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Planning a Wedding in a Time Crunch

Planning a Wedding in a Time Crunch

Engaged couple

You’ve heard you’re supposed to plan your wedding a year in advance, but you only have six months. Deep breaths, it is doable! With a little flexibility and resourcefulness on your end, we can help you make it happen. Planning a wedding on a time crunch does not need to be done in panic mode. Here is how you can calmly and successfully plan your wedding in a time crunch.

Be flexible with your vendor selection.

While your dream wedding photographer may be unavailable, do not panic! Wedding vendors are expert networkers! Ask your dream vendor for a referral who has a similar style and/or service. Wedding vendors understand the importance of your wedding day, they will only recommend someone they know will do an amazing job!

Consider a less conventional day of the week.

While the most common day of the week to get married is Saturday, Friday and Sunday weddings are great backup options! Friday and Sunday weddings tend to also be less expensive than Saturdays. Another added bonus to having a Friday or Sunday wedding is that your dream, ideal venue is more likely to have available openings.

Make a priorities list.

While planning a wedding you can quickly get caught up in endless details. To avoid wasting time and money, make a list of your wedding priorities. If you care less about dinner than you do about dessert, put more of your precious time and energy into planning a delicious wedding dessert bar. Trust the experts where you can, or give the job of selecting the dinner menu to your parents or spouse. When you’re in a time crunch it’s important to keep your focus on what is actually important to you.

Start planning your attire right away!

Wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses can take quite some time to come in. Choose your wedding colors and dresses as quickly as possible to allow time for shipping and fittings. If you, the bride, are in a time crunch consider purchasing an off-the-rack dress.

Call bridal shops to ask if they have a sample sale or an off-the-rack selection. There are bridal shops that specialize in off-the-rack bridal sales. Alternatively, if you are looking for a conventional bridal shop, call them before you book your appointment to ensure they can get your wedding dress there in time for your fittings and wedding day.

For bridesmaids on a time crunch, it may be impossible to have a fun shopping day with all your bridesmaids in the same room. Because of this, consider allowing them to pick any style of dress in your chosen color. Then, you don’t have to worry about one style being flattering on every bridesmaid. They can choose what they feel good in and you’ll be happy they’re wearing your favorite color.

Groomsmen, oh, groomsmen!

We’ve all been to weddings where that one groomsman didn’t order his suit till the week of the wedding. With a wedding being planned in a time crunch, that is not an option, gents!  Get to a suit shop today. Get your measurements done so you can check it off your list and not show up to your best friend’s tripping down the aisle wearing pants that are too long for you.

We promise it is totally doable to plan a wedding on a time crunch. As long as you are strategic as you choose your vendors and attire you can still have the wedding of your dreams. Happy Planning! For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

groomsman suit

A Guy’s Guide to Being a Groomsman

A Guy’s Guide to Being a Groomsman

Congratulations on being asked to be a groomsman! It is an honor that shows how much you mean to the engaged couple. Because you mean a lot to them, you’ll want to show up as your best as their groomsman. To help you do that, here is a guy’s guide to being a groomsman.

Mark Down the Wedding Date

Once you know the date of the wedding and have agreed to be in the wedding, mark down the date and make arrangements. Everyone has only so many days off for work, so plan ahead if you have to take any days off for the wedding. If you are not sure how many days off you will have by the wedding date, make a plan. Talk with your boss well in advance if you will need to take any days off. Then, make sure you communicate with work throughout the year so they don’t forget you have a wedding coming up.

Other Wedding-Related Events

Being in the bridal party means there is an expectation you will be at the engagement party, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and the day after brunch. It’s important you ask the engaged couple what events they have planned so you can ideally be there, if not, let them know in advance. (Are you getting the hint that sooner is always better?) Some nationalities’ traditions mean even the wedding is a multi-day affair. If this is the case, be sure to ask which events you should plan on being at.

Getting Your Suit

The day you get the email or text from the bride or groom about the suit rental/purchasing information, make a date to do it. Do not wait for the deadline to go to your nearest tailor to get measured. The week you get that email/text go get measured and take care of your rental/suit purchase. If you’ll allow us to paint with a broad brush, guys tend to wait till the last minute to take care of their wedding attire. Don’t be that guy! Get it done a.s.a.p., way before you have to.

