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A Toast to Tasting!

Food and libations are a big part of your big day, so make sure you prepare properly when planning the menu. Have a tasting event with your caterer or venue in advance to ensure that day of delivery is flawless and flavorful! In addition to you and your loved one, find a few close family members or friends to offer their advice. Not only does this provide more than one palette, but it is a fun outing for everyone involved! Before you begin, it might be helpful to the chef if you offer some direction on the type of meals or packages you’re interested in. Have an open mind when it comes to menus, because chefs are trained in flavor and food pairings. And, while creativity can be intimidating, it should be welcomed. Come hungry! Everyone knows food tastes best on an empty stomach. Leaving room for many courses can leave your body and mind satisfied. Also, consider the whole day when mapping out the menu, so that the same type of fare isn’t offered at cocktail hour and dinner. Always include options. Options should be an assortment of fare and include dietary restrictions. Do you have guests that have allergies, dietary preferences, or children? Providing everyone with their desirable meal is thoughtful and necessary for friends and family to have a great time. Don’t forget about drinks! Beverage choices can be just as important as the food when it comes to variety in order to be crowd pleasing.  Take notes and take pictures! Since there are always different courses and options, it can be difficult to remember all of the plates being passed around. Taste and presentation need to be in line with the tone of your affair. By being specific, you can ensure that the chef will have

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Behind the Scenes with CCE

How fun! What a glamorous job! Is the New Year a slow time for you? Christina Currie and her team agree that the opportunity of planning milestone affairs for others is both glamourous and glorious, but many don’t know what it takes to orchestrate stylish and flawless events. The process requires us to adhere to extensive timelines, and be steadfast with our work. The pride we receive in delivering a successful end product is the result of many victories, defeats, and trials and tribulations along the way. And, there is no ‘off season’ when it comes to curating celebrations year round. We are here to give you the 4-1-1 on our event planning world, and an insider’s view on any misconceptions. When a client approaches us with a special occasion, CCE develops their timeline from the first meeting. Understanding their needs is a priority in executing a flawless celebration. Matching our couples with the right vendors will speak to their big day, and deliver exactly what it is they’re looking for. Coaching clients on day of details and offering guidance with personal decisions; (attire, bridal party disputes,etc.), gives event planners a whole new title. Juggling multiple projects at once is a strength of ours. CCE’s doors are never closed and our growth is a result of such diligence. A balancing act of answering countless emails, phone calls, and site visits gives our clients all the support they need. Changes, additions and questions continue to arise as each element comes into play. We must have patience and persistence when needing answers from vendor partners and clients alike. Being a middle man can be a challenge, but knowing the proper communication is key. Problem solving and alternative plans are essential when unexpected challenges arise from venues, clients, or mother nature. CCE’s goal

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Intimate Wedding in the Heart of Tuscany

Location, location, location! Views overlooking la Piazza del Duomo were the most breathtaking backdrop for our couples’ Florence wedding. Guests sang and danced under the Tuscan sun to celebrate the romantic bride and groom and were treated to cultural surprises along the way. The personalized trip to Tuscany included private wine tours, a make-your-own pizza rehearsal dinner and welcome bags to help guests feel comfortable throughout their stay. The reusable welcome canvas’ contents, included local chocolates only found in Italy, breadsticks, mosquito spray, Advil, Tums and city maps. Simple and thoughtful gestures that went a long way. The gracious couple invited their 50 closest friends and family to Villa La Vedetta for the sophisticated affair. The elegant neo-renaissance hotel is home to a one-of-a kind panoramic terrace overlooking Florence, where you can almost touch the city centers’ historic domes and architecture. Fairytale-type gardens and Cypress trees that surround the property make for the perfect photo ops.  Watercolor inspired stationery was specifically designed for this wedding, helped set the tone for the picturesque setting. The soft colors and gentle patterns were cohesive with the event’s theme. Invitations, menus and escort cards replicated the classic Renaissance artwork, which Florence is known for. Guests were inspired by the beauty of the valley and all it’s compliments. The ceremony was held in front of the venue, and we couldn’t have ordered better weather as they exchanged vows among the estate’s lush gardens. Standing with a small and mighty bridal party of their select ‘bests’, the bride and groom were on cloud nine. For the reception, guests were ushered to the back of the Villa where they sat at a regal King’s table set on the balcony terrace overlooking the ancient city; a completely different vibe from the earlier nuptials. The elegant table settings of

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Milestones and Memories-CCE’s 15 & 50 Celebration!

