Friday, April 30, 2010

TGI Festival Season!

This weekend Chicago kicks off festival season.  Summer may still be weeks away, but this is the official first day for us! For more information on these festivals visit the Metro Mix Chicago Festival Guide 2010.  Here's a list of the major festivals this season:

12th Annual Mayor Daley’s Kids & Kites
May 1

14 th Annual Celtic Fest Chicago
May 8-9 new location

26th Annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival
June 5-6

27th Annual Chicago Blues Festival
June 11-13

Bike to Work Rally
June 18

30th Annual Taste of Chicago
June 25-July 4

18th Annual Race to Taste
June 27

4th of July Fireworks Displays
July 4

52nd Annual Chicago Air and Water Show
August 14-15

32nd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival
September 4-5

22nd Annual ¡Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival
September 17-18 new location

20th Annual Chicago Country Music Festival
October 8-9 new location

What festivals are you planning on attending in 2010? We want to hear about your experiences. Leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite Chicago festival!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Orange You Glad We Picked This Color?!

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I would scoff if you suggested orange as a wedding color.  But before you write us off and skip along to another blog, check out these great images below.  Orange can be a fun and playful color. It can be serious and passionate, even downright romantic if done the right way.  We've learned to love orange, which seems to be the red-headed step-child of the rainbow.  So give orange some love and see all that it has to offer.

Now, I'll ask you agan . . . Orange you glad we picked this color?  We hope your answer is YES!

Still looking for the perfect pallette for your big event? Email us at to see how we can help!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Event Recap - Naiyomi's 1st Birthday

Not too long ago we had the pleasure of working with a client on her daughter's first birthday party - so much fun!  Naiyomi, the birthday girl, had 100 guests to help celebrate her very first year.  Check out the pictures below.

Overall Space, Peggy Notebaert Nature Center

The party was held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Center in the South Gallery, a very large room with floor to ceiling windows on two of the four walls (such great natural light!).  The large room was great for the 30 kids in attendance and all of the activities planned for them: face painters, arts & crafts stations, and an animal display.   The room also had enough space for the desert table and the buffet (food was by Blue Plate, we love them!)...not to mention all of the guest tables (centerpieces by Daffodils Flower Shop). To help guests find their seats, each of the ten tables were assigned the name of a bug or flower and displayed a corresponding picture in an 8x10 frame (picture above shows the 'Butterfly' table).

Backpack Bug Bags on the Favor/Gift Table

We chose to hang lanterns from the ceiling in beautiful Spring colors: yellow, pink, orange, and green. And, in honor of the Museum's Butterfly Exhibit we hung 100's of paper butterflies on all of the room's windows. Each child was given a Backpack Bug Bag (pictured above) filled with lots of goodies: a personalized letter to hang in their room (pictured below), a 'Build Your Own Garden' kit (pictured below), healthy snacks, pencils, and toys.

                                'Build Your Own Garden' Kit                            Personalized Letters

Spring events are great. We had so much fun planning Naiyomi's 1st Birthday Party, and wish her many, many more!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not For Tourists: Chicago

Wednesday is the release party for the 2010 Not For Tourists Chicago Guidebook.  This book is great for so many people: long-time residents, college students, people who just moved here, people thinking about moving to Chicago, and yes, even tourists.  It's a great way to learn about all of the uniques neighborhoods Chicago has to offer and all of the amazing hidden treasures in each place.  NFT Chicago also makes a great gift, or you can just keep it for yourself!

For more info, check out the NFT webpage.  If you bring the ad, you can even get a FREE copy of the Chicago 2010 book. How sweet is that?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

40 Green Tips in Honor of Earth Day

On Thursday, we'll celebrate 40 years of Earth Day.  For us, here at WGIC, not much will be different. Every day is Earth Day for us, as we strive to be concious of our impact all the time.  Our country has been celebrating this special day for 40 years, and in the past decade it's even become trendy and cool to be green. But some people still aren't on board. Some people think it's expensive or time-consuming to be eco-friendly.  Others imagine eating wheat grass and using scratchy, beige, recycled paper products. We're here to tell you that being green has come a long way. 

