Cons Of A First Look

The Pros And Cons Of Doing A First Look

The Pros And Cons Of Doing A First Look

The last few years a new trend called a, “first look,” has become more common. A first look is a moment, before walking down the aisle, where the engaged couple, or selective family members, see each other. Often, only the couple and a photographer are there. While other couples choose not to do a first look to keep the emotion of walking down the aisle. Are you undecided about doing a first look? Here are the pros and cons of doing a first look.

The Pros Of Doing A First Look:

1.) If you are shy, you can have a more private moment.

Some people do not like people looking at them when they are emotional. If this sounds like you, a first look will make you feel more comfortable. You can get your emotions out and calm your nerves by seeing your fiance, or family member before doing it in front of your family and friends.

2.) You can have photos documenting only the reaction of your fiance or beloved family member.

Often there are a lot of people who attend your wedding. If you do a first look it is an easy way to choose whose reaction you will definitely document.  Then you can start your wedding day knowing you have beautiful photographic memories of the first time you and your fiance, or family member, saw each other on your wedding day.

3.) You want to spend more time mingling and less time taking photos after the ceremony.

A practical reason to have a first look is to save time. If you get some of your couple, bridal party, or family photos done before the wedding you give yourself more time to have fun later. Often there is down time before the wedding ceremony you can use to allot for photos. Then, you can spend your entire cocktail hour enjoying with your guests.

The Cons Of Doing A First Look

1.) You won’t have the traditional “coming down the aisle” reaction.

If you love the moment where the engaged couple see each other coming down the aisle for the first time, don’t do a first look. Some couples love the idea of walking down the aisle and seeing their fiance as a bride or groom during the ceremony for the first time. Think about whether you want to embrace the tradition of surprise not knowing what your fiance looks like coming down the aisle, or do that before the ceremony.

2.) You want time to relax before the ceremony.

Your wedding day is a busy day. If you plan on being stressed the day of your wedding, maybe don’t do a first look. Doing this will build extra time before your wedding ceremony for you to relax, breathe, and think about your day ahead. No need to cram things into your schedule before the ceremony. Another great way to use this time is to drink water and eat! It’s easy to forget that on your wedding day.

3.) You might not have as much raw emotion during your wedding ceremony.

Some people would be emotional regardless of whether they did a first look before the ceremony. But, if you are looking forward to the photos of the overwhelming love you feel for each other during the ceremony; maybe don’t do a first look to save it for the ceremony. Everyone is different, so think of your priorities and personalities.




Did you do a first look? Are you not doing a first look? Do you recommend or discourage a first look? Why? Comment below! For more wedding planning tips and advice check out the recommended blog posts below.

Arcade Bachelor Party Ideas

Bachelor Party Ideas

Bachelor Party Ideas

It’s 2020, gents. There are better ways to celebrate your upcoming wedding day. Either in movies or real life, we’ve seen the cringe-worthy proverbial bachelor parties where men go to a strip club; despite the fact they’re soon to be married. If you are looking for a fun, yet relationship affirming bachelor party; here are some great ideas you won’t regreat.

Challenge Your Friend Group To An Endurance Test

Have you ever heard of a “Tough Mudder?” The Tough Mudder will test your group’s endurance by putting you through a ten mile long obstacle course! What better way to get healthy before you begin your married life than an obstacle course challenge with your best friends? A little healthy competition is always fun. It will create memories sure to last for a long time.

Go On A Staycation

You can all stay home, but plan a weekend together. Go to your favorite: restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, or arcades. You don’t have to go far away on a vacation. Spend a weekend celebrating your friendship by going to all your favorite places and simply having fun. You know what you have fun doing, so keep it simple and go do that.

