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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.

Wedding After Party Food Truck

Wedding After Party

Wedding After Party

You’ve done it – you’re married and nothing besides Aunt May’s lost hat was catastrophic! Now you and your partner would like to continue the wedding festivities. That’s called the Wedding After Party and we’ve got some tips on how to throw the best kind!

You’ll want to scout ahead of time where you want your wedding after party.

If your venue has a hard closing time this is even more important so that you can keep the momentum going! Or perhaps you have a good family member or friend who offers their place. That’s even better since you could decorate and stock their fridge way ahead of time and you’ll know it’s open. However, you can also think about reserving a theater, bar or conference room at a hotel. You can also take into account locations: are you near a beach or live music venue? Have a bonfire or jam to a live band!

For the after party decorations no one is expecting over the top grand, but you can think of a few signature decorations.

We love the idea of using your honeymoon as the theme of the after party! Are you going someplace tropical? Then why not go to a tiki bar and hand out leis. This does require some set up beforehand so if that’s not an option explore venues that are themed.

Now comes the most important part of a wedding after party, the food!

You’ll want to be sure guests get a great bite to eat before more dancing or running around town. A food truck is a brilliant idea that can pull right up to wherever you want. Think tacos, sundaes and pizza trucks. If your after party is going to go until sun-up we suggest a breakfast. You can end up at a food truck or nice breakfast place.

When even the after party is winding down we love being thoughtful to the family and friends who have stuck with you this long.

Why not assemble a little hangover kit or next day rest spa basket? Just a few things like Alka-Seltzer, aspirin, sunglasses, bottle of water and a pack of gum for the hangover kit or scented soap, lotion, hand sanitizer and candle for the spa basket. You can have these final gifts as guests arrive at the beginning of your reception or hand them out at the after party. We love the idea of celebrating your wedding all night with those closest to you!

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

Wedding Reception Add-Ons, Coffee Cart

Wedding Reception Add-Ons

Wedding Reception Add-Ons

A new trend we’ve been loving is wedding reception add-ons! Wedding reception add-ons are unique options you can add to your wedding reception, usually food or activity related. These options add extra fun and uniqueness to your wedding. If you want your wedding to stand out from the rest, here are some fun, and yummy, wedding reception add-ons to inspire you!

#1 A Lemonade Stand

If your wedding is during warm weather this is a great add-on idea for you! You could do different flavors of lemonade or iced tea. You can also add fruit to your lemonade/tea options. This is a refreshing way to keep guests cool and happy.

#2 A Donut Stand

Who doesn’t love donuts? Donuts come in all flavors and designs from classic to gourmet. If you love dessert or just want an extra fun snack for your wedding donuts are the in choice; and delicious. The donut displays are equally as unique as the donut options. You could add the donuts around your cake, or you can even have a wooden donut display. The sky’s the limit if you love donuts!

#3 Coffee Bar

Do you love coffee? If you don’t want sleepy guests on the dance floor, choose a coffee bar! You can have a signature drink, or have options for your guests. So many people are coffee-obsessed, so this option has become very popular. Also, coffee pairs very well with desserts.

#4 A Photo Booth

There are many fun ways to do a photo booth. You can make it in to a guest book by using the photos for the guest book. It even works as a wedding favor so the guests can take their keepsake photos with them. Who doesn’t love taking funny photos with props with your friends? This fun activity is great for a break from the dance floor, or right after dinner before dancing.

#5 Graham’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars

Graham’s in Geneva, Illinois will provide their homemade ice cream at your wedding reception! Their chocolate is to die for and their ice cream is like the cherry on top! Your guests will talk about these desserts for years!

Did you have add-ons at your wedding reception? Are you planning on having wedding reception add-ons? We’d love to hear what you are doing and see photos! E-Mail them to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com . Happy Planning! For more helpful wedding planning tips read the blog posts below!

Home Decor Wedding Gift

Wedding Gift Ideas

Wedding Gift Ideas

Every couple appreciates receiving monetary gifts from their wedding. However, some wedding guests can’t afford a large monetary gift. Here are some wedding gift ideas newlyweds are sure to love!

First Idea: Artist Rendering Of Couple’s Photo

As newlyweds begin their lives together, they will need to decorate differently than when they were single bachelors or bachelorettes. Photos and artwork of the married couple is a great gift. But if you’d like to make the gift more special, get an artist to hand paint or design a caricature of a favorite photo of the couple  or even one of their engagement photos and have it framed. This is a great gift for a range of budgets depending on the size or skill of the art. A meaningful keepsake perfect for the couple to decorate their new home.

Second Wedding Gift Idea: A Funded Date Night

This gift can be done many ways. You could give a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant in a basket with a bottle of nice wine. Give a card written in calligraphy that you will pay for a date night of their choosing and place that certificate in a photo album for their wedding photos. A gift certificate to a spa or hotel is also a great gift for a quick getaway. This is a great way to treat a newlywed couple nomatter what your budget may be.

