Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RECAP @ The Wedding Planners Episode 3

The holidays are here and The Wedding Planners are helping spreading some cheer! The Wedding Planners are talking with owner Mary of Cake Chicago, DJ Harsh on selecting the right music for your wedding, and how to look glamorous on your wedding day with Celebrity Make-Up artist, Sonia Roselli!

See the full episode right here!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

RECAP @ The Wedding Planners, Episode 2

Just in case you have missed the episodes of The Wedding Planners, we are recapping this talk show about all things wedding this month on our blog! Today, you can review episode 2.

In this episode you will hear from Peggy Lambert and what the trends are for Save the Date Cards, along with tips and tricks from Chicago's Wendy Pashman, owner of Entertaining Company, on how to best work with your caterer. You will also hear from another bride on her wedding planning experience!

Take some time to watch this episode of The Wedding Planners right here!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

RECAP @ The Wedding Planners, Episode 1

Have you caught up with The Wedding Planners lately? Well, if not, we are reviewing the episodes from season one!

In this episode you will get decor tips from Deborah Weisenhaus with Art of Imagination and get some important tips on diamonds and hear from a bride on her DIY projects! Watch this episode right here!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tips for Newly Engaged Couples from Anthony @ Liven It Up Events

Wedding season is about completed making it that time of the year again, engagement season! Engagements are going to common over the next few months from Thanksgiving to Valentine's day. There be plenty of love flowing in the air, but there will also be many questions on where to get started in the wedding planning process! Watch Anthony Navarro, Founder of Liven It Up Events, discuss his thoughts on how to get the wedding planning underway!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Liven It Up Events Presents #LoveIs

What is love? The Team at Liven It Up Events is used to working with many couples in love! These couples fall in love and get married, to create a life together, creating more love, that spreads across their lives with individuals, having children that are loved, creating even more love! So much love! In short, there is a lot of love in our business!

Over the course of the year, the team as been taking snap shots of our weddings, events, people, places and things that we love. We have been posting them on social media sites and spreading what we seem to love. We have been hastaging these photos with #LoveIs.

In light of the passing of the Marriage Equality Bill in Illinois, the team at Liven It Up Events has come together to put into words what it means to plan a wedding and to be in love. This is our #LoveIs Campaign to spread the love to the diverse couples we are privileged to work with. Following the team through our social media sites and watching for our #LoveIs hastags, you will be able to see photos of what we believe #LoveIs.

"Liven It Up Events plans all sorts of weddings for every kind of couple. As a team, we are a diverse bunch that have a common belief, love is love and love is awesome! We create celebrations that fit our clients’ distinctive personalities, wants and needs. From elegant sit down dinners in traditional spaces to funky food stations in unique urban venues, the Liven It Up team works with our couples to create a dream wedding that is their very own."

We believe that

If you believe this, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and watch to see the planners at Liven It Up in the field showing you what #LoveIs all about!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Marriage Equality Comes to Illinois

From Anthony I had been watching the House of Representatives go back and forth all day on Bills, but when it came to the Marriage Equality Bill, I was pretty much glued to the computer screen, listening to what everyone was saying. There were many heartfelt words said, some that made you tear up, some that made you smile, some that made you say “thank you” to the Rep saying the words. In the end, when they said, “Now it is time to vote”, and they the tally board came on the screen and I saw 61 in GREEN and 54 RED, I jumped out of my chair with excitement and then the water works started… tears of joy of course!

Over the past 12 years I have been in the event planning world, I have seen many things. I have countless funny stories, have seen some unbelievable things happen, and have seen how when people come together, they can make mountains move! One of the things I was not sure that I would ever see would be what happened yesterday, the right to marry my partner legally. I remember, back in the early 2000’s we were calling them Commitment Ceremonies and we were not sure if we could call them a wedding. Even as a gay man, working with gay couples, we were not sure what to call the event. Then, we finally had a legal word, Civil Union. And that worked for a while, but that really was not enough. Because of the passing of the Marriage Equality Bill, LGBTQ couples now have the right to be married, the right to the same rights as all married couples, but we also have the language to use to describe ourselves.

Words are powerful. They are our tools in communicating with one another and understanding one another. Now, that a young gay man or a young gay woman can say, when I grow up, I want to get married, have a family, a house, and grow old together, they can say that. And that thought and dream and wish, can come true. We can now have the life we dreamed because legally we can and we have the words to articulate what we want. There is no confusion anymore, there is no hiding anymore, everyone can be married, gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, queer, transgender, we can all be married.

