Category Archives: wedding planning tips

chicago wedding reception with couple and guests taking selfies

10 Tips for Planning an AMAZING Chicago Wedding Reception

An amazing Chicago wedding reception is the highlight of the day. The dancing, unforgettable photos, and memories all add up to a day your friends’ll be talking about for years!

That’s the good news, but it does come with a disclaimer. Wedding planning can take any numbers of twists and turns—but it’s sure to be a lot less stressful if you use these tips for planning an amazing Chicago wedding reception!

Where to start planning your Chicago wedding reception

ALWAYS start planning with some important questions.

Before you start going wedding dress shopping or setting a dinner menu, sit down with your fiancé and ask some key questions. The answers to these questions can help you as you make decisions on big details, plus your fiancé’s answers might surprise you!

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/10/08/6-big-questions-that-kick-start-your-chicago-wedding-planning/

Don’t wait to set a wedding budget.

Planning a wedding is a marathon, not a sprint. A set wedding budget ensures that you set funds aside for aspects that make the biggest impact. Plus, it keeps you on track as you check off items on your wedding planning checklist.

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/10/23/wedding-planning-in-chicago-how-to-manage-your-wedding-budget/

It’s worth it to hire a strong team of wedding vendors.

Wedding planning can be incredibly stressful, but a strong team of wedding vendors make it easier. An experienced caterer, wedding planner, DJ, and photographer can help you solve problems and coordinate wedding details into a smooth and incredible wedding reception.

This list can help you find and hire the best wedding vendors so you have the best on your team. (Don’t wait. The best wedding vendors’ calendars fill up fast!)

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/11/06/first-chicago-wedding-vendors/

Never hire a wedding vendor without asking a few questions and doing some online research.

It’s one of the biggest—and most common—wedding planning mistakes couples make: hiring a vendor without vetting them. It may be tempting to hire a wedding vendor because it’s your friend’s relative or a family member recommends them. You should never hire a vendor without doing your due diligence. Start the process with a few questions that tell you if they are experienced and the right “one” for your big day. Then, head online and look for reviews so you know what other couples have thought of them.

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/03/05/28-must-ask-questions-for-every-wedding-dj/

Wedding Reception Tips

Choose the best wedding reception entertainment right away.

Your wedding reception entertainment is the focus of your reception, which is why it’s important of find and hire the best for your big day. This decision should be one of the first steps of planning a wedding reception in Chicago, and starts with answering the question: DJ or band?

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/01/17/10-questions-that-get-you-the-best-wedding-entertainment/

Know the typical order of wedding reception events (and feel free to make it your own).

Planning an awesome wedding reception is a step-by-step process, but it starts with taking the typical wedding reception and making it your own. (Ask your wedding DJ for more ideas that put your wedding reception over-the-top.)

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/02/14/what-is-the-wedding-reception-order-of-events/

Decide what “other” entertainment you want to add.

Don’t feel confined to one form of entertainment. Sometimes guests need a break from dancing, or just want to hang out and enjoy one of these fun wedding games. (Don’t hesitate to ask your wedding DJ for other ideas too!)

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/07/10/chicago-outdoor-wedding-entertainment/

Stay organized.

The best wedding planning tip is: stay organized! It’s important, especially when dealing with different wedding vendor deadlines and trying to pull all the details together. Luckily, there are quite a few wedding planning apps and a wedding planning checklist that can help, plus these tips that help stay organized (and less stressed!)

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/06/10/7-solid-tips-for-organizing-your-wedding-planning/

Try to stay one step ahead.

It’s important to stay one step ahead of your deadlines and your vendors as you plan a wedding reception in Chicago, primarily because your vendors need those confirmed details.

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/12/04/chicago-wedding-dj-info/

Find ways to take your wedding reception to the next level.

Want to make your wedding reception unforgettable? Start brainstorming with these ideas, and then turn them into an idea that feels completely you!

https://bloganenchante.wpengine.com/2020/05/13/6-ways-to-make-your-chicago-wedding-reception-unforgettable/
beautiful wedding reception with items from chicago wedding vendors

The First Chicago Wedding Vendors You Need to Book

Hiring the right Chicago wedding vendors for your big day is incredibly important! Having the right team in your corner makes planning easier, and gets you one step closer to the day of your dreams.

