holidays got us all:

Winter in Chicago is a magical (and cold, yes, very cold) time, and there are countless ways to be sure you make the most of it. Here are just a few things we are loving this season in the Second City:



You won't find old ladies with tables of cottonball snowmen at these craft fairs. Instead, they are chalk full of eclectic, hand-made arts and goods from around the US. Great for holiday shopping and giving gifts with a story (plus it's the perfect way to shop small)!



This month, the Logan Theater is showcasing Christmas movies on their big screen (also rumored to be mixing up some fab holiday cocktails at the bar). Check the link for the full schedule. Bring on the nostalgia!


It just wouldn't be Christmas without watching the rat king in tights dance on stage to classical music. The Joffrey Theatre is keeping the tradition alive by performing the Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre through December 27. Also, the Goodman Theatre downtown Chicago is performing A Christmas Carol, so don't miss out on your yearly dose of Scrooge!




Lincoln Park Zoo. Christmas lights. Ice sculptures. Spiced wine. Need we say more?


The very brand new skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is the perfect place to show off your skating skillz and take in the cityscape. If you're single, it's the place to mingle, and maybe start your own love story. (Try this line as you glide past a cutie - "How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice?")


Pile on the layers and head downtown to check out the outdoor German Christmas Festival - Christkindlmarket. You can't go wrong with steins of imported beer, German roasted almonds, and a room filled with candy from across the world. And again - another great way to shop small!



Everyone has that neglected coat that's been in the back of your closet for years. Donate it! Check out any of the donation locations in Chicago. Hoard less and help keep our city warm! 


There's no better way to give back to the city you love than by helping families in need. The Greater Chicago Food Depository helps ensure the people of Chicago have food to eat and they're always accepting; monetary donations, volunteers, or help with a food drive

Cheers to a happy and safe winter full of JOY!

Holiday Entertaining with Macy's Home - Girls' Night Out Event

The season for giving is here, fret not! We're here to help with your holiday hosting woes. Bride + Joy Events was invited to partner with Pyrex for an event at Macy's on State Street, downtown Chicago. We were dishing out pie and showing off ideas for DIY favors and easy decorating tips for your holiday.  My favorites include; the take home pie (mason) jars, the  twine and wood signage, and the Pyrex filled succulent gardens. Also be sure to check out the stamped fabric labels :)  We had a blast putting this table together and hope it brings you inspiration for your entertaining! 

Photos by Belen Aquino of Gerber + Scarpelli


Katelin + Robert's Spooktacular Halloween Wedding

Despite the bitter cold on Halloween 2014, Katelin and Rob were all smiles, and their Halloween-inspired wedding was a huge success! The Salvage One reception included sweet and simple decor, custom hand-painted pumpkins, an extravagant candy station, masquerade masks, and even a custom keg from Goose Island catering. These two knew how to throw a party and their joy was (and still is!) contagious.  Happy anniversary, Risleys!  Photos by Angel Eyes Photography

Flower Power!

May is here,  which means summer in Chicago is near and we are ready for all the bright and beautiful wedding floral that comes with the season.  Be happy + be inspired! 

Above Photos By: David Lai

Courtney + Jaime's Classic Chicago Wedding

Courtney and Jaime weren't ones to waste any time, they knew what they wanted and we made it happen in 3 short months.  With Jaime's family coming from Panama, they wanted to showcase the very best of Chicago, and let this beautiful city of ours serve as the backdrop for their romantic day. Ceremony in the park and reception on the river, all captured by the very talented Braxton BlackThey had a deep adoration for their families and wanted to be sure to incorporate that into the day; vintage wedding photos were pinned on bouquets, Courtney's nieces and nephews cut the cake, salsa music was played and panamanian coffee went home with each guest. Enjoy some of the best classic Chicago wedding photos I've seen to date. Thanks to Braxton Black from Jeremy Lawson Photography for the remarkable photos. Cheers to Courtney and Jaime, wishing you a life filled with a happiness, love and lots of salsa dancing.