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The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

Music By Design named winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

Chicago, IL (December 2, 2016) — Music By Design is pleased to announce they have been selected as a 2017 ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, a special section featured on The Knot. The Knot is the number-one wedding destination, most trusted by brides.

The Knot Best of Weddings 2017 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources. Whether they’re trying to find the wedding dress salon with the best service in Chicagoland, the most creative wedding photographers, top cake bakers or a chicago wedding dj, engaged couples across the country want the inside scoop on the best from real brides.

Music By Design is also included in The Knot Hall of Fame. Comprised of winners of the annual Best of Weddings, a by-brides-for-brides guide to the top wedding vendors in 80-plus cities across the U.S., the Hall of Fame inducts wedding vendors who have won four or more Best of Weddings awards. This honorable list of 331 inductees includes less than 2 percent of wedding professionals. Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2016.

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About XO Group Inc.
XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include WeddingChannel, The Nest, The Bump, TheBlush and Ijie. XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media – from the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video – and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing.

For more information, please contact weddingreviews@theknot.com.

View official press release – releases on January 2, 2017.

Wedding Insurance

Wedding Insurance
Wedding insurance is something all brides should consider! Though you might not want to think about it, disasters can strike your wedding day. From a sudden cancellation to stolen gifts to a damaged gown, wedding insurance can help protect you against the unforeseen, and can also afford you great peace of mind. Wedding insurance is not just for the military bride or let’s face it the runaway bride. Why wedding insurance?
For the bride and groom: as you celebrate the beginning of your lives together, wedding insurance can help protect your financial future if something beyond your control should go wrong.
For the parents of the bride or groom: an investment in your child’s wedding is an investment in their happiness. You want to protect their dreams of a perfect wedding–and your own financial security. If the unforeseen occurs, wedding insurance is there.
Basically, wedding insurance protects a couple’s investment from circumstances beyond their control, and reimburses expenses incurred. For example, what if your limo driver doesn’t show up and you have to book another one the morning of the wedding– for three times the price? Or what if the groom’s custom-made tuxedo is lost in airport baggage, and he has to buy a new one the day before the wedding? What if your reception space goes out of business a month before the wedding, and you lose your deposit and have to book another space? These are the types of big-day financial losses that wedding insurance can help to protect.
Some vendors may have this insurance built into their contract; however, if they go bankrupt, you’re out of luck. Some insurance carriers such as Traveler’s, Aon, and other insurance brokers, have riders or policies you can add to your existing coverage. The decision to purchase Wedding Insurance is a highly personal one–a financial decision that is an additional cost for your wedding budget, but will protect you from unforeseen disasters and mishaps. As the average cost of weddings rises, now $27,000 in the U.S.,
wedding insurance becomes more of a necessity. After all, you wouldn’t buy a new car that cost that much without insuring it against damage. Wedding insurance can save you an unnecessary headache and money loss.

Vegas Wedding

Viva Las Vegas – Vegas Wedding
A Vegas wedding sounds exotic, daring and budget friendly! Getting married in Vegas doesn’t mean you need to pull into a drive-thru window or have an Elvis impersonator marry you off. Want to get married next to the Bellagio dancing fountains? Or, what about exchanging vows underneath the Eiffel Tower? Vegas caters to all sorts of budgets from the ritzy and exclusive to simple and sweet. You can keep it flashy or classy- totally up to you! There are so many options; you might just have a hard time choosing just one! Every year,some 120,000 weddings are performed in Las Vegas, making it the most popular destination wedding site by far.
The Positives
Affordability & Convenience – This is the biggest advantage of a Las Vegas wedding. While a traditional U.S.wedding costs $27,000 on average, you can have a complete wedding ceremony for a few hundred dollars (or less)in Las Vegas. At Las Vegas hotels with wedding chapels,there’s usually a wedding coordinator who can arrange everything from your wedding flowers to the officiant to music and photography/videography. And you can plan it allover the phone or even online.
Timing
You will be able to book a chapel for your wedding in Las Vegas on short notice. Reservations are helpful,although walk-ins are accommodated in some places.
Fun
If you want to get married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator, who’s to stop you?Start the Honeymoon Early–No need to get on a plane or head out of town after the wedding. Las Vegas is more than a great wedding town–Las Vegas is a great honeymoon destination, too.
The Negatives
Your Wedding, Your Way–There’s no comparison between a wedding planned months or years in advance with a quickie Las Vegas one. If you’re someone who cares about having specific wedding colors, custom favors, a certain baker, local florists and bands, and other elements that personalize a wedding, you may not be satisfied with a standard Las Vegas wedding package.
Conveyor Belt Mentality
While Las Vegas wedding chapels attempt to keep wedding parties separate, they don’t always succeed. Some Las Vegas hotels have more than one chapel, so you may encounter people from other wedding parties. At one of the better Las Vegas wedding chapels, couples have one hour of chapel time: 30 minutes for guest arrival and seating, 15 minutes for the ceremony, and 15 minutes for photography.
Reception Sites
Las Vegas wedding chapels are just that: Places where weddings are conducted. If you want to have a reception afterwards, that has to be arranged separately. Larger hotels have banquet and meeting rooms
which are mostly used for corporate functions. I recommend a private room in a restaurant.
Tacky Image
Despite the best efforts of Las Vegas’ finest hotels–which can produce gala affairs second to none — Las Vegas weddings are still considered tacky by some.

