Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2013 Spring Wedding Color

As the end of the year draws closer, I am pleased to bring you all thing trending for 2013.   Mint will be the color of choice for brides in 2013.  The color mint was huge on the runway at the spring fashion shows this year. You’ll see this soothing, soft color on everything from bridesmaid dresses, save the dates, wedding invitations, flowers and wedding decor. To make the theme more than just the color, mint will also make its way into signature wedding cocktails (mojitos and mint juleps), cakes and cupcakes, centerpieces, and wedding favors.

The vintage trend has brought mint green back to the forefront as it was the color of choice for many home and personal items (such as telephones, typewriters, appliances, bathroom sinks and tile) in the 1940s and 1950s. 

I love mint and baby pink together...very soft.  Consider other color combinations as well such as lemon and mint.  Martha Stewart named this as her perfect wedding color palette combination for a fresh and beautiful wedding.

Refreshing mint lemonade served in specialty bottles and tagged with your guest's table numbers

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sparkle, Post and Win a Rehearsal Dinner for 50!

Want to write your own modern fairytale? Enter for a chance to win a romantic rehearsal dinner hosted by one of Naperville’s premiere wedding spots, Hotel Arista, through the Timeless Photo Contest. If you are a bride-to-be, you are invited to visit Hotel Arista’s Facebook page and submit a photo of your engagement ring to be entered for a chance to win a rehearsal dinner, valued at three-thousand dollars.

The blushing bride who wins will have the chance to invite up to 50 VIP guests to celebrate and dine in a classic and timeless setting, Hotel Arista.  Our expert wedding planners will customize the rehearsal dinner where family and friends will spend their evening in an elegant and intimate atmosphere, while dining on stunning signature dishes that will be sure to delight. Hotel Arista’s AAA Four-Diamond-Award-Winning and old-world style service has created thousands of weddings that are memorable and effortless.

The drawing will take place on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. Brides can sparkle and submit simply by visiting at Hotel Arista’s Facebook page at facebook.com/HotelAristaIL or http://a.pgtb.me/41fDPJ.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ursula & Brent

Three words sum up the recent wedding of Ursula and Brent....Bold, Punchy and Elegant.  The couple chose a color palette of Silver, Orange and Peacock Blue to set the tone for a truly unique and inspirational wedding.  I think this is one of my new favorite fall color combinations.  The couple chose to welcome their guests with many fun surprises.  Vintage Window Panes served as a decorative art piece to display the seating chart.  

Guests dined on butler passed hors d' oeuvres including Crab cakes, Arancine with Sun Dried Tomato Butter, Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Panko Crusted Spicy Chicken Lollipops with Hot & Sour Dipping Sauce.  The highlight of the cocktail hour was the signature cocktail which was developed from a family recipe and included notes of apple, cinnamon and nutmeg.  

As the dinner hour approached and the doors opened to the stunning ballroom, guests were greeted by champagne and the sounds of a live band.  Floral centerpieces and custom table numbers were designed by Kio Kreations.  A combination of tall and short centerpieces were set in conjunction with silver crush linens, custom menu cards and personalized jam jar wedding favors, my favorite was the Moscato Pear Marmalade.  The night continued with a Caprese Salad, Seared Flat Iron Steak with Fig Balsamic Onion Jam and Roasted Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pancetta and Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding.  

The couple's wedding cake was a breathtaking five tier wedding cake complete with lovebirds as a cake topper.  The night finished with guests dancing the night away while enjoying late night snacks of Beef and Pork Sliders along with Truffle Fries and a special "Cookies and Milk" station.  The night was fun, energetic and delightful.  Best wishes to Ursula and Brent as they begin their new life together as husband and wife.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

To Paris with Love...

Orlett and Duke created their chic wedding around a Paris theme.  Rich shades of purple and green set along a platinum backdrop created a whimsical night in Paris friends and family would not soon forget.

Bridal bouquets with custom rhinestone monograms for each bridesmaid and hand painted rhinestones on ceremony programs set the stage for the ceremony held at Naper Settlement.  Guests continued to Hotel Arista and retrieved their place cards set on Mini Eiffel Tower Place card Holders.  As guests entered the ballroom they were mesmerized by Floral Designs provided by Elizabeth Wray Designs.  The bride provided Paris Themed Table Numbers and Menu Cards were wrapped in ribbon accented with a rhinestone broach.  Floral centerpieces included green hanging amaranths, cymbidium, mokara orchids and purple hydrangea.  Purple up lighting and candle lit tables made the night truly magical.

