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fall 2012

craFty celebration

Homemade and Halloween Honeymoon in

aUStralIa a great destination DoG DaYS

maKing Fido Part oF the Fun


october/november 2012

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Artful celebrations happen just steps from Lake Michigan


ubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City is the artful choice of those seeking a contemporary, casually elegant event. With five gallery spaces and a backdrop of world-class art exhibitions, this venue stands apart from other reception options. From the dramatic, semi-circular Hyndman Gallery, to the intimate Brincka/Cross and robert Saxton Galleries, lubeznik Center’s galleries each offer a different character to your event. the entire facility provides more than 5,000 total square feet on two floors with a stand-up capacity of 500 people. the architecturally iconic building stands on beautifully landscaped grounds showcasing an impressive outdoor art collection. In warm months, the front patio and tree-lined North parking area can be utilized to increase capacity, or enjoy the lake breezes. environmentally conscious couples will appreciate the new bamboo floors as well as the proximity to transportation, shopping, hotels and Michigan City’s picture-perfect lakefront Washington Park. Complemented by a knowledgeable and professional staff, convenient parking and a constantly changing exhibition of art, photography and sculpture, lubeznik Center for the Arts offers everything lUBeZNIk CeNter needed to make your event truly special. 101 W 2nd St For more information, phone 219.874.4900 Michigan City, Ind. or visit 219.874.4900

Choose Best Western Plus/ LaPorte Hotel and Conference Center for your next celebration


wners Gerry and Carol roth proudly invite you to consider the Best Western Plus/ laPorte Hotel and Conference Center for your wedding. Following a recent multi-million dollar renovation, the hotel exudes elegance, warmth and hospitality, and is the ideal versatile venue for all your events. Karen Gazdick and her BW banquet team are here to support the perfect weekend celebration starting with the rehearsal dinner through the reception, to brunch on Sunday. Chef Maggie Grivetti and her staff guide couples through a creative and comprehensive menu of appetizers, entrées, side dishes and desserts. Choices include traditional elegant food like canapes, jumbo shrimp cocktails, miniature quiches, oven-baked roast turkey and lasagna, filet mignon, seafood grilled or pan-fried and served with salad and rice or potatoes. International selections start with spring rolls, chicken satay or antipasto and entrée selections include tortellini with spinach, bacon and cream sauce; barbecued ribs and chicken; or hand-carved prime rib or grilled Atlantic salmon. Whether the celebration is held in Best Western’s Grand Ballroom with its large dance floor, one of the well-appointed banquet rooms or a cozy, private dining room, couples and guests will revel in the upscale atmosphere. enjoy the renovated hotel guest rooms, with the best quality bedding, plush linens, granite BeSt WeSterN plUS/ vanities, refrigerators, flat-screen tVs laporte hotel aND and complimentary wireless. And the CoNFereNCe CeNter bridal couple has a choice of suites, with 444 pine lake ave a Jacuzzi if that is your preference. All laporte, Ind. facilities are handicap accessible. 219.362.4585

artful celebrations! michigan city’s lakefront art center 219-874-4900 Our planning expertise and award-winning staff will make your wedding the most memorable event you have always dreamed of.

Every step of the way we'll surpass your highest hopes and desires – from the rehearsal dinner, wedding reception to the morning after brunch.

Best Western Plus La Porte Hotel and Conference Center 444 Pine Lake Avenue | La Porte, IN | 219.362.4585 50


711 Main St. • Schererville, IN • 219-322-2700 • Southlake Mall • Merrillville, IN • 219-769-1976

The Gown of Your Dreams is Here

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ou have shopped for dresses countless times for countless occasions....but nothing is quite as special as the shopping trip you take to discover your very own bridal gown. Not only do you desire the perfect dress...but the perfect experience. Creating unforgettable shopping experiences for brides is what family-owned bridal boutique elegance Wedding & evening Wear is known for. Opened in September 2000 by bridal expert Charlott Sitarski and located in the heart of Hammond, Indiana, elegance Wedding & evening Wear has long been known as one of the area’s premier bridal shops. Besides offering an unsurpassed variety of bridal designs from brands such as Maggie Sottero, Casablanca, Mori lee, and enzoani, the “one stop shop” also carries everything for the bride and her bridal party, including invitations, gifts and tux rentals. “Our goal is for brides to feel pampered the moment they walk through our doors,” explains Charlott. “We pride ourselves in the way we are able to create a real relationship with our brides and their families that continues long after they walk down the aisle. We are here to make sure their search for all of their wedding attire and accessories is a perfect one.” And on the off chance you are unable to find the perfect bridal gown while you are there, elegance and their skilled staff of seamstresses are there to customize areas of their gown to make the final product the dress of your dreams. In fact, armed with a degree in fashion design, Charlott has been known to make the “impossible... possible” for a countless number of loyal clients. Her vast knowledge of fabrics, beading and any extra costs that might accrue helps to keep the bride fully informed. “I have seen firsthand how Charlott can change necklines and add jackets in a way that no one would know it wasn’t originally that way,” remarks elegance Wedding & evening Wear consultant Kristen Sturges. “Giving brides those sorts of options is really priceless.” elegance Wedding & evening Wear is located at 2820 Highway Avenue in Highland, Indiana. Store hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 5pm, tuesday and thursday from 10am to 8pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. For an appointment to make your eleGaNCe wedding dreams 2820 highway ave come true, call them highland, Ind. at 219.923.0977. 219.923.0977



You push hard all week. Life becomes a numbing blur. It’s time for some rejuvenation — to enliven your senses again. So get away with your family, friends or on your own. Immerse yourself in fun from sunup to sundown in nearby Southwestern Michigan. Good times come naturally here. It starts at our Lake Michigan shoreline where you and your kids can sail kites on brisk lake breezes. Reel in a fighting salmon. Race up and down towering dunes. Walk out to our historic lighthouses. Dive for a volleyball in the soft sand. Kayak on mistblanketed waters. Or hold the one you love as the sun dips below a crimson-andlavender horizon.

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The fun definitely doesn’t stop at our water’s edge. You can play golf at dozens of courses. Our area offers a wide range of challenge levels as well as tee times that fit your schedule. And several courses team up with area hotels to offer special packages that will entice you to play over several days. Our great outdoors calls you to bike our scenic country roads. Picnic in a meadow flooded with wildflowers. Go birding in our nature preserves. Hike our trails. Stargaze on our hillsides. You can easily fill your day shopping at boutiques and galleries in our quaint Victorian-era towns. Hunting for antiques. Playing arcade and laser tag games. Winning at our gaming resort, too. Or fill weekend after weekend with our festivals and fairs. Have a great time looking for colorful pirates in St. Joseph’s annual outdoor art exhibit. Whirl around and around on our magnificent carousel. Jam with the live music performers in our parks. Retrace history in our museums. Stir your soul with our plays. And make memories in ways only you can create.

Hungry? Fill baskets with plump, juicy berries and fresh-today vegetables. Many of our farms welcome you to pick your own food from their orchards and fields. Others have markets brimming with baskets of goodness. You can also let our renowned chefs’ recipes tantalize your taste buds in our eclectic selection of restaurants. Sip free tastes of our awardwinning wines — then bring home bottles of your favorite vintages from more than a dozen wineries. Satiate your sweet tooth with hand-dipped chocolates, mountainhigh ice cream cones and buttery European-style pastries. At day’s end, you’ll find a wide range of places to spend the night from lakeside cottages to quaint bed & breakfast inns to campgrounds to amenity-filled hotels. We’ll make you feel so at home … it’ll be hard to leave. So, come get away to where the fun starts … and never stops. Visit, or call 269-925-6301 for lots more ideas and great places to stay.