Milestones and memories go hand in hand. And, Christina Currie Events had the pleasure of celebrating both at the close of 2019. Christina Currie Events, Inc. reached its fifteenth year in business this past year, and humbly recognized the many developments over the years with an elegant and sophisticated affair. Founder, Christina Currie also turned fifty years old in December. And, to help her celebrate her accomplishments; both personally and professionally, Christina was surrounded by close friends and family at the St. Jane Chicago Hotel.   The historic city landmark is home to an inviting ballroom, which set the tone for the joyous occasion. Shades of purple and pink spotlighted the event spaces as candles and hints of glitter accented the rooms. The evening included live music, performances, and dancing; all accompanied by fine libations and light fare. Decadent desserts were arranged on glamorous displays, and set the stage for the food displays. A tribute to her favorite snack, and Christina’s after hours treat (once completing a big event), was an epic nacho bar with all the fixings; a huge hit! Glittering cakes encircled on a small table alongside a classic cheese and charcuterie board were set up for all guests to enjoy. A highlight of the evening was a performance by Ameya Performing Arts, an Indian Fusion dance company founded by CCE’s very own Event Designer, Masumi Jadia. Speeches from her husband Ed and daughters Rachel and Ava were a sentimental and sweet touch to the fun-filled atmosphere. A playful, digitally enhanced photo booth, provided added extra flair to the evening. The celebration was a true representation of hard work and success, purely magnificent! Through extravagant destination affairs, expanding services, and life-long relationships with clientele and vendors, the past fifteen years have been quite an adventure for Currie. She is

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Mmmm…Chocolate! A Valentine’s Day Treat

Sweet or savory? Dark or light? How do you take your chocolate? The options are endless with the sweet treat that is a Valentine’s Day staple, and maybe that’s why we like it so much! Not only does flavor count, but CCE finds that presentation is key in offering the sensual sweet on the upcoming holiday. Show a loved one you care by gifting heart shaped boxes filled with varieties, or bake a homemade goodie that includes the aphrodisiac. Dating back to ancient Aztecs, chocolate has always been known to be a way to win a woman’s heart. Also good for heart health and cognitive functions, cocoa has many benefits.  Foiled candies are the most popular gift for a special someone, but consider other ways to incorporate it into date night. Fondue allows for dipping all kinds of foods into a waterfall of decadence, and makes for great entertainment too! As you can see, you don’t have to be a chocoholic to enjoy the wonderful world of chocolate this Valentine’s Day! CCE Ladies favorite chocolates are: Anna Shea Chocolates Anderson Candy Shop Venchi Chocolates With Style,

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2020 Wedding Trends

CCE Ladies are excited to embrace 2020—there’s something seemingly special about the date, right?! That said, we can’t help but feel a slight ting of nostalgia saying goodbye to 2019 and everything we witnessed in weddings this past year.  CCE Ladies see a few fun and exciting trends for 2020! Interactive cocktail hours! We want to see more of them in 2020, and with a continued elevation—think about an olive oil or balsamic tasting station.Immersive entertainment experiences! These stations are exciting for guests and serves a purpose for more than just ambiance for the celebration. Guests enjoy groups like aerialists, harpists, and electric violinist; performance artists will be at the epicenter of the affair.Escort Card Displays – one-of-a-kind escort card displays will never go out of style. We love thinking outside the box for escort card displays that feel like an interactive art installation, and are functional at the same time. These displays can also act as décor and are always so memorable! Trends to leave behind: Family-style dinner service, while fun in theory, it disrupts the tablescape design. It can sometimes make it awkward for guests to keep reaching, passing, and exchanging plates over one another.The sweets buffet. It’s been a trend for a long time. Instead, we recommend serving smaller treats such as petit fours or elegant chocolates tableside. This allows for a more formal meal, and easy transition from the main dish. Party favors. They are typically left on the tables at the end of the night, despite best-laid plans. Instead, put your budget into welcome bags for all guests—or splurge on arrival tokens like cinched-up shawls in velvet ribbon or blankets for a cozy coastal ceremony. Biggest advice from our team: Choose 5 very important elements for your wedding and concentrate on them throughout the event. Allow

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A Night at the Museum-Jackie and Brian’s Wedding

Magnificent hues of blush and white, with hints of natural green, lit Stanley Field Hall of the Chicago Field Museum as Jackie and Brian celebrated their marriage. The elegant affair complemented the graceful bride and her epitome of style. Soft candles and delicate displays set the tone for the evening celebration. Gilded details on displays and table settings had all guests in awe.   A show stopping escort card display; a glowing etched glass tower, matched the romantic centerpieces and décor. Café lights hung above the dance floor, bringing a cozy and inviting atmosphere to the large space. A lively champagne parade kicked off the evening’s entertainment and highlighted the accents of gold that filled the room. The undeniable love was felt by all who attended this colossal affair. With style,

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Make a List, and Check it Twice! Holiday Party ‘To Dos’

