June Weddings Recap

June was a gorgeous month at the estate filled with beautiful flowers blooming everywhere, nice weather, and eight Friday and Saturday weddings with the sweetest couples and families! Here are a few things that were very popular this month…

S’mores are definitely the most popular wedding add-on right now! Having the bonfire turned on is a separate add-on from s’mores, whereas the four wine barrels are where your guests will enjoy the ambience of roasting their marshmallows right outside the estate! Yum!  *(shown in photos are two brown S’MORES boxes, glassware & ingredients for s’mores, sticks, S’mores signage, and four wine barrels that are ALL INCLUDED when you choose to add on s’mores as your late night snack! Upgrade the experience even more by having the bonfire turned on separately) download21

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Chargers were very popular this month in both silver and gold

Swahlstedt-0096(photo courtesy of Wes Craft Photography at http://www.wescraftphotography.com )

♦ Upgraded runners and floral garland runners to make the head table stand outIMG_4311 download8.jpeg

(photo courtesy of Wedding Bug Studios)

♦  Monogrammed pillowsDSC_1571

♦ Beautiful and personal indoor ceremonies..complete with bubbles! (Photos Courtsey of Wes Craft Photography at http://www.wescraftphotography.com )Swahlstedt-0083Swahlstedt-0086

Summer themed weddings like garden inspired, playful citrus centerpieces, wildflowers, colorful glasswareIMG_4244

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♦ Guests enjoying our new outside patio space during the receptionDSC_1588

Wedding signage DSC_1601Sign courtesy of Greenstar Paperie

Uplighting color #19 that adds a soft, romantic glow to the reception spaceDSC_1650download18(photo courtesy of Wedding Bug Studios)

♦ Adding on a Wine Tasting Experience during cocktail hour complete with a wine host to explain the different characteristics of each wine you select and give your guests an unforgettable, fun experience!

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Did you know, June is one of the two most requested wedding months at the estate? The other being September.

♥ Sara    Sara@TheMonteBelloEstate.com

 

 

 

 

Parties, Showers & Corporate Events

Monte Bello does it all with attentive service and impeccable food, making it a premier venue for parties and events. We recently held a large corporate event at the estate as well as a wedding shower, an engagement party, and my baby shower. I am excited to show you some photos of these events as inspiration to plan your next event at Monte Bello!

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Don’t you love a great party?

♥ Sara

Sara@TheMonteBelloEstate.com

May Wedding Recap

May was full of beautiful ceremonies and receptions that had a blend of classic traditions and fresh, modern receptions in our glass tent. Here are some of the unique pieces I loved from our May weddings with photos…

♦ Multiple weddings added on use of our Yard Games (one cocktail hour had to be moved inside because of the weather but that didn’t stop them from playing!)IMG_3355

♦ Lilac chair covers and napkins and runnersIMG_3184

♦ One bride surprised her guests (and groom!) with having this horse and carriage bring them to the gazebo ceremony site (Jim & Beckys Carriage) IMG_3354

♦ Bagpipe introduction for the bride and groomIMG_3162

♦ One sweet couple brought in a roulette table for their guests to play for funIMG_3716

♦ Upgraded wines to be Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc, J Winery Cuvee Brut, King Estate Signature Pinot Noir for dinner and bar service (YUM!)Food and Beverage

♦ A personalized gallery wall from Details   (detailschicago.com)IMG_4037

♦ Adding on a fourth Hor d’Oeuvres was very popular this month with four of our couples offering the expanding selectionIMG_4066

Indoor Ceremony IMG_3368

♦ Fun group photos right after the ceremony unnamed

Uplighting to enhance the reception IMG_3375

♦ Highlighting special tables like the cake table with a special linen selectionIMG_3650

Unique photo spots around the estate (Photo by Korto Photo) 13320435_1303884662974153_7737145847262144026_o

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Other noteable unique add ons from this month’s fabulous weddings….

♦ Three couples added on the late night snacks of a taco bar!