In honor of Earth Day's 40th Anniversary, we present you with 40 fun, easy, and affordable ways to go green at your next event. We promise that if you do, you'll make a big impact on your guests, but not the environment!

1. Choose an earth-friendly paper company to create your invitations, save-the-dates, menus and more. Foosie Design is our favorite!

2. Use a wedding website to send guests information and to collect RSVPs.  This will cut back on the amount of paper needed for your invitations.

3. Wear a gently used wedding dress, or donate yours when you're done so someone else can benefit.

4. Have your bridesmaids select their own dresses in styles that suit them.  They will be able to wear them again for other functions, creating less waste.

5.  Have your event at a venue with lots of natural lighting to cut down on electricity use.

6. Host an outdoor party in a mild season.  Cool breezes and warm sunshine will keep your guests comfortable without using air conditioning or heat.

7. Use potted plants as centerpieces.  Cut flowers make a big impact on the Earth and are dying as soon as they are cut. Plants can last for years and make a wonderful thank you gift to those who help with clean-up!

8. Use second-hand items. Hosting an afternoon tea party? Head to your local thrift shop for cute mis-matched tea cups and saucers instead of buying new ones.  Supporting second-hand shops helps keep these items out of the landfills.

9. Always serve food and drinks in glassware and not disposable plastic or paper.

10.  Choose a venue that will accomodate your wedding ceremony and reception to cut back on unneccessary travel.

11. Opt for a caterer who uses local, organic foods.

12.  Request digital proofs from your photographer instead of printed ones. 

13. Find a caterer who donates leftovers, composts scraps, and recycles materials.

14. Collect tables, chairs and linens from friends and family. Mis-matched tables can create playful whimsy for a children's party or an outdoor barbeque.

15. Off-set the carbon footprint of your event with sites like

16. Print agendas, itineraries, maps and more on recycled paper.

17. If you're using flowers for decor, make sure you pick blooms that are locally grown and in season to cut down on the costs of transporting them.

18. Use paper or cloth flowers instead of real ones.  When you're done, give them to a friend or donate them to someone else to be used.

19. Choose a location that is convenient to the largest number of guests to cut down on the impact of travel.

20. Instead of placing disposable cameras on every table, ask guests to take pictures with their own digital cameras (who doesn't have one these days?) and then upload them on to a community website for everyone to share.

21. Use recycled wine bottles as vases and centerpieces, rather than buying or renting vases.  It's cheaper and keeps the bottles out of the landfills.

22. Use pieces from nature as decor. Leaves, branches, flowers, driftwood, seashells, grass, small trees, even tree stumps can make great decor.

23. Have your decor do double duty. Give potted plant centerpieces to guests as a thank you for helping with set-up or clean-up.  Or use beautifully packaged favors as decor along a table.

24. If you have to use disposable dinnerware, opt for a recycled brand or those made from a renewable resource like bamboo.

25. If most of your guests are from out of town, rent a bunch of bikes and keep them at the hotel for them to explore your city. 

26. Bring reusable containers to package leftover food for you and your guests.

27. Hire an acoustic band to entertain guests. Keep the venue and guest list small to create an intimate environment that won't require amps for the music. This will cut down on energy usage.

28. Give local, home-made favors that don't require shipping cross-country or poor manufacturing processes.

29. Use fruits and veggies in centerpieces. Although flowers can be composted too, foods can be donated to a local foodbank or taken home and used by the host, eliminating even more waste.

30. Place recycling and compost bins in an easily accessible area. Be sure to clearly label them with restrictions on what can be placed in the bins. 

31. Send plantable invitations that can be composted or turned into a beautiful growing reminder of your fete.

32. Use LED lights or soy wax candles to create artificial light, if needed.

33. Purchase favors and thank you gifts from Fair-Trade shops.

34. Instead of favors, make a donation to a local charity in your guests' names.

35. Always use vendors who have also have green values. 

36. Planning a bar at your event? Serve wine from a local vineyard or beer that is locally brewed to cut down on the impact of transportation.

