What To Do Now That You're Engaged!

Cheers to you, newly engaged couple! We're so excited for you and there's a road of adventure you're about to embark on. We've created some videos for you that you can find in this post but we've also got some tips to share with you!

Here's part 1 of 2 on what to do now that you're engaged! See the listing below for details, too.

  • Enjoy and indulge! Look at the ring, go out, enjoy the newly engaged feeling with your better half. Tell family and friends that you want in person or over the phone before posting on social media. Post on social media! Share a photo of the proposal or the photo right after. We'd love to see the ring! Don't forget to buy and read wedding magazines and have some chocolate and bubbly in a warm bath!
     
  • What is your vision as a couple? When it comes to weddings, everyone has an opinion. What are the two of you hoping for? Weddings can be big or small, indoor or outdoor, in your hometown, a destination wedding, etc. Talk through all of it, including budget and guest list.
     
  • Talk with the VIPs. Let parents know your plans and see how they want to be a part of the wedding planning process.
     
  • Consider hiring a planner. There's a planner for every budget and different packages and customization options.

Here's part 2 of 2 on what to do now that you're engaged! See the listing below for details, too.

  • Budget. What are you working with financially to be able to host your ideal wedding? Your budget will also vary by city.
     
  • Your guest list. Who is going to be invited? How far will you go into the extended family when it comes to inviting your family? Will coworkers be invited?
     
  • Time of year and which year are important. In Chicago peak wedding season is April/May-November so if you get engaged in December or January you might want to book your wedding for the next wedding season if you want a book a peak date at a popular venue.
     
  • Create a wedding binder/have a folder. This will allow you to keep all of your wedding contracts and details all in one place.
     
  • Set your wedding date. Make sure to coordinate the ceremony and reception locations (if they're separate) to make sure they are both available on your preferred wedding date.

Happy planning!

Don't Forget: Wedding Photography

After working in the wedding industry for so long you learn that photography matters. Let me say that one more time - PHOTOGRAPHY MATTERS!

 

The average wedding cost in 2016 is anywhere from $26,000 - $33,000. That is not a small chunk of change, so don't you want to have a photographer who will work with you to capture every detail of that day, as you would like to remember it? These tips will give you a solid insight on what you should be asking and looking for in a photographer for your wedding day. 

  • Pricing
  • When to Look
  • Style / Flexibility
  • Pricing
  • Engagement Photos
  • Video / Cinematography
  • Wedding Album Options
  • Personality Attraction

The photos and cinematography from your Wedding Day are memories that you will cherish and look upon for years to come - so don't wait until the last minute and don't skimp out!

5 Tips for your Winter Wedding

Though there is nothing that isn't absolutely stunning about a snowy Winter Weddings - there are different aspects that you have to pay attention to compared to the more predictable June wedding 

 

1. Be careful when picking a destination

Don’t pick a venue that is far away from the majority of the guests or a venue that is set off to the side of society.  Winter weather is unpredictable.  Even though your event will be inside, there is no guarantee that the weather will keep people from getting to your venue.  If a snow storm hits, it can be hard for people to drive to the wedding.

2. Floral

When planning your wedding in the months leading up to the event, be careful not to get hooked on a type of flower that is out of season.  Some flowers can either be impossible to find during this time of the year or very expensive to obtain.  By picking something you know will be in season, you can avoid disappointment.

3. Shoes

Bring extra shoes.  If it is icy, you don’t want to have your bride and your bridesmaids wearing heals.  Bring flat shoes with traction to avoid any spills before the ceremony. Always remember to be cautious.

4 Temperature

Make sure that your venue is properly heated.  In the snowy season, your guests are going to be wearing thicker clothes and more layers. Consult a temperature with the venue management that will keep the venue warm enough to be comfortable but not too warm so that you guests have to either undress  and overheat.

5) Be careful with the menu

While the winter season is the time for comfort food, think twice before serving the favored heavy meals.  If your reception has only heavy meals - people may become tired and ready to leave before the party starts.  By serving lighter meals, you have a better chance of your guests being on the dance floor all night long.

Happy Planning!

Admirable Advice

It is not unheard of to ask you guests for marriage advice.  Chances are the majority of your guests are married or have been married at one point in time.  This means that they all have a good idea of what to do and what not to do in order to have a long lasting and happy marriage.  To get some ideas that will keep your relationship strong, offer an advice box for your guests to leave comments and suggestions at your reception.  They will think it fun and you and your partner will benefit greatly.

Another similar and creative idea is to construct a date box.  This gives your guests the opportunity to offer ideas of how to keep your relationship fresh and lively.  It will also allow your guests to build ideas off of one another and give them some unique ideas that they too can participate in on date night.

These ideas can be tweaked and changed to fit your own unique interests.  They are just a couple of ways to obtain advice and ideas from those with experience and from those who care.

Happy Planning!

How To: Wedding Registry

When thinking about potential gifts that you would like to receive for your wedding, think practicality, but don't forget to have some fun with it! Registering for gifts is important because it gives your guests an idea of what you and your fiancé still need in order to have a full and properly functioning home. It also allows for you to avoid receiving doubles of items you may want. By making a registry, your guests will not only be able to see what you would like, but they can also see if something has already been purchased for you by someone else.

When creating your wedding registry, make sure you complete it at least seven to nine months before the wedding. By doing this, you can use the same registry for both you wedding shower as well as for the wedding itself. It will also allow for people to have time as much time as possible to go out and find you the perfect gift.

Feel free to update your registry often. If you forget to add an item or you come across something you would like but did not think of initially, you can always continue to add to the list!

Another way to stay efficient is to do your registry together. By doing this, you will be able to figure out what you are missing and find something that you will both enjoy.

Something else to keep in mind is the prices of the items that you choose to put on your registry. Make sure that you find things that fall under a wide price range. This gives your guests options and will allow them to find something that they can buy that fits their specific spending budget. Remember to stay considerate!

Finally, register at multiple places. If you limit yourself to one place, it limits the options for your guests. It will also add convenience your guests, if one store is not close to them, another might be.

Making your registry should be fun, by starting early and giving options you can eliminate your stress! Happy planning!

Where to Begin Wedding Planning

If you are having trouble getting started on planning your wedding or just simply don't know where to begin, take a look at these helpful questions that will get you planning!

1) Would you like a Full-Service planner, a Partial-Service planner or a Day-Of planner?

2) What season best suits your wedding style?

3) Do you have a tentitive date in mind?

4) Do you want an indoor or outdoor ceremony? - Do you want an indoor or outdoor reception?

5) What city or town inspires you? In other words, where would you like to host your event?

6) Have any venue's caught your eye? If not, ask your planner for some ideas!

7) What color or colors will show off the happy couples inner flare?

8) Would you prefer that your bridesmaids wear short or long dresses?

9) How many people would you like to participate in your bridal party?

10) Who is the first person that comes to mind when thinking of a Maid of Honor or a Best Man?