Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

WGIC wanted to wish all of our readers a happy and safe Halloween.  Whether you are Trick or Treating with the little ones or throwing a formal dinner party for 20 (or both!!), we hope this year's holiday makes for a spooky event!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!

Carving a jack-o'lantern is one of my favorite holiday traditions. These days, it's more than just a couple triangle eyes and a goofy uneven smile.  Pumpkins are becoming elaborate works of art. Thanks to the internet, there's no limit to the inspiration you can find. Here are some great inspiration sites I've found:

This one is my favorite, though:

But once you've carved the pumpkin and scooped out all that flesh, what do you do with it?  Most of you will probably just toss it in the garbage. But why not put it to good use?  Pumpkin is a delicious ingredient in a wide array of foods.  Why not repurpose that pumpkin "waste" into some tasty treats for your Halloween party?

And once the party is over and your pumpkin is no longer fresh, don't forget to compost it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be a Green Bride

Being green is on everyone's minds these days, especially soon-to-be brides. Weddings bring many people together with the potential to have a very large impact on our Earth. But we're happy to report that that doesn't always have to be the case.

WGIC just found a great website with a TON of resources to help you be a Green Bride! The site is called the Green Bride Guide and has the following choices to choose from:

Features: FAQ's, Real Weddings and Lessons Learned.

Features: Carbon Calculator, Wedding Websites, Charity Registry

Features: Choose from hundreds of different products categorized by product type

Features: Have you recently (or not!) had a green wedding? Explain your ideas on what went well, and what you wish you would have changed here.

Our favorite though has to be the Eco-Strategy tool. Here you can pick just how you want to go green; whether it's buying flowers from a company that donates to the World Wildlife Fund, using alternative energy sources, going vegan, or a any of the other 100's of choices!

Every bit counts!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Bloody Good Time

Feast your eyes on this deliciously macabre dining room.  Inspired by Showtime's Dexter, Amy Lau created this fabulous setting to inspire the creepiest of Halloween dinner parties.  I love this grown-up party idea . . . Halloween doesn't have to be all pumpkins and candy corn and costumes.  This is a great way to have a more elegant, albeit bloodier, Halloween party. 

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween this year?  Send us your pictures of your parties at and check back to see if we feature it on our blog next week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sonsorship/Vendor Agreements

When planning any event, it is good to get things down on paper.  This helps avoid problems later for both you and your vendors.  There are many different types of contracts/agreements out there and it can sometimes be confusing. Keep the following things in mind when reviewing contracts/agreements:

Don't ever sign anything without reading it in it's entirety.  No contract/agreement is ever perfect on the first draft. There will always be something that you need to strike through and change. 

             a. Initial Changes
When making said changes, as always happens with contracts/agreements, be sure to initial by each change that you've made. Be sure to send back to your vendor and have them initial each portion as well. This will serve as a confirmation that both parties are aware of the changes made and have agreed to the new terms.

2. Check Dates & Times
This may seem like an obvious step when reviewing a contract/agreement, but be sure to double and triple check all dates and times outlined.  Be sure the contract/agreement states at what time your vendor will arrive and how long they will stay at your event. This section should be very detailed and outline exactly what you're expecting.

3. Deposit
Be sure to check over the payment plan.  You may discuss one payment schedule over they phone, but another may be defaulted in your vendor's contracts/agreements. Be sure that all terms discussed prior to the drafting and signing of the agreement are in fact outlined on paper. The last thing you want is a fee for not paying on time!

4. Clean Up
Who will be in charge of clean up? If you're working with a caterer, who will be in charge of disposing the refuse? Will there be a separate container and drop-off for recyclables? Will they also provide the cans and bags for collecting the waste, or is that up to you?

5. Set Up
Be sure that all materials needed by all vendors will be provided by the actual vendor. Most photographers have their own equipment right? Well cameras and film, yes, but what about tables, chairs, table cloths, etc? Be sure to list all materials that you expect a vendor to provide in the agreement.  If you are supplying certain items, put that in the agreement as well.

The main thing to remember when signing any contract/agreement is the DETAIL!!  Every word needs to be read and understood to ensure you get what you pay for and what you expect. The last thing you want is to show up on the day of your event and be surprised - trust us!

