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Jumping The Broom Ritual

Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Every wedding ceremony is personalized by the engaged couple. One way couples personalize their ceremony is wedding ceremony rituals. A ritual can be religious or spiritual in nature, or simply symbolic. The choice is yours as to which you prefer. Here are some unique wedding ceremony rituals to give you some ideas.

Sand Art

Any child of the 90’s will remember the joy of sand art! Each person can choose their own color they’d like. Then, during this ritual the couples will pour both of their sands into the capsule to blend them together. As with most wedding rituals, their meaning is the union between two people becoming one. Couples can then use this capsule as a decorative keepsake.

Unity Candle

A unity candle is similar in idea to the sand. Each person will hold a lit candle and together they will light a big beautiful candle, called a unity candle. The candle makes a great living room keepsake. Who doesn’t love a good candle? Every year on your anniversary you can make use of it again by relighting it.

Jumping The Broom

Jumping the broom is a wedding ritual from the African culture, specifically Ghana. Traditionally a broom is circled over the engaged couple to cast away evil. Then, at the end of the ceremony, the couple jumps over the broom, as a solidifying of the ceremony. The jump of the broom traditionally symbolized a wife’s promise to clean their house and whoever jumps higher over the broom, typically the man, would get to make the decisions in the home. However; in the 21st century most couples embrace this tradition simply as a cultural tradition they want to pass on, not a symbol of the wife being lesser than. Many couples embrace this ritual by applying their own meaning to it such as their embracing of one another’s culture and commitment to their relationship.

Hand Tying Ritual

A hand tying ritual originated from the Pagan and Celt traditions. Some couples, however, just like the meaning of the ceremony, so it does not need to be a cultural ritual. The tying of the hands, also known as handfasting, symbolizes a couple’s commitment to each other through good times and bad. Historically, some traditions would tie a couple together for a year and if they lasted a year being tied together their marriage would last. While we are not recommending you be tied to your fiance for a year, a hand tying ritual is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to each other through good times and bad times. You can later keep the rope, maybe even braid it to create home decor.

Wine or Communion Ritual

In the Christian traditions, some couples will feed each other wine and bread symbolizing their promise to care for eachother. Some weddings do not have a communion service, but just have the couple give communion, bread and wine, to each other. Some people do not come from a religion who participates in communion. In that case, this ritual can also be a sort of blessing that the couple may never go hungry or want for anything.



Each ritual can mean something different to each couple, and that is the beauty of planning a ceremony. Unless you are getting married in a religious denomination with strict guidelines, there are many ways you can customize your ceremony to embrace symbolism that is meaningful to you as a couple. You could even get creative and create your own ritual specific to you as a couple, such as a beer pouring ritual. It is your wedding day! Structure your ceremony to reflect the love you feel for each other. From there, there are no wrong choices. Happy Planning!

Recycled Wedding Rings

Ways To Recycle Wedding Items

Ways to Recycle Wedding Items

It’s no secret that weddings generate a lot of waste not only in leftover or unused food, but also in items people won’t use again like favors, your dress, or wedding décor. We’ve got some great ideas on how to help the environment and recycle those wedding things!

You can re-purpose your dress.

If you’re not terribly sentimental and don’t mind parting with your wedding gown you can sell it. There are a lot of great stores that buy pre-owned wedding dresses. You could be helping someone else out whose on a tight budget. If you’d like to keep your wedding dress but don’t want it sitting in the back of your closet, you can tailor it. We love turning a wedding dress into a cocktail dress, Christening gown, or prom dress! Your daughter could go to her prom with a one of a kind dress or get baptized in something very special to you.

Another way to recycle wedding items is to give them to a secondhand shop.

Some places take gently used wedding décor to re-sell. If you are tight on your budget you can even consider getting your wedding rings from a family heirloom or secondhand shop. Keep in mind if you want to donate wedding decor it may be difficult to find a place for it if it has your initials all over it. Call around and see what stores take wedding décor.

Re-use those flowers!

