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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

BBB Torch Award Winner – Music By Design

BBB Torch Award Winner – Music By Design

TorchAwardBBB Torch Award Winner – Music By Design.

The Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois (BBB) announces the winners of the fourteenth annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, which spotlights companies that exemplify ethical business practices. Music By Design, Ltd. is the Torch Award Winner for Category V – The awards luncheon ceremony will be hosted at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago on Thursday, December 2nd.

“As the headlines have reflected, ethical business practices have taken a beating on Wall Street, the banking industry, housing and other marketplaces,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “The Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics honors companies that make a demonstrable effort to promote ethical business practices, and we are pleased to see the number of businesses who, in the eyes of their customers and other associates, meet that threshold.”

The award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges each year. Bernas continued, “This year’s participants and winners have reaped many rewards as a result of their commitment to achieving and maintaining high ethical standards including stronger customer loyalty, enhanced reputation, and greater employee commitment.”

The competition had the largest number of nominations and entries with nearly 2,000 nominations from a wide variety of businesses, explained Bernas.

“This variety in entries and the subsequent winners and honorable mentions reflect an increasing interest by more and more companies in using ethical business practices in their operations as their primary method of self-regulation,” Bernas said. “This belief is the cornerstone of the BBB system.”

Companies are judged in five categories based on their number of employees. Bernas noted that the presentation of awards is just the tip of the iceberg for companies that do it right by working with their customers, suppliers and other organizations in an ethical manner. It remains important for people to inform the BBB when they have done business with a company that did an exemplary job. Many of the nearly 2,000 nominees for this award were the result of consumers alerting the BBB to companies who ‘do it right’.

Setting Your Wedding Budget

Setting Your Wedding Budget

Setting Your Wedding Budget

One of the first and most important tasks in your wedding planning is creating the budget. Studies show that the biggest fights between bride and groom are caused by money concerns. Avoid the heartache and hassle by mapping out your wedding budget with these easy steps…

Step 1: Figure Out Who’s Footing The Bill

Before you can go any further with your budget, you need to establish who will be paying for what. Tradition states that the bride’s parents will cover the wedding costs, but nowadays that can vary from couple to couple. Have a discussion with all parties involved (parents, grandparents, step-parents, etc) to determine what each family’s contributions, if any, will be. Who pays for what in a wedding?

Step 2: Assess the Funds

Now that you know who’s footing the bill, you need to figure out exactly how much cash you have to spend. Tally up the monetary gifts contributed by each family and then, have an honest discussion with your fiancé about how much money, if any, the two of you want to spend out of your own savings. Once you’ve got a firm number, you can move on to step 3.

Step 3: Allocate the Funds

It’s up to you to determine how and where you want to spend your wedding money. Typically, wedding budgets are divided as so: Reception (48-50%), Ceremony (2-3%), Attire (8-10%), Flowers (8-10%), Chicago Wedding DJ (8-10%), Photography/Videography (10-12%), Stationery (2-3%), Wedding Rings (2-3%), Parking/Transportation (2-3%), Miscellaneous (8%). Remember this is just an average and meant to be used as a rough guide. You may choose to put more money into one area than another, which is totally fine. Just make sure you don’t underestimate the costs in any one area.

Step 4: Prioritize

The budget estimate above is just that, an estimate. You and your soon-to-be spouse need to determine exactly how each dollar is spent. If your dream invitations end up costing 5% of the budget, figure out a way to cut expenses somewhere else. Planning a wedding is a lot like marriage: it’s all about compromise. If you go over budget on the reception site rental, try to lower the expenses on food or flowers.

Step 5: Save, save, save

Just because you have X amount of dollars to spend, doesn’t mean you have to spend it all. Try to be budget-conscious whenever possible and cut costs. Wedding can be incredibly costly affairs and often there are unexpected expenses that pop up at the last minute. Plan a brainstorming meeting with your fiancé to discuss ways you can save money. Got a friend who is a great photographer/graphics designer/florist/baker? Ask him/her to take pictures, creative invitations, assemble bouquets, or make your wedding cake. And don’t forget to scour the Internet for DIY wedding ideas. You’d be amazed how many stunning details you can create yourself at a fraction of the cost.

Step 6: Reevaluate

The wedding budget isn’t something that’s meant to be created and then ignored. You should constantly be reevaluating the budget as you make decisions about the wedding. Create a spreadsheet that can easily be altered as things are purchased or booked. Plug in the numbers and tweak the budget as you go to ensure that everything is covered and you never go into the red.