♦ Several couples added on the Rent The Estate For The Day so they were able to come into the estate five and a half hours before their ceremony start time

Wildflower Month at Monte Bello

May is officially Wildflower Month at The Monte Bello Estate and we are so proud to share with you what we have been doing around the grounds. We have started a reseeding project that will help save Monarch Butterflies! Milkweed seeds are the only plant Monarch Butterflies will lay their eggs on so we have covered our native prairie in these seeds. Did I mention our seeds are also safe for other animals like birds AND helps promote wildlife diversity? Monarch Butterflies are GREAT pollinators that will help keep the prairie in its native state!

In a way, couples who book their wedding here are helping save the Monarch Butterflies and the beautiful habitat they live in🙂  Can’t wait to share some photos of when all the butterflies start to come in!

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♥ Sara      Sara@TheMonteBelloEstate.com

Rent The Estate For The Day

We had a full weekend of weddings and baby showers (yours truly) last weekend and could not have been more excited! Many couples like our newly weds from last weekend are taking advantage of adding on the option to “Rent The Estate For The Day”. Renting the estate for the day is a relaxing way to start your special day with your whole bridal party gathered together under one roof with four additional hours of preparation time (on top of the hour and a half you already have included), photo opportunities, and exclusive use of the estate home, tent, and grounds.

Our bridal suite has been FULLY renovated from floor to ceiling and the groom’s suite is still just as fun and man cave like as it was before, complete with a pool table, poker table, foosball, and even a craps table! The bridal suite now offers plenty of seating for you and your whole bridal party with furnishings from Z Gallerie, Restoration Hardware, and Walter E. Smithe.  There is an elegant area you can display your ♥ gorgeous wedding dress you have been dreaming about wearing since you purchased it 8 or so months ago. The new bridal suite bathroom has fantastic natural lighting and vast counter space so your hair and makeup team can come on site without a worry.

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In addition to all the renovations the bridal suite has undergone we have also added in a very posh wine/champagne refrigerator finished with a granite countertop. You can now toast with your favorite girls and bottle of bubbly one last time before you become a Mrs. Don’t worry we have not forgotten about your other half! We offer a list of craft beers for your other half and his side of the bridal party to purchase and sip on while relaxing and taking advantage of all the groom’s suite has to offer.

You can contact your venue coordinator to secure your Rent The Estate For The Day for your special day! Speaking from my experience last weekend, it was so nice to have all my girlfriends, sister, and mom in the bridal suite getting ready together and talking about how excited we were for the big shower just hours away! We had three curling irons going and lots of shared hairspray and lipstick🙂

Such fun memories before the BIG memory!

♥ Sara

Sara@TheMonteBelloEstate.com

 

 

 

Meet The Monte Bello Team

Can you believe we are only 18 days away from wedding season? Are the May and June couples starting to get butterflies?!! We are booked every single Saturday, and in some months we are booked every Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday! Your MB Venue Staff are so eager for the season to start and to see our couples we have been working so closely with, and see their big day come to life!!! ♥

 

We are clinking coffee cups at the office and thrilled to introduce you to our newest Venue Coordinator, Suzanne Read! Suzanne joins the Monte Bello team with over 20 years of wedding experience and will be working with both our current and potential couples.

Suzanne “I truly LOVE weddings! I have been in the wedding industry for over 20 years. It began in college while I was getting my degree in photography and working at high end restaurants and alongside one of the top caterers in Boston.  My love affair with flowers started when I moved to Chicago.  I was lead designer for quite sometime then progressed into sales and decor for one of the premier wedding and event design studios in the city. I even have had the wonderful experience of owning my own floral and design company. This has now evolved into event planning and organization. I have seen weddings from many different sides and angles and have gained the knowledge and expertise to make your wedding day everything you dreamed of and more.” -Suzanne

 

Get To Know Your MB Venue Coordinators

 

Abbey

Abbey Tyrrell, Director of Sales & Events

 

What is your favorite part of being an Event Host?

♥ Building a relationship with the client during such a fun, exciting, and emotional time in their life, and being there to watch their whole vision come to life from their first tour of the estate until the actual wedding day when all of the details are in place… Being a part of someone’s best day is very rewarding

Morning or night?

♥ Night!

Go to work outfit?

♥ Midi dress, black cardigan, ballet flats, and a watch

Five Favs?

♥ My nieces & nephew. Dinner and wine nights with my boyfriend and/or friends. Chocolate & Cheese. Pinterest.

What is your Starbucks order?