Try Something New

Never tried Zumba before? Take your groomsmen to do that! Never played golf before? Go find a golf course! How about a painting class? Or if you’re feeling brave, a ballet class. The most hilarious times with our friends often come from new situations. Whether you’re incredibly uncoordinated or a professional-grade athlete; this idea will be fun for everyone. Just don’t forget your sense of humor.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors

A less expensive option for a bachelor party is camping. The stay is free as long as someone already has a tent. All you’d have to provide is the food for you to grill up. You could also pay to do extras such as canoeing, kayaking, or tubing. You can easily tailor this one to your wedding budget. Who doesn’t love a night under the stars with a bonfire?

We hope these bachelor party suggestions gave you some unique ideas. No matter what bachelor party you choose, it is sure to create memories for you to laugh about for years. For more inspiration and wedding planning tips & tricks check out the blog posts below!

Micro Wedding Decor

Micro Weddings

Micro Weddings

For the couple who are introverts at heart and want a small wedding we are loving the micro wedding trend! It’s as the name implies – only your nearest and dearest are invited to your big day and that makes it a great intimate gathering without all the decision fatigue. Planning a huge wedding is an event in itself and some couples just don’t have the time or will power to get through that. The answer is a micro wedding!

A micro wedding is not only less stress for you, but also nice if you’re on a tight budget.

The average cost of a wedding since 2017 is around $34,000. That’s money you could definitely be spending on your future together not just one day! The micro wedding is not an elopement. It has all the traditions of cake, dancing, wedding ceremony, flowers and speeches. The time allotted isn’t micro, just the budget and size of your wedding party.

The size of your micro wedding can range from 5 guests to 50.

Any more than that and the cost and constraints go up. Of course, having a small wedding means you get to lavish your closest friends and family like royalty. Typically the cost per plate goes up as much as $150 per person, but that’s still within a smaller budget since you’re only inviting a few people. Think Champagne and cocktails that you can customize, party favors that are more personal to the wedding guests, and getting to talk to everyone that comes. You don’t have to have wedding planning stress about making rounds in a huge venue, but instead will get to speak with your loved ones on a personal level for more than five minutes.

Since the size of your guest list is smaller you can consider smaller venues as well!

For micro weddings your venue selection isn’t as limited. You can find unique spaces like libraries or museums that only accommodate a tiny group of people. The venue for your micro wedding can enhance the vibe you’re going for immensely. Even if it’s a destination micro wedding, you can use the setting to decorate for you like a gorgeous sunset, mountain top or aquarium. A lot of venues will have special “mirco wedding” packages available as well!

Bobo Half Up Wedding Hairstyle

2020 Wedding Hairstyles

2020 Wedding Hairstyles

All brides want to love their wedding hairstyles! If you are getting married in 2020 you’ll need some inspiration to plan your 2020 wedding hairstyles. Even if you’re a low-maintenance bride who barely brushes her hair – you’ll want to decide on a complimentary style. We’ve put together some of the most popular styles for this year.  If you don’t know what you want your wedding hairstyle to be, this is a great place to start.

Pre-Wedding Hairstyle Research

You’ll want to consider your face shape when you look at hairstyle options. For example, an oval face is the most versatile. You’ll be able to rock chignon, up, down, braided or half up-half down, pretty much whatever style you want. If you have an oval shaped face consider a side-part style with sleek ponytails to give the illusion of higher cheekbones. If you have a rounded or square face, consider having part of your hair down to lengthen your look. Play hair dresser in the mirror while you look for hair ideas. Clip different styles and see which one makes you feel the most beautiful.

First, romantic half up-half down Boho styles will be a sure favorite.

The boho wedding hairstyle can be paired with flowers as well for that extra glam! Loose, beachy waves go well with the half up-half down hair style and we love how simple it is. Add in a few messy braids as well to give it a more medieval look if you’d like!

Second, is the braided hairstyle.

There is something both fun and classic about a braid. Braids are not just for little girls. The loose braids can lead into a bun, continue in a braid, or into a half-up hairstyle. There are so many braided 2020 wedding hairstyles you are bound to find one you love.

