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Chicago Retreat & The Special Event Show

What a great kick start to the New Year! We attended a retreat hosted by the Community of Wedding Innovators (COWI) followed by The Special Event show in Chicago on January 15-18, 2013.  What a luxorious treat staying at the contemporary and artsy James Hotel in downtown Chicago, located near the Magnificant Mile. Our flight landed on a Tuesday, just in time to catch up and dine at the fresh Italian restaurant RPM Italian, owned by Bill & Giuliana Rancic, with our COWI group. The Spicy King Crab (Squid Ink Spaghetti), Duck Agnolotti, Giuliana’s Italian Salad, and Tuscan Kale & Heirloom Spinach Salad were definitely worth the splurge, as it proved to be perfect fusion of modern Italian cuisine with surprisingly satisfying homecooked appeal. With our taste buds still tingling, we took in the evening air and had the rest of our senses electrified by the atmosphere of this bustling, effervescent, and elegant city.

{Joyce & Samantha with Ciara Glendon of COWI at RPM Italian}

{Emerald Green and Gold Inspired Tablescape at The Special Event Show}

During the next few days, to keep energized throughout the seminar we adhered to a healthy schedule of morning workouts starting at 6 a.m. and gluten-free meals. One of our favorite local snacks was gourmet popcorn from Garrett’s. This is not your regular run-of-the-mill caramel or powder-topped popcorn but popcorn that knows how to accessorize – with cashews and pecans. The Special Event (TSE) was a great source of inspiration as we had the opportunity to visit many exhibitors ranging from décor companies and entertainment to event services.  We later attended a party hosted by the lovely ladies at Inspire Smart Success (ISS), launching their new The Bridal Style and had some flavoursome appetizers and photobooth fun at the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile.

{The Wedding Event dinner, TSE}

{Lavish and Life of the Party, TSE}

Thursday night was the Wedding Event TSE  dinner at the Marriot hotel. The ballroom was lavish – beautifully decorated and filled with enchanting floral centerpieces and ice sculpture furnishings. A live band set the tone for an enjoyable evening and was MC’d by the legendary videographer and presenter, Brett Culp (one of the Wedding Innovator of the Year winners from COWI Transform in October).  Event planning icon, Sasha Souza, also attended to present the crowd her Favorite Things and surprised a number of lucky winners with giveaways throughout the night.  We were so ecstatic to be in the same room as some of our idols. It was heaven indeed! One of the best moments throughout this experience was having the chance to bond with the most amazing and inspiring group of business women all across Canada and the United States. We are so honored to have their friendship and support!

{Community of Wedding Innovators group with Brett Culp, videographer-storyteller extraordinaire}

With Inspiration,

Joyce & Samantha


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