Friday, March 23, 2012

Aruba Here We Come!

I won't be posting for the next week, because I am off to Aruba tonight.. Can't wait for my pre-honeymoon!! Beach, sun, drunks, no work or cellphone here we come!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Newest Wedding Shoe...TOMS

This morning I was going through and deleting my usual spam emails when I came across one very amazing one titled "TOMS for Weddings."  That's right you heard me they are now making TOMS for weddings.  I wouldn't really wear them for my wedding shoe but how comfortable would they be if I wanted to take a break from my heels?  What about as a bridesmaid gift?  That could be so adorable.

How about TOMS being my something blue?  Get similar styles at Nordstrom

The Groom can even give them out!
Even the younger members of our bridal party can join in on the fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

{Guest Post} The Bride's Perspective: Making it Your Own LOVE STORY

I am so excited to have Tamra here today from ever swoon participating in The Bride's Perspective series.  Tamra used to write the blog, Walks with Bella, and has now transistioned into Studio Swoon.  She has been a blogging inspiration to me and personally reached out as soon as I started COAPB.  I am happy to call her a friend and have her share her wedding experience with all of you!


Hello lovers!  I'm Tamra, the girl with the sparkling shoes behind ever swoon!  I'm so excited to be with you today at Confessions of a Professional Bridesmaid.  The first time I read COAPB, I was hooked!  Traci's outlook on being a bridesmaid is one of the most positive I've ever read.  Each bride she has supported as a bridesmaid is a lucky lady! Now, all those ladies will have to reciprocate her awesomeness because she is a bride herself! Congratulations my dear!!

Today I am sharing you my "Brides Perspective" and my favorite aspect about planning my own wedding and how my wedding inspired ever swoon.  There are a lot of factors that surrounded the planning of both my wedding and company, but I'll spare you from the novel and share with you one simple tip that can make an enormous difference.  Celebrate each moment of the journey of engagement and make the entire process about your LOVE STORY. 

From your engagement photos, to venue viewings, to vendor meetings, to showers, to the honeymoon, make this process about you.  When you are planning your engagement photos, focus on how you fell in love, where you fell in love, and what you both love to do together.  Your photos will then tell your story and also serve as wonderful reminders of the memories of how your story began and why you fell in love.

When my hubs and I were planning, we focused on one thing, our love for each other.  Our goal was to have our guests "experience" our love story.  We wanted them to be surrounded by things we loved because after all, your guests are in attendance to do only one thing, celebrate you and your love for one another.  The choir we choose in our ceremony, was the same choir we listen to every Sunday at Mass.  Although we had a formal black-tie wedding, we added a disco ball, amazing DJ, and a congo player.  Let's just say we "swooned" outside the box!

The foundation of ever swoon is my passion for helping others create their own unique celebrations while helping them maintain focus on what is truly important to them. 

How would you celebrate your love story??

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy birthday to me!!  Today is my 26th birthday and I am so excited to celebrate with my fiance tonight.  He is taking me to dinner at GT Fish and Oyster, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago!  I normally never care about turning a year older, but 26 is freaking me out.  I think it is because the gym I belong to raises the price significantly when you turn 26.  I remember signing up for it when I was 22 thinking I would be old when I was 26 and could afford the raise in price.  Now that I am 26, I do not feel any older and would really like to keep the price down.  It's okay though because in about a 18 months the price will go back down when my husband and I get to join our memberships (they make you show your marriage license).  If you are not familiar with East Bank Club you probably think I am very strange for talking this long about my gym. 

