Never Again a Bridesmaid

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride does not even begin to describe me. I have planned more weddings for friends in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois; I have lost count of them. I have somehow developed a reputation as the go to girl for wedding planning among my circle of friends. Truth be told, I kind of have it down to a science. Pick a theme and a color palette and you are off. From wedding flowers to the perfect wedding band, I have the whole thing wired. You want creative? I am your girl. Traditional is more your style? Look no further; I know just what to do. I grew very fond of my track record of beautifully planned weddings that went off flawlessly.

chicago bridesmaids

Then it happened, I finally met the guy, my own prince charming. What was even more amazing is that he asked me to marry him and I said yes. It was finally happening for me, I was going to be the bride and wear the pretty white dress and carry the best flowers. Of course my wedding would be perfect – after all, I had successfully planned so many weddings – some for true ‘bridezilla’s’ – that planning my own would be a snap. I bought a binder, a bunch of bridal magazines and set down to work.

 

That is where the trouble began. Each time I found a bridal gown or wedding cake I liked, I would realize I had used something similar in someone else’s wedding. I began to obsess about making my wedding unique. I could not use any of the DJ’s in town – they would play the same reception music that was played at all the wedding I had planned. My wedding reception venue could not be the same as anyone else’s. Even picking my dress became an ordeal as I realized just how similar bride’s dresses really are.

 

I could not believe it – I had turned into Bridzilla myself. My wedding plans were going nowhere – I had not even chosen my bridesmaids, let alone by bridesmaids’ dresses. How could I have sunk so low? I did not know what to do; I finally asked seven friends who I had helped plan particularly flawless weddings, for help.

 

With a pat on my hand and a “don’t you worry,” they were off. I had little to do with the wedding plans from that point on.  I was only asked to pick a bridal gown at a local bridal shop. My only other chore was to show up.

 

The wedding my friends planned for me was simply amazing. Each previous bride I had helped took responsibility for one of the following:   the wedding flowers, reception music, the wedding cake, bridesmaids’ dresses, the wedding reception venue, the wedding photography and the wedding band. What was neat is that they used the same idea or theme that I had used for their own wedding. You would think it would have ended up a mess, with themes ranging from beach weddings to Vegas, but somehow, they made it all work. I will never forget my beautiful not a bridesmaid wedding!

Here’s Why Having Custom Uplighting Is So Important For Your Wedding

chicago-wedding-uplighting-2019-2020-trendsThe wedding ceremony is perhaps the most important component of your wedding day. Your guests are present to witness your commitment to one another, and your wedding day should be one of the most joyous days of your life. Many guests are honored to be a part of this special moment, and what truly makes an occasion special is the small details.

An important, but oft neglected, component of your wedding ceremony and reception is the lighting. If you want to turn an ordinary setting into something extraordinary, having custom uplighting will be the way to do it.

The biggest trend in wedding lighting for 2019/20 is uplighting.
Uplighting incorporates the placement of colored spotlights throughout your venue to highlight corners, columns, walls, or other architectural features. These high-tech lights are outfitted with LED diodes, which are programmed to project thousands of different colors. The colors can easily be matched to the accent colors you’ve chosen for your wedding. Modern LED technology ensures that these lights remain bright, safe, vibrant, and cool to the touch. You can choose for your uplighting to be static, or you can opt for the lights to be programmed to fade, change colors, and much more. Instead of boring, unflattering overhead lighting that reminds you of being in an operating room, uplighting allows you to create the ambiance you would like for your wedding to have.

Almost as important as the lighting for your ceremony and reception is the dance floor lighting. After the receiving line has been conducted and the meal is finished, it’s time for your guests to hit the dance floor! Superior lighting for the dance consists of many components including lighting to highlight the dance floor, spotlights to highlight special moments, and different effects to encourage your guests to show off their best moves. A professional lighting company worth their price tag will work with your wedding DJ or band to maximize the effect of the dance floor lighting.

Having custom uplighting for your wedding will transform the entire ambiance and feel of the occasion. Most people equate a wedding with expensive décor options, but this does not have to be the case. Using uplighting to “decorate” your venue will do the trick. Colors can be matched to complement your wedding’s theme and color palette for an affordable price.

It should also go without saying that the type of uplighting your wedding ceremony and reception has will also affect the quality of your wedding photos. Even a professional photographer with the latest equipment cannot take high quality photographs if the lighting is insufficient.