But who do you hire first? How do you find the right Chicago wedding vendors for your big day? Where do you start? This list of wedding vendors and tips can get you started planning your special Chicago day.

First Chicago Wedding Vendors to Book

Wedding Venue

The site of your wedding day is one of the most important details. Fortunately, there is a long list of Chicago wedding venues to choose from, including your own backyard!

When considering the best location for your wedding, have an open conversation with your fiancé and ask these questions:

  • What is our wedding date? (Use these tips for choosing the perfect wedding date if you haven’t narrowed down your options yet.)
  • What is our style (i.e. modern, historic, rustic, etc.)?
  • How big is our guest list? (You don’t need an exact count, but an estimate is helpful.)
  • What is our budget?

If there is anything you really wanted in a venue, now is the time to speak up! Do you want a big wedding venue with a big dance floor? Or a Chicago wedding venue with plenty of room for family seating?

Caterer

The Windy City is full of wonderful wedding caterers. Finding the right caterer comes down to a number of factors, such as your budget, what kind of dinner service (i.e. sit-down, family style, buffet, etc.) you prefer, and your menu. When contacting wedding caterers, ask each caterer if they are available on your wedding date, carry insurance, can prepare your menu preferences, and, if appropriate, when you can schedule a wedding tasting. (Always ask if there is a cost for the tasting. Every caterer has a different tasting policy.)

Wedding Entertainment

Your wedding entertainment boils down to the question: band, DJ, or DIY? Typically, wedding DJs are less expensive than bands, and don’t require you to purchase the equipment or man the music equipment station. Both wedding bands and DJs come with professionals that keep guests on the dance floor. Wedding bands often have limited playlists, while top-quality wedding DJs come with extensive play lists with all your “must play” songs. Talk through your options with your fiancé, plus whether you want live entertainment, need an emcee, and what your budget is for wedding entertainment. (Beyond a band or DJ, consider adding a little extra for wedding entertainment “extras” like lighting, trivia games, and photo booths.) If you choose a DJ, contact Chicago wedding DJs with this list of DJ questions.

Wedding Planner

If you need full- or part-time help planning your big day, seek out a Chicago wedding planning service or ask your wedding venue if they offer planning services. Ask every wedding planner if they have experience, for examples of their past work, and a few other important questions.

How to Find a Quality Wedding Vendor

Ask friends and family for recommendations.

Your friends and family members can be an invaluable source for wedding vendor recommendations. Be careful when their suggestions are for other friends or family members that offer the service “on the side.” Unfortunately, amateur services often come with unreliable communications and dated equipment that can lead to less-than-satisfactory performance.

Do online research.

There are many wedding review sites that give couples not only a list of Chicago wedding vendors, but also reviews. When researching wedding vendors, you should look for information about their service, testimonials, and a high review rating (from a large amount of reviews).

Meet with the vendor.

Never hire a wedding vendor without meeting with them. Never book a wedding venue without touring it. Never choose a wedding caterer without tasting their food. Even if your meeting is virtual, make sure you meet with the vendor so you can interview them and see if they are the “one.”

Review the contract carefully.

When hiring a wedding vendor, always review the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Once you’ve returned the contract, don’t forget to add deadlines to your wedding planning calendar or in your wedding planning app. (These other tips for organizing your wedding planning ensures that your experience is smooth—and yields an awesome wedding day.)

shot of people dancing at epic wedding reception

Wedding Planning in Chicago? How to Manage Your Wedding Budget

A wedding budget is an important part of planning a wedding in Chicago, and one detail that it pays (literally) to stay on top of. That’s why we’ve put together a list of wedding budget tips for couples looking to throw an awesome wedding reception on a set budget.

Talk with your fiancé.

The first step in managing your wedding budget is to set a budget. You can do this by sitting down and discussing finances with your fiancé. This is your chance to have an honest conversation about how much you both have available for the wedding and how you plan on paying for it (i.e. savings, credit card, loan, etc.) If anyone else has expressed interest in contributing to your wedding budget, discuss who it is and how you are going to approach them about their gift.

Use a wedding planning app or budget checklist.

