As we’re getting settled into the new year, here at NSWE we are getting more and more excited about the incredible weddings we have ahead of us for 2020. With all the new engagements, the new season, the new year, and the new decade, we’re on the edge of our seat to see all of these gorgeous weddings come to life. Looking ahead, there are already a few trends that are clearly taking over for 2020!

Photo by Riverbend Studio


More than ever, couples are embracing individuality in planning their big day (or big weekend!). At NSWE, we love learning about the couple’s identity and crafting their wedding around their personality, rather than using a cookie cutter formula. More and more brides are forgoing the bouquet toss in favor of making up their own tradition. Gone are the days when every bridesmaid had to be in the same dress in the shade of baby pink, as brides are embracing eclectic bridal party attire. Blue tux jackets are popping up as much as black ones! Whether you make the rules or break the rules, in 2020 it’s up to you.


While pampas grass had its moment in 2019, non-traditional flowers are making their way into 2020. Dried, bleached, painted or left natural, the non-traditional flower is something to explore this year. Couples are also trying out innovative floral arrangement styles- unique architectural vases dominate over the traditional crystal vase, and the big round balls of tight roses are nowhere to be found! Look for interesting and organic shapes with lots of texture.


We LOVE This trend! On top of how fun it is, it’s practical too; a “self-serve” or assisted refreshment station can help eliminate a bottleneck at the bar during your cocktail hour. For example, there’s a new company in Chicago that brings a small, vintage Prosecco truck to your reception venue that will have your guests talking all night. ( We have set up ice barrels of beer and craft beer dispensers. Event pour over cocktails at the bar are even making an appearance this year! Unique touches like these will impress your guests and create a fun and inviting atmosphere.


Lots of NSWE couples are embracing the non-traditional ceremonies for 2020. The traditional aisle is taking a backseat to ceremonies in the round for a more inclusive and dynamic experience for their guests. Contemporary music is hitting a high note for the bridal marches and exit songs. Overall, couples are choosing to create ceremonies that are more reflective of current cultures and inspired by mixing traditions to create their own.


While the all white classic wedding will never go out of style, this year couples are embracing color in a big way. From the invitation suites, flowers to the linens, we are having a blast brightening up our weddings this year. We love working with clients to incorporate color in a way that makes an impact but still remains timeless and elegant.

Whether you embrace the trends or forgo them completely, we can’t wait to work with you to design your wedding around your personal style and vision. We look forward to planning with you!

Alexandra Martin

Director of Marketing


Updated: Feb 9, 2020

As we turn the page of the last decade and move onto the “Roaring 20’s”, I have decided to dedicate this year to having a new perspective. The wedding and event market is such an invigorating and innovative industry, but I sometimes think that we get stuck in our ways and attitudes. With this new decade, I am inviting myself to a celebration of being present, thoughtful and open to new opportunities and relationships, which will grow me and my business.

Today my daughter and I finished a 500 piece dog puzzle that she received as a gift for Christmas. Instead of going out to celebrate New Year’s Eve with my friends, at some bar or NYE party, I was with my kids, at a family gathering, and came home to work on the puzzle. Zoe and I poured it out on the dining room table and went to work.

After about two hours, of carefully dividing the pieces by color and creating a framework to fill the design in, I told her, “We are taking a break and going to bed. We can finished this in the morning.”

She would have liked to continue to plow through the evening placing every piece, before falling to sleep, but I said, “It’s sometimes necessary to walk away from a project and come back to it with fresh eyes.”

This following morning, we both got ready for the day and sat at the dining room table to finish our project. We were about three quarters of the way through and struggling, with the large amount of pieces that looked fairly similar, when I told her to switch seats with me.

“We need a new perspective,” I told her. We then began to fly through the final pieces of the puzzle and completed it in less than 30 minutes.

The puzzle is not perfect. Somehow this brand new puzzle is missing one piece of the Great Shepard’s face. I realized this shortly before the puzzle was finished and Zoe was a bit upset looking all over the floor for the piece. I told her

“Sometimes we are missing a piece of the puzzle, but it doesn’t mean that the puzzle isn’t complete. It’s as complete as it can be.”

North Shore Weddings & Events has a lot of goals this year and they will only be accomplished by my taking a new perspective to the business. It’s time to bring on more talent with fresh ideas and industry experience. We are rebranding for our 10 year anniversary, in 2021, to accurately reflect the new goals for this decade. The company will handle more events than ever before, including four national events, by focusing on the industry outside of the Midwest. NSWE will also launch a master training program, for existing event professionals, who want advanced education on the process of planning and managing events.

Looking forward to a new decade, new perspective and new relationships.


Megan Estrada

Owner & Principal Event Planner


Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Amy Aiello’s name shows up in my Instagram stories and photo credits quite often, as she is a talented photographer and dear friend. When she came to me, last year, and told me she was getting married, I was thrilled for her! Of course, I was going to help her with the wedding and was excited to hear about the plans for the big day.

Photography by: Being Joy Photography

Amy and Mark selected Acquaviva Winery in Sycamore, Illinois for its lovely vineyards and rustic Italian design. It’s situated just past Geneva, Illinois and is reminiscent of the Italian countryside. The owners were welcoming and the wine was plentiful.

The wedding was planned for June 14th, which is Flag Day, and when Amy and Mark were trying to come up with a Hashtag for the wedding, Amy’s Matron of Honor came up with the idea of using the national holiday for the hashtag. At the time, this seemed funny and random, but proved to be extremely appropriate.

Being Joy Photography

Amy’s Grandmother was supposed to officiate the ceremony, but during the wedding planning and engagement she passed away, leaving Amy broken hearted. Amy’s Grandmother was one of her absolute favorite people. She was funny and charismatic, just like Amy. It was going to be difficult to experience a wedding day without her. Amy’s gracious friend, Mara, stepped in to officiate her first wedding and knocked it out of the park with a joyful ceremony.

It was a beautiful day, on June 14th, 2019 – Flag Day. The sun was shining over the green vineyards and the clouds were perfectly puffy like Amy’s blush wedding dress. It was the perfect day except… it was REALLY windy. Comically windy. Flag flapping in the wind windy. Amy had layers of tool in her dress and a cathedral length veil. As we walked her out to her first look the wind blew our hair and all those layers of tool everywhere. She and I started laughing hysterically and I told her, “This is the funniest wedding moment ever.”

Every wedding has one thing that isn’t ideal and usually becomes a perfect part of the event. Amy’s was the wind. It was the most appropriate element for the wedding day because Amy loves movement in her photography. A good part of her work is shooting dancers and gymnasts and has them twirling, jumping and stretching themselves to the limit to show their ability for movement. She even sets up trampolines with powder to capture them jumping with the explosive movement.

It seems that Grandma was at the wedding. She was above, waving wildly at Amy. She was the wind that made us laugh and that was necessary to make #Flagday2019 a totally appropriate hashtag for the day.

Megan Estrada

Owner & Principal Event Planner