The bottom line is that uplighting is a crucial component of your wedding day that should not be overlooked. Even if you are trying to save money by scrimping in some areas, uplighting should not be it! In a recent survey from TheKnot.com, respondents said that the entertainment was what they remember most about a wedding, so why not make yours shine?
chicago wedding uplighting 2020 trends

 

Why So Many People Are Loving Off-Season Weddings

Getting married shouldn’t cost you a lot of money – that is if you schedule your wedding during the off-season. That’s right. More and more people are now opting for the less popular seasons to negotiate better venue prices and save big on expenses such as catering fee. What would be the most obvious drawback? Well, off-season means you need to prepare yourself and your guests for the less favorable weather conditions.

Winter wedding Chicago

How You Can Make the Most of Off-Season Weddings

Do Your Homework

It is seen that the most popular wedding months are May through October. In fact, you would find couples who would start their wedding preparations way before May so that everything goes smoothly. Of course, like any other investment or purchase, you cannot get a good wedding deal unless you do your homework and approach off-season wedding with the correct understanding of prices for the products and services in question.

Don’t Ignore the Weather Conditions

You need to understand that the ‘wedding off season’ varies by the location and of course the weather. Interestingly, the only time of the year where prices don’t go up to down greatly is the Holiday season. Needless to say, you need to look at the location and the time you want your wedding to take place. You cannot arrange an outdoor wedding when temperatures fall below the freezing point. Since weather is the biggest factor in off-season weddings, you need to make sure that the location you use offers Plan B just in case things take a wild turn.

Have a Backup Plan

Securing an indoor place if you’ve booked an outdoor terrace and arranging backup transportation is a smart move. You can also ask the florist if the delivery could be arranged even if it is snowing badly.

Duties of the Best Man – Ceremony, Reception and After the Wedding

The main duty of an attendant is to make things easier for the couple. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Although the “rules” have changed quite a bit in the last few decades, each attendant still has a number of expected duties.
This week we will be focusing on the duties of the best man. I will be using the terms “he” and “his” exclusively throughout this article for ease of comprehension.
However, the best man is often the best maid in recent times. The basic role and duties still apply.

The Best Man’s Role:

best man wedding chicago
A lot of care is taken by the groom in choosing his best man. The best man is most often the groom’s closest friend or relative and is someone the groom trusts explicitly. The trust placed in the best man is well earned as he is the one who lends support to the groom during this stressful time. He also does his best to make sure that everything runs smoothly during the planning process, the wedding and after. Below you will find some of the duties that are expected of you, and will also find ideas that help in making everything run more smoothly.

 

Being a groom’s best man is a big responsibility with many tasks associated.

The Best Man’s Duties:

Prior to Wedding

Assist groom in wedding planning
Confirm honeymoon and travel arrangements
Coordinate gift for the groom if a combined gift from the groom’s attendants is given
Purchase gift for the groom if each of his attendants is purchasing separately
Attend any pre-wedding events except the bridal shower if not co-ed
Keep the bride’s ring safely until the ceremony
Find out who will be transporting gifts after the wedding
The purchase of wedding attire and accessories are your responsibility (except boutonniere)
Make sure the groom has the necessary paperwork for the wedding
Make sure the groom has any necessary paperwork for a honeymoon before he leaves for the ceremony
Ensure that the groom has payment for wedding vendors before leaving for the ceremony
Plan a bachelor party (stag party or just a general party)
Arrange transportation so that you and the groom arrive on time
Make sure that you have your reception speech before leaving
Help groom pack for honeymoon and dress for the ceremony
Escort groom to the wedding location
Ceremony and Reception

Make sure the groom arrives on time
Make sure the groom looks presentable for his wedding before walking down the aisle
Do your best to ease the groom’s fears or worries
Escort groom to his position during the ceremony
Hold the bride’s ring until needed
Sign the marriage license as a witness
Pay the officiant (groom has payment)
Arrange for transportation so that couple gets from ceremony to reception
Give the first toast at the reception
Give a speech for the groom and bride (after toast)
Organize the groom’s attendants for any photos
Pay any wedding vendors that need payment (groom has payment)
Provide decorations for car and help to decorate (ask the couple first!)
Help newlyweds to the car (whether going home or to the airport)
Ensure that gifts are safely loaded (be sure to find out who will be holding them for the couple)
Help newlyweds load the car with luggage (and/or gifts) if necessary
After the Wedding

Return groom’s formal-wear if necessary
Make sure that groom’s attendants (including you!) return formal wear on time
Finally, RELAX… you’ve done a wonderful job!

Fall  Wedding Color Trends

For many people, including brides to be, fall is their favorite season. It ushers in colder temperatures and hints at the promise of the holiday season. The leaves begin changing colors. Nature is at its most glorious, it is the beauty of nature that is inspiring the trendiest wedding colors for fall. To help you choose the perfect color palette for your wedding day, we’re going to review some of this year’s most unique and beautiful color trends!