♥ Grande cold brew iced coffee with two shots of espresso and toffee nut… also a venti ice water when I’m feeling needy.😉

Favorite season?

♥ My favorite season is Spring, when everything is coming back to life! However, my favorite month, especially at the estate, is August – you cannot beat the lush greenery and late sunsets

Favorite wedding trend?

♥ Rose gold, everything! I have always been a fan of neutral color palettes with a pop of color, and the pop of a metallic tone is even better, in my opinion!

Favorite flower?

♥ Peonies!!! So much so that it makes me reconsider an August wedding for spring nuptials – is it wrong to plan my future wedding around a flower?

Favorite wedding cake flavor?

♥ Tracey’s caramel cake with caramel mousse, but don’t tell my love, chocolate

Appetizers or dessert?

♥ Appetizers! I could make a meal of hors d’Oevures and be the happiest Abbey

Favorite way to stay organized?

♥ My daily planner – you probably wouldn’t catch me dead without it

What wedding planning tools do you recommend to brides & grooms?

♥ I love flipping through bridal magazines and pulling the pages that strike me – I’ll totally be that bride-to-be with an organized wedding binder. Pinterest and The Knot fall high on my list of wedding planning must-haves, too

Best advice you’ve ever received?

♥ Fall in love with the process and the results will come

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Sara

Sara Nili, Director of Marketing and Special Events

What is your favorite part about working at the estate?

♥  I love the initial meeting of our clients and getting to know them and how they came to be at Monte Bello and their vision for their big day. Then seeing everything come together on their wedding months or years later is such an emotional, rewarding experience

Morning or night?

♥ Night, my best ideas happen around 1am

Go to work outfit?

♥  Always a dress with wedges or tiny heels and a fab statement necklace

Five Favs?

♥ Family, all my babies: furry babies Ellie and Hobbes and our first tiny human baby due in July, adventures, glamping, and taking too many pictures

What is your Starbucks order?

♥  I am more of a bacon, egg, and gouda Starbucks sandwich kind of girl more than coffee. That’s actually what I ate the morning of my wedding!

Favorite season?

♥ Summer

Favorite wedding trend?

♥ “Flower Bombing” everywhere from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception. I love a beautiful flower arch for the ceremony that can be repurposed throughout the reception. I also love monograms everywhere!

Favorite flower?

♥ Lily of the Valley

Favorite wedding cake flavor?

♥ Red velvet with so much buttercream

Appetizers or dessert?

♥ If the appetizers are meatballs and the desserts are cookies, then both!

Favorite way to stay organized?

♥ My black alligator planner that has TONS of lists in it. Those lists contain many little lists categorized by different colored pens and highlighters of course

What wedding planning tools do you recommend to brides & grooms?

♥ As a recent bride I ripped out pages from tons of bridal magazines and used The Knot and Style Me Pretty’s website, Facebook, and Instagram. I also used a day of coordinator for my wedding and months leading up to the big day (highly recommend!)

Best advice you’ve ever received?

♥ Do what you love and everything will fall into place

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Katie

Katie Covalle, Executive Director

What is your favorite part about working at the estate?

♥  Seeing how overwhelmingly happy the couples and their families are when their big day comes together with flawless service from our Monte Bello staff

Morning or night?

♥ Mid Morning at 9:00am I am a rockstar

Go to work outfit?

♥  A dress with amazing accessories

Five Favs?

♥ The Ocean, the Sun, Yoga, Travel, Wine

What is your Starbucks order?

♥  Venti in Dark Roast or Trenta iced coffee

Favorite season?

♥ Summer!!

Favorite wedding trend?

♥ Glamor in neutral tones. Greige

Favorite flower?

♥ Rinocculous and Snap Dragons

Favorite wedding cake flavor?

♥ I don’t have a favorite cake flavor; I prefer a sweet table with some candy elements

Appetizers or dessert?

♥ Hands down Appetizers!

Favorite way to stay organized?

♥ Abbey

What wedding planning tools do you recommend to brides & grooms?

♥ Hire a wedding planner

Best advice you’ve ever received?

♥ Listen

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Suzanne Read, Venue Coordinator 

What is your favorite part of being a Venue Coordinator?

