including several varieties of ginger and heliconia. The “ocean” is formed by 1,500 glass cylinders filled with blue water and lit from below; white orchids will create the white foam of the “waves.”

The display’s lead designer, Eric Schellack, traveled to the island of Kauai for inspiration and was surprised at how the actual geography — including mountains and farms — forced him to rethink his preconceptions of Hawaii.

The result helped inform his design and made it an exciting challenge, he said.

“In this part of the country, we’re not doing tropical arrangements every day,” Schellack said.

Flower show organizers worked with Hawaiian tourism officials to help ensure authentic representations of the culture. Neither group wanted the exhibits to devolve into stereotypes including coconut bras, grass skirts and tiki statues.

“That’s not something that we promote or perpetuate at home,” said Kainoa Daines, sales director for the Oahu Visitors Bureau.

Daines will be at the show along with other Hawaiians set to demonstrate native weaving and lei-making, as well as hula dancers and musicians. A marketplace area called The Hawaii Village will offer island-related crafts and merchandise.

“We want people to know that Hawaii has a rich culture,” Daines said.

———

If You Go…

PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW: Opens Sunday and runs through March 11 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia. Tickets range from $15 for children to up to $32 for adults, depending on the day and point of purchase. Details and hours can be found at www.theflowershow.com .

———

Follow Kathy Matheson at www.twitter.com/kmatheson

Guess Who’s Custom Making A Wedding Dress For The Man Repeller?

 

In case you hadn’t heard, Leandra Medine — the blogger known all over the place as The Man Repeller — isn’t repellant to men at all. In fact, she’s currently planning her wedding, and she’s already earmarked one of the biggest names in fashion to design her wedding dress.

Medine told Avenue Magazine, the snooty glossy title that’s only distributed to people on a small sliver of New York’s Upper East Side, that she and designer Prabal Gurung are in active talks about what a custom-Prabal-Man-Repeller dress would look like. And the announcement of this fact is something that’s sure to set the collective heart of her wide network of followers and and admirers aflutter.

While her millions of readers and 60K Twitter followers have waited with bated breath to hear who will be designing her wedding dress, it sounds as if she’s narrowed it down to one hot designer, whom she also considers a friend: Prabal Gurung.

“We’re actually talking about the prospect of him doing my wedding dress,” she smiles, almost shyly, at the prospect of a custom-made gown on a girl’s biggest day by one of fashion’s most popular men. “I think Prabal Gurung is probably going to be the most relevant and important designer in fashion five years from now. His collections are insane.”

Insane is right. And we have to imagine that whatever he creates for Medine will be worthy of that adjective, too.

[Avenue]


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Man Repeller Prabal Gurung Wedding Dress


Twitter celebrities to the rescue for Somerset couple’s dream wedding

A couple whose wedding plans collapsed when their venue went bust had their big day saved after receiving £10,000 worth of gifts – after a celebrity appeal on the internet.

Sweethearts Lauren Lane and Daniel Welch lost their £4,500 deposit when the hotel’s parent company folded just six weeks before they were due to walk down the aisle.

  1. Lauren Welch, 27, and Dan Welch, 28, on their wedding day

  2. Lauren Welch, 27, and Dan Welch, 28, on their wedding day

  3. Lauren Welch, 27, and Dan Welch, 28, looking at the collapsed wedding venue’s website

  4. Lauren Welch, 27, and Dan Welch, 28, looking at the collapsed wedding venue’s website

  5. TV presenter Davina McCall lent her support to the cause via Twitter

So the devastated couple, from Radstock, Somerset, put out an appeal for help on social networking website Twitter – which was then replicated by hundreds of people, including celebrities such as Davina McCall and Dannii Minogue.

A string of companies then came forward to offer their services for free – giving the grateful pair rings, a cake, jewellery and a new wedding planner and photographer.

They finally managed to walk down the aisle on the weekend, all thanks to the kindness of strangers on Twitter.

Lauren, 27, said: “It just goes to show the power of Twitter. As soon as I posted my message on the website everything just went crazy.

“My bridesmaids got involved and began tweeting messages to local wedding services companies, asking if they could do anything for us. Then Davina McCall and Dannii Minogue retweeted my message to their thousands of followers.

“We got so much help from a lot of kind people and it made our day really special. So much has come from such an awful time we can’t thank all our helpers enough.”

Lauren and Daniel, 28, who have two-year-old son Cohen, had been eagerly anticipating their wedding, set for this Saturday, after spending 18 months planning the big day.

The couple, from Coleford, Bath, Somerset, had already shelled out £4,500 for the wedding at popular venue Chewton Place, in Keynsham. Their deposit covered the cost of the ceremony, reception for 150 guests, and all the food for the big day.

But just two days before Christmas they recieved an email from the venue’s parent company, Aspire Limited, informing them the company had gone into liquidation.

