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.

 

Autumn Wedding Attire

It’s that time of year again – the autumn wedding! We’re taking a look at what attire to wear to this seasonal event.

For the daytime autumn wedding, we like a cocktail type dress with darker tones. A daytime wedding usually isn’t as formal as an evening one, but you should still make an effort to appear polished. Jewel tones like burgundy, emerald, sapphire mixed with elegant black are always a classic for autumn. You could even re-use a dress in your closet and spice it up with a new pair of heels or cute jacket.

For a later afternoon or evening autumn wedding we suggest simple and elegant. We love a splashy pair of earrings to make a statement or bold necklace. We like looking for dresses than can be dressed up or down. Some people are confused at a later afternoon wedding if they should be more black tie or daytime attire.  You can stash a fun jacket and bold earrings in your purse for the evening reception. Think of it like dating – a day to night outfit change without having to completely switch clothes!

Lastly, we’ve got the festive autumn wedding attire. If your going to a wedding that’s themed and the bride and groom have okayed wacky outfits like costumes, then this is your chance to play! We’ve heard of Halloween themed weddings and as long as your costume is tasteful we love the idea. Even if you don’t want to wear a full on costume, there are plenty of ways to dress up for the occasion. Try a gothic type dress, black lace or high boots!

 

Small Wedding Party

As a new bride it’s tempting to rush out and tell everyone and invite all your friends to the big day but we’re giving away tips on how a smaller wedding party can make your life easier! Just because some friends are not IN the wedding doesn’t mean they can’t have a good time or enjoy the celebration with you.

We aren’t just talking about bridesmaids and groomsmen either. Having a small wedding party in terms of guests will help cut down costs. The average cost per guest for a wedding is $100 so multiply that by 100 guests and it adds up. Keeping your guest list limited is the first way to cut costs.

However, let’s address the small wedding party itself. Keeping your bridesmaids to three or four close friends will save you a lot of headache. For one, it’ll make things easier to stay organized. It’s hard enough to plan an entire wedding so be sure your bridal party makes things easy for you.

It’s easier to take photos after the wedding ceremony as well with a smaller wedding party. You can fit everyone in the same frame and have time to try fun pictures like goofy shots or even use props. Along with photo taking a smaller wedding party allows you to let your bridesmaids have more flexibility with their choice of dresses. If you are comfortable letting your girls pick their own styles the less people makes the “mix and match” look classy instead of messy. You could also give them the option to rent a dress instead of buy. Happy bridesmaids make for great photos!

A small wedding party will both cut costs and allow you more control over your big day!

 

Spring Wedding

We have some good reasons for you to choose a Spring wedding! Not only is this time of year ripe with flowers but it also is not terribly hot yet for those brides who want a wedding outside.

First reason we love a Spring wedding is the flowers. After winter we’re all ready for that splash of bright color. A lot of popular flowers are in bloom like peonies, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Nature can also provide a great back drop for your ceremony or reception. Trees start to bloom, grass becomes green and cherry blossoms, dogwood and moss are in this year. You can use them all to decorate your centerpieces or use as accents.

A second reason we love the Spring wedding is flexibility. The longer days make a midday wedding or evening wedding a piece of cake. You also don’t have to worry too much about scorching your guests at an outdoor venue. The bonfires and rustic theme go very well in a Spring wedding because the weather is cool but not bitter. Your guests can enjoy dressing in layers or even changing for the nighttime event!

Now, there are a few set backs to a Spring wedding as well. You should keep in mind holidays like Easter and breaks like Spring Break. This might leave a few weekends unavailable. But, there are plenty of ways to work around them. Just be sure to send out save the dates at least nine months in advance and check with your close family and friends to find a weekend that works for everyone.

If you’re planning on a Spring wedding destination then be aware of popular Spring break places. Your heart is set on say, Cabo, then just be sure to check in with the hotels and venue as early as possible. Or, let’s say you want a great honeymoon at a Spring break place – we suggest delaying it a week or contact the hotel/bed and breakfast to make sure there won’t be any crazy college kids shenanigans going on.

A Spring wedding is a great way to celebrate your marriage and the season!

Daytime Weddings

While it’s typical to have a Saturday afternoon/evening wedding there’s nothing wrong with having a daytime wedding either. If you’re an early bird bride and think an 11am service is for you then check out our tips!