37. If you're set on sending an actual invitation (as opposed to an e-vite), send a postcard to eliminate excess paper. Include a website for extra information that won't fit.

38. Use cloth linens, not paper.

39. Choose menu items that can be prepared on a gas grill, which emits less carbon than other methods.

40.  Spread the word.  Your guests will be a lot more on board with participating in your green event if they know about it in advance. So let them know on the invitations or website or in any contact you have with them prior to the occasion.

What about you? What's your favorite go-to tip for planning a green event? Leave a comment and let us know what's worked for you and what hasn't.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Monday!

It's Monday, again. And nothing seems to cheer us up on a Monday like some pretty party eye-candy. So here's a deliciously bright and cheery wedding we came across recently. Enjoy!

Check out the Hostess with the Mostess Blog for lots more beautiful pictures from this event.

What about you? How do you get over a case of the Mondays? Leave us a comment and let us know how you beat those begining of the week blues!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Red Hot!

As part of our Wedding Wednesday series on color, we've already shown you some bold brides who opted not to wear white and we've shown you where you can find colorful inspiration for your wedding.  Today we kick off our weekly posting of colorful inspiration boards with the color red. 

Red hot red is a very diverse color that can be used for many styles of weddings throughout the year.  Red can represent a romantic Valentine's day affair or a festive winter wedding.  Paired with playful patterns in a rustic setting, red can be perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. Accent it with deep oranges and golds, and red is perfect for fall nuptuals. 

We hope when you're planning your wedding, these images will have you seeing red . . . in the best way possible!

So there you have it: six red hot idea boards to heat up your wedding planning! 

Are you planing on using red in your color palette?  Did you use red on your big day?  Leave us a comment and tell us all about it or send us an email with a photo to!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Make It Yours Monday: Custom Flip Flops!

I just adore Switch Flops! The concept is pure genius, and if my shopping budget allowed, I would have a pair to match every outfit.  Well, Lindsay (the mastermind behind Switch Flops) has come up with another amazing idea: custom printed flip flops! Now, it's still in the beta stage, so I'm sure there will be many more custom options down the road, but for now there were plenty to keep me occupied for quite a while.  I played around on the website for way too long and came up with some great styles, perfect for many occasions. 

Getting married? How about a fun and comfortable pair of flip flops for your bridesmaids to change into for the reception?

Is your best friend a sports lover?  Or are you having a sports-themed party?  How about the perfect pair of sandals as a gift for a friend going to college or graduating?

Throwing a Sweet Sixteen party for your daughter?  A custom pair of flip flops is the perfect gift for the birthday girl, or as favors for her best friends!

Is your best friend getting married? Why not get the bride a beautiful pair of custom sandals to wear on her honeymoon?

As you can see, there are so many ways you can customize these sandals.  So head over to Switch Flops and see how you can make it yours!

[All straps are custom-designed by WGIC and photos are from the Switch Flops website.]

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cakegirls Needs Your Help!

A little over a week ago, the Cakegirls shop succumbed to a fire.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the shop is gone, destroyed. Nothing was salvageable.  As small business owners ourselves, we know how devastating this must be for Brenda and Mary. While we sympathize, we cannot begin to imagine what they must be going through. Our hearts go out to you. We wish you a speedy recovery through this.

Here's where you come in.  Visit the Cakegirls website, where you can purchase a Cakegirls t-shirt for just $20. Proceeds from the shirts will suplement the income of the shop employees while they rebuild.

