Oktoberfest Weddings by SimplyBridal

Oktoberfest Weddings

Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany in 1812 to mark the marriage between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. All the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the royal wedding and give their well wishes to the newlywed couple. Since then, Oktoberfest has evolved into a celebration of all things beer, and more than 6 million people from all over the world attend the 160-day festival every year.

If you’re considering a fall wedding, and love to indulge in a few fine brews, then you might want to get into the Oktoberfest spirit and have your big day at a microbrewery. Falls temperate weather and amazing foliage make it an ideal time of the year to celebrate in a intimate outdoor location, which makes a charming microbrewery the perfect venue.

Aside from finding your dream wedding venue, selecting an alcohol package for your big day can also be a tough decision. Whether you want a full bar or beer and wine only depends on a few different factors, and to help make the decision easier SimplyBridal has created this helpful infographic.

Oktoberfest Weddings

 

wedding reality tv

Wedding Reality TV Shows by SimplyBridal

Wedding Reality TV

We are all guilty, all very very guilty for giving into reality shows. Why wouldn’t someone be interested in watching a show that features ordinary people and their actual lives? Whether you’re normally a fan of Keeping up with the Kardashians, Project Runway, or The Bachelor, the moment you get engaged the wedding reality TV shows are on your mind. SimplyBridal has compiled a list of shows for brides to get their daily dose of drama from and to help them gain a bit of inspiration.

Wedding Reality TV

Bridal Jewelry

Planning the Head Table by SimplyBridal

Planning the Head Table by SimplyBridal. A seating chart at your actual wedding ceremony isn’t always necessary, traditionally all of the members attending in support of the bride sit on one side and the members attending to support the groom are on the other side. Many couples have chosen to abandon this tradition, as they believe that though their union, everyone is family so there shouldn’t be a seating plan.

Now, putting together a seating arrangement for the reception is a whole other ball game. Does the happily married couple prefer a sweetheart table, or would they rather be surrounded by their bridal party, or their family? Any of the following options is acceptable, but which one is right for your friends and family?

planning the head table

summer wedding

Midwest Destinations: Summer Edition

Midwest Destinations: Summer Edition. Summer vacation season is in full swing and as Chicagoans, most of us have a more local spot that we have been frequenting for years or just recently discovered. It’s easy to forget that even though we live in or around one of the greatest, most dynamic cities in the world, we are also surrounded by stellar beauty and summer is the time to highlight some of the most gorgeous spots around. And if you are anything like us, every time you hear Tim Allen’s voice urging you to check out the many tourist spots in Pure Michigan, you almost can’t believe someplace so close could be so incredibly beautiful. So we’ve singled out some of our favorite spots for girl’s getaways, local destination wedding locales, and daytrips!
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New Buffalo Michigan:  Just about an hour and a half outside of Chicago, this is the go-to vacation spot for so many life-long Chicagoans. Perfectly perched on a grand strip of Lake Michigan, this harbor town in known for its gorgeous waterside properties, quintessential shops, and delicious hotspots for everything from ice cream to burgers and high-end seafood fare. And for those of you who are full-time city dwellers, when we say Lake Michigan, you might as well forget everything you know about our idea of the “Lakefront.”  Although we love our city water feature, this water is much more beach friendly and seemingly more accessible. This could be THE spot for a scenic semi-destination wedding or a perfect firl’s getaway bachelorette party weekend! Our friends over at Glossed and Found recently feature New Buffalo in their annual vacation issue and listed the following as must-see, must-try and must-stay picks!

Stay: Grand Marina Resort (wow!)

Eat: Redamak’s, Bentwood Tavern, Oink’s
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Geneva

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: Ahh, The Hamptons of the Midwest, right? Well, maybe not quite as pretentious, but all the same this place is gorgeous! So what’s new in LG, since this spot has long been touted as the place just north of the border and again, about an hour and a half from the city? How about the amazing Livingsocial deals from the iconic Abbey Inn and Spa? A steal for those of us who know how ideal the setting of the Inn is located right on the water and full of charm and a top notch spa. They also are no stranger to hosting super chic weddings. This is a perennial go-to for wedding venue shopping and we must say, we wouldn’t mind being a guest and forcing ourselves to take a nice long weekend vacation!

Stay: Grand Geneva or The Abbey

Eat: Fontana Grill, Ristorante Brissago, Hunt Club
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AbbeyMarina
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Gay Marriage Timeline 2013

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013. Issues like equal rights and gay marriage are ever growing and developing, often with a long and detailed history of pivotal events behind them. To coincide with the new ruling against the Defence of Marriage Act (DoMA) in the U.S, we have created an up-to-date timeline documenting the LGBT community’s battle for equal marriage rights so far.

The U.S Supreme Court has recently attracted a lot of attention for its involvement in a movement of increasing momentum as, though opinions were divided, the majority ruled against a law defining marriage as a strictly heterosexual process, giving hope of more rights for many same-sex couples.

