A Gorgeous Vintage Chicago Wedding

For my first ever wedding post I am so happy to be sharing the wedding of my two friends John Thomas Flemming and Ilana Nutkis! (I did briefly recap it here but that was a summary’s summary and more about my personal experience.)

Choosing Chicago’s Salvage One as their venue, Ilana and John put together a personal, beautiful, well thought-out wedding that was so much fun and filled with a bunch of ideas you’re going to want to steal. Keep reading for more on this fantabulousness:

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

“Our first priority was fun: we wanted our wedding to be a huge, awesome party for all of family and friends. Our second priority was to have a wedding that felt personal to us. We wanted it to be unique in a way that reflected our personalities, and that would be welcoming, comfortable, and memorable for our guests.

ilana-john-wedding-low-res-web-175058Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

My vision for the wedding definitely evolved during the planning, and we eliminated some ideas that turned out to be unmanageable or prohibitively expensive.

It was hard to make some of these choices: For one thing, there are just so many decisions, big and small, it feels like you’ll never be done choosing. Also, wedding decisions feel very final; all the magazines and websites are telling you, “This is your “big day! It has to be perfect!” The cultural pressure to be the “perfect” bride and have a “perfect” wedding is intense, and it can make even the smallest decisions feel completely overwhelming. Still, despite the craziness of wedding planning, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to craft a wedding I loved. I truly had the wedding of my dreams, and I am so, so grateful for that.

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

I think of my wedding style as “casual elegance” and “eclectic.” The actual wedding ended up more “vintage chic,” mostly because of our awesome venue. I like deep, rich colors, classic elements with a modern twist, and interesting details that add depth and personality. I think the surroundings really set the tone for the wedding, so venue was a big focus for me. One reason I loved our venue so much was that the reception area was furnished with mismatched vintage wood tables and antique chandeliers; it was so fun and unique, while still retaining functionality and comfort for the guests. I wanted the wedding to feel intimate and personal, so I looked for elements that would add an extra element of unexpected creativity and charm.

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

I love old-fashioned elegance and formality blended with modern elements to make it more personal and lighthearted. For example, I wanted to wear a cathedral veil for my wedding, because I love the grandeur and elegance of a long veil, but I also wanted it to be fun and reflect my personality – so I bought a polka dot veil! I’m obsessed with polka dots, and it was the perfect way to add a fun, modern element to the classic bridal look.

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

The venue search was a process. From the outset, we knew that we wanted something different from the standard hotel ballroom or reception hall. My search included art galleries, botanic gardens, historic homes, museums, and zoos (who doesn’t want a penguin at their cocktail hour?). I researched over 100 venues online, narrowing them down by various criteria (capacity, price, location). Eventually, I had a list of 15, and my incredibly patient parents spent two days going around to all of them with me. (It was insane. I do not recommend this.)

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

In the end I narrowed it down to two choices: Salvage One, which we ended up choosing, and the Women’s Club of Evanston, which is a beautiful historic home. It was a really difficult choice, because both venues had elements that I loved. Historic homes are one of my dorkier obsessions, and I loved all of the old-fashioned details at the Women’s Club, like the elaborate vaulted ceiling in the ballroom. Salvage One was basically the opposite: totally unique, quirky, and perfectly over-the-top. It was basically love at first sight – I walked in the door and was completely captivated.

The groom was very involved, and would have been more so if I had let him :) He trusted my choices, which made it easier to get things done on my busy schedule. He didn’t even see Salvage One until months after I picked it out – and it was too late to get the deposit back, so it’s a good thing he loved it as much as I did! Perhaps most importantly, he was always there to pry me away from my endless lists and spreadsheets when I was going crazy with bridal stress.

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One

I had some ambitious DIY plans, which was…interesting, because I am not at all crafty. My major projects were the ceremony programs, table numbers, and placecards.

I thought ceremony programs would be a nice, inexpensive extra, and, because our wedding was in August, they could double as fans. I typed up the text in Word and then printed it out on ivory cardstock, with the processional order on one side and an explanation of Jewish wedding rituals on the other. Then I cut the paper down the middle, glued the pieces on either side of a curvy popsicle stick, and rounded the corners with a corner-cutting tool. For the final touch, we got a stamp made of our monogram on Etsy and stamped all the programs in purple ink (our wedding color).

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One DIY program cards

The table numbers were a bigger project. For this one, I bought a used copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, cut out pages with quotes from favorite authors and historical figures, and pasted them into mismatched antique-style picture frames. Then I pasted die-cut typewriter-style numbers over the pages, in the center of each frame. It complemented the antique style of our venue, and it was a great way to incorporate our love of books into the wedding decor.

