Monday, December 30, 2013

La Di Events Facebook Contest!

Hey friends! I hope you're all having a lovely holiday season. It's the most wonderful time of the year! But you know what makes everything even MORE wonderful? WINNING A PRIZE!!

Well you're in luck, because La Di Events is running an awesome Facebook contest which could help make your holiday season (a.k.a. engagement season) the best ever!

Here's how it works:

1) Like us on Facebook. If you've already done that, you're ahead of the game! If you haven't, you can do it right now by clicking on this link:

2) Comment on something. You can write on our wall or comment on a post or picture. Just talk to us- we like hearing from you!

3) You can comment as many times as you would like, but only one post per day will get entered into the drawing. So come back and comment every day for more chances to win!

By now you're probably like, "This all sounds great, but I'm here for the prize. Get to the good stuff!"

Okay, okay- I will. One lucky winner will receive HALF OFF of her entire Day Of Coordination Services! That works out to be about $500 in savings!!! And who wouldn't like to free up some money in their wedding budget, right?

AND if it turns out you need more planning help then our standard DOC offers, you can apply those savings to knock $500 off of your custom partial of full coordination. Hooray!

Now here are some of the extras, notes, etc. 

First, this prize is subject to our availability. If we already have maxed out our bookings on your date, we will have to move on to the next winner. But we really hope that won't happen! And even if it does, we'll send the original winner a happy gift basket, and provide them with a free phone consult to offer some tips and recommendations.

Second, as I mentioned before, you can only get your name entered into the drawing once per day, by commenting on our Facebook. Feel free to comment away, but you can only get your name entered once per day.

Third, posts that you made before the contest began do not count for entries. Sorry, friends!

Finally, the contest ends at 12:00 AM on February 15th, so get busy posting before then!

And that's everything! Feel free to contact Amanda ( or myself ( any time if you have any questions about the contest. And get excited, people! This is going to be awesome!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Nick and Mary Pat Barmantje

Today's Throwback Thursday features a couple whose happy marriage of over 30 years is a true inspiration. Since this day in 1982, the Barmantjes have raised three amazing children and become great members of their community, but today we're looking back at the wedding that started it all!

Couple's Name: Nick and Mary Pat Barmantje

Wedding Snapshot:

Wedding Date: February 20, 1982
Ceremony Location: Our Lady of the Wayside church in Arlington Heights, IL 
Reception Location: The Barn of Barrington
Number of Guests: 180
First Dance Song: I Love You Just the Way You Are
Bridesmaid Dress Color: Teal

How did you meet?

We met at college, at Eastern Illinois University.

When and how were you engaged?

We were engaged in 1981.  Nick took me to a fancy restaurant and proposed.  We bought a bottle of champagne to bring to my parents house to celebrate.

Throwback Extra: The women in this picture have all been friends since kindergarten!
What was your most memorable wedding day moment?

We were concerned about the weather.  Getting married in Chicago in February can be risky.  It was a rare semi warm sunny day.  Being a 2nd grade teacher, many of my students were at the church.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?


What is one piece of advice that you can give to our brides and grooms?

Always keep the lines of communication open and remember to laugh together!!

Thanks Nick and Mary Pat for being a part of Throwback Thursday! If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Chad and Sarah Ward

Couples Name:   Sarah and Chad Ward

How did you meet?   We met at a party after a basketball game over Thanksgiving break in 1996.  However, during the Pumpkin Fest Parade that same year I was working at the Sports Booster’s pork chop booth, and saw him on the Sycamore News Float in the parade and thought he was cute!  We went on our first date at the beginning of December and just before Christmas I saw a picture of him on the float and realized it was the same guy!!!

 When and how were you engaged?   We were engaged officially in January of 1998.  We had already selected the diamond from a friend in the US Virgin Islands and had the ring created there and shipped.  I expected him to propose at the Blackhawks game we went to the first weekend in January, but he didn’t.  The ring came in the mail on January 8th and that same day Chad’s boss sporadically played a song that reminded him of me and he left work quickly, ran across the street, bought a red rose, and raced up to my classroom where he proposed. 


Wedding Snapshot:
Wedding Date:   11-28-98 (Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary, Sarah and Chad!!)
Ceremony Location:   Disciples United Methodist Church, Mt. Morris, Illinois
Reception Location:   Ballroom of a Hotel in Rock Falls, Illinois
Number of Guests:    between 275-300

First Dance Song:    Is it bad I can’t remember?  ; )  I’ll ask Chad. (neither one of us could remember!) ;)
Bridesmaid dress color:  Black


Most memorable wedding day moment?    My favorite part of the entire wedding weekend was the time spent with our closest friends AFTER the rehearsal dinner.  We hung out in the pub connected to the hotel and stayed up way too late laughing, talking, and reminiscing.  At that point in my life, many of my closest friends were far from home at grad school and working out of state. It was a gift to have them all together.
As for the wedding itself, the flowers (fire and ice roses) were absolutely stunning!  I wanted a holiday feel to the wedding and they really felt festive. 