Anyways, I am really looking forward to celebrating my engagement and birthday in Aruba with David and our best friends Eric and Stephanie.  I am so happy David proposed when he did because now we get a pre-honeymoon:) We leave Wednesday and I could not be more excited.  I haven't had a moment to pack but will be so much more relaxed once I do.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and are having as nice of weather as we are in Chicago!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Asking your Bridesmaids

Now that I am officially a bride I get to start all the exciting wedding planning.  We are getting married in August of 2013 so there isn't that much that needs to be planned yet.  We are using the same venue, photographer and band as my sister, so we managed to complete the big things all in one day.  So now onto my speciality... bridesmaids.  I can't wait to announce my bridesmaids, and even though I have an eighteen month engagement, I am planning on asking them pretty soon.  I have so many close friends I could seriously have thirty bridesmaids.  I know I can't have that many so I have narrowed it down to nineteen.  Okay, I know you are reading this going NINETEEN this girl is insane, but I am not.  I truly have the best friends in the world and I cannot cut any one of them.  In the next month they will know who they are, and I am so excited to explain my friendships and stories to you. 

Now that I have picked my bridesmaids I am busy planning how to ask them.  Some brides ask in the most creative ways, others just ask.  I had one friend ask me on the phone when she was telling me she got engaged.  Although it was so fast she was in the moment and I found it really special.  I think the most important thing to remember is you want to make the bridesmaid feel special.  Highlight your individual friendship and make sure they know that you wouldn't want to get married without them by your side.

I am so excited about my plan I wish I could announce it to the world right now, but it will be soon enough!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Best Friends Forever

I am so lucky to still be so close with the girls I played on the playground with in first grade.  We became best friends automatically and as we grew up, with the addition of a few girls, we have stayed best friends.  With all our hectic lives its hard to find a time where we can all be together, therefore we created Wacky Wednesday.  Wacky Wednesday happens once a month on a Wednesday and every month a different girl coordinates the dinner plans and/or an activity.  In the past we have gone to some pretty fun dinner and even a cardio striptease class.  Last night my friend Kimberly organized an unforgettable birthday and engagement party for me.  She figured we are silly girls who met at the age of 5 so why not act like it.  She went all out with dinosaur invitations in the mail where she invited us to the Rain Forest Cafe for a wild safari.  Everyone was required to wear animal print and she even handed out goodie bags.  A small child came up to the table to announce how unfair it was we had candy and he didn't.  The night was so fun and I couldn't have felt more loved!  Do you have a Rain Forest Cafe in your area that you always walk by but haven't been in for years?  If so, we highly recommend it.  Honestly, there were more tables of adult than children by the time we left.. none of which were dressed to impress as much as us:)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Engagement Outfit

If you read my engagement story here then you know I bought a new outfit for what I thought was an interview with CS Brides Magazine.  I also thought I was going straight to a birthday dinner after.  I wanted to look cute and trendy without being too overdressed. 

Here was the final product:
This is not the best picture but the only one I had of my jacket open
Another just OK shot but at least the shoes made it!

I knew I wanted to wear my Alice + Olivia black legging/skinny pant so I had to just find something neutral for the top (remember I was told no patterns)

These are not the exact ones but I love these

In order to achieve this look (with a schedule that did not allow me to hit any shops) I went directly to Shopbop. At Shopbop you can order whatever you need and it arrives the next day via free shipping. It also comes with free returns and packaging that can be reused. I normally order a few sizes if I am unsure and then return the one I am not happy with.

Do you know this is called the Fiance Blazer?  I kept telling David all night, but he didn't really seem to think it was as funny as I did.
I paired it with my pearls David had given me for our anniversary this year and these shoes...

I didn't want to wear my sparkly Jimmy Choos to an interview but somehow David convinced me I should.

I kept telling David I was going to wear my black boots, but he kept saying you will have more fun in your sparkly shoes.  I should have guessed we were getting engaged but I didn't!  I am so happy I wore them honestly my feet didn't hurt at all, but that might have been because I was floating on cloud nine the entire night:)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not Only a Bridesmaid... I'm a Bride!!

Yes, you heard it I am not only a bridesmaid, but as of Friday, March 9th at 6:30 pm I am officially a bride!  David and I are engaged and I cannot stop smiling.  We are getting married!! AHHH I am just so excited because I love him so much.