There are so many people to be thankful for this movement. From the Human Rights Campaign, to the NOH8 Group, Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, the local LGBTQ community members who fought for this legislation. All of those who marched in Springfield a few weeks ago, to everyone in between going back to those who stood up against the police at Stonewall in New York City in 1969.

I am thankful for my friends and family who are not afraid to be who they are. For all of the men and women who long ago came out to their families, paving the way to make it easier for each generation to come out. To folks like Ellen DeGeneres, the creators, actors and crew of ‘Will and Grace’, ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’, ‘Queer as Folk’, ‘The L Word’ and ‘Bravo’. These are some of the projects and stations that gave us a voice on TV and gave us role models. I know that without some of these role models, I am not sure that I would have the courage or passion to do what I do.

To the Chicago Wedding Industry, to not be afraid to STAND UP for what they believe in. For supporting the cause, for coming down to Loft on Lake on a whim to show their support. For joining STAND UP and making videos with us to showcase their support. For people like Cher and Steve Garret, when I said, “You might have some friends of yours not like what you are doing by supporting marriage equality.” And the response, “Then we don’t need them as our friends.”

Yesterday was a historic day for our state. I was so happy to see all of my friends change their status on Facebook to ENGAGED. And now, legally, they are engaged. Today is a historic day for Liven It Up Events. Just as two years ago we were so happy to create a Civil Unions tab on our website, I am jumping for joy that it is coming down!

#LoveIsLove #LoveIsEquality #LoveIsLivenItUp

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wedding RECAP @ A Private Residence

Thinking about tenting a back yard and then having your wedding right there?! Well, the team at Liven It Up Events sure knows how to do that for you! This wedding we had this fall, we worked with the couple to have the wedding right in their own backyard! We teamed up with J&L Catering who helped with all of the rentals and we worked together to figure out the tent logistics and the Stu Hirsh Orchestra came in and was able to play for the guests all evening!

Take a look at this great design and clear tent that made this backyard wedding, festive, fun, and enjoyable for all of the guests!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wedding RECAP @ Ida Noyes

One of the best things of having a wedding in Chicago, is it is a city full of history and interesting story for the venues that serve as a backdrop for a wedding or event. Ida Noyes Hall, on the University of Chicago, is just one of those spaces. Ida Noyes is a 3 story, Neo-Gothic, building that was designed in 1916 and when it first opened, it was a gymnasium and Women’s Club. And then look today, 2013, we are using it to celebrate an amazing couple’s wedding day!

This day will filled with a class act from Entertaining Company as the caterer, Scarlet Petal as our floral company with Frost Lighting, Sway Chicago, Sweet Mandy B’s, and a full team of pros that helped make the day come together!

Take a peek at some of the snap shots we took!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wedding RECAP @ Cafe Brauer

Café Brauer is one of Chicago’s premiere wedding venues. It’s nestled in the heart of Lincoln Park and a part of the Lincoln Park Zoo. It does seem that the team at Liven It Up Events is there often for weddings and corporate events. Café Brauer is historic landmark that at one time in the early 1900’s was a restaurant. It was not until the 1940’s where the restaurant closed and the second floor ballroom was used for recreation until the great zoo restoration in the 1980’s where the second floor ballroom, also known as the Great Hall, would be used to rent for private events.

This particular wedding, you can see from our snap shots below, featured a great team of professionals to make it come to life. The team at Café Brauer made it, as always, set the tone with their friendly staff to assist with guest arrival. Entertaining Company created a memorable and decadent menu, while Scarlet Petal created lavish floral arrangements for tables. We had the privilege of working with Bethany Fritz with Maypole Studios, JJ Kim with Orange Weddings, Toast & Jam kept the dance floor packed and Sonia Roselli’s Team enhanced the natural beauty of all of the ladies!

Take a peek at some of the shots we took that evening!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wedding RECAP @ Sofitel Hotel (Again!)

Looking back over the summer, we had quite a few weddings at the Softiel Hotel. This is one of our favorite hotels in Chicago. Just love when you walk in and you are greeted by Guest Services with a peppy “Bonjour!” You cannot help but grin, even if it just a little. Not only that, the ballroom offers a modern back drop for wedding or event and the food! Oh my, it is just out of this world!

The wedding we are looking back at today was for a great couple! They, like most of the folks at the Sofitel, always had smiles on their faces! They selected a great team to work for their wedding. Nadine and Tori with Fragrant Design created the florals for the wedding, while Dennis Lee Photography and JJ with Orange Films captured the day! Al Okyne with Okyne Media Lab kept the dance floor rocking all night long!

