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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!

wedding planning self-care

Wedding Planning Self Care

Wedding Planning Self-Care

Some weddings go as planned. Other wedding planning processes have several bumps on the way. While we cannot change whether storms come your way, we can learn to handle them in a healthier way. Here are three wedding planning self-care tips.

The first self-care gift you can give yourself is perspective.

A wedding is an incredibly special event in life. That is why when things go awry, or not as planned, couples get upset. That being said, it is incredibly important to be aware that having a beautiful wedding is a privilege many people do not get to have. So when things go wrong, give yourself a moment to feel your feelings. We all have those moments.

Then, put it in perspective! There are people who do not have anyone to love them. There are people who do not have a home, or food to eat. When you put your wedding planning problems in perspective you will realize how small those things really are. We all can get stuck in our feelings. But we need to remember there is a difference between a disaster and a mild inconvenience. Remember, words are powerful. It’s like your mom told you when you were little swimming at the pool. Don’t yell, “Help!” unless you need it. The same goes for wedding planning bumps. Don’t call it a disaster if it isn’t one. It’s a psychological trick so you can calm your brain and problem solve.

The next self-care practice you can do for yourself is to take action.

Maybe one of your bridesmaids gets a new job and can’t come to your wedding. Potentially your favorite wedding photographer is unavailable. Perhaps you have to change your date. Whatever your bump in the road is; analyze your options, then take action. If a bridesmaid can’t be there, of course it’s sad. But there are no rules saying the bridal party sides have to be even. If that’s the worst thing to happen, you’re doing great! If your favorite vendor is unavailable, ask around your other vendors and friends. Someone will have a great recommendation you will be happy with.

And lastly, here’s the big one: your date has to change because of a natural disaster, act of God, or venue conflict. Think of options: Option #1- You get married at the courthouse or elope. Option #2- You get married at the courthouse and have your big wedding with everyone you want there, church and reception at a later date. Option #3- You postpone your wedding ceremony and all for a different date so you can have the day you imagined. Those are only a few ideas for options. I’m sure you can come up with many. See! Think of your actions and act! Don’t sit in the yuck! Strategize and make the next best decision one decision at at time.

Do not let wedding planning take over your life.

Take your wedding planning one task at a time. You have to protect  your sanity. The first way to do this is delegating tasks to your, eager to help, nearest and dearest. One of the useful aspects of having a bridal party is more hands to help. Your family might be willing to help too. Odds are, everyone will be happy to help you. It is humanly impossible to do it all on your own. Ask for help!

The next way to not let wedding planning take over your life is by taking breaks. We all need a mental break every time and again. You can designate one or two days a week to do your wedding planning. Designate a time limit too so you don’t get burned out.

And lastly, have some alone time with your fiance! Continuously reconnect so you both don’t forget what you are doing all this planning for. Date nights don’t have to be expensive! A little cuddling on the couch goes a long way. Above all else; it is important you keep your relationship a priority. A wedding day is one day. A marriage is a lifetime!



Did you find this tips helpful? Do you need more wedding planning tips and advice? Check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below!

Wedding After Party Food Truck

Wedding After Party

Wedding After Party

You’ve done it – you’re married and nothing besides Aunt May’s lost hat was catastrophic! Now you and your partner would like to continue the wedding festivities. That’s called the Wedding After Party and we’ve got some tips on how to throw the best kind!

You’ll want to scout ahead of time where you want your wedding after party.

If your venue has a hard closing time this is even more important so that you can keep the momentum going! Or perhaps you have a good family member or friend who offers their place. That’s even better since you could decorate and stock their fridge way ahead of time and you’ll know it’s open. However, you can also think about reserving a theater, bar or conference room at a hotel. You can also take into account locations: are you near a beach or live music venue? Have a bonfire or jam to a live band!

For the after party decorations no one is expecting over the top grand, but you can think of a few signature decorations.

We love the idea of using your honeymoon as the theme of the after party! Are you going someplace tropical? Then why not go to a tiki bar and hand out leis. This does require some set up beforehand so if that’s not an option explore venues that are themed.

Now comes the most important part of a wedding after party, the food!

You’ll want to be sure guests get a great bite to eat before more dancing or running around town. A food truck is a brilliant idea that can pull right up to wherever you want. Think tacos, sundaes and pizza trucks. If your after party is going to go until sun-up we suggest a breakfast. You can end up at a food truck or nice breakfast place.

When even the after party is winding down we love being thoughtful to the family and friends who have stuck with you this long.

