Cinco de Mayo Wedding Inspiration

We here at Soirée Weddings and Events have been dreaming of festive Cinco de Mayo weddings all day! Here’s a little Mexican inspiration just for you!

The Tablescape: Succulents and Citrus

The Bridesmaids: Bright and Embroidered

The Party Favors: Tequila, Succulents, & Custom Chiclet Boxes

The Signature Cocktail: Citrus Paloma

The Dessert: Margarita Cupcakes

Anyone else feeling festive? We’ll leave you with just a few photos from one of Soirée’s very own Mexican weddings:

Carlee & Dan’s gorgeous Cancún wedding: June 9, 2013!

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Bright and beautiful photos by Shelley Anderson of Cage and Aquarium Photography.

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Anniversary Lisa & David!

Happy First Year Anniversary to Lisa & David! A perfect wedding to celebrate around our Independence Day!

4th of July

4th of July Wed4th of July Wed/Comic 4th of July

The ceremony and reception were held at Kitchen Chicago.

4th of July/comicHave a fabulous Anniversary you two!!! We wish you all the love and happiness! Cheers!


2012 In Review – a great year. (Part I)

This has been an amazing year — I was truly sad to see it go…

It started with Kelly and Jerry’s NYE wedding at Carnivale.  So incredible!

New Year's eve wedding in Chicago

New Year's Eve Wedding at Carnivale

Florals by Stemline, Creative

Chicago New Year's Eve wedding

Then a trip to New York for Fashion Week/Valentines Day..

30 rock


david letterman nyc

a Day spent at MoMA

moma montage

moma nyc

A walk through Central ParkCentral Park

Some star sightings – Bethenny Frankel and Selita Ebanks at Philippe (thought they weren’t together).  And Justin Beiber at The London Hotel… Sorry – no pics!

St. Patricks Cathedral in New York

Harvard Club

And some drinks at The Harvard Club with my Uncle – so cool!!

We had a blast at the Sixties Social – a Mad Men themed Thursday Therapy! What do you think – did we pull off Betty and Don?

Mad Men Thursday Therapy

Then we hosted our first annual Bridal Event – this one was “Leap Into Wedding Season” and it was held at Fleur de Lis Florist.  It was a huge success – a uncharacteristically warm day (were talking 60’s) led to a great turn out of brides!

Leap Into Wedding Season event

Entertaining Company provided the food.. Cristina G took the amazing photos!

Here’s Team Soirée at the Event…

Soiree Team

Revae from Femme du Coupe provided the delicious cocktails!
femme du coupeLeap Year event

We are so excited for this year’s event – the Wedding March, being held on March 3 at Floating World Gallery! (minor plug!) 🙂 details to come!

St. Patricks day was warm…coco on St. Pattys Day

Really warm! Coco is enjoying the balcony (above).  Chicagoans are enjoying the weather (and the Bars) on Wells St.!Chicago 2012 St. Patrick's Day

We had so much fun planning and creating the 80’s styled shoot at Room 1520.  All the vendors that participated knocked it out of the park!  The creativity and fun factor was off the charts! 80 styled shoot

Room 1520 table settingcolor blocked neon wedding tables

And — It was featured in Ruffled 🙂 paint splatter backdrop photoboothMonique Lhullier bouquet gown

Check out this amazing black and white bridal bouquet from Fleur!black and white bridal bouquet

Then there was Becky and Tony’s wedding at St. Ignatius and The Rookery – And it was featured on Style Me Pretty… 😉 (click here to see it!)

St. Ignatius ChurchBecky and Tony

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Then we took a trip to New Buffalo, Mi.  We brought the pooch and it was so much fun!

Hiking with Bowie

Warren State Dunes

She’s very helpful when she wears the Dog Pack

The Sand DunesBowie on he beach

she was starting to get real tired..

view of Lake Michigan

Our view from the top of the dune of Lake Michigan.  Then we stopped at a local Winery..

Tabor Hill


Bowie was excited – I am not sure why.  She’s just always happy

BowieThen we went to the beach –Lake Michigan BeachDinner at the Marina

Then we headed to the Marina – and had dinner at Brentwood Tavern

Tiff and Rick at Brentwood Tavern

It was a nice mini vacay before the start of wedding season 🙂

We started June with Susan and Frank’s wedding at Morton Arboretum..

