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Wedding Day Timeline

Wedding Day Tips

Wedding Day Tips

Until you’ve planned a wedding, there are many details you wouldn’t think of. We can help you avoid letting any important details slide through the cracks. Here are some great wedding day tips so your wedding day flows smoothly.

Make sure the bridal party eats.

Your wedding day will be a long day. There is a reason doctors recommend a minimum of three meals a day. You don’t want to be exhausted by the time you and your bridal party arrive at your wedding reception. Plan meals in advance so everyone has food and time to eat.

Food To Have

For your wedding day it’s important to focus on healthy foods that will not make you feel stuffed. Arrange to have light, but substantial, mess-free foods and drinks; especially once you’re dressed. Some great wedding day food and snack options are grilled chicken, sandwiches (be careful with condiments), raw cut vegetables (be careful with dip), protein bars, crackers & cheese, popcorn, and apples. Additionally, it’s very important you remember to drink water!

Food Not To Have

Keep in mind not just your stomach, but also protecting your makeup and attire. Spaghetti sauce or fried, oily food are not your friend on your wedding day. Similarly, don’t forget to also avoid strong flavors. You don’t want to spend the rest of the day tasting, or worse smelling like, garlic or raw onion.

Stay on schedule.

Organize

Before your wedding day, it’s important your bridal party knows the layout of the day, locations, & times of specific parts. The more clear you are to your bridal party about where to be and when the less mishaps will happen. You can also ensure everyone has the schedule by making an online document your bridal party can easily pull up on their phone to reference.

Prepare

Double check times with your wedding venue the week of the wedding. Don’t assume they have the correct times. Mistakes happen, confirm in advance with your venue and wedding vendors. Don’t forget, your vendors need to eat too. While you confirm times with the venue also confirm meals are designated for your vendors. Speaking of your vendors, have a point person to pay any remaining balances or tips to the vendors and/or wait staff on the day of your wedding. You don’t need the stress of trying to find your checkbook or cash on the day of your wedding.

Things for later

The planning does not end once your wedding reception is over. If you are going on a honeymoon there are still some aspects to plan before you ride off into the sunset. Some couples prefer to have a few days between their wedding and leaving for their honeymoon. If you want to spend more time with family or out of town guests that is a great option. Alternatively, if you want to leave for your honeymoon the day after your wedding you’ll need to be prepared before your wedding day.

Packing

Make sure you have clothes both for travelling and your honeymoon. Ensure you’re not the overwhelmed newlyweds who forget underwear or socks to go on their honeymoon. It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is to plan ahead.

Logistics

If you are leaving for your honeymoon immediately, you’ll want to have a trusted friend or family member keep your wedding attire and gifts safe. Once you’ve solidified who that will be, you need to arranged transportation to the airport. If you’re using limo or car service it’s very important to book this reservation far in advance. If you’re using a family friend or family member, make sure they know when your flights are and when you have to leave so you are not late for your honeymoon.

Honeymoon Packing Tips

Photo: Arnel Hasanovic


We hope you’ll feel confident and organized from these tips as you prepare for your wedding day. For more wedding planning tips and advice check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Don’t forget to share with your engaged friends! Happy planning!

Helping Bride Wedding Planning

How To Help The Bride

How To Help The Bride

Are you a bridesmaid, friend, or family member wondering how to help the bride? That’s very thoughtful of you. That being said, there is a right and wrong way to offer your help to a bride. We will help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of how to help the bride with her wedding planning.

Do’s:

Help her assemble wedding items.

Especially the week of the wedding, a brides to-do list is massive. Help the bride by offering to do tasks she doesn’t need to be present for such as putting together welcome bags. If the bride is putting together her own centerpieces another great way to help is to put them together for her. The more tasks you can take off a bride’s to-do list, the less overwhelmed she’ll be.

Treat her to coffee and/or food.

It’s easy for a bride to get exhausted from wedding planning and organizing as the wedding day approaches. Coffee is a great way to show the bride you care and to help her get her tasks done. The day of the wedding it is very important the bride remembers to eat. Help her out by offering to bring her favorite breakfast so she feels ready for her wedding weekend.