Plan for the Bachelor Party

If there is going to be a bachelor party, be transparent about your ability to participate sooner than later. If you have a particular budget to stay within, communicate that clearly with the rest of the groomsmen. Clarity & honesty is key. If there are days you know you are unavailable around the proposed time of year of the bachelor party, make that clear so there are no hurt feelings or surprises.

Wedding Gifts

When you are a groomsman you’re normally off the hook for purchasing a bridal shower gift, but you will need to bring a wedding gift. Wedding gifts can be anything from home or cooking goods to gift certificates. If you have a plus one coming to the wedding, have them bring the gift. Then, you will not forget the gift at home before the couple leaves for their honeymoon. We all know how adult friendships go, you probably won’t see the couple for a few months. So bring the wedding gift to the wedding so you don’t have to give it to them late.



There you have it, a surefire guide to being a great groomsman! Your friend will be sure to appreciate your promptness and cooperation as they plan their wedding. For more wedding planning tips and inspiration check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

everyday dishes

Wedding Registry Must-Haves

Wedding Registry Must-Haves

Your wedding planning is off to a good start, so now it is time to create your wedding registry and fill it with your must-haves! We’ve all purchased gifts for friends from their registries, but creating our own can be overwhelming. How many plates do I need? Is China really necessary? While each couple’s style and priorities are different, there are a few must-haves we recommend you put on your wedding registry. Here’s some help to get your registry started with the most important items.

Pots and Pans Set

The number one cookware item you will use daily is your pots and pans! Whether you are a can of soup or a homemade chicken cordon bleu person, you must put them on your registry. Not only are they useful, but they are also made to last and are expensive. Many registries allow group gifts so friends can team together to give you a more expensive gift.

Bath Towels

Now that you’ll be married, it’s time for your college bath towels to become cleaning or beach towels. Register for some nice, new towels. You will be so glad you did! It is fun putting together the color scheme of your first married home together. Towels are a great way to decorate your bathroom with a splash (pun intended) of color. Pro tip: Register for bath sheets! Bath sheet towels are towels but are longer than typical bath towels, so you will be wrapped and cozy after every shower without a chilly breeze.

Bed Sheets

Speaking of sheets, you won’t want to forget to register for quality bed sheets! We recommend cotton sheets for spring/summer and flannel sheets for fall/winter. Cotton sheets will breathe and not hold in your summer heat making for a more comfortable night of sleep. In contrast, microfiber sheets will hold in your heat, so we don’t recommend those. Flannel sheets are so cozy and perfect for the infamous Chicago winter windchills!

A Clothes Steamer

This one might surprise a lot of people. You may think, “Why do I need a clothes steamer when I already have an iron?” Well, let me tell you! Many an event and weddings have been saved by my inexpensive clothes steamer! A bridesmaid forgot to iron her dress? Steamer. The groom ironed his pants wrong? Steamer. Table cloths laying strange on the tables? Steamer. Trust me, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Every household needs a clothes steamer!

Your Everyday Dishes

Unlike China dishes that you only use about once a year, your everyday dishes will be used, you guessed it, every day. Because of how often you will use them it is important to register for quality everyday dishes. Read reviews and ask questions, don’t just go by looks. We recommend registering for 8 place settings. If you are not registering for China dishes we recommend registering for 12 place settings. These dishes will ideally last for decades, so be sure to choose a pattern and color you know you will still like in a few years.

Have you registered yet? Which of these items were on your must-haves list? Would you add something else? Tell us in the comments below. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

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!

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.

Engaged Do's and Dont's Couple

Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

Wedding Planning Do’s And Don’ts

Congratulations on your recent engagement! In the age of the internet you have endless options for wedding planning advice. That being said, before you search all over for different topics; we’ll make it simple for you. While wedding planning can be undoubtedly stressful, we can help with some wedding planning do’s and don’ts to avoid common unnecessary bumps in the road.