6/28/12 2:10 PM

Rejuvenate from sunrise to sunset. Savor Lake Michigan’s fresh breezes. Build castles on soft, sandy beaches. Reel in a fighting salmon. Run down sky-high dunes. Kayak through sun-dappled waters. Uncork the bouquet of our wineries’ vintages. Ride a carousel under 1,000 glittering lights. Meander through art galleries and boutiques. Play golf on lush greens. Delight in the tantalizing aromas of our festivals. Linger evening after evening to watch the sun paint the sky.


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real weddings


Aaron Brown Photography “My style is seen through lights, shadows, attitude and character. My inspiration comes from rock ’n’ roll, hip-hop, cinema and a bit of subversion. this helps me put emphasis on celebrating the day YOU want and is refl ected in the photographs I create— modern and with some edge to ’em.” -AARON BROWN [clockwise from top] Alyeska and Richard Martinez in Hobart, Ind.; Allison and Sam Henderson in Crown Point, Ind.; Emily and Joe Koranek in Schneider, Ind. aaron Brown Photography 219.669.1078

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lenwood Oaks reects a cozy, intimate, elegant to casual atmosphere where we have been creating special occasions for over 38 years. Allow us to tailor your special day just for you! Our non-pretentious atmosphere is achieved through a flowing residential design; a home-away-from home where the owner hosts guests nightly. Our private dining rooms accommodate 20 to 250 guests. Candles and fresh flowers accent the crisp linens on each table. Valet parking is available for your guests and our staff is prepared to recommend services for every detail of your Wedding Day. Our menus are sumptuous feasts that guests will love, from complete dinners to family style and cocktail finger food. We set stringent standards of excellence in service, food presentation, and quality ingredients,

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fall 2012


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Your Wedding ... Our Place ... Lake Bluff Inn & Suites


very bride wants her special day to be filled with joy and beauty, in an outstanding setting everyone will enjoy and remember. lake Bluff Inn and Suites is the ideal choice, located on a bluff 70 feet above sparkling lake Michigan and just a mile and a half to lovely South Haven. lake Bluff Inn and Suites has earned a sterling reputation for luxurious accommodations and impeccable services. Owners richard and Martha Faustmann have devoted themselves to providing their guests with a beautiful environment and worry-free stays. “this is such a special time for bridal parties and guests; we want to ensure that everyone will have memories to cherish for years to come,” says richard Faustmann. He recalls a guest who happily confided that she plans to have her wedding here, too, after experiencing the breathtaking views, the many conveniences offered, and South Haven’s opportunities for recreation. lake Bluff Inn and Suites is ideal year-round—its romantic luxury suites have relaxing Jacuzzis and cozy fireplaces. With 52 guest rooms, family and friends can enjoy hot tubs, a sauna, kitchenettes for private family meals, and outdoor grills and picnic tables for fun get-togethers. Guests appreciate having wireless Internet and satellite tV at their fingertips, and a recreation center offers a variety of games to play. “Bridal parties are very happy here,” says richard Faustmann.

“People appreciate having everything they need here, and lots to do and see right nearby.” Beach access is just one mile away, where South Haven’s famously pristine sand and shoreline are unsurpassed for lake Michigan beauty and water sports. Downtown South Haven has shops and restaurants geared to vacationers’ enjoyment. And the opportunities for memorable outings include golfing, cultural venues, winery tours, and charter boats for fantastic forays out onto the most beautiful of the Great lakes. lake Bluff Inn and Suites is perfect for morning coffee on the bluff with a panoramic view of lake Michigan, reading under a shade tree, and having dinner while enjoying the lake’s unbelievably brilliant sunsets. Guests watch for the unique phenomenon of the sunset “green flash”— the precise moment when the sun slips past the horizon. Is it real, is it imaginary? Just ask anyone who has seen it! Beauty, convenience, and moments to cherish, are what lake BlUFF INN & SUIteS lake Bluff Inn and Suites are all 76648 11th ave about. “People say, ‘Wow!’” says South haven Charter richard Faustmann. “For 32 years, township, Mich. we’ve been providing that ‘Wow’ 269.637.8531 experience.”

Your Wedding... Our Place Perched 70 feet above on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, Lake Bluff Inn & Suites with its exquisitely manicured lawn is the perfect place for your wedding.

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{ Hello Beautiful }

Discover the perfect place for your celebration at Ciao Bella Ristorante


alk into Ciao Bella’s restaurant on any given evening, and chances are that you will be greeted as one of the family. that’s just the way it was in owner Giuseppe “Joe” Scalzo’s homeland of Calabria, Italy . . . and it’s the way he has always made his Schererville eatery, making it the perfect location for all your upcoming wedding events. “Ciao Bella translates to ‘Hello, beautiful,’ and that’s certainly how we like to make our customers feel,” explains Scalzo, who emigrated to the United States 15 years ago when he was 27 years old. “We know with these events, there can be some anxiety. We want them to feel at home here, whether it’s a rehearsal dinner or a bridal shower. We will do everything we can to ease any sort of anxiety.” Ciao Bella recently unveiled a brand new private dining room space, ideal for all of your intimate wedding needs. Designed to seat 60-65 guests, the exquisitely designed space serves up the ideal ambiance for family and friends to come together to celebrate your special union. “For bridal showers, our brides tend to serve a healthy and a bit lighter dish such as the delicious Pasta Primavera,” says Scalzo, who is currently booking the room 1-2 months ahead of the event date. “For rehearsal dinners, the men get a bit more involved, and seem to love the heavier choices such as the lamb chops or a wonderful filet.” Whether serving a plated meal or a family style luncheon or dinner, your guests are sure to relish the deliciousness of Ciao Bella’s specialties, including everything from Insalata Di Mare (poached scallops, calamari and shrimp marinated in a red wine vinaigrette with red onions and roasted red bell peppers set on a bed of radicchio) to Spaghetti Carbonara (crispy bacon, sautéed onions and garlic, tossed with cooked spaghetti). “We have a long list of wine selections that will go well with any of our dishes,” says Scalzo, whose restaurant also serves as the preferred caterer at the nearby Centennial Park venue. “We also have a wine tasting room that our customers rave about.” Couples love to share their story with family and friends, so Ciao Bella’s new private dining rooms are also designed for multimedia presentations that can truly set your event apart from the rest. Interested in sharing music straight from your iPod? the room has Internet capabilities along with a number of easily accessible electric sources. Previously having worked with rosebud restaurants and owned two Chicago restaurants—Piazza Bella (since sold) and Via Carducci (now owned by his brother John)—Scalzo’s experience with helping events become memorable actually spans many years and is something that ultimately sets him apart from the other restaurant owners in Northwest Indiana. “I often find myself writing a personal note to the bride and groom on the night before their event, expressing CIao Bella rISoraNte how thrilled we are to share this special 1514 U.S. 41 time with them,” adds Scalzo. “Adding Schererville, Ind. this private dining area is going to help 219.322.6800 us make it even more special.”

