Archive of ‘Destination Weddings’ category

The Groom’s New Clothes: Custom suits

We are very excited to bring you a series of posts on custom from Alexandra Cross at  Enzo Custom ClothiersEnzo does completely “custom” garments. Technically, there are four categories for suits: off-the-rack, made-to-measure, custom, and bespoke. Recently, the terms have become confused and interchangeable. But, as purists, Enzo has worked in the suiting business for a long time and want to properly educate people on the right term for each product. Made-to-measure garments work with an existing pattern, sometimes a very strict one, and make very limited adjustments to it. The difference with custom is that we actually build the garment, piece-by-piece, allowing for so many more changes both fit- and style-wise. What’s really remarkable about Enzo is that they are offering custom clothing at an incredible value for the detail that goes into it.

Alexandra will discuss women’s suits. We hope you will stay tuned!


The Grooms New Clothes

Deciding on the look for a groom and his wo/men for the big day can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to consider what the groom will be happy and most comfortable in, but you also have to account for the attendants’ individual tastes. The need to please everyone can sometimes overwhelm and confuse the issue. Before anything else, even before considering any of the following advice, remember to be true to your own image of the day. What you want sometimes means bending, or all-out breaking, the classic rules (and remember that Heather says there are no more rules!)  Regardless, here are some guidelines to help you navigate the process.

To begin, let’s think about style. Any suit or tuxedo should be reflective of the wearer’s personality, but also coordinate with the intended’s outfit, the rest of the party, and the overall tone of the wedding and formality of the venue. Remember, the wedding couple should be the best dressed in the room – it’s their special day! If the wedding is black-tie optional, I strongly suggest nothing less than a formal tuxedo. Then, in order from formal to casual, consider: a formal black suit, charcoal or navy solid suit, then patterned suits, tie/vest/pant no jacket, tie/shirt/pant no jacket, and finally shirt/pant. A vest always adds a punch of formality.

Enzo-Custom-Clothiers-Greatest-Expectations-made-measure

Then it’s the time to consider the rest of the party. You want everybody to coordinate, look good, and also be comfortable. It can be really difficult to decide what to ask your party to pay for and how much you’re willing to compromise to save money and headaches. Consider each person individually and how you can make sure everyone is happy and comfortable with the chosen clothing.

Every member of the wedding party need not wear the exact same thing. As long as everyone coordinates, you could do a combination of tuxedos and suits, vary the color palette, add a vest, or just switch up the ties, pocket squares, or boutonnieres. Look to your planner, stylist, or dressmaker for suggestions and ideas. This is where custom suits can really be a perfect fit.

Enzo-Custom-Clothiers-Greatest-Expectations-made-measure

Now is the time to think about the groom’s shape and preferred fit. This will give you an idea of how much time you’ll need to find the right suit. Go to a few places, set some appointments, just to consider fit. If you’ve gone shopping for suiting before, you might already have a good idea of how easy or difficult the body is to fit. This initial search can uncover unique attributes which could make a difference in the direction you take. Most people do not fit perfectly in a garment off the rack, so you can decide whether to rent a tuxedo or purchase off-the-rack and have the garment tailored as closely as possible, or whether to have the suit or tuxedo made through a custom program.

If you decide to rent or purchase off-the-rack, you should plan on a 4-6 week process at most based on the retailer and tailor. Add additional time to coordinate other members of the wedding party, and take anyone traveling into consideration. If you decide on a custom program, try to give yourself at least 6 weeks, with some programs at 10 weeks or more. Some companies do offer rushes. There are many different types of programs available, so make sure that the company you work with has the capability to fit your particular posture and style choices. Going custom is the best way to ensure you get the exact color, style, and fit that you want for the big day.

enzo-suits-greatest-expectations-made-measure


Enzo-Custom-Clothiers-Greatest-ExpectationsAlexandra Cross is the Executive Clothier and Showroom Manager at Enzo Custom Clothiers in Chicago, designing completely custom suits, shirts and topcoats for each client based on their unique set of measurements and style choices. Enzo prides itself on offering an unbeatable selection of fabrics and available style choices at an unparalleled value. Alexandra has worked alongside pattern makers, in-house tailors and seamstresses, fabric distributors and buyers, in both off-the-rack and custom clothing for over seven years, designing custom garments for over sixteen different programs, large and small. She is a native to Chicago, a Dearborn Park kid, and an unapologetic townie, immersing herself in all the sights and sounds the city has to offer.