Simply ask, “What can I do to help you?”

Sometimes brides have everything under control, however it’s always helpful to know there are extra sets of hands to help. Some bride’s feel awkward asking for help as they don’t want to bother anyone. Because of this, it makes it easier for them to get their tasks done without having to worry about inconveniencing anyone.

Don’ts:

Ask the bride questions you can easily google yourself.

We’ve established brides have endless tasks as their wedding day approaches. Forget the address to the reception? Phone a friend. Don’t remember what time the ceremony starts? Ask around. Brides have enough ducks to keep in a row without having to answer unnecessary questions.

Give too many opinions when helping the bride.

Brides have dreamed of and planned for their wedding day. If they want the centerpieces off-centered, great! If they want chairs to be stacked upside down, you got it! The name of the game is if you offer help, you’re helping the bride fulfill her vision, not your own.

Offer to help, but then don’t help.

Often wedding tasks have to be done in a timely manner due to a busy schedule. It’s important to not distract from the task at hand. If the bride has asked you to help make sure you’re being productive as opposed to socializing. You always have the option to politely decline if you don’t want to help. Better to say no than add more stress to the bride.



Are you a bride to be? What are ways you would like your loved ones to help, or not help, you? Tell us in the comments below! For more wedding planning inspiration and advice, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

Father Of The Bride Handkerchief

Mother and Father Of The Bride Gift Ideas

Mother and Father Of The Bride Gift Ideas

There are many people to thank when planning your wedding. Often, no people should be thanked more than the mother and father of the bride. Special gifts are often given to the bridal party, but you do not want to forget the two people who likely will be your best wedding planning helpers, your parents. Here are some thoughtful mother and father of the bride gift ideas.

A Handmade Photo Album Or Scrapbook

So many sentimental moments through the years culminate for your parents on your wedding day. What better way to show them you love and appreciate them than with a personalized photo album or scrapbook of photos of you together through the years? If simple is easier for you, You can use a blank photo album. In contrast, for a little more detail you could also get a wood carved album or scrapbook.  Parents will love the thoughtful gift and it’s a great idea that won’t break the bank.

Gift Certificate To The Mother & Father Of The Bride’s Favorite Restaurant

The mother and father of the bride are traditionally the hosts of the wedding, therefore lots of energy goes into both wedding planning and the wedding weekend. Because of this, a restaurant gift card is a great way to treat your parents to dinner out after a busy weekend. It’s always a relief to not have to cook dinner after a busy event.

A Handwritten Note

Is there something you’ve always wanted to say to your parents but never have? This is a great way to include them “thank you for everything” you’ve always wanted to say, or even just an, “I love you.” A handwritten note as opposed to a typed note makes it that much more special. You can even write it on pretty stationary that your parents can turn into wall décor in their home. Additionally, you could simply write a sweet thank you note to show your appreciate to them.

Keepsake Jewelry Or Handkerchief

We’ve all seen this idea all over Pinterest, but that’s because it’s a great idea! Practical gifts are always a great idea. A piece of wedding jewelry is something your mom can always wear and remember your special bond. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something that will last a lifetime. An embroidered handkerchief is a perfect gift for the bittersweet tears of their child’s wedding day. It’s practical, but it can also be a special memento to think of you. In contrast, if using the handkerchief isn’t for them, you could have a special messaged embroidered onto it and frame it for them.



As you choose for the mother and father of the bride gift remember the most important factor is meaning. The cost of the gift should not be the focus. The most special gifts are the ones that mean the most to the receiver. These thoughtful mother and father of the bride gifts are sure to bring a tear to any parents’ eye. Happy Planning! For more wedding planning inspiration, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

Curved Creative Wedding Seating

Wedding Ceremony Seating Arrangements

Wedding Ceremony Seating Arrangements

When planning your guest list, you can get creative with your wedding ceremony seating arrangements so your guests can see your special day! Especially if you are having an outdoor ceremony there are many options to choose from. That being said, not every wedding seating arrangement works for every size guest list or wedding venue. To help you decide, here are some creative wedding ceremony seating arrangements to get you thinking.

