Circus Wedding

Wedding Themes

Wedding Themes

If you’re a bride who wants a traditional white wedding, no need to stress on your wedding theme. An ongoing trend, however, is to have a wedding theme. It’s often easier to plan a wedding if you have a central, unifying idea. So, if you don’t know which wedding themes to choose from; we’ve got some unique ideas!

Vintage theme like Ancient Greece:

This wedding theme will give you all the fun of gold filigree, huge centerpieces and dainty arm cuffs. You can go simple or elaborate with this theme. Think candelabras, white sheer materials, big flowers in the wedding bouquets and fountains! Vintage theme can also transfer to any period of time like the eighteen hundreds too.

Mid Century Modern theme:

This wedding theme is retro! You can go very minimal with a few cogs and gears or add in a lot of greenery for a garden feel. If you want to choose a unique wedding theme with many options, a Mid Century Modern theme may be a great choice! You could apply this theme to the decor, cake, your attire, flowers, or even colors! The skies are the limit with this wedding theme!

Circus theme:

What’s more fun than a circus? With the bright colors and bold patterns, this theme is sure to catch everyone’s eye. You can have a lot of fun with this one and have stilt walkers or jugglers at your reception. A circus theme is also a great choice for a kid friendly wedding. You can even go high-class vintage circus with long gowns and tophats!

No matter what theme you choose from be sure it reflects you and your partner! You can even combine a few themes if you both want different things. Enjoy choosing your wedding theme! For more advice and wedding planning inspiration check out the blog posts below!

Why Hire A Wedding Planner?

Why Hire A Wedding Planner?

You’re already strapped for cash as it is, so why hire a wedding planner?

We’re delving into this big question because The Knot found that 29% of brides in 2018 hired a planner. Reasons to hire a wedding planner run the gamut from “control freak” to “disorganized hot mess”. If you’re very strict and like to control every detail a planner can still be a good idea to help keep your wedding planning checklist on track. If you’re always late and never remember to feed the dog then a wedding planner will help organize and keep you calm.

Even if you’re on a tight wedding budget, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t have to be a huge expense.

In fact, if you choose wisely, you could end up saving money in the long run! A planner will go over your budget and the legal contracts for venues, live entertainment, etc. They can see holes where money is going down before you do. A lot of wedding planners also have contacts in the industry and can possibly get you discounts. Vendors would sometimes rather bother a planner rather than you since you’re already stressed. A wedding planner is the middleman who takes the emotion out of a stressful situation.

Another great reason to hire a wedding planner is that they are in your corner 100%, they will fight for your dream wedding!

You definitely need to vibe with your planner because they are the ones who can make your vision a reality. The venues and vendors go through several weddings a month, but a wedding planner is solely focused on what you want.

Lastly, hiring a wedding planner is genius because they can coordinate your entire day. If you’re switching between ceremony and reception venues a planner will make sure the transition is smooth. They are worrying about the little details while you enjoy your special day! Even if you can’t afford a planner for the whole day, having one for part of it will make a lot less hassle for you.

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!

stylish halloween wedding

A Tasteful Halloween Wedding

A Tasteful Halloween Wedding

Perhaps you’re planning a fall wedding and want to not only embrace the season, but also Halloween theme! You may be afraid such a spooky, dark theme is too over the top. Because of this, we have great ideas to keep the haunted spirit without exactly saying it’s entirely a Halloween themed wedding.

For starters:

Not all Halloween themed weddings have to be tacky with fake blood and zombies. We love the idea of a masquerade ala the Italian Renaissance or any Victorian era! You can have the ambience of decadent, sophisticated and elegant, with a touch of spookiness.

Halloween Wedding Venue:

The venue can certainly pull of a Halloween themed wedding, more than simply decorating with pumpkin and colorful leaves! We love the idea of a mansion for the reception or a Gothic looking church for the ceremony. When the venue is gorgeous it can double for amazing pictures too! If you want a more overt spooky tone, have your reception at a haunted location. A great example is The Stanley Hotel in Colorado was where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining. A lot of local historical buildings have their own ghost lore you can capitalize on as well.

