Saturday, January 30, 2010

Suggestion Saturday: Galleria UNICO

Galleria UNICO is a small, intimate venue located in the heart of the loop
at 44 East Superior Street. 

In their own words
 "Galleria Unico is an exciting commercial and private event space, established to provide clients with with an intimate alternative in today's contemporary, corporate, and domestic environments. Opened by Dominic Gaziano & Corey Sanford, with experience exceeding 15 years in the Events & Entertainment Industry, we believe we have the creative and administrative recipe to meet any clients needs and expectations."

Galleria Unico can be equipped with onsite technitions to assist in all your AV needs. Complimentary Wi Fi and phone access is also available.  For events larger than 20 guests they recommend one of their House DJ's or a remote sound system provided by their partner Music Masters Entertainment.

Other Services:
UNICO is equipped with all kinds of furnishings, Tables & Chairs, Draipery, Linens, Audio Visual, Entertainment, Video, Photography, Catering, Valet, Staff, and more. Visit their website for more information on pricing, available dates, floorplans, and more!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Swoop

If you live in Chicago, you've no doubt heard of Groupon - well there's a new kid in town, YouSwoop. YouSwoop operates on the same theory; give one amazing opportunity at savings per day.  You sign up with your email address and start receiving emails the very next day on a deal that offers 50%-95% off at businesses throughout Chicago. 

Now, you may be asking, "What does this have to do with Event Planning?"  Well, the answer is simple. If you can save on things you're going to buy anyway, you'll have more money to put towards your next event! GENIUS!!

YouSwoop is also a great way to find novel businesses in Chicago. New (and well established) restaurants are featured on YouSwoop weekly - most of which you've likely not heard of yet!

Sign up, check 'em out, and save!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reader Email: Eco-Friendly Food

We're taking a break from our Wedding Wednesday series on Green Weddings because we got a great email from a reader the other day asking for our advice.  We love to hear from our readers, and we love to help you out. If you have a question, please email us at, and we'll be happy to help you out.

I love reading your blog and getting great tips for weddings and being eco-friendly! I'm planning my wedding and I'm trying to go green myself.  I haven't been able to find a "green" caterer in my area. Any suggestions for how to find one or make the best out of this situation?


Well, Amy, we're glad you asked.  We did find this great directory of meal delivery/catering services that are eco-friendly. But if there's not one in your area, there are a few key things you can look for when selecting a caterer.
  • Go Local. A big part of being green is cutting down on the carbon foot-print.  If your caterer has to travel 50 miles with a big truck full of food, they are making a big carbon foot-print on your area.  It's also important to find a caterer who uses locally produced foods.  For the same reason, locally produced foods travel less distance and make less of an impact.  Additionally, local foods are often fresher and thus taste better (an added bonus!).
  • Stay in Season. As with going local, seasonal produce definitely is fresher and tastes better, but seasonal produce is able to be produced closer to your venue.  If you live up north, it will be harder to find fresh produce in the dead of winter. Instead, it will be shipped in from South America.  Use this guide to find produce that's in season.  Then base your menu selections off of that.  Seasonal produce is also cheaper, which will give you extra money to spend elsewhere, like buying carbon off-sets.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Give your caterer an accurate head count so that an abundance of food is not prepared and thus wasted.  However, all caterers make some extra food. Find one who donates their surplus to a homeless shelter in the area.  By donating leftovers, you'll cut down on the waste going straight to the landfill. Finally, find a caterer who recycles.  If your caterer recycles even some items, it will cut down on waste and be a greener wedding.
We hope that helps, Amy. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beers and Tears Tuesday

Not all events have to be large productions. In this time of serious economic woes, spending a ton of money isn't always an option. And that, a lot of the time, trickles down to dinners out with friends. So how can you stay social on a budget? We've got just the thing for you, and the idea came from something we do ourselves.
As a planner, I'm at events and in the public almost 7 days a week. So when I want to hang out with friends, going to a restaurant or bar isn't always what I'm looking for. And going out in Chicago, even just once or twice a week, can get very expensive. So I came up with a fun, weekly event designed around one of my favorite things, NBC's 'The Biggest Loser.' It's something I end up talking about for hours with my friends anyway, so the planner in me figured 'why not turn it into a party!'