Third, we’ve got the fun classic made new, a top knot!

If you’d like to keep hair out of your face but still look refined and gorgeous this is the do for you. These styles can be anything from classic fishtail braid, firm beehive with a French roll up or a simple ballerina top knot. The sky’s the limit with a top knot. There are many combinations that are perfect for the classic bride.

And in opposition to the top knot, we’ve got the low bun.

Whether you wear it on the side or at the nape of your neck this is a great option to keep hair contained but still glam.

No matter what style you choose, it can be accessorized with flowers, jewelry, or hair clips. If you do your research, your hair will not be a concern on your big day. Choose an experienced hairstylist. Then, it will be easy to find the right style so you can relax and enjoy your wedding day.

Wedding Planning Vendor Photographer

How To Reduce Wedding Planning Stress

How To Reduce Wedding Planning Stress

Wedding planning is notoriously stressful. Despite this common truth, so little focus is put on how to reduce wedding planning stress. Wedding planning does not have to be stressful if you have the right strategies. Here are useful tips and strategies to reduce your wedding planning stress.

Just Make The Decision.

The longer you ruminate over your options, the more your angst will grow. Your wedding is one day in your life. That being said, lower the stakes! The world will not end if you choose garden roses over peonies. Just make the decision and it will lead to another decision. You will feel less stressed and more productive after every decision. Who doesn’t love that feeling of checking off an item on your to-do list? Just decide, and do it!

Narrow Down Your Options.

It is way easier to choose from three options than seven. Narrow down each vendor, or decision, to a maximum of three options. Again, remember it is one day. The most important part of your wedding is your marriage; not that one day. Choose your favorite two or three choices, compare costs or other factors, then choose the best option. When you narrow down your options, you gain some of your precious time back for fun; instead of agonizing over decisions.

Do Not Procrastinate!

The worst thing you can do while wedding planning is procrastinating. Wedding vendors book out far in advance. In fact, most wedding planning occurs a year in advance. Save yourself from the heartbreak of your favorite vendors being unavailable because you waited too long. The sooner you book your vendors the less stressed you will be. With each decision you make more decisions will fall into place, so start sooner. In short, the early bird gets the worm!

Communicate About Your Budget.

Find out what your wedding budget is and stick to it. Whether you are self-funding your wedding or going the tradition route with the help of family; you need to know what your budget is. It is incredibly important to have clear communication regarding the finances of your wedding. Once you determine your budget, make it clear to all parties the importance of sticking to that budget. This will determine the size of your wedding, the venue you choose and a variety of important factors. Also, this is not a one time conversation. It will require continuous adjusting and conversations. Sometimes the one vendor costs more than expected, so you’ll have to adjust the budget somewhere else. Communication is key! Everyone who is financially involved needs to be on the same page with updates and expectations.

Prioritize The Most Important Aspects Of Your Wedding.

Each person’s priorities for their wedding day are different. Because of this, it is important you communicate yours effectively to your partner. Some couples have multiple priorities, such as: venue, flowers, photography, & ceremony vows.  There are no rules as to what priorities have to be, or how many you have to have. Just choose one or a multiple that are important to you as a couple. Then, it will be easier to allocate your focus, and money from your budget, to your priorities. Do not get caught up in the little details , such as font or calligraphy style, if it is not your priority. Choose to focus on your attention on what matters most to you. Then you can let the little things fall into place. This greatly reduces your stress by focusing your time on the aspects of planning you enjoy.

When Something Goes Wrong; Let Yourself Feel It, Breathe, Then Problem Solve.

Notice I said when, not if. Unfortunately the world is not perfect, so things won’t always turn out as planned. When this happens it is okay to feel upset. It is okay to be mad. Let yourself be mad or sad for an hour, then breathe! Odds are after giving yourself time to feel you’ll realize it really wasn’t as big of a deal in the first place. Then, you can focus on what your other options are to remedy the problem. Once you get your emotions out; focus on solutions. There truly is a solution to every problem; even if it’s not your ideal solution.

