Wedding dress


Jon and Lauren ~ Real Wedding

"Jonathan and Lauren's story began a little over 11 years ago.  Details aside, their love for one another definitely forced the hands of fate.  They realized that life seemed perfect with the other in it, and their love for one another was unstoppable." I met this couple for the first time and knew that this wedding would be off the charts!  The ceremony and reception was held at The Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rockford, Illinois.   When planning the ceremony they wanted to do something non-traditional so they wrote their own vows which included a "Beer Ceremony" instead of a traditional unity candle.  They wanted the largest dance floor they could have and planned to be on it all night long.  With that said ~ that is what exactly happened!  What a transformation we made.  The original color palette started with a pale yellow and gray with a little bit of the vintage look.  Halfway through our meetings the colors came alive and below is what we ended up with.  Such a whimsical and fun look!  The day called for rain in the forecast but all that we ended up with were some pretty blustery winds!!

These two were such a fun couple!  Always having new ideas and incorporating them through the whole planning process.  I hope you enjoy the photos!


Wedding Planning and Coordination Services:  Accent on Events

Photography:  Heirlooms by Stephanie

Venue:  Prairie Street Brewhouse ~ Rockford, IL

DJ and Lighting Services:  Luxe Productions

Florist:  Event Floral

Specialty Linens:  Beautiful Day Linens

Cake:  Sweet Pans Shoppe

Officiant:   Ryan Krause ~ Elegant Wedding Services

Catering:  Famous Dave's


Best ~ Laura


Wedding Themes and Trends


While is is fun to get ideas from these themes, what matters most is that the bride and groom have a wedding which is true to their vision.  The theme that the couple selects should have some personal relevance and meaning to them as a couple.  Why bother with a theme?  It provides a sense of community to all decisions made about the wedding - from the gowns to the lowers to the reception venue and the foods chosen. Decisions are so much easier once the theme for the wedding is established.  Whether it is a color or a location or a time period or event, the focus is there to insure that this life changing celebration is memorable for participants and guests alike.

  • History lovers may wish to be married in the "Roaring Twenties" of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Art Deco can be the design focus.  Jazz was king and flappers wore short gowns and bling was everywhere.

  • World travelers  - or - dreamers will find a wonderful theme in exotic locations.  Tropical isles, far Eastern spots or Scottish highlands all provide a structure for food, decor, dress or paper products.

  • Bright colors against neutral backgrounds can be very effective.  Instead of carrying out a color theme in the brides maids dresses, have them in a basic shade like platinum and carry out the color theme in the flowers and reception decor.

  • The ceremony and/or reception location can provide the theme for a wedding.  If a museum is chose as the venue, art and sculpture become the theme.  If a garden or beach or ranch is chosen as the site, the theme becomes clear.

  • Medieval accents combines with fairy tail touches work well in historic buildings or modern redos which retain the original stone walls and structures.

If you are confused about how to execute a themed wedding or want to avoid overdoing it ~ Contact us!!  We know weddings!!


Best ~ Laura


The Bride's Mother

Mother and Bride

The Mother of the bride has a very special place in the wedding planning process.  The special role is there whether or not she chooses to accept it.  For some, it is truly a "Mission Impossible".  For others it is the role of a lifetime.  But what is important is that she is included.

With families frequently separated by miles, jobs, schools or military service, the parental roles have changed but what has not changed is the importance of including mom in the planning process whenever possible.  Remember to include mothers who feel left out of the plans.

What can you do?  It's great to involve the groom in the plans but don't forget mom.  She can make wonderful suggestions - so ask her opinion and advice.  Chances are excellent that she has more experience in dealing with things like receptions, parties, caterers and florists than has the bride.

Most bridal fashion stores would counsel a bride to bring only one person with her to select her gown.  That person could/should be mom.  Today's tendency to bring the entire wedding party and solicit each of their opinions on THE GOWN, generally is not a productive event.  Who knows you and your tastes and dreams better than MOM?

She is also a good person to have along when you choose wedding accessories and gifts for your attendants.  After all, she has known you for a long time.

She is the perfect person to take charge of the master guest list.  She can eliminate duplicates, help make decisions on the final list and gather the addresses.

Seek advice on, or let her plan the seating arrangements for the reception.  She'll be the one who knows who should sit with whom and who shouldn't be at the same table.

Among all your friends, she'll be the best at helping you put things in perspective when you feel overwhelmed by it all.  That's what mom's do!


Alternate Sites

Outdoor Reception

When a bride asks about ideas for a non traditional wedding site, before we offer suggestions, we ask how flexible she is.  Planning a wedding at an outdoor site requires arranging two sites.  One is the prime location and the other is an alternate.  The weather has been known to ruin many original plans. Don't let that discourage you from having the wedding you want, but do have backup plans in place. An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths.  It is a perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors or have families with extensive gardens or grounds.  Often outdoor sites are less expensive than closed venues.