So do you want to know how it happened? I will tell you everything!!

Last Monday I got an email from Reva Nathan (our family event planner) saying CS Brides Magazine was looking to interview individuals that were providing unusual and new services in the wedding industry.  She told me she mentioned my blog and they wanted to do a ten minute interview with a picture. Obviously I immediately responded yes!  The interview would be taking place at Ronsley Special Events at 6:30pm, which worked out perfectly because David was surprising me with an early birthday dinner Friday night at 7:30pm.  I was freaking out, I was so excited but also very nervous and had no idea what kind of questions they would ask.  As far as the picture goes she said I couldn't wear patterns so I immediately set out to order a new outfit online (I will share another day).  I also have been needing to get a haircut so I made an appointment for 4:45 pm on Friday. 

So Friday rolled around and I was all excited about my interview.  I had some of my friends testing me with questions they thought I may be asked and by the time I left work to get my hair done, I felt prepared.  So I head off to my haircut all dressed and ready to go and excited about the night ahead.  As I was leaving the salon the receptionist handed me a brown envelope.  I thought it was strange but I opened it and inside was a letter from David.  I don't have it in front of me but it basically said he was so proud of me and my ride was outside to take me to the special event tonight and he would meet me there for a pre-birthday celebration.

At this point I am extremely confused.  I look outside and a huge limo is waiting for me.  When I get inside there is a bottle of champagne chilling.  The driver tells me no details but just starts driving.  So many questions were going through my head.  On one hand, I am thinking I am going to get engaged, but I wondering if there is even an interview.  On the other hand I think maybe it is just another birthday celebration and I get all nervous.  I start to realize we are in fact heading to this interview so I begin to feel embarrassed I am going to arrive at an interview in a limo, OMG how embarrassing is this?  Why is there champagne does he want me to drink before an interview? 

So we pull up in front of Ronsley and I get out of the limo and just walk in.  Reva is waiting for me and there is a huge sign that says "Welcome CS Brides Magazine."  She informs me they were ready for me and starts to lead me to another room.  I am shaking at this point and just don't know what to think.  I sort of jumble my words and explain I arrived in a limo and David is surprising me for my birthday and he says he's meeting me here and I am so confused, and she just looks at me and says "Oh that is so nice of him."  I continue to freak out in my head.

Then we arrive at the door of the interview and she knocks and opens up the door and sort of pats my back and sends me in.  Then time just stopped because this is what was behind the door...

The whole room was set up as a mock wedding.  David was standing there smiling at me and the door closed behind me.  He said some of the sweetest words all of which I cannot remember.  He got down on his knee and proposed.  I let out a scream and said yes and he put the most beautiful ring ever on my finger. 

He then popped this bottle of champagne and I started to tear up.  You see this is the bottle we bought about two years ago in Napa that we said we would save for our engagement one day.  This was just so special because we knew then it would happen and now it had!  As we were drinking he told me I could only call my Mom.  She was in Michigan still helping out my sister and the new baby. 

Then Reva came back in and gave me a huge bag of wedding magazines and the CS Brides Magazine Sign!

Then she took a few pictures of the newly engaged couple!

David and I packed up all our stuff and climbed back into the limo for the next surprise of the night.  We drove around for a half an hour and we both called our grandparents.  He wouldn't let me call my Dad or his parents so I had a feeling we would be seeing them at the next stop.  I was begging to call some friends but he said let's just wait until after dinner.  So at about 7:30pm we pulled up to Topo Gigio Restaurant and I could not have been happier.  You see this is mine and David's restaurant.  Some people have songs, we have a restaurant.  We try and go to Topo every Sunday night and I am even the mayor on foursquare.  This could not have been more perfect. 

So we walked into the restaurant and instead of going straight to where we normally see the hostess, he headed to the private room upstairs.  I walked into the room and I hear a loud "Surprise!"  It was every one of our closest friends that live in Chicago all in a room with my Dad and David's parents and sister.  It was the best moment of the night.  Everyone was crying and hugging and I don't remember the last time I was that happy. 

