Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning

23
Jan
13

official opinions: Go Green- tips for an excellent eco-friendly wedding

Looking to go green at your wedding? Check out our top six tips to throw a fun eco-friendly party while reducing your carbon footprint!

1. Paperless invitations

Since everything else is moving online, why not invitations too? You can keep the classic touch of traditional invitations by working with a designer but sending them via e-mail saves paper and trees. Greenvelope helps save trees by working with clients to create the perfect wedding e-vite that emulates the opening of a traditional printed invitation so you don’t lose that special touch.

If all weddings this year used paperless invitations, we could save about 50,000 trees!

2. Picking the right venue

Even picking a venue that has a green initiative can give your wedding the eco-friendly touch. Find an event space that has met the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System, which sets the standard for sustainable spaces. Learn what your venue does to be sustainable!

Venue Six10 is a great option because of its unique 6700-square-foot green roof that has special vegetation that keeps the building cool, helps with air pollution and much more.

3. Green wedding favors

Certain wedding favors can contribute to waste so give something memorable yet eco-friendly to give your guests. Plant a tree in your guest’s name or even give out trees for them to plant in your honor. For a more creative route, include sachets of herb or vegetable seeds so your guests can start their own eco-friendly, edible garden.

4. Go organic!

Have healthy alternatives during your wedding dinner such as free-range chicken or fresh, wild salmon. Work with your caterer and learn where your food is coming from and if it is eco-friendly. For dessert, include free trade coffee for your guests. Remember going organic doesn’t have to substitute for taste!

5. Charitable donations to eco-friendly non-profit

In lieu of gifts, you can raise money for a charitable organization. Choose one that has a special meaning for you or find one online that shares your same values. Your guests will appreciate the gesture and will love knowing that their gift is going somewhere meaningful.

6. Do your research

Remember that going green doesn’t have to cost you more green! Take some time to see what options you have. If paperless invitations aren’t for you, you can always find some other way to be eco-friendly. The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is a great resource for all of your green wedding needs including approved green vendors, caterers, florists and more.

If you want a more literal green wedding, however, check out The Knot’s wedding ideas for using all shades of the color green! Or you can take an even more literal attempt from singer, Kelis by having an all-green wedding dress! Now, that girl knows how to go green!

21
Nov
12

Guest Star: Simply Perfect by Melissa is simply delightful

Chicago wedding planner Melissa Phillips is the event guru behind Simply Perfect by Melissa. There isn’t a wedding she can’t plan and Stitely was thrilled to be able to ask her a few questions about her company, the wedding industry and some great advice for brides and grooms to be.

Stitely Entertainment (SE): How did you get started in event planning?
Melissa Philips (MP): I started in college with their Student Activities Department. I interned for 2 years assisting with student programs- brainstorming, planning, and executing. One of my favorites was an annual awards dinner hosted at a downtown hotel. I loved the details and logistics…and it kind of stuck ☺ I then taught for 7 years and became drawn to event planning for the school district- dances, philanthropic events, in school spirit activities, and parades. I began to enjoy that a bit more than teaching and decided to start my business on the side. Things developed quickly, and soon after, I was working full time doing events.

SE: How does Simply Perfect by Melissa differ from its competitors?
MP: I think personality and style really separate planners from each other. It is important that couples find a coordinator who they can click with…there is a long planning road you travel together. I strive to make each event completely unique be it through stationery, décor, entertainment, food, or event flow. Our goal is to leave your guests with a lasting memory of the event.

SE: What part of your job do you find the most satisfying and the most challenging?
MP: The most satisfying part of my job, without question, is the day of the wedding when the reception is all set and the bride and groom see the space for the first time. The team who creates the day can easily envision the final look. For the couple, this is when all the details we have hashed through come together like a perfect puzzle creating an unforgettable moment. I LOVE their reactions when they walk through the doors (it gives me the chills just writing about it!) Logistics are always a challenge. Each wedding brings a new set, but that is what makes each wedding so great. No two are ever the same. I love a good challenge and enjoy being given the opportunity to tackle them.

SE: What is the key to a successful event?
MP: A solid schedule!! I think some couples may underestimate the power of a good timeline. I have had people contact me for day of coordination services with timelines already prepared. After doing 200+ weddings, you quickly learn where time is lost, time can be gained, and how much time is needed for all that needs to be done. Mapping that out ahead of time with all of the logistics in place and possible areas where obstacles may develop is essential to making the day go smoothly. There are only so many hours and minutes in a couple’s wedding day. We want to make sure each second is put to good use!

SE: What is the craziest event story you can share?
MP: There seems to be something a little crazy with each event so pinpointing one particular one is challenging. We pride ourselves in doing what is necessary to make the day go perfectly. From steaming the stain gown while 9 months pregnant on my hands and knees (sent to the bride that way from a nationally know luxury bridal shop) 30 minutes before she was to dress because she didn’t realize just how bad it was, to gluing the groom’s head back on his bobble head cake topper seconds before the ballroom doors opened to calming a mother and daughter screaming quarrel (complete with “are you sure you want to marry this man”) minutes before she was to walk down the aisle to adjusting several brides’ “girlfriends” in their dresses because the bridesmaids always seem to disappear at just the right time…every wedding has me walking away with a laugh or two. I look at it as all being part of a day’s work!

