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kids at a wedding

Keeping Kids Busy at a Wedding

Keeping Kids Busy at a Wedding

Kids add so much hilarity to weddings, however, you want to be sure to keep them busy during the right times. It is important to keep in mind the length of your ceremony so the kids do not run out of things to keep them occupied. Although the focus usually goes on keeping the adults happy, open bar, and a good DJ, anyone? your younger guests deserve the same amount of consideration. Whether they are in the bridal party or simply esteemed guests everyone will be happier with these fun ideas for keeping kids busy at a wedding.

The Ceremony

Let’s start with the ceremony. The options you will have available to the kids will differ depending on whether you are having a full-length church ceremony or a quick ceremony at your reception venue.

Full-Length Church Ceremony

If you are having a full-length church ceremony, likely it will last an hour or more. Consequently, kids will need more time-consuming activities. Coloring books and crayons are the perfect quiet time-consuming activity. Luckily you can even buy these at the dollar store, so they are great for your wedding budget! A nice aspect of coloring books & crayons is they are mess-free and easily tailored to the interests of the kids. For example, if you know your niece and nephew are in love with Paw Patrol, coloring pages with those characters will be a hit!

A Quick Reception Venue Ceremony

Obviously with kids, and some adults, a quick ceremony is ideal. In this case, small fidget toys are a great option. Small toys buy you just enough time for the ceremony to be as quiet as possible before the kids’ imaginations get bored. Again, thank you dollar stores. If you are around kids at all, you’ll know fidget toys are all the rage nowadays. Kids will be more than happy getting to keep a fidget toy as a memento from your wedding.

After The Ceremony

You’ve gotten married! Now everyone can let loose a bit. However, don’t forget kids are less patient than adults. There are still plenty of things to keep in mind when trying to keep little ones busy.

Wedding Photos

Once the wedding is over, the next most difficult aspect for kids, specifically kids who are in the bridal party, will be wedding photos. It can be really boring for kids to stand around waiting for it to be their turn. Pro tip: take all photos that will involve the kids first, then let them go run, play, & eat. In the meantime, while they’re waiting for photos to start, have mess-free snacks ready. Think pretzels, goldfish crackers, peanuts, and no snacks that have color, juice, or oil. No one likes being hangry, especially kids who are having to wait. Kids will be much happier, and more cooperative if they’re not hangry during the wedding photos.

During the Reception

Yay! You’ve made it through the wedding ceremony, through photos, & now it’s time to party! The easiest idea to keep kids occupied during dinner is more ness-free (crayons) coloring. Similarly, quiet activities that keep kids still so their parents can eat, or during speeches are important. Quiet, open-ended toys are great for kids when they need to take up some time. Kids love making things out of nothing, so everything from tape, to beads, to pipe cleaners, to pompoms is right up their alley. Odds are you’ll be amazed at the quiet busyness of the kids’ table! If the venue has paper table cloths available, that is the easiest way to incorporate a coloring option as well.

Are you having a photo booth at the wedding reception? If not, you should definitely consider it! Adults and kids alike love taking silly photos with all the props. Similarly, another fun momento would be for the kids to make their own photo booth prop, think mask, or crown. You can easily find cutout templates off google images to tailor this to boys and girls alike.



Did you have kids at your wedding? Are you going to? How did you keep them occupied? We’d love to see it! Submit your kid-friendly wedding to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com. For more wedding planning advice and inspiration, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

Wedding Dress

How To Know Your Wedding Dress Is ‘The One’

How To Know Your Wedding Dress Is ‘The One’

Whether it is friends’ stories or TV shows, everyone has their own theory on how to know if your wedding dress is ‘the one.’ From the internet to boutiques there are more wedding dress retailers than ever. Choosing a dress can be difficult because brides can see so many beautiful wedding dresses. While every person is different, there are common signs to look for. We can help you figure out if your wedding dress is ‘the one’ with these tips.

Trust your gut!

The old adage is definitely true as you shop for your wedding dress; trust your gut. Rarely do you regret trusting your intuition, so don’t start while searching for your wedding dress. If you are between a few dresses and your heart pulls you toward one, trust it. Shopping for a wedding dress is a new experience. Even if you can’t put your finger on why you are pulled toward one dress versus another, trust your gut.

You cry as you put it on.