For those of you not familiar with Cakegirls, if you've ever seen Food Network Challenge, you've probably seen Brenda and Mary. They are a sister team from Chicago and make some amazing cakes. Challenge is one of my favorite shows to watch, and I particularly love when they are competing. Their work is amazing, and they've won a couple times.  Their website doesn't have their portfolio on it right now, but check back again soon to see their impressive body of work.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Colorful Inspiration

Our colorful Wedding Wednesday series continues this week with help on picking out the perfect color palette for your wedding.  Some brides know exactly what they want from day one. Some don't. I was a mix of both of those. I thought I knew immediately what colors I wanted . . . until I started planning the wedding and realized the color in my mind was nowhere to be found in stores. I was lost. I had no back-up plan. Until I found a gorgeous picture of a bouquet online. The colors were bold and beautiful, and I knew it would be the inspiration for my wedding day. 

At the time, I picked a few colors from the picture to use as accents. This as before I knew about color palette generators, like this one.  Just upload your picture and the generator does the dirty work, picking out the exact shades that are present. 

But what if you don't have an inspiration picture like I did? Where do you go to find the inspiration picture?  There are some great websites out there to help you find the perfect palette.  Kris's Color Stripes is one of my favorites. This blog features artistic images and the color palettes generated from them. Check out this one of a beautiful beaded bracelet.

Colour Lovers is also another great site for getting inspired.  In fact, they even have a section dedicated just to weddings.  Check out their site for palettes, patterns, colors, wedding color discussions and so much more!

Finally, the Inspired Bride is also similar to Kris's Color Stripes.  Inspired Bride also extracts color palettes from beautiful images to help you find the perfect palette.

So there you have it.  Four great ways to find the perfect colors for your wedding day. 

How did you find the colors for your wedding? Did you use a palette generator? Were you inspired by a beautiful image? Tell us all about it. Or contact us if you need help finding the perfect palette for your big day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Think Outside the Ballroom

We all know the usual suspects when it comes to venues for your event: churches, hotels, gardens, even dedicated event spaces.  But what about venues for the less traditional hosts?  There's a plethora of locales that are less typical and could be perfect for your next event.  Why not think outside the hotel ballroom?
Have your wedding at a public building like a library.  Many of these older buildings are architectural works of art and need few embellishments to set the mood.

With beautiful marine life as a back-drop, you'll save big time by hosting your event at an aquarium.

Science and art museums also offer a wonderful and interesting back-drop for your event.  For a more personal touch, find a particular exhibit that speaks to you.  It's a great way to personalize your event and give your guests some eye-candy.

Zoos can be fun and playful venues for children's events or corporate events that need to have some levity injected into them.  Just make sure the buffet isn't too close to the cages. The smells might not mix so well.

Ever thought of having your next party at a professional sports venue?  How perfect for the #1 fan in your life!

National parks, like Yosemite, offer beautiful natural settings for your next event. 

For more unique venues across the USA, check out Unique Venues.  You can search by state, browse venues and get great ideas for an unusual locale.

What about you? Have you had an event at an unusual location? Tell us all about it and you could be featured on our blog. Need help looking for the perfect venue? Contact us at and we can help you find the perfect place!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from the We've Got It! Chicago team. We hope you're having a wonderful day with your loved ones.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eco-Friendly Aisle Runners

Hapy Friday, everyone! 

It seems little by little, every aspect of the wedding industry is going green. And we have another one to share with you today: eco-friendly aisle runners or, as they like to call them, Eco-Runners! Brought to you by Customized Wedding Creations, these beautiful runners are available in a variety of colors and styles to suit your wedding day needs.  But the best part is they are eco-friendly! Read what the company has to say about them in their own words:

"Eco-runners™ are completely customizable using all-natural products and organic paints. Made from melted down plastic bottles, this aisle runner is 100% recycled polyester and is painted with water-based paints free from chemicals and solvents. No harmful dyes or chemicals here. The best part, you’d never know this aisle runner is recycled fabric. It looks and feels just like our standard fabric aisle runners!"

How awesome is that!?  Eco-Runners come in six beautiful colors and two perfect sizes. And each runner comes with two custom paint colors to match perfectly with your wedding decor.  For information on pricing, sizes, and ordering, click here. And if you're ready to be inspired, check out our favorite picks of their designs below.

So what about you? Are you inspired to have an Eco-Runner at your wedding?