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Jumping The Broom Ritual

Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Every wedding ceremony is personalized by the engaged couple. One way couples personalize their ceremony is wedding ceremony rituals. A ritual can be religious or spiritual in nature, or simply symbolic. The choice is yours as to which you prefer. Here are some unique wedding ceremony rituals to give you some ideas.

Sand Art

Any child of the 90’s will remember the joy of sand art! Each person can choose their own color they’d like. Then, during this ritual the couples will pour both of their sands into the capsule to blend them together. As with most wedding rituals, their meaning is the union between two people becoming one. Couples can then use this capsule as a decorative keepsake.

Unity Candle

A unity candle is similar in idea to the sand. Each person will hold a lit candle and together they will light a big beautiful candle, called a unity candle. The candle makes a great living room keepsake. Who doesn’t love a good candle? Every year on your anniversary you can make use of it again by relighting it.

Jumping The Broom

Jumping the broom is a wedding ritual from the African culture, specifically Ghana. Traditionally a broom is circled over the engaged couple to cast away evil. Then, at the end of the ceremony, the couple jumps over the broom, as a solidifying of the ceremony. The jump of the broom traditionally symbolized a wife’s promise to clean their house and whoever jumps higher over the broom, typically the man, would get to make the decisions in the home. However; in the 21st century most couples embrace this tradition simply as a cultural tradition they want to pass on, not a symbol of the wife being lesser than. Many couples embrace this ritual by applying their own meaning to it such as their embracing of one another’s culture and commitment to their relationship.

Hand Tying Ritual

A hand tying ritual originated from the Pagan and Celt traditions. Some couples, however, just like the meaning of the ceremony, so it does not need to be a cultural ritual. The tying of the hands, also known as handfasting, symbolizes a couple’s commitment to each other through good times and bad. Historically, some traditions would tie a couple together for a year and if they lasted a year being tied together their marriage would last. While we are not recommending you be tied to your fiance for a year, a hand tying ritual is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to each other through good times and bad times. You can later keep the rope, maybe even braid it to create home decor.

Wine or Communion Ritual

In the Christian traditions, some couples will feed each other wine and bread symbolizing their promise to care for eachother. Some weddings do not have a communion service, but just have the couple give communion, bread and wine, to each other. Some people do not come from a religion who participates in communion. In that case, this ritual can also be a sort of blessing that the couple may never go hungry or want for anything.



Each ritual can mean something different to each couple, and that is the beauty of planning a ceremony. Unless you are getting married in a religious denomination with strict guidelines, there are many ways you can customize your ceremony to embrace symbolism that is meaningful to you as a couple. You could even get creative and create your own ritual specific to you as a couple, such as a beer pouring ritual. It is your wedding day! Structure your ceremony to reflect the love you feel for each other. From there, there are no wrong choices. Happy Planning!

Recycled Wedding Rings

Ways To Recycle Wedding Items

Ways to Recycle Wedding Items

It’s no secret that weddings generate a lot of waste not only in leftover or unused food, but also in items people won’t use again like favors, your dress, or wedding décor. We’ve got some great ideas on how to help the environment and recycle those wedding things!

You can re-purpose your dress.

If you’re not terribly sentimental and don’t mind parting with your wedding gown you can sell it. There are a lot of great stores that buy pre-owned wedding dresses. You could be helping someone else out whose on a tight budget. If you’d like to keep your wedding dress but don’t want it sitting in the back of your closet, you can tailor it. We love turning a wedding dress into a cocktail dress, Christening gown, or prom dress! Your daughter could go to her prom with a one of a kind dress or get baptized in something very special to you.

Another way to recycle wedding items is to give them to a secondhand shop.

Some places take gently used wedding décor to re-sell. If you are tight on your budget you can even consider getting your wedding rings from a family heirloom or secondhand shop. Keep in mind if you want to donate wedding decor it may be difficult to find a place for it if it has your initials all over it. Call around and see what stores take wedding décor.

Re-use those flowers!

It’s bittersweet that all the time and effort into decorating with flowers and they’ll just wilt and die within a few days. We love programs that use wedding flowers as donations to hospitals or nursing homes. You’ll be brightening someone else’s day with your pretty floral arrangements. If you and your bridesmaids have the time and desire, you can also take apart the bouquets at the reception. Then you can re-gather them into small favors for your guests to take home. This does require more work and attention when all you probably want to do is celebrate at the reception. So, it’s worth asking if your wedding coordinator or some very helpful family members would be in charge of that so you don’t have to worry about it.

It always feels good to contribute to a green environment. We love the idea of using your joyous wedding items and brightening someone else’s day too. Did you use recycled wedding decor for your wedding? We would love to feature your green wedding. E-Mail credited photos and vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com . Happy Planning!

