Gold Leaf Ornaments

It’s no secret I love gold. From jewelry to home decor and everything in between, I love it for an accent of glam. There is endless inspiration online of furniture re-dos, gold spray paint makeovers and gold leaf projects…After my pretty pearl wreath, I decided to try out a little gold leaf love and made these cutie ornaments for me and my hubbie. I’m making some extras to adorn to some of my pretty packages in lieu of a gift tag, too.

Super chic and super easy! All you need is a gold leaf adhesive (I chose a pen for easy initial application), gold leaf, a soft brush, and ornaments. I bought black and white ornaments and an extra pack that had gold hardware instead of silver and swapped out the tops to complete the look.

Step One: Write the initial of your choice on your ornament using your adhesive. {Tip: it’s easier to see on the darker surfaces, so I’d recommend starting with a darker or colored ornament over white or clear to see it dry more easily if you are worried.}

Step Two: Let the gold leaf dry {usually about ten minutes} until it has a tacky texture.

Step Three: Gently apply the gold leaf to your adhesive.

Step Four: Use your soft brush to gently wipe away the excess gold leaf

Voila! Gold leaf initial ornaments! Perfect on your tree or pressies..So, what do you think? I think I may go make some more! xo


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Gold and Gifted

You may have seen some of my favorite gold goodies on The CHICago Life Blog earlier this week. I’ve added to my list of favorites– just in time for some last minute holiday shopping! It’s not too late to grab one of these golden gifts before Christmas! And BONUS: Not a thing here costs more than $50!


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CS Brides Spring 2014

The new Modern Luxury Brides Chicago Social Magazine has just been released. I am so happy to see two of So Dressed Up’s couples featured in the issue.

I just posted about the darling Lauren and Brandon and their July wedding at VIVO…you can see their feature on page 224-225.

Check out Graham and Fran’s August wedding at RM Champagne Salon on page 210-211. More to come from me on these two cuties..what a ball I had working with them on their stylish, fun, and unique wedding!

You can read the entire digital edition here. Be sure to check out another one of my weddings in their “Top Design” section, and of course my ad, too.


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Pretty Pearl Wreath

My latest DIY is this pretty pearl wreath.  I love it so much and think this easy project is gorgeous and perfect for the holidays, so I had to share.

All you need is a styrofoam ring in the size of your choice, pretty ribbon (I used soft white satin from Paper Source) and a variety of pearls in the sizes and colors of your liking. (I used 6mm, 8mm and 10mm in white and silver. I personally liked the variance in color to add interest and dimension to the wreath, but you could easily keep it simple with one color.) Last but not least– you need a glue gun. And lots of glue!

Step 1: (Optional) I wrapped the styrofoam ring in ribbon to ensure a pretty backside.

Step 2:  Glue, glue, glue! I glued pearls in sections, varying the size and color of the pearls to keep good texture and interest. I started on the front side, followed by the inner ring, ending with the outer edge.

Step 3: After the entire wreath was covered in pearls, I added additional pearls to create a second layer in some areas to really add to the texture and fullness.

Step 4. Grab your ribbon and hang your pearl wreath. {Carefully! It will be heavier than you think!}

And voila! Easy as can be– a pretty pearl wreath. What do you think?


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Lauren + Brandon

We’ve all heard couples describe their first meeting “as love at first sight,” and such is the case with Lauren and Brandon. For me.  From the instant I met with them I was in awe of them. Their kindness, their love, their demeanor..I was hooked. They are so sweet, {insanely gorgeous!} and so madly in love. There really are no words to describe their connection. But I promise if you spend just a few minutes with them you’ll see what I mean. It’s incredible. They are the kind of people you just want to be around and I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them on their wedding.

Cuties after my own heart, Lauren and Brandon were committed to a wedding was full of darling little details to make it their own. When guests arrived in Chicago, they were greeted with two treats – Mony’s Rum Balls (Brandon’s family’s recipe) and Nanny’s Blueberry Cake (Lauren’s family’s recipe.) Lauren’s brother, Jordan Casty played acoustic guitar for the ceremony, including Unchained Melody, Sade’s By Your Side (the first song that Brandon and Lauren ever danced to) and Crazy Love for Lauren and her parents to walk down the aisle.  Their officiant was the founder of Lauren’s Hebrew school and both of their vows included the phrase “I love you– Those Three Words have my life in them…” a nod to Brandon’s proposal.  {Lauren surprised Brandon with “Those Three Words..7.13.13″ engraved in his wedding band, too. } These two are just over the top cuteness and made for each other.

Post ceremony, guests came upstairs to see the framed notes from Brandon’s proposal and cutie “Guest Libs” as their guestbook. Their cocktail hour musicians were jazz band students from the school Lauren works at. {They were fabulous, by the way!} The amazing Italian food at VIVO was extra close to Lauren’s heart as she lived in Italy for a year and the speeches during dinner were so full of heart and soul;  including a surprise Lauren’s brother had been working on– a song he wrote for them! His performance was so moving and heartwarming. At the end of the night, Brandon and Lauren left in a horse drawn carriage from the Noble Horse Theater, where Lauren took riding lessons as a kid.

Their wedding was truly one of the most special and thoughtful occasions I’ve ever had the honor of being a part of and I absolutely loved getting to know these two and their families. A special thanks to the very talented Shane Welch for these incredible images that capture the beauty and spirit of their day just perfectly, and to Pistil & Vine for knocking it out of the park.

Ceremony + Reception Venue: VIVO // Planning: So Dressed Up // Photographer: Shane Welch Photography // Florist: Pistil & Vine // Ceremony Musician: Jordan Casty // Cocktail Hour Musicians: Pritzker School Jazz Band // Reception DJ: Toast and Jam // Hair + Makeup: The Bridal Team // Transportation: Windy City Limousine and Noble Horse Theater


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Pantone’s 2014 Color of The Year

As with every December, Pantone has just released it’s color of the year for 2014. Drum roll please…

Radiant Orchid!