Personalizing your wedding ceremony

It is such a delight to welcome Anita Vaughan from AnitaWeds as our guest blogger this week. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Anita for five years. We first met when she was producing Under a New Moon, where we celebrated the first legal day of civil unions in the state of Illinois. At midnight on June 1, 2011, we united the first six, same-sex couples, in the state. It was a tremendous occasion and one that I was honored to have been part of. Anita has such an easy way with couples and really makes every ceremony extra special. She helps people celebrate every other aspect of life, not just weddings and even performed the blessing ceremony for my youngest daughter. 

This post is full of useful information and is a must read for everyone planning a wedding ceremony. Anita is an expert on personalizing life’s special ceremonies. 

greatest-expectations-Under-a-New-Moon-AnitaWeds-Same-sex-wedding

Photo by JLP and Associates


The Perfect “I Do” for You- How to Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony

You’ve picked the flavors for your cake and the colors for the flowers. Your favorite foods will be served and the band leader has a list of your favorite songs. The reception has you written all over it.

But what about your ceremony? Shouldn’t that be a reflection of the two of you? Of course!

As a professional Life-Cycle Celebrant, my goal is to make my clients’ wedding ceremonies completely personalized. But, no matter who officiates your ceremony, there are many ways to add your personal touch to your wedding ceremony.

MUSIC Let’s start with the music. Who says you can’t walk down the aisle to Led Zepplin? Having officiated over 200 weddings, I’ve heard just about every type of processional and recessional song. Of course, many couples love the traditional “Wedding March.” But I’ve also heard some really unique choices, ranging from Kanye to Guns N Roses to the Beatles. And, yes, one of my brides walked in to an instrumental version of “Stairway to Heaven.”

Whether your music is being provided by a DJ, a string trio, or your Uncle Bob will be hitting “play” on your iPhone, look for music that suits your style. And the good news is that, if you’re worried about keeping Grandma happy, you’ll be able to find instrumental versions of many of your favorite tunes. She won’t even notice that you’re playing the Imperial March from Star Wars.

TIP: Be sure to visit Vitamin String Quartet’s website for tons of instrumental options.

Another way to personalize your ceremony and make it memorable is to include your friends and family. You invited your loved ones because they’re important to you, so let them be more than just witnesses – get them involved.

SAY THANKS Have your officiant thank your guests. This can be a very simple “thanks for being here,” or you can choose to mention special people by name. A shout-out to the friend who introduced the two of you would be a great way to open the ceremony. Acknowledging people who’ve traveled from out of town for your big day would make them feel pretty special. And a few words of gratitude for parents, grandparents, or other important people in your life would add a warm, heartfelt touch to the ceremony.

greatest-expectations-anitaweds

Photo by Chad Husar

INVOLVE YOUR GUESTS There are also great ways to include the whole crowd, such as asking the guests to bless your marriage with a community vow of support. Another idea is to include a ring blessing. Before you exchange your wedding rings, they are passed among the guests (either in a box or a pouch) so each person has a chance to hold them while making a wish or saying a prayer. Typically, two people are designated as being in charge of passing the rings, which gives you the opportunity to give two more people a role in your ceremony!

UNIQUE RITUALS Another way to personalize your ceremony is to think about the activities you and your future spouse enjoy doing together. Do you share an interest in history and ancient traditions? Try a handfasting ritual. Are you into gardening? Consider a planting ritual. Do you enjoy brewing your own beer? Then a beer tasting ritual might be perfect for you. Do the two of you cook dinner together? A food sharing could be a nice element for you. Love making things with building blocks? You can have a unity ritual with Legos!

TIP: Have fun! One of my couples got engaged at the Shedd Aquarium. In honor of that surprise proposal, the ring bearer (as carefully orchestrated by the groom) had a surprise delivery of the rings – they were presented by a helium shark! I’ve also had clients that met in a bar, create a custom cocktail during their ceremony and then have their attendants pass it out to all of the guests.

READINGS One more way to get creative and show your personal style is with your choice of readings.  There are countless sources for great wedding readings, including children’s books, song lyrics, and classic literature.

