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Slow Down your wedding day

Three Ways To Slow Down & 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!

Golf Themed Wedding

Golf Themed Wedding

Golf Themed Wedding

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

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

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

1) The Attire

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

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Golf Themed WeddingBy Krista Campbell

2) The cake

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

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Golf Themed Weddingvia Cake Central

3) Grand Entrance / Exit

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

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Golf Themed Wedding

Todd Pellowe Photography

4) The Décor

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

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Golf Themed WeddingVia Favor Ideas

5) Program

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

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Golf Themed WeddingVia Oh So Beautiful Paper

Tips for Interfaith Weddings

Tips For Interfaith Weddings

Tips For Interfaith Weddings

We’re a melting pot of different ethnicities,  cultures, races, etc. and it only seems fitting to intertwine these traditions be included in your wedding day. Whether it’s a prayer or dance, these small details can enhance your guests experience and hold powerful meaning for the two of you.

While the obvious differences in an interfaith marriage should be discussed way before your wedding day (how to raise the children, what do Mom and Dad think), in the engagement period you need to go over any conflicts the two of you have.

DO

  • Have family members from each side read a blessing or prayer from their religious tradition.
  • Provide translations of any rituals performed in other languages.
  • Conduct a “unity” ritual from both faiths, such as the sharing of a cup of wine (Judaism), lighting a unity candle (Christianity), wearing crowns (Greek Orthodox) or hand fasting (Celtic).
  • Illustrate each family’s support by having both sets of parents walk their children down the aisle.
  • Determine who will officiate the wedding: Some interfaith couples opt for two clergy members, one from each person’s faith, to perform the ceremony. Others look for interfaith officiants who have performed interfaith weddings in the past.

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Tips For Interfaith WeddingsAlison Conklin Photography

DON’T

  • Step on toes: respect each family’s strong ties to their own religious traditions and tactfully and carefully explain how rituals from both heritages will be included.
  • Forget your guests: describe the different religious rituals in your program and provide translations.
  • Try to do too much: you can’t replicate the entire wedding ceremonies for each tradition; your guests will be bored and your wedding ceremony will lose some of its intensity. Careful editing of the ceremony elements is pertinent to a good ceremony.

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Tips For Interfaith Weddingsvia Interfaith Weddings

Creating an interfaith wedding that is meaningful, memorable and perfectly you starts focusing on personalizing the ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs, and values of you as a couple and your families.

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Planning a Jewish Wedding

Mazel Tov! So you’re newly engaged? Well, welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning. Whether you are a devout Jew or not, there are many customs and traditions that you try to incorporate into your big day to keep tradition alive. Some of these ideas include the following:

1. Choosing the Date

Sabbath falls on a Friday night, and devout or strict Jewish people view this as a big no-no. Jewish weddings are generally prohibited on Shabbat and festivals–including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot- and many other holidays. Because many of these dates fall during prime wedding season (spring-summer), it’s important to check an accurate Jewish calendar (such as www.hebcal.com) before you select a date.

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Planning a Jewish Wedding

2. Choosing a Ketubah

If you’ve already acquired a marriage license through your county/state, you understand this document represents your union as husband and wife in the legal sense. Well, in Jewish culture, you sign yet another license as well. Traditionally, a ketubah served as a kind of premarital contract, outlining a bride’s ongoing rights: food, clothing, and even sex should be provided during the course of the marriage. The ketubah also specified her rights in the case of her husband’s death or their divorce. Many contemporary couples choose to veer away from the traditional ketubah text and its implications and instead choose a text that expresses their hopes and commitments for their marriage.

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Planning a Jewish Weddingvia Gallery Judaica

3. Selecting a Huppah

If you have ever attended a Jewish ceremony, you’ve probably wondered what the large canopy covering the couple and officiant is. Well, that is a huppah. It creates a sacred space that is both open for all to see and private and intimate for the couple beneath it. It symbolizes their new home together.

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Planning a Jewish Weddingvia The Knot

4. Breaking the Wedding Glass

At the conclusion of the blessings, the groom breaks the glass with his right foot, as an additional remembrance of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Traditionally, this custom was also incorporated into the ceremony to remind everyone that even at the height of one’s personal joy, we must, nevertheless, remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the breaking of our hearts in remembrance.

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Planning a Jewish Wedding

Sloan Photographers

5. Traditional Jewish Wedding Dance Options

Two of the most traditional and well-known Jewish wedding dance numbers are the Hora and the Mezinke Tanz (Krenzl). These two dances are often done during a Jewish wedding reception.

During the Hora, the bride and groom are lifted above the shoulders of guests. Sitting upon chairs, they may wave handkerchiefs at each other or hold onto the ends of a single handkerchief. Be careful not to drop them! While hoisting the two in the air, a large circle of guests dances around them clockwise or counterclockwise

The Mezinke Tanz is a dance that arose out of the traditional Krenzl. Krenzl, which refers to a crown, occurred when the last daughter was married. This is a special dance for the mother as they adorn her with a crown of flowers.

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Planning a Jewish WeddingHeidi Vail Photography

 

Jumping The Broom

Jumping the Broom

You may have heard of “jumping the broom” and “typing the knot,” but in the African American community, these are more than just expressions. It is a tradition stemming back to the days of slavery when slaves were forbidden from marrying. They created this ritual to represent the beginning of their new life together. In modern ceremonies, couples jump over a broom, often decorated with adornments of flowers, herbs, ribbon, and tulle, after they’re pronounced married. Tying the knot is a symbol to represent unity. Cloth, twine, or other forms are used to bind them together literally.

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Jumping The BroomVia Tri Wedding Central

Tradition, customs, and honoring your ancestors are very big in this community. There are countless ways to honor your ancestors during your wedding ceremony and reception. You may also choose to add ethnic touches including a Libation ceremony which is held to honor elders. During the ceremony a prayer is said and an elder presents water or liquor as an offering to God and the ancestral spirits for their blessing.

Food and drink is important at all weddings, but for African American ceremonies, these are integral parts of the day. During the ceremony, there is a tradition that involves tasting the four elements: lemon for sour, vinegar for bitter, cayenne pepper for hot, and honey for sweet. The four tastes represent the different times or moods of married life.

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Jumping The Broomvia Simply Elegant Brial

And, you can’t forget the beat of the drums! Music is very important to families, and when music is made…comes the dancing! You can walk down the aisle to their rich sounds or have them lead a bridal march after the ceremony. The sound of drums also has historical significance for African-Americans since drums were outlawed during slavery because they were seen as a coded means of communication between the slaves. Check with local music schools, African-American newspapers, and cultural centers to find drummers in your area.