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Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

Wedding Planning Do’s And Don’ts

Congratulations on your recent engagement! In the age of the internet you have endless options for wedding planning advice. That being said, before you search all over for different topics; we’ll make it simple for you. While wedding planning can be undoubtedly stressful, we can help with some wedding planning do’s and don’ts to avoid common unnecessary bumps in the road.

Do’s

1.) Get your engagement ring insured.

Could you imagine losing the most treasured, expensive piece of jewelry you’ve ever owned? You would be heartbroken, your fiance may puke. Let’s avoid that by ensuring your engagement ring is covered by an insurance policy just in case something happens to it. Better safe than sorry with such a meaningful piece of jewelry.

2.) Take time to enjoy your engagement before rushing into wedding planning.

It is so stereotypical to say this, but it’s true. “Slow down and soak this time in. It goes by so fast!” Soak in your engaged bliss by sharing the story with your loved ones. Or you could have a Zoom or in person celebration. Go on celebratory, “We’re engaged!” dates. As long as you give yourself a year to plan your wedding you are just fine. Remember you choose the date anyway, so enjoy it!

3.) Day dream and gather ideas and inspiration early.

Without putting pressure on yourself (because, remember, we are not rushing) look up different wedding colors, venues, and attire. Gather pretty ideas of inspiration so when you get planning you already have a starting point. Colors and photos of inspiration from bridal magazines or online blogs are great places to start. The options are endless, so best to narrow it down early.

Don’ts

1,) Ask for too many opinions.

This one always ends up becoming an issue for everyone. It’s great to talk about your plans with your loved ones, but remember the more opinions you open the door for, the more you will receive. Well-meaning relatives and friends often share their excitement for you by giving you wedding opinions and advice. Even then, you do not have to take that advice. Remember, it is your wedding. Trust you gut! At at the end of the day, those who matter will be so happy for you and the details will be forgotten.

2.) Plan a wedding you can’t afford.

We all love looking at dreamy online wedding photos. However, what you cannot tell by looking at the photos is the cost of that extravagant wedding. Some wedding dress photos on Pinterest, for example, will say they cost $900, when they actually costs over $3,000. Remember, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Photos are great for inspiration, not always your budget. Even so, there are ways to achieve the same aesthetic in a budget friendly way. Websites like Oriental Trading and Amazon are great for inexpensive wedding decorations.

3.) Forget to keep your wedding day in perspective.

Your wedding day is sure to be one of the most memorable, exciting days of your lives! Nevertheless, don’t forget a wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime. Continue dating each other just as you did before you were engaged. The wedding planning process can bring ups and downs. Hold close to each other, supportive friends, and family to help you keep small inconveniences and stresses in perspective. At the end of the day, you get to marry the love of your life. And, truly, The Beatles had it right when they said, “All You Need Is Love.”

We hope these quick and easy wedding planning do’s and don’ts help you avoid wedding planning mishaps. There are so many positive experiences you have while planning your wedding. Apply these great tips and it’ll be easier to focus on the good and lessen your wedding planning stress. Happy Planning!

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!

Wedding Planning Vendor Photographer

How To Reduce Wedding Planning Stress

How To Reduce Wedding Planning Stress

Wedding planning is notoriously stressful. Despite this common truth, so little focus is put on how to reduce wedding planning stress. Wedding planning does not have to be stressful if you have the right strategies. Here are useful tips and strategies to reduce your wedding planning stress.

Just Make The Decision.

The longer you ruminate over your options, the more your angst will grow. Your wedding is one day in your life. That being said, lower the stakes! The world will not end if you choose garden roses over peonies. Just make the decision and it will lead to another decision. You will feel less stressed and more productive after every decision. Who doesn’t love that feeling of checking off an item on your to-do list? Just decide, and do it!

Narrow Down Your Options.

It is way easier to choose from three options than seven. Narrow down each vendor, or decision, to a maximum of three options. Again, remember it is one day. The most important part of your wedding is your marriage; not that one day. Choose your favorite two or three choices, compare costs or other factors, then choose the best option. When you narrow down your options, you gain some of your precious time back for fun; instead of agonizing over decisions.

Do Not Procrastinate!