Halloween Wedding Decorations:

In tune with venue are the decorations for your wedding. We love huge chandeliers and long drapes. You can also arrange bare branches if the venue has a fireplace all the better for throwing shadows and light. Candles dripping wax are a nice touch. You can also use decorated skulls (picture Dia de los Muertos) on the tables as centerpieces with your wedding theme slogan “until death do us part.” This gives it a fun, slightly macabre feel that your guests will enjoy!

These are just some ways you can throw a tasteful Halloween themed wedding. We love the autumn wedding season because there’s so much variety in how you can show off your big day! For more fall wedding inspiration check out the recommended 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. 

Hat Etiquette At Weddings

Hat Etiquette At Weddings

Hat Etiquette At Weddings

What is more fun than a huge, elaborate hat? We love hats and besides the Kentucky Derby, weddings are a fantastic place to wear them. Whether you’re the bride or just a guest, hats are always in vogue. We have some hat etiquette tips to keep the big day low maintenance and hassle free.


The best thing to remember when you pick out or design a hat is that you are wearing it and not the other way around!

If you are tall then avoid tall hats with wide brims. If you’re shorter, avoid large hats and go for more structured hats. You need to compliment your body type with your hat choice. You will be happy you did when you see the wedding photos.

Should your mother or mother-in-law want to wear a hat, they should pick ones that are smaller than yours, as the bride.

This is true of guests as well – you never want to outshine the bride! It’s not unreasonable to ask your photographer to ask people to move their hats for better shots. Or the photographer may need to ask everyone in the shot to adjust their hats so faces are clear.

Another hat etiquette is when you decorate your hat, always defer to the right.

You can choose from feathers, ribbons, felt bands or rhinestones, but keep to tradition and put all of that on the right. Men’s hats are embellished on the left. When you design your hat or choose a big hat, keep in mind the tradition that the time of day dictates how large the hat must be. The later in the day, the smaller the hat is a general rule. Large brims in the morning and late evening are too extravagant since they are not needed to keep the sun out of your eyes.

And lastly, it is always customary to remove a hat when going inside a building.

This does not apply to a lady’s hat as it is considered part of the outfit. Gentlemen, on the other hand, still need to remove their hats if they wear them. It’s important to know these social cues so you do not unintentionally offend someone.

So go pick out that fantastic head piece you’ve always wanted and treat yourself to a bit of fancy! For more wedding planning tricks and tips, or wedding fashion advice, check out more Chicago Wedding Bride posts below!

Slow Down your wedding day

Three Ways To Soak In Your Wedding Day

Three Ways To Soak In Your Wedding Day

The one piece of wisdom everyone tells you for your wedding day is, “It goes by so fast. Slow down and soak it in.” Here are three tips to help you slow down and soak in your wedding day.

1. When you’re getting ready, look in the mirror.

You will only see your beautiful, bride or groom-to-be wedding day face one time. Slow down and take in the memory of your smile on that day. You’ve planned your outfit and/or  hair and makeup for months. You’ve dreamed of your wedding day and/or wedding gown your whole life. Mentally remind yourself during your prep time to look in the mirror. Soak in the significance that today is finally your wedding day. You will be married in a matter of hours. Take a deep breath, this will center you to truly appreciate this moment. Pro tip, it makes a great photo!

2. Walk down the aisle slowly.

The excitement builds up, adrenaline kicks in, but slow down your walk! The moment you see your spouse coming down the aisle will only happen one time. Hold tight to the person walking you down the aisle. Appreciate them being at your side. Remember it. If you are walking by yourself, take a moment to appreciate your confidence and all that has brought you to your wedding day, the best day of your life. As you walk look at all those attending your wedding beaming at your smiling face. Look around at your bridesmaids, groomsmen, & spouse. Soak in their happiness, love, and pride for you.

