engagmenet photographer

Vendor Spotlight: Engagement & Wedding Photographer

Vendor Spotlight: Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Elle Taylor Photography

Our Vendor Spotlight: Engagement & Wedding Photographer, is featuring Elle Taylor Photography this month. Elle Taylor is a local wedding & engagement photographer in the Chicagoland area. Elle Taylor Photography’s style is beautiful, bright natural light photography. She loves bringing couples’ love stories to life in her photos. Elle also loves light pink and her puppy. Trust us, you want to learn more about Elle Taylor Photography and her beautiful photos. Because of this, we’ve interviewed Elle so she can tell you about herself and answer your wedding planning questions!

1.What is your favorite part of  being an engagement and wedding photographer?

My favorite thing about shooting engagements and weddings is the relationships I’m able to make with my couples. They’re all SO sweet, and I am genuinely so excited to meet them/see them again when I photograph their engagement sessions and wedding days. I always leave with a full heart (and full memory cards, haha!)

2. What attire or clothing advice do you give couples when they plan their engagement photos with Elle Taylor Photography?

When planning for engagement photos, I send each one of my couples an in-detail outfit planning guide with my favorite tips and tricks for coordinating outfits, my favorite stores to purchase clothing for their “formal” looks and their more “casual” looks. I also send them tons of inspiration photos from other couples’ outfit choices to help show what outfits will look like when paired together for their photos. The most important thing I tell me couples to remember is to make sure that they’re comfortable in the outfits they choose because if their uncomfortable, it’ll show in the photos.

3. Is there an experience you’ve had while photographing an engagement or wedding that you will never forget?

This is such a hard question because I leave the majority of my engagement sessions and weddings with my face hurting from laughing so much with my couples. I could never forget any of them, but there is definitely one shoot that I will never, ever forget. After one of my shoots this past summer, I got engaged!! My fiance (boyfriend at the time) had been setting everything up while I was at the shoot, and he surprised me later that night 🙂 Best day ever!

For more wedding planning advice and vendors, checkout other Chicago Wedding Blog posts below!

floral design

The Wedding Floral Trends Of 2019/2020

The Wedding Floral Trends Of 2019/2020

2019/2020 should be called the wedding planning year of the flowers! It’s seemed the bigger, and more unique, the better! Whether you have an endless floral budget, or you have to pinch your pennies on your flower budget, we have great, local, inspiration for you! Here are four floral trends of 2019/2020 weddings! See Wedding Flowers By Season.

1.Cascading Canopies

One of our favorite trends this year! We love how they turn your wedding venue into a magical forest! From budget-friendly greenery to luscious florals, canopies add life to your decor. If you are not a fan of flowers, but are in love with different kinds of greens, this may be a great option for you to decorate your  wedding venue with.

2. Floral Hoops

This floral trend has come back into style from decades ago. We can’t get enough of it! Whether you want your bridal party to carry the floral hoops, or you want to use them as decoration for your venue; this trend will add shape and uniqueness to your wedding day. This trend is perfect for avant garde brides who are not a fan of the typical bouquets.

3. Greens, greens, & more greens!

Greenery is a trend that began in 2015/2016 and has been going strong ever since! We can definitely see why this trend has been “in” for so long! Greenery can both help keep your floral budget smaller and also add luscious texture to your florals. There are numerous kinds of greenery you can choose from, which makes it easy to combine different kinds of greenery into a bouquet.

greenery

Photo: Miss Elite Photography, Flowers: Town & Country Gardens, Geneva, Illinois

4. Ginormous bridal bouquets

This year has been the year of the ginormous bridal bouquets. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to sacrifice your budget to have a bigger bouquet. If you are budget conscious, aim to incorporate more greenery and in-season flowers.  If you have the budget to spend, incorporate many shapes and sizes of both greenery and flowers. This trend will be sure to add drama, and of course beauty, to your wedding photos.

huge bouquet flowers

Flowers: Floral Wonders, Geneva, Illinois

We hope this inspiration will both give you ideas for your wedding flowers and introduce you to talented local florists who can help bring your vision to life! For more tips and tricks to help plan your floral budget and look check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below!

feed wedding vendors

Take Care Of Your Vendors! Here’s How And Why!

Take Care Of Your Vendors! Here’s How And Why!

One of the biggest things you need for your wedding day is help from vendors.

This comes in the form of both paid and un-paid vendors (thinking of your well-meaning uncle who makes his own bourbon)! The best helpers are the vendors you’ve hired such as a photographer, videographer, wedding planner and DJ or band. To show your gratitude for their work, take care of your wedding vendors! Here’s how!