WGIC also provides al la carte services, with contract/agreement negotiations and review being one of our specialties. Give us a call at 312-285-4544 if you're unsure about something in your vendor agreement and we'll be happy to assist!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holiday Cards

It's the time of year when offices everywhere are begining the search for their annual holiday cards. While lots of companies are switching to electronic cards for a greener approach, more traditional offices still like to send cards the old-fashioned way. But now there's a greener way to do that too.

We've Got It! Chicago promotional products offers great recycled-paper holiday cards to send to clients, employees, and business partners. Our favorites are these, which include a plantable holiday ornament. When the season is over, just plant the entire ornament to grow your own pine tree.

What a unique and green way to wish your colleagues a very happy holiday season!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Impact Week

While the actual Huffington Post's 'No Impact Week' has already come and gone, why not make this week your 'no impact week'?

Check out great ways to improve your life, health, and the earth!

Get more information and download their 'No Impact Week' guide here!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Travel Green

Yesterday we talked about Honeymoon registries. Today we'd like to talk to you about another way to amp up your honeymoon: by going green. Many couples choose to go abroad for the honeymoons, to rare and beautiful locales. By going green, you can ensure that these desinations are around for generations to come.

When planning eco-travel (whether it's a honeymoon, annual family getaway, or corporate retreat), there's a few key aspects to keep in mind.
  • Book your stay at a green hotel. Search green hotel directories like Green Hotels Association to find hotels with eco-friendly practices.
  • Or check out one of these earth-friendly resorts around the world.
  • Eat at restaurants that use local, organic foods.
  • Rent a fuel efficient vehicle to get around your destination city.
  • Offset the carbon footprint of your trip. By purchasing carbon offsets, you can counteract the emissions of your airfare. Use a site like Sustainable Travel International, where you can enter the miles travelled and other factors of your trip.
Have you gone green in your travels lately? Tell us about your favorite green tips for vacationing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Honeymoon Wishes

What a great idea!

Already have a toaster, blender, your china, two sets of pots & pans, and all of the other essentials that usually go on a wedding registry?  Well Honeymoon Wishes has just the thing for you. Here's how it works:

With hundreds of different locations to choose, from all over the world, and thousands of activities avialable to schedule for when you've arrived, you and your new spouse are sure to have a great time on your honeymoon...all compliments of your guests!

Check out one of the sample gift registries for some inspiration.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Party with a Purpose

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Two women in my own family faced this battle, and I know countless others outside my family who have been affected as well.  So today I wanted to tell you all about some great events and happenings in Chicago in honor of this month.

Next Wednesday is the 1st Annual Many Faces of Breast Cancer event.  It's being held from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Wyndam Chicago on St. Clair.  This is a celebration of survivors to raise awareness.  For more information, click here.

This article from Time Out Chicago also features a bunch of great deals going on around Chicago.  Bars, restaurants, hotels and more are offering special incentives to customers this month.  Proceeds from these deals will go to support breast cancer research and patients. 

I'll be doing a cancer walk next weekend with my mom, who is a survivor.  (This isn't a Chicago walk, unfortunately.)  Are you doing anything special to signify Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Green Cupcakes

Dessert bars are hot these days for all types of events: weddings, showers and birthdays alike. Here's a great way to stay green when including cupcakes with your favorite sweets. Found on the Earth Friendly Weddings Blog.

Dream Green sells eco-friendly cupcake wrappers in packs of 100. Each design is printed with soy inks on recycled paper. This is a great find for the DIY bride and party thrower. If you're working with a local bakery, be sure to ask if they would be willing to use the wrappers you've purchased - most bakers should have no problem making this adjustment!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Helpful Tips - Invitations

Trying to find just the right wording for your wedding invitations can be quite a daunting task. Who should be listed first? Who should even be included? WGIC found an invitation expert with a slew of great examples for you.

Visit KenzieKatie Invitations for wording suggestions and examples. And check out their great designs!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween: No Tricks, Just Treats!