It’s bittersweet that all the time and effort into decorating with flowers and they’ll just wilt and die within a few days. We love programs that use wedding flowers as donations to hospitals or nursing homes. You’ll be brightening someone else’s day with your pretty floral arrangements. If you and your bridesmaids have the time and desire, you can also take apart the bouquets at the reception. Then you can re-gather them into small favors for your guests to take home. This does require more work and attention when all you probably want to do is celebrate at the reception. So, it’s worth asking if your wedding coordinator or some very helpful family members would be in charge of that so you don’t have to worry about it.

It always feels good to contribute to a green environment. We love the idea of using your joyous wedding items and brightening someone else’s day too. Did you use recycled wedding decor for your wedding? We would love to feature your green wedding. E-Mail credited photos and vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com . Happy Planning!

Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner

Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner

The cost of a wedding planner can be priceless if you arrive at your big day refreshed, excited and rested! There are many reasons why you might want to hire a wedding planner. The price of wedding planners vary, but you can find one on any budget. It just depends on what you want your planner to do and how involved you want them. Here is why you should hire a wedding planner:

A wedding planner can often save you expenses and are well worth the investment.

A good wedding planner will keep your budget in mind and do the legwork cost breakdowns. They are great at keeping you within your budget by coordinating your guest list with venues you can afford.
In addition to saving you money, a wedding planner will save you time. You’re probably both working full time to afford this amazing wedding. A planner will be the go-between to venues, bands, caterers and flower shops. They will leave the decisions up to you, but once you make a choice, the wedding planner will put it into action, which frees you up to do the things you need.

A wedding planner can be a great idea if you’re very detail oriented.

A planner pays attention to every little detail so you don’t need to. They will most likely have contacts in the industry. That will save time and energy if they know off the bat who will work within your budget. The wedding planner will keep your day organized as well, down to when it’s time to walk the aisle and wrestling your belligerent uncle in line. You don’t need to stress about forgetting cake toppers or favors when you’re planner is already on it.

They lend fresh eyes and ears to your dream wedding.

We all have a vision of our wedding day and a planner can help make it unique. They have the connections and knowledge of trends to help you plan a wedding just for you. We think a wedding planner is well worth the expense because you only get one day and why not make it as fabulous as possible? You don’t need it ruined because you forgot to schedule your wedding makeup or hair!



Did you use a wedding planner? Who did you use? Why did you love working with them? We would love to feature your wedding. E-mail credited vendors and photos to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com . For more wedding planning tips & advice check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below!

How To Write Your wedding Vows

How To Write Your Wedding Vows

How To Write Your Wedding Vows

Your wedding vows are the goals and promises that make up the foundation of your marriage. Some couples like the officiant to do the whole ceremony. The the only thing they have to do is repeat after someone and not faint. However, if you’re among the other couples who want to write their vows, we’ve got some great tips for you! It can be daunting, in one speech, to write down your hopes, dreams and all the love you feel towards your partner. You don’t have to have a specific structure to your vows, but there are a few key things you could use. If you’re struggling to write your wedding vows, sometimes an outline will help.

First, tell your partner you’ll be there for them through thick and thin.

Everyone who’s been married knows there are highs and lows. Every married person has to choose their spouse every day, even in the hard times. One of the most beautiful aspects of marriage is you choose to love someone, unconditionally, even when life gets difficult. Don’t forget to incorporate this important aspect of marriage into your vows.

Second, make promises.

Wedding vows are promises you say out loud and will solidify what you expect in your marriage and what you will give. Examples could be “I promise…to love you through thick and thin, or I promise to let you watch football on Sundays”. You don’t have to be entirely serious – your guests will appreciate humor. We do recommend avoiding “always” and “never” because those are big words that are hardly able to be lived up to. Saying I will never fight with you is an impossible plan. Perhaps instead, you can promise to fight fair.

Third, share some personal stories.

Everyone loves to hear inside information about people. Sharing some stories is a great way to engage your wedding guests. It can also serve as a reminder of why you’re marrying your partner. The stories can be funny, sweet stories, but don’t be afraid to mention the terrible ones either. It will show that you are a strong couple.

