Defining Moments, one wedding at a time

When I received a package in the mail from the crafty mother-and-daughter duo behind Defining Moments, I knew this company was something special. After a brief meeting at a bridal event a few days prior, they had taken the time to reach out and provide some outstanding examples of their work: inside the large envelope I found a handmade guide to their paper products, delicately wrapped in bright tissue and tied up with a bow. Only fitting for the nature of their business, perhaps—but still, it was quite a nice touch and I was interested in learning more.

Owner Jocelyn Tobias and her daughter Sammy began Defining Moments as a scrapbooking store in Wilmette two years ago. But it has since evolved into much more than that—they recently moved to a new location in Evanston and are becoming known for their whimsical custom paper products for weddings.

Some popular projects include name cards, table charts, menu cards, candy table labels, paper cones, banners, table numbers, display letters, and rehearsal invitations—but whatever a bride (or wedding planner!) can dream up, Defining Moments can create. One of my favorites is the out-of-town guest folder, cleverly customized to fit the wedding theme and filled with information about the big event, places to see, restaurants to try in the area, etc. 

Brides can come into the store and work with Jocelyn or Sammy to design their paper product, place an order, and pick it up when it’s done (Sammy says it’s best to order as far in advance as possible, but they’ll also work around the clock to finish up a last-minute project if need be). If brides wish to be more involved in the creative process, they can come in to work on the project themselves inside the store, or even bring in a group of friends to help.  

Defining Moments hosts creative “parties”— anything from bridal showers to bachelorette parties to a quiet evening with your mom or bridesmaids—for a flat fee, with a minimum purchase per person. Guests have access to all supplies and sit around a large table to work and chat, and are allowed to bring in any food and drink they desire. (Talk about a great opportunity to multitask: having a girly night out while helping the bride check off her to-do list!)

When many think of scrapbooking, words such as “country” or “eclectic” might come to mind. Sammy pointed out that while their designs certainly can be both or either of those things, they will design products to fit any style. One client who recently got married at the Trump downtown gave clear instructions that her paper goods needed to look modern and crisp—and the duo certainly delivered.

Find out more about Defining Moments on their Facebook page and watch a clip about their new Evanston store, featured last week on CBS Chicago. 

Jocelyn and Sammy Tobias, the creative mother-daughter team behind Defining Moments.

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