Third Gift Idea: Special Home Goods or Decor

Most people will not splurge to get themselves nice home decor. Purchasing a special item for the newlyweds’ home you know they’ll love is a generous gift. Maybe you know the couple LOVES Crate & Barrel, but is very frugal. Purchasing them a gift from that store would be a meaningful surprise for them. Home decor or serverware is a great gift especially if the couple loves to have friends over.

Fourth Gift Idea: Contribution To A Charity In Their Name

Some couples have a cause they are passionate about. A beautiful way to support them and their passion is by making a donation to a charity close to their hearts for them. This is especially meaningful if the couple has lost someone close to them from an illness. Some charities sponsor children others rescue animals. Choose one close to the couple’s heart.

Fifth Wedding Gift Idea: Holiday Decor

We’ve discussed how couples love to decorate their new home. Giving decor for each holiday will be a useful and fun way for couples to decorate their new home. Keep in mind which holidays the couple celebrates, or if they have a favorite holiday. If they love Christmas, you can throw in extra Christmas decor. You can also put in holiday glasses, plates, or serverware to accommodate extra people at holiday gatherings.



What physical wedding gifts have you given? As a couple what would be your favorite gift as above? Let us know! For more wedding planning advice, tips, & tricks check out the blog posts below!

Sustainable Wedding Decor

A Sustainable Wedding

A Sustainable Wedding

More and more couples are becoming aware of how their big celebration will impact the earth. This year we will see an in increase in sustainable weddings. While it’s perfectly alright to want a big celebration; it’s also great to keep in mind everything that goes into it. From the caterers to florists, there a lot of waste that goes on with weddings. We have a list of things to consider if you’re going to have a sustainable wedding.

Choose your wedding venue wisely.

A destination wedding means a lot more carbon footprint from airplanes or car rides. Think about who you want to invite and perhaps pick a location that’s not too far for everyone to reduce the amount of travel involved. We’re all about getting married wherever you want, but if you’re thinking of the sustainability, keep travel costs/emissions in mind.

Ask your venues what their processes are for waste.

You have every right to ask potential venues about their green initiatives. How do they dispose of waste? Where do you source your food – is it local? What is your plastic policy? What kind of cleaning products do you use?

Find an eco-friendly caterer.

In this day it shouldn’t be too hard to find a caterer or venue that will be able to create a “green” menu. Ideally they will source local, organic produce and ethically produced ingredients. A vegan or vegetarian menu would also the environmental impact but we’re realistic and if that’s too much perhaps try at least half the menu be vegetarian. Getting your alcohol from local distilleries is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Limit stationary.

You can completely side-step this by going digital and only do email wedding invites, but we love just one statement wedding announcement piece. You can ask that it be printed on recycled paper. It’s also worth trying to get the printer to add extra signage like seating arrangements and directions/schedule to save paper.

No matter how you celebrate your big day it’s possible to have a sustainable wedding! You will not only feel great surrounded by your closest friends and family, but also love knowing you’re helping sustain the environment for future generations.

Slow Down your wedding day

Three Ways To Soak In Your Wedding Day

Three Ways To Soak In Your Wedding Day

The one piece of wisdom everyone tells you for your wedding day is, “It goes by so fast. Slow down and soak it in.” Here are three tips to help you slow down and soak in your wedding day.

1. When you’re getting ready, look in the mirror.

You will only see your beautiful, bride or groom-to-be wedding day face one time. Slow down and take in the memory of your smile on that day. You’ve planned your outfit and/or  hair and makeup for months. You’ve dreamed of your wedding day and/or wedding gown your whole life. Mentally remind yourself during your prep time to look in the mirror. Soak in the significance that today is finally your wedding day. You will be married in a matter of hours. Take a deep breath, this will center you to truly appreciate this moment. Pro tip, it makes a great photo!

2. Walk down the aisle slowly.

The excitement builds up, adrenaline kicks in, but slow down your walk! The moment you see your spouse coming down the aisle will only happen one time. Hold tight to the person walking you down the aisle. Appreciate them being at your side. Remember it. If you are walking by yourself, take a moment to appreciate your confidence and all that has brought you to your wedding day, the best day of your life. As you walk look at all those attending your wedding beaming at your smiling face. Look around at your bridesmaids, groomsmen, & spouse. Soak in their happiness, love, and pride for you.

3. Enlist the help of the wedding day pros!

Build in moments of newlywed time. Your best allies in this are your photographer or wedding planner. Tell them when you want time just the two of you. These pros are organizer extraordinaires! They will ensure you get the perfect amount of time at the perfect time. Maybe you’ll even get a sweet, candid photo op from it. During this time, slow down together. Look at your venue and each other. Become aware this is it your wedding day. It will help you be present and soak in every second of the party.