Halloween is just 2 weeks away! Are you ready for the big event?  Whether you're planning a fun, kid-friendly trick-or-treat outing or an all-out corporate party, We've Got It! Chicago has it in the bag.  Our new line of promotional items offers great eco-friendly options for your party favors. 

How about giving your guests a spooky bag to collect their candy?  And after the loot is gone, they're great for lugging groceries too.  Strong and durable, these bags hold more than traditional paper or plastic all while steering clear of the landfill.

Or, if you don't want goblins and ghouls haunting your bag, customize your goodie bags with your company's logo.  This is a great way to treat your guests to a bag full of swag. And long after your event, your guests will be toting these bags on their errands, continuing to spread the word about your business!

Want to order custom reusable bags for your next event?  Email us at to talk to one of our planners about how we can help.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It IS Easy Being Green! Cont.

Building on our post from yesterday, here are some other cute ways to go green at your wedding? See below:

1. A green garter, of course! Be eco-chic, sexy and fun with Julianne Smith's Green Garters.

Impact: Using materials that are 100% post consumer waste cuts down on the materials destined for landfills.

2. Use vendors that provide multiple services. Many florists also provide linens, tables and chairs. Many DJ's also provide lighting, photography, and videography like Music Masters Entertainment.

Impact: Using fewer vendors cuts down on the number of vehicles driving to and from your wedding AND reduces the number of meetings you have to drive to and from prior to your big day. This is also a time saver, and who doesn't need more time?!

3.  Your ceremony and reception aren't the only green events associated with your wedding, what about a Green Honeymoon? Check out one of our favorite blogs, Green Wedding Chica, for great ways to go green on your honeymoon.

Impact: Honeymooning in the US helps decrease your Carbon Footprint. When traveling out of the country, traveling to Eco-Conscious destinations makes all the difference.  Sustainable adventures protect the Earth's wildlife and vegetation; hotels that recycle and wash only when needed conserve resources and electricity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It IS Easy Being Green!

Everyone remembers Kermit the Frog lamenting that "it's not easy being green!" These days, that couldn't be more wrong. It's so easy to be green. And it pays to be green too! Well, no one is actually going to pay you, but you'll definitely see more green in your wallet if you go green at your next event.

The biggest (and most expensive) event that most of us will ever host is our wedding (or our kid's wedding). With these easy and affordable tips on how to go green at your wedding, you can still make a big impact on your guests without impacting the environment!

1. Donate Your Leftovers: All caterers overestimate how much food you will need for your reception. It's a necessary evil. Instead of tossing the remaining food, arrange for your caterer to donate it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Note: In some areas, the laws do not allow caterers to do this. You may need to find a friend or family member who can take the leftover food to the shelter themselves.

The Impact: No leftovers rotting in your fridge while you're in Hawaii, and dozens of needy people can have a delicious gourmet meal!

2. Skip the Favors: Where do most wedding favors end up? The landfill. No one really wants that little bottle of bubbles or a stale box of Jordan Almonds. While there are some cute favor ideas (lucky Bamboo, plantable seeds, home-made goodies), most require packaging or delivery that makes an big impact on the environment. So forgo actual favors for a more socially-conscious kind of favor. At my wedding, we chose three charities who were near and dear to our hearts. We made a cute bulletin board with information about the charities and why we chose them. And then we asked our guests to pin their name tags to the charity of their choice. After the honeymoon, we made a donation in our guests' names to the charity they chose.

The Impact: Guests feel good about helping out, there's no kitschy plastic favors being tossed in the trash bin the next morning, and the chosen charities get a boost!

3. Set up a Community Wedding Album: At my wedding alone, we had 20 disposable plastic cameras. How many good pictures did we get from them? About 4. Most were grainy, dark and blurry. And where are those cameras now? In the landfill. These days, most guests have their own digital cameras, so instead of providing a less-than-adequate substitute, set up an online wedding album for your guests to share the pictures they took with you and each other. With sites like Shutterfly, Picasa, and Flickr, it's easy to do and free! Just set up an account and let guests know about it with a quick line in the thank you cards or small cards at the place-settings.

The Impact: You'll get way more pictures than your photographer could ever capture, and there won't be dozens of plastic cameras clogging our landfills.