When choosing a wedding location, the couple wanted a venue that would not only be a reflection of the personal style but would provide delicious food for their guests.  Both Orlett and Duke are well traveled and food is a passion they both share.  The menu for the wedding was designed to provide a mix of a traditional Wild Mushroom Soup and Field Greens Salad Course followed by Food Stations including a Made - To - Order Pasta Station, Hand Carved Beef Strip loin and Roasted Turkey Station paired with Polenta,  Haricot Verts and a New Orleans Favorite - Shrimp and Grits!

The dining experience continued with a beautifully adorned four-tier wedding cake provided by "The Cakery" and Coffee Station.

The couple surprised their guests with a "Booz Snow Cone Station" which included Mango Margarita Snow cones and Bride's Choice of Cherry Syrup, Citrus Vodka and Raspberry Infused Lime Aid.  The Groom's Choice...Orange Syrup, Vodka and Midori...Yummy!

Orlett and Duke's wedding day was a true reflection of their love, personal style and journey towards their most special moment of becoming husband and wife.  I wish both of them best wishes as they celebrate their honeymoon in Paris.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"My Effortless Wedding at Hotel Arista" Pinterest Contest Winner

Congratulations to Heather Holtz, winner of our “My Effortless Wedding at Hotel Arista” Pinterest Contest! Thank you to everyone who participated. Heather wins a two night "Mini-Moon" at Hotel Arista, an in-room couples' massage, brunch and dinner at SugarToad, a box of chocolates and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Click here to see Heather's pinboard! And don't forget to visit Hotel Arista on Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bridal Health Tips

Planning a wedding takes months of planning, preparation, and rehearsal. It's your big day, and you want everything to be absolutely perfect. Getting everything in place can be stressful and often, proper nutrition takes a back seat to running errands.

This is the perfect time to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Proper food choices will give you the energy you need to keep up with all the details. You'll feel fit and healthy, ready to handle anything that comes your way.  By combining nutrition and exercise you can feel confident, beautiful, and energetic.  You can enjoy the radiant glow of good health and on the big day when all eyes are upon you, you'll look fabulous.  Have you considered a wedding wellness coach or perhaps taking a bridal boot camp to get you ready for the big day? 

A wedding wellness coach helps you to take stock of all aspects of your health including medical history, lifestyle and diet.  They then assist with overall goals for nutrition and exercise to help you to reach your goals.

If you are interested in enrolling in our Wedding Bootcamp or desire the services of our wedding wellness coach, please contact Donna Pozdol at Olympus Executive Fitness Center.  Donna has over 20 years of group exercise, personal training and management experience,.  She is a nationally-certified personal trainer and also a Lifestyle and Wellness Coach, Zumba Instructor and Certified Yoga Teacher.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Your New Year's Eve Wedding at Hotel Arista

Recently Engaged?  Let us help to plan the wedding of your dreams and enter the new year as husband and wife!  One of the hottest dates of the year has recently become available.   Our grand ballroom can accommodate up to 350 guests and is the perfect setting to bring in the new year with family and friends as we celebrate your union.  Whether you are planning a cocktail reception with midnight champagne toast or formal affair with special midnight delights, we will provide a night your guests will not soon forget!  Please contact our Wedding Specialist for more information
(630) 579-7806

Monday, June 25, 2012

Expert Wedding Advice for Planning a Perfect Wedding

Hotel Arista was recently featured in a new book by Benchmark Publishing Group.  The book features interviews with over 15 top wedding industry professionals based in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles.
Everything that you need to know to plan your most perfect day is featured.  From invitations to gowns, wedding day makeup tips and choosing the right dj...all your questions are answered.  The nature of most weddings is that it's a first-time and often one-time event, where there are no second chances.  The best strategy for getting it right the first time, is to learn from the experts who have years of experience in the wedding industry.  We were so happy to be featured in the book and provide informational wedding venue tips.  It is our hope that the readers will feel confident to plan their wedding with enthusiasm and uncertainty.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Trend Alert: Snow Cones with a Twist

Celebrate your summer wedding with a fun and delicious treat.  When the late night portion of the reception starts, give guests the cue to party down with self serve drinks at the bar.  