On your special day everything should be “Bella”... from the day & setting to the cuisine. Enjoy the ambiance of Tuscany while dining on all the flavors of Italy in our new Private party room. Our event specialist will plan the perfect custom menu of the finest and freshest flavors. Now accepting reservations for Bridal Parties, Rehearsal Dinners and Wedding Receptions. On site catering is also our pleasure.

1514 U.S. 41 | Schererville, IN | 219.322.6800 Monday-Thursday: 11am - 10pm Friday-Saturday: 11am-11pm | Sunday: 11am-10pm fall 2012



Region Weddings “I like a mix of traditional and modern wedding photography in a photojournalistic style. I love spontaneity, but I also believe in a rock solid plan so the day goes smoothly for the bride and groom, their families and their guests. I want this to be a fun day, as it should be.� -STEVE VANSAK [clockwise from top] Elise and Chris Phillips in Valparaiso, Ind.; Linda and Tom Davis in Crown Point, Ind.; Brittany and Shaun Moran in Chicago; Candy and Chris Isom in Hobart, Ind. region Weddings 219.779.7137

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Dennis Schramm of Studio One Salon on the way they work


g Weddin r your . u fo o f y o r d reame can create fo d u o y k e ver loo dio on Whate stylist at Stu e day th


take great pride in the caliber and experience of my staff. All of these amazing people individually bring a minimum of thirty years experience in the beauty industry. Most of them have been salon owners, all hugely successful in every way. each one brings a totally different approach to our business. Collaboratively, we believe there isn’t a challenge we could not figure out, if we put our heads together. Personally, I have been a hairdresser for 34 years, and I have never worked with such a talented group of people. I feel honored every day I can walk in the door and set up my station next to any one of them. kara gadzala previously owned a salon in Munster for over twenty years. Her experience shines through in her work. Cutting and coloring are Kara’s forte. If you desire a truly amazing experience, schedule a pedicure with Kara. You will not be disappointed! dana marthakis brings almost forty years of experience, professionalism and dedication to Studio One. Dana is a Master Stylist who loves cutting and color. Being a true artist comes naturally to Dana, and she is a perfectionist with up-styles. maria alvarez joined Studio One over five years ago after owning a salon for twenty years. Maria is truly a master with her craft whose work always is impeccable and pristine. Photo shoots, professional competitions, fashion shows and pageants all round out Maria’s field of expertise. ted evancic joined the staff at Studio One three years ago. ted was an educator in the beauty industry for several years before owning a hugely successful salon for more than 25 years. His wealth of knowledge continues to promote him to the top of our industry. the quality of his work is proof positive! cheryl hanft brings almost 32 years of experience to the table at Studio One. Cheryl truly loves her work, and it shows. Cheryl naturally attracts people. Going that extra mile to ensure client satisfaction is never uncommon; she does it every time someone sits in her chair. Jennifer grow joined Studio One a few years ago after owning her salon for close to 10 years. Jennifer is also a 30-plus year veteran of the beauty industry. If ever a stylist could be trusted to formulate and execute the perfect color, it would be Jennifer. It is an honor to work with this master! connie stern, luanne kure and sara lopez are also an indispensable part of our family. All three of these remarkable women keep our wheels in motion, and assist the stylists in every way possible. Jokingly, if we were to ever lose this team of coordinators, we would have to board up the salon! Connie worked at Kara’s salon for many years before following her to Studio One. A few years ago, luanne came to StUDIo oNe SaloN Studio One as a temporary fill-in, and 9228 Indianapolis Blvd has never been allowed to leave. Sara highland, Ind. also volunteered to assist, and quickly 219.923.1915 hours by appointment cemented her spot with our team.


Cut | Color | Style | ManiCure PediCure | MaSSage theraPy 9228 indianapolis Blvd/highland, in


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fall 2012



It’s Bliss Photography “No couple would hire me for my sales pitch or presentation; those just don’t exist for me. In fact, I don’t pursue wedding clients at all. I prefer them to discover and enjoy my work fi rst, then hire me based on our mutual expectations and artistic preferences. My passion and artistry are more important than my marketing.” -ANN WALKER [clockwise from top] Victoria and Daniel Alspach in Lansing, Ill.; Stacy and Michael Agosto in Munster, Ind.; Brooke and Matt Valois in LaPorte, Ind. it’s Bliss Photography 219.306.0240


AvAlon MAnor Get the scoop on what’s up at the lakefront delivered to your in-box


Outside catering available to your destination for any occasion!

Celebrating our 11th Anniversary. Tour our newly remodeled venue.

3550 E. US RoUtE 30 For more information call Jayne, Katie or leticia at 219.945.0888

latest events, news, party gossip, updated blogs and special invites Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter, shorelines. You’ll automatically be entered into our shorewards program which gives our newsletter subscribers chances to win prizes.


resources for the bride-to-be fall 2012


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Breathtaking views, exquisite food and attentive service

intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions Allow the Boulevard Inn & Bistro to host your intimate wedding ceremony and reception at a beautiful location overlooking lake Michigan. Indoor ceremonies for up to 50 guests, outdoor ceremonies on the private deck for up to 30 guests, and

receptions for up to 76 guests. Planning a wedding at the Boulevard Inn & Bistro could not be easier! tables, chairs, linen, and china are all included in your rental price. An experienced event planner will help you every step of the way and a talented banquet coordinator will be there during your event to make sure everything runs smoothly. oFFsite catering the Boulevard Inn & Bistro caters wedding receptions and events at Berrien Hills Golf Club, the Heritage Center, Krasl Art Center, Sarett Nature Center, the Citadel, other local banquet facilities, and private homes. the award winning chef uses locally grown produce and top grade meats to create delicious appetizers, buffets, plated meals, and desserts. rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, Farewell breakFasts, and more there is much more to a wedding than just the big day. the Boulevard Inn & Bistro

can help you make the most of the entire wedding experience. the Boulevard Inn & Bistro will make your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, farewell brunch, or anniversary party absolutely unforgettable. the Boulevard Inn & Bistro staff looks forward to being a part of your special day. Contact us today to begin planning your happily ever after! the BoUleVarD INN & BIStro 512 lake Blvd . St. Joseph, Mich. 269.983.4518

photography by DaVID kNIGht


newly remodeled guest suites he Boulevard Inn & Bistro will reserve a block of hotel rooms for your outof-town wedding guests! everyone will enjoy the newly remodeled oneand two-bedroom suites. extensive renovations of the hotel began in March and concluded the first week of July 2012. every aspect of the hotel suites is brand new: wallpaper, carpet, granite countertops, bathroom tiles and tub surrounds, mirrors, televisions, furniture and fixtures. returning guests have been delighted with the transition from the former more traditional accommodations to those with a contemporary flair. With so many suite types to choose from, the Boulevard Inn is the perfect place for business travelers, groups and families. Additional renovations of banquet rooms and the hotel lobby are scheduled to be completed in 2013.

Bridal Showers • Rehearsal Dinners • Ceremonies • Receptions • Room Blocks Say “I Do” at our beautiful venue overlooking Lake Michigan. Enjoy exquisite food prepared by one of the region’s most highly regarded chefs. Reserve a block of rooms for your guests in our newly remodeled hotel. Contact us today to start planning your happily ever after!