Every wedding is bound to have some stress. But, use these tips and you will reduce your wedding planning stress. Don’t forget you only get to plan your wedding once. Be as productive and focused as possible. You got this! For more wedding planning advice and inspiration, check out the blog posts below!

Thank you’s to: Lisa Hufford Photography & Jen McCullough!

Home Decor Wedding Gift

Wedding Gift Ideas

Wedding Gift Ideas

Every couple appreciates receiving monetary gifts from their wedding. However, some wedding guests can’t afford a large monetary gift. Here are some wedding gift ideas newlyweds are sure to love!

First Idea: Artist Rendering Of Couple’s Photo

As newlyweds begin their lives together, they will need to decorate differently than when they were single bachelors or bachelorettes. Photos and artwork of the married couple is a great gift. But if you’d like to make the gift more special, get an artist to hand paint or design a caricature of a favorite photo of the couple  or even one of their engagement photos and have it framed. This is a great gift for a range of budgets depending on the size or skill of the art. A meaningful keepsake perfect for the couple to decorate their new home.

Second Wedding Gift Idea: A Funded Date Night

This gift can be done many ways. You could give a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant in a basket with a bottle of nice wine. Give a card written in calligraphy that you will pay for a date night of their choosing and place that certificate in a photo album for their wedding photos. A gift certificate to a spa or hotel is also a great gift for a quick getaway. This is a great way to treat a newlywed couple nomatter what your budget may be.

Third Gift Idea: Special Home Goods or Decor

Most people will not splurge to get themselves nice home decor. Purchasing a special item for the newlyweds’ home you know they’ll love is a generous gift. Maybe you know the couple LOVES Crate & Barrel, but is very frugal. Purchasing them a gift from that store would be a meaningful surprise for them. Home decor or serverware is a great gift especially if the couple loves to have friends over.

Fourth Gift Idea: Contribution To A Charity In Their Name

Some couples have a cause they are passionate about. A beautiful way to support them and their passion is by making a donation to a charity close to their hearts for them. This is especially meaningful if the couple has lost someone close to them from an illness. Some charities sponsor children others rescue animals. Choose one close to the couple’s heart.

Fifth Wedding Gift Idea: Holiday Decor

We’ve discussed how couples love to decorate their new home. Giving decor for each holiday will be a useful and fun way for couples to decorate their new home. Keep in mind which holidays the couple celebrates, or if they have a favorite holiday. If they love Christmas, you can throw in extra Christmas decor. You can also put in holiday glasses, plates, or serverware to accommodate extra people at holiday gatherings.



What physical wedding gifts have you given? As a couple what would be your favorite gift as above? Let us know! For more wedding planning advice, tips, & tricks check out the blog posts below!

Sustainable Wedding Decor

A Sustainable Wedding

A Sustainable Wedding

More and more couples are becoming aware of how their big celebration will impact the earth. This year we will see an in increase in sustainable weddings. While it’s perfectly alright to want a big celebration; it’s also great to keep in mind everything that goes into it. From the caterers to florists, there a lot of waste that goes on with weddings. We have a list of things to consider if you’re going to have a sustainable wedding.

Choose your wedding venue wisely.

A destination wedding means a lot more carbon footprint from airplanes or car rides. Think about who you want to invite and perhaps pick a location that’s not too far for everyone to reduce the amount of travel involved. We’re all about getting married wherever you want, but if you’re thinking of the sustainability, keep travel costs/emissions in mind.

Ask your venues what their processes are for waste.

You have every right to ask potential venues about their green initiatives. How do they dispose of waste? Where do you source your food – is it local? What is your plastic policy? What kind of cleaning products do you use?

Find an eco-friendly caterer.