A simple dessert becomes an elaborate presentation as adults help themselves at a station stocked with cups, crushed ice, and mojito, peach daiquiri, cosmo and margarita cocktail syrups.  

Late night snacks are extremely popular right now.  Boozy snow cones are a classic childhood treat with an adult twist that pairs well with savory food options.  This colorful crowd pleaser is an exciting and fun trend sure to thrill guests and make your late night festivities memorable.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wedding Monogram Etiquette

Wedding monograms are hot right now and you will see them everywhere!  They provide a great way to personalize your wedding and can be used long after your special day.  Personalize every detail from your wedding programs, cocktail napkins, table numbers, wedding cake topper, dance floor lighting designs or decals, photo booth printouts & wedding favor accents.

Monograms can be as simple or extravagant as you would like.  If you are planning to use a monogram for your wedding day, keep in mind these etiquette rules on how to create and use your wedding monogram:

Generally, monograms consist of three letters or just the single initial of the couples last name. If you are creating your monogram using both of your names, the bride's initial should be used first, followed by the couples last name and lastly the grooms first name

For example, the monogram "RJM" would be used for Rachel and Michael Jones

The most appropriate time to use your wedding monogram is after you say "I Do"

Prior to making it official, wedding monograms should not be used for save the dates, invitations or thank you notes for showers. During the ceremony, it can be used for your programs, aisle runner and guest book.

After the wedding ceremony, your monogram can be used in all areas of the cocktail reception and dinner including menu cards, napkins, dance floor and favors.

Have fun incorporating your personal style, wedding colors and floral.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Friday, March 30, 2012

Vera Wang Spring 2012 Collection

Sophisticated, Romantic and Whimsical are all words that describe Vera Wang's new spring collection.  I had the opportunity to view the new collection at a recent event sponsored by CS Brides.  Trump International Hotel & Tower hosted the sixth annual Evening of Bridal Luxury in their grand ballroom on Sunday, March 18, 2012.  Over 400 brides and their guests gathered for an evening filed with delicious food and gorgeous gowns.  As guests arrived, they were greeted with  butler passed hors d' oeuvres and various food stations set throughout the venue.  Belle Vie Bridal Couture gowns were on display during the cocktail hour followed by an exclusive runway show of the Vera Wang Spring 2012 Bridal Collection.  My favorite, a beautiful Black stretch chiffon and silk faille staples ball gown with sheer boned bodice and nude crushed tulle skirt with laser cut scalloped cascade detail.  After the show, guests were invited to indulge in a sinful dessert bar while viewing fantasy bridal tables provided by Heffernan Morgan.  All brides received a luxury gift bag upon departure filled with luxury items from some of the best wedding pro's in town.  A percentage of the event's proceeds were donated to Bright Pink to support the beauty and health of women.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Platinum & Ruby Red

Kate & John Sisco celebrated their wedding at Hotel Arista with decadent style.  They chose a sophisticated and luxurious color palette of Platinum and Ruby Red for their wedding held in the Grand Ballroom on January 28, 2012.  These colors are so chic and classy!  The colors are extremely versatile and can be used for any season of the year!  After enjoying a beautiful and touching wedding ceremony, guests retreated to the cocktail hour to dine on a selection of hors d' oeuvre including:  Braised Short Ribs with Potato Chip & Horseradish Foam, Crispy Bread with Goat Cheese Mousse & Crispy Basil and Tortilla Chips with Grilled Skirt Steak & Jalapeno Guacamole.  After the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a refreshing and crisp Iceberg Wedge Salad and their choice of Filet Mignon or Crab cake.  A sumptuous slice of red velvet cake was the perfect ending.  Guests danced the night away to sounds provided by Frequency DJ Entertainment.  We wish Kate and John the best towards a beautiful and happy marriage!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cocktail Hour Ideas that "Wow"

The cocktail portion of your wedding may not be at the top of your agenda, but for many guests, those 45-plus minutes spent sipping cocktails and nibbling on decadent hors d' oeuvres are one of the best times of the night.  This hour sets the mood and warms guests up for your reception.  To kick off your celebration, consider these fun ideas:

Tequila and Taco Pairing
This sip and bite duo is sure to keep your guests talking.  Pair taste size portions of tequila with mini tacos to include: fish, beef and chicken
Mini Tuna Tacos can also be paired with margarita shots.

