A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This was the theme of Emily and Nick’s July 15th wedding at The Haight in Elgin, Illinois. I usually don’t blog about about specific weddings but I felt especially connected to this wedding since I have known a family member for many years.

Renee, Aja and I love working on this bridal party ! They were a pleasure !                The photos below by the amazing Caitlin Hazelton speak for themselves. Here are the reviews posted on Facebook, Wed FolioWedding Wire by the bride and by her Stepmom Jeanne:

Emily Ann Hauser  October 9, 2017 My makeup for my wedding day was beautiful and flawless. Thanks Wendy !

Below Review posted on Wed Folio & Wedding Wire

Wendy Kimmel is the best of the best! Truly a class act!!! I treated my step-daughter (and myself) on her wedding day to a princess/movie star experience with a TRUE professional. Emily (never had experience with a professional tv makeup artist) had the opportunity to work with Wendy before her wedding day during the trial and get a sense of the experience to come and hence, one stressor of her wedding day was alleviated. She left Wendy’s initial consult elated. She was very happy. Wendy took ample time to get to know Emily and her likes and preferences. Wendy’s goal is to enhance your natural beauty. Wendy’s team allowed the bride and the bridal party to sit back, relax and enjoy the pampering and avoid the wedding day jitters/anxiety of primping oneself.
Brides, honor yourselves: Treat yourself to the exquisite pampering Wendy and her crew can offer to you.

Profile Picture Jeanne,  7/15/17, 1 Review



Creating Beautiful Food Together !

Cooking and Relationships can go hand in hand. Not just for couples- but for best friends, Dads and Daughters and siblings. Cooking a great meal together is exciting and will strengthen your bond. Teamwork, no matter what type of relationship you have will occur when you cook together! You don’t know where to start ?  Find a great culinary school in your area and sign up. Here is a perfect example of a wonderful school with classes that will enrich your life.


I interviewed Chef Paul Lindemuth again who is Executive Chef for Marcels’s at Maison. Marcel’s Culinary Experience in Glen Ellyn, Illinois has stellar cooking classes and is a retail store that sells cooking equipment, cutlery, and beautiful tabletop items. Here is what Chef Paul said to me about the classes.

“The classes are geared toward serious home cooks and people who are looking to not only learn but to have a social event in the kitchen as well. Our class formats are really varied. Our basic format is a hands on class typically from 8 to 20 students. Every student gets a package of recipes, an apron, a cutting board & a knife. The class is broken up into groups and everyone works together to prep & cook.  After the culinary assistants clear the students sit down and have dinner with wine or beer. So it’s a wonderful learning experience because they get to  socialize and make new friends. One of the most rewarding things about teaching a class is that I see (for instance) 16 students coming to a class; none of whom know each other and having them walk out as new friends. The things that I try to instill in every class that I teach are:

  1. Organizational skills – How to get yourself ready, focused and well prepared before you even turn the stove on. How to read a recipe & assess the level of complexity. How to put everything in it’s place and keep your workspace tidy.
  2. Correct & safe knife usage & how to maintain food safety. All the basic fundamentals that every person in the kitchen needs to address. Plus the finished product should not only taste wonderful but it should look beautiful and appealing on the plate. Because that’s our first impression.

The classes are very broad based and are geared to beginners, proficient home cooks, people who have special dietary needs..etc. One of the biggest satisfactions for me is watching a student amass a new skill set, have the confidence that they can go home & recreate a meal that they would not have tackled without having done it with a group and Chef Instructor.”

So no matter if you’re thinking of taking a class on your own or bonding with your loved one…Go for it ! More photos of Marcel’s Chef Instructors below and beautiful food created in classes.

Delicious Farm to Table Offerings for Your Event

Bento Boxes with Baby Arugula and Shaved Raw Fennel Salad, Wild Rice and Chicken Salad, Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Warm Savory Artichoke Bread Pudding


     Would you love to have a truly memorable meal for your Wedding, Party or Event ? Source ingredients from your locale including your spirits and craft beers. I recently interviewed Chef Paul Lindemuth from The Art of Food about what he considers to be current & sustainable event cuisine. Here is our conversation:

Chef Paul, what do you consider current food trends and what are people asking for ?

