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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!

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!

White wedding

Return To A Classic Wedding

Return To A Classic Wedding

For 2019 we are going to see a return to classic wedding! We’ve seen so many rustic and bohemian themed weddings that it’s a breath of fresh air to return to classic elegance. What should you keep in mind for a classic wedding? We can help.

First, the color white.

Weddings are usually symbolic of the white (in various shades), but a classic wedding keeps white flowers. If you want a pop of color stick to greenery. The classic wedding is clean and elegant. Choose clean and classic  flower arrangements, and avoid a floral crown. It’s best left to the flower girls.
A simple décor with white flowers is classic. Too much decoration is distracting for your guests. This will create stunning photos with clear crystal chandeliers or sleek draping.

Second, you’ll want to wear a more traditional dress with a long veil.

A classic style also utilizes long sleeves on the wedding dress. There are several styles right now that are stunning, even a little Victorian. Keep the accessories minimal. You want be the center of attention and not your baubles. Your groom and the groomsmen should also keep things simple with dark suits or tuxes. The boutonniere’s should be simple florals as well.

Third, the wedding cake will complete your classic wedding.

A multi-tier white cake with tasteful décor and topper are perfect for the return to classic. The flavors inside can be where you get adventurous and bold!

The classic wedding also pays homage to tradition. You can re-create an old wedding photo of your parents’ day. Think clean lines, elegant refinement and a neutral color palette for your classic wedding!



Are you going to have a classic wedding? Did you apply this classic wedding style to your wedding? E-Mail us your photos with credited vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com

Why Hire A Wedding Planner?

Why Hire A Wedding Planner?

You’re already strapped for cash as it is, so why hire a wedding planner?

We’re delving into this big question because The Knot found that 29% of brides in 2018 hired a planner. Reasons to hire a wedding planner run the gamut from “control freak” to “disorganized hot mess”. If you’re very strict and like to control every detail a planner can still be a good idea to help keep your wedding planning checklist on track. If you’re always late and never remember to feed the dog then a wedding planner will help organize and keep you calm.

Even if you’re on a tight wedding budget, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t have to be a huge expense.

In fact, if you choose wisely, you could end up saving money in the long run! A planner will go over your budget and the legal contracts for venues, live entertainment, etc. They can see holes where money is going down before you do. A lot of wedding planners also have contacts in the industry and can possibly get you discounts. Vendors would sometimes rather bother a planner rather than you since you’re already stressed. A wedding planner is the middleman who takes the emotion out of a stressful situation.

Another great reason to hire a wedding planner is that they are in your corner 100%, they will fight for your dream wedding!

You definitely need to vibe with your planner because they are the ones who can make your vision a reality. The venues and vendors go through several weddings a month, but a wedding planner is solely focused on what you want.

Lastly, hiring a wedding planner is genius because they can coordinate your entire day. If you’re switching between ceremony and reception venues a planner will make sure the transition is smooth. They are worrying about the little details while you enjoy your special day! Even if you can’t afford a planner for the whole day, having one for part of it will make a lot less hassle for you.

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. 

Wedding Budget Strategies

Wedding Budget Strategies

Wedding Budget Strategies

Time is of the essence after getting engaged. That is, unless you plan on hiring someone to take care of all the details i.e. a wedding planner, which by the way runs on an average of $2,500 to $4,000. To help guide you, here are 5 ways to help maximize your wedding budget and plan accordingly.

1) Prioritize – Right away, you will want to prioritize your most important aspects of the wedding to your fiancé and you. Will the groom just die if you do not have a Hummer limo? Or, are photos more important to you?

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Wedding Budget StrategiesChicago Hummer Limo

2) In-season / Off-season – Having your wedding during the most popular wedding months are a key indicator that your costs will reflect this as well.

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Wedding Budget StrategiesJill Thomas Photography

3) Day of the Week- Saturdays typically tend to be the most popular day to host a wedding. However, many vendors will give deep discounts for choosing a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. If you really like a venue, but the Saturday prices are too steep, consider having the event on an “off” day.