Curved Seating

If you are having a more traditional wedding but want to slightly change it up, curved seating is a great option. You can still have the traditional long wedding aisle to walk down. Your guests will love there is no bad seat in the house because of the varying of row lengths, which creates a less obstructed view. It’s also a great way to make the most use of your ceremony space if it is more wide than it is deep.

Circular Seating

Circular seating arrangements are great for more intimate weddings. Your wedding guests will be up close and personal surrounding you 360 degrees. If you enjoy having your own space, this might not be the ceremony seating option for you. However, if you don’t mind the intimacy, it is a beautiful way to surround yourselves with your loved ones on your wedding day.

Spiral Seating

If you’re going for a unique ceremony, spiral seating is a great option for you. Similar to curved seating there are no bad seats. Spiral seating works well for small or larger weddings due to it’s unique and seemingly endless shape. If you have been looking forward to walking down a long aisle, but didn’t want a traditional wedding, a spiral ceremony seating arrangement provides a long aisle with a fun twist.

Traditional Row Seating

Sometimes classic is classic for a reason. Traditional row seating works with any sized wedding ceremony and venue. If you are overwhelmed with details, row seating is the simple wedding seating arrangement you need. Guests often expect this seating arrangement for wedding ceremonies because of its traditional and common use.

Happy Planning! We hope these wedding ceremony seating ideas will help get your wedding ceremony planning started! For more wedding planning advice and inspiration check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

Mini-moon hotel

Plan A Newlywed Mini-Moon

Plan A Newlywed Mini-Moon

Are you an engaged couple with a busy work schedule or a small budget? You do not have to skip your honeymoon! The recent trend of a shorter honeymoon, also known as a mini-moon, is giving engaged couples more options! You do not have to lose out on your newlywed blissful vacation, plan a newlywed mini-moon instead! We have all you need to keep in mind to plan your perfect mini-moon.

What Is A Mini-Moon

A mini-moon is a shorter vacation in place of a honeymoon. Honeymoons are considered to last a longer length of time, such as a week or more. In contrast, a mini moon can be as short as a long weekend away or as long as four or five days on vacation. Because of the less time spent away, it’s been an increasingly popular option for couples on a tight budget as well as couples with busy work schedules or children.

Logistics Of A Mini-Moon

Because there is less of a money or time commitment mini-moons are usually based in the country a couple lives in. Flying to and from the mini-moon or driving to a closer spot make the mini-moon a possibility. Keep in mind the less time spent travelling, the more time spent relaxing on a beach or exploring your vacation spot. Though the travel time may put a limit on how far you can travel, there are plenty of hidden gem locations, or short trips, perfect for a mini-moon. Narrow vacation spots down by setting a travelling time limit.

Types Of Mini-Moons

Once you’ve set your travelling time limit, you can choose the location of your newlywed escape. One factor to keep in mind while choosing a location is whether you want to have post-wedding relaxation or exploration. If you are looking for a laying by the pool, or beach, vacation you’ll want to locate the closest vacation option poolside or beachside. If you are looking to have an adventurous, exploring mini-moon you’ll want to remember your travel time could cut into that. Consequently, for an exploring mini-moon you may choose to travel closer to have more time to explore your mini-moon destination.


Are you considering a mini-moon? Why or why not? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Barn venue

Wedding Venue Feature: Heritage Prairie Farm

Wedding Venue Feature: Heritage Prairie Farm

In the Chicagoland area there are endless wedding venues. For our June venue feature we chose Heritage Prairie Farm for its beautiful farm setting. Heritage Prairie Farm is a perfect destination for couples looking for a calm, country, & elegant venue. If you’ve been looking for a peaceful, farm wedding venue, our wedding venue feature of Heritage Prairie Farm is sure to fulfill your dreams.