And thus...
Beers and Tears Tuesday
...was born

Each friend brings something to nibble on (something healthy of course) and their favorite alcoholic (or non, if that's your thing) beverage and we mingle around the TV for two hours. With everyone bringing food and a beverage, there's enough to keep everyone satisfied and lighten the burden on the hostess'/host's wallet. You can even rotate houses if you wish! The final cost ALWAYS comes out less than our bill at a restaurant and we get to kick off our shoes and just relax!!

Another great idea to unite everyone's efforts is to pick a signature drink and have each guest bring one ingredient. Margaritas are delish, Caipirinha is unique and tasty, or use your own favorite beverage!!

So pick your favorite TV show, invite some friends and ENJOY!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make It Yours Monday: Valentine's Day

We love customizing projects for our clients in order to put a personal touch on their events.  We realize not everyone is as crafty and creative as we are, which is why we love to share simple DIY projects with our readers when we find them.  Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and we wanted to share a couple of easy and cute DIY projects that you can make for V-Day, or any day. 

Project #1: A Little Book of Love

While this is designed to be a mini-Valentine, you could easily tweak it a bit to be suitable for any holiday or occasion.  Who wouldn't love a pocket-sized profession of love for a birthday present.  Or, how about singing the praises of your employee-of-the-month?  Basically, it doesn't have to be filled with hearts and an out-pouring of love to work. 

Check out this tutorial done by Lauren over at Lauren Makes.

Project #2: Love You Bookmarks

We love, love, love this idea.  There are a multitude of ways in which this project can be adapted to suit your occasion or event. Here's just a few we can think of off the top of our heads:
  • stocking stuffer for a book-lover
  • save the date card for a literary (or other) themed wedding
  • Valentine's Day gift
  • write a message on the back and have it double as a greeting card
  • try different cut-out shapes and messages to fit the theme of your event
  • add a favorite recipe to the back and use it as a cookbook place-marker
  • gift tags
  • use red and green fabric and make Christmas ornaments and keepsakes
  • add them to goodie bags for a child's birthday party
What about you? Let us know if you've thought of another way to incorporate these bookmarks into your event.  For a tutorial on this project, head over to mmmcrafts.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Suggestion Saturday: Introduction

We're starting something new here at the WGIC Blog - and it's called:
Suggestion Saturdays 

A spotlight on an local area business that we think is worth checking out.  This can be a restaurant, venue space, hotel, paper store, etc.

Every Saturday

We have some good ideas, and we're good at sharing

 Right here!! 
So check back every Saturday, starting next Saturday, January 30th.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Top 5 Riskiest Travel Pursuits from Lonely Planet

Love this!
If you're looking for a honeymoon that isn't mundane or relaxing...Look no further!

Have a unique honeymoon experience? Tell us about it and we'll feature you here! Don't forget pictures!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food for Thought

Around the world, we've sat and watched the aftermath unfold in Haiti.  We've donated what we can, we've sent prayers and good thoughts to the Haitians and their rescuers, but one couple in particular is going beyond just that.  Check out the clip below for more:

Donating their wedding food budget to Haiti is a wonderful and generous act and has made us wonder if there's more we can be doing to help out . . . And that's food for thought. Congratulations to the engaged couple.  With your big hearts we're sure you're destined for a lifetime of love and happiness.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cupcake Crawl

Photo: NBC Chicago

We recently did a post about a great low-key bachelorette party idea. Well this is right along those same lines. It's also a great idea for a kid's party, but make sure you have reinforcements as there will be a lot of walking/location changes and sugar involved (perhaps for the kids you only do two or three stops)!!

