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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!

Wedding Checklist

Wedding Checklist

Wedding Checklist

You’ve taken the engagement pictures and announced to everyone you’re getting married! Now, comes the planning part. A Wedding checklist can be very helpful. So what type of list are we talking about? That depends on how far out you are from the date.

If your wedding date is a year or more away here are some things we recommend checking off:

  1. Make sure the date and time are available for your venue/religious establishment
  2. Establish a budget
  3. Decide how big you want your wedding to be
  4. Choose your wedding party
  5. Pick a theme or color scheme
  6. Meet and book officiant
  7. Begin the guest list

These are some bigger checklist items that you don’t need to get super detailed quite yet. A lot of them like picking your wedding party and the guest list can be fun. Some brides like to find fun, sentimental ways to ask their bridesmaids to be in the wedding.

If your wedding date is nine months or shorter here are some recommended wedding checklist things to look at:

  1. Announce the engagement
  2. Get your wedding dress and plan any alterations
  3. Meet and book photographer/videographer
  4. Meet and book any entertainment like a Chicago Wedding DJ or live music
  5. Book the florist
  6. Get the details on the venue – do you need to rent chair covers, table clothes, linens, etc.
  7. Research nearby hotel accommodations for out of town guests
  8. Look at Honeymoon Options

If you are less than four months out here’s what you should be looking at:

  1. Decide on wedding vows
  2. Marriage license
  3. Compile guest lists for showers and give to maid of honor or whoever is throwing the shower
  4. Plan bachelor/bachelorette party
  5. Confirm music and event details
  6. Purchase parents’ gifts and wedding party gifts
  7. Have programs printed
  8. Make hair and beauty appointments for the big day
  9. Get final dress fitting and any alterations

There are a million other details you could get caught up in as well! These are basic, general wedding checklist items you’ll want to think about.

Timelines

Timlines

 

Planning a wedding can take time, patience and organization. Timelines are just suggestions but they will keep you on track. Keeping on top of your tasks is important so action items like making payments don’t fall between the cracks.

 

1.
First, we recommend buying a calendar and a wedding-specific binder. Make dividers for each section and keep all contracts, vendor information, and timelines in the binder so it’s easy to find.Mark up the calendar with days for when items need to be accomplished.
2.
Share duties with your partner. Make your groom feel like he has a part in the planning (remember
this is his day too). By talking and sharing timelines, you both will be able to foresee and avoid any future
problems. Grooms come up with some of the best ideas too, so make sure to include him and let him add his personal touch to the big day too.
3.
Set aside specific days to accomplish tasks and enlist friends and family to help with timelines. It takes so much
less time to stuff envelopes and assemble favors when you do it as a team and it’s an easy way to let people help. You will get a lot more done by using your specific wedding planning days and you will feel much more relaxed during your time off. It’s also important to be flexible when planning so you don’t get bogged down.
4.
Figure out a budget on paper. Find out who will be paying for the wedding and come up with numbers for each category, ie: food, music, flowers…and don’t forget tipping and misc. last minute items!
5.
Create timelines for the week of the wedding. Make sure you allow enough time for all your tasks to be completed, ie: when to pick up tuxes, dropping off items to your venue, hair/makeup…etc. There can also be a separate timeline for the reception itself.
6.
Make decisions and then move on. There is so much information available to us these days that you can go crazy looking at websites and seeing new ideas. Once you have decided on your floral design, linen colors, table numbers, then stop looking at those items online!
7.
Of course, hire a coordinator if you can afford one in your budget! He or she can put together timelines for you that are efficient and they will know the pitfalls to avoid. If you have put this much time into your planning, leave it to the experts to execute it for you the day of the wedding.

Decisions!

