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Bridal Party Proposal

Four Unique Ways To Propose To Your Bridal Party

Four Unique Ways To Propose To Your Bridal Party

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

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

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

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

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

Option #3- A T-Shirt Or Custom Apparel

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

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

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

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. 

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019

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

Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019
Chicago, IL (November 29th, 2018) — Music By Design is pleased to announce they have been selected as a 2019 ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, a special section featured on The Knot. The Knot is the number-one wedding destination, most trusted by brides.

The Knot Best of Weddings 2019 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources. Whether they’re trying to find the wedding dress salon with the best service in Chicagoland, the most creative wedding photographers, top cake bakers or a chicago wedding dj, engaged couples across the country want the inside scoop on the best from real brides.

Music By Design is also included in The Knot Hall of Fame. Comprised of winners of the annual Best of Weddings, a by-brides-for-brides guide to the top wedding vendors in 80-plus cities across the U.S., the Hall of Fame inducts wedding vendors who have won four or more Best of Weddings awards. This honorable list of 331 inductees includes less than 2 percent of wedding professionals. Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2019.

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About XO Group Inc. 
XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include WeddingChannel, The Nest, The Bump, TheBlush and Ijie. XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media – from the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video – and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing.

For more information, please contact weddingreviews@theknot.com.

View official press release

First Look

We discuss today the pros and cons of having a First Look on your wedding day! Most brides don’t let the groom see their dress until the wedding day. Some brides like to let their groom see them just before the ceremony for a great, intimate moment together before they walk down the aisle.

The Pros of having a first look:

  1. If you or your husband to be are feeling nervous before the big reveal it’s nice to have the first look to reassure each other. Not only will the photographer capture real moments, but it’s a great way to spend a little time just the two of you. You can take time to truly connect before the chaos of the celebration.
  2. The time of day can also impact your decision to have a first look. If you’re getting married in the winter the light fades pretty early. So, having a first look earlier ensures you can use natural light for great photos.
  3. Another reason is just practical. A first look gives you time to get those pictures out of the way so you can get to the cocktail hour and reception sooner.

 

The Cons of having a first look:

  1. If you are a traditional couple that can be the only reason needed to skip it. If you want the magic of the moment when you’re walking down the aisle that’s not a problem.
  2. Timing can be an issue as a con as well. If you get married earlier in the day then that means your time table will need to be pushed up as well. You may have to get ready earlier and that also possibly means your bridal party may have to get ready too. Some brides include their party after the first look too
  3.  It’s not as private as you think. The photographer and assistants or videographer may be far away, but they’re still there to capture the moment. If you’re camera shy you may not get the genuine moment you want.

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!

 

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!

Bang for your Buck

Bang for your Buck

Bang for your Buck: Bridesmaids Dresses

No matter what any bride says there is a universal truth about bridesmaid’s dresses: you’ll only wear the dress once. “You’ll wear it again, right?” the bride asks, perhaps to make they feel better about asking you to shell out hundreds of dollars for it. Nope, you won’t. You’ll never wear that floor length, one-shouldered aubergine satin dress with the weird unflattering ruffles ever again.Bang for your Buck

It seemed like a lost cause, just part of the deal of being a bridesmaid–suck it up and buy the ugly dress, right? Wrong. Enter Rent the Runway and Little Borrowed Dress, maids can opt to rent a dress for the big day versus getting stuck with a frock they truly are not in love with.

Rent the Runway Weddings, an expansion of Rent the Runway, and a beacon of hope for future bridesmaids everywhere. Rent the Runway Weddings launched in 2011. It focuses on bridesmaids dresses. Badgley Mischka, Robert Rodriguez and Nicole Miller have designed bridesmaid collections that come in up to four styles in up to four seasonal colors exclusively for the site. Whereas Rent the Runway only allows users to rent dresses for a few days at a time, Rent the Runway Weddings offers 8-day rental periods. But the best part? The price. A Badgley Mischka bridesmaid dress averages at over $300. At Rent the Runway Weddings it’s $65.

Little Borrowed Dress does not have the big names like RTR does, but has very cute and simple options for your girls. With LBD, every style we carry was specifically designed to fit and flatter a variety of shapes and sizes. They are determined to design the ultimate bridesmaid dresses, so we use multiple fit models with varied body types to ensure the dresses will fit with no alterations required! Lastly, if you would like to try on before committing to the rental, that’s OK too. Why have an ill-fitting dress the day of the big day and a bridesmaid breakdown.

Another nice feature about LBD is that the process is simple, you can order color swatches beforehand, and if you’re girls DO want the option to buy a new dress…they can!Bang for your Buck

Dealing With Wedding Stress

Dealing With Wedding Stress

Dealing With Wedding Stress

Let’s be honest. You will experience ebbs and flows of the wedding process. And, stress will definitely be a five letter word you will experience. You will have so many details that consume your life, it can be quite stressful. However, it’s important to “not sweat the small stuff.” It sounds a lot easier than it is.

From bad etiquette to breached contracts to drama in your wedding party….it’s possible you may experience all or some of these situations. I could say grin and bear it, but that will only make you want to tear your hair out. There are some ways that you can unwind and naturally have some breathing room.