The worst thing you can do while wedding planning is procrastinating. Wedding vendors book out far in advance. In fact, most wedding planning occurs a year in advance. Save yourself from the heartbreak of your favorite vendors being unavailable because you waited too long. The sooner you book your vendors the less stressed you will be. With each decision you make more decisions will fall into place, so start sooner. In short, the early bird gets the worm!

Communicate About Your Budget.

Find out what your wedding budget is and stick to it. Whether you are self-funding your wedding or going the tradition route with the help of family; you need to know what your budget is. It is incredibly important to have clear communication regarding the finances of your wedding. Once you determine your budget, make it clear to all parties the importance of sticking to that budget. This will determine the size of your wedding, the venue you choose and a variety of important factors. Also, this is not a one time conversation. It will require continuous adjusting and conversations. Sometimes the one vendor costs more than expected, so you’ll have to adjust the budget somewhere else. Communication is key! Everyone who is financially involved needs to be on the same page with updates and expectations.

Prioritize The Most Important Aspects Of Your Wedding.

Each person’s priorities for their wedding day are different. Because of this, it is important you communicate yours effectively to your partner. Some couples have multiple priorities, such as: venue, flowers, photography, & ceremony vows.  There are no rules as to what priorities have to be, or how many you have to have. Just choose one or a multiple that are important to you as a couple. Then, it will be easier to allocate your focus, and money from your budget, to your priorities. Do not get caught up in the little details , such as font or calligraphy style, if it is not your priority. Choose to focus on your attention on what matters most to you. Then you can let the little things fall into place. This greatly reduces your stress by focusing your time on the aspects of planning you enjoy.

When Something Goes Wrong; Let Yourself Feel It, Breathe, Then Problem Solve.

Notice I said when, not if. Unfortunately the world is not perfect, so things won’t always turn out as planned. When this happens it is okay to feel upset. It is okay to be mad. Let yourself be mad or sad for an hour, then breathe! Odds are after giving yourself time to feel you’ll realize it really wasn’t as big of a deal in the first place. Then, you can focus on what your other options are to remedy the problem. Once you get your emotions out; focus on solutions. There truly is a solution to every problem; even if it’s not your ideal solution.

Every wedding is bound to have some stress. But, use these tips and you will reduce your wedding planning stress. Don’t forget you only get to plan your wedding once. Be as productive and focused as possible. You got this! For more wedding planning advice and inspiration, check out the blog posts below!

Thank you’s to: Lisa Hufford Photography & Jen McCullough!

White wedding

Return To A Classic Wedding

Return To A Classic Wedding

For 2019 we are going to see a return to classic wedding! We’ve seen so many rustic and bohemian themed weddings that it’s a breath of fresh air to return to classic elegance. What should you keep in mind for a classic wedding? We can help.

First, the color white.

Weddings are usually symbolic of the white (in various shades), but a classic wedding keeps white flowers. If you want a pop of color stick to greenery. The classic wedding is clean and elegant. Choose clean and classic  flower arrangements, and avoid a floral crown. It’s best left to the flower girls.
A simple décor with white flowers is classic. Too much decoration is distracting for your guests. This will create stunning photos with clear crystal chandeliers or sleek draping.

Second, you’ll want to wear a more traditional dress with a long veil.

A classic style also utilizes long sleeves on the wedding dress. There are several styles right now that are stunning, even a little Victorian. Keep the accessories minimal. You want be the center of attention and not your baubles. Your groom and the groomsmen should also keep things simple with dark suits or tuxes. The boutonniere’s should be simple florals as well.

Third, the wedding cake will complete your classic wedding.

A multi-tier white cake with tasteful décor and topper are perfect for the return to classic. The flavors inside can be where you get adventurous and bold!

The classic wedding also pays homage to tradition. You can re-create an old wedding photo of your parents’ day. Think clean lines, elegant refinement and a neutral color palette for your classic wedding!