269-983-4518 • 521 Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph, MI • •


first things first



Couples can save money by planning a cold-weather wedding


ate spring and summer have always been popular months for weddings as brides seek outdoor venues for ceremonies or want pictures with an outdoor backdrop. However, holding off until winter can have many advantages, especially when it comes to cost. even with discounts offered at many reception halls, wedding business decreases tremendously come november, says Peter Kaiafas, owner of avalon manor in merrillville and caterer for the Legacy in valparaiso. Holiday parties do keep dates filled in november and december, but at the start of the year, few weddings are scheduled. Kaiafas says, “Couples who book during January, February and march can expect anywhere from a 10 to 20 percent discount, depending on what they are looking for as far as the food and bar.” amy and Cesar Ontiveros, of Hobart, were engaged in august 2011 and knew they wanted to get married in about six months. they had a February 17, 2012, Friday evening wedding with the reception held at ambassador Banquets in Hobart. “Our summer schedules are really crazy and it was a time that we thought was better for


• Less planning time is needed, because many halls and vendors have greater availability during slower months. • Halls and other services are often discounted during the off-season.

our schedules and we knew all of our friends and family would be more available than during the summer,” amy says. “i wasn’t the kind of bride who wanted an outdoor wedding. We knew we were getting married in a church, anyway.” although romance is often in the air around valentine’s day, it still isn’t a significant time in the wedding industry. By going with not only a slower wedding month, but also a Friday date, she said they were able to find prices at about half of a summer saturday. “a lot of caterers and dJs had the date open. Because it’s a slower time, we were able to work out deals.” there was one exception on cost. Flowers that would typically be accessible and abundant during summer months are harder to get and therefore more expensive. “We stayed away from roses,” amy says. “Our florist said that during the month of February the cost of roses is going to pretty much double.” “another reason we were excited about having a wedding in winter is that we got a great price for a winter package for our honeymoon. We went to the dominican republic and got a good price because it was a good time to fly,” she says. “and it was so nice to leave chilly Chicago and go somewhere warm.” —Carrie Steinweg

• Holiday themes, such as Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, can be incorporated into the theme and favors and decorations can be easily found. • Travel to exotic honeymoon spots may be less expensive.

• There is a greater selection on halls and services, because there are fewer bookings during the months of January and February. • Scheduling conflicts may be less likely, allowing more friends and family to attend.


photography by [top to bottom] roBIN SloaNe rIVerBeND StUDIo; ForeVer oCtoBer photoGraphY; DreaM palaCe

millennium park


dream palace 19825 Stony Island ave lynwood, Ill. 708.418.2041 Completely renovated in 2012, Dream Palace Banquet Hall features Swarovski chandeliers, an indoor waterfall, spacious dance floors and custom-created menus. It can accommodate up to 700 guests. The Licea family has provided quality food and service for more than 20 years in Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs with its Mexican restaurant and banquet hall in East Chicago and later at Fiesta Palace Banquet Hall in Merrillville. With this latest addition to the family, in the former Villa De Bruno facility, they are creating a new landmark wedding reception venue.

county line orchard

county line orchard 200 S County line rd hobart, Ind. 219.947.4477. County Line Orchard provides a reception venue with both an elegant and rustic feel. Couples can exchange vows inside the beautiful hand-pegged barn or outside surrounded by apple orchards. The full service banquet facility’s event directors assist couples through the planning process. Services can include vendor selection, menu creation, decoration, floral, rental needs, entertainment and party favors. millennium park 201 e randolph St Chicago, Ill. 312.742.1168 millennium/rent.html With Chicago as its backdrop, Millennium Park affords couples

the opportunity to create the wedding event space of their dreams. Event venues are located throughout the park, including Wrigley Square, which can accommodate intimate ceremonies, and the Rooftop Terrace, which can host underthe-star receptions for up to 1,000 guests. The couple and their guests can enjoy the park, from the event site itself to the artistic, architectural and cultural beauty around every corner. chateau bu-schÉ 11535 S Cicero ave alsip, Ill. 708.371.6400 With 40 landscaped acres and a Southern-style mansion, Chateau Bu-Sché boasts beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces. The foyer features ceramic flooring, a massive fireplace and a two-anda-half-story ceiling. Dining areas feature panoramic glass overlooking white atria. Ceremonies can take place on site indoors or outdoors. Couples will also find gardens, a landscaped creek walk, roses and a creekside gazebo. wicker memorial park 8554 Indianapolis Blvd highland, Ind. 219.923.3830 With a beautiful white gazebo, picturesque grounds and two reception spaces to choose from, Wicker Memorial Park remains one of Northwest Indiana’s top reception venues. The Social Center, which can accommodate up to 400 guests, features large arched windows and elegant lighting. The more intimate Clubhouse can accommodate up to 100 guests.

dream palace fall 2012


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Castle romance abounds in Charlevoix, Michigan


rian and Nichole always dreamed of being married in a castle. Majesty, pomp, romance beckoned! But when the castles of Ireland and Scotland proved beyond their budget, threatening to destroy their dream, a magical winter day in Northern Michigan put Nichole in Charlevoix . . . where, just like in a fairy tale, she happened upon a graceful and elegant castle . . . a castle known as Castle Farms. “Our dream castle, right here in Michigan!” Brian raved when Nichole informed him of her discovery. Soon, the royal Wedding was on! Guests received invitations on pink scrolls wi th gold lettering, and the Castle’s King’s Great Hall was filled with the heavenly scent of Stargazer lilies and fuchsia roses. An outdoor ceremony beneath the shadow of the great stone walls of the Knight’s Courtyard was originally planned, but Mother Nature unexpectedly intervened. “the rain started pouring down fifteen minutes before our ceremony started,” Brian lamented. “We had to move to the indoor chapel in the King’s Great Hall even as our guests were arriving. But the Castle Farms wedding team staff leapt into action, and suddenly we had a hundred smiling guests being seated in the chapel where it was warm and dry. the Castle Farms team literally saved the day . . . and

seeing my gorgeous bride walk down the aisle brought tears to my eyes. Our dream wedding was happening! We were getting married in a castle!” Brian and Nichole exchanged vows in October. “Our wedding at Castle Farms was truly magical,” Brian added. “And that amazing day at the Castle really was the beginning of our “Happily ever After . . .” looking for your own Happily-everAfter? Castle Farms, built in 1918, is a magnificent French renaissance-style castle modeled after the massive stone castles found in Normandy, France. Now fully restored, and listed on both the National and State Historic registries, Castle Farms has professionally trained wedding coordinators who assist bridal couples in planning the perfect day . . . as Brian and his fiancée Nicole happily discovered. Since the first Castle wedding in 2002, Castle Farms has provided a romantic setting for more than six hundred couples to exchange wedding vows. Now one of the premier bridal venues in the Midwest, Castle Farms is a world-class historic property that blends old world charm and modern day amenities with timeless elegance. A wedding at Castle Farms truly is the stuff of which fairy tales are made. CaStle FarMS 5052 M 66 North . Charlevoix, Mich. 231.237.0884 .


before the wedding

doghonor OF

even furry friends can play a part on the wedding day.

Evaluate your dog’s temperament. Is your dog well-behaved? How does she respond to large groups? Does he pull when walked? these are a few of the questions Jessica Pennington, owner and lead planner at Stella event Design in Southwest Michigan, asks of her clients who want to include their dog in the ceremony.

animal disrupting their vows and special moments.”

dog in line and be more likely to prevent potential disasters.

Contact your venue. “Many venues will have guidelines or restrictions on having animals on the property (some with hefty fines), so it’s important to check with your venue and ensure it’s acceptable to bring your pet on site,” Pennington advises.