Wedding Organization

Tips & Tricks for Wedding Organization
Planning a wedding is arguably one big, long test of organization and time management. Staying on top of things is KEY, or the whole process can get really overwhelming and out of hand if you aren’t keeping track of everything.
Here are our tips for staying organized while planning your wedding:
1. Get yourself a binder and some dividers, and make your own wedding organizer. Fill it as you go with inspiration photos, vendor contracts, business cards, and anything else you get that you need to keep track of.
2. Do most of your communication through email so there is written documentation of everything. You can print it out and put it in your binder.
3. Find a calendaring system that works for you. Whether it be a planner or on your Smartphone calendar, keep this with you at all times!
4. Have an individual document (either on the computer or on paper) to track wedding financials.
  • Each group contributing to the wedding financially (if you have multiple parties paying), showing their total contribution, anything they have paid so far, and the balance left over
  • Each vendor showing total cost, amount paid, balance,and whether there are any refundable deposits (e.g., our venue has one)
  • Miscellaneous money-related items to take note of (e.g., amount of cash needed on hand the dayof the wedding for vendor tips)
5. This may sound silly, but having a planner and binder won’t do you any good unless you actually USE it. Wedding organization in the form of binders are great but you need to be sure to keep updating them. So make sure to keep them handy and that way you won’t miss a meeting or (worse) a payment!
Follow these tips and you get to feel the sweet relief of knowing all your wedding organization is under control and at your fingertips anytime.

Hiring Vendors

The How-To’s of Hiring Vendors

 

How do you hire vendors? How do you know which match is right for you or who to trust? Where do you go for advice? First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or
confused. It’s not like you plan a wedding every day! This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.
Do Your Homework. When hiring vendors you’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first. Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married. Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available. Get an idea of what you like and don’t like. Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource. This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.
Meet With Them. An in-person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism. If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.
Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions when hiring vendors! Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand. If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you. The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for
your wedding.
Here are 8 questions to ask when hiring vendors and/or your potential wedding professionals:
How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have?
How much do you cost?
How much is the deposit?
What specifically is included in that cost?
What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?
Do you use a contract?
Are there any additional fees?
Do you carry liability insurance?
Listen. Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen. Watch the vendor’s body language. Are they confident and comfortable with their response? Do they look and sound nervous? Do you get a “funny feeling” about them? Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their verbal responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
Check References. Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance. Videos are edited for the optimum presentation. But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.
When hiring vendors for your wedding it’s important you feel good about them. They’ll provide great service and you’ll get the wedding day of your dreams!

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!

Best Man Infographic

Best Man Infographic

The best man’s role is a really pivotal part of a wedding and should be taken seriously. The Groom-to-be has chosen you to be a part of one of the most memorable days of his life probably because you have gone through so much together and he wants you there beside him to share his happiness.

As the best man, it is your job to organize a top class bachelor party to give your friend a fun send off with his wider circle of friends and it is also your job on the wedding day to look after the wedding rings for the marriage ceremony, take care of any wedding gifts and of course not forgetting your best man speech! Preparation for this should be done in advance which will help get rid of nerves. Ensure to make it memorable for the right reasons so add in special anecdotes you have of your friendship and of the couple’s romance! Be sure to keep it relevant, timely and most important of all, keep it clean so everyone can enjoy without fear of any cringe moments!

This Best Man Infographic from Loyes Diamonds in Ireland highlights the role of the best man at the wedding and presents some interesting facts and tips for you to enjoy!

Best Man Infographic

Here Comes The Bride

Vendor Spotlight – Here Comes The Bride

Vendor Spotlight – Here Comes the Bride

 

Here Comes The Bride

Photo Credit: Yelp

Brides often shop at an array of stores for the perfect wedding dress but look no further! Here Comes the Bride in Addison, IL offers amazing designer dresses without the huge price tag. This small bridal boutique has relied on word of mouth to serve the Chicagoland area for over two decades. They have designers such as (but not limited to, as stated on their website), Mori Lee, Angelina Faccenda, Kenneth Winston and Ella Rosa.