2014 Wedding Trends

2014 Wedding Trends

2014 Wedding Trends

It’s such an exciting time, with this New Year teeming with love and excitement from happy couples who are getting engaged.  After the big question, wedding planning gets right underway!  Whether the day is near or far away, the planning starts to take shape right away as the imagination and dreams run wild into the realm of fantasy. When you really want to get creative there is no better way than taking a look at some 2014 Wedding Trends!

Two of the most important fashion choices for the blushing bride on her wedding day will be the bridal party dresses and the wedding dress. Some things to consider when choosing your styles include shades and tones that reflect the personality of you and your fiance. To get started, get an idea of how colors are symbolically expressed; for example, how purple can indicate friendliness and social networking, making you a compassionate and friendly soul.

Next, what type of dress will best fit your body? Short wedding dresses are going to be big this year, as well as layered mermaid-style gowns and lace sleeves. For all the hints, trends, styles, and colors, check out SimplyBridal’s infographic, Wedding Trends 2014.

2014 Wedding Trends

Budget Buster: The Cocktail Party Wedding

The Almighty Budget Buster: The cocktail party Wedding

We all have one. Without it, things could get dangerous. And when it comes to most pre-wedding arguments, usually it comes up. The wedding budget.  Some people are lucky enough to have endless means to throw the wedding of the century. But for most of us, we have to keep things in check so we can, let’s say, eat the next day.  While most of us also agonize over the things we think our budget doesn’t allow us, lack of cash flow can simply mean you have to be more creative with what you can spend.

The tone of the wedding scene when it comes to spending has become tricky. Even for those on a caviar budget, many are opting to scale back for a more “tasteful” approach.  We, for one, find this trend refreshing since it really forces couples to decide what the most important elements of the day are without being clouded with useless details and frivolous extras that guests mostly don’t even notice. With this in mind , we’ve compiled a few new trends and ideas that make for a chic event, yet don’t break the bank. Our first new idea to consider is a cocktail party wedding.

Who says you have to serve a formal sit-down dinner at your wedding reception? Cocktails and appetizers can be equally as chic and fun, allowing guests to mingle and enjoy the scene.  It also promotes dancing and ignites a lively vibe for party-loving couples.  We love the idea of bulking up the menu with heavier appetizers like sliders, mac n’cheese, French fry bar, and seafood stations. Also staggering the timing of when the food is brought out allows excitement to build as guests watch new items being displayed throughout the night.  This also gives everyone a chance to eat, dance, eat, dance, eat, dance- one of our all-time favorite combinations!

The same can be said for a brunch wedding. The earlier daytime setting is sure to save your money with your venue and also help you nail down options that are surely more cost effective. Consider this: Fancy eggs are much more affordable than a chicken, fish or steak options. And the buffet or station setting is perfect for mingling as well. A lovely Champagne brunch for your wedding is modern yet also a nod to how weddings used to be. Even the recent royal wedding featured a full brunch following the ceremony. Now what could be more chic than that?

 

 

 

 

Man-gagement Rings: The Next Wedding Trend?

According to The Knot.com, 5% of men are wearing man-gagement rings. According to reader responses, they are also wearing male promise rings. Is this the next big wedding trend, and would your guy jump on board? Share this with your guy to find out.

What does a man-gagement ring look like?

Just like women’s rings, male engagement rings range in price and complexity. If they contain a diamond or stone, the setting is typically low. The most popular styles are simple with minor engraving or light embellishments. For instance, the ring might be engraved with a meaning word, date or lyric. More elaborate styles can be two-toned or feature gemstones such as rubies and diamonds. A common style is a ring with the groom’s birthstone.

According to jewelry trend expert Michelle Adams from DiamondJewlery.org, “Matching engagement rings seem to be the most popular right now. For example, a couple will decide to get engaged and pick out matching platinum bands or possibly matching sterling silver bands with a special inscription that says something meaningful such as the couple’s favorite saying, verse, song, etc. The men’s rings tend to be wider and often come in the comfort fit for easy wear. The women’s rings tend to be a bit more elaborate, often with a diamond or diamond cutting.”

If he wears a man-gagement ring, does he need a wedding ring?

Male engagement rings are typically sold in wedding sets. The wedding band typically complements the engagement ring and features the same stones or textures. Since most men prefer to wear one ring, they often have the two rings bound together to create one ring. Another option is to wear the engagement ring on the right hand after the wedding.

How much do man-gagement rings cost?