1.) What makes Heritage Prairie Farm the ideal wedding venue?

Heritage Prairie Farm is the ideal venue for couples that are looking for truly all-inclusive services paired with delicious farm-to-table food in a beautiful, natural setting. When couples book with Heritage Prairie Farm, we provide a number of services in-house, including a Wedding Coordinator, customizable menus featuring produce from the fields, custom printed design, and a large inventory of rentable furniture and décor. You can truly craft your dream event from start to finish with our expert team by your side.

2.) How far in advance does Heritage Prairie Farm typically book out for weddings?

It varies, but typically a year or more before their date. We host a Tasting Event in the fall and winter for each upcoming season, which is a really fun way of jumpstarting the planning process, so typically couples are booked 1-1.5 years ahead.

3.) How many ceremony and reception settings does Heritage Prairie Farm have?

As an all-inclusive venue, each event has exclusive access to the property on their date. Outdoor ceremonies typically happen in front of the pergola overlooking the farm fields, or under our large maple tree.

Indoor or covered ceremonies take place in our rustic barn filled with twinkle lights.
Cocktail hour can take place around the grounds, either on the cocktail lawn, in the herb garden, or in the cooler months or in case of inclement weather, in the barn or greenhouse. Receptions take place in our paved, 5-peak century tent.

4.) We hear the food at Heritage Prairie Farm is second to none! What is your favorite wedding dish? Do you have advice for couples as they select their wedding cuisine?

Food is definitely a major centerpiece of what we do here at Heritage Prairie Farm. We source ingredients directly from the fields throughout the season, such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beets, carrots, radishes and so much more. You’ll find many of our dishes topped with our delicious microgreens, and all of the produce is USDA Certified Organic.

In addition to the farm-to-table ingredients, at Heritage Prairie Farm, you are not limited to picking items from a list. We have suggested wedding dishes available, but if you’d like to add in a favorite dish or even make your menu vegan-friendly, we’ve worked with all tastes and created menus with many worldly flavors present.

Some of the most popular items seen on menus here are our ball-jar elotes, pulled pork smoked on-site, and our delicious focaccia with whipped HPF honey butter. Our Executive Chef is great at helping couples navigate the process to create a menu that is true to their style, and will be talked about for years to come from friends & family. Plus, if they really can’t get enough, we always welcome you back at one of our monthly Farm Dinners for another night of farm-to-table food!

5.) Do you have multiple wedding package options? What should couples take into consideration when choosing?

Our pricing is really custom to each event and straightforward about what is included. The options are custom to your budget, so you can find a bar or food package that works for you. Some couples opt for a fuller menu, while others opt for premium spirits or additional specialty cocktails. We take care of the details like prep, setup, and service, so that you can relax and enjoy the day with your guests.

6.) Do you have any tips for couples as they look for a wedding venue?

When picking a venue, envision the parts of your day that are important to you. At Heritage Prairie Farm, we strive to take care of the details with you so that during your celebration you can relax with your friends & family as your day comes to life.


We hope our venue feature of Heritage Prairie Farm has made your wedding venue search easier. For more information on having your wedding at Heritage Prairie Farm, you can click here to fill out their inquiry. If you are in the midst of wedding planning, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below for more tips and inspiration. Happy Planning!

Short Wedding Hairstyle

Wedding Hairstyles For Your Hair Type

Wedding Hairstyles For Your Hair Type

Once you’ve chosen your wedding attire, the next step is to choose your wedding hairstyle. The endless bridal hair inspiration photos on the internet can make choosing your wedding hairstyle difficult. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind your specific hair type as you choose your wedding hairstyle. To help you decide, we put together some great advice on which are the best wedding hairstyles for your hair type.

Half-Up/Half-Down Hairstyle

A more modern option for wedding hairstyles, the half-up/half-down hairstyle, can be done in many ways. It is important to think about whether or not your hair holds curls if you want to have a curled half-up/half-down hairstyle. Even with heavy-duty hairspray some women’s hair simply will not hold a curl. Your wedding day is not a good day to try to defy the odds, so maybe choose a sleek updo instead. You want to be sure your wedding hairstyle will hold all day long. Do you have long hair or thick hair that holds a curl well? A half-up/half-down hairstyle is a great option for you.

