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kids at a wedding

Keeping Kids Busy at a Wedding

Keeping Kids Busy at a Wedding

Kids add so much hilarity to weddings, however, you want to be sure to keep them busy during the right times. It is important to keep in mind the length of your ceremony so the kids do not run out of things to keep them occupied. Although the focus usually goes on keeping the adults happy, open bar, and a good DJ, anyone? your younger guests deserve the same amount of consideration. Whether they are in the bridal party or simply esteemed guests everyone will be happier with these fun ideas for keeping kids busy at a wedding.

The Ceremony

Let’s start with the ceremony. The options you will have available to the kids will differ depending on whether you are having a full-length church ceremony or a quick ceremony at your reception venue.

Full-Length Church Ceremony

If you are having a full-length church ceremony, likely it will last an hour or more. Consequently, kids will need more time-consuming activities. Coloring books and crayons are the perfect quiet time-consuming activity. Luckily you can even buy these at the dollar store, so they are great for your wedding budget! A nice aspect of coloring books & crayons is they are mess-free and easily tailored to the interests of the kids. For example, if you know your niece and nephew are in love with Paw Patrol, coloring pages with those characters will be a hit!

A Quick Reception Venue Ceremony

Obviously with kids, and some adults, a quick ceremony is ideal. In this case, small fidget toys are a great option. Small toys buy you just enough time for the ceremony to be as quiet as possible before the kids’ imaginations get bored. Again, thank you dollar stores. If you are around kids at all, you’ll know fidget toys are all the rage nowadays. Kids will be more than happy getting to keep a fidget toy as a memento from your wedding.

After The Ceremony

You’ve gotten married! Now everyone can let loose a bit. However, don’t forget kids are less patient than adults. There are still plenty of things to keep in mind when trying to keep little ones busy.

Wedding Photos

Once the wedding is over, the next most difficult aspect for kids, specifically kids who are in the bridal party, will be wedding photos. It can be really boring for kids to stand around waiting for it to be their turn. Pro tip: take all photos that will involve the kids first, then let them go run, play, & eat. In the meantime, while they’re waiting for photos to start, have mess-free snacks ready. Think pretzels, goldfish crackers, peanuts, and no snacks that have color, juice, or oil. No one likes being hangry, especially kids who are having to wait. Kids will be much happier, and more cooperative if they’re not hangry during the wedding photos.

During the Reception

Yay! You’ve made it through the wedding ceremony, through photos, & now it’s time to party! The easiest idea to keep kids occupied during dinner is more ness-free (crayons) coloring. Similarly, quiet activities that keep kids still so their parents can eat, or during speeches are important. Quiet, open-ended toys are great for kids when they need to take up some time. Kids love making things out of nothing, so everything from tape, to beads, to pipe cleaners, to pompoms is right up their alley. Odds are you’ll be amazed at the quiet busyness of the kids’ table! If the venue has paper table cloths available, that is the easiest way to incorporate a coloring option as well.

Are you having a photo booth at the wedding reception? If not, you should definitely consider it! Adults and kids alike love taking silly photos with all the props. Similarly, another fun momento would be for the kids to make their own photo booth prop, think mask, or crown. You can easily find cutout templates off google images to tailor this to boys and girls alike.



Did you have kids at your wedding? Are you going to? How did you keep them occupied? We’d love to see it! Submit your kid-friendly wedding to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com. For more wedding planning advice and inspiration, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

all bridak

2022 Oscars Style Bridal Inspiration

While everyone else was distracted by the slap heard round the world, we at Chicago Wedding Blog saw some gorgeous 2022 Oscars style bridal inspiration. If you are a bride planning your upcoming wedding, there are many Oscars style elements you can incorporate into your bridal gown. From gorgeous beading, to minimalist fabric details, 2022 Oscar style has your name all over it! Here is some inspiration to keep your eye out for as you shop for your 2022/2023 bridal gown!

Bride and bridesmaids look feel best

Brides and Bridesmaids: What to Wear to Look and Feel Your Best

There are more styles for brides & bridesmaids to wear on wedding days than ever before. However, this does pose some logistical challenges. Brides and bridesmaids have to coordinate necklines and skirts with figure, undergarments, dress lengths, and shoes. It is important to keep a few details in mind as you plan your bridal party’s wedding attire. Here is what you need to know, brides and bridesmaids, about what to wear to look and feel your best.

Chicago Wedding

A Chicago Wedding

A Chicago Wedding

Chicago may be known as the Second City, but it’s first in our hearts. There are so many characteristics that make Chicago such a great city. Because of this, what better wedding theme than a quintessential Chicago wedding? Here are all the things you need to include in a Chicago wedding theme.

Choose your baseball team.