  • Zest Is the Spice of Life – Ideal for rustic and autumn weddings, pumpkin offers a classic color choice for fall nuptials. This color palette involves using multiple hues of orange, while stark white and sky blue serve as the accent colors. Shades of orange you can use range from light to dark and offer an excellent complement to the cooler accent hues. When contrasted with a stark white, pumpkin hues look exceptional.

 

  • Red, Red Wine – At their peak, strawberries boast a rich shade of red that is energetic and passionate. This bold red hue pairs perfectly with the warmer, neutral hues of autumn (think sugar, gold, and white!). Fall is absolutely bursting with color, and this unique color palette celebrates that color in all of its gloriousness.

 

  • Poetic Justice – If your taste in colors leans more towards the fanciful and delicate, then a color palette of navy blue, classic gray, blush, and cream rose could be exactly what you are looking for. In this color palette, the classic gray and navy blue serve as accent colors to allow the more whimsical cream rose and blush shades to take center stage. Blush and cream rose will forever be romantic, and this is one of the many reasons these colors remain a perennial favorite of brides everywhere.

 

  • Embrace the Romance – Hues of sugar, slate, hunter green, and olive can be used to inspire a dreamlike setting derived straight from a romance novel. Olive green serves as a strong primary color whose edges are softened by the earthier accent colors. In folklore, winter greens are a symbol of abundance and growth. This color palette is ideal for a rustic outdoor wedding or a bride who would like to pay homage to Mother Earth. These down to earth shades will inspire anyone.

 

  • Velvety Smooth – Last, but not least, mauve is a beautiful shade of dusky pink that has lit up the bridal runways this season. When used in the right color palette, it can be used in almost any style of wedding – from classic to boho and back again. To infuse your wedding with a vintage feel, consider pairing mauve with similar hues of soft neutrals. If you would prefer for your wedding to have a more vintage vibe, match it with opposing neutrals, such as slate and ashwood.

Remember that these color palette suggestions are only a starting point. You can find color inspiration for your fall wedding in anything that you love. Let us know in the comments section below what colors you’ve chosen for your 2016 autumn wedding!

The First Dance as Husband and Wife – A Cherished Tradition.

First dance as husband and wife Chicago Wedding 2016 A couple’s first dance together as man and wife is one of the most cherished traditions of American and European weddings. Grooms and brides invest many hours into selecting the perfect song that reflects their special relationship. The chosen song is treasured and remembered by the couple and their wedding guests.
This is why so much emphasis and importance is placed on the couple’s first dance together. It tells a story. Your future children and grandchildren will remember the story each time they hear they hear the song. It will become a part of your familial history, and it will be representative of your love. Just remember that selecting the song for your first dance as a couple should be an enjoyable process. It shouldn’t be stressful.

An increasing number of couples are opting to take formal dance lessons from a professional instructor so they will feel more comfortable on the dance floor. Some couples even choose to do something unique and exciting instead of the traditional slow dance. It’s not uncommon for members of the bridal party to take classes with the bride and groom, so the whole group can do a memorable dance together.

It’s popular now to opt for fun filled first dance songs for a couple’s first dance together. Some couples even choose to create an entire dance routine. A quick Internet search will show you just how many “first dance” videos go viral each year, and each video is more infectious and enjoyable than the last. If a popular, modern dance song represents both of your personalities and fits in with the theme of your wedding, then opting for a casual twist on the traditional first dance could create a memorable experience for everyone who attends your wedding. However, it’s important to make sure that you both agree on the song. You must also consider the fact that your wedding video will live on forever.A couple’s first dance together as man and wife

Though this traditional aspect of the wedding reception is important for both the groom and the bride, make a concentrated effort to just relax and enjoy the moment. If the idea of having to remember a bunch of dance steps in sequence stresses you out, stick with a simple waltz, so that you can concentrate on one another. By the time that the time for your first dance rolls around, the most stressful parts of your wedding should be behind you.

The first dance is a moment to take a deep breath and bond with your new spouse. So while you might want the first dance to be a memorable and significant moment during your wedding day, make certain that you create a first dance moment that will not add additional stress and take away from the specialness of your wedding day. Actually, your first dance together should be a place where you can release any built up tension and simply have a great time being with one another.

Warm up your winter wedding with ruby red. Add candlelight and a metallic accent — for a romantic and inviting ambiance.

More inspiration at http://www.astoriabanquets.com/AstoriaExquisiteBanquets.htm

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All the useful stages of wedding preparations found here ;)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bookishbelle/the-39-stages-of-being-a-bride-fm17

Have fun and call Astoria Banquets to help you in planning!!!

Here is a great article with photos and descriptions of how-to’s for celebrity inspired wedding makeup.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151892876959695&id=71451574694

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