Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let's keep the conversation going!

See what's inspiring Theresa lately by following her on Instagram, liking TGD's Facebook page, reading her Twitter chats, and hopping on over to her Pinterest page.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some Exciting News!!!

After nine long months, and countless drafts, we are 2 WEEKS away from launching Theresa Gilmour Designs' website! At this point, we are feverishly putting the finishing touches on the site and can't wait to share it with you all...Stay tuned!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bridal Beauty | Flawless Skin

One of the most challenging aspects of planning for your wedding is to understand what steps you can take to ensure you have flawless skin on your big day. Stress, changes in your routine, a chronic lack of sleep, and travel can all wreak havoc on your skin and can make you feel like everything is working against you. We’ve all heard horror stories of brides we know getting breakouts but we’ve also seen brides who seem to enjoy breakout-free wedding day bliss. So, naturally, we all want to know how to avoid being the former and how to guarantee that I am the latter. Although there are no guarantees in life, (particularly in the wedding industry!), I wanted to discuss some specific things you can and should do, as well as things you should not do, in order for your face to be breakout-free on your big day. Before I get too far, however, I need to credit my esthetician for providing me many of these suggestions when I was preparing for my wedding. She was truly an invaluable resource for me.

To start, here are five things I recommend doing, starting as early as when you first get engaged or as late as six months prior to your wedding:
Cleanse, tone and moisturize your face every morning and every night.
  1. Apply a moisturizer with SPF every morning.
  2. Exfoliate and apply a masque twice per week. I like to do this while I am showering in the morning.  The steam from the shower helps to open your pores.  Then, leave the mask on for 10 minutes while you are getting ready.
  3. Substitute a beauty balm for your traditional foundation. Beauty balms combine skincare and makeup in one convenient application.
  4. Begin making a concerted effort not to touch your face, as this causes bacteria and breakouts.
  5. Never start a new skincare routine too close to your wedding day. It can often take up to 90 days for products to work, and sometimes they may make the condition worse before they make it better. Further, you may experience a reaction to a product and you definitely do not want to deal with those too close your wedding day.
  6. If and when you get a breakout, the best thing to do is to apply ice to the breakout area during the day, and then apply a small amount of a clarifying masque to the breakout area at night.
  7. Change your pillowcase once a day. (As a side note, I was never able to apply this tip to my daily routine. I changed my pillowcase weekly and a couple weeks before the wedding I turned my pillowcase over daily and put on a new pillowcase every other day).
  8. Two days before your wedding get a hi-frequency zap from your esthetician to help eliminate bacteria close to your wedding.
  9. On your wedding day, have your make-up artist apply airbrush make-up. This will make your skin look flawless and will cover any breakouts on the day of your wedding.
  10. If you do have a breakout on your wedding day, do not worry about it. Your photographer can use photo-editing software to remove it from all your photos, and can work their magic so that it will be as if that breakout never happened in the first place.

At least six months prior to your wedding date, I highly recommend deciding whether you plan to see an esthetician. If you decide to see one, start scheduling your facials every 4 to 6 weeks. It is important to start your facial appointment schedule at least this far in advance of your wedding so the esthetician can learn how your skin will respond to products and can personalize your skincare routine based on your wedding date. As I said before, mine was an especially valuable source of knowledge and helpful tips.

When you are less than six months away, minimizing the risk of breakouts becomes more critical. Here are some additional things to keep in mind during these last few crazy months:
If you’ve followed some of this advice and you remain particularly worried about a breakout on your wedding day, consider asking your doctor for a 30-day prescription of a small dosage of minocycline. This is a highly effective and safe antibiotic that helps to kill breakout-causing bacteria.

Finally, here are a few tips for when you get down to the final two days before your wedding:
There are neither failsafe formulas available to follow nor magical products for you to use to prevent wedding day breakouts. However, if you adhere to most or all of the principles I suggest in this post, you will have taken the best available actions to reduce your risk of breakouts. In my next post, I’ll offer up some specific product recommendations to help you in your quest for breakout-free wedding day bliss.