This is the latest milestone of a journey that dates back thousands of years, as our timeline shows; the fight is perhaps not over but another important step has been made as opinions slowly turn and support gathers. To those fighting for their rights, we salute you!

Due to the recent news, SimplyBridal has revamped our Gay Marriage Timeline for 2013, new and exciting changes are constantly occurring in the LGBT community. We are so excited to be covering it them, and reminding people of the long struggle for equal rights. Chicago Gay Wedding DJ.

Gay Marriage Timeline 2013

3 Ways to Avoid Wedding Day Regrets

3 Ways to Avoid Wedding Day Regrets

3 Ways to Avoid Wedding Day Regrets. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but you’re wedding day will go really fast. When it is all over with, you want to be able to look back and know that you made the most of the day and captured as many memories as possible. While planning the wedding, it is easy to get caught up in the budget and traditional must do’s, but there are some reoccurring things that brides often say they regret. Here is how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Splurge on the videographer

Most couples skip the videographer due to budget restraints. They figure the photographer will capture all the major moments, so there is no need for a videographer. The truth is photos don’t let you relive your tear-filled vows, or re-listen to the speech given by your best man or let you re-watch your best friend’s attempt to do a split on the dance floor. If you can’t afford a videographer, at least ask someone who is good with a video camera to capture some of the most important moments.

REM Video Photography

R.E.M. Video & Photography

Don’t only order a few prints

Photographers offer a variety of packages with the option of prints, a disk with all the photos, or a combination of the two. Even if you decide to have the photographer print and assemble your wedding album, you should splurge on the disk with all the images. It can be overwhelming to choose from all the pictures and you might later wish you could print other images you didn’t originally choose.

whaley picture

Timothy Whaley & Associates

Take plenty of family photos

You may be tempted to rush through photos so you can enjoy the cocktail hour and start the reception, but don’t forget to take plenty of family photos. It isn’t that often that you have the whole family together (with everyone dressed up), so don’t miss the opportunity to get some great pictures.

hazelton photography

Hazelton Photography

These are just a few of the regrets brides often have. The key to avoiding regret is taking the time to enjoy every moment and capturing as many memories as you can so you always remember your special day. While you don’t want to blow your entire life savings on one day, you do want to make sure it is special, so do the things that are most important to you.

What’s in a Name?

The time honored tradition of a woman taking her husband’s name once they are married is a beautiful way to mark your entrance into a new family and for a couple, the beginning of your own family.  For years now, the options of how , when and if you change your name at all leave a lot of room for personal decision.  Whatever you choose to do, whether you change your name or keep your maiden, both are more than acceptable by today’s standards.

maiden name

If you should decide to change your name, the task can be daunting. We have pulled the latest to-do checklist to help out our brides and get them organized for legally binding themselves to a new husband AND a new name. But, before that, we have a few new ideas and maybe even a few compromises for those brides who are on a the fence.

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  1. Don’t change. Whoever says you HAVE to have the same name as your husband is seriously living in the dark ages. Women are heads of households and heads of corporations- either way they have earned their right to keep the name that helped them get there. For professional reasons, a lot of women simply don’t have the option to change their name due to years of hard work and PR to gain name recognition in their respective fields. Many doctors, lawyers, and well known figures opt to keep their names professionally and change their name for things like banking, tax filings, and personal use. Others go for a hyphenated version of their name where both names are proudly represented.  Which brings us to our next option…
  2. When in doubt- Hyphenate! Hyphenating your name is a very modern way to go and can be quite convenient if you decide to share both of your last names with your kids.  The hyphenate 2 last names almost become like one name for your entire family and equally represents both sides for your children to carry on.
  3. Name change Anniversary gift? We have heard of many women changing their name on their first, fifth or even tenth anniversaries! We think this is a really cool way to honor your husband and show the journey to becoming one.  Some gals also like the idea because they want to really emphasize the importance of giving up their name for their husband’s and also marking the big accomplishment of the years they have already put in.

And here is our name-changing checklist courtesy of The Knot ( For whatever way to decide to go!)

1. Get your marriage license 
Before you can change your name, you’ll need the original (or certified) marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. Call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn’t automatically sent to you.

2. Change your Social Security card 
Visit the Social Security Administration’s website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You’ll keep the same number — just your name will be different. Mail in your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You should get your new card within 10 business days.

3. Change your license at the DMV 
Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring every form of identification you can lay your hands on — your old license, your certified marriage license and — most important — your new Social Security card.

4. Change your bank accounts 
This one’s a biggie, especially if you’re setting up a joint bank account, or if you have one already set up. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location — bring your new driver’s license and your marriage license. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts. Something to note: You might get hit with fees for requesting a new debit card.

4. Fill in the blanks 
Once you have a social security card and driver’s license in your married name, other changes should be fairly easy. Some places only require a phone call; others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Be sure to notify:

Employers/payrollSS card
Post office
Electric and other utility companies
Credit card companies
Schools and alumni associations
Landlord or mortgage company
Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
Doctors’ offices
Voter registration office
Investment account providers
Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
Passport office

 

Don’t Be a Bride-to-be Who Misuses Social Media

Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family and to share and find ideas. However, there are always those people who abuse social media and annoy their followers. If they aren’t careful, brides-to-be can easily become that friend. Here are a few ways to avoid becoming the annoying bride on Facebook.