When it comes to wedding planning, organization and budgeting go hand in hand. For some couples, this means setting up a binder with a wedding budget checklist, planning checklist, calendar, and pockets for receipts and various items. If you’d rather use your smartphone or tablet, check out one of these wedding planning apps with a built-in wedding budget checklist.

Allocate funds to the most important wedding details.

As you set a wedding budget, remember to allocate the majority of your funds to items that make the biggest impression on your guests. Plan on spending half of your budget on the biggest items that guests appreciate: venue, food, and entertainment. Be realistic with each budget line item; quality Chicago venues and wedding vendors come with a cost that is typically reflected in their service. Simply, the saying, “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to wedding planning.

Research every vendor.

Planning a wedding is about more than just filling in the blanks. As you plan, research every wedding vendor so you get exactly what you expect (both quality and cost). When hiring vendors, research local vendors by asking friends and family for recommendations or browse reviews online (on these wedding vendor review sites). Once you have a short list of vendors, interview each vendor to determine if they are the “one.” (For your DJ, use this list of wedding DJ questions.)

Read the fine print.

Your vendor interviews serve two purposes: 1) to determine if the vendor is a good fit that offers quality services, and 2) to get a full list of costs. Many wedding vendors have hidden fees, such as travel charges, overtime fees, etc. As you interview them, ask them for a full list of costs or look for wedding vendors that offer a package.

Don’t stop budgeting.

The key to managing a wedding budget is to develop a system and stick to it. As you plan, add your receipts into your app or on to your checklist. Take advantage of all the wedding budget tricks you can, and plan on adjusting costs if one line item is more than you planned for. If you stick to it, you’ll have a well-managed budget and a beautiful wedding day to show for your efforts.

Bride and groom sharing a special moment at the wedding leaning with their heads close together before their wedding dance

8 Top Chicago Wedding Planning Tips for an Amazing Wedding Day

Getting married in Chicago starts with a lengthy wedding planning process—one that it is a lot easier if you use these Chicago wedding planning tips. We’ve been part of thousands of Chicago wedding days, and here are some of the top Chicago wedding planning tips we’re passing on to you.

Don’t procrastinate.

Fortunately, Chicago is full of top-quality wedding venues and vendors. Unfortunately, many of those venues and vendors are in demand and their calendars fill up quickly. If you want the best Chicago entertainers, venues, caterers, and photographers, it’s best to start planning your wedding as soon as possible.

Professional tip: Set your wedding date first, then start contacting your must-have wedding vendors.

Talk with your fiancé before you start wedding planning.

Chicago wedding planning is a blank slate full of possibilities. If you want to narrow down those possibilities, sit down with your fiancé and discuss your wedding style, estimated guest count, budget, and any other items that are important to you.

Professional tip: Use these wedding planning tips to get an estimated guest count that you can use as you interview wedding vendors.

Choose the perfect Chicago wedding venue.

The perfect Chicago wedding venue creates a powerful first impression for guests and sets the stage for every other wedding detail. The Windy City is full of beautiful Chicago wedding venues that fit with every couple’s style: elegant, traditional, rustic, natural, and historic. When planning your wedding, choose the right wedding venue that fits your style, budget, and needs.

Professional tip: A wedding venue checklist and this list of wedding venue questions can help you narrow down your options.

Get organized.

Wedding planning comes with a long list of tasks, all of which comes with some research, follow-up, and deadlines. That’s why it’s important to choose your preferred method of wedding planning (paper or electronic) and figure out the best way to organize your research and receipts.

Professional tip: Set reminder alarms in your phone for key deadlines to stay on track with planning your Chicago wedding.

Set a wedding budget.

Discussing—and setting a wedding budget—is one of the most part of planning a wedding in Chicago. It’s important to discuss how you are going to pay for it and the total amount. From there, the total wedding planning budget should be broken down into categories, either in a wedding app or on paper. Always allocate the majority of your budget for items that play the biggest part in making your night magical (i.e. venue, food, entertainment).

Professional tip: For easier wedding planning, look for wedding vendors that offer package services (i.e. lighting and entertainment, equipment and food, etc.)

Research your vendors.

Hiring the best wedding vendors is key to a successful night. High-quality vendors not only deliver the best service, but they make the whole wedding planning process easier. To get the best vendors, ask your friends and family for recommendations and research vendors online (such as on social media and wedding websites like the Knot and Wedding Wire).