This sweet and relaxing shade is a soft and inviting, calm and joyful and if I do say so myself, a nice change of pace from it’s recent predecessors; Tangerine Tango and Emerald respectively. I am thrilled to already be working with this charming color for a spring wedding and look forward to this beauty gracing the pages of home design, wedding + event, and fashion glossies everywhere. {And in our homes, parties, and closets, of course.}

You can read the official press release here.

So what do you think? Do you love this year’s hue?


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So grateful.

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It’s been a fabulous, whirlwind of a year and it feels like the holiday season snuck up on me.

Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday. Getting to spend quality time with loved ones and reflecting on all of the amazing things we have to be thankful for. {And yes, the over the top delicious food and gorgeous tablescapes are incredible too!} Though I try to always count my blessings, Thanksgiving proves to be a powerful day that allows you to take a break from the hectic details of daily life and focus on all the good. I have so {SO!} many things to be thankful for; my list goes on and on..But I wanted to take a moment to recognize a few extra important people.

First, my hubbie– the most unconditionally loving and supportive man on the planet– thank you. Thank you for being my VP, my advisory, my confidant, and for believing in me. I couldn’t do this without you.

To my fam and friends– thank you for all of the encouragement, support, excitement, love. I am so thankful for each of you and all you bring to my life and my business.

And last but certainly not least– my amazing clients. Thank you for trusting me with your life’s most important occasions and for believing in my talents. For giving me the opportunity to do what I love, for fueling my passion. I am so incredibly grateful for you.



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Ruth + Charlie

Ruth and Charlie are so in love. Their happiness together is contagious and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to work with them on their wedding day. Their June affair at the Chicago Botanic Garden was incredible. I absolutely love this venue– it is such a magical and romantic place; full of lush greenery, floral…there is beauty everywhere you look. {And Connie there, is fab.u.lous.}

Ruth and Charlie’s first meeting in the Circle Rose Garden was the perfect way to start their day and their photos throughout the gardens are dreamy. Though we ended up with a bit of rain and had to go with plan B for their ceremony and cocktails, nothing could have stopped Ruth and Charlie from having a great time. {See amazing photo of them with umbrella in hand below!} Guests enjoyed a stunning evening {I just adore those farm chairs and tables!} in McGinley Pavillion which offers a waterfront patio with spectacular views of Evening Island. {Especially gorgeous with a rainbow addition!} The custom chuppah and bars from HMR Designs were gorgeous additions to their beautiful lush floral arrangements. I just love that unexpected pop of pink from the coral charm peonies.

Thank you to the very talented Elizabeth Fraiberg / e3 Photography for these incredible pics! What a wonderful celebration! Congrats Ruth and Charlie!

Venue: Chicago Botanic Gardens // Catering: Culinary Landscape (Through CBG) // Floral + Décor: HMR Designs // Linens: BBJ Linens // Photography: Elizabeth Fraiberg / e3 Photography // Ceremony Musicians: Jamie Pastman (Through Stitely) and Debora Ponko // Reception Band: Stitely Entertainment // Cake: Three Tarts Bakery


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Toss the Bouquet

Yesterday I attended the inaugural Toss The Bouquet: Educate, Exchange, Elevate event. Hosted by Beth Bernstein of SQN Events at The W Chicago City Center, this wonderful day of inspiration and education included advice, ideas, dreams, and encouragement from some of the wedding industry’s finest ladies:

Wendy Dahl, Chic Productions

Beth Chapman, The White Dress by The Shore

Ami Price, Elizabeth Anne Designs

Bernadette Coveney Smith, 14 Stories

Calder Clark, Calder Clark

Liene Stevens, Think Splendid

Debbie Geller, Geller Events

Candice Coppola, Jubilee Events

Cara Ten Eyck, Carla Ten Eyck Photography

Gwen Hochman Stewart, Sidley Austin LPP

Thank you to all of you who lent your time and talent. I am so grateful for the inspiring takeaways.

Thank you also to the event sponsors: Art of Imagination, Carasco Photography, Capstory, Courtney Callahan, Hello Darling, Open by Shutterbooth, Poetic Productions, Private Label Linens, and Tablescapes.

What a wonderful opportunity to connect with so many incredible talents. I continue to be proud to be a part of such an amazing and supportive community!


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Jenni + Shawn

It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since Jenni and Shawn’s amazing wedding day.

Jenni is a girl after my own heart- totally organized, a list lover, and has impeccable taste. {A dream bride would be an understatement!} Shawn is also a total sweetheart,  relaxed and totally fun. They are a perfect match– so in love, supportive of each other, (gorgeous!) and you can tell how much fun they have together.  It was such a pleasure getting to know them and their families– I absolutely loved working with them.  These amazing photos by Robyn Rachel Photography capture the beauty and sentiment of the day perfectly. The University Club was the perfect spot to host their classic spring time affair and the sweet darling details are some of my favorite.

Another favorite detail I’ll never forget? At the end of the night, Shawn got off the elevator and then stopped the doors from closing, asking me “Can I have a hug? Because this– this was AWESOME. Thank you.”  Those are the kinds of moments I live for.

Thank YOU Jenni and Shawn for the amazing opportunity and for being so awesome yourselves.


Venue + Catering: The University Club of Chicago // Florist: Richard Remiard Design // Photography: Robyn Rachel Photography // Video: MI Studios // Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Musicians: Ralph Boyd Trio // Reception Band: Maggie Speaks // Hair + Makeup: Exsalonce Salon // Transportation: Windy City Limousine 


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