Are you going to have a classic wedding? Did you apply this classic wedding style to your wedding? E-Mail us your photos with credited vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com

Tipping your Vendors

Tipping your Vendors
As a bride-to-be, you’re completely immersed in the wedding planning gamut. But what about tipping your vendors? You’ve read opinions from experts to former brides turned wedding planners to the noteworthy sites for checklists, plans, and inspired ideas for our big day.
Tipping your vendors is a personal expression of gratitude for services delivered graciously, efficiently, and on point.Some vendors should not expect a tip on top of the lofty prices you are paying they include: photographer, videographer, designer (for paper materials), etc. The most important people to tip are often overlooked, such as your wedding planner,banquet manager,florist, officiant and altar servers (if church ceremony),and DJ. These vendors may be tipped at the end of their service at your discretion.
The obvious people to tip would be your hair stylist and makeup artist (20%), and your limo driver (20% of the bill).The typical amount is 20% unless the fine print in your contracts state otherwise. Many times the gratuity for your chauffeur, bartenders, and wait staff will be included in your bill. Don’t be shy! Ask your vendors if their tip is included and even ask to see it in your proposal.
Usually, cash is king. However, some of your vendors may accept other means of tips–small gifts and gift cards are also a nice gesture. Your wedding day is an important day in your life, and you need to remember to take care of the people that helped execute your day flawlessly.
Lizzie Post

7 Wedding Tips From Lizzie Post

wedding eLizzie Post, the granddaughter of the famed etiquette queen, Emily Post, was recently featured on Style me Pretty with a few choice tips for brides and grooms on the rules of wedded bliss.  While so many of those old rules have been thrown out the window and modern couples are encouraged to be themselves and use their big day as an expression of their couple’s style, being gracious and polite absolutely NEVER goes out of style. We like the idea of keeping some of these key tips in mind and always embodying the utmost in manners especially during such an important time in your life.  Here is the roundup of our favorite money-saving and money savvy tips for the ultra modern bride! Enjoy!

 

1. It’s not polite to ask for cash, so subtly hint. Parents and the bridal party can spread the word too.

2. No. 1 rule of budgeting: start with the wedding guest list. An intimate gathering is a chic way to stay on budget.

3. It’s OKto reward yourself! When making those big vendor payments, try and choose a credit card instead of a check and earn cash back.

4. Tactfully negotiate with vendors through prioritization. An experienced vendor can stretch the budget if he/she knows what matters most to you.

5. Wedding Vendors are integral to your day, so always be kind, thank them for their help and services, and make prompt payments. Set up mobile alerts to ensure you don’t forget outstanding invoices.

6. Locally source your wedding. It’s eco-friendly and budget-friendly, while ensuring that your meal, wine and flowers are as fresh as possible.

7. With the average cost of a new wedding gown between $1,000-1,800, it’s perfectly acceptable and sensible to rent, borrow or purchase a pre-owned wedding dress.

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HazeltonHazelton Photography

Your Post-Wedding To-Do List

Now that you are engaged, most of your time and brainpower is probably going to planning the wedding. However, many brides forget about the things they should do after the wedding. Some of these tasks are enjoyable, while others just have to get done. To help you remember the things you have to do after the big day ends, here is your post-wedding to-do list.

1)      Write and Send Thank You Cards — Different people have different theories on how much time you have to send thank you cards. Basically, the sooner you get them out, the sooner you can stop worrying them. (And the sooner grandma will stop asking you about them.) Since this task can be time consuming, enlist your husband’s help.

2)      Take Care of Any Left Over Wedding Business — Once the wedding is over, pay any remaining balances and return all borrowed items. Your vendors will appreciate not having to hunt you down, and the people who lent you items won’t have to worry about you losing, breaking, or forgetting about the borrowed pieces.

3)      Play With All Those Pictures — One of the most fun post-wedding tasks is creating your wedding album and any photo gifts you plan to make for family and friends. Let your husband help you sort through all the great shots and decide how you want to display them.

4)      Preserve Those Keepsakes — There will be plenty of items from your wedding that you want to hold on to, so be prepared to preserve them after the wedding. Some options include preserving your gown or bouquet or creating a shadow box of mementos.

5)      Open All Those Gifts — This is possibly the best post-wedding task. You’ll love reading all the heartfelt messages in the wedding cards and opening and using all the great gifts people bought. Plus, you can usually expect to find some cash in those envelopes.

6)      Begin the Name Change Process — You’ve been looking forward to the day you’d become a Mrs., but if you decide to change your name, there is a long-list of to-dos. Once you visit the social security office and motor vehicle department, be sure to change your name on all important documents such as credit cards, bank information, insurance companies, etc.

7)      Consider Your Finances — Now that you are married, you may want to open a joint account with your husband. While it isn’t necessary to combine all of your money, a joint account will help you pay the bills you both will share. You may also want to create joint accounts for your insurance or phone bills. Often times, married couples can receive a discount by being on the same plan.