No doubt you've heard of a Pub Crawl, but have you ever heard of a Cupcake Crawl?  One of our local favs, Chicago Bites, put together everything you need to know about how to plan a Cupcake Crawl in Chicago. Complete with maps, transportation suggestions (we suggest going green with Public Trans, of course), what to bring, how to dress, and much more! Check out their website for great CC suggestions or click here to purchase the full ebook for coupons and continuous updates on the matter.

As featured on NBC Chicago


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dinner and A Movie

Photo: Chicago Bites

We love all types of events here at WGIC. Big ones, little ones, and all those in between.  Most of the time all the hype surrounds big events because they're the ones that require the most time and effort. But what if you just want to go out with a few of your girlfriends or a night with your buddies? OR what about a low-key bachelor/bachelorette party? Or birthday/aniversary celebrations?

Well, do we have a suggestion for you.  We got this great idea from Chicago Bites (@ChicagoBites) and think it's fabulous:  Good food, cocktails and a movie - ALL in the same place!

Check out the great review that Chicago Bites posted on their blog not too long ago about the
Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Green Weddings Part 2: The Dress (& Other Attire)

Who knows why, but a wedding dress can be an obsessive focus for many brides.  Finding the perfect dress is an undertaking all its own that seems to consume the wedding-planning process.  But for what?  For one day, for just a few hours, that dress lives a glorious life, only to be relegated to a box under the bed or in the closet for the next 50 years. We're not suggesting you give up the notion of the "dream dress," but rather take a new approach to finding greener attire for your big day (metaphorically, of course...we still support white bridal gowns).

Go Pre-Owned: By wearing a gown that's already been gently used, you're not using any more resources to manufacture and ship a new dress.

*Borrow your gown from a friend or relative
*Try e-bay, craigslist, or to find a second-hand or vintage style dress. 

Be Less Traditional: There are all kinds of brides out there and not all wear a traditional white/ivory gown.  Opt for something more unique that can be worn again.

*Buy an evening gown or cocktail dress that suits your style. You'll save money and increase the odds   that you'll wear it again.
*If you still want white, find a dress than can be dyed or altered into a more everyday style so that you can wear it to future functions.

Other Green Tips: Looking for a more eco-friendly approach for both your dress and the attire of your wedding party? Look for clothing made from hemp, bamboo, tencel and peace silk. 

*Check out,, and for eco-friendly options.
*Rent your dress or have your bridesmaids do the same from that we featured on our blog here.
*Looking for eco-friendly jewelry for your rings and bridesmaid gifts? Check out Jewelry Week over at Earth Friendly Weddings.

Finally, whether you go tradtional or not with your attire, when it's time to say good-bye to your dress, think green.  Donate your gown to a chairty.  There are several who auction off dresses to raise money for women's issues like breast cancer and domestic abuse.  Or give your dress to a friend or relative to wear. Or resell it online so that it can continue to bring joy to another bride.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What is a Social(ly Responsible) Butterfly?

    Quite simply: it's a cross between a social butterfly and one who is socially responsible. Put them together and you've got one great host(ess) who throws one heck of a party, all while doing his/her part to save the planet.

    Now don't let us scare you off. We're not preaching blandness and minimalism. We don't expect you to treat your guests to wheat grass smoothies and dismally gray recycled paper napkins. It is possible to be lavish and elegant AND be eco-friendly. Hence, the Socially Responsible Butterfly. Just look for the butterfly logo throughout our blog and website to indicate an opportunity to make your event green and grand!

Special Note:
As you may know we've made a resolution to be even greener this year.  We hope you'll join us in our relentless pursuit to preserve our great planet, one event at a time!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Man Registry

This is such a great idea, and super helpful for all those trying to buy for a special groom in their life. 

We've just stumbled across the TheManRegistry.Com (<--link provides Chicago vendors, but also available for other locations throughout the US) and WE LOVE IT!

The Man Registry is a list of wedding vendors for all things guy. Tuxedo rentals, boutonnieres, Bachelor parties, you name it, it's there. The site includes popular articles, a 'What's Happening' feature, suggestions for groomsmen gifts and great deals! We love the great gift ideas they have (NCAA hot dog grill toppers - what guy doesn't need that!).