This is one that happens only half of the time. Some people get a flood of emotion when they put on their dream dress. The tears come and everyone joins in with them as they realize their loved one found her wedding dress. In contrast, other times, brides aren’t criers, so this doesn’t happen at all. That being said, if you do cry it could be a telltale sign that this is your dress.

You have zero doubts.

When your dress is right you have no regrets or doubts. When you put on this dress you should feel the most you. This means you feel confident and can see yourself getting married in this dress. The excitement you feel about your dress should only stay the same or grow. This is why some brides choose to sleep on it, as it is such a big decision. The dress you go home dreaming about, or cannot stop looking at pictures of, is your dress.

It’s the opposite of what you thought you’d want, but it feels so right.

So often brides are surprised to find they love a dress so different from their Pinterest board. That isn’t just okay, it’s very common. How you know the dress is your dress is you look and feel confident and beautiful in it. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your shopping companions ahead of time so they are supportive of whichever dress you choose, even if it is unexpected. That way you can avoid any uncomfortable moments that may overshadow your saying, “yes,” to the dress.

Have you gone wedding dress shopping? If you are ready to get started check out more wedding dress shopping tips and inspiration in the Chicago Wedding Blog posts. We hope you found these tips helpful as you get started! Happy Planning!

Curved Creative Wedding Seating

Wedding Ceremony Seating Arrangements

Wedding Ceremony Seating Arrangements

When planning your guest list, you can get creative with your wedding ceremony seating arrangements so your guests can see your special day! Especially if you are having an outdoor ceremony there are many options to choose from. That being said, not every wedding seating arrangement works for every size guest list or wedding venue. To help you decide, here are some creative wedding ceremony seating arrangements to get you thinking.

Curved Seating

If you are having a more traditional wedding but want to slightly change it up, curved seating is a great option. You can still have the traditional long wedding aisle to walk down. Your guests will love there is no bad seat in the house because of the varying of row lengths, which creates a less obstructed view. It’s also a great way to make the most use of your ceremony space if it is more wide than it is deep.

Circular Seating

Circular seating arrangements are great for more intimate weddings. Your wedding guests will be up close and personal surrounding you 360 degrees. If you enjoy having your own space, this might not be the ceremony seating option for you. However, if you don’t mind the intimacy, it is a beautiful way to surround yourselves with your loved ones on your wedding day.

Spiral Seating

If you’re going for a unique ceremony, spiral seating is a great option for you. Similar to curved seating there are no bad seats. Spiral seating works well for small or larger weddings due to it’s unique and seemingly endless shape. If you have been looking forward to walking down a long aisle, but didn’t want a traditional wedding, a spiral ceremony seating arrangement provides a long aisle with a fun twist.

Traditional Row Seating

Sometimes classic is classic for a reason. Traditional row seating works with any sized wedding ceremony and venue. If you are overwhelmed with details, row seating is the simple wedding seating arrangement you need. Guests often expect this seating arrangement for wedding ceremonies because of its traditional and common use.

Happy Planning! We hope these wedding ceremony seating ideas will help get your wedding ceremony planning started! For more wedding planning advice and inspiration check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

Mini-moon hotel

Plan A Newlywed Mini-Moon

Plan A Newlywed Mini-Moon

Are you an engaged couple with a busy work schedule or a small budget? You do not have to skip your honeymoon! The recent trend of a shorter honeymoon, also known as a mini-moon, is giving engaged couples more options! You do not have to lose out on your newlywed blissful vacation, plan a newlywed mini-moon instead! We have all you need to keep in mind to plan your perfect mini-moon.

What Is A Mini-Moon

A mini-moon is a shorter vacation in place of a honeymoon. Honeymoons are considered to last a longer length of time, such as a week or more. In contrast, a mini moon can be as short as a long weekend away or as long as four or five days on vacation. Because of the less time spent away, it’s been an increasingly popular option for couples on a tight budget as well as couples with busy work schedules or children.

Logistics Of A Mini-Moon

Because there is less of a money or time commitment mini-moons are usually based in the country a couple lives in. Flying to and from the mini-moon or driving to a closer spot make the mini-moon a possibility. Keep in mind the less time spent travelling, the more time spent relaxing on a beach or exploring your vacation spot. Though the travel time may put a limit on how far you can travel, there are plenty of hidden gem locations, or short trips, perfect for a mini-moon. Narrow vacation spots down by setting a travelling time limit.