Do’s

1.) Get your engagement ring insured.

Could you imagine losing the most treasured, expensive piece of jewelry you’ve ever owned? You would be heartbroken, your fiance may puke. Let’s avoid that by ensuring your engagement ring is covered by an insurance policy just in case something happens to it. Better safe than sorry with such a meaningful piece of jewelry.

2.) Take time to enjoy your engagement before rushing into wedding planning.

It is so stereotypical to say this, but it’s true. “Slow down and soak this time in. It goes by so fast!” Soak in your engaged bliss by sharing the story with your loved ones. Or you could have a Zoom or in person celebration. Go on celebratory, “We’re engaged!” dates. As long as you give yourself a year to plan your wedding you are just fine. Remember you choose the date anyway, so enjoy it!

3.) Day dream and gather ideas and inspiration early.

Without putting pressure on yourself (because, remember, we are not rushing) look up different wedding colors, venues, and attire. Gather pretty ideas of inspiration so when you get planning you already have a starting point. Colors and photos of inspiration from bridal magazines or online blogs are great places to start. The options are endless, so best to narrow it down early.

Don’ts

1,) Ask for too many opinions.

This one always ends up becoming an issue for everyone. It’s great to talk about your plans with your loved ones, but remember the more opinions you open the door for, the more you will receive. Well-meaning relatives and friends often share their excitement for you by giving you wedding opinions and advice. Even then, you do not have to take that advice. Remember, it is your wedding. Trust you gut! At at the end of the day, those who matter will be so happy for you and the details will be forgotten.

2.) Plan a wedding you can’t afford.

We all love looking at dreamy online wedding photos. However, what you cannot tell by looking at the photos is the cost of that extravagant wedding. Some wedding dress photos on Pinterest, for example, will say they cost $900, when they actually costs over $3,000. Remember, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Photos are great for inspiration, not always your budget. Even so, there are ways to achieve the same aesthetic in a budget friendly way. Websites like Oriental Trading and Amazon are great for inexpensive wedding decorations.

3.) Forget to keep your wedding day in perspective.

Your wedding day is sure to be one of the most memorable, exciting days of your lives! Nevertheless, don’t forget a wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime. Continue dating each other just as you did before you were engaged. The wedding planning process can bring ups and downs. Hold close to each other, supportive friends, and family to help you keep small inconveniences and stresses in perspective. At the end of the day, you get to marry the love of your life. And, truly, The Beatles had it right when they said, “All You Need Is Love.”

We hope these quick and easy wedding planning do’s and don’ts help you avoid wedding planning mishaps. There are so many positive experiences you have while planning your wedding. Apply these great tips and it’ll be easier to focus on the good and lessen your wedding planning stress. Happy Planning!

Outdoor Wedding In the shade

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Ah, the great outdoors! So you’re having an outdoor wedding! What a great venue choice! Before you solidify your wedding plans, there are some aspects you need to keep in mind. Here are some outdoor wedding tips so you can have the best outdoor wedding.

Hot Weather

No one will be comfortable on a summer wedding day with no water or fans. Pro tip: make fan programs. If it’s a breezy day, your guests can simply read the program. On the other hand, if it is hot, your guests will be thankful you thought ahead. If that’s not your thing, you can also provide paper fans that coordinate to your wedding colors. Another important item you need is a water or beverage station or two. It’s important to stay hydrated on such an emotional day for you and your guests. You could arrange for a big box store run before the wedding to have individual water bottles ready on an iced cooler. You could also have a beverage cooler and individual cups. Either way, water is a must.

Another important factor is where you will be outside. Plan for the worst and expect the best. If you are looking at wedding venue options, it may be a good idea to choose one with a shaded area. Then any guests who feel overheated won’t have to miss the wedding. Similarly, if you easily get overheated it’s important you arrange your ceremony in a cool, shaded area. No one wants the newlyweds passing out on their wedding day!