Morton Arboretum Wedding

susanfrank_190 1Then we battled a double header!  Sami and Mike’s wedding at Chicago History Museum and Megan and Adam’s wedding at Newberry Library 🙂

Olive Park wedding Photos

Sami’s bouquet and bridesmaid’s bouquets were so lovely!  created by the Jan and Jillian of Natural Beauties.

Natural Beauties Bouquets

Sami and Mike's first dance

This wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty – click here to see it 🙂Chicago History Museum wedding ceremony

The Chicago Room at the Chicago History MuseumMegan and Adam on Chicago BridgeMegan chose a blush and slate gray color palette – it complimented The Newberry Library perfectly!  
First look wedding photos

Megan and Adam had their ceremony in Washington Square Park across the street – and then moved into the Library for cocktails and dinner.Newberry Library wedding Newberry Library wedding - blush and slate wedding

Don’t you want to smell that bouquet of peonies and ranunculus?  Fleur nailed it again!wedding toasts and first dance blush and gray Newberry Library Wedding

That’s the end of Part I – stay tuned for Part II.  I will cover the rest of 2012 – so many more adventures!


Christmas Surprises!

Christmas time is a time for giving – but lately for me…it’s been a time for receiving!  Receiving wonderful Christmas surprises from wedding vendors and clients –

I got this GORGEOUS arrangement from Jenna of Avant Gardenia!  Look at those peonies!! They smell as good as they look!

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Then I opened up a box from Genevieve Burruss of The Way We Click Photography.  An adorable camera Christmas ornament with her logo on the back!  It has found it’s home on my tree!


Lots of Chocolates….


Like these from Sarah Mandel of Classic Wedding Car.  I also got a box from Jenna of Here Comes the Guide!  Notice that one is already eaten here – thanks to my hubby!  He snatched one up before I could even snap a pic!


I was so surprised to receive this adorable hot pink passport wallet from my dear sweet clients, Dan and Carlee.  I can use this for their destination wedding in Cancun this coming June!  So thoughtful!

So much to be thankful for this year!  So many Christmas cards from friends, family and fabulous wedding vendors!  I am so excited for what 2013 has in store!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Happy Halloween from the Soirée Team!

We had so much fun at the Carasco Halloween party last week!  A haunted bus tour, (tricks and) treats from Boutique Bites and Truffle Truffle, a dance floor and…of course…the Shutterbooth Photo booth!

Here are some of our favorites from that night!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Can you tell what our costume was?

Did you dress up? if so – as what?

What was your all time favorite costume?


Dad’s Rock!

Happy Father’s Day to all those wonderful dads out there!  You don’t need socks, ties and tools to know that you are loved and appreciated  – we appreciate all you do every day!

I am lucky to have some pretty great Dad’s in my life!  My dad and my father in law – who are both pretty awesome!

Here are our dad’s – on the most important day of our lives – our wedding day!

Rick and his dad, Dave, who was also his Best Man in our wedding.

My dad, Nick.  So proud to be walking me down the aisle.

Dave giving his Best Man toast – such a great memory!

Me and my dad, dancing at my wedding

When I was a baby, my dad used to dance with me to Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” so I found it fitting that we dance to that at my wedding.  I started to get a little choked up – so my dad decided to lighten the mood a bit and have fun with our dance 🙂

So in lieu of a Father’s Day card, I just wanted to feature these special guys on their special day!  We are so lucky to have them in our life and we appreciate all that they do!

thanks Dad! and Happy Father’s Day!


All images by Cristina G Photography

The true meaning of gift giving

Today is Christmas – Merry Christmas!!

After a full day of opening Christmas presents, hanging with family, catching up with friends and family on the phone…and of course…eating, I remembered one of my favorite Christmas stories.  One that many people forget about, or may not even know, but one that captures the true essence of gift giving: O.Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”

“The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men – who brought gifts to the new-born Jesus in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as donors they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the Magi.” – O. Henry

If you don’t know the story –  click here so you can get the quick synopsis on Wikipedia

My mother first read me this story when I was little.  I remember thinking that it was so sad, that they only got each other one gift each – and then they didn’t even get to use them! Seemed like such a waste! (typical kid – huh?)

Fast forward a decade or so, and I heard the story again.  This time, I thought.. How sweet that they love each other so much and they would go to such lengths to get one perfect Christmas gift for their spose.  And I remember also wishing that I too, would one day have that same kind of unconditional love for a man, and he have that kind of love for me.