♥  Seeing the joy and excitement on the bride and groom’s faces, gives me goose bumps

Morning or night?

♥  Night

Go to work outfit?

♥  Long or short black dress

Five Favs?

♥ Snuggling with my boys, coffee, pinot grigio, chocolate, and a good book

What is your Starbucks order?

♥  I’m an East Coast girl, so I’m all about the Dunkin Donuts

Favorite season?

♥  Summer

Favorite wedding trend?

♥  Interesting linens, chargers and stemware. Adds so much texture and personality to wedding

Favorite flower?

♥  Hydrangea, ranunculuses, roses, I could go on and on….

Favorite wedding cake flavor?

♥  All of them, one of my favorite parts of the wedding….cake!!

Appetizers or dessert?

♥   Dessert, obviously

Favorite way to stay organized?

♥  Lists, lists and more lists

What wedding planning tools do you recommend to brides & grooms?

♥  A big binder with everything all in one place

Best advice you’ve ever received?

♥  Advice that I didn’t take, videotape my wedding.  I regret it to this day, I would love to look back on that, at least the ceremony

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Courtney Troyner, MB 2016 Intern

Why are you most excited to be interning at Monte Bello this season?

♥  I am most excited about being an intern with Monte Bello because I get hands on experience. Not only do I get to learn more about the event planning business I actually get to be part of the process and see how it all comes together. I cannot wait for my first event this summer and see the client reactions to their big day!

Morning or night?

♥  Night, I feel I am most creative then

Go to work outfit?

♥  A Dresses with a small heel or booties and of course add a little jewelry with it!

Five Favs?

♥ Friends, family, flowers, shoes, and anything sweet

What is your Starbucks order?

♥  When in season a peppermint mocha and a blueberry muffin. Other than that I’ll just take a blueberry muffin

Favorite season?

♥ Summer

Favorite wedding trend?

♥  A Simple wedding with a lot of colorful flowers, and personal touches throughout the day/evening

Favorite flower?

♥  I have two of them Roses and Gerbera Daisy

Favorite wedding cake flavor?

♥  Chocolate with chocolate frosting

Appetizers or dessert?

♥ Dessert, from cake, to cupcakes, to cookies and ice cream and the list could go on

Favorite way to stay organized?

♥  Listing everything that needs to be done and giving it a certain time to finish. The best feeling is being able to cross something off of a list!

Best advice you’ve ever received?

♥ I was always told if I can put my mind to it I can do anything. And that things won’t always be perfect, but if I fall or hit a bump in the road, get back up and keep going because I’m not alone in this life, I have my family and friends cheering me on and eventually everything I have worked for will pay off

 

Popular Wedding Day Add Ons

With wedding season only 40 days away many couples are asking about different add ons to make their special day even more special! Our most popular add on is the late night snack option which includes mini cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pizza, taco bar, finger sandwiches, and s’mores. We are so excited to be offering s’mores around our bonfire or inside on a sterno now! Stay tuned for photos of our s’mores spread this upcoming season. Our servers bring out late night snacks one hour before the event concludes for your guests to enjoy while dancing and celebrating. My personal favorite is the mini cheeseburgers because they are easy to eat and delicious! ♥

Add On

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A sweets table is another very popular add on that guests of all ages love to indulge in! I actually made a huge sweets table my favor to guests at my wedding because who doesn’t love some sweet treats?! ♥Our in house pastry chef makes delicately decorated petit fours, delicious mini cupcakes in a variety of flavors, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate chip brownies, cookies, tarts, mini carrot cakes and SO MUCH MORE!

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Our favorite wedding day add on is uplighting because it is visually such a powerful element when planning your décor – it sets the tone for any occasion and is a great way to carry your theme and color palette throughout cocktail hour and the reception by adding dramatic flair and ambiance to the event space. We recently purchased the newest, state-of-the-art,  wireless LED uplighting!

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Thoughts?! Enjoy the gorgeous and unusual March weather!!

♥ Sara

Sara@TheMonteBelloEstate.com

Wedding Linens

Have you thought about your wedding linens yet? Not to worry! We have some great (and fun!) information about what’s the big deal about linens and choosing the right ones for your special day.