Half-Up/Half Down Hairstyle

Hair: Hair By Hannah Taylor
Flowers: Deer Pearl Flowers

Sleek Updo

Speaking of hair not holding curls well, a sleek updo is a great option if that sounds like your hair type. A sleek updo is also a great timeless option, perfect for a formal or semi-formal wedding. There are many different options from a French twist, to a top knot, to a low bun. For thinner hair it’s important to talk with a hairstylist to ensure you can make this style work. Hair extensions are an easy option for your wedding day if you’ve fallen in love with an updo but do not have enough hair.

Ponytail Hairstyle

This hairstyle has become more popular recently. It is a great option for multiple hair types as there are so many ways to do a ponytail. For thin hair that doesn’t hold a curl, you can do a mid or low ponytail with some extra volume from teasing on top. A mid or high ponytail is a great way to keep your hair out of your face, but also to show off long, thick hair. A ponytail is also a great option if you have curly hair, or like to keep your hair au naturel. Ponytails are no longer just for playing sports! However, they are a great way to have modern, sleek formality with a stress-free hairstyle.

Short and Sleek Bridal Hair

There is something so beautiful about simply highlighting a bride’s beautiful face with a short haircut. If you aren’t a fan of growing your hair long, never fear! The options are endless from a cute bob, to a pixie cut, to a sleek, shaved look. A short and sleek hairstyle is definitely one of the most stress-free and low-maintenance of options. These hairstyles will definitely pull the eye to your face. Similarly, a large statement earring can achieve the same to compliment your hair’s face framing beauty.



We hope these tips will help you easily choose your wedding hairstyle! There are certainly many options. However, if you remember to keep your hair type in mind; your choice will be much easier. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Ballgown

A Ballroom Wedding

A Ballroom Wedding

Have you dreamed about a fairy tale wedding since you were young? A ballroom wedding is probably the exact wedding venue you’ve imagined. Especially after the last few years of smaller weddings, we expect a big return to large celebrations, perfect for a ballroom! If you’re looking for a wedding fit for a queen, here some ballroom wedding elements sure to wow!

Wedding Flowers

When planning such a formal wedding you want to think tall and grand when it comes to just about everything, but especially flowers. The grand centerpieces really help fill a large room. Tall centerpieces also add an extra touch of formality to any wedding. You can also add a beautiful floral arch at the entryway to the reception venue for some extra beauty.

Tall Centerpiece

Photography: Amy Arrington Photography, Flowers: Mollie Cushing

Ballgown Wedding Dress

While brides can wear any wedding dress they love in a ballroom, a ballgown is obviously the most popular option. That being said, if a ballgown isn’t for you, think formal and grand! Your jewelry and accessories can definitely help with this too! Think sparkly, statement pieces sure to catch the light in a ballroom. You can even add a sparkling tiara or comb in your hair to feel like a royal bride!

Wedding Cake and Desserts

When weddings are in a ballroom, often the wedding cake or desserts are the centerpiece for the room. Because of this, it’s important your wedding dessert makes a statement. The taller or larger your cake is, the better. Another option is to have an eye catching dessert or champagne display that is both functional and beautiful. Though usually the last meal of the night, it is often the highlight for guests and newlyweds alike, so think big!

Wedding Guest Attire

A ballroom wedding definitely needs a formal or black tie wedding formality.  This is the perfect formality when your bridal/groom attire is also very formal. It is also fun for your guests to get to dress up. If you are planning large group photos it is always good to communicate the dress code clearly in advance so no one is uncomfortable or sticks out in your photos.




For more wedding planning tips and inspiration check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy planning, and don’t forget to tag us in your wedding photos! We can’t wait to see your ballroom inspired wedding photos!

