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Guest list simple

Wedding Planning: Keep It Simple

Wedding Planning: Keep It Simple

During the time of the pandemic, couples made the best of smaller weddings out of necessity. Then, extravagant weddings filled with entertainment, experiences, and desserts galore came next. While both of those weddings can be equally meaningful and special, we propose another option: simplicity. Here are the main areas of wedding planning you can simplify to keep your wedding planning stress-free.

Bachelorette/Bachelor Party

While elaborate vacations are fun, they are not necessary to have a great time. The most important element is not the location; it’s the people you are with! As a result, you should put extra thought into the guest list. Only invite those who you enjoy spending time with! Inviting people you don’t enjoy being around is a recipe for a bachelor/bachelorette party disaster. Once you determine the list, it’s important to choose a date on which you know they can come. Send a survey to your closest and best with two or three date ideas. Then spend the decided date having fun with your friends locally. You could go to your favorite restaurants or bars or hang out all day at your house watching Netflix. Whatever you do, do it with your favorite people and it’s sure to be a special day you’ll never forget.

Guest List

The guest list is easily the most stressful aspect of planning a wedding. That being said, your marriage is still valid whether you have ten people or 300. Once you have your allotted guest number that fits your budget, focus on ease. If going through and cutting people you are close to off the guest list stresses you out, then have a bigger wedding. Remember, we are focusing on simplicity, therefore less stress. Simple doesn’t have to mean small. However; if having a huge party stresses you out, have a small wedding. There is nothing wrong with keeping such a special day more intimate if that’s what feels best to you. People will have dissenting opinions no matter what you do, so take the stress out of it and stick with what simple means to you.

Guest list simple

Photo: MBD Wedding Photography, Venue: Heritage Prairie Farm, Wedding: Fatima and Nolan

Décor

We all can recognize the beauty of elaborate candelabras and giant floral arches everywhere, but there is also so much beauty in simplicity. The easiest way to simplify your wedding décor is to go to the venue and take a mental list of their existing décor, lighting, and color schemes first before you start buying décor. You may not have to decorate much if they already have a beautiful, standard setup. Instead of having details everywhere, think about where you want people’s eyes to go. Do you want them looking at each other at their tables? Choose lower, simple centerpieces. Do you want their eyes on you the whole night? Dress up the sweetheart table while keeping the rest of the venue more simple. If your venue has a bold color scheme already, use soft, simple colors and less ornate décor.

Simple wedding decor

Photo: MBD Wedding Photography, Venue: Riverside Receptions, Wedding: Missy and Dan

We hope these ideas will help you simplify your wedding planning and take the focus from the details and put it back on to getting married. The more you can simplify, the less stressful your wedding planning will be and the more meaningful your wedding can be. Happy Planning! Share this blog post with a friend who is beginning their wedding planning. For more wedding planning tips and inspiration check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

Bachelorette Party Sailing

Bachelorette Party For The Bride Who Doesn’t Want To Party

Bachelorette Party For The Bride Who Doesn’t Want To Party

Are you a bride for whom big crowds and attention is an anxiety inducing thing and not something to celebrate? We’ve got some great bachelorette ideas for the bride who wants to slow it down, chill, and not party like it’s their last day on earth. You don’t have to do the strippers, get blackout drunk, or spend thousands of dollars – your bridesmaids will thank you since they’re the ones usually footing the bill!

Why not try a spa day bachelorette party with your girls?

Plenty of spas offer reserved space for parties of 4 or more. You can even do couple’s massage but with all your gal pals. You can go the extra mile and rent out a hotel room near the spa too and keep the chill vibe going even after the facials, massages, pedicures or skin peels. Grab a few bottles of wine or sparkling beverages and enjoy your ladies’ company in the privacy of a hotel room.

The old school sleepover, but bachelorette party version.

Remember those days when you had a few girls over and gossiped the night away? Why not re-create that for your bachelorette party? It’s a low budget idea that can include a bunch of girls. It doesn’t have to be your house, maybe your maid of honor can host or you can rent out a hotel room. Big pillows, painting nails, plenty of adult refreshments and food will make the sleepover not your average high schoolers!