This aspect of a Chicago wedding is ripe for controversy, but such a Chicago stable nonetheless. Are your family and friends North Side or South Side people? Depending on this answer, any Chicagoan knows which baseball team you’d be choosing. On the North Side is the iconic Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs. On the South Side is Guaranteed Rate Field, formerly known as U.S. Cellular Field, formerly known as Comiskey Park, home to the Chicago White Sox. These teams’ logos or memorabilia could be stand alone wedding themes, or simply decorations for tables.

Speaking of former names, the Sears Tower is an iconic landmark to include.

Recently renamed the Willis Tower, let’s be real, everyone still calls it the Sears Tower. Any artwork you see of Chicago, or any picture on a postcard, will surely include this iconic tower. Consequently, it’s a must to include to your Chicago themed wedding. Some easy ways are as a photo booth prop, cake topper, or table centerpiece.

Navy Pier and the Ferris Wheel

Navy Pier is such a tourist attraction. If you live in the Chicagoland area, the odds are you’ve been to Navy Pier and have either seen or ridden on the Ferris Wheel at least once. An easy way to include Navy Pier and the Ferris Wheel into your wedding day is with a candy bar. Navy Pier’s  cart vendors are memorably like everyone’s favorite childhood fair. Set up a candy cart with your favorite desserts and sweet treats, just as if your guests were at Navy Pier.

If you’re a sports person we cannot forget the other sports teams.

Chicago has sports teams from soccer to baseball. A fun way to incorporate them into your wedding day is by theming tables by Chicago sports teams. Some options are: the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Bears, & the Chicago Fire. Alternatively, you can have the wedding DJ play each teams iconic songs during your bridal party entrances. Good luck as your bridal party fights over which team they get.

Deep Dish Pizza

If there is one undebatable Chicago food, it’s deep dish pizza. If there one thing that is debatable about deep dish pizza it’s who is the original deep dish pizza restaurant and which restaurant is the most iconic. Nevertheless, in-town guests will be super happy to eat some deep dish pizza as an appetizer, dinner, or late night snack. Similarly, out of town guests will be excited to try and give their opinions of the uniqueness of deep dish pizza.

You can’t forget Chicago theatre!

Whether it’s Broadway In Chicago, storefront theatres, or Improv, Chicago has some crazy theatrical talent and entertainment. You can easily theme tables by different theatres or shows, or have some showtunes playing during cocktail hour. A great gift for your bridal party would be tickets to a theatre show! Better yet, you could experience it together and go as a group instead of doing a morning after brunch!

Chicago’s so beloved for tourists all over the country. We know you will be able to tailor your wedding to what makes Chicago so beloved to you. We hope these ideas helped spark your creativity as you plan your Chicago wedding, For more wedding planning inspiration, check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

Wedding Dress

How To Know Your Wedding Dress Is ‘The One’

How To Know Your Wedding Dress Is ‘The One’

Whether it is friends’ stories or TV shows, everyone has their own theory on how to know if your wedding dress is ‘the one.’ From the internet to boutiques there are more wedding dress retailers than ever. Choosing a dress can be difficult because brides can see so many beautiful wedding dresses. While every person is different, there are common signs to look for. We can help you figure out if your wedding dress is ‘the one’ with these tips.

Trust your gut!

The old adage is definitely true as you shop for your wedding dress; trust your gut. Rarely do you regret trusting your intuition, so don’t start while searching for your wedding dress. If you are between a few dresses and your heart pulls you toward one, trust it. Shopping for a wedding dress is a new experience. Even if you can’t put your finger on why you are pulled toward one dress versus another, trust your gut.

You cry as you put it on.

This is one that happens only half of the time. Some people get a flood of emotion when they put on their dream dress. The tears come and everyone joins in with them as they realize their loved one found her wedding dress. In contrast, other times, brides aren’t criers, so this doesn’t happen at all. That being said, if you do cry it could be a telltale sign that this is your dress.

You have zero doubts.

When your dress is right you have no regrets or doubts. When you put on this dress you should feel the most you. This means you feel confident and can see yourself getting married in this dress. The excitement you feel about your dress should only stay the same or grow. This is why some brides choose to sleep on it, as it is such a big decision. The dress you go home dreaming about, or cannot stop looking at pictures of, is your dress.

It’s the opposite of what you thought you’d want, but it feels so right.

So often brides are surprised to find they love a dress so different from their Pinterest board. That isn’t just okay, it’s very common. How you know the dress is your dress is you look and feel confident and beautiful in it. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your shopping companions ahead of time so they are supportive of whichever dress you choose, even if it is unexpected. That way you can avoid any uncomfortable moments that may overshadow your saying, “yes,” to the dress.

Have you gone wedding dress shopping? If you are ready to get started check out more wedding dress shopping tips and inspiration in the Chicago Wedding Blog posts. We hope you found these tips helpful as you get started! Happy Planning!