Types Of Mini-Moons

Once you’ve set your travelling time limit, you can choose the location of your newlywed escape. One factor to keep in mind while choosing a location is whether you want to have post-wedding relaxation or exploration. If you are looking for a laying by the pool, or beach, vacation you’ll want to locate the closest vacation option poolside or beachside. If you are looking to have an adventurous, exploring mini-moon you’ll want to remember your travel time could cut into that. Consequently, for an exploring mini-moon you may choose to travel closer to have more time to explore your mini-moon destination.


Are you considering a mini-moon? Why or why not? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Short Wedding Hairstyle

Wedding Hairstyles For Your Hair Type

Wedding Hairstyles For Your Hair Type

Once you’ve chosen your wedding attire, the next step is to choose your wedding hairstyle. The endless bridal hair inspiration photos on the internet can make choosing your wedding hairstyle difficult. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind your specific hair type as you choose your wedding hairstyle. To help you decide, we put together some great advice on which are the best wedding hairstyles for your hair type.

Half-Up/Half-Down Hairstyle

A more modern option for wedding hairstyles, the half-up/half-down hairstyle, can be done in many ways. It is important to think about whether or not your hair holds curls if you want to have a curled half-up/half-down hairstyle. Even with heavy-duty hairspray some women’s hair simply will not hold a curl. Your wedding day is not a good day to try to defy the odds, so maybe choose a sleek updo instead. You want to be sure your wedding hairstyle will hold all day long. Do you have long hair or thick hair that holds a curl well? A half-up/half-down hairstyle is a great option for you.

Half-Up/Half Down Hairstyle

Hair: Hair By Hannah Taylor
Flowers: Deer Pearl Flowers

Sleek Updo

Speaking of hair not holding curls well, a sleek updo is a great option if that sounds like your hair type. A sleek updo is also a great timeless option, perfect for a formal or semi-formal wedding. There are many different options from a French twist, to a top knot, to a low bun. For thinner hair it’s important to talk with a hairstylist to ensure you can make this style work. Hair extensions are an easy option for your wedding day if you’ve fallen in love with an updo but do not have enough hair.

Ponytail Hairstyle

This hairstyle has become more popular recently. It is a great option for multiple hair types as there are so many ways to do a ponytail. For thin hair that doesn’t hold a curl, you can do a mid or low ponytail with some extra volume from teasing on top. A mid or high ponytail is a great way to keep your hair out of your face, but also to show off long, thick hair. A ponytail is also a great option if you have curly hair, or like to keep your hair au naturel. Ponytails are no longer just for playing sports! However, they are a great way to have modern, sleek formality with a stress-free hairstyle.

Short and Sleek Bridal Hair

There is something so beautiful about simply highlighting a bride’s beautiful face with a short haircut. If you aren’t a fan of growing your hair long, never fear! The options are endless from a cute bob, to a pixie cut, to a sleek, shaved look. A short and sleek hairstyle is definitely one of the most stress-free and low-maintenance of options. These hairstyles will definitely pull the eye to your face. Similarly, a large statement earring can achieve the same to compliment your hair’s face framing beauty.



We hope these tips will help you easily choose your wedding hairstyle! There are certainly many options. However, if you remember to keep your hair type in mind; your choice will be much easier. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Dog Friendly Wedding Schedule

A Dog-Friendly Wedding

A Dog-Friendly Wedding

We love the trend of including dogs in wedding photos. There aren’t many things sweeter than wedding photos with the couple’s best canine companions!  To include dogs in your wedding day there are a few important details to think about first. Here’s all the information you need to have a dog-friendly wedding.

A Companion For Your Companion

If you’re going to have your pets at your wedding you will need a pet sitter to be with them while you and and your guests are busy. The best scenario is to have someone your dog is familiar with be their companion. If you have a coworker or neighbor who isn’t invited to the wedding, but knows your dog well, they will be a great option. Write out as much information on your dog’s food, toys, schedule etc. so they can help navigate the day with your dog.

Schedule The Dog

Dog’s do best with their normal routine. The last thing you want is for your poor pup to freak out on your wedding day. Have them eat their normal food at their typical times. Make sure they go on a walk at their usual time. Though it is a momentous day for you, the dog will not be able to be at their best if their routine is not taken care of. Set your dog, wedding photos, and yourself up for success.

