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Music By Design The Knot Best of Weddings 2024

Music By Design is pleased to announce they have been selected as a 2024 ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings.

tips for wedding bouquets

Wedding Flower Tips

Wedding Flower Tips

To achieve your ideal wedding flower look, it’s essential to be an informed bride or groom by knowing wedding flower trends and expert tips. One of the most fun parts of planning your wedding is selecting your wedding flowers. We put together all the must-know tips so you can plan your wedding flowers even better than you imagined.

Keep in mind your wedding dress.

Floral appliques are a huge wedding dress trend. If your wedding dress has a specific floral look, such as roses, include that type of rose in your bouquets. This will help your wedding dress and flowers be cohesive, both as you walk down the aisle and in your wedding photos. If you choose a sleek wedding dress instead of a floral one, you can select even more elaborate flowers as a perfect contrast to your sleek bridal look.

Roses, roses, and more roses…don’t get stuck on the title, go by look.

Roses are timeless wedding bouquet flowers. Have you ever seen an unfamiliar flower and are shocked to find out it’s actually a rose? Roses come in so many shapes and sizes. When you meet with your florist, bring your budget and photos of the bouquets you like. If you love an out-of-season flower that tends to be more expensive, say peonies, many Bourbon, Hybrid Perpetual, Alba, Portland, & Damask roses are the perfect look-alike choice that may be less expensive if they’re in season. Don’t get stuck on the title of your ideal flower, two different flowers could look so similar. Your budget will thank your flexibility.

Bigger isn’t always better.

In recent years, the beautiful focus of some bouquets has been the smaller, filler flowers that surround the larger ones. If you are planning a bohemian-style wedding, smaller flowers are the perfect choice either as the focus of the bouquet or even the entire bouquet. Some popular smaller flowers include Cherry Blossom, Baby’s Breath, Queen Anne’s Lace, Craspedia, Quince, or Phlox. The filler flowers are the perfect way to add texture and dimension to your bouquets.

Bring your ideas and budget, but trust your florist!

Florists are truly artists! While you should absolutely bring your plan and budget, be open to their ideas and input. They may have flowers in colors, shapes, & textures you didn’t even know existed. This is why choosing a great florist matters so much. Look on social media, wedding websites, and florists’ own websites to see photos of other bouquets they’ve created. Then you’ll be able to trust them to exceed your expectations of your wedding bouquets. An added bonus is they are experts in knowing how to give you the look you want while staying within your budget.



Choosing your wedding flowers is an important part of designing your wedding day and planning your wedding. Be sure to prepare as you meet with your florist. Bring photos of bouquets and flowers you love to show your florist and don’t forget to be transparent with your budget. A good florist can deliver stunning bridal bouquets at any price point. Happy Planning! For more wedding planning inspiration and tips check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

feed wedding vendors

Take Care Of Your Vendors! Here’s How And Why!

Take Care Of Your Vendors! Here’s How And Why!

One of the biggest things you need for your wedding day is help from vendors.

This comes in the form of both paid and un-paid vendors (thinking of your well-meaning uncle who makes his own bourbon)! The best helpers are the vendors you’ve hired such as a photographer, videographer, wedding planner and DJ or band. To show your gratitude for their work, take care of your wedding vendors! Here’s how!

Most couples are on a wedding budget. You’ll need to factor in extra meals to take care of   your vendors.

This is a subject of much debate : do you have to give a meal to your photographers or musicians? Some wedding vendors such as  planners and photographers build in a clause in their contracts. Some couples simply offer it as a common courtesy. These vendors are, after all, holding your entire wedding day memories in their hands. 

You’ll also want to speak to your caterer and ask if those meals are included in your meal fee or are they extra.

Why is it important to feed your DJ and photographer? It is important to show your gratitude by taking care of your vendors. You also don’t want them tired from lack of food, or miss important events if they’re having to only eat a snack. 

Timing is key for giving your vendors time to eat.

For photographers and videographers it’s best to have them eat while you are eating. Then, they won’t miss the cake cutting or first dance. If they come as a pair, even better! You could have them alternate as they take breaks. For the band or DJ it’s best if they eat during cocktail hour. After that, they are ready to go and get everyone up and ready to dance after dinner. 

A happy, well taken care of  vendor is one who will most likely go the extra mile for you on your wedding day. 

