Introducing the newest member of Exquisite Designs – Mana Discekici

May 15th, 2018 by Mana Discekici

Hello Everyone!

My name is Mana Discekici and I will be the new voice behind our blog posts! I am ecstatic to be welcomed into the Exquisite Designs family, and I cannot wait to share with you the newest trends, questions, concerns, and advice surrounding the event industry.

I will also have the pleasure of being on site for most events, helping design behind the scenes. I take pride in my passion for this industry, and my previous work experience has helped me cultivate sophisticated organization skills that I look forward to contributing at each event. These qualities have molded me into an ideal candidate for this position, and I am lucky that I get the chance to flourish at a company as wonderful as Exquisite Designs.

The best feeling in the world (to me) is taking a step back to look at a finished event. After all the planning and designing – those few moments when you realize how incredibly pretty everything turned out make it all worth it and then you get to do it all over again!

Also, here are 10 fun facts about me!

  1. I’m half Turkish and half Japanese
  2. I can speak more Japanese than Turkish (sorry dad)
  3. My favorite food is sushi and lamb kabobs (perfect mix of my two cultures!)
  4. I’m obsessed with my puppy, April- she’s half Labrador and half Shar-pei…can you get any cuter?!
  5. I enjoy and try to collect red wines
  6. I have a degree in English Media Professional Writing from UIC!
  7. I’m 100% a city girl and love the lively feel of Chicago.
  8. Trying a new restaurant each week is something my friends and I love to do.
  9. I go to Disney World at LEAST once a year!
  10. My favorite movies are Sleepless in Seattle, Father of the Bride, and The Wedding Planner

Mana Discekici - Chicago Millennium Park


LUSH Cosmetics in Millennium Park Chicago

November 10th, 2016 by Alex

LUSH Cosmetics celebrated their anniversary in Chicago in grand with a pop up shop out in Millennium Park…. and we were part of it. If you are a LUSH Cosmetics customer you know that they use natural ingredients. The team from LUSH was making creams and products onsite while answering questions over the internet thru a live feed.

We created a green living wall of 13 different plants and ferns including springeri fern, Kalanhoe fern, Boston Fern, English ivy to maidenhair fern. In true style as with all of our floral walls or green walls we don’t use floral foam! It takes a little bit more work but so worth it.  After the event, the kind folks at LUSH Cosmetics donated all the plants!

Green Living Wall

Close up of the green living wall at Millennium Park for LUSH Cosmetics

Close up of the green living wall at Millennium Park for LUSH Cosmetics

Flower Book I’m loving now….

April 11th, 2016 by Alex

Inspiration is all around us, this year I was happy to pick up a copy of Ariella Chezar’s new book called “The Flower Workshop” It is filled with images of gorgeous flowers, unusual vines and plenty of compotes. Its got eye candy galore!

If you love to grow flowers that are hard to find this book is beaming with quite a few of those. Akebia vine aka chocolate vine will be one of this year’s garden acquisitions alongside poppies, dahlias, zinnias and love in a puff vine.

Ariella Chezar The Flower Workshop Book

This week in my garden……

April 8th, 2016 by Alex

I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about my garden and how big it is. Well truth be told, I actually don’t have a huge garden. It’s more like a plot of land around 50′ by 20′ that is on the side of my house. It started about four years ago on my quest to grow dahlias that didn’t look like they had been thru war on their way to Chicago via California.

The growing bug took a hold of me and kept going. I’m not out there all the time since I do have a full time job in addition to being a mom. BUT I do enjoy gardening.

It’s still pretty darn cold and windy in Chicago. But we’ve had quite a few bouts of warm weather. It is April after all. The forsythia branches already bloomed and if the frost gets them one more time they will be gone. Nonetheless, one of my favorite flowers is starting to bloom… Hellebores is quite the resilient flower. It loves the cold weather and it last quite a long time once it blooms.

Gardening is about being patient and waiting for the moment to reap what you sow. I promise you these gardening posts will get better as the weather warms up and the year moves along.



Next week, I’ll talk about my sweet peas who need to go in the ground (rain or shine!) this coming weekend.

Summer Wedding at the University Club

April 7th, 2016 by Alex

Last summer we had the pleasure of working with Katie and Samford their wedding at the University Club in Chicago. We had quite a great team of vendors such as Soiree Weddings and Events, BBJ Linen, Frost Lighting and major kudos to Andre Labour Photography for sharing these gorgeous pictures.

Katie was hoping for peonies in late August and we were able to deliver! Her bridesmaids carried bouquets of purple Vanda orchids, stock, Yves Paiget Garden roses and foliages.


Katie wanted lots of vibrant purples, magentas, plums with a lot of texture and that’s what we gave her on all of her designs with purple hydrangeas, plum calla lilies, calypso mokara orchids, dusty miller, plum ranunculus, lisianthus and dahlias.



Victor Vine

December 18th, 2015 by Alex

If you’ve ever been to our studio and wandered off into our design area you may find Victor Vine looking at you. Victor was an art project created by my son Max a few years ago. He has been with me for a loooooong time. Amazingly enough I don’t think my son knew how much I love vines, but between you and me, I do. I love vines so much that I try to include vines in 90% of our designs. I will sneak them up on you (just like a vine) because I will use flowers that don’t quite look like a vine but are. I’m a huge lover of sweet peas (yep, they are vines!), stephanotis (it grows in a vine too), or the usual suspects that you tend to see all the time such as jasmine, clematis, or even hops. All vines!

Victori Vine

Last year we saw a lot of designers using Smilax vines and wed id too. It’s pretty hearty and drapes beautifully. Although one of my favorites is the elusive porcelain vine, available only in the fall. It’s actually an invasive vine so a lot of counties tend to destroy it, but if you are looking hard enough you will find it.

Sweet peas on a vine

Not all vines are created equal and they all serve their purpose, flower at different times of the year and have different strengths.

Cascading Bridal Bouquet with vines