SE: Any tips you can give to our engaged clients?
MP: Enjoy the process!! I would be lying if I said planning a wedding is stress free…there is plenty of stress to go around. This will probably be the largest social event you ever host, and that can be a bit intimidating. Try to keep things in perspective as to what is most important. My priest gave me the simplest, yet best, advice as I was planning my own wedding- In the end, you are married…mission accomplished! Really…take the time to smell the flowers (at your floral sample), enjoy every bite of food you sample (at all your tastings), and most importantly, take mental pictures throughout the day of your wedding. Those moments when I consciously stopped myself to absorb the moment are the parts of the day I remember most.

SE: If you were stuck on a desert island which three albums would you want with you?
MP: I am absolutely horrible with song titles and artists. I would have to go with music styles. I need some Motown for the beat- it will keep me motivated. I need a mix of slow, sappy songs for the moments when I break down- it will make the break down go quicker so I can bounce back. I definitely need some classic party dance tunes so I can take advantage of no one being around…I can dance crazy style and no one can laugh at me HAHAHA!!!

03
Aug
12

official opinions: Fun Fall Internships

Look how much fun our marketing interns have!

Hey there Stitely Blogosphere! If you are a student or know any students looking for a fall internship, we have two unique internship positions available: Event-Planning Support and Marketing and Multimedia. Both positions begin late August or early September and continue through December. You can take these internships for class credit and hours are flexible between 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday to accommodate your schedule. Bonus: We pay a small daily stipend to defray transportation cost, provide for lunch and have some left over for the weekend.   If you want to get some hands-on experience in the music and events industries, these internships are for you.  Here’s a little about the positions:

-Marketing and Multimedia: While duties vary on a project by project basis, basic responsibilities for Marketing and Multimedia Interns include taking photos and videos at a handful of events then editing and posting these media on Flickr & YouTube.  Interns also write blog posts, maintain our various social media sites and contribute ideas for new PR & marketing initiatives.  We’re looking for someone with strong writing skills who is also great at taking photos, recording videos and editing these media. A familiarity with graphic design and Mac computers is encouraged, but not necessary. We ask you to be in the office at least two days per week and you will need to attend a few weekend events, but these will be limited to two or three per month.

Past interns love coming back to see us!

-Event Planning Support: This intern assists Carly, our Event Planning Guru, to prepare  for events.  Basic responsibilities include preparing musical materials such as charts, lyrics and MP3s for upcoming events, interfacing with musicians, and a few special projects.  You also have the opportunity to dabble in marketing, occasionally writing a blog post or attending events to take photos. We ask you to be in our Evanston office 20-24 hours a week and you must be able to read music in order to be considered for the position. Strong writing skills and photo/video experience are also a plus but not necessary.

Interested?  Send your resume and cover letter that includes the position for which you are applying and why you are a good candidate to Rachel@stitely.com.  Event-Support applicants, please include your musical background in your cover letter. We hope to hear from you!

09
Mar
12

official opinions: give back by going green – tips for the perfect eco-friendly wedding

With St. Patrick’s Day rapidly approaching, forget the leprechauns and four-leaf clovers and focus on another type of green. When planning your wedding, it’s easy to incorporate eco-friendly elements that allow you to have the day of your dreams while doing some good for the Earth! Check out Stitely‘s top six tips for having a green wedding and reducing your carbon footprint!

1. Paperless invitations

Since everything else is moving online, why not invitations too? You can keep the classic touch of traditional invitations by working with a designer but sending them via e-mail saves paper and trees. Greenvelope helps save trees by working with clients to create the perfect wedding e-vite that emulates the opening of a traditional printed invitation so you don’t lose that special touch.

If all weddings this year used paperless invitations, we could save about 50,000 trees!

2. Picking the right venue

Even picking a venue that has a green initiative can give your wedding the eco-friendly touch. Find an event space that has met the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System, which sets the standard for sustainable spaces. Learn what your venue does to be sustainable!

Venue Six10 is a great option because of its unique 6700-square-foot green roof that has special vegetation that keeps the building cool, helps with air pollution and much more.

Give your guests trees as party favors

3. Green wedding favors

Certain wedding favors can contribute to waste so give something memorable yet eco-friendly to give your guests. Plant a tree in your guest’s name or even give out trees for them to plant in your honor. For a more creative route, include sachets of herb or vegetable seeds so your guests can start their own eco-friendly, edible garden.

4. Go organic!

Have healthy alternatives during your wedding dinner such as free-range chicken or fresh, wild salmon. Work with your caterer and learn where your food is coming from and if it is eco-friendly. For dessert, include free trade coffee for your guests. Remember going organic doesn’t have to substitute for taste!