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One DIY Centerpieces

The place cards were a simpler project, although it took a long time to gather all the right pieces. The groom loves Coke, so he wanted to incorporate that into the wedding somehow. We came up with the idea to use old-fashioned glass Coke bottles as placecards. There was a kraft paper tag tied to each bottle, with the guest’s name and table number written on it. I found these adorable heart cut-out tags on Etsy, and I bought red-and-white twine to match the Coke colors. That was a fun project for us to put together, because it was relatively easy, but still added a lot of fun. Some guests told us they took their sodas home as a keepsake – wedding favors were a planned DIY project that fell by the wayside when I ran out of time, so that was great to hear!

Coke Bottle Party Favors

We also did some simpler projects, like putting a personalized wedding-themed Mad Libs at each place setting, so guests would have something fun to do while they waited for the dancing to start. It was fun for us, too – we read through all of them a few days after the wedding and couldn’t stop laughing. Another little project was setting up a table with pictures of us from our childhoods. That was really special; we included pictures of me with my late grandparents, and of the groom with his grandparents, who weren’t able to travel to the wedding. Finally, I made laminated cards with fun-fact bios for both of us, like our favorite historical figure and ideal way to spend a day off. It was really entertaining to write up, and one of the easiest projects to execute.

Ilana and Jonh's Chicago Vintage Wedding at Salvage One DIY Projects

This sounds cliche, but the fact that so many of our friends and relatives made the trip out to Chicago to celebrate with us was truly the highlight of the day for us. There’s no replacement for the pure joy of an epic dance party with the people you love! We also continued some family traditions: The top of our chuppah was made of my grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s talleisim, and our mesader kiddushin (officiant) was my uncle, who officiated at my parents’ wedding in 1978. Continuing these traditions was powerful for me, and it felt like the right way to begin our marriage. On a less sentimental note, we were blessed with a rare day of perfect Chicago weather, so we were able to take pictures outside and enjoy our venue’s beautiful garden!”

Venue: Salvage One, http://www.salvageone.com/
Catering: Kosher Gourmet, http://www.thekoshergourmet.net/
DJ: DJ Chicago, http://www.dj-chicago.com/
Photos: T & Hughes Photography, http://tandshughesphotography.com/
Florist: A Gentle Wind
Veil: Melinda Rose Design, https://www.etsy.com/shop/MelindaRoseDesign
Dress: “Julianna,” by Christos Bridal (but I bought mine on oncewed.com)
Groom: Suit Supply, http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/home

As a guest, I can tell you that Ilana and John got everything they were going for. We had the best time, the venue was gorgeous and everyone who was there was so genuinely happy for them. It made for a stellar wedding.



*All gorgeous photos captured by T & S Hughes Photography. I know, I want them to document my life too.*


The Bannerie on Cloud Parade

Are you familiar with Cloud Parade?

Cloud Parade

Cloud Parade is self-described as “the first online marketplace to shop and design a radical wedding” and it really is. It has the beeeest selection of goods and is basically a fab combo of Etsy and Pinterest because you can put together a “cloud” of your fave wedding clothes, accessories, decor etc and plan and buy it all in one place.

I am so happy to announce that Bannerie products are now available on Cloud Parade!

the Bannerie on Cloud Parade


And in a fantastic start to my day I received an e-mail that the Bannerie gold glitter “MISS TO MRS” letter banner was chosen to be featured on the Cloud Parade Shop!

the Bannerie on Cloud Parade


I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day and forgive me in advance but I will be pretty unavailable the next week as I try to finish and ship out three weeks worth of orders so I can have some time with the fam next week and get a head start on the Fall!



Gwen’s Bright Thirtieth Fiesta

Remember when I went to Alt and got sick and felt terrible and still had the best time ever? While I was there I met Gwen Bucknell. She was super lucky to meet me during the second day lunch (Martha! Cue bloggers going CRAZY!) when my voice had reached that really great barely there squeak and I was so tired I don’t even know if I made sense because it was all a haze…

She recently turned thirty and threw herself an incredible bash. I was so excited when she asked me to make fringe tassels and circle garlands because she came up with such a good color scheme (I love it so much, I now offer it in the shop)!

30th birthday party

Read more about it on the Cardstore blog!

Have a great weekend!



Eliora’s White, Pastel, and Gold Bedroom

Guys, this is my last nursery/room tour and it is GORGEOUS! Eliora’s bedroom is a beautiful mix of DIYs and well-curated buys. That’s to be expected since her mom is Deborah Kessly of Bubkess, the talented Australian interior designer with an eye for quality and affordability.