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Dealing With Wedding StressVia Story Mix Media

1. Assign roles and responsibilities to family members and bridal party

Everyone could use a little help here and there. Know your limits. If you don’t think you can handle a certain task, do not be afraid to ask your family and or bridesmaids. That is what they are there for. Remember when you asked them to stand by you on your wedding day? Well, they don’t just get to wear a pretty dress and smile. They should get their hands a little dirty too. They may not know you need help and you can’t assume someone will ask you. Don’t be a martyr.

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Dealing With Wedding StressBrad Ross Photography

2. Make sure to have fun

You’re getting married! You’re not planning a funeral. This is supposed to be a happy time filled with wonderful memories not nervous breakdowns and tears. Plan regular dates with your mate, and don’t forget your friends! A wine night with girlfriends or a fun night out of dancing may just be the remedy!

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Dealing With Wedding Stressvia Travis’ I-Search Blog

3. Do not let it consume your life

Don’t be obsessed with your wedding planning such that you only eat, sleep and breathe “the big day.” Remember you still have yourself, friends, and families to mingle with. Spend a day or two each month to hang out with your friends! Set aside every Friday to have a date with your prince and don’t talk about your wedding planning. Just like good old days. Free to chat about anything, except your wedding.

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Dealing With Wedding Stress

4. Exercise often and regularly

Not only will this help with toning up for your day, but also give you some “me time” and clear your head. There are many benefits to being physically fit both mentally and physically.

Golf Themed Wedding

Golf Themed Wedding

Golf Themed Wedding

Do your parents belong to the local country club? If so, you might be able to reap some major benefits on your bottom line and extras if you book your big day there. Some country clubs offer discounts for members and can really give you a bang for your buck.

Most country clubs have golf courses included on the premises. Why not include that theme into your wedding day? From argyle socks to golf ball décor, you can never go wrong with this uber preppy style!

Here are a few ways to incorporate golfing into your theme:

1) The Attire

I wouldn’t suggest the bride do too much to immerse her look in the golfing theme; however, the guys are fair game. From argyle socks to golf ball inspired cuff links, these are just a few ways to incorporate the look and feel of the game.

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Golf Themed WeddingBy Krista Campbell

2) The cake

Petite golf ball cakes or mini doughnut balls are a cute way to pay homage to the game. If you don’t want it to be your main wedding cake, suggest to your sweetie a “groom’s cake” to have a little more fun with your theme.

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Golf Themed Weddingvia Cake Central

3) Grand Entrance / Exit

You can’t forget the golf cart! This could be a unique way to bring the bride to the ceremony spot. Not crazy about that idea? What about your getaway vehicle? The wedding party can decorate the cart in a fun fashion as your private mobile post ceremony.

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Golf Themed Wedding

Todd Pellowe Photography

4) The Décor

Your décor can sprinkle in as much golf-y goodness, from “here comes the bride” flags that mimic the flags on the course, prints inspired by golf wear, to the wedding favors. Colors to think about incorporating into your palette are bold reds, yellow, green, and even navy blue. Pew bows could have small round white flower balls attached to them or use golf flags on each pew. The bridal bouquet should be all white to resemble a golf ball. Use indoor/outdoor grass/carpeting as an isle runner. Keep a supply of mini-pencils handy for your guests to send you their best wishes in your guest book. Attach tees to your unity candle to complement the links feel as you seal your wedding vows for now and for always. However, if your wedding is actually taking place on a golf course, consider sealing your vows with a shot for the hole together!

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Golf Themed WeddingVia Favor Ideas

5) Program

Ever think of putting a little twist on your wedding program? Your program can mimic a golf score card. Little details like this keep your theme consistent while having a little fun.

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Golf Themed WeddingVia Oh So Beautiful Paper

Will You Be My Groomsman

Will You Be My Groomsman

Will You be my Groomsman

The guys are just as important to complement your future husband-to-be. Prior to asking your bridesmaids and groomsmen, it’s important to have a discussion about who you think you are considering as well as you think would pair with each other. Don’t take it literally, these two are not going to start dating or something, but it’s nice to have paired people who may be already dating or married with one another. It’s just another detail to consider…

Guys are a lot simpler them women are. However, asking your gents in a memorable way creates memories for each of you. Here are a few ideas to consider:

1) BBQ Time

Having the boys over for some grilled meat and beers is an inconspicuous way to get them to come over without blowing your cover. Just remember to ask the boys sober!

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Will You Be My Groomsman

2) Sporting Event

Get the guys together and go cheer for your favorite team. It’s a nice way to lighten the mood without getting the “are you sure, dude?” or “It’s About Time!” antics.

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Will You Be My Groomsman

3) Send a card

I know this probably seems silly, but when is the last time you received mail that wasn’t bill or junk mail related? Guys like cards too. Plus, it doesn’t have to be made out of construction paper or sing a song. It could simply be a question on letterhead asking the question at hand.

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via Wedding Bee

4) Got the Gift of Gab?

Perhaps calling your friend and having a heart-to-heart on the phone in a solo sense is how you would like to handle it. Please just don’t text or email your friend that is so very impersonal!

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Will You Be My Groomsman

5) Get Competitive

Ask your closes guys to join you in a competitive game. Whether it be golf, baseball, bowling, or billiards creating a fun atmosphere takes the pressure off and hopefully they will all agree to stand and support you on your big day.

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Will You Be My Groomsman