Professional tip: Watch out for amateurs that don’t have a business address or set business phone.

Don’t limit your wedding entertainment.

It’s natural to want to check off items on your long wedding planning checklist, but it’s important to make sure you have all your bases covered. This detail-oriented approach especially applies to wedding entertainment, where it’s important to have on- and off-dance floor entertainment and children’s activities.

Professional tip: Make sure you let your Chicago wedding DJ know about all your entertainment (and surprises) so they can make announcements.

Take a break from wedding planning.

Surprisingly, one of the most important wedding planning tips is to take breaks! Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, and an occasional get-away or break can be the perfect way to recharge your batteries and get you ready for tackling the next wedding planning takes on your wedding planning checklist.

wedding bride and groom surprising guests with balloons

7 Solid Tips for Organizing Your Wedding Planning

We’re not going to lie to you: planning a Chicago wedding reception comes with a long wedding planning checklist. If you want to stay on top of it, you have to get organized. These tips can help you organize all your vendors and deadlines—and even help you enjoy the process.

Talk with your fiancé before diving into wedding planning.

Knowing what you both want can make wedding planning smoother and a bit more effortless. This doesn’t mean you have to lock in every wedding detail before you start, but it does mean knowing what each of you want on your big day.

Before you start wedding planning, sit down together and ask where you want to get married, if you want a big or small wedding, what your style is, and what you both want on your big day. This is also an ideal time to set a wedding budget and discuss your finances.

Make a system.

If you want to keep track of deadlines and your checklist tasks, come up with a foolproof system at the beginning of planning your Chicago wedding reception. Your system can be a paper binder or one of these great wedding planning apps. Either way, setting a system now makes it easier to keep track of deadlines, like when you need to contact your DJ with your must play list.

Use a wedding planning checklist.

A wedding planning checklist, either on paper or in an app, is one of the most important guides—if not the most important—during wedding planning. It’s a great way to set deadlines for hiring vendors and getting do-it-yourself projects done.

Set a budget (but be realistic).

In terms of importance, the wedding budget worksheet ranks right behind the wedding planning checklist. This is your chance to set a budget for vendors and allocate money for the most important items, such as the wedding venue, food, and entertainment.

When setting a budget, be careful about setting the bar too low. Unfortunately, the saying, “you get what you pay for” often applies. Be cautious about settling for amateurs that come with a small price tag and deliver less-than-stellar service.

Ask your vendors about deadlines.

As you prepare for the fun journey of wedding planning, be incredibly careful about sticking to vendor deadlines. You can track these with a wedding app or by setting alarms in your phone. If you have friends that are managing projects, don’t forget to give them deadlines as well. Unfortunately, missed deadlines are the source of many last-minute panic attacks and headaches.

Don’t be afraid to lean on the pros you hired.

When hiring vendors, always do your research and interview every vendor (like with these Chicago wedding DJ interview questions) to ensure that they are a good fit and have the experience you need. Once you are comfortable with your decision, don’t hesitate to ask the pros you hired for assistance and guidance.

Keep at it.

Wedding organization is a marathon not a sprint. As you plan, remember to keep organizing! If you feel overwhelmed, take a break and head out for an impromptu date with your fiancé. When you’re done, you can return to your organized wedding planning and enjoy the idea of a fantastic Chicago wedding reception.

beautiful summer wedding with lighting and beautiful dance floor

Your Fool-Proof Formula for Planning the Best Wedding Reception

If only planning a rocking wedding reception was as easy as basic math! Fortunately, it can be—if you use these tips for planning a wedding dance your guests’ll be talking about long after the honeymoon is over.

Spend your budget on things your guests care about.

Setting a wedding budget should be one of your first steps of planning a wedding reception—and an incredibly important one. Your wedding budget is your chance to allocate your dollars for items that play the biggest role in making the wedding reception incredible for you and your guests. These big-ticket items include: venue, food, and entertainment.

Research your vendors.

Once you’ve allocated your funds, it’s time to hire the professionals that can turn your vision into reality. While it may be tempting to just hire the first caterer or wedding DJ you find online, it’s incredibly prudent to research potential vendors before you hire them.