Fourth, and finally, say I love you!

It might seem obvious, but in the chaos of wedding activities, the tiny phrase can get lost. We assume you will go through several drafts of your vows, but even starting with this simple statement is great way to begin a marriage. Writing your vows doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Start slow, you don’t have to include everything. Just include the things that really matter to both of you.

Did this post help you plan your wedding vows? Do you have a cute video clip of your vows? Do you have a photo of your vows? We’d love to see and share them! Credit your vendors and reference this blog post by e-mailing them to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com.

Slow Down your wedding day

Three Ways To Soak In Your Wedding Day

Three Ways To Soak In Your Wedding Day

The one piece of wisdom everyone tells you for your wedding day is, “It goes by so fast. Slow down and soak it in.” Here are three tips to help you slow down and soak in your wedding day.

1. When you’re getting ready, look in the mirror.

You will only see your beautiful, bride or groom-to-be wedding day face one time. Slow down and take in the memory of your smile on that day. You’ve planned your outfit and/or  hair and makeup for months. You’ve dreamed of your wedding day and/or wedding gown your whole life. Mentally remind yourself during your prep time to look in the mirror. Soak in the significance that today is finally your wedding day. You will be married in a matter of hours. Take a deep breath, this will center you to truly appreciate this moment. Pro tip, it makes a great photo!

2. Walk down the aisle slowly.

The excitement builds up, adrenaline kicks in, but slow down your walk! The moment you see your spouse coming down the aisle will only happen one time. Hold tight to the person walking you down the aisle. Appreciate them being at your side. Remember it. If you are walking by yourself, take a moment to appreciate your confidence and all that has brought you to your wedding day, the best day of your life. As you walk look at all those attending your wedding beaming at your smiling face. Look around at your bridesmaids, groomsmen, & spouse. Soak in their happiness, love, and pride for you.

3. Enlist the help of the wedding day pros!

Build in moments of newlywed time. Your best allies in this are your photographer or wedding planner. Tell them when you want time just the two of you. These pros are organizer extraordinaires! They will ensure you get the perfect amount of time at the perfect time. Maybe you’ll even get a sweet, candid photo op from it. During this time, slow down together. Look at your venue and each other. Become aware this is it your wedding day. It will help you be present and soak in every second of the party.

Your wedding day is one of the only days in your life in which you have all the people who love you in one room, at the same time. Such a once in a lifetime event can be enjoyed to the fullest with simple preparation. Best wishes on slowing down and soaking in every second of your wedding day! If you like these tips, check out more advice from the experts at the Chicago Wedding Blog below!

Church Shopping

Church Shopping
Church shopping can be as easy as your home church but sometimes it’s harder to find the right place for your ceremony! You might have always imagined yourself walking down the aisle of your hometown church since you were a little girl. However, your fiancé might not feel the same way. There are some things to consider before choosing the right church for your wedding nuptials. Such as, does your church allow for photographers or videographers? If not, that might be a huge part that you’re missing out on.
Who just wants to watch the reception of their wedding day? Sure, it sounds fun, but the wedding ceremony is important! Or, if they do allow these vendors in the church premises, are they confined to a certain spot or do they have free reign to move about the ceremony to capture the best shots? Wedding Décor such as aisle runners, flowers, bows, signs, etc are extras entirely left up to the church ifthey are allowed or not. Do you dream of walking down
the aisle with the white aisle runner rolled out sprinkled with an array of beautiful rose petals? Some churches don’t allow that. Make sure you ask the question.
When church shopping you also need to check on prices of the church. Often times, churches refer to this as your“donation.” Consider yourdonation paying for the church to keep it air-conditioned, well-groomed and maintained, the musicians and cantors paid, and so on. Some churches often ask for $1,000 to cover these fees. Also, you may be asked to partake in religious classes which also cost money and are mandatory.
Ask your church if you are allowed to bring in your own minister or a visiting pastor. Remember the example
from above? Well, your hometown church might not suit your fiancé and you, but bringing the pastor, priest, or presiding religious officiant is the next best option! Make sure there is a solid contract written up that covers insurance, medical accidents, etc. What if your klutzy brother trips and busts his face open on the marble floor while making his entrance to the church. Expect the unexpected bride-to-be!
By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to choose the right church for you and your fiancé.