In this day it shouldn’t be too hard to find a caterer or venue that will be able to create a “green” menu. Ideally they will source local, organic produce and ethically produced ingredients. A vegan or vegetarian menu would also the environmental impact but we’re realistic and if that’s too much perhaps try at least half the menu be vegetarian. Getting your alcohol from local distilleries is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Limit stationary.

You can completely side-step this by going digital and only do email wedding invites, but we love just one statement wedding announcement piece. You can ask that it be printed on recycled paper. It’s also worth trying to get the printer to add extra signage like seating arrangements and directions/schedule to save paper.

No matter how you celebrate your big day it’s possible to have a sustainable wedding! You will not only feel great surrounded by your closest friends and family, but also love knowing you’re helping sustain the environment for future generations.

Budget Friendly Bachelorette Fun

Budget Friendly Bachelorette Party

Budget Friendly Bachelorette Fun

Photo Credit: Pexels

Budget Friendly Bachelorette Party

Playing bridesmaid for a best friend can be exciting! When it comes to planning the bachelorette party for that friend things can also get pretty expensive. Luckily, you don’t need to drain your life’s savings to afford a bachelorette celebration. Here are some great ideas for a budget friendly bachelorette party.

Plan Some Low-Cost Ladies Night Fun

If you really want to save money on entertainment for the bachelorette festivities, a portable streaming stick TV device can hook you and your friends up with the latest streaming services. You can also stream must-see chick flicks for a relaxing ladies’ movie night in with your friends. Need to put a little more pizazz into your girls’ night? You can play some fun bachelorette games during your girls’ night in. You can even take some games out on the town. If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to check out pole dancing parties.

Pick Up Healthy and Inexpensive Snacks

Healthy foods and drinks are a safe bet, especially when everyone is trying to stay trim for the big day. If you decide to put together a movie night for the bride and bridesmaids, opt for a few healthy snacks, such as popcorn or guacamole with chips, that won’t break the bank. Another option for saving money is to pick food from some Costco faves. This is an especially helpful tip if your bridal party is on the larger side. You can download a few coupon apps, too, so you can search for deals on bachelorette party foods, games, favors, and anything else you need to celebrate.

Don’t Rule Out a Budget-Friendly Girls Getaway

Staying in or staying local is a great way to save on bachelorette party costs, but sometimes getting out of town is more fun! Thankfully, there are some low-cost destinations perfect for bachelorette getaways. For example, flights and hotels for an Austin trip won’t break the bank. There are plenty of hip restaurants, activities, and bars to keep your group thoroughly entertained. Alternatively, you can check out other destinations, such as Savannah or even Puerto Rico. Set a clear expectation for expenses so all are prepared. Split the costs evenly so it is fair for bridal party.

Be Sure to Snap Some Cute Selfies and Photos

Hiring a pro to take photos of the big day is a must, but you don’t need to spend money on a pro to capture some bachelorette party memories. If you really want to wow the bride and other guests, think about setting up a DIY photo booth with a few props and decorations. An over-sized chalkboard with some fun messages is super simple and inexpensive to set up. The items you purchase can be used for other events or even home decor to make the most of your shopping. Before you step in front of the camera for those photo ops, also research some selfie tips, so you can frame your photos later.

Preparation Is Key

If you don’t plan carefully, bachelorette party expenses can really start to add up fast. So use the tips above and talk though budget concerns with the other bridesmaids, and even the bride. After paying for dresses, shoes, and wedding expenses, everyone is sure to welcome a chance to save money while still making lasting memories together.

Wedding Wire Couples Choice Awards

2020 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®

Wedding Wire Couples Choice Awards DJ Music By Design

2020 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®
Music By Design Named Winner in 2020 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®

Chicagoland, January 13, 2020. — Music By Design was announced a winner of the 2020 WeddingWire
Couples’ Choice Awards®, an accolade representing the top wedding professionals across the board in quality,
service, responsiveness, and professionalism reviewed by couples on WeddingWire.