The cost for male engagement rings is similar to women’s rings. Costs range from low to high depending on materials and complexity.

Where do I purchase a man-gagement ring?

Male engagement rings can be purchased at most jewelry stores or online.

If my guy wants a man-gagement ring, does this mean I should propose?

Although not the norm, women proposing to men is becoming more common. There is no longer a belief that women have to wait for a man to propose. If you decide to propose, you could present your guy with a man-gagment ring.

A male engagement ring, however, does not require you to propose. Instead, you and your guy could pick out a male engagement ring after he proposes. Once you are engaged, he can wear the ring just as you do to showcase his love for you and excitement for the upcoming wedding.

Are men really wearing engagement rings?

According to jewelry trend expert Michelle Adams from DiamondJewlery.org, “Yes. It seems the men don’t want to miss out on all the fun. They, too, want to have a special ring to signify their love. It’s no longer uncommon for both the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be to both wear engagement rings.”

We’d love to know, would your guy ever wear a male engagement ring? Do you love or hate this trend?

 

 

Entertaining Children at Weddings

This can often be a touchy subject, because every family is different and each couple has their own style and vision of their wedding. There are always open-ended questions about how to address children on the invitation and what to do with children on the big day. If you plan on having more than a couple of children at your event, it’s a good idea to provide a source of entertainment, so their parents can share in enjoying your happiness without worry. Here are a few ideas for you to brainstorm.

Activity Packs or Tables

Put together some little packages that include small but fun activities for the children to entertain them throughout the wedding. These could include coloring books, markers, puzzles, stickers, board games, snacks and more. Or, work with your venue organizer to arrange for a table with these types of activities where children can play together.

Children’s Menu

Most venues will have an option to provide kid-friendly food for your little guests. This may ease a lot of trouble as many kids are picky eaters and may refuse to try, let alone appreciate, the type of food you may be serving to everyone else.

Supervisors

It can be valuable to assign a friend or hire a babysitting service to watch over the group of children at the wedding. This way, they won’t disturb your guests or your wedding activities, and you and your guests won’t have to worry about watching them yourselves.

Kid-friendly DJ

Talk to your music provider about playing some songs that most kids will love, to ensure they don’t get bored or disrupt the adults. You might even have your DJ play a short, music-related activity for the kids.

Performers

Consider hiring a performer such as a magician, face painter, or balloon artist. This way, children at your wedding will have as much fun as you’re having, and you might even get a few fun-loving adults involved too!

Miscellaneous

Entertain the kids by providing them with disposable cameras, blowing bubbles, kiddy cocktails, scavenger hunts, blow up guitars, and more! There are hundreds of ideas out there that can make having children at your wedding a joy. Just use a little creativity, and you’ll be an instant hit for the kids!

 

 

More on keeping the kids busy

Blackboard Decor

A recent trend has been popping up in a bridal magazines everywhere — blackboard décor. This trend is perfect for environmentally concerned couples because it makes everything from table numbers to favors reusable. It is also a good idea for budget-conscious couples who want to reduce the cost of stationary. Here are a few fun ways to incorporate blackboards into your wedding day.

A Reusable Sign

Many weddings use personalized signs to direct guests to the ceremony and/or reception site. These signs are especially useful for outdoor weddings. Rather spending money on a sign that you can only use once, why not purchase a blackboard that can be used again and again? For instance, this blackboard arrow from Playing Grown Up is an adorable way to direct guests to your wedding site.

Fun Speech Bubbles

When it is all over, the only thing you will have left from your wedding, besides the priceless memories, is the photos. It has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but why not add some real words to those photos? Show the camera what you are really thinking with these adorable blackboard speech bubbles. These are perfect for bridal party shots as well as unique bride and groom photos.

Reusable Table Numbers

Save a tree and use mini chalkboards to display table numbers. These elegant blackboards from HerMajestysPug Shop can be reused at other events, plus the silver border makes them sophisticated enough for a formal wedding.

Blackboard Glass Charms

People hate going to a wedding or party and losing their drink. Help your guests keep track of their drink with these adorable glass charms. They are a perfect keepsake for your wedding guests, and they ensure that Grandma doesn’t accidently pick up Cousin Joe’s Seven-and-Seven because she likes it is her Sprite.

An Old Fashioned Blackboard

Most brides spend hours typing up or writing out seating cards. They then go through the agonizing process of thinking of a cute way to display those seating cards. Save yourself the time (and help Mother Nature) by using a cute blackboard to write the seating list rather than using individual seating cards. Upon entering the reception, guests can simply check the board to find their table number. Added bonus: more room on the table for fun décor.