If you could do it all over again would you change anything?  I would do a destination wedding!


What is one piece of advice you can give to our Bride and Grooms? 
Don’t let outside conflicts and opinions factor in – as much as possible.  More is not always better and in the end, looking at the photos should bring you joy, not bad memories.

If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Jeff and Caroline Berman

Today's Throwback Thursday is the romantic true story of a couple married over 18 years ago, and still as happy today as they were on their wedding day. Get ready to reminisce with this wonderful couple!

Couple's Name:  Jeff and Caroline Berman

Wedding Snapshot

Wedding Date: May 13th, 1995
Ceremony Location: St. Lambert's Catholic Church, Skokie, IL
Reception Location: Bristol Court Banquets, Mount Prospect, IL
Number of Guests: 210
First Dance Song: "I'll Always Love You" by Taylor Dane (Note: Jeff didn't love the song, but they both loved the lyrics.)  
Bridesmaid Dress Color: Burgundy

How did you meet?

We met on July 24th 1992, at Old St Pat's Block Party in Chicago, in the beer line!

When and how were you engaged?

We got engaged 1/29/1994.  Jeff took me to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants: Lindo Mexico. Right before the check arrived, Jeff said he forgot his wallet in the car and would be right back. While I sat there waiting, Jeff went back to my apartment around the corner and changed into a suit and tie from jeans. The waiter kept walking by smiling, and about 10 minutes later came by with a note in an envelope. It said "The bill is paid, here is $20 for cab fare. Take a cab to 2639 Sheffield and tell them your name."

I walked outside to beautiful fluffy snow falling and took a cab to the address. It turned out to be my favorite romantic bar-- Pops for Champagne.  I went to the door and told them my name. They brought me to a small table and soon brought a beautiful red rose and champagne. I said "I didn't order this," and they just smiled at me.  A couple of minutes later, the waiter brought me a card with the sweetest words I ever heard: Jeff telling me how much I meant to him and how much he loved me! I started crying and when I looked up, Jeff was down on one knee, in his suit and tie and asked me to be his wife!

Of course I said YES!! And everyone around us started clapping!

That was almost 20 years ago and he still gives me butterflies and continues to surprise me! I made the best decision of my life that night, and four kids and 20 years later, I feel like I love him even more!!!

This adorable note was a key part in Caroline & Jeff's proposal story.  Caroline saved it- how sweet!

What was your most memorable wedding day moment?

Two things were soo memorable-- RAIN and nerves.

I got married in May and I thought I would have a beautiful Spring wedding! HAAAA! Nature had other plans for us, like 45-50 degree weather, gusting winds, and RAIN!! They said it was good luck to have rain on your wedding day, but I thought they were just saying that so brides didn't have a nervous breakdown.

Turns out it was true- I got so lucky when I married Jeff!

My other most memorable moment was really how incredibly nervous I was. I was shaking on the way down the isle, but once we said our vows, I relaxed so much, finally smiled, and enjoyed the day even though it it was pouring outside!

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

My wedding was beautiful and the only thing I would change (besides the weather, which none of us have control over!) would be to not worry about all of the small details, which don't seem so small at the time. Just enjoy the day and try to remember as much as you can because it goes by soooo fast!

What is one piece of advice you can give to our Brides and Grooms?

GO ON A HONEYMOON!!!!  I don't care if it is an hour away or the most exotic trip! Get away afterwards to celebrate your day, spend time together, relax, and begin the next chapter in your lives. Besides, after all of the months and possibly years of planning a wedding, truthfully, you feel a little sad when it is all over. The honeymoon gives you something to look forward to and enjoy, just the two of you!

If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Monday, November 18, 2013

Real Wedding Recap: Amy & Jason, Burpee Museum and Francesco's Ristorante

Hey Everyone!

We have another lovely wedding recap for you guys.  This time we're talking about Amy & Jason's incredible artichoke themed event, which took place on September 21st. A big thanks to Ryan Davis Photography for capturing this beautiful day, and allowing us to share it. Let's take a look!

I mean, could you ask for a more perfect day? I don't think so. This stunning ceremony took place at the Burpee Natural History Museum's outdoor ceremony space, overlooking the Rock River.  The elegant sounds of the Nerius String Quartet helped to complete the romantic feel of this wedding ceremony. It was GORGEOUS!

