BHLDN Sample Sale

Chicago’s BHLDN is hosting a sample sale on Sunday, June 2, from 8AM to 11AM. The sale is in-store only and will feature gowns for $100-200 and a limited selection of event dresses and shoes for just $25. All purchases are final sale and there is no limit to the number of units per person. There will be no appointments during the sale.

The sale will be held at the BHLDN Chicago location at 8 East Walton Street in Chicago.

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Wedding Day Beauty Emergencies

Brides published a list of quick fixes for beauty emergencies on your big day. While I can’t say that I’ve ever used a glue gun on a wedding day, my emergency kit does include just about every other item mentioned. The most used and asked-for thing that I carry? Safety pins!  I carry black, white and silver in an assortment of sizes.

Bandages, mints, scissors, hair pins and deodorant are essential as well. One of my favorite secret weapons is Band-Aid Friction Block Stick. It has saved many brides and bridesmaids from suffering all day!

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Paying for Event Expenses with a Credit Card

While we were planning our wedding, my husband and I were strategic in our spending. He often traveled for work and generally stayed at the same hotel chain. We planned to host our reception at a hotel from this chain (in Chicago) and also booked our honeymoon at the same hotel (in Aruba). You could say we were loyal! We used a credit card from the same hotel for wedding expenses. As we made deposits and payments for our photographer, florist and and more, we earned hotel points, and there were extra point benefits for using the card at the hotels. We paid the balance for the reception with this credit card and made arrangements for the points to hit our account in time to cover our honeymoon stay. The result: we only paid for one night out of two weeks out of pocket, and even earned “cash” to spend at the resort for meals, spa services, etc.

There are definite advantages to paying for event expenses with a credit card, aside from earning hotel points or airline miles. If you have an issue with a product or service, you have recourse through the credit card company. You can keep all of your expenses in one place so that it’s easy to track your spending. You can earn cash with some cards. You may even be able to use the checks that credit card companies mail to you for payment to vendors who only accept cash or checks (but do check the rules for the APR and how it is calculated for this type of balance as opposed to purchases). Some companies offer exclusive benefits to cardholders such as discounts at retailers.

However, this methodology only works if you are able to pay off your card every month, or can pay off the balance within a promotional 0% interest rate. If not, what you’ll pay in interest can easily exceed any benefits earned. You’ll also need to check if the card has annual fee (many that offer rewards do).

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Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2012

Pantone has featured ten colors for Fall 2012 Fashion Forecast including shades like Pink Flambe’, French Roast and Olympian Blue. “From love potions and the magical hour of sunset to witches and warlocks, fantasy and illusion are inspiring designers this fall season. With an unexpected mix of darks, brights and neutrals, they cleverly manipulate reality to transport consumers to an enchanting place, free from the stresses of everyday life.”

Their site also features articles including Men’s Color Snapshot and Designer Outlook, inspiration, colors and must-have items for fall by designers such as Rachel Roy, Nicole Miller, Tadashi Shoji, Tracy Reese and Carmen Marc Valvo.

Download the Fall 2012 Fashion Color Report here.

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Fashion at the Met Ball

The Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“The Met Ball”) is known as fashion’s Oscars. The night celebrated the new exhibition, “Impossible Conversations,” which honors legendary fashion designers Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the evening.

Click here to view a slide show from the event… don’t miss Marc Jacobs in a black lace dress over white boxers. Really.


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Too Much!

Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” When it comes to planning an event, especially a wedding, I’m not so sure this is true.

When I got married not-that-many-years-ago, the main online resources for brides were The Knot and Wedding Channel. Those sites still offer a wealth of information, but with the huge crop of bridal blogs, it can be overwhelming! You can easily spend hours on sites like Style Me Pretty, and then a few more hours on Pinterest, and then more on Etsy. Suddenly, your wedding to-do list just grew by 50 Do It Yourself projects… that must be completed in the next three weeks. Eek!

When you’re newly engaged, time spent perusing these sites can be quite helpful and help you narrow your focus. Even picking one or two colors (if not a specific theme) can make the start of your planning a lot easier. Once you get your feet wet, however, try and limit the time you spend looking around for inspiration  – easier said than done, I know. Planning a wedding while working full time and managing other commitments is already a handful, so don’t make things harder on yourself! Even if you’ve hired a planner, you don’t want to veer too far off course, and seeing hundreds of options for each little detail can definitely confuse even the most decisive bride.

Have the many resources out there helped you or made your planning harder, overall?

