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Design With Chon (DWC) – a boutique design studio with defined niches in (1) visual communication, (2) event design and (3) interiors. Each of these industries are huge in themselves, but DWC’s goal is to achieve good design in all its various forms, whether it’s from the branding of your business to saying “I do” to transforming interiors. Let me, “Chon," be your personal design consultant + stylist for your business, wedding or home. A balanced environment makes you feel good, and I am here to inspire your surroundings.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Those Extra Touches that Make All the Difference...

As you near your wedding date, all the big tasks should have been accomplished by now. And now is the time to start thinking of those last minute nuances that will make a significant difference to your wedding and make for dynamic wedding day photos.

Consider some of these ideas...
1. Ribbon Wands (a good, DIY project)
2. Floral Petal Cups
(a good, DIY project)
3. Bubbles
4. Parasols

5. Sparklers

And don't forget to incorporate your wedding day color palette into these ideas when possible. It will had that extra splash of color!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Featured Photography: Jessica Johnston

It's not Friday yet, but today it is for me since I will be busy tomorrow running around town with my sister and won't be able to do my Friday post like usual. So here's the photography eye candy for the week – Jessica Johnston. A very good, well-rounded photographer that documents wedding and lifestyle shots. She's from the Ann Arbor, Michigan area, but certainly will travel for any special occasion. I especially love her eye for the unconventional shots.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Inspiration Board #5: The Nontraditonal, Modern Irish Wedding

A new wedding mood board this week! I had a good friend come to me recently asking for ideas and how to pull several ideas and elements together for an October 10, 2010 wedding. It's quite a popular wedding date since the date exactly translates to 10/10/10. I am currently working on another wedding invitation for the same date.

Here were some mandatories for this particular mood board:
- the roman numeral "X" symbolic of 10/10/10
- nontraditional wedding, no formal church
- some incorporation of Irish traditions
- early afternoon wedding
- reception is a non-sit down (cocktails & hors d'oeuvres)
- some key descriptor words: edgy, modern & Irish influences

And here's what I was able to pull together and push the concept to be visually stronger. I took the roman symbol "X" representing 10/10/10 and merged it with a traditional Irish, Celtic design and created a very unique & bold icon along with a textile Celtic-like pattern that can be incorporated into the branding of their wedding day elements (e.g., wedding invitations, napkins and/or "X" drink menu).

In Irish culture, I just learned that the bride wears a baby blue colored wedding dress which I think is really pretty. However with the wedding & reception already being not-so traditional, I thought it would be fun to push the color palette further once I saw this stunning Laila silk chiffon strapless dress on And as soon as I saw this dress, it inspired the color palette for the rest of the wedding with deep blues, turquoise, light blue and the traditional Irish green. Since the reception is like a cocktail hour, I thought the short cocktail dresses for the bridesmaid would complement the bride's dress and be perfect for the festive evening.

Though this is a modern, nontraditional wedding, I still wanted to have some rustic, earthy elements to represent the Irish culture beyond the Celtic motif. A collection of small vintage and eclectic vases from glass to brass materials holding lovely, simplistic arrangements of white & green plants are a nice budget-friendly touch to a cocktail happy hour. Also, what is missing on this mood board that I forgot to add are chunky white pillar candle arrangements to bring warmth to this cool, October evening reception. And it's definitely not Irish unless there are few Guinness glasses with clovers in it. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Featured Photography: Pen/Carlson

The end of the work week is here, and it's been a great week of weather! Looking forward to the weekend; however, the weather doesn't look that good. Go away snow! As usual, I am ending the week with good eye candy. On this Friday, I am presenting you with a local, Chicago area photographer – Pen/Carlson.

Behind this great duo team is Brit & Kiri, and I think their work is fresh. They capture their subject's fun personality, great eye for details, and they capture those unconventional compositions & moments which makes their work outstanding. Besides being visually successful, they have the recognition to back it up. They have been recognized in The Knot, Brides Chicago and Southern Weddings magazines. Check out the Pen/Carlson website and blog and Become a Fan, too, if you want to see the latest work that they are up to.