Friday Bride-day

Friday Bride-day

When setting a wedding date, couples tend to automatically begin by looking at Saturday afternoons. While there are certainly many advantages to having a Saturday wedding, an alternative that has become increasingly popular is the Friday wedding.

If you decide to have your wedding on a Friday, you’ll reap several rewards: both financial and otherwise. You’ll save time, you’ll probably save a significant amount of money, and you’ll find that your guests may appreciate having a Saturday free to spend time with you and the other guests they know.

Before discounting this option for the sake of tradition, consider the following five benefits of hosting your wedding on a Friday.

Maximize Your Dollar

For Friday weddings, the majority of banquet facilities, photographers, video producers, musicians/entertainers, and limousine services are much more willing to negotiate in order to reach a price that suits your budget. Vendors tend to see Friday as a bonus day, a time when they can earn income. Savings on these services can really add up, making this option a great way to save money without having to sacrifice the quality of your wedding.

Save TimeFriday Bride-day

On a Friday, you’ll probably have your wedding in the evening, which means that the ceremony is followed immediately by dinner. This means that you will avoid the extra cost and hassle of a one-to-two-hour interim reception or cocktail party. Having the ceremony and reception back to back may ensure more people at the church ceremony.Friday Bride-day

Ambiance

Friday wedding ceremonies offer the opportunity of creating a dramatic, romantic ambiance that starkly contrasts that of a bright spring afternoon. If you’ve dreamed of a candlelit wedding ceremony, dancing under the stars, or elegant evening gowns for your bridesmaids, a Friday wedding might be for you. If you live in a particularly warm climate, an evening ceremony can also help your guests to escape the uncomfortable heat and sun.

Time with Guests

When out-of-town guests come in for a Saturday wedding, they usually have to leave early the next day in order to make it back for work and school on Monday. With a Friday wedding, you have the option to take the whole day on Saturday to spend with out-of-town friends and family. Though it is probably less convenient for guests to come in to town for a Friday wedding, they may welcome the opportuFriday Bride-daynity to take a long weekend and make a mini-vacation out of your special occasion.

As with all aspects of wedding planning, it’s important to remember to consider a variety of options and to think outside the box before making final decisions. As long as your wedding party and out-of-town guests don’t mind taking a little extra time off, the benefits of a Friday wedding might just outweigh those of the traditional Saturday afternoon!

Dog Wedding

Dog Wedding

You have the groom, you have the maid of honor and you’ve sorted out your family situation for the big day. What’s missing? It might be that slobbery, furry, sloppy kissing, cute bundle of joy we call your dog! Dog Wedding! Many brides feel their faithful pooches deserve the limelight on their wedding day. This is easily accomplished as long as you pre-plan and you evaluate your dog to make sure the wedding ceremony won’t stress him or her out too much. And, let’s face it, this will probably the most low-maintenance member of your bridal party or guest list!
Dog Wedding

So, first consider what type of dog you have on your hands. A lot of canines are perfectly happy following their families wherever but some may have come from shelters, led an abused life before you rescued. Ask yourself honestly if you think your dog could handle the stress of so many people in a tight space and emotions running high. Once you’ve determined Perfect Pooch is okay being spotlighted for your wedding, decide what part he’ll take in it. Will he walk down the aisle with the ring bearer, the flower girls, a bridesmaid? Does he need to be with you at the front of the ceremony or can he make a guest appearance at the reception? Don’t forget to confirm with whatever venue you choose that pets are allowed!

Second, if you’re thinking about dressing your dog up in a tux or accessorizing them, be sure to have it fitted properly. It’s nice to find that one person who’s not in your bridal party to be charge of the dog so he’ll get proper care and they can oversee that he doesn’t eat something he’s not supposed to. This person needs to know where to get fresh water for him and should be knowledgeable about dogs – if the dog is showing signs of being overly stressed or exhaustion. Even the most mild mannered dogs can be overwhelmed in a social situation he’s never been in.