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your bridal party is on board and those alarms are set. A daytime wedding will usually require a much earlier start. A daytime wedding is also a great option because lunches are usually cheaper than dinners. After the ceremony, your guests can go straight to the reception venue where lunch could be served as soon as noon. You can still cut the cake, have dancing, mingling and speeches like an evening wedding. The only difference is the time.

Guests should be finishing their meals around 1pm. What should you serve? Most people do lighter fare like chicken or fish with a vegetable and starch. But going with the traditional beef option is up to you. Some couples love to do brunch for a daytime wedding! You can get fun and creative with festive drinks, waffle bars and juice bars.

As far as entertainment goes, the daytime wedding typically only lasts until 2:45 or 4:30pm. What happens after that? You and your groom can spend time alone or go to a spa for some couples time. If you’d still like to hang out with your guests suggest local activities like zoo’s, museums or games that you could all participate in. You can also limit this gathering to only close friends and family for a more intimate celebration.

For the daytime wedding it’s also a bit more casual. For men think morning coats or a lighter color like gray or navy rather than a full tuxedo. As for the bride, you can still opt for the glamorous wedding gown but perhaps with a few less bells and whistles. But it’s your day and you get to wear the dress of your dreams! A daytime wedding can be a lot of fun and a little more casual so that you can enjoy the rest of the big day.

Simple Weddings

For the simple wedding we are loving a limited guest list! This can take some of the pressure off of who to invite. You get to limit the list to family only with a few friends or even limiting extended family. We know you don’t want to leave out people for your big day but sometimes due to budget or time constraints its just better to go simple. Simple weddings are also great for those who don’t want a long engagement because they are easier to plan!

What are advantages to the small, simple wedding? First, the food. Likely, the food you serve will be a big focal point since you can afford to expand the menu or higher quality plates. You can also custom make the menu. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to work with a personal chef and have food made that it’s significant to you and your partner?  You can have dishes that reflect your personalities or traditional cultural food.

Another benefit of a simple wedding is the seating. Your guests will get to be in a more intimate setting which will allow for great conversations and people actually getting to know each other (if they don’t already)! The decor for a simple wedding can still be luxurious and glam. The fewer tables you need center pieces for equal perhaps bigger center pieces. Guests will get to feel like they are dining at a 5 star gourmet restaurant. The wait staff also won’t be over taxed and will be able to be attentive to your guests.

 

A key factor to a simple wedding is having the ceremony and reception at the same place. This way you don’t have travel constraints. You do want to be sure to pick a place that is where you’d want a lot of pictures taken. An inn or bed and breakfast make for cozy, romantic spaces that may also have amazing natural back drops. No matter what you choose just remember that a simple wedding is supposed to be that – simple! Don’t stress too much over finer details because in the end, your guests just want to celebrate you!

 

 

Winter Wedding

Summer and Spring are the most popular times for weddings but maybe you’re wanting something different! A winter wedding can be just as magical as any other time of year. Your ceremony and reception will likely be forced indoors but you can create a dazzling setting inside with out weather worries.

You can do the tried and true snowy themed landscape to red flowers for a winter wedding. Think beautiful pine trees covered with snow or cozy lodge theme. Your winter wedding will not be a holiday party – it will be a chic, glamorous  event with your own style!

Even if you are in a location that doesn’t get those snowy winters be assured you can create one! It’s a great way to stand out among most weddings. You can bring the snow and chill to your venue with lights, decorations and ice sculptures. You can also have your invites created with your winter wedding theme with a little sprig of evergreen or rustic element that reminds people of being warm and in love!

Another way to stylize your winter wedding is to have a Christmas Tree with guests table place cards on. If you’re not into the religious theme then maybe think about a crystal candelabra or evergreen wreath! We love the idea of a softly lit tree – it doesn’t have to be Christmas – with festive ribbons.

A fun way to do the “get away car” is no car at all. Try a sleigh ride instead! We love the picturesque scene of a beautiful horse and your bridal part all around you! However you decide to do your winter wedding we suggest having fun. Winter weddings can stand out among so many summer colors. Who doesn’t love a good cup of hot chocolate and a celebration of love?