Whiskey and Cheese Pairing 
If you have not tried this taste duo, you might be surprised at how exquisite the pairing when properly matched.  Something wonderful happens as the silkiness of scotch cuts through the creaminess of cheese and flavor notes of one accentuate the other.  Together they offer endless possibilities for intriguing taste combinations.

Micro-Beer Tasting 
Have a small jazz quartet set the tone with a micro-beer tasting, served with cheese selections.  The beautiful colors of the beers make the experience a rich alternative to a wine tasting.  Invite a local brew master to talk to your guests about the different flavors that welcome them with each sip.  You'll find that brewers of fine ale are just as passionate about the beer as the winemakers are about wine.  Besides, your guests will love this interaction.  Consider mini bass ale mugs with shrimp and corn beignets.

Sushi and Sake Tasting
Given the ever increasing rise in requests for sushi bars at weddings, it seems only natural that the demand for super premium sakes is also gaining in popularity.  Select nigiri and maki sushi, sashimi and rolls.  Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and chopsticks.  A Sushi Chef can also be available upon request.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Trend Alert - Tangerine Tango

Wondering what the hottest wedding color will be for 2012?
The color forecaster Pantone declared Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463) the star of 2012, so expect to see the vibrant orange-red hue in everything from table linens and flowers to bridesmaid dresses.  Citrus colors are always refreshing and bright.  You can pair Tangerine with neutral shades like soft cream or slate gray.  The color is bold and playful, yet sophisticated.
The perfect pop of this sexy shade: A delicious shade of tangerine lipstick on your wedding day or a pedicure peeking out under the wedding gown.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Determining the Best Location for your Wedding

While attending a bridal show this past weekend, I was excited to meet with many newly engaged brides.  Many of the brides I met, came with many questions as they were just starting their search and were curious about different options available for their wedding.  Hotels typically provide different offerings than a banquet hall or specialty venue which can make the process confusing when meeting with different venues.  I thought it would be great to provide a list of questions a bride should ask when setting up site visits to determine the best location for their wedding
1) How do I go about finding the best venue for my wedding?
A couple’s venue should reflect their personal style.  Ambiance, Room Size, Color Scheme and On-Site Amenities should all be a part of the evaluation process.  You should also inquire about cuisine and service style.   Be sure to verify the exact capacity of the room ensuring there is enough space for tables, chairs, dance floor, bars, etc
2) What is typically included in the basic room rental?
Some facilities include everything and some require you to rent amenities.  Room rental should include setup and tear down fees, labor, bartender fees, tables, chairs, dance floor, linen, china, glassware, silverware, table numbers and votive candles.  Be sure the inclusions are listed in your estimate.
3) What are the typical fees associated with booking a venue?
A minimum food and beverage revenue commitment is generally required for most venues.  An additional ceremony fee is generally required for on-site ceremonies.  All food and beverage packages are also subject to service charge and sales tax.

4) Are there additional fees to consider?
Typical extras may include a fee for cake cutting, corkage fee for wine or champagne, white glove service, valet parking, coat check and restroom attendants.  If a wedding reception runs longer than the number of hours it was booked for, ask if there are overtime charges.
5) What restrictions are there?
Check with the venue to find out their policy on candles, outside food and beverage being provided and the usage of hospitality rooms.  Ask before you make specific plans.

6) How many restrooms are available?
Be sure there are adequate facilities for the number of guests you plan to have and ask if you are sharing them with another event.  

7) What types of bar services are offered?
Bar options include open bar, consumption and cash bar.  When evaluating packages at each facility it is important to note the difference between bar packages to determine the true value of the overall package.
Understand who will take on liability concerning age limits.

8) Will there be another event taking place at the same time, or before or after my event?
Many facilities have events concurrently or within tight time restrictions.  Verify whether your event will be the only event that day and how much time has been allotted before and after your event , expecially if you will need additional set up time for vendors or if you may decide to extend your event.

9) Does the facility have the proper licenses and insurance?
The facility providing the bar service should have a liquor license as well as liability coverage.  Make sure they have certification from the Board of Health.  If you are hiring an outside caterer, make sure they have the licenses, liability coverage and Health Department certifications the facility and city requires.