Married Couple

Wedding Vendor Feature: MBD Wedding Photography

Wedding Vendor Feature: MBD Wedding Photography

MBD Wedding Photography

Photo: MBD Wedding Photography, Venue: The Armour House

If there’s one wedding vendor you want to get right on your wedding day it’s your wedding photographer. Choosing an experienced photographer is key to cherishing your wedding moments for years to come. Because there are so many wedding photographers in the Chicagoland area, we’d like to feature one amazing one. We would like to introduce you to MBD Wedding Photography to learn why we think they are fantastic wedding photographers.

1.) How would you describe MBD Wedding Photography & photographers?

Our photographers can be described as Artistic/Creative Photojournalists. The goal is to capture your wedding day in a style that allows you to relive specific memories for years. If your children look at your photos years from now, you can piece together the memories from your ceremony all the way until your first dance. The smallest details, the funniest moments, those tears of joy, and those unexpected surprises on the dance floor will all come rushing back when viewing your photos.

Having been a wedding industry leader for over 25 years before offering photography services, Music By Design has built long lasting relationships with award winning Chicago area photographers. After the word spread that Music By Design started MBD Photography and began offering photography services, those same photographers reached out to us looking for an opportunity. This situation gave us the luxury of choosing some of the best photographers in the country. Our photography staff is composed of the industry’s best and we are proud to be affiliated with such amazing artists.

2.) What recommendations do you have for couples booking their wedding photographer?

It is important to choose a company that offers the complete package. Amazing in-office customer service and award winning photography. Be sure to communicate your expectations and be wary of a company that says yes to everything. It is important your company offers an honest and open level of customer service to create a refreshing experience, giving you piece-of-mind during the booking process and beyond. At MBD Photography, if you are looking for something we do not provide, we will be honest with you. It is important to us to cultivate a relationship with each couple we work with, and that relationship is built on trust. Our goal is to fulfill and exceed your vision for your wedding photos and we believe great communication is how we achieve that. MBD Photography embodies the same dependable philosophies that made Music By Design a leader in the wedding industry.

3.) What photography packages does MBD Wedding Photography have?

As today’s couples are more budget conscious, the standard 12 hour wedding package is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Therefore, we offer 10 hours of wedding photography. That is enough time to cover from Noon to 10pm and capture your entire wedding day. In addition, to honor customer demands, based on our market research, our pricing structure is very simple and straight forward. All prices and options are listed on our website ‘MBD Photography   , but always be sure to ask if we are offering and discounts or promotions.

Your wedding package includes your professional photographer, online planning system, digital hi-res images with print rights, online gallery for sharing and viewing images, and digital downloads.  You can choose between one or two photographers. A second photographer results in more view points and angles of your ceremony and reception. More information on our wedding packages can be found on our MBD Wedding Photography wedding information page on our website.

We also offer engagement sessions, which is a great way to get to know your photographer even more before your wedding day. You and your photographer will discuss location and details for your engagement shoot. We are also happy to offer tips and suggestions on everything from what to wear for your engagement shoot to beautiful locations that photograph well. If you are in need of suggestions, don’t be afraid to ask. You can find more information on engagement and event packages at the MBD Photography Event Options page on our website.

4.) What makes MBD Wedding Photography different than other wedding photographers?

After being the industry for years and seeing all types of photographers, we differentiated ourselves by only hiring the absolute best Chicago has to offer. We understand that is a simple answer, but that is what truly makes us one of the best in the country. In addition, we take care of our team. We value our photographers’ skills and expertise, so they enjoy working for us. When people feel valued and love what they do it definitely shows in their work and, therefore, your wedding photos!

5.) Do you have any favorite fellow wedding vendors you love working with?

Our favorite vendors include our sister companies: Music By Design and Photo Booth By Design. Regarding venues, here are some of our favorites in no particular order. We love these venues because the staff is amazing and the venues are beautiful! And…let’s not forget the amazing food – delicious!

Riverside Receptions
Emerson Creek Events
Fisherman’s Inn
Heritage Prairie Farm
Hotel Baker
Herrington Inn & Spa
The Armour House

6.) Tips for couples who are organizing their wedding photography timeline?

When organizing your wedding timeline, look no further than Chicago Wedding Blog, of course. Quick Tips: keep your timeline simple and trust your vendors to ‘make it happen’. For example, a great wedding DJ will control the flow of your wedding in coordination with all your vendors – including your banquet captain. This will allow you to enjoy your family and friends without having to stress about what is happening and when. Your experienced DJ, such as Music By Design, will take care of the rest.




Thank you to MBD Wedding Photography for providing this information and beautiful photos to accompany it. For more information on MBD Wedding Photography, be sure to check out their website. We hope we’ve helped you find your perfect engagement/wedding photographer! For more wedding planning advice and information check out more Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

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.