Have an emergency plan. even the best-laid plans can go awry, so prepare a Plan B. Pennington recommends deciding beforehand what you’ll do if the dog gets too rowdy. Appoint a person to be in charge of the dog after she’s made her trip down the aisle.

Be realistic about your dog’s ability to walk down the aisle without becoming a major distraction. “While dogs can be great to act as a ring bearer or even a ‘groomsdog’ (walked down the aisle by a groomsman),” Pennington says, “the last thing any couple wants is an unruly

Select a trusted handler. Consider the size and temperament of the dog, the handler’s comfort level with pets, and the relationship the dog has with the handler before sending the pair down the aisle. While it may look cute to have your 3-year-old nephew walk with your dog, a more experienced hand will keep a larger

Make post-ceremony arrangements for the dog. Once the ceremony is over, it’s time to party! If your pooch won’t be attending the reception, arrange ahead of time for someone to take the dog home or drop the dog off at kennel, Pennington says. —Ashley Boyer



photography by JeNNIFer MaYo StUDIoS

he’s been there for you through it all, sharing your joys and sorrows. he’s your best friend, your confidant, your dog, and you want him to be with you on your big day. But is he ready for his wedding debut? Consider these factors before sending your pooch down the aisle:

LAYOUTS You’ve spent months planning a picture perfect day and you’ve hired a photographer to capture it all. But have you given any thought to how you’ll display and preserve those precious photos? Jennifer Mayo, principal photographic artist at Jennifer Mayo Studios in Coloma, Michigan, recommends couples consider having an album professionally designed, a service she offers with the majority of her photography packages. “In today’s digital age, it makes me kind of sad to think of wedding memories existing primarily in digital form,” Mayo says. “Individual photos are nice, but a well-designed album represents all of the emotions and details that make your wedding day unique.” want to have an album designed but don’t know where to start? Kristen Barker, owner of Kristen Lynn Photographie, in Chicago, suggests you get to know your designer, whether it is your photographer or another person on staff. Ask to see samples of the other albums they have designed. “It is important to have direct contact and a connection with the person designing it,” she says. Also, discuss your expectations for the layout of the album with your photographer beforehand, because it may affect the way your photographer captures your For your inFormation photos. “For albums we always ask: Do you want it to Jennifer mayo studios tell the story from beginning 269.468.8454 to end? Is there something you want to focus on more: portraits, candids or just kristen lynn photographie a healthy mix of both?” Barker says. Next, pick your favorite photos. “Most photographers allow you to select some or all of your images. Choose photos that tell your story and reflect how you remember the day,” Mayo advises. Finally, decide on a cover. “Today’s book binding companies offer an enormous variety of cover options that can almost be overwhelming,” Mayo says. “Try to pick something that reflects your personalities, the style of your wedding and your decorating style.” Thinking of putting together your own album with an online service? “Purchasing a ‘photobook’ from one of the popular online consumer labs is not the same as ordering a custom-designed, hand-crafted album from an experienced photographer and design team,” Mayo says. “The quality of the book, the editing applied on an individual basis to images and the careful layout and design of the album will yield an heirloom that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.” —Ashley Boyer

St. Joseph Today: “A beautiful choice all year round”


lanning for a wedding or family reunion becomes the joyful process it should be when resources are at your fingertips— and St. Joseph today is one of the best resources. Imagine a day filled with beauty, happy and relaxed guests, and every convenience at your fingertips. “St. Joseph today is dedicated to highlighting the best St. Joseph has to offer,” says Brian Smith, director of St. Joseph today Welcome Center. “We have easy access off I-94, fantastic hotels, and world-class venues for wedding receptions.” St. Joseph has the charm of a friendly, small-town atmosphere and the panache of big-city amenities. Brides can choose an informal wedding at the beach or the formal setting of a lovely reception hall. Photographers will revel in the dynamic backgrounds, from a bluff-side hotel verandah overlooking beautiful lake Michigan to the stunning Silver Beach Carousel. Guests can enjoy the convenience and charm of a trolley for downtown boutique shopping, the relaxation of pristine Silver Beach, and the fun of a winery tour. “It’s all here,” says Smith. “there are a St. JoSeph toDaY lot of churches downtown, the setting is in 421 State St nature’s beauty, and service providers are St. Joseph, Mich. very tuned in to bridal events. 269.985.1111 “It’s a beautiful choice all year round.”

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ou are getting married. You still can hardly believe it. Yet, the to-do list that sits in front of you has a sneaky way of snapping you back to reality. the fact is that before you embark on a lifetime of wedded bliss, there are parties to plan and friends to see and a ton to celebrate. But where to go to commemorate should not be stressing you out. In fact, Northwest Indiana has a plethora of venues perfect for each and every event, whether it’s a rowdy bachelor party or a refined rehearsal dinner. let’s take it step by step. A bridal shower is usually one of the first formal events that announces to the world that “Yes, I’m really getting married!” Gathering family and friends to celebrate this joyous event is important, along with the place you decide to congregate in. Serving Northwest Indiana for over eight years, Gino’s Steak House in Dyer serves as a wonderfully refined venue for such an occasion. Awarded numerous times for “Best in the region,” Gino’s staff strives every day to provide the best in customer service and quality food. the restaurant offers USDA Prime meats and is actually one of the few places in the area to offer a Dry-Aged Selection. Hosts Dean Frangos and Steve Vlahos have gone far in creating a downtown Chicago atmosphere in Northwest Indiana, and Gino’s Steak House’s private rooms are perfect for any wedding shower or formal event such as a rehearsal dinner. “No matter the type of event, the important thing for any wedding couple is making sure their guests have a good time,” explains Frangos. “We have a ton of experience in making sure this happens via our eight venues here in the Northwest Indiana area.” For something a bit different when it comes to a shower or bridal party get-together, consider giving Jelly a try. With a new location in Dyer, Jelly is known throughout the area for their delectable breakfasts, featuring everything from large omelettes to crêpes to amazing skillets. Indeed, Jelly definitely offers quite the variety to serve every palate. And as their name suggests, the homemade jellies are not to be missed. the flavors, from pina colada and jalapeno pepper to basic strawberry and grape, are switched daily and can be purchased for a delightful take home gift for your guests! thirsty? the Dyer location of Jelly has a liquor license and will serve limited drinks including Bloody Marys, mimosas and wine during brunch and lunch. Make sure to check out their outdoor seating during the warmer months and a semi-private area for groups to gather for parties of

all occasions. Private parties are also welcome in the evenings with a special dinner menu. Of course, before anyone takes one step down the aisle, they deserve an unforgettable night with their friends. A number of places are custom made for Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, or perhaps a co-ed shower? For the music lovers out there, look no further than Buddy & Pal’s Place. From acoustic and live bands to the area’s top DJs, Buddy & Pal’s Place truly has something for everyone! the patio serves as a perfect place for an outdoor toast to the bride and groom, or get your competitive juices going with a friendly game of bags. Of course, Buddy & Pal’s Place is also home to 13 HD flat screens, including one 10-foot high-def projection and an extensive menu of favorites such as pizza, sandwiches, salads and more. Wash it all down via a full bar with 11 beers on tap and an impressive drink menu. the newest venue on the block opened just last year and is perfect for a pre-wedding get-together. Bullpen luxury Bar & Grill is not your ordinary sports bar. Definitely with an upscale twist, Bullpen luxury Bar & Grill is the perfect place in Schererville for a bachelor party, whether a private party or a casual gathering. Yes, there are 17 large screen plasma tVs and always 12 beers on tap. Yet, it’s the outdoor patio that really makes the Bullpen the hottest place to hang out. there’s also longshots, which creates the same sort of atmosphere right there in Schererville. Most of their menu items are under $10, perfect for those saving up for the big day. So when you are looking for places to celebrate your upcoming wedding day, look no further than Northwest Indiana . . . we have everything you will ever need.