As guests entered the ceremony, they were treated to delicious apple cider- a perfect addition to a fall wedding!

And when the ceremony ended, guests walked out to another treat- ice cream from Dairyhaus! This was seriously genius. It added such a fun, happy element to the post ceremony celebration, and OMG- that ice cream is delicious.  Those folks at Dairyhaus really know what they're doing.  

Let's talk about these awesome flowers from Event Floral.  Remember how I said the wedding was artichoke themed?  And you probably thought, "Hmm, artichoke themed? What does that mean?" THIS. This is what it means.  Are you as blown away as I was?  Who knew artichokes would make for such a lovely bouquet?! The artichoke theme was woven subtly into other elements throughout the day, with artichokes making an appearance on Amy & Jason's programs, wedding signs, and menus.

Now let's move into the reception, which looked AWESOME.  Francesco's in Rockford made the perfect setting for this elegant evening, and the staff there couldn't have been more wonderful.  How beautiful does this room look?

Now look at these ADORABLE favors. These gourmet caramel apple favors from Mrs. Prindable's were almost too cute to eat! They were a huge hit with guests, and made a sweet addition to an already gorgeous table.

Amy and Jason have great taste in sweets.  After an absolutely delicious dinner by Francesco's, guests made room for this dreamy dessert.  This Havana Dream Pie came all the way from Joe's in Chicago, and trust me- it was worth the trip.  It was AMAZING.

ISN'T THIS THE SWEETEST PICTURE?  I love it.  To complete this recap, let's admire how great this gorgeous couple looked. Amy's stunning hair and makeup was done by the incredible Jamie Herst.  Doesn't she look beautiful?  Congrats Amy & Jason! Thanks so much for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful day!

Ceremony Venue: Burpee Museum
Reception Venue: Franchescos
Photographer: Ryan Davis Photography 
Florist: Event Floral
DJ: Ted O'Donnell, Luxe Productions
Musicians: Nerius String Quartet
Hair and Makeup:  Jaime Herst
Linens and Draping: Beautiful Day Linens
Gourmet Apple Favors:
Havana Dream Pie:
Ice Cream: Dairyh√§us

Wedding Planner: La Di Events 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Matt and Jeannine Harvell

Couples Name: Matt and Jeannine Harvell

Wedding Snapshot:
Wedding Date: 11/25/1989
Ceremony Location: Salem Lutheran Church, Sycamore, IL
Reception Location: Matthew Boone's, DeKalb, Illinois
Number of Guests: 300
First Dance Song: Color My world (Our song was sung at wedding): Always by Atlantic Star
Bridesmaid dress color: Black and white

How did you meet? Matt was moving a relative out of one of my parent's apartments. I answered the door after hopping out of the shower, dripping wet! The next week Matt came looking for me at a Sycamore playoff football game.

When and how were you engaged? June 6, 1987 at my high school graduation. Matt got down on his knee and asked me to marry him at my parent's house right before the graduation ceremony.

Most memorable wedding day moment? It snowed in the morning and it was so beautiful.

If you could do it all over again would you change anything? We would have gone to a different honeymoon destination because we were in a car accident in Longboat Key, Florida. We also wish we would have hired a videographer because we don’t have a video of our wedding day.

What is one piece of advice you can give to our Bride and Grooms? Forgive and communicate. Enjoy the day and don’t worry about everything.

If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Chuck and Glenda Stowe


Couples Name:
Chuck and Glenda Stowe
Wedding Snapshot:
Wedding Date: May 10,1980
Ceremony Location: Salem Lutheran Church, Sycamore, Illinois
Reception Location: DeKalb Elks Club
Number of Guests:250
First Dance Song: "Help Me Make It Through The Night"
Bridesmaid dress color: Light Blue

How did you meet?
We met when I applied for a job as Service Secretary at Appletree Stereo. I got the job after the other person turned it down! That was the beginning of Oct 1979.
When and how were you engaged?
We became engaged in Feb 1980. We had been dating for a couple months and I thought that it was going to cause problems with my job so I went to tell him that we should probably stop dating and he said "How about marrying me?" He came and picked me up the next day and we went to pick out an engagement ring.
Most memorable wedding day moment?
The best man lost his tie and it was in his pocket the whole time! When the wedding ceremony started it was dark and rainy. Then 20 minutes later when our pastor was ready to pronounce us husband and wife the sun came shining through the church window. The pastor said God had blessed this union!
If you could do it all over again would you change anything?
Well we would have had a  photographer who had a camera that worked! Half of our wedding pictures were supplied from our parent's Polaroid's. Also, the powder blue tuxedos!!
What is one piece of advice you can give to our Bride and Grooms?