Decisions are headed your way! Now that you have figured out your top priorities, you can now put your wedding plan into action. The budget has been determined, and all parties have expectations of what they need to bring to the table. The first few discussion points to get your started on decisions and making are recommended below:
– Where is the ceremony taking place?
– Will the ceremony take place at the reception venue?
– Or, will we have a religious ceremony taking place within a church, synagogue, etc?
– What day will the ceremony take place (i.e. Friday, Saturday, Sunday?)
– Will the ceremony and reception be taking place back-to-back or will there be ample time in between for pictures and such?
– Will our ceremony take place early in the afternoon or late in the evening?
Such questions are important to ask yourself. Your engagement is full of making decisions, and while it seems there are many decisions to make that are not very important- do not underestimate the impact your decisions will make.
Tip: Some brides opt to hire a wedding planner to assist with making decisions on their behalf or in a joint-fashion. Some couples are traditional, while others aim to be unique and different. Traditional, Christian brides that chose to have a secular ceremony will most likely opt for a Saturday afternoon wedding. Christian churches
often have several ceremonies during high wedding season (i.e. May through October). This may affect your time slot and availability of the ceremony location. Remember, the earlier you allow your lead time prior to your wedding, the more likely you are to nail your dream location spot. As a rule of thumb, most churches,venues, etc book at least one year in advance.
Non-traditional brides may still have some obstacles to overcome. While they may not be have to deal with a religious point of interest, many parks, private buildings, beaches, etc require licenses and applications, along with resulting fees. Again, availability is something to consider. Figuring out your location whether it involve a church or private park, may take some planning, donations/fees, and paperwork.
Creating a timeline of your day will help map out timing. Remember, this is just a rough idea of what events will transpire throughout the day. As the day draws closer, a master agenda/timeline will need to be drafted up to create a flow of the day.

Update Your Wedding Checklist

There is so much key advice that other bride’s will give you as you embark on your wedding adventure. So much so that almost all of it you may forget until you decide to  actually begin or update your master checklist with things to do and timelines for when they need to be done.  Once you have all of the major things covered and begin deciding on extras like personal touches and upgrades in décor, you may think you have everything you could think of covered! Wrong!

Like many brides, you will suffer the post- wedding, Pinterest infused, “ Why didn’t I think of that?” moment where every new idea seems so much better than your “old, so last minute” ones you used for your wedding. Stop right there! The brilliant thing about wedding today, especially in a time of social media, online e-zines, Pinterest and Etsy, is that it is ever-changing.  There are so many new and fresh ways to incorporate unique touches into your day that you almost need to keep your list tight so that you don’t “over plan.” But that’s an entirely different subject all together. So let us say this: Your wedding is the most important day of your life thus far but keep in mind that it really is ONE day. Stick to doing a few things very well and always value quality over quantity. Sometimes the best motto is to keep it simple and figure that you are treating yourselves and your guests to one great party.

So in this edition of “ The Wedding Checklist” we want to offer some vital tips that are sometimes overlooked and other things that you can definitely skip!

Here’s our thoughts:

Edit, Edit, Edit!:  You  don’t need a degree in journalism to know a good edit is imperative to the whole story making sense.  The same goes for your wedding. You want a constant stream of cohesion between the events, the colors, the feel and setting of you big day. Don’t try to cram in every idea you have ever seen in your life! Just go with what works and the best idea for the feel of your wedding should win. There will be other parties and events to use those secret touches on in the future! Remember, you’re not trying to impress anyone and keep in mind that guests are often more impressed with subtle, well executed details rather than over-the-top themes that don’t really work. Like we said before, taking some things off the list, is a great addition to the overall wedding.

Inexpensive Odds and Ends:  Something to keep in mind is how many Thank you notes you will be writing during this whole process From your showers, to bachelorette parties, engagement soirees and finally the wedding, consider a monogram or custom stationary that will take you from each event flawlessly. Think about different notes for each event and as is gets closer to the big day, you can really show off a lot of personal style well before the wedding. So have fun with it! Invest in a monogram address stamper that typically runs your about $40-$60 instead of paying for each envelope to be printed with a return address. You can also by matching address labels or seals to jazz-up any note. Remember, a thoughtful bride is always well regarded so don’t be shy when it comes to telling the people in your life how truly grateful you are. Adding personal paper to your list makes it so much easier when the time comes to thank everyone!

Booking Wedding Vendors

Bakers, caterers, DJs, photographers, florists…planning the wedding of your dreams requires an entire army of vendors and trying to figure out where to begin can be a daunting task. Follow these five easy steps for stress-free vendor selection…

Step One: Book your venue!

