This Is Where Your Wedding Planning Should Start

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2-Reverence_Reverence_Silver_544_476_c1Before the reception venue, food, and oh-so adorable favors, the first impression your wedding guests get starts within their mailbox. Save-the-dates and invitations let those soon-to-be partygoers know if your fete is going to be classic and romantic or hip and modern. If you're still not sure exactly how to refine those descriptions, leave it to the experts at Bliss & Bone, a super-cool custom correspondence biz that just launched last week.

Here's how it works: You first choose your foundation (a.k.a. themed package), which includes save-the-dates, wedding invitations, thank-you notes, a personal wedding website, style guide, and inspiration board. After that, you have the opp to purchase a la carte items such as coasters, menus, programs, and more. Anything that makes wedding planning easier is genius to us, so we chatted it up with the husband-and-wife duo Cindy and Carl Skanderup, owners of Bliss & Bone, to talk about their fabulous idea — and the Chicago bride.

So, what’s behind the name?
Cindy Skanderup:
"Many have asked, 'Why the name Bliss & Bone?' It was one of the first ideas that came to us and after weeks of deliberation, endless lists, and research. It made the final cut. Bliss is the emotion. It is pure elation and joy. It represents the feminine. Bone is the tangible. It is strength and commitment. It represents the masculine. While we always reach and move toward bliss, it is the bone that provides us solid ground on which to stand."

What's your thought process behind the six different (seasonal) collections?
"Starting with six collections allowed us to provide enough variety while being able to create complete cohesive products, digging into every detail. Each collection is based on extensive trend research in art, fashion, interiors, and design, and features a completely different aesthetic, approach, and materials."

What inspired you to start Bliss & Bone?
"The idea for B&B came about during the planning process for our own wedding last August. I am a graphic designer so it made sense to design our own invitations and wedding goods, but I was also very much shocked at the lack of unique and high-quality items available to the modern couple. Planning a wedding is a lot of work but doesn’t need to be stressful."

"More often than not, I run into a bride who is so excited that their big day is now over. I come from the place where I was devastated that it was over because it truly was enjoyable from engagement through to the main event. Carl and I want to solve the problems that currently exist in the process and bring to market a product that gets the wow."

What makes your concept different from other wedding services on the market?
"Overall, we offer a completely new product that is otherwise only available through custom design. With our business model, we are able to offer these luxury items at a more affordable cost while maintaining the highest level of quality. We are a design house, meaning if you don’t see something you want, we’ll create it for you. You get the convenience of the online platform with the white glove service of a small boutique."
"Our collections are seasonal, so they are only available for a limited time assuring that your friend won’t have the same invites as you when she gets married next year! We keep things fresh, on-trend, and relevant to our market."

How do you go about choosing the additional vendors to partner up with to ensure they meet the standard of your brand?
"We take the time. The most lengthy part of our process was establishing vendor relationships. We didn’t go with the most convenient or the least expensive. Instead we looked for people who cared about what they produced and cared about developing a relationship with us. Most of our vendors have contributed more of their own time and money than we could have hoped."

Based on the six different types of collections you currently have, can you name an applicable venue in Chicago that would be a great match?
"I love the Living Room Lounge, Gallery 1028, and Salvage One venues for our Devoir, Signature, and Reverence Collections.

How would you describe the Chicago bride?
"The Chicago bride is the perfect mix of big city with Midwest values. She is cultured, in the know, and forward thinking, but has her priorities in order. Her wedding is styled to a T and focused around family and friends."

For more information, visit Bliss & Bone.

Photo: Courtesy of Bliss & Bone