Your wedding day is one of the only days in your life in which you have all the people who love you in one room, at the same time. Such a once in a lifetime event can be enjoyed to the fullest with simple preparation. Best wishes on slowing down and soaking in every second of your wedding day! If you like these tips, check out more advice from the experts at the Chicago Wedding Blog below!

Daytime Wedding Breakfast Bar

How To Organize A Daytime Wedding

How To Organize A Daytime Wedding

It’s not unusual for couples to want a daytime wedding. But they don’t know how to organize a daytime wedding. How is it different than a traditional late wedding?

First, of course, is to organize the timing. A daytime wedding will usually start at noon or eleven am. That means as a bride, you’ll have to start getting ready pretty early. We recommend giving yourself at least two hours for hair, makeup for you and add another hour for your bridal party. Your dress can go on around 10am for an 11am ceremony. The ceremony will most likely only be an hour at most so it’s customary for a daytime wedding to have a lunch afterwards.

A big difference between a daytime and nighttime wedding is the lack of cocktail hour.

After the ceremony guests are invited to go straight to the venue for the reception. The afternoon reception is sometimes shorter than a night reception with things wrapping up as early as 2:30 or going late as 4:30. You still get to do all the “traditional” things like cake cutting, father/daughter dances, first dance and all the pictures you want! The daytime wedding can be as formal as an evening wedding. You can still ask guests to wear black tie, but don’t expect lavish ball gowns. The afternoon reception can still include the same service as an evening wedding like open bar and linens on the table.

For a daytime reception you can serve anything from a playful brunch to a full meal.

Options like fish, chicken, & beef are options, but usually more appropriate for dinner plates. You could consider a fun waffle bar or omelet station. Drinks should be lighter wines with a lunch menu, or champagne cocktails, Bloody Marys and spiked coffee with brunch.

After a daytime wedding is over you are not obligated to entertain guests.

We do like the idea of suggesting activities for your out of town guests to participate in. It could be anything from museums to concerts or just a fun park. You can choose to continue the wedding festivities with just a few family members and close friends after a daytime wedding as well! Who says there’s a limit on how long you get to celebrate your big day?

Unique Desserts

This year we are seeing quirky and unique desserts offered at receptions! Think donut wall, dessert bar or make your sundaes. We will take a look at some of the most popular options for your big day!  Desserts can offer you the opportunity to show off your style too.

  1. You can use a desserts bar to showcase your flare. If you and your partner want to celebrate your heritage why not do a nationality themed sweets table? You could fill it with your choice of native foods. For example you could do a Mexican Pan Dulce desserts bar where guests are free to take home the delicious pastries too. Giving guests mini bags/plates to take home is a great idea to thank your friends and families for coming.

2. We are loving the donut wall this year too! You can create the wall however fits in the space you have. You can use simple cardboard with pegs to hang the fried treats on or have them stacked. It’s also fun to have other desserts around the donuts like cupcakes or individual cake pops.

3. You can still have your cake too! The wedding cake is, of course, a special piece that shouldn’t be over looked! You can set the wedding cake in the middle of the desserts table so that the other sweets will make it the center of attention. We love the idea of serving pieces of the main cake alongside other options. That gives your guests lots of choices. So, if some of them prefer mini pies or candy to cake then they have a way to enjoy their sweet tooth!

Top 5 Reception Songs

Top 5 Reception Announcement Songs
Your reception songs selection is a fun part of the wedding planning! The reception is a party and the grand entrance is the first chance you get to express the vibe you want your wedding reception to be. The grand entrance can either be high energy or low key. For the bridal party grand entrance songs, ask yourself: Do I want this to be humorous? What special song will signify my transition into a marriage? What type of energy do I want my grand entrance to entail? Do I want the grand entrance to be romantic,high energy, or low key? Remember that your choice of reception songs may be a small thing but it can contribute much insetting the tone and the atmosphere of your wedding reception.
1. “Light it Up” by Major Lazor
2. “All the Way Up” by Fat Joe
3. “Desiigner” by Panda
4. “This is What you Came For” by Calvin Harris
5. “Cant Stop the Feeling” by Justine Timberlake
For your bridal party entrance music, you can also change it when you and your groom walk into the reception hall for an added‘grand-entrance atmosphere’. Remember too that if you need to walk down a flight of stairs going to the reception hall, you may need to have a slow song accompanying you both and change it to a more upbeat one when you reach the party crowd. Indeed, the entrance songs for your wedding reception depends largely on the venue as well as your preference.
Reception Entrance Songs for the Bride and Groom
1. “Marry You”Bruno Mars
2. “Beautiful Day” by U2
3. “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce
4. ” Let’s Get it Started”by Black Eyed Peas
5. “So Right” by Dave Matthews Band
You can also make your reception songs into a remix or have a medley of good reception entrance songs as the bridal party enters the hall. A good DJ can do this for you.