There are a few ways to research vendors: in-person (at a friend or family member’s wedding), online, or from recommendations. Obviously, the first method is the most reliable; if they did awesome at another event, you know they are high-quality. However, don’t forget to ask the couple that hired them about their experience with the vendor. You don’t want to hire someone that doesn’t return your calls or is difficult to deal with.

If you research venues online, always check third-party websites for reviews from other couples. There are a quite reputable sites for wedding vendors, such as Wedding Wire, the Knot, and Yelp.

The last way to get names of wedding vendors is to ask friends or family. If you ask friends or family for recommendations, be careful about “my brother…” or “my friend’s cousin has a DJ service.” While it might be appealing to hire a low-cost wedding DJ, the hire also comes with a risk. Unfortunately, many one-man DJ services offer a one-size-fits-all playlist with no chance for customization. They typically don’t have back-up DJ in case of an emergency or back-up equipment after a breakdown.

Interview, interview, interview.

Before signing on the dotted line, you should always interview each and every wedding vendor. Ask every wedding vendor about their availability, liability insurance (incredibly important), cancellation policy, costs (including the number of hours and services), additional fees (i.e. overtime fees, travel fees), plus a few other important questions. (Here are some specific questions for a wedding caterer and wedding DJ.) If you’re serious about hiring them, always ask about any deadlines so you can stay on schedule with your wedding planning.

Trust the pros.

You’ve hired your wedding vendors because you trust them. Now it’s time to enjoy the wedding planning process, take a few de-stressing breaks, and look forward to your special day!

guests at wedding reception enjoying dances during wedding reception order of events

What is the wedding reception order of events?

Planning your wedding is almost impossible without a wedding reception order of events. After all, the 4-6 hours of the wedding reception should be packed with fun! This list does come with a disclaimer; every wedding is a personal event with an order of events, songs (more on how to set a custom wedding playlist here), and games that fit with your unique style. So let the planning begin with this general wedding reception order of events!

Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour is the short time after the ceremony and before the dinner. This is a time all about the guests because the wedding party is typically getting photos taken and socializing. Typically, cocktail hour comprises of muted music from a live entertainer or wedding DJ. (Ask the wedding DJ if cocktail hour and dinner music is included in the package.)

Wedding Party Entrance

Your wedding party entrance is your chance to make a big splash! A wedding party entrance can be as different as you are (check out this list of wedding party entrance ideas)—and the start of a fantastic celebration. If you’ve hired an experienced DJ (this list of wedding DJ hiring tips can help), ask them for ways to coordinate your unique wedding party entrance.

Dinner & Toasts

The wedding dinner is a muted occasion (at least, when it comes to music volume), but it’s also a part of the wedding reception that requires coordination. To make sure the dinner goes smoothly, you need to make sure there is a sound system for toasts (which may be provided by the wedding venue or DJ) and an emcee to announce the toasts and order of dinner (especially important if the dinner is a buffet). Some wedding DJs provide this service; couples should always ask if this service is included in the wedding DJ services.

Cake Cutting

This sweet part of the wedding reception may not always involve cake (non-cake desserts are a delicious wedding trend), but it should involve a big announcement from the emcee and a coordination with your videographer or photographer (an experienced DJ can make this happen).

Wedding Dance

The wedding dance is one of the most custom part of the reception; this is your chance to make your big night especially you! The good new is that a good Chicago wedding DJ or band can customize the evening’s events (if they don’t ask about your preferences, be worried) to include your favorite songs and games (plus a few wedding reception surprises!) A traditional wedding dance usually includes:

  • Wedding Party Announcement
  • First Dance (ideas for a fantastic first dance here)
  • Mother-Son Dance
  • Father-Daughter Dance

One of the biggest wedding reception trends that guests appreciate is a late night course. This is a couple’s chance to keep their guests fueled for the dance floor—and provides a chance to get creative with your menu! A late-night wedding course does require an announcement, so make sure to mention this part of the wedding reception order of events to your band or wedding DJ.

Last Dance & Exit

If you don’t want the wedding reception to fizzle out, talk to your band or wedding DJ about ending with a bang. An experienced wedding DJ or band leader may have ideas, or you can come up with your own idea for the end of your wedding reception.

wedding dance floor with DJ after planning a Chicago wedding

Wedding Reception Schedule and Planning Tips (For a Night of Fun!)