Check 'em out for your future hubby, or soon-to-be Groom in your life!

The 'Groom101' section - it's complete with great articles on all things Groom (from Engagement Ring Insurance to 10 Nasty Bachelor Party Shots)!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Green Weddings Part 1: The Venue

When you think green weddings, you often envision a tree-hugging affair tucked away in a botanical garden or perhaps on a beach, but the venue doesn't have to be so predictable.  Perhaps you can tie the knot at a National or local park?  Or why not wed in an old barn or farmyard?  All the leftover food can be fed to the pigs!

Outside weddings can pose some obstacles, like unpredictable weather.  So if you're more comfortable with inside nuptuals, search for a green building. Host your affair at a member of the Green Hotel Association or look for another LEED-certified building to ensure that you're picking a green venue. Click here to find a directory of LEED buildings in your area. And yes, there are churches and places of worship on the list! Green buildings often have relationships with other local green businesses like florists and caterers and are very likely to help you recycle or reuse any leftovers to minimize your waste.

But it's not just about the actual structure you're holding your wedding in. Other factors contribute to the greenness.  For example, the distance guests have to travel. Destination weddings are great, but if you have 200+ friends and relatives travelling cross-country, that's a lot of carbon offsets to balance out.  Also, try to find a location that can serve as both the ceremony and reception locale to prevent guests from having to get back in their cars to drive to a second location. 

Finally the season and time of day are crucial to the green-factor.  Schedule your wedding for a time of year when you won't require lots of heating or air conditioning to make your guests comfortable. Spring and fall are already popular seasons for weddings, and with some careful planning, you can ensure that you won't need extra utilities pumping.  By choosing a daytime wedding and a venue with lots of windows (or outdoors), you can also prevent excessive use of artificial lighting. 

One final thing to consider about green venues.  While a scenic hill-top or forest clearing may be the perfect spot for your nuptuals, think about the nearby resources.  If it takes 10 trucks to deliver all the rentals and food and equipment, your green locale may not be so green any more.  Be sure to consider the impact you're having on the local environment.  It may be greener to pick the church at the bottom of the hill that already has all the chairs and tables at hand. 

Are you in search of a green venue for your wedding? We've Got It! Chicago would love to help.  Email us at and we'll help you find the green venue of your dreams.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Don't Stress!

Remember: planning your wedding, or any event for that matter, is FUN!

Planning in general can very easily stress you out - especially when you're dealing with everything that goes along with planning a large event such as a wedding.  When you get frustrated don't pull your hair out!! Instead, try taking a deep breath, leaving the house, walking away for a day or two, or even screaming into a pillow!!


If you're really at the end of your rope, give us a call; We've Got It! Chicago is here to help. Just sit back and let the professionals handle it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Green Weddings

The holidays are a time when many couples get engaged.  And spring/summer is the most popular time of year for nuptuals. So in honor of all the recently engaged and the upcoming weddings, we'll be doing a featured series on Green Weddings.  These posts will include creative and budget-friendly tips, tricks, and ideas for creating an amzing green wedding that will make a big impact on your guests, but not on the environment. Check back over the next couple of weeks as we delve into planning a green wedding.

If you're not planning a wedding, you can still read this series.  A lot of our tips and ideas will work for any kind of event you're planning.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Get Engaged!?

Christmas is a busy time of year. Not only for presents, Santa and parties, but also for engagements!! Studies show that as many as 26% of all marriage proposals happen during the months of November and December! That's 1 in 4!!! And while there are plenty of ways to ask, only one answer from her will do - YES!!!

If you are one of the lucky ladies this year, Congratulations! Now comes the fun part (at least we sure think so!).  With most marriages falling somewhere between eight and fourteen months after the proposal occurs, there is a ton of stuff to get together in a very short period of time!

We've put together a Sample Wedding Checklist for you, complete with what you should be thinking about and working on from beginning (the engagement) to end (the ceremony), and everything in between, of course.

Keep checking back as we count down the days to your perfect wedding!

