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Chicago Wedding Caterers You Need To Know
Kayla Brooke Photography One of the most important vendors you’ll look into first when you start planning your wedding will be your caterer! So many couples describe their dream wedding as “the perfect guest experience.” The way to make that happen? Hiring the caterer to fit your guests needs. Catering is usually the area where most of your budget will be going towards, so you want to make sure you have a trustworthy and communicative point of contact through your catering company. Getting insight from your planner, friends who have hosted their own wedding, and this blog is a great way to start! Let’s talk about some of our favorite caterers in the Chicago area! 1. LM LM Catering is one of my favorites in Chicago. They own 6 venues in the city who they cater for and will also pack up and go wherever you need them! If you have a lot of vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free guests, LM is the way to go! With or without meat, their food is always Delicious! 2. Big Delicious Planet Big Delicious Planet is not only a gorgeous venue, but also a truly fantastic catering company. They are a woman owned and run business, who make the stress of wedding planning feel like the easiest task in the world. Each of them will go above and beyond to make sure you and your family are satisfied. We love everyone over at BDP! 3. Butter & Vine Talk about delicious food! Butter and Vine offers a truly incredible tasting experience with a price that won’t give you sticker shock! They offer so many incredible food choices and will work with India House to create an incredible Indian menu you won’t believe! 4. Hearty Boys Everyone working at Hearty Boys has fallen in love with the entire process of catering for any event. You can tell in each dish they serve you how much it means to them and the passion that goes into it. Not only that, they are also incredibly communicative and always so easy to work with! 5. Entertaining Company Every process with Entertaining Company is truly a joy. Their point of contact, Jane, will not leave your side until you are completely satisfied with the catering plan and will make the food the coolest part of the entire event! Their custom approach to wedding catering menus and the warmness of their entire team will guarantee you will have such a blast working with EC! As always, my advice is to reach out to every vendor that even slightly peaks your interest! Set up meet and greets to see who you vibe with and get all your initial questions answered and after you select a proposal or 2 that you love, schedule a tasting to finalize your menu selections and choice for your wedding caterer! Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
You're Engaged! Now what?
Whew! You’re engaged! Maybe it was a whirlwind romance and a complete surprise or maybe it happened in the comfort of your home over dinner with your life-long best friend. Either way, congratulations! What a huge moment! Now that you’ve taken some time to celebrate and let the reality sink in, it’s time to start planning! (btw if you haven’t taken some time to soak it in, stop and do that first!!) But where to start? We know that getting engaged and quickly go from exciting to overwhelming money sucking hole. Here is how to get started and hopefully keep that newly engaged glow about you while you do it. Talk Money + Potential Timeframe. Have a candid conversation with each other and your families about what is being contributed to the budget. Be realistic about what can be counted on financially in the timeframe in which you’re looking to plan. Also, talk about what is comfortable to spend - not just what you can spend. For many, just because you have it doesn’t mean you want to spend it and knowing your spending COMFORT ZONE is just as important as knowing your realistic budget. Keep in mind that your wedding expenses will be deposit/retainer heavy on the front end and final payment heavy on the back end, with some vendors (like us!) offering payment plans throughout the middle. Talk Guest Count. Now that you have a budget set, start talking about that guest list. You don’t need to have addresses and full family names captured yet, but an idea of who you’d like to invite. Now, reconcile that number with your budget, by multiplying your guest count by 400. We’ve found that $400pp is an average overall spend in our market, depending of course on specifics, but it’s a good place to start to pulse check if your target budget is possible. If it’s less than $400pp, We’d recommend starting to cut your guest list down to an A and B list and consulting with a local planner to discuss what is possible in your comfort zone. Decide if you’ll work with a Planner. You’ll always get the most out of your investment in a Planner by working with them from the start. Wedding Planners can help you avoid expensive mistakes in the venue search process , but depending on your goals and comfort with planning, you might not find this a necessary step. Either way, it’s best to be intentional about this decision from the beginning. If you decide to work with a Planner from the beginning, now is a great time to start having those initial interviews. Start Doing Research. Start looking at different wedding styles, venues, and vendors in your market. Saving looks and teams you like. Start consuming content (blogs, IG captions, tiktoks, etc) made by local vendors to start digesting the realities of the market you’re getting married in. Timeframes you should start planning in, months that venue and vendor availability is most competitive, average costs for various services, etc. Get organized. We’ve talked about ways to plan your wedding without losing your mind before. Get a planning timeline to work in, get a checklist, and put some systems in place to help keep planning simple + predictable. Start Venue Shopping. Now you’re ready to start shopping for your wedding venue! We recommend cutting down to a short list of 4 or so to tour initially so you can narrow into what you really like and once you’ve narrowed that list down, MAYBE add in a few more for comparison. It can feel daunting to find the right wedding venue for you , but remember that no venue is going to check all the boxes. Some with check many, some will check only a few. Decide in advance what your most important boxes are to help make the decision simpler. Expectation setter: You’re probably going to have to take a day or 2 off of work to get this done. Venues are usually hosting events on weekends and evenings and when they’re not, they like time off too :) Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
Local DJs You Should Know!