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Wedding Budget Strategies

4) Limit Guest List– This might not make you the most favored person, but friends and family whom understand that budget is a big factor should understand. Be choosy about whom you invite. Don’t feel obligated to invite people that aren’t very important to you or you have lost touch with. Just because you were invited to your friend from college’s wedding five years ago does not mean you must invite her to your event.

5) Location, Location, Location – Your location definitely impacts tax, gratuity, and other factors. If you choose a ritzy hotel in the city versus a banquet hall in a rural area you are likely to pay less just because of location alone. Take into consideration that these places also may charge for parking, valet, etc.

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Wedding Budget StrategiesOlivia Leigh Photography at The Newberry Library

There are many decisions to consider and finding what is most important is the best way to help figure out where to splurge and where to be conservative. Please stay tuned for Part Two of Wedding Budget Strategies for the last five ways to help save you some moolah!

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

As I’m sure you have quickly realized – weddings are not cheap. The best way you can keep costs down is by 1) eloping or 2) having a destination wedding. Why are destination weddings a growing trend?

1. Virtually Stress-Free

Pop in the classic movie “Father of the Bride”, and you’ll soon understand why destination weddings are so popular. They are almost guaranteed to be simpler (and faster!) to plan than a traditional wedding and reception.

If you’re not getting married at a resort, you can hire a stateside wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings or start early and do it yourself. Either way, you won’t have to plan a reception, and won’t that be a relief?!

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5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

2. No Drama, Mama

The second reason destination weddings rule? No scene-stealing family drama. Dread having to see your horrible Aunt Rose with the bad breath, or your Uncle Rob with the napoleon complex in tow with fifteen screaming kids? If you don’t want your dream wedding turning into big affair filled of barely-remembered relatives and nodding acquaintances, a destination wedding can a tactful way to dissuade them from attending.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

3. Cost Effective

The affordability of a destination wedding has many couples speeding off to the airport faster than you can say “I do.” For instance, a couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, get married, and stay for a deluxe week long honeymoon for a few thousand dollars, including lodging, meals, drinks, and airfare. Compare that with your average 150-guest wedding costing about $22,000 — which can easily skyrocket to more than $40,000+ in big cities — plus a few extra thousand for a honeymoon. To ease the financial burden, many couples opt to travel to a place where they can get married, have a honeymoon, and still have some money left over to start their new lives together.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

 4. You Call The Shots

While formal weddings hold meaning for many couples, linking them to the traditions of their ancestors and culture, others want the experience to be unique, with a ceremony and location that reflect their true colors. The world is your altar. You make the rules! Feel free to wear a sundress or shorts (even a bikini!), go barefoot, carry fern fronds, hire a ukulele band, and toast your love alone on your balcony at sunset. If you can dream it, you can do it.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Destination WeddingHelen Havard Photography

5. You’re Already on your Honeymoon!

The best thing about a destination wedding is that you can combine a honeymoon vacation with the actual ceremony itself. Still want that tropical wedding on the beach? Many resorts offer wedding/honeymoon packages, where you get married, have the reception, and enjoy your honeymoon right at the same resort. This is particularly true in popular honeymoon destinations, such as Thailand and Hawaii.

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5 Reasons to Consider a Destination WeddingWhite Orchid Wedding

At a typical wedding, you’re on the run, meeting and greeting. Destination weddings are on vacation time. You’re usually required to arrive a few days early to fill out the paperwork, so by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ve had two to three days of fun with your sweetie, family, and friends. How often do you have the opportunity to spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is your chance.

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.

Wedding Planners: Pros & Cons

When it comes to the organization of your big day, a wedding planner can be a godsend, helping to oversee every minute detail of your ceremony and reception and ensure the day goes off without a hitch. With that said, the decision to hire a wedding planner is a big one and for all their benefits, there are some drawbacks as well. Before you pull the trigger on bringing in a professional to handle the event, here are a few pros and cons to consider:

Pros for Planners:

-Stress relief: Hiring a trained professional to take over responsibility of the wedding will remove the burden from your shoulders allowing you to focus on the upcoming wedding with excitement and anticipation. Organizing an event for hundreds of guests is so small feat. Wedding planners are experts at it; you are not.