The email told them that the wedding could not go ahead, ending with a curt: “I hope you have a nice Christmas.”

Lauren, who works as an accounts assistant said: “We were totally devastated and knew more or less straightaway that we would not be able to get our money back. The wedding was only six weeks away at the time and we had paid the balance.

“It ruined all our plans and our Christmas with our two-year old son. We had saved all the money for our wedding instead of putting it all on a credit card.

“If we had got into debt for our wedding we would have been covered by the credit card company. Our parents had also contributed to some of it too. We went out straight away and started looking at new wedding venues – but we knew our budget would be limited.”

The couple were able to secure country mansion Rookery Manor, near Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, at a discount only after Lauren’s dad Eddie, 56, dipped into his pension.

But they still needed a huge list of vital ingredients, including rings and a cake, to make their wedding day complete. Lauren took to Twitter on January 5 to highlight their plight, tweeting: “Please help and retweet, Wedding Venue goes bust with 6 weeks to go and our £4.5.”

Her bridesmaids and friends also took up the internet campaign and started retweeting the message.

They posted the tweet to a number of celebrities on the site and were stunned when Davina McCall and Dannii Minogue responded.

Presenter Davina retweeted the message to her 1,054,000 followers on January 6 and popstar Dannii did the same to her 832,000 followers four days later. That caused a stream of top firms to come forward and offer them the missing elements to make their day complete.

Company Cool Jewelz offered Lauren and quarry worker Daniel gold wedding bands and The Cake Genie gave them a free three-tiered chocolate cake.

The cake was hand-delivered to the couple all the way from London in time for the wedding.

Party Crechers offered to look after the children and even wedding planner company How To I Do, in Bristol, got involved – all free of charge.

Local photographer Sidney Diongzon came forward to offer his services for free and the couple even managed to snag videographer Paul Van. Bridal Designs then tweeted the couple to offer them cut price earrings and necklaces for their bridesmaids.

A magician, characturist, table planner and make-up artist also made contact via Twitter – giving Lauren and Daniel everything they needed. The overjoyed lovebirds, who have been together for ten years, finally walked up the aisle on Saturday.

Maid to order: The Pippa Middleton effect means that bridesmaids’ style can …

When Mandy Case recites her vows in March 2013, her bridesmaids will stand beside her in above-the-knee yellow and blue dresses with cowboy boots.

The 26-year-old elementary school teacher has booked a renovated dairy barn for the ceremony, so the rustic attire seemed fitting. Yellow and blue are the colors of Fort Mill High School, where Case and her fiance met.

Case isn’t sure how many bridesmaids she’ll have — her guess is three or four — but she wants them to have a say in what style of dress she chooses for them to wear. “I want my bridesmaids to look and feel confident,� she said Sunday at a bridal showcase at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, N.C.

After last spring’s British royal wedding, the bridal industry was watching for a possible “Pippa Middleton effect� after Kate Middleton’s sister turned heads in a show-stopper of a gown. Website fashionista.com declared Pippa’s ivory satin-based crepe column dress with cowl neck and cap sleeves “the first bridesmaid dress that anyone ever wanted to knock off.� In response, bridal boutiques rush-ordered replica Pippa dresses.

But the replica dresses didn’t sell. What store owners learned, they say, is that brides want to set their own trends on their big day. Individualism, a strong trend in the past few seasons, seems to trump the celebrity wedding effect.

While mom or grandma might have their own ideas about what is appropriate attire for bridesmaids, brides today don’t worry much about adhering to rules.

“I joke and say ‘All the rules went out the window 10 years ago,’� says Anna Kelly, senior consultant for J Major’s bridal boutique in Charlotte, N.C. “It used to be that you asked, ‘What time is the wedding?’� and that dictated the attire. “But it just doesn’t matter anymore. People wear very simple, svelte skinny dresses in an enormous Catholic Mass, and fully beaded ball gowns on the beach.�

Oddly, a great example of the trend can be found — as you could have guessed — in a celebrity wedding. Last September the seven bridesmaids for model/actress Molly Sims donned what Sims called “cohesive yet mismatched� gowns by designer Elizabeth Kennedy in shades of tan and black. Each of the dresses was different — some with prints, some solids.

The bottom line is it’s almost anything goes when it comes to bridal party fashion. Bridesmaids are no longer limited to the floor-length jewel-toned satin gowns with matching hairdos, shoes and jewelry of yesteryear.

“Brides are taking the reins over their own weddings and are not abiding by what tradition says they should be doing,� says Carrie Goldberg, assistant fashion editor for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. “The one rule is that every bridesmaid should be in a dress that flatters them and that they like.�

And if that means bridesmaids aren’t all in the same dress? That’s just fine, Goldberg says.