     There are three things that I see as being current in the food world. In the event world and the educational field as well. The Number One thing that I see people tapping into is trying to be aware of eating both seasonally and locally especially during the summer & fall. I’ve watched the proliferation of awareness of Farmers’ Markets here in the Chicago area & people are really jumping into that. Knowing where their food comes from is a big deal. Eating food that is in season such as tomatoes and corn in the summer when we know it’s coming from local sources instead of from a grocer when it may be coming from somewhere halfway around the world and being substandard in quality. 

Number Two:  People are much more interested in expanding their horizons and eating food they’re not familiar with. I’ve even seen that with my more traditional clients. They are thinking more broadly and want new foods presented to them.

Number Three: People  are trying to eat more healthily and eating foods that are sustainable, organic and are good not only for themselves but for the farmer & for the producer as well.

Chef Paul Lindemuth caters social events and teaches as well at Marcel’s Culinary Experience  in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.


Lobster MAC n’ CHEESE    Orzo with Butter Poached Lobster in a Mascarpone Lobster Broth

English Cucumber topped with Smoked Salmon Tartare & Chive Creme Fraiche

Indian Curried Butternut Soup 

Individual Beef Tenderloin Medallions topped with Mushroom Duxelle & Boursin Cheese Wrapped in Filo Pastry

In lieu of a Wedding Cake-An Immense Lemon Tiramisu !



Great Makeup is an Art

The subject I am writing about today close to my heart. I feel it is for everyone: bridal clients, special event clients, makeup artists and pro hair stylists.

I belong to a special group of professional makeup artists and have connected with many of them through social media. Last August one of these talented people wrote an entry that concerns all of us greatly.

Here is the post:  “Today is Wednesday.. and she needs a makeup artist for her wedding for THIS Saturday..for herself (bride) and 5 bridesmaids… and she thinks she is in a position to negotiate her prices and my time… When I asked why is she just now booking a makeup artist.. She said she figured she didn’t have to book so far ahead and it’s only makeup.”

It’s only Makeup ?!!!  Infuriating !   So many things to say about this.                                               1.) Many women have never had contact with a pro makeup artist before…    They have no idea what goes into the process itself. My artist friends and I put our whole souls into a face. Some of us were painters and graphic artists to begin with.

2.) Years of study, classes, seminars and practice go into our careers. What we do is a calling and our integrity demands the Best work and beyond. We pay considerable attention to trends and use the top products available so no matter what media we work in the client looks excellent in person & on camera.

3.)  I have spoken to other Event professionals such as Planners, Photographers & Floral Designers about this. They told me that clients do not attempt to bargain with them. They accept their prices at face value. What is it about makeup artists that inspires this flea market client behavior ? We cannot bargain with people…it devalues us and our art.

I want you to know that I have had MANY generous and wonderful clients over the last 25 years who have never questioned my prices and greatly valued my work.

Which brings us to the next issue: VALUE.   My prices are moderate, well below others of my calibre in Chicago. The same goes for my other really talented artist colleagues.             Last year I had a client who was an important member of a bridal party. I worked with her to achieve the exact look she wanted  (One hour & 15 minutes) and frankly she seemed thrilled. I thought she looked like a movie star and told her so. Yet she gave me a 3 out of 5 stars for Value when reviewing my work on a major wedding website. I was shocked.

I planned this blog months ago but this issue came up today again when another artist in an online group posted about a last minute request (SAME DAY) for 2 girls and yet the client wanted a deal because there were 2 people.   WHAAAT ? !!!                                                            This is a perfect example of not respecting value and art.                                                 Here’s my last Statement: We LOVE what we do !

Here are some examples of our work and Thank You for reading !















Brides & Grooms, This is for both of you !

Gentlemen this blog is for You ! It will help you get through the wedding planning process and the wedding in grand style. And Ladies it will take some stress off of you by giving your beloved advice & great ideas about how to help you.  I’m not going to give you this help directly. I’m going to give you the links to my Four favorite Groom websites. There’s even a site for your best man. From engagement ring buying guides to stripper free bachelor parties to choosing the venue and much, much more. A couple of the websites are UK based but most of the issues are universal anyway !

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Here are the four sites…there are more online if you feel the need to look further.                    the plunge.com,   the bestman.com,  staggered  &  themanregistry.com

I think you’ll find these sites really eye opening and fun to read. Enjoy and please let me know what you think in the comment section !


2016 Event & Wedding Trends


Part One    Pantone Colors of Spring

Spring will be here before we know it ! In response to that season of renewal Pantone has chosen 2 main colors, Rose Quartz & Serenity. There are 10 colors in all though, to suit every taste.