-Connections: An experienced wedding planner will most likely have established relationships with local wedding vendors and professionals, which can help in a bind and with a budget. Due to their connections, wedding planners can often get deals and discounts unavailable to the public, and they can call in favors in a sticky situation.

-Expert Execution: Regardless of your best intentions or the number of wedding magazines you’ve scoured through, there’s a chance that some elements of your dream wedding might not come true due to your lack of experience. An experienced and professional wedding planner will help ensure that every detail of the wedding will be cohesive, stylish, and excellent.

Cons for Planners:

-Cost: Unfortunately, hiring a wedding planner isn’t a minor expense. Typically, you can expect to spend 10-15% of the wedding budget on a planner’s services. If you’re on a particularly tight budget, splurging on a wedding planner might mean sacrificing in other areas.

-Conflicts: For the months it takes to plan your wedding, you and your wedding planner will be in constant communication, figuring out the details of your big day. If you hire a planner that has a distinctly different personality or style than your own, you might be setting yourself up for unnecessary conflict. Be sure to thoroughly interview each candidate ahead of time and only hire a person you feel comfortable working closely with.

-Lack of Participation: Although hiring a wedding planner can be a great way to relieve stress, it also leaves you with a less hands-on approach to the nuptial organization. Although you’ll have input and authority over the planning decisions, leaving the organization to a professional can leave you feeling a little detached from the process. If you’re the type of person who wants to soak up every part of the wedding execution—from addressing invitations to assembling favors—you might regret the decision to bring in a hired hand.

Tying The Knot Wedding Planners

Bridezilla

Planning a wedding can be stressful, there’s no doubt about it. It’s expensive and time-consuming and no one seems to care about it quite as much as you do. With all of the added stress, it’s easy to become a little irrational and difficult to deal with, despite your best intentions. Here are a few ways to avoid becoming a total bridezilla in the months leading up to your nuptials…

Keep Your Priorities Straight: Yes, there are invitations to be mailed, flowers to be arranged, dresses to be ordered, food to be selected, but what’s the point of all of that? This wedding, above everything else, is about uniting your life with another, making a public declaration of your love, and committing to become husband and wife. As important as the favors or centerpieces or seating chart might seem right now, at the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your fiancé. When you feel the pressure of wedding planning creeping up on you, take a moment to remember why you’re putting together a wedding in the first place.

Keep Yourself Organized: Regardless of how big or small your wedding day is going to be, there are still tasks to be done. One of the biggest causes of bridezilladom is overwhelming stress. Avoid the added anxiety by staying on top of things. Buy a wedding planner, make checklists, and plan your time efficiently.

Continue Living Your Life: Although it may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the month to get everything done before saying “I do,” it simply can’t be all wedding, all the time. You (and most definitely your fiancé) need a break from the wedding stress from time to time. Set aside non-wedding hours each week where you can spend an evening with your partner having fun and talking about anything but the upcoming nuptials. Or set up a girls’ night with some friends or an afternoon of solitary pampering.

Ask for Help: You don’t need to carry the full weight the wedding on your shoulders. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, and most certainly, your fiancé (Operation Groom Involvement). Even if you’re a total control freak, there are always tasks that can be done by others, you just need to reach out to the people in your life. However, when you ask…

Be Respectful of Others: Be considerate of time and expense when asking friends and family for help. Your maid of honor and bridesmaids should be there for you in your time of need, but it’s unreasonable to expect them to be at your beck and call 24 hours a day. Be honest with them about your needs and schedule a time that’s convenient for them. Be thoughtful about their budgetary concerns and limitations when picking out dresses, shoes, and activities they’re expected to participate in. Wedding Timelines.

Show Your Appreciation: Don’t forget to say ‘thanks’ to everyone who’s lent a helping hand throughout the planning process. Nothing says bridezilla more than an ungrateful or entitled bride. Be sure to express your sincerest gratitude to everyone—friends, relatives, vendors—who give of their time and finances to help make your wedding day a beautiful reality. Thank you card etiquette.