They might not look like the high fashion, couture store you’re dreaming of, but trust us, this boutique has more than enough to offer you. The customer service is raved about on Yelp and Wedding Wire.On their Facebook page, check out the bridesmaid dress Lady Gaga wore.

Here Comes The Bride

Photo Credit: Essence Designs

She’s featured wearing their new line of Sorella Vita dresses in dusty lavender! They offer great advice for brides and have a variety of dresses to fit any body type. You can garnish your dress with add ons or have it altered at the store.

Check out Here Comes the Bride website and Facebook page.

 

Shredding for the Wedding

Shredding for the Wedding

Are you skinny fat? Well, skinny fat is not fit. Fit is hot. I’m not talking bodybuilder-type muscles, but toned and defined back, arms, and chest are your best accessories in a wedding dress. Shredding for the wedding versus shedding for the wedding is what to keep in mind when thinking of your dream body. Most women desire long, lean muscles or definition. As you learned before, diet is extremely important. However, fitness is also equally important.

Shredding for the Wedding

Physicians recommend that you not lose any more than 1 to 2 lbs per week. They say that it takes 3,500 calories to lose one pound. There are some easy steps to take in moving more in our busy schedules:

– Walk more and stop relying on your car

– Up your activity level to four to five days per week

– Incorporate weight lifting if you’re a “cardio bunny”

– Be adventurous and try new workout activities or classes

– Workout with your fiancé! They say that pheromones are released during workouts…hello, what a turn-on!

Shredding for the Wedding

As it was recommended with your food intake, also tracking your workouts are a smart idea to know exactly how many net calories your body is absorbing as fuel on a daily basis. Food equals fuel for your body when you are dieting, training, and building muscle.

Two great sites we recommend to track activities are: www.MyFitnessPal.com or www.livestrong.com. These sites have preloaded activities of the average calories burned per exercise. To get the best results, you should wear a verifiable device such as a Polar Heart Rate Monitor, Fitbug, Fitbit, or any other device that calculates your heart rate and the amount of activity you are performing.

To learn more about these devices please check out the following links:

http://www.polarusa.com/us-en

https://usa.fitbug.com/sales

http://www.fitbit.com/home

Remember, during the stressful months of wedding planning, exercise can be a good distraction, help reduce stress and up the ante on your energy level. Exercise can be your best friend and therapy through those chaotic times!

Friday Bride-day

Friday Bride-day

When setting a wedding date, couples tend to automatically begin by looking at Saturday afternoons. While there are certainly many advantages to having a Saturday wedding, an alternative that has become increasingly popular is the Friday wedding.

If you decide to have your wedding on a Friday, you’ll reap several rewards: both financial and otherwise. You’ll save time, you’ll probably save a significant amount of money, and you’ll find that your guests may appreciate having a Saturday free to spend time with you and the other guests they know.

Before discounting this option for the sake of tradition, consider the following five benefits of hosting your wedding on a Friday.

Maximize Your Dollar

For Friday weddings, the majority of banquet facilities, photographers, video producers, musicians/entertainers, and limousine services are much more willing to negotiate in order to reach a price that suits your budget. Vendors tend to see Friday as a bonus day, a time when they can earn income. Savings on these services can really add up, making this option a great way to save money without having to sacrifice the quality of your wedding.

Save TimeFriday Bride-day

On a Friday, you’ll probably have your wedding in the evening, which means that the ceremony is followed immediately by dinner. This means that you will avoid the extra cost and hassle of a one-to-two-hour interim reception or cocktail party. Having the ceremony and reception back to back may ensure more people at the church ceremony.Friday Bride-day

Ambiance

Friday wedding ceremonies offer the opportunity of creating a dramatic, romantic ambiance that starkly contrasts that of a bright spring afternoon. If you’ve dreamed of a candlelit wedding ceremony, dancing under the stars, or elegant evening gowns for your bridesmaids, a Friday wedding might be for you. If you live in a particularly warm climate, an evening ceremony can also help your guests to escape the uncomfortable heat and sun.

Time with Guests

When out-of-town guests come in for a Saturday wedding, they usually have to leave early the next day in order to make it back for work and school on Monday. With a Friday wedding, you have the option to take the whole day on Saturday to spend with out-of-town friends and family. Though it is probably less convenient for guests to come in to town for a Friday wedding, they may welcome the opportuFriday Bride-daynity to take a long weekend and make a mini-vacation out of your special occasion.

As with all aspects of wedding planning, it’s important to remember to consider a variety of options and to think outside the box before making final decisions. As long as your wedding party and out-of-town guests don’t mind taking a little extra time off, the benefits of a Friday wedding might just outweigh those of the traditional Saturday afternoon!