Planning a holiday party combined with all of the other seasonal tasks can be overwhelming; therefore, CCE suggests that you jot your ideas and ‘to do’s’  down on paper (or electronic device) to stay organized. Hosting a handful of closest family, or a guest list to include many significant people in your life is hectic, and you want to make sure that you can enjoy the event as much as them. Here’s some tips to get you started … 1.  Get photos of all your stationery – invitations, cocktail napkins, drink signage, and menus. Documenting these pieces remind you of how all the details came together. A keepsake of the occasion and the theme that went along with it. A great reminder for next year on what not to repeat to keep guests surprised and guessing.  2.  Eat! Most often I always here that the host forgets to eat! LOL.  I personally encourage our clients have a protein shake early on in the day and drink a lot of water to combat that blood sugar crash. Being satisfied and well hydrated will keep your energy levels and spirit up.  3. Show appreciation to your vendors. Take the time to prepare envelopes with cash before your party. They will be handy and easy to distribute once they leave. A mutual respect for those you work with will make that next party easier to orchestrate.   4.  Take a moment to relish in the accolades. Having holiday parties can be such a whirlwind; it’s easy for it to be a blur. Make a point to sit and have a drink or bite to eat with a guest. Enjoy the moment and holiday cheer. 5.  Hire a professional photographer to capture all your decor and special moments. You don’t want to miss all of

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Sabina’s Centennial Celebration

How to celebrate a centennial you ask? CCE was presented with the pleasure of planning such a joyous occasion. The incredible milestone was requested by our close client and we were honored to organize her mother’s celebration. The unique and understated affair complimented the birthday girl and her Polish heritage. Sabina’s day began by honoring her at church. Her spry age of 100 is one that is not seen by many and her community was pleased to join her in this recognition. The reception following the service was a welcoming and wildly delicious brunch. Fall colors and elegant floral arrangements filled the room to pay homage to her birth month. Family and friends toasted with their favorite signature drink, Chambord & Champagne. A talented family member illustrated the birthday girl, which was proudly displayed in the center of the dining room. The decadent dessert display included some of her Polish culture’s traditions; Kolaczki and Chrusciki; the perfect finale to Sabina’s sweet celebration. With style,

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Corporate Dos and Don’ts

Christina Currie Events knows that organization, understanding vendor strengths, and knowing just what our clients want is important in executing a successful event. When it comes to planning corporate celebrations, there are specific dos and don’ts that must be followed for ultimate guest satisfaction. Let’s start with the Dos.  Begin the planning process early to ensure every detail is in place and carefully selected, so you won’t feel rushed or unable to get the desired elements. Less stress is best. Make sure you choose a space that makes sense for your party. Don’t let the price of the venue be your deciding factor. Take food, staff, location and overall space into consideration. Arrange with the venue plenty of time for setup, magic doesn’t just happen with a drop of the hat. Vendors will appreciate your consideration in allowing them ample time to bring everything together. Focus on the small details, it will make an impact and wow your guests. For example, provide unique audio/visual, map out seating arrangements, feature personalization with your corporate logo, and impress guests with the ambiance of the overall space. Of course, be organized! Hire a professional planner who will keep you in check with timelines, offer advice on loyal vendors, manage set up, run the day of events and ensure teardown is complete.   Now, the Don’ts.  Do NOT try to orchestrate everything yourself; keep calm by hiring a professional. Do not allow room for your guests to get bored. Elevate your entertainment, be creative. Live music to welcome your guests is the perfect greeting. Work with a DJ or band to play during dinner hour to create the appropriate mood. Present an interactive element; such as a photobooth. When leading up to the event, don’t skip on a vendor walk through. It is essential that all vendors understand your vision and

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Not Your Typical Confetti- Italian Wedding Favors

Americans associate the word with fun bits of paper used to decorate and or celebrate an occasion by adding flare to an atmosphere. In Italian culture, confetti has a whole different meaning. Also used to celebrate an occasion, they are sweet and symbolic favors used as traditional wedding parting gifts. In Italy, classic confetti are simple, sugar covered almonds, symbolizing the bitter and sweet to come. Today there are many varieties of confetti, available in different shapes and tastes. From classic dark chocolate and white chocolate, to richer flavors such as creams or fresh like fruit. The confetti are placed inside the bomboniera, a candy box or pouch, given by the spouses as a token to their guests. Confetti are always an odd number, usually 5, to symbolize the 5 essential qualities of marital life: health, prosperity, happiness, fertility and longevity. They’re made with care and intention, appealing to all different tastes. What a fun way to say-thank you! With style,

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Macaron vs. Macaroon- A Sweet Lesson on the Party Favorite Cookie

No, it’s not a misspelling, they are two different cookies! You might not realize that the decadent pastries that compliment showers, weddings and many tourist- favored bakeries come with different recipes.  The French macaron is a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated powdered sugar, then filled with buttercream, ganache, or fruit curd. The delicate treat has a crunchy exterior and a weightless interior with a soft ending that’s almost nougat like; very chewy! They range in color and taste, with the most popular flavors being pistachio, green tea, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, espresso and raspberry.  The Italian version, the moist and dense coconut-based macaroon, is composed of egg whites, sugar, and dried coconut. These confections are often piped with a star-shaped tip, and sometimes dipped in chocolate or lemon flavored. Also, these treats can be frozen and enjoyed for up to three months due to their consistency. More time to savor and enjoy these crumbly sweets! Next time you’re at the sweet table and see a version of one of these, share this story with a fellow guest. It’s a great ice breaker or conversation piece with friends! With style,

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