David's family and my dad!

Topo gave us a free bottle of champagne!

All of my besties were there to celebrate!

David had arranged for appetizers to be passed and an open bar.  I spent the next thirty minutes calling my sister and my other besties not able to make it and then I just enjoyed my family, friends and new fiance!  We stayed until ten and then we moved to another bar next door where the rest of our friends met us.

It couldn't have been a better night and I am so thankful to all my friends and family that love David and I so much they would just drop whatever they had planned to celebrate.  We headed to Michigan the next day to see my family and it was the perfect icing on the cake.

Can't wait to let you in on the entire wedding planning process! I know so many of you are wondering what will happen to my blog, but just remember even if I am a bride now I am not a professional and never plan to be (only once for me!), but I will always be a professional bridesmaid. 


Big Announcement to Come!

As many of you have been asking me all morning, I do have a big announcement and a big post coming.  Please hang tight the day job is getting in the way of the biggest post yet! 

Check back later today:)

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Mania

I think it is important to always support your best friend.  So today I am reaching out to all of and asking you to support my best friend, Heather Rosenberg, and the Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.  For those of you who are not familiar, the Michael Rolfe Foundation serves as a catalyst for the early diagnosis and ultimate cure of pancreatic cancer by funding advanced medical research, public awareness initiatives, and educational programs. The Foundation also prides itself in specializing in support services for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones.

Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer research is extremely underfunded as approximately 40,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year and only 25% of those people will live beyond 1 year from diagnosis.  Heather got involved in the Michael Rolfe Young Professional’s Board after her father lost his 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer in 2010.

I ask everyone to please participate in the Second Annual Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation “March Mania” by following the link below to purchase “March Mania” brackets.  All brackets must be purchased and picks must be made before March 15th at 11 a.m.

This year’s prizes include an autographed Derrick Rose jersey with Bulls tickets, Apple 32GB Wifi iPad, $250 Visa Gift Card, White Sox/Cubs tickets and a variety of Chicago restaurant gift certificates!


I hope everyone has a good weekend, I will be back with more Flashback Friday next week!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shower Must Have.. Nude Shoes

Now that it is March wedding shower season is just around the corner.  I love getting dressed up in the middle of the day to shower my friends who are getting married.  I normally never know what to wear to these events, but my go to is always nude shoes.  In the summer and especially during the day they dress any outfit up and hardly ever clash.  If I was in the market for a new pair of nude shoes I would definitely be able to pick from one of these...

1. Giuseppe Zanotti 2. Yves Saint Laurent 3. Christian Louboutin 4. Jimmy Choo
5. Jessica Simpson 6. Steve Madden 7. Valentino 8. Pour La Victoire

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Plan the Perfect Bachelorette Party: Location Location Location

The first task in planning a bachelorette party is deciding on the location.  Some brides want a destination party and others want to keep it low key and where they are from. If a bride is having a destination wedding she most likely won't expect her friends to also travel to the bachelorette party.  Below are some of my favorite locations for bachelorette parties!


Las Vegas is the ultimate location for a bachelorette party.  The question you have to ask is does the bride really want to let loose this weekend?  If she wants to party all day at the pool and then party all night in a club then Vegas is for her.  Odds are if the bride wants to go to Vegas she will let you know as soon as she gets engaged.  I find Vegas to be a great place for a larger group of girls.  Many of the hotel rooms are suites so everyone can hang out together and the casinos are a great way to get free drinks!


Miami is another location that is ideal for the bride that wants that last wild fling before the ring.  If the girls want a weekend escape to warm weather and to stay in the US Miami is the best choice.  You can have fun in the sun all day and get dressed up and hit South Beach at night.  Miami has some fun bars, but when you want to do it up you have some of the best clubs in the world.


