Where to Register

As part of the wedding planning you and your fiance will need to decide where to register! If you already live together it might be a great time to get some upgrades or try new appliances. But, if you’re still living separately then you both should decide what you’ll need when you move in together. You will need to decide which stores suite both your needs and style! And, for the couple who already has it all, perhaps you’d like to raise funds for a charity!

The first places you can register are the usual suspects like Crate and Barrel and Bed, Bath and Beyond. These stores can be found all across the U.S. and they offer affordable and great styled pieces for a new couple. It can also make it a little cheaper for your guests to browse through some options that aren’t all over $100 or more.

The second place you should think about is Snowe, an online registry that caters to those who enjoy minimalist looks and modern silverware/place settings. It’s easy to register online and they have free standard shipping across the States. A fun detail on this site is that you can also request “Hold Gifts Until” option and Snowe will wait to ship gifts until a certain date. They also have discounts: 15% post-wedding discount, 20% discount on the couples first year anniversary and $20 discount post wedding for wedding guests with their purchase of $100 or more.

The second fun place we recommend to register is Etsy. This is a fabulous online shop where you can find hand crafted treats or vintage treasures. Since it’s so broad there’s bound to be something for everyone on here. And, since most sellers are self contracted they’re happy to personalize things for you and the communication is personal – not through a corporation. You can easily register online. The only possible con to this is the return policy – each seller is individual so the policies will differ.

Wherever you choose to register have fun with it! Try not to go overboard since you won’t get everything you register for.

Chicago Wedding Blog

Stay Sober At Parties

Helping Others (And Yourself) Stay Sober At Parties.

It’s been a long, hard fight getting (and staying) sober. It took a lot just to realize you had a problem and needed to make a change. But you did, and now you are walking that straight edge and staying clean.

But this isn’t a light switch. It’s not like you just flipped something to “sober” and you’re fine for the rest of your life. Instead, you’re going to face temptations and challenges as someone in addiction recovery. Things get harder when you’re at a party where there are plenty of people using, so how are you supposed to avoid temptation?

That depends on the kind of party you’re talking about, but it can be done — and more importantly, it should be done.
Chicago Wedding Blog

Image Source: Pixabay

Holiday Parties

When it comes to avoiding temptation, holiday parties and weddings can be among the most challenging times. Many of your friends who rarely drink or get high can go crazy at weddings, 4th of July, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. How can you navigate through these parties?

First, make sure you’re going to one run by a good host. That means someone offering non-alcoholic drinks like mocktails, not just a dusty 2-liter of soda. It also helps to have something to do at these parties, as being bored is always the enemy of anyone in addiction recovery.

Make sure there’s a friend or close family member who will stay sober with you. Not only can they lend support to help you avoid temptation, but just seeing someone staying clean will encourage you to do the same.

If you’re traveling on vacation around the holidays, look for the triggers that can knock you down. There will likely be parties at bars and clubs, so try to avoid these. Instead, plan plenty of activities for that vacation so you don’t need to hit parties to socialize.

Backyard And Smaller Parties

Sometimes, you can more easily avoid temptation when you’re on vacation or at a holiday party. It’s unusual, so it’s easier to remember why you entered addiction recovery in the first place. But there’s a different kind of temptation at the small parties. Backyard barbecues, watching the game at a friend’s place, or just hitting a club to catch a band can be rough.

That’s why you need a sober plan. Literally practice turning people down. Once you know what to say, you’ll be more likely to say no to whatever they’re offering. Keep in mind when you had your last drink, and how proud you’ve felt with staying sober. Order yourself something like water or soda, and keep that drink in your hand.

And since these are small parties, there’s nothing wrong with leaving early, right? Be prepared to head out should things get too much to bear.

Creating Your Own Parties

If an abundance of parties is starting to take its toll and you’re finding it hard to avoid temptation, why not take control of the situation and start throwing your own parties? This way, you can make sure there are plenty of things to do while staying sober.