Why not assemble a little hangover kit or next day rest spa basket? Just a few things like Alka-Seltzer, aspirin, sunglasses, bottle of water and a pack of gum for the hangover kit or scented soap, lotion, hand sanitizer and candle for the spa basket. You can have these final gifts as guests arrive at the beginning of your reception or hand them out at the after party. We love the idea of celebrating your wedding all night with those closest to you!

For more helpful wedding planning tips and inspiration, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Creative Wedding Ideas

Creative Wedding Ideas

Creative Wedding Ideas

The world is pretty stressful right now, but do not despair! We’ve got some great creative wedding ideas for you as you’re stuck inside and still wanting to plan. You will have your big day and if you’re looking for some “out of the box” ideas we’ve got you covered.

First, we have an idea for the artsy couples.

Let art literally inspire you and be part of your wedding! We are seeing brides use famous art pieces or inventing their own logos on invitations and décor. We also love the idea of having a reception at an art gallery. What  wedding venue is more chic and trendy than an art museum? Your guests will have extra entertainment looking at your favorite pieces and it’s a great conversation starter.

Second, if you’re a couple who is all about your guest list, then we suggest the “themed guest experience”.

A small wedding party tends to love this option since you can do more. Think creatively from hiring performers like belly dancers, magicians or even animal acts. It’s all about the guest experience for this idea. You can surprise your guests with a night out in the city or have costumes to change into.

Thirdly, if you’re a bride who doesn’t want to wear white, then this creative idea is for you!

Wear a bold color. No one is making you wear a white wedding dress. So, if you’d rather look at other hues like gold, rose, black or lavender. The color wheel is your friend and you can rock any color you want. We love the idea of wearing a color that matches your theme like black for a more Gothic ceremony.

No matter what creative idea you come up with you can make your big day a night to remember! For more wedding planning tips and advice check out the blog posts below! Happy planning!

Cons Of A First Look

The Pros And Cons Of Doing A First Look

The Pros And Cons Of Doing A First Look

The last few years a new trend called a, “first look,” has become more common. A first look is a moment, before walking down the aisle, where the engaged couple, or selective family members, see each other. Often, only the couple and a photographer are there. While other couples choose not to do a first look to keep the emotion of walking down the aisle. Are you undecided about doing a first look? Here are the pros and cons of doing a first look.

The Pros Of Doing A First Look:

1.) If you are shy, you can have a more private moment.

Some people do not like people looking at them when they are emotional. If this sounds like you, a first look will make you feel more comfortable. You can get your emotions out and calm your nerves by seeing your fiance, or family member before doing it in front of your family and friends.

2.) You can have photos documenting only the reaction of your fiance or beloved family member.

Often there are a lot of people who attend your wedding. If you do a first look it is an easy way to choose whose reaction you will definitely document.  Then you can start your wedding day knowing you have beautiful photographic memories of the first time you and your fiance, or family member, saw each other on your wedding day.

3.) You want to spend more time mingling and less time taking photos after the ceremony.

A practical reason to have a first look is to save time. If you get some of your couple, bridal party, or family photos done before the wedding you give yourself more time to have fun later. Often there is down time before the wedding ceremony you can use to allot for photos. Then, you can spend your entire cocktail hour enjoying with your guests.

The Cons Of Doing A First Look

1.) You won’t have the traditional “coming down the aisle” reaction.

If you love the moment where the engaged couple see each other coming down the aisle for the first time, don’t do a first look. Some couples love the idea of walking down the aisle and seeing their fiance as a bride or groom during the ceremony for the first time. Think about whether you want to embrace the tradition of surprise not knowing what your fiance looks like coming down the aisle, or do that before the ceremony.

2.) You want time to relax before the ceremony.

Your wedding day is a busy day. If you plan on being stressed the day of your wedding, maybe don’t do a first look. Doing this will build extra time before your wedding ceremony for you to relax, breathe, and think about your day ahead. No need to cram things into your schedule before the ceremony. Another great way to use this time is to drink water and eat! It’s easy to forget that on your wedding day.

3.) You might not have as much raw emotion during your wedding ceremony.

Some people would be emotional regardless of whether they did a first look before the ceremony. But, if you are looking forward to the photos of the overwhelming love you feel for each other during the ceremony; maybe don’t do a first look to save it for the ceremony. Everyone is different, so think of your priorities and personalities.




Did you do a first look? Are you not doing a first look? Do you recommend or discourage a first look? Why? Comment below! For more wedding planning tips and advice check out the recommended blog posts below.