That it's one day in your life together! My husband and I planned our wedding in 2 months! Treat it as a party, not a production! All you need is food, friends, and family- and Chuck says beer and a band! No DJ!
If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Monday, October 21, 2013

Real Wedding Recap: Gwen & Mike, Acquaviva Winery

Hey Friends!

Guess what? We are starting a new series of blog posts in which we provide a full breakdown of some of the fabulous big days that we've been lucky enough to be a part of. We have seen SO MANY WONDERFUL moments, while so many lovely La Di couples tied the knot. So get excited people, because things are about to get BEAUTIFUL!

We're going to start with the absolutely stunning wedding of Gwen & Mike, which took place at Acquaviva Winery on June 8, 2013. Get ready to gasp at all of the gorgeousness in three...

Am I right about the gorgeousness? That really happened, and we can all thank Redwall Photography for capturing this amazing moment, and for providing all of the beautiful photos that we're about to obsess over.

Gwen & Mike's incredible ceremony took place in the midst of Acquaviva's lovely vineyard. They provided fruit infused water for their guests before the ceremony, which looked lovely and left guests happy and hydrated!

Gwen walked down the aisle to the sweet sounds of the Nerius String Quartet. They sounded incredible. If you were thinking that there is nothing more romantic than a string quartet in a vineyard, then you are absolutely right.

The weather was absolutely perfect throughout the whole ceremony, and Rev. Toni Maddi did an incredible job officiating. During one particularly memorable moment, Rev. Maddi had the couple take a moment to turn out and face the crowd, to see how much everyone there loved them. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't tear up a bit there.

The couple's dog made an adorable addition to their wedding party. She was a real class act, standing proud and tall throughout the ceremony.

Immediately following the ceremony, guests headed to the reception across the street, at Acquaviva's stunning restaurant. In keeping with the wine theme, the escort cards were made from corks from wine bottles. They were adorable.

Even more adorably themed was the guest book, which was a wine barrel that guests were invited to sign. What an incredible piece of decor that Gwen and Mike can now incorporate into their home, as a reminder of both their special day, and of the love of their family and friends! 

Gwen and Mike's centerpieces were expertly composed by Tiffany of The Petal Boutique. I loved how elegant and simple the combination of the flowers and lanterns turned out.

Tiffany also provided olive branches to lay around the gorgeous cake, to make sure that the rustic Italian villa vibe carried into the cake-display as well!

Cake cutting is not always easy. Honestly, who among us has any real experience cutting tiered cakes? The perks of having a planner: when Gwen & Mike had some trouble getting the cake on the plate, it was Amanda to the rescue!

After cutting the cake, the lovely couple hit the dance floor for their first dance. Let's take a moment to admire how absolutely gorgeous they look. Gwen's INCREDIBLE hair and makeup was the work of the super talented Jamie Herst. Her look was so classic and beautiful. And her dress was absolutely to die for! 

I'm not being cheesy, I'm just being perceptive when I say: look at how obviously in love they are. It's so sweet and wonderful to see a couple that is THIS happy to be with each other. Thanks so much to Gwen & Mike for allowing us to be a part of your incredible day. We wish you a lifetime of happiness and love!

Venue: Acquaviva Winery
Photographer: Redwall Photography
Florist: The Petal Boutique
Dj: Music by Design
Musicians: Nerius String Quartet
Hair and Makeup: Jaime Herst
Officiant: Rev Toni Maddi
Wedding Planner: La Di Events

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cutest Wedding Readings Ever: Kids Books

Let's get real for a second. What is your favorite book? What book do you love more than any book in the world, and makes you smile when you think of it, and makes you want to make sure that every person in the world reads it at least once so they know how great it is? For some of you smarties, that book is going to be something like One Hundred Years of Solitude or The Sound and the Fury or Gone With the Wind. English majors, theater people, and liars will say that it's something by Shakespeare. Every teenage girl will say it's one of the Twilight books, and 37% of the world will say Harry Potter. And all the people that are left will be honest, and say it's a kids picture book. Because kid's books are frickin' fantastic.

These kids know what's up.  Image borrowed from here.
So, if you know how awesome kids books are, and you're having a slightly nontraditional ceremony, why not consider a reading from an amazing book that meant a lot to you in your formative years? Before you get all "What? That's crazy!" consider these things:

1. Odds are, a kids book has a more prominent place in your heart and your memory than some random poem on a wedding reading website, even if that poem is very pretty and romantic.