Selecting a venue for the wedding ceremony and reception should be your first priority. It’s crucial to find and book a locale before hiring any other vendors as the wedding location will determine the wedding date and time. Once you’ve found the perfect place to exchange “I Do’s,” you can begin booking the men and women that will make your big day possible.

Step Two: Bring in a Pro

If you’re planning to retain the services of a wedding planner, they should be your next hire. Not only will an event coordinator help you make all of your decisions, he or she can often offer specific recommendations or help you secure discounted rates with vendors.

Step Three: Prioritize

Once you’ve secured a venue and regardless of whether or not you’ve hired a planner, there’s no absolute rule about what vendor should be hired next. The best way to decide is by determining where your priorities are. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss which aspects of the wedding are most important to you. If you’re diehard foodies, focus your early energies on selecting a caterer. If you have your heart set on a specific photographer, nail him/her down. That way, you can be sure to secure the vendors you really want and disperse the bulk of your budget to the areas that matter most.

Step Four: Nab the Hard-to-Get Guys

Certain vendors, such as photographers, DJs, and videographers, are limited to only working one wedding per day. As a result, the good ones book up fast. Begin researching and setting up appointments as early as possible to guarantee a spot with your top choice in these hard-to-book categories. Vendors such as florists, stylists, and bakers are often able to work several weddings a day, so put these on the back burner until the rest of your vendors are secure.

Step Five: Follow a Timeline

Most wedding planning binders or smart phone apps offer a general timeline of what tasks should be completed at each stage of the wedding process. Stick to the timeline to ensure that you’re giving yourself ample time for all the extra responsibilities such as hiring a designer/calligrapher for invitations, making preparations for hair and makeup, choosing a wedding cake baker, and consulting with a florist. And remember the earlier you get started, the better! The best vendors are in high demand so their calendars fill up quickly. The sooner you begin contacting and hiring vendors, the better shape you’ll be in when your wedding approaches.

Beauty Tip Timeline

Every bride wants to look her best for the wedding so get a jumpstart on your beauty regimen. Guarantee sparkling pearly whites, a flawless face, and envy-worthy hair (and avoid a slew of beauty disasters) by following this beauty tip timeline…

6-9 months before:

– Order a wedding gown.
– Begin an exercise routine to drop pounds for the wedding.

 2-3 months before:

– Book an appointment with a hair stylist and make-up artist for the wedding day.
– Schedule an appointment for manicures and pedicures for you and your bridal party.
– If you’re new to bikini waxing, schedule your first appointment now to get acclimated to the process and eliminate excess swelling or irritation on your wedding day.
– Begin collecting ideas for wedding day accessories, makeup, and hair styles.

1-2 months before:

– Schedule dress fittings for your wedding gown.
– Begin an at-home or professional teeth whitening regimen.
– If you plan to tan, start scheduling appointments, but don’t overdo it. A little color is great, but skin that’s too tanned can look unhealthy and unnatural in photos.
– Final deadline for changing soap, laundry detergent, birth control, or skin-care program to give you ample time to deal with unexpected side effects.

1-2 weeks before:

– Cut back on sodium and alcohol intake to lessen bloating, and double your water intake to ensure fresh and clear skin.
– Get a facial. Skin will look radiant for the wedding without showing signs of irritation.
– Have eyebrows waxed or tweezed to shape them up and eliminate the chance of redness or irritation on the wedding day.
– Have your hairstylist do a trial run of your wedding day ‘do to make sure you’re on the same page and are happy with the look.
– Have your final dress fitting.
– Get your hair colored and trimmed.

1-3 days before:

– Treat hands and feet to a relaxing manicure or pedicure.
– Pack a beauty kit for wedding day touch-ups and emergencies, stocked with waterproof mascara, lipstick, hairspray, concealer, powder, bobby pins, deodorant, perfume, cotton swabs, band-aids, breath mints, and dental floss.
– Get a massage!

Wedding Day:

– Have hair and makeup professionally done by an expert to help you look and feel your best.
– Wear a button-down shirt to hair and make-up appointments to avoid messing anything up when you change.
– Avoid red wine and dark foods, like berries, that can stain teeth in photos.
– Touch up make-up after the wedding ceremony and throughout the reception.