3. Enlist the help of the wedding day pros!

Build in moments of newlywed time. Your best allies in this are your photographer or wedding planner. Tell them when you want time just the two of you. These pros are organizer extraordinaires! They will ensure you get the perfect amount of time at the perfect time. Maybe you’ll even get a sweet, candid photo op from it. During this time, slow down together. Look at your venue and each other. Become aware this is it your wedding day. It will help you be present and soak in every second of the party.

Your wedding day is one of the only days in your life in which you have all the people who love you in one room, at the same time. Such a once in a lifetime event can be enjoyed to the fullest with simple preparation. Best wishes on slowing down and soaking in every second of your wedding day! If you like these tips, check out more advice from the experts at the Chicago Wedding Blog below!

Three Wedding Planning Conflicts And How To Handle Them

Three Wedding Planning Conflicts And How To Handle Them

You went from dating to engaged, excitement ensued. Now the engagement bliss is fading. This means it is time to get wedding planning. Let us prepare you: while wedding planning is fun, there are many emotions, traditions, and people’s opinions involved. These things can complicate not only your wedding planning, but also your relationship. Here are three examples of wedding planning conflicts and how to handle them with a problem solving guide.

1. Your parents or in-laws have a different wedding vision than you do.

Most of the time, your loved ones mean well. Let’s assume that for the purpose of this section.

  • First things first: handle your own family, let your fiance handle theirs. If your parents want a large wedding and you don’t, explain to them you appreciate all they want to give you, however you and your fiance are only comfortable with a smaller wedding. If your in-laws have the differing opinion, your fiance should explain on behalf of both of you how you feel, what you are going to do, and why. This will set a healthy boundary between in-laws and your relationship. Here is more advice on family communication .
  • Second things second: Give your family space and/or time for them to understand your vision. They probably envisioned the kind of wedding they’ve wanted to give you your entire life. They have seen your grow up. This is a sentimental time for them. Maybe they still can’t believe you don’t want a glamorous fairytale wedding as you loved in your storybooks. They will need some time to slow down and refocus on what you actually want. Here is more advice on narrowing down the size of your wedding .

2. Drama over who, or who is not, in your bridal party.

Here we go, from movies on TV to fiction books there are numerous stories based around these wedding planning conflicts alone. There are so many emotions built into a wedding day. Your loved ones want to be there for you, but maybe you envisioned a small or no bridal party. Maybe your family wants you to include your sixth cousin, twice removed. Let’s talk out some scenarios.

  • First things first: Think of those people who have always been there for you and always will. Sometimes friends fall away, but family never will. Unfortunately sometimes it’s the opposite. Either scenario, think long and hard about those permanent, loving people in your life and include them. That being said, “loose lips sink ships.” Before you are absolutely sure who is going to be in your wedding do not talk about it to avoid unnecessary hurt feelings.
  • Second things second: Think long term. A wedding is one day in your life. The situations and their effect on your relationships, both good and bad, will continue long after your wedding. When considering who or whom not to have in your wedding think about the long term effects that choice could have on your relationships. Is it a good idea to include one friends instead of a pair of two because you have a large family? Or would it be better to only have family in your wedding to not hurt that one friend’s feelings? Every situation is different, but remember this is one day. Make the choice that will have the best results to continue happy, healthy relationships moving forward. Here is more advice if you want a small wedding party.
  • Third things third: (Because this is a big topic) Every situation is different. These ideas are simply prompts to help you think through your options. Some couples are in the middle of a very difficult family dynamic. Because this is unfortunately common, let us let you off the hook, trust your gut! This should be the happiest day of your life. Do not allow people who want to manipulate or harm you, or your relationship, into your wedding or life simply because it’s easier to placate them.

3. Friends or family don’t like my (fill in the blank).

Everyone has opinions. That does not mean you need to change yours because of them. If you want to wear an orange dress on your wedding day, you rock that like the queen or king you are! Everyone can choose to wear what they want when it is their turn to plan their wedding. The same rule applies for if they don’t like your: food choices, hair style, fiance, church vs. outdoor ceremony, and even riding in on an elephant instead of a horse. All jokes aside, if no one is put in danger by your choices, it’s your day! Wear, do, eat what you want, and enjoy!