Music By Design is the highest rated most review DJ in the Chicagoland Wedding Wire Network.

A leader in the global wedding planning industry, WeddingWire continues its celebration of local wedding
vendors with the announcement of its twelfth annual WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners. To
determine these distinguished wedding professionals, WeddingWire analyzed reviews across more than 20
service categories, from venues and caterers to florists and photographers to find the most highly rated vendors
of the year. These winners exhibit superior professionalism, responsiveness, service, and quality when
interacting with the millions of consumers who turn to WeddingWire to help ease their wedding planning process
each month.

Wedding professionals who win WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® are members of WeddingPro, the
leading B2B wedding brand. As the largest marketplace and community for wedding professionals, WeddingPro
connects businesses with more than 13 million visitors per month who are planning weddings on WeddingWire
and The Knot, as well as with hundreds of thousands of pros in the industry. Through its online marketplaces,
educational programs and community-building events, WeddingPro is dedicated to helping wedding
professionals build relationships with couples and pros that grow their businesses.

Music By Design is honored to be one of the top wedding businesses in Saint Charles on WeddingWire.com.
For more information about Music By Design, visit the Music By Design website. To learn more about the
WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

About WeddingWire
WeddingWire is a trusted global online marketplace, connecting consumers with local wedding professionals
and a suite of comprehensive tools that make wedding planning easier. Operating within a $250 billion industry,
WeddingWire helps millions of users every month find the right team of wedding professionals to personalize
and pull off their special day. Consumers around the world are able to read more than 5 million vendor reviews
and search, compare and book from a directory of over 500,000 vendors local to them. Founded in 2007, the
WeddingWire portfolio serves couples and wedding professionals across 15 countries in North America, Latin
America, Europe and Asia. The company is headquartered in Washington, DC with international headquarters in
Barcelona, Spain. Visit WeddingWire online at WeddingWire.com and follow on social media at
Facebook.com/WeddingWire and @WeddingWire on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
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Spring Blue Table Inspiration

Blue Spring Wedding Inspiration

Blue Spring Wedding Inspiration

One way to get out of the winter wedding planning blues is to look forward to spring. You have heard of the proverbial something blue, but this blue spring wedding inspiration goes further. Here is some unique blue spring wedding inspiration that will get you spring wedding ready!

Blue Marbled Trends

You can incorporate this design to save the dates, invitations, wedding cake, or flowers. A marbled design brings together multiple hues of blue. For the more indecisive couples, you don’t have to choose choose one shade of blue if you go with this marbled trend!

Fifty Shades Of Gray/Blue

A pretty way to soften a blue color scheme is to add grays, whites, and different shades of blue. We recommend you choose a few areas to add strong color. Then, you can balance the more pungent colors with soft grays and whites. The easiest way to do this is with the bridal party or flowers. Men can wear any blue, gray, or black color to coordinate.

Light Blue Spring Bridesmaids Dresses

One trend we love for 2020/2021 spring weddings is a return to light blue bridesmaids dresses. A soft blue says spring without being too overdone. Your bridesmaids love that many shades of light blue are flattering on all skin tones. We all look forward to lighter hues of spring clothes after a long midwest winter. Don’t you?

Blue Spring Wedding Decor

We love dramatic tablescapes with mixed textures and shapes. This past year hanging canopies of glass baubles and flowers have been popular. You can use different shades of blue fabric as a table runner. There are plenty of light blue glass ornaments that can add a whimsical touch to your wedding. Another trend for this year is velvet. You could tie blue velvet ribbon to a lantern, or centerpiece. Keep in mind it is important your guests can see each other to speak across the table. Avoid going too big or tall with centerpieces. Sometimes the simpler the better.

Are you having a blue spring wedding? We would love to share your photos! If you would like to share, please e-mail us (at hello@chicagoweddingblog.com) your photos with vendors credited. In the meantime, share this post with your engaged friends to inspire them! Happy wedding planning!