Most couples are on a wedding budget. You’ll need to factor in extra meals to take care of   your vendors.

This is a subject of much debate : do you have to give a meal to your photographers or musicians? Some wedding vendors such as  planners and photographers build in a clause in their contracts. Some couples simply offer it as a common courtesy. These vendors are, after all, holding your entire wedding day memories in their hands. 

You’ll also want to speak to your caterer and ask if those meals are included in your meal fee or are they extra.

Why is it important to feed your DJ and photographer? It is important to show your gratitude by taking care of your vendors. You also don’t want them tired from lack of food, or miss important events if they’re having to only eat a snack. 

Timing is key for giving your vendors time to eat.

For photographers and videographers it’s best to have them eat while you are eating. Then, they won’t miss the cake cutting or first dance. If they come as a pair, even better! You could have them alternate as they take breaks. For the band or DJ it’s best if they eat during cocktail hour. After that, they are ready to go and get everyone up and ready to dance after dinner. 

A happy, well taken care of  vendor is one who will most likely go the extra mile for you on your wedding day. 

Bridal Party Proposal

Four Unique Ways To Propose To Your Bridal Party

Four Unique Ways To Propose To Your Bridal Party

Pinterest has become a hub of DIY and wedding planning. Because of this, ways to propose to your bridal party have become more creative. If you want some unique ways to ask your bridesmaids & groomsmen without breaking the bank, we’ve got you covered! Here are four unique ways to ask your bridal party to be in your wedding.

Option #1- A handwritten note on the back of a meaningful photo of you together.

It’s always nice to receive handwritten notes. Friends love reminiscing on memories by looking at old photos. When you combine those two ideas together it makes for a special keepsake. If you want to go the extra mile, purchase a clear plastic or glass frame so your friend can always see the front and back of the photo and note.

Option #2- A custom sticker put on a mini bottle of champagne or the bridal party’s drink of choice.

This is a yummy and easy option. Purchase printable stickers from any office supply store. You can design on your computer using the brand of choice app, and TADA, you have a fancy & fun bridal party proposal! If your bridal party isn’t the alcohol type, that’s fine! How about a specialty coffee drink?! Decide which drink is your bridal party’s favorite and choose that option.

Option #3- A T-Shirt Or Custom Apparel

When you are getting married there are many fun outings with your bridal party. Who doesn’t love cute or comical bridal party coordinated apparel? You could go simple with bridesmaids bride tribe shirts such as these cute ones from Liz & Kate boutique in Geneva, IL. Or some fun ones for the guys like these groom squad shirts. If you wanted to go a bit simpler, bridesmaid and groomsmen hats are easy to find at many local brick & mortar shops.

Option #4- Give them a box of their favorite sweet treat with a note on the inside of the box asking them to be in your bridal party.

This one is an easy DIY if you like baking. If not, there are many local bakeries or candy shops that make it easy to fill up a box with their favorite things. Who doesn’t like getting candy and cookies?! You can find bakery boxes at any local craft store. Check out some of your local bakeries may even help you out and box it for you.

No Makeup Wedding

No Makeup Wedding

No Make Up Wedding

Have you ever thought about having a no makeup wedding? To most brides, this is a terrifying thought. We have tips on how to achieve a natural look if you can’t bear the thought of going completely without! Especially if your wedding day is in the summer and don’t want all that product dripping down your face – even if all those products say they are sweat proof.

The first step to a no-makeup wedding look is glowy skin.

Find a great exfoliator to rub those dead skin cells away. Then, instead of a foundation you can try a BB, CC or tinted moisturizer cream. A lot of BB creams or tinted moisturizers come with SPF in them. You can’t go wrong with protecting that glowing skin!
Another way to avoid foundation is to just use a concealer for those trouble spots. We love concealers with a wand so you can be sure to get the foundation exactly where you want it. Use a sponge to blend into your skin and you’ll have that flawless, dewy skin look without a lot of foundation!

Next step to getting the no-makeup look is to make sure your eyelashes are wide open.

Use a thick mascara to get those lashes to pop and curl up! Along with lashes are brows. If you’ve got naturally shaped and thick brows congrats! But for those who have some thin spots we recommend just filling them in with a brow gel to get a more consistent look for wedding pictures.

The final touches we love are using a highlighter on your skin.