“No matter the type of event, the important thing for any wedding couple is making sure their guests have a good time. We have a ton of experience in making sure this happens via our eight venues here in the Northwest Indiana area.”

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howling good time




couple plans the perfect


wedding with





herry L. VerWey and Ryan Sweeney’s love story didn’t begin with love at first sight. Actually, it took nearly 12 years for the two to realize what everyone else already knew. “Friends have called us the ‘Ross and Rachel’ of Highland High School, but we were the last ones to know it,” Sherry says. The pair met in first grade, grew up only two blocks from one another in Highland, Indiana, and attended elementary school, high school and college together. It wasn’t until years after college when Sherry and Ryan reconnected online that everything finally fell into place. “We hung out a few times, friends like we had always been, but then he asked me to dinner,” Sherry recalls. “It wasn’t until midway through the week that I panicked, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, is this a date?’” It was, and a week after their first date, a kiss sealed the deal. “When he

finally kissed me, a kiss that had been building up for nearly twelve years, we both knew that this was more than just a date,” Sherry says.

a faire proposal

A self-proclaimed “nerd,” Sherry has attended the Bristol Renaissance Faire, held in Kenosha, Wisconsin, since she was 13 years old. On one trip to the fair with a small group

of friends, it was “business as usual: comedy shows, pub crawls, joust,” Sherry says, “but at the end of the day Ryan was acting strangely.” When Ryan wandered off with his camera and the fair began to close, Sherry set off to find him. As a security guard tried to direct them toward the entrance, Ryan dropped to one knee and pulled out a ring. “The security guard said, ‘Quick—your camera,’ and he took pictures of the whole thing,” Sherry says. “It’s a perfect story for a perfect day, and we have a great picture to remember it by,” Ryan adds.

handmaking a halloween wedding

When it came to wedding planning, the theme and date, Saturday, October 29, were an easy choice for the couple. “Ryan and I both love Halloween,” Sherry says. “We would usually host Halloween parties for all our friends, so what better than the party of the year on our favorite holiday?”

fall 2012


Sherry decided to create many of her own décor elements and invitations. As sole proprietor of Gypsysoul Creations, Sherry is no stranger to handmade creations. She offers special occasion calligraphy and revamps envelopes and invitations, plus sells her hand knit and woven scarves and shawls. Over the course of a year of planning and creation, Sherry crafted a Halloween tree of lit willow branches painted black with hand cross-stitched, beaded Halloween characters for decorations, made with the help of her best friend; and a gallery of family and friends’ wedding photos and childhood photos of the couple set in vintage frames bought from resale shops. Sherry also revamped her printed invitations with calligraphy and Halloween embellishments.

no reason to worry

With a year of planning and crafting behind her, Sherry and her bridesmaids began the morning of the wedding with hair and makeup at Salon Sage in Highland, then headed to a hotel to dress. With the fullness of the skirt and all the laces, all hands were on deck to help Sherry into her dress. “It took several bridesmaids to get me in that dress,” Sherry laughs. She had tried on more than fifty dresses before finding “the one,” an Oleg Cassini dress unlike anything she was looking for. While the dress was much more modern than Sherry’s fairy tale vision, “It was perfect!” Sherry gushes. “I fell in love.” The bridesmaids dressed in black and white polka-dot dresses they had each selected and accessorized with orange accents and shoes. Staying with the coordinated but not “matchymatchy” look, each bridesmaid carried a unique bouquet featuring fresh and felt flowers, charms made by Sherry and Halloween ribbons. While the girls pampered and prettied themselves, Ryan and his best man prepared at his parents’ house. “I was nervous writing my vows that morning, but after that, I was calm,” Ryan recalls. “Everything felt right, and I knew I had no reason to worry about any of it.”

an emotional reveal

Because the couple wanted outdoor photos and knew they would be working with limited daylight on a fall day, they chose to do an outdoor reveal. “We knew that it would be emotional seeing each other for the first time that day and we wanted to make it special,” Sherry says. “I remembered reading that the Carmelite Monastery in Munster had beautiful grounds and a cave. Keeping with the Halloween theme, we figured it would be perfect.” The reveal was an emotional moment for the couple. “I cried,” Ryan admits. “There are thankfully no obvious pictures of it. She looked absolutely amazing.” Ryan continues, “I remember turning to my best man, Brian, and telling him, ‘Well, that’s it. There’s nothing that can go wrong today that will ruin it for me.’”

a touching ceremony

Their ceremony took place at the Towle Theater in Hammond, where the theater’s youth ensemble had recently completed a run of Anne of Green Gables, which meant the stage was already decorated with real branches, hanging aged window panes, and a large tree trunk that extended floor to ceiling. Tasha Raylene, owner of Virtuous Events and the couple’s wedding coordinator, hung votives from the ceiling to set the mood. “We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful space,” Sherry says. The couple’s very personal ceremony was officiated by Ryan and Sherry’s friend Theodore Laich, a nondenominational minister. “His words were so touching, and the ceremony was incredibly special with him presiding over our vows,” Sherry says. Ryan, who had been nervous about reading his vows (the couple wrote

For your information Photography Two Birds Photography 815.228.2905 Ceremony and Reception Venue Towle Theater 219.937.8780 Photography Locations Carmelite Monastery 219.838.7111 Downtown Hammond Invitations, Calligraphy, Halloween Décor Gypsysoul Creations 219.616.1378 Lighting, Set-up, Flowers Virtuous Events 219.487.8888

their own), was calmed by the intimacy of the setting. “We had such a small group attending and I was so close with all of them that I wasn’t worried about getting up in front of them on stage for the ceremony,” Ryan explains.

‘halloween gypsy caravan’ reception

After the ceremony, the newly married couple and their guests enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, a buffet of heavy appetizers, served at stations set throughout the reception space at the theater, and wine, craft beers and a few special beers home-brewed by the couple’s friend, Greg Miller. In lieu of assigned seating, the couple opted for vignettes of couches, chairs, and coffee and highboy tables, along with a few traditionally set tables. “Anytime that we had a party, we would always mingle in the kitchen around the food, so we wanted to re-create this

atmosphere at the wedding,” Sherry says. “The whole atmosphere had a Halloween Gypsy Caravan feel, with nothing matchy-matchy, which I hate, and everything just blending into one another.” Sherry’s two favorite décor elements? “I loved the jack-o-lanterns everywhere, which we made at two pumpkin carving parties at my in-laws’ house,” Sherry says, “and the gorgeous Halloween wall that was lit by Virtuous Events really pulled all the elements together.” Reflecting on their wedding day, the couple agrees: “It was everything we hoped for and more than we could have imagined!”

happily ever after

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Sherry and Ryan both work in social service positions in Northwest Indiana. The Sweeneys now live happily ever after in Hobart, with their cat Rhiannon and dogs Molly and Demus.

fall 2012


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the big day

Messages IN THE


tara and ryan elinkowski release a paper lantern during their 2011 wedding at avalon manor in merrillville.