Are you a dog lover? Look up a poem called, “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali. Math nerd? I would suggest you find a poem called “The Square Root of 3” by Dave Feinberg. Music fan? Look into a letter written by Johnny Cash to his wife, June Carter Cash – it is truly lovely.

greatest-expectations-anitaweds

Photo by Chad Husar

As you can see, there are many ways to personalize your wedding ceremony. So, don’t be afraid to get creative. And, most importantly, make it true to YOU.


anita-vaughn-angel-eyes-photographyAnita Vaughan is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and owner of AnitaWeds. In addition to creating wedding ceremonies, Anita also works with clients to celebrate other life events, such as baby welcoming ceremonies. She works closely with other Celebrants as the Facilitator for the Illinois Celebrant Association and serves as faculty for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute. When she’s not officiating a ceremony or teaching future Celebrants, she enjoys baking cupcakes, reading graphic novels, and listening to 80’s music. Anita can also be found rescuing animals with her children and being obsessed with octopuses. Photo by Angel Eyes Photography

Destination Weddings: Tips for creating the perfect event

The Greatest Expectations team loves destination weddings. Destination wedding planning is completely different from local wedding planning and as such, provides completely different challenges to the couple, their guests and the vendors involved. It is a challenge we are always up for.

Cabo-Destination-Wedding-Greatest-Expectations

It is such a pleasure to partner with Linda Mitchell from Luxury Destination Travel to bring you an entire series on the importance of travel during your wedding planning. She will address all different aspects of travel and how it relates to wedding planning. In this post she dives into destination weddings. In future posts she will talk about travel needs for all of your guests and honeymoon planning. Linda is a wealth of knowledge and such a bright and joyful person. Be sure to follow her entire travel series right here on the Greatest Expectations blog.


Destination weddings – the trend grows and so does the importance of your planning team!

Why choose a destination wedding? Traveling to a dreamy location and spending fun filled days and exciting evenings is an incredibly memorable experience. One in every four weddings are now destination weddings! A growing trend has emerged, embracing the elements that surround your special celebration. Weddings are fun, travel is fun, being with loving family and friends is fun…. it is a very exciting way to celebrate your special day!

As you begin to think of the logistics, you may feel overwhelmed – so let’s chat!

Choosing your destination can be like picking your wedding attire with so many amazing choices. When you find the perfect outfit, however, you just “know” it is the one! Choose a destination that fits with you and your fiancé/e’s travel interests and it will be memorable place for you for years to come. Be sure to visit the destination before you make a decision. This is a wise idea even if you have been there before. Looking at it through the destination wedding lens gives way to new perspective.

Cabo-Destination-Wedding-Greatest-Expectations

Work with a wedding planner. Wedding planners, specializing in destination weddings, have expertise in which destinations and venues are the best to work with, providing you with the best experiences/value. Working with a wedding planner that you choose means that everything is being done strictly with you in mind! Don’t let the venue convince you that their on-site planner will meet all of your needs. They are awesome, but their main focus is the venue and catering. They are not there to meet all of your wedding planning needs.

Work with a planner you trust and follow their expertise!

Cabo-Destination-Wedding-Greatest-Expectations

Work with a destination wedding travel planner/agent. Someone who specializes in destination wedding travel knows the destinations, what the hotels will offer, negotiates the best rates and amenities, and can manage flights and activities for you and your guests. Be sure to inquire on the travel agent/planner’s experience. Not all travel agents have a specific niche in planning travel for destination weddings. Work with a destination wedding travel planner and let your guest’s travel be coordinated with perfect precision!

Cabo-Destination-Wedding-Greatest-Expectations

When you consider what works for your budget and who to include in your wedding planning team, consider how relaxed and stress-free the experience will be when you build your team with a planner! It may seem like an expenditure that you can cut when you look at cost, but fast forward to the weekend of your wedding. That amazing planning team will be worth their weight in gold. You won’t have one element to think about except having an amazing time with your loved ones and marrying the love of your life.

Greatest Expectations offers a package that include both the destination wedding planning and travel planning. This package is offered by partnering with experts like Linda to bring clients the best possible team and planning experience. The results are priceless.

Cabo-Destination-Wedding-Greatest-Expectations

Know the climate in the destination. Check the future weather/climate charts to ensure that your destination has weather that you enjoy and would be perfect for you. Sunset times are also a key factor to consider when planning the timing elements. This is particularly important if you are going to have your events outside. Comfort is an important element to consider!

Consider the venue. Do you want something small and intimate or large and all encompassing? There is a “right fit” venue for every couple. Work with your planning and travel experts to find the perfect one for you.

Savor the expertise that will create your dream wedding in ways you may only imagine!

Be swooned by creativity. As your creative team organized by your talented wedding planner works their magic, they creatively capture a vision designed exclusively for you!

Indulge in the services! Put your planning team at the top of your budget list. Not only will they work out everything on your behalf, they will alleviate stress and also negotiate the best values for you across the board.

Enjoy the relationships that your wedding planning team brings to you!

Visualize your destination wedding in a dreamy location, be it a tropical beach, on top of a mountain, or wherever your imagination takes you. We wish you an amazing, fun and magical experience that will have you swimming in the memories for the rest of your lives.