When you use highlighter it helps make you appear natural in your wedding photos and look like “you woke up like this”. The facial part that brings it all together is lips. We find that even a simple tinted lip balm gives you a soft, weightless look.

See! You don’t need a lot of makeup to get that smooth, glowing skin look. If you’re a bride who doesn’t want a glam squad on the big day than these steps are easy to do! Best wishes on planning your wedding! We hope you find more inspiration and tips from the blog posts below! 

Five Comfortable Wedding Shoe Ideas

Five Comfortable Wedding Shoe Ideas

Five Comfortable Wedding Shoe Ideas

The last thing you want on your wedding day is painful feet. There are so many comfortable wedding shoe options. There is no reason to wear painful shoes. Here are five great options to move and dance through your wedding day, pain free, in comfortable wedding shoes!



1. Sandals

Sandals are a great option for warmer weather, or a beach wedding. These sandals are a great bridal white with a touch of sparkle. They will hold your foot in place to avoid blisters, without getting into the pinching peep toe situation. The above sandals are the Olivia Miller- “Richey Multi Rhinestone Sandals” available at Macy’s and other retailers. These shoes are a great choice for their flat footed design that lets your feet do their thing.

2. Block Heels

If you have shaky ankles, a block heel is a great idea to give you a little lift in height without the lack of ankle support that comes with stilettos. These blush block heels are a cute option for a gentle pop of color. They also have great arch support. You can purchase them in store at Nora’s Shoes in Geneva, Illinois, or online.

3. Wedges

Who said wedges aren’t formal? These fancy shoes by Angela Nuran are made specifically with brides in mind. They are easily the most comfortable line of heels, flats, and wedges available in the bridal industry. Angela Nuran shoes are adjustable to be made wider or looser at the toe and ankle. You also can choose your brooch to coordinate with your wedding attire. You can purchase Angela Nuran shoes locally at Veiled In Elegance in Geneva, Illinois.

4. Flats

If you are not a heel or sandal person, you’re in luck! There are hundreds of flat shoe options that do not lack formality, color, or comfort. These beaded Bella Belle shoes have the combination of formality, beauty, and comfort that will make you happy all day. With the slightly pointed toe, no one would know you were not wearing heels! What’s not to love? Bella Belle shoes are available locally at The Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL.

5. Stilettos

We know, we know, we already showed you some Angela Nuran shoes, but we are not kidding when we say they are the most comfortable formal shoes on the market. These Astoria heels have arch support, a padded sole, as well as an adjustable broach at the toe. These details combine to give you a comfortable, stable heel to wear on your wedding day and beyond. They last forever, so dye them nude or black after the wedding to continue to enjoy these comfortable heels. Available locally at Veiled In Elegance in Geneva, Illinois. 



No matter what shoes you choose above, you are sure to have the most comfortable wedding shoes! Don’t forget, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for comfort. For more wedding planning tips and tricks see more useful blog posts below!

Heartland Honeymoon Road Trips

Heartland Honeymoon Road Trips

Heartland Honeymoon Road Trips

Heartland Honeymoon Road Trips

Taking an RV road trip for your honeymoon can be a great way to start your happily ever after time. It’s an excellent way to spend quality one on one time, share some unique adventures and build the bonds that will keep your together forever. Here are three different heartland honeymoon adventure ideas, each one starting from Chicago.

1.)     The Thrill Seeker Couple

From Chicago, head east on Interstate 90 about 5 hours to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. This is a very easy drive as this section of the US is very flat and easy to navigate. The real excitement begins when you arrive at your destination. Cedar Point is the roller coaster capital of the world. Spread over its 364 acres it has over 72 rides including 17 roller coasters. Many of these roller coasters were or are record holders in their respective classes. This is also the only group of roller coasters that fall within the 4 major height categories to be located in a single park. This means there is a coaster here to match needs of just about any thrill seeker out there. Plan on spending at least two days in the park to get the most out of it.

After getting your fill of thrills at the park, there are many other things to do in the area as well. Take a ferry out to South Bass Island to visit Put-In-Bay. This small lakeside island town has great night life during the summer months and the lack of motor vehicles on the island brings a slower pace to life and a more romantic aura. To get around, bring your bike with you on the ferry or you can rent a bike or golf cart when you get there. For accommodations, there are a number of small hotels and bed-n-breakfasts on the island. There is also a state park that has primitive camping sites where you can tent camp out under some of the darkest skies Ohio has to offer.