Arcade Bachelor Party Ideas

Bachelor Party Ideas

Bachelor Party Ideas

It’s 2020, gents. There are better ways to celebrate your upcoming wedding day. Either in movies or real life, we’ve seen the cringe-worthy proverbial bachelor parties where men go to a strip club; despite the fact they’re soon to be married. If you are looking for a fun, yet relationship affirming bachelor party; here are some great ideas you won’t regreat.

Challenge Your Friend Group To An Endurance Test

Have you ever heard of a “Tough Mudder?” The Tough Mudder will test your group’s endurance by putting you through a ten mile long obstacle course! What better way to get healthy before you begin your married life than an obstacle course challenge with your best friends? A little healthy competition is always fun. It will create memories sure to last for a long time.

Go On A Staycation

You can all stay home, but plan a weekend together. Go to your favorite: restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, or arcades. You don’t have to go far away on a vacation. Spend a weekend celebrating your friendship by going to all your favorite places and simply having fun. You know what you have fun doing, so keep it simple and go do that.

Try Something New

Never tried Zumba before? Take your groomsmen to do that! Never played golf before? Go find a golf course! How about a painting class? Or if you’re feeling brave, a ballet class. The most hilarious times with our friends often come from new situations. Whether you’re incredibly uncoordinated or a professional-grade athlete; this idea will be fun for everyone. Just don’t forget your sense of humor.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors

A less expensive option for a bachelor party is camping. The stay is free as long as someone already has a tent. All you’d have to provide is the food for you to grill up. You could also pay to do extras such as canoeing, kayaking, or tubing. You can easily tailor this one to your wedding budget. Who doesn’t love a night under the stars with a bonfire?

We hope these bachelor party suggestions gave you some unique ideas. No matter what bachelor party you choose, it is sure to create memories for you to laugh about for years. For more inspiration and wedding planning tips & tricks check out the blog posts below!

No Makeup Wedding

No Makeup Wedding

No Make Up Wedding

Have you ever thought about having a no makeup wedding? To most brides, this is a terrifying thought. We have tips on how to achieve a natural look if you can’t bear the thought of going completely without! Especially if your wedding day is in the summer and don’t want all that product dripping down your face – even if all those products say they are sweat proof.

The first step to a no-makeup wedding look is glowy skin.

Find a great exfoliator to rub those dead skin cells away. Then, instead of a foundation you can try a BB, CC or tinted moisturizer cream. A lot of BB creams or tinted moisturizers come with SPF in them. You can’t go wrong with protecting that glowing skin!
Another way to avoid foundation is to just use a concealer for those trouble spots. We love concealers with a wand so you can be sure to get the foundation exactly where you want it. Use a sponge to blend into your skin and you’ll have that flawless, dewy skin look without a lot of foundation!

Next step to getting the no-makeup look is to make sure your eyelashes are wide open.

Use a thick mascara to get those lashes to pop and curl up! Along with lashes are brows. If you’ve got naturally shaped and thick brows congrats! But for those who have some thin spots we recommend just filling them in with a brow gel to get a more consistent look for wedding pictures.

The final touches we love are using a highlighter on your skin.

When you use highlighter it helps make you appear natural in your wedding photos and look like “you woke up like this”. The facial part that brings it all together is lips. We find that even a simple tinted lip balm gives you a soft, weightless look.

See! You don’t need a lot of makeup to get that smooth, glowing skin look. If you’re a bride who doesn’t want a glam squad on the big day than these steps are easy to do! Best wishes on planning your wedding! We hope you find more inspiration and tips from the blog posts below! 

Wedding Checklist

Wedding Checklist

Wedding Checklist

You’ve taken the engagement pictures and announced to everyone you’re getting married! Now, comes the planning part. A Wedding checklist can be very helpful. So what type of list are we talking about? That depends on how far out you are from the date.

If your wedding date is a year or more away here are some things we recommend checking off:

  1. Make sure the date and time are available for your venue/religious establishment
  2. Establish a budget
  3. Decide how big you want your wedding to be
  4. Choose your wedding party
  5. Pick a theme or color scheme
  6. Meet and book officiant
  7. Begin the guest list

These are some bigger checklist items that you don’t need to get super detailed quite yet. A lot of them like picking your wedding party and the guest list can be fun. Some brides like to find fun, sentimental ways to ask their bridesmaids to be in the wedding.