Day After Brunch

Day After Wedding Events

Day After Wedding Events

You’re married, you danced the night away, now what? Many couples want to extend the festivities for one last celebration after the wedding. This is a great way to spend more quality time with people you missed in the whirlwind of your wedding day. Here are a few day after wedding events to tie up your wedding weekend with a bow!

Day After Wedding Brunch

Who doesn’t love brunch? A great after wedding event option is a nice brunch for your bridal party and/or immediate family. If you have a little white dress, this is the perfect time to wear it. The nice thing about an after wedding brunch, instead of breakfast, is you’ll have time to sleep off your wedding day festivities. Many couples love the small guest list of an intimate brunch to decompress from their wedding day and spend time with their loved ones.

Informal Barbecue

If you’re done with the formality of your wedding day and are ready to be comfy, this is a great option! This event location is also the most budget friendly. You can reserve an inexpensive park pavilion, or simply use someone’s back yard. You can even have guests bring anything from buns to burgers to make it a potluck. This is a great option if you have a larger bridal party or number of people you’d like to invite.

Pizza Night

Another easy, informal option is to have people over to the hotel, or someone’s house, and order pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza? if you have a pizza night it is stress-free because it requires very little preparation. Just get some paper plates and soda, then order pizza. If you’re stressed about preparing for your honeymoon, but still want to see everyone before you leave, this is a quick and easy way to accomplish that.

Pool Day

A pool day is great option if you just need to relax. Give your bridal party the time block you’ll be there and everyone can come and go as they please. The week of your wedding can be very stressful; so lay by the pool with your friends and enjoy the the perfect ending to a stressful week. If you feel fancy, you could even set up a mimosa bar with some hors d’oeuvres. Sit back, relax and enjoy the pool with a drink in hand in with your loved ones.

As your wedding day approaches, we hope these ideas will help you decide how to end your wedding weekend with a fun event! These options can be easily tailored to your group and preferences. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy planning!

Dog Friendly Wedding Schedule

A Dog-Friendly Wedding

A Dog-Friendly Wedding

We love the trend of including dogs in wedding photos. There aren’t many things sweeter than wedding photos with the couple’s best canine companions!  To include dogs in your wedding day there are a few important details to think about first. Here’s all the information you need to have a dog-friendly wedding.

A Companion For Your Companion

If you’re going to have your pets at your wedding you will need a pet sitter to be with them while you and and your guests are busy. The best scenario is to have someone your dog is familiar with be their companion. If you have a coworker or neighbor who isn’t invited to the wedding, but knows your dog well, they will be a great option. Write out as much information on your dog’s food, toys, schedule etc. so they can help navigate the day with your dog.

Schedule The Dog

Dog’s do best with their normal routine. The last thing you want is for your poor pup to freak out on your wedding day. Have them eat their normal food at their typical times. Make sure they go on a walk at their usual time. Though it is a momentous day for you, the dog will not be able to be at their best if their routine is not taken care of. Set your dog, wedding photos, and yourself up for success.

Have A Plan B If The Dog Is Overwhelmed

There are plenty of amazing doggy daycare locations in just about every town. Confirm in advance your dog has the needed vaccinations to attend incase the wedding is too much for them. Often the drop-in rate for doggy daycare is very reasonable. You can have your dog’s companion drop them off for a stress free day to play. It’s definitely important to check in with the doggy daycare place the day before the wedding to ensure they can accommodate your dog if need be.

Pack For The Dog

It is so important to have toys that will keep your dog’s attention span if you want them to be at your ceremony and reception. Keep in mind there will be lots of overwhelming smells, so have their food and favorite treats on hand to keep them satisfied. And last, but not least, the less glamorous side: when dogs have to go, they have to go! Be prepared with supplies to clean up after your dog.

We hope this list helps you prepare for a stress-free wedding day for you and your furry best friend! Are you planning on having your dog at your wedding? We would love to hear how it went. E-mail us your story and credited vendors and photos to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com. For more wedding planning advice and inspiration check out more featured Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!