The next idea is certainly pricey, but also very private; rent a sailboat!

What’s better than having a chartered yacht take you and your friends/family out for a scenic tour of the water? You can drink responsibly since you won’t be driving, and some chartered boats may provide food and beverages depending on how long you want to rent it.

Have you tried Glamping?

Check out Glamping Hub for the most up to date places you can take your bridesmaids to go hang out in nature. There are a lot of styles of glamping; take your pick of teepees, tents, cabins, etc. It’s all the fun of camping but with electricity and toilets. If you’re a nature loving bride this is the perfect place to celebrate your upcoming marriage.



See! If you’re a bride who doesn’t feel comfortable partying, there are plenty of fun options. Whether you enjoy the outdoors or indoors, vacation or home, you will have an amazing crazy-free bachelorette party. For more wedding planning advice and ideas check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

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.

Bachelorette Party

It’s that time – the bachelorette party! Whether you’re the one planning it or you’re the bride for whom it’s thrown, the bachelorette party is the time to let loose and laugh a lot. We decided to go with a 50 Shades of Grey theme seeing as how the second movie, 50 Shades Darker just came out last weekend! What a perfect time for a little something sexy and daring!

You can do so much with this fun theme for a bachelorette party. You can make it as silly, scandalous or smoldering as you want! Our first idea is to fashion a room, whether it’s your house or you rent out a place, into a lux and decadent space. You can use glittery golds and grays to give it a sexy atmosphere without it going NC-17! Use pinwheels to decorate, use props from the books. Try having a delicious cake with icons from the book such as hand cuffs and a mask.

 

 

Another idea would be to have a sultry ice cream station along with the food! Your bride to be can load up on whipped cream and toppings. It gives the sweet to the salty!

You can even read from the book to spice up the bachelorette party! Why not take direct inspiration from the source? The 50 Shades is a trilogy so you can pick out any of your favorite parts. Extra points for role playing and voice acting! Any bride to be will be thrilled to have a little risk at her party – you can incorporate blind folds and whips for fun!

 

We hope you’ve got a spicy bride that loves thrills at her party.  But if you’ve got a bride who prefers more low key there’s a simpler way to party: rent out a row of seats in the theater for the girls and see the movie! You all can dress up in little black dresses, masks, silvery heels and big makeup! Any way you slice it, the bachelorette party is meant to be fun and no restraints! Feel free to touch on everyone’s wild sides!

Bachelorette Pole Dance Party

Bachelorette Pole Dance Party
Technically, it’s the maid or matron of honor’s job to scout out the bachelorette party but there’s no harm in hinting! If you’re bold, sassy and sexy–and hey, you are–why not try something unique and perhaps a little risqué? There’s a hot work out called Pole Dancing, and while the name may be tied to strip clubs, this dancing fantasy is not about taking your clothes off. Pole dancing can be more of a gymnastic art form than stripper girl. It’s a total body work out that also lets women’s inner kittens come out to play. A bachelorette pole dance party is more for you and your girls to make great memories and also tone those bodies!
Dance studios such as Naperville’s Tease Dance and Fitness or Geneva’s Tiger Lily Vertical Fitness offer private sessions on the weekends for bachelorette pole dance parties. You’ll be instructed in the fine art of pole dancing by a certified pole instructor. Learn how to strut around the pole and do spins that make you feel like you’re flying. It’s a great way to burn those calories off as well as get your sexy on! You can go barefoot or bring heels to show off those legs. The attire is usually general work out style–shorts, tank and a sports bra. Or, you can spice it up with boas, sparkly bras and bride short shorts. There’s no such thing as too much glitter here. If you’re not into dancing around a pole, they also offer strip tease classes that give you moves to make your man melt.

Call each studio for more information on pricing. It’s a lot of fun and a safe, woman empowering environment. Check with the studio about how many girls are able to fit in one dance room but there’s usually room for up to 6. They have candles, large mirrors and teach you stretching before warming up the poles. It doesn’t hurt that you burn a lot of calories in addition to it being the best bachelorette pole dance party ever! You may even find you pick up a new work out hobby.