Elior'as beautiful white, pastel, and gold bedroom

“Having never had a finished room, I wanted to create a colourful and fun room for my 3 year old daughter. Starting with a neutral backdrop such as the gold dot wall decals allowed me to add lots of different pops of colour together with the white furniture.”

Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland

“I didn’t want the room to be overly girly so I added a graphic black and white Ikea rug which is a great contrast to the other colours in the room. I chose fairly classic furniture pieces and decor which was inspired by the nursing chairs classic lines in the room. They’re pieces that will grow with her over time as they are not too childish but more investments that I know will see her through to her tween years.”

Eliora's beautiful nursery with a classic glider Eliora's beautiful nursery with a classic gliderEliora's beautiful nursery with a classic gliderEliora's beautiful nursery MG_0618-700x466MG_1500-700x466MG_1406-700x466

“Wanting to complete the room on a budget a lot of the furniture pieces were either a second hand find with a coat of white paint applied to freshen it up or I added my own little DIY twist on it. It took around 6 months to complete as I had a lot more DIY projects than I ever imaged but it allowed for a more personal space that Eliora loves and she makes sure she tells every person that sees the room “My mum made it for me!”

Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold dipped feathers

“I’d have the say one of the hardest things about designing your own home compared to designing a clients is making a decision! With clients, they know what they want and I know what will look great without second guessing myself. Because I love so many different styles I find myself wanting to change things around all the time but over time I’ve come to realise what my true style is and I am only now becoming more confident in my choices. The best thing about designing for clients is being able to create a completely different look every time so I essentially can vicariously live through each and every one of them!”

Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Eliora's beautiful bedroom with gold polka dot walls, black and white rug, and fringe tassel garland Gorgeous nursery dresser and gallery wall Gorgeous nursery dresser and gallery wall Gorgeous nursery dresser and gallery wall Gorgeous nursery dresser and gallery wall Gorgeous nursery dresser and gallery wall

All of these beautiful images were taken by the incredibly talented Danielle from Danielle Trovato Photography

Thank you so much for sharing Deborah! I adore how this room manages to be bright and fun yet layered and sophisticated.

That was it, guys! Party submissions only now! I am inCREDibly behind on posts and have some parties lined up that I am so excited about but need to find the time to put together!! Thank you all so much for your patience!!


Livi’s Navy and Coral Nursery

Guys, this is one of the last nurseries I’m sharing and I LOVE it!!!

Olivia's Blue & Coral Nursery

“When we remodeled our home a few years ago, we didn’t think about room to “grow.” We took out our third bedroom and turned it into an adjoining closet in our master bedroom. (Now) my daughter lives in our closet.”

Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery

“For the first few months of her life, we set Olivia up in a mini nursery next to our bed knowing we’d transition her into a bigger space when she turned 1.”

“We wanted to incorporate all the things she already had in her mini nursery and we were lucky that our amazing family and friends gifted us just about everything (and we were gifted the eames elephant right before finishing up her new space!)”

Livi's Blue and Coral NurseryLivi's Blue and Coral NurseryLivi's Blue and Coral Nursery

“We fell in love with navy and coral ever since we saw Sharon Montrose’s Fun Lux Nursery Project

Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery

photo 12 Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery Livi's Blue and Coral Nursery

“We wanted to create a magical space for Olivia to grow into. Somewhere she could let her imagination run wild.”

I think that’s exactly what they created! A totally magical, beautiful space where Olivia can have adventures for years.

Paint: Martha Stewart Wrought Iron
Rug: Joss&Main
Table and Stools: Little Nest
Basket: Serena and Lily

Crib Area
Babymod Crib: Walmart
Crib sheet: Dwell Studio
Blanket: Dwell Studio
Cloud Pillow: Land of Nod
Frames: CB2
Animal Prints: The Animal Print Shop
Wire Quote: Custom by Lila Frances

Closet Area
Clothing Rack: IKEA
Frames: IKEA
Calligraphy Print: Chelsea Petaja
Heart Print: CDR
Wire Hanger: Lila Frances
Decorative Nails: Winsome Brave

Reading Nook
Floral Tassel Garland: shophaha on etsy
Tent: Ferm Living
Bear Blanket: Roxy Marj
DIY star pillows
DIY tent cushion
DIY hand-cut vinyl lettering
DIY sun and clouds on the wall

Storage Bench: Land of Nod
Miffy Lamp: Fawn Shoppe
Wall shelf: IKEA
Custom Gwen Stefani Quote hand-lettered by: Jenny Highsmith
DIY Olivia sign
Curtains: IKEA
Eames Elephant: DWR

Thank you so much for sharing Livi’s beautiful nursery!! Don’t forget to check out her gorgeous Etsy shop!


