Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team
According to the American Greeting Card Association, June is the most popular month to get married. Even though it has passed and the fourth of July is a sign that summer is about half over, it is still hard not to pass a church without a wedding party spilling out of it. It’s the height of vacation season, yet the bean at Millennium Park isn’t just a hot spot for tourists to snap a cheeky pic or two. Author Leah Ingrim of Plan Your Wedding…..In No Time, says a bride spends an average of 250 hours planning her big day – practically a second job! While you’re on your own for finding the perfect cake topper and Vera Wang imposter gown, The James Hotel provides the bride with stress free solutions to help you look and feel your best. And just in case you want to put a little birdie on the shoulder of the person responsible for planning your shower, David Burke’s Primehouse has a fun option that is sure to beat a rousing game of pin the veil on the bride at the suburban banquet hall.
Buffed, Brushed and Beautiful
There are still a lot of people that don’t know The James has a spa by Asha…why is this? After all, its cozy, friendly and the services offered rival any high-end hotel, sans the occasional exclusivity that keeps a local from enjoying their own city. Of course, the convenience of having J-bar and David Burke’s Primehouse downstairs provides an opportunity to extend that day with the girls.
But if you’ve got family coming into town for the big day or need a place to call base-camp, The James Spa by Asha can help de-stress any pre-wedding jitters with a soothing massage, erase the signs of sleep deprivation with a Tourmalinene Charged Radiance Facial, or get that body ready for the honeymoon with the Asha Body Scrub (you know you’re thinking about that bikini.) The Spa can also take care of hair and makeup for the bride and her bridal party, which takes place within a guest room for lighting purposes. The entire list of services is available here: http://jameshotels.com/downloads/gym-spa/thejames-thespa-menu.pdf , so the bride can begin to customize her own experience.
Gather the Troops
Similar to the phrase “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” a body bashing bride is liable to bring down the rest of the group. The James offers a Bridal Bootcamp which is specifically designed to target all those spots that the bride would think of when floating down the aisle at the ceremony, or the beach on her honeymoon. Enter Jim Karas Personal Training to the rescue. Here’s the skinny:
Bridal Package 1: Includes 1 consultation and 24 personal training sessions with a Jim Karas Fitness Professional. On this program, you will train 3 times a week for 8 weeks. This package is $1,999 when training at their Lincoln Park Studio, $2,239 when training in-home, and $2,239 when training at The James.
Bridal Package 2: Includes 1 consultation and 16 personal training sessions with a Jim Karas Fitness Professional. On this program, you will train 2 times a week for 8 weeks. This package is $1,499 when training at our Lincoln Park Studio, $1,659 when training in-home, and $1,659 when training at The James.
And because safety comes in numbers, the bride can also book individual sessions for $90 plus $30 for each additional person, so start rounding up mama and the rest of the girls. Brides that are having their wedding at The James receive the Bridal Boot Camp session half off the weekend of their wedding!
The Urban Shower
If you can’t stomach the thought of balloons, Jordan almond party favors and twenty sets of eyes staring at you in silence while you open your gifts, then this one is for you. Having David Burke’s American Dim Sum Brunch for your bridal shower promises that there will be something for everyone (even your picky friend from Cali), not to mention entertainment as the carts roll by serving up dishes that provide whimsy in presentation and wicked delight as far as taste is concerned. Copious small bites will come your way (think baby pancakes with citrus butter and mini Prime burgers) and what group of women wouldn’t appreciate a sundae/dessert cart? Of course, the opportunity to inject mini “fortune” donuts with gooey caramel sauce provides far more entertainment than any shower game every could.
While the shower can take place in David Burke’s Prime House, The James Club or the library/den (two smaller event spaces) offer more privacy. The entire list of private event spaces can be viewed here: http://www.jameshotels.com/Chicago-Hotel.aspx?name=The-James-Chicago&page=Modern-Event-Space. Director of Special Events extraordinaire, Sinisa Srdic, can help to customize and coordinate all party needs. Pricing structure ranges, but is approximately $44 per person. While almost everyone loves a bottomless Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or just plain ol’ bubbly, the sommelier can prepare wine tastings as opposed to traditional beverage service.
While flipping through piles of bridal magazines may seem fun at first, consider The James a place where you can mark off multiple items on your to-do list simultaneously – and without compromising quality and experience. If anything, your wedding (and all the events leading up to it) may be the one they’ll be talking about for years to come.
For more information, visit http://www.jameshotels.com
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