Here are some tips to ensure these are successful:

  • Make sure any invitation (formal or just a text) clearly explains that this is alcohol- and drug-free. You don’t want people showing up with a case of beer.
  • Hold the party earlier than normal. If people have to drink that night, end your event so there’s still time for them to leave and go somewhere else. That can help get more people to come to your party.
  • Have plenty of things to do. A movie is good, but games are better.

You Can Stay Sober At Parties

Like any part of addiction recovery, staying sober at a party is not always going to be easy. But by following these tips, you can avoid temptation and stay sober — just like you should.

Wedding Photographer

You have the venue and the dress but now it’s time to think about the wedding photographer! You didn’t spend all your time and agony on details to have them overlooked. When choosing a wedding photographer there are some key things to keep in mind.

Weddings are among the most important days of our lives so don’t leave choosing the wedding photographer to someone else. You need to personally vet out all the possibilities. It means talking to other brides and who they used or personally interviewing photographers. You want someone who understands your desires for what you want on your big day! Some wedding photographers are great at capturing natural light while others do more mixed media. Do you want more candid shots or staged photos?

You will also want to make sure your personality meshes with the wedding photographer (s). There could be more than one since sometimes with larger weddings it takes a few shooters to capture everything. Don’t underestimate the value of being comfortable and able to bond with the photographer! To get the best out of it make sure the wedding photographer is calm but assertive, has good social etiquette but is bold enough to get daring shots and cajoling enough to coax shy smiles from guests. The wedding photographer will be shadowing your entire day so you want to be able to speak with them to get the pictures you want!

It’s also a must to see a wedding photographers work/albums. Keep in mind they will show you their best work so be sure to also ask to view an entire wedding album. This way you can see if they capture moments that are important to you like ceremony shots, reception shenanigans or other fun shots! You should also ask to see an indoor wedding they’ve captured if you are having one. The lighting for indoor versus outdoor is very different. Your wedding photographer should be aware if you’re having a ceremony outside or reception inside. Picking a wedding photographer can be fun since you’ll get to see a lot of styles so don’t let it stress you out!

 

The guest list

A wedding is a wonderful affair but you’re footing the bill for everyone you invite. The guest list is important but when you are on a budget it can be hard to know who makes the list! We know you want everyone to share the big day. So, we have 5 ways to cut the guest down so you aren’t overwhelmed.

  1. The first thing you will do to cut your guest list is no kids. Most people will not be offended if you ask that your wedding is kid free. They understand that your big day is a formal affair. Kids can be a great, lively addition to any party but they can also be rude and unpredictable. Kids on the guest list should be limited to only the ones in the wedding party like the ring bearer and flower girl.
  2. The second way to cut the guest list is no plus-ones. If you know you are inviting a lot of single friends you don’t need to also invite whoever they are dating. The exceptions are if they are in a long term relationship or engaged. If they are married and you haven’t met their significant other you need to extend an invitation as well. One way to eliminate confusion is to just state how many seats you have reserved for your friends/family. If the number doesn’t add up to a plus-one then they know they are not invited.

3. The third way to cut the guest list is to not invite co-workers. Unless you are very friendly and close to your co-workers there is no obligation to invite them. If you do decide to invite them to the wedding it’s best to keep the work talk to a minimum.

4. The fourth way of cutting the guest list is to eliminate people you don’t know. You want everyone to share the big day but your parents and in-laws would like to invite but you have no connection with. There’s no shame in saying to them you don’t feel comfortable inviting and paying for people whom you have no interaction with.

5. The final way to cut the guest list is to get over the exes! We know you might be on friendly terms with your ex or your fiance is on great terms with his ex but lets skip any drama that might ensue. Let’s be honest you and your exes might all have friends in common as well. You should avoid any potential chaos by not putting exes on the list!