Chalk It Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Registry Basics

One of the most exciting and enjoyable tasks in the months leading up to the wedding is registering for gifts! Walking through aisles upon aisles of shiny new kitchen appliances, luxury bedding, and beautiful home décor is enough to make any girl want to say, “I do.” Although registering is a blast, it can also be a stressor so here are a few tips to help you prepare for a smooth day of gift selection…

Select Stores: The first step of registering is figuring out which stores you want to choose gifts from. It’s common for brides and grooms to register at 2-3 retail stores for items. Be sure to pick stores that will be easily accessible for wedding guests. If you have a lot of out-of-town invitees, make sure to pick a store that is located in their city or state. Online registries are great for most guests, but certain individuals might prefer to be able to visit a store and examine a potential gift in person.

Preview Items: Once you’ve narrowed down your stores, spend an afternoon or evening simply walking through them and getting an idea of what they carry and what you like. This way you can start thinking about what items you might want to register for ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Compare Prices: Chances are that certain items on your registry will be sold at all of the stores you choose so do your research ahead of time to figure out where you’ll register for which items. Maybe the price on kitchen appliances is considerably better at one shop, while you prefer the bedding at another. Go online to compare brands and prices so you aren’t doubling up on any items.

Schedule an Appointment: Most department and home stores will allow you to schedule an appointment to create your registry. Eliminate stress and guarantee a spot by calling ahead and setting up a meeting. Typically, an employee will explain the process to you and accompany you around the store to offer assistance on choosing items to add to your registry. Plus, as an added bonus, certain stores may offer after-hours registry appointments, complete with cocktails and appetizers, to create a relaxed and enjoyable experience for you and your fiancé.

Update, update, update: Don’t be afraid to add or remove items from your registry in the months leading up to the wedding. Suppose a pal buys you an amazing off-registry blender that you love even more than the one you chose. Be sure to go online or contact the store to have the original blender removed to save you the hassle of having to return it later. Or, imagine that the items on your registry become sparse after all the incredible showers thrown in your honor. Be sure to add more items for guests to choose from before the wedding.

More on Wedding Registry

Wedding Day Necessities

Wedding Day Necessities

Wedding Day NecessitiesRegardless of what time of day your wedding will be held, the fabulous wedding shoes you purchased, and whether you’re doing your own hair and makeup or hiring a professional, there are a few wedding day essentials that you won’t be able to live without! Avoid pre-wedding disasters by packing a kit of necessities (or delegate the task out to the maid of honor or close friend). Don’t forget these Wedding Day Necessities.

Hair Maintenance: Whether you’re styling your coif yourself or bringing in a professional hair guru, make sure you bring along hair care products for touch-ups throughout the day. Regardless of how perfectly your noodle nest is styled, hair mishaps can happen during your commute to the ceremony/reception sites or during outdoor photo shoots. Be sure to pack some extra hairspray, bobby pins, and a brush or comb to fix unruly tresses.

Make-up Kit: Be sure to come equipped with make-up essentials for touch-ups all day long. Most important is powder to eliminate shine and concealer to cover up blemishes. Also, be sure to keep some extra lipstick/lip gloss, waterproof mascara, and nail polish with you at all times.

Hygiene Products: It’s better to be safe than sorry! Bring along a small container of deodorant, dental floss, tissue, perfume, q-tips, feminine hygiene products, and breath mints to avoid unpleasant mishaps.

Dress Prep: Avoid dress disasters by packing items needed for repairs. Be sure to have a small sewing kit with you for any unfortunate accidents, as well as hem tape, safety pins, double-sided tape, static cling spray, spot remover, chalk (to cover stains on the wedding dress), and scissors. Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress.

Back-ups: It never hurts to have a backup, especially on your wedding day. Pack an extra pair of pantyhose, earrings (and backs), hair clips, and even shoes, just in case.

Sustenance: Most likely, you’re going to be feeling an overwhelming mix of emotions on your wedding day, from excitement to nervousness to last-minute stress, and such anxiety can diminish your appetite, but it’s essential that you have something in your stomach. Pack some bottled water and snacks to make sure you, and all of your bridesmaids, don’t get weak or light-headed.

Miscellany: In addition to your beauty essentials, bring along some additional items for any unforeseen circumstances. Pack some aspirin and band-aids, tweezers, nail file, camera, cell phone charger, cash (just in case), handheld mirror, matches/lighter, and scotch tape.

Bridal Beauty Kit