Cabo-Destination-Wedding-Greatest-Expectations


Luxury Destination TravelWith 24+ years in the travel industry, Linda Mitchell is the owner and travel professional of Luxury Destination Travel. A niche boutique travel service specializing in destination wedding travel, romance trips, specialty vacations, groups and family reunions created for clients all over the word traveling anywhere in the world.

Linda combines an exemplary level of service with her expertise and experience to make each traveler’s journey a memorable and special one!
Photo of Linda by: Rebecca Davidson photography

Photos by Julia Franzosa Photography.  To see more images of this stunning wedding, visit Julia’s blog post here.

This wedding was planned with Beth from SQN Events (Beth and Greatest Expectations owner, Heather, have a destination wedding planning partnership).

Venue, Pueblo Bonito Pacifica .

 

Mexican Fiesta – Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

As we continue to suffer through the cold Chicago winter it is delightful to reminisce on past weddings in luxurious destinations. Today we share a really special wedding with you from Los Barriles, Mexico. Julia and Cosmo are a truly delightful couple that wanted an intimate, romantic beachside wedding with those they love most. This was an extra special wedding for us because these clients are also friends. Julia is a very talented photographer and Cosmo is a world-renowned chef. Can we say power couple?

Destination Wedding Greatest ExpectationsLos Barriles is a sleepy little fishing village about an hour from Cabo.  It is also where Cosmo proposed to Julia after working on a destination wedding we did together. Finding a meaningful spot for a destination wedding truly does make the entire experience that much more amazing.

To set the mood for invited guests, Sarah Drake Designs created the most stunning hand-painted invitations. Opening these little beauties was like getting a special gift in the mail. It was the type of invitation that you immediately hang up because you simply cannot stop looking at it.

Destination Wedding Stationery

Kicking the weekend off was one of the most festive and beautiful rehearsal dinners we have ever seen at Hotel Los Pescadores. There was so much excitement and joy in the decor that guests knew it was celebration time! Many of the guests walked to dinner from private beach houses and hotels clustered together in this sweet little village, continuing the personalized and intimate feel of the weekend.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

destination-wedding-greatest-expectations

Julia was a stunning bride! Every detail was perfectly attended to and she absolutely glowed. The bouquets were full of the rich, vibrant colors of coral, soft pink and white with a few succulents tucked in to add texture.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations Floral

The wedding party was dressed in fun and flirty outfits: soft, romantic gowns for the bridesmaids and casual, tropical printed shirts for the groomsmen.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Everyone gathered on the beach for the sunset ceremony officiated by a personal friend. There was no shortage of tears and laughter throughout this meaningful custom and personalized ceremony.

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Directly following the ceremony, guests headed back to the house where a poolside cocktail party awaited. They were greeted with unique sea shell escort cards, hand written by the bride herself, such sweet little keepsakes for people to take home.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

The reception was adorned with long wooden feasting tables overflowing with beautiful centerpieces from Mazarte Floral, candles, custom glassware and rentals from Intuitive Designs and Let it Be Events and, as the sun went down, beautifully strung twinkle lights. There is nothing quiet like dancing and dining under the stars.

Beach Wedding Greatest Expectations

greatest-expectations-destination-wedding (55) Beach Wedding Greatest Expectations

While all of these other, wonderful things were taking place, Cosmo’s dear friends and fellow chefs (who came in from all over the United States) were busy preparing a wedding feast like nothing any of us had ever experienced before. Upon arriving to Los Barriles, these guys spent days deep sea fishing to catch what would become the wedding meal. The day before the wedding, they went to the local market and purchased the freshest and most delicious items to put the finishing touches on this farm-to-table delight.

greatest-expectations-destination-wedding (52) greatest-expectations-destination-wedding (51)

Capping the evening off were homemade cookies (Julia’s grandmother’s recipe, no less) and a speciality bourbon bar coordinated by Julia as a surprise for her new husband. It was quite a feat getting all of these rare and expensive bottles from Chicago to Mexico!

greatest-expectations-destination-wedding (53)

Bourbon Bar Greatest Expectations Destination Bourbon Bar Greatest Expectations Destination

greatest-expectations-destination-wedding (54)

It was such a joy to be part of this very happy occasion as a planner and a guest!

Kina Wicks Greatest Expectations Destination WeddingWhile there was no shortage of beautiful photographs from a room full of talented photographers, the images shown here are from Kina Wicks — the official photographer for this wedding.  The only exception is the rehearsal dinner shot which was from our owner, Heather Vickery.