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The Changing Etiquette of Wedding Guest Attire


…brides wore their finest dress on their wedding day, regardless of the color (though white was the color of choice for brides in Egyptian and Roman times). The tide really turned once Queen Victoria wore white; this was after the invention of photography and therefore many were able to see and be influenced by her choice. Wearing white was also seen as a symbol of wealth, since it was difficult to keep clean and could not be worn again as easily as other colors.

…it was frowned upon to attend a wedding wearing black, since it is the color of mourning. These days, it’s a safe bet that many, if not most, guests will be wearing black.

… you could wear white to a wedding, as a guest. Today, many think it is rude to do so, as it may upstage the bride. (A boldly patterned dress with some white, or a dress that is only partially white, such as the bodice or sash, are generally considered acceptable.) As styles change and brides’ gowns vary from regal to simple and sweet, it is more likely that a guest wearing white could look like the bride – or worse, be dressed more formally! However, not everyone has an issue with white. Some brides even choose white or ivory for their attendants – remember Pippa’s famous dress?

… you might suggest guidelines for your guests (black tie, semi-formal) so that they knew what was appropriate for your venue. Beyonce and Jay Z asked guests to wear white to their 2008 wedding. Kim Kardashian’s guests all wore black and white.

What is considered appropriate is certainly changing!

Why do some couples ask guests to wear a certain color? Perhaps the number of people you would have asked to be bridesmaids has reached unruly proportions; this would be a way to honor certain friends and family members without having an enormous bridal party. Maybe the bride and groom are wearing non-traditional colors and do not want a guest in a yellow dress to realize in embarrassment that she matches the bride. They may think the idea of people wearing the same colors is festive and will put people in a party mood. (Consider not wearing a costume to a costume party – not quite as fun, right?) In most cases, even if other reasons apply, I’m sure a major motivator is having some cool photos. The smaller the wedding, the more likely this is to work well.

Why might this be a bad idea? Sometimes finding a flattering ensemble is hard enough without the color limitation. A guest may not own something in say, orange, so now they have the added expense of purchasing a new outfit in order to attend. And what if orange is your least favorite color, or looks horrible on you? I’d venture that guests with whom you are not close might decline based on this type of request – perhaps they can’t or won’t spend the extra money and may be irritated at being told what to wear.

If you are asking all guests to wear a specific color, Martha Stewart Weddings advises using verbiage such as, “We invite you to join in the wedding’s color palette by wearing a shade of blue” on a reception-card insert (as opposed to the invitation). If you think a significant number of guests plan to dress in a particular color, it would be helpful to include a line like the one above somewhere in the enclosures; if someone wasn’t aware of the request, they may stick out and feel uncomfortable.

I think the broader the request, the more receptive guests will be. Most of us probably own something appropriate in black and white, or we could find an option in a shade of green relatively easily. Looking for just mint green or chartreuse? Not quite as easy.

My husband and I are invited to two such weddings this summer. One wedding is for a close friend who has asked all of her friends to wear shades of blue, and another is for a relative who would like family to wear silver or grey. Will I need to purchase two new dresses? Yes, but I would have done so anyway. (Traditionally, you didn’t need to worry about photos on Facebook; it was easier to recycle outfits with different circles!) If it makes the bride happy, I’m happy to oblige.



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Pretty Placemats

Looking for an easy way to create a lovely table at your next dinner party or event? Try these placemats from Cake Vintage.

Most are black and white so they’ll complement just about any color scheme.

Their Bon Appetit placemat serves as an escort card and menu card – a simple time (and money) saver!

There are also a few options for kids, as well as colored pencils!

Just add some fresh flowers and your decor is done!

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Kate Spade Gifts for the Bride

When a close friend gets engaged, you’ll want to get her a lovely little something in addition to the gift you give to her and her fiance’. Kate Spade has some darling options.

Though she may have a flashy new ring, any bride would love these sweet, understated pieces. Click here to see the bangle or necklace.

What about a lovely box for jewelry or small keepsakes?

This cosmetic bag or passport holder would be adorable gifts for a bachelorette weekend or her honeymoon.

And I think this cheeky tote would be a great gift for just about anyone!

I mean, who doesn’t love cake for breakfast?!

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Easter Crafts

Paper Source is one of my favorite places to shop. From paper and stamps to stationery sets and hostess gifts, I never walk out out empty handed!

They have several cute kits available for Easter. These would be fun for the kiddies – or for you! Choose from Easter Egg Cups & Finger Puppets, Bunny Garlands, Bunny & Chick Ornaments and Bunny Beanies.

You’ll need minimal supplies, such as pencils, scissors and glue. Each kit outlines exactly what you’ll need. Click here to order!

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