If your wedding date is nine months or shorter here are some recommended wedding checklist things to look at:

  1. Announce the engagement
  2. Get your wedding dress and plan any alterations
  3. Meet and book photographer/videographer
  4. Meet and book any entertainment like a Chicago Wedding DJ or live music
  5. Book the florist
  6. Get the details on the venue – do you need to rent chair covers, table clothes, linens, etc.
  7. Research nearby hotel accommodations for out of town guests
  8. Look at Honeymoon Options

If you are less than four months out here’s what you should be looking at:

  1. Decide on wedding vows
  2. Marriage license
  3. Compile guest lists for showers and give to maid of honor or whoever is throwing the shower
  4. Plan bachelor/bachelorette party
  5. Confirm music and event details
  6. Purchase parents’ gifts and wedding party gifts
  7. Have programs printed
  8. Make hair and beauty appointments for the big day
  9. Get final dress fitting and any alterations

There are a million other details you could get caught up in as well! These are basic, general wedding checklist items you’ll want to think about.

Wedding Day Peace with Bridesmaids

How to Keep the Peace
You’ve all seen it: The drama that unfolds when brides select their bridesmaids and someone feels left out. In some cases, this kills lifelong friendships. In others, all it takes is a small explanation. I think most people are upset because picking bridesmaids says something about the quality of your relationship with that person. Since the wedding is such an important day, the people you pick understand how much you mean to them. Friends often feel that if they are asked to be in someone’s wedding, they must return the favor and extend the invitation. This may not always be the case. So here are a few tips for helping you keep the peace with bridesmaids and friends.

Remember: It’s YOUR Day
Sounds silly, I know, but at the end of the day this is YOUR wedding. It’s not your parents’. It’s not your best friend’s. It’s not your sister’s. It’s yours. So with that comes some responsibilities, but also an enormous amount of privilege. This is your day and you make the rules. You only want two bridesmaids? Then do it. You can’t build your wedding based on what everyone else expects or wants.

Be honest
Simple concept, but you would be surprised how many people struggle with it. Most of the time the dishonesty comes about from fear of hurting someone’s feelings. More ugliness typically results from people failing to just be honest. Let’s say you have a friend who asked you to be in her wedding and you obliged. Now it’s your turn, but you don’t want that friend in your wedding, because you’d like to keep your party small. Rather than doing something silly like trying to “include them without including them,” speak to them in person and explain yourself clearly. A good friend will usually understand.

Include Others
Just because you didn’t invite the person to be in your wedding party, doesn’t mean you can’t involve them in all the other activities. You could even let them plan or host a  bridal shower or party. This is a much better alternative than giving them the title of “House Party” or “Honorary Attendant” when they don’t actually do anything. If you keep constant contact with the person and continue to let them know they are important to you, the fact that they aren’t in your wedding will be easily forgotten.

Smartphone Apps For Weddings

Gone are the days of relying on the primitive method of pens and papers to keep track of your wedding plans and inspiration. Nowadays you need to look no further than your Smartphone for a slew of helpful, wedding-related apps to make your planning go a lot more smoothly. Here is a list of Smartphone apps for your big day:

iWedding: Organize your entire wedding and reception with this comprehensive iPhone app. Keep a running To-Do list, track your budget, administrate your guest list and RSVPs, and collect wedding inspiration.

Wedding911: This iPhone app, provided by The Knot, helps brides-to-be overcome wedding-related emergencies. Users can instantly access hundreds of helpful Q & A’s and advice columns about wedding dilemmas and post their own urgent questions.

WeddingGuest: Keep your invite list organized with this helpful app that tracks and organizes your various guest lists (divided by ceremony and reception) to help you create a comprehensive list of invitees. Each list is also exportable to spreadsheets or plain text files.

BRIDES Wedding Genius: This user-friendly app from BRIDES magazine provides brides with detailed photos of bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and his & her jewelry, complete with zoom and locate features. It also keeps you organized with to-do lists, reminders, inspiration ideas, expert advice, and customizable folders for various wedding-related files.

Wedding Day: If you’re eager to know the exact time, down to the second, until you say ‘I Do’, then this countdown is the app for you. After the wedding is over, the countdown changes directions, letting you see the exact amount of time you’ve been a happily married couple.

iBridalGown: This app is a shopper’s best friend, helping you keep track of potential wedding dresses after you’ve tried them on. The app stores all the pertinent info regarding each of your wedding gown hopefuls like style, designer, cost, location, and photos.

Wedding Vows: Browse through a diverse collection of wedding vows at any time with this app. Search by keyword or style and save your favorites to a customizable list. Tweak and edit the vows to create your own heartfelt oath for your wedding day.

SHAPE Bride: If you’re trying to slim down or tone up for your big day, this app is for you. Browse through workouts, diet tips, and recipes and record your progress in an interactive and shareable workout log.

iBouquet: Thinking about putting together your own flower arrangements for the wedding? Try a few samples with this interactive app. Choose flowers and colors and arrange them on your phone to view samples of what works and what doesn’t.