Friday, March 18

Wedding Bells with Borrowed & Blue

Spring is in the air and that means all the brides (and grooms) to be out there are in full-on wedding planning mode. It's only been a few years since Claire and I were in the same boat and we both have so many sweet (and sometimes hectic) memories from that oh so special time in our lives. Recently, Helen from Borrowed & Blue, the online planning resource that knows a thing or two about Chicago weddings, approached us with a unique idea. She asked to interview us on Foxail + Moss to get the inside scoop on all things Windy City and chat a little bit about our own weddings. We thought it'd be fun to take a stroll down memory lane, share some photos from our own weddings, and talk about this city we love. So take it away, Helen!

“The moment I caught a glimpse of Foxtail + Moss’s website, I knew they were going to be one of my favorite follows. Lauren and Claire have a pared down elegance that is all their own, so I could hardly wait to ask them questions about their aesthetic, their lives in Chicago, and—a little selfishly—a couple quick questions about their respective weddings! While Borrowed & Blue is the insider guide to finding your wedding vendors and inspiration, Claire and Lauren are true blue Chicago locals, our boots-on-the-ground tastemakers who can shed a light on what it’s like to live life, post-nuptials, in Chicago. I can’t wait for folks to read through and get a sense of what these awesome tastemakers are up to.” - Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s Chicago Market Specialist

1. For friends who might be reading your blog for the first time, describe your style in six words.

Lauren: A little bit bohemian, a splash of minimalism, kind of rock n roll, a lot pared-down. Whoops. That was more than six words!
Claire: Foxtail + Moss is a reflection of our laid back style and passion for supporting small and local.

2. Chicago is such a massive city; it’s hard to plan a perfect weekend there because you could head to any neighborhood, do almost any activity, and have a completely different experience! That said...what’s your favorite Chicago neighborhood and why?

L: It's so hard to narrow it down! Wicker Park for the best shopping. Fulton Market for the hippest and newest restaurants. Logan Square is great for bar hopping. Pilsen has such amazing culture, art, and all the best vintage shops!
C: I live in Logan Square and it’s one of my favorite neighborhoods because every week I feel like a new restaurant or bar open up. It’s a great place for a foodie like me to indulge.

3. What’s your favorite spot for a post-work cocktail?

L: I'm partial to the frozen negroni slushy at Parson's Chicken & Fish- they have an amazing backyard patio complete with a fire pit and outdoor ping png table! I'm also dying to check out Moneygun- a brand new venture by the Longman & Eagle folks (another great spot for a post-work whiskey drink!)
C: The outdoor patio at Best Intentions hits the spot every time. Warmer weather can’t come soon enough!

4. Since you’re both such sartorial style queens, where are your favorite local spots to shop?

L: Una Mae's and Eskell have been longtime favorites. And I love pouring through the racks at Very Best Vintage and Lost Girls Vintage.
C: I can’t walk into Penelope’s lately without leaving with a beautiful piece of clothing. I love styling my home with pieces from Gather Home + Lifestyle.

5. Our engaged friends could use some local knowledge. Do you have suggestions for awesome Chicago bachelorette party activities? What makes them uniquely Chicago?

L: Me and my girls did a Photo Booth tour of Chicago and it was seriously the best night! We hopped from neighborhood to neighborhood hitting up every bar we could think of that has a Photo Booth, snapping photos along the way. Because the night took us to so many different locations, we got to experience a little bit of everything that goes down in the various Chicago night life scenes- from hanging out in dive bars like Rainbo Club to dancing it out to Prince at Beauty Bar. And I have all the photo strips to prove it!
There's something for everyone in this city, so don't fall into the trap of a "typical" bachelorette party if that's not your scene. Stay authentic to yourself and take advantage of all the fun that Chicago has to offer!

6: Since we’re already talking about weddings…what’s one thing you wish you’d known when you were planning yours? One resource you wish you’d had?

L: I spent plenty of time on blogs like Style Me Pretty and was basically addicted to Pinterest but at some point you have to step away or you're liable to start thinking "my wedding will never be (insert adjective) enough!" It's your special day and you should focus on making it as "you" as possible! Borrowed & Blue's planning guides makes it easy to find all the venues and vendors in your area that fit your style. Planning a wedding in Michigan from Chicago- that's one resource I definitely wish I'd had!
C: My wedding experience was a bit different- we took a two week long road trip and got married in the Smoky Mountains, so we didn’t use any resources needed to put on a big wedding. One source I would say to use is your married friends knowledge. Ask about their experiences and what worked and didn’t work for them.

7. What is the most memorable aspect of your wedding?

L: Is it cheating to say the entire day!? Our wedding was on the small side, about 80 of our closest family and best friends, and we did our best to make our guests feel like they were part of our wedding, not just attending and observing. We got married at a historic mill set in a pretty little park along a river in the middle of nowhere Michigan (the very spot where Matt proposed to me!) and we did both our ceremony and reception there. It was important to us to actually get in some quality time with the people we love the most so we spent the afternoon playing lawn games, like croquet and bags, and the evening dancing to soul music, goofing off in a Photo Booth, and lighting sparklers and releasing sky lanterns. The whole day had a really casual and intimate feel to it and everyone was so happy and content to just be together having fun!
C: My husband and I wrote our own vows. I’m not the most poetic writer, so I was a bit nervous, but decided to give it a shot. I am so glad we did because without knowing it, we both ended our vows saying the same thing to each was kind of magical and made me feel even more connected to him.

8: Okay, indulge me: one more wedding question. Any post-matrimonial advice you’d like to share?

L: Continue to surprise one another! Matt and I buy each other silly small gifts or leave love notes for each other in unexpected places. Day to day life gets busy and marriage isn't always easy so we try hard to remind each other just how important our love is in special little ways. Oh, and date nights are a must.
C: Communication is key. Always keep an open dialogue.

Thanks so much for the Q&A, Helen. It was fun chatting with you! Be sure to check out Borrowed & Blue, the go-to guide for planning Chicago weddings! Ps. You can view more photos of Lauren's wedding here and here.

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