Austin is a great option if you want to feel like you are 21 again and have the time of your life.  If the bride wants to get wild at night, but relax during the day Austin is just perfect.  It is also a more affordable option than the first two.  In Austin when a bachelorette party walks down 6th street they are going to be called into every bar to get free shots.  This saves the bridal party A LOT of money.  If clubs aren't your scene, choose Austin, there are hundreds of bars and live music and you hardly ever have to pay cover or wait in lines!! 


For me Chicago is home.  I have had a few friends opt to have their bachelorette parties in Chicago, and honestly I have had some of the best nights ever.   If you haven't ever been on a trolley in Chicago, I highly suggest you come here and do it.  It normally costs about 20 dollars a girl and you can bar hop all night long and drink while your at it.  Chicago summers are the best and whether it is a destination party or not, you can never go wrong with a trip to Chicago.


So I say Lake Geneva, but what I really mean is a lake town, Lake Geneva is one not far from Chicago.  If the bride just wants to be with her girls and relax and reminisce, why not rent a cabin away from the hustle and bustle of the city?  You can go out for meals at the local restaurants, or you can cook at home.  Make the martinis from scratch and play the bachelorette games.. it could be the perfect weekend!


If you want to use the weekend to relax and explore Napa could be the perfect solution.  You don't have to do Napa super fancy, you can rent a house nearby and find an affordable tour.  The food is great and we know the wine is great, what more can you ask for?  You could also rent a party bus to take you to San Francisco for a night out!


These are merely suggestions, but I think they would all make for a great weekend.  Do you have any locations that you think are great for a bachelorette party?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

She Asked you to be Maid of Honor.. Now What?

When my sister asked me to be her Maid of Honor (MOH) I was so excited, but I really had no idea what that entailed.  I had never even been a bridesmaid before so I had to turn to friends for help and advice.  That is one of the reasons I started this blog, I want it to be a reference where girls can go if they are confused or stressed about a wedding ahead.

I was so nervous I wasn't doing everything right or I was missing something.  What I had to realize is my sister asked me to be her MOH because we are not only sisters, we are also best friends.  What the bride needs during the entire wedding process is her best friend.  Rather than wondering what she expects of you all you need to do is ask her.  If you ask the bride you may find she has expectations you would never of thought of.  For example, my sister asked me to take care of making a video montage for her and Jeff which we played at the rehearsal dinner.

In my opinion the most important task the MOH has is to take care of the bachelorette party.  I think she needs to get the ball rolling with selecting dates and locations and then have others help fill in the details.  In the next few weeks I will write more about planning the perfect bachelorette party.

At the Bachelorette party in Vegas!!

On the actual wedding day/night I would say be the best best friend you have ever been.  Run the small errands she may need, make sure she eats, and most of all get her excited for her big day.

Most likely she will want you to give a toast, whether at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception.  I will touch on speeches a different day though.

If you feel lost just remember to support and love the bride and be her best friend on the most important day of her life.

Are you currently a MOH or recently been one and have any advice to share?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Baby Gifts

Friday was the first weekday I haven't posted since I started this blog in January, and I feel like it has been forever!  I ran out of my office so quickly when I heard my sister was in labor that I forgot the charger for my laptop and even forgot my winter jacket.  David flew out to meet Spencer this weekend and we had such a great time giving Melissa and Jeff all the gifts we picked out over the past nine months. 
"iPood" Bodysuit
Blue Bear Baby Mat

Moncler Baby Cocoon ( no longer available online but this is just as adorable)
Y3 Baby Shoes (they aren't online anywhere)

Splendid Stripe Infant Hoodie

7 For All Mankind (Spencer's first 7's!)

I promise to be back tomorrow with professional bridesmaid material but I just had to share!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In the Future..

It is Thursday and we are still at the hospital, the whole family is hoping we can take my sister and her new baby boy, Spencer, home tomorrow.  I love him so much already and I am so excited to be a part of every milestone in his life.  It is so crazy to think that when I get married (whenever that is) he will be the ring bearer:)

Me and my future ring bearer.