Category Archives: wedding planning details

beautiful summer wedding with lighting and beautiful dance floor

9 Amazing Wedding Themes You’ll Love

Planning a wedding reception requires a good wedding planning guide and, in some cases, a wedding theme list. The latter is incredibly helpful if you’re a couple who wants to use a theme to start creating an atmosphere with details that are completely and entirely you.

Jazzy

We’d be remiss as Chicago wedding professionals if we didn’t include this nod to Chicago’s heritage on our wedding theme list. A jazz wedding theme can be as modern or as vintage as wanted. A more modern take may include record accents, unique lighting, and a jazzy playlist. For a more vintage wedding, consider reproducing the atmosphere of an old jazz club—even going as far as to recreate a speakeasy with card and poker tables.

Nautical

A nautical or lakefront wedding theme is the perfect opportunity to enjoy all the perks of being on the lakefront. Picture a wedding at a popular lakefront venue, marina, or yacht club filled with an atmosphere in line with a day on the water. A nautical wedding theme is an opportunity plan the ultimate menu filled with your favorite local tastes and seafood dishes.

Retro/Vintage

A retro or vintage wedding theme is a throwback event, complete with touches and a playlist reminiscent of a different era or time. This is a theme that can be as unique as the era you choose—especially when choosing your favorite touches from that period. Best yet, this wedding theme lends itself to a wedding dance filled with your favorite songs from that era. (Hire a wedding DJ or band that can make that happen.)

Romantic

This is the perfect wedding theme for a Valentine’s Day wedding or for an intimate wedding reception. A romantic wedding theme can be as unique as the couple planning it: a neutral affair with upscale floral bouquets or late-night reception filled with roses and candles.

Fairy Tale

A fairy tale wedding brings the wonder of your fairy tale to life. This is your chance to make guests feel like they stepped into a vintage story book or a more modern version. In addition to wonderful décor, this is also a chance to incorporate the theme into the wedding dance with a royal wedding entrance and a fairy tale first wedding dance. (Your wedding DJ may have ideas as well, just ask.)

Rustic

A rustic wedding can be as modern or as country, and as formal or casual, as you prefer. This wedding theme is filled with natural elements that exemplify the rustic atmosphere: wood, greenery, floral accents, and atmospheric lighting.

Urban

An urban wedding deserves a modern wedding venue with a completely urban feel. The planning should continue with every detail that lends to a feel of the wonder of the urban landscape.

Winter

A winter wedding includes the wonders of the season—what those wonders are is different for every couple. This is your chance to select your favorite parts of the season and incorporate it into a beautiful wedding atmosphere. The result can be a neutral affair that exudes a winter wonderland or a cozy setting with tones of the season.

Spring/Summer

A spring or summer wedding is an atmosphere with fresh details: floral, greenery, seasonal menu dishes, and all the beauty of the season. This is an occasion where fresh blooms and ingredients are expected and celebrated.

Don’t procrastinate! 4 Wedding Vendors You Shouldn’t Wait to Book

wedding bride and groom surprising guests with balloonsWe’ve all procrastinated a time or two (or three or a hundred times), but here are 4 wedding vendors you shouldn’t wait to book if you want a fantastic wedding reception.

Venue

Why you shouldn’t wait: Your wedding venue is THE biggest detail of your wedding day.  You can’t hold a great party if you don’t have a venue to hold it in.  Plus, you have a lot of other details that you can’t set in stone without having a venue.

How to find a good one: Once you’ve decided on the location of your big day (i.e. destination wedding, hometown, city where you met, etc.), narrow down your options by deciding on your style, budget, and the size of your guest list.  Choose a venue that checks off all three boxes and any other unique wants and needs you want, such as a venue that allows you to bring in your own caterer or has no sound limitations for a fantastic late-night party.

When to book: Book your wedding venue about 12-16 months before your wedding date.

Caterer

Why you shouldn’t wait: You don’t want to leave your wedding guests with a bad taste in their mouths.  If you wait too long, all the good caterers are going to be booked and you’re going to have to settle for ho-hum cuisine.

How to find a good one:  Ask your friends and family for their recommendations or ask your venue for suggestions for a quality caterer.  Back your research up by checking out local reviews on social media or review sites.  Once you have a short list of caterers that are perfect for your big day, ask them for a quote and any other specific details you want for your big day.  Make sure you set up a tasting with your preferred caterer to sample the actual dishes you want on your wedding day; don’t book a caterer until you’ve made sure they live up to your standards.

When to book:  Sign the contract with your caterer 12 months before your wedding date.

Entertainment

Why you shouldn’t wait:  Don’t book a great venue and confirm a wonderful caterer only to leave your guests bored after dinner.

How to find a good one:  Decide whether you want a band or DJ (tips on how to choose the perfect wedding entertainment option here).  Once you’ve decided which option is your first choice (for you and your budget), ask your friends or family for recommendations and check the local review and social media sites for other couples’ opinions.  Make sure you ask these questions and look for entertainers that coordinate special moments with other vendors (i.e. photographer, videographer, venue, etc.) for wonderful memories that you can look at for years to come.  If you want to offer more fun for all ages, book a photo booth or bring out yard and table games for an entertaining wedding reception.

When to book:  Book your entertainers 14-18 months before your wedding date.

Videographer & Photographer

Why you shouldn’t wait: A bad videographer or photographer is going to leave you with less than stellar memories of the most important day of your life.

How to find a good one:  Ask your friends and family for recommendations, visit local wedding fairs, and let your keyboard do the searching.  Back your research up with review sites and reviews on social media sites to make sure you are booking the best.  Ask your prospective videographers and photographers for samples of their work before you sign on the bottom line.

When to book:  Book your videographer and photographer 12+ months before your wedding date.