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

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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 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.

 

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.

A Gift Lounge

Well, Brides to be, you want to make sure your guests feel welcome and appreciated so what better way than a gift lounge! Instead of having to put together gifts for your guests and leave them on the place setting you can have your guests choose their own. That way they have the option of what they’d value most to remember your big day by. It also makes it fun for children if they are allowed to come. The kids will love getting to make up a bag or basket full of treats. They can also be entertained during the reception if you want to include a variety of small toys for the young ones.

The idea of a gift lounge is to set up a few tables with take away items that people can pick and choose. The tables can be themed if you have one for your wedding such as rustic, fairy tale or disco. Your gift items can be assorted foods like chocolate with your initials, cupcakes, bottles of water with fun labels, bubbles, hair ties or anything you think your guests would love to take home to remember your wedding by! The options are endless and you can have a lot of fun picking items out. It’s a great way to customize your wedding with a gift lounge.

We love the idea of having a space set up especially for your guests. You can even greet them over by the gift lounge area. That way you will certainly be able to at least say hi and thank you to everyone. It can get hard to make it around the tables during the reception when you’re simply lost in the momentum of the fun! You can also have items on the gift table that are more for the male variety like cigars or cuff links. We love the idea even of tea bags or desserts that the guests can enjoy right at the reception.

No matter what your style, a gift lounge is the perfect way to simplify giving back to your wedding guests! It provides choices for the guests so they feel like you’ve put a lot of thought into inviting them.

 

 

Vintage Wedding

Are you an old fashioned romantic? You’re in luck because this years trend is a vintage wedding! Do you love lace, chandeliers, Juliet headresses and all around glamour glow? We’ve got some tips on how to make your vintage wedding amazing.

First up is attire. What could be more vintage than the clothes you and your bridal party wear? We are loving long sleeved gowns and floral head pieces. They bring a great soft touch with the vintage feel. Long sleeve dresses give us that old time vibe when women wore ball gowns! The flowing material and soft lines invoke a great romantic and elegant vibe for the day.

 

Second, let’s look at head gear. We are very into the Juliet veils because they’re so romantic and flowy! You could also just weave a vintage inspired hair comb into your tresses. Or if you have an old heirloom piece and you could incorporate it into your hair or veil.

Juliet veil - Embroidered floral and beaded juliet veil - Style 635 - Ready to Ship                                                                        Juliet Veil

Third, let’s move on to what you and your bridesmaids will carry for bouquets. For a vintage inspired feel be sure to use the ultimate flower that says “romance” which is the rose. You don’t need to make them red but they are certainly included in a vintage wedding. Peonies and cascading greens also compliment roses. We love adding glam by putting old brooches or cameos into the flowers.

Fourth is the reception. We love the vintage wedding lanterns. They can be simple or glammed up with candles around the lanterns, greenery or sprigs of leaves. You can even include roses and hydrangeas around the lanterns.

 

Whatever your vintage style is be sure to have fun and take ideas from the period of time you love the most!

Live Entertainment

Hello Brides! Are you looking to spice up your wedding? Live entertainment is what we’re seeing more of and that could be anything from musicians to acrobats to fire spitters! What could be more fun than having people serenade your reception or giving flare to your wedding in a unique way.

You can try Gig Masters to search for bands to play at your wedding. They have you type in what city you’re in and viola you have some live entertainment! Sometimes it’s hard for a DJ to create the party atmosphere you desire. With live entertainment like a band, they have the advantage of being personal and getting your guests up out of their seats to dance.

How do you pick the right band? Well, you can attend a concert or show of your favorites, get a recommendation from friends and family or do a search like Gig Masters – even google can suffice! Nowadays, everyone reviews everything so you can see videos and clips to decide if you like their style.

For any live entertainer, you need to ask the right questions as well like when do you want dancing? Before, after or during dinner? This can determine what kind of band you want. You wouldn’t want guests shouting over the rock while dining. Some couples are happy with just an hour or two after dinner. Price is always important as well. Live bands can range from $2000 to $35000 so be sure to be clear when you interview any band what your expectations are.

Or perhaps for live entertainment you just want a simple string quartet to play you down the aisle and add flare to the ceremony. You can always opt for a DJ at the reception. But don’t forget when planning for live entertainment you need be aware of the space they’ll need. They will need a place for a keyboard and their sound equipment. If you have specific song requests a good band will be able to learn the music if they’re unfamiliar with it. Have fun interviewing and picking live entertainment! Your guests will love the added visual appeal and live performers will keep them dancing all night long!