Pink & Gold Party Decor

Have you noticed the abundance of pink and gold parties? It makes me so happy.

I have to assume that you want to make a pink and gold party in the near future (and that you are inviting me) so to help you with the planning, here are some great sources for pink and gold party decor:

Pink & Gold Party Deco and Accessoriesr

chevron forks via Sucre Shop // fringe tassel garland via the Bannerie // gold stars cup and gold stars plate via Papermash // gold stars collection via Sweet Lulu // gold glitter crowns via Alex and Alexa // pink and gold good and lovely balloon via Thimblepress // paper straws via Hopscotch Craft Supply // cheers my dears cups via Sucre Shop // pink honeycomb ball via Sweet Lulu

So… when should I come over?


Birthday, Blog Update, Call for Submissions, and a Giveaway!

its my birthdayI love my birthday! I seriously think it’s the best birthday in the world and I’m so happy it’s mine. It’s not rational, so don’t ask me questions about it, just accept it. In good news, you can totally celebrate with me! I’m having a birthday giveaway! Details at the end of the post…

Naturally, since I am turning 28 (which means that I’m almost 40), I’m being really introspective. What have I done right so far?  In the simplest of terms: I’ve got an awesome husband and kids and I fulfilled a life-long dream of opening my own store and being my own boss.

ARTMONYC-59 copy

What do I want to do better? I want to be better about setting boundaries for when I work so I can be more present for my family. It can be really hard to stop since if I don’t do something it just doesn’t happen and no one cares more about the success of the Bannerie than I do. But I think it’s important that when I’m with the kids and Tuvia, I’m with them. And maybe I’ll do the dishes more often. Maybe. It’s my birthday so probably not today.

ARTMONYC-11 copy

What are my goals? Oh so many. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, I love that I have goals and I love working towards them. I’ll share them with you as I go :) *cough* Italy with Tuvia before I’m 30 *cough*

Anyway, you know how as people we evolve and change with the times (hopefully)? Blogs are the same way (again, hopefully). And mine has changed a lot in the past two years.

Did you know that I constantly write posts in my head? Like all the time. About everything. My grandfather once told me that when I wake up thinking about something, that’s when I’ve found my passion. I usually wake up to a little head of curls bobbing up and down at the end of my bed where she stores my necklaces or a lanky four year old body slamming into me. But after that the first thing I think of every morning is the Bannerie and Shoes Off Please.

the Bannerie on Etsy screenshot

I love the topics I’ve written about in the past: DIY, decor, and parties are my favorite things ever and I could do/read/learn about them all day every day. But recently the blog has felt a little unfocused and it’s left me uninspired. I still think about it all the time but not with the excitement that I used to. I had all these plans for how I was going to make it all interior design focused and do these awesome roundups and it’s really hard for me to step away from that but it’s the right decision for me right now. So, there are still a lot of cosmetic changes to come (hopefully), it needs a major organization overhaul and I’ve been wanting to give it a makeover for some time, but the main change will be the content focus.

Shoes Off Please will now be almost exclusively party-focused!


I’ve considered changing the name and it’s not out of the question, but for now it will remain “Shoes Off Please”, a place where you feel comfortable and kick off your shoes. Plus… aren’t the best parties the ones where you can’t find your shoes by the end? *wink*

I still have a few room tours and other posts lined up that I’m excited about, but after that it’s party central including a wedding I am super excited about!

call for submissions

On that note, if you want to submit any of those things (a party, wedding, baby shower, party project, roundup etc), please e-mail me at shoesoffpls(at)gmail(com) with 5-10 high resolution photos and tell me about your party/project! I am accepting from anyone, professional or not, but no spammers please :)

This week is also my blog’s two year anniversary! To celebrate, and because it is July, the best month ever (the best day ever being July 7th…have I mentioned that?), I’m having a giveaway of pretty things I love!

Birthday Giveaway of Pretty Things I Love!

The winner will receive one custom letter banner from me, a white tulle skirt from the Porter Rose Shop (site coming soon!), a bag of “Let Them Eat Cake” confetti from the Confetti Bar, and a midi ring from the Glo-Shop! It’s like a party in a box!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. You’ve got one week to enter for the chance to win all these goodies! Good luck dollfaces!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*It’s My Birthday graphic was made using my custom Confetti Bar mix, Parties, Party DIYs, & Party Roundups graphic was made using “Let Them Eat Cake” mix, Call for Submissions was made using my fringe tassel garland

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