  • First things first: Remember often people’s opinions are said to you with good intentions. Maybe they wish they would’ve worn a more traditional wedding dress and don’t want you to have the same regrets.  It is possible to acknowledge their good intentions while also staying true to yours. Many wedding planning conflicts can be solved with saying, “Thank you for looking out for me, but I prefer a different direction.”
  • Second things second: Don’t ask for opinions if you don’t want them! Too many opinions will lead to definite confusion. If you want someone’s opinion on your dress, wedding colors, or kind of animal you ride into the sunset on; choose them wisely. Not everyone has the same taste. Ask someone whose tastes are similar to yours so you can be confident your wedding day stays true to your vision.



We hope this wedding planning conflicts problem solving guide helps you have a seamless wedding planning process. For more expert wedding planning advice, check out the other blog posts on The Chicago Wedding Blog. 

Wedding Checklist

Wedding Checklist

Wedding Checklist

You’ve taken the engagement pictures and announced to everyone you’re getting married! Now, comes the planning part. A Wedding checklist can be very helpful. So what type of list are we talking about? That depends on how far out you are from the date.

If your wedding date is a year or more away here are some things we recommend checking off:

  1. Make sure the date and time are available for your venue/religious establishment
  2. Establish a budget
  3. Decide how big you want your wedding to be
  4. Choose your wedding party
  5. Pick a theme or color scheme
  6. Meet and book officiant
  7. Begin the guest list

These are some bigger checklist items that you don’t need to get super detailed quite yet. A lot of them like picking your wedding party and the guest list can be fun. Some brides like to find fun, sentimental ways to ask their bridesmaids to be in the wedding.

If your wedding date is nine months or shorter here are some recommended wedding checklist things to look at:

  1. Announce the engagement
  2. Get your wedding dress and plan any alterations
  3. Meet and book photographer/videographer
  4. Meet and book any entertainment like a Chicago Wedding DJ or live music
  5. Book the florist
  6. Get the details on the venue – do you need to rent chair covers, table clothes, linens, etc.
  7. Research nearby hotel accommodations for out of town guests
  8. Look at Honeymoon Options

If you are less than four months out here’s what you should be looking at:

  1. Decide on wedding vows
  2. Marriage license
  3. Compile guest lists for showers and give to maid of honor or whoever is throwing the shower
  4. Plan bachelor/bachelorette party
  5. Confirm music and event details
  6. Purchase parents’ gifts and wedding party gifts
  7. Have programs printed
  8. Make hair and beauty appointments for the big day
  9. Get final dress fitting and any alterations

There are a million other details you could get caught up in as well! These are basic, general wedding checklist items you’ll want to think about.

Popular Wedding Ideas

Popular Wedding Ideas

It’s getting to be near the end of the year, but we’re still hot on the trail of fun and popular wedding ideas. In 2018 we’ve seen a lot of technology free weddings or more simple settings.

One of the 2018 trends we love is the foregoing the favors. You can imagine on top of wedding cost the favors given to guests can add up. We love the idea that instead of small trinkets like cigars, chocolates or flowers. More and more couples are opting to spend funds on a live band or late night snack bar to make up for no favors. Plus, what do you really do with the favors from a wedding? They usually just get thrown out or eaten. A great memory lasts a lot longer than chocolate!

Going along with the no favors, more weddings are incorporating unique entertainment for their guests. Not just a live band. Couples can tailor the entertainment to their likes such as belly dancers, comedians, tarot card readers or even theatrical performances. The wedding reception is a place where awesome memories are created and a lot of fun! Instead of a photo booth your guests will not soon forget.

Another fun wedding idea we’re seeing this year is a first look that includes more than just your partner! What a fun way to capture the moment for all the most important people in your life. Perhaps your grandma or grandpa can’t make it to the wedding or stay for the whole thing – a first look gives them ample time to celebrate with you without the time constraints or having to stand so long. It’s also a way to make it more special for your bridal party who have put so much time and expense into being in your wedding! They get the first glimpse of the happy couple and share in your big day in an intimate way.