Unique Venues

You’ve been to those cookie cutter weddings where everything seems like it’s a repeat of the wedding before. But, unique venues are not as hard to find as you might think! You want unique venues to not only make your day extra special but also one your guests will remember!

First on our list is the Lacuna Artist Lofts located at 2150 South Canalport Avenue, Chicago. If you want an amazing view of the cityscape if you’re looking for a unique venue that offers space outside. You can get hitched on the rooftop or inside in one of the four art gallery rooms. The outdoor deck is 5,000 square feet and can accommodate 200 guests. It’s the perfect place for your artsy side and also capturing the city that you love!

Our second pick for a unique venue is a hop away in Elkhorn,Wisconsin called Camp Wandawega! Remember those great camp memories when you were a kid or maybe you never got the experience. Now’s your chance. In 1925 it was used as a speakeasy but these days it’s being used for wedding weekends!

Guests get to stay in cabins or teepees and enjoy all that camp has to offer. There are swimming, rope climbing, stargazing and all with the luxury of access to booze!

The camp Wandawega experience will bring out the hippie in all of you! It offers fun outdoors activities to entertain families and also romantic lakeside spots for couples.

 

Our third unique venue is Thalia Hall located 1807 South Allport Street, Chicago. This building was designed to resemble the Prague Opera house and what better space to hold a wedding and feel like royalty?

The space is beautiful for any decor or theme you’d like! It can accommodate 250 seated guests and after the night’s over guest can go down to the basement the Punch House for more fun!

Wedding Decor

It’s nearly Springtime brides! If you’re a June bride or later it’s time to start thinking about your wedding decor! We hunted down the top four wedding decor trends for 2017 and here they are.

Number one is : Paper decor. Give us a moment here – you may be thinking paper? That’s cheap and not classy but wait, it can be! Paper decorations can range from table toppers to flowers. They can be less expensive than actual flowers depending on how many and how intricate you want your paper wedding decor.

Check out the Paper Source for sales and deals on paper decorations.

Number two is Greenery and Rustic wedding decor. You may not be a “rustic” bride but you can still use these touches to your advantage. Guests will love a clean, nature feel with decorative greens mixed in with flowers. You don’t have to use a barn door but sometimes a well placed lantern or piece of drift wood looks elegant and jazzes up a regular old space.

 

We love a simple sprig of greenery for a spring or summer wedding. It can even be something as simple as put on a plate!

Number three on our list are hanging and tall wedding decor. These can range from chandeliers to giant center pieces. They are also perfect for a summer or outdoor wedding since they can make a big statement!

The hanging wedding decor can also incorporate the greenery theme from before.

 

Finally, number four on our list of trending wedding decor is color! The all white wedding is out and you are free to use color to whatever advantage you want. You may pick a few colors that compliment each other or two diverse opposites! We love this lavender and pink color scheme.

The colors are bold and beautiful making the room pop. You can also incorporate light color into your reception hall as shown above. The tall wall lights illuminate the space for a cozy, romantic atmosphere.

Engagement Ring

You’ve gotten what you dream of: the man, the future and now you just need the engagement ring! It won’t be just any ring because it symbolizes so much hope, love and commitment. Some brides prefer their grooms to pick out the engagement ring themselves but some like to give a little input.

We have a few engagement ring trends this year to watch out for!

You might be the kind of bride who likes a unique halo engagement ring. The halo effect has a row of gems that all point to the main event – the even bigger diamond in the middle. This style has been popular for a while and it’s easy to see why. It’s such an elegant setting and can be customized so much. You can decide the shape of the halo gems and the size of the middle gem.

Another engagement ring style is the colored gem accented ring. Having a colored stone accent makes your ring very unique and eye popping! You can stylize this type of ring so many ways – maybe you and your soon to be fiance have a certain gem you both think is special or means something to you. We think in 2017 there will be a more than one colored gemstone trend.

Or perhaps you are a bride who prefers a vintage engagement ring. Edwardian style rings are also quite popular. They are elegant, and beloved for their intricacy and beauty. You can have them handmade or vintage inspired. In a platinum setting these rings will shine from every angle and they’re so unique everyone will ask what the inspiration was!

 

The details of an Edwardian inspired ring are so intricate and delicate! Your ring is unique from every angle.

Whether you want a simple diamond or decorative style, your engagement ring should fit you! You’ll have to look at it for the next lifetime right? So why not fall in love with it!