Pets in your Wedding

You’ve got the fiance, you’ve got the venue and dress but what about pets in your wedding? Most of us have that special animal or animals in our lives that we just couldn’t live without. We’d love to include pets in our weddings if possible so here a few ways you can!

  1. Include pets in your wedding ceremony! Thousands of people have done it and what’s cuter than your dog all dressed up with a bow-tie walking down the aisle towards you with the rings? You’ll have to keep in mind how your dog does with large crowds but if Fido is a brave guy or gal then why not have him or her in your ceremony? You can also accessorize them appropriately or just leave them plain with a nice collar and bath beforehand!

 

2. The Farm wedding. If you’re having a rustic wedding out at a barn why not include your donkey? Even the most odd pets can be included in your wedding day. You can make it more romantic or glamorous with a fun flower crown too!

3. Photo ops! You can include your pets in your wedding in the photo opportunities as well. Maybe they can’t handle the stress of walking down an aisle but someone could be holding them for the photos afterwards! You can have great candid shots with your pets whether it’s a bird, dog, cat, guinea pig or llama! Your bridal party can get in on the action too and it’ll make for great pictures!

Dog photo bomb

No matter how you decide to involve pets in your wedding be sure they are comfortable with it! You don’t want to be worried about their safety and comfort on your big day. If you’re lucky enough to have someone trusted take care of them during the day that’s great! And if you think your pets will be disruptive then just opt for taking photos with them instead!

Ceremony Backdrop

The ceremony backdrop is an often overlooked detail in planning a wedding! How do you envision yourself standing with your significant other? Are there flowers behind you, lights, fish tanks or arbor arches? The ceremony backdrop isn’t exactly the main thing brides need to focus on right away. First, you should pick out your venue where you’ll have the ceremony and go from there. If the space you chose allows props to be put up behind you that’s great! We have a few ideas that you might have thought of.

First, if you’re doing a winter wedding but don’t want the hassle of the cold try a projection of a winter wonderland behind you! It’s great for the ambiance of bare trees and snow.

You and your spouse might be travel enthusiasts and what better way to add that flare to your ceremony space with a world map? You can also add paper decorations like planes or cars. We love making a unique space that people haven’t seen before and that says something about you two as a couple.

Or, perhaps you are more of a fairy tale bride! A great ceremony back drop that adds great flare could be an open story book that starts with “once upon a time”. You can add greenery and glitter to make it sparkle.

Finally, maybe the ceremony backdrop is already gorgeous. Sometimes picking a venue is as much for space accommodation as it is aesthetics. If the space if gorgeous and already has the style you love then why change it? You could spice it up with ribbons and greenery if you want too but remember it’ll save you money if you don’t need to decorate the ceremony space and the reception space!

Alaskan Wedding

For you unusual, nature loving and perhaps a bit daring brides we love the Alaskan Wedding! The heat is boiling right now so why not think about a cool getaway? If snow and mountains are your thing then consider a destination to Alaska.

Alaska has been nicknamed the last frontier and it’s one of the last places you can truly get the rustic/nature experience. An Alaskan Wedding can be for those native to the area or if you simply have fallen in love with the mountain peaks and lakes. Wedding venues can be elaborate as huge log cabins with giant fireplaces and views of the mountains or a more simple outdoor setting.

You can embrace the ancient traditions of the Alaskan people as well which is a fun way to deviate from the normal traditional wedding! A lot of brides like to arrive to the ceremony in a kayak or boat rather than walking down an aisle. Additionally, you may want to opt for a ceremony in a large hut with a bonfire or outdoor venue. What’s more romantic than a fire and lanterns? An Alaskan wedding wouldn’t be complete without the stunning scenery. We are loving the unusual backdrop that you can find in Alaska. Many retreats or lodges offer great venues for both the ceremony and reception. We can’t think of anything more amazing than getting wedding photos under the Aurora Borealis.

For the fashion conscious bride strapless dresses are probably not a great option in an Alaskan Wedding. But never fear, there are plenty of great warm couture pieces to help with the cold. It will depend on the time of year you go to Alaska but most of the year prepare for colder than average temperatures. If you want a strapless dress then you can pick out a fabulous wrap or faux fur shrug to go over your shoulders. Even ankle boots are perfectly acceptable at an Alaskan wedding!

 

 

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!

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!