party and guests also released the floating awn and Joseph Mathis shared an uplifting wishes. “As they floated they made a line and moment on their wedding day that they plan it almost looked like it was pointing toward our to re-create year after year. house,” Dawn says. As their guests exited the reception hall at They made such an impression that the couple plans the clubhouse at Lakes of the Four Seasons, to release one every year on their anniversary. they watched as paper lanterns lifted off Tara and Ryan Elinkowski should keep that in mind for their the ground, floated across the lake and first anniversary this year. The Crown Point couple also released entered the night sky. The DJ played the song “We are Young” a lantern on their wedding day. by the band Fun with the words “so let’s set the world on fire” “We thought it would be a nice way to cap off the night,” repeating as the lanterns went up one by one. Tara says. “I also love photography “I thought that went together pretty and I knew it would be something that cool,” Dawn says of releasing what she would be special that we could capture calls “wishing lanterns” at her June 2, beautifully on film.” 2012, wedding. “It looked absolutely A groomsman brought up the idea beautiful and everyone came up and said FOR YOUR and after some research, the couple they’ve never seen it before.” INFORMATION learned that the lanterns are said to That one-of-a-kind moment was sky lanterns are airborne bring good luck. “So we made a wish just what she was hoping for paper lanterns which for our future silently to ourselves and when she ordered the 25 originated as a tradition in then released it. We also found that white lanterns online. some asian cultures. they some believe it is a way to send a wish to “When Joe and I were traditionally made heaven. We both had family members were planning of oiled rice paper with a who have passed on and could not be the wedding, I small candle or fuel cell. there with us that day so we thought it wanted to do when lit, the flame heats would be very sentimental to send a part something the air inside the lantern, of our special day to them,” Tara says. memorable causing the lantern to rise. The wedding day and night go by fast, that not Tara says, and the couple enjoyed the everyone else today, they are gaining quiet moment together. The guests were does.” popularity at american amazed by the light and how long they The couple weddings and are typically known as wishing lanterns. could follow its journey across the sky. has seven children they come in a variety of “Since then we have had many friends between them and shapes, colors and sizes who are getting married ask us about they each made a wish and modern versions are them, because they are interested in and released one. Joseph typically biodegradable doing it as well.” —Jennifer Pallay and Dawn, their wedding with flame resistant paper. source:


photo by D. SaMpraS photoGraphY


pure Entertainment Usually it’s the groom wearing the suit, but at Adam and Abigail Keene’s May wedding, it was the dancing penguin. In a throwback to wedding singers, live bands and ethnic dancers of the past, many modern couples are adding a special performance to their weddings. whether it’s with a mariachi band, animated puppets or surprise guests, couples are finding a way to incorporate their personalities and make their big day stand out. when the Keenes wed May 12, a few family members made arrangements for the wobbly friend to visit, unbeknownst to the bride and groom. The groom’s cousin Matthew Keene, of Lansing, dressed up in a penguin costume and surprised everyone when he danced around the reception at Chateau Bu-Sché in Alsip. “My cousin likes to put on a show,” says the groom, a native of Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood who now lives in Oak Forest. He liked having a new and surprising element in their wedding and says that it’s a good idea to “make people laugh and have something outside of tradition.” Guests seemed to have a great time interacting with the penguin, who danced to the music and acted silly, the groom says. Guests at Allison Moore and Sam Henderson’s June 30 wedding weren’t surprised to see the bride pay homage to the Fab Four with her entertainment choice. Moore, who describes herself as a huge Beatles fan, has obsessed over the Beatles since she was a kid. BEYOND THE That’s why she WEDDING SINGER booked the duo Chris • Book the bride and groom & Lou, a musical group characters from those Funny specializing in oldies and little People, based out of especially Beatles songs. Willowbrook, Illinois. the Chris Sulcer and Lou mobile puppet characters mix Samaniego performed for comedy, music, dance and the Crown Point, Indiana, audience interaction. Fyi: couple and their guests during cocktail hour and dinner at the Croatian • Have Casper himself perform Center in Merrillville. the “Cha Cha” and “Casper” “Everyone said they were slides at your wedding. amazing,” Moore says. Based out of Chicago, Willie “It really added a certain Perry will teach your guests sparkle to my day. That is the slides he invented and the music I truly love and keep the party moving. Fyi: enjoy.” She thinks entertainment at • Guests can’t help falling weddings is a way for in love with elvis Presley couples to add “a little impersonator Michael St. Angel. something special” to Based in the Chicagoland their day. “For the older area, this performer will folk, it was nice to play dress the part and sing a their tunes earlier in the collection of elvis’ greatest night, and once the dance hits. Fyi: floor hit, we didn’t play • the band Chris & lou is any old music. It was all also available as a four-piece modern.” —Jennifer Pallay lineup. Fyi:

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ome 5 p.m. on a Saturday night, customers begin to gather for dinner at one of Northwest Indiana’s premier Italian restaurants. Yet, before the first person is served, Giovanni’s serves as the perfect private setting for many a bridal shower. “the bridal party has the restaurant to themselves until we open to the public in the evening, so it does create a perfect setting for an event,” explains Mary loDuca, owner of Giovanni’s in Munster. “Whatever the event may be, we are there to cater to their every need.” In business for over 45 years, Giovanni’s has become a favorite with countless loyal customers. For friends and family looking to gather for an upcoming nuptial, Giovanni’s offers specialized menus featuring both plated and family style meals perfect for a celebration. the Chicken Piccata luncheon menu includes everything from homemade rolls to primavera vegetables and cream and cheese potatoes. three choice lunch or dinner menus are also available, featuring Giovanni’s delectable Chicken Marsala, Herb & Parmesan Cheese-crusted tilapia or linguine Primavera with fresh vegetables sautéed in olive oil and garlic, tossed with linguine. Of course, with the help of the talented staff at Giovanni’s, each event can be customized to your heart’s content! “We work alongside the party GIoVaNNI’S FINe planner to ensure that all of their needs ItalIaN CUISINe are taken care of,” adds loDuca, who 603 ridge rd suggests booking events at least two Munster, Ind. 219.836.6220 months in advance. “they are family when they are here!”

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the honeymoon

written by ASHLEY BOYER

sheraton mirage resort and spa gold coast Lose yourself in the luxury of Australia’s magnificent Gold Coast at the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa Gold Coast. Surrounded by sparkling lagoons and tropical gardens, the five-star resort boasts a spa and health club, gourmet restaurant, and breathtaking ocean views. Numerous attractions are a short drive away: Sea World, Dream World, White Water World, Warner Brothers Movie World, and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition, the nearby Gold Coast Hinterland, comprised of several mountain ranges, features walking trails and spectacular panoramic views of the coast. Plus, explore the boutique wineries, arts and crafts stores, and country cafés hidden in the hinterland.

