Archive for November, 2011

Today’s Chicago Woman Article on Floral Consultations in Chicago

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

We recently wrote an article for Today’s Chicago Woman on how brides can prepare themselves for their floral consultations once they are ready to meet with their wedding florist. You can read the entire article here or the abbreviated version below!


Be prepared for your first meeting with your wedding florist

A bride goes to consultations prepared and open-minded. The issue so many brides run into is that theyre not as prepared for the initial meeting with their floral designer as they thought they were. So here are several points that will help you and your floral designer have an effective meeting.

• Before you schedule a consultation with a floral designer, ask if they require a minimum price to take on your wedding and what it is. A lot of floral designers have minimums set in place during the busy wedding season. We do not have minimums at Exquisite Designs!

• Know who needs personal flowers…We know you will need a bouquet but what about the bridesmaids? How many? What about the groomsmen, fathers, moms?

• Know as much as possible about the venues where you’ll be hosting the wedding ceremony and reception.

• Bring a picture of your wedding gown.

• If you have already selected your bridesmaids’ gowns and have a swatch, bring it with you.

• We all have a budget that we are working on when it comes to floral décor for your wedding. Don’t be embarrassed about it, be it grand or modest.

•  It is always best to bring pictures.

• Be patient, we will give you a proposal within one to two weeks depending on the season of the year.


Christine and Steve ~ Real Chicago Wedding at Rick Aguilar Studios

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Christine and Steve were referred to me by my good friend Rick Aguilar. You see Christine happens to be his niece;  they were having a ceremony at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church (which is beautiful church… truly a hidden gem), and a reception for 100 of her closest family and friends are Rick Aguilar Studios. It was a very casual but fun wedding.

Christine was a very laid back bride, the kind that is looking forward to the wedding but what she is mostly excited about is the marriage that comes after it. Her guidelines were… make it fall and soften the studio with a few pieces.

Christine carried a bridal bouquet of antique green hydrangea, red freedom roses, panee mokara orchids, and magnolia tips.


Steve wore a boutonniere made of a single red rose, a panee mokara orchid bloom and fall foliage.


For the reception arrangements we used lots of fall foliage, red roses, red hypericum berries, curly willow and nandina. To soften the studio which happens to serve as a photography studio from Monday thru Saturday we draped the windows in white chiffon fabric and hung burgundy, orange and yellow paper lanterns. All dinner tables had a mix of fall foliage with bronze chrysanthemums.

Congratulations to Christine and Steve!!!

Thank you to Rick Aguilar Studios for this wonderful client and sharing these pictures with us. Here is a link to a video Rick made of the day.

So much to be thankful for…

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

It’s Thanksgiving morning. Before anyone starts cooking turkeys (while telling everyone about it on Twitter) and greeting family along with friends at the door;  it’s a good day to reflect on what we should be thankful for in our lives. This year I’m thankful for many things. Mostly my health, the roof over my head, my business, my clients, the amazing connections I’ve made thru Twitter and Facebook (hello Chapple Designers!!!), friends and of course, my family…. Max, Luci and Bo.

My Dad gave a very short toast at my wedding (six years ago a week ago!)… he borrowed a quote from Helen Keller. “The Best and Most Beautiful Things in the World cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen & Blaine at the Crystal Gardens in Chicago

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

This year has brought some of the most wonderful brides I have yet to work with (and believe me I’ve worked with some great clients throughout the years), but every year there is this one bride that I just adore. Meet the delightful Jen and her husband Blaine. Who I must say gets the award for the most doting groom this year. Jen, if you are reading this you are one lucky woman to have Blaine in your life. The two of you complement each other.

Jen and Blaine had a beautiful ceremony at The Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago (or as we locals like to call it 4th Pres) and a rocking reception at the Crystal Gardens in Navy Pier.


Jennifer carried a bridal bouquet of alabaster garden roses, white dahlias, green hypercium berries and mini green cymbidium orchids.


These bridesmaids were a lot of fun and the maid of honor gave a great toast


The bridesmaids carried green kermit chrysanthemums, mini green hydrangeas, white roses, nigellas and white anemones with black centers.

For the reception, we decided to switch things up as far as the centerpieces goes and go with three different styles using hydrangeas, orchids and  candles.

Tall arrangement of white hydrangeas with green bupleurum

Light green hydrangea with green dianthus, black billy balls and white dahlias

Escort card table of manzanita branches, with green dianthus and green cymbidiums


Congratulations to Jen and Blaine!!!

Thanks to Misha Media for sharing these gorgeous images with us. It was a pleasure working with both of you.

This wedding just kept getting better and better as we had a great group of vendors working with us that day. Michelle and Andy from Misha Media captured all the details throughout the day along with Leo from Second Films, the videographers, Samantha Bauman from Phil Stefani at the Crystal Gardens made setting up and running the entire event a breeze (truly easy to work with), for this wedding we also happened to provide day of wedding coordination and last but not least we had Al from Okyne Media Lab spinning some tunes and had everyone dancing til 1AM.

Wedding at the Adler Planetarium

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Sara and Greg got married at the beautiful Adler Planetarium which boasts the most amazing views in Chicago. There is no better place to see the Chicago skyline than this venue. Sara’s father happened to be a retired florist. He constantly reminded me that he was going to be looking at everything with a jaundiced eye. Those were his exact words….I’m not kidding. But we were up to the task.

Sara wanted lots of purples, lavenders, berry tones, with touches of orange and chartreuse. This is by far one of our favorite weddings of this year because we got to work with color, mercury glass (which has been very popular this year), combinations of high and lows and the bride just have us carte blanche to design away. We were very happy with the results. Especially when we get to work with one of our favorite planners…. Engaging Events by Ali and her team. They always seem to get a good set of vendors together with Food for Thought, Jaclyn Simpson Photography and Frost Lighting.

Sara carried a hand tied bridal bouquet of creamy vendela roses, white cymbidium orchids, white freesia flowers and white bouvardia. The smell on this bouquet was truly heavenly.



The bridesmaids carried bouquets of cool water roses, bupleurum, orange mokara orchids, silver dusty miller and lisianthus. It was a great contrast against the plumberry bridesmaid dresses.



Sara wanted a beautiful arch to frame the ceremony area.  We created an 8′ arch of italian ruscus, white hydrangeas, purple mokara orchids, white dendobrium orchids and little silver spray roses. We did white hydrangea pew clusters down the aisle.


For the reception we created three different tablescapes. All three centerpiece contained purple hydrangeas, lavender roses, green bupleurum, and orange mokara orchids. Nothing made us happier that day than making Sara happy and seeing our work pin spotted by Frost Lighting.




Thank you to Jaclyn Simpson for taking such beautiful images and sharing them with us.


Be U Weddings ~ Feature

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

We were delighted to find ourselves featured in Be U Weddings blog yesterday alongside a great team of vendors. This was a fun wedding for a lovely couple… Brannon and Michael who were married at the Union League Club in Chicago this past October. We worked with Michelle Durpetti Events to create this wedding’s decor. We used pane and saffron mokara orchids along with flamed mango calla lilies. The dinner table had rings of fall foliage with orchids, circus roses, and candles. It was a classic fall wedding.

Brannon the bride loves her bulldogs to pieces and asked us to add in a locket with her pets’ pictures to her bridal bouquet. It was a fun twist to the locket detail.

To learn more about this wedding and look thru the beautiful photography by Carasco Photography click on Be U Weddings feature here