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Flowers for Every Occasion

These are the perfect flowers for everyday wear, or for your wedding party! They are beautiful, colorful, there's a variety, and they will last a lifetime. These flowers are definitely money well spent. And they look good on him, too. :)

Emersonmade has a very good product line up, and I want a flower for every purpose and occasion. They have have thought of everything. Flower rosettes for your shoes, clutch, belt, hair, bouquet and boutonniere. There are sooo many possible uses especially for a weddingbridal party gifts & accessories, reception/table decor and wedding favors.

Emersonmade are known as the "Artist Flower Makers" since they specialize in hand dyed and hand stitched fabric blooms. Who wouldn't want to flaunt one of these?!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

The Perfect Save the Date Idea

A great idea for a 2010, or 2011 wedding. Your engaged, and you want to let everyone know that you are in love and are getting married! And now before you, you have a huge checklist of "To-Do's" before your big day comes. Here's a perfect idea to get two big things checked off your list and feel real good about it.

First of all, find and book your favorite photography at least a year in advance, because the good ones always get booked up fast. Opt to do your engagement session early so you can do some innovative, fun things in your session which can than be sent as your Save the Dates. Some of these ideas can be DIY shots with a little photoshoping skills, but the artistic eye of a photographer can push it to a whole 'nother level.

Fun, creative & quirky photo shoot Save the Date ideas:
1. Picture within a Picture
(For example - a polaroid, iphone, picture frame, etc...)

2. A Written Message on a Card, or in an Environment
(For example - beach sand, building signage, spell-it-out using untraditional media)

Have fun with your Save the Dates, and let it reflect who you guys are as a couple. Work with your photographer and see if he/she has any ideas – they are very creative people. And you can always consult with me, too. :)

Nordstrom's Wedding Shop

Nordstrom is trying to market more into the wedding industry like J.Crew. Obviously, J.Crew has been overwhelmingly successful in that area, and the designs of their wedding gowns & bridesmaid dresses are the key reason for it. I think Nordstrom needs a little more work in improving in that department based on the gowns that I have seen on their site, and they can improve on their website's organization and functionality, too. Don't get me wrong, Nordstrom has some pretty dresses, but their style & selection in the bridal gowns seem limited in good designs.

These are a few of the best ones that I found for bridal dresses. They are definitely more casual and destination-beach wedding gowns vs. church-like, or it could be someone's second wedding dress for reception time & dancing. Also, the price isn't bad either; most of these are all around $300. They do have some great detailed, halter designed gowns.

For bridesmaid dresses, or just a cocktail dress to a wedding, Nordstrom does have a good variety of style and colors for a spring & summer wedding. However, there is always room for improvement. The could certainly expand their color palette in each dress like J.Crew does so it's easy for a bride to customize her wedding party colors. Below are a few of my fave dresses and color collections that I think are just lovely.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Featured Photography: Stephanie Williams

Every week I am trying to end the week with good, visual eye candy. And today, I am featuring another California wedding photographer, Stephanie Williams. She has mastered the art of select focus in her work, and it makes her photos quite strong.

There are three keywords that I think summarizes her style: soft, romantic and just dreamy. Her engagement sessions capture the simplistic and natural inner beauty of each couple that are truly breathtaking. That statement definitely applies to her wedding photography, too.

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Bold Pearls for your Wedding

Here's a good 2010 tip for the modern, classic bride. Pearls are timeless, but they can seem a little dated with the single strand around the neck. Why not embellish your neck with several strands and make a visual statement. This actually works for any special occasion and your work environment depending on your field.

J.Crew and Anthropologie have a good selection of bold jewelry, but here's another great place to find classic and trendy jewelry – Stella & Dot. Below, I highlighted a few of my favorite wedding jewelry pieces that I think would look spectacular for the modern, classic bride.

Remember, if you go bold at your neckline go simple with your earrings, like a pair of studs. You don't want to over do it since you will have two chunky, bold items right next to each other. If you go bold & chandelier-like with your earrings, skip the necklace; a bare neckline can be very attractive. You can, however, go with an over-the-top bracelet with a bold necklace, or earrings since they aren't competing in the same visual arena.

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