Image courtesy of Self.com

Saturday, July 27, 2013

We're Moving! Now What?

The Gilmour family has a big announcement! We are moving to the ‘burbs! That’s right. Yes, you heard me correctly; we are packing up and moving to Evanston. After the initial excitement wore off, I realized that I needed to get busy decorating and furnishing our new place. Some of you may be wondering why this is such a big deal –understandably so–but for us this is a very big deal. See, for the last two years my new husband Dane has been living with me in my “young single girl” apartment, also known as the place I rented before I ever met Dane. Although it was perfectly suited to my needs as a single graduate student, it is high time for a change of scenery. Because of graduate school, my business, our wedding, etc. (there was always an excuse), we never seemed to find the time to combine our stuff and truly make our place a home. Worse yet, all the furniture and other things I own are from college or are pass-me-downs from my family. As you can imagine, our place doesn't exactly represent us as a couple!

Once we decided a few months back to move, I started looking for inspiration for our new place. The only problem was Dane and I have completely different, in fact opposite, styles. Dane loves clean, minimal, modern spaces while I gravitate towards ornate, antique and rustic environments. What’s a girl to do? I want our new place to really represent both of us, so I have been on a mission to find every source of inspiration that contains something that could work. The style that seems to click for us is industrial modern–pieces that are old, worn and rustic but still very modern with clean lines.

Look forward to sharing pictures from the new place once we get settled!

1. Reclaimed Elm & Iron Dining Table  |  2. Salvaged Trumeau Chalkboard  |  3. French Inspired Oak Cabinet  |  4. Modern Weathered Dining Chair  |  5. Neutral Pillows  |  6. Reclaimed Elm & Iron Leaning Shelves  |  7. Ivory Sheepskin Rug  |  8. Metal & Antique Mirror Coffee Table  |  9. Comfortable Sofa  |  10. Modern Striped Rug  |  11. Sleek Steel Mirror with Antique Glass  |  12. Upholstered Bed  |  13. Geometric Charcoal Rug

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

Going through the process of planning a wedding, especially if you have a full time job, you are in school, or you have an otherwise very busy life (and who doesn’t these days?), can be one of the most stressful and difficult periods of your life, let alone your relationship with your future spouse. Most future brides, no matter how big or small their wedding eventually will be, has a vision that they would like to turn into a reality. Most future brides, no matter how much or how little they know about what makes a great vendor, want to find the ones out there who can help them achieve their vision at the best possible value. Most future brides, no matter how large or how small their budget ends up being, want to be able to enjoy their wedding day with as little stress and anxiety as possible. And most brides, no matter how much or how little time they spent agonizing over every little detail for their big day, still need someone to help keep them organized and help ensure that every element of their wedding stays cohesive. These concerns face every bride out there, and that’s precisely why hiring a wedding planner is so much more than just hiring another vendor to help you turn your dreams into reality.

Partnering with the right wedding planner allows you to pull off the event of your lifetime and actually feel like a guest on your wedding day. It provides you with the peace of mind that comes from having a staunch ally and knowledgeable advocate throughout the planning process. It gives you and your future spouse the opportunity to enjoy that otherwise hectic last week before your wedding day. It allows you to feel a sense of comfort and confidence on your big day that no other vendor can. If the electricity for your band fails at your reception (like what happened to my sister’s wedding), or if you need someone to make sure that the trolley shuttling guests to your ceremony arrives on time (like what happened at my wedding), having a planner ensures that you won’t have to be the one problem solving or having to scramble and lend a set of helping hands.

Although there are countless elements of a wedding that planners can help you with, in my opinion there are three that stand out. First, although brides can quite easily create their own timelines that may seem to work on paper, a good wedding planner will not only help you create a timeline, they leverage their years of experience and established knowledge to ensure that your timeline is executed with the style and grace that you deserve. There is no substitute for a timeline that gives your guests a great experience and is rooted in a hard-earned sense of realism.