12-16 Months Out

 Announce the News
In the Newspaper or via Phone Calls. If you want to be more personal than a phone call, Skype is a great, FREE online tool.  Seeing your mother's face when you give her the news is priceless! If you're not close enough to tell her in person, this is definitely the next best thing!

Create a Budget (and be honest with yourself here)

Discuss Ceremony Preferences with Your Fiancé/Develop and Overall Theme
This ceremony is for both of you (though you may not want to admit it!!). Be sure that your future hubby's personality gets to shines through too.

Hire a Wedding Planner

Take Engagement Photos
These may need to be a bit higher on your list if you wish to include them in your newspaper announcement.

Pick a Date
Places fill up quick, and when you find the venue of your dreams, letting it slip away is NOT an option. Choose a date, find a place, sign a contract!

This can get overwhelming, but thorough investigative tactics are necessary to make smart decisions. Look into:
          -venues (make sure to ask what they provide, if anything. Eg: linens, clean up, etc)
          -linens, etc.

Interview Vendors
If you wish to book their services be sure to discuss deposits and cancellation clauses.  Be sure to pass the agreement/contract over to your planner to ensure industry standards are upheld.

Pick Your Attendants
Whether you get creative or not, be sure to give your bridesmaids and groomsmen plenty of time to mark their calendars for your big day! If they are out of town friends discuss the amount of time you suggest they take off of work (welcome/rehearsal dinner, day after brunch, etc.), where they will stay, and who will be paying for what. Be upfront with all details!

Feel you need some help with your wedding planning? Well, we would love to! We've Got It! Chicago offers plenty of packages to perfectly fit your planning needs. Give us a call at 312-285-4544 to schedule a free consultation today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Brighter Planet's 'Project Fund' - You Decide

We've Got It! Chicago is a member of the Brighter Planet's 'Project Fund' and we wanted to include you as well! 

What it's about (In their own words):
"The Brighter Planet Project Fund seeks to foster local leadership and seed worthy community projects that will help people fight or adapt to climate change. Our company contributes to the fund every time one of our customers uses a Brighter Planet debit card or credit card or buys offsets."

How it works:
As a Brighter Planet community member, WGIC has 3 votes.  The project(s) with the most votes at the end of the voting period will receive the allocated grant money. This months grant money totals at $5316!

What we want from you:
We're bringing it to the people; WGIC wants your opinion. With two lead planners, we still have one vote left for you! Visit the Brighter Planet website, read over the projects and tell us which one you think should get our remaining, third vote.   Take a second to be a part of something bigger!

Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page ( and tell us which project gets your vote.  Voting will end Thursday, January 14th. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rent the Runway

A special event can be a major occurence in your life. From an engagement party to a huge New Year's Eve fete to your first big office event to high school reunion, an event is your time to shine as the guest-of-honor or the hostess or just an attendee. But what do you wear?

Well, thanks to two Harvard Business School classmates, your closet just got a LOT bigger. Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman came up with the perfect solution for every budget-concious fashionista: Rent the Runway. Rent the Runway allows you, yes you, to rent high fashion garments for that special occasion at a fraction of the retail price and then return the item in a pre-paid package when you're done.

How does 90% off sound? Sounds pretty good to us. We're stoked at the awesome steals found on, but we love the green factor even more. So often we girls buy a great dress or outfit only to wear it once. And then the once-beloved item hangs in our closet, taking up space until we are ready to admit that that trend has long passed. Now you can rent an awesome outfit and return it so it can be used by someone else (after a good cleaning!).

Check out some of our favorite finds for your next event, then head over to Rent the Runway yourself to sign up . . . for FREE!

For a black-tie affair

for a New Year's Eve bash

for your rehearsal dinner

your birthday party

office holiday party

The site is filled with great options for rent, starting at just $50. And with no sign-up fees, you'll be a budget- and earth-concious fashionista in no time at all!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

100 Wedding Blogs (and Twitter) To Follow in 2010

The list is up! Take a look at the 100 Wedding Blogs to Follow for 2010. So many good ones to help inspire and support your wedding planning efforts.