Couples planning a wedding reception, beware: the one commonality among every wedding reception schedule is that they are all different. However, there is a general outline (and a few tips) that can make planning a wedding reception easier—and a lot more fun!

Typical Wedding Reception Schedule

Cocktail Hour

Dinner

Toasts

Cake Cutting

Wedding Dances (Wedding Party Announcement, First Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Etc.)

Last Dance

Wedding Reception Planning Tips

  • Choose wedding vendors that coordinate services for a seamless wedding dance (like a DJ that coordinates the schedule with a photographer so you can make sure you get shots of your first dance).
  • Be careful about hiring vendors that a friend of a friend recommends. Always research and look for red flags so you hire the best vendors.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask venue staff and vendors for suggestions; they may have ideas you haven’t considered yet.
  • Plan a lay out that keeps guests circulating and entertained (i.e. such as a photo booth near the dance floor or wedding games in a strategic location that guests can find and enjoy).
  • Hire a wedding entertainer that can serve as emcee and make announcements. Your guests’ll appreciate it.
  • Make sure there is a beverage station near the dance floor so guests stay hydrated…and can keep having fun!
  • Give guests who aren’t dancers other ways to entertain themselves at the reception.
  • Use a wedding budget checklist to ensure that your funds are being allocated for really important items that guests enjoy (i.e. food, dance music, etc.)
  • Add a surprise to the wedding reception schedule for an awesome and memorable moment guests can talk about long after your wedding is done.
  • Make your first wedding dance different from the norm with these dance ideas.
  • Don’t skimp on wedding entertainment; while it might be tempting to hire the cheapest, the entertainment can make the evening or send guests to the door.
  • Tell your wedding dance entertainer songs you want played—and don’t want played—at your dance. Be careful about hiring entertainers that don’t ask; this night is all about you!
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.

3 BIG New Years Resolution’s Every Bride & Groom-to-be MUST Make

engagement ringIf your holidays included one of those wonderful engagement stories we’ve been hearing about, it’s time to make a whole new New Year’s resolution: a wedding planning resolution.  (Or a whole set of wedding planning resolutions!)  Trust us: you’ll be glad you adopted one of these New Year’s resolutions when you’re enjoying the most important day of your life dancing the night away and loving every minute of it.

I will not procrastinate during wedding planning.

It’s so easy to see why this common wedding planning mistake happens: your wedding day seems far off, right? Don’t fall into the trap. Many a bride and groom has waited too long and missed out on booking their favorite DJ, caterer, or wedding venue.

How to fulfill this resolution: Don’t procrastinate when searching and hiring the wedding vendors that matter, such as the venue, DJ, caterer, and any other parts of your wedding that you really, really want (the best vendors’ calendars fill up fast!).  Once you have your ‘must haves’ booked, use a wedding planning calendar to make sure you get all your wedding planning tasks done on time.

I will think about those ‘what if’ wedding day situations.

We see this happen when couples book DJ’s: they hire that friend of a friend that’s going to give them a killer deal—without thinking about what’s going to happen if their friend gets sick.  The same thing can happen when they book an outdoor venue without a plan ‘B’ for the weather.  The list of possible disasters could go on and on if you don’t have a contingency plan (or hire a vendor with a plan).

How to fulfill this resolution: Be aware that things can go wrong, and think through possible contingency scenarios.  Have a plan B at your outdoor venue in case the weather goes bad.  Hire a wedding DJ service so you have a back-up DJ or equipment available just in case.  If you have any questions, ask your vendors about their plans for those ‘what if’ situations.

I will not just book the cheapest wedding vendors.

When your wedding budget is tight, it’s easy to feel that the cheapest is the best option.  However, you’re going to feel that on your wedding day when the cheapest vendors provide service that feels, well, cheap.

How to fulfill this resolution: If you have the budget to do so, don’t just automatically book the cheapest vendor.  Look for quality over cost.  That doesn’t mean you need to book the most expensive, but it does mean to do your research and book quality wedding vendors that can give you top-notch service.  If you want to save money on those quality vendors, use these tips to save money on wedding planning. In short, allocate more foods for the things that count: venue, entertainment, all the things that matter to you—and save money in other areas for a memorable night you’ll be glad you made a New Year’s resolution for!