Burgundy and Blue Wedding

Wedding Color Palettes

Wedding Color Palettes

You’ve dreamt of your wedding day for a while now and what do you see? Yellows, blues, purples, reds? We are seeing an increase in picking more than 2 colors for your wedding color scheme. So, you’re in luck if you just can’t pick a few favorite colors. Here’s how to incorporate multiple colors in wedding color palettes.

When thinking of color palette for your wedding day you may want to consider time of year, venue and the theme.

If you’re a bold bride it’s tempting to use all bright, flashy colors. We love pairing those huge flashes of color with at least two neutrals like beige, cream or navy. The pop of color like a deep red or gold will garnish the elegant feel.

If you want more than 2 colors for your wedding palette, we also suggest looking at the theme.

If you’d like a summer theme think of wedding flowers. You could use green and cream for neutrals while also incorporating the variant colors of peonies or hydrangeas ranging from sapphire blue to sky blue and put a yellow in there for sizzle. If your wedding is in the fall we love browns and creams paired with crimson, gold and oranges.

On the flip side, if you like just one color, you want to be sure you don’t over use it!

You want your colors to be complimentary not distracting. Decide which color you want to be dominant and pick other colors/neutrals accordingly. One great way to do so is a pop of color. For example using grays, blues, and silvers can be a neutral if you use a few splashes of burgundy. Burgundy is a bold color, so if you add in a few splashes of it, it won’t be overwhelming.

Lastly, if you want a large color palette for your wedding, try textures.

Sometimes colors that you wouldn’t think go to together, look okay if their texture is different. You could also use the same shade but in different layers and subtly different hues such as a cream table cloth with a white runner down the middle. Your color palette is endless so take your time and be creative! You can take risks by seeing colors in fabrics and flowers before you commit to one.



Happy planning! We hope this will help you choose your wedding colors. For more wedding planning inspiration and advice check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below.

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!

Outdoor Wedding In the shade

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Ah, the great outdoors! So you’re having an outdoor wedding! What a great venue choice! Before you solidify your wedding plans, there are some aspects you need to keep in mind. Here are some outdoor wedding tips so you can have the best outdoor wedding.

Hot Weather

No one will be comfortable on a summer wedding day with no water or fans. Pro tip: make fan programs. If it’s a breezy day, your guests can simply read the program. On the other hand, if it is hot, your guests will be thankful you thought ahead. If that’s not your thing, you can also provide paper fans that coordinate to your wedding colors. Another important item you need is a water or beverage station or two. It’s important to stay hydrated on such an emotional day for you and your guests. You could arrange for a big box store run before the wedding to have individual water bottles ready on an iced cooler. You could also have a beverage cooler and individual cups. Either way, water is a must.

Another important factor is where you will be outside. Plan for the worst and expect the best. If you are looking at wedding venue options, it may be a good idea to choose one with a shaded area. Then any guests who feel overheated won’t have to miss the wedding. Similarly, if you easily get overheated it’s important you arrange your ceremony in a cool, shaded area. No one wants the newlyweds passing out on their wedding day!

Bathrooms

It’s not the most glamorous item on your checklist, but it is necessary nonetheless. If you are choosing to have your wedding in a nature preserve, beach, or park it is imperative you sort out the bathroom situation in advance. There are companies who rent out really nice temporary bathrooms. If there are not bathrooms nearby your ceremony location, time to research options for you and your guests when nature calls.

Electricity

Though you are over the moon in love on your wedding day, we’re not referring to that sort of electricity. We mean the electricity needed to power lights, wedding music, and microphones. Keep in mind, when you’re having an outdoor wedding, the options for power. Sometimes there are outdoor outlets nearby, but other times it is impossible. In those cases it’s important to ask about your options. There are generators you can rent. Other times, vendors have battery operated options or their own generators. The last thing you want is no music, lights, or sound on your wedding day.

Cool Weather

Sometimes you pick the one fall or summer day that is surprisingly cold. While we can’t predict the weather, we can plan in advance. A great wedding favor is scarves or pashminas. Especially if you are having a fall wedding it is a good idea to plan for this scenario. Another great way to keep your guests warm is space heaters. Often venues have portable space heaters ready to go. If not, it’s important to research into heating options so you and your guests don’t freeze.

Rain

Tent, Tent, Tent! If you are having an outdoor wedding one of the smartest things you can do is get a tent if there is no pavilion. Rain happens. It’s the proverbial good luck of outdoor weddings. If your venue does not have an indoor option come rain, it’s important that a tent large enough for your wedding is in your plans. There are so many beautiful ways to decorate tents. If you do get lucky and have a sunny day, many tents have roll up walls so you can bring the outdoors in. Better to be safe than sorry so your wedding day goes off without a hitch.