Go give it a chance or, if you’re the one planning it, give your bride a night they won’t forget!
bachelorette party

Bachelorette Party

Technically, it’s the maid or matron of honor’s job to scout out the bachelorette party but there’s no harm in hinting! If you’re bold, sassy and sexy – and hey, you are – why not try something unique and perhaps a little risqué?

There’s a hot work out called Pole, and while the name may be tied to strip clubs, this dancing fantasy is not about taking your clothes off. Pole dancing can be more of a gymnastic art form than stripper girl. It’s a total body work out that also lets women’s inner kittens come out to play.

Dance studios such as Naperville’s Tease Dance and Fitness or Geneva’s Tiger Lily Vertical Fitness offer private parties on the weekends for bachelorette parties. You’ll be instructed in the fine art of pole dancing by a certified pole instructor. Learn how to strut around the pole and do spins like the fairy! It’s a great way to burn those calories off as well as get your sexy on! You can go barefoot or bring heels to show off those legs. The attire is usually general work out style – shorts, tank and a sports bra. Or, you can spice it up with boas, sparkly bras and bride short shorts. There’s no modesty here and no judgment!

If you’re not into dancing around a pole, they also offer “strip tease classes” that give you moves to make your man melt! Again, no clothes come off, and the sultry, sensual moves are taught by professional, certified instructors.

Call each studio for more information on pricing but most studios are reasonable. It’s a lot of fun and a safe, woman empowering environment. Check with the studio about how many girls are able to fit on one dance room. They have candles, large mirrors and teach you stretching before warming up the poles.

Go give it a chance or if you’re the one planning it, give your bride a night they won’t forget!

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party by SimplyBridal

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party

A bachelorette party is typically organized by a bride’s maid of honor and bridesmaids to mark the end of her “singlehood” and journey into married life. The guest list almost always consists of the bride’s closest female friends and relative, who get together for a day or night of celebrations.

Although there is no set theme or plan for a bachelorette party, there are important factors to consider when it comes to planning the event. Most importantly, make sure you start by consulting with the bride about the type of event she expects. Once you’ve established this, allow yourself enough time to make the appropriate arrangements, such as organizing invitations, transport, accommodation and itinerary.

To help you keep on top of your party planning, SimplyBridal has put together a handy timeline to ensure you throw the bride a bachelorette party she’ll remember for many years to come.

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party

Pajama Party for the Bachelorette!

Could this quite possibly be the most adorable idea for a Bachelorette party ever? Long have we associated the infamous “ last night out” as an event filled with debauchery, alcohol, and crazy hangovers.  But it seems for more and more brides, and their girlfriends, when it comes to celebrating the bride in her all-girls glory, the tide seems to have turned to a new, more civilized celebration. We are still seeing Vegas getaways and crazy nights out, but it’s nice to know there’s a more subdued alternative like spa days, wine tastings, and luxe sleepovers. This girls-only fete is the ultimate in sleepover chic and we just had to share.

Pj party

Cassandra, the host of this soiree, is the editor of the fabulous blog, cocokelley.com.  She brings lovely interiors, housewares, and fashions to her readers daily and some days you can find some super inspiring wedding details that can translate to all kinds of events. Like everything she does, this ladies night was full of whimsy, fun and thoughtful details that are perfect for honoring the bride-to- be! Take a look at our favorite elements and take notes for your next girl’s night in!

custom pj

Customized pajamas? Yes, please! These girls were surprised with custom monogram pajama sets from the ultra chic line, Eberjey.  You can find similar ones at Target and can easily find a screen printing company locally to add a monogram. Nothing says special like a personalized gift or favor that lets your guests know you thought enough of them to create something just for them that they will be able to take home with them!  We couldn’t be more in love with this idea and think it’s perfect for all kind of occasion and gifts.