We think it’s great to include your special pet in your wedding day, just be sure to consider your dog’s needs as well as your own! Dogs are becoming like children to many couples so it’s only natural you want to include them in an important, life altering decision.  Pets at Weddings.

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Balloon and Floral Arch: Wedding décor has long been associated with the traditional arch, and over the years, the standard structure with 2 paper wedding bells has evolved to fit many types of occasions. From super casual California weddings with sheer fabrics, to over he top white lush floral covered arches that you can only dream of, the look has stayed pretty timeless and open for all kinds of interpretations. The new look? A fun and whimsical mix of sweet, loose florals and bright colorful balloons. It’s economical and oh-so- sweet. Perfect for full arches or strings of décor, this look is a fresh, new alternative to the usual wedding ceremony look.

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Pinterest Pins of the Week

Natalie Norton Photography

Olivia Palermo: We often make reference to this New York style staple when talking about new trends fresh from the runway. But this past week, socialite and fashion blogger/editor and former “The City” star wed her longtime love in a totally surprising and of course, insanely chic ensemble that made all of us stop and stare. Her look was a perfectly styled 3 piece combination of cashmere sweater, tailored dress shorts and overlayed tulle skirt all by Carolina Herrera. For a girl who has the entire fashion world watching her every last move, the look was entirely classic and timeless with a fun, modern twist with white wedding shorts. Her hair and makeup were understated and not too contrived ( she even dubbed her hair do as “ an uncontrived ponytail.”) We kind of love that she took the road to simplicity for her walk down the aisle and adored the intimate feel that her crisp, white outfit conveyed.

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Pinterest Pins of the WeekVia Coco’s Tea Party

Woodsy wedding theme: The rustic wedding theme seems to be here to stay and while we love the juxtaposition of elegance meets outdoors, there is a new take on the natural element for wedding themes. The “woodsy” wedding features more of a whimsical and “Midsummer Night’s Dream” feel with patches of moss and bark inspired paper cones for perfectly wrapped appetizers and snacks. The look can be totally topped off with bohemian strung lights and sweet, yet still rustic table linens.

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Pinterest Pins of the WeekOrganic Elements

Consider a Sunday Wedding

Consider a Sunday Wedding

Consider a Sunday Wedding

Consider a Sunday WeddingSunday Fundays aren’t just for drinking anymore. Some couples are utilizing this day to forgo tradition and have their wedding on a Sunday. We used to see few of them, but now it’s common.

Traditionally, Saturday is the most popular day for weddings. But competition for sites and services is making so-called “off peak weddings” more attractive. Even if you don’t marry in June or October, traditionally the two most popular months, a Saturday wedding can be hard to arrange. Many wedding ceremony and reception sites are booked a year or more ahead of time. So, what are some of the reasons that more couples are choosing Sunday as their wedding day?

One, they may not be able to get their favorite wedding location on a Friday evening or Saturday because it is booked-up on their chosen wedding date. Popular locations do book up early. So if you are determined on a particular site for your wedding and its booked Friday and Saturday, there’s a chance you can get it for Sunday.

Of course, this might not be true if your favorite wedding site is a church. It’ll likely be difficult to use the church since church services will be taking place that day.

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Consider a Sunday WeddingKelly Vanderploeg Photography

A second reason couples are choosing a Sunday wedding is because it’s often cheaper. Some wedding venues offer special packages on Sunday. Some photographers do the same. Not everyone will be able to give you a special rate for a Sunday wedding, but it never hurts to ask. The venue itself, if they offer a special price on Sunday, can mean a big savings.

To sum up, when you are deciding on a wedding day, don’t automatically nix Sunday. It could be a better alternative to a Friday evening wedding, or even a Saturday wedding. It could save you from the disappointment of not getting the place for your wedding you always dreamed of. And, maybe you’ll save enough money on the wedding to have a nicer honeymoon!