Are you having an outdoor wedding? Did you have an outdoor wedding? What was your favorite part of having it outdoors? What were some logistical struggles? Tell us in the comments 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!

Wedding Ring Proposing

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

A newer trend we’re seeing is couples picking out their wedding rings together. An engagement ring and wedding band are some of the most important pieces of jewelry we will receive or buy. There’s no right way to go about it, but we’ve got some pros and cons to help you choose whether or not you want to pick out your wedding rings together.

Let’s start with the cons first of picking out your wedding rings with your partner.

Traditionally, it’s been the man who gets the engagement ring and surprises the bride with a proposal. A drawback to shopping for the ring together is the element of surprise is, of course, lost. But if you’re a bride who wants to be part of the decision and doesn’t like the surprise, then going shopping together is a great option. Some brides of the opinion that their partner should “know” them well enough to pick out the perfect ring. A con for going together is that you won’t know that since you’ll be the one picking it out essentially.

Now let’s look at some pros for shopping for rings together.

The first is of course, that you will be surprised when your partner does propose! It’s always fun to see what he or she picks out. You can even compromise by sending him pictures of rings you’d like but ultimately letting him decide which ring is “you”. This also is a great way to relieve stress on your partner. They’re surely feeling quite a bit of pressure to pick out the ring you want!

Another positive is that even if you do go window shopping for the ring with your partner it won’t spoil the actual proposal! A lot of brides are afraid of ruining this moment, but if you think about it, can anything ruin the magic of a proposal at the right time? You may have a little inkling about what ring you’re getting but for some people that’s totally fine!



So, have you decided how you will choose your wedding rings? Did you make it a surprise, or did you choose your rings together? We want to know! Tell us below! For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Vintage Wedding Blusher Veil

Make Simple Vintage New

Make Simple Vintage New

Wedding seasons have trends, but why don’t we make simple vintage new? When we think back on our own history, we remember the simple things. As kids, we got lots of toys for Christmas, but played with the boxes. We remember the fun of running around in a sprinkler all summer long. Those are not grandiose memories, but they are fond and special. Let’s make vintage new by embracing the beautiful simplicity of our life memories.

1.) Use paper invitations from a professional wedding calligrapher.

Though we can send and receive emails at a moment’s notice, we all cam admit how special it is to receive a card in the mail. There is something memorable about a tactical stationary as opposed to an email. Buying invitations from a large online conglomerate is easy, but wedding calligraphers can create your exact vision. Additionally, all small businesses love what they do and we should support them. You can frame your beautiful, handmade invitations as a cherished keepsake.  Also, let’s keep it simple for your grandparents! Send them paper invitations and RSVP’s; technology confuses them.

2.)  Wear a vintage style blusher veil.

There are no rules in choosing your wedding attire, but there is something so dramatic and emotional about a blusher veil. The classic meaning doesn’t have to be what wearing a blusher represents to you. If you love the drama of veiled photos, what better reason? You do you! Maybe you know it means alot to the person who is walking you down the aisle to pull back your blusher. That’s a special honor to give your loved one.

3.) Save your first look at your wedding for the walk down the aisle.

Don’t see your fiance until the aisle! Relax in the morning and keep the excitement and anticipation of seeing your soon to be husband/wife for the ceremony. The walk down the aisle is a once in a lifetime, joy filled, emotion packed moment. There are few events in life as beautiful as this moment. Save the feeling for that moment. Sometimes wedding traditions exist for a reason. Soak in the love and simple beauty of this once in a lifetime moment! It will be worth it!

4.) Keep your decor simple. Focus on you, the engaged couple.

Before the world of Pinterest there weren’t really wedding themes. Typically you chose a color and that was it. Couples could have framed photos of their relationship and simple flowers as their only decor. We love this idea of simple wedding decor. Focus on the point of your wedding day; each other, and your marriage. Go through favorite childhood photos, your first photos as a couple, and through the years. Not only will this bring back so many cherished memories and laughs, but it’ll also cut costs for your wedding reception decor! It’s a win/win!



How are you embracing simple, vintage for your wedding? Did you have a simple, vintage wedding? We’d love to see your wedding photos! Email photos with vendors credited to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com. Do you love this idea? Share this blog post with a friend! For more wedding planning inspiration check out the suggested blog posts below. Happy planning!

Winter Wedding

Fun Winter Wedding Options

Fun Winter Wedding Options

While we are all looking forward to summer weather, wedding season always runs ahead. While many weddings take place in the spring, summer, & fall we think the possibility of a winter wedding is being neglected. There are plenty of different ways to plan a winter wedding. Choose your winter wedding style from these fun winter wedding options.

1.) Have A First “Day” Of Winter Wedding.