Picking great music is super important to couples getting married right now. They want to curate a list, and know that each song played at their wedding is better than the last. The first decision you have to make when it comes to music is whether you want a DJ or a band. Each comes with its pros and cons of course, BUT if you are highly opinionated on the choices for your reception music I would definitely suggest looking into DJs during your open dance floor. Bands tend to be more expensive and will only learn so many songs for each of their customers. If music is your top priority in your budget, here are a few great and trustworthy DJs in Chicago you should ask your planner to reach out to. 1. Cage & Aquarium We never go to a party without our main man Trevor from Cage and Aquarium! Not only is he one of the kindest vendors you will meet, he also makes sure none of his couples leaves the dance floor unsatisfied. 2. Luniks Entertainment Daniel over at Luniks Entertainment is always incredible and easy to work with. He is a great communicator and will be sure to link you up with a DJ to fit your personality and style. Luniks knows that each couple is different and makes sure you can feel the personalization! 3. Style Matters If you are getting married at Ovation, Greenhouse Loft, or his new venue Sarabande, you will get linked up with Spencer’s DJ company Style Matters. A venue and DJ in ONE! Not only will it be great for your budget, but it will also be a stress free process. Spencer makes sure his couples questions are answered promptly and he always knows exactly what to expect in any area of your wedding day! 4. Green Line Talent Every DJ at Green Line Talent is such a blast to be with. They always come in with high energy and your wedding guests will be able to see it! We love a sister owned company who knows how to bring the FUN every time!! 5. The DJ Firm DJ Firm offers couples so many resources. Each DJ you meet is easy to talk to and makes you feel comfortable with ALL your questions! Ruben is always willing to make sure his couples are happy with their DJ and are enjoying the process of picking songs for their guests! Everyone in town will recommend DJ Firm! Dancing with your loved ones will never be a negative experience. Choosing from any of these options will make your wedding day one to remember. Chicago is so full of talented artists, that you can’t go wrong! Remember, this is the fun part! :) Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?
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Best Wedding Venues Based on Your Wedding Aesthetic
Everyone has a different vision of what they want their wedding to look like. Whether it be greens and white with exposed brick, bright colors, or even a traditional hotel wedding. Every wedding is different and every wedding is beautiful in its own way. I’m going to share with you my favorite wedding venues in Chicago based on different wedding aesthetics. Every venue in this city is amazing, but finding the perfect one for you can be a difficult decision and hopefully this makes it a little bit easier. 1. Simple & Elegant Morgans on Fulton is one of my favorite venues! It is so beautiful and fits perfectly with a simple look. Check out this picture from Jesse & Will’s wedding. Full of whites, greens, and babies breath! How gorgeous! Definitely recommend this venue and you can dress it up so nicely! 2. Colorful & Bright Ignite Glass Studios is so cool! Talk about COLOR! They have a whole wall full of awesome glass art and we love it here! A wedding here is a wedding to remember. All the beautiful scenery is really so memorable! They also have a beautiful indoor space for a reception! One of our favorites! 3. Timeline & Chic Venue Six10 is one of the coolest places in Chicago. Its sleek and white design makes it a blank canvas for you to transform it into a beautiful space like Erin & Thomas did at their wedding! It was so stunning with the views of navy pier and big dance floor! 4. Lofty & Warm The Carter is the place to be. This venue has beautiful exposed brick and a great space for you and your guests. The space is so cozy and makes everyone feel like home. It is can be dressed up with neon signs and color and also work with a simple clean aesthetic. Such a great venue!
Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
7 Reasons You SHOULD NOT Hire a Wedding Planner
If you recently started planning your wedding, you’ve probably found yourself at least once searching “do I need a Wedding Planner?” And while usually my answer is a resounding yes, years of working with couples who are planning their wedding, many great and several not-so-great, here are my signs that working with a Wedding Planner is not for you. You don’t want to have a wedding. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many couples we’ve tried to help who come to us, usually with limited notice, saying that they’re overwhelmed with the process and want someone to guide them through it and what we discover after weeks or sometimes months working together is that they’re not overwhelmed with the process, they don’t actually want to have a wedding, usually because they don’t value the wedding experience and have trouble justifying the cost, and were talked into the idea by a partner or family member. You can’t make decisions. Some couples come to me because they struggle with decision fatigue and are looking for someone to distill options for them. We love that! We have worked with dozens of talented wedding vendors in Chicago and know all of the players. We know their personalities, their styles of work, their price-range, and can easily pair couples who are interested in only a few tailored options with the right partners. But sometimes a couple comes to me and it’s clear they can’t make decisions and that’s a problem because at the end of the day, even if I give you all of the right information and send you a dotted line to sign, if you won’t sign it because of whatever reason, I can’t make you sign it and we can’t make progress. You don’t like to hear the word no. I love hyping couples up. Like seriously, when I can spend an hour of my day telling someone how much I love their ideas and all the fun ways I think we can execute their vision, it makes my entire day. But sometimes it’s my job to tell people that their ideas won’t work the way they think they will or that an expectation is unreasonable. I’ve been a part of nearly 100 weddings in my career and the honest fact of the matter is that sometimes, I just know better than you, and in my opinion, that expertise and lived experience is part of what you’re paying for, so if you can’t receive that candid feedback, a planner might not be for you. You think a Wedding Planner is a glorified assistant. My job has a lot of facets: people coordinator, time bender, space fitter, vibe manager, idea generator and sometimes appointment setter, envelope stuffer, and errand runner. But let me be clear: Wedding Planners are not assistants. We are skilled connectors, designers, and logistics magicians, but not assistants for you to boss around for a year. You can’t meet deadlines/answer emails. Planning a wedding is a fluid and layered process. When we’re working with couples who can’t complete their tasks, it pushes our progress back and makes the entire planning process rushed and kind of yucky. Even if you’re working with a Full Service Wedding Planner there are still hundreds of decisions and sign offs you’re going to have to give throughout the process and if you can’t do that, I can’t do my job. You can’t follow a process/let go. I call this my “letting go of the rope” conversation. I have it with all couples twice: during the initial sales process and about 30 days before the wedding. It means you have to be able to follow me and trust me to do my job. If you can’t follow a process and let go when it’s time to let go, you’re guaranteed to end the relationship feeling like the investment wasn’t worth the money, because you didn’t let the process do what the process does. You don’t want to hire a Wedding Planner. Another should-be no brainer, but I can’t tell you the number of times I get on calls with couples who spend our entire info call bashing my profession, but ending each criticism with “but all of my friends who have gotten married said I definitely should have at least a day of coordinator.” HARD STOP. If you don’t believe in the service, don’t buy it. Please. Because then I’m going to spend our entire relationship trying to prove to you that it was worth it when in the end, no matter how flawless the service is, it will never have been worth the money to you because you were never bought in. A Wedding Planner is a big investment and is definitely not for everyone. These are just a few reasons it might not be for you. Remember, if it isn’t a hell yes, then it’s a hell no. Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
Your Guide to Lighting Design For Your Wedding
Most of the time when we start talking to couples about designing the aesthetics of their wedding, their focus is on color palettes, florals and linens, which, don't get me wrong, are HUGE parts of the design process. But one element that goes widely overlooked is the impact of lighting! Quickly, here’s why lighting design is so important to the overall visuals of your wedding design - most of the time you buy your venue in the daylight, but your wedding, or at least your reception, takes place at night. So what happens when you lose all of that gorgeous natural light when the sun goes down? You lose all impact of your design. And honestly, all impact of the money you spent on those design elements. Here enters, lighting design. Candlelight Easily, the most commonly used lighting element and a cost effective option. It adds ambiance directly to your table and IMO gives that cozy, homey, dinner party feel. Also great for creating a romantic atmosphere for a sunset or night time reception! Tips on using candles in your wedding design: Most venues require candles to be enclosed by glass, which makes those pretty taper candles you’ve seen all over the internet very expensive because of the cost of those glass covers. Please please please, I’m begging you to stop putting candles on the aisle for your ceremony. You’re guaranteed to be picking up broken glass as guests walk in and inevitably kick them over. Uplights It surprises me how many couples don’t realize that there is uplighting in their favorite wedding inspo photos and even in their favorite photos of their venue. Uplights are the most strategic way to add ambient light to the entirety of the space on a budget. They definitely have a higher cost to them than candlelight, but the cost to impact ratio is higher than anything else on the list. They’re also the simplest way to add lighting elements to your overall design. Place them around the perimeter of your venue and set them to amber to add a candlelit glow to your entire space. Tips on using uplights in your wedding design: Most DJs and venues have uplights you can add onto your package, so they are relatively easy to find without adding in another vendor (with a potential minimum spend). Pin-lighting I’ll be honest, pin-lighting is something it took me years to see the value on. It’s a little on the costly side in terms of design elements because it requires installation, but where it’s value comes in is highlighting the color palette of your floral design. With the loss of natural light comes the loss of saturation of your floral color palette. But adding in pin-lights - small lights, usually connected to points on the ceiling that are angled to spotlight specific design pieces, or placed directly underneath the centerpiece - bring that color back to life. Tips on using uplights in your wedding design: Talk to your florist or decorator to see if this is something they can provide. Dance Floor Washes + Gobo Lighting Dance floor washes and gobos are an easy to way to use lighting to communicate a theme. For example, gobos with a monogram can be projected onto the wall behind your sweetheart table or a dance floor light wash of flowers or snowflakes can be projected onto a dance floor or you can use dance floor washes to create an effect like rain or sparkles over a dance floor. Tip on using dance floor washes + gobo lighting in your wedding design: Connect your stationer with your designer and use this lighting technique to carry elements from your invitation into your wedding day design. Installation Lighting Installation lighting is that next level type of design (and comes with a next level cost) because it’s where we start customizing your venue to your specific tastes. Installation lighting can look like cafe or twinkle lights strung from the ceiling, chandeliers, hanging globes with tea lights in them, and more! Installation lighting is gorgeous, but costly because of the labor hours + equipment it takes to install these pieces. Tips on using installation lighting in your wedding design: Look for a venue that has some sort of lighting already installed to help get the same look for less. When talking to designers about installation lighting, make sure that the pieces you select are dimmable so that you can bring down the lights when the dance floor opens! Using lighting in your wedding design doesn’t have to be scary or overly expensive. Interested in learning more about how to use lighting in your design? Schedule an info call to talk with our pro team of Chicago Wedding Planners about creating a design and planning package tailored to your needs! Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
How to Create a Wedding Budget
Creating a budget can, arguably, be one of the most important processes in planning a wedding. That being said, it also is unarguably the most stressful and intimidating to-do on your list. How do you even begin? What are possible things you might forget to build a budget for? What platform should I use? Let’s talk about how to create a budget for planning your wedding weekend and vendors you don’t want to forget to set a budget for! Creating a budget will look different for everyone! Using excel can be a huge help and even do the math for you, but excel can be overwhelming! Maybe using a blank google doc is what works best for you! Go ahead and give yourself, first, an overall wedding budget! What you don’t want to exceed for the entire weekend! After, add each vendor you want/need to hire and give yourself a budget for