masks

The sleep theme gets a major makeover with an interactive sleep mask decorating station. Complete with sequins, glue, paint, markers and other adorable sew-ons, each girl can goof around or make something truly gorgeous to wear for the night. It gives your guests something fun to do without taking any one activity too seriously. Remember, this is a grown- ups night but that doesn’t mean you can’t go old-school with crafts when it comes to your theme!

food

No sleepover would be complete without the plethora of junk food and beverages. In this case, the quintessential popcorn and candy is abundant in chic bowls, but this time the drink of choice is champagne.  Feel free to think beyond these staples to fun and female friendly trays of sushi, fancy cheeses, and gourmet pizzas to pair with your bubbly! Also consider a mini chocolate bar or tiny desserts you can pick up and nibble on throughout the night! Bachelorette party of not, it sounds like a great way to spend time with your girls and enjoy the joys of just being a girl!

Photos by Sunshine Charlie

Extra Wedding Events

Sure, your nuptials are the main event, but it’s not the only affair you (or your guests) will be attending during the weekend of festivities. Here’s an overview of the additional events to consider planning for your wedding weekend:

Welcome Party: If you have a lot of guests coming in from out-of-town for your wedding, consider hosting a party to welcome them to town. This can be as simple as a backyard barbecue or as elaborate as a swanky cocktail party. Not only will it make your guests feel honored and appreciated, it’ll give you an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones that you might otherwise only talk to for a few minutes at your reception.

Bridesmaids Brunch/Luncheon: This gathering can also be as casual or classy as you prefer and it is typically held one or two days before the wedding. A close female friend or relative who isn’t part of the bridal party traditionally hosts it and it can be held in a restaurant, at someone’s home, or at a tearoom. The primary goal is to spend time with your bridesmaids, closest friends, and close female relatives of you and the groom.

Rehearsal Dinner: The rehearsal dinner is offered following the—you guessed it—rehearsal. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s family and is offered for the entire bridal party and anyone helping with the wedding. It can also be opened up to out-of-town guests who are particularly close to the bride and groom. This can be held at a nearby restaurant, a reception hall, in a hotel, or at someone’s house.

J. Jones Photography

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: While the bachelor/bachelorette parties can be held in the weeks or months leading up to the wedding, a lot of couples opt to enjoy them one or two nights before the wedding. Whether you opt for a wild night out on the town or an intimate dinner with your closest pals, hosting the bachelor/bachelorette party shortly before the wedding is a great way to truly celebrate the end of your single life.

 

Farewell Brunch: If you aren’t departing for your honeymoon immediately following your wedding, why not host a morning-after-the-wedding brunch for your close friends and family? The wedding day is such a whirlwind, so an event the following day will give you a chance to relax, have fun, and ruminate on the best moments of the day.

3 Signs You’re a Bridezilla

We’ve all heard the term bridezilla, but no bride-to-be likes to think she fits the description. Well, the sad news is, you might be less charming than you think. Here are a few signs that you are sneaking in to the dangerous bridezilla zone.

Everyone is Suddenly Busy

When you first got engaged, everyone was excited for you. Your mom, bridesmaids, and soon-to-be mother-in-law were always available to listen to your latest wedding ideas. Suddenly, everyone is too busy to answer their phone or run another wedding errand with you. While this could just be that everyone is actually busy, it could be a sign that you are annoying everyone involved in the wedding.

You are 100% in Control

Yes, this is your big day, but unfortunately, it is not only about you. Remember those bridesmaids you asked to be the wedding; well, some decisions are important to them, such as the shower, the bachelorette party and maybe even the dress. If you find yourself planning your own shower or bachelorette party, you may be overstepping some boundaries. Also, don’t forget about the parents. While it is your day, you should consider the requests that are important to the other people involved.

You are Being Unrealistic

Sure, you might have been dreaming about this day since you were a little girl, but some of your dreams might not be realistic. You don’t want to physically, financially or emotionally strain yourself, your fiancé, your family or your friends. Every time you make a decision about the wedding, take the time to consider how it will impact everyone involved. If you start making unrealistic requests, you are on your way to becoming an infamous bridezilla.

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