5. Charitable donations to eco-friendly non-profit

In lieu of gifts, you can raise money for a charitable organization. Choose one that has a special meaning for you or find one online that shares your same values. Your guests will appreciate the gesture and will love knowing that their gift is going somewhere meaningful.

6. Do your research

Remember that going green doesn’t have to cost you more green! Take some time to see what options you have. If paperless invitations aren’t for you, you can always find some other way to be eco-friendly. The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is a great resource for all of your green wedding needs including approved green vendors, caterers, florists and more.

If you want a more literal green wedding, however, check out The Knot’s wedding ideas for using all shades of the color green! Or you can take an even more literal attempt from singer, Kelis, by having an all-green wedding dress! Now, that girl knows how to go green!

22
Jun
11

Official opinions: tips for the penny-pinching bride

Planning your big day is an experience that most brides love.  Although it can certainly be stressful and time consuming, you get the chance to create your own vision for your fiance, family and friends to enjoy.  But as the endless details of wedding planning begin to pile up, so can the price!  From invitations to dresses to food to thank you cards, there are a lot of little expenses that can sneak up on you.

Here are a few tips from your friends at Stitely to help out the cash conscious bride:

  1. Timing is everything:  For couples who have not yet chosen the date of their ceremony, don’t be afraid to plan in the off season.  Sure, everyone loves a beach wedding in June, but a fall wedding in a cozy chapel can be just as wonderful and romantic (and can also result in great photos!) Many vendors offer discounts for Friday or Sunday weddings too. Avoiding prime-time rates on wedding vendors and venues can save you serious bucks on your big day.
  2. Get a pro involved:  Hiring a professional wedding planner may cost you money, but what you may not realize is that it can save you money in the long run.  Planners come with years of experience in the business.  This means they will know how to give you what you want on your budget!  Not to mention they’ll know the best people in the business as far as vendors go.
  3. Don’t fear the department store:  You probably have some very specific requirement that your wedding gown must meet…don’t feel the need to be so picky about your bridesmaids dresses though!  Bridal salons tend to have much higher prices on gowns than a standard department store like Macy’s or Nordstrom, but these stores still carry beautiful and elegant dresses that may fit your ceremony perfectly.  To save even more, look for your bridesmaids dresses around the holiday season when sales are high!
  4. Cater to the kids:  Ask your caterer if they offer children’s plates!  This simple idea is an easyway to trim down expenses (and not waste delicious food).
  5. Get flower frugal:  Flowers can be a major cost on a wedding day, especially if you have a lot of bouquets for the wedding party or if you use flowers as centerpieces.  To cut down the price try to pick flowers that are in season (ie-tulips in the spring instead of roses).  Another simple money saving trick is to choose big flowers.  This means you will need less stems, and most flowers are usually charged per stem.  If you have flowers in your centerpieces, adding cheap fillers like sticks or berries may make it so you need less flowers for each table.
These tricks should be enough to get your money saving started…also make sure to take a look at all your wedding music options (every reception needs a packed dance floor!)
14
Feb
11

Official Opinions: Thanks and happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Valentine’s Day Dance this past Saturday night! And thanks again to our fantastic host, The Mid-America Club!  We had so much fun and it was great to join all of you dancers who packed the floor. We even managed to capture a picture of some of the Stitely staff & interns…

What a good looking group!

We’ll be posting more fun party photos and videos so don’t hesitate to check back later in the week. Also, if you have any great pictures of your own, we’d love for you to share them with us! You can email them to Emily@stitely.com or post them to our Facebook page.

To continue with our Valentine’s Day celebrations, here’s one of Rachel’s favorite love songs, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

08
Feb
11

Official Opinions: Cupid’s Revenge Valentine’s Day Party at McCormick and Schmick’s

Hey all you single ladies (and gentlemen)! This Friday, February 11 from 8:30pm-11:30 pm, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant is having an awesome Valentine’s Day event, Cupid’s Revenge! If you’re looking to meet new people, hear live music (provided by Stitely Entertainment, of course) and enjoy drink specials, hors d’oeuvres and decadent desserts, head on down to the  41 East Chestnut Street location.  Call (312) 397-9500 to reserve $15 tickets, or swing by on Friday for $20 tickets at the door.  Hope to see you there!

McCormick and Schmick’s is located on Chestnut and Rush Street in Chicago’s famous “Gold Coast.” They have an extensive lunch and dinner menu which is updated twice daily so that they are able to offer the best and freshest selections. These selections include more than 30 fish and seafood selections from U.S. and international waters as well as an assortment of beef, chicken and pasta entrees.

And for all you soon-to-be brides out there who are no longer single, McCormick and Schmick’s accommodates both small and large wedding receptions , as well as bridal showers and rehearsal dinners. There are a number of properties that offer beautiful venues and ideal settings for these special events. Their staff is dedicated to providing assistance with the smallest details and offering a unique, stress free and enjoyable planning experience.




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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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