Second, a planner can serve as a critical advisor throughout your planning process as you begin making decisions that will help bring about your vision. Sometimes ideas that you see in a bridal magazine or from some other form of inspiration can be surprisingly difficult for you to pull off, depending on your venues, vendors and budget. Simply put, planners have experience serving as the bridge between a bride’s vision and reality.

Finally, a good planner serves as your go-to advisor and point-person throughout the entire planning process when dealing with the array of vendors that you have chosen. As all of you former brides out there can attest to, each vendor–as great as many of them are–essentially are only experts in their part of the wedding. A planner can help keep everything cohesive and consistent during what are often long and arduous months of planning.

None of this is to say that you can’t have a beautiful, enjoyable and stress-free wedding without a planner. However, the investment that you and your future spouse make in hiring a quality, reputable and professional wedding planner will pay off by providing you unrivaled peace of mind on your big day. Although hiring a planner doesn’t leave you with memories of a tangible product in the same way that a photographer or a florist does, what you are likely to remember is how you and your spouse were able to feel like a guest at your own wedding. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rustic Elegance

Family, intimacy, rustic elegance and joy. As these two families came together on a charming Chicago evening to honor the soon-to-be newlyweds, they embraced and shared their immeasurable happiness that this man and woman had found their soul mate. The grand event that brought them to Chicago in the first place was yet to come, so to kick off the weekend this select group was treated to an intimate family dinner at Balena, one of 2013’s top ten new restaurants in the United States.

Most important to the bride and groom to-be was thanking their guests for being such special parts of their lives. With this in mind, Balena’s private dining space was the perfect setting in which to design a warm inviting event. The family style dining and long rustic table reinforced feelings of family and togetherness.

The inspiration for the design was the soft, spring floral patterned table linens. The linens evoked the season, established a casual feel to the event and served as the basis for the overall color palette–cornflower blue, lilac and spring green.

Lush, handpicked springtime wildflowers, twine wrapped around each menu securing a sprig of rosemary, natural rattan chargers, exposed brick walls and recycled stained glass windows all coalesced to create an environment of understated elegance with a touch of rustic.

The menu items were chosen with a family dinner in mind – delicious food that could be found on any kitchen table in a home featuring family, friends, love and laughter. Crisp and savory Caesar salad with soft, warm focaccia was served to begin the meal. Two lovely Italian wines were offered to complement the evening’s entrĂ©es, consisting of an impeccable hanger steak, moist salt and pepper chicken thighs and fresh Skuna Bay salmon. True to form, a truly indulgent tiramisu and refreshing grapefruit sorbet served as the perfect final act to the evening’s culinary tour de force.

In an evening full of emotional and heartfelt moments, the toasts given during dinner moved the room to tears (and laughter!). Three individuals that played significant roles in the bride and groom’s lives – the father of the groom, sister of the bride and best friend of the groom – gave touching, highly personal toasts. All three speakers eloquently professed their happiness for the bride and groom, and expressed their wishes for the couple to enjoy a long, happy and healthy marriage. 

Event Planning and Design: Theresa Gilmour Designs  |  Photography: Brian Kinyon Photography  |  Floral and Design: Stems  |  Location: Balena  |  Calligraphy: Vicki Corwin  |  Table Linens: La Tavola Linens  |  Tabletop: Halls, Theresa Gilmour Designs  |  Stationery: Theresa Gilmour Designs

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sophisticated Glamour | Part II

Event Planning and Design | Theresa Gilmour Designs

Photography | Brian Kinyon Photography

Floral and Design | Stems

Chef and Pastry Chef | Patrick Stephens and Rita Stephenson

Calligraphy | MM Ink

Table Linens | BBJ Linen and La Tavola

Rentals | BBJ Linen and Hall's


P.O. Box 257249
Chicago, Illinois 60625
P. 949.278.7118


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