This is the first time Pantone has chosen Two colors for a season, so if you choose them for your event you’ll be on top of the trendline.                         Here are some ideas using Rose Quartz & Serenity:

My personal favorites from the Pantone Ten are Lilac Gray & Iced Coffee. Separately or combined they are gorgeous !

 Just remember, mix in other neutral colors…like white or ivory. That will make your color scheme sophisticated, not overdone.

Red Lips ! Will you have them this Fall ?

    REDS… I’ve always loved them . They were all over the Fall 2015 runways but they scare some women. Many women I have spoken to say they will never wear red. You know what ? Reds can be soft & muted or mixed with rose. Try using a pencil with a gloss or just a red gloss by itself. There are some gorgeous ones out there like MAC Ruby Woo. Or try one of the really trendy mattes and blot it down if full strength is too intense for you. With mascara and a bit of liner (or not) red lips can light up your look !

Your Wedding Gown After the Wedding

Now that your very special day has taken place what are you going to do with your gorgeous wedding gown ?  Recently I surveyed several of my lovely brides on this subject. Two of them took their gowns to bridal gown preservationists and paid $500 to $600. All the others said their gowns were in their closets or at their parents in the original hanging bag from the bridal shop.                                                                            So I decided to do a bit of research and here is what I found: There are several less expensive alternatives that I found online. For instance at Bed, Bath & Beyond there are two levels of Gown Preservation kits. There are also some from David’s Bridal and other online sources.                                                 If you are thinking of saving your gown for your daughter or niece or possibly altering it later for a cocktail dress, invest in a preservation kit. I think you’ll be really happy with your decision in the long run !

Save Money and Still Have a Beautiful Wedding !

Most engaged couples are on a budget these days. I have suggestions for you to help you save on wedding costs that may not have occured to you.

  • 1. Prioritize.  Sit down with your fiance and choose the items that are most important to you both.These are the things that you will spend more of your budget on.
  • 2. Venue.  Remember that a Friday or Sunday ceremony will save you money. Caterers and venue owners, florists and photographers may give you a substancial break for a non Saturday wedding. If you have a friend who volunteers their backyard or garden for your ceremony & reception take them up on the offer.  Also many vendors reduce their prices for off season weddings.
  • 3. Guest list. I know that there are pressures to invite all your cousins and 25 of your parents’ friends, but if YOU are paying for your wedding then YOU can decide on the number of guests. After you figure out cuisine costs then it may be easier to know how many you are able to invite.
  • 4. Cuisine.  There are so many ways to save on food costs. Sit down dinners with wait service can be very expensive. If you are having a morning or afternoon ceremony have a brunch, luncheon or dessert reception. A well done and elegant buffet will also greatly reduce costs.
  • 5  Beware of The Bar !    Hard liquor and a full bar is very expensive. If you feel that you would like your guests to have cocktails limit full bar service to an hour or two. The switch to wine & beer or simply eliminate cocktails altogether.
  • 6. Invitations and save the date cards.  There are fantastic options to costly invitations from a pro. For instance, The Paper Source has gorgeous DIY invitations and inexpensive workshops to help you.They   have locations all over the country.
  • 7   The Gown ( Your Most Personal Statement)                                                                                            There are so many wonderful options here for saving money without sacrifice. BHLDN has wonderful gowns and accessories (and sales). Etsy has every style imaginable, including vintage. Try bridal resale shops such as Glamour Closet (4 U.S. LOCATIONS) and I Do Designer Consignment in Chicago. There are fantastic bridal consignment shops all over the country. Of course if you love and have access to your Mom’s or Grandmother’s gown a talented seamstress can make it your own !
  • 8   Memories in Print                                                                                                                                           I have one really great idea for wedding photo savings: Contact a College that specializes in Arts and Media. Investigate hiring a graduate student with a portfolio and interview 2 or 3. They will work hard for you & give you a terrific deal.
  • 9    Flowers                                                                                                                                                     If you are fortunate enough to know someone who can take you to a wholesale floral market take advantage of the opportunity ! Of course you will ( hopefully with help ) be doing your own arrangements, but it can save Hundreds of dollars. Perhaps more ! Even if you buy retail and do the flowers yourself, there will be a sizable savings.
  • 10 The Soundtrack of Your Wedding                                                                                                                  Of course a DJ will be far less expensive than a band. Give a DJ a very clear picture of what your musical tastes are and interview at least three. Also going back to the school idea, find a great band through a top level music school and a soloist to sing or play for the ceremony.