The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard offers the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.  The location will set the theme for your wedding celebration and once selected make many subsequent choices easier.  Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed.

Once you have secured Plan A and Plan B. other plans and decisions will flow more easily.  Decorations, food, refreshments, entertainment and guest list will all be governed by the location decisions you have made.

It is good to have another viewpoint and advice on the unusual celebration that you have in mind.  Give me a call at 815-979-7214 or email at



A Few Dont's


As society changes, so do the social amenities that prevailed.  But class is class and something we see done in the name of the “princess bride’s wishes” remain in poor taste. A bridal store reported having a bride ask how to let her guests know that she wanted all of them to dress in black or white or a combination of both.  Her wedding theme was that of a black and white ball and she didn’t want it ruined by someone in a blue suit or a colorful print dress.  The store gave her good advice – “You can’t.”  One doesn’t tell people what to wear anymore than one would tell a hostess what kind of food to serve.  The bride can control the dress of the wedding party, but that is all.  Shad heard the phrase, “It’s the bride’s day”, but had to learn that it didn’t mean everyone must bow to her wishes.  Friends can spread the word but no demands must be made.

Another store reported dealing with a bride who wanted 250 guests to attend her wedding but she planned to walk away from the ceremony and to save money, meet 45 of her favorite guests for a sit down dinner at a restaurant.  The advice to her was Don’t Do It!  She was advised that it would be far better to serve light refreshments to all guests following the ceremony.  This would give everyone a chance to extend their best wishes to the couple and socialize with others in attendance.  If she wished to celebrate with a special group of friends, she should do it after the official reception.  The guiding principle here is that a couple should never do anything to show preferences to one guest over another.

The same advice holds for brides who insist on adding corner copy to their wedding invitation that reads: Cash Gifts Preferred.  Granted, more and more couples would prefer cash as a help for a down payment on a house for instance, but that does not mean that it is ok to include on the invitation to the ceremony.  That kind of news needs to be spread by word of mouth by the bride’s family or friends, or may be included in the website if one has been created.  This kind of request is known in some circles as doing a “Kardashian”.

Let us help you solve puzzles and questions as they arise in the course of your planning needs.


Dress Hunting


For many brides the most exciting part of being engaged is the process of finding “the perfect dress.”  At one time it was a process shrouded in mystery.  Now thanks to many TV shows devoted to gown selection, brides have some ideas about how to go about this wonderful experience.  Some principles have stood brides in good stead for decades.  Here are some areas for today’s brides to consider before they begin to look for that gown. Many brides have a good sense of their own fashion preferences.  They know what looks good on them.  Think about what you wear and why it looks good.  What are your fashion preferences?  Are tailored, frilly, feminine, or casual?  Do you want a gown that reflects those looks or is your wedding gown going to be a complete departure?  Think about the “look” you want for your wedding.  Look at magazines, check out websites and make notes of the styles that catch your eye.  When you go into a wedding salon, one of the questions you will be asked is “Do you have any styles in mind?”  The wedding consultant who will be assisting you in your selection process will prefer to start with gowns that reflect your personal tastes.

Be honest with yourself about your body shape.  If you are tall, you’re lucky.  Lots of gowns are made for tall brides.  If you are short, you’re lucky.  Many designers see the petite bride as their specialty.  If you are heavier in the bust, or in the hips, or thighs or shoulders – be honest with yourself and let the wedding consultant work with you to find the perfect dress to accent or camouflage certain areas.

Think about color:  Gowns are shown in bridal white, soft creamy ivory, silver, gold and all shades in between.  What are your most flattering shades?

When you go into a store to try on gowns, go prepared.  Wear good underwear – especially a bra and any foundation garment you think you may wish to wear under your gown.  If something special is needed for the gown you ultimately choose, your wedding consultant can help with that.  You should wear a shoe with the approximate heel height you’ll wear for the ceremony.

Don’t focus on your dress size.  I watched a TV show in which the bride refused to consider a dress that looked fabulous on her because it wasn’t a size 2.  She stated that she only wore a size 2.  Well forget about the number.  Every designer has his/her version of sizing.  That’s why you are working with a wedding consultant.  She knows her merchandise, the designers she has selected for her store and she will find you the perfect dress with the perfect fit.  Don’t worry about the size and don’t order a smaller dress “planning to fit into it.”  Be guided by the consultant.

Give yourself plenty of time to order the gown, be prepared to make a deposit on your order and think carefully before taking a group with you.  One person whose taste you respect is truly enough – two tops!  It is a special time for you to pick out the gown that means the most to you – not to cousins, godmothers and sorority friends you’ve gathered to participate in this event.

We’ve had years of experience in helping brides find the dress of their dreams.  Contact Accent on Events to assist you.