Prioritizing Family

Prioritizing with Family
Congratulations on your new engagement! Prioritizing family as a new bride-to-be can be stressful since you have a lot of decisions to make in the near future. Welcome to the exciting, fast-paced, chaotic, and busy world of wedding planning. Time is of the essence when it comes to planning a wedding and as cliché as it sounds, the early bird truly gets the worm.
First thing is first. You must decide what kind of wedding you and your significant other want. Is prioritizing family something you both agree is important? Do you have kids from previous marriages? The best way to gauge this is not only a discussion with your fiancé, but it is also helpful to include either set of parents – that is if they are involved or you want them to be involved. Determining the type of wedding you desire will play into everything else for your big day. Is a Sunday afternoon backyard BBQ or a Saturday evening country club wedding more the style you imagine?
Eating pulled pork sandwiches with red and white checkered table clothes lining picnic tables and Chinese lanterns glowing above your or golf course views in a giant ballroom illuminated by canned lights in your wedding color palette. So many choices…so little time.
As you can see, there is a pretty vast difference between the two soirees mentioned above. A backyard BBQ could quite easily cost less than $5,000 while a country club wedding may as well have another zero added to the earlier figure. Perhaps as much as $50,000. Aside from budget, which is a topic for another day, there are four major decisions that must fall to the top of your priority list. These four are the most crucial aspects to discuss at your family meeting include the following:
– Ceremony location
– Reception location (this may be the same location as above)
– Photographer
– Music
To secure these four, possibly two areas/vendors, you need to have a date in mind. Will you have your event during high wedding season (i.e. May through October) or off-season (i.e. New Year’s Eve bash)? These are all things to consider and should be some of the first decisions made. Prioritizing family in all these decisions can be easy if both sides of the family are willing to do whatever it takes for you both to have a great wedding day. If not, just remember that this both of your days and you can do things that make you comfortable, not the other way around.

The Second Time Around

The Second Time Around
Is this your second time around on the marriage thing? Not that long ago, popular thought dictated that second weddings should not be elaborate, formal or extravagant; rather, one should aim for smaller, quieter and more intimate. Today however, more than 30 percent of today’s weddings are second weddings and decidedly more commonplace. The focus is on celebrating two people who have found each other, discovering love again and embarking on a new beginning. In truth, celebrations can be as elaborate or as intimate as we desire,without fearing social stigma.
Announcing your engagement is supposed to be fun! When planning your second wedding, one of your major concerns will be the effect it has on your children, if involved. They should be the first to know of your decision to remarry. After all, you will be uniting two families, and two sets of children will naturally experience stress.
Your parents should be informed next, followed by your ex, if you have joint custody. Your ex may be an asset when it comes to reassuring your children about their role in the new family. The second time around can be tricky but hopefully everyone has moved on and is happy for you.
Tips:
  • Don’t wear engagement rings from the past. Once you begin planning and announcing the news, all signs of former loves should disappear.
  • If hosting your engagement party, do not expect gifts. We don’t host gift giving events for ourselves.
  • Whom to Invite? When planning your special event, realize that you can invite anyone you want to your wedding. You may want to avoid inviting former in-laws and ex-spouses, even if you’re on good terms. It could be socially awkward.

 

For a couple entering into a second marriage, wedding plans aren’t necessarily less elaborate. Many brides and grooms pull out all the stops for their second‘I do’s. If you are planning a second wedding, here are some things to keep in mind:
  • If you want to wear a traditional white wedding gown, go for it. The‘no white’rule has been abolished.
  • Registering for gifts is perfectly acceptable. If you already have all the household items you need, consider setting up a honeymoon registry.
  • If you are divorced and want to have a church wedding, check with the cleric well before your wedding date to make sure the church permits second weddings. If you get turned away, try a nondenominational minister.
  • Consider a destination wedding. They are a popular option for second weddings.
  • If you have kids, involve them. This is a great way to prevent them from feeling alienated and to help them get excited about your nuptials.

The Second time around in marriage can be a great new beginning for you and your groom!