No matter who you put on the guest list just remember it is entirely your decision. You get to decide who comes and who doesn’t on your wedding day!

Wedding Theme

A wedding theme is something little girls dream of before they know the term! Brides, you probably have your dream day picked out so let us help you by providing a few trending wedding themes of 2017.

The first two themes go hand in hand and can overlap. A garden theme and greenery theme compliment each other very nicely! Mother Nature is filled with gorgeous flowers for pops of color. Greenery can mean anything from tree branches to long wreaths on the tables. A garden wedding theme is romantic and lush. If you’re a nature girl you can go crazy with the decorations due to the vast amount of options available. Drape flowers on tables, twine vines in the chandeliers or use sprigs to accent your cake!

Another popular wedding theme we are seeing is vintage everything!

Vintage doesn’t have to mean old and dusty. It can be fresh and full of great memories. You can use heirlooms if they are important to you. Vintage can also mean just the color palette – soft pastels, shades of brown and blue. Antique tea sets are fabulous for bridal showers or for your guests at the reception. A vintage wedding theme is fun because you can incorporate things you pick up at a flea market and no one will even know it cost you $1.00! You can use old suitcases as make shift tables. Another cute idea is to use old keys as card holders!

Removable skirt

Brides we have something big this year and it’s the removable skirt! Are you torn between the huge ball gown and the sleek sheath? Well, now you can possibly have both. It used to be that only celebrities wore two dresses on the big day – one for the ceremony and one for reception. It’s become much more affordable and why shouldn’t you celebrate like a star?

We love that the tulle removable skirt turns a dramatic ball gown into a beautiful sleek dress. Plus, you won’t have the fee for a entirely new second dress. A removable skirt can give you the freedom to dance more at the reception. Or it may be you just don’t want to carry around the extra weight of a giant ball gown when you want to be moving around.

This A line princess tulle wedding dress has the removable skirt to turn it into a tea length stunner. Layers of tulle make the dress light and romantic. It also makes it easy to pull off for the second dress underneath!

We love that you can be fun and versatile with the second dress. For your reception you can utilize the second dress as a part of a big entrance. Why not stun the guests and wow them with a completely alternate look? You could add a hat, shorter veil or shimmery accessory to give your second look some fun!

You also do not need to give up the shape and style of your formal wedding gown. The removable skirt can come with many shapes and styles of regular dresses. If you’d like a mermaid shape no problem! You can also custom make your double dress But, a lot of retailers are familiar with the removable skirt and will be happy to show you samples.

 

Unique Wedding Invitations

Unique wedding invitations are very popular now! They give your guests a sense of who you are as a couple or they convey the theme of your wedding if you have one. Sometimes, unique wedding invitations are just fun to play with. You have a wide range of invites to pick from. These cute invites below allow you to put pictures on the back of you two!

We love incorporating themes in the invitations so you can use your color scheme when picking them out. They can be as ornate or simple as you want. If you’re a seasonal bride then you can definitely use the brilliant colors of fall or the lush greenery of spring in your invites as well.

A lot of the cost of course depends on how many guests you are inviting. A good rule of thumb is that perhaps 15% of those invited won’t be able to make it. But, you still have to shell out the money for the invitation so why not make it amazing? From beautifully laser cut out cards to “bride and groom” shapes, unique wedding invitations will stand out in everyone’s minds!

If you and your fiance are movie buffs why not make a fun, unique wedding invitation out of a movie poster? It doesn’t have to be exact but could find simple costumes from your favorite movies! Have a friend who’s good with photoshop put you two on the background and viola you have an invitation that most people will not have done before. Or you may want to make a funny wedding invitation. Play around with your sense of humor – maybe mug shots of you two as your invite! Finally, whatever you decide make it fun and personal!

 

Reception Food

These days it seems like it’s hard to please everyone at your wedding, including what reception food to have! We have a few options that might fit the bill. You can customize your reception food to culture/traditions or have a special menu prepared.