2. Can you imagine how crazy and wonderful it would be to read your children and grandchildren the same book that was read at your wedding?  I mean- OMG.  SWEETEST. THING. EVER.

3. I really like this idea, so just consider it, okay?

And if those arguments weren't convincing enough, please consider the following books, and then tell me you don't want a picture book read at your wedding.

1. Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boyton

Are you a cool, fun couple who doesn't take themselves too seriously?  Then this adorable book might make the perfect wedding reading for you.  The text of this book was also recorded as a song by Davy Jones, which is pretty darn cute, and could very easily make a sweet encore appearance at you reception. Here's an excerpt: 

I like you a lot. 
You're funny and kind. 
So let me explain 
What I have in mind. 
I want to be your personal penguin.
 I want to walk right by your side. 
I want to be your personal penguin.
 I want to travel with you far and wide.

2. I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

I am not convinced that this book wasn't written for the sole purpose of being read at wedding ceremonies, while everyone smiles with happy tears in their eyes.  It is a perfectly perfect expression of love, friendship, and companionship. The entire book is wonderful- so much so that it would be really difficult to pick a single passage for a reading.  Go ahead and read the whole darn thing! Here are some of the many amazing moments:

I like you because

I don’t know why, but

Everything that happens

Is nicer with you.

I can’t remember when I didn’t like you.

It must have been lonesome then.

I would go on choosing you,

And you would go on choosing me,

Over and over again.

That’s how it would happen every time.

I don’t know why

3. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This book is definitely a children's classic, and most people read or owned a copy at some point in their childhood. And while you probably remember bits and pieces, I bet you don't remember how incredibly sweet, wise, and quite frankly, profound, the Skin Horse was. That old horse had a lot of valuable advice that is equally applicable to the lives of toy rabbits and newlywed humans.  Here's what I'm talking about:

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

So there you have it. And believe it or not, these are just a few of the many MANY kid's picture books that would make amazing wedding readings.  Some other great options include Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. And I bet if you raid your childhood bookshelf, you'll find a lot more.  So do it! And then tell me about all of the other incredible, touching wedding readings disguised as children's picture books. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bridal Beauty Tips from Fashion Icons

I'm willing to bet that you have NEVER thought about your outfit more than you've thought about your wedding day look.  Have you ever bought a dress MONTHS in advance, and then had multiple fittings to make sure it's just right?  Have you ever agonized so much over your shoes?  Have you ever scoured the internet for belts, earrings, necklaces, and hair combs to complete your ensemble for a single day?  If the answer to that question is anything but "no", I worry that you may A) have a shopping addiction and B) be SERIOUSLY overdressed on a regular basis.

And while it's pretty awesome to be pulling together the loveliest look of your life, it can get a little stressful, right?  If you get too wrapped up in the importance of the look, it's pretty easy to take that sharp turn into crazytown. And then, before you know it you're in some church bride's room, forcing your bridesmaids to superglue Swarovski crystals to your train.  You don't really want Swarovski crystals superglued to your train, right?  I didn't think so.  So let's chill out, take a deep breath, and listen to some great advice from the world's most famous fashion icons.

1. "Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off." -Coco Chanel

It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the bridal accessories. Bridal salons would love to convince you that you NEED that cathedral length veil, tiara, those sapphire drop earrings, the crystal necklace, tennis bracelet, and beaded sash. If you WANT all those things, go ahead! But history has shown us that understated is almost always better than overdone, so don't ever feel pressured into excessive bling!

2. "Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live." - Gianni Versace

I CANNOT STAND when a bride is talked out of a look that she loves because it is too old for her, too young for her, too modern, too dated, not cool, etc. Do you love it? Then it's perfect. If there's one day that you want to look like yourself, it's your wedding day. Don't let anybody talk you out of it! 

3."Elegance is the only beauty that never fades." -Audrey Hepburn

Being graceful, happy, and calm on your wedding day is so much better than being a panicked bridezilla. Remember to take a deep breath, relax, have fun. Stress shows, and nothing is more beautiful or elegant than a happy bride.

4. "Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." - Sophia Loren

Know how beautiful you look!! Honestly, I have never seen a bride look anything less than SUPER PRETTY, and you'll look even lovelier if you're confident about it. You look gorgeous. Own it.

5. "The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves." -Yves Saint-Laurent

BAM! Yves just brought it home with that one. Cool true fact: At the end of your wedding day, you will be married to the person you love. And I bet that person thinks you're a total knockout no matter how you look! So remember that, and don't freak out about the little stuff. Big picture: You're getting married. That's awesome.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin