Getting the best wedding food for your budget
By Patti Herioux
Event Planner, With Love
Up to 50% of your wedding budget will be spent on food and beverage. That makes the decision of who to hire for your catering needs something not be taken lightly. Unless you are on a limitless budget–which, face it, you aren’t–you need to put a lot of thought into how you allocate these funds. The goal is to provide delicious food that leaves your guests full, satisfied and licking their lips… not making a run for the nearest drive-thru! Read more
Get to Know ETSY!
By Lindsay Sally of Big Day Boutique
Brides are always looking for ways to make their special day unique. One of the best resources we recommend is www.etsy.com. Etsy is a website where incredibly creative people sell their handmade products as well as offer custom designs. Read more
By Kristina Nemetz, Catering Manager at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton, IL
Your wedding day on average will consume over one thousand hours of time (yes that searching on the Knot does count) and you will spend more money than you will ever care to admit. Here is a little secret that will save you time and money…have your ceremony and reception at the same location! Read more
Filed under Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception, Wedding Venues · Tagged with Arrowhead Golf Club, Chicago, Chicago wedding, Chicago Wedding Ceremony, Chicago wedding vendors, Chicago Wedding Venues, Wedding, Wedding Advice, wedding budget, Wedding Budgeting, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Planning, wedding professionals, Wedding Tips, Wedding Venues
By Cynthia Rensink
Everlasting Elegant Wedding
10. We save you time! Your time is valuable. On average a wedding takes at least 1200 hours to plan start to finish. How many hours do you and your fiancé have left in your day after working your full-time job? With a planner, your wedding becomes their full-time job, dedicated to making your day special.
9. We offer advice and guidance! There are many vendors who offer many different options with their packages. Since this is the planner’s job, we will look at the whole picture of your “wedding day” to make sure that the right vendor and the right package are selected.
8. We save you money! We have established relationships with many different vendors who will “work with us” to ensure you stay on budget. Some will even offer you a discount because of our referral.
7. We organize your entire event! From choosing your save-the-date cards and invitations to the bridal gown, church and reception (venue). We are with you every step of the way.
6. We take your dream and make it a reality! With countless options available for your decorations and style, your planner can help you narrow down an option that will be cost-effective and fit within your budget while still giving you your dream wedding.
5. We bond your puzzle pieces (vendors) together! With the countless hours and money that is spent in planning a wedding, we will make sure that every puzzle piece will fit together smoothly. We make sure there are no missing pieces. On your wedding day, we make sure that all of your puzzle pieces (vendors) will stay on track and in place to make you your beautiful wedding day picture.
4. We manage the manners! There are many ways to plan a wedding, but one thing that is a factor in every wedding is etiquette. Wedding planners have experience and knowledge necessary to advise bride and their family on how to invite guests, on how to deal with difficult family issues, on how to create a processional order at the ceremony, to assign seats at the reception, and when to send thank-you notes, and so on.
3. We provide you with security! Hiring a wedding planner means less risk of something to go wrong or be forgotten. We will make sure that all your bases are covered.
2. We remove the stress! When you have a planner, it is like having a life insurance policy. You can sit back and enjoy the planning of your wedding day knowing that every detail will be covered without disturbing your joy.
1. We provide you with peace-of-mind! We become your wedding day investment broker. Your wedding day is a huge investment in you. There is nothing better than knowing that the investment you made in your wedding day was well worth every hour and dollar spent. We will make sure that your investment will give you many years of joy and happiness so that when you look back at your memories, you will remember that you were not stressed and enjoyed your wedding day to the fullest.
Filed under Wedding Advice, Wedding Planners, Wedding Tips · Tagged with Chicago, Chicago wedding, Chicago Wedding Planner, Chicago wedding vendors, Wedding, Wedding Advice, wedding budget, Wedding Budgeting, wedding checklist, wedding newsletter, Wedding Planning, wedding professionals, Wedding Tips
by Kara Schultz of Kara Schultz Storyteller
So you’re engaged and now what?! It’s all pretty overwhelming isn’t it? And a lot of the decisions that impact your day you have to get working on pretty soon! Good photographers generally book up about a year in advance for prime dates, while some Fridays and Sundays will be more flexible, some photographers won’t work more than once in a weekend, others will.
By Cynthia Rensink
Everlasting Elegant Wedding
Which type of style are you looking for?
There are three types of wedding ceremonies: formal, semi-formal and an informal wedding. There is also the style of the wedding to consider: traditional or non-traditional ceremony. How you decide which one is best for you? The best way to decide is by the location of the ceremony, the number of guests you want to have and the time of the day you want to have it. Read more
Filed under Wedding Advice, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Planners · Tagged with Chicago, Chicago wedding, Chicago Wedding Ceremony, Chicago Wedding Officiant, Chicago Wedding Planner, Chicago wedding vendors, Wedding, Wedding Advice, wedding budget, Wedding Budgeting, Wedding Ceremony, wedding newsletter, Wedding Planners, Wedding Planning, wedding professionals, Wedding Tips
How to Hire a Wedding Planner
By Patti Herioux
With Love, Event Planner
That shiny new ring on your finger is just the start of your wedding planning process. Maybe you are the bride who already has a binder of magazine cut-outs -we’ve all seen that episode of ‘Friends” – or perhaps you have never given much thought to the details of what will be your wedding day. Either way, a wedding planner can be your biggest advocate in this entire process. Read more
Ten Things to Consider When Picking Your Venue
by Patti Herioux
With Love, Event Planner
You took careful consideration when selecting your beloved, now it’s time to take careful consideration when selecting your wedding venue! This venue sets the stage for all pieces of your wedding reception and will be one of the most crucial decisions you make. Read bridal magazines (Chicago Style Weddings has a great venue section), surf the web, and pay attention to the weddings you attend to get started in your quest to find the perfect setting for your big day. Select a few locations and schedule visits armed with this list of your top ten considerations to making your decision. Read more
Filed under Wedding Advice, Wedding Planners, Wedding Reception · Tagged with Chicago, Chicago wedding, Chicago wedding vendors, Chicago Wedding Venues, Wedding, Wedding Advice, wedding budget, Wedding Budgeting, wedding newsletter, Wedding Planning, wedding professionals, Wedding Tips, Wedding Venues
You’re about to spend a lot of money. That much is certain. The thing that is not certain is where that cash will be coming from. Read more
Top 10 Ways to Save Money
By Patti Herioux
With Love, Event Planner
1. Opt for Off Peak!
The busiest season for the wedding market in Chicagoland is between April and November. By getting married in the winter months you may be able to take advantage of lower minimums or discounted package prices. If you can’t imagine a winter wedding, but you still want to save a few bucks, go for any day other than Saturday. The most common secondary days are Friday and Sunday.
2. DIY – If you are the slightest bit crafty, or have crafty bridesmaids, you can take on some Do-It-Yourself projects to save cash. Invitations, programs, place cards, etc. can all be part of a fun girls night!
3. Shop Online Shopping online is sometimes shunned by bridal vendors, but the world wide web gives you access to many reputable vendors that can save you big bucks! From dresses to toasting flutes!
4. Hire a Planner You are probably wondering how you save money by hiring yet another vendor. Wedding planners have connections and vendors they work with regularly that give their clients price breaks or incentives. Not only will a good planner save you money, but they will save you time!
5. Cut Your Guest List Between you, your fiancé and both sets of parents the guest list tends to grow out of control. Consider who is on that list and cut all that aren’t essential and important to you!
6. Book a Package Deal When you start to book your vendors consider all they have to offer. For instance, if a DJ also offers ambient lighting and a photo booth and you want all those items, book a combination package. A package price will usually merit a discount and hiring one company to come over three will definitely be more cost efficient.
7. Use In Season Flowers You may have dreams of delicate lily of the valley or fields of poppies, but consider the season. Ask your florist what flowers are most affordable for the time of year of your wedding and use those blooms. Keep the unusual or exotic to the bride’s bouquet only.
8. Forgo the Traditional Centerpiece Flowers are most common for centerpieces, but don’t limit yourself to just that option. Candles can be every bit as impactful at a fraction of the price. Another option would be to use your favors as centerpieces. Think outside the box!
9. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse Going back to the fact that you are probably one in your group of friends getting married, consider what you can pass along. Did your friend have a veil you loved? Also, contact your church and ask if there are any weddings on the same day as yours. Talk to the other bride about sharing church flowers.
10. Dance to a DJ When it comes to picking your reception entertainment, some options come with a heftier price tag than others. Hire a DJ to dance the night away to instead of a full band. A full band will not only cost more to hire, but also consider the price of vendor meals and gratuities for one verses many.
…and a Few Places to Spend Money
1. Photography Those pictures will hang on your walls for years to come. Spend a few extra dollars to get the quality you want. Your wedding album will be one of your most precious memories, choose your photographer wisely!
2. Entertainment Most brides and grooms will say it is a priority to have a fun party that goes all night. Your brother’s friend in the corner with his I-Pod and strobe light isn’t a good formula to start that fun. Spring for a knowledgeable and experienced wedding DJ or Band that can read the crowd and keep the party hoping.
If your guests leave early because the music is bad, you’ve wasted a lot of money on food and beverage.
3. Videography Many couples debate on if they should hire a videographer. When budget gets tight it is usually one of the first things to go. But think about this, in 40 years wouldn’t it be great to sit down with your kids and watch your wedding video?
4. Linens Picture this, your wedding reception with tables and tables of white, cotton linens. Now picture this, your wedding reception with tables of luscious satin, custom colored linens. Enough said.
5. Day of Coordinator You’ve spent an average of 250 hours planning your wedding, it’s time to let go and enjoy! By hiring a day of coordinator (or having a wedding planner) you will be able to live in every blissful moment of your wedding day, focused on your fiancé and the fun, while she runs the behind the scenes. With all the money you’ve spent, make sure you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy it!
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