Booking Wedding Vendors

Bakers, caterers, DJs, photographers, florists…planning the wedding of your dreams requires an entire army of vendors and trying to figure out where to begin can be a daunting task. Follow these five easy steps for stress-free vendor selection…

Step One: Book your venue!

Selecting a venue for the wedding ceremony and reception should be your first priority. It’s crucial to find and book a locale before hiring any other vendors as the wedding location will determine the wedding date and time. Once you’ve found the perfect place to exchange “I Do’s,” you can begin booking the men and women that will make your big day possible.

Step Two: Bring in a Pro

If you’re planning to retain the services of a wedding planner, they should be your next hire. Not only will an event coordinator help you make all of your decisions, he or she can often offer specific recommendations or help you secure discounted rates with vendors.

Step Three: Prioritize

Once you’ve secured a venue and regardless of whether or not you’ve hired a planner, there’s no absolute rule about what vendor should be hired next. The best way to decide is by determining where your priorities are. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss which aspects of the wedding are most important to you. If you’re diehard foodies, focus your early energies on selecting a caterer. If you have your heart set on a specific photographer, nail him/her down. That way, you can be sure to secure the vendors you really want and disperse the bulk of your budget to the areas that matter most.

Step Four: Nab the Hard-to-Get Guys

Certain vendors, such as photographers, DJs, and videographers, are limited to only working one wedding per day. As a result, the good ones book up fast. Begin researching and setting up appointments as early as possible to guarantee a spot with your top choice in these hard-to-book categories. Vendors such as florists, stylists, and bakers are often able to work several weddings a day, so put these on the back burner until the rest of your vendors are secure.

Step Five: Follow a Timeline

Most wedding planning binders or smart phone apps offer a general timeline of what tasks should be completed at each stage of the wedding process. Stick to the timeline to ensure that you’re giving yourself ample time for all the extra responsibilities such as hiring a designer/calligrapher for invitations, making preparations for hair and makeup, choosing a wedding cake baker, and consulting with a florist. And remember the earlier you get started, the better! The best vendors are in high demand so their calendars fill up quickly. The sooner you begin contacting and hiring vendors, the better shape you’ll be in when your wedding approaches.

DJ or Band

Having the right music at your reception is essential to setting the mood, and making sure people have fun. But how do you know whether to hire a wedding band or DJ? Here are the pros and cons of each.

Wedding Band Pros

  • There truly is nothing like live music, which can energize the crowd, and get people more excited for dancing
  • Odds are, the sound quality will be better than with a DJ
  • A specific type of band can truly complete a wedding theme. (For example, a 1930s-themed wedding and a swing band, an Irish wedding and a Celtic band, or fairytale wedding with an orchestra)

Wedding Band Cons

  • For many, the cost of hiring a wedding band is prohibitive. At a cost of between $3000 and $20,000 (and up!), you’ll want to know that you’ve found the most ideal group for your wedding ever
  • Some wedding bands can really only play one sound, and have a hard time switching genres or styles. You might find yourself with one that is either too classical, too jazzy, or just plain too wedding-band-like. And, if you’ve got a favorite song, they may not be able to play it well
  • Some bands have only one volume: loud. If you’ve got a small reception venue, a wedding band might overpower it
  • Those musicians are going to need to take breaks; when the music stops, most will turn on a CD for you, and it usually lacks the same type of energy.

DJ Pros

  • The price is right. The average price for a DJ in Chicago is $1250.
  • Your first dance song can be sung by the artist that made you fall in love, rather than a pale imitation
  • Most DJs have libraries of thousands of songs. That means they’ll have music that your friends will like, as well as songs for every generation
  • Songs can quickly segue from great dance numbers to the perfect “cutting the cake song” or background music as someone makes a toast
  • DJs do not take breaks

DJ Cons

  • Beware of the bored/cheesy DJ or worse, the one on autopilot. Because many wedding DJs have their routines down pat, they can get bored. You do not want a cookie cutter wedding. No terrible jokes or try to ham it up between songs. I’ve seen an autopilot DJ play songs from the “do not play list”, ask for the bride’s father to make a toast even though he wasn’t there, and announce a couple as Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname even though the bride didn’t change her name and they specifically asked to be announced in a different way! Make sure you meet with the person who will actually be performing your wedding. See if you’ve got a vibe that meshes, and if he/she makes you feel comfortable.

Above all, do your homework. Your DJ or band will make or break your event.

source: Nina Callaway