Bathrooms

It’s not the most glamorous item on your checklist, but it is necessary nonetheless. If you are choosing to have your wedding in a nature preserve, beach, or park it is imperative you sort out the bathroom situation in advance. There are companies who rent out really nice temporary bathrooms. If there are not bathrooms nearby your ceremony location, time to research options for you and your guests when nature calls.

Electricity

Though you are over the moon in love on your wedding day, we’re not referring to that sort of electricity. We mean the electricity needed to power lights, wedding music, and microphones. Keep in mind, when you’re having an outdoor wedding, the options for power. Sometimes there are outdoor outlets nearby, but other times it is impossible. In those cases it’s important to ask about your options. There are generators you can rent. Other times, vendors have battery operated options or their own generators. The last thing you want is no music, lights, or sound on your wedding day.

Cool Weather

Sometimes you pick the one fall or summer day that is surprisingly cold. While we can’t predict the weather, we can plan in advance. A great wedding favor is scarves or pashminas. Especially if you are having a fall wedding it is a good idea to plan for this scenario. Another great way to keep your guests warm is space heaters. Often venues have portable space heaters ready to go. If not, it’s important to research into heating options so you and your guests don’t freeze.

Rain

Tent, Tent, Tent! If you are having an outdoor wedding one of the smartest things you can do is get a tent if there is no pavilion. Rain happens. It’s the proverbial good luck of outdoor weddings. If your venue does not have an indoor option come rain, it’s important that a tent large enough for your wedding is in your plans. There are so many beautiful ways to decorate tents. If you do get lucky and have a sunny day, many tents have roll up walls so you can bring the outdoors in. Better to be safe than sorry so your wedding day goes off without a hitch.

Are you having an outdoor wedding? Did you have an outdoor wedding? What was your favorite part of having it outdoors? What were some logistical struggles? Tell us in the comments below!

Home Decor Wedding Gift

Wedding Gift Ideas

Wedding Gift Ideas

Every couple appreciates receiving monetary gifts from their wedding. However, some wedding guests can’t afford a large monetary gift. Here are some wedding gift ideas newlyweds are sure to love!

First Idea: Artist Rendering Of Couple’s Photo

As newlyweds begin their lives together, they will need to decorate differently than when they were single bachelors or bachelorettes. Photos and artwork of the married couple is a great gift. But if you’d like to make the gift more special, get an artist to hand paint or design a caricature of a favorite photo of the couple  or even one of their engagement photos and have it framed. This is a great gift for a range of budgets depending on the size or skill of the art. A meaningful keepsake perfect for the couple to decorate their new home.

Second Wedding Gift Idea: A Funded Date Night

This gift can be done many ways. You could give a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant in a basket with a bottle of nice wine. Give a card written in calligraphy that you will pay for a date night of their choosing and place that certificate in a photo album for their wedding photos. A gift certificate to a spa or hotel is also a great gift for a quick getaway. This is a great way to treat a newlywed couple nomatter what your budget may be.

Third Gift Idea: Special Home Goods or Decor

Most people will not splurge to get themselves nice home decor. Purchasing a special item for the newlyweds’ home you know they’ll love is a generous gift. Maybe you know the couple LOVES Crate & Barrel, but is very frugal. Purchasing them a gift from that store would be a meaningful surprise for them. Home decor or serverware is a great gift especially if the couple loves to have friends over.

Fourth Gift Idea: Contribution To A Charity In Their Name

Some couples have a cause they are passionate about. A beautiful way to support them and their passion is by making a donation to a charity close to their hearts for them. This is especially meaningful if the couple has lost someone close to them from an illness. Some charities sponsor children others rescue animals. Choose one close to the couple’s heart.

Fifth Wedding Gift Idea: Holiday Decor

We’ve discussed how couples love to decorate their new home. Giving decor for each holiday will be a useful and fun way for couples to decorate their new home. Keep in mind which holidays the couple celebrates, or if they have a favorite holiday. If they love Christmas, you can throw in extra Christmas decor. You can also put in holiday glasses, plates, or serverware to accommodate extra people at holiday gatherings.



What physical wedding gifts have you given? As a couple what would be your favorite gift as above? Let us know! For more wedding planning advice, tips, & tricks check out the blog posts below!