“I think the idea of everyone wearing the same dress is on its way out,� she says. “There’s more of a focus on working with a palate than working with the same color. Not every color flatters every girl in the bridal party.�

At the Bridal Boutique of North Carolina in Cary, manager Manu Gujral said the store stocked the Kate Middleton replica dress immediately after the wedding, but “nobody is even asking� for it, nor are they coming in with photos of Pippa’s gown.

Gujral says the brides she helps still most often put their bridesmaids in identical dresses, but they are often shorter dresses, with flowy fabric. “Basically, (brides) will bring in a couple of bridesmaids and see what looks good on them. … Then the bride chooses whatever she likes.â€�

Still, buyer Lucie Winters of A Bridal World in Raleigh, N.C., said that while there are “no major no-nos� brides need to heed when picking out attendants’ attire, there are following several hot trends.

Shorter dresses are big now for bridesmaids — “short has exploded,� she says — and more brides are letting their attendants pick out their own dress style, so long as they stay within the same designer and color scheme. Dresses with pockets are also popular.

But for all the democracy a bride may want to offer her attendants, Vicki Jeffries of the Gastonia, N.C., boutique Poffie Girls reminds us that there is still one simple rule: Bridesmaids should never outshine — or overrule — the bride.

“She is the center of attention and they are her court.�

Philly Flower Show has a lush, Hawaiian theme

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Don’t let the abundance of orchids highlighting the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show mislead you. “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha” will not be your grandmother’s flower show.

High-tech graphics in the center feature of the show will replicate breaking waves and lava flows in 3-D. A man-cave, where guys can practice putting, share a drink at a bar, or watch TV from comfortable seats, may even entice men to plan a return in 2013.

A 25-foot waterfall will spash down into a lush garden where volcanic flames will interact with performers.

Opening Sunday, March 4 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and running through March 11, the show has a combo ticket available to tie into the VanGogh exhibit at the Art Museum of Philadelphia.

The layout of the show has been revamped for the first time since 1996, the first year the event was at the convention center. Shopping areas will be more navigable, wine tastings will continue for adults and there will be more options to buy a meal or a snack inside the show, said Pennsylvania Horticultural Society President Drew Becher.

On March 12, QVC will broadcast Spring in Bloom from the show.

Becher predicts will have a $61 million impact on the region.

Several special events at the show are geared to specific audiences, including a LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) networking program on Monday, March 5. Meeting in a VIP area, members of the group will meet with Phillip Watson, QVC host and author of Pleasure Gardens, which includes more than 350 photos of garden designs.

Wedding Wednesday is March 7, when brides-to-be are invited to attend with their bridesmaids to collect advice from fashion, music, catering, honeymoon, and photography experts. They will sample champagne and food while watching do-it-yourself demonstrations.

Girls Night Out on Thursday, March 8, will feature food and wine tastings, health and beauty samplings and tutorials, shopping, and raffles.

Family Day on Sundays March 4 and March 11, from 2 to 5 p.m., will feature a meet-and-greet with The Lorax, the star of the movie based on a Dr. Seuss book.

Dia Mirza wants wedding to be a private affair

Dia Mirza admits that most of her conversations now revolve around tying the knot with fiancé Sahil Sangha. “People only talk about my wedding,” she says with a laugh, adding, “When they ask me when we’re getting married, I reply, ‘where is the ring?”
But the actor admits that Sangha,

too, has marriage on his mind. “The other day, while we were driving somewhere, he suddenly asked me if I wanted a destination wedding. I was so surprised, I nearly fell out of the car,” she says, adding, “I said, ‘give me the ring first, then we’ll talk about the wedding.’”

On a serious note Mirza admits she’s looking forward to having an intimate ceremony. “Sahil comes from a very big family, while mine is very small. I just want an intimate wedding, surrounded by the people I wouldn’t want to get married without.”

What’s more, the actor’s trousseau might just give her a chance to venture into a new field — designing. “I have so many close designer friends, that I’ll be in such a dilemma when I have to chose my wedding outfit. Maybe the first thing I should design is my wedding dress,” she says.

The actor, who is currently working on three new production ventures simultaneously, will walk the ramp today for designer Khushali Kumar at Lakme Fashion Week. She admits the bejewelled collection tempted her to return as showstopper.

Ask her whether she’s still racked by nerves when she hits the runway, and Dia responds, “Completely. There’s something about being on stage with all the attention focussed on you that gives you an adrenaline rush. I’m smiling, but in my head, I’m begging ‘God, please don’t let me slip.’”

Missouri Catholic School Fires Gay Teacher Al Fischer For Planning Wedding

Al Fischer, a music teacher at St. Ann
Catholic School outside St. Louis, recently was fired over his plans
to marry his partner in New York, the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch
reported.