The story is so powerful and I feel really illustrates the purpose behind gift giving.  The giving ultimately becomes more gratifying than being on the receiving end.  Of course, getting an awesome gift is great!!  But have you ever gotten someone the perfect gift and you just couldn’t wait to give it to them?  If, your gift comes from the heart – it should always give you that feeling!

When I was little, I would be so excited to wake up on Christmas morning.  I usually couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so wound up with energy and excitement.  Sometimes I would try to sneak out of my room to the living room in the middle of the night to see if I could catch a glimpse of Santa.  I was always the first to wake up and that usually led to waking up my parents, followed by waking up my brother and sisters.  My dad would turn on the Christmas music, brew the coffee, and round up the troops.  Eventually my big brother and sisters would make their way to the tree and we would begin the present-opening extravaganza!

This year, I had that same anxious feeling when I went to bed on Christmas eve.  I was so excited for my husband to open the gifts I got for him.  We woke up at 7 am, enjoyed some coffee in bed and then turned on some Christmas music and made our way to the living room to open presents.  Getting my husband the perfect Christmas gifts brought me so much joy  – I then remembered the story of “The Gift of the Magi.”  Unlike Jim and Della, we were fortunate to not have to make any sacrifices this holiday season, however, I really understood the true meaning of the story.  I think it resonates differently with everyone who reads it. Ironic, romantic, tragic or heartfelt… It definitely helps reminds you what “it” is all about.

Merry Christmas and good night!


What is the best gift you have ever given? 

What is the best gift you have ever received?  The worst?? 🙂

What is your favorite part about exchanging gifts?

Does your family have any Christmas morning traditions?


Deck the Halls

Although Christmas decorations started to go up in mid-November, there is just something about taking advantage of the long Thanksgiving weekend to pull out all the boxes of Christmas ornaments and decorations… and shop for a tree!

Last year we had a new puppy, and felt that between the rambunctious (and LARGE) puppy and our instinctively curious cat – a full sized tree would be a bad idea.  So I reluctantly put out my “single girl” tabletop tree with hopes that this year we would do it up right – with a live tree!

I am excited to announce that this is the first year to have a real (live) Christmas tree!! We feel so grown up. 🙂

here it is…(notice the cat)…even at age 9…still curious!

another…and again the cat, getting even closer..ohhhh boy!

This is an 8ft Fraser Fir.  The needles are soft and rarely fall, they also smell great!  I was on the mission for a skinny tree.  I love skinny trees!  They have a modern look and are also more practical for a condo.  We got this one at Old Town Gardens.  They have a great selection and are also our neighbors. We like to support the business in our community!

So I am pretty sure finding a pine cone in your Christmas tree is good luck! 😉

instant ornament!

So of course, being a wedding planner and event designer, I love to decorate!! I had to splurge a little on some new (larger) ornaments for our full sized tree.  But I got the ones that are shatter resistant (read: good for a house with the wrath of a Berner dog tail! and also great for storing)

I had some decor from last year that I can still use.  But I am excited about our new family tradition – collecting Christmas tree ornaments from our vacations.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love chachkies from my travels (well, any kind of chachkies really!).  But recently I realized the best place to display a (quirky and often non-useful) souvenir is on your Christmas tree!  You can decorate your Christmas tree however you want!  That is an area of your home that you can be quirky and creative – however you choose to be.  So we liked the idea of adding to the collection with each vacay – and also reminiscing on past travels while we trim the tree!

We got this one during our trip to London this past April…

The elf with the Danish flag is from our trip to Copenhagen, Denmark.  The disco balls are from Rick’s 70’s themed birthday party last year!

Throw in some ornaments that I have been holding on to these past few years…

We picked this one up at Peet’s (Rick’s favorite coffee)

…an angel at the top – a gift from my mom that she hand-painted..

and voila! the finished product!

(btw – check out etsy for tree skirts!  that is where I ordered mine! hand-made and much more affordable than the less-personal store bought ones!)

Don’t forget to decorate your dining room table or buffet – or both!

I heart mercury glass! btw – West Elm has tons right now if you wanna stock up 🙂

and remember to get a poinsettia!!

Stockings, candles and mantel garland are also a nice touch!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! Happy Holidays! 😀


Do you have any holiday traditions?

What is your favorite ornament or holiday decoration?

Do you prefer real or fake Christmas trees?