You may not be able to have your wedding on that exact day, however the first day of winter can be a unique day to celebrate. There is no need to have a Christmas themed wedding if that’s not your taste. For dessert options think drinks! Who doesn’t love hot chocolate on a winter day? You can also incorporate warm and darker colors for contrast from the wedding dress and winter white wedding colors. There are plenty of experiences we only have in the winter to incorporate on your wedding day. The first day of winter always adds excitement for the holidays ahead. White, brown, & black can all be beautiful first day of winter wedding colors if you want to incorporate this theme option.

2.) A Fun New Year’s Eve Wedding

Who doesn’t love a good New Year’s Eve party?! If you choose to have a NYE wedding, you will have a fun wedding anniversary day to celebrate for years to come. You could even extend your wedding to go later into the evening to celebrate and ring in the new year with your closest friends and family. Plan on having a TV nearby so your guests can pop back and forth between the festivities and the NYE countdown. Similarly, you can also dance the nice away on the dance floor as the excitement ensues! If you’re lucky, your venue will provide fireworks!

3.) Winter Wonderland, Silver And Gold

If you are looking to have a formal wedding, this option is a great idea for you. Silver and Gold are gorgeous colors that can pull in the snow and other beautiful aspects of winter. You can make it a cozy vibe by incorporating candles and, if your venue has one, a fireplace. Whether or not it snows outside, inside you can decorate with fake snow to give your wedding a winter wonderland feel. Similarly, you can bring the inside, out with your wedding photos by having a fur shawl ready. Your photos will be picturesque if you incorporate beautiful evergreens, white skies, and metallic colors to embrace a winter wonderland vibe.

4.) Christmas Themed Wedding Option

Bring on the red and green! If you celebrate Christmas, the odds are, you are probably a Christmas fiend. The excitement of the once a year experiences, such as Christmas lights or special recipes, will add extra special memories to your wedding day. You can incorporate Christmas lights into your decor. Often, venues already have their own Christmas decor up, so you’ll have to do less work to accommodate this theme. To add a unique twist to usual Christmas colors, you can incorporate different hues of red and green. Burgundy and hunter green have been popular colors.

A Bonus Benefit:

When you have winter wedding it allows you to soak it in before you go to a warm destination for your honeymoon. Then you won’t miss out on the once a year winter season. And who doesn’t look forward to celebrating something to brighten up the winter gloom?

For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, check out the blog posts below. Happy Planning!

Wedding Decor Colors

How To: Choose Your Wedding Color Scheme

How To: Choose Your Wedding Color Scheme

Often couples choose a trending color for their wedding color scheme. When wedding planning, there are no wrong choices. However, we do have some suggestions to choose your wedding colors in a different way. Trending colors come and go, but if you choose a color scheme that is so ‘you’, it’ll be timeless & unique. Here are five steps to choose a color scheme that is ‘you’!

First, Narrow Down Your Top Colors And Use A Layout App To Put Colors Together.

Start looking at color options. Then narrow down some of your favorites. Afterward, ensure all colors and textures knit together cohesively by using a layout app. You want to ensure the flowers, ties, suits, dresses, & shoes coordinate.

Second, Instead Of A Trending Color, Think Of Colors That Are ‘You’.

Next, from all those options think about which options are very ‘you’ and nix the excess options. We all can easily tell the year most weddings were by the color of wedding they chose. Navy, blush, burgundy, & gray/blue are all beautiful trending colors that have been widely used. That being said, if you love to wear black every day, black can be a great color for your bridesmaids. You do not have to choose a trending color. If you have a favorite color, say green, that is a color choice you know you’ll love for years to come. Choose colors that can complement each other and reflect your personal style.

Third, Check With Bridesmaids & Groomsmen Attire Designers To Ensure Your Colors Are Possible.

This is often a step brides/grooms forget. Not every designer has fabric in every shade of color you can imagine. Some colors are rotated in and out by year. So before you announce your color scheme; ensure it’s easily accessible to your bridal party. It’s not worth going on a wild goose chase for a color that doesn’t exist. That being said, there are hundreds of color options. You are sure to find at least one of your favorites from step two that you love.

Fourth, Gather Your Decor Ideas.

Now that you’ve narrowed down your colors, choosing coordinating decor is your next job.  When choosing decor you can use one of the coordinating colors you may have eliminated to be a pop of color, contrasting with your bridal party color. Looking at your wedding decor options will also help you solidify your overall color scheme as you keep in mind your venue and wedding flowers.

Fifth, Put It All Together.

You’ve chosen your ‘you’ color, found your bridal party’s attire, and put together your decor ideas and pops of color! Now it’s time to put it all together. At this point, it helps to print everything out so you can see it on paper. You can cut out pictures from magazines, or just print out the final version of the layout we discussed. Then you can present your scheme to your vendors so they can help you bring your ‘you’ wedding color scheme vision to life!



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