Have A Plan B If The Dog Is Overwhelmed

There are plenty of amazing doggy daycare locations in just about every town. Confirm in advance your dog has the needed vaccinations to attend incase the wedding is too much for them. Often the drop-in rate for doggy daycare is very reasonable. You can have your dog’s companion drop them off for a stress free day to play. It’s definitely important to check in with the doggy daycare place the day before the wedding to ensure they can accommodate your dog if need be.

Pack For The Dog

It is so important to have toys that will keep your dog’s attention span if you want them to be at your ceremony and reception. Keep in mind there will be lots of overwhelming smells, so have their food and favorite treats on hand to keep them satisfied. And last, but not least, the less glamorous side: when dogs have to go, they have to go! Be prepared with supplies to clean up after your dog.

We hope this list helps you prepare for a stress-free wedding day for you and your furry best friend! Are you planning on having your dog at your wedding? We would love to hear how it went. E-mail us your story and credited vendors and photos to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com. For more wedding planning advice and inspiration check out more featured Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

Wedding Formality

Wedding Formality Options

Wedding Formality Options

Once you get engaged your next step is to establish what type of wedding you want to have. Wedding formality options are a great place to start. The options range from back yard casual to white tie formal. It’s important before you choose your venue you think about how formal you want your wedding to be. To make your decision easier, here are some wedding formality options you can choose from.

White Tie Formal

White tie formal is typically the most formal of weddings. Think attire from “The Princess Diaries” ball. For women, wear a floor length, formal gown. Specifically, you should wear a ballgown with long, maybe with white gloves. It is, however, important to remember to not outshine the bride, don’t go too eye catching. For the men, plan on wearing a white bow tie and a long, black tailcoat with white gloves.

Black Tie Formal

A black tie formal wedding is a small step down in wedding formality from a white tie formal wedding. Black tie formal typically means women wear sleek, floor length gowns, no ballgown necessary. For the men black tie formal typically means a black bow tie and black tuxedo, no tailcoat necessary.

Formal/Black Tie Optional

Another step down in wedding formality from the black tie formal wedding is the formal/black tie optional wedding. In this case, women can wear a formal cocktail or T-length dress. Men can choose to wear either a tuxedo or a suit with their tie of choice. Remember, while this wedding is less formal than the white or black tie affairs, suits and dresses are still recommended.

Cocktail Attire

For a cocktail attire wedding, think going out for a date in the city. For women, a cocktail dress or skirt and formal top are great options. Another great option for women is the ever popular jumpsuit! For a cocktail attire wedding men can wear a suit with, or without, a tie. Feel free to leave the bow tie at home.

Semi-Formal

For a semi formal wedding there are multiple options for both men and women. Women can wear either a nice, but practical dress, nice skirt and top, or nice formal pants and formal top. For the men, plan on wearing suit, or dress pants, and a dress shirt or sweater are a great option. Preferably do not wear khaki pants. There is much room for interpretation with semi-formal weddings, but it is always better to err more on the formal side just incase.

Casual Wedding

For a casual wedding you can keep the formal clothes such as dresses and suits at home. Preferably, you would not wear sweats to a casual wedding. However; cute jeans and a nice top, or a casual sun, or maxi, dress are a great options for women. For men plan on wearing nice jeans or comfortable khakis with a polo shirt or whatever shirt feels nice, but not barbecue to you.

Back Yard Casual

Speaking of barbecues, at a backyard casual wedding you can wear anything you would hang out at a barbecue wearing. That being said, it is still a wedding. For women, jeans and a cute top work well. For men jeans and a nice t-shirt are a good option. Think what you would wear to hang out with your friends if they invited you over for dinner. This will help you avoid looking too informal but also not too formal.

Which wedding formality option did you choose? How did you make your decision? Did it make choosing your venue and wedding attire a lot easier? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Wedding Day Tissues

Wedding Day Essentials

Wedding Day Essentials

With so many things to do planning for your wedding day it can be easy to forget some personal essentials. These small things will make your wedding day a lot more comfortable. Even better, you could prevent any mishaps before they happen! We put together a wedding day essentials checklist so you can enjoy your day; regardless of any hiccups.

1.) Blister Band-Aids

While wedding shoes are so pretty, they can be painful by the end of the night. It’s important to wear in your wedding day shoes weeks before the wedding day, but if you forgot; we’ve got you covered. Blister Band-Aids are thicker than normal Band Aids. These essentials are perfect for any location on your aching feet, or even if your dress is rubbing in an uncomfortable place.