The first reception food dish option is cultural. You can meld both of your origins for example Italian and Korean in a great menu of both. Or Indian and BBQ. Some of these cultures seem so different but a lot of their spices and flavors actually can compliment each other. The hot of Korean food can easily pair with the sweet wines of Italy. Cultural dishes will also liven up your reception from the cookie cutter ones that people want to avoid. You can offer vegetarian or gluten free options with every dish as well.

 

BBQ 

Another way to do reception food is local! We love to support hometowns and what better way than employing your favorite restaurant or food stand to cater your reception? For example, in Vermont, maple flavorings can be added to food or drink items and in the South big Gulf shrimp could be the main event. You could also do reception food from local farmers and get fresh produce. If you want to do Great American like BBQ and strawberry shortcake you can buy the strawberries from a local stand. You could buy just picked vegetables for appetizers as well! The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t hurt to even hunt around – you could find a gem hidden in your own city!

No matter what reception food you decide to go for you’re guests will be deliciously full and entertained! You can even offer a dessert bar with cookies shaped in unique things special to you. We love the varieties you can have with food choices.

Neutral Wedding Palette

The Neutral Wedding palette is a hot trend for this year! The best part about a neutral palette is that it can compliment almost all wedding themes. Rustic barn theme can use burlap and lace. Beachy theme can use soft linens and straw accents. Neutrals consist of any shades of beige, ivory and white.

 

You can try to incorporate a neutral wedding palette even if you want to use a splash of color. The muted neutrals can act as a great back drop even for your main color. We are loving using neutrals for chairs, decorations, cakes and tables. You might not even want to use such bold colors for fear of over powering the point of using neutrals. So, you could try to use subtle shades of peach, pink and gold to enhance the sparkle. You and your bridesmaids can wear neutral tone nail polish. Another fun way to use a neutral wedding palette that’s not all over is in the food. We love baking in color!

Neutral wedding palette can also be great if you just want to use it on decor like chairs or table clothes. Remember that with any colors the darker the more dramatic, refined and stylish. The lighter end of the color spectrum is playful and romantic. Keep that in mind when you are picking out colors – even neutrals! You can’t go wrong with taupe or greenery accents in your wedding.

Bridesmaid dresses

You’ve asked all your best friends or sisters to be in your wedding but now what? The dreaded bridesmaid dresses! Some people are reluctant bridesmaids because they’re obligated or spoil sports. As the bride you can help alleviate some of that stress by what you decide they should all wear.

Bridesmaid dresses can range from ball gown to boots and jeans. We’re sure all your bridesmaids are models and would look exactly like the pictures in the catalogs…Or they’re people with bodies that work hard for them and are of all shapes and sizes! As the bride you should definitely be aware of who’s in your party and what their body types are. Maybe give them a color or style of dress but leave the details to them like straps, no straps, belt or no belt. Some women are larger up top than others and will not feel comfortable in strapless gowns.

It may be easier to ask your bridesmaids what they do not feel comfortable with rather than what everyone wants. Bridesmaid dresses come in all sizes so that shouldn’t be a problem. But some maids may feel shorter is something they’d rather not wear. To make things less complicated and to keep you from pulling your hair out try selecting a designer and color you like. Then, let the bridesmaids pick among the style choices in that range. It can keep everyone on track and also feel their comfort levels are being taken into consideration.

Bridesmaid dresses can also be easier if you try Brideside, a site that lets you choose 3 styles you like, are shipped to your house and you get to try them on! They have consultants who can organize your bridal party as well and thus alleviate some stress off of you. They understand your girls have actual body parts that sometimes don’t cooperate or look good in certain styles. We recommend you tell your girls to give those dresses a good shake and jump too! You never know how the dress will hold up dancing versus just standing or walking. You and your bridesmaids can have a lot of fun picking dresses that will compliment them and make you the center of attention on the big day!