each of them. Make sure in the end your smaller vendor budgets don’t exceed your total budget! Vendors you might forget to budget for can differ! Since it will be one of the first steps you attack when planning a wedding, you don’t even know what the day will look like yet! The ones we see left out of the budget the most are: Rehearsal Dinner/Welcome Party Getting Ready Space/Hotel Rooms Wedding Day Transportation Stationary Rentals Some of these items, you might not need! Once you create your wedding day timeline you will be able to spot the holes on someone/something you might need to hire/rent! Example: how is the wedding party getting to the photo locations? Answer: Hiring transportation! It always seems easiest to go with the first company you have reached out to, but you have probably never hired these specific vendors before! You probably don’t know the pricing rate on catering for 100 people! Always reach out to more than one vendor! This helps you get an idea of the rate you can expect and lets you compare prices to Help Your Budget! Once you have confirmed and signed a contract with a vendor for your event, go into your budget and change your estimated amount for each vendor to what you will actually be spending (also, adding the dates the next sum is due can be incredibly helpful)! When all your vendors are hired it will be simple to go through and change your estimated total budget amount to your actual dollars spent! Creating a budget can feel overwhelming, terrifying, and at some points, shocking! But once you see, in the end, that you were able to spend exactly what you set out to (or maybe even less), that peace of mind is always priceless. Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
Local Photographers you NEED to Know!
In this city, we have some of the BEST photographers for your wedding! We have had to pleasure to work with so many creative and fun people that we can't wait to share with you! Not only are these people great, they are also unbelievably talented! If you ever need help seeking a photographer...this blog is for you!!! We took a deep dive on some of our favorites- but we had a lot :) and wanted to share them with you! We even added the links to their websites for easy browsing! We can't wait to share the wedding day once again with one of these amazing photographers! The talent in this city is AMAZING. 1. Alana Lindenfield Photography Alana is a ray of sunshine! All of her photos are so beautiful and bright and she is such a joy to work with! She does a great job in making her clients feel comfortable and excited on the wedding day! We promise you will LOVE working with Alana!! 2. Aaron Ehinger Aaron is so creative and has such a unique approach to photos! He has some of the coolest work I have seen to date! Old timesy, but so breathtaking! He also just took the cutest photos of us at the West Loop Wedding Walk. LOVE! 3. AJ Abelman AJ is the BEST! She has the best vibes and always down for a good laugh. Her photos are insane and we think she SO fun to work with! We are working with her on a styled shoot coming soon :) She does such a great job of capturing beautiful, memorable moments of our couples! 4. Grace Rios Grace's style is gorgeous true to life and black-and-white images! She has a personal touch that takes the pressure off of couples and allows them to relax into the best versions of themselves, this comes through in the beautiful images. 5. Juancho SC Photography An amazing couple - you can feel the creative spark between these two! They work seamlessly together to give my couples natural, never forced beautiful images of their wedding day. They do a wonderful job connecting with & capturing the emotions of the couple, their family & guests alike. We have SO many favorites. This is just touching the surface of all the great talent and people that are in this city!! We feature so many of these photographers on our Instagram - and we love working with them all! Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
How to Choose Your Wedding Color Palette
It’s one of my favorite parts of the wedding calendar year! Newly engaged couples, bright and excited, starting the very beginning phases of planning their wedding! One of the first conversations many couples have is about their wedding aesthetic and the color palette that they’d like to have. Some couples have a very specific look in mind, but other (usually our math, science, and data people) really struggle in this area. Let’s start how many colors you need in your color palette. I always recommend 5 to my couples. 