10) Is there ample parking and what will it cost?
Is the parking free or in a nearby garage where they will need to pay?  Can reduced rates be arranged for guests for overnight parking in the hotel or during the event in a parking lot?  

11) How many hours should I book a venue for my wedding reception?
A typical wedding reception lasts about 6 Hours from the start of the cocktail hour until the end of the event.  An additional hour should be allotted for an on-site ceremony.  Wedding service begins with butler passed hors d’ oeuvres followed by a three course or four course plated dinner with champagne toast and wine service with dinner.  Dancing and open Bar follow after dinner.  The average start time for most couples is 6:00pm with an average ending time of 12:00
12) Do prices generally vary by day of the week or the time of the day?  If so, how and when do prices fluctuate?
As a full service hotel, our catering pricing fluctuates based upon time of year as well as day of the week.  Off Peak Season is generally December – March for most facilities.   Special Discounting is also available for Friday and Sunday Weddings.  Many brides will find that rentals such as linen, specialty chairs, floral, etc. are offered at discounted pricing at this time as well.
13) Is a microphone available for speeches, is this generally provided?
Microphones are available at an additional rate.  Many couples utilize the wireless microphone provided by their DJ or Band for Speeches.
14) How does it work with insurance for the event and what types of insurance are customary?
All vendors (third parties) contracted for the wedding must be licensed and insured.
15) If the event is cancelled or re-scheduled, is the deposit refundable?
At the time of contract, the bride and groom provide a deposit.  The deposit will be applied to outstanding customer charges, or in the event of cancellation, toward the applicable cancellation fee

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Planning for 2012

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Congratulations to all future brides who have recently become engaged.  This is an exciting time full of anticipation about how your dream wedding will come to fruition.  Consider these top things to do after getting engaged:

1) Announce your Engagement
Share the exciting news with your family and friends.  This is the first thing you will want to do upon getting engaged.  After speaking with friends and family, call your local newspaper and anywhere else you want your engagement announcement to appear. There may be a publication fee.  You can check with the newspaper about writing guidelines and/or standardized forms. 

2) Set a Wedding Timeline
Decide how long your engagement will be. This is typically based upon your ideal wedding date and the amount of time it will take to prepare.  Most engagements last anywhere from six months to a year.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to plan also keeping in mind most reception sites and vendors book a year or more in advance. 

3) Determine your Wedding Reception Style
Your location will ultimately help to shape your wedding style, whether an outdoor nature setting or luxurious ballroom setting.  Take this time to also think about wedding colors and/or wedding theme.

4) Set your Budget
The following items will play a major roll in your budget.  Be sure your wedding venue and selected vendors fit within your overall budget:

Date / time: Saturdays, summer months, and evenings tend to be the most costly time of year to have a reception.

Decor: Floral, Linen, Lighting, Ceremony Decor

Entertainment: Band vs. DJ

Transportation: Shuttle Bus / Trolley / Limo

5) Organize
Get an iPad or iPhone app, a datebook or calendar to help create a timeline for wedding-related tasks. .

6) Choose your Attendants
This is a great time to honor friends/family by selecting them to be a part of the big day.  Your attendants are a great resource to help with wedding details.  Be sure to ask early and inform them about your plans. 

7) Make a Guest List
Develop a potential guest list and also ask parents about their ideal guest list.  This will help to keep you on track with your wedding budget.  You may have to scale down the guest list if costs exceed the budget or you may find that if your guest list is smaller than expected, you know have additional money in the budget to spend on wedding decor or food for the wedding reception.

8) Start Gown Shopping
It's never too early. Start by figuring out which style will look best on you.  Bridal Magazines provide a great tool to get you started.  You can view different dresses and determine which dress may fit your personal style.  When selecting your dress, keep in mind the weather conditions at the time of your wedding.  Shantung, satin, silk and tulle are perfect year round.  If you are getting married in the winter, brocade and velvet fabrics will keep you warm.  For the summer, lightweight fabrics such as organza, chiffon or linen work best.

9) Create a Wedding Website
This is a great way to communicate important information to your wedding guests.  Make it fun by including Trivia about the way you met or how he proposed.  Also include pictures and wedding details as they are finalized.

10) Start a Wedding Savings Account
Start a savings account for the big day.  Check on deposit amounts required by vendors as well as time frames that additional payments will be due for the wedding.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist