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Changes, Trends and Celebrations!

Keeping all things fresh, new and trendy is always important when speaking to your audience. CCE knows the key to a happy and return client is to provide premier service and  change with the times. And, for 15 years, that’s exactly what we’ve done! Knowing the latest products, services and clients’ needs continues to challenge and help CCE succeed.  The past decade and a half has brought many highs and lows for me. A roller coaster of emotions and anxiety of perfecting every detail led to many long hours, but I built confidence and gained with pride with each and every event. And, 2019 is no different. Charting unfamiliar territory in new destinations allows CCE to be enlightened as we experience these adventures right alongside our clients. Being fulfilled with the hard work and long hours, we can happily say we do it all with love and devotion. Developing our passion and whistling while we work, we happened to be titled one of Chicago’s top 30 event planners this year. Cue the champagne!  Assisting clients with milestone affairs has been a journey for me and my team. Each event has brought me an immense amount of joy while being a learning experience at the same time-holding a special place in my heart. CCE has confronted challenges head-on and continues to provide the best service from beginning to end with each contract. Building my business also included growing with a team of experts. Here’s to us ladies! Like any business owner, I reevaluated my personal and business goals. On a personal level, I’ve knocked down my daily hours and taken a little more time for myself. On the business side, CCE needed a trendy facelift. Happy Anniversary to us! A private and professional photoshoot took place to kick-off this year’s celebration.

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Butterfly

The Key to Happiness is Love-An Enchanting Bridal Shower

It was an enchanting luncheon for the beautiful bride-to-be. Lauren was showered with love, gifts, a customized menu and decadent desserts. Spring flowers and butterfly compliments were arranged delicately at each dining table. Glowing candles added to the ambiance of the lush flowers. Guests’ seats were designated with ribbon-tied antique key escort cards; matching the themed phrase ‘the key to happiness is love,’ also stamped on cocktail napkins. The mystical decor was set at Barrington’s finest, Region Restaurant, where the entire atmosphere was designated for the special event. A unique menu with exceptional fare including a special touch from our very own Christina Currie, a heart-shaped parmesan crisp on the caesar salad. Collaborating with the versatile chef on culinary creations is one of the many reasons CCE enjoys working with local partner vendors. Each and every gracious staff member made Lauren’s experience magical. The ‘Lovely Lauren’ was the signature drink, pairing well with the hors d’oeuvres. Colorful French macaroons, boutique cakes and personalized cookies were the icing on the cake while everyone gathered to watch Lauren open her gifts! This bridal shower was a very personal, premier affair that CCE had the pleasure of putting together for our longtime friend/client. With style,

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Tipping-What’s Proper Etiquette and How Much?

There are many pieces to a puzzle, and the same goes for your big event. In order to throw the ultimate soirée, many vendors are usually necessary to ensure every element is executed properly. From the décor to caterers and entertainment, the list can be short or long, but every list has a well deserving team for extra tips! Now the question might be, ‘Who to tip?’ Some services add on gratuity to their contracts, but others not. Depending on the company, think about extra staff that helps with day of set up, or the band who worked extra hours to keep your guests pleased. It’s wise to bring cash for bartenders or servers; and checks for managers, business owners, or ceremonial officiants. Bring envelopes to be discreet and personal; especially for venue professionals. Not sure how much to give? Consider the costs of each product or service and break down the standard 15-20% for what seems appropriate. It may not be a lot, but show your appreciation for all staff assisting. Remember, a little gesture goes along way. With style,

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CCE’s New Adventure is Travel

CCE’s new adventure in 2019 is travel! Excitement and wonder have been driving forces in planning for the months ahead. Taking our clients’ events to new heights is rewarding and exciting for us all. Couples are embracing the idea of traveling to luxury destinations to celebrate their big day, and we love exploring romantic places right along with them. CCE’s team is overjoyed to orchestrate nuptials in the tuscan valley of Florence, Italy this September. We are establishing relationships abroad and discovering local vendors who have expertise overseas. Learning cultural differences and organizing entertainment for guests before and after the big event has been a new and crucial step in this process. Our goal is provide a stress-free and enjoyable process as our bride and groom prepare to walk down the aisle, especially when coordinating events in a foreign land. Come explore new places with CCE this year, and let us help you escape to celebrate! With Style,

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A Tuscan Treasure-Exchanging Vows in Florence, Italy

Trying to find the perfect location is one of the first steps in planning a wedding. CCE was recently offered the task of finding our new clients a desirable destination for their upcoming nuptials, and we took many steps to book the ideal spot. They wanted to pin down a place that was both luxurious and romantic; two essential qualities to make sharing their love for eachother among family and friends special. After a few suggestions and conversations, we thought, where better to find romantic and regal accommodations than Florence, Italy? The views of the Tuscan valley and the old world charm that it offers in unparallel to the other locations they considered. Just one trip is all it took for them to fall in love with this sensational city. Next, was narrowing down the specific venue to celebrate their nuptials. Selecting from 15 villas; some modern Italian, others with rustic roots, they had many options to help discover what they were looking for. The one that stole their hearts is a romantic Neo-Renaissance Villa that has been refined into a 5-star luxury resort. The exquisite structure holds an exclusive panoramic position near Piazzale Michelangelo,not far from Ponte Vecchio; a breathtaking view of the city center. It is surrounded by an Italian garden and a large ancient park that slopes down close to the Arno shores. Villa La Vedetta is an authentic “Urban Resort” with a unique position in Florence. And, they chose a date in September, prime harvest season for grapes. The best spot in the world for wine country, one that greatly rivals ones in the states. A perfect mix of views, vino and culture, CCE is excited to work with local vendors to bring this dream wedding come true. Trusting in Italian experts, we know that each

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A Royal Fruitcake

Fruit cake as wedding cake? A royal tradition! Our monarchical rulers have celebrated milestone events with a time honored tradition of including fruit cake as the main dessert. Cutting the cake had a whole new meaning once upon a time and recently played a large role in the Duke and Duchess’ wedding in England. Originally made with brandy, the alcohol preserves the fruit well, making it the best option for cake prior to long standing cooling methods, (like our modern day refrigerators). To respect their relatives’ cultural practices, William and Kate debuted this flavored cake on their big day, with months of preparation to get just the right tang and texture. The elaborately decorated multi-tired fruit cake display at William & Kate’s wedding CCE respects the cultures of our clients and their destinations’ practices, therefore, we’ll work closely with a local caterer in presenting a fruit cake at our couples’ upcoming Tuscany wedding. Keeping with European tradition and baking expertise, we anticipate a epic display for wedding guests! With style,

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Proposal at the Gem Hall at Field Museum

We often get asked how to stage the perfect proposal.  And, our advice is simple…hire professionals! CCE ladies enjoy the beginning process for a journey of marriage planning. Adding to our collection of events, we recently orchestrated the most romantic proposal! Best part, the young man we assisted, has been a long time client of CCE! We staged all the romantic details from the oversized floral bouquet, champagne, entertainment, and personalized signaged for the couple and their family members. The gemstone exhibit at the Field Museum was premier placement for the perfect proposal. We added the personalized notecard, (which included “Will You Marry Me?) and placed it inside a gemstone case at the museum’s iconic Gem Hall with the gorgeous engagement ring. Sitting among ancient gems worth millions, sat the diamond ring purchased through CCE’s long time partner and jeweler, in Barrington. CCE worked closely with the security team at the Field Museum to ensure the safety of the display until the couple arrival. When the young bride-to-be noticed the special sign and engagement ring, our client got down on one knee to officially ask for her hand. After she said yes, our newly engaged couple was serenaded by a past CCE client/wedding couple with a few love songs and bubbles! The one-of-a kind event was impressive and memorable. CCE believes that planning a proper proposal sets the tone for a couple’s future celebrations. Excited to take on a potential bridal shower and future nuptials, we can’t wait to continue on this journey with the charming pair!    

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POSH Services, LLC.

Does your morning routine involve the phrase, ‘I have nothing to wear?’ Maybe it’s not what you don’t have, but it’s how it’s presented to you. An organized closet and or home provides an organized and stress-free life. An admirable partner of ours, Posh Services, LLC., is a premier business offering individualized consultation in organization, design, and personal services. Founder, Sue Foley’s expertise in planning and executing the perfect layout for your home or office helps put your mind at ease with projects and errands. She’s a personal concierge who understands client’s needs and exceeds their expectations. Whether you’re preparing for a big event or need a hand with an everyday hassle, Sue will ensure that every detail is taken care of. From moving items and furniture placement, to decoration design and details, Posh Services does it all. So the next time you open your cabinet or closet and feel overwhelmed, call Sue to alleviate your concerns! With style,

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Valentine’s Date Night ‘In’

Worried about making reservations? Trying to plan the perfect night out? CCE encourages you to stay in this Valentine’s Day and treat your sweetheart to a romantic date at home. Sweet surprises can be incorporated into the evening that will make going out seem conventional and boring. Start the memorable date with a flower delivery early in the day- a fun and flirty gesture to set the tone for the night. Make the meal meaningful by ordering food from your loved one’s favorite restaurant or caterer. Even better, cooking a meal for your sweetheart is endearing and thoughtful.  Set the table and mood for your date with an intimate display of candles, pretty napkins and petite desserts. Dedicate your date to details, and show him or her how much you care. CCE’s specialty is personalized place-settings; reach out to us for ideas or help with organizing the whole affair. No matter what you present, or how it’s put together, know that an intimate date night ‘in’ will make your Valentine feel extra special and loved at the holiday. With style,

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Perfect Proposals

Romantic, creative, purely magical; key elements in presenting an engagement ring to your significant other. Elaborate wedding proposals are memorable and special for the couple- to- be. Planning a show stopping event that is just as much a surprise as it is unique to the individual is tricky. And, CCE is here to help! We encourage the proposer to consider hobbies or special interests that relate to both or one of the pair to have the event set up accordingly. Choose a location that is meaningful, but also a natural spot to visit so no clue is revealed. Find the right occasion so he or she is dressed well, in case there’s a staged photographer, and they’re camera ready. We love to put together clever signage to make the intention clear, followed with an evening affair to celebrate the joyous occasion. If your partner is close with family and friends, include them in the festivities. They can assist with the set-up, be involved with the reveal, or merely meet up later to create the ultimate surprise. Whether it’s a ten person production, or simply involves the two of you, finding the right way to ask, ‘Will You Marry Me?’ involves thoughtful planning and careful consideration. With the ring being the centerpiece of the event, CCE will help capture the moment of one of the most important surprises of a lifetime. With style,

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Adare Manor-An Irish Landmark

The quaint Irish village of Adare is home to lively pubs, antique shops and charming thatched roof cottages. CCE recently had the pleasure of touring these local watering holes and browsing through the stores during their visit to the Ireland. The ladies home for their conference was none other than the infamous Adare Manor.  Built in the mid-19th century, the Manor provided labor for distraught villagers affected by the devastating  potato famine that took over the Irish town. The timeless castle was constructed with the highest of standards; representing a calendar with 365 leaded windows, 52 ornate chimneys, 7 stone pillars and 4 towers to mark the annual tally of days, weeks, and seasons in a year. The exquisite interior and handcrafted rooms held the intellectual seminars,  panels and motivational lectures given by international experts of the luxury event world. CCE’s experiences were nothing short of extraordinary. Being enveloped in the rich history of the Adare Manor and its surrounding 840 acres; CCE enjoyed festivities in the fairy gardens (very integral creatures in Irish mythology), escorted to meals by traditional hunting hounds (honoring a favorite pastime of royals), and danced through the renowned space, The Gallery, for the final gala send- off. Introduced to modern techniques, understanding current technologies and marketing tactics, CCE was honored to be among the best of the best in the industry while learning the rich culture of one of the leading hotels in the world! With Style,

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Dessert Stations-What’s All the Hype About?

Interactive dessert stations are a fun and fancy way to entertain guests, and the perfect way to end a meal. Not only do they fare well at weddings, but these enlightening stations are great for corporate events too! From wall art installations to elaborate displays, couples and companies are thinking outside the box when it comes to their sweet tables. The new hype adds character to decor and can be representative of the person or organization by personalizing each treat. Guests are sure to get a giggle out of the creative concoctions while satisfying their sweet tooth. They foster interaction among guests and impress any employee. Signature signage is widely seen on these exhibits, allowing companies an opportunity for positive brand awareness. If presented at a conference for example, it’s a win-win for the company and amused onlookers. Couples offer their namesake on these carefully designed displays as a symbol of their future journey together. CCE recommends offering a variety of options to be both aesthetically and palate pleasing. These one-of-a kind experiences are memorable and mesmerizing and we hope to see them at your next big event! With style,

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