3 main colors and 2 pops. The reason for this is that it creates dimension and visual interest without having to invest in additional product. Now if your style is timeless and elegant and you find yourself leaning towards white and greenery, you might be wondering how this rule applies to you. These 5 colors can come in the form of shades of one another. White can be stark white, it can be ivory, it can be cream, it can be blush, it can be slightly grey. Using a mix of tones will help create harmony in your design! So let’s talk about HOW to choose your wedding color palette. SPOILER ALERT: there’s no right or wrong way to do this, but here are some approaches you could take! LET THE VENUE DECIDE When you’re not a particularly creative person, sometimes finding the right venue first is the best approach. If you’ve done any Chicago wedding venue shopping at all, you’ve probably already started to notice that whether you have a palette selected or not, you can see where the space you’re in leans OR what it needs. For example, if your venue is all clean lines, white walls and glass, you might want to bring in some bold color to help visually fill up the space OR if your venue has stylistic features built in, it might make more sense to lean into the style of the space and work with what already exists. LET THE SEASON DECIDE This is the area I think people most often lean when trying to decide their color palette. If you’re getting married in Spring, we’re talking fresh pastels. Summer, bold + bright color. Fall, moody + earthy tones. Winter, deep and rich tones. But what if you’re getting married in the Summer for that incredible Chicago summer sun and you hate bright colors? This might not be the road for you then! LET YOUR PERSONAL STYLE DECIDE When I work with couples who are in the beginning stages of planning their wedding, I always like to start by asking questions about their comfort level with color. Are you afraid of bold colors and patterns? Are there colors that you hate? Do neutrals feel boring to you? If you’re totally stuck on what to do with color palette, look around your home and in your closet! I bet if you look close enough, you’ll find at least one color that is constant in your style and then you can build from there with the help of the color wheel. Which brings me to my last approach… LET THE COLOR WHEEL DECIDE Ok, so let’s say you’ve picked on color that you have in your closet that you LOVE but don’t know how to style it, this is where color theory (you have no idea how much of a geek I am for color theory) comes into play! I’m also a big fan of not recreating the wheel, so here’s a crash course from our friends at Canva in all things Color Wheel + Color Theory ! Again, there’s no right or wrong way to choose your color palette for your wedding, but this can really be a barrier to some couples in getting started in their wedding plans. If you need more help on the creative element of your wedding plans, reach out to our team! We’ll nerd out about color theory so you don’t have to! Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
What is a Wedding Day Timeline?
Your wedding day is going to be stressful. All of your friends and family are coming to see YOU. It's hard to keep your head on the logistics of the day, while also creating long lasting memories! You shouldn't have to worry about where everyone should be going or what everyone should be doing next! These are some of the many reasons why we always will create a wedding day timeline (sometimes multiple) for you, your vendors, and your friends and family. The benefits of creating a timeline I could talk about all day, but let’s discuss what your timeline should consist of? What are the important things to add that you might not think about? 1. Vendor Arrival Times Whether they are arriving at your hotel or at your venue, make sure you know when each vendor should be onsite. This helps keep the entire day on track! Also, add their day-of phone numbers. This way if they don’t arrive on schedule, you know exactly what number to dial! 2. Photo Lists A big time-sucker on your wedding day will go to photos! You want to make sure your timeline reflects this! Even if it’s just robe photos in the hotel room, add time for it in your timeline!! Create a list of all the group photos you would like to get and enough time to capture them! Either before or after the ceremony. 3. Processional Order Make sure no one is asking you who they go after in the processional order! Put the order on the timeline along with the song changes, so everyone knows what to expect! Especially your DJ! 4. Vehicle Arrival/Departure times If you are hiring a shuttle driver, make sure to get their day-of phone number to add to your timeline! Add everyone that should be getting in the bus/car! Be as specific as “wedding party leaves hotel for venue” and “wedding party arrives at venue.” This way everyone knows where you are and when you will be arriving! 5. Buffer Time Last, but not least! Don’t forget to add that buffer time! Even with a timeline, unexpected things will happen! Make sure to give yourself plenty of time with each activity! Don’t forget about traffic at specific times of the day and time to give you and your partner a second to breathe! ;) One of the most important things I like to add is a 10 minute moment after the ceremony. Let you and your partner sneak away, just the 2 of you, and be able to take the day in together! It’s a day you’ll never forget. Make sure to spend as much of it as you can with the person you’re there for. Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
Realistic Budget for a Wedding in Chicago!