Wait to Change Your Relationship Status

Of course you are excited to change your status from “in a relationship” to “engaged,” but don’t do it too quickly. Make sure you share the news with close friends and relatives before posting it online. People who are important to you should hear the news from you and your fiancé not the internet.

 

Go Easy on the Ring Pictures

We know you love the new diamond engagement ring sparkling on your hand, but your Facebook friends don’t want to look at constant pictures of you modeling the rock. A close-up or two to share with friends and family who won’t get to see the ring in person is fine, but don’t become obsessed with modeling your new accessory.

Beware the Countdown

An occasional update on the nearing date is fine, but don’t be the bride who writes a countdown post every day. Also, on the day of, fight the urge to give minute by minute countdowns. No one wants to read their news feed and find “Three more hours until I get married” followed by “Two more hours until I get married.”

Send Thank You Cards

Posting about your shower and all the great gifts is fine, but don’t forget about thank you cards. A thank you on Facebook is not the same as a handwritten thank you in the mail.

A Few Pictures Will Suffice

Everyone wants to see pictures of your big day, especially people who weren’t able to attend, but they don’t want your photos constantly showing up in their newsfeed. Create one album and fill it with your favorites. You don’t need to include every single photo.

Enjoy Your Honeymoon

After the wedding, you should be looking forward to quality time with your new hubby not uploading photos and creating a new status every ten minutes. Take a break from social media while on vacation and share some photos and details when you return. No one expects constant updates while you’re honeymooning.

 

How to Handle a Momzilla

Brides often get a bad rep for being bridezillas, but the mother-of-the-bride can be just as demanding and troublesome. If your mom (or the mother-of-the-groom) is getting a little out of hand, use these simple tips to help save the peace at your wedding.

Warn Others

If you are dealing with a Momzilla, don’t keep it a secret. Warn your wedding planner and other vendors. They can help you handle a Momzilla who is interfering with your wedding plans, and they will appreciate knowing in advance what to expect. For instance, if you don’t tell the DJ to ignore all song requests from your over-involved mom, you may end up listening to all of your mother’s favorite songs at the wedding instead of the songs you and your fiancé requested. While you should consider your parents’ opinions, the day ultimately belongs to you and your fiancé.

Plan Ahead

If you know you will be dealing with a Momzilla, make plans before she can interfere. For instance, if your Momzilla will be too outspoken about the dress you wear, go shopping with friends to find the perfect dress. Then take your mom back to see the gown once you have made a decision about the dress you want.

Keep Her Busy

Momzillas want to be involved, and they will be very offended if you don’t take any of their suggestions. To avoid an argument, choose a task that isn’t too important to you and assign it to the Momzilla. This could be something simple like creating the welcome bags for out of town guests or something more involved such as the rehearsal dinner. Giving the Momzilla a job will not only make her feel involved, but it will also keep her busy so you can get more important planning done.

 

Happy wedding planning, and best of luck dealing with your Momzilla.

Choosing Your Wedding Date

Choosing Your Wedding Date

Choosing Your Wedding Date

choosing your wedding date

Before you make any decisions about your Chicago Wedding DJcaterers, venues, or photographers, you need to start choosing your wedding date. This is the day you’ll celebrate for years to come so choose wisely. To make this weighty decision a little easier and to help you narrow down the date, consider these five factors;

Length of Engagement: Do you have a pre-set idea on just how long you want to be engaged? Did you always envision a lengthy engagement period or are you dying to become Mr. and Mrs. as soon as possible? Whatever the case, determining how long you want your engagement period to last can help you narrow down a specific month or season for the wedding.

Season: Do you dream of a rustic fall wedding or a flowery garden party in the spring? If your dream wedding style rests heavily on a particular time of year, pick a wedding date that works. Granted, this could mean having a very short or incredibly long engagement, but if you have your heart set on seasonal flowers, colors, or seasonal motifs, figure out a way to make it work!

Venue: Popular wedding venues book up fast so if you are determined to get married in a particular locale, you might need to schedule your wedding date around their availability. If you know upfront where you’d like to exchange vows or hold your reception, contact the venue and find out what dates they have openings. Talking to the venue before setting your date in stone can ensure you nab the location of your dreams and pick a wedding date in the process.

Significant Date: Maybe you want to honor your grandparents by getting hitched on their anniversary, or celebrate your own relationship by saying “I do” on the same day as your first date. A meaningful day, such as a holiday, birthday, or anniversary, can provide a great option for choosing your own wedding day.

Other Events: Are there already events on the calendar that your wedding will be rivaling with? Before choosing a wedding date, check with family and close friends about upcoming vacations, events, or other weddings so that your nuptials don’t end up conflicting with another important occasion.