2.)     The Adventurous Couple

For the adventurous or outdoorsy types, head north out of Chicago about 3 hours to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. This area is an extremely popular honeymoon destination because of the great diversity of activities it offers. The central focus of the area is the water. The Wisconsin River cuts through the area creating a beautiful scenic environment that any outdoorsy person will enjoy. Lake Denton is in the southwest section of the area and it provides excellent opportunities for swimming and boating activities. With all the water in the area, it’s no surprise that this area has the highest concentration of water parks in the world. There are also a number of dry amusement parks if water parks aren’t your thing.

After the sun sets, there are also a number of shows and entertainment options throughout the area. These entertainment options are world class and rival what you would find in other major entertainment cities like Las Vegas.

If outdoor adventure is more your speed there is a beautiful state park in the area which offers great hiking and an excellent connection to the natural surroundings. The river provides kayaking and canoeing opportunities. Finally, not far to the north there are extensive ORV areas where you explore the countryside by ATV or side by side off road vehicle.

3.)     The Romantic Wine Getaway

5 hours south of Chicago is the small town of Cobden, IL. Nestled in the same area as the Shawnee National Forest, this town boasts 12 family run wineries where you can enjoy a romantic evening sampling the fine varietals they have to offer. In addition to wine, there is also fine food and excellent entertainment offered at the various wineries in the area.

When not visiting the wineries, the excellent Shawnee National Forest provides great hiking, natural and historical sites to visit.

Chicago is an excellent hub to launch a honeymoon road trip. Whether you are a thrill-seeking couple, wine lovers, or looking for an outdoor adventure, the hardest part will be deciding which direction to choose.

If any of these Heartland Honeymoon Road Trips work for you, trying Outdoorsy for you RV Rental.

Venue Selection Flowchart

Venue Selection Flowchart

Venue Selection Flowchart

Finding a venue for your wedding is no easy task. There are so many different options it can seem terribly overwhelming when trying to narrow it down to just one. And considering the fact that it’s the largest cost of your wedding venue, you definitely want to select a venue that is well worth the money you’re going to shell out.

This year’s wedding venue trends are straying from the traditional banquet halls and country clubs and opting for the more unique and extravagant locations, such as in a cave or on a glacier. But if you don’t have the budget to pull that off, it’s not a problem at all. By choosing a venue that is true to you and your fiance’s style, and of course staying within your budget, you’ll be able to set the scene perfectly for your big day. To help point you in the right direction, this flow chart to help determine what type of wedding venue you should consider. Happy venue hunting! Venue Selection Flowchart. Next – Choosing Your Wedding Date
Venue Selection Flowchart

2019 Couples Choice Awards

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2019

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2019

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2019

Music By Design, Ltd. Honored For Excellence With The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2019.
Chicago, IL – January 8, 2019 – WeddingWire, the leading global online marketplace for the wedding and event industry, announced Music By Design as a winner of the esteemed 2019 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® for Disc Jockeys in Chicagoland!

The Couples’ Choice Awards recognize the top five percent of wedding professionals on WeddingWire who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. The prestigious awards are given to the top local wedding professionals across more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Music By Design. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

“The Couples’ Choice Awards’ ninth year features one of the most impressive groups of dedicated and acclaimed wedding professionals yet,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “It is our honor to work with high-caliber merchants, such as Music By Design, who not only make a couple’s big day possible, but also contribute to the more than 2.5 million U.S. reviews represented on WeddingWire. We congratulate all of this year’s winners on their achievements.”

As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Music By Design is highlighted on WeddingWire, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals in the U.S.

Music By Design is thrilled to be one of the top Wedding Experts in Chicagoland. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We truly value all of our clients and appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2019.

For more information about Music By Design, please visit Music By Design Online.
To learn more about the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2019, please visit Wedding Wire.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, Inc. is the leading global online marketplace connecting consumers with event and creative professionals. Operating within a $200 billion industry, WeddingWire, Inc. hosts 10 million monthly unique users across its mobile and web platforms. Consumers around the world are able to read over 3 million vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a database of over 400,000 businesses globally. It provides these businesses the technology they need to serve their clients through advertising, marketing and business management tools such as websites, payment processing, invoicing and contracts. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire portfolio of sites serves couples and businesses across 15 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, making it the worldwide leader in weddings with brands including Bodas.net, Casamentos.com.br, Matrimonio.com and more. The company employs more than 800 and maintains global headquarters in Washington, DC and international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design named winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019
Chicago, IL (November 29th, 2018) — Music By Design is pleased to announce they have been selected as a 2019 ­­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 2019 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 2019.

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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.

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