Budgeting for a wedding can be a ton of stress. Especially when you are hit with the cost of everything that goes into a wedding. Who knew it could cost so much to have something so simple like food at your wedding? It is important to take a step back and figure out your priorities. What do you want to splurge on or save on? That way, you can figure out what a realistic budget looks like for you. In this blog, we dive into a realistic budget for Chicago, because as you can probably imagine...Chicago is pricey! We want all of our clients to have the best experiences and have an overall beautiful wedding day, so we want to give you all the best tips on your budget! First things first. Understanding what is costing you money. Well, to put things simply, the day & time of year you choose to have your wedding is actually a big factor in cost. If you choose to have your wedding during summertime chi or the fall on lets say a Saturday, you are looking at a way steeper cost for a venue rental compared to a Friday/Sunday in off-seasons months! That is the first way you can save money. You can also find venues that have catering in house to save a little bit of money. For example, one of my favorite venues, Lacuna Lofts has catering and a beautiful event space at a great price! It is all about research! It is always possible to have a wedding in Chicago, with the right budget! To put things simply, it is going to depend on a lot of different factors! It depends on your floral vision, your taste in food, but to put in perspective.... let's say you have a 150 person guest list and want to get married in September (peak wedding month) on a Saturday. In Chicago, with standard wedding expenses you are looking at about 60k.... This is also assuming things like photography (maybe videographer), seated dinner, floral, and a DJ are your biggest priorities and you want them to be as good as it gets! Fun fact, catering is a big cost point & a lot of time the most important to clients because they want their guests to have a good meal! (Can be over $100 per plate!!) It is important to understand the costs of each things and then decided where you can save in each vendor section! The best tips I can give you is it is important to take a step back and 1. Figure out your priorities (what is the most important to you!) 2. Figure out your guest list! (The more people you have the more $$!) 3. Hiring a wedding planner to help you :)! We are there to help you and even offer to work on a budget tracker with you or for you depending on your package! It is hard to answer the questions "What is A Realistic Wedding Budget in Chicago?" because it is SO dependent on all of these factors and what YOU want as clients. Vendors are there to help you and find the best ways that you can maximize your budget and hiring a wedding planner is key if you want to get the most assistance on how to save money! Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW
Why You NEED Wedding Planning Breaks!
Imagine your favorite activity in the world. Got it? Okay, now imagine doing that activity for a year in a half, non stop, no breaks. It’s all you’re thinking about, it's all you're dreaming about, it’s taken over your entire life. Now, imagine this activity is something you actually don’t love, and causes you and your loved ones a great deal of stress? At this point I’m just describing a nightmare. Wedding planning is just like any other activity in your life. You need to be able to completely step away from it and TAKE BREAKS! Creating a wedding planning timeline is the first way you can help yourself in the process. Decide when you want to be done with large chunks of your wedding planning to do list, and schedule in a 1 month (or 2) long break after. Rewarding yourself after completing difficult tasks helps you enjoy the process for longer, and you will complete tasks you don’t want to do faster than you thought was possible! Once you create your wedding planning timeline, STICK TO IT. Even if you get to your scheduled break and think to yourself, “I really think I can keep going…” DON’T! You created that timeline for a reason. You’ll be able to think of tasks till the very moment you walk down that aisle, so just let yourself focus on something else for a month. Take your break even if you don’t necessarily want to! Even if you are having so much fun with planning, think of how excited, driven, and refreshed you’ll be when that break comes to an end! If you are planning your wedding on a tight schedule and you don’t have the capacity in your timeline to take a month, give yourself a week or even a weekend! Go on a date with your partner and talk about something/anything besides the wedding planning!! Even just getting your mind off of things that need to get done for a MOMENT can be therapeutic. This will help you and your partner stay excited for the day instead of anxiously waiting for it to be over! If you truck down the wedding planning path with full speed, by the time the day arrives you will resent it. The day will just become another item to cross off your to-do list. No one wants to think of their wedding day as a task. Taking breaks helps ALL of us come back to the project with a fresh set of eyes and appreciating the small tasks to make your day everything you hoped for. Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner? TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND OUT NOW