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First Look

We discuss today the pros and cons of having a first look on your wedding day! Most brides don’t let the groom see their dress until the wedding day. Some brides like to let their groom see them just before the ceremony for a great, intimate moment together before they walk down the aisle.

The Pros of having a first look:

  1. If you or your husband to be are feeling nervous before the big reveal it’s nice to have the first look to reassure each other. Not only will the photographer capture real moments, but it’s a great way to spend a little time just the two of you. You can take time to truly connect before the chaos of the celebration.
  2. The time of day can also impact your decision to have a first look. If you’re getting married in the winter the light fades pretty early. So, having a first look earlier ensures you can use natural light for great photos.
  3. Another reason is just practical. A first look gives you time to get those pictures out of the way so you can get to the cocktail hour and reception sooner.

 

The Cons of having a first look:

  1. If you are a traditional couple that can be the only reason needed to skip it. If you want the magic of the moment when you’re walking down the aisle that’s not a problem.
  2. Timing can be an issue as a con as well. If you get married earlier in the day then that means your time table will need to be pushed up as well. You may have to get ready earlier and that also possibly means your bridal party may have to get ready too. Some brides include their party after the first look too
  3.  It’s not as private as you think. The photographer and assistants or videographer may be far away, but they’re still there to capture the moment. If you’re camera shy you may not get the genuine moment you want.

Indoor Wedding Reception

Last year we saw a lot of outdoor wedding venues, but this year it’s all about the indoor wedding reception! This is a great option for those brides who want to tie the knot in a season where the weather may not cooperate. Summer can be blistering hot and humid, winter can get snowed out. We have some great indoor wedding reception  decorating ideas.

If you choose a venue with tall ceilings we love the draped look. This can be elegant if you stick with a neutral white or pale shade. If you’d like a more jazzy look use a colored fabric or add lights in the drapes. The draped ceiling gives your venue a romantic, soft vibe. The draped ceiling will also work for a rustic indoor wedding reception or if you’d like to dramatically change a plain space.

We also love decorative pillows for your indoor wedding reception. If you want a more relaxed and inviting appeal try getting some comfy and warm pillows for your guests to sit on. This is also works well for cultural weddings where it may be more customary to sit on pillows.

Another way to decorate for your indoor wedding reception is to hang flowers. Your guests may thank you for not putting huge center pieces on the table. Big center pieces may block their view of each other and the bride and groom. This trick is also a fun way to bring the attention up if you don’t like the flooring of your venue. Hanging flowers creates a more intimate space. We love simple and lush bouquets that invite your guests into a romantic landscape. If you don’t want to spend money on all the hanging flowers you can always use a projection and light show – with flowers!

No matter what you choose to do for your indoor wedding reception we love the idea of keeping it all inside! That way you get to control the temperature, sound and lights!

Industrial Space

Hello brides! We’re focusing on the trend of industrial space this year. It’s a venue that offers a relaxed space with a “blank slate” feel. You get to decorate and utilize the space however you want. Industrial spaces are great because there’s no rainy day plan – you’re already inside.

Some are calling the industrial space the new “rustic”. You can still have that feel with lanterns, s’more bars and greenery pieces. The industrial space just makes it more retro and fun! A key to the industrial chic is Edison bulb lighting. You’ll want these big bulbs to cast a romantic glow over the entire reception. We also love pewter chairs to make it more industrial chic. You can accent the chairs with floral arrangements or fabric.

A final touch for your industrial space reception could be adding in some Moscow mule mugs. They make the table pop especially with a cement wall behind them. Metallic dishware like the mugs or even the place settings gives it an industrial space chic feel.

No matter if you want more rustic or more industry style you can play with what you like. The venue being more industrial also gives you room to just use the space itself – exposed brick, cement walls and organic shaped chandeliers. If you can find the right building, you may not even need to decorate much. Industrial chic is all about the metallics and neutrals. You can even throw in some steampunk accessories since this type of venue is perfect for that!

The Cotillion

Hello, local Chicago area brides! We are featuring a reception venue that some of you may have already scouted out. The Cotillion in Palatine, IL is a fantastic place for your reception. The outside is lavish and elegant with white pillars and inside does not disappoint either. We love the huge spaces in this banquet hall. You have three room options depending on the size of your wedding. The meal plans here are excellent and affordable as well!

First room option is the Ballroom which is the best choice if your wedding is very large. This room can fit up to 900 people.  The second room is the Crown room which is better suited for mid sized gatherings. The third room is the Tiara room and is again great for mid sized weddings. The final room is the Regal room which can be combined with the Tiara room for extra space. We love the options at The Cotillion and the even staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. Each room comes with a lovely dance floor for your guests to be out partying and having lots of fun!

For the menu The Cotillion offers a complete seven course meal, four hours of open bar, complimentary champagne toasts for honors table, unlimited wine with dinner for your guests, wedding cake, hors d’Oeuvres for cocktail hour and many other options you get to pick and choose. We are a fan of their cream of chicken soup and the broiled filet mignon! The tasting is all part of the fun and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in their offerings.

As always it’s a good idea to call ahead and book a time to sit down with their coordinator to see if you like the venue. The opulent chandeliers and wall decor give each room a unique and glitzy flare. If you want elegance and sparkle then The Cotillion is for you! The spacious layout of The Cotillion is great for guests to move around and we like the space set up for a DJ or live band. If you’re looking for a venue that is all in one then try The Cotillion. It is located at:

360 S Creekside Drive
Palatine, IL 60074
(847) 934-5500

 

 

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.

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.