2.) Tissues, Tissues, & Extra Tissues

Trust us! On your wedding day, you can never have enough tissues! From blotting wedding day makeup, to catching tears, you’ll want to have plenty stocked. Great hiding places are in flowers, on chairs, and in table centerpieces just incase.

3.) A Bottle Of Pain Reliever

No one wants to spend their wedding day with the unexpected headache or cramps. Make sure you have your pain reliever bottle of choice nearby just incase. It’s great incase anyone happens to have a hangover as well. You can never be too prepared.

4.) Period Products

It’s a fact of life. Sometimes we get surprised. Don’t be surprised on your wedding day wearing a white dress! Also, be the real MVP if any of your bridesmaids or guests are in need too. Let’s be real, it’s happened at at least one wedding we’ve been to.

5.) Mints, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash

Everyone loves flavorful food, but maybe not so great for kissing and photos. Make sure your delicious coffee doesn’t show on your teeth during pictures. Have multiple options, you’ll be glad you did when you have fresh breath and a gleaming white smile in your wedding photos. This is great tip for the groom and whole bridal party too.

6.) Heartburn Medication/Antacids

There’s nothing worse than a queasy stomach or heartburn on your wedding day. Make sure you’re prepared with your perfect remedy. It’s also good to have extras on hand for any friends too. You’ll want to be able to enjoy your delicious wedding cake and food without pain.

Do you have any wedding day essentials you’d recommend? Tell us in the comments below. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out the other Chicago Wedding Blog Posts below. Happy Planning! 

Wedding Favor Ideas

Wedding Favor Ideas

When you think of your wedding guest tables you think of the centerpieces and table linens. But have you thought about wedding favors yet? These are a great way to say thank you to your guests as well as pull your wedding theme together. Here are some great wedding favor ideas sure to please your guests.

Garfield Park Neighborhood Wedding Bakery

Fall Wedding Themes

Fall Wedding Themes

As you plan your fall wedding; there are more wedding themes than Halloween. Fall wedding themes can range from elegant neutrals to spooky and quirky. If you are have a fall wedding, then you should think about what sort of fall wedding you want to have. With this in mind, we have plenty of fall wedding themes to make your decisions easier.

First, The Obvious Halloween Wedding

If you see yourselves as a fun, quirky couple, a Halloween wedding would be so fun. You could go as far as having guests dress up in costumes, or as simple as using orange and black as your wedding colors. You could have activities such as bobbing for apples, or simply have themed desserts such as apple, or pumpkin spice flavors. As you can see, there’s quite a range you can choose with the Halloween wedding theme.

Second, The Soft and Elegant Fall Wedding

This theme also gives you the option to be informal or formal. For wedding colors think golds, soft nudes, mauves, and silvers. For flowers think soft colors with added wheat or greenery for texture. Your neutral color palette will make your bridal party pop in outdoor photos because of the vivid colors of fall foliage. Especially if you want your wedding photos and color choices to be timeless, sometimes neutral is best.

Third, The Autumn Foliage Themed Wedding

For this wedding option, think harvest colors. These color options range from eggplant, to orange, and many colors in between. For your flowers we recommend vivid colors and textures, such as sunflowers to compliment your fall foliage theme. When you are planning your bridal party’s décor you can choose to blend in the bright colors with some neutrals, or keep all the attire bright and fun. This is where showing your personality in your wedding theme choices comes in.

Garfield Park Neighborhood Wedding Bakery Fall Foliage Wedding Theme

Bakery: The Quintessential Cake, located in Wheaton, Illinois, Venue: Chicago Botanic Gardens, Photographer: Gavyn Taylor Weddings

Lastly, If you are of the Mexican culture, a Día de Los Muertos Wedding Theme

Traditionally in the Mexican culture, Día de Los Muertos is a day to celebrate loved ones who have passed. This is a beautiful way to incorporate your lost loved ones who couldn’t be there on your wedding day into your day. Typically, traditional dishes are made, which we think are delish! For decoration, you can use your family’s beautiful Mexican sugar skulls both to decorate the tables, and as symbolism. Candlelight is another beautiful symbol of light and hope as well as a pretty aesthetic. If your family has a specific ritual for Día de Los Muertos it would be a beautiful thing to incorporate at the beginning of your wedding reception.

For more wedding planning inspiration and ideas check out the blog post below. Do you want your wedding to be featured? Please e-mail us your proposed wedding with credited photos and vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com. Happy Planning!