Fischer told the paper that he was let
go from his job of four years on February 17.

Fischer and Charlie Robin planned to
marry on the day of their 20th anniversary, March 9, in
New York, which legalized gay marriage last summer.

Shortly after a St. Louis Archdiocese
representative overheard Robin talking to co-workers about his
wedding plans, Fischer learned that he would be fired on his wedding
day. The firing was moved up after Robin posted the news on his
Facebook page on February 16, Robin told the paper.

St. Ann’s pastor, the Rev. Bill Kempf,
acknowledged in an email that Fischer was relieved of his duties
because of his plans to marry.

The parish was “recently informed by
one of its teachers of this plan to unite in marriage with an
individual of the same sex. With full respect of this individual’s
basic human dignity, this same-sex union opposes Roman Catholic
teaching as it cannot realize the full potential a marital
relationship is meant to express. As a violation of the Christian
Witness Statement that all Catholic educators in the Archdiocese of
St. Louis are obliged to uphold, we relieved this teacher of his
duties.”

Robin said the school had previously
shown support for their relationship.

“There’s nothing that’s been hidden
about our relationship at any point,” he said. “I go to the
staff parties. I show up at the school concerts. … It doesn’t
matter until somebody with the Archdiocese is sitting in the room.”

Last
month
, a Charlotte, North Carolina Catholic church fired its
openly gay music director after he married his longtime partner in
New York.

Gifts for the Ladies: Ideas to treat your bridesmaids!

We finally got a few glimpses of sunshine yesterday and while today is a bit chillier, it’s clear that the Chicago wedding season is quickly approaching. For all the spring and summer Chicago brides wrapping up their wedding plans, it’s time to focus on a few exciting last details. What could be more fun than celebrating the women who will be standing next to you on your special day? Let’s talk bridesmaids gifts!

BEAUTY: Chicago wedding planners are there to help you plan your whole day… including, of course, bridal hair and makeup. Some brides decide they want to treat their bridesmaids to the gift of beauty and pay for these services. Some brides even decide to give their girls with the bridesmaids dresses as a gift!

BLING: Another fun thing to do is to surprise your girls with jewelry for your Chicago wedding. That way you can stylize their look a little more and give them a beautiful piece to add to their wardrobe. Choose a different piece for each girl for an eclectic look… or a staple piece they will wear everyday.

  • Riverbend Studio took this Chicago wedding photo of a Big City Bride Chicago wedding where the bridesmaids wore matching bracelets. Bracelets can be worn with any dress style! If you choose non-matching bridesmaid dress styles then coordinated jewelry is a beautiful and simple way to tie the look together. A savvy Big City Bride found this Kate Spade bracelet which would become any girl’s favorite piece of jewelry because it’s an engraved reminder she has a  ”best friend ever,” and a “partner in crime,” and that you’re “peas in a pod,” “sidekicks,” “birds of a feather,” “two of a kind,” and “perfect pairs.” What a touching way to remind your bridesmaids how special they are to you!

COMFY: While you’re spending the morning getting pretty, your girls could all look fabulous in bridesmaids robes. Who knew robes were something you could love so much? With a collection like these at Plum Pretty Sugar Loungerie you can buy a customized set for your specific bridesmaids. These make for a cute photo op to make your Chicago wedding photography really pop, and your bridesmaids are sure to love them for years to come.

GIRL STASH: Women love bags because we love to be prepared for anything! Big City Bride Chicago wedding planners always have our emergency bag of everything needed on wedding day, but that doesn’t mean your bridesmaids wouldn’t love their own bag of fun goodies for the day. Give a unique handbag! Located just a few blocks from Big City Bride, 1154 Lill Studio is located on Armitage in Lincoln Park and they create beautiful custom bags–just pick a fabric and a style that each of your girls will love! A great idea is to fill each bag with nail polish, bobby pins, lip gloss, and a hair tie, and your bridesmaids will have all the necessities close at hand on the big day!

WARM FUZZY: If you’re planning on a Chicago winter wedding and want to take your Chicago wedding photos around the city, then you might want to prepare for our unpredictable winters! Kim and Chad’s recent wedding at the Chicago wedding venue of Fulton’s On The River took place the day after a major Chicago snowstorm! Luckily the bridesmaids were ready with warm and comfy footwear! Kim decided to have her girls wear Uggs and they had tons of  fun taking their photos with Belen at Gerber + Scarpelli.

RELAX: After a Chicago wedding weekend of endless fun, you and your bridesmaids will surely be in need of a little relaxation. While you are off enjoying your honeymoon, your bridesmaids can enjoy a massage or spa day with a gift certificate to any one of Chicago’s luxurious salons and spas!

Of course, these are  just a few fun ideas. Saying thank you in any way will mean the world to the women you’ve chosen to share your wedding day!

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