Your Big Day: The Final Wedding Preparations
Once you’ve checked off the most important part of wedding preparations like booking the venue, your wedding music, and photographer, there are still a ton of wedding “extras” you need to consider that are an imperative part to your special day! The Cake I am lucky enough that one of my friends, Maggie O’Brien of Velvet Dessert is a talented pastry chef and helped us come up with our dream wedding cake. Narrowing down our favorites during the tasting was the hardest part. Maggie had four different kinds of cake for us to choose from: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, and lemon-lavender; and 11 different kinds of buttercream icings: vanilla, strawberry champagne, strawberry balsamic, pistachio, chocolate, almond, Nutella, coconut, honey cinnamon cream cheese, raspberry, and lemon lavender. In the end we chose the lemon lavender cake with alternating layers of strawberry jam and strawberry balsamic icing. We made sure to eat some of the cake at our wedding and it was outstanding!
In addition to Velvet Desserts, Maggie and her mother co-own Lakeview Kitchen and Market, an awesome test kitchen and pastry market in the East Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. I’m lucky enough that I live down the street and have stopped in often to sample different items their clients prepare in the test kitchen as well as Maggie’s amazing French pastries and desserts. The space is a 5,000 sq. ft. fully equipped commercial shared kitchen, available to rent by the hour, the week, or the month. One of the best things about the kitchen is that local chefs, artisans, and caterers don’t need to schlep over their own equipment; everything needed for high quality restaurant type food is included in the cost of renting out the space.
Flowers Flowers really make the colors of your wedding pop and helps to set the entire tone of your big day. For the flower arrangements for our wedding we used the Chicago Flower Company for the bouquets and Sam’s Club for the tables. Our florist Steve, from Chicago Flower Company helped us choose arrangements that went with the general vintage-tone of our wedding. We ended up using sweet looking baby’s breath bouquets for the bridesmaids and yellow rose and purple billy ball flowers for the men’s boutonnieres. My bridal bouquet was a mix of baby’s breath, white and yellow spray roses, and some fresh looking greenery.
Transport Taste Tester #1 and I thought long and hard about arrival to the wedding venue and because our ceremony and reception were held at the same place we had a bit of a unique situation. We decided in the end that since we’d be arriving before anyone got there it might be easier (and less expensive) for us to have a family member bring us to the venue. We made it special by having our photographer along for the ride and getting some great candid photos of us in the back seat getting excited for our big moment and TT #1 assisting me and the dress out of the car and into the venue.
But if you have a more traditional gap between your ceremony and reception, I imagine that a fancy limo or town car would be the way to go. I love to be the center of attention and imagine that it would be so much fun to pull up to surprise all your guests in the luxury of a limo service like www.nashvilleairportlimo.com. Plus, if you’ve taken photos after your ceremony, the high-end ride to the reception will give you a chance to relax and decompress before the non-stop action the rest of the evening will bring.
Make sure that you make these arrangements far in advance and confirm with the service a few days ahead in order to reduce your wedding day stress.
Hair and Makeup For my hair styling I found Amanda Soltwisch, owner of Blohaute, through recommendations by some of my favorite foodie and fashion blogger friends. Since I do my own hair 99 % of the time, I knew that I wanted to splurge and do something special for the wedding. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do anything special with my hair because it isn’t particularly long, but Amanda assured me that she’d be able to adapt any style to my length. I was elated that during my hair trial Amanda got my Pinterest inspired look spot-on and I felt totally relaxed about the look going into the wedding.
Amanda also emphasized that the time leading up to the wedding on the day of is meant to be relaxing and used as a time to reflect and spend time with the people closest to you. You don’t want worry about doing your hair or makeup- this is 100% the day to have someone do it for you. Plus there are going to be a lot of photographs and although you might be able to do your hair great on a day to day basis, a professional stylist knows exactly what tricks to make your hair appear fabulous on camera!
Amanda has been doing hair professionally for over six years (and longer if you count her Barbie dolls) and is quite the successful businesswoman. Amanda’s company Blohaute is actually Chicago’s first on demand beauty app delivering beauty services right to your door in the comfort of your own home!
My makeup artist, Beauty Babe by Sabrina also came by the way of this very blog when one of the PR agencies I work with recommended Sabrina and her services. You can read the full post on my experience here.
I was so pleased with my test experience with Sabrina that I hired her to the makeup for my wedding! I immediately felt comfortable with Sabrina as she explained exactly what she was doing the whole time and why she was doing it. I know that for most women having someone who understands what they’re looking for and executes their vision without any big surprises is super important, especially for a wedding! After my trial with Sabrina I even got a little adventurous on my wedding day and wore fake lashes! I was surprised to see that they didn’t make me look like I was wearing some type of costume, even though it was Halloween!
The two ladies who did my hair and makeup were both absolutely fantastic to work with and I couldn’t have been happier with my results!
Day of Coordinator While some couples choose to have a full wedding planner for their special day, we decided that it was best to just have a day of coordinator. Johnna from Great Events worked with us more than just the day of to be sure that our wedding was going to run smoothly from start to finish. We met with Johnna several times before our wedding day to go over a timeline of the day, along with vendor coordination at the venue and hotel, the ceremony processional, and the execution of the entire evening.