Honeymoon in the



ready to relax and celebrate your recent nuptials with your new spouse? if you’re looking for a real adventure, pack your bags and head down under! considered the world’s biggest island and smallest continent, australia is home to exotic wildlife, amazing landscapes, and a culture unlike any other. australia’s year-round temperate weather and little rainfall make the continent an excellent destination any time of year. From sydney and the gold coast to the great barrier reef and uluru, there’s plenty to see and do down under.

photography [opposite page] courtesy of SheratoN MIraGe reSort & Spa; [this page, top] park hYatt SYDNeY, [bottom] VoYaGeS aYerS roCk reSort

park hyatt sydney | looking to immerse yourselves in the cosmopolitan culture of modern sydney? situated on the world-famous sydney Harbor, the newly renovated Park Hyatt sydney features guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto private balconies and boast views of the sydney opera House and Harbor Bridge. Couples can enjoy fine dining and drinks at the hotel’s restaurants and bars, and relaxing treatments at the on-site spa. the iconic hotel is located only minutes from all gorgeous sydney has to offer: the sydney opera House, famous beaches such as Bondi Beach and Manly Beach, art galleries, festivals and more.

Voyages ayers rock resort

pinnacles resort and spa whitsundays

For a real outback experience, head to one of the five hotels of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, located on the edge of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. A visit to the breathtaking Uluru (Ayers Rock), one of the world’s largest monoliths, and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), a group of more than 30 rounded red domes, is a must-do. Discover these natural wonders by camel, motorcycle, helicopter or walking tour. After a day of exploring, rejuvenate at the resort’s Red Ochre Spa, browse the hand-crafted artwork at the Mulgara Gallery, or enjoy a romantic dinner of authentic Australian delicacies under a canopy of stars.

enjoy the splendor of the Great Barrier reef and the fabulous Whitsunday Islands at the Pinnacles resort and Spa Whitsundays. the five-star luxury resort is located on Airlie Beach and one-, two-, and threebedroom self-contained apartments feature spacious balconies with breathtaking views of the Coral Sea and islands. Want to relax? Spend the day at the hotel’s day spa or laze by the pool. ready for adventure? Sail the pristine waters of the Coral Sea, kayak the seaways connecting the Whitsunday Islands, or marvel at the magnificent array of creatures living along the Great Barrier reef as you snorkel or scuba dive.

fall 2012


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Let Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa make your wedding day one to remember!


lue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City, Indiana, is the perfect destination for that perfect day. From intimate to extravagant, Blue Chip has an expansive selection of flexible space options to accommodate your guests along every step from the bridal shower to the rehearsal dinner to the reception. Blue Chip features a 65,000-square-foot casino, two hotel towers with a total of 486 rooms, five restaurants, a spa, two gift shops and the Stardust event Center. the 22-story Spa Blu tower, which has 272 guest rooms and 30 suites, offers the latest in comfortable, contemporary décor, with floor-to-ceiling windows, rich millwork and bold contemporary styling with soft cream and white organic textures and finishes. Guests can also stay at the original Blue Chip tower, with its 184 spacious and tastefully appointed rooms, including 4 grand suites and 8 luxury suites. entertain your bachelorette party at It’s Vegas Baby! enjoy a delicious menu of Midwestern favorites with a las Vegas flair and then dance the night away with live entertainment. For the perfect sports-themed, loads-of-fun

bachelor party, look no further than the Game. this sports fan’s paradise features delicious game-times appetizers and entrées, along with wall-to-wall televisions showing all the sports action. At the luxurious 10,000-square-foot spa, bridal party guests can enliven their spirits in a private transformation suite. Spa blu offers health and beauty treatments such as manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, hair and makeup. For gaming fun guests can play in the 65,000-square-foot casino, which features over 1,900 slot machines, 48 table games and a live poker room. For menus and additional information contact our Wedding Planner today at 888.879.7711 extension 2429. BlUe ChIp CaSINo, hotel & Spa 777 Blue Chip Dr Michigan City, Ind. 219.879.7711

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ou’ve spent your entire life envisioning your wedding day. What will your wedding dress look like and who will be there? Where will you walk down the aisle and how will your cake taste? It’s these sorts of details that fill your mind right up until that oncein-a-lifetime occasion, when you’re hopeful all of your visions become a reality. Star Plaza – the landmark property in Merrillville, Indiana – puts brides’ minds at ease by affording couples the chance to not only visualize, but also experience a wedding reception with the hotel’s creative planning method – a GrAND tAStING. exclusive to Star Plaza brides and not offered anywhere else in Northwest Indiana, GrAND tAStING events allow couples who have chosen

wedding couple’s personality into Star Plaza as their wedding venue the food he plans to serve. to sit down with six of their invited “We create open dialogue personal guests to an event that, with the couples that helps in essence, will create the night of guide them to the types of their reception months before they food they are interested in,” actually walk down the aisle. Held explains Narug, who was named seasonally in the breathtakingly executive Chef of the radisson beautiful Celebrity Ballroom, Hotel at Star Plaza in 2010. “In the magical evening showcases the past we have had many personalized options for couples requests: one gentleman was a to consider for their special day. Star plaZa raving fan of macaroni and cheese “Our GrAND tAStING events are I-65 & U.S. 30 but wanted something special for his essentially a realization of the total Merrillville, Ind. wedding day…so we created lobster, wedding experience a Star Plaza bride 219.757.3579 Macaroni, and Smoked Gouda Cheese and groom can expect,” explains with Bacon. We aim to please.” Deann Patena, Star Plaza Director of Several Star Plaza vendors are also on hand Sales and Marketing. “Not only are we able to support the success of this event, including to give couples a sense of what we’re capable preferred cake, music, floral, décor and of, but by creatively laying out all of their photography partners. Couples are encouraged choices – from food to linens to the wedding to ask questions and take notes throughout cake – they are able to make final decisions the evening, as this event is their opportunity that very night as well.” to try all of the options Star Plaza has to offer From linens and flowers, to wedding cakes and to finalize their reception menu. and live entertainment, couples are exposed to GrAND tAStING events are by invitation a sensory palette of looks, tastes, smells and only for confirmed Star Plaza brides only. If sounds. After an open-bar cocktail reception, you are interested in more information about guests are invited to sit down to a four-course these events, as well as Star Plaza weddings, dinner. Not only does the evening give executive please contact Star Plaza wedding planner, Chef Brian Narug the chance to show off lisa Justice, at 219.757.3579 or by email at his amazing array of delicacies, he also uses the time to show how he plans to infuse the

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Judee’s offers a personal shopping experience


udee’s is known throughout Northwest Indiana for dressing the modern day woman in effortless style. Our easy care pieces take you from day to evening, from jeans to jewels. Situated in a Victorian home in laPorte, Judee’s promises an atmosphere of art and elegance with the accent on personal service. Judee’s has spend 25 years helping women go from looking good to looking great. A one-on-one personal shopping experience will help you put together many looks with fewer pieces. Browse through the Garden room, the Sun Porch, and the other 5 rooms to find a collection of wonderful clothing and accessories to suit your lifestyle. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Neon Buddha, and Comfy are just a few names on the casual side. Frank lyman, Joseph ribkoff, and Damee can take you from casual to cocktail. We specialize in your Special Occasion. Names like Marisa Baratelli, VM Collection, and Daymor will make you feel very special. A professional staff awaits you at Judee’s! JUDee’S Mon-Fri 10am-5pm CSt 1104 Indiana ave Sat 10am-3pm CSt laporte, Ind. 219.324.6443 219.324.6443

1104 Indiana Ave | La Porte, IN 46350 | 219-324-6443 Store Hours Mon-Fri 10-5 CST | Sat 10-3 CST

fall 2012



a moment in time

photograph by JENNIFER MAYO

July 22, 2012

Jen Thompson and Brian McMillan Blue Dress Barn Benton Harbor, Michigan

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Shore Bride Oct/Nov 2012