4. Shed Those Extra Envelopes: Traditional wedding invitations have more layers than an onion. But are they really necessary? Some people will say yes, but I say "no way!" Get rid of that outer envelope. And design postcards for your reply cards. This will help eliminate a 2nd enevelope too. And do you really need the enclosure cards? Instead, create a free wedding website with all that extra information, like menu choices, maps to the ceremony and receptions, contact information for local hotels, etc . . . .

The Impact: Less paper being wasted and a lot of money saved! All those pieces can really add up.

Have you gone green at your wedding or other event? What are your favorite "going green" tips? Leave us a comment!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Helpful Tips - Flowers

A great tip when trying to cut down costs of planning your wedding is to splurge on the reception flowers, not the ceremony ones.   Guests will be able to appreciate the flowers at the reception for 3-4 hours, whereas the ceremony flowers will only be seen for an hour, tops!

Another great tip, put your reception flowers in large cocktail glasses. This cuts down on the amount of flowers needed and it serves as a great conversation piece!

Michelle Rubin Jewelery

WGIC recently attended the 1st Annual Vegamania Event in Bucktown and found an amanzing, local jewelery designer, Michelle Rubin.  Her work is great for Brides and Bridesmaids, and even for gifts for your female guests or just friends!

To contact Michelle please call 7773.975.2245 or email her at

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Colorful Kids' Party

ere's something that's sure to brighten your Monday: a spectacularly colorful kids' party. While you'll see practically every color of the rainbow in these pictures, the most important color is green! This party is as eco-friendly as it is kid-friendly.

This is an absolutely adorable kids art-themed party. For the full post, check it out here at One Charming Blog. But here's a quick peek at our favorite ideas.

The party hostess served organic snacks and drinks on reusable plates and cups.

With a little scrapbook paper and paint, these old containers were repurposed into cute holders for art supplies.

Festive fabric banners were made with old clothes and rags. Check out the tutorial for a how-to.

Perhaps my favorite touch: the kids' aprons were made from old men's workshirts!

What a creative hostess! Instead of spending big bucks at the store for plastic favors and junk food, these kids were treated to special home-made (and green) fun. Makes me wish I was a kid again!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Eco Chic

We recently discovered Merriment, a great craft/design blog filled with wonderfully creative ideas. Our favorite find so far is these DIY napkin rings.

These rings are so creative, but the best part about them is that they are made from recycled cardboard tubes, like toilet paper rolls or plastic wrap tubes. This project is a great way to customize your next event for little cost at all.
I like to do craft projects, so I keep a basket of fabric scraps that would be just perfect for a mix-and-match set of napkin rings. Or check out sales at your local fabric store for a great deal so you can always have rings to match the decor of your event.

With projects like this, it's easy to be eco-friendly and still have a chic event! What a great way to be a Socially Responsible Butterfly!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Make Your Event Greener: Shop Local

One of the easiest ways to go green at your next event is to opt for local vendors.

By shopping for event supplies locally, you'll cut down on the resources needed to ship your goods to you. And with sites like Etsy, it's so easy to find wonderful, unique party supplies nearby. Here's a few of our favorite picks from the Chicago area.

Vendor avysm offers great garters for the biggest bears fans out there. Who says you can't have team spirit on your wedding day?

Looking for one-of-a-kind table numbers with a bit of Chicago flair? How about these from Kio Kreations?

Sweet Sanity makes great party favors, like these customized Bachelorette Party Board Games!

If you're a Cubs fan, or just want to showcase a famous Chicago site, you'll want to check out these awesome save-the-dates available from KegDesign.

These beautiful conversation stones serve as a great ice-breaker for your next shower. We love this idea from LeiChartru.

Looking for an adorable set of tins to use for favors? These from ShopBub are great for candy or other mini-treats.

Finally, Greencard offers some gorgeous custom invitations and greeting cards, like these for a brunch.

There are so many things to love about Etsy. It's easy to find local vendors and great one-of-a-kind products for your next event. And the vendors on Etsy are so wonderful. They love to work with customers to make things just perfect for you. So check out Etsy for your next event and find some great products with a green twist!