Muslim Wedding

Muslim Wedding Traditions
Muslim couples plan weddings which reflect their unique cultural backgrounds. Muslim marriages throughout North America often reflect the diversity of the Muslim population. In the United States, only about 19 percent of Muslims are African American or Anglo American. The rest are immigrants or people with family ties to the Arabworld, South Asia, Iran, sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, and other regions in the world.
If you are celebrating a traditional Muslim wedding, chances are you will want to incorporate the following into your big day. This includes the marriage contract, a divine injunction, and the marriage banquet to seal the deal.
Al-Nikah: the Islamic Marriage Ceremony
Marriage is a solemn and sacred social contract between the bride and groom. Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. In this contract, any terms and conditions seen fit by both the bride and groom are made apart. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract is then announced publicly.
Mahr
Following the contract signing, the marriage-gift (Mahr) is presented as a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract. Mahr is a token commitment of the husband’s responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself.
The Marriage Banquet (Walima)
After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and
friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are
invited to the marriage feasts. It is not unheard of to have hundreds of people at a Muslim wedding.
Muslim weddings are viewed as social events that are not to be missed! Family, friends, and acquaintances are invited to celebrate the newlywed’s new life together as man and wife.

Interfaith Weddings

Interfaith Weddings: Tips and Recommendations
We’re a melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures, races, etc. and it only seems fitting to intertwine these
traditions be included in your wedding day. Interfaith weddings are a wonderful way to bring together not only yourselves but your cultures and religion too.  Whether it’s a prayer or dance, these small details can enhance your guests experience and hold powerful meaning for the two of you.

 

While the obvious differences in an interfaith marriage should be discussed way before your wedding day(how to raise the children, what do Mom and Dad think), in the engagement period you need to go over any conflicts the two of you have.
DO
– Have family members from each side read a blessing or prayer from their religious tradition.
– Provide translations of any rituals performed in other languages.
– Conduct a“unity”ritual from both faiths, such as the sharing of a cup of wine (Judaism), lighting a unity candle (Christianity), wearing crowns (Greek Orthodox) or hand fasting (Celtic).
– Illustrate each family’s support by having both sets of parents walk their children down the aisle.
– Determine who will officiate the wedding: Some interfaith couples opt for two clergy members, one from each person’s faith, to perform the ceremony. Others look for interfaith officiants who haveperformed interfaith weddings in the past.
DON’T
– Step on toes: respect each family’s strong ties to their own religious traditions and tactfully and carefully explain how rituals from both heritages will be included.
– Forget your guests: describe the different religious rituals in your program and provide translations.
– Try to do too much: you can’t replicate the entire wedding ceremonies for each tradition; your guests will be bored or confused and your ceremony will lose some of its intensity. Careful editing of the ceremony elements is pertinent to a good ceremony.
Creating an interfaith wedding that is meaningful,memorable and perfectly you starts focusing on personalizing the ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs, and values of you as a couple and your families.

Courthouse Wedding

Five Details That will Make a Courthouse Wedding Special
Couples that opt for a courthouse wedding typically are looking to either save some loot or don’t want to be bothered with the minutia of details. A small wedding at a courthouse or city hall can still be special,romantic, and fun. You should still feel like a bride- so dress the part! You don’t have to spend a lot, but the ideal attire for the bride is a white or ivory dress to the knee. There are many fabulous options. Most bridal gown designers have at least one or two short gowns in their collections, and some even have entire collections devoted to short dresses, such as Amsale’s Little White Dress. A hot white suit, a la Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City marriage is another option.
Still yet, you can always wear a dress that makes you feel beautiful and special that’s already in your closet. Invite your closest, most significant friends and family to help support you. A courthouse wedding does not necessarily mean an elopement. You might very well wish to have at least your immediate family and a couple of close friends there to witness your vows. The entire ceremony may not last much longer than a few minutes, so it would be a little strange to pack fifty people into a judge’s chambers to see it.
Invitations for a small gathering or reception are a nice touch for groups more than 10. You will definitely want to have some sort of celebration after your ceremony. Couples generally opt for a limited menu and a selection of beer and wine served at the tables. It can be very pleasant and also very affordable. Naturally,the hosts will pay for everything, just as they would at a more traditional wedding reception.
If you can afford to hire a professional photographer,that would be ideal. If not, at least have one family member with a good eye who is designated to capture the key moments of your wedding. You will certainly want to have some beautiful photographs to remember your special wedding day.A DJ is not necessary, but perhaps an iPod playing some soft music or if it’s possible, hire a pianist or violinist to play some soft,ambiance music.
With these small touches, you can still have simplicity, keep the budget low, and enjoy your special day with the most important loving, supportive people around you on your new journey of marriage.