Don't forget to check out the Great Eco Section - conveniently reposted below for your enjoyment!


Earth Friendly Weddings
An inspiring resource for planning environmentally and socially responsible green weddings for today's modern bride.

Eco Chic Weddings Blog
Ethical. Thrifty. Chic. This blog takes green weddings to a whole new level.

Recycled Bride
The RB blog is your place to get the latest scoop on eco-chic wedding and lifestyle trends. Updated daily by Tracy DiNunzio.

Eco-Beautiful Weddings
The Daily Blog is the resource for eco-couture weddings and is the first and only quarterly online magazine and daily blog dedicated to eco-friendly weddings.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 'Matrimony Monday'

Today is the biggest day for online wedding planning as over 26% of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year's!!  Getting back to work is a lot happier when you've got a wedding to plan.

Good luck brides and grooms. Keep it right here for fabulously creative ideas for your big day!

Let's Go Bowling!

From the Meineke Car Care Bowl to the Super Bowl next month, some of the best games of the season are about to be played and we want to help you host the best Bowl Game Party ever.  This isn't just any old game-watching party, this is the big game, so pull out all the stops.  When planning a game-watching party, there's several key factors to consider.  We'll walk you through every little detail so you're sure to score a big victory.

Setting the Scene
Chances are, you're hosting your bowl game party at your home, and depending on your living situation, you may or may not have many options.  When setting up the party area, consider these things:

  • do you have enough seats for all the guests?
  • will all guests have a clear view of the TV and be able to hear ok?
  • is there a bad glare on the TV from the window?
  • will guests have access to end tables or coffee tables for setting down drinks and snacks?
  • is there an easy path to the food and restrooms so guests aren't constantly walking in front of the TV?
Food and Drinks
Game-watching parties give an easy theme for menus.  You can use the game, your team, or your opponent as your menu theme.  Here's a few examples:
  • If your team is the Chicago Bears, treat your guests to Chicago deep dish pizza or legendary Chi-town hot-dogs. 
  • If your team is playing in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, prepare traditional Cajun fare like etouffe, jambalaya and crawfish.
  • Or if you're team is playing the Miami Dolphins, why not serve up dolphin fish sandwiches?

You can also get creative with naming your menu items, like Buffalo Bills' Hot Wings or Alabama Slammer shots or Heisman Winning Chili Bar.

Set the mood for your big game party by decorating in team colors.  If you're a big fan of one of the teams, you're likely to go all out for that team. However, for games like the Super Bowl, where casual fans gather to root for either team, you can show spirit for both sides.  Pick napkins and plates the represent both teams in action.  Spread some shakers around the room for guests to get pumped up.  And be sure to have a couple of footballs on hand for a half-time scrimmage in the backyard.  Or check out your local party supply shop for a Super Bowl ring to award to the guest who comes closest to guessing the final score.

So what are your go-to plays for a game-watching party? Have you scored big with a Super Bowl party?  Leave a comment to tell us about what you've done.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, readers!  2010 is upon us and it's time to kick the year off right.  We've Got It! Chicago is ready to make 2010 the best year yet and to do so, we've written a few resolutions to help us along.

1. Plan even more events that will wow you and your guests!  We're busy little planners, but we want to be even busier this year.  If you're in need of an event planner, email us at

2. Go even greener.  It has always been our goal to be a green business and to plan green events, but we're taking it to the next level.  This year we'll share even more green tips for your events and your business.  It's our goal to make a lasting impression on your guests, not the environment!

3. Save you time and money! Time and money seem to be two things that no one has these days.  With our wide selection of planning services, we can target your budget and save you all the hard work of planning an event.  Just call us today at 312.285.4544 to get a free quote for your next event.

4. Blog, blog, blog!  Planning may be our passion, but blogging is #2.  We love to blog about all that's going on with We've Got It! Chicago because that's when we can share all of our great ideas with you.  So look for even more blog posts jam-packed with great tips and advice for your events in 2010!

Those are our resolutions . . . . What are yours?