As a recent May bride I knew nothing about linens until my wedding planner showed me what my room could like with the standard white linens and napkins, and what it could look infused with my wedding colors that really set the tone for a fun, party like reception space. Having uplighting and upgraded linens was something I was unsure of at first, but I would one-thousand percent do it again! Both uplighting and linens are visually the most powerful elements when planning your décor. It creates the ambiance for your wedding and carries your theme and color palette by adding dramatic flair.

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Cocktail hour linens are sometimes forgotten about but it shouldn’t be since you really don’t need many! A few high boy tables in a rose-gold sequin linen has the warm tone that sets the anticipation for guests to get excited about seeing your reception space you have planned out so perfectly. Perhaps you are going for a more classic look and wanting to have your wedding color of navy incorporated so you can have your high boy table in a gorgeous satin navy with the tie in a deep emerald jewel color. Not having high boys? No problem! Set the elegance from the get go by having your bar linens be a beautiful satin color in your wedding palette.

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Reception linens should be a reflection of your and your fiancés personality and style. There are a variety of colors, styles, textures, and sizes to choose from. White linens come with our Classic package, and your choice of colored poly linens come with our Signature and Premier packages.

Photo Oct 10, 6 43 17 PM (1)Photo Sep 13, 4 23 35 PM

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Within Reception Linens you can have Overlays and Table Runners added to the table for a polished look. Below are some examples of linens shown with overlays (top layer over table cloth) and table runners. Overwhelmed? Don’t be! Here at Monte Bello we think a simple table runner and colored napkins is an easy and beautiful way to compliment your décor. 

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For finishing touches we love adding chargers (base plates) that enhance your tabletop décor and elegantly compliment your event design. Chair ties are another finishing touch that some couples are interested in adding for their special day. See below for charger and chair tie examples.

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Photo Jul 19, 2 07 04 PMPhoto Oct 03, 6 08 37 PMPhoto Oct 17, 6 38 07 PMIMG_0296

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*We love helping you select your wedding linens so don’t hesitate to email us or schedule a time to come into the estate and go through our linen book together🙂 You can contact me at Sara@TheMonteBelloEstate.com for questions or meetings

Happy Wedding Planning!

-Sara

Highlights From 2015

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the 2015 wedding season at Monte Bello. We had so many unique weddings with such beautiful couples under our ownership as The Monte Bello Estate. I am looking forward to kicking off our 2016 season and sharing highlights from each of the weddings with you all! -Sara

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Photo Oct 17, 5 46 26 PM (1)Photo Oct 03, 6 53 03 PMPhoto Sep 12, 6 39 27 PM

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Photo Sep 26, 7 25 37 PM2015-10-23 17.47.30receptiontreeTS_Gal0820

Congratulations to ALL of our wonderful 2015 Brides and Grooms!! Big thank you to all of the talented photographers who captured all of these timeless memories  (Photo Credit: Timothy Whaley and Associates, Being Joy Photography, Feather Print Photography, T & C Photographie, Greyes Photography, Xcite Photo, and Image Icon).

Winner of The Knot Best of Weddings 2016!!

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PRESS RELEASE

THE MONTE BELLO ESTATE NAMED WINNER IN THE KNOT BEST OF WEDDINGS 2016

Tenth Annual Best of Weddings Awards Honor the Top Wedding Vendors Across America

Lemont, Illinois/December 22nd, 2016—The Monte Bello Estate is pleased to announce that they have been selected as a 2016 ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, the #1 wedding planning source.

In 2016, only 2% of the 250,000 local wedding professionals listed on TheKnot.com have received this distinguished accolade. In its tenth annual year, The Knot Best of Weddings 2016 provides an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. To determine the winners, The Knot assessed almost one million reviews from real couples across the various vendor categories—venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more.These winners represent the best of the best for wedding planning professionals that a bride or groom would want to consider order to inspire, plan and pull off their own unique wedding.

“We are thrilled to receive this distinguished award! After a positive ownership change and many new additions to the estate we could not be more pleased that couples are just as excited about all the wonderful changes as we are, all while having their dream wedding in the most romantic, unique setting (Monte Bello)” Sara Nili, Director of Marketing & Events, The Monte Bello Estate

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(Photo: Courtesy of Timothy Whaley & Associates Photography)