Take a look at some of our snap shots we took from the night!

Friday, September 27, 2013

On our Wedding RECAP this week, we are looking back at a wedding we had at Fulton’s on the River. Futlon’s is perfectly located in the heart of Downtown Chicago, right on the River. You can actually have a boat pull right up to the dock and let you walk right into the space. The space is lofted and modern. There are exposed brick walls, concrete columns in the space that create interesting blend of old loft vs. new loft. The team at Liven It Up Events have a few more weddings coming up this year and already a few we are prepping for next year!

This wedding was a destination wedding to Chicago as the couple lived on the East Coast with only some of the groom’s family here. Fulton’s did an amazing job with serving a scrumptious meal, while Art of Imagination and Juliet Tan Floral Designs created a décor concept that fit this couple perfectly. Kristi Sanford with Light on Life Images captured the day and the ladies at Bridal Beauty Chicago only enhanced the natural beauty of the bridal party.

Our favorite part of this wedding was all the groom’s idea of having the music videos to the songs being played live on television screens around the dance floor. It’s was super fun and the guests LOVED it!

Take a look at some of the snap shots we took!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Get the Best Profile Pics for Social Media

Social media goes beyond just making friends. Your social media profiles are the first thing anyone sees when they look you up online. Possible dates, friends and even potential employers will look up your social media profiles. While many people "clean up" their pictures on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, or even keep their profiles private, a profile picture and cover photo is always out there for people to see when they Google you. Too often people leave their profile pictures as simply cropped photos from casual photos. Even worse is having a picture of a cartoon character, their kids, or their pets. None of this creates the first impression a profile picture should make to those you may want to meet you in person.

It is important to have a profile picture that accurately shows who you are while still fitting into the size restrictions of most social media sites. Start by taking a professional looking photo of yourself using professional equipment such as photography backdrops and lighting kits, such as the ones you find at www.yescomusa.com. When taking a photo for use for profile pics, you want something that looks better than the common selfie. This is especially true for social networks such as Linkedin, where employers may see you.

You don't need the same picture for every site. For dating site, you would want a picture that brings out your most attractive qualities. For Facebook and Twitter, you can go more casual and friendly. For Linkedin you may opt for a more professional approach, wearing business-like clothing.

You should make sure your profile picture presents you in as neutral a light as possible. Never have alcohol or drugs on your profile picture or your cover picture. The same goes for extreme political or religious views, no matter where it may fall on the spectrum. Also, never put offensive or pornographic content in your profile or cover pictures.

Once you have appropriate pictures taken, you can use a program such as Photoshop to crop it down to an appropriate size as well as tweaking your photo's imperfections. Use Photoshop with a light hand so that it doesn't look like you have drastically altered your appearance.

Once you have your photos ready to go, upload them onto your various social media sites. Finally, be sure you update your photos every 6-12 months to give an accurate portrayal of yourself online.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wedding RECAP @ The Newberry Library

Today, the Liven It Up Events team is excited to share our Wedding RECAP @ The Newberry Library. This has always been a treasured wedding venue in Chicago not only for the library’s historical significance as well as the gorgeous use of Ruggles Hall. The Newberry has been a part of Chicago’s Gold Coast Neighborhood for decades and has hosted a countless number of weddings.

The modern style in this historic building is what really does it for most couples. At this wedding, you can see how we only enhanced Ruggles natural beauty with some more traditional elements. Juliet Tan Floral Designs did a beautiful job creating traditional elements into the modern look of the room. Occasions Catering created a tasty dinner for the evening, Monastero Entertainment took care of the music, Dawn Roscoe captured the evening on camera, Bittersweet provided a delicious cake and Chicago Bridal Hair and Make-Up enhanced the ladies beauty for the day!

Take a look at this gorgeous wedding!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wedding RECAP @ Spiaggia

This year, we have found ourselves at the private dining room at Spiaggia a couple of times. We say all the time, what a joy it is to work here. Between the over accommodating staff, the beautiful room and views, and some of the most amazing wedding food you will ever taste, it is just wonderful place for hosting a wedding! The wedding we are recapping took place on a beautiful day in June! With help from our friends at Art of Imagination, Juliet Tan Floral Designs, Tablescapes Party Rentals, we were able to enhance the beautiful space. Dolce Strings started the evening off right with the perfect music for the ceremony and for cocktail hour, while Final Say kept the dance floor packed all night! The evening was photographed by Adam Novak and videotaped by RDR Productions. This was a great wedding and we were happy to have it featured in Splash Magazine!

Take a look and see how this amazing wedding all came together!